MSS for X5M is Launched – Featuring A Brand New Patented Adjuster
In this blog, William Blankson, MD and Head of Engineering, shares the details on how consumer demand, led the development of the X5M solution.
As one of the biggest selling SUVs on the market, the BMW X5M has a dedicated following of drivers and resellers – many of whom have been in touch with MSS since the success of our X3 & 4 launches earlier in the year. William Blankson credits them with the success of the product results.
William, has the X5M product been developed by popular demand?
Absolutely. The X5M was always in our plans and noticing that some of our existing X3M customers were upgrading to the latest X5M, we were receiving queries asking ‘When will an MSS solution for the X5M platform be released?’
We also had interest from a forum group created by X5M owners who were waiting for us.
Why was the X5M on your radar?
The X5M stock does deliver a fair level of comfort, to be honest. However, driver feedback was that the handling was not where it could be. One of the main issues being flagged up to us was that the sheer size and weight of the vehicle made it ‘dive’ when braking.
Overall we were asked if we could bring the success of the X3/X4 product traits to the X5M
Demand for the product has been sky-high since April this year – so I am really thrilled to be able to deliver what dealers, distributors and drivers have been asking for!
Points we had from drivers were:
- The steering was not responsive – if you think of a large boat, you can get the picture
- The car was easily upset over potholes or rougher roads and not composed
- When braking – the front dive was very much noticeable as the vehicle tilted forward
- As it sits quite high, lowering the vehicle relatively slightly was on the list of ‘likes’ but not so much that it takes away the everyday use as an SUV.
That is a pretty specific list. How did you start?
When we finally had a vehicle delivered for product development, we were able to validate the issues raised by customers as these were repeatable. The X5M is a comfortable drive when being driven without any demands on a smooth road.
When driven in a spirited manner, you can feel a difference as there is more roll into corners, the not-as-responsive steering, contributing to the vehicle feeling much larger and unnerving.
As we are engineers and drivers, it begs the question, ‘if the intention is for the X5M to be driven ‘low key’, why give a car such a powerful engine’?
We wanted the X5M to be able to live up to the ‘sport’ element of the SUV name.
Is the MSS development process purely data-driven?
It’s a combination.
To start any development process, we gather key data from the vehicle to establish a benchmark or current state.
This includes using pieces of equipment to record, measure elements such as the roll, yaw, slip, tilt and in-cabin nose.
Parts of our development includes driving in a range of conditions – including some very wet weather, thanks to the UK autumn weather delivering some serious rainfall!
Interesting. Quite a safe and steady car then?
You could say that – when no demands are made.
The X5M sits relatively high for such a powerful SUV and that in turn, means it does roll during cornering or when navigating roundabouts, which does not inspire confidence
This was also the heaviest vehicle we have ever encountered, weighing in at just under 2.4 ton.
To be honest, weight is really where MSS comes into its own. Our adjustable stacked spring suspension solutions thrive under heavier vehicles. This setup really can make even the largest vehicle feel dynamic.
Why is that?
Our dual-stacked, triple rated, spring arrangement aides effective management of weight during dynamic movements.
Imagine a speaker system, delivering clear quality music due to having different components to reproduce the appropriate frequency – e.g tweeters for high frequency, midrange for vocals and subwoofer for bass.
Our springs are the same. Each part does a job – and specific to it’s rating.
The stiffer spring is not moved unless it is needed thus aides stabilise the vehicle, same with the medium stiffness spring, and the softest spring contributes to ride quality.
How does this compare to stock suspension?
With the original setup, the body roll (when cornering) and pitch (dive on braking) were evident and in some cases obvious. We attributed these movements to the single spring being implemented – meaning potholes easily upset the whole vehicle and occupants experienced bouncing or jiggling.
MSS is essentially a tailored and cushioned response, designed for optimum comfort that reduces roll, pitch and jiggling effects.
We mentioned that the X5M product is special, can you tell us more?
Absolutely! there are a couple of very exciting development aspects to unveil.
One is that we have put the stacked arrangement on the front and the rear axle. We have only managed this once, on the Audi Q5 platform. This means we can further control the heavy X5M platform independently per platform.
The Q5 results were so good, we have been keen for another opportunity to replicate this, where the platform allowed it. The X3 and 4 did not give us that space however the X5M does.
Lowering wise, we have got to around -50millimeters using our ‘adjuster within an adjuster’ part. This is big news for us. It is a never-seen-before, patented part and the X5M is the first platform to use this.
Exciting. Can you elaborate a little?
This new part will allow us to adjust the X5 back up to the original ride height. Our testing has shown the X5M feels so much more stable and comfortable at the original ride height – with MSS installed
This is great for winter use when snow may require that higher ride height clearance.
However, I have to say, when lowered the results were transformational. A much quicker response on steering, more poised, less ‘dive’ – even in the wet.
With MSS, the X5 feels much smaller and does not feel so intimidating
(laughs) It really is good
You sound so pleased!
I really am. But I am also all about details, so to ensure the objective driver feedback would be maintained, I sent the X5M product to two other drivers – from different ends of the scale.
One was an MSS dealer, and the second was a professional GT racer, who owns an X5M, but is unsatisfied with the response on steering.
The feedback from both was exceptional, as I secretly knew it would be
So I am delighted to launch this much-anticipated solution for the X5M.
William, when Installing MSS, what drivers can expect.
- Less body roll with a ‘cushioned’ ride quality due to our stacked arrangement on the front and the rear axle
- Ride height adjustment – ability to be set back to original ride height
- Reduced dive on braking
- Reduced squat on acceleration
- Responsive steering
All MSS aftermarket suspension solutions deliver superior performance, unparalleled comfort and enhanced safety – in one product and without compromise.
For details on MSS resellers in your country – please contact us
All product testing took place on X5M and X5M Competition