NEW 2011 5 SERIES
The All-New 2011 BMW 5 Series
BMW has officially debuted the all-new 2011 5 Series, luxury sedan with a long very long list of innovative features and, importantly, a brand new look. We honestly can’t make up our minds if it looks more 7 Series or more like the current 3 Series. Either way, it’s a huge improvement.
At launch the 5 Series will be offered in both 550i and 535i trim. The 550 model boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with 400-hp and 450 ft-lbs of torque, enabling it to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds. As for the 535i, it gets BMW’s excellent twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six motor for 300-hp and 300 ft-lbs of torque. Both models will be available with either a standard six-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic. A “Sport Automatic” 8-speed will also be optional.
No fuel economy numbers have been released yet, but BMW has made significant efficiency improvements with “green” technologies like electric power steering and Brake Energy Regeneration, where the alternator only recharges the car’s batteries under braking. The tall gears of the 8-speed transmission should also help deliver much improved fuel economy. Those really in search of the best fuel mileage will, however, want to wait for the 528i, which will debut later with a 240-hp inline-six.
In terms of improvements to handling, the new 5 Series gets a completely new front suspension that uses a multi-link setup as opposed to a strut setup. This system is also found on the new 7 Series, which is no coincidence, as both the new 5 and 7 Series share the same platform. Along with the electric power steering system, the new 5 Series gets the Integral Active Steering setup as found on the 5 Series GT, which turns turns the rear wheels.
In low speed situations, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels for better maneuverability, while at speed the rear wheels turn in the same direction to deliver better cornering and stability. And to further improve performance, there’s an electronic limited slip differential, which comes into play once DSC (stability control) is completely shut off.
Real driving enthusiasts will opt for the Sport Package with Adaptive Drive. This package includes Driving Dynamics Control (same as on the 7 Series and Z4), which lets the driver choose from Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ driving settings, which control the throttle response, transmission shift points, power steering assistance level and traction control. It also includes Dynamic Damping Control, which constantly changes the car’s shock settings and includes a 10mm lower ride height. Finally, the sport package includes Active Roll Stabilization, with hydraulic stabilizer bars that actually firm up when body lean is detected.
Inside, the new 5er gets BMW’s latest iDrive system, which on the 7 Series is much improved and quite easy to use. The iDrive setup includes a 7-inch LCD screen, or a 10.2-inch screen if the Navigation Package box is checked. The larger 116-inch wheelbase makes for a roomier interior and to help keep passengers comfortable, the car’s active cruise control now has a feature that will slow the car in a corner if the vehicle detects the curve is to extreme.
Another great tech item is the heads-up display that can even show some navigation instructions. There’s also plenty of safety features in the new 5 Series like Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Headlights that switch to hi-beam if necessary. A larger section of the taillights will also illuminate under hard braking to ensure those behind you will know you are stopping.
The Active Cruise Control system also includes Frontal Collision Warning that will warn the driver of an impending impact and actually apply the brakes if he does not act. Additional highlights include new Top View and Side View displays of the car for ideal parking, which works in conjunction with BMW Parking Assistant.
THE NEW 6th GENERATION BMW 5 SERIES UNVEILED IN MUNICH
(United States Version)
The Perfect Symbiosis of Modern Design and Dynamic Performance:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 23, 2009, 2:00pm EST… The world debut of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan marks the epitome of modern design and driving pleasure in the world of premium midsize sedans. Through its athletic and executive looks, driving dynamics typical of BMW, and innovative comfort and safety features, the sixth generation of BMW’s executive express accurately reflects the standards upheld by the world’s most successful manufacturer of premium cars.
Design: charismatic and athletic:
With the longest wheelbase in the segment, a long and sleek hood, short overhangs, and a coupe-like roofline, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan stands out clearly from the competition. Overall, the aesthetic looks of the car are achieved through balanced proportions. Design features emblematic of BMW are to be found at the front with its kidney grille inclined slightly forward, in the stylish and elegant side view of the car, and at the muscular rear end. Within the interior, precise functionality and a fresh ambience come together in perfect harmony, unmistakable style, and clear orientation to the driver.
