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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2010, 02:58 PM
Joe2002330i Joe2002330i is offline
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535 v. 550

What are people thinking about the 535 v 550?
I have driven the 2010 535 and love it. One thing that seems better with the 535 is that the maximum torque is accessed at lower RPMs than the 550. It seems like this might be better for around town.
But the 550 seems like it will be a little quicker.
Is there anybody out there who has spent a lot of time in recent versions of both the 535 and 550?
What are your preferences?
If price is no object, which would be more fun to drive? For what reasons?
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2010, 08:12 AM
Mr. Magic Mr. Magic is offline
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I spent time in both 2011 versions 535i and 550i.

I thought the 550i around town was slower, w/ less pickup. More difficult to drive. Once the engine is rev'd up and going, however, it is a cannon.

The 535i had lots of pickup getting around town. Getting on the highway, it was so smooth that I was at 100 mph and thought I was at 60 mph. The 550i can punch up faster to 100 mph from 65 mph, but it takes a rather deliberate push of the gas and there is an initial short delay to get the rpm's up and get into the right passing gear.

The torque on 535i is better at low RPM, actually it's a big difference. It's hard to get direct comparisons from BMW on both engines, but I was able to see the 535i torque curve on the non-USA website in an animation. I have the 550i chart in a GT book. The 535i sure enough gets up to full torque just above 1000 rpm, where 550i needs to get up north of 1750 rpm's. The 550i being heavier doesn't help matters here. You have to get the 550i up to speed and rev'd to get the benefit.

The 535i seems to take good advantage of the 8-speed transmission and is impressive. I speculate that's why they showed the car off to the press with the 535i.

If unsure, test drive both.

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-09-2010 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Removed incorrect torque comparison of 535 vs 550 at 1500 rpm
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2010, 10:21 PM
lifeinabmw lifeinabmw is offline
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I test drove both the base 535i without the sport, dhs and IAS, and a fully loaded 550i. The two are completly different beasts. The 535i has a lot of low end torque and feels smoother in the city. The 550i on the other hand will eat the road when pushed. The handling on the 550i was exceptional because of the sport+DHS. I pushed a 40mph curve at 70 and the car was solid begging me to push harder...

I did not get a chance to drive the 535i with sport+DHS, but I assume it will be a good mix smoothness, comfort and handling.

For something more fun to drive I would pick the fully loaded 535i.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2010, 03:57 AM
gcreese gcreese is offline
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You'll also get better gas mileage with the 535. The downside is the possibility of failure of the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP).
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:02 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe2002330i View Post
What are people thinking about the 535 v 550?
I have driven the 2010 535 and love it. One thing that seems better with the 535 is that the maximum torque is accessed at lower RPMs than the 550. It seems like this might be better for around town.
But the 550 seems like it will be a little quicker.
Is there anybody out there who has spent a lot of time in recent versions of both the 535 and 550?
What are your preferences?
If price is no object, which would be more fun to drive? For what reasons?
The difference in off the line responsiveness is not likely due to the difference in low end engine torque. More than likely it is due to a difference in throttle response. My 650i has "only" 350 lb ft of torque at a higher 3400 rpm and is lightning fast off the line even at 3800 lbs. However, the throttle response actually has two different settings, normal and sport. The sport mode is activated by the "sport" button on the console. In normal mode the car feels sluggish off the line and in sport mode it is "right now". The normal mode is used to get better EPA measured fuel economy to avoid the gas guzzler tax. I'm sure the 550i test cars at the dealers are set at the slower throttle response and that is why they seem more sluggish off the line.

The throttle response in the 550i with sport package is, to my understanding, programmable for each suspension setting. The new engine has around 450 lb ft of torque at around 1750 rpm which is far better than my 4.8 liter non turbo V8. With the proper rapid throttle response setting it will make the 535i with only 300 lb ft of torque, even if it is at only 1200 rpm, look like it is standing still off the line.

So, I suggest that anyone doing a first hand comparison test of the 535 and the 550, first make sure the throttle response on the 550i is set to maximum.
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:45 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcreese View Post
The downside is the possibility of failure of the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP).
This downside almost goes away if you lease .
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2010, 12:52 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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550i final drive 2.81:1
535i final drive 3.06:1

Gear ratios are the same.

