• May 10, 2007
It isn't just the outside of the 5-series that's been breathed upon for '08. Inside, new ground was broken by BMW and OEM Johnson Controls to create two color door panels using a single sheet of material. Typically, door panels that have multiple colors have multiple pieces. That adds weight and expense to the final assembly, not to mention all the eventual squeaks and rattles. The new 5 series door panels use a single backing panel, and a two color film is applied. It's not a trifle to get everything to line up – as the film is applied, it stretches. Tolerances where the two colors converge are tightly monitored and adjusted on the fly by trick new machinery developed by BMW and Johnson Controls in the automated process. We're sure it won't lead to cheaper 5 series Bimmers, but anything that can help keep weight and complexity down is welcome – especially for us poor saps who buy these things used and find out exactly what gets loose.

[Source: The Auto Channel]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they should make the whole car out of a single piece of plastic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about the fake(?) wood trim? Is it also a graphic film?

      I'll be more impressed when I hear that BMW (or any other manufacturer) has started to create door panels that don't off-gas, and are easily recyclable. If they are already doing this and I don't know about it (which is quite possible), my hat would be off to them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice evolution BMW and the quality of the new 08 5 Series is far better than before. I will have to take a closer look now. I know that I've had a closer look at the sticker price - that certainly didn't remain the same. The 528 is priced where the 530 used to be and the 535 is now priced where the 545/550 used to be. And the 550? The "nicely" decked out versions are pushing $72k. That's what single fashioned door panels will buy you these days.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If your ground-breaking, technological, cost-cutting innovation that sets you apart from the rest is a one-piece door panel, you should hide ur head in the sand.

      Pls this is not news worthy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #1, give me another example of a car manufacturer which uses a one piece two tone door panel because nothing pops in to my empty head. Anyway, thats what sets BMW apart from most other manufacturers, it's the little things, little details, they look everywhere to cut a little weight of a car. Weight has become an issue for the entire automotive industry because of the strict safety regulations. Auto manufacturers will have to find ways to battle against it, every little piece counts.
      • 7 Years Ago
      how about a close up of where the two colors meet?
      • 7 Years Ago
      #1 Give an example of a car with one piece two tone door panel. I'm asking cause I don't really know one like this.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford has a lower-tech approach where they would actually paint the plastic to create a two-toned dash or door panel. This can be seen in the Fusion and Edge.

      I also agree that the materials and switchgear on the E60 5-Series and E90 3-Series is not as good as the ones used on the previous generation
      • 7 Years Ago
      So how much weight is this this saving exactly? Serious question.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well my E39 M5 had a really nice interior, and even 5 years later it still smelled new. However...just because it was nice does NOT mean it didn't have squeaks and rattles. I avoided RR Tracks like the plague.

      Personally, I think they should have invested more money into making the door panels attractive rather than one-piece. They're certainly not pretty.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is about as interesting as "Quiet Steel (TM)"
      • 7 Years Ago
      Agree with beanspants (#6)

      Thank god... I was tired of using my right hand to reach ACROSS my body to use the window, lock and mirror controls (that's easier than trying to do it with your left hand, which has to bend and twist in ways that, I'm sure, can't be doing my aging body any good). Whoever designed the old power switch control panel was sadistic.
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