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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 08-07-2011, 07:35 PM
e46_325xi e46_325xi is offline
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New 4 Cylinder 5 Series Next Month! - Surprising Little Discussion

The 2012 model year 528i and 528xi will arrive in the US starting September 2011 with a twin turbo 4 cylinder engine. The 535s will retain the naturally aspirated inline 6 cylinder engines that so many BMW lovers have come to love.

Given that the 528s are the highest volume 5 series, I've seen surprising little discussion on this forum about the new engine coming next month. Would be nice to hear some thoughts from the pros.

As for myself, I was disappointed to hear this--I understand the stats about how the turbo 4 is more fuel efficient and perhaps even has a bit more power, but the thought of a 4 cylinder engine inside a 5 series sounds a bit silly and feels like a step down.

I was almost certain I was going to upgrade from my 3 series to a 5 this fall, but hearing about this is giving me second thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2011, 11:13 PM
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If you've ever driven a mini s with the mere 1.6 turbo engine, it might change how you feel. I won't mind a 4 cylinder 528 if BMW will reduce it's weight by 400lbs,at least. I'm quite sure that it will be a perfect fit for the 3series.
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2011, 12:12 AM
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:12 AM
EriKx91 EriKx91 is offline
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"The 535s will retain the naturally aspirated inline 6 cylinder engines that so many BMW lovers have come to love."

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't they turbo?[/QUOTE]

Last edited by EriKx91; 08-08-2011 at 12:19 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2011, 03:28 AM
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SteVTEC SteVTEC is online now
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Both the 2012 528 and the 535 are twin-scroll single turbo engines, I-4 and I-6. The x35i has never been naturally aspirated.

My wife and I test drove and loved the '11 528i with the 3.0L NA I6, and didn't care for how the 535 drove. We didn't want a first year model though, so were planning to do a fall ED for a '12 528i, but that was scrapped the instant we learned that they were replacing that sweet NA I6 with a turbo 4-banger. Sorry, I really don't have a problem with turbo 4-bangers in general, but in BMWs I do because they've always been known here in the U.S. for their awesome NA I6 engines. To replace one with a nasty sounding and feeling 4-cylinder that will drive totally different just wasn't appealing to me, or my wife either.

Since we didn't care for the 535 either, we said to hell with it and have an '11 335i convertible in the garage now. The plan was for the F10 to replace one of our two Toyota daily drivers, but we've decided to keep both of those for now, but one may still go. The E93 is surprisingly adept and running our kids around especially with the top down.

Not much discussion on the new turbo-4 528i because not too many enthusiasts are interested?
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2011, 04:22 AM
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IMO, BMW seeems to always get the correct engine (power) for each model.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:24 AM
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I have never driven a 4 cylinder engine that was anything but rough at idle and under hard acceleration. Just not the same experience as a six. Maybe BMW has tamed a four but I will believe it when I see and feel it. The highly regarded Audi 4 cylinder 2.0T is a prime example of the 4 banger gremlins. Too rough and too noisy under acceleration.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by e46_325xi View Post
I've seen surprising little discussion on this forum about the new engine coming next month. Would be nice to hear some thoughts from the pros.
Aren't >150 posts about the topic enough?
(Hint: Try entering "528i cylinders" as search keywords under "Search this Forum")
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Gran Turismo View Post
Aren't >150 posts about the topic enough?
(Hint: Try entering "528i cylinders" as search keywords under "Search this Forum")
My thoughts exactly.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:54 AM
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w5lx w5lx is offline
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Originally Posted by e46_325xi View Post
As for myself, I was disappointed to hear this--I understand the stats about how the turbo 4 is more fuel efficient and perhaps even has a bit more power, but the thought of a 4 cylinder engine inside a 5 series sounds a bit silly and feels like a step down.
I agree. I was very disappointed to see BMW go in this direction. The non-turbo inline 6 was a great engine and generally trouble-free. Now I'm waiting on the reviews on this new twin-turbo 4-banger. I'm just hoping we don't see the same problems with these turbos that we've seen with the 335/535 series cars over the past several years. If the new engines aren't reliable, I have bought my last BMW.

