Rather silently, BMW has debuted a new F10 BMW 5 Series variant with a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the Greek market (and only there, so far). Curiously enough, it’s badged as the 520i (AT), and not 518i. It seems the latter has been retired since the days of the E34 5er.

The small engine runs the same tuning as in the 118i we have here, so it has 170 hp and 250 Nm of torque at its disposal. Such equipped, the 1.6 litre engine can move the 1.6 tonne vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 8.7 seconds and top out at 226 km/h. Not bad at all, considering the disproportionate engine displacement/car size ratio. Check out the spec sheet of the 520i (AT) below.

BMW_5_Series_1.6_02 Click to enlarge.

You’d think that the new model would replace the 2.0 litre-powered 520i, but it doesn’t. The existing model – sans the (AT) suffix – lives on, with its 184 hp/270 Nm engine offering more performance (0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, top speed 233 km/h) and better fuel economy (6.0 litres per 100 km versus 6.7 l/100 km).

The last bit just goes to show how mismatched the combination is, with the car not designed to fit such a small engine in the first place. As to why such a model exists, perhaps it has something to do with Greece’s rudimentary engine displacement-based vehicle tax structure. Sound familiar?

F10 BMW 528i M Sport LCI (Malaysian-spec)