After having driven the 530d for a day, I was quite surprised that BMW would be moving in a direction so completely different from what it professes to be its DNA. While the 530d was everything one can ask for in a car, loaded to its gills with technology and rearing to go, it was devoid of the hair raising sportiness one would expect from a Bimmer. Agreed the days of the skull-rattling stiffness of suspension and arm numbing weight of the steering were well and truly gone starting from the sixth generation cars itself, but one expected the top-of-the-line diesel-engined car to be a bit wilder, to have a bit more bite, a bit more directness, a bit more edge and a bit more of the BMW character.The 540i also comes with the same 3-litre 6 inline engine but with upgraded power and torque output. So when I got behind the wheel of the 540i, I did not once imagine what I was letting myself in for. I did notice the M-Sport badging on the front fender despite its tiny size. The black 19-in alloy wheels shod with 245/40 R19 Michelin Primacy 3 rubber were a little hard not to notice though as was the M-sport badging on the steering wheel. The interiors were much more sporty than the 530d but I am sure we can have the diesel engined car with M-sport frills and goodies as well.What I also noticed was that the same inline 6-cylinder direct injection engine with a twin scroll turbocharger, fully variable valve control and variable camshaft timing on both cams belted out 340bhp which came in at 5500rpm and stayed for a full thousand rpm till 6500rpm.advertisementSteering warmer sits above the M-Sport logo. The heavens had opened up in Lisbon much like they do during the monsoons in Mumbai and the mountainous roads were devoid of traffic. The engine let out a loud growl before letting loose on the road to the western-most point in Europe, Cabo de Roca.Starting with throttle response which is immediate and wholesome, the steering which is direct and well weighted, feeling much more like the hydraulic assisted units of yore, and the car which felt light and agile like a sports car, the experience of driving the 7th generation 5-series was totally changed from the tech laden beast of the day before.The interiors are just the same and the new app-based layout on the infotainment system is clearly visible. The huge heads-up display that felt reassuring felt overt and obtrusive and I had to shut it down. I switched off all assists and all the new fangled technology was asked to go to sleep and here was pure motoring from the evening before when I had driven the first three generations of the 5-series. Only that this was much much faster, much more involved and surprisingly as comfortable as the old cars. Not that the roads in Portugal are as bad as those in India but they are not as smooth as the German autobahns either and despite the ultra low profile rubber the car seemed to be riding really well. The beauty of the 540i is that despite the extra power, the car is more efficient than ever before and all the presentations of about how the 100kg lighter 7th gen car was more agile than before suddenly seemed to come true for the new 5-series. For the enhusiast, this has to be the car to wait for. VERDICTFor those interested in the true sporty BMW with added luxury, the 540i fits the bill. The lighter car is more agile and steering is direct thereby making it a driver’s car. Again, it too comes loaded with all the additional assistance systems but it seems BMW has got everything right with the 540i, while moving in the direction of comfort and luxury but retaining the core of the BMW DNA.Also Read:2017 BMW 530d first drive review
VIC vs SA- OPEN BORDER CHALLENGE 3rd September: Touch SA vs Victoria Touch- `2005 Border Challenge’. In the drizzling rain the touch stars of long standing rival states South Australia and Victoria took to the fields last weekend to battle to be the 2005 Border Challenge Champions…. Last weekends Border Challenge saw South Australia and Victoria compete in the Men’s open, Women’s Open and Mixed Open divisions, vying for State supremacy as well as selection for the Crusaders teams (comprising Victoria, South Australia & Tasmania) to compete in the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour in March 2006. This year the 2005 Border Challenge was held in Mildura. The Border Challenge is a great opportunity to take elite level touch to the regional areas, and this weekend displayed the very best South Australia and Victoria has to offer. The games were held at the Mildura Senior College and greatly supported by representatives of the Mallee Touch Association in particular Luke Thornton with regard to facilities and field preparation. It was excellent to see members of the Mildura Touch Association come out and play a demonstration mixed game to show case the local talent. The stars from both South Australia and Victoria put on a display of tenacious defense, hot stepping attacking action, and of course, the games were played in the sportsmanlike manner one has come to expect in our sport. Through the miserable rain South Australia came out strong winning all three of the Men’s Open games and two games to one in the Women’s Open, while Victoria had a clean sweep in the Mixed Open division. As expected it was a tight encounter with most games only separated by one or two scores. Men’s Open South Australia (6) def Victoria (5) South Australia (5) def Victoria (4) South Australia (5) def Victoria (2) * 2005 Divisional Champions – South Australia Women’s Open South Australia (4) def Victoria (3) South Australia (3) def Victoria (2) Victoria (2) def South Australia (1) * 2005 Divisional Champions – South Australia Mixed Open Victoria (3) def South Australia (2) Victoria (5) def South Australia (3) Victoria (6) def South Australia (5) * 2005 Divisional Champions – Victoria ** 2005 Border Challenge Overall State Champions – South Australia ** The awesome display of talent made the task of choosing a `Player of the Series’ from each division very difficult. The following players were awarded `Player of the Series’ – Men’s Open – Colm Maguire (South Australia) Women’s Open – Sharon Gray (South Australia) Sharon Lai (Victoria) Mixed Open – Richard Morunga (Victoria) Congratulations to all the players that took part and a big thank you to Luke Thornton for everything he did in preparation for the 2005 Border Challenge. A special thank you to the following referee’s who were selected to represent at the 2005 Border Challenge Dave Ludlow, Jo Mitchell, Sean Judge, Chris Denison-Smith, Greg Frost, Indra Garner, Leigh Bryant, Miles Davine, Mike Gaskin, Stewart Freeman.