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      02-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
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Variable Sport Steering (VSS) vs Servotronic Steering (SS)

Has anyone compared VSS and SS?
Is it possible to retro-fit VSS?
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      02-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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Has anyone compared VSS and SS?
Is it possible to retro-fit VSS?
Don't think I have had the pleasure of VSS.

Retro-fit? Sure anything is possible, but it is a full steering rack and box, everything from steering wheel to wheel hub. Expensive???
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      02-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
Don't think I have had the pleasure of VSS.

Retro-fit? Sure anything is possible, but it is a full steering rack and box, everything from steering wheel to wheel hub. Expensive???
Damn. It only costs £250 as an option. Bloody wish I had specc'd it.
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      02-09-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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I went for the SS as I assumed it lightens up the steering when I'm parking etc etc and then stiffens when I'm cruising down the motorway....which it does.

Someone at work said I should of stuck with the standard elec steering as it's the same as SS! Since I never test drove a non SS I'm none the wiser! I hope for my sake he's wrong!
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      02-09-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kitster View Post
I went for the SS as I assumed it lightens up the steering when I'm parking etc etc and then stiffens when I'm cruising down the motorway....which it does.

Someone at work said I should of stuck with the standard elec steering as it's the same as SS! Since I never test drove a non SS I'm none the wiser! I hope for my sake he's wrong!
You are talking VSS and not SS?
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      02-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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I was going to start a new thread on this topic. F30AM, you'll want to shoot me, but I ordered the VSS, even though I couldn't get a clear picture of what it did to the drive.

When test driving various F30s and F31s, I drove three cars, both with and without adaptive and ran all of them in Sport. In all three, while I appreciated the precision of the steering, the feel was much too light for my taste, and there was little sense of it weighting up as you pushed harder into a bend at speed.

VSS doesn't have much positive impact in Comfort mode, simply feeling a bit sharper than standard. But, but ... in Sport mode, the difference is dramatic. There is serious weight if you push into a bend at and you get a real sense of the wheel tugging firmly but smoothly at your hands in the bend - really great feel that puts you far more in touch with the car and what it's doing.

Forget all the techie stuff about steering ratios increasing after 90 degrees of lock - that could well be true, but it means nothing to my hands, feet and bum. What VSS does in sport mode (only in Sport) is give the steering oodles of feel and feedback, with seriously chunky but realistic weight. For keen drivers, it's a world apart from the standard steering. For me, it transforms the experience in Sport (chassis and drivetrain) from good to fantastic and I have to fight off the urge to yob it around dark A roads all night and blow my mileage budget on the lease (already 50% ahead of planned mileage due to succumbing to exactly this urge).

Sorry to bring bad news, but do feel free to push dogturds through my letter box for the next few weeks if that cheers you up. I'd do the same.

Anyway, the good news is that you know what to spec on the 440d when you switch cars ... :-)
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      02-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveyc View Post
I was going to start a new thread on this topic. F30AM, you'll want to shoot me, but I ordered the VSS, even though I couldn't get a clear picture of what it did to the drive.

When test driving various F30s and F31s, I drove three cars, both with and without adaptive and ran all of them in Sport. In all three, while I appreciated the precision of the steering, the feel was much too light for my taste, and there was little sense of it weighting up as you pushed harder into a bend at speed.

VSS doesn't have much positive impact in Comfort mode, simply feeling a bit sharper than standard. But, but ... in Sport mode, the difference is dramatic. There is serious weight if you push into a bend at and you get a real sense of the wheel tugging firmly but smoothly at your hands in the bend - really great feel that puts you far more in touch with the car and what it's doing.

Forget all the techie stuff about steering ratios increasing after 90 degrees of lock - that could well be true, but it means nothing to my hands, feet and bum. What VSS does in sport mode (only in Sport) is give the steering oodles of feel and feedback, with seriously chunky but realistic weight. For keen drivers, it's a world apart from the standard steering. For me, it transforms the experience in Sport (chassis and drivetrain) from good to fantastic and I have to fight off the urge to yob it around dark A roads all night and blow my mileage budget on the lease (already 50% ahead of planned mileage due to succumbing to exactly this urge).

