Technology Improves Comfort and Fuel Economy for Bmw Series

By: Correy Putton

At the 77th Geneva International Auto Show, BMW presented their new improvements on their 5-Series models. The upgrade on the series comes in the form of the ZF technology which is designed by ZF Lenksysteme in cooperation with BMW.

The said technology significantly improves the BMW 5-Series' performance, safety, fuel economy, and comfort. The technology is anchored on the ZF six-speed automatic transmission which is available as an option for the new BMW 5-Series.

The automatic transmission shift gears more quickly than previous gear boxes used by BMW on their vehicles. The quick shifting ability of the new gear box allows for reduced fuel consumption. The transmission is further complemented by various driver assistance systems like the Active Steering, an electronic suspension system called Adaptive Drive with CDC or Continuous Damping Control, and the ARS or Active Roll Stabilization. These driver assist technologies along with the new transmission wee unveiled in November of last year, and BMW announced that these technologies will be available to their consumers on the 5-Series.

The ZF six-speed transmission is equipped with a new torque converter along with new software and enhanced hydraulics which gives it the ability to shift gears quickly when needed.

The Active Steering System is the fruit of collaboration between BMW and ZF Lenksysteme and has won the Innovation Award in 2004. This system helps the new transmission achieve better performance for the vehicle. This driver assist system controls the ratio between the steering wheel angle and setting angle of the wheels or commonly known as play. This makes sure that the play of the steering wheel is suited for the speed of the vehicle.

During low-speed driving, turning the wheels needed lesser effort compared to high speed driving. The system makes sure that the play of the steering wheel adapts to the speed at which the vehicle is moving. The system also checks lateral motion of the vehicle that it is equipped with.

The CDC or Continuous Damping Control improves traction by adjusting the damping force which pushes the car's tire on the road. This feature can adjust to road conditions in split second accuracy. The system provides a good handling and suspension comfort since it eliminates excessive bouncing of the car especially on bumpy roads.

Since the suspension is improved, handling of the car is positively affected. Aside from the CDC, the new BMW 5-Series will also be equipped with the Active Roll Stabilization system which keeps the stabilizer bar functioning to give drivers the desired effect. The system is anchored on the hydraulically operated oscillating motors which controls the two halves of the stabilizer bars. This system makes sure that when turning corners the vehicle will not roll over by adapting the stabilizer bar to the desired position to counter the inertia during cornering.

With these driver assistance systems and high performance brake components like , the vehicle gives its user the optimum in handling and safety. BMW's collaboration with ZF made possible the development of the aforementioned systems. And with the auto market getting more and more competitive, these innovations will only be the only innovative technologies that BMW will offer on their future vehicles.

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