Driving experience: benchmark dynamics and exceptional comfort:
Highly advanced drivetrain and suspension technologies combine agile handling for the driver and a high standard of riding comfort for passengers. When equipped with the Sport Package, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan includes Adaptive Drive, which encompasses Driving Dynamics Control, Electronic Damper Control, and Active Roll Stabilization. Optional Integral Active Steering will virtually extend or shorten the vehicle’s wheelbase for improved stability at high speeds and enhanced agility at lower speeds.
At launch, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan will be available with one V-8 and one inline-6 gasoline engine. The top-of-the-range BMW 550i arrives with BMW’s “reverse-flow” V-8 engine featuring twin turbochargers and High Precision direct injection for maximum output of 400 hp. The new inline-6 of the BMW 535i features a single twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision direct injection, and, for the first time, VALVETRONIC throttle-less intake technology. It delivers a maximum output of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. The 535i and 550i will be available with a choice of 6-speed manual transmission, BMW’s new 8-speed automatic transmission, or new “Sport Automatic” 8-speed. Later, the BMW 528i will debut with a 240 hp inline-6 featuring lightweight magnesium-aluminum construction and VALVETRONIC throttle-less intake technology for efficiency and unparalleled responsiveness.
BMW EfficientDynamics: BMW 5 Series increasing the lead:
BMW EfficientDynamics technologies are featured in appropriate combinations on each model, including features such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering, a gearshift point indicator, active cooling air flaps, and on-demand operation of engine accessory drives. Lightweight materials are used intelligently to balance the vehicle and lower its overall weight. For example, components such as doors, hood, front fenders, and suspension assemblies are made of aluminum.
Innovative driver assistance systems:
The driver assistance systems offered with the new 5 Series include an all-new Parking Assistant, Top View cameras, and Frontal Collision Warning with application of the brakes when ordered with Active Cruise Control plus Stop & Go. Other driver assistance features available include Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, a Head-Up Display, BMW Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection.
Joint development and production together with the BMW 7 Series:
The world debut of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan opens up the latest chapter in a truly impressive story of success. In the course of five model generations, overall sales of the BMW 5 Series already amount to more than 5.5 million units. Now the new model is based on a newly developed vehicle architecture also featured in the BMW 7 Series luxury sedans. Joint production of the BMW 5 Series Sedan and the BMW 7 Series at BMW Plant Dingolfing, together with the extensive use of shared components, ensures highly efficient production with the highest standards of quality.
The New BMW 5 Series In Detail Design: Tailored Elegance and Sporting Aesthetics.
Exterior: Dynamic proportions in perfect balance.
The proportions of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan are defined in archetypal BMW style by the long wheelbase and hood, short overhangs, aft-set greenhouse, and the coupe-like flowing roofline. The slightly wedge-like shape of the body creates a sporty, forward-moving character. The fresh interpretation of BMW’s signature Hofmeister kink at the bottom of the C-pillar further emphasizes the dynamic looks of the car in profile.
The entire silhouette is superbly balanced, providing a clear indication of the near-perfect front-to-rear weight distribution for all engine variants. Measuring 2.97 meters or 116.9″, the wheelbase of the new BMW 5 Series is the longest in the car’s segment, while the sculptural design again distinctive of BMW provides a smooth flow of lines from the front along the side to the rear, creating a body where everything fits together as if out of one mould.
Charismatic front, elegant side, muscular rear.
The expressive front end of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan presents the sporting character of the car. The upright BMW kidney grille – even appearing from some angles to lean forward – symbolizes the forward-pushing motion of the sedan and, together with the powerfully flared wheel arches, gives the front end of the car strong charismatic presence. In conjunction with the BMW Adaptive Xenon headlights (optional on 528i), the daytime running lights incorporate quite unmistakable LED corona rings, while the direction indicators moved far to the outside are made up of ten LED units each. As a final highlight, an LED focus light marks the upper edge of each headlight unit.
