Spotted: BMW i8 by AC Schnitzer

AC Schnitzer’s tuned BMW i8 was spotted in the wild in Netherlands. The styling package designed by AC Schnitzer includes a carbon fiber front spoiler, carbon fiber side skirts and a carbon fiber rear wing. To enhance the driving dynamics, a lo...

AC Schnitzer’s tuned BMW i8 was spotted in the wild in Netherlands. The styling package designed by AC Schnitzer includes a carbon fiber front spoiler, carbon fiber side skirts and a carbon fiber rear wing. To enhance the driving dynamics, a lowering kit was applied to the i8 which reduces the ride height by 25mm front and 20mm at the rear. The original i8 by AC Schnitzer was scheduled to run on 21-inch AC1 forged alloy wheels that are approximately 30% lighter than the standard wheels. The company says they are 4kg or 9 lbs lighter than the stock wheels.

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Yet the car spotted features Asanti custom wheels painted in black and with blue accents. In the back, the i8 gets a racing wing for that extra pop. Not that the i8 needs that.

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Click below for more photos:

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[Source: Autogespot] The article Spotted: BMW i8 by AC Schnitzer appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M3 vs Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

UK magazine What Car? pits the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG against the 2015 BMW M3. The two midsize sport cars have been going at each other for years now and with the new C63 AMG just around the corner, the competition will be even more exciting. Th...

UK magazine What Car? pits the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG against the 2015 BMW M3. The two midsize sport cars have been going at each other for years now and with the new C63 AMG just around the corner, the competition will be even more exciting. The two powerful sedans are the benchmark in their segment and head-to-head comparisons are inevitable. The competitor to the F80 BMW M3 comes with two power variants coming from a 4.0 liter V8 bi-turbocharged engine that delivers 470 hp and 650Nm (479 lb-ft) in the base model, and 503 hp and 700Nm (516 lb-ft) in the C63 S AMG. This is the same engine found on the Mercedes-AMG GT sports coupe. What Car? uses the entry-level C63 AMG for this test.

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Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission. From 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), it only takes 4.1 seconds for the C63 S AMG and 4.2 seconds for the base model. Both cars are limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The F80 BMW M3 features the S55 3.0 liter inline-six TwinPower engine producing 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The power is sent to the rear-wheels via a six-speed or an optional 7-speed M DCT transmission. For comparison, with the seven-speed DCT, the M3 and M4 need 4.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, switching to manual speed, the two cars need 4.3 seconds Top speed is governed at 155 mph for both the BMW and the Mercedes. Here is an excerpt from their review: What are they like to drive? Although both deliver a 0-60mph time in the 4.0-second region, and have similarly impressive brakes and advanced, adjustable suspension systems, they feel very different to drive. For a start, the BMW is a far keener-handling car. There’s a huge amount of grip, minimal body roll and super-fast, precise responses, albeit a shortage of genuine feedback through the steering wheel. Switch to the AMG and you’ll find it a much softer-feeling affair, with less bite at the front and far more body lean in hard cornering. It’ll still get round corners at a vast rate of knots, but it’s not as agile and grippy as the BMW. One downside to the M3’s unflappable handling is that it has to be driven hard before it really starts to excite. This is where the AMG makes up some ground, thanks in part to its 4.0-litre V8 engine. The BMW’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder can sound harsh and uncouth, whereas the Mercedes’ makes a gratifyingly baritone rumble, even at lower speeds. This lends it real theatre, so you don’t have to thrash it to enjoy the noise and sense of power. You can’t argue with the relentless nature of the BMW’s twin-turbo engine, though. With 425bhp, it’s not as powerful as the Mercedes’ 469bhp twin-turbo V8, but it revs much higher and adds to the BMW’s frenetic feel. The M3 is also the lighter car and can match the AMG’s in-gear acceleration and sprinting capability with ease, although the Mercedes’ V8 picks up more keenly and progressively from low revs. Both automatic gearboxes have modes that can alter the shifting pattern, but the M3’s changes more quickly by some margin. In the most aggressive mode the transmission can be very snatchy, though, so it’s best reserved for hard driving. The Mercedes has a more conventional seven-speed automatic, albeit with a few upgrades to give it more aggressive performance. Its shifts are slightly slower, particularly when you’re driving gently. This, in conjunction with the Mercedes’ more flexible engine and softer responses, make it more relaxed in day-to-day driving. Both cars get gearshift paddles, which make it quick and easy to command manual gear changes. The Mercedes’ launch control system is far easier to use, too, quickly granting fast and hard launches, while the BMW’s can be very fiddly to activate and is less effective at minimising wheel spin. As you’d expect, neither of these cars has a cosseting ride quality, but the Mercedes proves the most tolerable out on the road. It’s still firm, but with the dampers in their softer mode it has enough compliance not to annoy. The BMW is harsher over scruffy surfaces, and can become jarring over more severe imperfections, regardless of which damper setting you choose. Both cars are quite noisy at motorway speeds – there’s a lot of road noise and, in the Mercedes, the bass note of the engine doesn’t fade away at part throttle. And the conclusion: 1st BMW M3 DCT For Incredible performance; smart cabin; masses of grip Against Intrusive road noise; unpleasant engine note Verdict Devastatingly quick and capable, albeit hardcore in its nature 2nd Mercedes-AMG C63 For Lots of kit; muscular engine; satisfying noise; easy to drive Against Unremarkable handling; fiddly infotainment system Verdict A theatrical high-performance saloon that’s easy to live with The article BMW M3 vs Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M235i Racing Cup: Class win for TKS-Motorsport.

