BMW M8 – The Supercar That Wasn’t

Every once and awhile, automakers like to flex their proverbial muscles and make a car so unbelievable fantastic that the world must stand back, with jaws agape, and marvel at its magnificence. These, usually extremely exclusive, halo cars are design...

Every once and awhile, automakers like to flex their proverbial muscles and make a car so unbelievable fantastic that the world must stand back, with jaws agape, and marvel at its magnificence. These, usually extremely exclusive, halo cars are designed to showcase what the brand is capable of if cost and reason were off the table. They are rolling chest pounds at the competition. The most recent cars of this nature are the Aston Martin One-77 and Lexus LFA. Both of those cars are far too expensive than they should be, but they showcase what kind of immense driving machines each company is capable of. BMW had one of these cars but, unfortunately, it never saw the light of day. Instead, it sat locked away in a warehouse somewhere in Germany, waiting to die a lonely death, simply because it didn’t fit in the world it was born into. That car was the M8.

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I once read an article by Angus Mackenzie, of Motor Trend, who told a story of an 8 Series test drive he did at the car’s launch. While talking to some M engineers, he asked if there would ever be an M8 and they said no, as it was too big and heavy. It turns out they were so very wrong. An M8 was designed and built as a fully functioning prototype, waiting for the green light for production from the bean-counters in Munich. The M8, if put into production, would have been the most incredible car BMW had ever made at the time, and quite possibly the best car on sale. It was an absolute masterpiece, the Beethoven’s Symphony number 9 of its time. BMW took an 8 Series, essentially a very big and heavy grand touring car, and turned it into a supercar which would have been able to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.

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It all started with the engine, which was a 5.0 liter V12 creating, an absolutely enormous for the time, 550 hp. But it wasn’t all brute force, as the V12 was as technical as it gets. With twelve individual throttle bodies, one for each cylinder and cable driven, BMW’s Double VANOS variable valve timing and a carbon fiber intake manifold, the 5.0 liter engine in the M8 was on the same level as the BMW-built S70/2 in the McLaren F1. It also had a 170 hp advantage over its little brother, the 850CSi. There are no exact figures for 0-60 or top speed, but considering the much heavier and underpowered 850CSi hit 60 mph in the mid-5 second range, the M8 would have probably broken into the 4 seconds range.

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The M8 also sent all of that hulking power to the rear wheels, through a 6-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. It was also lightened with an extensive use of carbon fiber, and was probably the genesis of the carbon fiber technology BMW uses today.

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The interior was stripped out and all of the leather replaced with Alcantara. The rear seats were removed and the fronts replaced with single-piece racing seats with four-point safety harnesses. BMW even went through the trouble of changing the headlights, to make them lighter but also smaller, as to fit a bigger air intake into the grille. BMW also installed a B-Pillar, something the standard 8 Series didn’t have. This increased torsional rigidity through corners, where the 8 Series tended to wallow a bit. All of these changes make it obvious that BMW wasn’t just slapping some M badges on an 8 Series and calling it a day. The Bavarians wanted to make something truly special, something that would have put the rest of the auto industry to shame. BMW engineers were pounding their chests with this car. It’s just a shame it never came to fruition.

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At the time the world was going through a bit of a recession, and the finances for such a car didn’t make much sense at the time. However, through the lense of hindsight, BMW should have made it. Would it have been profitable? No. But neither was the Lexus LFA or Aston One-77, both of which came from companies less profitable than BMW. But what they did do was inspire people to look to their brand. They showed the world what Lexus and Aston Martin could do when they got to roll up their sleeves after hours, when the boss wasn’t looking. If they could do it, BMW probably could have as well. And the world would be a better place for it.

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The article BMW M8 – The Supercar That Wasn’t appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M2 to use an updated N55 engine

Every since the first rumors around a future BMW M2 hit the interwebs, the BMW community debated over the engine found under the hood of the new “baby-M.” We have seen reports indicating an updated version of the N55 TwinScroll being used...

