Early next year, BMW will release the seventh generation of its 5 Series sedan — and it's packed with tech. As well as having the most advanced automated driving features of any BMW yet, the lowest drag coefficient in its class, and being 100kg lighter than its predecessor, the 5 Series has a world first; it's the first car that will let you use Apple CarPlay completely wirelessly.
It's no secret that we love CarPlay here at Giz; it's a very good system for getting your tunes, directions and notifications happening inside your car and at your fingertips without having to touch your phone and potentially cause an accident while you're driving. What's special about the 2017 5 Series is that it's the first car to hit roads to use Bluetooth for CarPlay, saving you from the trouble of plugging your phone in to get your music and Apple Maps happening.
While sure, it's a good idea to plug your phone in to give it a good charge while you're driving, it can feel a little pointless especially if it's just for a short trip down to the shops. Wireless CarPlay is a great idea, and the 5 Series will also have inductive phone charging (for phones that support it, of course) and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot that'll connect up to 10 gadgets at once.
Beyond that, the 5 Series just looks like a massive tech powerhouse for drivers too. It'll park itself at the touch of the driver's key, and out on the freeway or in the middle of a traffic jam it'll take care of itself with active cruise control that uses camera, radar and ultrasonics to monitor the area around the vehicle. It'll work all the way from the car's 210km/h top speed down to zero, taking responsibility for acceleration and braking and steering.
A bunch of different 5 Series variants will launch from February next year onwards — there's two petrol cars in the 530i and 540i (a 2-litre inline four and a 3-litre inline six respectively), two diesels in the 520d and 530d (a 2-litre four-cylinder and a 3-litre six) and the BMW 530e iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid that combines an electric motor and four-cylinder petrol engine. At the top of the performance roost, though, is the M550i xDrive with a 4.4-litre V8 that'll push it to 100km/h in four seconds flat.