Above the striking contour line running along the car at the height of the door openers, a slightly flared shoulder surface, together with the coupe-like roofline and the stretched window surface, gives the glazed section of the passenger cell a light and stretched look despite its size. Further down the body, concave modeled surfaces create lively light and shade effects emphasizing the sporting character of the sedan. Greater curvature around the rear wheel arches, finally, bears clear testimony to rear-wheel drive typical of a BMW of this kind.
The dynamic lines of the car are further enhanced by the strikingly compact counter-swing at the bottom of the C-pillar. Featuring the smallest radius at this point ever to be seen on a BMW sedan, this re-interpretation of the typical Hofmeister kick underlines the stretched silhouette of the car and gives the passenger cell a light and low appearance.
Running parallel to one another, the contour and sill lines rise up dynamically, the former stretching out from the front wheel arch all the way to the rear lights to create the elegant and dynamic look of the car from the side. The sculptural shape typical of a BMW established in this way makes the side sections and the rear end literally flow into one another. The contour lines continue into the contours of the rear light clusters and finally come together above the license plate. Seen from the rear, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan also stands out through the concave surface between the contour line and the wheel arches giving the body a distinctly recognizable waist.
The flared wheel arches and the horizontal breakdown of the rear end, in turn, strongly emphasize the powerful stature of the sedan, the wide track and the wheels ending flush with the wheel arches further enhancing this impression.
The L-shaped rear light clusters again reflect the typical look of a BMW and provide that unmistakable night design. Three rows of LED lights form the look of homogeneously glowing bodies again quite characteristic of BMW. And last but not least, the direction indicators and brake lights also come in LED technology.
Interior Design: Modern cockpit with clear orientation to the driver.
The cockpit is inclined towards the driver at an angle of approximately 7o and the asymmetrically designed center console likewise emphasizes this clear orientation to the driver. The horizontal lines of the instrument panel accentuate the feeling of space. As in all BMWs, well-researched ergonomics allow for optimum operation of driving controls and other functions. All displays, knobs and buttons serving comfort functions are situated centrally for use by the driver and front passengers; controls for the driver’s use only are to the left of the steering wheel, on or near the steering wheel, or on the front center console. The steering wheel has power tilt and telescopic adjustment and tilt-away for exit and entry; and of course both front seats come standard with 10-way power adjustment including head-restraint height.
The seating position has been improved over the former model both front and rear, with knee-room on the rear seats of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan up by 13 millimeters or 0.5″. Luggage compartment capacity is 520 liters or 18.2 cubic feet, and the folding rear-seat backrest available as an option provides greater flexibility in enlarging the car’s transport capacities. In addition to its 40:60 split, the rear-seat backrest also comes with through-loading and, as yet a further option, a ski-bag for additional convenience.
Instrument panel in Black Panel technology.
Like so many aspects of the new 5 Series sedan, its instrument cluster combines BMW tradition with advanced, beautiful new executions. Here the entire cluster is in a high-resolution Black Panel display, in which four classic circular instruments are most prominent; other driving-relevant displays and readouts – including Navigation if present, vehicle-monitoring functions, upcoming service requirements and other information – also appear here in their various (and function-related) graphic forms. Climate-control settings and controls are located in a second Black Panel display in the center console stack.
4th-generation iDrive: Intuitive, powerful and fast.
With the new 5 Series sedan, BMW’s 4th generation iDrive control screen appears in two versions: with 7.0-in. dimensions and 800 x 480-pixel resolution in standard form, or with the optional Navigation system, in a dazzling 10.2-in., 1280 x 480-pixel version with a wider range of features and functions as in the new BMW 7 Series. Displays are transreflective so that light from the sun actually enhances the images on the screen.
The instrument cluster interacts in new ways with the iDrive control display and the available Head-up Display. According to selected function, users can call up phone numbers or radio stations via the steering-wheel controls. The cluster display also augments iDrive’s optional Navigation display with road-realistic directional instructions, helping the driver to change lanes or negotiate a complicated intersection. If the optional Head-up Display is activated, the relevant directions appear there.
Materials and colors: enhancing the elegance.