Sorry to bring bad news, but do feel free to push dogturds through my letter box for the next few weeks if that cheers you up. I'd do the same.

Anyway, the good news is that you know what to spec on the 440d when you switch cars ... :-)
Thank you for your thorough write up. Most interesting and most informative. Damn and blast, I wish I had specc'd it rather than BAD DAB.

None of the Car Mags talked much about VSS or explained the feeling one gets with it.

I wonder how many members have VSS. I now really wish I had.
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      02-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveyc View Post
I was going to start a new thread on this topic. F30AM, you'll want to shoot me, but I ordered the VSS, even though I couldn't get a clear picture of what it did to the drive.

When test driving various F30s and F31s, I drove three cars, both with and without adaptive and ran all of them in Sport. In all three, while I appreciated the precision of the steering, the feel was much too light for my taste, and there was little sense of it weighting up as you pushed harder into a bend at speed.

VSS doesn't have much positive impact in Comfort mode, simply feeling a bit sharper than standard. But, but ... in Sport mode, the difference is dramatic. There is serious weight if you push into a bend at and you get a real sense of the wheel tugging firmly but smoothly at your hands in the bend - really great feel that puts you far more in touch with the car and what it's doing.

Forget all the techie stuff about steering ratios increasing after 90 degrees of lock - that could well be true, but it means nothing to my hands, feet and bum. What VSS does in sport mode (only in Sport) is give the steering oodles of feel and feedback, with seriously chunky but realistic weight. For keen drivers, it's a world apart from the standard steering. For me, it transforms the experience in Sport (chassis and drivetrain) from good to fantastic and I have to fight off the urge to yob it around dark A roads all night and blow my mileage budget on the lease (already 50% ahead of planned mileage due to succumbing to exactly this urge).

Sorry to bring bad news, but do feel free to push dogturds through my letter box for the next few weeks if that cheers you up. I'd do the same.

Anyway, the good news is that you know what to spec on the 440d when you switch cars ... :-)
It great how other members can spend your money for you this sounds very interesting thanks
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      02-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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You are talking VSS and not SS?
Defo SS. I paid £180 for the Servotronic Steering (#216).
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      02-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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It great how other members can spend your money for you this sounds very interesting thanks
Oops, sorry. I withdraw everything I said about VSS. It's boring and rather crap :-)
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      02-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #11
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Oops, sorry. I withdraw everything I said about VSS. It's boring and rather crap :-)
I wish I had this boring crap system.
One thing you said helped to ease the pain: there's not much difference in 'Comfort' mode which is what I use most of the time for London driving and because I am also knackered most of the time!
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      02-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
Thank you for your thorough write up. Most interesting and most informative. Damn and blast, I wish I had specc'd it rather than BAD DAB.

None of the Car Mags talked much about VSS or explained the feeling one gets with it.

I wonder how many members have VSS. I now really wish I had.
I think it is a very similar debate to the adaptive sport suspension. Some can't sense much difference and it is talked down, as if it is only a parking aid, and therefore unnecessary (or a BMW rip-off). Personally I can't see BMW calling the upgrade 'sport steering' without it being a measured improvement over the basic system. Following is the sort of comments I've read and logged for the VSS.

Quote:
The variable sports steering trims the Servotronic’s 2.7 turns lock-to-lock down to a more wieldy 2.2 turns. Steering feedback is comparable to that of the outgoing 3-series, in spite of the noticeable reduction in effort. The new steering system’s quicker ratios compensate nicely for the loss of response that—at least theoretically—accompanies any wheelbase increase.
My reading, standard F30/31 steering viewed as 'lacking', compared to E9* steering, VSS gets it back to near E9* performance.

