BMW’s sub­tle dis­play of power

South Western Times - - Wheels -

WHILE BMW con­tin­ues to build lux­ury sedans and SUVs with a per­for­mance edge, the far-see­ing Ger­man mar­que is also ex­pand­ing its en­ergy ef­fi­cient plug-in sta­ble.

The BMW 530e joins the 330e, X5 xDrive40e, 740e, i3 and i8 in BMW’s iPer­for­mance line-up. But in­ter­est­ingly, it does so at the same price as the petrol-pow­ered 530i with the same lux­ury and same spec.

We plugged in to the 530e’s de­lights for a week.

Lux­u­ri­ous quilted seat­ing sets the tone for in­te­rior de­sign of the 530e with long lines and stylish ac­ces­sories com­plet­ing a re­served but at­trac­tive pic­ture.

Un­like the out­side though, where the 530e’s elec­tri­cal un­der­pin­nings have sub­tle out­puts in mea­sured badg­ing and the plug-in port on the front left of the car, the in­te­rior is a much more in­volved par­tic­i­pants.

Both the in­fo­tain­ment screen and vir­tual cock­pit put the ef­fi­ciency in­for­ma­tion front and cen­tre so you know at a glance just how friendly you are be­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Like the rest of the range, the 530e is welle­quipped with stan­dard fea­tures in­clud­ing adap­tive LED head­lights, 19-inch al­loys, heated front seats, au­to­matic tail­gate, wire­less smart­phone charg­ing and a 16-speaker Har­man Kar­don sound sys­tem.

The BMW 530e has a con­ven­tional 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo-petrol engine that pro­duces 135kW of power and 290Nm of torque. It also has a 83kW/230Nm elec­tric mo­tor. Com­bined, that is 70Nm more torque lower down the rev range than a con­ven­tional 5-Se­ries petrol, but given the 530e is also 230kg heav­ier, it cer­tainly needs it.

A su­perb eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is an able ally with drive to the rear wheels.

BMW claims com­bined fig­ures of 2.3L/100km. The best we could man­age over our week was 4.3L/100km, which is pretty good. We did get to 30km on pure elec­tric power. BMW has re­ally stirred things up here by of­fer­ing the BMW 530e at the same price and spec­i­fi­ca­tion as a more con­ven­tional 5-Se­ries prod­uct. Its sub­tler homage to green power also gives it an ap­peal among buy­ers who don’t need to shout about their

choices.

Vani Naidoo The plug-in BMW 530e is of­fered at the same price, lux­ury and spec as the petrol-pow­ered 530i.

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