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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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  #26  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
k-a, your descriptions couldn't be further from the reality.

In F Sport particularly, the GS350 is smooth, the engine note isn't "measly" and the transmission works well with the car.
I disagree. I didn't drive an F Sport but I don't think the transmission is different. The tranny couldn't feel any more noticeably holding the car back and I didn't find the sound coming from the engine bay too intriguing at all (generic V6'y). I was mostly impressed with the GS's ride but its drivetrain was a big sore spot for me.

It does feel smooth, but every Lexus does really, in that typically Lexus clinically smooth way, with a bit more life injected into it as it's obvious Lexus wanted to go more in that direction with the new GS.

I mean we're talking about a drivetrain that essentially debuted back when the previous GS was launched, if I'm not mistaken? That would validate my own impressions that the whole way it operated felt "dated".
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  #27  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:16 AM
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I'm with Michael Harley ("Emission" here on Bimmerfest). A good engine is a good engine. From his AutoBlog review:

"To be perfectly honest, we were more than a bit wary about the GS's powertrain at first. As competitors move towards forced induction and seven- and eight-speed automatic transmissions, the Lexus soldiers forward with an engine/gearbox combo that debuted in 2007. Our concerns were diffused after just minutes behind the wheel, as the gearbox responded brilliantly to our commands (with our right foot or with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters) to deliver a solid kick in the pants. The engine provided plenty of punch, and its throaty soundtrack just may be the best in its competitive segment (credit a new Helmholtz resonator and a retuned muffler). We never tired of hearing its full-throttle wail.

After a week in the driver's seat, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport left us very impressed so much so that we're now wondering if this particular enthusiast-tuned GS is a better sport sedan than the benchmark BMW 535i. Those are strong considerations, but the third-generation Japanese contender delivers quicker acceleration, more grip and a much more engaging driving experience. The BMW 5 Series is a fine automobile, but it appears that Lexus has finally managed to raise the all-important sport sedan bar just a bit higher."
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  #28  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:26 AM
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I admit that maybe I'm confusing the engine note with another car, or maybe not remembering it right, but I do know that it didn't stand out to me much. Apparently the F Sport has a whole different muffler setup which would explain that. Considering I was comparing the car to my 2011 E350 with 268 HP at the time (not even the 535i with SAT), I did feel the engine pull nicely enough in the higher RPM's, I just felt the car felt very laggy upon throttle.... not in the actual throttle response which seemed instantaneous, but the way the transmission put the power down to the ground. Even the 7G in my Merc felt so much snappier and efficient in extracting the available power from the motor. I also remember it having kind of so so low-end torque (not nearly on par with the Turbo I6 N55).
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  #29  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
I'm with Michael Harley ("Emission" here on Bimmerfest). A good engine is a good engine. From his AutoBlog review:

"To be perfectly honest, we were more than a bit wary about the GS's powertrain at first. As competitors move towards forced induction and seven- and eight-speed automatic transmissions, the Lexus soldiers forward with an engine/gearbox combo that debuted in 2007. Our concerns were diffused after just minutes behind the wheel, as the gearbox responded brilliantly to our commands (with our right foot or with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters) to deliver a solid kick in the pants. The engine provided plenty of punch, and its throaty soundtrack just may be the best in its competitive segment (credit a new Helmholtz resonator and a retuned muffler). We never tired of hearing its full-throttle wail.

After a week in the driver's seat, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport left us very impressed so much so that we're now wondering if this particular enthusiast-tuned GS is a better sport sedan than the benchmark BMW 535i. Those are strong considerations, but the third-generation Japanese contender delivers quicker acceleration, more grip and a much more engaging driving experience. The BMW 5 Series is a fine automobile, but it appears that Lexus has finally managed to raise the all-important sport sedan bar just a bit higher."

I guess what a "smooth"engine, or a sports saloon has to deliver, is for each of us different. The autoblog review of the GS350 confirms precisely what I am not looking for in a 70K+ sports sedan. The GS350 I test drove was the F-sport, the gear change response was ok, but lacked the smoothness and refinement. The ride was more noisy (road noise). The throaty soundtrack is an other one; coming from the engine in a Mustang is great, but not in a sports sedan. These things made the GS350 lack the premium "feel" I was looking for.

The I6 is very muted, and extremely refined at all RPM, but yes, the GS350 V6 idles more smooth. Idling is not my priority.....
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  #30  
Old 07-15-2013, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Edino View Post
I guess what a "smooth"engine, or a sports saloon has to deliver, is for each of us different. The autoblog review of the GS350 confirms precisely what I am not looking for in a 70K+ sports sedan. The GS350 I test drove was the F-sport, the gear change response was ok, but lacked the smoothness and refinement. The ride was more noisy (road noise). The throaty soundtrack is an other one; coming from the engine in a Mustang is great, but not in a sports sedan. These things made the GS350 lack the premium "feel" I was looking for.