Michele Di Martino and Moritz Oberheim celebrated the CUP5 class win in their number 687 BMW M235i Racing at the fifth round of the VLN Endurance Championship. After four hours, the TKS-Motorsport pairing took the chequered flag with an advantage o...

Michele Di Martino and Moritz Oberheim celebrated the CUP5 class win in their number 687 BMW M235i Racing at the fifth round of the VLN Endurance Championship.

After four hours, the TKS-Motorsport pairing took the chequered flag with an advantage of 1min 16secs over Ralf Schall and Mario Merten of Team Bonk Motorsport. Third place in the BMW M235i Racing Cup class went to Dennis Wüsthoff and Benjamin Leuchter of Team racing one. In the drivers’ championship, their second place helped Schall and Merten to reduce the gap to overall leaders Jörg Weidinger, Michael Schrey and Uwe Ebertz, who finished the race on Saturday in fourth with their “Eifelblitz” of team Scheid-Honert Motorsport. They are now only two points behind.

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VLN: Podium finish for the Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3.

After victory at the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, the success streak of the BMW Z4 GT3 continues. The car claimed a one-two-three in the SP9 class at the fifth round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring. The class win – an...

After victory at the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, the success streak of the BMW Z4 GT3 continues.

The car claimed a one-two-three in the SP9 class at the fifth round of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring. The class win – and P3 in the overall classification – went to the number 36 BMW Z4 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport. In the 4-hour race, BMW Motorsport Junior Jesse Krohn, Michela Cerruti and Felipe Férnandes Laser were just beaten by the number 777 Ford GT and the number 55 Lexus, which both competed in the SPX class. Fourth overall was claimed by BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert. Dominik Baumann, Max Sandritter and Anders Buchardt crossed the finish line in their number 20 BMW Z4 GT3 22 seconds behind the winners and were second in the SP9 class. P3 of the class went to the number 35 BMW Z4 GT3 of Walkenhorst Motorsport, which was shared by Henry Walkenhorst and Matias Henkola. Overall, BMW teams claimed seven class wins.

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The E36 M3 – An Understated Sports Car

When it comes to owning a BMW M3, the newest one is always the best and safest option, but on the other hand, there’s always a group of enthusiasts that cherish the appeal of old school BMWs and want to have something with a bit more history be...

