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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Another Alpine White BMW M4

European Auto Source gets their hands again on an Alpine White BMW M4. The curvaceous performance car from the Bavarian car maker seems to be quite an interesting platform for future aftermarket projects. The attractive F82 M4 is offered at a startin...

European Auto Source gets their hands again on an Alpine White BMW M4. The curvaceous performance car from the Bavarian car maker seems to be quite an interesting platform for future aftermarket projects. The attractive F82 M4 is offered at a starting price of $64,200 and comes with a dynamic exterior and stylish interior that commands attention, even when standing still. Add a bevy of aftermarket parts, and you have an incredible ride in your hands. When European Auto Source started this build, the idea was to further accentuate the performance and aesthetics of the M3, without impacting either in a significant manner. After arriving at the shop, the Alpine White F82 M4 received the BMW M Performance carbon fiber front splitters and lower splitter and a BMW M Performance carbon fiber trunk spoiler for starting the build properly.

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With the KW HAS Adjustable Sleeve-Over Lowering Spring Kit the whole car was lowered, providing an aggressive stance, additionally accentuated by the Macht Schnell Competition Wheel Spacers that are sized 15mm in the front and 12mm in the rear. To put the finish on the project, Stormtrooper themed valve caps were added to the wheels. The BMW M4 is powered by a 3.0-liter BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine developing 425 horsepower. This engine combines two mono-scroll turbochargers with variable valve control (Double-VANOS and Valvetronic) and high-precision direct injection for a smooth and efficient power delivery, coupled with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. It’s a performance car, specially with the intelligent lightweight construction with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic makes the M3 light, fast, and agile. Please take a look at the media gallery we’ve added below for more images of this project. Enjoy!

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Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 15

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 14

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 13

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 12

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 11

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 10

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 9

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 8

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 7

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 6

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 5

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 4

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Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 2

Another Alpine White BMW M3 Build By European Auto Source 1

The article Another Alpine White BMW M4 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Is the End of Combustion Engines in Sight?

Although electric vehicles are now fully part of the automotive landscape, hydrogen-powered cars still have a long way to go before becoming mainstream. In… The post Is the End of Combustion… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my we...

Although electric vehicles are now fully part of the automotive landscape, hydrogen-powered cars still have a long way to go before becoming mainstream. In… The post Is the End of Combustion… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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Announcing BMW Claim Chowder

Last week, Harald Krueger was named future CEO of the BMW Group in place of Norbert Reithofer. Until Krueger’s appointment becomes effective in the… The post Announcing BMW Claim Chowder… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my ...

Last week, Harald Krueger was named future CEO of the BMW Group in place of Norbert Reithofer. Until Krueger’s appointment becomes effective in the… The post Announcing BMW Claim Chowder… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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F80 M3 and i8 Photoshoot in Pittsburgh

Photo session with Schullz51′s Austin Yellow F80 M3 and DoctaM3′s brand new i8 in Pittsburgh. ...

Photo session with Schullz51′s Austin Yellow F80 M3 and DoctaM3′s brand new i8 in Pittsburgh.

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A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A red BMW M3 has always been an attractive selection for many owners. We’ve previously published top choices of exterior colors for BMWs and red certainly attracted a lot of fans. This BMW E92 M3 comes with a Melbourne Red exterior, a set of HR...

A red BMW M3 has always been an attractive selection for many owners. We’ve previously published top choices of exterior colors for BMWs and red certainly attracted a lot of fans. This BMW E92 M3 comes with a Melbourne Red exterior, a set of HRE Wheels and some interesting performance mods. While the previous generation of the M3 may show its age, it certainly still has the punch it needs to stay relevant in today’s performance market. For many owners, adding a set of aftermarket wheels, lowering their cars and improving performance is all they are prepared to do or spend on, and same principles apply to this E92 M3.

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

Similar to the previous M3 generations that introduced a new engine, the fourth generation M3 used a new powerplant as well – the award-winning S65 V8 engine. The engine produces 414 bhp (309 kW; 420 PS) at 8300 rpm, with peak torque of 295 lb·ft (400 N·m) at 3900 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. As of April 2008, BMW offers a new seven speed Getrag double-clutch gearbox, called M-DKG (Doppel-Kupplungs-Getriebe) or M-DCT (Double Clutch Transmission) as an option, which reduces shift pauses to less than a tenth of a second and shortens the car’s 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time by 0.2 seconds vs. manual.

