InsideLine just published their report on the 2011 BMW 535i. Last month they took the car on a racetrack, but now they deliver a full analysis of the capabilities of this new model, from engine and technologies to performance on the road and at the track.
The new 535i features the new turbocharged 3.0-liter N55 twin-scroll turbo, and equipped with the new eight-speed automatic, the car weighs 3,880 pounds.The new inline-6 of the BMW 535i features High Precision direct injection, and, for the first time, VALVETRONIC throttle-less intake technology.
The N55 engine produces 302 horsepower at 5,800-6,400 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 1,200-5,000 rpm. The 2011 BMW 535i runs from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds.
Certainly the only bit in the 2011 BMW 535i that is simpler is the engine — a new version of the 3.0-liter turbocharged mill that previously powered 1, 3 and 5 Series cars. The simplification was accomplished by removing both turbochargers and replacing them with a single twin-scroll turbo, which BMW says helps improve throttle response. Also absent is a throttle valve. The new engine is throttled via BMW’s Valvetronic system, which alters valve lift to control engine speed.
Direct injection is at least partially responsible for the 535i’s improved EPA fuel economy ratings, which rise from 17 city/26 highway in 2010 to 20 city/30 highway for 2011.
Ultimately, though, a throttle delay from a standing start is a subtlety to which we can adjust. And when the car is moving it does nothing to diminish the engaging driving character that is still present — if somewhat tempered — in this midsize sedan. Bump the optional Adaptive Drive switch up to Sport mode (“Normal” is the default) and you get more aggressive gear selection logic, quicker shifts, stiffer damping and increased roll control.
And it works. Subtly.
The most effective trait of Adaptive Drive is Dynamic Damping Control, which tunes damping for the mode selected and the conditions the car is experiencing. There’s a wide range of personalities available, ranging from bump compliance that would make your grandma’s Buick jealous to remarkable levels of control useful for laying waste to on-ramp dawdlers. A testament to BMW’s confidence in the system’s abilities is its choice of 35 and 40-series tires on 19-inch wheels — a combination that removes any hope of tire compliance and demands the suspension do all the work.