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      09-20-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
dgmc
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UK 5 Series M Sport Adaptive Drive

Hi,

I was using the online UK configurator to configure an 530d M Sport but I notice it will let you select VDC as an option but not Adaptive Drive?? Does anyone know why? Adaptive Drive can be selected for SE trim. VDC previously was not an option for the 6-cyclinder variants.

Also, Adaptive Drive has increased in price from 2265 to 2770 - spec changes or just price increase?

Thanks,

David
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      09-20-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
dgmc
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Just checked the online digital price list and it seems the online configurator is amiss and hasn't been fixed yet.

Good news that VDC can now be added on its own on 530d/535d but any ideas for the dramatic price rise for Adaptive Drive?? Can anyone commentregarding whether Adaptive Drive is worth the almost £1800 over VDC?

Thanks,

David
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      09-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
Jon D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmc View Post
Just checked the online digital price list and it seems the online configurator is amiss and hasn't been fixed yet.

Good news that VDC can now be added on its own on 530d/535d but any ideas for the dramatic price rise for Adaptive Drive?? Can anyone commentregarding whether Adaptive Drive is worth the almost £1800 over VDC?

Thanks,

David
I have AD/VDC on my 535d and, after 11.5K miles, I reckon that next to the 35d/sport auto drivetrain, it's the best feature of the car.
Adaptive drive works by altering the torsional stiffness of the front and rear stabiliser (roll) bars via variable coupling units, from virtually fully de-coupled in comfort mode, to completely coupled in sport mode, which results in a smooth ride over cobblestones and high speed cornering with hardly any body roll.
It cost me £2.2K for the AD/VDC combination but, considering how often I use it, I consider it well worth the money.
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      09-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
dgmc
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Thanks Jon. I am now wondering how much of the improvement is due to the VDC and how much to the stabiliser bars. I find £980 ok for VDC and worth it but another £1800 on top for the stabiliser bars is quite a bit to justify. Maybe that is the reason why BMW have released the VDC option separately from the full Adaptive Drive package for the 530d/535d.

David
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      09-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmc View Post
...I am now wondering how much of the improvement is due to the VDC and how much to the stabiliser bars...
I don't know what VDC alone is like, but in keeping the car flat through fast corners, it's the stabiliser bars which do the vast majority of the work. With the centre coupling fully locked-up in sport and sport+ the bar is far more rigid and on entering, say, a LH corner, the RH (outside) will naturally dip, but being cross coupled, the bar will drag the opposite side down to keep the car flat. As far as I know VDC alone just alters individual spring compression and rebound rates, via the dampers, to suit the driver's desired suspension firmness.
Best way is to try and find a dealer who has demo cars with both options and try them out - difficult, I know, but if you state serious intent to buy, a decent dealer should be able to source the cars for you.

Last edited by Jon D; 09-22-2011 at 07:46 AM.
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      11-03-2011, 07:06 AM   #6
dgmc
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Hi Jon,

I managed to get a drive in a 640d M Sport with Adaptive Drive on Tuesday - insurance wouldn't play ball so Business Manager came with me but didnt mind me pushing on. Compared to the 520d M Sport with standard M Suspension the Adaptive Drive was a revelation even in Comfort+ setting - supreme suspension control and no suspension bounce. I was on roads up on Tyrone, North West Northern Ireland which would equal some of your roads and although suspension was firmish it had just the right balance.

I didn't detect a massive difference between the modes although almost zero roll in Sport. Handling was ok, superior to the 520d M sport but not as alive as my E90 320d M Sport - Steering the main issue as so artificial.

I think I noticed previously that you had a drive in the new 6 - how would you compare with your 535d M Sport with Adaptive Drive - is there the same body and suspension control? I also felt that turning circle in 6 was better although noticed that it has slightly shorter wheelbase but in general it felt much smaller which I was surprised at and I hardly though about the size difference from my 320d M Sport. Does the 6 have slightly firmer Adaptive Drive setup compared to the 5?

I appreciate your feedback as thats probably the only chance I'll get to test and Adaptive Drive car - car was sent over by BMW UK for a Sales pitch with David Prentice dealerships at Portadown and Omagh marketing the 6, 5GT and 7.

Thanks,

David
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      11-04-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgmc View Post
I didn't detect a massive difference between the modes although almost zero roll in Sport. Handling was ok, superior to the 520d M sport but not as alive as my E90 320d M Sport - Steering the main issue as so artificial.

I think I noticed previously that you had a drive in the new 6 - how would you compare with your 535d M Sport with Adaptive Drive - is there the same body and suspension control? I also felt that turning circle in 6 was better although noticed that it has slightly shorter wheelbase but in general it felt much smaller which I was surprised at and I hardly though about the size difference from my 320d M Sport. Does the 6 have slightly firmer Adaptive Drive setup compared to the 5?
Steering... Well, that's another story and one that has been much debated in other threads. Some like it, others don't and I fall firmly into the latter, but BMW are now producing cars with electric steering so if we want to stay with the brand, we're stuck with this lacklustre/detached/numb feel in all but the M cars.
I've done getting on for 1k miles in the F12 640i and, although I find the steering much as described above, it's a bit better than the F10 and, at the moment, not quite enough to put me off buying a 640d coupé next year, but I'm keeping my options open.
The biggest difference is in the adaptive drive/VDC - all settings are a good notch tighter than in my 535d. In other words, comfort in the 6 is like normal in my 5, progressing up to sport which is more reminiscent of my old E92 330d M Sport and I would prefer it if the 5 was as tight, but I guess the cars are aimed at different markets.
Having said all that, I still consider the AD/VDC package in my 535 to be one of it's best and most used features - after 12k miles I still remain amazed at how flat it is at speed through a series of tight bends.
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