Tuner Tuesday: 2008 BMW 550i M-Sport Dinan 5

I still remember well when the new E60 5-series launched. I was not impressed. It looked modern, sure, but it also looked very heavy and it was full of odd angles. It was expensive, too, and though the M5 came with a massive screaming V10, the rest of the run seemed to be pretty tame. But BMW offered steady upgrades throughout production, and the post-LCI sedans really came into their own with the M-Sport package. A few weeks ago I posted a ’08 550i M-Sport 6-speed on our Facebook page, and its popularity proved that more people are beginning to appreciate the performance value offered in this unique package. Having spent the past half year with a E61 Sport, they are really fantastic cars to drive and ooze quality and you can count me among the converted. Today I have another 550i M-Sport 6-speed, but this one has been turned up a few notches by Dinan:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 550i M-Sport on eBay

Double Take – Almost M: 2006 and 2008 BMW 550is

It seems that with every progressive generation of BMW 5-series, the gap between the outgoing M5 and the top of the line non-M 5 series narrows considerably. While there wasn’t much of a contest between the E28 M5 and E34 535i, by the end of the E34 run the 540i M Sport was – for all intents and purposes – a M5 without the S38. BMW upped the ante to 400 horsepower in the new E39 M5, once again widening the gap to the 540i model. But the successor E60 545i offered 330 horsepower with matching torque in 2003 alongside the outgoing E39 and once again the gap in performance became much smaller. That gap was made almost impercievable in 2005, when BMW revised the E60 with the increased displacement in the N62 motor. Now sporting 4.8 liters from the N62B48, the new “550i” now had 360 horsepower and 361 lb.ft of torque – a near match for the S62. What was perhaps more amazing was that the new N62 also nearly matched the torque of the new E60 M5’s S85 V10. But while that screaming V10 produced far more horsepower, the peak torque was reached only at 6,100 revolutions – hardly practical in your daily commute. In comparison, peak twist on the N62 came at a much more realistic 3,400 r.p.m.s, and on the fly these 550is were – and still are – seriously quick sedans. They also introduced the next generation of design language and computer technology into the 5-series. Some love the look while others lambaste the design. While it’s certainly not my favorite 5, at least it’s distinctive and different in a world full of cookie-cutter designs and dare I say I think it may look better today than it did new – perhaps a testament to its avant garde lines.…

Four-door….or four-door coupe? BMW 550i vs. M6 Gran Coupe

For years, the BMW 5 Series has served as a textbook example of a sports saloon. While BMW kept perfecting this genre of automobile, Mercedes-Benz spotted an opportunity in the market, developing a whole new vehicle sector: the four-door coupe. The phrase seems an oxymoron but what you are really getting is a four-door vehicle with a much more swept back roofline and four-place seating in most cases. Even Volkswagen muscled their way into this segment with their Passat CC.

Today we’ll take a look at two recent BMW offerings, both with V8 engines mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox: the 550i and the M6 Gran Coupe. We’ll start with this 2012 550i for sale in North Carolina.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 550i on eBay

2011 BMW 550i 6-speed manual

After watching a 2007 Ferrari 599GTB with a 6-speed manual gearbox hammer for almost $700,000 at this year’s Amelia Island RM Sotheby’s auction, I had mixed feelings. Surely that was a princely sum for a relatively new Ferrari, but with only 20 produced with the manual gearbox for the US market, one has to think cars like these with three pedals will continue to increase in value in an era when the shift it your own option seems to be fading away. This 2011 BMW 550i with a 6-speed manual is part of that dying breed for sure, as you can no longer buy a new 550i in the US market with a manual gearbox. Sure, you can opt for the 6-speed manual in some lesser engined variants, but the combination of the lusty turbocharged V8 and joy of rowing your own through what is undoubtedly one of the smoothest gearchanges around certainly has its perks.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 BMW 550i on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: Dinan-modded 2008 BMW 550i

Perhaps it’s fitting that if you hit the shift key on the keyboard when attempting the M-Stripes in script you get three questions marks. We’ve recently had a few features questioning whether or not you need the ///M Badge on your 5-series; most recently, Paul looked at the E34 lineup with his M5 v. 540i post. The question has remained throughout the various iterations of the 5-series; while there was a pretty big gap in performance between the E28 535is and M5, those gaps have narrowed in subsequent generations. Couple that with the increased costs of ownership of the M-branded 5 and the higher residual value, and there are some good arguments to look at the top-of-the-range normal 5 versus the Motorsports version. When it comes to the E60, that’s especially true in my mind; the M5 had that great screaming V10 motor and many are fitted with the 7-speed break-your-neck-shifting SMG gearbox. Those are great items to have when you don’t have to pay the bills to repair them, but now the best part of a decade on despite the inexpensive entry price for E60 M5s relative to the performance you’d get, they just seem like a nightmare to undertake ownership of. The answer, then, may be to find a lightly warmed over 550i:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 BMW 550i on eBay