BMW Group Malaysia has just announced the arrival of a new variant of the F10 5 Series – the 528i M Sport. Locally assembled at Inokom’s plant in Kulim, the new 528i M Sport is an uprated version of the existing 528i featuring the BMW M Sports package and BMW ConnectedDrive.
Power continues to come from the 3.0-litre naturally-aspirated N52, but handling has no doubt been given a sportier bias thanks to upgrades by the M Sport package. M Aerodynamic trimmings, which consist of reprofiled front and rear bumpers, and 18″ Double-spoke M light alloy wheels give the 528i M Sport an enhanced appearance.
M touches on the inside include sports seats for driver and front seat passenger, BMW Individual headliner anthracite, interior trim finishers in Aluminium Hexagon, M leather steering wheel and M door sills. These upgrades come without a premium, as BMW is maintaining the RM449,800 (on the road, without insurance, with BMW Service Inclusive + Repair) price tag of the outgoing 528i.
Together with the 528i M Sport’s launch, BMW also announced plans for a 50% increase in production capacity of the Kulim plant to bring annual output to 5,000 vehicles for 2011. Since beginning operations in 2008, BMW’s operations in Kulim has employed 400 skilled workers and have rolled out 6,500 BMW vehicles off its lines. The substantial increase in capacity will now create a further 80 job opportunities.
Driving this increase in production, according to BMW, is the new 528i M Sport and also the 520d, which is now riding on a wave of increasing popularity for BMW’s Advanced Diesel models. In the month of April, BMW’s diesel-powered models accounted for 20% of total official BMW sales in Malaysia.
“The percentage of diesel-powered BMW vehicles is set to increase in tandem with the support of the Malaysian Government for diesel, in particular the imminent implementation of the Malaysian biodiesel programme from June 2011. This announcement will see the introduction of B5 biodiesel, which is a blending of 5% esterified Palm Methyl Ester (PME) with diesel which is compliant to the MS2008:2008 standards at selected petrol stations,” said Mr. Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director, BMW Group Malaysia.
According to BMW, biodiesel compliant with the MS2008:2008 Malaysian standard, which is based on the international EN14214: 2003 biodiesel standard has been tested to be non-corrosive to their latest diesel engines and hence will not affect the standard warranty or servicing packages for all existing BMW diesel models. Currently, BMW offers the 2.0-litre N47 and 3.0-litre N57 engines in various models in Malaysia
“We are currently the only carmaker in the Premium segment to offer Advanced Diesel technology vehicles that work effectively and efficiently with the current Euro 2M standard fuel specification sold here in Malaysia. The vehicles have continuously proven to be the best immediate alternative in light of the rise in fuel prices at the current moment and the technology will only get better when the Euro IV fuel specification is introduced in the near future.” said Mr. Briscoe.
Pictures: Official BMW release.