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      07-12-2013, 04:53 AM   #1
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Owners of xdrive with adaptive suspension please look

Hi all i drove an xdrive msport without adaptive and really did not rate the damping at all and i cant for the life of me find one anywhere in the UK with adaptive to drive so i am now in two minds whether to order or not.

I have a 50 mile round trip back road blast to work and back and i drive enthusiastically I am on my fourth full set of tyres in 45K and second set of front and rear discs on my 170BHP Yeti so the car gets a bit of stick (and i don't drive at silly speeds just enthusiastically like i said) can any owners with adaptive suspension on an xdrive post up subjectively on how the car handles when pushed in the twisties and possibly how it compares to the standard suspension or the two wheel drive msport set up if they have experience of both.

Sorry to all the people who are sick of my posts which are all similar but i am at the point where i might have to take a gamble on a 35K car on faith and my nerves are twitching a bit.
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      07-12-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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I can give you my take on the suspension. Drivers are a 996/S with the European X74 suspension (non-adjustable GT3) and an E39 530 sport w/M5 rear bar and Koni's. I just picked up a 328i XDrive Sport Wagon with adaptive/summer tires and took it from Munich to Switzerland over the Tirolian Alps. Nothing that would approach strenuous driving but back roads about 2/3rds of the way and plenty of twisties.

Basically, in Comfort the car falls all over itself. Abrupt and exaggerated transitions. Its nothing like any of our 5 previous BMW's and incompetent is how I would rate it. A highway setting only. I believe all XDrives come with the standard springs, not Sport, so I would imagine Comfort in adaptive is close to what you drove.

Put it in Sport and its quite a likeable car. Points well, no understeer, good transitions and feels settled with the driving I did. It's not as communicative or settled/buttoned down as the 530 but the ride is a heck of lot better and it responds quicker to input. I was rather pleased with the car. Having said that, I purchased the car as it was time for more civilized transportation. I'm still new to the car but I'm not sure I would push it like our 530 let alone the P.

I think you owe it to yourself to find an adaptive to drive. Or, just order one. I'm not sure if I would be looking at any of the current models with enthusiastic driving in mind. But as a nice daily driver with the ability to carry a decent pace through twisties, I find its good, in Sport.
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      07-13-2013, 01:21 AM   #3
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I have a 335i xDrive M Sport with Dynamic Handling Package (DHP includes Variable Sport Steering and M Sport Dynamic Damping but not the lowered coils). In a word the difference between comfort and sport is a world of difference. It makes all the difference in the world.

Comfort is good for highways. Any enthusiastic driving with hills and curves thrown in or spirited driving and the front end will wallow and plough. Set it in sport with DHP and it becomes a proper BMW. Not worth it without DHP IMO.
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      07-13-2013, 06:00 AM   #4
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DHP is not a lot of money.

Stop asking questions, stop stressing, and just buy the thing already.
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      07-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Hi, Stan

From your description of your driving, there is no question you will greatly prefer DHP and will appreciate it. It is a nice bit of kit.

Be aware, however, the default xDrive power distribution is 40:60. The xDrive accordingly exhibits more understeer than RWD, particularly when pushed. Of course, you have driven an xDrive and probably have already determined if this is something you can live with or not.

Good luck!
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      07-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk
Hi, Stan

From your description of your driving, there is no question you will greatly prefer DHP and will appreciate it. It is a nice bit of kit.

Be aware, however, the default xDrive power distribution is 40:60. The xDrive accordingly exhibits more understeer than RWD, particularly when pushed. Of course, you have driven an xDrive and probably have already determined if this is something you can live with or not.

Good luck!
This is Elks interpretation of how xdrive works but you should look at the recent reviews of motortrend of both the s4 with a 40:60 split and the 335i xdrive with PPK. It is interesting to me that on the S4 they specifically mentioned under steer. With the xdrive there was no reference of under steer in their review. They even went onto describe how the car did not feel nose heavy. Something they specifically mentioned experiencing in their reviews of the S4 and the 335i rwd. In fact the only complaint they had was body roll.

I am in no way trying to say the xdrive is superior to either of the two cars here. However I worry about people making decisions just based on what us posters say here (myself included). Please review all 3 reviews as well as consider what we say before making your own decision.

