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Have never bought a car off a dealer's lot, and don't contemplate starting now. Think the 550i xDrive M-Sport will get the nod. Questions:

1. How late in the 2011 model year can I still order a 2011 to my specifications, i.e. with the exact options I want? Assuming that the cut-off date is approaching, if not passed. (Asking here, on assumption dealer has incentive to not be 100% truthful :) )

2. How soon could I order a 2012?

3. Any buzz on changes expected for 2012? Would like to know the twin-turbo V8 will still be an option.

4. Thought I read that the xDrive has hydraulic steering. If true, should I expect that it will address the issues voiced by many about lack of road feel of the electric found in the non-xDrive variant?

5. So the F10's handling is getting maligned by some. How, if at all, might xDrive alter or improve those characteristics? Any predictions -- or better yet, actual experience -- with xDrive combined with the suspension features, e.g. DHP, including in the M-Sport package?

6. Considering that 90% of the time, my driving will be less-than-spirited jaunts around town, am I over thinking the handling characteristics thing? I'm inclined to think that a "softer," more 7-series ride might even be preferable. I'm thinking a "small 7" would be perfect.

Sorry for the long list. Really appreciate any experience folks can offer this long-time MB driver... who's ready to make the switch. Thanks.
 

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Everything's Bigger in TX
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Have never bought a car off a dealer's lot, and don't contemplate starting now. Think the 550i xDrive M-Sport will get the nod. Questions:

1. How late in the 2011 model year can I still order a 2011 to my specifications, i.e. with the exact options I want? Assuming that the cut-off date is approaching, if not passed. (Asking here, on assumption dealer has incentive to not be 100% truthful :) )

2. How soon could I order a 2012?

3. Any buzz on changes expected for 2012? Would like to know the twin-turbo V8 will still be an option.

4. Thought I read that the xDrive has hydraulic steering. If true, should I expect that it will address the issues voiced by many about lack of road feel of the electric found in the non-xDrive variant?

5. So the F10's handling is getting maligned by some. How, if at all, might xDrive alter or improve those characteristics? Any predictions -- or better yet, actual experience -- with xDrive combined with the suspension features, e.g. DHP, including in the M-Sport package?

6. Considering that 90% of the time, my driving will be less-than-spirited jaunts around town, am I over thinking the handling characteristics thing? I'm inclined to think that a "softer," more 7-series ride might even be preferable. I'm thinking a "small 7" would be perfect.

Sorry for the long list. Really appreciate any experience folks can offer this long-time MB driver... who's ready to make the switch. Thanks.
1 & 2, no idea.

3. Haven't heard anything. But there have been many rolling changes in 2011 MY (revised steering, COMBOX, extended panel display, BMW Apps) that there probably isn't going to be much left. Oh, and no worries about the 550 going away.

4. It does. It's a bit better. It's not ALL that different.

5. Drive wheels do not affect handling. You will see better traction which, in the 550, is probably a plus.

6. Yes, you are overthinking it. Just drive the car and see if you like it.
 

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Sejanus
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Does "have never bought a car off a dealer's lot" mean you've never purchased a new car? It's easier than you might think if you've done your homework first, which includes resources like Internet car shopping sites and Bimmerfest, where you'll uncover lots of advice, information, and experiences regarding BMW cars. Also, test drives...lots of them; nothing beats time behind the wheel when you're contemplating an automobile! If you're fortunate enough to have multiple BMW dealerships in your area, make it a point to visit them all to test drive the cars that interest you and talk with the sales staff.
 

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Have never bought a car off a dealer's lot, and don't contemplate starting now. Think the 550i xDrive M-Sport will get the nod. Questions:

1. How late in the 2011 model year can I still order a 2011 to my specifications, i.e. with the exact options I want? Assuming that the cut-off date is approaching, if not passed. (Asking here, on assumption dealer has incentive to not be 100% truthful :) )

2. How soon could I order a 2012?

3. Any buzz on changes expected for 2012? Would like to know the twin-turbo V8 will still be an option.

4. Thought I read that the xDrive has hydraulic steering. If true, should I expect that it will address the issues voiced by many about lack of road feel of the electric found in the non-xDrive variant?

5. So the F10's handling is getting maligned by some. How, if at all, might xDrive alter or improve those characteristics? Any predictions -- or better yet, actual experience -- with xDrive combined with the suspension features, e.g. DHP, including in the M-Sport package?

6. Considering that 90% of the time, my driving will be less-than-spirited jaunts around town, am I over thinking the handling characteristics thing? I'm inclined to think that a "softer," more 7-series ride might even be preferable. I'm thinking a "small 7" would be perfect.

Sorry for the long list. Really appreciate any experience folks can offer this long-time MB driver... who's ready to make the switch. Thanks.
The xDrive combined with the DHP leads to extraordinary handling because the xDrive virtually eliminates understeer in hard driving by instantaneously shifting torque to the front wheels.
 

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Have never bought a car off a dealer's lot, and don't contemplate starting now. Think the 550i xDrive M-Sport will get the nod. Questions:

1. How late in the 2011 model year can I still order a 2011 to my specifications, i.e. with the exact options I want? Assuming that the cut-off date is approaching, if not passed. (Asking here, on assumption dealer has incentive to not be 100% truthful :) )

2. How soon could I order a 2012?

3. Any buzz on changes expected for 2012? Would like to know the twin-turbo V8 will still be an option.

4. Thought I read that the xDrive has hydraulic steering. If true, should I expect that it will address the issues voiced by many about lack of road feel of the electric found in the non-xDrive variant?

5. So the F10's handling is getting maligned by some. How, if at all, might xDrive alter or improve those characteristics? Any predictions -- or better yet, actual experience -- with xDrive combined with the suspension features, e.g. DHP, including in the M-Sport package?

6. Considering that 90% of the time, my driving will be less-than-spirited jaunts around town, am I over thinking the handling characteristics thing? I'm inclined to think that a "softer," more 7-series ride might even be preferable. I'm thinking a "small 7" would be perfect.

Sorry for the long list. Really appreciate any experience folks can offer this long-time MB driver... who's ready to make the switch. Thanks.
No answers to first three. You could try Ask a Dealer forum.
4, 5, and 6.
Based on test drives, would get the x-drive with DHP either as stand alone option (will add sport package automatically) or as M-sport which gives you sport plus DHP plus aesthetic enhancements and a few upgrades like the anthracite headliner. Personally thought there was a significant difference with x and DHP. THe DHP gives you the full range from comfort to SPort plus adjustments. Add sport transmission if you want the full sport options.
 

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heres a few tips

Just ordered a new 2011 550i M Sport saturday.

Your local dealer certainly has an allocation/production slot coming up soon or available , plenty of time to order a 2011.

Only have to wait 8 weeks or so for EXACTLY the car you want, AND you will pay NO more (with proper advance research and negotioation) than the 5er thats been sitting on the lot that doesnt have the color or options you prefer.

A 2012 will be little different than a 2011, except the 2012 will cost more.

There have been a host of tweaks/ updates / improvements made on the F10 since it was realeased a year ago, now is likely the BEST time to buy one.

IMHO no comparsion between a MB E class and the BMW 5 series, come on over from the dark side .......
 
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