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Car makers join forces

BMW and Porsche are wanting to improve the current electric vehicle, (EV) charge rate to 450 kW in order to enable quicker EV charging.

They are already working together with other major automakers, like Mercedes and Ford, on the major Ionity ultra-fast (350kW) EV charging network in Europe.

BMW’s ‘FastCharge’ consortium is leading the project.

“The collaborative project studies all aspects of fast charging in practical application, aiming to introduce and manufacture the required technologies on an industrial scale,” said BMW in their latest press release.

 The project also is hinting at an automated billing process or subscription for customers.

This is why, alongside analysing potential capacity increases in the charging process, the project also investigates the prerequisites and processes for the operation of ultrafast charging systems, including an automated registration and billing process for customers.”

The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure supports the project with a €7.8 million grant, which is supervised by the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Organisation (NOW).

They have now confirmed that the bulk of their research will focus on improving charging rates using the existing Combined Charging System (CCS), but at a voltage of 900 volts and an amplitude of 500 amperes for a charge rate of 450 kW.

The group sees this charge rate as ideal to charge an average long-range electric car in about 15 mins.

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BMW invests in battery centre

BMW to invest in a battery cell expertise centre, the German luxury carmaker said on Friday. BMW plans to invest 200 million euros into the new competence centre over the next four years. 

The electric BMW i3

The new facility is described as a multi-discipline technical centre which will be tasked with developing the design, packaging, chemical formulations, charging and power delivery characteristics of BMW’s future electric vehicles.

As part of BMW’s strategic outline, electrification is set to play a pivotal part in the company’s future alongside digitalisation and autonomous technology.

Despite the investment in the new Competence Centre For Battery Cells, the facility will be a research and development centre only, with battery production to be contracted to outside suppliers who will produce powertrain systems to BMW specifications.

“We will be concentrating all our in-house expertise along the battery-cell value chain at our new high-tech competence centre,” Klaus Froehlich, head of development for BMW Group said.

“International experts working in the new development labs and facilities will conduct important research to refine cell chemistry and cell design. We will focus on further improvements in battery performance, lifespan, safety, charging and also costs. We will set the benchmark for the industry.”

“By producing battery-cell prototypes, we can analyse and fully understand the cell’s value-creation processes. With this build-to-print expertise, we can enable potential suppliers to produce cells to our specifications,” BMW board member Oliver Zipse said.

“The knowledge we gain is very important to us, regardless of whether we produce the battery cells ourselves, or not.”

The centre will open in early 2019, BMW said.

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Latest update in German cartel inquiry

BMW has hired a law firm to help with an internal investigation of an alleged cartel among German carmakers and needs more time before any conclusions can be reached, Chief Executive Harald Krueger said yesterday.

Asked whether BMW would be able to quantify possible risks from the allegations once it had concluded its fact-finding operation, Krueger said: “As of today we don’t know this at all.”

BMW, Daimler  and Volkswagen were raided by European Union and German antitrust officials last month over allegations that they had collaborated to set pricing and technology standards to the detriment of foreign rivals and customers over the past few decades.

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BMW reveal 453-hp M3 CS

Following the decades-long tradition of successful M special editions, BMW presents their new limited-run M3 CS. With its accentuated sporting presence, the four-door high-performance sedan serves up a perfect blend of dynamism and everyday practicality.

The new BMW M3 CS is fitted with the same six-cylinder inline engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that has proved well in the existing BMW M3 models. It channels the engine’s power through the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) as standard. 


The output of the new BMW M3 CS has been raised to 338 kW/460 hp, 10 hp more than the BMW M3 with Competition Package, and its peak torque to 600 Nm / 442 lb-ft.

State of the art M TwinPower Turbo technology propels the M3 CS from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and the top speed of the new special edition is electronically limited to 280 km/h. 

The bonnet, roof, front splitter, Gurney and rear diffuser on the new BMW M3 CS are made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The weight saving over the standard BMW M3 is 50 kilograms. 

The new BMW M3 CS comes as standard with M compound brakes featuring four-piston callipers at the front and two-piston callipers at the rear. The new special-edition model rides on DTM-design light-alloy wheels in Orbit Grey.

