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G30 (2017 - Current)
The next generation 5 Series, chassis code G30, arrives at dealers in February 2017. Looking like a scaled down 7 Series and riding on the CLAR platform, the new 5 Series will have a focus on lightweight and sporty performance. Engines options will come from BMW's new B family for the 530 and 540 and a turbocharged V8 for the M550i. Read more about the 2017 5 Series

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Old 06-01-2019, 07:17 AM
RealityCheck RealityCheck is offline
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M550i Throttle Response

I've posted about my 2018 M550i's poor throttle tip-in before. Most folks don't seem to notice it, but to me its very obvious and borderline dangerous. Very little happens in terms of engine response for the first inch or so of pedal travel. Installation of a Sprint Booster helped dramatically, but didn't solve the real problem - non-linear throttle-by-wire mapping. With the Sprint Booster there's no dead spot in the throttle, but the acceleration at small throttle openings can be brutal and takes some getting used to.

It turns out that its not just me. On one YouTube channel they were testing an older 3 series with throttle-by-wire. The reviewer joked that he had for years assumed BMW drivers were jerks because they all take off from traffic lights agonizing slow, then suddenly accelerate hard. He noted that its not the driver - its the massive dead zone in initial throttle travel.

For a more scientific look, check out this link at around the 6:35 mark.



You'll see that the ECM messes with throttle position being sent to the system - to the point where even at WOT 0% throttle position is being reported to the system. This particular tuner eliminates this by remapping the ECM throttle mapping to be linear, i.e., the throttle opening correlates directly with how much the gas pedal is being pressed.

BMW is not the only manufacturer who does this. There are several videos showing how the throttle plates open very slowly relative to how far the gas pedal is being pressed. Predictable throttle response changes the entire character of the car and makes it much easier and more fun to drive.

Right now, I'm running a Dinan S1 tune and a Sprint Booster - a vast improvement over stock. However, as mentioned about, throttle response can be brutal. Dialing the Sprint Booster back just makes the dead spot become more noticeable.

All of which is make me consider a full tune (as opposed to the Dinan's piggy back tune). I'm curious if anyone has noticed improved throttle tip-in with BMS or other tunes.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:45 AM
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I have absolutely no throttle issue especially in Sport mode.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:21 AM
RealityCheck RealityCheck is offline
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Originally Posted by jagu View Post
I have absolutely no throttle issue especially in Sport mode.
Sport is a little better than Comfort and Sport Plus is better yet, but all have terrible initial throttle tip-in. The BMW dealer told me "they're all like that". It's the way BMW programmed them. Some people just aren't sensitive to these types of things. I suspect that many folks who began driving during the throttle-by-wire era simply have never experience linear throttle response and have become acclimated to ECM adjusted throttle opening.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:37 PM
Santorini Blue Santorini Blue is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post
The BMW dealer told me "they're all like that".
My service advisor agrees.
He even has a pedal booster on his pick up truck. It's this throttle by wire thing.
I've had 2 six cylinders BMWs since my e39. Even on the 185hp 525i, the power delivery was sublime. Tip in is getting better but I still miss my old car.
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:32 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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I don't notice any at all on my 540. And if it did I would notice. My 2012 550 had it and it drove me crazy for three years. To the point that when I bought my 540 I test drove three of them and that was my main focus.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post
Sport is a little better than Comfort and Sport Plus is better yet, but all have terrible initial throttle tip-in. The BMW dealer told me "they're all like that". It's the way BMW programmed them. Some people just aren't sensitive to these types of things. I suspect that many folks who began driving during the throttle-by-wire era simply have never experience linear throttle response and have become acclimated to ECM adjusted throttle opening.
I know exactly what you mean. Iím on my 12th BMW and every car Iíve owned since 2103 have had lackluster initial acceleration compared to the older cars.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:03 AM
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Also agree - its a BMW characteristic. 'Soft' throttle take off designed to make driving smoother. Since my 2001 330CI I have noticed it and its been present in every BMW i've had to some extent or another. I've been using Sprintboosters on and off since that first car. Currently have one on my 540i. Its dialled back to a very low setting and helps but you still get that "nothing then everything" sensation at times. Its fun when you want that, less so when you don't. Its the fact that the car adjusts on the fly that is irritating. The same action can yield different throttle opening depending on the circumstances and adaptations. Its not 100% predictable.