Also please read up in xdrive and how it's specifically mentions how BMW engineers under steer out so xdrive retains a rwd feel. The absence of under steer in Motortrends review seems to corroborate that BMW marketing materials are spot on in terms of dialing out under steer

Good luck
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      07-13-2013, 12:22 PM   #7
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XDrive as described by BMW

"With the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, each axle uses its traction to the maximum. Your BMW provides stable acceleration out of bends. If – particularly in adverse conditions – more torque has to be applied to the road, that’s when Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) comes into operation. In addition to improving traction, the system also recognises the first signs of oversteering and understeering. Within a tenth of a second it distributes up to almost 100% of the engine torque to the front or rear axle via the transmission and an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch before returning to the normal 40:60 distribution ratio.
With this technology, BMW provides an intelligent all-wheel-drive system with all the benefits of rear-wheel-drive: precise handling, optimum cornering and a clear separation between the engine and steering."
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      07-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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Also please read up in xdrive and how it's specifically mentions how BMW engineers under steer out so xdrive retains a rwd feel. The absence of under steer in Motortrends review seems to corroborate that BMW marketing materials are spot on in terms of dialing out under steer

Good luck[/QUOTE]

I have to say when I was deliberately (mis) treating the test car aggressively to see how it behaved I did not feel any understeer and also while there was roll it was not excessive. The problem was the damping the car was constantly undulating and when driving at high speed on rough roads the body control was rubbish pogoing one minute crashing the next hence the reason for my post I want to know if the adaptive helps to reduce this. Latest news is I have managed to find a demonstrator with Xdrive and adaptive so the answer is a few hours away
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      07-13-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan876
Also please read up in xdrive and how it's specifically mentions how BMW engineers under steer out so xdrive retains a rwd feel. The absence of under steer in Motortrends review seems to corroborate that BMW marketing materials are spot on in terms of dialing out under steer

Good luck
I have to say when I was deliberately (mis) treating the test car aggressively to see how it behaved I did not feel any understeer and also while there was roll it was not excessive. The problem was the damping the car was constantly undulating and when driving at high speed on rough roads the body control was rubbish pogoing one minute crashing the next hence the reason for my post I want to know if the adaptive helps to reduce this. Latest news is I have managed to find a demonstrator with Xdrive and adaptive so the answer is a few hours away [/QUOTE]
Great stuff. At least you can really experience the car before you buy it. All the best
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      07-13-2013, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
This is Elks interpretation of how xdrive works . . .
This is not "interpretation," front wheel or partial front wheel drive understeers as a matter of physics. In summary, friction used to accelerate cannot be used to steer. Any time the front wheel are used to accelerate, there is less friction available to turn in comparison to an RWD car.

If anyone is interested in learning more, look up "friction circle."

Of course, if you personally do not feel it or do not care, this characteristic becomes irrelevant. I find it easy to feel and, for me, driving an xDrive disappointing. The OP's description of his driving leads me to believe he may reach the same conclusion. Others love xDrive cars.

Keep in mind the RWD F30 understeers as well, more than I would prefer. Most street cars do. The xDrive simply understeers more than RWD. This does not damn the car.

Quote:
Please review all 3 reviews as well as consider what we say before making your own decision.
Even better, drive the car and make up your own mind.
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      07-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk
Quote:
Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
This is Elks interpretation of how xdrive works . . .
This is not "interpretation," front wheel or partial front wheel drive understeers as a matter of physics. In summary, friction used to accelerate cannot be used to steer. Any time the front wheel are used to accelerate, there is less friction available to turn in comparison to an RWD car.

If anyone is interested in learning more, look up "friction circle."

Of course, if you personally do not feel it or do not care, this characteristic becomes irrelevant. I find it easy to feel and, for me, driving an xDrive disappointing. The OP's description of his driving leads me to believe he may reach the same conclusion. Others love xDrive cars.

Keep in mind the RWD F30 understeers as well, more than I would prefer. Most street cars do. The xDrive simply understeers more than RWD. This does not damn the car.

Quote:
Please review all 3 reviews as well as consider what we say before making your own decision.
Even better, drive the car and make up your own mind.
The problem with your under steer scenario above is it assumes the car will always have the front wheels engaged. I will repost this for you to consider.

" In addition to improving traction, the system also recognises the first signs of oversteering and understeering. Within a tenth of a second it distributes up to almost 100% of the engine torque to the front or rear axle via the transmission and an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch before returning to the normal 40:60 distribution ratio."

