InsideLine takes the BMW 535i on the race track

5 Series | August 26th, 2010 by 56
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InsideLine takes the 2011 BMW 535i on a race track and shares their impressions with us. 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 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.

But how does it handle on a race track? Let’s have a look.

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InsideLine review:

Test Results:
0 – 30 (sec): 2.3
0 – 45 (sec): 3.9
0 – 60 (sec): 5.9
0 – 75 (sec): 8.6
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.30 @ 95.06
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.6
30 – 0 (ft): 28
60 – 0 (ft): 110
Slalom (mph): 64.9 stability off, 62.0 on
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84 stability off, 0.84 trac on
Db @ Idle: 42.3
Db @ Full Throttle: 73.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 67.0

Acceleration Comments: Wide range of settings means wide range of results, from normal drive to sport/DSC off. At worst, it stumbles off the line, then gets with the program at @ 3,000 rpm. At best with brake torque and DSC off, it’s still not what I’d call “snappy” off the line but at least the boost is in the right place for a decent run. Very smooth upshifts in every mode, but it seemed to delay 1-2 (possibly 3-4) in Sport mode. Crossed the finish in 4th gear.

Braking Comments: Highly susceptible to pavement irregularities, hence 10-foot variance in otherwise fade-free set of runs. Some smoking front pads, but no discernible loss of power. Obvious anti-dive suspension and lots of rebound damping. Firm pedal and straight stops throughout.

Handling Comments: Slalom: With DSC off in Sport, the tires were the limiting factor. Good balance between understeer/oversteer and good steering response but not enough ultimate grip to make it all work. In Sport + DSC on, the brakes would grab abruptly just as I approached a cone (expecting a little slide), so I had to back down the speed to keep from being pulled into cones by DSC. Skid pad: hard to balance/steer on the line with boost varying wildly — requires constant steering with DSC off. With DSC on (Sport +) it requires virtually no steering, and throttle was more consistent (obviously being managed by computer), steering weight was appropriate, but almost no feel.

Full review