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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 adaptive drive vs M sport suspension
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      09-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #1
bm323
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adaptive drive vs M sport suspension

As mentioned I was expecting sport mode on my F10 with adaptive drive to be very tight, as BMW mentioned that it was supposed to make the chassis tighter than M sport suspension. The sport mode is only about right, and the other 2 modes, normal and comfort are redundant for me. There is not any M sport suspension F10 for me to test but I really doubt M sport suspension is less tight than adaptive drive in sport mode. A forummer LARS mentioned the M sport suspension feels the same as dynamic damping in sport mode http://f10.5post.com/forums/showpost...9&postcount=23

My view is that the M sport suspension may be a better choice, much more economical, not needing to keep on pressing for sport whenever the car is started, and with less parts to go faulty. The main disadvantage is that it does not have the active anti-roll bars (which are highly effective and good) that come with adaptive drive but after market fixed bars may be an option. My tyres are Contisport 18 inch runflats, and my guess is that the ride would still be fine with 19 inch.

ps I'm not sure whether the standard setup is tighter than normal mode with adaptive drive.

Last edited by bm323; 09-07-2010 at 08:32 AM. Reason: amending my post as my tyres were severely under-pressured upon collection
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      09-02-2010, 02:31 AM   #2
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you are totally right.

i have the m suspension with 19"331s, great choice.
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      09-02-2010, 05:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
you are totally right.

i have the m suspension with 19"331s, great choice.
My gut tells me at this stage that 18" wheels are the one to question, they may be the 'piggy in the middle', that doesn't do one thing or the other. I suspect 17" on 3-series is much the same, 16" for the softer ride, 18" for the more controlled ride. 17" = bouncy compromise.

19" gave a better ride balance than 18" on the test cars I drove. So I also am thinking Adaptive Drive on 19" may give that tigher drive in sport, but also a softer, but not bouncy ride in the normal and comfort settings. The gut says 18" is BMW's compromise, but could be neither one thing or the other.

I'd personaally love to test 'one car' specced with Adaptive Drive with two wheel sets to test back to back, the same day, same roads, etc., then I'd have a definitive answer, of changing one variable.

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      09-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I'd personaally love to test 'one car' specced with Adaptive Drive with two wheel sets to test back to back, the same day, same roads, etc., then I'd have a definitive answer, of changing one variable.

HighlandPete
Do let us know when you test these. Why not check out the M sport suspension also?

For me, 18 inch run flats in sport mode is fine. But you may be right, with 19 inch not being bouncy in normal or comfort, and possibly a better feel in sport.

My views above are with regard to the roads here in Singapore which are generally smooth.

Last edited by bm323; 09-02-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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      09-02-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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What brand/kind of tires do 19 inch wheels come with outside of the USA?
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      09-02-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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What brand/kind of tires do 19 inch wheels come with outside of the USA?
Good Year RFT Excellence.
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      09-02-2010, 12:45 PM   #7
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Last week I was at the M division facility at the Nurburgring (did a couple of laps with the M3 on the Nordschleife, JOY!).
I spoke to a testing projectmanager and told him my (or is it our?) dilemma: m suspension or adaptive drive. Right now I am waiting for my F10 535d which I ordered with M suspension.
He gave me a clear advice: drop the M suspension and get the adaptive drive.
Why? The benefits of Adaptive drive (specifically concerning comfort/antiroll) are no to be missed.
But I guess those benefits are not so relevant when you only drive the car on supersmooth surfaces (like the french Autoroutes for example).
Anyway, I was convinced and changed my order, included adaptive drive and dropped the M suspension (and IAS as well).
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      09-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #8
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Edwin:
I had EDC(sort of adaptive drive more or less) on my ex E90 M3, and never used it actually.

That BMW guy is a perfect salesperson because the adaptive drive option is a bit more expensive. Or was it Andy Priaulx/Jorg Müller

Anyway, the stance of an M-suspension equipped F10 is a bit better as well, it stands 1cm lower fwiw.

BTW when is eta for your 535d?

Cheers
Robin
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      09-02-2010, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
Good Year RFT Excellence.
Yeah I don't get why BMW put Grand Touring Tires on the Sports Package.

I just switched over to non run flat Michelin Pilot Ultra HP A/S and the ride quality + handling + road feel is much better.

If you do get the dynamic handling package and want more sporty ride you can always switch out the tires + get stiffer spring kit for it.
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      09-02-2010, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
Edwin:
I had EDC(sort of adaptive drive more or less) on my ex E90 M3, and never used it actually.