The choices of colors and materials further enhance the impression of personal luxury and the interior’s interplay of lines and surfaces. For the dash’s finely grained upper section, there are two colors depending upon the chosen interior color. Dakota leather is standard on the 550i, and available in six color schemes of which three are new; BMW’s luxurious Nappa leather is optional, and available in three color schemes.
Dark Burl Ash wood trim interior trim is standard, appearing in sweeping expanses on the dash, doors and front center console; Ash Anthracite (gray tone) and another distinctive wood called Fineline Matte are optional.
The center console comes in two variants: On cars with a manual gearbox the console is split into two sections, the black surface surrounding the gearshift lever and the buttons on the optional Driving Dynamics Control oriented towards the driver. A key holder has been placed between the gearshift lever and the climate controls.
On models with automatic transmission, the space between the electronic gear selector lever and the climate control unit offers enough room for two cupholders and a key holder. A further storage compartment is located behind the iDrive Controller (where there is another cupholder on models with a manual gearbox).
Powertrain: The essence of BMW EfficientDynamics.
The new 5 Series will be offered in the United States with a choice of three gasoline engines. At its introduction, the new 5 Series will be available as a 535i and 550i. The 528i and xDrive all-wheel drive variants of all three models will arrive later in the year. The 550i is powered by BMW’s stunning 4.4-liter, 400-hp twin turbocharged V-8 engine. Compared to BMW’s earlier, normally aspirated V-8, displacement is reduced from 4.8 to 4.4 liters, and incorporates twin turbochargers with High Precision direct injection.
In quantitative terms, the new engine delivers its 400 hp over a range from 5500 to 6400 rpm. Maximum torque is 450 lb-ft, available over the extremely broad range of 1800 to 4500 rpm. Aside from the dramatic thrust that drivers will notice subjectively, the objective data are dramatic too: 0-60 mph is estimated to be in just 5.0 seconds (preliminary) and a top speed when equipped with the Sport Package of 150 mph. For models without Sport Package the maximum speed is limited to 130 mph.
Through its unique reverse-flow layout, the 550i’s V-8 engine is able to achieve higher output without correspondingly higher fuel consumption. In technical terms, the approach involves some very new design details. For the first time, twin turbochargers and the exhaust-cleansing catalytic converters are placed between the V-8’s two cylinder banks. In turn, this required the exhaust camshafts and valves to be inboard so that the path from cylinders to turbochargers (which are driven by exhaust gas) would be kept short. A key benefit of this layout becomes a more compact engine package. This is the reverse of a traditional V-8 layout, and opens a new era of V-8 engine development potential.
BMW’s newest gasoline inline-6 engine will be the powerplant for the new 535i Sedan. It features a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and 3.0 liters of displacement. In addition to High Precision direct injection, the new engine is the first BMW inline-6 to be equipped with both turbocharging and BMW’s VALVETRONIC throttle-less intake technology. The combination of these BMW EfficientDynamics technologies delivers improved throttle response from idle to redline, reduced fuel consumption, and substantially reduced emissions. The new engine is rated at 300 hp at 5800 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque. The torque peak is notable for its incredible accessibility: the full 300 lb-ft is available from 1200 rpm – 5000 rpm.
Playing a supporting role: innovative new 8-speed automatic transmission.
All new BMW 5 Series models will feature an 8-speed automatic transmission, which brings smooth shifting, sportiness and efficiency to new levels of perfection. Compared to the exemplary 6-speed automatic offered in past BMW models, the 8-speed’s “taller” cruising gears make a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption and emissions, as well as quietness. And its wider spread of ratios from lowest to highest gear enhances acceleration and response across the range of driving speeds.
Technically speaking, this new automatic’s attributes have been achieved via an innovative concept that provides the two additional ratios (7 and with no increase in bulk or weight. In an arrangement not heretofore employed in an 8-speed automatic, four planetary gearsets and five clutch packs are controlled in a way that no more than two of the five clutch packs are freewheeling at any given time.
