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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Zanardi wins another gold medal.

Three competitions, three gold medals and three world titles: at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship in Nottwil, BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi celebrated a golden hat-trick.  Zanardi also won Sunday’s road race in the MH5...

Three competitions, three gold medals and three world titles: at the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship in Nottwil, BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi celebrated a golden hat-trick. 

Zanardi also won Sunday’s road race in the MH5 category (men’s hand-cycle). On Wednesday the BMW works driver and BMW Brand Ambassador won the team-relay with the Italian national team, and on Friday he successfully defended his world title in the time-trial. Now, for the second time in his career, he has also been crowned world champion in the road race. His success is even more remarkable as Zanardi contested the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in his BMW Z4 GT3 last weekend, while his competitors were in their final preparations for the para-cycling races at Nottwil. To conclude the world championships at Nottwil, the athletes tackled the 46.5-kilometre road race, completing three laps on the challenging course, which included exhausting uphill and fast downhill sections. The competition turned out to be a real thriller. When Zanardi entered the Nottwil stadium, where the final spurt towards the finish was contested, he was second, closely behind Dutch athlete Jetze Plat. In a nail-biting final sprint the duo fought for the world title with Zanardi crossing the line with a small advantage in front of his rival. In total, he completed the 46.5 kilometres in 1:29:21 hours. Plat finished second, his Dutch countryman Johan Reekers was third. “The time trial was a great race but today’s road race was even better, because until the line it was absolutely unpredictable,” said Zanardi. “I did not plan to come into the stadium second, I had planned on entering it in first position. As a matter of fact I planned to cross the last hill leading by myself, but my young competitors are just amazing and it was a fight until the last metre of the climb. Then downhill it was a crazy run towards the end. Afterwards it was clear that it would be decided between me and Jetze. Over the last two kilometres it was a race where you needed to keep a cool head. We both sprinted to take the last corner going into the stadium and he managed to get in front of me. At that point I thought I had lost the race, but then I said to myself: ‘Hey Alex, you are a racing driver. Just focus and take advantage of the last opportunity’. This opportunity came up shortly before the last corner. I just went for it, and when he went to move over to get the best line I was there. I had already taken the inside and the race was won. I am really, really happy with the last week. To compete at Spa-Francorchamps with Timo and Bruno, then to come here and win three gold medals – that is just an amazing experience. But now I am looking forward to getting a little bit of rest.” With his three wins at Nottwil, Zanardi now has a total of eight para-cycling world titles to his name. The results of this year’s UCI Para-cycling Road World Championship count towards qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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Photoshoot: Festivals Of Speed In Miami features several BMWs

Earlier this year, Miami hosted the annual Festivals of Speed, a gathering of high-end cars and a showcase of aftermarket tuning and customizations. By any standard, this is the most important car event in the Miami automotive scene, so naturally ow...

Earlier this year, Miami hosted the annual Festivals of Speed, a gathering of high-end cars and a showcase of aftermarket tuning and customizations. By any standard, this is the most important car event in the Miami automotive scene, so naturally owners of special automobiles gathered to celebrate the beauty of their cars. The Florida-based Precision Sport Industries also attended the event with their own BMWs, including a new M3 sedan in Austin Yellow and an M4 in Sakhir Orange. Oldies like, E36 M3s and E46 M3s were present as well to showcase the brand’s heritage. It was a sun filed even and those images below make you want to move to Florida to escape the snowy and salt-covered roads in some parts of the world.

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The article Photoshoot: Festivals Of Speed In Miami features several BMWs appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW M3 Sedan in Tanzanite Blue with carbon fiber rear wing

BMW Abu Dhabi is slowly building a reputation for taking a base BMW and turning into a special car. This latest project takes the new BMW M3 Sedan to a whole new level. Featuring the BMW Individual Tanzanite Blue color, the sporty sedan dips deep int...

BMW Abu Dhabi is slowly building a reputation for taking a base BMW and turning into a special car. This latest project takes the new BMW M3 Sedan to a whole new level. Featuring the BMW Individual Tanzanite Blue color, the sporty sedan dips deep into the M Performance Catalog to give its exterior design a makeover. At the front, the large air inlets are now made of carbon fiber while the front lip painted in the same Individual color improves the car’s aerodynamics and downforce. Moving to the side we immediately notice the M Performance Brakes Kit with blue calipers.

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The rear end is where most of the work has been performance, beginning with a carbon fiber diffuser and ending with the Akrapovic EVO Exhaust System and a carbon fiber racing wing designed by AC Schnitzer. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the wing makes the car stand out a bit more on the road without being too flashy.

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Inside the cabin, the carbon fiber trim is paired with soft leather in the Sakhir Orange color. A set of aluminum pedals reminds us once again that this car was built for the track. And if that wasn’t proof enough, then the M Performance Steering wheel in Alcantara seals the deal.

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For more images of this special project, take a look at the photo gallery below.