I merely pointed out that the experts are not observing this under steer with the xdrives. At no point did I mention what I feel. My emotions are not involved in this, just pointing out the inconsistencies.
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      07-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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Question for those with the adaptive suspension. Does it leave it in the setting you shut the car off in? What I mean is if you like the sport setting do you have to select that every time you start up or is it preset?
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      07-14-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlover
Question for those with the adaptive suspension. Does it leave it in the setting you shut the car off in? What I mean is if you like the sport setting do you have to select that every time you start up or is it preset?
No, it defaults to comfort every time the car is started.
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      07-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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Regarding the understeer issue i think that it will probably be similar on the two wheel drive and 4 wheel drive cars. The electronics should transfer the drive as soon as they detect slip from the front wheels. It is true though that most modern mass produced cars have some understeer built in to give the numpties enough warning to prevent them crashing and i totally understand why they do it. As i said i did not feel any noticeable understeer but i was not on the limit and i am sure it raises its ugly head before the limit is reached.
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      07-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #15
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After much searching managed to find an xdrive with adaptive suspension in Crewe and drove over this afternoon to drive it.

Verdict - Panic over the adaptive suspension solves the damping issues and then some it transformed the standard suspension. I originally drove the 2 wheel drive Msport and i thought the passive suspension in that car was fantastic a masterpiece. Following that i drove the xdrive Msport (which comes without the Msport suspension) it was very poor and the damping control was terrible. The car today and the adaptive it felt as good as the 2WD Msport although, in some way i cant put my finger on, different.

Anyway to sum up were it not for the adaptive suspension i don't think i would order the xdrive i really think it should be the first tick on the configurator for anyone ordering any of the xdrives.
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      07-14-2013, 06:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan876
After much searching managed to find an xdrive with adaptive suspension in Crewe and drove over this afternoon to drive it.

Verdict - Panic over the adaptive suspension solves the damping issues and then some it transformed the standard suspension. I originally drove the 2 wheel drive Msport and i thought the passive suspension in that car was fantastic a masterpiece. Following that i drove the xdrive Msport (which comes without the Msport suspension) it was very poor and the damping control was terrible. The car today and the adaptive it felt as good as the 2WD Msport although, in some way i cant put my finger on, different.

Anyway to sum up were it not for the adaptive suspension i don't think i would order the xdrive i really think it should be the first tick on the configurator for anyone ordering any of the xdrives.
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      07-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #17
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You keep banning that drum. I have a 335i Msort with DHP and I can report in Sport mode there is no understeer and body roll is greatly reduced.

Elk keep hanging his hat on just the fact that there is power to the front wheels so there must be understeer. The combination of all BMW's systems reduce cotrol this pro-activly to the point that you will not have this problem. So it's not a fact for xDrives based solely on Elks contention.

As someone who has experience with this exact setup (it's in my driveway). Understeer in any of the driving modes is not an issue. Boddy roll is not bad in comfort but improves greatly in sport mode.

Just be careful what people try to pass off as fact just by reading that it has some power to the front wheels, the driving is the proof. This car in no way ever feel remotely like a front wheel car. It drives like a rear-wheel car, no question.

Elk seems to jump from post to post consistiently trying to diminish the F30 particulary thoes with xDrive. So take that into consideration when contemplating his position.

Kevin


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
This is not "interpretation," front wheel or partial front wheel drive understeers as a matter of physics. In summary, friction used to accelerate cannot be used to steer. Any time the front wheel are used to accelerate, there is less friction available to turn in comparison to an RWD car.

If anyone is interested in learning more, look up "friction circle."

Of course, if you personally do not feel it or do not care, this characteristic becomes irrelevant. I find it easy to feel and, for me, driving an xDrive disappointing. The OP's description of his driving leads me to believe he may reach the same conclusion. Others love xDrive cars.

Keep in mind the RWD F30 understeers as well, more than I would prefer. Most street cars do. The xDrive simply understeers more than RWD. This does not damn the car.


Even better, drive the car and make up your own mind.
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      07-14-2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevRyd
You keep banning that drum. I have a 335i Msort with DHP and I can report in Sport mode there is no understeer and body roll is greatly reduced.

Elk keep hanging his hat on just the fact that there is power to the front wheels so there must be understeer. The combination of all BMW's systems reduce cotrol this pro-activly to the point that you will not have this problem. So it's not a fact for xDrives based solely on Elks contention.

As someone who has experience with this exact setup (it's in my driveway). Understeer in any of the driving modes is not an issue. Boddy roll is not bad in comfort but improves greatly in sport mode.

Just be careful what people try to pass off as fact just by reading that it has some power to the front wheels, the driving is the proof. This car in no way ever feel remotely like a front wheel car. It drives like a rear-wheel car, no question.

