We’re quite used to automakers coming up with First Edition models to part customers from as much cash as possible in return for some tasty options, and sometimes, the chance to take delivery ahead of people buying the less expensive, regular production models.
BMW isn’t averse to employing the strategy, having previously offered the M8 Gran Coupe as a First Edition, and the latest 5-Series is also getting the same treatment. Don’t go rushing down to your BMW dealer just yet though, because unless you live in Japan, the 5-Series First Edition is off-limits.
So what are the rest of us missing out on? First Editions come in a choice of mineral white or black sapphire and come standard with the M Sport dress-up kit, 20-inch star-spoke M alloy wheels, and the Iconic Glow illuminated kidney grille surround. BMW also throws in a panoramic roof, and a fancy Harmon Kardon sound system and covers the interior surfaces in a mixture of Alcantara and Veganza fake leather.
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Strangely, given diesel’s rapidly decreasing relevance, BMW Japan has chosen to big-up the 523d xDrive version of the First Edition, which is powered by a 2.0-liter, inline-four turbodiesel and features all-wheel drive. Other versions are available though: you can get a gasoline-powered 523i or electric i5 with the same First Edition treatment.
Only prices for the diesel have so far been released, and that will set Japanese buyers back ¥9,640,000, which translates to $63,660 at current exchange rates. We’re not sure what kind of premium that represents over a stock 523d in Japan because the country’s website doesn’t yet list that model, but it appears that the tricked-out diesel costs almost as much in Japan as a 540i xDrive ($64,900) does in the U.S.
The First Edition goes on sale today, will be produced until February and the first deliveries are expected early in 2024. Do you think BMW should offer a First Edition package in North America and Europe?