Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/25/does-bmw-i-need-a-racing-program/ in News on May 25, 2015
BMW i’s development of the i3 and i8 put it five years ahead of its EV competition, in terms of light-weighting, style, and performance. Moving forward, battery technology may need another five years before it can support the sub-brand’s performa...
BMW i’s development of the i3 and i8 put it five years ahead of its EV competition, in terms of light-weighting, style, and performance. Moving forward, battery technology may need another five years before it can support the sub-brand’s performance, range, and weight targets for its next-generation BEV. If BMW simply bides its time until then, its technological advantage will have been squandered. There’s no doubt that BMW will continue to update the i3 and i8 to eliminate owner’s gripes, improve reliability, and refine manufacturing processes. All good and necessary. But that’s not going to take them to the next level. That’s not going to attract new awards. That’s not going to wow their EV customers, not in five years. But why is that so important for BMW? First, fuel-efficiency and emissions rules motivated BMW to add the i sub-brand to improve fleet averages. Build the niche BEV so they can continue selling their heavier, premium ICE performance sedans. For that to work, however, with every passing year BMW will need more consumers to want to buy their EVs. The critical question is this: is BMW building zero-emissions EVs today because it has to, or because it wants to? A business requirement, or real enthusiasm? The second reason, perhaps less obvious and more insidious, is the fact that besides being quiet, smooth and roomy, electric cars can now blow away fossil fuel performance cars. Will BMW be the go-to car for a new generation of performance junkies ten years from now? Will BMW still build “the ultimate driving machine,” or will it just be the nostalgic choice for traditionalists? The times are changing. To stay competitive, BMW i needs to continue to push the EV performance envelope, not five years from now, but now. They need to continue to innovate, but because battery technology will not yet support a next-generation production car, the focus will have to be on test and concept BEVs. This sort of aggressive, highly-motivated BEV development program absolutely requires strong support from BMW’s executive suite. Would a BMW i racing program do this?
Racing provides structure, motivation, a schedule, and a goal—to win—aside from the pure technology development aspect. Winning provides instant gratification, prestige, and pride; losing inspires a renewed impetus to do better. Winning EV races would also attract performance EV customers. Racing provides a ruler; the competition will let you know when your latest effort doesn’t measure up. Everyone tries something different, but new ideas are not all equal. Even if your idea brings a significant improvement, you don’t want to discover that the competition’s idea works 50% better on the day your new model goes into production. Racing promotes creativity. Refining the status quo does not win races so much, but it might be the safe approach for a typical road car development program. For example, rear-wheel regenerative braking (such as on the i3) works fine for mild-to-moderate braking with good road conditions, but not under more demanding requirements. Does BMW i think the system they have now is good enough to carry into the future? The current Formula E race cars have the same rear-wheel magnetic brakes in combination with four-wheel friction brakes as the i3, and those cars often experience brake lock-ups under race conditions, with loss of control, even with world-class race car drivers at the wheel. This issue is undoubtedly something that will be examined as e-racers look for creative ways to improve their cars. This is a complex problem possibly requiring a total rethink of the whole car design. Can you make four-wheel regenerative braking systems effective enough for those magnetic brakes to become the car’s primary brakes? How powerful would the drive motor/generators need to be to enable that? Then how much could you minimize the size and weight of the friction brakes, which might only have to contribute the last ten percent of the total braking force (instead of being designed for 100%)? Could they be mounted inboard to minimize unsprung weight? How much current would the motor/generator output at high speed at maximum magnetic braking (just short of wheel lockup)? Could the power electronics and the battery handle that burst of charging current? Could a high power capacitor module (ultra-caps) absorb those short bursts of current if the battery could not safely do so, and then quickly release that electrical power back to the motors to boost the car’s acceleration out of the turn? Would a developmental effort like that even be considered by BMW, if the company didn’t aspire to anything more than a very good zero-emissions commuter car? Electric