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Capobranco
12-23-2010, 08:30 PM
I spent the last month driving many cars seeking a replacement for my 335i vert. The final selection was between the Porsche Panamera and the BMW 550i GT. I excerpt this from my post on the E90 forum.

Sooooooo……I walked into a new BMW dealership, and saw something I had never seen before – a 550i Gran Turismo in metallic black with sport package and 20 inch wheels. Within the context of the “Porsche Smack’ thread a few months ago I described the
550i GT as being a “camel”. I take it back – in the flesh – the 550i GT is perhaps one of BMW’s strongest designs in the last 20 years.

Creatively incorporating BMW styling cues, the GT exudes power and competency. The styling evokes a feeling of masculine athleticism and functionality without being pretentious. The upright oversized BMW grille, the long hood, the fastback “coupe” roofline, frameless windows, --and that wide stance, are all elements that communicate the dynamic special nature of the vehicle. The interior is nicer than a Maserati Quattraporte. The driving experience is more luxury GT than sport, but the twin turbo V8 with an output of 400 hp and 450 lbs of torque, in tandem with the ability to dial in sports plus suspension calibrations, makes for a surprising smile-generating ride. Aesthetically and dynamically, I very much preferred the 550i GT to the Panamera. I suspect some may not agree with my analysis of the GT but that is ok. As an artist I have learned to trust my own instincts and eschew being ruled by the opinions of others – different strokes for different folks.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=259550&stc=1&d=1293161605

dogguyX3
12-24-2010, 11:36 AM
I spent the last month driving many cars seeking a replacement for my 335i vert. The final selection was between the Porsche Panamera and the BMW 550i GT. I excerpt this from my post on the E90 forum.

Sooooooo……I walked into a new BMW dealership, and saw something I had never seen before – a 550i Gran Turismo in metallic black with sport package and 20 inch wheels. Within the context of the “Porsche Smack’ thread a few months ago I described the
550i GT as being a “camel”. I take it back – in the flesh – the 550i GT is perhaps one of BMW’s strongest designs in the last 20 years.

Creatively incorporating BMW styling cues, the GT exudes power and competency. The styling evokes a feeling of masculine athleticism and functionality without being pretentious. The upright oversized BMW grille, the long hood, the fastback “coupe” roofline, frameless windows, --and that wide stance, are all elements that communicate the dynamic special nature of the vehicle. The interior is nicer than a Maserati Quattraporte. The driving experience is more luxury GT than sport, but the twin turbo V8 with an output of 400 hp and 450 lbs of torque, in tandem with the ability to dial in sports plus suspension calibrations, makes for a surprising smile-generating ride. Aesthetically and dynamically, I very much preferred the 550i GT to the Panamera. I suspect some may not agree with my analysis of the GT but that is ok. As an artist I have learned to trust my own instincts and eschew being ruled by the opinions of others – different strokes for different folks.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=259550&stc=1&d=1293161605


Very Kool, hip car. You've a keen eye for future foward looking design.
Trend setter. Enjoy! :thumbup:

dalekressin
12-24-2010, 12:03 PM
I spent the last month driving many cars seeking a replacement for my 335i vert. The final selection was between the Porsche Panamera and the BMW 550i GT. I excerpt this from my post on the E90 forum.

Sooooooo……I walked into a new BMW dealership, and saw something I had never seen before – a 550i Gran Turismo in metallic black with sport package and 20 inch wheels. Within the context of the “Porsche Smack’ thread a few months ago I described the
550i GT as being a “camel”. I take it back – in the flesh – the 550i GT is perhaps one of BMW’s strongest designs in the last 20 years.

Creatively incorporating BMW styling cues, the GT exudes power and competency. The styling evokes a feeling of masculine athleticism and functionality without being pretentious. The upright oversized BMW grille, the long hood, the fastback “coupe” roofline, frameless windows, --and that wide stance, are all elements that communicate the dynamic special nature of the vehicle. The interior is nicer than a Maserati Quattraporte. The driving experience is more luxury GT than sport, but the twin turbo V8 with an output of 400 hp and 450 lbs of torque, in tandem with the ability to dial in sports plus suspension calibrations, makes for a surprising smile-generating ride. Aesthetically and dynamically, I very much preferred the 550i GT to the Panamera. I suspect some may not agree with my analysis of the GT but that is ok. As an artist I have learned to trust my own instincts and eschew being ruled by the opinions of others – different strokes for different folks.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=259550&stc=1&d=1293161605
I agree that automobile decisions can be as challenging as choosing friends and spouses.
You need to know what you need, want, like and what you can afford.

Good job +1

daron001
12-24-2010, 04:37 PM
Very nice car and I appreciate your design analysis. I really like the GT as well, especially when I saw it in person. I'm trying to convince my wife to replace her X5 with a GT when it comes off lease in a few months. Her concern is the ability to see out the back window. What are your thoughts on visibility issues, blind spots, etc. when it comes to the GT?

rsingh111
12-24-2010, 06:36 PM
Nice to see people posting here. I was getting lonely here so started to post in F01 forum touting the greatness of the gt.