When it comes to owning a BMW M3, the newest one is always the best and safest option, but on the other hand, there’s always a group of enthusiasts that cherish the appeal of old school BMWs and want to have something with a bit more history behind it. The E30 M3 and E46 M3 sit at the top of the car collectors’ list, but there is one M3 that is often overlooked: E36 M3. The neglected child of the M3 family is likely of the most understated sports car BMW has ever built.

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The E36 comes from a time when BMWs were known for incredibly precise and communicative steering and purity of driving. With a free revving inline-six engine, 5-Speed manual, a limited-slip diff and rear-wheel drive, the E36 M3 was the car to drive. But weighing more than the BMW E30 M3 and being less powerful than the E46 M3, the E36 M3 was not as highly praised as the other M3s and therefore it never really developed a cult among the enthusiasts. On the other hand, the E36 has that rebel mentality built into it and many people tend to ignore the E36 before coming back to own one.

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So today, we’re asking you whether the BMW E36 M3 is to be considered a classic and a true enthusiasts’ car. The article The E36 M3 – An Understated Sports Car appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW, Audi and Daimler agree to buy Nokia HERE

AUDI AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG have agreed with Nokia Corporation that they will acquire its mapping and location services business HERE. The acquisition is intended to secure the long term availability of HERE’s products and services as an ...

AUDI AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG have agreed with Nokia Corporation that they will acquire its mapping and location services business HERE. The acquisition is intended to secure the long term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent and value creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors. The three partners will each hold an equal stake in HERE; none of them seeks to acquire a majority interest. Subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.  

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HERE is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services. For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving. Extremely precise digital maps will be used in combination with real-time vehicle data in order to increase road safety and to facilitate innovative new products and services. On the basis of the shared raw data, all automobile manufacturers can offer their customers differentiated and brand-specific services. “Our environment is constantly changing. That’s why the information in digital maps has to be continually updated so that maximum utility can be offered,” stated Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The high-precision cameras and sensors installed in modern cars are the digital eyes for updating mobility data and maps; in this way, information such as speed limits or critical driving situations are already recognized today. All data gained will be processed in compliance with strict data-protection rules. “HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone,” explained Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. This knowledge will be to the benefit of all carmakers and their customers. “High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. Swarm intelligence will create new information density for road maps ”HERE will be able to offer users a continuously improving product, bringing highly automated driving and location based services a step further. As the volume of anonymized data from the vehicles increases, services will become more convenient, more connected and further tailored to the users’ individual requirements,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Technical Development, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development, and Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Group Research. It is the explicit intention that all HERE customers are to benefit from this continuous optimization. The social benefits of swarm intelligence are enormous: They facilitate warnings of hazards in real time, of icy roads for example, based on calculations of individual data such as ABS activations and outside temperature. Upcoming traffic jams will be identified more precisely in the future, significantly reducing the risk of accidents. In this way, the vision of accident-free driving is gradually becoming reality. In a further stage, the data could be used to learn about critical bends on the road, in order to warn drivers in good time or to activate assistance systems. Anticipation of green phases of stoplights could navigate vehicles through an urban area on a “green wave” with the appropriate engine performance and minimized fuel consumption. High-precision maps are important for autonomous driving and many other forms of assistance systems, as these technologies require an up-to-date plan of a vehicle’s surroundings exact to the nearest centimeter, in order to react in real time. While HERE already produces extremely precise static maps, they can be verified more exactly and continually updated with a constant flow of data from vehicles’ surroundings. HERE will continue to offer its services and products across industries HERE provides mapping and location intelligence for nearly 200 countries in more than 50 languages and is one of the main providers of mapping and location services. The company will continue to develop its position as a strong and independent provider of maps and location-based services, will expand its product offering and continue to make it available to all customers across industries. The management of HERE will continue to be independent – with the goal of moving the HERE business case forward as a platform, open to all customers. The consortium will not interfere into operational business. The article BMW, Audi and Daimler agree to buy Nokia HERE appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW hints at more electric cars coming in the future

BMW CEO Harald Krueger told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that in the current “i” lineup there is room for more electric models. “Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,...

