BMW 1-Series Forum (F20) 135i - 1Addicts.com > Second Generation 1 Series Forum > 2012 BMW 1-Series Sporthatch (F20) Discussion > Adaptive M suspension
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      08-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
WeekendDriver
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Adaptive M suspension

I am trying to decide whether to opt for the adaptive M running gear for my M135, and would like to see if anyone has experience with that.

My main concern is whether it is reliable. I heard that it is an electronically controlled air damper. And if anything went wrong, the car could have lost support.
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      08-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by WeekendDriver View Post
I am trying to decide whether to opt for the adaptive M running gear for my M135, and would like to see if anyone has experience with that.

My main concern is whether it is reliable. I heard that it is an electronically controlled air damper. And if anything went wrong, the car could have lost support.
I got it on my 125d M Sport and I think it's the best option I put on the car. The ride is so comfortable in Comfort mode after my previous 335i that it's a no brainer for me. Having said that, the standard M sport suspension was also much better, but the adaptive option is the smoothest!
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      08-30-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Well on the grounds it is more complex than non-adaptive suspension, then yes there is more scope for failure (fast Audis (eg RS4/RS6) with DRC were renowned for it failing), but on a new car it will be under warranty for three years so I wouldn't have thought it a major concern?

I've not tried it on an F20, but my M5 has three-way EDC (electronic damper control) and that experience was positive enough to make it a no-brainer when speccing my forthcoming M135i. In Comfort mode, the M5 has a very cushy (but still well-controlled) ride for such a sporting machine (much better than my previous 135i coupe) and the other two modes get progressively stiffer - the most dynamic setting offers hardly any body roll at all. Plus, all the reviews I've read of both the M135i and the latest 3-series suggest that the Adaptive suspension is a VGTI (Very Good Thing Indeed).
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      08-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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Go for it. It's terrific. Best option you can invest in and truly makes driving a wonderful experience.
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      08-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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+1
Go for it.
You can get 6 years on your BMW (3 year warrantee) + 3 extra years offered by BMW if you get it before the original warrantee runs out.
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      08-30-2012, 11:29 PM   #6
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Go for it! I am loving mine as well!!
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      08-31-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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I have the regular non adaptive M-Sport suspension, and I find it very comfortable. I wouldn't want it any softer in any situation. If I had gone for the adaptive suspension, I would probably have to run the car in Sport mode all the time.

For a given spring rate, I think there is only one correct damper setting. Making the dampers softer or harder would both make the car less comfortable. The variable sport suspension can not change the spring rate.
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      08-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
I have the regular non adaptive M-Sport suspension, and I find it very comfortable. I wouldn't want it any softer in any situation. If I had gone for the adaptive suspension, I would probably have to run the car in Sport mode all the time.

For a given spring rate, I think there is only one correct damper setting. Making the dampers softer or harder would both make the car less comfortable. The variable sport suspension can not change the spring rate.
Exactly.

The regular M-sport should have been the default suspension. I don't understand why anybody would want a softer setup in a sporty car, or drive in "Normal" with the adaptive running gear

Even if the M-sport works surprisingly well despite it's softness, I still miss a firmer setup. I can live with it tho
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      08-31-2012, 08:52 AM   #9
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Yes, I drove a 2012 base 328i/auto at a BMW event in the states. UGH!

I would now only buy a BMW with the suspension/steering performance upgrades.

In fact I told my salesperson I was VERY disappointed in the direction BMW is going in the USA.

He agreed, although at higher limits the new cars handle better, but feels like a Buick around town.
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      08-31-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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BMW got a lot of feedback about the previous generation one series having too stiff suspension, so I guess they have been working on making it perform well with a softer setup. I think they have done this very well.
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      08-31-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
For a given spring rate, I think there is only one correct damper setting. Making the dampers softer or harder would both make the car less comfortable. The variable sport suspension can not change the spring rate.
One damper setting... that is a very debatable subject, depends what you want from a damper (and spring) for that matter.

The problem with a fixed/passive damper it has to be a compromise anyway. We really need selective frequency damping as a minimum, to widen the damping parameters, but once you can vary damping rates with adaptive systems, the scope is widened for better and more appropriate damping characteristics.

In fact many tuners will comment (for example) that BMW dampers, are not valved for UK roads. We had this issue with the E9x cars where BMW engineers came across to the UK and run some of our trunk roads, right up into Scotland, as there was so much negativety after the poor driving performance of the E60 on UK roads, the cars were wrongly damped. BMW claimed to have revised damping settings. One of the UK's respected tuners Kevin Bird has completely revised spring and damper settings for the E9x cars where primary and secondary ride are greatly improved. BMW have to set up the cars to run at speed and while fully loaded. But that isn't always any good at 50mph on less than ideal roads. Adaptive suspension is a far better concept to give drivers a higher quality of drive.

