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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum F10 550i review test drive by Motortrend: "Better In Every Way"
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      05-13-2010, 11:04 AM   #1
Jason
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Cool F10 550i review test drive by Motortrend: "Better In Every Way"

Be sure to check out our F10 5-series Coverage for all the latest F10 news and info.


Also see our Official F10 INFO THREAD and F10 TECH SPECS THREAD

Quote:
First Drive: 2011 BMW 550i


Source: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...ive/index.html

More of the Same, Yet Better in Every Way

May 12, 2010
/ By Matt Stone
/ Photography by Matt Stone

So there we were at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, ogling a new, preproduction metallic black (or really dark charcoal gray) 2011 BMW 550i, and our BMW pal said, "Hey, like to take it for a drive?" Got any more stupid questions? Gimmee that keyfob, Please. Scott Evans already ran down all the tech and spec stuff for you, so we'll focus on the actual piece in hand and the driving experience. The exterior design is ultrafresh and looks like a modern BMW without some of the overdetailing from which many of them have suffered. It's better balanced-looking than the outgoing 5 Series, but would never be mistaken for anything else. Underhood is the new, 400-horse, twin-turbocharged V-8, backed by ZF's new, and super high-tech, eight-speed automatic transmission.

This car isn't quick; it's genuinely fast, and smooth. We criticized this engine in the new 7 Series for a less than even acceleration curve and slightly jerky throttle response, but no such problem here. Perhaps BMW has evened out the engine's power delivery, or maybe the new trans calibrates the problem away. But the biturbo V-8's got power everywhere on the tach and is easy to drive slowly and smoothly and really gets with the program when you've got your toes into it. There's no turbo lag or jerkiness, just smooth power from a relatively low rpm, as there's meaningful boost available at low rpm. This powertrain makes that silky, turbinelike whirr we've come to expect from BMW V-8s, and it doesn't disappoint. While the result is exceptional, one wonders if this much expensive turbocharger hardware is needed or warranted to produce 400 horsepower. There are other V-8s that make as much power without all the technical complexity. Whatever, it sure works. As is typical of today's ZF automatic transmissions, this eight-speeder shifts smoothly without being mushy, and always seem to be in the right gear want a different one, just order up- or downshifts via the steering wheel paddle-shifter, or the throttle.

The interior is a higher-quality cabin than that of the outgoing 5 Series. And in the event you are/were an iDrive hater, you'll get along with this one better than previous-gen systems. Note that wide, high-def screen up high on the IP, easily in the driver's line of sight and very sharp and crisp to read. BMW seats are often on the sporty side of luxurious, and these are great chairs. Firm and supportive, but the bolstering is never intrusive, and the pinholed leather keeps you comfy in any weather. The highly lacquered wood trim looks great while still looking like wood, instead of shiny plastic, a fate that plagues some other luxury marques.

BMW has really nailed the ride/handling balance on this car too. It's quiet inside, but not overly silent (in a bad way). Wind noise is commendably low, and the big run-flat tires don't rumble much (more likely due to the fact that they are new and had few miles on them). Body motions are well controlled, the car never pitching much in corners, with plenty of grip on tap. Steering is more responsive and linear than in the outgoing 5. The ride quality is firm, but never harsh -- can't wait for the next M5 that'll be based on this chassis architecture!

The rest is all good: nicely weighted, responsive controls and driver inputs. Plenty of performance in every parameter. If you and three friends have a long way to go and a short time to get there, and want to do so in comfort and style, you won't go wrong here. Don't need 400 horses or want to spend quite as much? The new, single-turbo inline-six 535i should still more than get the job done.