Sport+ and shifter tipped to the left with the sprint booster and a JB+ is a LOT of fun, and predictable in the sense that the car just gives you everything at all times - I don't notice the throttle issue driving like that but if I am in sport+ its because I am not cruising. When I am cruising in comfort mode, I still notice it but after 10+ years of BMW's I am used to it.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:31 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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I only drive a '17 540xDrive ... but find the throttle response very linear with NO delay or lag from starting even when using "Comfort" mode. Sport mode is very crisp and a mere touch of the go-pedal gets me moving. Eco mode, on the other hand, dulls the driving experience, and adds nothing (IMHO) to the "driving experience". I have to admit I have not owned a V-8 BMW since my earlier 7 Series. But my G30 540xDrive overall throttle response is far superior to those 7's.

Yes, IMO NO current BMW has the near instantaneous throttle response as a TESLA - at least the Model S "Performance" that I tested before buying this most recent 5'er. But that felt sooooo touchy I was actually concerned that the car would jump so quickly I'd be climbing into the trunk of anything in front of me - especially in close traffic!

I suspect the OP either has a s/w-firmware-mechanical or some other "problem" with his G30??
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:41 AM
Moewron Moewron is offline
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This sounds like a personal preference thing rather than a "terrible design" thing or whatever. I find I'm able to accelerate as fast as I'd like in comfort. If I want to accelerate REALLY hard off the line (e.g., there's a Dodge Somethingorother next to me that thinks they're fancy) I put it in sport mode and pop the shifter to the right. Different driving characteristics, different driving modes. That's WHY cars have them.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:01 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Originally Posted by mobilejo View Post
Also agree - its a BMW characteristic. 'Soft' throttle take off designed to make driving smoother. Since my 2001 330CI I have noticed it and its been present in every BMW i've had to some extent or another. I've been using Sprintboosters on and off since that first car. Currently have one on my 540i. Its dialled back to a very low setting and helps but you still get that "nothing then everything" sensation at times. Its fun when you want that, less so when you don't. Its the fact that the car adjusts on the fly that is irritating. The same action can yield different throttle opening depending on the circumstances and adaptations. Its not 100% predictable.

Sport+ and shifter tipped to the left with the sprint booster and a JB+ is a LOT of fun, and predictable in the sense that the car just gives you everything at all times - I don't notice the throttle issue driving like that but if I am in sport+ its because I am not cruising. When I am cruising in comfort mode, I still notice it but after 10+ years of BMW's I am used to it.
The problem is that is does not it make smoother. Exactly the opposite.
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:02 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Originally Posted by Moewron View Post
This sounds like a personal preference thing rather than a "terrible design" thing or whatever. I find I'm able to accelerate as fast as I'd like in comfort. If I want to accelerate REALLY hard off the line (e.g., there's a Dodge Somethingorother next to me that thinks they're fancy) I put it in sport mode and pop the shifter to the right. Different driving characteristics, different driving modes. That's WHY cars have them.
I think you are not talking about the same characteristic that others of us have experienced.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:03 AM
280BlackPearl 280BlackPearl is offline
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I have a 2018 M550 and immediately noticed the same thing when first starting to drive the car. A dead zone when lightly depressing the throttle (I'm not into jack-rabbit starts). No other car I've owned had this characteristic. I've gotten used to it.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:28 PM
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It is not just BMW's. My '99 Lexus GS400 was a throttle by wire car. Every vehicle I've owned since, has the same latency between depressing the throttle and the ECU figuring out, that it is time to go. Right now, I have a F10 550i & F36 440i. The 440i is the least objectionable.

A trick that I use, when surrounded with angry commuters, at lights that are red for no purpose, is to switch my left foot to the brake, slightly raise my revs with my right foot, then release the brake as the light turns green. The latency is remarkably reduced.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:26 PM
Moewron Moewron is offline
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Every vehicle I've owned since, has the same latency between depressing the throttle and the ECU figuring out, that it is time to go.
If I had to guess, and maybe I'm wrong, but I'd imagine ECU latency is measured in fractions of miliseconds...
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:30 PM
X3_M40i X3_M40i is offline
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My car and the loaner '19 X5 550i both have terrible initial throttle response. At times, it's a big enough pause that you second guess pulling out and feels almost like the car is about to stall.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:40 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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Originally Posted by Moewron View Post
If I had to guess, and maybe I'm wrong, but I'd imagine ECU latency is measured in fractions of miliseconds...
Being a retired engineer, I would agree. The lag is definitely perceptible, not only to the driver, but those behind the car. Ergo, more than milliseconds. Perhaps, slack in the POT on the other end of the throttle pedal, 10X more code than necessary for the subroutine to open the actual butterfly in the throttle body. Perhaps, several ECU's must daisy chain their decision to "go", together, before the command is actually given to the engine throttle body. Maybe the OS on BMW ECU's are not multi-tasking interrupt driven, but rather, they continually loop over the back plane, polling for signals from various devices like the POT on the throttle pedal.
Or God forbid, the OS is written in MSFT DOS.