I do understand that some won't like an active system, prefer the constant of a passive system, but must live with the limitations. Others would rather have the option for a more compliant ride when needed, and dial in a firmer control when driving in a more spirited manner.

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      09-03-2012, 05:36 AM   #12
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Does the adaptive suspension always follow the driving mode setting? Ie., can I have selected the sport or sport+ mode and have the suspension in 'soft' mode for example? Are there any independent settings for the suspension itself in the i drive menu?
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      09-03-2012, 05:54 AM   #13
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All the adaptive features (steering, suspension) follows the drive mode along with the throttle response. The stability control has its own button.
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      09-03-2012, 06:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam
All the adaptive features (steering, suspension) follows the drive mode along with the throttle response. The stability control has its own button.
Thanx por the reply. Now, since I'm mostly concerned about comfort, which one is more comfortable when compared the standard suspension and when m adaptive in 'comfort' mode? Is it the same comfortable, less or more? I guess the adaptive suspension should be some mm shorter than the standard one thus maybe a little less comfortable? Could this be true?
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      09-03-2012, 06:49 AM   #15
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What feels most comfortable can vary a lot from person to person. Some people like firm springs and soft dampers, while I think that is uncomfortable. The type of wheels you select will also affect the comfort.

I have never heard anybody say that the F20 M Sport suspension is uncomfortable or too stiff, but some people complain about it being too soft for their liking. It is significantly more comfortable than the previous generation 1-series.
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      09-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovekvam View Post
What feels most comfortable can vary a lot from person to person. Some people like firm springs and soft dampers, while I think that is uncomfortable. The type of wheels you select will also affect the comfort.

I have never heard anybody say that the F20 M Sport suspension is uncomfortable or too stiff, but some people complain about it being too soft for their liking. It is significantly more comfortable than the previous generation 1-series.
The 1st gen 1 Series we didn't even try due to uk reviews all commenting about the firm ride and poor comfort about town.

The reviews of the f20 have been a lot better as regards ride, so we thought we would try it.
The car we've ordered is a second car but we wanted a well balanced good handling car that could cope well with UK's urban pot holed road network. My wife also suffers from back ache and has had spinal fusion, a firm ride isn't the problem it's how it deals with that initial impact when the wheels hit holes and ridges. Probably the main factor in this is the wheel/tyre combination.
Although the SE and Sport have the same suspension there is a very noticeable difference between the SE's 55 Series tyres and the Sport's 45 Series Run Flats, which is why we ended up ordering an SE with sports seats and sports steering wheel.

Manufacturers are getting better with the whole ride/handling compromise, most want a limo ride over poor surfaces at low speed and sports car handling down the twisty b road. Ever stiffer chassis allow the suspension setups to be more finely tuned and we all benefit.
Some of the Audi S-Line models are completely too hard for uk roads.
The F20 has it spot on for me which is why we ordered one.

Cheers
Lee
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      09-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gras View Post
Does the adaptive suspension always follow the driving mode setting? Ie., can I have selected the sport or sport+ mode and have the suspension in 'soft' mode for example? Are there any independent settings for the suspension itself in the i drive menu?
You can choose the suspension setting in iDrive when you select Sport mode. So if you wanted to you could have Sport steering and throttle response with Comfort suspension.

The percieved stiffness of the various suspensions is:

Adaptive (Comfort) < M Sport Suspension < Adaptive (Sport)
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      09-04-2012, 02:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbodle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gras View Post
Does the adaptive suspension always follow the driving mode setting? Ie., can I have selected the sport or sport+ mode and have the suspension in 'soft' mode for example? Are there any independent settings for the suspension itself in the i drive menu?
You can choose the suspension setting in iDrive when you select Sport mode. So if you wanted to you could have Sport steering and throttle response with Comfort suspension.

The percieved stiffness of the various suspensions is:

Adaptive (Comfort) &lt; M Sport Suspension &lt; Adaptive (Sport)
I see. In this case I wouldn't think of any reason not going with it. It really looks as a very good option. I regret I didn't choose that. I chose the variable sport steering though which is very good. That in combination with adaptive suspension would be awesome.
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      07-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #19
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Does the Adaptive M suspension make the car even lower than the M sport?
On the BMW specification guide it said M sport suspension lower the car by 15mm. It also stated the car will be lower by 10mm with Adaptive M running gear.
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      07-17-2013, 06:46 AM   #20
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It would make more sense if it is 5 mm higher with adaptive suspension than fixed M Sport. After all, the springs are not changed between the modes, and the softer dampers in Comfort Mode requires more suspension travel.
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      07-17-2013, 07:09 AM   #21
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+1 for adaptive. It's brilliant.If I had to choose any 500 option it would have to be AS.
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      07-17-2013, 07:55 AM   #22
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Funny, I have the non-adaptive M-Sport and not once have I wished that I had specced the adaptive.
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