vehicles in many respects offer a superior driving experience compared to ICE cars. Further BEV technological improvements using conventional car benchmarks may not be immediately obvious (other than better batteries). But if you’re racing your electric car against someone’s else’s EV, you’re more likely to look for innovative gains. Is a racing program necessary to develop an advanced zero-emissions (BEV) performance car? Obviously not—different strokes for different auto companies. But BMW has a well-developed racing program for its ICE cars, so that corporate culture already exists. The competition is out there. Racing today and tomorrow ICE racing is big business today, steeped in tradition and its own precepts. Loud noise is obviously part of it. To the team owners, drivers, pit crews, and the fans, it’s an old familiar friend. But it’s changing, because the automotive industry is changing. The fact is, ICE racing has likely passed its heyday. Electric cars are getting faster and lighter, and are quickly becoming more relevant to an environmentally-conscious society. That’s not being lost on a growing segment of the racing community. Look at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb (the second oldest U.S. car race after the Indy 500). It’s a 20-kilometer course with 156 turns. Not too long ago, electric vehicles were a novelty there, mostly private “hobby” efforts that nobody thought could compete on equal terms with the high-powered ICE entries. But in 2013, an electric motorcycle beat all the gas-powered bikes. Then last summer, after years of development, the electric cars started shattering conventional wisdom. Two Mitsubishi AWD MiEV Evolution IIIs finished 2nd and 3rd overall, coming within a few seconds of the fastest unlimited class ICE racer, and beating, among others, a 700-HP specially-prepared Porsche GT3 Cup Turbo—by 50 seconds! Who won the Electric Production class in 2014? A Honda Fit EV. No i3 was entered. This year’s Pike’s Peak Hill Climb will be run on June 28, and a one-megawatt electric race car will be gunning to take top honors. That all-wheel-drive EV puts out almost 1400 horsepower and 1600 pound-feet of torque, has a 50 kWh battery, yet weighs only 2640 pounds. Fast? While Formula One is by many accounts in decline, the Formula E series will conclude its first very successful season on June 28 with a double-header in London; its other nine races are held all over the world in city centers (including Buenos Aires, Beijing, Miami, Monaco, Berlin, Moscow, etc.). There may be more venues next year, including Paris, and Switzerland the following year, where motorsport racing has been banned for more than 50 years (the Swiss government just recently made an exception for environmentally-friendly Formula E). Besides drawing large crowds at the events, and substantial numbers of online and television viewers, the series has attracted a full grid of top-tier drivers, many ex-Formula One, and high-profile team owners (Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Andretti, Jarno Trulli, to name a few). The teams are getting global exposure, and pulling in a growing fan base new to car racing. During this first year, all ten Formula E teams were given identical Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars, using components from McLaren, Williams, and others. In its current form, this e-racer can go from 0 to 100 kph in three seconds flat. Formula E’s CEO, Alejandro Agag, predicts they will be significantly faster as batteries improve and become lighter. For the second season, teams can provide their own drivetrain components, and beginning the third year, their own batteries. Eight manufacturers have been approved for this work, and everyone is enthusiastic about the advances in EV performance this competition will bring. BMW i is a sponsor of Formula E, providing i3s and i8s for use as safety and medical cars, and others for spectators to examine, but has yet to enter the fray as a racing participant. Why not? BMW’s future competition Tesla and BMW have been in the forefront of those companies pushing EV technology. Certainly Nissan and Renault have been carrying the flag for the EV movement, but not so much on the performance end, and therefore no direct competition to BMW. The dark horse is Mercedes, builder of the respectable but unremarkable B-Class conversion EV, using a Tesla drivetrain and batteries. That would seem to make Mercedes a Tesla customer, not a company that could pose a threat to BMW in the electric performance segment. However, when it comes to performance EVs, Mercedes really has “got game,” even if it didn’t get there by racing. The proof is spelled SLS AMG Electric. You can buy one if you have enough green, and drive it on the street, but it’s designed like a race car with a futuristic electric drivetrain. Why did Mercedes build it? Certainly not to make money. Mercedes obviously wanted to be prepared for the future of premium performance cars. So they built a low-volume technology demonstrator.
