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Re: I still have top speed answer...Peter G.?? (archive)

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Posted by Lew on January 06, 1999 at 13:20:33:

In Reply to: I still have top speed answer...Peter G.?? posted by Craig on January 05, 1999 at 19:55:11:

: Peter's video is great. I watched it several times. I noted that the tach stayed buried near the red line in what I assume was 4th for what seemed like a long time (maybe this was just the digitizing effect?). My experiences with my '99 540iA Sport would have suggested the car would have automatically upshifted (this is sometimes annoying; I think it shifts too soon). I have also not seen a definitive answer on top speed for the auto sport. In an earlier post, Lew indicated all autos were mapped to 137, but Peter's video would seem to refute this...could Euro-delivery cars be mapped differently? Also, my '97 540iA would reach about 105 in 3rd, whereas new car with lower (numerically higher) rear axle ratio seems to reach only about 92-94, so it seems 4th gear has a very wide speed band, as it appeared Peter neared 140 in 4th - just the horsepower eventually catching up to the torque??

From published data, road tests, etc. it's clear that BMW programs different versions of E39 for varying top speeds. Your 5401A is mapped to the 130MPH (137MPH..I'm unclear at this point) standard. The steptronic in Peter's car is clearly programmed (his photo is proof) for the same top end as a 6 speed....about 155MPH. This is a new deal. His German delivered car would have to be US DOT sped'd for importation, so no, it's probably how they are delivering all US equipped Steptronics. Another difference between the Steptronic and your 540iA is that the Step is a 5 speed transmission. They are also delivering those with a different "performance" rear drive ratio . It is confusing, but illustrates BMW's directive to use a single platform for a variety of levels of "sport." The dealers don't seem to know this any better than we do, so there's not much info there unless you get a really enthusiastic sales or service person. By the way obviously I stand corrected on my prior post.The 130-137MPH map limit doesn't stand for the Step's, I guess.

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