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      02-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #13
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So I am clear, the steering options for the F3X are:

1. Standard is constant weight at all speeds.

2. Servotronic is weighted depending on speed.

3. Var Sports is the same as Servotronic but the lock to lock has been decreased (2.7 to 2.2).
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      02-09-2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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I would have preferred 2.2 turns lock to lock. Would improve the overall feel of the car for me in any mode.
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      02-09-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
My reading, standard F30/31 steering viewed as 'lacking', compared to E9* steering, VSS gets it back to near E9* performance.

HighlandPete
One thing I noticed when driving a bogo F30 320d was the rack was quicker than my E90. A much welcome improvement IMO and its one thing I do slightly dislike about my E90. My old Vectra had a quicker rack than my E90! ie took less turning/effort to turn the wheel in junctions etc....

No idea about VSS as I've not driven one with it.
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      02-09-2013, 06:35 PM   #16
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My reading, standard F30/31 steering viewed as 'lacking', compared to E9* steering, VSS gets it back to near E9* performance.

HighlandPete
....but e90 steering is horrible

these types of statement only confuse matters more. The e90 has an overly stiff feel to it. Most E90 owners feel the F30 steering is too light. F30 servotronic to me is too stiff in Sport mode (stiff as in takes feel away).

Perhaps VSS adds weight but still provides good feel???? If I could disable the stiffer sport setting on my Servotronic I would be a happy bunny.
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      02-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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....but e90 steering is horrible

these types of statement only confuse matters more. The e90 has an overly stiff feel to it. Most E90 owners feel the F30 steering is too light. F30 servotronic to me is too stiff in Sport mode (stiff as in takes feel away).

Perhaps VSS adds weight but still provides good feel???? If I could disable the stiffer sport setting on my Servotronic I would be a happy bunny.
Could it not be disabled by coding?
I was going to say something else, but you'd have a fit!
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      02-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
....but e90 steering is horrible

these types of statement only confuse matters more. The e90 has an overly stiff feel to it. Most E90 owners feel the F30 steering is too light. F30 servotronic to me is too stiff in Sport mode (stiff as in takes feel away).

Perhaps VSS adds weight but still provides good feel???? If I could disable the stiffer sport setting on my Servotronic I would be a happy bunny.
But is was (as you put it) 'overly stiff steering' that all the raving was about and is missed by many in the F30/1 cars. That is what was viewed as having road feel by many, including the motor mags. Heavy hydraulic PAS.

Seems we are all coming from different directions here. The point of reference is getting even more confused it seems, if traditional BMW feel is now not viewed as the benchmark.

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      02-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #19
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Could it not be disabled by coding?
I was going to say something else, but you'd have a fit!
Sod it, just rip the whole thing out, my 700hp race car has no assisted steering, I can drive that to the very edge of adhesion and hold it there in complete control.

Modern car manufacturers, spend millions improving the suspension, stiffening the chassis, then cock up the steering because some of their clientèle like to drink oversized coffee's and eat dunkin donuts whilst steering with their pinkie finger.

Right off to start a thread on the F30 cup holders and how they struggle with a 32Oz coffee cup......oh hang on, that thread already exists
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      02-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
But is was (as you put it) 'overly stiff steering' that all the raving was about and is missed by many in the F30/1 cars. That is what was viewed as having road feel by many, including the motor mags. Heavy hydraulic PAS.

Seems we are all coming from different directions here. The point of reference is getting even more confused it seems, if traditional BMW feel is now not viewed as the benchmark.

HighlandPete
Depends which E90. Most later LCI E90's have electric steering (so called efficient dynamics) which lightened the steering. Mine is electric and does feel lighter than my previous 330d pre-LCI.
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      02-10-2013, 02:20 AM   #21
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Most if you have upgraded from an E9x, I'm coming an E46. I've ordered the standard steering on my new car. Is there at least an improvement from the E46?

Mind, I'm most likely to drive on comfort or Eco and try to resist the sport modes.
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      02-10-2013, 03:34 AM   #22
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Sorry to bang on but with standard is the steering weight even at all speeds? Unless you switch to SPORT mode?
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