It has 751 horsepower, substantially more than AMG’s ICE version of the SLS. The electric version’s power is produced by four melon-sized motors (one driving each wheel, each producing about the same torque as the motor powering the i3). The computer continuously calculates and distributes the amount of power optimally required for each wheel, to enhance turning and traction.
@TopGear Jeremy Clarkson tested one. He had both the electric drive and the conventionally-powered SLS AMG Black Series on hand. He was mightily impressed by the gasoline version. Then he drove the SLS Electric. It was faster. He said the four-wheel torque vectoring seemed to pull the car into the turns. Of the EV, he said, “This doesn’t feel like anything I’ve driven before . . . it feels like a thoroughbred . . . it feels brilliant!” Electric cars really are fundamentally different than their ICE brethren. In the not-to-distant future, Mercedes will certainly be transferring an updated version of its SLS Electric technology into a luxury performance car. BMW’s future competition. And then there’s Tesla, BMW’s future competition you can buy today. Tesla is a new, small company, with only one car model on sale. And they have no competition in their segment. Not a good fit for a developmental racing program, but the company nevertheless has a singular focus on electric performance cars—a racing mindset.
The Tesla Model S P85D outputs 687 lb-ft of torque from a standstill, good for a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds (certainly faster than an M5). What’s it going to do when battery energy density has doubled (it will), and the car weighs 800 pounds less? What do you call the next level of performance after “insane”? Tesla only builds electric performance cars, and is very enthusiastic about them. It eschews dealer franchises staffed by people who are more focused on selling familiar ICE cars. Why? Because Tesla believes electric cars are the future, and doesn’t want anyone dismissing them as a sideshow. Is there a parallel with BMW (with its focus on ICE cars)? BMW could easily build a pure electric i8 test mule, leaving an i3 motor in front and replacing the 3-cylinder engine with two i3 motors in the rear. That would give them a very respectable 550 pound-feet of torque (750 newton-meters), and allow them to experiment with four-wheel magnetic braking and rear-wheel torque vectoring. The platform developed from such a program could be used for an advanced electric performance sedan (adding a new CFRP passenger module) that would compete favorably with Tesla. And obviously, the platform would be ready-made for an exciting all-electric i8 variant. BMW’s future BMW is now making good money building cars incrementally different, but fundamentally the same as what it has built in the past, to satisfy its conservative and loyal core customer base. At the same time, the company is introducing ICE models in different segments to bring in new customers. Its response to the need for electrification has been to launch the i3 EV and i8 hybrid, and to add plug-in hybrid versions of existing ICE models. This is perhaps the expected measured response by a large business-oriented corporation to a changing technological and regulatory climate. But is it enough? Nimble enough? Farsighted enough? Bold enough? Will BMW’s competition make its future cars seem dated? Does BMW i need to go racing? Only time will tell. The article Does BMW i Need a Racing Program? appeared first on BMW BLOG
Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/25/2015-bmw-760li-in-twilight-purple/ in News on May 25, 2015
When it comes to exotic BMWs, the folks over at Abu Dhabi are the best in business. Over the last few years, the BMW dealership delivered some exciting and unique cars to their customers, and today’s project makes no exception. This 2015 BMW 76...
When it comes to exotic BMWs, the folks over at Abu Dhabi are the best in business. Over the last few years, the BMW dealership delivered some exciting and unique cars to their customers, and today’s project makes no exception. This 2015 BMW 760Li was painted in Twilight Purple and the cabin received the highly-exclusive BMW Individual Opal White Merino. The 760Li offers the perfect combination between power, beauty and luxury, and along with the BMW i8, it sits at the top of BMW’s lineup. The only V12-powered BMW, the 760Li’s 6.0 liter engine delivers 544 horsepower and 750Nm of torque (554 lb-ft). In stock form, the high-end limousine runs to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds, an impressive figure for a car of its size.