The modest increase in the number of mechanical elements allows the new transmission to achieve unusually high efficiency: the so-called “gearing efficiency” is higher than 98% in all eight gears. In 6th gear, it’s highest of all because that is direct drive, with no gearing reduction at all. Combine this with reduced friction and the ability to keep the torque converter “locked up” more of the total driving time, and the transmission becomes very much a part of the new 5 Series’ overall efficiency concept.
Two additional gears mean threefold progress: quicker shifts, greater smoothness, enhanced efficiency.
The wider spread of ratios allows the engine to run at lower speeds, mainly in the “tallest” gear, 8th. Yet even with this wider spread, the steps between adjacent gears are reduced; in turn this means a stronger, smoother flow of power during acceleration.
And for the same reason, faster shifts are a further benefit because only one clutch pack is disengaged to shift up or down by one or two gears.
On the other hand, downshifting more than two gears is accomplished as a direct shift. For example, a downshift from 8th to 2nd gear is made with only one clutch pack disengagement, and thus occurs without stepping down through the intermediate gears. Thus at one instant the driver can be enjoying the quiet, fuel-efficient low rpm of 8th gear, and in the next instant getting maximum acceleration.
Manual Transmissions: Continuing a BMW tradition
BMW continues as the only manufacturer to offer manual transmissions in the 5 Series’ competitive set, underlining the sporty nature of the car, as well as BMW’s commitment to driving enthusiasts.
The 535i and 550i Sedans will be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission in the United States, providing a level of driver involvement unique in the segment.
Brake Energy Regeneration: an energy-saving innovation.
The new 5 Series sedan continues the roll-out of BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system on US models. To save energy and reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption over time, this system manages the times at which the alternator charges the battery. Conventionally, a car’s alternator runs continuously and thus is always charging the vehicle’s battery. In the new 5 Series, it charges only when the vehicle is decelerating or braking; otherwise, it freewheels and draws virtually no power from the engine. An electronically controlled clutch, similar to that used with the air-conditioning compressor, is used to engage and disengage the alternator.
Accommodating the less-frequent charging is a special, more powerful vehicle battery that can satisfy the vehicle’s high electrical demands without access to continuous charging. The battery uses a technology called “glass mat,” in which its internal plates are separated with saturated absorbent glass-boron silicate rather than the usual liquid electrolyte. This construction sharply reduces the battery’s conversion of charging energy to heat, and can provide the necessary electrical power for longer periods between charges.
1. Chassis engineering:
State-of-the-art BMW capabilities, adjustable to suit personal tastes.
Front suspension: a new multi-link system.
Until recently, all BMW front suspension systems since 1965 1 had been of the strut type, in which a long, essentially vertical strut carries the shock absorber and participates in the suspension geometry – that is, along with the lower arms it helps determine the angles wheels take as they move up and down. With the double-pivot lower arms of most current BMW Series, the strut concept has been taken to a high level of sophistication in handling, straight-ahead stability and riding comfort. However, time and progress never stop; BMW conceptualists and engineers continually seek even better solutions. So it was that when the 2nd-generation X5 made its debut in 2007, BMW introduced a type of front suspension that achieves even better results, particularly in a large, powerful vehicle.
Now this system has made its debut in the automobile side of BMW’s vehicle line, first in the new 7 Series in 2009 and now in the new 5 Series. In place of the strut, this new system has an upper lateral A-arm. The double-pivot lower arms are retained, so that on each side there are three links or arms. While the two lower arms preserve the double-pivot strut system’s advantages, the new upper arm facilitates the system’s handling and riding comfort by relieving the strut of its geometric duties.
The strengths of the double-pivot system are:
• Small positive steering offset, for best steering feel and control under all road conditions. Though the two lower arms don’t actually intersect, if you visually extend their axes to a point where they would intersect, you find a “virtual pivot point” that is ideal for achieving this result. Steering offset is the “lever arm” through which road forces act on the suspension system.
• Large steering caster, for outstanding stability in straight-line driving and excellent steering return action coming out of curves.
• Space for large brakes, allowed by the arrangement of the two lower arms.
