BMW 5 Series (E39)

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BMW 5 Series (E39)
2000-2003 BMW 525i (E39) Executive sedan (2010-10-02) 01.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer BMW
Production September 1995 – June 2003 (sedan)
June 1996 – April 2004 (wagon)
Assembly Germany: Dingolfing
Mexico: Toluca[citation needed]
Russia: Kaliningrad[1]
Designer Joji Nagashima (1992)
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size luxury / Executive car (E)
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door estate
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine Petrol:
2.0 - 2.8 L M52 I6
2.0 - 3.0 L M54 I6
3.5-4.4 L M62 V8
4.9 L S62 V8
Diesel:
2.0 L M47 turbo I4
2.5 L M51 turbo I6
2.5 - 3.0 L M57 turbo I6
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length sedan: 4,775 mm (188.0 in)
wagon: 4,806 mm (189.2 in)
Width 1,801 mm (70.9 in)
Height sedan: 1,435 mm (56.5 in)
wagon: 1,440 mm (56.7 in)
Curb weight 1,480–1,800 kg (3,260–3,970 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor BMW 5 Series (E34)
Successor BMW 5 Series (E60)

The BMW E39 is the fourth generation of BMW 5 Series, which was sold from 1995 to 2004. It was launched in the sedan body style, with the wagon/estate body style (marketed as "Touring") introduced in 1996. The E39 was replaced by the E60 in 2003, however E39 Touring models remained in production until 2004.

The E39 was the first 5 Series to use aluminium components in the front suspension. The proportion of chassis components using aluminium significantly increased for the E39,[2] in order to reduce weight. It was also the first 5 Series where a four-cylinder diesel engine was available.

V8 models use recirculating ball steering (as per previous 5 Series generations), however rack and pinion steering was used for the first time, in the four-cylinder and six-cylinder models. Unlike its E34 predecessor and E60 successor, the E39 was not available with all-wheel drive.

The M5 sedan was introduced in 1998, powered by the 4.9-litre S62 V8 engine.

Development and launch[edit]

Development for the E34's successor began in early 1989,[citation needed] internally known as "Entwicklung 39" and ended in 1995. The final design by Joji Nagashima was selected in June 1992[3][4] and later frozen for production under new design chief Chris Bangle. With design selection in 1992, the series development phase began and took 39 months till start of production. The domestic German design patent was filed on 20 April 1994, utilizing an E39 prototype.

In May 1995 BMW published the first official photos of the E39.[5] The E39 premiered in September 1995 at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IIA).[6] In December 1995 sales began on the European mainland.[7]

The first pilot production models were built in February 1995, with full-scale production starting later in the year. Most cars were built at the Dingolfing factory.[8]

Body[edit]

Compared with its E34 predecessor, the E39 wheelbase grew by 68 mm (2.7 in) and overall length by 55 mm (2.2 in). Torsional rigidity was increased over the E34 by 40 percent, which reduces body flex and allows the suspension to operate more accurately, also improving ride quality.[9] Due to a stiffer body shell, the weight of the chassis increased by 10 kg (22 lb),[10] which is offset by the reduced weight of some aluminium suspension components.

Structural dynamics was also an objective of the body design, so the body's frequencies for torsional twisting and bending are in separate ranges and above natural frequency. These frequencies are out of the range of engine and driveline vibrations, to avoid vibrations being amplified.[9]

The aerodynamic design of the E39 resulted in a drag coefficient of 0.28.[3]

The E39 draws heavily from the E38 7 Series in body construction and electronic technology.

Steering[edit]

Unusually, two different steering systems were used for the E39, depending on the engine. Models with four-cylinder and six-cylinder models use rack and pinion steering,[11] the first time this system has been used in a 5 Series. This system steers from the front of the axle.[9] Models with V8 engines use recirculating ball steering, as per the previous generations of 5 Series.[9]

Suspension[edit]

The front suspension consists of MacPherson struts,[12][13] with six-cylinder cars using an aluminium front subframe. Aluminium is used for the steering knuckles, outer strut tube and the spring pads, resulting in a weight saving of 21 kg (46 lb).[9] V8 models also use aluminium in the steering box and several suspension links,[9] to compensate for the heavier steel subframe.

The rear suspension consists of a four link design (called "Z-link"), which is similar to the system used by the E38 7 Series. Chapman struts are used and the design minimises unintentional toe angle changes, which increases the stability of the handling.[9]

Drivetrain[edit]

Manual transmissions[edit]

  • 5-speed ZF S5-39DZ[14] (525d, 530d)
  • 5-speed S5D 250G (523i from 1996, 520i, 525i)
  • 5-speed S5D 260Z (525td)
  • 5 speed S5D 320Z (523i up to 1996, 530i, 535i)
  • 6-speed Getrag 420G[14] (540i, M5)

Automatic transmissions[edit]

Note that the 523i, 525i, 528i and 530i had several overlapping automatic transmission options for some years.

