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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 08-25-2010, 12:04 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMQ View Post
BMW is not the only maker that runs into some issues with electric steering. The current Acura cars have also received criticism for that. Electric steering saves some fuel, it doesn't make sense to lose one of the best features of the brand in order to improve 0.5 mpg.
Agree, shedding some pounds would have been a better more performance oriented approach than jeopardizing a brand crown jewel.
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  #27  
Old 08-25-2010, 01:40 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
"Why should someone who doesn't care about steering feel or feedback have to pay for something they don't want or need."
Since it's not a luxuary item and the price of a bmw, any bmw should include good steering feedback and feel as standard. To have to pay for extra artificial stuff to get back to what is natural is frankly redicolous. Sorry.
That is not a logical statement. The car you want starts at 60k not 50k. You just don't want to accept reality. What you consider to be good steering may not be the same as 90% of the buyers of this car. They pay less and if you want something better you have to pay for it. I think the steering on the current three series STINKS, and I don't want to pay for a piece of junk just because you happen to like it. I think the standard steering on my E39s was nowhere near as good as the active steering on my 6. How do you know that the IAS isn't better than the steering on the E60, YOU HAVE NEVER DRIVEN IT OR READ ABOUT IT.

BMW is obligated to make only one thing. Cars that people want to buy. The company does not exist to cater to your personal needs. If more people buy this car than the competition that's your problem. Buy something else. If you don't like the steering then pay for something they do sell.

"Natural" has nothing to do with anything. These machines are made by PEOPLE, not God. There is no such thing as "NATURAL". The "natural" steering you are talking about is POWER steering it is not "natural" in any way, manner, or form. The very notion that steering is NATURAL is what is patently ridiculous.
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Last edited by richschneid; 08-25-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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  #28  
Old 08-25-2010, 01:48 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
Agree, shedding some pounds would have been a better more performance oriented approach than jeopardizing a brand crown jewel.
If you want a lighter car buy a 3 series. The new one will be larger in size. If you want something bigger than a 3 and smaller than an F10 buy an Acura TL.
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2010, 02:17 PM
5Xwen 5Xwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
Have you actually ever driven an F10 with IAS, or an xDrive version, or one with performance tires?
.
Does the xDrive have better steering feel than the non-x version?
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  #30  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:09 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Originally Posted by 5Xwen View Post
Does the xDrive have better steering feel than the non-x version?
This is what we are all eagerly waiting to find out. Noone (except bmw) knows since noone has driven one and there is no reports available as far as I know. But the likelyhood is very high that it will by far exceed the non X-drive feel and feedback since it's reported to have the hydraulic assisted steering that bmw as we know excels in. Personally I will likely trade to an X-drive F10 if it's up to bmw standard and bmw fails to get the electric steering any better in the next year or so.
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  #31  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:11 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
That is not a logical statement. The car you want starts at 60k not 50k. You just don't want to accept reality. What you consider to be good steering may not be the same as 90% of the buyers of this car. They pay less and if you want something better you have to pay for it. I think the steering on the current three series STINKS, and I don't want to pay for a piece of junk just because you happen to like it. I think the standard steering on my E39s was nowhere near as good as the active steering on my 6. How do you know that the IAS isn't better than the steering on the E60, YOU HAVE NEVER DRIVEN IT OR READ ABOUT IT.

BMW is obligated to make only one thing. Cars that people want to buy. The company does not exist to cater to your personal needs. If more people buy this car than the competition that's your problem. Buy something else. If you don't like the steering then pay for something they do sell.

"Natural" has nothing to do with anything. These machines are made by PEOPLE, not God. There is no such thing as "NATURAL". The "natural" steering you are talking about is POWER steering it is not "natural" in any way, manner, or form. The very notion that steering is NATURAL is what is patently ridiculous.
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  #32  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:59 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post


As I said BMW does make a car for you. It is one of the following:

1. 535i: $49,600

Leather interior: $1450 (required with sport package)
DHP: $2,700
Sport Package: $2,200
Integral Active Steering: $1,750
Destination charge: $875

Total: $59,075

Dealer installed option: Michelin PS2 high performance tires @ $1,800

Total base price: $60,875

2. 535i xDrive: $51,900

Same equipment as above minus IAS: Total base price $61,425.

