I’m back with some live photos of the BMW 5-Series Sedan at its world premiere in Munich, or should I say the mothership of BMW.


I didn’t get to see it actually on the road (except for this one that’s still taped up) as production will only officially begin early 2010 but I must say the actual car in the metal is a little different from the photos.


Not to say that it looks completely different, but different details tend to show up in the photos, and our eyes focus on the details. In real life, we tend to look at the whole car as a whole and see the little details blending in together. And then I realised that BMW was back to the E46-E39-E38 same sausage different length kind of design language. The new 5 properly looks like the middle child between the E90 LCI and the F01, but there are still some individual touches to talk about. But the new car range is far from the design differentiation that the E60-E90-E65 had.


The most dominant detail of the side view in real life is the character line that runs across the door handles. It is very very prominent and casts a stronger shadow below it than anything else on the car. The other character line that runs below the doors and rises up towards the boot kinda disappears because of that. The car also looks less droopy. The F07 5-Series GT’s side gets a completely different treatment with some additional character lines on bottom half of the doors (click link to see what I mean) – those is sorely missed on this F10 5 Sedan!


The new F10 is definitely better looking than the E60. Strangely it also looks smaller than the E60. This is not really something you can observe in photos but its apparent in real life. In metal for some reason it looks more like what one would expect from a 3-Series one or two generations to come. It truly would not be surprising looking at how every generation of car has been growing larger and larger.


Despite looking smaller, in reality the new F10 5-Series is in fact the biggest 5 ever, with the longest wheelbase in its class. It is about 6cm longer than the E60 in terms of body length but the wheelbase has gone up by 8cm, which means the overhangs are actually shorter on this car. That could be one reason why the car looks more compact, but the styling plays another factor. The front end looks sharper while the side profile is less slab-looking because of the character line.

The man who actually designed the new F10 – Jacek Frohlich

I’m not sure if this will go completely well with the Malaysian customer who actually has the money to buy the 5. Take a look at Honda. They’ve split the Accord line into two for a few generations already, with our market getting the fatter and larger version (as with the US market) because we like our cars big, as more metal for each ringgit feels like we’re getting more value for money. In Europe, a slimmer and sleeker Accord that’s more like a sports car is offered.


Making the new 5-Series look slimmer and sportier more like a large 3 rather than a small 7 should work very well in Europe where the average age of the 5 buyer is lower than the 5 buyer in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the equivalent of the European 7 buyer buys a 5 here, and a 7 buyer here has the mentality and social status of one that buys something a segment higher in Europe, perhaps a Ghost. It’s all because of the ringgit’s lower spending power combined with the ridiculous amount of money we pay for our cars here.

The F10’s interior designer admiring his work

There will probably be a few brand-neutral folks who will go for the W212 over the F10 simply because the W212 looks more “grand”. The 5’s saving grace is that it is still a 5 (and not a 3, a status thing) and it is in fact larger than it looks.

Look after the jump for live photos and two videos of the 535i and the 530d along with some video demonstrations on how the various new technologies work inserted at the end of the 530d video.

VIDEO: F10 BMW 5-Series – 535i

VIDEO: F10 BMW 5-Series – 530d

GALLERY: BMW F10 Live from BMW Projekthaus Munich

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