Every since the first rumors around a future BMW M2 hit the interwebs, the BMW community debated over the engine found under the hood of the new “baby-M.” We have seen reports indicating an updated version of the N55 TwinScroll being used, as well as a detuned S55 unit or even a new “S” engine based on the equally new B58 3.0 liter. Last year, a source close to BMWBLOG said the M2 will use in fact an updated N55 engine with an output between 360 and 370 horsepower. Today, we heard from a different source that the N55B30T0 engine will indeed find its way in the M2. While the updated N55 is based on the same engine found in the M235i, our source says it will have some component from the new S55 unit. Yet the engine code will still be labeled as N55.

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As always, nothing is confirmed until BMW says so, but other reports coming from UK and U.S. magazines have also hinted at the same powerplant. The engine will be paired to a six-speed manual transmission and an optional M-DCT. BMW is expected to unveil the F87 M2 this summer, followed by production in November 2015 and first deliveries in Spring 2016. The article BMW M2 to use an updated N55 engine appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Maintaning and checking BMW M Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) wear

Servicing (checking and maintaining the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes CCB) on your F80 M3, F82 M4 and F10 M5. ...

Servicing (checking and maintaining the M Carbon Ceramic Brakes CCB) on your F80 M3, F82 M4 and F10 M5.

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Driving insight of the new 2016 BMW 7 Series

With the recent announcement of news about the upcoming G11/G12 7 Series, and all the excitement which surrounds it, it seems as if we’ve been getting very caught up in all of the technical specs and not the way it drives and feels. The 7 Series wa...

With the recent announcement of news about the upcoming G11/G12 7 Series, and all the excitement which surrounds it, it seems as if we’ve been getting very caught up in all of the technical specs and not the way it drives and feels. The 7 Series was always the car for BMW enthusiasts who’ve grown up and decided to buy a luxury car, but still long for that great driving experience. In recent iterations, the 7er seems to have gotten away from the driving experience being the main priority, even Project head Walter Schindlbeck acknowledged so. This time, however, BMW is putting the Ultimate Driving Experience back into the 7 Series. In the comment section of most of the features we did on the 7 Series, many readers and fans were concerned about the perceived lack of focus towards driving feel, handling and performance. Many claimed that BMW was more concerned with gesture control and adaptive cruise control than actual driving. And while BMW has been focusing quite a bit on those things, it has to in this segment after all, the Bavarians have been working steadfast on making sure the new G11/G12 drives like a proper BMW.

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According to some recent circuit test drives in Miramas, France, Car and Driver reports that the new 7 Series drives with the verve and enthusiasm as BMWs of yore. The folks at C&D seem optimistic that this new 7er will return BMW to the top of the luxury-yacht segment. Some of the notable driving dynamics reported were the ride, steering and performance. According to multiple accounts, the new 7 Series rides like a dream, thanks in part to the as-standard air suspension. Bumps and cracks are soaked up with nary a murmur. The 7 just steamrolls the road imperfections without the slightest upset in the chassis, just smooth and confident progression.

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The new engine seems to be quite a gem too. With similar feel and response to the outgoing N55, which is quite the compliment actually, the new B58 turbocharged straight-six engine can motivate the Big 7 with all the enthusiasm one will need. Obviously, there will be an eight-cylinder engine and a diesel available in the future, but the baseline six will do just fine. Plus there’s something special about a 7 Series with a straight-six, it just seems right. The B58 is technically an elongated version of the engine in the MINI Cooper S and, being part of BMW’s new modular engine line, shows promise for the future of BMW engines. An important part of the drive that C&D reported was about the steering. They felt that the steering was back to business as usual for BMW, as it was accurate and properly weighted. They did complain about the level of feedback, or lack thereof, but noted that this is done purposely. Apparently, according to engineers for BMW, it’s quite easy for them to tune in steering feel with the electric power steering, but the customer base for the 7 Series don’t seem to enjoy it. So by demand, BMW must give the 7 Series, and most likely all luxury cars, slightly vague steering. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, it seems.

