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F10 M5 (2012 - Current)
The count down is on. The BMW M5 F10 will be released on April 1st, 2011!

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2012, 08:33 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Forced induction = cheating?

OK, cheating is the wrong word - but hear me out.

I remember when M engines used to be all about squeezing as much hp per liter as possible, and high rev limits.

I of course understand the environmental, economic and performance-related arguments of forced induction, and they all make perfect sense to me. But still, despite all the logical arguments and the fact that "everyone is doing it", I can't help but feel that forced induction is an engineering cop out.

If I were to be crass about it, I'd suggest that "anyone" can get an engine to make good power cheaply simply by slapping on a turbo or supercharger. But this doesn't feel totally genuine to me - have a hard time explaining my perspective as I think it's rooted in emotion more than logic. But somehow I can't but help think that BMW's M Division, Audi's S Division and Mercedes' AMG Division engineers are all sitting at their desks laughing at how easy we've become to satisfy - especially in the engine compartment.

And I'm pretty sure they're laughing all the way to the bank - surely FI technology is a heckuva lot cheaper than investing in new engine platforms and trying to squeeze out as much hp per liter as possible.

If I could use an analogy from the watch world. It's as if we've gone from finely crafted manual/automatic movements with many complications to quartz. Quartz is more accurate, but where's the engineering marvel? Where's the wonder, and that sense of awe?

Anyone else feel similarly, or am I the only one?

Btw - don't take this as an F10 M5 bashing thread - the car's gorgeous! I suppose I was hoping for a 6L V12 with 600hp (normally aspirated of course) or something to that effect.

Last edited by nhs156; 01-18-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2012, 07:54 AM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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I view this as a "There are no true Scotsmen" argument. All true Scotsmen refuse to wear armor. All true M's refuse to use Forced Induction. All true Scotsmen use copper swords instead of those new fangle steel weapons. All true M's refuse to use Cold Fusion.

BMW should use whatever technology possible to maximize performance and minimize weight IMHO. If they figure out a way to power the next M5 on trash, I'm all for it. Saying that certain types of enhancements are "cheating" (I know you aren't using the word by its base definition) is counterproductive. If BMW refuses too, then one of their competitors is going to clean their clock using the very technology that they refused alla the English vs. the Scottish and the "invention" of armor.

Note - I'm grossly oversimplifying history here to make a point
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:56 AM
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Itinj6 Itinj6 is offline
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No way!!! Forced Induction is the way to go. Turbos are essentially the basis of a jet engine. It's an engineering masterpiece. A forced induction car would rip a N/A car to shreds at altitude as well. If anything, NOS is cheating.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:17 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhs156 View Post
If I could use an analogy from the watch world. It's as if we've gone from finely crafted manual/automatic movements with many complications to quartz. Quartz is more accurate, but where's the engineering marvel? Where's the wonder, and that sense of awe?
I would think an Engineer would find the Quartz watch to be much more of a engineering marvel. A mechanical watch is a marvel when it comes to craftmanship. Normally aspirated engines will soon become niche items, much like mechanical watches.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2012, 08:18 AM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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As stated earlier, the benefits of FI are numerous and obvious. It's a cheap way to make power for the manufacturers, and lowers emissions, increases MPG and increases performance. That said, I still find the technology uninspiring.

I remember reading an interview with one BMW's top M men years ago, wherein he was quoted as saying that 0.5L displacement per cylinder, arranged in a V configuration, was the perfect blend for performance motoring - or something to that effect. That was obviously before they caught onto FI, and the obvious benefits. Makes me laugh to think about this interview.

I suppose that where we'll end up shortly are tiny engines with massive turbos, perhaps complemented with electronic wizardry to make them sound mean. These will eventually be phased out by electric/alternative fuel vehicles that make virtually no sound, other than the sound of tires rolling on tarmac. That said, these will probably be eventually replaced by vehicles that hover/fly or something to that effect. While I alone can't slow down the inevitable, I'll always miss the sound and engineering marvel of the old-fashioned, high revving, thirsty naturally aspirated engines in the same way that I look at an old American muscle car fitted with a 427 or 454cu engine and think "that's cool", while looking at a Tesla and think "how incredibly dull."

Told you it's not a logical argument - it's an emotional one. BMW M should do whatever is cost effective for them and creates the sorts of benefits mentioned above. I'll miss the older (more remarkable) engineering of NA engines, but understand the thrust to replace them with (eventual) teeny tiny blown engines, and eventually electric or alternate-energy powered motors.
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2012, 12:53 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhs156 View Post
As stated earlier, the benefits of FI are numerous and obvious. It's a cheap way to make power for the manufacturers, and lowers emissions, increases MPG and increases performance. That said, I still find the technology uninspiring.
If it was cheap, why didn't they do it earlier? They didn't want to deliberately make more money?

The complexity, additional parts, cooling of turbos make an engine more expensive - not cheaper. That is the reason why F1 went away from turbos - development costs. The issue is that it is now overall cheaper to use turbo tech to achieve predefined performance metrics. For many reasons why we no longer widely use OHV, carbs etc., we now make use of turbos. You rarely hear lost love for those technologies now. I expect the same after a few more years of wonderful turbo engines.

Personally as a motor racing enthusiast, I prefer the turbo era over the NA one, be it F1 or rally. Not only is it a greater challenge for engineers, but it is also a bigger challenge for drivers - to tame the characteristics of the turbo, keeping a car on boost, whilst not having the car implode.
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Last edited by chrischeung; 01-23-2012 at 12:55 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2012, 02:20 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
If it was cheap, why didn't they do it earlier? They didn't want to deliberately make more money?
Because BMW M had always been about high-revving NA engines - it's what enthusiasts and BMW engineers had come to expect. That changed when everyone went FI, including Merc and Audi. That gave BMW an excuse to go with cheaper FI technology, with all sorts of other benefits. It's the proverbial win-win, except for (a limited number of) purists.

