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Thread: S OT: Why is the 1 series sport smoother than the mini sport?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    574

    Default S OT: Why is the 1 series sport smoother than the mini sport?

    I recently test drove a 128is and then a mini clubman sport. The difference in ride quality was a very noticeable between the two. Both were quick and handled curves and maneuvers with great composure. But, the 128 sport suspension was smooth as butter compared to the jarring, panel-rattling suspension on the mini. I've also noticed this whenever I drive an E39 and then get back to my E34 with bilstein HDs. The E34 will communicate every bump, and in this case will feel more alive and engaging but also uncomfortable, while a 540i sport E39 will be way faster and flatter through the curves, but it will feel calm and smooth. So, I wonder, what is the difference? What is it about newer BMWs that allows for this "smooth stiffness"? Is it the design of the frame? The extra weight?


    1995 525i 5-Speed 201,000mi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    4,892

    Default

    The suspendion design makes alot of differnce. The E34 is a strut suspension on all 4 corners. The E39 is strut in front and shock absorber in rear... meaning different suspension in the back.

    Generally speaking ... all strut type suspension will be quite harsh when it comes to bumps... If you got sport suspension strut type, it is pretty downright harsh on massive bump or potholes. If you got regular suspension, it is not so bad... but any strut car will never ride as smooth as traditional suspension type.

    The reason for using strut suspension is that it is a much cheaper suspension setup.... engineering, space and parts.

    There are always some sort of compromises to all different suspension types.... but BMW has always use strut suspensions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    574

    Default

    So, if I hear you right, the difference is that the E34 and mini have strut suspension in the rear, but not the 128is or the E39? But all four cars have struts in front, so I don't see how the rear alone would make that big of a difference....especially when the front is taking most of the punishment. I can understand that a new F10, like a new Honda/Acura, would be much smoother due to the double wishbone setup, but that doesn't explain the differences between the rest of the BMWs. I think the more likely explanation is that BMW acquired some kind of alien technology sometime in the mid-nineties, just a decade too late for our E34s.


    1995 525i 5-Speed 201,000mi

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