Now start with that base car and add your options and accessories. Now, test drive both of these cars and read road test reports on both. Decide which steering you like better.

Now, if you still think BMW is violating your trust in terms of making cars with steering that you like then, and only then, should you complain that BMW doesn't make cars that people such as yourself will like.

But do not complain that you have to pay $60,000 base price rather than $50,000. If you can find a $60,000 car that is more to your liking in terms of steering feedback, feel, and handling then I suggest you report back to the rest of us. But more importantly for yourself BUY IT.
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  #33  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:04 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by 5Xwen View Post
Does the xDrive have better steering feel than the non-x version?
I don't know but I think the steering on the rear drive version with four wheel intergral active steering might be better than the hydralic assisted steering on the xDrive version. I think the only way you will know is to drive both and see which one you like better. I wish I could get my new 550i xDrive with IAS, but I think the xDrive will be almost as good. But I still don't know for sure whether or not the steering on the xDrive will be variable ratio, like the IAS, or fixed ratio at 17:1. Variable ratio is wonderful, I have it on my 650i.
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  #34  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:20 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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By pharding that actually have IAS and drove 1200 miles during his european delivery:

"The Steering is awful for a BMW. It has a sloppy feeling in the center when going straight. My 2008 550i M-sport felt so much better. And my E39 was even better before that. I have no idea why steering on the 5er keeps getting worse with each new iteration."

I hope "awful for a bmw" is not going to best the X-drive steering...

Last edited by solstice; 08-25-2010 at 06:21 PM.
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  #35  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:26 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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schneid, it's starting to sound like you consider Lexus steering to be the ultimate standard. I realize you like light and variable ratio, but those are things the luxo cruisers specialize in (like the 6 series). The 5 series used to have a healthy element of "sport" in its blood, the F10 has diluted the traditional mix. This will probably attract more buyers from Mercedes/Lexus world, and satisfy those BMW owners who have secretly wanted the edges toned down a bit.

I'd just cool defending the F10 so much - you are the target market for this car, of course you're going to be satisfied. The steering is still a let down for others who like more sport in the car.
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  #36  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:43 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Is there anyone who have ordered an X-drive F10 who do not like the non X-drive electrical steering that we can rely on to give a reliable review when the car arrives? We know rich is out...

Last edited by solstice; 08-25-2010 at 06:44 PM.
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  #37  
Old 08-25-2010, 07:22 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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Not to beat on schneid's 650i, but I thought this line in the TruthAboutCars review on the 650i convertible was hilarious (w/active steering):

Quote:
Once you get used to the fact that the steering provides less useful feedback than the company's PR department, it's easy to pilot the lean-free machine though the corners at tremendous speeds– should you be so inclined.
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  #38  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:22 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by Newmanium View Post
schneid, it's starting to sound like you consider Lexus steering to be the ultimate standard. I realize you like light and variable ratio, but those are things the luxo cruisers specialize in (like the 6 series). The 5 series used to have a healthy element of "sport" in its blood, the F10 has diluted the traditional mix. This will probably attract more buyers from Mercedes/Lexus world, and satisfy those BMW owners who have secretly wanted the edges toned down a bit.

I'd just cool defending the F10 so much - you are the target market for this car, of course you're going to be satisfied. The steering is still a let down for others who like more sport in the car.
This is absolute nonsense. I have had four Bimmers including a '93 740i, a '99 540i sport, an E39 M5, and my 650i sport with active steering. I have driven multiple high performance BMWs on the track at the BMW facility in South Carolina. I have logged nearly 200,000 miles on my personal BMWs. The 550i xDrive will be my fifth consecutive BMW. I would not even consider for more than a few seconds any other brand.

I just think that the active steering on my 650i is the best steering I have had. Until proven otherwise I would anticipate that the IAS will be even better. My 650i is absolutely the best handling and steering BMW that I have owned. It is true that on the race track I thought the M6 was better, but only on the track. The first time I drove on a race track was at Bridgehampton in 1974.

I'm sorry for those of you "who like more sport in a car". But it seems to me that many people hold up the E39 M5 as an exemplar of the best of BMW "sportiness". I have owned one and can make a direct comparison.

