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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum 2017+ BMW 5 Series (G30) General Discussions M550 and 540 comparison

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      07-30-2019, 01:01 PM   #23
genesmasher
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Very useful right-up. High speed cornering behavior. I was hesitating but you totally convinced me to go with 540i x-Drive next spring. They are rare here in CA, and I practically gave up to buying an RWD. Will have to special order one to my exact specs, I guess...

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Originally Posted by cartaozinho View Post
There was a very obvious difference between the sDrive (RWD only) and the xDrive (AWD, RWD-biased) in my M550. What's the best way to describe the difference...with my M550 i have the confidence to keep the throttle on through a corner...the xDrive system just shifts power to the front which pulls you through the corner...you learn to just know the car will keep traction no matter what.*


The sDrive system felt like a traditional RWD system. Big shock, I know. But, I didn't have anywhere near the time behind the wheel, nor inclination in a loaner, to explore the edge of the envelope. It's likely the 540 would be fine. But, it being a RWD car I brought a lot of my preconceptions/experience from other RWD cars. I expected oversteer. I didn't get any. But I expected it. The little bit I pushed the 540 it did nothing of the sort. So it's likely I would learn the car better and that it wouldn't oversteer.

I've read reports of "numb" steering for the M550. I'm not sure the feeling in my M550 is numb. It's just neutral. There are no glaring flaws of over or understeer. It just tracks. Obviously, when the car moves from RWD-bias to, say, 50/50 F/RWD, the line and track of the car changes. It's quicker because of it. But I can see why people think it feels numb. The car just knows what to do with the traction control. Depending on your line you have to adjust a bit when it transitions (if you're on a bad line). But I've learned to take much "squarer" lines, if that makes sense...just flick the wheel, keep on the gas, and the car will carry on...

And while I'm rambling on about steering (I've had a beer or two, so forgive me), when my M550 has the DSC off the pivot point of the car changes...with DSC on the car feels very RWD-like. The pivot point of the car is out over the rear axle. Not exactly like a true RWD car. But close. With DSC-off (traction) the car pivots in your hip pocket...right in the middle of the car...a weird sensation when you are first getting used to it...


*The one exception to this was when I made a U-turn in some wet weather under moderate throttle. The whole car lost traction and started moving sideways...The whole car...not like you'd get in a RWD car with just the rear end hanging out...the whole car!
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      07-31-2019, 12:01 PM   #24
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For the record, I considered an M550 before I decided to buy my 540xi M Sport. And I have to admit that when I drive an M550 I do have a little buyer's remorse when I hear the exhaust sound and feel the extra ooomph. But I decided that since I already have another car that will do 0-60 in under 3 seconds (Z06 Corvette), that I really don't need the extra power at the incremental cost of about $10k. Both cars drive fine and the 540xi is still fairly quick. The M Sport package adds a better look to the car, more like the M550. Added an M Performance exhaust so it now sounds better, although of course it will never sound as good as a V8. So I am happy with the 540xi. --Bob
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      07-31-2019, 01:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warp Ten View Post
For the record, I considered an M550 before I decided to buy my 540xi M Sport. And I have to admit that when I drive an M550 I do have a little buyer's remorse when I hear the exhaust sound and feel the extra ooomph. But I decided that since I already have another car that will do 0-60 in under 3 seconds (Z06 Corvette), that I really don't need the extra power at the incremental cost of about $10k. Both cars drive fine and the 540xi is still fairly quick. The M Sport package adds a better look to the car, more like the M550. Added an M Performance exhaust so it now sounds better, although of course it will never sound as good as a V8. So I am happy with the 540xi. --Bob
A new C8 in your future? I had a C6Z06. Im all over the forum for the past 18 years.
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      07-31-2019, 08:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesmasher View Post
Very useful right-up. High speed cornering behavior. I was hesitating but you totally convinced me to go with 540i x-Drive next spring. They are rare here in CA, and I practically gave up to buying an RWD. Will have to special order one to my exact specs, I guess...
I think you'll be really happy with the xDrive system. If I had the option I would have gone with it. And driving the sDrive version of the 540 makes me more certain of that.
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      07-31-2019, 09:55 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cartaozinho View Post
I think you'll be really happy with the xDrive system. If I had the option I would have gone with it. And driving the sDrive version of the 540 makes me more certain of that.
I have no doubt you are right. I had two A7s that were AWD and liked having it. But my problem is that when a car gives me the option of rear drive or AWD I prefer the RWD to save weight and the related issues that come with 200 extra pounds and greater drivetrain losses. Oh, and the extra $2,000. But even it it was free I would not order it.

