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      11-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #1
Daveyc
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Question on Variable Sport Steering

I've specced VSS on my F30 330d M Sport, along with adaptive suspension. I did this in search of a bit more steering feel (being hydraulic rather than electric) and a sharper response.

I understand the situation re variable ratio not kicking in til 100 degrees of steering lock, but my main question is, does the VSS steering weight still adjust with the different driving modes, as it does with the standard electric steering?

I've picked up indications that it does, but not seen anything explicit on this. Can anyone tell me if this is the case?

It's too late to change now, as my car is set to arrive w/c 10th December, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has been able to compare both types of steering. Is there actually more feel with the hydraulic VSS, or have I wasted £250? I was impressed with the precision of the standard steering and it was quite positive in Sport, but it didn't have as much feel as I like.

Thanks
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Last edited by Daveyc; 11-26-2012 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Typo
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      11-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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Might be worth a search on this. This may help:
http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=737461

I thought VSS was still electric steering? I thought all new BMWs were electric steering these days, even with VSS. From what I understand, the VSS is just a different physical rack to standard. But I stand to be corrected.
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      11-26-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Both are electric. Some have claimed that VSS feels more like E9x hydraulic steering, but that's personal opinion.
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      11-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Nearly every model of the 3 series comes with Servotronic steering: that's what gives the different modes, different weights and different feel. The VSS option is only to aid parking and navigating tight spaces by increasing the steering ratio beyond 100 degrees of lock. The feel of Servotronic and VSS is identical

So yes, I'm afraid you and everyone else who ordered VSS has wasted their money and been conned by BMW marketing speak. They should have called it comfort steering or lady's parking steering or something because it has nothing to do with sportiness The Americans get very excitable when you tell them this
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      11-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
So yes, I'm afraid you and everyone else who ordered VSS has wasted their money and been conned by BMW marketing speak.
In the US, it's bundled with M-Adaptive suspension, which was a must-have for me. So I don't feel it's wasted money.
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      11-26-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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Yeah it's strange that they bundled the whole adaptive drive thing together since technically, the adaptive bit is Servotronic and not VSS. Just marketing people being dishonest again
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      11-26-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
The Americans get very excitable when you tell them this
I've noticed you like to poke and jab at the US. What gives?

BTW, take a look at bmwusa.com and you'll see we don't have the laundry list of individual options like that available in some other markets. If we want Adaptive suspension we also get VSS. So, many hope the package creates a better driving experience. Unfortunately, threads like this are necessary because BMW couldn't design electric steering as well as GM did in the Cadillac ATS.

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      11-27-2012, 01:57 AM   #8
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I park a lot in tite london car parks so hopefully the quicker rack will be money well spent.
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      11-27-2012, 02:44 AM   #9
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This is how the marketing men describe VSS:

Variable sports steering.

Sports driving dynamics meet maximum comfort: The variable sports steering adapts the angle of the front wheels to the actual conditions so that the BMW 3 Series Touring reacts more or less directly to the driverís steering commands.

The steering wheel movements required for large wheel angles has been reduced by up to 25 per cent. Parking and cornering thus become easier and more comfortable because the driver has to exert less effort. Handling qualities also benefit, such as when rapid evasive manoeuvres are required.

In the case of smaller steering angles between zero and 100 degrees, the BMW 3 Series displays accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches while conducting steering movements with impressive precision. The steering ratio in each case is determined purely mechanically by a variable transmission for the steering rack.


Certainly gives the impression that it's about more than parking & tight manoeuvres, e.g. "accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches". I got VSS on mine as part of spec'ing the Sport Auto box.
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      11-27-2012, 03:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobUK View Post
This is how the marketing men describe VSS:

Variable sports steering.

Sports driving dynamics meet maximum comfort: The variable sports steering adapts the angle of the front wheels to the actual conditions so that the BMW 3 Series Touring reacts more or less directly to the driverís steering commands.

The steering wheel movements required for large wheel angles has been reduced by up to 25 per cent. Parking and cornering thus become easier and more comfortable because the driver has to exert less effort. Handling qualities also benefit, such as when rapid evasive manoeuvres are required.

In the case of smaller steering angles between zero and 100 degrees, the BMW 3 Series displays accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches while conducting steering movements with impressive precision. The steering ratio in each case is determined purely mechanically by a variable transmission for the steering rack.


Certainly gives the impression that it's about more than parking & tight manoeuvres, e.g. "accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches". I got VSS on mine as part of spec'ing the Sport Auto box.
They make it sound like it will outhandle vettels red bull.
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      11-27-2012, 04:44 AM   #11
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VSS has a different ratio in the straight ahead position, so will be rated as a 'faster rack' anyway, even without the variable cut teeth.

My understnding, the standard rack is set up at15:1 with 2.7 turns lock to lock. VSS is 14.5:1 on centre, and reduces to 11.2:1 on lock, giving 2.2 turns lock to lock.

So we have a much sportier rack, even without considering the servotronic parameters.

How that is just marketing I just can't fathom. As the physical steering movement is like comparing apples with pears.

Whether users will feel it is worth having, that is different. Is a bit like the debates on whether the M-adaptive suspension "sport" setting is the same as the passive M-sport suspension. It is different in how it works, so even if there are similarities in some situations, they could never be the same. Whether all drivers feel and appreciate the subtle differences that is where we can debate all day.

The fact the servotronic function allows easier parking, is from my perspective a bonus in having the sportier steering rack.

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      11-27-2012, 04:46 AM   #12
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For a change, HP, you have completely missed the point and either misunderstood what you've said or inadvertently contradicted yourself
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      11-27-2012, 04:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
For a change, HP, you have completely missed the point and either misunderstood what you've said or inadvertently contradicted yourself
HOW?