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The article BMW M3 Sedan in Tanzanite Blue with carbon fiber rear wing appeared first on BMW BLOG

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First F80 M3 in British Racing Green Individual

Check out the first F80 M3 in British Racing Green Individual color. ...

Check out the first F80 M3 in British Racing Green Individual color.

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Difficult qualifying in rainy Spielberg.

Heavy rain ahead of qualifying for race ten of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring made for extremely difficult track conditions during the 20-minute session. The BMW M4 DTM did not cope as well as the opposition with these tricky conditions: none ...

Heavy rain ahead of qualifying for race ten of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring made for extremely difficult track conditions during the 20-minute session.

The BMW M4 DTM did not cope as well as the opposition with these tricky conditions: none of the eight BMW DTM drivers ended the session in the top ten. Martin Tomczyk (BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) and Maxime Martin (SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM) qualified 14th and 15th. António Félix da Costa (Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) was 18th, while Bruno Spengler (BMW Bank M4 DTM), Marco Wittmann (Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM), Tom Blomqvist (BMW M4 DTM), Augusto Farfus (Shell BMW M4 DTM) and Timo Glock (DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM) occupied positions 20 to 24. Quote from the best-placed BMW driver. “Performance was not good in the rain. I expected better. We must now find out whether it was a result of the set-up, the others taking a chance, or the wrong tyre pressures. The result is disappointing. Our car was just not fast enough. To make matters worse, the wet-weather tyres then started to wear and it started to rain more heavily again. That put an end to any hope of improving.” – Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team Schnitzer, 14th)

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BMW DTM drivers narrowly miss out on points.

Heavy rain dominated the tenth race of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring. 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 won the ...

Heavy rain dominated the tenth race of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring. 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 won the race, which not a single BMW M4 DTM finished in the points. António Félix da Costa (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 (Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (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 (BMW Bank M4 DTM). Augusto Farfus (Shell BMW M4 DTM) came home 19th, closely followed by Maxime Martin (SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM). Tom Blomqvist retired with mechanical problems with five minutes of the race remaining. 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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Best BMW Series generations

Read any single article on the internet about BMWs and you’ll be sure to find at least one sentence in it where the author talks about the good ole days in one form or another. It’s either about how BMW’s steering isn’t as pure as it used to ...

Read any single article on the internet about BMWs and you’ll be sure to find at least one sentence in it where the author talks about the good ole days in one form or another. It’s either about how BMW’s steering isn’t as pure as it used to be or how BMWs have gotten too heavy or whatever it may be, people are always comparing BMWs to the ones of the past. But are the oldies really that much better? Well, I decided to ask you kind folk. See, I was thinking about this question and it’s harder to answer than one might think. The old BMWs, like say an E30 M3, are fantastic as they have incredibly pure steering and dynamics and aren’t weighed down my modern luxury amenities. However, those modern luxury amenities are wonderful to have. Sure, the E30 M3’s steering is better than that of the new M3’s, but it’s also more uncomfortable, doesn’t have heated leather seats and satellite navigation and automatic climate control. Those things are nice to have and it’s not like the current M3 is a dog around corners. It’s quite fantastic, actually. So is the E30 actually the better car just because you can feel the road through the steering a bit more?

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But it isn’t just the M3 that gets this comparison. Read a review of a 6 Series or 7 Series and there will still be a reference to the way things used to be and why they were better back then. But again, were they? Or are we just looking through rose-tinted specs? Would the people of the 1980s prefer their version of the M5 to our current one? Or would they appreciate the supreme comfort it now comes with, while also delivery mighty performance? So this leads me to my question. Which BMWs were actually better back then, which BMWs would you actually prefer an older model over the newer one or vice versa if you had to pick just one generation from each Series model? I’ll start to give examples. 1 / 2 Series – 1 Series: But only because of the 1 Series M. I actually prefer the 2 Series to the standard 1 Series models. Though the M2 might change my mind.

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3 / 4 Series – E36: but I’m biased because I have one. I do love the way it drives, though, and it’s comfort and practicality are fantastic. I actually love all 3 Series models, but I have to go with my home team on this one, over even the E30 and its mighty M3.

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5 Series – E28: But This one’s tough, because I do like the current model a lot and the E39 is fantastic as well. But I actually love the way the E28 looks and that’s the deal breaker for me and the E28 has the original M5 which is just so damn lovely.

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6 Series – F06: I know it’s the Gran Coupe, but it still counts as a 6 Series and it’s the 6er I’d choose out of all of them.

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7 Series – E38: This one’s easy for me, go for the Frank Martin special. The E38 is hands down my favorite 7er, but in fairness, I haven’t yet driven the new G11 obviously so I can’t really say until I drive that. Maybe it changes my mind.

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So these are the generations I’d choose out of each BMW Series model. Now you go and let us know which you think is best. The article Best BMW Series generations appeared first on BMW BLOG

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