In Reply to: There are other options changes, too. (more, long) posted by Tim C. on July 04, 2000 at 09:53:37:
: : only change in options for 540, is that the universal garage opener, which was an option this year it now standard.
: On the 2001 525 and 530, the premium and sport/premium packages will include the moonroof (which was a stand alone option on the 528). The moonroof will still be a stand alone option on base and sport package equipped 525s and 530s. On the 2001 525 and 530, the power right front passengers seat will be included with the new optional convenience package (which also includes the homelink universal garage door opener on both the 525 and 530). On the 525, it also includes automatic climate control front and rear with dual zones in the front. The front and rear automatic climate control system with dual zones in front is standard on the 530 and 540. The power right front passengers seat is optional on the 530 for 2001 to offset most of the cost of the new 3L I6 engine. On the 525 and 530 the 5-speed manual transmission will be standard and the 5-speed steptronic automatic transmission will be a $1,275 option, just like on the later (9-1-99 and later) 2000 528. Other changes are cosmetic. The twin-kidney grille will be the same as the M5. The front fog lights will be circular. The turn signal lenses will be clear instead orange. The tail lights will be jeweled (I believe the size, design and layout will be exactly the same otherwise). The headlights will have rings around them (there are even rumors of scalloped lower headlight lenses, though I don't think that will happen, but I don't know for sure). Oh and the side trim will be body colored rather than flat-black. The 540i automatic cars without the sport package will have a very thin chrome strip along the top of the trim. All other 2001 E39 5 Series will be completely body colored. As before, non-sport models will have chrome around the door windows, while sport and sport/premium package models should have shadowline trim around the door windows (I hope). Hope this helps.
The rear side airbag option will include the head protection system airbags. There will be new wheel offerings to visually differentiate the 525 and 530 from the 528 besides model badging and cosmetic changes. However, I don't know anything about wheel changes for 2001 540. Hope this helps.