I love everything about the car. Visibility is a bit of sn issue with backing up. Have to have the camera package. As I bought an exec driven car at a huge discount my car has every option but the 400 dollar rear Unsure why they would not put this in as a standard

Otherwise no issues. Cargo space with back seats down is great. My wife has x5 but I have to give the gt 9 out of 10. X5 7 out of 10

Capobranco
12-24-2010, 07:26 PM
m e r r y.. c h r i s t m a s !
................:beerchug:

I'm driving my 550i GT to the West Virginia mountains tomorrow on Christmas Day
- I will give you my reactions when I return and note if I have issues with visibility.
(To date this has not been a problem but I just got mine!)

PS. Thanks for the really nice comments guys!!!!!

daron001
12-25-2010, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback rsingh.

Svanil, have a safe drive to WV. Small world, I have some family in Huntington. Merry Christmas

car-fan
12-25-2010, 11:09 PM
:thumbup:Very nice car and I appreciate your design analysis. I really like the GT as well, especially when I saw it in person. I'm trying to convince my wife to replace her X5 with a GT when it comes off lease in a few months. Her concern is the ability to see out the back window. What are your thoughts on visibility issues, blind spots, etc. when it comes to the GT?

Rear vision is only an issue when backing up. I have the camera package, and use it in addtion to my mirrors and sensors when backing up. Under most other circumstances you will not have a problem seeing what is behind you. As far as blind spots, not bad car has plenty of windows to enable peripheral vision, and the blindspot prevention system helps here as well. Although, I personally prefer having the camera package, the PDC sensors also do a good job in alerting you to obstacles behind you. Technically speaking you could get along with out it. That being said, I would just obviate the concern and purchase a car with the cameras. :)

BTW: that Z4 of yours is a very niiice looking vehicle!

daron001
12-26-2010, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the information on the GT, car-fan. Ultimately, my wife will need to get comfortable with the car, but your input is very helpful.

Thanks also for the comment re: my Z4. It's a great car!

Capobranco
12-27-2010, 02:14 PM
Very nice car and I appreciate your design analysis. I really like the GT as well, especially when I saw it in person. I'm trying to convince my wife to replace her X5 with a GT when it comes off lease in a few months. Her concern is the ability to see out the back window. What are your thoughts on visibility issues, blind spots, etc. when it comes to the GT?

On Christmas day I did my first 500+ mile road trip doing my best Santa imitation. My route took me from DC to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore than off to the mountains of West Virginia, than back to Potomac. The route included 80 mph interstates, cobblestone and uneven urban streets, ascending and descending mountain two lane corkscrews. I encountered intense snow showers and high winds but missed the blizzard.

Visibility ***8211; My first impression was that visibility was going to be a major issue - this has been a non issue. The sleek coupe roofline does not restrict my vision. You drive in a slightly raised position and are surrounded by an immense amount of glass. I am really surprised that the sloping C pillar and rather narrow rear backlite do not conspire to create a dangerous blind spot. I suspect the absence of a blind spot is due to the clever design of the C pillar and rear backlite that maximizes glass area. The large rear view mirrors also serve to minimize blind spots ***8211; much appreciated after having small mirrors on my 335i vert. I should mention that I am 6' 3" and 200 lbs ***8211; perhaps visibility is more of an issue for a smaller person. Regarding the available camera package ***8211; I have never driven a car with this option so I cannot speak to its efficacy. The standard front and rear park distance radar/display works great. In passing if you want to see what dangerous rear visibility looks like check out the Panamera.

My trip? - WOW ***8211; able to leap tall buildings in a single bound ***8211; Effortless is the word that comes to mind. Great gobs of power, a compliant responsive suspension, and maximum luxury combined with the ability to carry some serious Santa freight makes for a great experience. The twin turbo engine is just amazing ***8211; to think it - is to do it! I have done this trip a number of times in a large SUV and in my 335i with the same result ***8211; I am wasted at the end of a very long day. Despite traffic and bad weather, I came away from driving my 550i GT ready for more. The GT is fun and engaging. High speed passing on two lane state roads ***8211; done, ascend and descend corkscrew mountain roads ***8211; done, high speed interstate driving ***8211; done, urban stop and go ***8211; done, make like Santa ***8211; done. My only criticism is the lack of paddle shifters. The gear selector between the front seats is perfectly positioned and is a great shape but it would have been nice if BMW would have added the ability to select shift without moving your hands from the wheel. Paddle shifters would also enhance the GT ambiance. This is a minor annoyance.