BMW CEO Harald Krueger told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that in the current “i” lineup there is room for more electric models. “Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” said Krueger. He added that he could not give any more details at present. A BMW i5 model has been rumored for quite some time now with the body style taking the shape of a sedan or crossover-like electric car. Dubbed as a Tesla Model S fighter, the i5 is allegedly being built with two drivetrains: electric-only and plug-in hybrid.

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BMW i5 Rendering Late last week various news outlets reported that BMW and Apple were previously discussing partnering on electric vehicles. Krueger also touched on the subject saying that the two companies are often in contact regarding connected cars technology. BMW is due to report first-half results on Tuesday when we will learn more about the electric vehicles sales. The article BMW hints at more electric cars coming in the future appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Alpina turns 50: Where does it go from here?

Alpina, the company responsible for tuning some of the coolest BMWs of all time, is 50 years old. You might have already heard this, but it’s still important news. The relationship between BMW and Alpina is something that isn’t common in the auto...

Alpina, the company responsible for tuning some of the coolest BMWs of all time, is 50 years old. You might have already heard this, but it’s still important news. The relationship between BMW and Alpina is something that isn’t common in the auto industry these days. Alpina started 50 years ago when Burkard Bovensiepen, the founder of Alpina, created a twin-carburettor kit for his BMW 1500, now 50 years later and the relationship between BMW and Alpina couldn’t be stronger. To celebrate this milestone, Alpina shut the factory down for a week to give its employees a break and throw a bunch of dinners and parties. That Sunday, Alpina opened its gates to the public to take a tour of the plant and check out the classic cars on display. Burkard seems like a pretty good boss. But he isn’t the one calling the shots anymore.

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Now left to his sons, Andreas and Florian, Alpina has a bright future ahead with sales stronger than ever. Andreas (Andy) and Florian are taking Alpina into uncharted territory, finding new BMWs to tinker with, such as by developing the first Alpina-tuned BMW SUV in the XD3. While their father, Burkard, wasn’t fond of the idea of an Alpina that could off-road, he warmed to the idea enough to let his sons go through with it and now is a success. “To start with, my father wanted nothing to do with the project,” says Andy “He doesn’t like dirty cars, let alone the idea of an SUV. Then he said he would try it after all. Now all he’ll say is that it’s better than he’d expected.”

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While it’s risky for Alpina to create new models, as it costs them around $10,000,000 to develop a new model so each model must produce and produce well, Alpina is still looking for new models like the XD3 to push the small company’s sales. The goal is to get more of a market in China and to get sales up from around 1,700 cars annually to around 2,000 – 2,500. Alpina might run the risk of no longer seeming as exclusive as before, if it continues to grow, but Andy thinks it can do both. “Rolls-Royce made more than 4000 cars last year, so we joke that we’re more than twice as exclusive as them. But I think that we could make 2000 or even 2500 cars per year and still our customers would consider us exclusive, as long as we keep giving them a different sort of car and experience,” Andy said. Whether Alpina grows and begins to sell more than it ever has or it stays at this pace, I still think it will feel like the exclusive company that it has been for the past 50 years. Bovensiepen created a great company decades ago and it’s still creating the same level of premium BMWs that it always has. Here’s to hoping for another 50 years of seriously kick ass BMWs And I’m sure the 220 employees are also hoping for another milestone so they can have another week of dinners and parties. Cheers, Alpina. Keep doing what you do. [Source: Autocar] The article Alpina turns 50: Where does it go from here? appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW DTM drivers miss out on points in wet Spielberg

Heavy rain dominated the tenth race of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring (AT). The BMW drivers struggled in extremely slippery conditions and were unable to match the pace being set at the front of the field. Audi driver Mattias Ekström (SE) won t...

