Posted by John on September 24, 1998 at 10:34:15:
In Reply to: 528 or 5xx uprated or 540 ? posted by Allan on September 24, 1998 at 08:46:42:
I finally decided on the 528 5-spd with the sport suspension. It felt lighter and much more "tossable". I drive primarily in urban areas with a combination of rough and smooth streets (downtown Washington, DC) and appreciate being able to scoot around the streets.
The sport suspension makes a great deal of difference. Also, the 528 has rack-and-pinion steering that feels reasonably good.
I might have preferred the larger brakes of the 540 but I don't seem to have any problems with stopping or fade. I'm really limited more by traffic than by the car. I often afraid of stopping faster than the cars behind me.
It might have made more sense for BMW to have provided the 6 speed for the 528 since it could have been geared lower in first while keeping the same gearing for highway cruising. However, the 5 speed is very nice.
I've looked into the question of more power as well. It seems that supercharging is probably a better way to go than either a turbo or an engine swap - cheaper, easier, and better integrated with the rest of the car. However, I haven't found anyone who has developed engine management software that's customized for the supercharger. Some folks have said it doesn't matter, while others have agreed that overall performance and efficiency would be better if the software were properly mapped. Fuel efficiency matters to me as well.
I'd like to hear more from anyone else. While I'm not rushing out to get more power (having just avoided a couple of tickets), I'd like a bit more push.