2008 Auto 550i Models Should be Faster [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: 2008 Auto 550i Models Should be Faster

03-21-2007, 05:49 PM
I know there has been some debate over the 2008 550i model being quicker than its predecessor.

I found an interesting article online which explains the boost in performance, due to an enhancement of the automatic transmissions:


"The 550iís V-8
The 550iís predecessor was widely acclaimed by most who drove or tested the 545i, not merely for its strong, fuel-efficient power, but also for its highly pleasing sound. Car and Driver (May í04) summed it up as ďamong the friendliest, most enthusiastic engines in existence.ď With 4.8 liters, the 550iís V-8 delivers even more brilliant performance. Peak power is 360 hp; peak torque is 360 lb-ft.

To further enhance performance, the optional 550i Sport Package newly includes an Aero Kit, modified-calibration Sport suspension, 19Ē wheels and performance tires, and a short shift lever, in addition to Multi-Contour seats with lumbar support, sport steering wheel, sport exhaust system, and Active Roll Stabilization.

Optional: six-speed automatic transmission and automatic sports mode.
As an option and, indeed, as a highly interesting alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, all model variants in the BMW 5 Series are available with a six-speed automatic transmission as a no-extra-cost option.

Apart from the direct connection to the engine, this transmission stands out in particular through its upgraded hydraulics, innovative torque converter and even more powerful management software, ensuring a more spontaneous response to even the slightest movement of the gas pedal and an extremely fast and efficient gearchange. On the road, this means reaction times now some 40 per cent faster than on former automatic transmission models, with the actual gearchange time being almost halved. Shifting back a gear is now just as fast, too, thanks to the direct gear path finder.

The automatic transmission is controlled by an electronic gear selector lever following the usual gearshift pattern. The new gear selector lever moves back to its initial position once the gear selected is in mesh, with the transmission itself masterminded not in a mechanical process, but rather via electrical signals.

As an additional alternative, the optional six-speed Sport Automatic Transmission will be available in the BMW 550i and 535i equipped with the optional Sport Package. This new transmission offers the high standard of motoring comfort so typical of the latest generation of automatic transmissions and at the same time allows the driver to shift gears in even more sporting style in the manual mode, the driver choosing gears sequentially either by means of the gear selector lever introduced exclusively for this special transmission or by means of gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. The Sport Automatic will be available beginning with June 2007 production."

03-21-2007, 08:39 PM
Yes - I read that too - sounds very enticing doesn't it? - can't wait to drive one! I will be ordering a MY08 550 w/steptronic in the next month or 2 for ED in summer/fall I hope.

I see that some enthusiasts are wont to claim that "true BMW enthusiasts" (or words to that effect) want the manual tranny only... but I say that a stick shift is what any sports car enthusiast wants... BMW or otherwise. I'm excited about the 550i's performance and really looking forward to a great auto transmission for convenient commuting & cruising. I still have my RX-7 for the nice weather adventures anyway!

///M Rakete
03-22-2007, 07:13 AM
When I'm driving I am the only enthusiast that counts. Sure a manual is nice but it's a chore in traffic and that's what 100% of my driving is, commuting, sometimes at 80 mph and sometimes at zero. Steptronic it is although it will be the 2TB, Sport Automatic Transmission flavor.