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

It features both automatic and manual modes, similar to the SMG gearboxes in the E36 and E46, but with more speed and efficiency. Top speed is 155 mph (250km/h) electronically limited where a delimited car will achieve 178 mph (286 km/h). This particular M3 was brought to AutoCouture Motoring for some visual and performance modifications.

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

With a set of HRE P101 wheels, finished in a Brushed Clear color, and properly lowered, the M3 stands out even more in the crowd of E92 M3s. The installed Brembo BBK makes the M3 stop even quicker, it removes brake fade and provides a welcome performance addition. Here is a photo gallery of the car:

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed

The article A Red BMW E92 M3 With HRE Wheels Installed appeared first on BMW BLOG

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“If you can’t make a good font you can’t design cars”

At the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, future car designers lean over their desks, sketching intently: Curves, lines and volumes play in endless variations, seeking perfect balance. Slowly, an idea comes into focus—the letter A. Cars and ...

At the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, future car designers lean over their desks, sketching intently: Curves, lines and volumes play in endless variations, seeking perfect balance. Slowly, an idea comes into focus—the letter A. Cars and glyphs: They’re not so far apart. In an industry like car manufacturing, where the tiniest difference can make a huge impression, it turns out that kind of foundational training is indispensable. “In our curriculum at Art Center, everybody has to take typography,” explains Karim Habib, head of BMW design at BMW Group and Art Center graduate. “Those guys are masters of proportion.” In this five-part series of articles, re:form has partnered with BMW to explain how the car maker’s design process works, and bring you an unrivaled insider’s look at the evolution of its iconic driving machines. Just like the students at Art Center, we’ll begin looking at a design basic before moving on to the far more complex problem of cars, illustrated by BMW’s new 4 Series Gran Coupe. Letters need to function; they need to be read. And the conditions in which letters appear can drastically change the functional requirements of their shapes: Billboards, train schedules, posters, books, computer screens, television screens, and on and on. As a result, typographers are probably the most tortured of all design specialists. In the excellent “A Typeface for the Underground,” author John Bull explores the evolution of the fonts developed for use in London’s subway system about 100 years ago, from the original mishmash inherited from the many competing and ultimately subsumed railway lines, to the unified typeface championed and finally pushed through by Frank Pick. “Not only did the inconsistency in typefaces everywhere look a bit haphazard, but it also served as a permanent and unwelcome reminder of the Underground’s origins as a number of smaller rivals,” Bull writes. “When the typefaces were bad, Pick also noted, they genuinely adversely affected passenger’s journeys and that was bad for both commuter and company.” The result was one of the world’s first modern Sans Serif fonts, created by Edward Johnston.

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San Serif fonts are now commonplace but at the time, Johnston Sans, as it came to be known, was a huge breakthrough with enormous consequences for readability in a world that was then in the process of being rebuilt around high-speed machine-powered transportation. San Serif fonts drop the little flourishes at the ends of the letters found on Serif fonts, such as you see on this page. The result is a blockier, more utilitarian, and, in some contexts—say, peering through the window of a hurtling commuter train or bus—a far more legible typeface. Type experts at the time didn’t think much of Sans Serif, although examples can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. It took Johnston’s painstaking work to thrust it into the forefront of contemporary design sensibilities, and eventually helped define what we now consider “modern.” Some documentary evidence remains of the process through which Johnston made this breakthrough, but the examples of other, more recent efforts show in dramatic detail just how painstaking type design can be. In an epic post that unflinchingly exposes the insane perfectionism of typographers, Tal Leming shares his six-year journey creating the Balto font, through every iteration and setback. At one point he shares his progress with a friend, which leads to a complete reworking of the letter S.

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Among other very insightful comments, he questioned my decision to bring the terminals [the tip-ends of the ‘S’] all the way around. His point was that it seemed out of character with the style. He was right. So, I went back to trying to figure that out. I opened the terminals back up. Then I opened them up as far as I could. That looked awful. Then I brought them back a little. Then some more. Then some more. Eventually I settled into something that I thought worked. These tiny things may seem like inconsequential details but they are very important. I teach type design and I like to tell my students that while these minuscule changes won’t be noticed by most people, they will be felt.

