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      02-01-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
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Exclamation Electric Steering

Up until today, I had never driven a car with an electric steering, let alone a BMW with one. I have been reading in the F30 forums and in web (blogs/reviews/etc) a lot about it and I had been telling myself "it cannot be that bad, why are all these people complaining about it so much".

Fast forward it to today, I had stopped by my dealership to get the windshield washer fluid filled on my way to home which is when I saw a new 335 with the M sport package (it had an MSRP of 65k+ and was fully loaded). I took it out for a spin and my god was that a horrible experience. Don't get me wrong, it's a great car, interior is nice, great gadgets, looks good, all that is fine, but the steering is so weird! In sport+ mode it will move with the slightest force. It just does not feel right. It feels like you are playing a video game with a steering wheel. It's hard to describe. Best way to put it is - light and artificial.

I left the dealership with fear and to be honest with you, the two CAs that I spoke to outright told me "you are not going to like the steering, especially after the hydraulic in the M3 that you are driving" and they were right.

Anyways, why am I posting this? Well I want to ask, do you think the M3/M4 will have similar issues or will they feel like a true hydraulic. I drove the M5 a few times and that felt exactly like it should, similar to my M3. Now I know why everyone in the forum keeps saying they are so concerned about the steering.

I think you guys should stop worrying about the exhaust or engine or turbo or the wheels and worry about the steering, because this is one thing that it is truly a deal breaker which you cannot replace/fix/mod/get used to. I honestly don't know what BMW was thinking about when they made this change and I hope they improve this thing significantly not just for the Ms, but for all other cars as well.
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      02-01-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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Here is an extract from an interview with Carlsten Preis from BMW M talking about this issue. Obviously at this stage these are only words but I'm optimistic they will have achieved their aim:


Electromechanical Power Steering Better Than Hydraulic?

This is the most exciting news to come from our interview. Surprised? You should be. And you probably should be skeptical until driving reviews come in but what we learned gets us excited. This is NOT the EPS that you have driven in other BMWs in the slightest. This is M's version of EPS. New hardware, new software, new everything.

Pries:

I think probably one of the misunderstandings is...if you have to adapt something that is there and try what you can get out of it. Then you may be limited in your possibilities but if you consider something right from the very first moment and make it an integral part of the overall system including the steering gear box, all the components play together perfectly. For us, precision is extremely important.

The M division started with a blank slate and invested a significant amount of resources into creating a system that is a true improvement from a hydraulic system. More precise steering. Proper direct feedback. This is a completely new system and is intended to set the benchmark for how incredible an electromechanical power steering system can be. The proof will be in the driving but I am cautiously optimistic that M came through.
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      02-01-2014, 04:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss134 View Post
Here is an extract from an interview with Carlsten Preis from BMW M talking about this issue. Obviously at this stage these are only words but I'm optimistic they will have achieved their aim:


Electromechanical Power Steering Better Than Hydraulic?

This is the most exciting news to come from our interview. Surprised? You should be. And you probably should be skeptical until driving reviews come in but what we learned gets us excited. This is NOT the EPS that you have driven in other BMWs in the slightest. This is M's version of EPS. New hardware, new software, new everything.

Pries:

I think probably one of the misunderstandings is...if you have to adapt something that is there and try what you can get out of it. Then you may be limited in your possibilities but if you consider something right from the very first moment and make it an integral part of the overall system including the steering gear box, all the components play together perfectly. For us, precision is extremely important.

The M division started with a blank slate and invested a significant amount of resources into creating a system that is a true improvement from a hydraulic system. More precise steering. Proper direct feedback. This is a completely new system and is intended to set the benchmark for how incredible an electromechanical power steering system can be. The proof will be in the driving but I am cautiously optimistic that M came through.
That's good to hear
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      02-01-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
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I read another interview with Albert Biermann , head of M Div and he stated that the new cars were built around the steering. He also claimed the electrical steering in the new cars was the best electrical steering on the market and better than the system in the Porsche 991. Bold claims I know but I am not concerned about the steering. ( more concerned about the sound- no one from M is commenting much on that!)
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      02-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #5
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Are you sure that the car didn't have "variable sport steering"? Because that would provide exactly the same experience you had.

Also , the ca's are idiots. Neither one of them has driven the new m3 so their opinions are uninformed, useless and irrelevant.

Finally, electic steering in of itself does not mean it is bad. I had a 997tt and have driven a new 991 which has electric steering , and that car drove incredibly well and I loved the steering.

I am convinced the m3 steering will be good. The suspension of the m3 has the potential to be amazing and this has a huge impact on steering feel as does the huge weight loss
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      02-01-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Not this again!
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      02-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss134
I read another interview with Albert Biermann , head of M Div and he stated that the new cars were built around the steering. He also claimed the electrical steering in the new cars was the best electrical steering on the market and better than the system in the Porsche 991. Bold claims I know but I am not concerned about the steering. ( more concerned about the sound- no one from M is commenting much on that!)
Better than 911? That IS a very bold claim
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      02-01-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
Are you sure that the car didn't have "variable sport steering"? Because that would provide exactly the same experience you had.