Looks like a 535i with 550i or M535is badges is in my future.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2010, 05:25 PM
m4hk33 m4hk33 is offline
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the 550i any day of the week,

as usual the 535 is allways going to be the female version of the 5 series, i.e athletic, but lacking of that never ending power of a v8, with a dinan tune/reprograming the 550 will produce about the same performence numbers as the currrent M5.

the new 550 is a sleeper monster, cant wait to see a dinan, trounce a camaro or mustang,

when my warrenty is up on my 06 650i, in a couple years, andd dinan has the software out for the 550, im all going to upgrade to the 550, i would with a 6 series, but at that point i am assuming they are still going to be retardedly overpriced
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2010, 07:28 PM
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southerndoc southerndoc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcreese View Post
The downside is the possibility of failure of the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP).
I thought I read somewhere that the new 550 engine is using the same fuel pumps as the 535? They're both using a single turbo fuel pump that's a newer generation HPFP.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2010, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
The difference in off the line responsiveness is not likely due to the difference in low end engine torque. More than likely it is due to a difference in throttle response. My 650i has "only" 350 lb ft of torque at a higher 3400 rpm and is lightning fast off the line even at 3800 lbs. However, the throttle response actually has two different settings, normal and sport. The sport mode is activated by the "sport" button on the console. In normal mode the car feels sluggish off the line and in sport mode it is "right now". The normal mode is used to get better EPA measured fuel economy to avoid the gas guzzler tax. I'm sure the 550i test cars at the dealers are set at the slower throttle response and that is why they seem more sluggish off the line.

The throttle response in the 550i with sport package is, to my understanding, programmable for each suspension setting. The new engine has around 450 lb ft of torque at around 1750 rpm which is far better than my 4.8 liter non turbo V8. With the proper rapid throttle response setting it will make the 535i with only 300 lb ft of torque, even if it is at only 1200 rpm, look like it is standing still off the line.

So, I suggest that anyone doing a first hand comparison test of the 535 and the 550, first make sure the throttle response on the 550i is set to maximum.


What he said I know first hand
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2010, 08:13 PM
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I love my 535, and I think it has wonderful accelleration, efficiency, balance, etc., etc.,

But there is no replacement for displacement. No 5 is a drag racer, so, IMO, how fast it gets across the street is irrelevent; 5 drivers just don't drive like that. But, take it on a twisty and exit a corner? Take an uphill on-ramp with a left hand sweeper?

The 550 will do more MPGs (miles per grin) than the 535.

IMO.
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:35 PM
zibawala zibawala is offline
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drove both! and despite a lover of sports package, walked away, enjoying 535i! 550i, kinda felt heavy, while 535, zippy! imo
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2010, 09:14 PM
mlai mlai is online now
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Maybe the gurus can clarify for me a bit. I keep hearing that 535i gives more torque @ lower rpm (400Nm from 1200-5000rpm) and 550i's peak torque comes at higher (and narrower) RPM range (600Nm, 1750-4500rpm). But looking at the torque curve, the 550i is giving out 400Nm of torque starting from 1000rpm already, increasing pretty much linearly to 600Nm@ 1750rpm. Why would people consider that the 535i gives out more low-end torque?
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  #14  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:10 PM
zibawala zibawala is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlai View Post
Maybe the gurus can clarify for me a bit. I keep hearing that 535i gives more torque @ lower rpm (400Nm from 1200-5000rpm) and 550i's peak torque comes at higher (and narrower) RPM range (600Nm, 1750-4500rpm). But looking at the torque curve, the 550i is giving out 400Nm of torque starting from 1000rpm already, increasing pretty much linearly to 600Nm@ 1750rpm. Why would people consider that the 535i gives out more low-end torque?
Despite the facts 535i was quite enjoyable. I did like that engine in 335 too. I haveg not checked x5 35i with n55 yet. Btw does z4 35i for 2011 still n54?
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  #15  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
The 550 will do more MPGs (miles per grin) than the 535.