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Teasing out tiny differences to find the feeling behind a visual choice plays a huge role with typographers like Leming. It requires a laser-like focus and persistence that would likely beggar the patience, not to mention the sanity, of mere design mortals. Such iteration is a key process in all high-level design, and it plays a similar role at BMW, where ideas flow through many-varied paths from the drawing board to a single production vehicle. Habib oversees a group of 130–140 designers. When they begin work on a new design like the 4 Series, everyone sketches their own unique vision of the car. All of those treatments are then reviewed and winnowed down to four designs that get built out as 1:1 models.

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The designers use computer animations and virtual models to speed up the process and stress test ideas by putting various designs through simulations to see how they might perform in the real world. The team then selects two models for further work, and finally one that progresses to the final design. The whole process may take 1 1⁄2 — 2 years. “Just a few millimeters actually really make a difference,” says Habib. “As odd as it sounds, it is true.” [Source: Medium re:form] The article “If you can’t make a good font you can’t design cars” appeared first on BMW BLOG

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The Millimeter Difference – Interview with Karim Habib

BMW has partnered with Medium’s design hub, re:form, to help explain its design process. Habib oversaw the design of the 4 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe, which itself has sparked some controversy. Fans of the earlier 3 Series kicked up a bit of a fus...

BMW has partnered with Medium’s design hub, re:form, to help explain its design process. Habib oversaw the design of the 4 Series Coupe and Gran Coupe, which itself has sparked some controversy. Fans of the earlier 3 Series kicked up a bit of a fuss over the decision to fork the coupe class into its own designation. Many a pixel was tossed. The highly information and interesting interview is a must read, and one thing that stands out from it is the following quote:  “We [BMW] believe the brand can grow above the 7 Series. It could be a 9 Series or a 10 Series.” re:form: What is your design process when you are starting a new project? Do you start with current models, and then iterate on that?

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Karim Habib   Karim Habib: Not really. There’s obviously certain things we would take over from the current model, but in general, we start from scratch. From the very beginning, we start looking at proportions again. Before we even start drawing, we start looking at height, width, length, wheel size, overhang size in front and the rear, all of the important proportion things. If the proportions are wrong, nothing can save it. Proportions are obviously done by a designer, but they’re not possible without engineering. So good proportions start with engineering, with where the engine is placed, and wheel size, height, all of that, that has a lot to do with the packaging, where the person sits in the car, height, and so on and so forth. Then we start sketching and we have an internal pitch process where the whole design team sketches. Each and every one sketches his or her proposal for that particular model, and then we go through a selection process. We select usually four models, and we do four 1:1 models, or we do the first phase completely virtual, and then we go from four to two, and then from two to one. That usually lasts about a year and a half to two years. How do you stress test those ideas when you’re in that phase, when you’re trying to play with very superficially minor differences that designers focus on, those really tiny details which can make a huge difference? In car design, just a few millimeters actually really make a difference. As odd as it sounds, it is true. We do that virtually. When we have the initial package, we build a model around it, virtually, and then we compare it with other models. Then we go through an iteration process. For example, we build the first model and we say, with the engineers, well, you know, we would like the car to be a bit lower, or we would like the front overhang to be shorter, or maybe have the possibility to have a rounder front, for example. These kinds of things are things that we do, and we usually, almost always build models because it helps to see it first. When you’re thinking about things like wanting it lower, less over hang, what’s driving that thinking? Are you trying to anticipate the market, and saying, “Hey, we know there’s this demand now for sleeker cars, and we want to get into that zone?” Or is it something more artistic?

