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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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  #51  
Old 08-26-2010, 06:54 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
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.
I don't think a GS 460 will be as fast, but I think it will be as fast as you'll ever drive a 550i, and just as comfortable.

On one hand you talk about the importance of the active steering with cutthroat track times... but that's when steering feel becomes much more important. If you regularly drove at that level, you'd know that. Any one of us would be at a much greater disadvantage on a track with active steering because we wouldn't get much feedback at the limit (and wouldn't be experienced enough to basically drive blindfolded).

But it sounds like the reason you personally like it is because it's easier to use (requires less effort to turn on a nice Sunday drive, as well as in the parking lot). This obviously has nothing to do with performance.

And the reason the 650i can go fast in a corner has nothing to do with steering - that's where the suspension comes in. The worst steering in the world could go amazingly fast around corners if mounted on an Ariel Atom.
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  #52  
Old 08-26-2010, 07:08 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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"Ariel Atom".
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  #53  
Old 08-26-2010, 07:56 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by Newmanium View Post
I don't think a GS 460 will be as fast, but I think it will be as fast as you'll ever drive a 550i, and just as comfortable.

On one hand you talk about the importance of the active steering with cutthroat track times... but that's when steering feel becomes much more important. If you regularly drove at that level, you'd know that. Any one of us would be at a much greater disadvantage on a track with active steering because we wouldn't get much feedback at the limit (and wouldn't be experienced enough to basically drive blindfolded).

But it sounds like the reason you personally like it is because it's easier to use (requires less effort to turn on a nice Sunday drive, as well as in the parking lot). This obviously has nothing to do with performance.

And the reason the 650i can go fast in a corner has nothing to do with steering - that's where the suspension comes in. The worst steering in the world could go amazingly fast around corners if mounted on an Ariel Atom.
That's exactly the point I am making, the steering should be judged by track times and how it responds at the limits. I think the four wheel active steering will be faster and more precise at the limits on the track. When I do drive near the limits that's important to me. Of course it's always a combination of suspension and steering that determines handling. You can judge whether or not you get ENOUGH feedback by how well a car handles at the limits. You do this by measuring track times when the car is pushed to it's limits on the track. NOT by how it FEELS but by how it performs. My car definitely has a better suspension than my M5 had, and it ALSO has much better steering. It's the combination of both that makes it handle so much better than my M5. You are absolutely corrct about this.

I'm glad to see you and I agree with about this.

Of course, you want a car that is easy to use in parking lots and driving normally around town. That's what makes BMW's unique, THEY DO BOTH. They as are easy to drive around town as other cars, and will blow your socks off when pushed to the limits. That's what my car does. That's what an F10 550i with IAS and the new five link aluminum suspension with DHP will do even better. That is what was apparent to me when I test drove the 550i. It drives like a limo around town and a Porsche on the track. You push comfort mode and drive on the rough streets of NYC or Pittsburgh. You push sport or sport plus and bash it around the winding hilly roads of southwest Pennsylvania at high speeds at 0.8g. The 650i does both better than my E39s and the F10 does both better than my 650i. That's what it's supposed to do. That's why it costs so much. That's why when I got out of the 550i I said to myself that it made my 650i seem like a Model A.

It's not one or the other it's BOTH.

I think you are finally starting to get the picture here.
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Last edited by richschneid; 08-27-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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  #54  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:01 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by solstice View Post
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...
That would be cruel, I admit, but I think my car will have good feedback and center feel and also have the responsiveness and variable effort that I want. Remember I always drive my car set in sport mode that gives it the heft you like, but all I do is push a button to decrease the steering effort in a parking lot or heavy traffic. You see the point is to let everyone get what they want at the push of a button.
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  #55  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:14 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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"It drives like a limo around town and a Porsche on the track"
If you ever driven a 911 on a track you got to be kidding or your senses are more numb than the F10s steering.
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  #56  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:21 PM
jimefam jimefam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
"It drives like a limo around town and a Porsche on the track"
If you ever driven a 911 on a track you got to be kidding or your senses are more numb than the F10s steering.
Amen to that!
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  #57  
Old 08-27-2010, 12:31 AM
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I can't believe you guys are still wasting your time trying to convince this guy who believes his 550i handles as well as or better than the 911 or Cayman.
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  #58  
Old 08-27-2010, 03:47 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
"It drives like a limo around town and a Porsche on the track"
If you ever driven a 911 on a track you got to be kidding or your senses are more numb than the F10s steering.
Of course, it doesn't FEEL like a Porsche 911 on the track. And I didn't say 911. Actually, I was thinking about the Porsche Panamera (not the Porshe Panamera Turbo) or Cayman (not the S). I should have said: "It drives like a limo around town and is as fast as a Porsche Cayman or Panamera on the track." Sorry. I'll try to be more specific in the future to avoid any more such confusion.