Also , the ca's are idiots. Neither one of them has driven the new m3 so their opinions are uninformed, useless and irrelevant.

Finally, electic steering in of itself does not mean it is bad. I had a 997tt and have driven a new 991 which has electric steering , and that car drove incredibly well and I loved the steering.

I am convinced the m3 steering will be good. The suspension of the m3 has the potential to be amazing and this has a huge impact on steering feel as does the huge weight loss
No the CAs were not comparing any car against the new M3. They were basically telling me the new 335's electric steering was totally crap compared to the old E9X M3. They didn't know anything about the new M3 nor did I ask them about it.

I also know what you are talking about in that electric steering is not bad but it was badly implemented in the F30 series. I didn't know that the M guys specifically said the electrical steering was using a new hardware/software, so now I feel better.
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      02-01-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig View Post
Anyways, why am I posting this? Well I want to ask, do you think the M3/M4 will have similar issues or will they feel like a true hydraulic. I drove the M5 a few times and that felt exactly like it should, similar to my M3. Now I know why everyone in the forum keeps saying they are so concerned about the steering.

I think you guys should stop worrying about the exhaust or engine or turbo or the wheels and worry about the steering, because this is one thing that it is truly a deal breaker which you cannot replace/fix/mod/get used to. I honestly don't know what BMW was thinking about when they made this change and I hope they improve this thing significantly not just for the Ms, but for all other cars as well.
The M5 felt good because it uses hydraulic steering, unlike the universally panned EPS in the new 5-series.

Steering and throttle response are my big two ?. They convinced me that old school isn't always better with the DCT, so I hope they can do the same with these new electric-driven turbos and steering.
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      02-01-2014, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig View Post
worry about the steering, because this is one thing that it is truly a deal breaker which you cannot replace/fix/mod/get used to.
This is not true, if anything electric steering can be reprogrammed to be many things.
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      02-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chill72 View Post
This is not true, if anything electric steering can be reprogrammed to be many things.
If there is a fundamental problem with the steering is what I meant. Nobody knows here what "good electric steering" means. We all have ///M's word for it that's all. If what they come out with is a total disappointment, we all know that's that. They are not going to just "patch it" like iOS in 2 weeks and any improvements will be marginal. I'm not talking about the "bugs" that 5 series had first year.
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      02-01-2014, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig View Post
Up until today, I had never driven a car with an electric steering, let alone a BMW with one. I have been reading in the F30 forums and in web (blogs/reviews/etc) a lot about it and I had been telling myself "it cannot be that bad, why are all these people complaining about it so much".

Fast forward it to today, I had stopped by my dealership to get the windshield washer fluid filled on my way to home which is when I saw a new 335 with the M sport package (it had an MSRP of 65k+ and was fully loaded). I took it out for a spin and my god was that a horrible experience. Don't get me wrong, it's a great car, interior is nice, great gadgets, looks good, all that is fine, but the steering is so weird! In sport+ mode it will move with the slightest force. It just does not feel right. It feels like you are playing a video game with a steering wheel. It's hard to describe. Best way to put it is - light and artificial.

I left the dealership with fear and to be honest with you, the two CAs that I spoke to outright told me "you are not going to like the steering, especially after the hydraulic in the M3 that you are driving" and they were right.

Anyways, why am I posting this? Well I want to ask, do you think the M3/M4 will have similar issues or will they feel like a true hydraulic. I drove the M5 a few times and that felt exactly like it should, similar to my M3. Now I know why everyone in the forum keeps saying they are so concerned about the steering.

I think you guys should stop worrying about the exhaust or engine or turbo or the wheels and worry about the steering, because this is one thing that it is truly a deal breaker which you cannot replace/fix/mod/get used to. I honestly don't know what BMW was thinking about when they made this change and I hope they improve this thing significantly not just for the Ms, but for all other cars as well.

I can't make sense of your posts, you are all over the place. You call your self an enthusiast with connections with BMW yet you just test drive an f30 to see how the steering is? And then you want to compare it to an M3? What is your agenda here? Seriously I see one negative post by you then two positives... Comparing a 335 steering to an m car shouldn't even be a thread!! Wait till the mediots test drive it, this topic has been beaten to death.