Now, with the power of the 550, that is a different story. That is a hell of a lot of torque to the ground pulling onto a busy street. Don't have to worry about losing traction and having traction control kick in, especially making a right hand turn at the same time. That is when I appreciated it on my A7s.
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      07-31-2019, 10:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesmasher View Post
Very useful right-up. High speed cornering behavior. I was hesitating but you totally convinced me to go with 540i x-Drive next spring. They are rare here in CA, and I practically gave up to buying an RWD. Will have to special order one to my exact specs, I guess...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cartaozinho View Post
There was a very obvious difference between the sDrive (RWD only) and the xDrive (AWD, RWD-biased) in my M550. What's the best way to describe the difference...with my M550 i have the confidence to keep the throttle on through a corner...the xDrive system just shifts power to the front which pulls you through the corner...you learn to just know the car will keep traction no matter what.*


The sDrive system felt like a traditional RWD system. Big shock, I know. But, I didn't have anywhere near the time behind the wheel, nor inclination in a loaner, to explore the edge of the envelope. It's likely the 540 would be fine. But, it being a RWD car I brought a lot of my preconceptions/experience from other RWD cars. I expected oversteer. I didn't get any. But I expected it. The little bit I pushed the 540 it did nothing of the sort. So it's likely I would learn the car better and that it wouldn't oversteer.

I've read reports of "numb" steering for the M550. I'm not sure the feeling in my M550 is numb. It's just neutral. There are no glaring flaws of over or understeer. It just tracks. Obviously, when the car moves from RWD-bias to, say, 50/50 F/RWD, the line and track of the car changes. It's quicker because of it. But I can see why people think it feels numb. The car just knows what to do with the traction control. Depending on your line you have to adjust a bit when it transitions (if you're on a bad line). But I've learned to take much "squarer" lines, if that makes sense...just flick the wheel, keep on the gas, and the car will carry on...

And while I'm rambling on about steering (I've had a beer or two, so forgive me), when my M550 has the DSC off the pivot point of the car changes...with DSC on the car feels very RWD-like. The pivot point of the car is out over the rear axle. Not exactly like a true RWD car. But close. With DSC-off (traction) the car pivots in your hip pocket...right in the middle of the car...a weird sensation when you are first getting used to it...


*The one exception to this was when I made a U-turn in some wet weather under moderate throttle. The whole car lost traction and started moving sideways...The whole car...not like you'd get in a RWD car with just the rear end hanging out...the whole car!
In Northeast I think default is xDrive, I have not seen a single RWD 540 actually...
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      08-01-2019, 01:35 AM   #29
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In the uk, the 540 only comes with drive, we don't get any choice.
There is a rumour the 550 would be coming to the uk but I've not seen anything since that rumour came out earlier in the year (autoexpress magazine) so we shall see....
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      08-02-2019, 10:25 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by jjscsix View Post
A new C8 in your future? I had a C6Z06. Im all over the forum for the past 18 years.
Haha--Only if there is a new wife in my future! Or if I win one in one of the National Corvette Museum raffles. Actually, after about 20 years with C4 ZR-1s, I am quite happy with the Z06. Huge technology jump from the C4s. Very comfortable tourer (I've done three 3,000+ mile trips) and quite quick when you need it. 650 HP is very impressive.-Bob
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      08-02-2019, 09:30 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warp Ten View Post
Haha--Only if there is a new wife in my future! Or if I win one in one of the National Corvette Museum raffles. Actually, after about 20 years with C4 ZR-1s, I am quite happy with the Z06. Huge technology jump from the C4s. Very comfortable tourer (I've done three 3,000+ mile trips) and quite quick when you need it. 650 HP is very impressive.-Bob
I have never even ridden in a C7 after owning seven Corvettes, four of them C6s. I will see a guy in a few weeks who I have known forever on the forum but never met in person. He has a new Z06, and if weather cooperates the one day I see him, I will ride in and likely get to drive it.
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      08-03-2019, 11:27 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjscsix View Post
I have never even ridden in a C7 after owning seven Corvettes, four of them C6s. I will see a guy in a few weeks who I have known forever on the forum but never met in person. He has a new Z06, and if weather cooperates the one day I see him, I will ride in and likely get to drive it.
After the drive, with your check book in hand, you will go directly to a dealer. You will not have the ability to stop yourself. --Bob
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