To impress its customers even more, this purple 760Li also received the M Sport Package, while passengers enjoy the beautiful rear-seat entertainment system. In the U.S., the 760Li starts at 144,100, but we believe this particular model sells significantly above that.
Posted by http://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1130124 in News on May 25, 2015
BMW Individual F80 M3 build in Fashion Grey, complimented by HRE wheels.
Posted by http://f10.m5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1109577 in News on May 25, 2015
A well-respected name in the tuning game, ESS Tuning has announced their S63TU ESS T-700 Performance ECU Software for S63TÜ M5/M6.
Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/25/2015-bimmerfest-photo-gallery/ in News on May 24, 2015
The 15th annual Bimmerfest car event took place for the first time at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California where thousands of BMW fans from around the country came to celebrate their cars and favorite brand. The 2015 Bimmerfest was sponsored...
The 15th annual Bimmerfest car event took place for the first time at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California where thousands of BMW fans from around the country came to celebrate their cars and favorite brand. The 2015 Bimmerfest was sponsored by ESS Tuning and gave the attendees an opportunity to not only showcase but also admire a wide range of bimmers, from 1Ms, M3s, M5s and M6s, to the iconic 2002 and Z8 Roadster. This year added some exciting new elements including a full course track day.
Our own Johan Lee captured the event in the extensive gallery below.
Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/25/1998-e36-m3-inexpensive-performance/ in News on May 24, 2015
Earlier in the week, we discussed a style of managing money, in terms of car buying, called the 1/10th Rule For Car Buying by the FinancialSamurai. The rule basically states that a car purchase should be no more than 1/10th of your gross annual incom...
Earlier in the week, we discussed a style of managing money, in terms of car buying, called the 1/10th Rule For Car Buying by the FinancialSamurai. The rule basically states that a car purchase should be no more than 1/10th of your gross annual income. It was met with quite a bit controversy, with many readers wholeheartedly disagreeing. It’s understandable that people wouldn’t agree entirely with this idea, it’s a very extreme style of savings, but one that can truly help some people. Most arguments against the rule were for people who make six-figure incomes. This is where the rule gets a little murky, as someone making that kind of money can afford a nice new car and still invest money elsewhere. But for people who don’t make boatloads of dough, they should get a less expensive, multiple owner pre-owned car. But that doesn’t mean they need to get something boring or crappy.
Now if you think that it’s not possible to find an inexpensive, exciting car, then take a look at this E36 M3. The E36 M3 isn’t the best M3 and, as an E36 owner myself, I can tell you it’s probably close to the bottom of the list of M3s. However, for the price, it’s almost impossible to find a better car, in terms of power, handling, excitement and prestige. This M3 is a good example of the kind of car you can get for less than an all-inclusive vacation for two. The E36 M3, from 1996-1999 has a 3.2 liter I6 engine, making 240 hp, a limited-slip differential and could hit 60 mph in 6 seconds. The North American model wasn’t the fastest or most fun, but it’s still a great car to drive, especially at the price point nowadays. This particular model is a 1998 Arctic Silver Metallic M3 Coupe. It has 159,000 miles, not bad for a 1998 model, with black leather interior, a 5-Speed manual and is pretty loaded with options. It has dual-zone climate control, a moonroof and a 6-disc CD changer. All of that performance and luxury costs only $6,000. So for someone following the 1/10th rule and makes at least $60,000 per year, this M3 offers excellent value. The E36 M3 is an excellent car for anyone looking for inexpensive performance and fun. This example is just one of many that are out there. It’s proof that you don’t need to spend $40,000 on a car to have some fun. The article 1998 E36 M3 – Inexpensive Performance appeared first on BMW BLOG
Posted by http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Bimmerfile/~3/Pz2IlRkF6zY/ in News on May 24, 2015
It’s fair to say there hasn’t been as much excitement around a new BMW product since the 1M. And while US production of the… The post Last Laps Around the ‘Ring for the M2… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my web...
