BMW finalises suspension fine-tuning of the i5


The BMW i5 is entering the home straight of its series development process with the fine-tuning of its suspension control and driver assistance systems. According to BMW, the world premiere will take place in “a few weeks”.

In its statement, BMW confirms that it will offer two variants of the i5 sedan: the BMW i5 eDrive40 and the top model BMW i5 M60 xDrive. The latter variant will feature the Adaptive Chassis Professional with electronically controlled shock absorbers as standard, while this system is optional on the i5 eDrive40.

Besides the model name, BMW is not revealing any further technical data on the two drive variants. Last year it was reported that the carmaker was planning three drive systems, mentioning a weaker all-wheel drive called i5 xDrive40. The reports also said that the i5 would take over the powertrains and 83.9 kWh battery pack (80.7 kWh net) from the i4. Whether this is true or if the slightly larger i5 will get its own battery pack will become clear at the premiere.

During final tests at the BMW Group’s testing centre ground in Miramas in the south of France, the carmaker not only fine-tuned suspension control and driver assistance systems to elevate “the balance of sporting potency and ride comfort,” integral heating and cooling circuit with heat pump function for the drive system, the high-voltage battery and the interior of the BMW i5 was also under scrutiny. The company reports that it “can be controlled as required at all times.”

BMW does not go into detail about the heat pump, but it does about the chassis and the newly developed, extensively networked control logic. To determine the ideal damping forces, the car uses all available input variables such as wheel speeds, steering angle, yaw rate and acceleration. “The system no longer calculates the required damping forces using mathematical models, but instead favours physical calculation of data on the current driving condition. This ensures clearly defined body control and precise suspension response in every driving situation,” BMW writes in its press release.

The BMW i5 will also come with new automated driving features. In the US and Canada, and for the first time in Germany, it will be available with the optional ‘Driving Assistant Professional’. That includes the ‘Highway Assist’, which can be used at speeds of up to 130 kph (85 mph). Once activated, the system takes care of distance control and the steering tasks necessary for lane control, while the driver can concentrate on monitoring the surroundings and traffic.

A camera monitors the driver’s face to ensure he keeps his eyes on the road. For example, ‘Highway Assist’ switches off if the driver only looks at the infotainment screen or even a smartphone. Another new feature is a lane change assistant controlled using eye activation. When the driver looks into the exterior mirror, the vehicle starts changing lanes. It automatically takes over the necessary steering movements and speed adjustments, provided the driver confirms the move and the traffic situation allows it. Alternatively, the turn signal lever can be used to prompt a lane change when the Driving Assistant is activated.

Production of the eighth generation of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan will start this summer at the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Lower Bavaria. The market launch is planned for October 2023.


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