1. The new BMW 1 Series - Overview(01/08/04)

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2004 will go down as a memorable year for BMW as a new chapter begins in the company's history. Not only has the year seen the return of the 6 Series, but it also saw the company continue targeting profitable new niches with the UK launch of the X3. Arguably overshadowing both these successful launches is the arrival of a brand new BMW to a vital market segment - the BMW 1 Series.

Introducing BMW's 'Ultimate Driving Machine' credentials to a new, broader marketplace, the 1 Series offers drivers the unique proposition of a front-engine, rear-wheel drive car with the practical day-to-day benefits of a compact hatchback. This potent combination sets it apart from class rivals, providing unsurpassed handling and ride through its near 50:50 weight distribution. Power directed to the rear wheels maintains optimum grip leaving the front wheels to steer. The result? Best in class driving dynamics and a BMW that will attract a whole new group of buyers to the brand.

Launched on 18 September, the BMW 1 Series comes with five doors, four engines and three trim levels, but just one aim - to set a new standard for compact hatchbacks through unique BMW design and engineering solutions.

Price OTR
BMW 116i £15,690.00
BMW 116i SE £17,640.00
BMW 116i Sport £17,640.00

BMW 118d £17,340.00
BMW 118d SE £19,290.00
BMW 118d Sport £19,290.00

BMW 120i £18,320.00
BMW 120i SE £20,270.00
BMW 120i Sport £20,170.00

BMW 120d £18,850.00
BMW 120d SE £20,800.00
BMW 120d Sport £20,700.00

Basic perfomance data:

116i engine:
Power bhp 115
Torque Nm 150
0-62 secs 10.8
Top speed mph 125
Combined mpg 37.7
CO2 g/km 181

118d engine:
Power bhp 122
Torque Nm 280
0-62 secs 10.0
Top speed mph 125
Combined mpg 50.4
CO2 g/km 150

120i engine:
Power bhp 150
Torque Nm 200
0-62 secs 8.7
Top speed mph 135
Combined mpg 38.2
CO2 g/km 178

120d engine:
Power bhp 163
Torque Nm 340
0-62 secs 7.9
Top speed mph 137
Combined mpg 49.6
CO2 g/km 152

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With its front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the new BMW 1 Series will appeal to customers looking for a driving experience never before offered in a compact hatchback. Early predictions are that at launch 70 per cent of purchasers will be newcomers to the BMW badge, mainly from the front-wheel drive hatchbacks offered by Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Alfa Romeo. BMW also expects owners of high-specification hatchbacks from the likes of Ford and Renault to trade up to the new 1 Series. Coupled with the fact that BMW sees a new premium executive sector developing around the 1 Series and expanding by over 80 per cent during the next 10 years, the future of the 1 Series looks very promising.

"We are very confident that with 1 Series we will offer discerning customers a unique proposition that will win them over to BMW," explained Jim O'Donnell, managing director of BMW GB. "We haven't developed this new model to entice MINI or 3 Series owners: we are attacking a new segment and we expect to attract a very high proportion of customers who are new to BMW. Conquesting is the name of the game and our target competitors are a broad church."

Early indications are that the average owner will be aged between 20 to 40 years old, without children or with a very young family, who has historically not had his or her driving ambitions satisfied in this segment. The sales split between corporate and private buyers is predicted to be 45:55, with BMW expecting to tempt more women to the brand. BMW expects to sell c.5,000 cars in 2004 and c.17,000 in 2005.

BMW 1 Series owners will be assured of a rewarding long-term relationship with the three-year unlimited mileage manufacturer's warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion and six-year paint warranty. The 1 Series is also the latest BMW to be offered with a Service Inclusive package. For only £500.00, cost of ownership is significantly reduced with all major maintenance and repairs for five years or 60,000 miles covered by the package that is transferable to a new owner should the car be sold within that time frame.

Residual value predictions are also strong for the 1 Series. According to Glass's Guide, when compared to their nominated competitors (Audi A3 2.0Tdi Sport, Mercedes Benz C200Cdi Sports Coupe, VW Golf 2.0 GT TDi), the BMW 120d Sport will retain 80 per cent of its value after one year or 20,000 miles (76 / 69 / 76 respectively), 62 per cent after two years or 40,000 miles (62 / 54 / 58 respectively) and 49 per cent of its original retail value after 3 years or 60,000 miles (45 / 32 / 45 respectively). Similarly high-value residuals are predicted by CAP Monitor with 1 Series SE models commanding a three year residual figure of 49 per cent.


The BMW 1 Series might be an all-new model in the company's line-up, but the heritage of the marque shines through. Unmistakable BMW features such as the double headlights, kidney grille and Hofmeister kink are all present. Sitting on a wheelbase of 2,660mm and with short overhangs, 737mm front and 830mm rear, the 1 Series has an air of the BMW Z4 and historic M Roadster about it. The striking lines cut a swathe through the air too with the aerodynamic body of the 1 Series helping to post a class-leading drag co-efficient of 0.29 (116i).

