Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i

  • Without a doubt, the Dinan engine package is the most seamless aftermarket upgrade I have ever experienced. The impressive increase in power is velvety smooth and natural in its delivery, devoid of the negative characteristics (hiccups, peaks and flat spots) that are common to most other tuned vehicles. The 550i lacks launch control, so the twin-turbo S3 requires a delicate right foot, or the rear tires quickly liquefy. Drive it properly, with a light touch followed by heavy throttle a few feet off the line, and the sedan takes off like a missile - quickly embossing your spine into the leather seatback. The smooth ZF eight-speed shifts with authority, yet without any of the harshness normally found with a dual-clutch. Dinan doesn't publish acceleration figures, but my tuned derrière dyno says it slices upwards of a second off BMW's published 550i time to 60 mph... and it runs unrestricted to over 190 mph.

  • Dinan touts its S3 550i as "a more luxurious version of the M5" with softer shocks and active roll control that give its car the edge when it comes to ride quality. They aren't fibbing, as the enhanced 5 Series provides a very comfortable ride when the EDC is set in Comfort, and sharp response when configured in Sport and Sport Plus. There is less understeer, thanks to the new camber and control arms, and nothing seemed to unsettle the chassis. The stock adaptive suspension worked seamlessly with the physical and software upgrades - the wide range of suspension settings was impressive.

  • If asked what I didn't like about the augmented 5 Series, I'd have to mention the steering. Three years ago, when I reviewed the BMW 550i, I commended the steering's accuracy but complained about its numbness and isolation. That said, Dinan doesn't touch the electric steering, so don't expect it to be improved. Again, this is more of a wish for improvement than a deal breaker.

  • Dinan's superb S3 BMW 550i obviously competes nearly directly with the factory's own flagship M5. In terms of power output, the Dinan feels every bit as burly as the 2013 M5 (keep in mind that BMW boosted performance of its M5 for the 2014 model year with the optional Competition Package), but its personality is softer and bit more tame - less high strung would be another good description. Both are excellent examples of the 5 Series. However, if asked which one I prefer, I'd select the hardened M5 for competitive track events but choose the polished Dinan as my daily driver. Where do you spend more of your time?

Related Gallery 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i

Vital Stats


Twin-turbo 4.4L V8


542 HP / 587 LB-FT


8-Speed Auto

0-60 Time:

4.0 Seconds (est.)

Top Speed:

190 MPH (est.)


Rear-Wheel Drive

Curb Weight:

4,400 LBS



As-Tested Price:

$110,000 (est.)

Image Credit: Copyright 2013 Michael Harley / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury, Quick Spins

Tags: 2013 bmw 5 series, 2013 bmw 550i, bmw, bmw 5 series, bmw 550i, dinan, dinan bmw, dinan s3 bmw 550i, dinan stage 3, quick spin, steve dinan

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