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      03-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
Im4citadel
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Is it worth it?

Saw the Dinan site and they are running a 15% discount right now. Contacted a local Dinan sponsored shop in Northern VA and got an OTD quote for the following:

1) Stage 4 upgrade
2) Intercooler upgrade
3) Exhaust + fabrication to utilize stock tips
4) Suspension upgrade

all installed during 2days for $13,022 (this includes the 15% off from Dinan). Ultimate question, especially to those with any of the upgrades...Is it a good deal and is it worth it? I would also look at paying for some new wheels/tires as well (also an added expense of $4k).

I have never had the pleasure of having Dinan upgrades and have always known that they are the "Gold" standard of aftermarket parts for BMW. I am very on edge to get these upgrades.
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      03-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
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Wouldn't you be better off just buying an M5?
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      03-22-2013, 12:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im4citadel View Post
Saw the Dinan site and they are running a 15% discount right now. Contacted a local Dinan sponsored shop in Northern VA and got an OTD quote for the following:

1) Stage 4 upgrade
2) Intercooler upgrade
3) Exhaust + fabrication to utilize stock tips
4) Suspension upgrade

all installed during 2 days for $13,022 (this includes the 15% off from Dinan). Ultimate question, especially to those with any of the upgrades...Is it a good deal and is it worth it? I would also look at paying for some new wheels/tires as well (also an added expense of $4k).

I have never had the pleasure of having Dinan upgrades and have always known that they are the "Gold" standard of aftermarket parts for BMW. I am very on edge to get these upgrades.
OP...I have done some of the upgrades you mention and can definately chime in on some of this. Basically the only thing you propose which I haven't done yet is the Intercoolers/Stage 4 upgrade but I have that planned for the summer when I get back from deployment. But I did Stage 3 and Dinan Shockware software a week ago as I get ready to go and it is a definite improvement to the car. It is super quick now and rides and corners a lot flatter now. You of course will not be able to fully duplicate the cornering ability and suspension of the M5 or course without expensive/extensive mods [some have tried already] but for the cost the Dinan does advance the platform in a very good way. As for exhausts..not sure about the Dinan one..haven't heard it before. Aesthetically the tips stick out too much for me and I think its a bit overpriced. For a little less you can get either a Supersprint, or Eissenmann Race and have a glorious sound and killer exhaust for about $500-1000k less than Dinan if you look around. In fact I'd get a Miesterschaft (sp) before I'd go with the Dinan especially cause it has those programmable valves which allow you to close the valves by remote control and thus mute the sound as needed when you want to. They are about the same in cost to the Dinan exhaust and look great too. So do some research on that part is my advice. As for suspension? Dinan is probably great but costly too...I've seen alot of folks go with ACS and Eilbach and H&R [which I did] and all have had great results. Suspension is in fact probably the least likely portion to mess up and where you can really choose any of the options at a better price point than Dinan and not go wrong nor have much fears of messing anything up. All give better results than stock on your car and improve performance.

So you're not out of the ballpark with your plans and price sounds about right [I was quoted a little less for Stage 4 and Intercoolers and Shockware but I already had Stage 1 on the car so you only pay the difference for upgrading between the Stages 1-4]. I think the Dinan mods are great and recommend them highly...just saying you're not stuck in the full package and price IF you want or need to pursue options and mix/match. Search around and let us know what you find and end up doing. Just remember you have options to include spending a bunch of cash on an M5 upgrade! GL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxlrod View Post
Wouldn't you be better off just buying an M5?
Yes but guys remember and M5 is still a pretty good outlay for some folks on the forum. You're talking about about a $25-40k price delta between a well equipped M5 and a similarly equipped F10 550i for most dealerships. Also the M5 does not come in AWD which may be important to some buyers as well. If you look at the Dinan upgrade proposed you're talking about 1/3 of that price delta for a significant upgrade in performance from a quality tuner and with a 50/100k warranty too! Not too bad and definitely one to seriously think about depending on ones circumstances and finances.
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      03-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxlrod View Post
Wouldn't you be better off just buying an M5?
Axxlrod

Valid question, but the numbers are very far off for it to make sense to me.

I bought a fully optioned 2013 550i Xdrive as an MSO at $63,400 with 1100 miles on it (in my opinion...can't beat it).