The previous reference was to the test report posted by another gentleman on a different thread that an E60 M5 has the same track time as a Porsche Cayman (not a Cayman S). I guess you didn't read that post on the other thread. OF COURSE, it doesn't feel the same but it goes just as fast. There was some debate as to whether or not a 550i with IAS, DHP, Sport package, and Sport Automatic and Michelin PS2s might or might not be as fast or faster than an E60 M5 on this particular road course. I was also referring to the comparison test earlier this year of the 750i with the Maser QP and Panamera.

I'm sure the F10 M5 will be faster than the Cayman on the track. I don't know if it rides like a limo around town like a 550i in Comfort Mode. But it might, we'll have to wait and see.
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  #59  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:40 AM
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i can't believe you guys are still wasting your time trying to convince this guy who believes his 550i handles as well as or better than the 911 or cayman.
+1
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  #60  
Old 08-27-2010, 11:33 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by enigma View Post
I can't believe you guys are still wasting your time trying to convince this guy who believes his 550i handles as well as or better than the 911 or Cayman.
I never said a 911, and I said it MIGHT be as fast as on a road course as a Cayman. But it certainly will be very close. I did say an F10 M5 will be FASTER on a road course than a Cayman. The M5 will not handle the same as a Cayman. But whether or not it handles as well as a Cayman depends on your definition of "well". If handling "well" is about track times then the M5 handles better. If it's about "feel", then a good case can be made that the M5 doesn't handle as "well".

But I will say this, a fully equipped, meaning with Michelin PS2s, rear drive 550i for $80,000 will very likely be just as fast or even faster than a $110,000 rear drive Porche Panamera on a road course.
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  #61  
Old 08-27-2010, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid 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."

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.
To me, the driving experience is about the the quality, not the quantity. You can drive quite fast in a Lexus.

Now, think about one of the ultimate human experiences, sex - is it about how good it feels, or how fast or slow it gets done?
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  #62  
Old 08-27-2010, 03:44 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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There's something wrong with the lateral acceleration. 0.84G is not great. Even my Lexus GS460 did 0.89G in C&D test. Our 2007 550i did 0.9G

Are the tires too small maybe?
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  #63  
Old 08-27-2010, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
That would be cruel, I admit, but I think my car will have good feedback and center feel and also have the responsiveness and variable effort that I want. Remember I always drive my car set in sport mode that gives it the heft you like, but all I do is push a button to decrease the steering effort in a parking lot or heavy traffic. You see the point is to let everyone get what they want at the push of a button.
Not to pick on you, but that's exactly where the problem is. It'll be so easy, no skill required. Perhaps you'd see things differently if you were a surgeon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
I never said a 911, and I said it MIGHT be as fast as on a road course as a Cayman. But it certainly will be very close. I did say an F10 M5 will be FASTER on a road course than a Cayman. The M5 will not handle the same as a Cayman. But whether or not it handles as well as a Cayman depends on your definition of "well". If handling "well" is about track times then the M5 handles better. If it's about "feel", then a good case can be made that the M5 doesn't handle as "well".

But I will say this, a fully equipped, meaning with Michelin PS2s, rear drive 550i for $80,000 will very likely be just as fast or even faster than a $110,000 rear drive Porche Panamera on a road course.
So will a $35K 135i. Or a $24k MazdaSpeed3. Lots of things get you fast. But how does it feel in there?
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  #64  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:05 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by TMQ View Post
To me, the driving experience is about the the quality, not the quantity. You can drive quite fast in a Lexus.

Now, think about one of the ultimate human experiences, sex - is it about how good it feels, or how fast or slow it gets done?
Thinking you can drive a Lexus as fast as the equivalent BMW on a road course is simply not true. Driving fast and in control is about Quality. But quality is not about steering feedback only it's about vehicle control and performance. There is absolutely no comparison between a Lexus and a BMW. I know in my car the active steering enhances the quality of the driving experience above that of my E39 M5 even though the M5 steering may have had more "feedback" it had less precision, control, and less ability to drive fast. I have a 3 series loaner today (the service manager apologized for giving me a Monster X5 without park distance control and he didn't want to stick me with it for the weekend). The steering is heavy and slow, but not nearly as bad as the X5. It is not possible to drive it as agressively because it takes a lot more steering input to turn. How can heavy fixed steering ratio around 16:1 possibly allow you to drive as fast on tight low speed corners as lower effort steering with a variable ratio that is around 12:1 at low speed. The added feedback just does not compensate for slowness and added effort. It just doesn't make any sense. It is just not as much fun to drive.