Equipment[edit]

Interior

A "latent heat accumulator" was available as an option up until September 1999.[17][18] The accumulator stores engine heat by converting a salt from a solid to a liquid form (Phase transition).[19][20] The insulated tank can store heat for several days. The next time the vehicle is started, this heat is automatically used to reduce exhaust emissions (by heating the engine up to operating temperature quicker), for cabin heating and window defrosting.[21] The latent heat accumulator is separate to the Residual Heat function (activated by a button labelled "REST"), which allows the demister and cabin heater to use the heat of an engine that has recently been turned off (using an electric pump to push hot coolant through the heater core).

Standard equipment on the launch models included dual front and side airbags, pretentioners and load limiters for the front seatbelts,[22] anti-lock brakes, traction control, power steering, and air conditioning.[23][24] Satellite navigation was also available, initially using maps on CD, then moving to DVD maps in 2002.

Engines[edit]

M54 straight-six engine in an E39 525i

At launch, the petrol engines consisted of the M52 straight-six and M62 V8,[25] which were both new engines at the time. In 1998, the "technical update" (TU) versions of these engines were introduced, which introduced double VANOS to increase torque at low rpm.[26] At the 2000 facelift (LCI), the M52 straight-six engine was replaced by its successor the M54, however the M62TU remained in use for the V8 models.[27]

The initial diesel models used the M51 straight-six turbo-diesel engine. In 1998, its successor the M57 was introduced, however the M51 also remained in production for two more years. In 1999, the M47 four-cylinder turbo-diesel was introduced in the 520d model, which is the only E39 model to use a four-cylinder engine.[28]

Petrol engines[edit]

Model Engine Power Torque Body style Years
520i M52B20
6-cyl
110 kW (148 hp)
@ 5900 rpm
190 N·m (140 ft·lbf)
@ 4200 rpm
sedan
wagon
1995–1998
  M52TUB20   
6-cyl
110 kW (148 hp)
@ 6250
190 N·m (140 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1998–2000
M54B22
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp)
@ 6250 rpm
210 N·m (150 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
523i M52B25
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp)
@ 5500 rpm
245 N·m (181 ft·lbf)
@ 3950 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1995–1998
M52TUB25
6-cyl
125 kW (168 hp)
@ 5500 rpm
245 N·m (181 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1998–2000
525i M54B25
6-cyl
141 kW (189 hp)
@ 6000 rpm
245 N·m (181 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
528i M52B28
6-cyl
142 kW (190 hp)
@ 5300 rpm
280 N·m (210 ft·lbf)
@ 3950 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1995–1998
M52TUB28
6-cyl
142 kW (190 hp)
@ 5500 rpm
280 N·m (210 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1998-2001
530i M54B30
6-cyl
170 kW (228 hp)
@ 5900 rpm
300 N·m (220 ft·lbf)
@ 3500 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
535i M62B35
V8
173 kW (232 hp)
@ 5700 rpm
320 N·m (240 ft·lbf)
@ 3300 rpm
sedan 1996–1998
M62TUB35
V8
180 kW (241 hp)
@ 5800 rpm
345 N·m (254 ft·lbf)
@ 3800 rpm
sedan 1998–2003
540i M62B44
V8
210 kW (282 hp)
@ 5400 rpm
440 N·m (320 ft·lbf)
@ 3600 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1995–1998
M62TUB44
V8
217 kW (291 hp)
@ 5400 rpm
460 N·m (340 ft·lbf)
@ 3600 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1998–2003
M5 S62B50
V8
294 kW (394 hp)
@ 6600 rpm
500 N·m (370 ft·lbf)
@ 3800 rpm
sedan 1998–2003

Diesel engines[edit]

Model Engine Power Torque Body style Years
520d M47D20
4-cyl
100 kW (134 hp)
@ 4000 rpm
280 N·m (210 ft·lbf)
@ 1750 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
525d M57D25
6-cyl
120 kW (161 hp)
@ 4000 rpm
350 N·m (260 ft·lbf)
@ 2000 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
525td M51D25 UL
6-cyl
85 kW (114 hp)
@ 4800 rpm
230 N·m (170 ft·lbf)
@ 1900 rpm
sedan 1996–2000
525tds M51D25TU OL
6-cyl
105 kW (141 hp)
@ 4600 rpm
280 N·m (210 ft·lbf)
@ 2200 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1996–2000
530d M57D30
6-cyl
135 kW (181 hp)
@ 4000 rpm
390 N·m (290 ft·lbf)
@ 1750 rpm
sedan,
wagon
1998–2000
M57D30
6-cyl
142 kW (190 hp)
@ 4000 rpm
410 N·m (300 ft·lbf)
@ 1750 rpm
sedan,
wagon
2000–2003
Figures specified are for European saloon models.[29]

M5 version[edit]

Main article: E39 M5

The M5 version of the E39 was Introduced in 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show and was produced from 1998 to 2003. It was powered by the S62 V8 engine. All E39 M5 cars were sold in the sedan body style with a 6-speed manual transmission.

