Image credits: © BMW.

2006 BMW 550i

Even at rest, the 2006 550i appears to be passing everything by. And the instant you step on the throttle, the 4.8-liter, 360-hp V-8 engine with Valvetronic makes this illusion a thrilling reality. The 550i delivers unsurpassed performance and agility, all while catering to each occupant with luxurious comforts. Equipped with innovations like a Start/Stop button, enhanced DSC featuring Brake Drying, Hill Start Assist, and Soft Stop, and a richly detailed cabin, the 550i is everything a demanding driver could want, and more.

Head-Úp Display
The Head-Úp Display is an active safety feature that projects essential information as a virtual image in the driver's line of vision. Important data, such as current speed or navigational prompts, can be read quickly without having to look away from the road. The virtual image is created in a projection unit located in the instrument panel; the image is then projected clearly onto the windshield. It appears to hover above the hood, about six feet away. Because the driver's eyes no longer have to focus from a long to a short perspective and back again while reading dash gauges, the Head-Úp Display helps keep the driver alert. And to help minimize nighttime glare, a sensor constantly measures the surrounding light and automatically adjusts the brightness of the display.

Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology connects mobile phones enabled with Bluetooth to a vehicle for hands-free calling. With the use of a compatible Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, a driver can place and answer calls, and browse and select phonebook contacts from their phone, simply by using the multifunction steering wheel controls and radio keys.

Vehicles equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology are shipped fully activated, and only require the new owner to complete a simple one-time pairing procedure with a compatible Bluetooth phone. Úp to four paired phones can be stored in the car's memory system.

Active Cruise Control
Active Cruise Control is an advanced version of conventional cruise control systems. After setting the chosen speed and pre-set distance, radar measurements allow you to maintain a pre-set distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead in highway driving. As soon as sensors determine you are closing in on a vehicle ahead, the system automatically slows down to retain your pre-set distance. Once the distance has increased back to the chosen limit the system automatically accelerates to return your vehicle to its pre-set speed.

Active Roll Stabilization
An 'active' suspension control system designed to reduce body-roll, or lean, while cornering. This improves the vehicle's suspension geometry (the degree of wheel angle relative to vertical).

All Season Traction (AST)
All Season Traction, part of Dynamic Stability Control, provides better stability and control in slippery road conditions all year long - packed snow, ice, rain- or oil-slicked roads, and sandy or rough surfaces. The system continually processes data from the anti-lock braking wheelspeed sensors. Any time a rear 'drive' wheel begins to lose traction, the system modifies the engine's electronic throttle and ignition timing to reduce torque. It also can act on each rear brake individually or simultaneously, as needed, to bring wheelspin under control. Dynamic Traction Control aids driving in deep snow or sand.

BMW Full Maintenance
Full Maintenance Program covers all factory-recommended maintenance for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Even includes items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear.

Check Control
Check Control helps the driver to be aware of the operational readiness of important functions, such as the lighting system and fluid levels. A pictogram display indicates the location of the feature that requires attention. Warnings are shown in the Check Control display at the bottom of the main instrument cluster, and are prioritized according to urgency. On-board computer functions can also be shown in the Check Control display, if desired.

Double Vanos
Double VANOS allows the engine to 'steplessly' choose valve timing for both intake and exhaust camshafts. Electronically controlled in response to engine speed, load and temperature, Double VANOS maximizes engine response, efficiency and emission control. The benefit: more low- to medium-speed torque for strong acceleration and added flexibility for better highway performance, plus quieter, smoother engine at idle.

Frontal-Offset Crash Test
As reported on Dateline NBC, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the BMW 5 Series Best Pick for its performance in the frontal-offset crash test. This test, which involves driving at 40 mph into a barrier that impacts only the drivers side of the front end, is one of the most severe measures of a vehicles ability to protect its occupants.

Head Protection System (HPS)
BMW's Head Protection System is an inflatable tubular structure to protect the heads of a vehicle's front and rear seat occupants. Operating in conjunction with the side airbags, the system provides front seat occupants with outstanding protection in the case of severe side impact. It helps protect the head from hitting the side window and being hit by objects penetrating the side window. In recognition of this remarkable protection, BMW was named 'Safe Car of the Millennium' by the International Brain Injury Association.

The iDrive Controller, conveniently located on the center console, allows access to a variety of comfort functions displayed on the monitor. The turn/press button enables front-seat occupants to access the menu system and fine-tune settings for climate control, audio system, navigation system and communication with BMW Assist.

Intelligent Safety and Information System (ISIS) is a comprehensive passive safety system designed to enhance the restraint systems response to real-world accidents. Sensors placed around the vehicle help ISIS monitor impact force and deploy airbags, safety belt pretensioners, force limiters, and the Battery Safety Terminal. Should a power failure occur in the event of a collision, ISIS also provides reserve power for the entire safety system.

Park Distance Control
Park Distance Control uses ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers to help you judge the distance to other cars and unseen objects when parking. The beeping becomes faster as your bumper approaches the object, turning into a constant tone when the distance is less than 12 inches.

Source - BMW

Five Times Around. History of the BMW 5 Series.

Five Times Around. History of the BMW 5 Series.

Sales of the BMW 5 Series already amount to more than 5.5 million units in five model generations – and now a new chapter is starting in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan.While the sixth generation naturally follows the great heritage of its predecessors, its roots go back much further. As early as in the 1960s, BMW developed a strong and distinctive profile as a manufacturer....
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Related Reading : BMW 5-Series History

Producing nearly fifty percent of BMWs total profits in 2010, the 5-Series has been produced since 1972 and is currently in its sixth generation. For more than thirty years the 5 Series has been the archetypical sport sedan in its form, structure, performance and excellence. An executive car, the 5-Series is produced in both sedan and touring body styles. Following the 3-Series closely in popularity,....
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