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Photoshoot

To be honest, the first thing we think about is brand. We try to design the brand values. In the 4 Series, the Gran Coupe is all about BMW dynamics, which means low, wide, very slim looking, very athletic looking. Obviously, if it’s an X5, it’s quite different from a 4 Series Gran Coupe, but there are certain things that you will recognize in both cars. Not just design features, but even the way we treat proportions, it’s different from one to the other, but similar in certain ratios. There’s no mathematical formula to it, but you can see similarities in the way volumes relate to one another. It feels like there’s a trend, generally now, among lots of car makers towards the coupe values, in terms of a sleeker profile and longer, yet lower chassis. Where does something like that come from, where everybody seemingly at once starts to pursue the same design thrust? Is that stuff just in the air? I think in the past you had mass market brands, and they had a certain level of quality. Then you had premium brands that had different qualities. You had the ones that were focused on safety, the ones that were focused on comfort, and the ones that were focused on sportiness, with BMW being mainly focused on sportiness. But now, I think, in general, all manufacturers actually offer a very good level of quality and safety. And I think the other premium manufacturers, or luxury manufacturers realize that those are necessary factors. They have to be there if you’re building premium or luxury cars. If you’re buying a car and you’re spending a lot of money, you want it to have the best performance and quality and safety, these are things that have to be in every car today. You cannot sell a car where the pieces are not perfectly assembled or that doesn’t offer you, you know five-star rating in safety, even if you’re a mass market brand. So does that mean we’re kind of merging into a commodity zone of manufacturing where everyone’s converging on the same or similar values and the differentiation becomes more stylistic? Part of the reason, I think, why design is becoming more important to the customers, or the story behind design is that, yes, design is a big reason why you’re going to pick one car or another. Actually, for the brand BMW, the design is the number one reason globally why people buy or don’t buy a car. I think we’re at the cusp of a new era because I don’t believe, in the future, everybody will be in one kind of thing. I think the cars are going to be varied. For example, at BMW sportiness is at the core of what we do, but we don’t believe that you should do sportiness at any cost. It has to be in harmony with the environment, and with values like lightweight and zero emissions and recyclable materials, and those are the things that we think need to be there in the luxury market, or in a premium market. What’s your job? If you had to boil it down to an essence, what is your value add?

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To use a metaphor, my favorite metaphor, I feel my role is to be like a film director. I’m in charge of a team, and we’re here to illustrate a vision. So we get, if you will, a script. The next 4 Series Gran Coupe, that’s our script, and I work with a team, let’s say you have your director of photography, your sound person, your lighting person, and so on. You have the actors. The actors are the designers, and they’re the ones who are going to be in front of the camera. My role is to make sure that the vision and the script are there, and to formulate the vision that works around that script. That is, I believe, the best way to describe it. If you look at how technology has changed the way films get made, do you feel that the car industry is in a similar moment? When there are these amazing new abilities to create new visions that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago? I mean, there is a lot, and the tools that we use allow us to create these visions much faster, that’s one thing. It allows us to create, maybe, a more concrete vision as well, earlier. For example, now we use a lot more animation where we design our cars pretty quickly in the first phase, and we put them in an environment that we know, in movement, to sort of better understand the way this design actually works. And it’s very different from the past where we used to just build a clay model, put it in the studio, and study that thing to perfection. That’s still essential, we still do that, but I think that computer visualization has been really a great tool because it helps us understand the bigger gestures before we move to the details. The bigger gestures are what you need to make a big difference, I think, design-wise, to make bigger steps. And today, we have to make quicker, bigger steps. Would you say that it’s really new materials that are driving most of the innovation around new car design ideas, at this point? There are a lot of things, actually. There are the materials, and for us, that’s very important. We believe in carbon fiber, but we also believe that it’s not just carbon fiber. It’s like an intelligent mixture of the right material at the right place, and the way we work with those materials has changed the way we design things. But there are other factors. For example, aerodynamics: because we want to build efficient cars, that’s super important — much more important than when I started, and that has driven us to very different solutions than we’ve had in the past. Also pedestrian safety, for example. All these laws are becoming very intense and are shaping the way we design cars. This gets us back to the commodity question. Everybody is probably thinking about aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is physics. So do people start to converge inevitably on the same kinds of lines? There are some basics that you will find in different cars from different companies. But like everything, the challenge is often to create something new with the same restrictions. Like the Formula One cars, they all have a very, very precise set of rules, and there’s always some guy who comes up with a crazy solution, and that’s pretty satisfying when you do manage to do that. Is there an example of that in some of your recent work? Yes. On the 6 Series, it’s a subtle feature. You don’t notice it if you don’t really look closely. For example, we usually take the bumper line with the edge of the bumper, and turn it around to the side, and do it horizontally so that it makes the car look wider. In this case, we turned the line down, and didn’t take it around the corner just because we needed a surface in front of the front wheel. And just by doing that, it gives the car a totally different character, and that’s a little thing, but I think it’s just one of the things that makes that front typically BMW. Actually, the interesting thing is by doing that we amplified another typical BMW feature. Most BMW’s have what we call a shark nose, where the kidneys — the grill — are angled towards the front. And with this line, on the 6 Series, we turned it around, but we gave it that same angle, so it works with the kidneys, and that way it makes the whole thing look even more like BMWs of the 70s, for example. That really, to me, is the essence of design, thinking about these really intricate details. There’s a guy at Medium I work with who is really into typography. And the kinds of treatments that typographers get into to try to really find the optical volumes that work to perfection — it’s fascinating. In my first semester [at Art Center of Design in Switzerland], we drew letters by hand and with brushes, just to understand the thick-to-thin, and the serif, and sans serif, and how you work with that. I will always remember this class. A lot of guys came in and wanted to do cars, and they thought, I don’t want to draw letters, and the teacher was like…you better know how to draw letters if you want to do cars. And she was right. Because of that sense of proportionality? Exactly. It really is that. Proportions and line and the relationship between them. I mean you could do a letter with a tiny serif, and it’s going to look odd, so you have to be able to proportion one to the other. And if you have that, I don’t think it matters what it is, you learn proportions. It’s not a science, and everybody will have their special way of seeing it, but those are part of the basics that I think you have to learn if you want to be a designer. Are there elements of that…are there, like, actual letters or fonts that influenced you working on the 4 Series?

