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    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Whether or not the weight is noticable, I question BMW's thought process. The 5 series is getting bigger but its interior room isn't? It weighs almost 200kg more than an E550!

    However, one can't dispute its performance, which is remarkable. I've managed to pull two reviews of the M5, which posted 0-60mph of 4.7s. 

    Quarter mile times varied from 13.0 to 13.1 seconds. Basically the equal of the new 550i (13.14s).  Obviously, it won't  have the high speed (120mph+) performance of the M5, but it will be fast (even faster) in 60-120mph roll-ons.  Which are more usefull in North America, where higher speeds are rarely possible - without losing ones licence.

    The new M5 will be a very fast indeed.


    --

    997TT Blk/Blk,  BMW K1300GT


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    BMW needs to produce "cheap", as weird as this may sound. Compared to the competition over here in Germany, BMW has very attractive prices. Dealer rebates also usually range somewhere between 11 and 24%, depending on the model, so you may understand now why there are that successful over here. 

    Take my X5 M for example: this truck weights 2.4 tons. BMW didn't even try to make it lighter. I'm pretty sure that with some effort, BMW could have shaved off at least 150 kg. Weight reduction can only be achieved by using different materials and sometimes a different technology, both making the product more expensive.

    There is a reason why the X5 M is actually 35000 EUR (after dealer rebate) cheaper than a comparable Porsche Cayenne Turbo and it isn't only the brand.

    So here's the question: do we want somewhat affordable powerful cars or would we pay any price for lighter cars ? I guess you know what the answer would be.

    On a 911 GT3, people may be willing to pay more for less weight. On a sedan and/or family car ? I doubt it.

    Another good example (and actually a disappointing one): the Panamera Turbo. When the project started, if I remember right, the weight maximum for all models was set at 1.8 tons. Look at the Panamera Turbo now. I really didn't expect that from Porsche and to be honest, it wouldn't have costed them a fortune to shave off 100 kg from the base weight.

    Apparently profit is everything... Smiley


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    RC, you are right indeed... Will be 550xi later? It will be the same as Panamera Turbo - 2.1 tons... Too much for a mid-sized car - its S class and 7-series territort

    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Today I heard the rumor that BMW is testing a 4WD M5 too. I don't know if this means that the M5 will be 4WD or that maybe 4WD will be optional sooner or later but it sounds very interesting.

    The 550ix will be availailable soon in Germany. I think autumn or late summer. In the US, it should be available starting october or so.

    I actually happen to have a family friend who is very interested in the 550ix. He was actually thinking about a Panamera 4S but now that BMW is offering 4WD on the 5series, he might re-consider his decision. Yes, money is an issue since this is going to be his business/family car.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    BMW marketing has been very smart in terms of pricing and adjusting its model range to suit or take away customers from competition. The 550ix is a prime example. Why not, let people chose. Maybe Porsche will respond.


    --

    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Yummy, xDrive M5 is going to be quite a all-weather super saloon.

    Maybe I could take credit too. I have sent about 4 emails to BMW Canada asking them when will they provide a awd M5 to compete with Audi S6.

    I am also bugging them to import the Alphina B7 xDrive in SWB instead of LWB.


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Yes, I would actually like to see a xDrive M5 but I'm really not sure if it is going to happen. They currently seem to test one as a mule but god knows if it is going to make to production... 


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    RC:
    Weight reduction can only be achieved by using different materials and sometimes a different technology, both making the product more expensive.

     

    So here's the question: do we want somewhat affordable powerful cars or would we pay any price for lighter cars ? I guess you know what the answer would be.

    Actually RC I disagree with your thought on weight and price... I think that BMW may have a problem in producing lighter cars, but it can be done.  One example happens not to be German though... eg. the Subaru Outback is a BMW 5GT size crossover-SUV and weighs 1600kg with the flat-6 engine - roughly 400kg lighter than 5GT and almost half the price.  Subaru apparently does this with selective use of high-strength and other steels.... no expensive aluminium or carbon here.    So why can't BMW duplicate this??  

    IMO the main problem is that BMW has far too many engineers thinking up complex technology that was not requested by customers (Active steering anyone?), and this always adds weight.   If they fired the gadget engineers and hired some to focus on core chassis structure they might be able to produce what Subaru apparently can for far less money.  Smiley


    --

    2010 Audi S5,  2002 M Coupe


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

     

    I love and own Subaru Wagon, but the difference is, that a company like Subaru is supposed to produce tough vehicles with only the basic comfort gadgets.
    On the other hand, brands like MB, BMW and Audi are supposed to be the leaders in new technology and their existence in every new model. This is what customers want and expect, and that fact makes the difference between cars like Subaru and BMW, IMO…

    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Slam a door on a Subaru, compare the sound with a MB, BMW, etc.

    The Japanese uses thinner gauge steel on their stampings, which is why Japanese cars are lighter, but I do not want to be caught sitting in one in a crash.

     


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Whoopsy:

    Slam a door on a Subaru, compare the sound with a MB, BMW, etc.

    The Japanese uses thinner gauge steel on their stampings, which is why Japanese cars are lighter, but I do not want to be caught sitting in one in a crash.

     


    They all pass the required crash tests or they could not be sold - equating the sound of a door to crash performance is, I expect, not supported by actual tests.    As to the  hollow sound of doors etc, I suppose this is the price of lightness and supports  RC's argument that people say they want a light car but vote for heavy luxury most times....  We should ask Gauss if the Lotus Elise sounds even more "thin" as it is the lightest of all.  Smiley   


    --

    2010 Audi S5,  2002 M Coupe


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    4trac:
    Whoopsy:

    Slam a door on a Subaru, compare the sound with a MB, BMW, etc.

    The Japanese uses thinner gauge steel on their stampings, which is why Japanese cars are lighter, but I do not want to be caught sitting in one in a crash.