The most affordable M5 I could find was $109,000 at the time of my purchase with no room to negotiate and also only available in SG or AW.

Even with the upgrades the car's OTD is still less than 77K and from what I have read online may be faster than a new M5.

Of course I know the M5 is a far superior performance vehicle, but the security of the Xdrive coupled with a similar TTV8 makes the 550i extremely attractive and a serious contender.
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      03-22-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrobc13 View Post
OP...I have done some of the upgrades you mention and can definately chime in on some of this. Basically the only thing you propose which I haven't done yet is the Intercoolers/Stage 4 upgrade but I have that planned for the summer when I get back from deployment. But I did Stage 3 and Dinan Shockware software a week ago as I get ready to go and it is a definite improvement to the car. It is super quick now and rides and corners a lot flatter now. You of course will not be able to fully duplicate the cornering ability and suspension of the M5 or course without expensive/extensive mods [some have tried already] but for the cost the Dinan does advance the platform in a very good way. As for exhausts..not sure about the Dinan one..haven't heard it before. Aesthetically the tips stick out too much for me and I think its a bit overpriced. For a little less you can get either a Supersprint, or Eissenmann Race and have a glorious sound and killer exhaust for about $500-1000k less than Dinan if you look around. In fact I'd get a Miesterschaft (sp) before I'd go with the Dinan especially cause it has those programmable valves which allow you to close the valves by remote control and thus mute the sound as needed when you want to. They are about the same in cost to the Dinan exhaust and look great too. So do some research on that part is my advice. As for suspension? Dinan is probably great but costly too...I've seen alot of folks go with ACS and Eilbach and H&R [which I did] and all have had great results. Suspension is in fact probably the least likely portion to mess up and where you can really choose any of the options at a better price point than Dinan and not go wrong nor have much fears of messing anything up. All give better results than stock on your car and improve performance.

So you're not out of the ballpark with your plans and price sounds about right [I was quoted a little less for Stage 4 and Intercoolers and Shockware but I already had Stage 1 on the car so you only pay the difference for upgrading between the Stages 1-4]. I think the Dinan mods are great and recommend them highly...just saying you're not stuck in the full package and price IF you want or need to pursue options and mix/match. Search around and let us know what you find and end up doing. Just remember you have options to include spending a bunch of cash on an M5 upgrade! GL


Yes but guys remember and M5 is still a pretty good outlay for some folks on the forum. You're talking about about a $25-40k price delta between a well equipped M5 and a similarly equipped F10 550i for most dealerships. Also the M5 does not come in AWD which may be important to some buyers as well. If you look at the Dinan upgrade proposed you're talking about 1/3 of that price delta for a significant upgrade in performance from a quality tuner and with a 50/100k warranty too! Not too bad and definitely one to seriously think about depending on ones circumstances and finances.
mdrob

Thanks for all the great advice and personal notes.

I may have to look around for the other exhaust options.

I'm actually surprised that not more companies have come out with piggyback options or upgrades for the 550i.

I will certainly try to keep you posted on any and all progress to the car.
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      03-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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I would definately get the Meisterschaft exhaust!! It is simply amazing! It is close to stock with the valves close and open them up and WOW!!!! Call Micky at GT HAUS and he will set you up. Tell him Jim From Colorado sent ya!! You will love it!!
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      03-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #7
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Since you're on the edge, I'm going to push you over. Pull the trigger.

Some people spend $14k/yr for private green fees and others spend that much on their wives' stupid handbag. $14k for huge performance upgrade on your ride is worth every penny. At least you can enjoy it everyday!
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      03-22-2013, 10:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im4citadel
Saw the Dinan site and they are running a 15% discount right now. Contacted a local Dinan sponsored shop in Northern VA and got an OTD quote for the following:

1) Stage 4 upgrade
2) Intercooler upgrade
3) Exhaust + fabrication to utilize stock tips
4) Suspension upgrade

all installed during 2days for $13,022 (this includes the 15% off from Dinan). Ultimate question, especially to those with any of the upgrades...Is it a good deal and is it worth it? I would also look at paying for some new wheels/tires as well (also an added expense of $4k).

I have never had the pleasure of having Dinan upgrades and have always known that they are the "Gold" standard of aftermarket parts for BMW. I am very on edge to get these upgrades.
If you're getting the Dinan upgrade in Northern Virginia I have to highly recommend RRT Racing in Sterling! They did excellent work on both of our BMW's and they give discounts for BMW Club Members!

