Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lightweight Engine but It Packs Real Power

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lightweight Engine but It Packs Real Power

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Keenan

At the heart of this BMW beats a driver's dream of an engine that I would cheerfully marry if the wife ever thought of divorcing me. The Germans have taken the new lightweight six-cylinder power unit used in the 630i and plonked it in a 5 Series M Sport Saloon that provides about as much fun as you can have in a car.

The magnesium-aluminium composite used in construction allows BMW to promote the engine as the world's lightest six cylinder unit and grabs the limelight back from the company's excellent diesel range.

It may be lightweight but it packs one hell of a punch generating 258bhp. The combination is irresistible especially when overtaking.

Cars are passed in the blink of an eye with smooth acceleration allied to reflexes a gazelle would be proud of.

The six-speed manual gearbox is equally slick while the 530i incorporates new standards of electronic wizardry mainly aimed at giving the driver every chance of stopping the beast.

The DSC+ safety system ( making its debut in the new 5 Series models ( adds five new features to the standard DSC already used on every BMW model.

First up is brake standby which shortens stopping distances by priming the brakes if the driver lifts off the accelerator sharply in preparation for an emergency stop.

Then there's rain brake support which improves braking performance in the wet.

Hill start assist is a gem for those who hate the pressure of pulling away up an incline. It allows the car to pull away smoothly without rolling backwards by automatically judging the brake pressure necessary to keep the car stationary. Fading compensation is another brakes inspired feature which ensures the driver uses no more effort on the pedal whether the brakes are cold or hot.

Last, but not least, is soft stop which allows the car to come to a perfectly smooth halt by releasing a small proportion of the braking pressure at the end. …

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