Last edited by w5lx; 08-08-2011 at 06:55 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2011, 07:06 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by w5lx View Post
I agree. I was very disappointed to see BMW go in this direction. The non-turbo inline 6 was a great engine and generally trouble-free. Now I'm waiting on the reviews on this new twin-turbo 4-banger. I'm just hoping we don't see the same problems with these turbos that we've seen with the 335/535 series cars over the past several years. If the new engines aren't reliable, I have bought my last BMW.
Single turbo.

Also recall, the problematic twin-turbo N54 engine is gone from the 1, 3 and 5 series. Still in use in 1M, Z4 35is, 640 and 740.

One would think that BMW would not continue to produce this engine going forward, especially given that there is a direct replacement, the single turbo N55, had they not licked the problem. Why invite that upon themselves?
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2011, 01:16 PM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Single turbo.

Also recall, the problematic twin-turbo N54 engine is gone from the 1, 3 and 5 series. Still in use in 1M, Z4 35is, 640 and 740.

One would think that BMW would not continue to produce this engine going forward, especially given that there is a direct replacement, the single turbo N55, had they not licked the problem. Why invite that upon themselves?
I think the reason why they still continue to produce the N54 is because the engine is slightly more powerful and BMW has perfected different internal engine tunes (for the 35is etc.). I also think that BMW is trying to squeeze the maximum profits out of that engine. Plus I am not sure how many spare parts they have - so they might just be using up their stock.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2011, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SteVTEC View Post
My wife and I test drove and loved the '11 528i with the 3.0L NA I6, and didn't care for how the 535 drove.
?? What was so different about the 535i, except lots more power? You ended up with a car with the same N55 turbo -- um?
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2011, 02:26 PM
bimmerfan3 bimmerfan3 is offline
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Originally Posted by SteVTEC View Post
My wife and I test drove and loved the '11 528i with the 3.0L NA I6, and didn't care for how the 535 drove.

Since we didn't care for the 535 either, we said to hell with it and have an '11 335i convertible in the garage now.
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?? What was so different about the 535i, except lots more power? You ended up with a car with the same N55 turbo -- um?
I had the same thought. SteveTec, what about the 535i that you don't care for? It is pretty much the same car as the 528i, and the E93 335i you are driving right now has the same N55 motor as the 535i.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:00 PM
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This is either going to be a grand slam or a big K for the innovators in Munich.

According to this month's Roundel, the 2012 528i 4 cyl turbo will have 240 hp, 260 ft lbs of torque (30% better), 37 mpg highway mileage (15% better), delivering 0-60 in 6.2 seconds (.4 seconds quicker) performance / improvements over the 2011 6 cyl 528i.

It will include the excellent 8sp AT.

Will offer the xdrive for those folks who haven't figured out how to move South (or West) yet.

What does this engine portend for the new 3 series?
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  #16  
Old 08-09-2011, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
?? What was so different about the 535i, except lots more power? You ended up with a car with the same N55 turbo -- um?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfan3 View Post
I had the same thought. SteveTec, what about the 535i that you don't care for? It is pretty much the same car as the 528i, and the E93 335i you are driving right now has the same N55 motor as the 535i.
Let me sum up:

F10/N55/8AT: No intake sound, no exhaust sound, no nothing. Practically had to look at the tach to know what the engine was doing. Also the 8AT felt way too shifty to me and never seemed to want to settle down. Any little maneuver and it was always hunting for gears. Didn't like it. With as much torque as the N55 has, it ought to just stick with whatever gear it's in and torque itself away rather than constantly shifting. The whole driving experience felt rather "numb" and uninteresting. Not what I was expecting.