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      05-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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a v8 TT takes 6 seconds to get to 60 mph? if im not mistaken..the e60 550i was much faster than that

beautiful car tho! saw one yesterday in person for the first time and its sexy
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      05-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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It takes 5.0 sec to get from 0-62 mph or 0-100 km/h.
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      05-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levi View Post
It takes 5.0 sec to get from 0-62 mph or 0-100 km/h.
I'm sure this is a more accurate number. My 545i does 0-60 in 5.5 sec.
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      05-13-2010, 12:16 PM   #5
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yes that sounds better..i was just confused when i saw 6.0 seconds up top in the article
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      05-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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I can't wait to drive one at the dealer.
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      05-13-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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yeah the 0-60 will definitely be less than 6.0. 5.0 sounds much more realistic. and if 5.0 is anything other BMWs' notoriously conservative numbers, this could be ever lower- 4.8 maybe? The M5 just may be able to crack the 4.0 mark. wishfull thinking.

im surprised they didnt talk about the amount of torque it makes. i understand that there are other V-8s out there that make as much power as this TT does. but 450ft/lbs of torque is pretty impressive.
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      05-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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They obviously liked it, but they almost damned it with faint praise. I was expecting them to find the F10 550 positively revalatory. Maybe a more in-depth review will do that.

On the other hand, I think the 550 is always going to get a less than full-throated endorsement from the reviewers since they have to leave some enthusiasm for the M5.
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      05-13-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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why are the stock rims so ugly
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      05-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesha View Post
why are the stock rims so ugly
+1.. no m-sport or sport package maybe?
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      05-13-2010, 02:25 PM   #11
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This engine as good as it is is going to take a spanking from the 4.7TT from Benz that replaces the 5.5 unit from its lineup. The state output of that motor is 425hp and a monstrous 512 torques. That motor is almost as powerful as the unit found in the E55 AMG not too far into the past.
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      05-13-2010, 02:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesha View Post
why are the stock rims so ugly
Funny - the car has those ugly stock rims, but it's equipped with the sport package (see the shadowline and "sport" steering wheel). Should have 19" 332s (only a bit less ugly).
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      05-13-2010, 03:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmPower View Post
This engine as good as it is is going to take a spanking from the 4.7TT from Benz that replaces the 5.5 unit from its lineup. The state output of that motor is 425hp and a monstrous 512 torques. That motor is almost as powerful as the unit found in the E55 AMG not too far into the past.
As usual, Benz is a little late to the party. That engine you're talking about won't surface in an E-Class for at least a year from now. By the time the 2012 models arrive next fall (or thereabouts), I'm sure BMW will be doing some "tweaking" of their own.
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      05-13-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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fabulous . loving it more
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      05-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levi View Post
It takes 5.0 sec to get from 0-62 mph or 0-100 km/h.
+1, it is a bi-turbo V8, very nice in black.
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      05-13-2010, 06:14 PM   #16
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I get the feeling that BMW is being ridiculously conservative with its 0-60 numbers. Perhaps the tires are a limiting factor...
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      05-13-2010, 06:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesha View Post
why are the stock rims so ugly
Is it just me or has BMW been dishing out some ugly rims as of late?

Audi,infiniti, and MBenz stock their sportier cars with nicer rims.

Brushed aluminum at that.
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      05-13-2010, 07:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigrobb2 View Post
Is it just me or has BMW been dishing out some ugly rims as of late?

Audi,infiniti, and MBenz stock their sportier cars with nicer rims.

Brushed aluminum at that.
yeah bmw is behind in the wheels department, if you want something nice and OEM have to custom order from bmw catalog
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      05-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Be sure to check out our F10 5-series Coverage for all the latest F10 news and info.


Also see our Official F10 INFO THREAD and F10 TECH SPECS THREAD
6 seconds?! i dont think so more like 5
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      05-13-2010, 08:49 PM   #20
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Read the post guys- it says 0-60....... 6.0 MT (est).

Est. means estimate

This was a Motor Trend First drive, NOT an actual road test with gear etc...
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      05-13-2010, 09:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmPower View Post
This engine as good as it is is going to take a spanking from the 4.7TT from Benz that replaces the 5.5 unit from its lineup. The state output of that motor is 425hp and a monstrous 512 torques. That motor is almost as powerful as the unit found in the E55 AMG not too far into the past.
BMW already has a Performance upgrade for this V8 TT (448hp, 480lbft) in the X6, so it is just a matter of time that it will be offered in all V8 TT models.
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      05-14-2010, 07:49 AM   #22
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Motor Trend does not know cars very well, if they estimate that the F10 0 to 60 mph time is 6 seconds. For a magazine geared toward the performance car enthusiast that is a rather fundamental and stupid error.
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