2015 Chrysler 300 Review

A combination of style, power, and value that’s tough to beat. ...

A combination of style, power, and value that’s tough to beat.

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V Debuts at Detroit Auto Show

Latest hot-rod Caddy grows up and gets 640 hp. ...

Latest hot-rod Caddy grows up and gets 640 hp.

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Long time BMW M man and current VP of Engineering, Albert Biermann, leaves BMW for Hyundai

More stunning news out of Munich tonight, Albert Biermann, BMW M VP of Engineering will be leaving the brand for Hyundai. It seems none of the current executives at BMW are sure bets anymore. While this does seem to be a shock, maybee it should not ...

More stunning news out of Munich tonight, Albert Biermann, BMW M VP of Engineering will be leaving the brand for Hyundai. It seems none of the current executives at BMW are sure bets anymore. While this does seem to be a shock, maybee it should not be. We have already reported on BMW’s hiring of Roberto Fedelli from Ferrari “for a yet unspecified role/position”, but with this departure, maybee it was for this newly vacated position at BMW M. We hope to hear more about this dramatic move in the coming days. Biermann originally joined BMW in 1983, as part of the E30 M3 Group A race car development team. After several roles at BMW, he is the chief engineer at BMW M and has served as a wealth of information for fans. In his new role at Hyundai, he will be appointed Head of Vehicle Test & High Performance Development based in Namyang, Korea and will likely have an expanded set of responsibilities, leading the development of new high performance Hyundai and Kia models, as well as oversee engineering projects relating to ride and handling, safety, reliability, and the mitigation of NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Bringing in someone of Mr. Biermann’s stature into the fold will certainly raise Hyundai-Kia’s presence in the performance and luxury segments, but one also has to wonder if this forsages a dedicated performance sub-brand in the future? In case you were wondering about the other shake-ups we’ve seen at BMW recently, Franciscus van Meel was brought in from Audi to replace Dr. Friedrich Nitschke and Harald Krüger is set to replace Dr. Norbert Reithofer at BMW Chairman.

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BMW M VP of Engineering, Albert Biermann goes to Hyundai

In a stunning move, BMW M VP of Engineering Albert Biermann leaves the M Performance Division for a similar job at Hyundai. Biermann will be in charge of developing performance models and improve ride and handling within the performance cars at a res...

In a stunning move, BMW M VP of Engineering Albert Biermann leaves the M Performance Division for a similar job at Hyundai. Biermann will be in charge of developing performance models and improve ride and handling within the performance cars at a research center. As executive vice president, Biermann will become the South Korean automakers’ second-highest foreign executive after design chief Peter Schreyer. “We will have him in charge of developing high-performing vehicles and leading [research efforts on] performance, safety, durability, noise oscillation and system development,” Hyundai said in a statement released Monday in Seoul.

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For years, Hyundai has not only been improving their current line-up but also building sports cars and developing award-winning engines. “Hyundai’s push to performance cars aims at going upmarket and garnering higher margins,” said Lee Hang-koo, a senior researcher at the state-funded Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade. Biermann, 57, had been with BMW for over 30 years and will now move to Seoul. He will also advise on product strategy and marketing for the European market. His appointment “will pave the way for Hyundai-Kia to go head to head with European premium carmakers,” the Korean companies said. The M division is without a doubt starting a new cycle. Franciscus van Meel (48), ex-Audi chief of quattro, will take over as Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M from 1 January 2015. He is the successor to Dr. Friedrich Nitschke (59) who will be retiring at the end of the year. So what does it mean for the future of BMW M? The answer won’t arrive until at least 2020 when the new team in place will have had time to implement their strategies and ideas. The article BMW M VP of Engineering, Albert Biermann goes to Hyundai appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M4 Shooting Brake – Rendering

The following rendering is purely fictional and most likely won’t ever come to market, but it is interesting enough to publish under the “What If” series. Using a BMW M4 Coupe as the base car, the folks over at X-Tomi Design rendere...

The following rendering is purely fictional and most likely won’t ever come to market, but it is interesting enough to publish under the “What If” series. Using a BMW M4 Coupe as the base car, the folks over at X-Tomi Design rendered on top of it a BMW M4 Shooting Brake. Shooting brake is a car body style that has evolved through several distinct meanings over its history and originated as an early 19th century British termfor a vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game. The term brake was initially a chassis used to break in horses — and was subsequently used to describe a motorized vehicle. The term was later applied to custom-built wagons by high-end coachbuilders and subsequently became synonymous with station wagon or estate.