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      11-27-2012, 05:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobUK View Post
This is how the marketing men describe VSS:

Variable sports steering.

Sports driving dynamics meet maximum comfort: The variable sports steering adapts the angle of the front wheels to the actual conditions so that the BMW 3 Series Touring reacts more or less directly to the driver’s steering commands.

The steering wheel movements required for large wheel angles has been reduced by up to 25 per cent. Parking and cornering thus become easier and more comfortable because the driver has to exert less effort. Handling qualities also benefit, such as when rapid evasive manoeuvres are required.

In the case of smaller steering angles between zero and 100 degrees, the BMW 3 Series displays accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches while conducting steering movements with impressive precision. The steering ratio in each case is determined purely mechanically by a variable transmission for the steering rack.


Certainly gives the impression that it's about more than parking & tight manoeuvres, e.g. "accurate tracking and high stability on straight stretches". I got VSS on mine as part of spec'ing the Sport Auto box.
Yes it does and I drove both with and without cars before ordering BOTH ASS and Sport adaptive. I mainly drive in "sport" Chassis and it makes enough difference for me, tightens everything up nicely IMO. Car handles great on tight bends.
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      11-27-2012, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
Yes it does and I drove both with and without cars before ordering BOTH ASS and Sport adaptive. I mainly drive in "sport" Chassis and it makes enough difference for me, tightens everything up nicely IMO. Car handles great on tight bends.
I take it you mean VSS?


Not tried it but I would be ordering if it was me. One of my biggest issues with the E90 is the crap slow steering rack. Its worse than my old Vectra and doesnt make the car a particular sporty drive if you are winding the steering wheel this way and that, excessively, going around roundabouts.
Having said that the standard F30 I had the other week seemed to having a slighter quicker rack than my E90 (eg less turning of the wheel needed when turning into roads etc..).
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      11-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
HOW?

HighlandPete
Going from 15:1 to 14.5:1 != "a much sportier rack" so it's just marketing calling it sporty. There are only a handful of humans who would notice the difference and the feel would be identical since it's the Servotronic element that stiffens the steering up in the various adaptive modes.

You also then went on to say that Servotronic makes parking easier which, yes it kinda does because it makes the steering lighter at slow speeds, isn't what you're referring to, I don't think, since VSS is the topic. And VSS makes parking easier by allowing you to turn the wheel through fewer degrees to achieve tight turning angles so that's not a function of the Servotronic bit.

The reality is that the only benefit anyone will get from VSS is easier parking. That means that calling it Variable Sport Steering is misleading and therefore marketing BS




-edit- You can do the maths easily enough on the steering angles we're talking about here. At 90* of lock, which is a pretty tight, relatively slow turn, the difference in steering angles between Servotronic and VSS would be 3*. Could anyone notice 3* difference in the lock on their wheel? Really? And that's the absolute maximum difference in normal driving. obviously it's much more in parking but that's kinda my point At a normal 0 to 45 degree steering input which is where most of us spend our lives, even on spirited B-road driving, you're talking between 0 and 1.5 degrees of difference in the steering angle. It's bugger all and I'd maintain that a 3% difference in steering input does not a "sporty" rack maketh In fact, it's barely even visible.
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Last edited by MaestroAl; 11-27-2012 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Added some more nonesense
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      11-27-2012, 08:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaestroAl View Post
Going from 15:1 to 14.5:1 != "a much sportier rack" so it's just marketing calling it sporty. There are only a handful of humans who would notice the difference and the feel would be identical since it's the Servotronic element that stiffens the steering up in the various adaptive modes.

You also then went on to say that Servotronic makes parking easier which, yes it kinda does because it makes the steering lighter at slow speeds, isn't what you're referring to, I don't think, since VSS is the topic. And VSS makes parking easier by allowing you to turn the wheel through fewer degrees to achieve tight turning angles so that's not a function of the Servotronic bit.

The reality is that the only benefit anyone will get from VSS is easier parking. That means that calling it Variable Sport Steering is misleading and therefore marketing BS




-edit- You can do the maths easily enough on the steering angles we're talking about here. At 90* of lock, which is a pretty tight, relatively slow turn, the difference in steering angles between Servotronic and VSS would be 3*. Could anyone notice 3* difference in the lock on their wheel? Really? And that's the absolute maximum difference in normal driving. obviously it's much more in parking but that's kinda my point At a normal 0 to 45 degree steering input which is where most of us spend our lives, even on spirited B-road driving, you're talking between 0 and 1.5 degrees of difference in the steering angle. It's bugger all and I'd maintain that a 3% difference in steering input does not a "sporty" rack maketh In fact, it's barely even visible.
Well it feels sportier to me.
Without the "Math".
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      11-27-2012, 08:44 AM   #18
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I'd say from your earlier comments that you, like many others, are talking about Servotronic, not VSS You may have VSS but when you switch to "Sport" mode, it's the Servotronic steering that adds weight.

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      11-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobUK View Post
I got VSS on mine as part of spec'ing the Sport Auto box.
Are ya sure? Or do you man you got "Sport+" mode? I've never heard of BMW giving away options for free
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      11-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
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AI've never heard of BMW giving away options for free
While I don't think that fellow got VSS for free, BMW does indeed give several options for free, with the right car/config.

Here's one example: http://www.f30post.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=120

Another is a free Value Package which includes Nav, etc., when you order the 535i GT model.

These situations may only apply to the US, but they are indeed $0 cost options
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      11-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #21
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You lot get much better packages than us
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      11-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #22
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You lot get much better packages than us
It is the consolation we get for having those ugly yellow reflectors on our front bumpers
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