The I6 is very muted, and extremely refined at all RPM, but yes, the GS350 V6 idles more smooth. Idling is not my priority.....
Agreed. The whole drivetrain felt "unrefined" to me, even considering the smooth engine idle and such.
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  #31  
Old 07-15-2013, 06:39 AM
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To say the GS350's engine is unrefined is the furthest from the truth, the Lexus 2GR-FE have been on Ward's 10 best a couple of times and it is one of the smoothest 300+hp engine on the market. As far as I know, the 2GR-FE engine is the only engine on the market that use both port injection and direct injection to prevent carbon build up and improve low rpm operation. What the N55 has over the 2GR-FE is the 8 speed tranny and the turbo charger, and it is one heck of a turbo setup. Virtually no turbo lag and the torque band is as flat as a pancake. I have driven a few Japanese turbo setup, they are horrible, in my opinion, the Japanese are years behind in production car turbo technologies.
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  #32  
Old 07-15-2013, 06:59 AM
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Agree on the GS 350, but on the Japanese turbo point the small matter of the GTR says otherwise
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Last edited by swajames; 07-15-2013 at 07:00 AM.
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  #33  
Old 07-15-2013, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
To say the GS350's engine is unrefined is the furthest from the truth, the Lexus 2GR-FE have been on Ward's 10 best a couple of times and it is one of the smoothest 300+hp engine on the market. As far as I know, the 2GR-FE engine is the only engine on the market that use both port injection and direct injection to prevent carbon build up and improve low rpm operation. What the N55 has over the 2GR-FE is the 8 speed tranny and the turbo charger, and it is one heck of a turbo setup. Virtually no turbo lag and the torque band is as flat as a pancake. I have driven a few Japanese turbo setup, they are horrible, in my opinion, the Japanese are years behind in production car turbo technologies.

The great GS350 is not unrefined, it just lacks a bit of the overall premium saloon refinement when compared to BMW (and Mercedes). Maybe the torque band is what the engine of the year award referred too. That is theory. I practical terms...what I call a smooth engine is one that revs trough the whole band without giving a vibration, and where the ear hears very joyful music like Beethoven... and that on the far background; where a gear change under hard load still goes with a big dose of refinement.... ultra smooth when there is no load.

The 5 series qualities is underlined by Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear, where the 5 series is still considered the best premium sports saloon you can buy; also the diesels.
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  #34  
Old 07-15-2013, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Agree on the GS 350, but on the Japanese turbo point the small matter of the GTR says otherwise
The 3.8L twin turbo in the Nissan GTR is certainly one heck of an engine, but one must wonder why Nissan cannot carry that turbo technology into their lower price lineup or even their higher price Infiniti line. My guess is that Nissan have yet figure out how to make a powerful turbo engine economically yet. My guess is that the cost ratio between the powertrain and the price of the GTR is among the highest in the industry. Whereas the Germans can put together a nice turbo powertrain package with a very high quality car and still keep the price in check.
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  #35  
Old 07-15-2013, 10:35 AM
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The great GS350 is not unrefined, it just lacks a bit of the overall premium saloon refinement when compared to BMW (and Mercedes). Maybe the torque band is what the engine of the year award referred too. That is theory. I practical terms...what I call a smooth engine is one that revs trough the whole band without giving a vibration, and where the ear hears very joyful music like Beethoven... and that on the far background; where a gear change under hard load still goes with a big dose of refinement.... ultra smooth when there is no load.

The 5 series qualities is underlined by Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear, where the 5 series is still considered the best premium sports saloon you can buy; also the diesels.
I agree that the GS does not look like a premium saloon, I think that's mostly due to the front end of the car, certainly not the interior. It also does not feel as solid as the F10, I guess that has to do with materials and chassis rigidity.
Have you ever seen the Lexus commercial where they stack the wine glass on top of a Lexus' hood and rev the engine. Well, its not quite that smooth but pretty close. The GS' engine is as smooth if not smoother than the F10 at high rev. As far as exhaust note, that really have nothing to do with how smooth an engine is. Shifting smoothness, again, its mostly a function of the tranny more than the engine.
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  #36  
Old 07-15-2013, 04:50 PM
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They will probably skip the ZF8 and adopt the ZF9 soon.
Lexus uses an Aisin (Toyota Group) sourced transmission - their 8 speed preceded ZF's by a number of years. It's only real issue, is size, the Aisin 8 speed is larger than the ZF 8 speed.
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  #37  
Old 07-15-2013, 11:56 PM
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I stand corrected, thanks - Lexus are not a popular brand here in Poland
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  #38  
Old 07-16-2013, 12:26 AM
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Lexus uses an Aisin (Toyota Group) sourced transmission - their 8 speed preceded ZF's by a number of years. It's only real issue, is size, the Aisin 8 speed is larger than the ZF 8 speed.
Aisin isn't part of the Toyota group, they just supply Toyota amongst others. They are very good. Aisin made the 6MT in my 997.
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  #39  
Old 07-16-2013, 11:41 PM
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- real life experience (at least with me) is that the current I-4 being less smooth doesn't bother me at all, even though I still remember the legendary BMW I-6 of my 330i (only just sold). Once loaded and pulling, the difference in smoothness is negligible (and thanks to the F10 excellent cabin insulation, so is the difference in sound inside the car). Of course when idling, those differences are much more pronounced - but then, being electronically controlled and with high-pressure direct injection, even the I-6's idling RPM can fluctuate and the engine can sound harsh or misfire occasionally. The bottom line being:

- if I'd like to get an I-6 in my next BMW is simply and solely due to my lust for power, not so much smoothness or refinement. YMMV.
Well, on a second thought... Actually there is one smoothness-related issue that bugs me. As I wrote above, no problems whatsoever when fully loading the I4, but when driving in a less spirited mode (or simply due to traffic conditions), those delicate accelerations between some 80 and 100 kmph do cause engine "shuddering" that I can feel in my pants, legs on the pedals, and hands on the steering wheel. It goes away above 100 kmph, or - as said - when accelerating with the throttle fully open.

Since I felt it in no other I4 car I ever owned, here comes my question: do all 528xi owners feel it, or am I alone and my engine requires inspection? I'm even more worried as I think my car does have some performance issues (as per my last posts in this thread: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...15#post7715215)
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Last edited by MoldCAD; 07-17-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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  #40  
Old 07-17-2013, 01:50 AM
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I drove a 328i and although overall smooth, I could "feel" the 4 cylinder as well. It's just in the nature of a 4 banger. Even the smoothest ones can be heard or felt in ways that people who are used to larger, smoother motors will usually notice. You feel absolutely no motor in the cabin from the I6, even at WOT as RPM changes don't shudder or upset it one bit, you can just hear it and while it does translate in a vivacious way, it's always retaining a luxurious/effortless/non-intrusive experience.
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  #41  
Old 07-17-2013, 02:39 AM
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Thanks K-A for your answer, as always enthusiastic towards the car you have I realize all the difference between I6 and I4; the last 10 years I drove what can really be considered a true bimmer... And yet I somehow do not believe that ALL 528(x)i have this kind of vibrations as it's obviously sub-standard for a 5-series BMW, and people would simply not buy this model in numbers they do. So I'd appreciate an answer from some actual 528xi owner - either confirming or denying my observations.

If I bought the 4-banger 5-er was only due to the tax regulations here in Poland, whereby any car with engine over 2L is subject to the extra 20% "luxury tax". I simply couldn't afford a 5-series with a 3-liter I6 (be it petrol or diesel)
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  #42  
Old 07-17-2013, 03:06 AM
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Believe me in Europe with how much they screw you on larger engines I'd probably get the smallest one as well.... even out of sheer principle.

I'm sure others will chime in but I have seen members here mention how they could "feel" the 4 cylinder transmit into the cabin more-so than the larger engine cars. I'm sure it's not at least "too" abnormal.
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  #43  
Old 07-17-2013, 06:21 AM
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Thanks K-A for your answer, as always enthusiastic towards the car you have I realize all the difference between I6 and I4; the last 10 years I drove what can really be considered a true bimmer... And yet I somehow do not believe that ALL 528(x)i have this kind of vibrations as it's obviously sub-standard for a 5-series BMW, and people would simply not buy this model in numbers they do. So I'd appreciate an answer from some actual 528xi owner - either confirming or denying my observations.

If I bought the 4-banger 5-er was only due to the tax regulations here in Poland, whereby any car with engine over 2L is subject to the extra 20% "luxury tax". I simply couldn't afford a 5-series with a 3-liter I6 (be it petrol or diesel)

I am originally from the Netherlands, where fuel cost is ridiculous, and on top of that when buying a car there is a CO tax which counts deep for 6 cylinders and up.. I would not even consider a 6 cylinder under those circumstances, 4 cylinder is the way to go!

Glad that in Dubai there is no tax, and a liter of 98ron, is the same price as a bottle of water.....
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  #44  
Old 07-17-2013, 11:46 AM
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Geeze! With those kind of tax schemes it sounds like the governments are trying to kill off the populace by forcing them into the modern equivalent of the old Chevy Corvair (unsafe at any speed) type of car. In the 80s the EU equivalent were the Citroen 2CV4, Fiat 400 and the Alfasud. Tiny little 4 bangers that crumple like a cardboard box and loose speed in a 10mph headwind. You would think that they would at least encourage the BMW X30d or equal. That engine is gutsy and frugal, going by my friends 335d that I drove extensively a short while ago it is nearly as quick as the petrol 535i but so thrifty on fuel that it would only take 2.25 tanks (approx. 160L) of fuel to drive from NYC to LA! Even at EU prices for fuel that kind of economy has to be able to offset the tax burden (well perhaps, most of it anyway) if not, then....
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  #45  
Old 07-17-2013, 12:18 PM
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Aisin isn't part of the Toyota group, they just supply Toyota amongst others. They are very good. Aisin made the 6MT in my 997.
They are founded, owned, and run by Toyota. A majority of their top level executives are from the Toyoda (sic) family.

While, on paper, it operates as a separate entity, in practice, it's treated as a part of the Toyota Group.

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