Last edited by /// M sa; 02-01-2014 at 05:25 PM..
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      02-01-2014, 05:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig View Post
If there is a fundamental problem with the steering is what I meant. Nobody knows here what "good electric steering" means. We all have ///M's word for it that's all. If what they come out with is a total disappointment, we all know that's that. They are not going to just "patch it" like iOS in 2 weeks and any improvements will be marginal. I'm not talking about the "bugs" that 5 series had first year.
Every car maker comes out with new technology and ideas and models.. The what if games can be pointed toward all car makers. I doubt BMW is going to make a shitty steering system for their M cars. I drove the f30 and steering was fine, I track my cars all the time and for a DD it handled ok.
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      02-01-2014, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //M sa View Post
I can't make sense of your posts, you are all over the place. You call your self an enthusiast with connections with BMW yet you just test drive an f30 to see how the steering is? And then you want to compare it to an M3? What is your agenda here? Seriously I see one negative post by you then two negatives. Comparing a 335 steering to an m car shouldn't even be a thread!!
What are you talking about? I have to have an agenda? I never drove a car with electric steering before and today I did and I didn't like what I saw. I must have valid reasons to be concerned because the M boss apparently felt the need to clarify that M3's electric steering will be nothing like the regular F30 series steering (which i didnt know or i wouldnt have made this post).

I also dont have "connections" anywhere, i have a good relationship with a few CAs who claim they are connected.

You need to relax and take a chill pill. I didnt post anything unreasonable. Its a car forum not a therapy group, I dont need your character profiling
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      02-01-2014, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig
Quote:
Originally Posted by //M sa View Post
I can't make sense of your posts, you are all over the place. You call your self an enthusiast with connections with BMW yet you just test drive an f30 to see how the steering is? And then you want to compare it to an M3? What is your agenda here? Seriously I see one negative post by you then two negatives. Comparing a 335 steering to an m car shouldn't even be a thread!!
What are you talking about? I have to have an agenda? I never drove a car with electric steering before and today I did and I didn't like what I saw. I must have valid reasons to be concerned because the M boss apparently felt the need to clarify that M3's electric steering will be nothing like the regular F30 series steering (which i didnt know or i wouldnt have made this post).

I also dont have "connections" anywhere, i have a good relationship with a few CAs who claim they are connected.

You need to relax and take a chill pill. I didnt post anything unreasonable. Its a car forum not a therapy group, I dont need your character profiling
The fact is that there are umpteen threads about steering. Another completely useless thread wasn't necessary. It would've been better served to search for one of the other threads and comment there. I went straight from a hydraulic ///M to and EPS 335i. The steering in the F-Series is fine; lighter when I want lighter, heavy and nicely weighted when I want heavy. The platitudes are tiresome.
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      02-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedan_Clan View Post
The fact is that there are umpteen threads about steering. Another completely useless thread wasn't necessary. It would've been better served to search for one of the other threads and comment there. I went straight from a hydraulic ///M to and EPS 335i. The steering in the F-Series is fine; lighter when I want lighter, heavy and nicely weighted when I want heavy. The platitudes are tiresome.
I'm sorry, but I disagree. There aren't tens of threads on steering. There are on wheels and colors and all that cosmetic stuff, but not steering. There may be specific "pages or posts" in some of those 15-20 page threads which to me does nothing more than confuse people. I may have overlooked the 2 sentence interview response someone quoted on the 3rd or 4th post here which clarified things for me, but I don't think there are many threads about this.

Also, the steering wasn't necessarily light. It was just weird, wrong. I drove a lot of american cars with "light" steering wheels. This wasn't like that. It's almost as if it was too sensitive, you don't want that (or at least I don't). It's like using a mouse that is at maximum sensitivity. I don't know how else to explain it. I honestly cannot see anyone who owns the current generation M3 liking the 335's steering.

I guess we can just say each his own. Anyways, the thread has served its purpose, I heard what I needed to hear. Let's hope they have done a good job with the steering as they say they did.
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      02-01-2014, 07:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealStig View Post

I honestly cannot see anyone who owns the current generation M3 liking the 335's steering.

.
Once again, this is the flaw in your thinking and thread, you can not base the steering of a 335 vs M3!! Did you do that with the e90 335 vs the e92m? Two different cars in every aspect, let me test the 535i and compare it to M5 and then have some serious concerns... Apples and oranges!
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      02-01-2014, 07:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //M sa View Post
Once again, this is the flaw in your thinking and thread, you can not base the steering of a 335 vs M3!! Did you do that with the e90 335 vs the e92m? Two different cars in every aspect, let me test the 535i and compare it to M5 and then have some serious concerns... Apples and oranges!
I asked a question, I did not pass judgement. I quote from my own post "….Well I want to ask, do you think the M3/M4 will have similar issues or will they feel like a true hydraulic….". I didn't say the steering will be bad. I said I drove BMW's EPS in its newest model and I was concerned and I asked the experts here for their opinion and I'm glad I did as I was enlightened with some important information.

Anyways, why are we arguing, we are in the same team. Let's just relax. It's saturday night, let's make peace
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      02-01-2014, 07:49 PM   #19
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None of us know man, we all are going based on what BMW is telling us. Porsche is headed down the same path, let's hope they get it right but don't base it on the 335 :-)
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