Human sexuality, BTW, is a lot more complicated than driving.
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  #65  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:19 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Not to pick on you, but that's exactly where the problem is. It'll be so easy, no skill required. Perhaps you'd see things differently if you were a surgeon.


So will a $35K 135i. Or a $24k MazdaSpeed3. Lots of things get you fast. But how does it feel in there?

Surgeons have fine delicate sensory perception. Since you think feedback is required to drive a car well, obviously it takes a lot more skill to drive a car with less feedback. When you run a scapel through tissue, there is almost no feedback because the scalpel is so sharp. You have to be able to cut with your vision and extreme tactile sensitivity to utilize the most minimal amount of feedback.

Of course, I have done surgery even if I'm not a surgeon now. As I have said before, the same kind of tactile sensitivity and visual acuity is required to do cardiac catheterization. It takes a lot of training to appreciate the almost non existent feedback that comes from the tip of the catheter touching the heart and transmitted back along a thin catheter to your fingertips. You also have to visualize three dimensions from a black and white floroscopic two dimensional image. This is similar to guiding the car by using your eyes as well as your hands.

Of course you can have a lot of fun in a Mazda. A 135i is a fantatic automobile. But we are talking about very expensive luxury vehicles here. We are comparing 550i's at $80,000 to Porsche Panamera's at $110,000.
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  #66  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:36 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by BATMAN75 View Post
There's something wrong with the lateral acceleration. 0.84G is not great. Even my Lexus GS460 did 0.89G in C&D test. Our 2007 550i did 0.9G

Are the tires too small maybe?
It absolutely is the tires. The tires on the F10 are Grand Touring class tires, it's not about the size. The size is still 245 front and 275 rear for the sport package. I think these cars should be equipped with ultra high performance tires like Bridgestone Potenzas or Michelin PS2. This level of tire has always been standard equipment for 5 and 6 series BMWs with the sport package. With the proper tires the F10 should corner at over 0.92g which is the test number for my 650i.

The comparison test between the 750i and the Porsche Panamera I referred to above had the 750i shod with the grand touring Goodyear Excellence tires. This is simply not a fair comparison. The agent at the Tirerack this week told me he thinks BMW has an exclusive contract with Goodyear for these tires. He told me that other owners have told him that BMW will not give them a credit for the Goodyears to upgrade to appropriate tires. My dealer checked with BMW and was told the same thing.

A set of four Potenza RFTs with mounting and balancing and tire pressure monitors for my car will run around $1800. I may be forced to do this in order to make my $80,000 car achieve it's full potential. I think this problem may be changed by BMW in the future. But for now we are stuck.
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  #67  
Old 08-27-2010, 05:41 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
It is not possible to drive it as agressively because it takes a lot more steering input to turn. How can heavy fixed steering ratio around 16:1 possibly allow you to drive as fast on tight low speed corners as lower effort steering with a variable ratio that is around 12:1 at low speed. The added feedback just does not compensate for slowness and added effort. It just doesn't make any sense. It is just not as much fun to drive.
Think we finally got to the bottom of it - easy light steering is "faster" around the corners because you're limited in how quickly you can turn the wheel. No problem with that, but that's primarily a personal taste thing (and something that sports cars are generally incompatible with). The physical fitness to drive an F1 car is much higher than you'd expect.

Making something easier to turn does not help you go round corners faster - it just makes driving corners less physically demanding. Still say that people who value these sort of things should be getting a Lexus or Mercedes. You sound like you've been tolerating BMW not being like Lexus/MB all these years, and now that they're slowly watering things down, you're getting more and more excited.

Things like boosted steering are just designed to make you feel like a better, faster driver than in reality. The car does most of the work so a novice can pretend like they know how to drive a sports car, but really they're just going 10mph extra around corners and then revving on the straights. Real sports cars aren't about tricks like this - they're about predictability and feedback for driving on the edge.
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Last edited by Newmanium; 08-27-2010 at 05:46 PM.
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  #68  
Old 08-27-2010, 06:00 PM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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It seems even the people at Inside Line have differing opinions, or at least differentiate between slalom/skid pad testing and driving: Another Inside Line Review
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  #69  
Old 08-27-2010, 06:10 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Think we finally got to the bottom of it - easy light steering is "faster" around the corners because you're limited in how quickly you can turn the wheel.