IMO.
Isn't the real objective to maximize grins per mile? Therefore the 535 would be the better choice?
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2010, 10:23 PM
Mr. Magic Mr. Magic is offline
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The Torque curve I am looking at on the 550i motor shows torque going from 350 ft-lbs (475 NM) at 1000 rpm's to 450 ft-lbs (610 NM) at 1750 rpm, then flat to 4500 rpm, then descending down to 320 ft-lbs (430 NM) at 6500 rpm's.

The 535i obtains peak torque 300 ft-lbs (400 NM) at 1200 rpm and is flat until just above 5000 rpm's, then declines to 260 ft-lbs (350 NM) at 6500 rpm's.

(I'll correct my previous post)

2 more factors:

Weight. The 550i engine has to push more weight (~400 lbs).

Timing. The N55 (535i) engine seems to respond faster with the valvetronic and different turbo config (twin scroll) to achieve peak torque. It's a whole half second faster to achieve peak torque compared to prior N54 engine which doesn't have these advances. Not sure how it directly compares to 550i N63 engine which does not have valvetronic or twin-scroll turbo.

Also, as richschneid posted, the programmed timing settings can make a difference depending upon the mode.

The flatter torque, quick response, and lighter weight of the 535i makes it no slouch on performance.

Some interesting posts on the engines and torque:

http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...55-engine.html

http://www.mwerks.com/artman2/publis...Cylinder.shtml

http://www.bmw.com/com/en/newvehicle...t_engines.html

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-09-2010 at 10:31 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-10-2010, 01:21 AM
mlai mlai is online now
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So is it ok to assume that the 550i will have roughly 376 lb-ft torque @1200rpm (25% more) to push 290lbs (about 7%) more weight (4376lbs vs 4090 lbs).....

I would've thought the pretty much the whole torque curve of the 550i is significantly above the 535i engine. Where can I find the 535i torque curve? i can't find in the catalog.......

Last edited by mlai; 06-10-2010 at 03:46 AM.
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2010, 09:13 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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I just drove a 550i SP with all the fruit, and a 535i with no SP. The 550i was definitely faster at all revs/speeds. It's just that the 535i sounds more frantic as it's engine seems more vocal. It's amazing how much cheaper the 535i feels without the multi contour seats and thick rimmed sports steering wheel. Basically everything you are touching feels less substantial. I definitely recommend ZSP.

The 535i's performance is excellent 90% of the time, 5% it is adequate, and 5% wanting. The 550i is likely wanting only about 1% of the time. Whether the difference is worth it to you, is of personal choice. A very nice piece of kit. I didn't even bother driving any of the competitors (IS, A6, E350 - all seemed non SP versions).

I was a little let down by how Sophisto Gray looks - it looks much more stunning on the F01 with the contrasting chrome window trim. I'm going to have to reconsider my choice of color. Perhaps a lighter shade to highlight the accent lines?
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  #19  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:10 AM
BULLDOG77 BULLDOG77 is offline
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get the 550...We tested both...They are a bit different. the 550 is more beastly. Once she got into the 550, my fiance said the 535 was out of the question, so thats the route we're going...just dont go for a 528
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BULLDOG77 View Post
get the 550...We tested both...They are a bit different. the 550 is more beastly. Once she got into the 550, my fiance said the 535 was out of the question, so thats the route we're going...just dont go for a 528
550 is a beast! After some of you take delivery , and go for an extended drive on the highway you'll know what I'm talking about. The ability to cruise at 86-90mph at 2500rpm is crazy. Then just tapping the accelerator will take you to 3 digits within tenths of a second with abosolutely no drama. I have also driven both F10's (535 & 550) as well. While the 535i is definitely no slouch, the 550 is a whole other level. I have 6100 on the odo right now and my car is still breaking in.. I put my foot in it every chance I get, my ECU algorithims are adapting nicely The only gripe I may have is the pedal modulation (drive by wire), which can be tricky especially in D. I pretty much just leave my shifter to the left in sport mode.

As stated earlier the difference between the transmission modes - drive vs. sport - is very, very, noticeable. So be sure to try both modes. As with most BMW's the car drives better once the engine starts to properly break in.

