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E39Goose

Adaptive suspension vs non adaptive suspension

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Hi guys,

 

Please excuse me ignorance, on the F10 / F11 six pot diesels, what Is the difference exactly between a car with and without adaptive suspension? What are the pros / cons? Is it worth having?

 

Thanks,

 

Dan

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Maybe but I found changing tyres had a bigger effect on motorway comfort. It is a very rate option to find I believe less than 5% have it. So it will limit your choice lots. There was only a slight difference i could feel on my test drive.

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Basically with adaptive you press a button and your damping becomes harder or softer depending on the setting.

Pros. Comfy when you want and sporty when you want. No need for a middle ground one size fits all damping.

Cons. Quite expensive. Also quite expensive to fix years down the line if you buy older cars.

Hope that helps a little. I’m sure there will be more technical replies.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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If its full adaptive drive (only offered on 6cyl models) then its variable damper control plus active rollbars which would make more of a difference. 4pots only had the variable damper option, it was pretty good on mine but non runflats tend to be help in their own right and offer more in terms of reduce tyre noise, grip etc. 

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We had a similar discussion a few weeks ago, starting at page 3 here;

 

Variable damping (VDC or sometimes EDC, option 223) does more than just soften and firm up the suspension - the video and description in the thread above explains. As mentioned previously Adaptive Drive (option 2VA) goes even further.

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I test drove extensively when I specced mine. I found VDC to be a bit of a waste of time, but AD transformed the car. It is an option for those who like to corner, rather than just accelerate and brake. Best hooligan feature is that it allows tail happy fun on roundabouts, but adjusts to marginal understeer at high speed. Just reaching 100,000 miles now, and no faults. It also disconnects the ARBs on the motorway, making the car feel like an S Class Merc.

 

Never been popular in the UK - I suspect because £2k spent on an option that doesn't even get a button vs £2k on big wheels and dark glass.

 

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I found some difference with VDC. The car I drove equipped with it felt nicer than the one without but it wasn't a startling difference. I imagine full AD would be quite something and definitely worth having if you enjoy corners.

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The biggest advantage for me of VDC is when I want to waft along I stick it in Comfort+. There is a definite difference! I don't use Sport mode at all.

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8 minutes ago, E39Goose said:

VDC? AD? What!? :blink:

 

VDC = Variable dampers only. You get Comfort+ etc on a button.

AD= Adaptive drive. This is variable dampers plus hydraulic anti roll bars. No extra button. This allows the car to vary spring rates as well as damper rates, keep the car flat in corners and vary the relationship of understeer and oversteer at different speeds. It makes the car ride even better on the motorway, and corner significantly better than with conventional anti roll bars (the hydraulic ones have motors that twist the bars in the opposite direction).

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6 minutes ago, Pottsy said:

 

VDC = Variable dampers only. You get Comfort+ etc on a button.

AD= Adaptive drive. This is variable dampers plus hydraulic anti roll bars. No extra button. This allows the car to vary spring rates as well as damper rates, keep the car flat in corners and vary the relationship of understeer and oversteer at different speeds. It makes the car ride even better on the motorway, and corner significantly better than with conventional anti roll bars (the hydraulic ones have motors that twist the bars in the opposite direction).

 

So, sorry I'm just trying to understand, so a 'standard' car doesn't have either of these, or you could spec a car with variable dampers, or upgrade further from that to have the adaptive drive? How would I know looking at a car what it has out of the three?

 

Thanks,

Dan

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The possibilities are:

 

Standard car, high ride height.

M Sport car, lower ride height and stiffer ARBs.

Standard car with high ride height and VDC.

M Sport car with lower ride height and VDC.

Standard car or M Sport car with higher ride height, with AD (which includes VDC).

 

There has been some confusion in the past, because I'm pretty sure BMW added the switches to cars without VDC at some point in the past. This makes it difficult to identify. So the best way is to use a VIN decoder.

 

https://decoder.bvzine.com/

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8 hours ago, AndyM said:

The biggest advantage for me of VDC is when I want to waft along I stick it in Comfort+. There is a definite difference! I don't use Sport mode at all.

Agreed - VDC set in Comfort+ is a very soothing way to travel.  Gear changes are set to keep revs lower and combined with the "waft" ride, it is a great de-stress at the end of a day. Don't use Sport+, but Sport is a more engaging experience with more aggressive gear changes, higher revs and a firmer ride that doesn't let you forget that you need to focus on your driving.  Sport generally not used when "the boss" is on board, as I get complaints!

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I use Sport often enough, and occasionally Sport+. I think this is where the adaptive damping comes into its own. I did a cross-Europe trek to Berlin last year, sitting at 150mph on the Autobahns on occasion, and the ride is never crashy in Sport. More planted. I did a lap of the Nurburgring on the way back too, and despite the dimensions & weight of the F11, it was very capable & confident on the track.

Since this trip I've lowered the front using Eibach springs, and lowered the rear using a laptop, so I would expect it to be even better at speed / on track now. It'll be a while before I find out, but on country lanes it's great.

Comfort/Comfort+ is fairly soft, very refined, but definitely more 'floaty' in the corners.

It's probably still not an option I would tick if I was ordering new, but a nice bonus when buying secondhand. 

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On 01/03/2019 at 13:25, BFleming said:

It's probably still not an option I would tick if I was ordering new, but a nice bonus when buying secondhand. 

Even though it was only a £985 option when new...?

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1 hour ago, AndyM said:

Even though it was only a £985 option when new...?

Even so. You add up all the 'nice to have' options and you can quickly add a king's ransom to the list price.

Comfort seats are something I won't do without in my next car; everything / anything else is 'nice to have'. Not that I have any plans to change my car any time soon.

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