An interesting discovery that I made, decades ago, when we did have to shave milliseconds off execution times, with cabinet sized mini-computers, a single instruction takes several CPU cycles. Each instruction is in machine code/assembly. A single line of C, might translate to 2 dozen assembly instructions. A millisecond here a millisecond there, and pretty soon you are looking at real time (My apologies to the late Sen. Dirkson from IL and his famous quote about Federal Budgets in the 1960's.).
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:52 AM
Moewron Moewron is offline
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This discussion is so odd to me. I have zero problem with throttle response on my m550. It hard-core jumps off the line when I mash the throttle.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:15 PM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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I have not tuned it, but I have used the launch control feature and that is down right hair raising. It takes courage to engage it, but if you are in a controlled area and are drag racing, this will certainly get things moving. If I am driving spiritedly I used sport mode with shift paddles and while moving, the car is excellent at accelerating so I have never felt in any kind of danger. I find the car accelerates exceptionally well even with a modest depression of the throttle.

I can't say I really notice any perceptible hesitation at launch, and certainly not a big dead zone, but I have generally not been overly aggressive with it because of the car's power - I haven't had any reason to.
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:39 PM
ksoze ksoze is offline
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Speaking of launch...had a quick ride in a new Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous+ mode. Talk about instant G's - 2.4 sec 0-60. My tuned M550 felt like a dump truck driving home after that.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:26 PM
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My 540 has the issue as well, noticeable mostly when you come off the pedal and then get back on it. This happens sometimes when turning a corner. It's not terrible like it was in my 2011 but it is noticeable especially when switching cars. My wife's Subaru Legacy 3.6 cylinder is pretty tame compared to the BMW but it has instant throttle response with never a hint of lag. Normally aspirated engines are like that I guess.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ksoze View Post
Speaking of launch...had a quick ride in a new Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous+ mode. Talk about instant G's - 2.4 sec 0-60. My tuned M550 felt like a dump truck driving home after that.
Yes but Tesla's suspension is trash. My wife was bouncing all over the place when I rented a Tesla and when we got back in my car, she asked if my car was heavier than the Tesla. LOL.
I would buy a Tesla for the acceleration and regenerative braking.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:27 PM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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Originally Posted by ksoze View Post
Speaking of launch...had a quick ride in a new Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous+ mode. Talk about instant G's - 2.4 sec 0-60. My tuned M550 felt like a dump truck driving home after that.
I"ve been in one. Had it on the track briefly. It is fast and eerie quiet, but generally very bland inside and really doesn't stand out in the handling department. I would not buy one.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Moewron View Post
This discussion is so odd to me. I have zero problem with throttle response on my m550. It hard-core jumps off the line when I mash the throttle.
This problem manifests itself during initial throttle tip-in and low throttle openings. It makes normal driving somewhat annoying. Mashing the throttle masks most of the problem, but driving around at full throttle in an M550i all of the time is probably a good way to land in jail.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:38 AM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post
This problem manifests itself during initial throttle tip-in and low throttle openings. It makes normal driving somewhat annoying. Mashing the throttle masks most of the problem, but driving around at full throttle in an M550i all of the time is probably a good way to land in jail.
This is odd to me too. I don't experience any of that during normal driving. Most of the time I have to be careful not to jerk away from a standing stop when passengers are in the car.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:41 AM
ssquared ssquared is offline
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Same issue on my 530i.

When I was debating 530 vs 540 one of the things that pushed me to the 530 was it has less lag than the 540 but it still bothers me. It's less of an issue in sport mode but still there just less

Nothing beats the cable controlled throttle on my e36 m3. It's far more natural feeling than the G30 throttle response
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