Orders for the new BMW M3 CS can be placed from January 2018. The special-edition model – which will be limited to a run of approximately 1,200 units due to production factors – will be built from March 2018. 

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New BMW X2 in 2018

The new BMW X2 will be on the market in March 2018.

The Sports Activity Coupe is a BMW with one of a kind character. Its design is a combination of the robustness of a BMW X model and the athletic suave of a coupe. 

Customers can choose from the BMW X2 M Sport and the M Sport X models. 

New design details also are apart of the new BMW, these include the BMW roundel on the C-pillars and the styling of the kidney grille, where the outline is wider at the base than at the top, a first for a modern BMW. 

New colour shades, Galvanic Gold metallic and Misano Blue metallic, are available for the first time. Perforated Dakota leather in Magma Red and Micro Hexagon fabric will also be apart of the new design.

Three engine variants are offered from the launch, plus the petrol model is fitted with the sporty seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. 

Options for the latest generation of BMW ConnectedDrive and Connected App, Apple CarPlay and an array of driver assistance systems all serve for a more coherent driving experience. 

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Cartel inquiry widens

The investigation widens over whether several German carmakers have conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over several decades.  (more…)

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New BMW X3 arriving November

BMW New Zealand has announced their new X3 will be available from November this year, in three variants.

The New Zealand range will consist of the X3 xDrive20d, X3 xDrive30i and X3 M40i M Performance and is priced from $92,850 excluding on road costs.

The entry level X3 xDrive20d runs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, outputting power 140 kW and torque of 400 Nm. The X3 xDrive30i has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 185 kW and torque 350 Nm. The top range BMW M40i is equipped with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, delivering 265 kW and torque of 500 Nm.

BMW says the new-generation TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine delivers a markedly more agile power delivery and outstanding responsiveness even at low engine speeds, while being fuel efficient and low in emissions.

The BMW X3 M40i features all-wheel-drive and has a far more pronounced rear bias than on the other model versions.

Inside, the X3 offers a 10.25-inch central information display with driver navigation as standard.

The BMW Head Up Display (standard for xDrive30i and M40i variants) allows the most important driving-related information to be projected directly into the driver’s field of vision. The Head Up Display in the new BMW X3 is unrivalled in its segment for graphics, resolution and display options, and with a projection area now 70 per cent larger than before.

The X3 boasts enhanced smart connectivity, with destinations able to be sent from your smartphone directly to the car and “Navigate Door-to-Door”, that assists with navigation right to your final destination, even on foot.

Remote 3D view forms part of the Parking Assistant Plus system that is standard on higher model grades allowing the owner to access a view of their parked X3 remotely on their phone. Upon request, the vehicle takes images of its surroundings to generate an adjustable view on the mobile device.

Increased interior space and comfort with intends to mirror the layout of the new BMW 5 Series and 7 Series models.

The new BMW X3 is available for ordering from BMW dealerships now.

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BMW’s Gran Turismo arrives November

The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo will arrive in New Zealand in November, and pricing and technical specs have been released.

BMW says its new 6 Series Gran Turismo will combine the long-distance comfort of a luxury sedan with the aesthetic appeal of a coupe, and that the design embodies a rigorous process of development.

Recommended retail pricing for the 6 Series starts from $155,600 plus on-road costs for the BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo.

The new 6 Series.

The new 6 series will sport a 3.0-litre six-cylinder in-line petrol engine that generates a maximum output of 250kW and delivers peak torque of 450Nm of torque between 1,380 and 5,200 rpm, reaching 0 to 100 kmh in 5.3 seconds.

The combined fuel consumption is 8.2 litres per 100 kilometres (figures according to the NEDC test cycle, may vary depending on the tyre format and vehicle specifications).

The new 6 Series will come with a number of driver assistance options that include a stereo camera that will link up with optional radar and ultrasonic sensors to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings.

Collision and pedestrian warning systems comes as standard, as does cruise control. This system is operational in a speed range from 0 to 210 kmh and is capable of braking the vehicle to a standstill.

The 6 Series interior.

Roadside assistance services come built in BMW. The vehicles uses an emergency call system with automatic locating and accident severity detection, alongside BMW’s teleservice accident assistance, that detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment.