I didn't go with the Stage4 setup, because of the stress on the stock turbos. I honestly can say the Stage2 upgrade is enough to satisfy any BMW enthusiast!

Good luck, and enjoy.....
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      03-23-2013, 01:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGr8Swami View Post
If you're getting the Dinan upgrade in Northern Virginia I have to highly recommend RRT Racing in Sterling! They did excellent work on both of our BMW's and they give discounts for BMW Club Members!

I didn't go with the Stage4 setup, because of the stress on the stock turbos. I honestly can say the Stage2 upgrade is enough to satisfy any BMW enthusiast!

Good luck, and enjoy.....
I agree the folks in Sterling did a Dinan suspension on my old e92 M3 and I was impressed. These guys have a shop right near BMW of Sterling correct?

Hey Swami..what info do you have on stressing the stock turbos w/Stage 4 Dinan Intercoolers? I've not heard anything and am setup to do my car when I get back. Would love to share anything you may have. I gree Stage 2 is pretty nice but why not just go up to Stage 3? I have it and its great!
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      03-23-2013, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxlrod View Post
Wouldn't you be better off just buying an M5?
If you can do European Delivery on a 550 there is even more reason to go Dinan and not do an M5.
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      03-23-2013, 09:43 AM   #11
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I have that planned for the summer when I get back from deployment.
Gives you something to look forward to. Thanks for your service and be safe.
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      03-23-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrobc13
I agree the folks in Sterling did a Dinan suspension on my old e92 M3 and I was impressed. These guys have a shop right near BMW of Sterling correct?

Hey Swami..what info do you have on stressing the stock turbos w/Stage 4 Dinan Intercoolers? I've not heard anything and am setup to do my car when I get back. Would love to share anything you may have. I gree Stage 2 is pretty nice but why not just go up to Stage 3? I have it and its great!
It just makes sense to me that pulling Stage-3/4 numbers with just a free-flow exhaust and upgraded intercoolers on stock turbos is a disaster waiting to happen. I can see if Dinan designed a system utilizing upgraded turbos but when you start pushing high boost with the stock units failures tend to occur more often. When I was running a B5 S4 and upgraded to Stage 4, I had to replace the stock turbos, fuel rails, injectors, intercoolers, TCM, headers, and some other items for the car to be stable. I have enough fun with 500hp/580tq to push the car to the point of very expensive repairs!
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      03-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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'stage 4' isn't a universal term that can be used to compare aggressiveness of tunes/mods across platforms or tuners. In the case of dinan f10 mods stage 4 is actually pretty conservative, I believe only offering a 20-30hp gain over just software.

In this case the turbochargers are likely less stressed than tune only given the improvements in flow and air intake temps due to the upgraded exhaust and intercoolers.
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      03-23-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im4citadel View Post
Axxlrod

Valid question, but the numbers are very far off for it to make sense to me.

I bought a fully optioned 2013 550i Xdrive as an MSO at $63,400 with 1100 miles on it (in my opinion...can't beat it).

The most affordable M5 I could find was $109,000 at the time of my purchase with no room to negotiate and also only available in SG or AW.

Even with the upgrades the car's OTD is still less than 77K and from what I have read online may be faster than a new M5.

Of course I know the M5 is a far superior performance vehicle, but the security of the Xdrive coupled with a similar TTV8 makes the 550i extremely attractive and a serious contender.

Whats this MSO? Also what kind of wheels are you looking at purchasing for 4K?

I have heard good things about the Dianan update....would be interested in knowing if you pulled the trigger...15% off is not a bad deal...when the service advisor told me about it ...I asked, "what? 50% off" lol... was quickly disillusioned
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      03-24-2013, 11:46 AM   #15
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I guess if you buy the 550 used or lightly optioned if new, $14K worth of Dinan might be a better buy.

550's can easily be optioned to over $80K, and and my local dealer has several M5 on the lot that are in the $90K's. So the delta is within the range you are spending on Dinan.

Either way, you can't go wrong.

Rock on.
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      03-24-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
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Think it all depends on what you are doing with the car- intercoolers aren't going to do much unless you drive it hard in track situations.