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The 4 Series, especially the Gran Coupe, is one of the cars we have out there today, that is the most concentrated BMW character in one package. It was very thorough, almost perfect proportions. Because it’s really what BMW is all about, you know? It’s a four-door coupe. It’s a very sporty car. It’s got typical BMW architecture with a very short front overhang. Obviously, the big wheels at every corner, and a long hood. The reason why the BMWs have always had that is because we place the engine behind the front axle. So it’s physics. You put it behind the front axle, you have a long engine, it gives you a long hood. And because it’s behind the front axle, you can have a shorter front overhang. Actually, you can trace it to the 3.0 CS. You can basically trace the same proportions that we had then to today. Or you can find a parallel. The 4 Series is one of those cars that do that really to perfection. And there are also certain things I quite like that are a bit different. It’s got a hatch trunk. That’s one of the things I quite like about it, because you don’t quite see it, and also, BMW’s always built sporty cars, but they’ve always been practical. The idea started in the late 60s, early 70s, of putting a sports car engine in what I know, at the time, for American taste, was a quirky, very boxy compact thing. You put in a sports car engine, and it drives almost like a racecar but it has four doors, and you have headroom, and luggage room. I think this kind of paradox of things has always been part of BMW’s character. And the 4 Series Gran Coupe has that as well. Then there are new aspects that are very important for us. We want our cars to look sporty. So we shaped a muscular volume above and around the rear wheels as strongly as we could to also illustrate that rear-wheel drive sportiness, that muscular character. Then, there’s precision, which is a very important aspect for us. They are these driving machines, and BMWs have very, very precise, very clear response in the steering. You want the car to emanate that, design-wise, that it is precise to drive, and it can do precisely what you want it to do when you’re on that edge in the curve. That’s actually part of safety in a way, as well, that it responds exactly the way you expect it to. Talk a little bit about the decision to fork the 3 and the 4 Series, and how much does the 4 still owe to the basic design of 3? Today we have the 3 Series Coupe. The previous iteration was completely different in body style than the 3 Series Sedan, but it was similar in proportions. And in this case, when we started the 4 Series, we first started with proportions, and we knew we wanted to make it much sportier than the previous 3 Series Coupe. So we actually made the car lower and wider and longer. So, then, when you have a car that’s lower, wider, longer than the 3 Series, then you start thinking if it’s appropriate that it’s still called a 3 Series. In the end, that’s what happened. It just made sense that it was something more, because it is more car than the 3 Series. You were talking about how we may be on the cusp of a very frothy period of new design ideas in cars. What kinds of things do you think might emerge out of that? Do you have any specific ideas?

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I can talk about our show car, Vision Future Luxury. It is literally a vision. It’s our way of bringing all of our ideas into one vehicle, and we do that for different reasons. We do that, sometimes, to test our own ideas, and see if they’re well perceived or not, within and without the company, because show cars also have a pretty strong effect within the company in sort of mobilizing the forces. The amazing thing, for me, about showing this car here today is that the first Vision show car we did was called the Vision EfficientDynamics, which actually became the BMW i8.