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But despite any lack of steering feedback, the G11/G12 seems to be the 7 Series we’ve all been waiting years for. One with athletic driving dynamics reminiscent of 7 Series past, such as the E38. The 7 Series was never meant to be a boring luxo-barge like some of its competitors are. The 7 is meant to give its driver all the comfort and luxury they could desire when they want it, but be able to tackle a canyon road like a sports car when asked to. While the previous 7er was a competent dance partner, this new 7 Series seems to be a willing one. And that’s more exciting than any techno-features in the world. The article Driving insight of the new 2016 BMW 7 Series appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW 650i M-Sport – Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

Just a step below the famed BMW M6, the BMW 650i is the best combination of performance, luxury and pricing for a sporty coupe. The Melbourne Red is often referred to as one of the most striking finishes offered for BMW cars and coupled with the 650i...

Just a step below the famed BMW M6, the BMW 650i is the best combination of performance, luxury and pricing for a sporty coupe. The Melbourne Red is often referred to as one of the most striking finishes offered for BMW cars and coupled with the 650i Coupe, makes for an attractive view. The bright red complements the luxury and elegant lines of the coupe and it’s a nice change from the typical white, silver and black finishes. The BMW 650i comes with a 4.4-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 powerplant, which delivers 445 horsepower to the rear wheels. It combines two turbochargers with variable valve control (Double-VANOS and Valvetronic) and high-precision direct injection, allowing for smooth and efficient power delivery, as well as impressive performance with this model. The BMW 6 Series with this powerplant can accelerate from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in just 4.5 seconds.

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

 

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

This particular vehicle comes with the M-Sport package, adding aerodynamics parts and giving the coupe a more aggressive look. However, for some owners that isn’t enough. The owner of this 650i Coupe selected a set of Vossen Wheels to further accentuate the exterior of his vehicle. These Vossen CVT wheels are sized 22″ with a Silver Brushed finish.The ride was also lowered to match the new shoes. Please take a look at more images in the gallery below.

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

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BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

BMW 650i M-Sport - Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels

The article BMW 650i M-Sport – Vossen VFS1 Silver Brushed Wheels appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Hands-On: Mini Augmented Vision

Tech magazine Ars Technica has spent some time with the MINI Augmented Vision glasses which were unveiled last week. The MINI Augmented Vision project thereby embraces one of the major trends of the future: AR technologies enhance reality by overlayi...

Tech magazine Ars Technica has spent some time with the MINI Augmented Vision glasses which were unveiled last week. The MINI Augmented Vision project thereby embraces one of the major trends of the future: AR technologies enhance reality by overlaying the field of vision with supplementary digital information, usually by means of computer generated graphics. And the real and virtual worlds are set to merge more and more in the future while driving as well. Today, head-up displays already make it possible to project important driving information onto the windshield so that it appears in the driver’s field of vision. In the future, augmented reality glasses will supplement this technology with an alternative solution. But how does it work in real life? Here is an excerpt from the Ars Technica review:

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Luckily, I was standing right next to a demo Mini so I got in the car and took a “drive” through an early-Sims-like environment. Every time I had to make a turn, giant arrows were displayed in front of my eyes, navigating me down roads that existed in my “real world” view (on a screen in front of the Mini’s windshield). At one point, I got a text from one of my fake friends. A small icon appeared in my field of vision, so I pushed a button on the right side of my steering wheel. The car read the text aloud for me. Later in the drive, as I was idling next to a crowd of fake people, a woman dropped a basketball. I turned my head to look at the incoming ball and I was able to “see through” the door as the basketball entered my path. Although BMW and Qualcomm call this “x-ray vision,” it’s essentially just getting feeds from one of three wide-angle cameras tucked away on the body of the car. While basketballs don’t hit your car every day, this might be especially useful for a person who has a hard time not kissing the curb when parallel parking.

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All information gathered from cameras and sensors and navigation data was presented to me seamlessly, and the system didn’t stutter or falter. The user interface on the Mini Augmented Vision glasses is supported by Qualcomm’s mobile vision platform called Vuforia. Vuforia assists AR glasses and other mobile accoutrement with object recognition and tracking by offloading those tasks to a remote server. Although it was only a demo, and in the real world there certainly might be some lag that could harm the viewer’s experiences, I never felt nauseous. That’s something I’ve had a hard time with in my limited experience with VR goggles. One thing to note is that the top part of the glasses started getting pretty warm towards the end. But with a foam buffer between my forehead and the plastic, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. Full review The article Hands-On: Mini Augmented Vision appeared first on BMW BLOG

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GSR Autosport takes a 228i from street to track to Pirelli World Challenge

GSR shares their motorsport 228i build with us. Words by GSR: Last year we purchased a base model 2014 BMW 228i with a goal to learn as much as we can about this new entry level BMW and explore he possibilities of its potential to serve as a true e...

