Delivering The Power - 2011 BMW 528i Long-Term Road Test
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2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

2011 BMW 528i: Delivering The Power

October 11, 2010

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It turns out a straight six sans turbo can move our longterm 2011 BMW 528i with ample conviction. All it requires is the willingness to exploit the rev range.

And that's where the 8-speed autobox comes in.

Eight speeds is apparently not too many, if they're managed well. This is the conclusion I reached with the 8-speeder in the Lexus IS-F as well, so the art is two for two in my book.

If you just plant your foot, the 'box's fairly-quick shifts and close ratios keep the BMW near its peak power production range as revs don't fall very far with each upchange. It's also cooperative with the downshifting during part-throttle driving, especially if you slot the electric razor -- er, console shifter -- over to 'S' mode. And the shifts are smooth. Nearly imperceptible.

Yup, this car has plenty of thrust if you just feed it some revs. Don't fear the revs. Exploit them.

Oddly enough, when you're leaving from a dead stop this normally aspirated powertrain exhibits an annoying pause similar to that of our estwhile twin-turbo 750i (and yet the X5 M didn't do this). The lack of turbos in the former suggest that it's some kind of drive-by-wire throttle delay/fussiness creeping into certain modern BMWs. Shame, that.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


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