Our friend Richard Aucock has recently completed a 24-hour trip from South France to Middle of England, aboard the new 2011 BMW 5 Series. While present at the 5 Series launch, he also had a chance to sit down with several key people involved in the 5er project. One of them is the BMW Group Driving Dynamics Director, Jos van As.
Let’s find out what he had to say about the new 5 Series.
“BMW Group Driving Dynamics Director Jos van As says it was owners of the old BMW 5 Series that led direction for the new one.
‘Feedback from owners of the old car was that handling impressed but the ride was too hard.’
This is why the F10 BMW 5 Series rides better than before. You notice it right away at low speed: van As admits they’ve used ‘quite moderate spring rates,’ giving the cushier, plusher feel.
‘Double axle front suspension also helps. We have more grip, so there’s more freedom to tune ride and handling. We have more possibilities to tune the dampers.’
There’s more: ‘Don’t forget, we’re now in the 4th generation of runflat tyre – the old car used 2nd generation. This is a huge jump. We have been able to optimise the tyre wall stiffness – this is a crucial point regarding how absorbent the ride is.
Ride on some more, too: ‘With the new car we have been able to choose a new tyre size, keeping inflation pressures on the healthy side. If you have a smaller wheel, you have a smaller air volume, therefore need higher pressures.’