Elk seems to jump from post to post consistiently trying to diminish the F30 particulary thoes with xDrive. So take that into consideration when contemplating his position.

Kevin


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
This is not "interpretation," front wheel or partial front wheel drive understeers as a matter of physics. In summary, friction used to accelerate cannot be used to steer. Any time the front wheel are used to accelerate, there is less friction available to turn in comparison to an RWD car.

If anyone is interested in learning more, look up "friction circle."

Of course, if you personally do not feel it or do not care, this characteristic becomes irrelevant. I find it easy to feel and, for me, driving an xDrive disappointing. The OP's description of his driving leads me to believe he may reach the same conclusion. Others love xDrive cars.

Keep in mind the RWD F30 understeers as well, more than I would prefer. Most street cars do. The xDrive simply understeers more than RWD. This does not damn the car.


Even better, drive the car and make up your own mind.
That's the good thing when you have two people on opposing sides. At some stage the truth will prevail
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      07-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude987 View Post
I have a 335i xDrive M Sport with Dynamic Handling Package (DHP includes Variable Sport Steering and M Sport Dynamic Damping but not the lowered coils). In a word the difference between comfort and sport is a world of difference. It makes all the difference in the world.

Comfort is good for highways. Any enthusiastic driving with hills and curves thrown in or spirited driving and the front end will wallow and plough. Set it in sport with DHP and it becomes a proper BMW. Not worth it without DHP IMO.


When you say w/o coils, is there an option for coils that I have not heard about from BMW in a PKK, or are you referring to after market mods. TIA.
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      07-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevRyd View Post
You keep banning that drum. I have a 335i Msort with DHP and I can report in Sport mode there is no understeer and body roll is greatly reduced.

Elk keep hanging his hat on just the fact that there is power to the front wheels so there must be understeer. The combination of all BMW's systems reduce cotrol this pro-activly to the point that you will not have this problem. So it's not a fact for xDrives based solely on Elks contention.

As someone who has experience with this exact setup (it's in my driveway). Understeer in any of the driving modes is not an issue. Boddy roll is not bad in comfort but improves greatly in sport mode.

Just be careful what people try to pass off as fact just by reading that it has some power to the front wheels, the driving is the proof. This car in no way ever feel remotely like a front wheel car. It drives like a rear-wheel car, no question.

Elk seems to jump from post to post consistiently trying to diminish the F30 particulary thoes with xDrive. So take that into consideration when contemplating his position.

Kevin
I think you're getting a little too defensive here, I don't read this as Elk attacking your car. What he's saying is a simple statement of physics regarding the tractive limits of the front wheels in a turn.

I don't think you'd argue that the engine generates more than enough torque on the F30 RWD to spin the wheels on a sharp turn in a low gear. So by deductive reasoning, xdrive will move drive torque to the front wheels in the same situation, which by definition will make the car understeer more if you are at the limits of the tires.

I think you're getting too hung up on the word "understeer", just because the car has more understeer doesn't make it inferior, it just changes the relative handling characteristics which might be less pleasant to certain people.

There are 3 basic ingredients that determine the handling characteristics - (1) suspension geometry/setup; (2) weight distribution; (3) drivetrain. Changing each in one way or another WILL change the oversteer/understeer characteristics, which are defined quantitatively relative to a "neutral" curve. A car can understeer slightly, or greatly, and can change depending on various vehicle inputs/states.

I can understand that you don't really care about the technical details of what all this means, but at least acknowledge that statements of physics are *facts", but how they are interpreted/feel might vary from driver to driver. A guy with a RR Porsche might hate driving a 50/50 BMW....YMMV
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      07-16-2013, 11:38 AM   #21
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I would be interested in seeing a comparison of two F30 335i's that are identically equipped except for one variable - RWD versus BMW's implementation of AWD on the F30. For example, two 335i MSport cars, one RWD and the other xDrive, where they both have the same wheels and tires, DHP, and Sport AT.

Would like to see a comparison of lap times / figure 8 times. Don't recall ever seeing anything like this.

Bruce
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      07-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceOmega View Post
I would be interested in seeing a comparison of two F30 335i's that are identically equipped except for one variable - RWD versus BMW's implementation of AWD on the F30. For example, two 335i MSport cars, one RWD and the other xDrive, where they both have the same wheels and tires, DHP, and Sport AT.

Would like to see a comparison of lap times / figure 8 times. Don't recall ever seeing anything like this.

Bruce
I agree, curious about this too.
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