I have Dinan2, Meistercraft exhaust and about to get ACS springs and stage 3 installed. Doubtful I will do more but would like the intercoolers- a cooler car is a happier car.

As others have said I love the exhaust- programmed the valves into my mirror remote and you have full control over how much it is opened. Can send audio if you can't find any.

Love the Dinan and it completely changed the car. I have ARS and DDC so wasn't desperate for better handling but hear ACS springs are a nice drop and make the nose more trackable. Also at highway speeds in comfort it is a tad bouncy so hoping this firms it up slightly.
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      03-24-2013, 10:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck W. View Post
Gives you something to look forward to. Thanks for your service and be safe.
Thanks will do. Hopefully this will be shorter than most as we seem to be getting out of dodge now a days!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axxlrod View Post
I guess if you buy the 550 used or lightly optioned if new, $14K worth of Dinan might be a better buy.

550's can easily be optioned to over $80K, and and my local dealer has several M5 on the lot that are in the $90K's. So the delta is within the range you are spending on Dinan.

Either way, you can't go wrong.

Rock on.
Which dealer are you refering to? That must be location specific as most M5's I've seen have all listed over $100k and the BEST price I've seen was around $96k and that was for a barely optioned car. I got a nicely optioned 550i that would list for $76k but which I got a significant amount off my deal so for individuals in similar circumstances (who can find a car/dealer and get cash off/deals etc) then yes even if you put $14k of Dinan on the car you'll still fall well below the M5 by at least a few grand. Most dealers I have found have heavily optioned out both cars which often preclude finding a mid optioned/priced car on the lots OR at least that was the case when I got my car last Fall. That is another reason I often build my cars/order vs buying off the lot cause dealers add a bunch of options [often junk] which increases the profit for them but which I would not choose or use or in combos which make no sense other than to add $$$ to the overall price. However my 550i was just right price and option wise even color so it was a steal I couldn't refuse.

But I do agree either way is a great way to spend ones day!
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      03-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Whats this MSO? Also what kind of wheels are you looking at purchasing for 4K?

I have heard good things about the Dianan update....would be interested in knowing if you pulled the trigger...15% off is not a bad deal...when the service advisor told me about it ...I asked, "what? 50% off" lol... was quickly disillusioned
MSO's are company vehicles that have never been titled. it works out well with people who are looking to lease because the leasing will be priced at the lowered price of the car, but retain a high residual. For me it made sense for the overall purchase of the car.

As far as the wheels I am looking at a set of GM 360Forged wheels. Monoblock Spec5's
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      03-26-2013, 04:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrobc13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGr8Swami View Post
If you're getting the Dinan upgrade in Northern Virginia I have to highly recommend RRT Racing in Sterling! They did excellent work on both of our BMW's and they give discounts for BMW Club Members!

I didn't go with the Stage4 setup, because of the stress on the stock turbos. I honestly can say the Stage2 upgrade is enough to satisfy any BMW enthusiast!

Good luck, and enjoy.....
I agree the folks in Sterling did a Dinan suspension on my old e92 M3 and I was impressed. These guys have a shop right near BMW of Sterling correct?

Hey Swami..what info do you have on stressing the stock turbos w/Stage 4 Dinan Intercoolers? I've not heard anything and am setup to do my car when I get back. Would love to share anything you may have. I gree Stage 2 is pretty nice but why not just go up to Stage 3? I have it and its great!
How much stage 3 cost you. Close to $7k. It must have to have Dinan exhaust.
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      03-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #20
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After getting a little more information on the Dinan tune and our turbo setup, I just may take the plunge on a Stage 4 setup. Intercoolers, then an aftermarket exhaust, then the programming.
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      03-28-2013, 12:45 PM   #21
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Im4citadel - I'm getting late into the conversation but as to your question whether the Dinan upgrade is worth it? I would say it depends on what you value most in a car. Over the past 13 years I've had a 2000 M5, a 2008 M3 and recently went with a 2013 550i xdrive m-sport with Dinan mods including S2, free flow exhaust, and the supspension. I was able to do this for roughly $74,000 (Dinan mods added roughly $8000 to the $66,000 stock price). I like the M cars, but I live in Wisconsin and got tired of doing wheel/tire swaps every winter and wanted to go with all wheel drive. Plus as others have pointed out, there is about a $25,000 difference between the car I am now driving and an M5 - it was a no-brainer. You can argue all you want about the differences in performance but the bottom line coming from an M car enthusiast is the all wheel drive for me trumps the performance differences with the M5, the latter of which I think would only be noticed by professional drivers on a track and would still be fairly small. So you have to look at the price itself in my view - that is unless it is the M5 badge you value most.