It’s fair to say there hasn’t been as much excitement around a new BMW product since the 1M. And while US production of the… The post Last Laps Around the ‘Ring for the M2… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
Posted by http://www.bmw-motorsport.com/en/news/current-news/2015/05/blancpain_z4.html in Motorsport on May 24, 2015
A top-class field of 61 cars competed in Silverstone for the second race weekend in the Blancpain Endurance Series. After 82 laps, Olivier Grötz and Karim Ojjeh emerged victorious in the Am class in the number 15 BMW Z4 GT3. The duo from the Bout...
A top-class field of 61 cars competed in Silverstone for the second race weekend in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
After 82 laps, Olivier Grötz and Karim Ojjeh emerged victorious in the Am class in the number 15 BMW Z4 GT3. The duo from the Boutsen Ginion team led the three-hour race for long stretches, leaving the opposition to fight it out for second place. In the Pro-Am class, the number 888 BMW Z4 GT3 of the Triple Eight Racing team also led for much of the race, but surrendered the lead after the final pit stop and eventually came home tenth. The best-placed BMW Z4 GT3 in the Pro-Am class was the TDS Racing car in sixth place.
Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/24/bmw-3-0-csl-hommage-engine-start-sound/ in News on May 24, 2015
Here it is ladies and gentlemen: the engine sound of the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage. When BMW unveiled the 3.0 CSL Hommage on Friday, it refrained from commenting on the powertrain and its power output. The lengthy press release only mentioned a powerfu...
Here it is ladies and gentlemen: the engine sound of the new BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage. When BMW unveiled the 3.0 CSL Hommage on Friday, it refrained from commenting on the powertrain and its power output. The lengthy press release only mentioned a powerful six-cylinder in-line engine with eBoost, which might translate into the eDrive drivetrain we’ve seen last year. The footage below not only let us hear the acoustics of the exhaust system, but it also shows the car in motion during a short ride. Click here to learn more about the new BMW concept.
Posted by http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/05/24/possible-cadillac-ats-v-might-have-a-v8/ in News on May 24, 2015
Recently, our leader here at BMWBLOG, Horatiu, got some wheel time in the brand spankin new Cadillac ATS-V. He came away impressed, mostly, with the only criticisms being about the interior and CUE system. But dynamically, the ATS-V seems to be a ver...
Recently, our leader here at BMWBLOG, Horatiu, got some wheel time in the brand spankin new Cadillac ATS-V. He came away impressed, mostly, with the only criticisms being about the interior and CUE system. But dynamically, the ATS-V seems to be a very good car. Well, if certain reports are true, Cadillac intends to make it even better. There seems to be a future ATS-V+ model in the works. This extra powerful ATS-V will feature a 7.0 liter naturally aspirated V8, pulled from the Camaro Z/28. This engine is a fan favorite amongst the GM faithful, for its high-revving ‘Merican Muscle power. Admittedly, it is a very good engine with a great powerband and a lovely noise.
So what does this mean for the M3/M4? Well it means that they both might become even more out-powered. The current ATS-V makes 464 hp which is 44 more than the current M3. However, because the M3 is a bit lighter and uses its power more efficiently, it’s still faster than the Caddy, though not by much. So if Cadillac can hit, or get close to, the 500 hp mark, it’s a good possibility that the ATS-V+ can jump ahead of the M3. Another advantage for the ATS-V+ would be character. The only real negative remark for the F80 M3’s engine is the sound and character. In terms of power and performance, the engine is a masterpiece, but lacks a bit of the lovely sound M3s of yore would make. So giving the ATS-V+ a loud, thumping V8 could make it the more interesting car. It’s still too early to make any assumptions about this, but it is an interesting thought. If Cadillac does this, and gives its latest BMW-fighter a big V8 to take on the Bavarian I6, it may just have too much firepower to overcome. [Source: MotorTrend] The article Possible Cadillac ATS-V+ might have a V8 appeared first on BMW BLOG