BMW Team RLL Victory At Long Beach

Auberlen and Werner win from pole, Edwards and Luhr finish fifth. Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 18, 2015… Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Team RLL Z4, drove to a dramatic GTLM class victory today at the Sports Car Showcase at...

Auberlen and Werner win from pole, Edwards and Luhr finish fifth. Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 18, 2015… Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner, driving the No. 25 BMW Team RLL Z4, drove to a dramatic GTLM class victory today at the Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach. The duo completed 76 laps of the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit during the 100-minute race, finishing 2.9 seconds in front of the No. 62 Ferrari. The victory was the first for BMW Team RLL since a win at Lime Rock Park in 2013 and the 11th since the program’s inception in 2009. The win also moves Auberlen’s tally of all-time North American sports car victories to 54, second only to Scott Pruett (59). Auberlen started the race from the pole but both he and John Edwards, in the No. 24 car on the outside of the front row, were passed by the Ferrari on the first lap. Both BMWs held station for the opening stint with Auberlen the first in the class to pit on lap 31. A poorly venting fuel tank and slow fuel fill delayed Werner’s departure from the pits after he exchanged with Auberlen. He dropped to fifth place as Luhr, entering the No. 24 car on the next lap, benefited from usual quick team service and took over the second position. Download the entire newsletter.

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BMW Team RLL Claims GTLM Class Front Row at Long Beach

Auberlen on Pole, Edwards P2 for Sports Car Showcase Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 17, 2015… BMW Team RLL will start the third race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Long Beach, California, from the GTLM class front row. Bill Aub...

Auberlen on Pole, Edwards P2 for Sports Car Showcase Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 17, 2015… BMW Team RLL will start the third race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Long Beach, California, from the GTLM class front row. Bill Auberlen, driving the No. 25 BMW Z4 he shares with Dirk Werner, took the pole position with a new qualifying record time of 1:17.268 minutes around the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit that runs along the Long Beach harbor. This was the veteran’s first pole since Baltimore in 2013 and the first for the team since Road America last year. John Edwards drove the No. 24 BMW Z4 to the outside of the front row with a lap of 1:17.516 minutes. He will co-drive with Lucas Luhr, a four-time winner at Long Beach, in tomorrow’s race. Download the entire newsletter.

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2015 BMW M4 Coupe – Drive Review

Our third encounter was even more special than the first time we spent time together on track in Portugal and then on the back roads of Nurburgring, mostly because we got to know each other well and we both knew what ticks us and what makes us happy....

Our third encounter was even more special than the first time we spent time together on track in Portugal and then on the back roads of Nurburgring, mostly because we got to know each other well and we both knew what ticks us and what makes us happy. Our one week long date was a milestone for us, one that would make or break us. So with that in mind, the porter hands off the keys to her heart and off I go. As some of you might have guessed, my date is the new 2015 BMW M4 Coupe, the beautiful, curvacious and sexy model that hopes to win my heart.

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THE HEART When it launched last year, the new M4 has taken everyone by surprise. BMW has promised for years that we won’t miss the V8 naturally-aspirated engine, but we were skeptical, mildly put. Yet, the M wizards have outdone themselves and delivered impressive performance from an inline-six 3.0 liter TwinPower turbocharged engine. With 425 horsepower and 560 Nm (413 lb-ft) of torque, and a smaller displacement (4.0L V8 vs 3.0L straight-six), the new engine and its two turbochargers give it even more oomph than before, while reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy. Use of lightweight materials slashes the kerb weight by 83kg to 1497k (3300 lbs) for the manual transmission. The M-DCT gearbox, the one we tested, adds 40 kg over the six-speed manual.

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Now all those numbers sound great on paper and some would say they are perfect for the race track, but our one week long adventure takes place in Chicago, a city equally known for its gorgeous skyline and terrible traffic. So all those ponies on paper are less relevant on the busy and bumpy Chicago roads. THE EXPERIENCE Luckily the winter was fairly mild this year and the craters in the road formed last year have not increased in size and depth. But that doesn’t spare us from the joy of autocrossing more often than we should, and this is one reason why the M4 makes for a good city car. I like to run in Sport mode a lot, it keeps me connected with the car and the road, and helps me with short sprints. So almost every time I get in the car, I change the Adaptive M suspensions settings, tighten the steering wheel and set the transmission’s sequential mode to hard gear changes. These aggressive settings might not work for everyone using the car as a daily driver, but for me it’s the perfect balance, allowing me to have some fun.

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I also want my cars to sound good; the 1M in my garage has an Eisenmann Exhaust System, so the exhaust note is important to me. The M4 has been often criticized for its lame acoustics, but I believe those allegations are unstained. Yes, BMW uses a bit of Active Sound to make you feel better about your purchase. Yes, the previous naturally-aspirated V8 unit sounded better. But this new exhaust is good, and can be even better if you open those valves in the SPORT and SPORT PLUS modes. In lower gears, the exhaust valves are always open; under constant driving, they are closed, but they open up in a split of a second as soon as you change the pace. Even with this exhaust system, the M4 is a head turner and is bound to wake up your neighbors when starting at cold. THE LOOKS

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The cabin is a step up from the previous generation, from better ergonomics to a beefier steering wheel and amazing bucket seats, the M4 is a joy to drive and ride in. The designers have done a great job combining premium materials with sporty accents – like carbon fiber – while retaining the iconic driver-oriented position. I honestly care more about the ride than all the whistles and bells, but one can find pretty much every tech feature packed inside: BMW Apps, iDrive Navigation System, a great Harman Kardon audio system and the extremely useful Head-Up Display, just to name a few.

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Being just a few months on the market, the new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe are still a rarity on the road, especially in Illinois, a state known for its love for BMW SUVs and xDrive-equipped cars. So I was not surprised to see all the attention the M4 got during the one week drive. It was a combination of exclusivity, polarizing looks and attention-grabbing color – Austin Yellow. SHOULD I SWIPE RIGHT?

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Taking a play from the Tinder playbook, at the end of the one week date, I had to swipe right, or in non-geeky terms, she gets to stay. At least in my heart since BMW sent their porter to quickly pick her up for her next date to wow. BMW has built an impressive sports car and I have no doubt now that it will be an M icon. The M4 Coupe is a car that will put a smile on your face every time you drive off, it will make you feel better even on bad days, it will get you more attention than you can handle and it might even score you a new date. Or two.

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P.S. Did you think I wouldn’t take her to the track? Well, I did. We spent some quality time at the Autobahn Club in Joliet where I had a chance to do a few laps, enough to remind me that she can be whoever I want to. All I have to do is ask.

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The article 2015 BMW M4 Coupe – Drive Review appeared first on BMW BLOG

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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.

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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.

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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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