The 5 Series sedan’s multi-link configuration adds further virtues:
• Reduced friction because the shock absorber (which remains essentially concentric with the spring, as it was with the strut system) no longer helps locate the wheel, and is thus no longer subject to lateral forces. This allows the shock absorbers to damp the wheels’ up-and-down motions in a more efficient, targeted way, enhancing both ride and handling (particularly on uneven road surfaces).
• Anti-roll (stabilizer) bar attached to wheel carrier. This arrangement, which differs from many competitors’ attachment to a suspension link, applies the wheel’s entire vertical movement (up or down) to the anti-roll bar, thus allowing thinner bars to be used. Effective control of body roll (lean) and weight savings are thus achieved.
• Greater freedom to optimize both suspension geometry and shock-absorber action.
In keeping with another BMW tradition – aluminum suspension components to reduce unsprung weight and thus improve road adhesion and riding comfort – most major elements of the new front suspension are aluminum:
• Upper and lower lateral links (1 upper, 2 lower per side)
• Steering knuckle/vertical link (1 per side).
Further reducing unsprung weight are the front brake calipers, which are of composite aluminum/cast-iron construction. The suspension subframe, which is sprung weight but important in terms of front/rear weight distribution and total vehicle weight, is also of aluminum. Yet more advantages are found in certain details:
• The trailing (forward) lower arm has a rubber/hydraulic cushion, which provides the most effective “compliance” for reducing road shock.
• The transverse (rearward) lower arm is cushioned by a finely tuned rubber element that fosters direct and precise response to the steering wheel when cornering.
The rear suspension, too, is a significant evolution for BMW. Like the front suspension, it is a multi-link system; BMW calls it the Integral system for its small, essentially vertical Integral Link connecting the upper and lower lateral control planes. The Integral suspension concept has been in use for some years in BMW automobiles, appearing currently in the 5 and 6 Series in 4-link form. With one additional link per side, the Integral V (5-link) system moves one step closer to perfection in its combination of handling response, road adhesion and riding comfort.
Here too, most major elements are aluminum, and the rear suspension subframe is also of aluminum. This complex multi-link system controls rear-wheel geometry very precisely, minimizing unwanted effects under load changes (such as lifting off the accelerator while cornering, or hard acceleration and braking) and achieving a comfortable, supple ride. In the new 5 Series, it adds yet another capability via optional Integral Active Steering as introduced on the 2009 BMW 7 Series.
Precise and efficient: EPS Electric Power Steering making its debut in the BMW 5 Series.
The new BMW 5 Series Sedan is the first car in its segment to feature EPS Electric Power Steering. This innovative steering system enhances both the precision and comfort of the steering process, at the same time ensuring the handling typical of BMW with maximum efficiency. Contrary to conventional mechanical/hydraulic systems, steering assistance is provided in this case by an electric motor activated only when assistance is necessary or desired by the driver. The consumption of energy is reduced to zero when driving in a straight line or when taking a corner with a steady steering angle.
Precise, smooth and harmonious set-up of the steering with the feedback typical of BMW ensures maximum steering accuracy at all times. In the Sport+ mode of Driving Dynamics Control and with DSC switched off, the degree of steering forces is slightly increased in accordance with the style of motoring desired. EPS serves to control steering feedback from the system with particular precision. At the same time EPS comes as standard on the new BMW 5 Series Sedan with Servotronic gearing steering assistance to the speed of the car.
When parking and steering at low speeds, for example, the driver hardly has to make any effort, while at higher speeds power assistance is intentionally reduced for optimum contact to the road and in the interest of well-balanced directional stability. A further point is that EPS eliminates bumps coming from the steering and any other adverse vibrations very effectively. And by evaluating dynamic driving signals in an appropriate process, EPS gives the driver authentic steering feedback particularly under very dynamic driving conditions.
Integral Active Steering: greater agility in town, enhanced comfort & stability during quick lane changes.
Available as a stand-alone option on the new 5 Series Sedan, Integral Active Steering builds on BMW’s original Active Steering system which debuted on the previous-generation 5 Series. The new Integral Active Steering adds precise measures of rear-wheel steering to enhance safety, comfort, and agility.