It really comes down to one's personal definition of "sport". To me is is about how fast I can drive the car safely in real world situations. If the steering does not have as much feel as my E39 it doesn't matter as long as the car drives faster. To me my 650i with the so called "numb" active steering totally blows my E39 M5 out of the water. The M5 steering was slow in comparison and definitely not as suited to hard driving as my 650i, even if it did have a little more "feel". To me sportiness is about PERFORMANCE not the magnitude of the tactile sensations. Tactile steering sensations are purely COSMETIC unless they can be shown to actually influence the speed at which the vehicle can be driven.

The only area that I think the F10 really comes up short is the Grand Touring Tires. This severely limits the PERFORMANCE of the vehicle. That's why I included the option of the max performance tires in the base price of the car.

So, I think you are the one who should "cool" it on your criticisms of the car and my taste in cars just because your criteria of "sportiness" is based on feel and not performance.
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Last edited by richschneid; 08-26-2010 at 05:37 AM.
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  #39  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:24 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by Newmanium View Post
Not to beat on schneid's 650i, but I thought this line in the TruthAboutCars review on the 650i convertible was hilarious (w/active steering):
"Once you get used to the fact that the steering provides less useful feedback than the company's PR department, it's easy to pilot the lean-free machine though the corners at tremendous speeds– should you be so inclined."

That is precisely my point, my 650i is very fast and drives much better than my E39 M5. Tactile feel is cosmetic, speed is quantitative.
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Last edited by richschneid; 08-26-2010 at 04:57 AM.
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  #40  
Old 08-26-2010, 01:51 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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""Once you get used to the fact that the steering provides less useful feedback than the company's PR department, it's easy to pilot the lean-free machine though the corners at tremendous speeds– should you be so inclined."

Hmmm...yeah that sounds like the medicine for lack of feedback, remove some more with IAS...
Unless this is one of the mathematical two minus makes a plus kind of thing, numb + numb = thumb (up? ). Nah, I lean more towards: numb + numb = dumb.
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  #41  
Old 08-26-2010, 02:28 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
""Once you get used to the fact that the steering provides less useful feedback than the company's PR department, it's easy to pilot the lean-free machine though the corners at tremendous speeds– should you be so inclined."

Hmmm...yeah that sounds like the medicine for lack of feedback, remove some more with IAS...
Unless this is one of the mathematical two minus makes a plus kind of thing, numb + numb = thumb (up? ). Nah, I lean more towards: numb + numb = dumb.
You want feel. I want speed. That's simply a matter of personal preference. The operative word here are "corners at tremendous speeds".

It says "less useful feedback". Useful for what? The only use of feedback is to go faster. So, useless feedback is feedback that doesn't make you go faster. If you want "feedback" that makes you go slower, I would consider that truly "dumb" and truly USELESS. To give up some feedback in order to go faster is not "dumb", it is very, very SMART.

Sportiness is speed and performance. Feedback that doesn't increase performance is purely COSMETIC. Cosmetic enhancements are fine if that is what you want, and you can call that "sportiness" if you want, that's up to you. The four wheel IAS on the F10 may not have as much feedback as prior BMWs, but the laws of physics suggest that it is extremely unlikely that is won't be significantly faster. And that speed is what I call sportiness. You pays your money and takes your choice. Like I said it's a matter of personal preference.
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  #42  
Old 08-26-2010, 02:44 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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I agree with you rich, on a track for a driver that is paid to win not to enjoy the driving experience. On public roads I totally disagree. Confidence and feel is more important to enjoy a sporty drive at high speed than simply the car's ability to go fast. It's the combination of driver and car, not the car alone that dictates the result. Now, perhaps you are a supremely competent race driver that can do without some feedback to get to that ultimate speed from the active steering and your intention is purely to compete in closed course races but that is what I would call a "fringe buyer".

Last edited by solstice; 08-26-2010 at 02:45 PM.
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  #43  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:14 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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So schneid is essentially conceding that he doesn't really care about road feel - as long as it goes fast around a corner, that's all that matters. Still don't see how a GS 460 would disappoint him, they can go fast around corners as well. Can't even believe we're having this discussion amongst BMW enthusiasts.