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In contemporary usage, the term shooting brake has broadened to include a range of vehicles from five-door station wagons — to three-door models combining features of a wagon and a coupé. Some say, the shooting brake is essentially a two-door station wagon and that’s exactly what the rendering is showing here. READ ALSO: BMW 6 Series Shooting Brake Photoshop BMW currently offers the M4 in two variants – Coupe and Convertible – but a rumored M4 Gran Coupe has been highly discussed as well. Our sources say that, at least for this generation, no other variants are planned for the new M3 or M4, but the company is constantly evaluation the niche markets. For example, Mercedes-Benz is currently offering a CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake and a CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake, and other models are rumored to appear in the future. So we pose the question: which would you buy an M4 Shooting Brake? The article BMW M4 Shooting Brake – Rendering appeared first on BMW BLOG

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How the Perfect Car Door Sound Is Made For BMW

BMW has partnered with Medium’s design hub, re:form, to explain how its design process works, and bring you an unrivaled insider’s look at the evolution of BMW’s iconic driving machines. When acoustic engineer Robert Berens advised the city of ...

BMW has partnered with Medium’s design hub, re:form, to explain how its design process works, and bring you an unrivaled insider’s look at the evolution of BMW’s iconic driving machines. When acoustic engineer Robert Berens advised the city of Boston on construction noise abatement in the late 1970s, jackhammers topped officials’ list of complaints. The bane of city peace and quiet, jackhammers blast out 110 decibels from two meters away, just slightly less than the crack of your average thunderclap. To Berens, the solution seemed simple: mufflers could be installed to reduce the machines’ noise. But it wasn’t quite so easy. “The DPW guys down to a man thought those [muffled] jackhammers didn’t work right,” recalls Berens, now a principal consultant at Acentech in Cambridge, Mass. They worked just fine, of course, but with the tooth-rattling noise reduced, the workers suspected the jackhammers’ power had been reduced, too. They’d lost the indicator they’d relied on to tell them everything was running as it should. For most people, sound is more than a set of vibrations; it carries complex social and cultural signals. This point has not been lost on designers, and thanks to new digital tools and the insights of big data, our soundscapes are being crafted with extreme precision. Engineers can manipulate the sounds our products and gadgets make so that they do more than please our ears — they influence our perception. Some of the most advanced uses of these techniques today are found in the high-end automotive industry, where engineers and designers now routinely lavish attention on every acoustic detail, from the sound of the engine to cabin noise to the squeak of the windshield wipers to the reassuring k-thunk of a car door closing — a subtle but remarkably influential sound when it comes to a potential customer’s decision to buy a new car, experts say. “The customer may not really know this is important for him, but this is something that really affects his decision to buy a car,” says Florian Frank, Specialist for Noise, Vibration and Harshness who works on acoustical design for BMW and is responsible for perfecting the sound profile of new car designs. “You can imagine that certain cars would have a sound that gives the customer the feeling of safety, of protection, of cocooning; other cars should give the customer the sensational quality of precision and control; and again other cars just want to say high value,” he adds.

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For example, the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is “a sporty car, so the door isn’t supposed to sound too heavy. It can’t sound too light, because a light door wouldn’t convey the right aspects of quality and safety. But it’s not supposed to sound too heavy, either. It should have a precise sound.” By contrast, “the BMW 7 Series would be a bit softer maybe, a bit darker in the sound as it’s our flagship sedan.” In Sound We Trust Click to hear the audio https://d1fcbxp97j4nb2.cloudfront.net/audio/1*YLEFRIo0jq8RasEb1_mJ-A.mp3 That’s the actual sound of a door closing on the new BWM 4 Series Gran Coupe. The moment the door connects with the frame, the metal parts of the latch collide creating a low but audible click. A thunk follows more clearly as the dampers and seals compress, decelerating the door nearly instantly as it locks in place, deadening the sound at once to create a crisp and precise effect. That’s not how it sounded when the first BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe prototype showed up for acoustic testing at the BMW design facility in Munich, Germany. Listen closely. Can you hear the difference? https://d1fcbxp97j4nb2.cloudfront.net/audio/1*QbUgWhTjqTg9tPoFJaBb5Q.mp3 In a battery of audiophile-quality recordings, BMW’s acoustic engineers did. They detected a slight imbalance between low and high frequencies, resulting in a “thin” or “light” sound. That was a problem, because consumers subconsciously tend to interpret imbalance as structural weakness, not protective strength. You can actually see the error in an audio fingerprint BMW made that visually captures the sound signature of the door.

This is an audio fingerprint of the sound of the door closing in an early prototype of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. The visualization shows a lack of proportion between the low and high frequencies, as indicated by the white rectangles. This pattern indicates a “thin” or “light” sound.

