ⓘ BMW 5 Series (E60)

BMW 5 Series (E60)

ⓘ BMW 5 Series (E60)

The fifth generation of the BMW 5 Series consists of the BMW E60 and BMW E61 executive cars. The E60 and the E61 were produced from 2003 to 2010 and are often collectively referred to as the E60.

The E60 generation introduced various new electronic features, including the iDrive infotainment system, head-up display, active cruise control, active steering, adaptive headlights, night vision, lane departure warning and voice control. The E60 was the first 5 Series to be available with a turbocharged petrol engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and regenerative braking.

The M5 model was introduced in 2005 and is powered by the S85 V10 engine. It was sold in the sedan and wagon body styles, with most cars using the 7-speed SMG III transmission. It was the first and only M5 model to be sold with a V10 engine.

In January 2010, the BMW 5 Series F10 began production as the successor to the E60.


1. Development and launch

The development programme for the E60 began in 1997, concluding in 2002. The lead designer was Boyke Boyer. The final design, developed by Davide Arcangeli under BMW Design Director Chris Bangle, was approved in 2000 and German design patents filed on April 16, 2002.

The sedan was launched on July 5, 2003 in Europe and in October 2003 in North America. In late 2004, the Touring models were introduced.


2. Body styles

The body of the E60 was made using aluminium for the front of the car, and steel for the passenger cabin and rear. Kerb weights are 1.545–1.725 kg 3.406–3.803 lb for the sedan and 1.675–1.830 kg 3.693–4.034 lb for the wagon. The weight distribution of the sedan models was 50:50.


3. Interior / Equipment

The iDrive infotainment system - first introduced in the E65 7 Series - was fitted to all E60 models. The standard iDrive system included a 6.5-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth audio for phone calls, voice control, and vehicle settings. Optional features included an 8-inch LCD screen, satellite navigation and DVD video playback.

An emergency hotline feature BMW Assist was also available for the E60. The BMW Assist system could also use the phone network to notify the driver and their preferred BMW dealership when servicing was due.

Other features available in the E60 initially included active cruise control, Bi-Xenon headlights, run-flat tyres, active anti-roll bars and active steering. Safety-related items include Dynamic Stability Control DSC, adaptive headlights and night vision.

Over the E60s lifespan, the following features were added: Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, keyless entry "comfort access", LED taillights, Lane Departure Warning and Brake Force Display.

The E60 was the first 5 Series in 22 years where the centre console was not angled towards the driver, however the E60s successor returned to angling the centre console towards the driver.

In 2003 a 6 speed SMG gearbox was offered as an option on the 525i, 530i, 545i and 550i.


4. Transmissions

Available transmissions are:

  • 7-speed SMG III M5 model
  • 6-speed GS6S53BZ automated manual SMG 2003-?
  • 6-speed ZF S6-53 manual 2004-2010
  • 6-speed GS6S37BZ automated manual SMG 2003-?
  • 6-speed ZF 6HP28 automatic 2007-2010
  • 6-speed ZF 6HP19 automatic 2003-2007
  • 6-speed ZF 6HP26 automatic 2003-2007
  • 6-speed ZF S6-37 manual 2004-2010

5. M5 model

The E60 M5 is powered by the BMW S85 4.999 cc 305 cu in V10 engine. The engine is rated at 373 kW 500 hp at 7.750 rpm and 520 N⋅m 384 lb⋅ft at 6.100 rpm, with a redline of 8.250 rpm. The official 0 to 100 km/h 62 mph acceleration time is 4.7 seconds.

The majority of M5s were sold with a 7-speed automated manual transmission "SMG III", however a 6-speed manual was also available in some markets.

Total production of the M5 was 20.548 units, consisting of 19.523 sedans and 1.025 wagons.


6. Alpina models

Introduced in February 2005, the petrol engine Alpina B5 and B5 S were built in sedan and wagon body styles and were based on the E60 using the 4.4 L N62B44 V8 from the 545i With a centrifugal supercharger bringing the power output to 368 kW 493 hp. for the B5 and 390 kW 523 hp for the B5 S respectively. The B5 was available exclusively with an Alpina tuned six-speed automatic transmission 6HP26 called "Switch-Tronic".


7. Special models

Long-wheelbase sedan China only

A factory-stretched long-wheelbase version of the E60 5 Series was offered in China. Models included the 520Li, 523Li, 525Li, and 530Li.

BMW 5 Series Authority Vehicle

The 5 Series Authority Vehicle is designed for police forces, fire services, and emergency rescue services. It has a firearm bracket in the rear center armrest.


7.1. Special models BMW 5 Series Security

The E60 5-Series was available as a Security’ model, a factory armoured version produced by BMW AG which was unveiled at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Utilising ballistic steel, aramid, polyethylene and 21mm polycarbonate layered glass it was certified at VR4 level of VPAMs Bullet Resistant Vehicle guidelines 1999, tested by Beschussamt Mellrichstadt. The 5-Series Security was available as a 550i 367PS; 362 hp; 270 kW V8 or 530i 258PS; 254 hp; 190 kW I6 and features upgraded suspension and braking systems.

The armoured areas include the entire passenger cell, battery terminals and ECU Engine Control Unit. As standard they included an intercom system and panic alarm.

BMW 5 Series Security was manufactured alongside the series model at BMWs Dingolfing plant, with armouring prepared before being shipped to a specialist facility in Toluca, Mexico, where the vehicles complete the final assembly stage.


7.2. Special models Long-wheelbase sedan China only

A factory-stretched long-wheelbase version of the E60 5 Series was offered in China. Models included the 520Li, 523Li, 525Li, and 530Li.


7.3. Special models BMW 5 Series Authority Vehicle

The 5 Series Authority Vehicle is designed for police forces, fire services, and emergency rescue services. It has a firearm bracket in the rear center armrest.


8. Safety

Initially the 5 Series received a three-star rating for adult occupants. However changes were made to the steering column, footrest, door trims, door latch, airbags and electronic software and the car was retested achieving its four-star rating. BMW claims the modifications improved the cars EuroNCAP score, not the vehicles safety; consequently BMW chose not to recall the earlier-built cars.

The American Insurance Institute of Highways Safety IIHS gives the 5 Series a "Good" overall rating in frontal collisions but a "Marginal" overall rating for side impact collisions. The IIHS reported their side impact test would likely cause driver related rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries. The IIHS tests were conducted on models built after May 2007; these models had modifications to improve side impact safety.


9. 2007 facelift

The Life Cycle impulse LCI models were introduced in September 2007 for the 2008 model year. Styling changes were relatively subtle, and included revised headlights, tail lights and front bumper. The interior was significantly revised. The iDrive system was upgraded with programmable "favourite" shortcut buttons for late 2008 models, a revised menu system, preset buttons for the audio system and the switch from DVD to hard disk based storage.

Mechanically, the 5 Series gained the new engines and transmissions from the E70 X5. On automatic transmission models, a shift by wire shifter replaced the mechanical version and shift paddles were available for the first time on a 5 Series model besides the M5.

The active cruise control was upgraded to bring the vehicle to a complete stop and accelerate from stationary called" Stop & Go". Other changes include adaptive headlights, LED rear lights, Lane Departure Warning, night vision, head-up display and Brake Force Display. The E60 LCI was the first BMW to feature regenerative braking.

  • Facelift exterior changes


10. Production

Production of the E60/E61 occurred at the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in Germany and at the BMW Brilliance plant in China.

Complete knock-down assembly of German-produced kits took place in Thailand, Egypt, Russia and Malaysia.