When you drive the 550i GT evaluate it on its own terms. The experience is unique. Most of my past cars have been sport/GT cars and I was very concerned that I would be very bored with the car. I find the 550i GT to be an artful, athletic tour de force. The 550i GT is a real gran turismo.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=259877&stc=1&d=1293425200

LIKECARZ
12-28-2010, 06:05 PM
Hello Svanil,
I have the same car $86k MSRP loaded 550iGT and am totally in love with it ( please ... Nothing to the wife). After owning an X5 and X6 50i I thought I would not be happy with my 550i GT. But quite the contrary. It's a dream to drive. I find myself out for long drives for no reason other than to drive this hot new love 550i GT. Pics do not do it justice. Must see it up close in. Person.

Am enjoying your reviews.

Happy New Year

dogguyX3
12-28-2010, 06:16 PM
...When you drive the 550i GT evaluate it on its own terms. The experience is unique. Most of my past cars have been sport/GT cars and I was very concerned that I would be very bored with the car. I find the 550i GT to be an artful, athletic tour de force. The 550i GT is a real gran turismo.

Hello Svanil,
I have the same car $86k MSRP loaded 550iGT and am totally in love with it ( please ... Nothing to the wife). After owning an X5 and X6 50i I thought I would not be happy with my 550i GT. But quite the contrary. It's a dream to drive. I find myself out for long drives for no reason other than to drive this hot new love 550i GT. Pics do not do it justice. Must see it up close in Person. Am enjoying your reviews.Happy New Year

Got my X3 for BMW quality, never expecting a driver's experience. You guys are telling us that the GT is a real "driving machine." Is it "that" good, really???? Really fun????

daron001
12-29-2010, 01:19 AM
Thanks for the additional information svanil. I've seen the GT at the dealership and recently on the freeways here in SoCal and I agree with everyone who says that you need to see the car in person to appreciate it's great looks, muscular appearance, and attitude. Our dealer is going to loan us a GT for a few days in Jan. and let us drive it around LA so that we can experience it in real world commuting conditions and make an informed decision.

One more question, any opinions on the 535 vs 550? I'm sure the 550 is a kick in the pants, but wasn't sure if I could get a similar experience with the 6 cylinder.

rsingh111
12-29-2010, 06:43 AM
My only issue with the 550 is the poor gas milage but love the power the 535 will do 99% of what you want so I dont think it is a big deal either way

Capobranco
12-29-2010, 03:19 PM
Hello Svanil,
I have the same car $86k MSRP loaded 550iGT and am totally in love with it ( please ... Nothing to the wife). After owning an X5 and X6 50i I thought I would not be happy with my 550i GT. But quite the contrary. It's a dream to drive. I find myself out for long drives for no reason other than to drive this hot new love 550i GT. Pics do not do it justice. Must see it up close in. Person.

Am enjoying your reviews.

Happy New Year

Thanks! I am feeling it too. After a long day at work, I go the garage and there it is my black sapphire 550i GT - beckoning - I hear the siren song "let's play - let's go home the long way" - My heart begins to race and my eyes grow large as Nappa leather entices. I push the start button that fires up the twin turbo - I am seduced - I arrive home a few minutes late but with a smile on my face!

Capobranco
12-29-2010, 03:58 PM
Thanks for the additional information svanil. I've seen the GT at the dealership and recently on the freeways here in SoCal and I agree with everyone who says that you need to see the car in person to appreciate it's great looks, muscular appearance, and attitude. Our dealer is going to loan us a GT for a few days in Jan. and let us drive it around LA so that we can experience it in real world commuting conditions and make an informed decision.

One more question, any opinions on the 535 vs 550? I'm sure the 550 is a kick in the pants, but wasn't sure if I could get a similar experience with the 6 cylinder.

Drive both cars - the decision will be obvious. If a friend pressed me to recommend one or the other, I would probably recommend the 535. In fact, I could probably make the case that the 535 is a more balanced, more sensible choice, especially if the car is equipped with x drive. Moreover, it is not as if you have to choose between a mutt with one ear and a champion - the six is sweet.

However, let's get real - we have a passion for cars and for BMWs in particular or else we would not be here. We do not see cars as appliances - they are a passion. I am sure the 535 is a very fine car but it does not excite me. I chose the 550i GT over the Panamera. No one really needs these cars but they speak to us in a very personal manner. I wanted a car that my family could also enjoy - but I would not find boring. For me, the 550i GT was compelling.

car-fan
12-29-2010, 09:37 PM
:DDrive both cars - the decision will be obvious. If a friend pressed me to recommend one or the other, I would probably recommend the 535. In fact, I could probably make the case that the 535 is a more balanced, more sensible choice, especially if the car is equipped with x drive. Moreover, it is not as if you have to choose between a mutt with one ear and a champion - the six is sweet.

However, let's get real - we have a passion for cars and for BMWs in particular or else we would not be here. We do not see cars as appliances - they are a passion. I am sure the 535 is a very fine car but it does not excite me. I chose the 550i GT over the Panamera. No one really needs these cars but they speak to us in a very personal manner. I wanted a car that my family could also enjoy - but I would not find boring. For me, the 550i GT was compelling.

Well said:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

daron001
12-30-2010, 07:23 AM
Great feedback. Thanks to everyone and happy new year!