That BMW guy is a perfect salesperson because the adaptive drive option is a bit more expensive. Or was it Andy Priaulx/Jorg Müller

Anyway, the stance of an M-suspension equipped F10 is a bit better as well, it stands 1cm lower fwiw.

BTW when is eta for your 535d?

Cheers
Robin
The BMW guy I spoke to was from the M division, and they actually develop the M suspensions (which is part of the M product portfolio), but not the adaptive drive product.
I think it was an honest advice from an engineer (I am one myself and we had a thorough technical discussion).

Eta is 3rd week of november 2010! Cannot wait....
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      09-02-2010, 01:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwinF10 View Post
Last week I was at the M division facility at the Nurburgring (did a couple of laps with the M3 on the Nordschleife, JOY!).
I spoke to a testing projectmanager and told him my (or is it our?) dilemma: m suspension or adaptive drive. Right now I am waiting for my F10 535d which I ordered with M suspension.
He gave me a clear advice: drop the M suspension and get the adaptive drive.
Why? The benefits of Adaptive drive (specifically concerning comfort/antiroll) are no to be missed.
I sure hope he's right; I've ordered my 535d M Sport with the adaptive drive. The consensus on this forum and positive indications from reviewers suggest that the car's much better with it fitted.
The Nordschleife is on my must-do list, but I'm a bit further away than you - perhaps next spring.
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      09-02-2010, 02:40 PM   #12
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The car I tried with 19" wheels had a Pirelli tyre.

As to M-sport or Adaptive Drive, I do hope to try both in due time, but my dealer (knowing me and what I want from a car) reckons I'll need the Adaptive Drive package to use on roads I drive. I prefer a firmer suspension, but a softer drive on some of the highland roads, including some interesting surfaces where an M-sport suspension may just be one step too far. I'm hoping the Adaptive Drive is the best of both worlds, 'sport' when the roads permit, but a switch to a softer 'normal' ride on average roads. I understand from my Dealer Principal, that for motorway hauls the 'comfort' setting gives a really luxury cruise, as the 7-series does.

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      09-02-2010, 03:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
The car I tried with 19" wheels had a Pirelli tyre.

As to M-sport or Adaptive Drive, I do hope to try both in due time, but my dealer (knowing me and what I want from a car) reckons I'll need the Adaptive Drive package to use on roads I drive. I prefer a firmer suspension, but a softer drive on some of the highland roads, including some interesting surfaces where an M-sport suspension may just be one step too far. I'm hoping the Adaptive Drive is the best of both worlds, 'sport' when the roads permit, but a switch to a softer 'normal' ride on average roads. I understand from my Dealer Principal, that for motorway hauls the 'comfort' setting gives a really luxury cruise, as the 7-series does.

HighlandPete
You might like the Racing Dynamics springs for Adaptive Drive. Lower the car, add just a bit of rake, stiffer, ..... comfort is closer to normal without, sport and sport+ firmer.
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      09-02-2010, 05:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
The car I tried with 19" wheels had a Pirelli tyre.

As to M-sport or Adaptive Drive, I do hope to try both in due time, but my dealer (knowing me and what I want from a car) reckons I'll need the Adaptive Drive package to use on roads I drive. I prefer a firmer suspension, but a softer drive on some of the highland roads, including some interesting surfaces where an M-sport suspension may just be one step too far. I'm hoping the Adaptive Drive is the best of both worlds, 'sport' when the roads permit, but a switch to a softer 'normal' ride on average roads. I understand from my Dealer Principal, that for motorway hauls the 'comfort' setting gives a really luxury cruise, as the 7-series does.

HighlandPete
This is exactly what I'm hoping for.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the past 18 months with my E92 M Sport, but there are times when I would prefer a more compliant ride. The roads up here are fantastic and suit a firm suspension set-up, but I don't want to drive like a lunatic all the time, especially at my age!
Hopefully the adjustability of AD will give me the best of both worlds and considering the cost, I'll be disappointed if it doesn't. Either way, I'll soon find out - my 535d arrives within the next few weeks.
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      09-03-2010, 04:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
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This is exactly what I'm hoping for.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the past 18 months with my E92 M Sport, but there are times when I would prefer a more compliant ride. The roads up here are fantastic and suit a firm suspension set-up, but I don't want to drive like a lunatic all the time, especially at my age!
Hopefully the adjustability of AD will give me the best of both worlds and considering the cost, I'll be disappointed if it doesn't. Either way, I'll soon find out - my 535d arrives within the next few weeks.
Yes it is the only way I can see getting the best driving dynamics, particularly if we still have to contend with compromises from the run-flat tyres. Which currently is what I sense is still part of the issue, why we are even having to have these discussions, the cars are compromised to run the tyres BMW insist we must have.