There's simply no way that FI cars are more expensive to manufacture than NA cars. Turbos and intercoolers are relatively cheap to buy and install. Take my 3.2L straight 6 from my old Z4MC for example. Makes 333 hp at the crank as a NA engine. Slap a 10K supercharger (incl. labor) on it and that goes to well over 500hp. Imagine what you'd have to do to get that sort of performance out of it without FI. You'd probably need a new block, amongst a ton of other things. No, FI is definitely cheaper than NA - that's why everyone's doing it. That's also why it's the chosen hp/torque upgrade method for ricers who want to spruce up their ride; that and NOS of course.

Last edited by nhs156; 01-23-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:29 PM
MRV99 MRV99 is offline
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You cannot go nostalgic when it comes to engines. Hell I had my 1990 5.0 mustang dyno'd at 375hp and that was a beast in 92. Now friggin Hyundai's makes that. As technology changes and Govt become more intrusive, you have to adapt. The v10 didn't die because of mpg, it died because it missed the mark. Who drove a e60 m5 like they stole it and really felt you were a fast car. Yes mash the gas and you went from 30 to 100 in a blink but it just happened, you didn't really feel like it.. Now you will feel it, oh yea the 4.4 tt block is used on many models so it has longevity
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:56 PM
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DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Hi

I've posted about this before on other forums and the above responses and thoughts from the OP are valid from certain viewpoints - it is a discussion after all! However...

The USA enjoys very cheap petrol prices, so big displacement engine cars are much more used and purchased as a result.

The most expensive 'gas' in the USA currently is around the $4.50/gal USD (California) give or take a little bit. The cheapest is around $3.15 USD (Wyoming) again, give or take a few cents here n there.

Would there be as many purchasers of the new F10 M5 if you all had to pay around $9.25'ish USD per gallon for fuel?

If BMW wanted to remain with Normally Aspirated engines, they'd have to do the thing AMG do and put in even larger displacement engines - to get the performance required and wanted by M enthusiasts, perhaps a 6.5 litre engine would be needed? perhaps bigger? and in another 7 years time for the next 5 series generation, what would it be then? 7.2? 7.5 litre? I'm sure you can imagine the fuel costs !

Here in the UK, anything larger than a 2 litre engine is still rgarded by non car enthusiasts as a larger engined car. Our fuel prices are only slated to rise even more over the next few years and the used car market for prices and values is all over the place as there's an ever dwindling number of people who can afford to fuel 5 and 6 litre engine cars. When the the UK pound was worth 2 US dollars, I remember filling up the F150 HD (imported it from Texas in early 2004 and it was PX'd for an Alpina B3S convertible mid 2010 and was the Anniversary Edition model) and it cost around 129 to fill, which equated to $258 USD ! although the exchange rate has now gone back to more 'usual' levels of 1 = $1.56/1.60, I remember talking to my work US colleagues (I've worked for 3 US IT/software companies here in the UK) and telling them the filliup costs as well as all my USA based family and friends etc. It was a nice week of weather and that $258 fillup last about 160 miles!

The USA will always enjoy cheaper petrol costs as well as the best retail pricing for all goods due to it's massive size and buying power, whilst in other countries where our fuel is taxed very highly, only the very rich will be able to afford to run such cars.

If those who are lamenting the move to forced induction, let me ask you, if you were head of BMW M division, what would you do? would you develop another normally aspirated derivative to keep the 'purists' happy? or would you try and develop something that attracts more buyers ? how long do you think you'd be in a job if you went for the former? of course, there's always going to be a few owners who are totally outraged at FI on an M car and will buy another brand etc, which is fine, but when BMW have tried to provide a car some enthusiasts have wanted, they've actually not done so well - E60 M5 was offered in manual gearbox for instance, how many were 'actually' sold? same with the M5 Touring, lots of shouting that enthusiasts made they want one, and look how many were actually sold ! this is after the E34 M5 Touring was superseded by the E39 M5 not being offered in Touring guise...

So, like it or not, even though I know it's more based on emotion from many enthusiasts, you do have to realise that there's more to it. BMW with the last normally aspirated M engines were STILL the benchmark other's tried to reach even though they had turbo's and massive engine displacements (audi and AMG) and overall, they never did achieve the mantle BMW hold. What a fitting way to say an end of the normally aspirated engines in the E9x M3 and E6x M5's !

Cheers, Dennis!

Last edited by DennisCooper!; 03-03-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:09 AM
hotrod2448 hotrod2448 is offline
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I get the sentiment. I think it's the same discussion with manual vs DSG type gear boxes. Whether you like it not the DSG is going to be faster, miss less shifts and likely be more efficient around town, maybe it doesn't give you the direct involvement of a manual but, to say it's cheating would be a stretch and I don't know that I would say either is flat out better than the other.

There is something special about a high revving NA engine in a sports car. The instant throttle response, linear power, being able to steer the car with the throttle, the sound, etc... That being said I can feel the same way about a turbocharged engine with a much higher output per liter and the elastic feeling of the turbos spooling up and picking up huge amounts of power in just a few RPM.

I personally would like the direction they are going with FI. I hope they will eventually develop some type of KERS system and similar technologies to help combat the lag and rubbery throttle response of a highly boosted FI engine.

Last edited by hotrod2448; 03-15-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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