This is an audio fingerprint of the sound of the door closing in an early prototype of the 4 Series Gran Coupe. The visualization shows a lack of proportion between the low and high frequencies, as indicated by the white rectangles. This pattern indicates a “thin” or “light” sound. Notice the lack of symmetry between the heavy presence of red in the top left part of the graph, and the very thin streaks of turquoise in the bottom right. “Let me compare the whole thing with an orchestra,” says Alexander Ziemann, Head of BMW Aeroacoustics, Function Generated Acoustics and Watertightness. “When you want to design a sound you have to conduct a lot of instruments that play their role. And we have a lot of instruments in this orchestra starting from the latch over the hinges, some buffers, the metal panels, and all the door seals. “In the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, especially, we had a task, because more people are sitting in the back, and we have four doors without a frame around the window. So the big task was to make the system from outside and from inside sound good enough.” They began as usual, optimizing the dampening material on the side panels and some smaller things on the latch. When that didn’t work, they had to dig deeper. “It turned out the lack of an upper frame over the window created complications that were ultimately addressed by optimizing the dampening of the roof — it is very unusual to have to take that kind of step,” he added. The corrected audio fingerprint looks like this:

This is an audio fingerprint of the corrected door dynamics on the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Note the top red and bottom green portions of the visualization indicated within the white rectangles are proportionally balanced

This is an audio fingerprint of the corrected door dynamics on the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Note the top red and bottom green portions of the visualization indicated within the white rectangles are proportionally balanced In this case the red in the upper left is more evenly matched by the ratio of green in the lower right portion of the graph. Imbalance is one of a several common acoustical problems in door designs that engineers seek to find and eliminate. Others include the presence of “high-frequent impulses,” which sound like something has come loose inside the door.

This is a visualization of “high-frequent impulses” error, as indicated within the white circle. The presence of this pattern indicates a rattling sound, as if something has come loose inside the door. IMAGE SOURCE: BMW

This is a visualization of “high-frequent impulses” error, as indicated within the white circle. The presence of this pattern indicates a rattling sound, as if something has come loose inside the door. IMAGE SOURCE: BMW Another common error comes from “narrow-banded tones that last longer than the main impulse,” which make a door sound hollow.

This is a visualization of an error known as “narrow-banded tones that last longer than the main impulse.” The problem is indicated within the white rectangle. The presence of this pattern indicates a hollow sound. IMAGE SOURCE: BMW

This is a visualization of an error known as “narrow-banded tones that last longer than the main impulse.” The problem is indicated within the white rectangle. The presence of this pattern indicates a hollow sound. IMAGE SOURCE: BMW Although most of this design work is done using computer simulations, acoustical engineers at BMW might get up to three prototypes to test on the way to the finished product. With these they might make up to 100 separate highly controlled recordings of a specific feature to isolate various sound qualities and repair imperfections. Equally important to the physical challenge of building a specific and well-defined sound is deciding what sound to make. BMW has been perfecting its acoustic engineering techniques for the past 15 years, understanding what effects various choices in panels and dampeners have on the final sound of the car. More recently, it has begun to do intensive market research with consumers to zero in on what sounds its customers consider most appealing. In one study, researchers interviewed over 800 subjects, collecting feedback on dozens of sounds, each one captured as a visual audio fingerprint and organized into a database with the various responses. Using this database, designers can customize different sounds for different classes of cars, and in the future, perhaps different markets. Such intense focus on sound design is rapidly expanding into new territory as our tools for predicting acoustical effects improves. Acentech in Cambridge, Mass. is just one of a growing number of acoustic design firms seeking to reimagine noisy products, from washing machines to vacuums, and for some the ambitions are reaching even further. Rudolph Stefanich, an industrial designer in Shanghai, earlier this year announced the Sono, a gadget that might one day allow us to customize indoor soundscapes by amplifying or dampening the noises that filter inside. As Megan Garber reported earlier this year in The Atlantic, with Sono you can ostensibly “amplify the songs of birds outside. And you can drown out the noise of the traffic on the street below.” Futuristic stuff, perhaps. Sono is still in the concept phase. But such leaps of imagination are not complete fantasies. They’re grounded in real world applications that have improved by orders of magnitude since the arrival of digital acoustic analysis techniques some three decades ago. “Before computers you used to take a Nagra recorder out in the field. Every reporter who ever did enthomusicology in Africa used one,” cracks Berens. “It was analog and we had sound level meters and analyzers and we could see spectrum. But with computers we could suddenly do digital analysis and an awful lot of math and figure out why things actually behave the way they do.” As we deepen our understanding of how people respond to sound, our newfound acoustic powers are quietly but profoundly altering our relationship to the worlds we inhabit, and create. [Source: Medium] The article How the Perfect Car Door Sound Is Made For BMW appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Rendered: M4 Shooting Brake

This is the stuff of pure fantasy, but who can blame us for loving this! We present to you, the ultimate enthusiast M4 … ...

