BMW 5 Series Technology



Pictured above; BMW 5 series Heads Up Display


BMW's new 5 Series sedan quite simply resets the benchmark in dynamic mid-size sports luxury motoring.
Its predecessor held critics in its thrall and the new E60 5 Series is set to repeat that achievement, though at a far higher level thanks to even greater dynamic refinement. With its unrivalled roll call of advanced technology, including world-first Active Steering and Dynamic Drive, BMW's engineers provide 5 Series owners with even more dynamic control and driving pleasure at a level never previously experienced.
Active Steering
A world first, Active Steering provides extremely direct responsive steering at low and medium speeds and more indirect response at high speed, providing a more relaxing freeway cruise. At city speeds, enhanced agility thanks to more direct steering ratio helps the driver to slice decisively through traffic or ease into cramped parking spaces requiring as few as 1.7 turns to travel from lock-to-lock. At medium speeds too, the direct response means the car reacts more adroitly, providing greater feedback and putting the driver in dynamic control, Active Steering helping to shrink the car around the driver. Greater steering precision, and on winding roads, a more go-kart style response provides greater driver satisfaction.
The system provides active counter-steering during sudden high-speed lane change manoeuvres to dampen yaw effects that may destabilise the car, and thus aid its return to the intended course. The variation in steering lock is provided via a mechanical planetary gearbox on the steering column, activated by an electric motor controlled by a computer fed by a phalanx of sensors.
Head-Up Display
Another feature in the BMW is Head-up Display. This projects vital driver information such as road speed or navigation instructions, cruise and speed control information as well as messages from the on board systems monitor straight onto the windscreen, without affecting visibility or requiring the driver to alter his focus or shift his view to take in important data.
This innovative system helps reduce driver fatigue over long journeys.
Active Cruise Control
BMW introduces Active Cruise Control as an option for E60 5 Series buyers, providing a superior level of relaxed high-speed driving.
Through the use of a radar sensor, the 5 Series sedan can maintain a pre-set, fixed, following distance from the vehicle ahead, making driving in convoy less tiring. On the open road the ACC acts like a conventional cruise control, maintaining a fixed speed, but when it detects a vehicle travelling ahead in the same lane, the system adopts a pre-determined safe following distance by matching the speed of the front vehicle, unless the driver manually over-rides the system to overtake. If the vehicle ahead slows, the 5 Series' brakes are gently activated to maintain the safe following distance. In an emergency, the ACC can trigger the brakes quickly should another vehicle intrude into the minimum distance safety zone, or if the vehicle in front slows suddenly.
Active Cruise Control Stop & Go
An additional function mated to Active Cruise Control, Stop & Go performs a similar function at low speed in dense traffic, helping to remove the opportunity for rear-end collisions. A second set of radar sensors monitor vehicles up to 20 m ahead in traffic and can slow the car to a standstill, by activating the brakes and reducing engine output. The driver presets a following distance and can intervene to brake or accelerate at anytime.
Just as Active Cruise Control supplements driver input, Stop & Go similarly does not take control from the driver, rather it endeavours to make driving less tiring and tiresome in heavy traffic. Active Cruise Control Stop & Go is part of the BMW Connected Drive philosophy, developing driver assistance systems to support the driver by combining human skills with the technical systems to give the driver optimum convenience at the wheel.
Dynamic Drive
The dynamism, agility and supreme sportiness of the new BMW 5 Series' aluminium chassis is enhanced still further via a selection of control systems designed with driving enjoyment and safety in mind. Dynamic Drive aims to provide perfect balance in every bend, by eliminating body roll by building counter-forces in the front and rear anti roll bars without compromising the performance of the spring or damper at each corner.
Dynamic Traction Control allows greater discretion before intervening to limit slip or wheelspin if the driver is enjoying himself on a winding road. A component of the standard Dynamic Stability control system that reduces engine output and can apply individual wheel brakes to help maintain control, switchable DTC also provides a higher triggering threshold when driving on loose surfaces such as gravel, sand or snow.
iDrive with extended Voice Recognition System BMW's innovative in-car control philosophy has been matched to the needs of the 5 Series driver. A simplified iDrive system complete with colour coding and new main menu button provide even easier access to the many hundreds of settings and function controls available through the innovative iDrive system, offered for the first time on the 5 Series. iDrive provides control over communication, navigation, entertainment and climate settings. The iDrive controller sits on the centre console behind the gear selector. A new extended Voice Recognition System allows a greater number of the iDrive functions to be activated by voice commands. A text-to-speech feature allows e-mails to be read out as well as short messages and telephone dialling lists. The driver can also instruct the Navigation system as to the desired destination address by voice command and the system then plots the most suitable course.
Technology on a higher plane
Automatic climate control air conditioning is standard on all new 5 Series sedans, providing individual climatic zones for four quadrants of the cabin.
A misting sensor detects the windscreen fogging up and automatically deploys the demist function. The front centre under armrest stowage bin can be heated or cooled depending on the driver's requirements while interior lighting systems can be adjusted to suit the mood. Also standard is a multifunction steering wheel that includes programmable buttons for frequently activated functions. Front seats of all new 5 Series models come with electric adjustment while comfort seats with active headrests and backrest adjustment are optional on some models. Optional Active Seat ventilation and seat heating provides fatigue-free motoring.
Weight saving
The unique combination of optimum acceleration and good fuel economy, not to mention superior handling response is achieved via a scrupulous attention to weight saving that results in the entire front structure and exterior panels of the new 5 Series being constructed from high-strength, light-weight aluminium. The E60 is 60 kg lighter at the front than the E39. Factor in the all aluminium front suspension that provides an ideal 50/50 weight distribution front to rear, wider track and longer wheelbase, and the benefits to handling, ride and overall vehicle balance become immediately apparent. Aluminium wheels and brake callipers play their part in reducing unsprung weight, too.
Manufacturing technology
Joining aluminium and steel together at the front firewall requires a special hybrid joint comprising isolating adhesives and specially coated punched rivets. A special adhesive is also applied to steel-to-steel welding to provide a stronger join as well as superior sealing and vibration damping.
As many as 1,000 robots deliver up to 4000 welds to join the 500 individual parts that make up the four versions of the 5 Series body shell (left and right-hand drive, with or without sun roof). There are more than five metres of seam welding, more than 60 metres of adhesive and 600 punched rivets used in the creation of the shell that weighs less than 350 kg. A total surface area of 92 square metres of body shell is painted with 15 kg of dip paint, primer and water-based topcoat for a layer only 0.1mm thick across the entire body.

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Did You Know?

When Vickers sold the Rolls Royce car company to VW in 98, Rolls Royce PLC sold the rights to the name and logo to BMW. Both companies had to agree that after 2002 only BMW could sell Rolls Royce and VW could only sell Bentleys.



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