Heavy rain dominated the tenth race of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring (AT). The BMW drivers struggled in extremely slippery conditions and were unable to match the pace being set at the front of the field. Audi driver Mattias Ekström (SE) won the race, which not a single BMW M4 DTM finished in the points. António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) was the best-placed BMW driver, ending the rain-dominated race in 11th. He was followed over the finish line by Marco Wittmann (DE, Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) in 12th and 13th. Timo Glock finished 15th in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, just ahead of fellow BMW Team MTEK driver Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM). Augusto Farfus (BR, Shell BMW M4 DTM) came home 19th, closely followed by Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM). Tom Blomqvist retired with mechanical problems with five minutes of the race remaining.

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Reactions to the tenth race of the 2015 DTM season. Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “On the whole, this has been a very difficult weekend for us. Even in dry conditions on Saturday we did not manage to get the best out of our package, with only Augusto Farfus and Marco Wittmann finishing in the points. A tough qualifying session meant that we were always going to have to rely on strategy to get a good result today. For this to be the case, we would have needed a safety car. That never happened. Therefore, 11th is our best finish. We are obviously not satisfied with that.” António Félix da Costa (BMW Team Schnitzer, 11th): “We did what we could with the speed we had. I only made one little mistake, and that cost me a few seconds. All in all, I was able to climb a few places. That is a good sign. The weather meant the conditions out there were pretty tough.”

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Facts and Figures. Circuit/length/duration: Red Bull Ring, 4.326 kilometres, 60 minutes plus 1 lap Conditions: Rainy, 15 degrees Celsius BMW Motorsport results: #13 António Félix da Costa (PT), BMW Team Schnitzer, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM – 11th #1 Marco Wittmann (DE), BMW Team RMG, Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM – 12th #77 Martin Tomczyk (DE), BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM – 13th #16 Timo Glock (DE), BMW Team MTEK, DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM – 15th #7 Bruno Spengler (CA), BMW Team MTEK, BMW Bank M4 DTM – 16th #18 Augusto Farfus (BR), BMW Team RBM, Shell BMW M4 DTM – 19th #36 Maxime Martin (BE), BMW Team RMG, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM – 20th #31 Tom Blomqvist (GB), BMW Team RBM, BMW M4 DTM – DNF Useful information: The start of the race was delayed due to heavy rain. The first 11 minutes of the race were completed behind the safety car. The track was too wet for a standing start. Marco Wittmann, Augusto Farfus and Timo Glock pitted early on lap seven. António Félix da Costa was the last BMW driver to pit on lap 22. He did so from third place. The final lap saw a collision between Timo Scheider, Robert Wickens and Pascal Wehrlein, which resulted in the BMW drivers climbing two positions. The article BMW DTM drivers miss out on points in wet Spielberg appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW G11 7 Series Walkthrough Video

We all know quite a bit about the new G11/G12 BMW 7 Series. It’s been lightened, stiffened, luxurized (if that isn’t a word, I’m coining it) and given enough tech to make the international space stations seem outdated. But we haven’t seen muc...

We all know quite a bit about the new G11/G12 BMW 7 Series. It’s been lightened, stiffened, luxurized (if that isn’t a word, I’m coining it) and given enough tech to make the international space stations seem outdated. But we haven’t seen much of that wasn’t just press release pictures. It’s good to see some real pictures and maybe even some video of a new car to get a better look at what it’s really like. Well Auto Express has a video demonstrating some of the new things the 7 Series has to offer and it’s nice to see them in real time and not just words on a screen.

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In the video, they go through seven things that stand out about the new 7 Series, ranging from the new exterior design to the new technologies. They sample the luxurious cabin and gesture control so we can see just how some of these things actually work. The G11 7 Series looks okay in pictures, but it looks far better in motion with someone standing next to it. The interior is the same, looking like just another luxurious BMW in pictures but looks, but in the video you can really get a feel for how spacious and comfortable the cabin is.

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So check this video out and get a good feel for what the new 7er is actually like. Unfortunately, they don’t get to drive it but no one has yet so we’ll have to settle for this for the moment. Auto Express has been putting out some good videos lately and this is another. So watch it and check the G11 7 Series out in as close to the flesh as to can currently get. The article BMW G11 7 Series Walkthrough Video appeared first on BMW BLOG

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