F10/N52/8AT: Great engine sound!! Sounded and felt alive, loved the crisp(er) throttle response, and the shorter gearing. Hardly a slow vehicle either. Wasn't expecting to be impressed, but was actually blown away. Put a smile on both of our faces. Since if we bought an F10 it was going to replace one of our daily drivers, not having to worry about a turbo or HPFP issues was a plus too. Can't remember if the 8AT was as shifty in the 528, but even if it was it's more appropriate in this vehicle anyways since it's down a lot on torque. Either way, I didn't find the transmission's shift characteristics out of place in the 528i, whereas I did in the 535i.

So yeah pretty much the same car, but totally different in character and we just happened to prefer the character of the 528i with the N52 a bit more.

E93/N55/6AT: Unlike the F10/535i, the N55 in this vehicle actually has a really sweet exhaust note that you can hear and be entertained by, especially with the top down. Can also hear the turbo spooling, and the recirculating blow-off system and be entertained by that as well, none of which I could hear at all in the F10. Even my kids love it and giggle, rraawwwwrr-PSSSHHH!! Also unlike the F10/535i, the ZF 6AT will stay settled in a gear and isn't nearly as shifty as the 8AT is. Put your foot on the gas and it will just torque you away in the current gear like you'd expect it to, and how I'd drive the engine myself if it was a manual tranny. So despite having the same engine as the F10, it's a totally and completely different driving experience. Also the handling is better, more tossable, steering feel is way better, etc...

Never test drove an E93/328i, but considering we went for a third fun car rather than a daily driver replacement, I didn't think the 230hp/200tq trim '28' motor in the E93 would have the 'beans' to put a smile on my face when I put my foot down. If they had offered the 240hp/230tq trim N52 from the F10 or even the '30' trim motor no longer offered here in the U.S. with 255hp/220tq, it would have been a tough decision between either of those and N55 power in the E93.
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Last edited by SteVTEC; 08-09-2011 at 05:37 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2011, 05:37 AM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
This is either going to be a grand slam or a big K for the innovators in Munich.

According to this month's Roundel, the 2012 528i 4 cyl turbo will have 240 hp, 260 ft lbs of torque (30% better), 37 mpg highway mileage (15% better), delivering 0-60 in 6.2 seconds (.4 seconds quicker) performance / improvements over the 2011 6 cyl 528i.

It will include the excellent 8sp AT.

Will offer the xdrive for those folks who haven't figured out how to move South (or West) yet.

What does this engine portend for the new 3 series?
That is great fuel economy. The engine will sooner or later be found accross most of the range - X1, X3, 3 series, 5 series, 1 series.

37 mpg for a car taht does 0-60 i 6.2 - why would anyone want a friggin hybrid?
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:40 AM
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SteVTEC SteVTEC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
This is either going to be a grand slam or a big K for the innovators in Munich.

According to this month's Roundel, the 2012 528i 4 cyl turbo will have 240 hp, 260 ft lbs of torque (30% better), 37 mpg highway mileage (15% better), delivering 0-60 in 6.2 seconds (.4 seconds quicker) performance / improvements over the 2011 6 cyl 528i.
It's not going to get 37 mpg highway. Even the 335d with a *far* more efficient diesel engine only gets 36 mpg highway. BMW's quote was "up to 15% better mileage", which I can pretty much guarantee is going to be in city type driving. 4 idling cylinders are more efficient than 6, and it also has the start-stop stuff now. On the highway I'm guessing 33/34 mpg tops, as opposed to the current N52's 32 mpg. 37 is notgonnahappen.com.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PsychDoc1 View Post
I have never driven a 4 cylinder engine that was anything but rough at idle and under hard acceleration. Just not the same experience as a six. Maybe BMW has tamed a four but I will believe it when I see and feel it. The highly regarded Audi 4 cylinder 2.0T is a prime example of the 4 banger gremlins. Too rough and too noisy under acceleration.
+1. I agree. A 4 cyclinder engine is about as exciting as kissing my sister. Sorry sis... no offense.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:34 AM
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+1. I agree. A 4 cyclinder engine is about as exciting as kissing my sister. Sorry sis... no offense.
lol
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 AM
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I think it could easily get 37 mpg on the highway if one could find some premium gas without any ethanol.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:56 AM
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+1. I agree. A 4 cyclinder engine is about as exciting as kissing my sister. Sorry sis... no offense.
Some of you guys have led a sheltered life ..... when my little 4 cyl S2000 VTEC kicks in at 6,500 rpm its just sick!

