All-new 5-Series plans to be a real ‘game changer’

BMW showcase super hi-tech eighth generation executive saloon including EV version with a range of up to 582km

The new BMW 5 Series

You can use your phone to play games

The Honda CR-V


thumbnail: The new BMW 5 Series
thumbnail: You can use your phone to play games
thumbnail: The Honda CR-V
thumbnail: Honda CR-V PHEV
Philip Hedderman

Feast your eyes on the new BMW 5-Series, which for the first time comes with an all-electric version that boasts a range of up to 582km.

The eighth-generation executive saloon is also the most technologically advanced model yet and not only comes with the legendary Curved Display, but also features in-car gaming software.

Players’ smartphones act as a controller (see picture right), with the connection established by scanning a QR code on the 14.9 inch infotainment display.

With instant delivery of games over-the-air, players can choose a selection of challenges including racing, sports, quiz, simulation, strategy, jump-and-run and puzzles.

If gaming is not your thing, then you can simply sit back and enjoy watching a video on YouTube while the car is charging.

Music fans will be blown away by Harman Kardon Surround Sound System (standard) with 12 speakers and a 205 watt amplifier.

Buyers of the EV will also be especially delighted by the special sound effects linked to the movement of the accelerator pedal. Select Sport mode and marvel at the engine notes, developed in collaboration with renowned composer Hans Zimmer, giving the driver a genuine M-Sport sensation.

You can use your phone to play games

The new 5-Series is also the first BMW in Ireland to feature leather-free Veganza upholstery, encompassing the seats, dashboard and door panels while the striking BMW Interaction Bar, first seen in the BMW 7 Series, runs the entire length of the cockpit.

The super slick luxo barge is now available with a panoramic roof – again the first time in the model’s history.

Biggest changes inside include the control panel on the centre console, which has been completely redesigned.

The iDrive Controller, new gear selector switch, start/stop button, My Modes, volume control and other buttons take pride of place on the centre panel.

Clear crystal cut design in the scroller and the gear select add a real touch of luxury, while a wireless charging tray is included as standard on all models.

The new saloon is bigger than its predecessor, growing in length by 97mm to 5,060mm, in width by 32mm to 1,900mm, and in height by 36mm to 1,515mm. The wheelbase has been increased by 20mm to 2,995mm for improved seating comfort, especially in the rear.

In keeping with BMW’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint there is no sign of any diesel versions.

For now Irish customers can choose either a 520i petrol engine, which generates 208bhp, or two versions of the i5 – the eDrive40 or the M60 xDrive.

The entry level 40 has a power output of 340bhp and can cover up to 361km on a single charge. The all-wheel drive M60 generates a face-peeling 601bhp, sprints from 0-60kmh in 3.5 seconds while boasting a range of up to 320km.

A state-of-the-art battery pack is capable of charging at 205kWh, which will see you clock up 156km in just 10 minutes.

The saloon range will further expand in early 2024 with the introduction of the BMW 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrid models, which are expected to offer an electric range of 78-90km and 86-100km (WLTP) respectively.

Also set to join the family in 2024 is the next generation of the Touring, which will also be available with all-electric drive for the first time, as well as with plug-in hybrid drive and pure combustion engine drive.

Order books for the new 5-Series are open now with prices starting at €69,850.

The Honda CR-V

Honda’s new CR-V offered as a plug-in

HONDA has unveiled the sixth generation of its best-selling SUV, the CR-V, which arrives in Europe later this year.

Insiders say a focus on high-quality colours, materials and fabrics has elevated the CR-V more toward the premium segment.

The new Crossover (pictured below in silver) will be offered with a choice of either a full hybrid (e:HEV) or, for the first time in the European market, a plug-in hybrid (e:PHEV).

Both variants feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine, which has been revised to enhance efficiency, refinement, and performance across the range.

The plug-in is twinned to a large battery which has an all-electric driving range of up to 82km and a recharge time of 2.5 hours.

The new offering is wider, longer, and taller than the outgoing model, with more interior space thanks to a stretched wheelbase (40mm longer), allowing for 16mm more rear legroom and 18pc more luggage capacity.

Also making its world debut is the all-new ZR-V (bottom in white), a C-segment SUV targeted at young drivers.

Slotting in between the HR-V and CR-V, the rugged little imp will be used to showcase Honda’s SUV line-up. Built on the same platform as the award-winning Civic, the new ZR-V will share the same powertain – namely the 2.0-litre petrol engine, including the hybrid variants mentioned above.

Prices and specs will be announced closer to launch.

Mercedes Citan van ready to order at €23,245

THE second-generation entry-level Mercedes Citan van is available to order and is priced from €23,245 (ex VAT).

Hoping to emulate the success of its larger siblings - the gargantuan Sprinter and medium-size Vito - the new offering is sure to cause a stir in the one-tonne segment.

Scooping last year’s coveted International Van of the Year award alongside the Renault Kangoo, the jurors were influenced by its safety features and by the inclusion of the MBUX infotainment system drawn from the passenger car range.

Initially available in standard wheelbase length, an extra-long wheelbase will follow, the Citan has a load capacity of up to 2.9m3, which is large enough to fit two Euro pallets. The easy-to-access panel van can also be equipped with up to two sliding side doors, giving an opening clearance of 451mm.

Power will come from a four-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine in two power ratings – 95bhp and 116bhp.