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      09-03-2010, 08:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
Edwin:
I had EDC(sort of adaptive drive more or less) on my ex E90 M3, and never used it actually.

That BMW guy is a perfect salesperson because the adaptive drive option is a bit more expensive. Or was it Andy Priaulx/Jorg Müller

Anyway, the stance of an M-suspension equipped F10 is a bit better as well, it stands 1cm lower fwiw.

BTW when is eta for your 535d?

Cheers
Robin
It was confirmed in another thread that adaptive drive or VDC also lowers the car by 10 mm just like the M suspension.


Regarding wheel size, I read in a car mag that adaptive drive and VDC was optimized using 18", as it is middle of the road between 17" and 19". If that's correct, I'm surprised that many find 18" to be less comfortable than 19" with adaptive drive.
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      09-06-2010, 02:45 AM   #17
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As mentioned I was expecting sport mode on my F10 with adaptive drive to be very tight, as BMW mentioned that it was supposed to make the chassis tighter than M sport suspension. The sport mode is only about right, and the other 2 modes, normal and comfort (making the F10 bouncy) are redundant for me. There is not any M sport suspension F10 for me to test but I really doubt M sport suspension is less tight than adaptive drive in sport mode. A forummer LARS mentioned the M sport suspension feels the same as dynamic damping in sport mode http://f10.5post.com/forums/showpost...9&postcount=23

My view is that the M sport suspension may be a better choice, much more economical, not needing to keep on pressing for sport whenever the car is started, and with less parts to go faulty. The main disadvantage is that it does not have the active anti-roll bars (which are effective and good) that come with adaptive drive but after market fixed bars may be an option. My tyres are Contisport 18 inch runflats, and my guess is that the ride would still be fine with 19 inch.

ps I believe the chassis in standard suspension is tighter (when I test drove the car previously) than normal mode adaptive drive.
Hi all, this is rather embarrassing for me, I shall need to amend my first post above soon after driving my F10 more. I just realised last night my tyres were severely under-pressured. I did not expect the sole agent here would have gotten the tyre pressure so wrong when I collected my F10 last week.

Last edited by bm323; 09-06-2010 at 06:34 AM.
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      09-06-2010, 08:54 AM   #18
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Hi all, this is rather embarrassing for me, I shall need to amend my first post above soon after driving my F10 more. I just realised last night my tyres were severely under-pressured. I did not expect the sole agent here would have gotten the tyre pressure so wrong when I collected my F10 last week.
The car gave no warning?

As the overnights have gotten cooler here, my car is letting me know if the tires are even 2-3 psi under-pressure.
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      09-06-2010, 10:05 AM   #19
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The car gave no warning?

As the overnights have gotten cooler here, my car is letting me know if the tires are even 2-3 psi under-pressure.
None at all, it must have been not initiallised properly.
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      09-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #20
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None at all, it must have been not initiallised properly.
I'd have a discussion with your dealer then, the window for acceptable performance on run flats is narrow enough, not to mention the impact on tire lifetime. Haven't driven a car in nearly 30 years that didn't have a tire pressure gauge in the glove box, min weekly use insures at least peace of mind.
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      09-06-2010, 11:46 AM   #21
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I'd have a discussion with your dealer then, the window for acceptable performance on run flats is narrow enough, not to mention the impact on tire lifetime. Haven't driven a car in nearly 30 years that didn't have a tire pressure gauge in the glove box, min weekly use insures at least peace of mind.
Yes, will talk to my dealer.
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      09-07-2010, 08:27 AM   #22
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After driving 2 more days with the correct pressure, I find my F10 in normal mode ok and am not sure of the difference if any between normal mode and the standard suspension. I however would still prefer the chassis tighter in sport mode so that there is a wider difference between normal and sport. I shall amend my post #1.

Generally, I would prefer a slightly tighter steering, somewhere between my E90 and the F10. But this does not mean that I find the steering uncommunicative. Imo stiffer steering itself does not correspond to communicativeness. I do not find the F10's steering less or more numb on center or off center.

If I had a choice, I would have loved to test out one with 19 and 20 inch wheels to check out the difference.

All this with reference to roads here which are smooth.
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