The driver receives a message in the heads-up display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly.

Pre-orders for the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo have opened.

 

 

 

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Concept X7 iPerformance a new take on luxury- BMW.

The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance will be unveiled at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, in a move that see’s the company attempt to introduce a new take on luxury for the brand.

The Concept will have a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, creating a plug-in hybrid powertrain that will run with zero local emissions.

The company has focused on how the car looks over performance though, emphasising the heightened luxury of this model.

“The expansive exterior of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance projects the exclusive experience available inside the car confidently to the outside world. Clear, vertical proportions with significant ground clearance identify the Concept as an X model without the need to look twice,” the company has said in a press release.

BMW says the Concept X7 iPerformance’s 6 person interior is pared down to the essentials, displaying elementary forms, top grade materials and a state-of- the-art infotainment system brimming with connectivity.

The new BMW 8 Series, new BMW X7, BMW i8 and new BMW i8 Roadster will join the BMW 7 Series in the brand’s significantly expanded luxury segment line- up.

The identity shared by BMW’s top line models are echoed in a newly designed logo, which combines a black-and-white version of the manufacturer’s logo first used 100 years ago with the company name “Bayerische Motoren Werke” written out in full.

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MINI’s new EV concept

Nearly 10 years since the debut of MINI’s first electric concept, the car maker announced plans to present the new MINI Electric Concept at the IAA cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, Germany.

MINI says that the EV will retain the nippy feeling that is so integral to the brand’s heritage, and bring a car to market that is designed for urban mobility and city life.

“With its characteristic go-kart feeling and powerful electric motor, the MINI Electric Concept is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad. Schwarzenbauer says that this is how MINI sees itself in the future.

The brand’s first series-production model with a plug-in hybrid drive system was presented in spring 2017 in the shape of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The new model variant enables electric and therefore locally emission-free mobility for the first time.

In the future, all electrified products from the MINI brand will be grouped together under the “MINI Electric” banner, the company says.

The concept will make use of 3D printing technologies in its inlays and air intakes. MINI says this will improve both the aerodynamics of the model and the overall aesthetic.

For now, there is no information available on the cars power and performance specs.

MINI says it hopes to bring an all-electric production model to market in 2019. The announcement of MINI’s Electric Concept follows BMW group’s (which MINI belongs to) announcement of their i3 model, that will be available globally late this year.

 

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Details of new M5 released

BMW has provided a first look at details of the 6th generation of the M5 luxury Sedan, that BMW says has new sporting agility and technology that allows “easily controlled drifts”.

While the sedan doesn’t look outstandingly different from its predecessors, the new M5 boasts an impressive power boost and some new drivetrain technology.

The new M5 is equipped with a 4.4 litre V8 that has an output of 441kW and peak torque of 750Nm. That’s a 30kW increase in power from previous models.

The M5 reaches 0 – 100 km/h 3.4 seconds and from 0 – 200 km/h in just 11.1 seconds. The top speed will be electronically limited at a maximum of 305 km/h.

The new model debuts BMW’s newly developed M xDrive all-wheel-drive systems that BMW says, “brings together the outstanding agility and precision of the standard drivetrain configuration familiar from other M models with the supreme traction in all conditions offered by all-wheel drive.”

Along with the all-wheel drive option the M5 will be available in “pure” 2-wheel rear wheel drive, a configuration that BMW says, “allows the driver to pick their own drift angle and treats connoisseurs to driving dynamics in their purest form.”

The interior of the new M5.

BMW says these options allow the new M5 to be both an exceptional daily driver, and performer on the racetrack. They are keen to note that, like all M models, the new M5 was tested and developed on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

The new M5 has all the design features you would expect of a high-end luxury sedan, including leather upholstery, optional multifunction seats and a range of polished BMW double spoke rims.

BMW New Zealand’s Head of Corporate Communications Paul Sherley says that the release of the new M5 to the New Zealand market will be in line with international timings. “At this point we are still in the process of finalising specification and pricing for New Zealand. However, these will be announced closer to the vehicles’ local launch… currently planned for the early part of 2018.”

 

 

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