20 Mar 2024

The BMW i5 M60 xDrive and Mercedes-Benz EQE light the latest sparks in the electrification of motoring.

As Singapore strides forward in sustainability, electric vehicles are making headway in acceptance among drivers here. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have entered the fray in a big way as they start to roll out high-end, performance-oriented models that turn heads while keeping a lid on the use of fossil fuel.

BMW Asia launched the first-ever BMW i5 M60 xDrive that is equipped with extensively enhanced fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology. Lars Nielsen, Managing Director, BMW Group Asia admits that, “If you are looking for an electrifying sedan that is equally comfortable on the racetrack and weekend grocery runs, I cannot think of a more ideal companion on the road!”

Off the mark, the BMW i5 M60 strikes a striking pose on the street. The range of paintwork colours includes one solid finish and nine metallic finishes. In addition, three BMW Individual paint finishes are available, including two particularly expressive matt paint finishes.

The car’s façade is embellished with a front apron that has black surfaces in its centre and large air intakes, a BMW kidney grille with contour line lighting, horizontal slats and M logo, side skirts and exterior mirror caps finished in high-gloss black, 21-inch BMW Individual aerodynamic wheels and a rear apron with a pronounced diffuser insert signal the top-of-the-range model’s sporty character. In addition, the M Sport Package Pro comes as standard on the first-ever BMW i5 M60 xDrive.

Inside, the car boasts the optimised functionality of the M leather steering wheel is combined with a classic three- spoke design. Contrast stitching in BMW M GmbH colours and a red centre marker for the steering wheel of the Performance model emphasise the sporty character of this model. The redesigned control panel on the centre console showcases a repositioning of the iDrive Controller, the new gear selector switch, the start/stop button, the My Modes buttons, the volume control for the audio system and buttons for controlling other vehicle functions.

The visual and tactile experience is supported by M specific displays on the BMW Curved Display. The typography and graphics are based on the display in the cockpit of high- performance cars from BMW M GmbH. The bands of the main displays and associated design elements in the instrument cluster appear in a platinum silver finish. The BMW Curved Display also offers a specific design in the first-ever BMW i5 M60 xDrive – the Sport Boost and Launch Control functions appear impressively in the instrument cluster when activated. The content shown in the centre of the Information Display can be selected individually.

As the top model in the range, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive comes with Adaptive Suspension Professional including electronically controlled shock absorbers and suspension lowering by 8 millimetres compared to the standard chassis of the first-ever BMW i5 eDrive40, as well as Integral Active Steering.

Two highly integrated drive units on the front and rear axles form an electric all-wheel drive system that enables the car to deliver a system output of 380kW/517hp, increasing to a maximum of 442kW/601hp in My Mode SPORT.

The electric motor acting on the rear wheels generates a maximum power output of 250 kW/340 hp, while the drive positioned on the front axle produces 192 kW/261 hp. Both motors have an exceptionally high power density.

The system torque generated by both motors is 795 Nm or 820 Nm when M Sport Boost or the M Launch Control function is activated.

The first-ever BMW i5 M60 xDrive has a WLTP range of up to 516 km. With the new MAX RANGE function, the range can be increased by up to 25 per cent if required by limiting power and speed and deactivating comfort functions. The Combined Charging Unit (CCU) enables AC charging with an output of up to 22 kW as standard. The high-voltage battery can be charged with direct current with a power of up to 205 kW. While the wall-mounted AC charger offers a fast way or charging at up to 22kW, BMW Charging gives drivers access to one of the largest networks of public charging stations located in various office buildings, shopping malls, hotels and industrial parks in Singapore. Activation of and payment for the chargers can be done through an RFID card or the Shell Recharge smartphone app.


Mercedes-Benz is also not letting up in their efforts at rolling out multi-purpose electric vehicles that meet the growing demand of drivers looking for a practical option. The new Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is a marriage of the innovations of the EQS and EQS SUV’s dynamism in a body that is one of the most spacious in its class.

“The EQE SUV is not only on the leading edge of Mercedes- Benz user and driver experience, it is also produced on a net carbon- neutral basis, while incorporating more resource-saving materials in its production,” says Claudius Steinhoff, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Singapore.

Drivers are faced with a modular drive concept that offers a wide range of maximum total outputs from 180kW to 215kW, with the range of the AMG variants reaching 350kW to 460kW. Depending on the configuration, the EQE SUV achieves WLTP ranges of upto 565km. All models have an electric drivetrain (eATS) on the rear axle, with the 4MATIC ones also featuring an eATS o the front axle. 4MATIC models feature the Torque Shift function that ensures continuously variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear electric motors.

Like the EQS preceding it, the EQE SUV is powered by a new generation of batteris that set the standards in performance, efficiency and charging capacity. Mercedes-Benz further issues a battery certificate with a guarantee of 10 years or mileage of 250,000km with a defined residual capacity.

The EQE SUV is as driveable as it is sustainable. Rear-axle steering enables greater manoeuvrability and the turning circle is a diminutive 10.5m. The interaction between the front axle and rear axle steering enables an agile response, and effortless driving in all terrain. In addition, AIRMATIC air suspension is an option which combines air suspension with adaptive AD5+ dampers for a smoother ride.

A full suite of driving assistance features comes with the EQE SUV as well. Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Lane Keeping, ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Steering Assist to help drivers follow the lane, Active Emergency Stop and Active Brake Assist are just some of the standard ones, with their status and activity shown in full-screen view in the assistance display in the driver’s display.

Mercedes-Benz user experience in the cockpit keeps getting better. The 12.3-inch OLED display with separate user interface have brilliant display quality. Their individual pixels are self-luminous; non-actuated image pixels remain switched off, which means that they appear deep black. The active OLED pixels, on the other hand, radiate with high colour brilliance, which also results in pronounced contrast values. With the MBUX Hyperscreen (optional), three displays merge almost seamlessly into one another to create an impressive band of over 141cm wide: the driver’s display, central display and front passenger display appear as one visual unit.

Potential buyers of the EQE SUV will be interested to note that internal capacity in the luggage compartment leaves little to be desired. The volume is 520l as standard, but with the backrests folded down completely, the load volume ramps up to 1675l with roof-high loading.

The luxurious textures within a Mercedes-Benz cannot be denied and the EQE SUV doesn’t disappoint here. Avant-garde as well as traditional materials and colours give the interior a special atmosphere. The instrument panel and armrest features NEOTEX structure that combines the look of nubuck leather and high-tech neoprene. There will also be five coordinated colour combinations in the interior to help stamp the car’s authority as an electric SUV at the pinnacle in its class.

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