At the front wheels, Integral Active Steering electronically varies the steering ratio (the number of degrees the steering wheel must be turned to achieve a 1º steering angle at the front wheels) on the basis of vehicle speed and other driving conditions. This reduces the steering-wheel movements required for parking maneuvers, U-turns and sharp corners.
Also with Integral Active Steering, the rear wheels are steered up to a maximum of 2.5? via a servo motor acting on the track rods. At low speeds, they are steered oppositely to the front wheels, reducing the turning circle by approximately 0.5meters (1.6 feet). At higher speeds (above 60kmh / 35mph), the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the fronts, enhancing stability. Additionally, the rear-seat passenger comfort is improved thanks to reduced lateral forces in highway lane-change conditions.
The most sporting 5 Series Chassis to date.
The new 5 Series can be equipped with a Sport Package that adds Adaptive Drive, which contains several key features:
* Driving Dynamics Control, introduced on the 2009 BMW 7 Series and Z4 Roadster, allows the driver to set the ride/handling/drivetrain behavior of the car through a single rocker switch on the center console. Adjacent to the E-shift lever or manual shift lever is the Driving Dynamics Control selector (logically, on the driver’s side). Driving Dynamics Control provides four standard settings that tailor vehicle behavior to different moods. The settings are Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Affected vehicle parameters include engine throttle response, transmission shift characteristics, power-steering assistance level, and Dynamic Traction Control mode (in the Sport+ setting).
* Dynamic Damping Control is an evolution of the Electronic Damping Control (EDC) that has been available on several BMW models. On the new 5 Series, Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) is combined with a slightly lowered (10mm) suspension. Dynamic Damping Control adjusts the shock absorbers to any level of firmness, quickly adapting to road conditions and the driver’s demands. Suspension control is always optimum for current road conditions, vehicle speed, and load. The shocks default to the softest appropriate setting for the vehicle’s speed, and when the vehicle encounters an irregular road surface, they adjust instantaneously to control ride motions, preserve ride comfort, and maintain adhesion to the road.
The system is so fast that even at highway speeds the system can sense a pothole at a front wheel and adjust rear-wheel damping before it reaches the same pothole. Dynamic Damping Control is the first BMW system to vary the shock absorbers’ jounce and rebound strokes (wheel moving upward and downward) both steplessly and independently; this capability results in a unique combination of desirable firmness (for handling) and excellent comfort on uneven road surfaces.
* Active Roll Stabilization: This high-tech system reduces body roll, popularly known as “lean,” in cornering. It improves handling by virtue of better suspension geometry (wheel angles relative to vertical), but there is a psychological component as well: Drivers and passengers alike marvel at the “flat cornering” that results from ARS. When the vehicle enters a corner or curve, or begins an avoidance maneuver, “lateral acceleration” is generated. This is read by a sensor, which transmits a signal to the ECU. The ECU processes this signal and transmits it to the valve/sensor block. In turn, the valve/sensor block determines the hydraulic pressure applied to the anti-roll bars to control body roll.
Electronic limited-slip differential
When DSC is fully de-activated, an electronic limited-slip differential comes into play in vigorous driving. By judicious application of the individual rear-wheel brakes, DSC simulates the effect of a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential. This has the effect of better apportioning power between the two rear wheels and thus improving traction in this driving situation.
Intelligent driving dynamics: Integrated Chassis Management and FlexRay
All such driving-dynamics functions are coordinated and overseen by BMW’s Integrated Chassis Management. Via sensing and analysis of a multitude of inputs, this powerful electronic control scheme applies and governs the interaction of these functions to ensure maximum stability. Under rapidly changing conditions, such as changing road surface, spontaneous steering input, abrupt acceleration or sudden braking, ICM reacts with ultra-quick and ultra-precise interventions via the DSC actuators plus – where present – Dynamic Damping Control, Active Roll Stabilization and Integral Active Steering.
For this extremely sensitive and powerful networking of functions, the 5 Series shares an electrical architecture with the 7 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo that employs FlexRay data-transmission technology. Developed by a consortium of which BMW is a leading member, FlexRay achieves heretofore unheard-of communication speed, some 20 times that previously possible.