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Old 16th March 2010, 19:38   #1
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Default Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02493.jpg
vehicle description:
  • Make and Model: BMW 550I pre facelift import version
  • colour: black
  • engine: 4.8 Naturally Aspirated V8 petrol, 367 bhp
  • model year: 2006
  • kms driven by previous owner (not known)= 44,500 approx
  • current status: for sale
  • asking price: Rs. 30,00,000-32,00,000
equipment fitted:
  • M sports package-front, side and rear skirts, M badged leather steering wheel
  • nightvision
  • front and rear parktronic
  • 18" wheels
  • bi-xenon headlights with washers
  • multifunctional steering wheel
  • engine start/stop button
  • I drive (old version)
  • bluetooth connectivity IIRC
Work required:
  • service
  • front bumper misaligned-to be refitted and repainted
  • steering wheel leather worn out, needs replacement
  • interior cleaning
  • exterior cleaning and polish
Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02491.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th March 2010 at 22:17. Reason: 350bhp changed to 367bhp on request
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Old 16th March 2010, 19:45   #2
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No, before you start pelting stones at me, let me tell you that it is NOT my car, that is I have NOT purchased it.

Actually I got a call from my friend that a unique 5 series with a V8 petrol motor has turned up for sale somewhere in Delhi, and I went to check it and drive it. Why the owner has sold or who has sold, I was not interested. i just wanted to put her through its paces.

Now for asking price quoted above and vehicle description mentioned, I think that it makes worthy for a second look, doesn't it?

As you will notice in the pictures, this vehicle is a pre facelift version of the 60 5 series, originally introduced in 2004 in Germany. the vehicle pictured here is the range topper-the V8 4.8 petrol equipped 550I.

front looks sinister in black, even after 4 years.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02490.jpg

rear end has a different decklid design and non LED taillights indicating that it is a pre facelifted version.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02492.jpg

The heart of the matter-very rare in Indian soil.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02493.jpg

rear bumper has m sport skirts and parktronic as loadings.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02484.jpg

front radiator grill full wire mesh, another indication of M sports package front bumper. It is misaligned.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02466.jpg

18" wheels with standard radials, no runflats.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02467.jpg

side profile:

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02459.jpg

twin exhausts on on side.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02460.jpg

clean rear 3 quarter. car needs thorough washing

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02461.jpg

Last edited by sidindica : 16th March 2010 at 19:51.
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Old 16th March 2010, 19:58   #3
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Step into the interior, and you are greeted by BMW's simplistic attention to design and detail. ergonomic quirks aside, it is quite an inviting place to be.

Its spacious and comfortable at the same ith good front and rear head and legroom. Front seats are fully powered with 2 memory settings.
Side (rear window) and rear sun curtains are standard in this car.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02454.jpg
Clean center console. minimalist controls for audio and HVAC. All other functions controlled by I drive.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02455.jpg
automatic tiptronic gear lever and I drive button. paddle shift NOT standard.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02456.jpg
on board vehicle computer controlled by i-drive. One of many complicated function.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02457.jpg
awkwardly placed co driver power window switch.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02458.jpg
high quality full leather door pad.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02468.jpg
excellent rear seat legroom and comfort. Cushioning base just perfect.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02469.jpg
rear door pad, high quality but notice the handle design and placement of power window switch.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02470.jpg
reading lights for rear passengers. reminds you of aircraft?

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02471.jpg
co-driver's view.high quality polished wood veneer.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02472.jpg
screen to display on board vehicle information with trip computer, service details, other driver oriented functions etc.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02473.jpg
rear AC vents with independent controls. 4 zone ACC standard.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02474.jpg
front cabin lights.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02475.jpg
driver's window and OSRVM controls.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02476.jpg
typical German controls for lights and engine start/stop button

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02477.jpg
large and legible tachometer with outstanding clarity.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02478.jpg
Typical BMW approach to instrumentation-clean and easy to read spedometer.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02479.jpg
M badged multifunctonal steering wheel. Note worn out leather.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02480.jpg
controls for audio.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02481.jpg
controls for bluetooth phone interface.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02482.jpg
cruise control and power adjust tilt and telescopic steering wheel standard.

