Just how much has Tesla gotten under the skin of the big dogs?
It’s a bit hard to believe that it’s already been five years since the current BMW 5 Series was enlarged and later launched to a crowd of enthusiasts that were disappointed that one of the “ultimate driving machines” had gone a bit soft. In order to appeal to comfort-loving customers, most of which were situated in the Chinese market, BMW did its best impression of a Lexus with the F10 and now, as Bimmer Post has just uncovered, the 5 Series is about to become a lot less driver friendly.
That’s because according to a leaked brochure detailing the options on the latest G30 chassis, we’re about to see the 5 Series go from imitating a Lexus to copying a Tesla. The options list for the lineup, which includes the 530i, 530i xDrive, 540i, and 540i xDrive (a 550i is expected next Spring), is slated to include a Driver Assistance II package that will include semi-autonomous features like Side Collision Avoidance, active cruise control with traffic Stop & Go ability, active lane change, and Side Collision Avoidance. Together, these features constitute all of the abilities of Tesla’s Autopilot, save for the highway off ramp capabilities introduced with the latest Autopilot update.
Many of these features are already included in the BMW 7 Series, but the fact that they are migrating downstream goes to show just how close the market is getting to autonomy. It also exemplifies how much Tesla is on the mind of its competitors, although no electric 5 Series is planned as far as we know (hopefully). Instead, the new 5er should have BMW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder on lower trims with the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six making an appearance in the 540 and up. We’ve caught a glimpse of the new 5 Series testing, and while we don’t know if it’ll have AWD or RWD, we do know it’s losing its manual option. For now, we can expect to see these new semi-autonomous 5 Series a short while after production starts this November.