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It did not look very different from the BMW i8, and that’s still amazing to me, people still don’t quite believe that that’s a production car. I think that’s the strength of Vision show cars, and it’s the strength of BMW that we usually don’t show something that we can’t build. Here, what was interesting to us, the reason why we decided to build this car, is that when you talk about BMW, you usually don’t say luxury, you don’t associate BMW with luxury, per se, because the connotation of luxury has often to do with, sort of, weight, and lots of leather, and lots of wood, and plush seats and things like that, and BMW is more premium, more about sportiness and driving experience. But what we said is that we believe the brand can grow above the 7 Series. It could be a 9 Series or a 10 Series, but if we do that, it’s not just about more mass, it’s about innovation. For example, laser headlamps. The BMW i8 is the first car ever in production with laser headlamps. Here, we wanted to use that, and laser headlamps give us the ability to have much slimmer, much thinner headlamps. Through these very thin headlamps, with these very big kidneys, you create a very different presence, a very different identity, and the kidneys are also big, because we want presence. It was a big thing, to be honest, as we were designing [the headlamps], because we were wondering, just at the end, if it is going to look too thin, and then it starts looking a bit odd. But it’s on the border, and I think that’s what’s cool about it. This car is also, if you will, an expression of our manifesto: “precision in poetry.” We talked about precision and why it’s so important for BMW. So you see these very thorough, very simple lines going front to rear with as small a radius as possible. The edges are very clean. Then, the surfaces in between, it’s all about sensual play of light and surfaces, the poetry aspect. Why poetry? It may be a bit of a metaphor for the fact that if you buy a BMW it’s because you want a certain experience. You wanted to create a certain emotion, and that’s an illustration of that emotion. Are there other elements of the car that are concepts, in terms of the engine, or any of the engineering of the car?

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The other thing, which is a big thing with this car, and a very important thing for our future is connectivity and information. So BMW’s a brand that’s obviously about driving, first and foremost, but today, and in the future, you can’t offer a car that doesn’t allow you to have all your life information seamlessly be in your car. You have to have whatever it is you need, whether it’s emails or whatever communication necessary. But we were asking ourselves the question, how do you do it? Especially if driving is still supposed to be the most important thing you do when you’re in the car, when you’re not in automated driving. You have a head-up display, and you have the instrument display in front of you, and you have a center display in the middle, and we created a display as well for the passenger. Our idea was, as designers, our job has to do with information. We have the advantage that we don’t have everything just on one tablet. We have these different displays, and our job is to choreograph the amount of information that the passenger or driver gets in the right place at the right time. It’s something quite new for us. Quite challenging. We’re still learning a lot, but that’s the future of interacting with cars. That is definitely the new frontier for us, and what better for designers than a new challenge. The article The Millimeter Difference – Interview with Karim Habib appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Configure your 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M on BMWUSA.com

The online configurator for the new 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M is now available on www.bmwusa.com The 2015 BMW X5 M will be offered at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $99,650 and the 2015 BMW X6 M will start at $103,050, including $950 Desti...

The online configurator for the new 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M is now available on www.bmwusa.com The 2015 BMW X5 M will be offered at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $99,650 and the 2015 BMW X6 M will start at $103,050, including $950 Destination and Handling. The M utes also come in two new colors, Long Beach Blue Metallic and Donington Grey Metallic. The typical color finishes is available as well: Mineral White Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Silverstone Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic and Alpine White.

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Two packages are offered for the M SUVS: Driver Assistance Plus and the Executive Package. Two choices of wheels are available, the 21″ M Light Alloy Style 612M and 20″ Style 611M. For audiophiles, the Bang & Olufsen system will set you back $3,700. Both cars are powered by a reworked M TwinPower Turbo engine, a V8 that provides more power and torque, and better power delivery. The peak output of the new M turbocharged engine is 567 hp, three percent higher than that of its predecessor and is available between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm. At the same time, the engine’s peak torque has been boosted by around 10 percent to 553 lb-ft, which can be enjoyed across an extremely broad rev band – from 2,200 to 5,000 rpm. The extraordinary power development of this M turbocharged engine allows the new M versions of the BMW X5 and BMW X6 to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.0 seconds. The top speed of both is electronically limited to 155 mph. The article Configure your 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M on BMWUSA.com appeared first on BMW BLOG

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