Last edited by sidindica : 16th March 2010 at 20:10.
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:11   #4
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Interior description:

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02483.jpg
hug boot space of 500 plus litres.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02486.jpg
a close up of centre console. Only houses the CD loading bay and volume knob. 6 CD MP3/WMA standard along with an aux-in port inside the front armrest.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02489.jpg
multifunctional key fob. Keyless go also standard. Massaging seats not loaded in this car.

Last edited by sidindica : 16th March 2010 at 20:14.
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:14   #5
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Nice
Now this is a Sleeper
where is the driving impression?
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:28   #6
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the heart of the matter:

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02463.jpg

V8 powered business sedans like the 550i are rare find in our country as their import cost almost equals the base V6 models of super luxury class like the 7 series 730i.

This particluar example is powered by a 32 valve, DOHC all aluminium N62-B48 petrol engine displacing 4799cc with 8 cylinders in vee arrangement.
Power comes at 367 horses at 6300 rpm and torque is rated at 490 Nm@ 3400 rpm, without direct injection and turbocharging.

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02464.jpg

Bore is 93 mm and stroke is 88.3 mm.
It uses SFI fuel injection, has 4 valves per cylinder with BMW's double-VANOS (Variable Nockenwellen Steuerung) variable valve timing, co developed with Continental Treaves and valvetronic technologies and features fracture-split forged powdered metal connecting rods.

VANOS varies the timing of the valves by moving the position of the camshafts in relation to the drive gear. This movement varies from 6 degrees of advanced to 6 degrees of retarded camshaft timing.

Valvetronic:

The Valvetronic system is a variable valve timing system to offer continuously variable timing (on both intake and exhaust camshafts) along with continuously variable intake valve lift, from ~0 to 10 mm, and duration of the intake camshaft. Valvetronic-equipped engines are unique in that they rely on the amount of valve lift for load control, rather than a butterfly valve in the intake tract. In other words, in normal driving, the "gas pedal" controls the Valvetronic hardware rather than the throttle plate.
Cylinder heads with Valvetronic use an extra set of rocker arms, called intermediate arms (lift scaler), positioned between the valve stem and the camshaft. These intermediate arms are able to pivot on a central point, by means of an extra, electronically actuated camshaft. This movement alone, without any movement of the intake camshaft, can open or close the intake valves.
Because the intake valves now have the ability to move from fully closed to fully open positions, and everywhere in between, the primary means of controlling engine output is transferred from the throttle plate to the intake valvetrain.

By shortening the duration of the intake instead of throttling, pumping losses are reduced and fuel economy is improved. By reducing the valve lift, asymmetrically on 4-valve engines, swirl is generated in the cylinder, leading to a better air/fuel mixture. By avoiding a large air reservoir between the throttle and the engine responsiveness can be improved, though it depends on the speed of the electric motor actuating the second camshaft.
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:31   #7
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Nice snaps sid.
I remember spotting a black BMW 550i at Khan Market last month. Probably it was the same one.
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:42   #8
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Now thats a Pre-owned car I would buy without second thoughts if have that moolah! Great reviews and snaps Sid!

Reminds me of a BMW pre-owned campaign "You know you're not the first".
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:48   #9
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The drive:

Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02487.jpg

Press the start button, and the engine settles with a perceptible growl typical to that of Teutonic V8s. Press the throttle and the sounds become throaty yet sporty and you know that you are in treat before you unleash all those 367 horses at your disposal.

This car is a road rocket. 0-100 is dispatched in "claimed less than 6 seconds" and while I did not use a stop watch to time it, these figures felt almost on par with the way the car surges the moment you press the throttle. Power delivery is rapid yet liner, especially at high rpms and the motor comfortably revs to 7,00 plus rpms with the 6-speed close ratio gearbox complimenting the motor perfectly. Even at 45,000 km driven car, the engine felt almost as good as new with speeds surging with an susceptible purr. While I did not exceed 130-140 kmph at the given road stretch, the car felt begging for more. And more, and more. But you know how good Delhi traffic really is.

