Although the new flagship of the 5 Series – the M550i xDrive – has a beautiful biturbo 4.4-liter V8 under the hood it allegedly uses an engine sound enhancer system to better its audio performance.
Apparently a member of the Bimmer Post forums discovered the feature after a VIN checkup of an early build vehicle that has an Active Sound Design Module. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the predecessor M5 (F10) also has some artificial notes coming out of the speakers – but it’s a shame the natural symphony of the V8 will get these tweaks. We also consider these as if a great artist does playback during a live concert… This kind of practice is understandable when dealing with a four cylinder, or a diesel, but unfortunately numerous modern BMWs have it – the plug in hybrid i8, the M3, M4 – even though M head of project management Carston Pries claims the “engine note in the cabin is largely pure” with “the electronic noise is minimized and only makes up 2% to 3% of the sound you hear.”
When discussing the M3 and M4, there are two actuators on each of the dual exhaust tips that will bypass the rear silencer when you go over 4,000 rpms – and whenever the car is in Sport or Sport Plus. Of course lots of people won’t like it and other will have no problem dealing with it – especially since the one on the M3 and M4 is so advanced lots of folks don’t even detect the fake tunes. So the Active Sound Design module seems to be along for the ride in the foreseeable future – thus don’t be surprised if the all-new M5 will also carry it.