GSR shares their motorsport 228i build with us. Words by GSR: Last year we purchased a base model 2014 BMW 228i with a goal to learn as much as we can about this new entry level BMW and explore he possibilities of its potential to serve as a true enthusiast BMW. We

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The workings of a manual gearbox

I was talking to friend who has a 1985 VW Golf he’s managed to eek almost a half million miles out of. Recently the manual transmission has been grumbling, it would appear that one of the shaft bearings may be failing. The repair to the tranny ...

I was talking to friend who has a 1985 VW Golf he’s managed to eek almost a half million miles out of. Recently the manual transmission has been grumbling, it would appear that one of the shaft bearings may be failing. The repair to the tranny will cost more than the car is worth. Amazing that he’s been able to put that many miles on the car – but it is pretty much the last of the ‘old school’ manual-everything cars, so repairs have been pretty straightforward. He was wondering what bearings may be causing the problems and I knew that the shafts were suspended in bearings but was unsure what other bearings floated around inside the gearbox and what would be involved in changing gears. So it was time to dig into the workings of a manual gearbox.

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First, in a longitudinal layout – like the ZF S6-45 in my 135i, there is an input shaft and concentric output shaft (they are coupled but are free to spin independently), and also a layshaft (sometimes called a countershaft). There is a gear on the input shaft which is in constant mesh with a gear that turns the layshaft – the input shaft and layshaft turn at the same speed (but in opposite directions). There are a number of gears attached directly to the layshaft and with the exception of the layshaft gear directly meshed to the input shaft, the remainder of the layshaft gears are in constant mesh with gears on the output shaft.

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The gears on the output shaft spin freely on needle bearings and have a corresponding fixed gear on the layshaft. The gears are helical cut (for NVH purposes) and are stronger than straight cut gears (used in racing gearboxes). But the helical gears have one major drawback, they introduce axial loads, a load which has to be absorbed by the shaft bearings and the gearbox case – racing gearboxes use straight cut gears because they don’t present axial loads and racing gearboxes don’t have to be ‘quiet’. Racing gearboxes are noisy in ways that road going cars would find intolerable. So far we have a series of helical cut gears, one directly coupled to the input shaft that’s in constant mesh with a gear directly connected to the layshaft. There are other gears directly coupled to the layshaft that are in constant mesh with gears that are freely spinning, in roller bearings, which are placed on the output shaft. And then placed between the gears on the output shaft are a series of selectors (which are made up of blocker rings, a synchronizer hub, a shift sleeve and some smaller parts).

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The selectors move fore and aft on splines that are on the output shaft, they are constantly engaged and are turning at road speed (the speed of the output shaft). To allow the selector to couple a gear to itself there are synchro (baulk) rings and teeth on the inner edge of both sides of the selector. The British use the term ‘baulk rings’ to describe the synchros, and they are onto something because ‘baulk’ means ‘to brake’ – and that’s exactly what the synchros do; they brake the quicker of either the selector or output shaft gear allowing those side mounted teeth to engage without significant clashing. The synchros resemble metal cones which are engaged and whose friction synchronizes the speed of the requested gear (which is turning at the same speed as the layshaft – engine speed) and the selector which is directly connected to the output shaft (turning at road speed). Remember, the layshaft is in constant connection to the input shaft. The teeth used by the selectors and gears resemble incisors. They are triangular in shape and that shape allows them to engage without grinding. The synchros work their magic by braking the faster of the selector/gear pair and then the teeth find a good mesh based on their shape – not unlike a pointed toe boot finds the stirrup on a saddle. So the selector couples a gear on the output shaft, which is freely floating on needle bearings, via its and the gears side mounted teeth, to the output shaft – driving the output shaft at a reduced or higher speed than the input shaft based on the gear selected. The selector is moved on the output shaft by shift forks which sit in a grove on the outer surface (around the diameter) of the selector. The shift forks are pushed or pulled by rods which move back through the transmission case and are terminated near the gearshift. Moving the gearshift out of neutral engages one of the rods and moving the shifter fore or aft moves the rod which moves the selector (in the opposite direction the shifter is moved).

