2018 bmw i550: 2011 BMW 550i – Instrumented Test –

There’s no way to describe the driving experience in this car without addressing the network of supercomputers, which are mostly part of options packages, and its implications. What this 550i does differently from the old is allow the driver to adjust suspension settings rather than be forced to accept a near-flawlessly calibrated balance of luxury and sport out of the box. When kitted as both our cars were, with the $2700 Dynamic Handling package and $2200 Sport package, the 550i experience can be tailored using the capo di tutti capi — or “boss of all bosses,” as the Italian mobsters used to say—a system called adaptive drive. It’s a set of preferences, controlled with center-console buttons or through the iDrive interface, for most of the car’s driving characteristics, from ride to throttle response to handling. Although the discerning driver (or hopeless tinkerer) can fine-tune these through iDrive, it’s easiest to leave the system in one of its four main settings: comfort, normal, sport, and sport plus.