Bottom end performance is simply sensational with the 1st and second gears working like magic with no jerks and perfect downshift times. Drivng at manual mode (by pressing the lever to left and changing gears in plus and minus fashion) is simply a treat and the best way to extract the maximum of this motor.

Given an empty stretch, it is a serious mile muncher and a highway star, where superb road manners complimenting the perfect BMW silky smooth engine make it piloting this car a pleasure.

ride and handling:


Driven: BMW E 60 550i V8-dsc02488.jpg

BMW calls it "The ultimate driving machine" and at least on paper, it has all the right ingredients right down from the powerful engine to its near perfect 50-50 weight distribution and brilliant relation to driver and its controls.

So how does this car feel on road?
Equipped with the M sports package, the suspension is lowered by 10 mm and springs and dampers are stiffer by 10-15 percent IIRC.
Ride quality, as expected from a car riding on low pro 18" tyres and wheels, is harsh with minor irregularities filtering into the passenger cabin. rear passengers tend to get tossed and th car simply cannot match e-class levels of ride (E class if equipped with 17" whels as it is in India). But as speeds increase, the car feels incredibly stable and secure and ride only improves, albeit marginally.

But this minor flaw cannot be termed as a deal breaker. that brings us to its upside-outstanding handling, hallmark of all BMWs. At parking speeds, the steering is light but not as light as in the A6, requiring a bit of effort to manouvre around at low speeds.

A speeds build up, the car's integral "active steering" system (was standard in this car) just gives you the right amount of balance and grip and makes for an amazing driver's car with outstanding composure and close to minimum body roll at cornering.

Braking is again superb with ABS cutting at right time making for sure short stopping distances. DTC (ESP) is also standard, making the car stable at high speed turns. DTC can be turned of, of course to make the car drift, though I request you not do so unless driving at a track.
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Old 16th March 2010, 20:55   #10
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So, at 32 lakhs, is it worth a buy?

Of course for me, yes, but provided someone else pays for the petrol (expect a mileage of 4-6 kmpl n this car), and since BMW now has good service network, so procuring parts and service is not a problem, as it shares its motor with the X5 4.8 I.

You can get decent brand new cars or the same price, but a case of v8 powered business sedan suddenly looks tempting, especially with the motor using simple technology and without complexities like DI and turbo, making it easier to live with.

In an era of downsizing and DI and turbo motors in a bid to cut emissions and increase mileage to meet strict CAFE regulations, the golden era of performance cars is slowly driving into sunset and this is the best time to enjoy it, isn't it?

Overall, I may call it a BAAP of "pre worshipped cars".

Time to get that noton wala briefcase and sign a deal? you decide!

OT: Sorry to nitpick you GTO, but aren't you tempted, maybe so later?

Last edited by sidindica : 16th March 2010 at 20:57.
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Old 16th March 2010, 21:36   #11
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sid - get this machine (or ask whosoever you were reviewing this car for to get it)!

Last edited by blackasta : 16th March 2010 at 21:37.
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Old 16th March 2010, 21:38   #12
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Somebody give me 32l as ransom and the next day it will be in my garage.I cannot afford of even dreaming of such big amount for the next half a decade at least.
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Old 16th March 2010, 21:45   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
  • M sports package-front, side and rear skirts, M badged leather steering wheel
  • nightvision
  • front and rear parktronic
  • 18" wheels
  • bi-xenon headlights with washers
  • multifunctional steering wheel
  • engine start/stop button
  • I drive (old version)
  • bluetooth connectivity IIRC
Is this just an appearance package? I drove an E60 when it was launched here. Its was a 545i with sport package (includes active steering and active roll bar). My God what a car....although the runflats thump thump spoiled the show. Could'nt stop grinning like a fool after the drive
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Old 16th March 2010, 21:45   #14
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Why would I buy this when I could buy a preworshipped 2 year old 530d and chip it to same capacity for same price?

If the car was priced at the early 20 L's , maybe
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Old 16th March 2010, 22:04   #15
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Nice review and pictures there. But with such low mileage and harsh ride quality, i doubt anyone in India would get his hands on the 550i. That is why BMW never bothered launching it here. At this price, a pre-owned 530d would be a better option IMO.
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