    They all pass the required crash tests or they could not be sold - equating the sound of a door to crash performance is, I expect, not supported by actual tests.   As to the  hollow sound of doors etc, I suppose this is the price of lightness and supports  RC's argument that people say they want a light car but vote for heavy luxury most times....     

     Smiley +1  to all three points underlined above. 


    --

    fritz


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    The sound of a shutting door is being engineered and has nothing to do with actual quality. It's totally artificial.


    --
    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    REALZEUS:

    The sound of a shutting door is being engineered and has nothing to do with actual quality. It's totally artificial.

    A significant part of  what you refer to as "actual quality" is decided by the amount of engineering effort put into such things as, for example,  achieving an acceptable "clunk" sound when a door is shut. 

    If you'd written that the sound of a shutting door does not necessarily allow any conclusions to be drawn regarding crash-worthiness, I'd agree with you.

     


    --

    fritz


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    I agree too it's not scientific, it's just pure perception.

    But perception is quite a powerful influence at times, like 2 TVs could be exactly the same, but one is brand new in a box while the other one is a open box return, some people would perceive the returned one, while cheaper, is inferior to the new one.

    Then again, I believe in the laws of physics, in a multi-car collision, I will always want to be inside the heaviest car, there will be more energy transfer out to the other car than energy transferring in from the smaller car.

    I have seen a video somewhere, a Smartcar in a head-on collision with a heavy sedan traveling the same speed, the Smart bounce off heading back the way it came from while rolling and bouncing. Yes the occupants will probably survive the initial hit the same way as the heavy sedan with the same collision rating, but the subsequent collisions from bouncing and rolling would seriously injured the people inside.

    Scaling the argument up, in an head-on collision between a freight train and a S-Class, where would you'd rather be in?

     


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Whoopsy:

    Slam a door on a Subaru, compare the sound with a MB, BMW, etc.

    The Japanese uses thinner gauge steel on their stampings, which is why Japanese cars are lighter, but I do not want to be caught sitting in one in a crash.

     


    This is a friend of mine, who felt asleep behind the wheel in his Subaru.

    The result: 3 people with no damages at all, except some burnt hairs, due to the airbag explosion... IMG_2069_small.jpgP1000055_small.jpg


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Lucky friend !

    Regarding weight and what BMW could do if they want to: of course BMW could build lighter cars, safe lighter cars. However: reducing weight costs money and not only development money but also money for better/newer/innovative materials.

    Are you willing to pay 5000-10000 EUR more for a car with 100 kg less weight ? I bet most 5 series buyers don't even have a clue what their car weight is. 

    So why make a product more expensive if only a fraction of possible owners care about that certain detail ? It doesn't make sense. 

    Or to use the words of Mr. Martin Schmitzer (those who work at Porsche know who he is): if only 3% of owners complain, this isn't relevant to us. Case closed. 


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    RC:

    Are you willing to pay 5000-10000 EUR more for a car with 100 kg less weight ? I bet most 5 series buyers don't even have a clue what their car weight is. 

    So why make a product more expensive if only a fraction of possible owners care about that certain detail ? It doesn't make sense. 
     

    I know you're right on this.. and the market always wins.  My concern is more that the big German manufacturers, by following the market wishes religiously on the more-luxury-more-weight trend, may make themselves slightly irrelevant if governments bring in ever more strict mandated fuel economy regulations.   And for increasing fuel economy, weight does matter.    They they would have to get serious about controlling weight... or size.  

    But maybe this is all moot... if we are in electric cars in 20 years with 1-tonne batteries,  the BMW 550i will seem quite light  Smiley (Mods: very lame attempt to get this thread back on topic.... ) 


    --

    2010 Audi S5,  2002 M Coupe


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    Whoopsy:

    Slam a door on a Subaru, compare the sound with a MB, BMW, etc.

    The Japanese uses thinner gauge steel on their stampings, which is why Japanese cars are lighter, but I do not want to be caught sitting in one in a crash.

     

     My grandfather used to say you can tell the quality of a car with the sound the door makes when it closes, I don't know about superlight sports cars like the lotus, etc. but there is some truth to it.   

    Smiley


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    4trac:

    I know you're right on this.. and the market always wins.  My concern is more that the big German manufacturers, by following the market wishes religiously on the more-luxury-more-weight trend, may make themselves slightly irrelevant if governments bring in ever more strict mandated fuel economy regulations.   And for increasing fuel economy, weight does matter.    They they would have to get serious about controlling weight... or size.  

    But maybe this is all moot... if we are in electric cars in 20 years with 1-tonne batteries,  the BMW 550i will seem quite light  Smiley (Mods: very lame attempt to get this thread back on topic.... ) 

     

    I don't "get" the german car market anyway. During the financial crisis, it was almost impossible to sell a luxury car or a car like Porsche. Small cars were sold like warm bread instead. Now, after people relaxed, you can see tons of new luxury sedans, SUVs, etc. on the streets again. I don't get it. Apparently many Germans buy cars with a loan or they lease them, so any financial change (jobloss, financial crisis, etc.) puts people into panic mode.Smiley

    You are right, weight reduction is a way to save fuel but I can't see it...yet. Before weight reduction, which is expensive, I think that lower powered engines will be available. It makes more sense, it keeps production cost at an acceptable level and it lowers fuel consumption and CO2 output. Less powerful engines is the future, not less weight. It is cheaper.


    --

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor Porsche 997 Turbo, BMW X5 M, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW


    Re: New BMW 550i test results

    RC:

    Are you willing to pay 5000-10000 EUR more for a car with 100 kg less weight ?

     

    Wouldn't you know it, Porsche, Ferrari and Lambo have been charging us more for less for years. Smiley


     
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