Bit surprising to see road feel described as "cosmetic" - all high end sports cars are excellent in this regards, the sportier you get, typically the more involvment you obtain (Lotus Elise doesn't even have power steering). Porsche in particular is renowned for their steering feedback. But what do they know?
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:45 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
I agree with you rich, on a track for a driver that is paid to win not to enjoy the driving experience. On public roads I totally disagree. Confidence and feel is more important to enjoy a sporty drive at high speed than simply the car's ability to go fast. It's the combination of driver and car, not the car alone that dictates the result. Now, perhaps you are a supremely competent race driver that can do without some feedback to get to that ultimate speed from the active steering and your intention is purely to compete in closed course races but that is what I would call a "fringe buyer".
No, I am not a supremely confident race driver. The difference, as I have been trying to state, is that I feel like I have enough feedback for me to utilize the full potential of my car on the street and road. I simply don't feel that I need extra feedback in order to drive my car at the limit when I need to. My M5 probably had a little more feedback than my 650i but the 650i is still much easier to drive faster. To one person the steering on my 650i may feel numb and limit their confidence, but to me it doesn't. I really do agree with the gentleman who said it just takes a little getting used to. I felt right at home going to the active steering from the M5. I am not talking about going fast in a straight line. I am talking about going fast under all conditions. I just have more confidence with active steering. It's not that I "can do without some feedback", of course I need some feedback, but my car does give feedback. Of course it does. The feedback may be less, but I find it more than adequate. However, I find the control of the car to be much more. Confidence is about the feeling of control of the car, and I feel I have more control with active steering.

My car will generate approximately 0.92 g on the skid pad. I doubt if I ever generate more than 0.75 g. But knowing I could drive at 0.92 gives me confidence to drive at 0.75g. But the real difference between my M5 and the 650i is the responsiveness. The 6 is much more responsive to steering inputs at lower speeds and more stable at higher speeds. Four wheel active steering will be even more responsive. Even though it may have less "feedback" it definitely has more control and responsiveness. And it has enough feedback that I think I have enough to reach the limits of the car's performance with confidence. In fact, it gives me more confidence because I feel I have more control.

Today I have an X5 as a loaner from my dealer. The steering is standard and feels way to heavy and slow to me. Compared to the steering in my car it feels absolutely prehistoric.
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Last edited by richschneid; 08-26-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:54 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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rich, why did you order X-drive instead of a good set of snow tyres so you could get IAS? Now you'll get stuck wit prehistoric steering and no confidence. Seems like a bad trade.
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  #46  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:58 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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So schneid is essentially conceding that he doesn't really care about road feel - as long as it goes fast around a corner, that's all that matters. Still don't see how a GS 460 would disappoint him, they can go fast around corners as well. Can't even believe we're having this discussion amongst BMW enthusiasts.

Bit surprising to see road feel described as "cosmetic" - all high end sports cars are excellent in this regards, the sportier you get, typically the more involvment you obtain (Lotus Elise doesn't even have power steering). Porsche in particular is renowned for their steering feedback. But what do they know?
Of course I care about road feel. I just get enough with active steering. Please tell me that you think a Lexus GS 460 will be as fast as an F10 550i with IAS on a road course. That is simply not a believable statement. Of course a Lotus or Porsche has more feel than a four door sedan and are much faster on a road course. But we are comparing apples to oranges here. Besides, by your logic BMWs should not have power steering since a Lotus doesn't. Yeah right!

The question I am asking is whether a $100,000 F10 M5 with four wheel active steering will blow the socks off a $110,000 Porsche Panamera even if it has less feel. This is what BMW enthusiasts have every right to discuss. I'll bet you anything it can.
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  #47  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:04 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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I dearly hope I'll never meet you in traffic rich. Someone who gets confidence to go fast from skid pad numbers...my oh my.
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  #48  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:28 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
rich, why did you order X-drive instead of a good set of snow tyres so you could get IAS? Now you'll get stuck wit prehistoric steering and no confidence. Seems like a bad trade.
I had to wait until 1992 to buy my first BMW because that was the first year any BMW had traction control and I didn't want to own two vehicles. I put four dedicated snow tires on it. Every BMW I had owned has had four snow tires in the winter. The traction is respectable but not great. Last winter we had enormous snowfall and I had to use my wife's or stepson's front wheel drive cars on some days to get around, both of which were equiped with four Bridgestone Blizzaks. This winter I plan on driving frequently to New York City and will want to be prepared for any weather in the mountains of central Pa. So, I am going to equip my xDrive with Bridgestone Blizzak performance LM-25 RFT winter tires. I have Dunlop Wintersport M3 on my 6 but I think the LM-25s will be better.