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by watson335i View Post
+1. I agree. A 4 cyclinder engine is about as exciting as kissing my sister. Sorry sis... no offense.
I really like the 4 cylinders, but not for a 5. Even with weight reduction, it would suck for me. I'm sure it is perfect for some people though. That summarizes the 150 threads.

It will be interesting to see how successful or not this idea is in the A6 and 5-series market when they become available. I think it will work out for A6 and time will tell if BMW customers go for it. They will likely be new customers, though.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteVTEC View Post
Let me sum up:

F10/N55/8AT: No intake sound, no exhaust sound, no nothing. Practically had to look at the tach to know what the engine was doing. Also the 8AT felt way too shifty to me and never seemed to want to settle down. Any little maneuver and it was always hunting for gears. Didn't like it. With as much torque as the N55 has, it ought to just stick with whatever gear it's in and torque itself away rather than constantly shifting. The whole driving experience felt rather "numb" and uninteresting. Not what I was expecting.

F10/N52/8AT: Great engine sound!! Sounded and felt alive, loved the crisp(er) throttle response, and the shorter gearing. Hardly a slow vehicle either. Wasn't expecting to be impressed, but was actually blown away. Put a smile on both of our faces. Since if we bought an F10 it was going to replace one of our daily drivers, not having to worry about a turbo or HPFP issues was a plus too. Can't remember if the 8AT was as shifty in the 528, but even if it was it's more appropriate in this vehicle anyways since it's down a lot on torque. Either way, I didn't find the transmission's shift characteristics out of place in the 528i, whereas I did in the 535i.

So yeah pretty much the same car, but totally different in character and we just happened to prefer the character of the 528i with the N52 a bit more.
+ 1,000. I test drove the 528 and 535 back to back on 5 separate occasions. I've always loved HP (C43 AMG, 540 SP, 550 SP, M3) so my left brain kept saying that the 535 should be more fun. For me, it wasn't. I agree on all the above, and would add three more (highly subjective) data points:
  1. The 2011 528's throttle response is instantaneous and easier to modulate. Zero tip-in issues or turbo lag. Now maybe all the 535 demos were early production and a software update has made the latest ones better, but demo-for-demo, the 528 had better response.
  2. The 528's front end felt like an E39's or an E60's, while the 535 felt like it had an extra 200 pounds of lead hung out over the front axle. The 528's turn in was noticeably quicker and cleaner, which made it more fun to whip around. The 535 felt more like a barge. There's a good choice that SP and Adaptive Drive cure those issues, but the non-sport 528 wzs sprightlier than the non-sport 535.
  3. I found I kept putting the 528's 8AT in Manual mode and enjoyed running it through the gears. Doing the same with the 535 was nowhere near as fun. It may have been the sound of the sweet NA 6, and maybe the SAT changes things up, but the 528 was a more "engaging" ride.
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  #25  
Old 08-09-2011, 02:13 PM
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For those interested, there are recently published road tests of the X1 with the N20 engine. AMS thought it was ok, but noticeably higher NVH than the N52. It's a big disappointment that BMW is leaving behind its most significant competitive advantage, at least for the US market. I can't imagine that the 3 series will be improved by the substitution of an engine that is equivalent to what most of the competition (all the way down to Hyundai) offers.
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