One quick observation was the 550I exhaust levels or lack thereof are basically the same as the F07 and F01. I was thinking they may have tuned the F10 550 similar to the X6 5.0which barks like a N/A V8 - oh well
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:45 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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IMHO, the 550i is a bit of an anachronism. On the one hand, it is extremely capable - more capable than speed limits and road conditions allow (at least in the USA). To a lesser extent, the 535i is as well.

However, you may say that you can use this on a track. Which is also strange. Since a lot of things on the 550i go against it being a strong track tool - like it's weight, lack of LSD, electronic controls that iron out the predictability near, at and over the limit etc.

So if it's overly adept for public roads, and underwhelming on the track, what's left? The only thing left that I can think of is that it's a great extension of a person's success. Like traveling first class when coach will get you there just as quickly and safely. And what's wrong with that?
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:15 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Traveling first class IS a LOT nicer than traveling coach. Sorry.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:23 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
Isn't the real objective to maximize grins per mile? Therefore the 535 would be the better choice?
If you wanna be technical, yeah, but GPM is just, so, so, non-automotive!
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:00 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
Traveling first class IS a LOT nicer than traveling coach. Sorry.
I should clarify - domestic First class. My wife takes F every week - only been in Y once in the last year (due to a standby situation). Domestic F is not much better than a well chosen priority seat in coach with food from a good airport restaurant. There are actually some very limited leg room seats on a lot of domestic carriers. Domestic F seat pitch is in the region of 36-38", generally speaking. United Economy Plus offers 34" from memory. Like the food? Good - since you get to choose from the same 2 things for dinner, for a month. If you can recommend some excellent domestic F carriers that offer significantly more than what I've described, please PM me so that I can have my wife fly that carrier.

Analogies aside, both cars are extremely capable at doing the same thing, and have near enough the same technological and interior features, except for the engine. Personally, I'm leaning more for the 550i, more as a change (from my 335i/535i) and as a status symbol (being very honest here). I'm going to no way utilitze the 550i's potential - or really get anywhere near it. I think 95%+ of purchasers would see minimal real world driving benefits of the 550 over the 535. The 535 is the best value F10 in my book - by a wide margin.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:09 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
I should clarify - domestic First class. My wife takes F every week - only been in Y once in the last year (due to a standby situation). Domestic F is not much better than a well chosen priority seat in coach with food from a good airport restaurant. There are actually some very limited leg room seats on a lot of domestic carriers. Domestic F seat pitch is in the region of 36-38", generally speaking. United Economy Plus offers 34" from memory. Like the food? Good - since you get to choose from the same 2 things for dinner, for a month. If you can recommend some excellent domestic F carriers that offer significantly more than what I've described, please PM me so that I can have my wife fly that carrier.

Analogies aside, both cars are extremely capable at doing the same thing, and have near enough the same technological and interior features, except for the engine. Personally, I'm leaning more for the 550i, more as a change (from my 335i/535i) and as a status symbol (being very honest here). I'm going to no way utilitze the 550i's potential - or really get anywhere near it. I think 95%+ of purchasers would see minimal real world driving benefits of the 550 over the 535. The 535 is the best value F10 in my book - by a wide margin.
I guess I'm used to the high level of perfomance since my last two BMWs were the E39 M5 and now the 650i both of which do 0-60 in less than 5 sec. While I usually drive quite sedately there are definitely occasions when I use maximum throttle both from a standing start and at high speed. The new 550i has more torque and hp than either of my other two cars and I am really looking forward to it. Although I don't go to the track, the surefootedness of the max performance tires in everyday driving and in tight situations is something I appreciate on a daily basis. To me this is the essenence of driving a BMW. Of course the 535i has everything the 550i has except the "boy racer" ability that is still with me since I was a teenager. I will just never buy a 6 cylinder car. I would even get the F10 M5 with almost 600hp when it comes out next year except for the fact that it won't be available with xDrive.

I'm also looking forward to the "first class" ventilated seats and the comfort mode when I want to just relax over the bumps and imperfections.

These are what ultimately distinguish a BMW, the combination of sports car perfomance and "first class" luxury. You will love the difference in refinement and luxury of the F10 compared to your 3 series. I am always amazed at the difference between my 6 and the 3 series loaners I get when I bring my car in for service.
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