Occasionally, a vehicle will debut in the automotive industry and to the unenlightened, it hardly looks worthy of the fanfare it receives. If you are to politely suggest as much, however, you are immediately ostracized for your obvious lack of insight and become the subject of intense fanboy hate (you = me). So, it is understandable if you approach the reveal of the redesigned 2011 BMW 5-Series with great trepidation since although it is a BRAND NEW DESIGN (!) it doesn’t appear to be especially remarkable. That’s because it isn’t.
Under the hood is an impressive showing, including a twin-turbocharged High Precision direct injection V8 (550i) and twin-scroll turbocharged inline-6 (535i), both of which make up for the lackluster exterior aesthetic. As the model year progresses BMW will introduce a smaller, lightweight 240-hp I6 for the 528i, but in the interim potential Bimmer boys will have to make due with either 400-hp at 5500-6400 rpm and 450 lb-ft at 1800-4500 rpm (V8) or 300-hp at 5800 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque at 1200 rpm-5000 rpm (I6).
Adding to the driving pleasure is also the debut of BMW’s 4th generation iDrive, which may seem unworthy of inclusion just a sentence away from the V8’s awe-inspiring specs but to a chick still rocking a tapedeck it’s pretty damn important. Like the systems that preceded it, the 4th gen iDrive seamlessly integrates driver controls into one convenient knob, ensuring the driver may pop his collar and crank the bass on his obligatory Lil’ Wayne CD in one fluid motion. To prevent the harsh glare of the sun from interrupting your white bread hooning, the infotainment display screen has been specifically designed to allow sunlight to enhance the picture rather than detract from it. Very classy.
Official editorial verdict: call me a Philistine (which I’m sure you will, albeit in more colorful ways), but I pine for the days of the E12, E28, and E34 and that blunt front fascia. You may now commence with the hate mail.