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BMW unveils new 5, 6 Series lineup at ‘drive-thru’ world premiere in Korea

Journalists ride in vehicles to attend BMW Korea’s unveiling event of the new 5, 6 series sedans in Yeongjong-do, Incheon, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Journalists ride in vehicles to attend BMW Korea’s unveiling event of the new 5, 6 series sedans in Yeongjong-do, Incheon, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

INCHEON -- BMW Korea unveiled revamped models of the 5 and 6 series sedans on Wednesday, holding the first world premiere event in the country as a foreign carmaker, which was also BMW Group’s first official event since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The carmaker displayed three new versions of the 5 Series and the 6 Series Gran Turismo: BMW New 523d, BMW New 530e and BMW New 640i xDrive.

The 5 Series will be presented with a lineup of six gasoline and diesel engine types, including 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. The BMW New 530e will also add to the portfolio as a plug-in hybrid, the company said.

All the new models will be equipped with a digital cockpit platform for a connected experience and employ an enhanced Driving Assistant Professional Package.

The new models will be released in the Korean market in the fourth quarter of this year.

As most events are being canceled or being held online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world premiere was organized in an unprecedented “drive-thru” manner to keep physical contact minimum among the participants.

Hosting the event at the BMW Driving Center in Yeongjong-do, Incheon, BMW Korea prepared 60 BMW vehicles for the reporters to ride, either individually or in teams of two and set up a wide screen for the presentation.

Pieter Nota, member of the board of management of BMW AG, in charge of customers, brands and sales, addressed the participants through a video message.

“As one of the world’s powerhouses for high-end technology, customers in Korea have the highest standards and expectations. And this is a passion we share,” Nota said.

“As one of our biggest 5 Series markets, we wish to show our respect for our customers and colleagues here, as well as the broader Korean society.”

The new 5 Series model displayed at the BMW Driving Center in Incheon on Wednesday. (BMW Korea)
The new 5 Series model displayed at the BMW Driving Center in Incheon on Wednesday. (BMW Korea)
The new 6 Series model displayed at the BMW Driving Center in Incheon on Wednesday. (BMW Korea)
The new 6 Series model displayed at the BMW Driving Center in Incheon on Wednesday. (BMW Korea)


The BMW 5 Series, a midsized premium business sedan, has been the company’s bestselling model with more than 7.9 million units sold globally.

South Korea had the highest cumulative sales of the BMW 5 Series in the world, selling 72,000 units as of April this year. The country also stood second in sales of the BMW 6 Series.

Nota also highlighted Korea’s response measures to the pandemic, and noted BMW Group’s efforts to protect the health and safety of its associates and partners in Korea and worldwide.

“The fact that we could even host this event today at the Driving Center, underscores the decisive and comprehensive actions taken by Korea at an early stage to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

All of the group’s production plants have resumed operations, and it is set to launch some “very exciting” vehicles this year, including the new BMW 5 Series, Nota added.

For an actual view of the new models, the reporters drove-through inside the “Experience Zone,” where three new face-lifted models of the 5 series and 6 series Turismo were displayed.

The unveiling event, broadcast live via the BMW Digital Channel, was originally planned to take place at this year’s Busan International Motor Show. But it was reorganized after the motor show was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the company, it is the first time for an automaker to simultaneously premiere two models at once.

The public preview of the two new models will be opened at the BMW Driving Center from May 31 to June 28, BMW Korea said.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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