North American model range[edit]

From 1997–1998, the E39 model range in North America consisted of the 528i and 540i, In 1999 the M5 was introduced. In 2001, the 528i was discontinued and replaced by the 525i and 530i. The 540i was initially powered by the 210 kW (280 hp) 4.4-litre M62B44 V8 which was derived from the earlier E34 5 Series' M60, but included upgraded cylinder block material, electronics, and more displacement. In September 1998, the 540i received the further upgraded M62TUB44. This engine supported a VANOS variable valve timing system, and had electronic throttle control. Power was slightly increased to 220 kW (290 hp) for 1998 to 2003 model year 540i's.

Model year changes[edit]

BMW 523i sedan (Europe; pre-facelift)
BMW 525i (Australia; facelift)
BMW 530d estate (Europe; facelift)

Most changes occur in September each year, when the changes for the following model year go into production, as is typical BMW practice. Therefore, the changes for 1996 represent the 1997 model year, for example.

1996[edit]

  • Wagon/Estate body style (called Touring) introduced.
  • 525td model introduced.

1997[edit]

  • On-board computer upgraded.
  • Cornering Brake Control introduced.
  • Rear side airbags introduced.
  • Sport Package introduced.
  • Automatic transmission option introduced for 540i.
  • USA sales commence, starting with the 528i and 540i models.

1998[edit]

  • M5 model introduced.[30] Lower-body rear side airbags were standard on the M5, remaining optional for other models.
  • M52 straight-six engines updated to M52TU.[31]
  • M62 V8 engines updated to M62TU.[32]
  • 530d model introduced, using the new M57 straight-six turbo-diesel engine.
  • Xenon headlights introduced.
  • Audible reversing alarm ("Park Distance Control") introduced.
  • Self-levelling rear suspension introduced for Estate models.
  • Stability control upgraded (from ASC+T to DSC).
  • Sport Package replaced by "M Sport" package.
  • Satellite navigation upgraded from MKI (or Mark I) to MKII.[33][34] Like the MKI, the MKII uses a 4:3 screen and stores the maps on a CD.

1999[edit]

1999 saw the introduction of the Touring (estate) body style and joined saloons in both I6 and V8 versions. New options for 1999 included brighter xenon headlights (only low beam), Park Distance Control that warns of obstacles when backing up, and self-leveling rear suspension for estates. Standard on V8 models and newly optional for 528i versions was BMW's Dynamic Stability Control, designed to aid control in fast turns. Dual stage airbags were added for front occupants as of 03/99.[35] The M52 2.8-liter I6 engines were now an all-aluminium block and head with the introduction of double VANOS, as opposed to the previous single VANOS iron block/aluminium head M52. M62 4.4-liter V8 engines were updated with single VANOS and electronic throttle control. The addition of VANOS provided a flatter torque curve, with higher max torque at a lower peak rpm. The "M Sport" package was added (replacing the standard sport package), and included the M Sport steering wheel, door sills, and shift knob, as well as revisions to the suspension tuning, brakes, wheels and tires.

2000[edit]

In 2000, rain-sensing windshield wipers and xenon headlamps became standard on the 540i, and were newly available for 528i models. The 528i versions also gained the 540i's standard stability control system. All models now had daytime running lights, and fog lamps.

Satellite navigation was ugraded to the MKIII system, which uses a 16:9 screen.[36]

2001[edit]

For the 2001 model year (Cars made from September 2000), BMW updated the E39 with newer, clear-lens tail, side marker, new design steering wheel and headlights which first displayed the now-popular "angel eyes." Rear tail lights were changed to "wave-guide" LEDs (Hella, the OEM, refers to these lights as "CELIS"), while the side and rear turn signals were changed from amber lenses to clear. The black trim was now painted to match the body color, and the front bumper now featured rounded fog lights. Internally many changes were made to electronics; items such as window regulators and the air conditioning were updated. The 528i was replaced by the 530i which had a new 170 kW (228 hp) M54B30 3.0 L inline-6. A new entry-level 525i was introduced featuring a 143 kW (192 hp) M54B25 2.5 L I6 and a slightly lower price. The available navigation system was changed to a wide screen version. The front grille was also changed to a new, more pronounced design.

2002[edit]

For 2002, BMW Steptronic-equipped E39s had their manual shift direction switched to match BMW's SMG (forwards to downshift, backwards to upshift) and automatic headlights were added. Also, in 2002 the 540i V8 32V engine power was increased from 210 kW (282 hp) to 216 kW (290 hp)[37] while torque remained the same. All models received a standard in-dash CD player,[38] 6-cylinder models added a standard power passenger seat, and the 525i received automatic climate control standard.[39] Consumer Reports declared the 2002 BMW E39 the best car they had ever reviewed.

2003[edit]

2003 marked the last full model year for the E39 platform; they were differentiated by the addition of extra chrome trim on the trunk (boot) and on the sides of the body. In all 6-cylinder models of the 5-Series, the sunroof became standard. The optional navigation system was upgraded from MKIII (which required 8 CDs to cover the entire USA and Canada) to the MKIV system (which uses a single DVD disk).[40] The optional sport package on the 540i carried parts from M-technic. This included full M-tech ground effects, M-tech II suspension, 18 inch style 37 wheels, and a variety of M badging. Isofix/LATCH child seat anchors were added. The E39 estate (touring) was continued into 2004 until the touring version of the new 5 Series (E61) was released.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]