There is a world of difference in my experience between the stock 550i and the car I have now. The big question is, would there be much difference if I upgraded to the S4 with intercoolers. Upgrading to S3 would only cost me about $200 since I already have the exhaust but that would only add 10-20 hp. But S4 requires the intercoolers which will be a few grand and might add another 40hp over what I have now which is about 510 I believe. I doubt the difference in hp would be that noticeable in average driving, but my understanding is the benefit of the intercoolers has to do with protecting and prolonging the life of the engine itself against the effects of heat with aggressive driving - the Dinan folks believe the stock intercoolers are too small even for the stock version of the 550i. So I find it interesting the comments that the larger intercoolers would overstress the turbos - it seems the main argument for the intercoolers is to provide better protection for the engine in general against aggressive driving especially in warm climate.
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      03-29-2013, 02:15 AM   #22
mdrobc13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IaHawk View Post
Im4citadel - I'm getting late into the conversation but as to your question whether the Dinan upgrade is worth it? I would say it depends on what you value most in a car. Over the past 13 years I've had a 2000 M5, a 2008 M3 and recently went with a 2013 550i xdrive m-sport with Dinan mods including S2, free flow exhaust, and the supspension. I was able to do this for roughly $74,000 (Dinan mods added roughly $8000 to the $66,000 stock price). I like the M cars, but I live in Wisconsin and got tired of doing wheel/tire swaps every winter and wanted to go with all wheel drive. Plus as others have pointed out, there is about a $25,000 difference between the car I am now driving and an M5 - it was a no-brainer. You can argue all you want about the differences in performance but the bottom line coming from an M car enthusiast is the all wheel drive for me trumps the performance differences with the M5, the latter of which I think would only be noticed by professional drivers on a track and would still be fairly small. So you have to look at the price itself in my view - that is unless it is the M5 badge you value most.

There is a world of difference in my experience between the stock 550i and the car I have now. The big question is, would there be much difference if I upgraded to the S4 with intercoolers. Upgrading to S3 would only cost me about $200 since I already have the exhaust but that would only add 10-20 hp. But S4 requires the intercoolers which will be a few grand and might add another 40hp over what I have now which is about 510 I believe. I doubt the difference in hp would be that noticeable in average driving, but my understanding is the benefit of the intercoolers has to do with protecting and prolonging the life of the engine itself against the effects of heat with aggressive driving - the Dinan folks believe the stock intercoolers are too small even for the stock version of the 550i. So I find it interesting the comments that the larger intercoolers would overstress the turbos - it seems the main argument for the intercoolers is to provide better protection for the engine in general against aggressive driving especially in warm climate.
+1 on this. Unless you really HAVE to have the M5 badge then it is likely you will never notice the difference day to day unless your driving stile is very fast and very illegal! LOL In that case get an M5 and take to the track to do that. Otherwise as I said and others have confirmed the $25k price delta between the two cars (i.e. what you can get a 2013 550i or 550ix for now vs the cost of an M5) makes it a no-brainer if you're truly interested in the best use of your hard earned cash. I've had more than a few M cars and I don't really think I miss that my current car isn't an M car. Besides the M perfomance package's M badges are enough to give me the visual stimuli if I just need to see that familiar red/blue stripe w/M in front of it!

Should get my intercoolers around June/July and Stage 4 and possibly the LSD at that time. Total out of pocket then will be maybe $8-10k w/Dinan discounts which still puts me significantly under the M5 entry costs too as you mention.
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'12 F10 550i (Dinan Stage 5, LSD, Intercoolers, CF Intake/Brace, Shockware, Springs, Eisenmann Race Exhaust, CF front/rear difuser, Giovanni Graphite 20" wheels)
'10 e71 X6 35iDrive SAV (Space Gray) - Gone
'06 e85 Z4 M Roadster (Black Metallic) -Gone
'08 e92 M3 coupe (Sparkling Graphite) -Gone
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