I spoke with customer service at BMW USA this afternoon about the aweful steering on the X5. I was reassured to be told that the website about the 550i xDrive is correct in that it will have different steering. The 550i xDrive will have vehicle speed, not engine speed, sensitive variable ratio variable assist steering even though it is not active four wheel steering. In additon, the steering effort with DHP and sport transmission will be programmable to my taste. So, I'm okay with this. This steering is not prehistoric like the one on the X5. Thanks for asking. Also, since it's hydralic assist instead of electric you might like it too.

I have been waiting for an 8 cylinder BMW sedan with AWD for some time and last winter almost made me think of changing brands. The 750i xDrive is just way too big for me.

I am truly disappointed that the 550i xDrive is not available with four wheel IAS and it is compromise I have to live with. I think the xDrive will compensate somewhat for the lack of active steering. I also will not buy a car without Active Criuse Control which is only available with the automatic transmission, not the SMG.

My dream car would be an F10 M5 with xDrive, IAS, and ACC. (Actually, it would be the next generation M6 with these but I need a bigger back seat.) But, alas, I don't think that will ever happen. But I can always dream that maybe someday BMW will build the car I really want. In 1986 when I got the first Acura legend I got a letter from Honda asking me what I wanted in my next car. The Legend had 150 hp and front wheel drive. I told them I wanted 200 hp and four wheel drive. Now they make the RL with 305 hp and AWD and with four wheel active steering. But an Acura is no BMW. So, I guess BMW may eventually come through for me too, but until then I guess I just can't trust them.
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550i xDrive/ImperialBlue/Beige/anthracite/DHP/sport/vent seats/convience/cold weather/driver assistance/prem 2/sport trans/fold down rears/4 zone/ACC/HUD/cameras/night vision/ipod and smart integration.

Last edited by richschneid; 08-26-2010 at 04:51 PM.
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:47 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,581
Mein Auto: BMW 550i xDrive
Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
I dearly hope I'll never meet you in traffic rich. Someone who gets confidence to go fast from skid pad numbers...my oh my.
I drive very sedately in almost all situations. I rarely exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph and only in certain circumstances do I really push it. But when I push it I want to know exactly what I am doing. When I test drove the 550i I really pushed it on the deserted two lane roads in the hills outside of Pittsburgh. When the drive was over the salesman who was sitting next to me in the car said: "You really know what you are doing."

Of course, I get confidence from skid pad numbers. I study all the performance numbers from all of my cars. These include all the parameters published in the road tests. That's why they publish them, to be read and understood. I translate those numbers to the feel and performance of my cars and to the other cars that are near me on the road. I have read every issue of C&D and R&T since 1964 and I have never had an accident since I got my driver's liscense that year. Driving is physics, so it does help that I have a degee in physics. But good drivers do not need a degree in physics to understand how skid pad numbers should affect how they drive their cars.

I also study the test numbers on tires on the tirerack website. It's very important to understand the strengths a weaknesses of the tires on one's car.

BTW, the customer service rep at BMW USA told me that my 550i xDrive went into production today at precisely 8.46.42 am this morning. To the second. How's that for German precision. That's why their cars are so great. Delivery is expected first or second week in October.
__________________
2011
550i xDrive/ImperialBlue/Beige/anthracite/DHP/sport/vent seats/convience/cold weather/driver assistance/prem 2/sport trans/fold down rears/4 zone/ACC/HUD/cameras/night vision/ipod and smart integration.

Last edited by richschneid; 08-26-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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  #50  
Old 08-26-2010, 05:53 PM
solstice solstice is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,326
Mein Auto: 2015 F80 M3
rich, it would be a laugh if your xi turns out the have the heavy heft and feedback I love and you rate prehistoric and my car coupled with IAS have the insulated, variable, boosted feel you love but I rate artificial, numb and without feedback and center feel...
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