This is the stuff of pure fantasy, but who can blame us for loving this! We present to you, the ultimate enthusiast M4 …

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What If: BMW M6 Shooting Brake – Photoshop

After rendering the BMW M4 Shooting Brake, the folks over at X-Tomi Design decided to use their Photoshop skills on the M6 Coupe. The result? A BMW M6 Shooting Brake rendering falling under the same “What If” category. As we mentioned in ...

After rendering the BMW M4 Shooting Brake, the folks over at X-Tomi Design decided to use their Photoshop skills on the M6 Coupe. The result? A BMW M6 Shooting Brake rendering falling under the same “What If” category. As we mentioned in our previous article, shooting brake is essentially a two-door station wagon. In the premium segment, Mercedes-Benz is currently offering a CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake and a CLA 45 AMG Shooting Brake, while Audi unveiled an Allroad Shooting Brake Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Porsche has recently dropped the biggest hint yet that the second-generation Panamera will be offered in a Shooting Brake body style, as shown by the 2012 Sport Turismo concept.

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BMW has yet to announce any plans to build a shooting brake model. Without a doubt, an M car with the proportions, elegance and dynamics of a shooting brake would be an instant fans’ darling, but the limited market and the fear of further dilution of the brand, would most likely impair any plans to build the car. If the M division were to build a shooting brake, then the BMW M6 Gran Coupe would be the best platform to start with and the car would give the Panamera a run for its money. Add a hybrid system to it with over 600 horsepower, and you have a winner in your hands. Should BMW build a shooting brake? The article What If: BMW M6 Shooting Brake – Photoshop appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW 1M in Frozen Blue

BMW was originally going to release the 1M as a limited production model of 2,700 units. Then due to overwhelming demand, the company lifted the cap and produced a total of 6309 cars until production ended in June 2012. To this date, it remains one o...

BMW was originally going to release the 1M as a limited production model of 2,700 units. Then due to overwhelming demand, the company lifted the cap and produced a total of 6309 cars until production ended in June 2012. To this date, it remains one of the most sought BMWs to own and also a rarity on the roads. With 740 units sold in the US and a further 220 sold in Canada, the 1M has become a collector’s item. From the factory, the 1M was released in only three colors: Valencia Orange, Alpine White and Sapphire Black. So when we came across a different paint job, we instantly stopped to look.

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This BMW 1M was spotted in Essen, Germany and at a first look, seems to feature a Frozen Blue paint job. Without touching the surface is difficult to tell if the owner opted instead for a matte vinyl wrap.

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The BMW 1M Coupé uses a re-tuned version of the same engine found in a BMW 135i, which is used in various other models such as the 2011 BMW 335is coupe/convertible, 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is, and 2011 BMW 740i. In the 1M Coupe, the engine produces 340 PS (250 kW) at 5900 rpm and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm (with +369 lb-ft (500 N-m) overboost). The only available gearbox is a six-speed manual with a limited slip differential. BMW 1M sprints from 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 4.8 seconds.

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[Source: Autogespot] The article BMW 1M in Frozen Blue appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Congress extends tax credits for electric-car charging stations

The Congress is extending the tax credits for the installation of new electric-vehicles charging stations. The Alternative Refueling Tax Credit section of IRS Section 30(C) extends the tax credits for EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) and is n...

The Congress is extending the tax credits for the installation of new electric-vehicles charging stations. The Alternative Refueling Tax Credit section of IRS Section 30(C) extends the tax credits for EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) and is now available through December 31, 2014. Individuals can deduct 30 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing an EVSE up to $1,000. A 30 percent credit, up to $30,000, applies to businesses.

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States also offer their own incentives for electric-vehicles owners or for the installation of EVSE. For example, the State of Illinois has announced their EV Infrastructure Rebate Program. The program says that you can get up to 50% of the installation cost of an EVSE, up to $3,000. The contingency is to use to use an ICC certified installer. READ ALSO: Installation of an L2 Charging Station If you’re on the market for a new electric vehicle, even if not purchased by December 31st, it is strongly advisable to look into the potential rebates for charging stations. [Source: GreenCarReports] The article Congress extends tax credits for electric-car charging stations appeared first on BMW BLOG

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