Making something easier to turn does not help you go round corners faster - it just makes driving corners less physically demanding. Still say that people who value these sort of things should be getting a Lexus or Mercedes. You sound like you've been tolerating BMW not being like Lexus/MB all these years, and now that they're slowly watering things down, you're getting more and more excited.
No, I have been loving the active steering on my 650i since I got it in October, 2005. Of course, everyone will be able to get more performance from faster lighter steering than heavier slower steering. The rate at which the steering wheel will rotate is determined by the torque you generate on the steering wheel divided by the resistence of the steering. So, regardless of how strong you are, if you apply maximum steering effort the wheel will turn faster the less the effort. And the lower the steering ratio the more the front wheels will turn for a given amount of rotation of the steering wheel. The lower the steering ratio the more responsive the car will be. However, the lower the steering ratio the more effort it takes to turn the wheel. So, it is not practical to have the same amount of assistence for 12:1 steering as it is for 16:1. That's why the steering ratio on the 3 series and X5 I have had this week is so high and the steering is so slow and simultaneously heavy. So, if you have variable ratio you have to have variable assist.

Also, a 12:1 ratio is far too low at highway speeds. My active steering has a ratio of 18:1 at 75 mph which makes the car far more stable with more on center feel at speed than if it had the 12:1 it has at low speeds. The steering on my 550i xDrive is not active or four wheel, but it is speed related variable ratio, variable assist. This has nothing to do with Lexus or MB and everything to do with the same engineering brilliance that BMW engineers used to create the active steering on my 6, and create all the new even better steering available on the F10.

Now if you add rear wheel steering the car becomes far more responsive and maneuverable. So, the trick is to have driver adjustable steering effort in addition to variable ratio and assist so that those who want more effort, like you and me, can just dial it in with a turn of the idrive or a push of the DHP button. I like the heavier feel so I always drive my 6 in that mode even on the highway, but the highway ratio always stays at 18:1. Even though I keep the higher effort assist at low speeds, the ratio goes to 12:1 so the car is more responsive and maneuverable but the assist is automatically increased to keep the feel the same as it is at high speeds with the much slower steering ratio.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:42 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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This has been quite an eye-opener. I had no idea that the ability to enjoy and appreciate a communicative steering was somewhat of a rarity even among car lovers that frequent sites like this one. Just another thing to add to the long list of things I'm thankful for in the lottery of life.
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:24 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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This has been quite an eye-opener. I had no idea that the ability to enjoy and appreciate a communicative steering was somewhat of a rarity even among car lovers that frequent sites like this one. Just another thing to add to the long list of things I'm thankful for in the lottery of life.
I think car lovers all enjoy "communicative steering". It's just that different car lovers want want it to be communicated in different ways. To make a simple analogy about communication, you can get exactly the same information from a verbal communication whether it is whispered in your ear or screamed in your face. You don't get any more information from the screaming than from the whisper. It just sounds different. The overall actual information communicated is exactly the same.

I hope this clarifies the substance of this discussion somewhat.

The other issue is your communication with the car, which is the car "hearing" what you have to say and responding to you. I just think that variable ratio, driver selectable variable assist is the best way for the driver to communicate with the car what he wants the car to do.

Commucation is a two way street.
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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.
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  #72  
Old 08-28-2010, 10:09 AM
solstice solstice is offline
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Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,328
Mein Auto: 2015 F80 M3
"i can't believe you guys are still wasting your time trying to convince this guy who believes his 550i handles as well as or better than the 911 or cayman."
I see what you mean and I'm done.
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  #73  
Old 08-28-2010, 11:42 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa.
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,583
Mein Auto: BMW 550i xDrive
Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
"i can't believe you guys are still wasting your time trying to convince this guy who believes his 550i handles as well as or better than the 911 or cayman."
I see what you mean and I'm done.
I never said a 550i handles as well as a 911, so why is anyone trying to convince me when I always knew it was true. This entire implication that I said that a 550i handles as well as a 911 is patently absurd and totally out of touch with reality. The question I asked, which no one has responded to, is whether or not it handles as well as a Panamera.

Did it ever occur to you that you might actually learn something useful from this discussion? I have. Or, do you think you already know everything and couldn't possibly learn anything from anyone?

I will take your capitulation as an indication that you have no further useful arguments and realize you have been wrong all along. Just kidding.
__________________
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.
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  #74  
Old 08-29-2010, 11:19 AM
MikeTerp MikeTerp is offline
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Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 220
Mein Auto: 2007 BMW 328 (E90)
The Lexification of BMW continues. Heavier with numb steering and so-so performance numbers even with all kinds of performance packages. Great. Guess we will have to see if the new F30 comes in heavier too. Along with power by four-bangers, that would be just awesome.
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