Joining iPerformance variants of the BMW 3-series, the X5, and the 7-series is a plug-in-hybrid version of the new BMW 5-series: the 2018 BMW 530e iPerformance. It’s the latest step in BMW’s plan to offer electrified versions of every one of its models by 2020.
The 530e iPerformance pairs a 180-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a 95-hp electric motor. Combined, the two power sources can deliver 248 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, enough oomph to push the mid-size plug-in hybrid to 60 mph in just over six seconds, according to BMW. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission offered; however, both rear- and all-wheel-drive (xDrive in BMW parlance) variants will be available.
Like the X5 xDrive40e iPerformance and the 740e xDrive iPerformance, the 530e’s electric motor is fed electrons courtesy of a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. BMW notes that the battery can be charged in less than seven hours using a standard 120-volt outlet, while a 240-volt BMW Charging Station cuts that time down to less than three hours. Thanks to the battery pack’s location beneath the rear seat, trunk space is unaffected.
In addition to the Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro drive settings from the standard 5-series, the 530e iPerformance includes a trio of drive modes that can be accessed by tapping the car’s eDrive button: Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Battery Control. As its name implies, Auto eDrive automatically adjusts the flow of power between the gasoline engine and the electric motor to best suit driving conditions. In this mode, the 530e iPerformance can reach a top speed of approximately 56 mph on electricity alone if conditions are right.
Max eDrive takes things one step further and turns the 530e iPerformance into a true electric vehicle that forgoes the use of the gasoline engine in most situations and can reach a top speed of 87 mph on electric power alone. BMW puts the 530e iPerformance’s all-electric range at 15 miles.
Finally, Battery Control mode is designed to let the driver set the battery pack’s charge level—either maintaining its current charge or relying on the gasoline engine to Добавить charge. Battery Control mode will likely find more use in Europe, where a number of urban areas are working to restrict the use of fossil-fuel-burning vehicles in city centers.
The BMW 530e iPerformance goes on sale in spring 2017 and can be denoted by model-specific exterior cues such as blue wheel hub covers, blue grille slats, a charging socket in the front fender, and special badging.