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In many manual gearboxes the gear on the input shaft can be selected which directly couples the input shaft to the output shaft – in that case the input shaft and output will turn at the same speed – the 1 to 1 gear ratio. In this case the gear on the input shaft serves not as a reduction or overdrive, as it continues to turn the layshaft and its gears, but the selector itself couples the input and output shaft together Reverse is the one gear set that is not in constant mesh (it is un-synchronized) and the vehicle should be at a dead stop for it to be engaged. Often reverse gears are straight cut (ever wonder why the transmission whines in reverse?). With the engine running, the clutch pedal out (not depressed), and the gearshift lever in neutral, the input shaft is spinning at engine speed and since the layshaft is directly connected to the input shaft, it too is spinning at engine speed. The selectors are on the output shaft not spinning – this is because none are engaging a gear at the moment. Depress the clutch and the input shaft is disconnected from the engine and starts to lose momentum (spins down). Press the shift lever forward for first, in the case of the 135i, and the far right shift rod moves back and engages a selector on first gear in the transmission. The synchros do their magic, the teeth on the selector and first gear bite together and the output shaft is now engaged to the layshaft (through the selector). Release the clutch and give the engine some gas and the input shaft spins up – that in tern spins the layshaft. The gear is selected, in this case first, and through the selector it spins the output shaft at the appropriate speed and transmits the engine torque to the output shaft. The output shaft spins the propshaft (drive shaft) and that spins the differential which spins the axles which spins the wheels.

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Where can things go wrong? Well, over time the axial loads of helical cut gears will reek havoc on the shaft bearings – which I would suspect is the issue with my friend’s transmission. Nothing short of rebuild will resolve that. The transmission can ‘pop out of gear’, often a failure of the linkage to hold the coupled selector to the selected gear. Keep in mind that the selected gear is not directly coupled to the output shaft – it spins freely on roller bearings, it’s the selector (whose teeth are biting together with the teeth on the gear) which drives the output shaft. And that brings me to an admonition. Do not rest your hand on the gearshift. The transmission vibrates in sympathy with the rest of the drivetrain. Resting your hand on the gearshift dampens those vibrations. And damping those vibrations forces the shift fork to wear away the outer edges of the grooves on the selectors. Eventually you’ll be looking at a rebuild – and probably before half a million miles. The article The workings of a manual gearbox appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M4 with HRE R101 Wheels

IND Distribution is back with another exciting project. Choosing an BMW F82 M4 as the starting point, iND decided to give the sporty sedan a makeover. First, the M4 gets a carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, coupled with blacked out kidney ...

IND Distribution is back with another exciting project. Choosing an BMW F82 M4 as the starting point, iND decided to give the sporty sedan a makeover. First, the M4 gets a carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, coupled with blacked out kidney grilles and side gills. Next, a new set of boots were fitted to the car. The HRE R101 wheels add a bit of style and performance to this vehicle. HRE’s Motorsport Collection of custom forged racing wheels is designed specifically for the grueling environment of today’s racetracks where added strength and lightweight design is of the utmost importance. Engineered for maximum performance, these are also a great selection for street cars as well. The refined design coupled with custom manufacturing process for each setup ensures proper fitment.

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

The current BMW F80 M3 model is powered by a 3.0 liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine developing 425 horsepower and allowing the high-performance model to sprint from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in just 3.8 seconds. Please take a look at the media gallery below.

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

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BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

BMW M3 with HRE R101 Wheels by IND Distribution

The article BMW M4 with HRE R101 Wheels appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Another impression of new BMW 7 Series from Miami private reveal event

Another BIMMERPOST member’s impressions from a first look at the G11 / G12 7 Series during a private reveal event in Miami held last week. ...

Another BIMMERPOST member’s impressions from a first look at the G11 / G12 7 Series during a private reveal event in Miami held last week.

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