BMW's mid-size luxury sports sedan gets a boost in power for 2006 in the form of a choice of new 3.0-liter engines; the 525's is rated at 215 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, while the 530's is rated at 225 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. These are the first mass-production powerplants to make use of lightweight magnesium construction, as well as the first BMW six-cylinders to employ variable valve lift technology. Power on the top 545i continues to come from a 325-horsepower, 4.4-liter V-8 engine. Either powerplant can be mated to either a standard six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift capability. Also newly offered this year in the 525xi and 530xi is the available xDrive all-wheel drive system, which was previously available in the X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The 330 wagon comes with a Soft Close two-way tailgate - available in a power-operated version in the Premium Package - and a standard dual-panel Panorama moonroof. In addition, Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering is now standard on all 5-Series models. Like the larger 7-Series, the 5-Series comes with BMW's annoying iDrive control system, which unnecessarily combines various systems like the climate control, navigation, and audio functions into a single array that's operated via a center-console knob. The 545i includes both standard adaptive brake lights and adaptive headlamps that automatically pivot during steering maneuvers to help illuminate the road around curves. A sport "M" edition of BMW's mid-size sedan is added to the line for 2006, and while few details are as yet available, it will reportedly offer a 5.5-liter, 500-horsepower V-10 engine that comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Preview: 2006 BMW M5 by Henny Hemmes
Ungodly power with demigod moves - that's the promise.