i went to the dealership to check out the 530i, and who do i run in to? the guy who let me drive all the 3 series cars in the spring, he recognized me and was like "you want to drive the new 5 series?" so we took it out, didn't have to copy my liscence or anything! he said they were getting the 545 in a week or two. they had a 6 speed in the showroom but they only had the auto on the lot to drive. so he showed me some stuff about the idrive and it's not TOO bad, it's like a fancy trip computer. you don't need it to change the radio station or climate control, it just personalizes some functions by using the idrive. the nav system isn't even out yet, but that will be extra. the car costs $51,000 with everything. in the manual mode the shift from 1-2 and 2-3 was harsh, and even in auto mode the shift from 1-2 was noticeable, and was harsh compared to a jag transmission. but after that, oh man! i hit 100 (he let me take it on the highway) and it was TOO quiet, i redlined it in some gears and couldn't even hear the engine.
the best part about the car is active steering. you keep the car parked, turn the wheel, and the car ACTUALLY TILTS. the steering is TOO responsive, i clipped a corner once because the turning radius is the tightest i've seen. steering is too light and responsive and it was hard to get used to. it's a real driver's car. it's a shame the back is ugly as hell. the seats are the same as the old model and they were supportive. the car felt lighter than the E39 too.
now i present you with 30 pictures from the car dealerships . i almost got to drive an STi too, maybe next time.