The Road to Bratislava – Driving the BMW 535d Sedan

By Christian Stampfer on 14 March 2011
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Bratislava, known in many regions by its German name, Preßburg, is the capital of Slovakia.  It was the destination for a long distance road trip with the all new BMW 535d sedan. The  drive from Munich to Bratislava would be  more than 500 km (310 miles) , so TDD editor Jonathan Spira and I decided to take the drive together.

Our dark graphite metallic (sophistograu) 535d sedan, which we picked up a few days prior to our drive, was fully loaded with virtually all of the latest innovations the new 5er Series has to offer. This includes safety features such as the Lane Departure Warning and Active Blind Spot Detection, and the Speed Limit Info, which show up directly on the Head-Up Display. We were also looking forward to seeing the effects of the Dynamic Damper Control and exercising the 8-speed sport automatic gearbox, which, because of its enormous torque, is standard on the 535d. 

The straight six-cylinder diesel engine of the 535d is engineered with BMWs latest TwinPower Turbo technology including direct fuel injection and twin-scroll turbo technology. This combination provides the driver with 300 hp (220 kW) and a powerful 425 pound-feet of torque.  This brings the 535d from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.7 seconds, making it faster than the 335d, which takes 6.0 seconds to cover the same distance.  To say it accelerates is an understatement. We found, to quote a BMW advert in the U.S. from the 1960s, it “goes like schnell.”

On a sunny Sunday morning, after a wonderful  brunch at the Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Hotel in Munich, we started our journey to Bratislava. While I stored our baggage in the large trunk (520 liter volume) of the 535d sedan, Jonathan programmed the Navi Professional with our destination and we started via the famous Maximiliansstraße towards the Autobahn A8, in the direction of Salzburg. This was to be the slowest portion of our trip. Thanks to the extra tight security during the Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz 2011 (Munich Security Conference), it was quite a challenge for us to leave the inner city due to multiple street closures. As a result, we had to take the Rosenheimer Straße and we passed by the Deutsches Museum on our way to the Autobahn A8, which we reached a few minutes later.

We then continued on the A8 in the direction of Salzburg for the next 130 km (81 miles) and enjoyed a beautiful mountain panorama of the Bavarian and Austrian Alps before we reached the Austrian border. It was not, however, a fast trip. Perhaps thanks to the unusually sunny and warm weather conditions (for February), there was heavy Sunday afternoon traffic and, and the Autobahn had a maximum speed limit of 120 km/h (74 mp/h) until Irschenberg.   We also passed through several construction areas on a two lane stretch of the A8, where our speed was limited to 80 km/h (50 mp/h).

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Crossing the border with the BMW 535d

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