Visually its dimensions and styling are almost coupé-like, but internally the car is capacious with the height from the seat base to the roof lining measuring 963mm in the front and 967mm in the rear, providing ample headroom for tall passengers. Furthermore, the 1 Series offers occupants class-leading shoulder and elbow room for greater comfort. Another clear benefit of the front-engine, rear-drive layout is that the driver will also appreciate accelerator, brake and clutch pedals that are centrally located and not offset compared to its front-wheel drive competitors.

Sharing technology with the larger models, the 1 Series can be specified with iDrive, including Professional or Business navigation systems, Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC), front and rear Park Distance Control with pictogram, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and Xenon headlamps.

A distinct reference to the car's sporting aspirations sits on the dashboard, with its standard Z8-style starter button. Pressing the button after inserting the new-style key fires up the technologically advanced four-cylinder engines. The newly-designed key retains the advanced Key Memory feature common to all BMWs. Courtesy of a microchip located inside the key, the 1 Series recognises which of the two keys supplied with the car is being used and alters door mirrors, air conditioning, radio and electric seat settings accordingly.

Further personalisation is possible, with the owner able to specify the interior in either fabric upholstery or optional leather. Optional sports seats, derived from those in the M3, provide the 1 Series driver with the ability to adjust the side bolsters for the optimum lateral support. Again, further recognition of the 1 Series as a driver's car. In the rear, boot capacity is 330-litres with the seats raised and with the rear seats spilt 60:40, the virtually flat load floor offers 1,150 litres of storage space.

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Chassis and suspension:

The BMW 1 Series is unique in its class with its front engine - rear drive layout offering near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, resulting in dynamic on-road capability. Unlike its competitors who transmit power and steering input through the same two wheels, the 1 Series leaves the front wheels to guide the car while the power is transmitted to the rear. This ensures improved grip and better traction under acceleration as the weight of the car transfers to the rear.

Once on the move, the rear-wheel drive 1 Series comes into its own, with the steering remaining uncorrupted and the car delivering a sports car-type driving experience. It is no coincidence that all serious racing cars are rear-wheel drive.

But sporty and dynamic handling can be compromised by weight. Thanks to the car's svelte 1,205kgs overall weight (116i), delivered through the use of aluminium parts, the 1 Series delivers on its promises. Much of the front suspension and subframe are made of aluminium along with the axle, suspension struts and pivot bearings. At the rear, BMW's pioneering five-link rear suspension is fitted for optimum ride quality. By replacing the traditional double wishbone arrangement with a version of the five-link set-up employed on the 5 and 6 Series, engineers have been able to subtly alter the toe-in, toe-out and camber angles for increased cornering ability.

For drivers wanting an even sportier ride, the new BMW 1 Series can be specified with sports suspension that lowers the car by a further 15mm. This not only gives the car a more aggressive stance but also adds to the performance characteristics by giving a more agile ride.

Transferring the chassis abilities and engine performance to the road is the responsibility of the car's Run-flat tyres. The 1 Series comes as standard with 16-inch wheels and Run-flat tyres, banishing roadside tyre changes to history. For those wanting to personalise their car, a variety of optional 16 or 17-inch alloy wheel designs are available as factory-fit or dealer-fit accessories.

Engine and transmission:

The new BMW 1 Series' chassis and rear-wheel drive layout are mated to four advanced and flexible engines from launch. The entry-level car is the 115bhp petrol-powered BMW 116i with its double VANOS variable valve-timing unit. Displacing 1,596cc, this model produces 150Nm at 4,300rpm and accelerates from zero to 62mph in 10.8 seconds, achieving a top speed of 124mph. Fuel consumption is 37.7mpg.

The 150bhp BMW 120i is the larger petrol engine and features both double VANOS and VALVETRONIC variable valve control for increased engine efficiency and performance. A capacity of 1,995cc produces 200Nm of torque at 3,600rpm, a zero to 62mph time of 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 135mph. Even with these levels of performance, fuel consumption is a frugal 38.2mpg. When compared to its competitors, the 120i offers best-in-class acceleration, top speed, economy and emissions.

Two diesel engines are offered: the 122bhp 118d and the high performance 163bhp 120d. Both powerplants feature BMW's second-generation common rail system running at pressures of 1,600bar. The 118d produces 280Nm at 2,000rpm, a zero to 62mph time of 10 seconds exactly and posts an impressive 50.4mpg. For those wanting even more performance, the 120d with its 1,995cc engine and 340Nm at a low 2,000rpm makes for smooth, low down acceleration. The 120d sprints to 62mph in 7.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of 137mph. All powerplants meet EU4 emissions standards.

Whatever the choice of engine, a precise, short throw gearshift makes for quick and effortless changes. The BMW 116i comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the BMW 120i and both diesel models have six-speed manual gearboxes as standard. The BMW 120i and the 120d can also be specified with a six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Adaptive Gearbox System and Steptronic manual gear selection.


The new BMW 1 Series comes as standard with the highest levels of active and passive safety. Familiar systems from other BMW models such as ABS brakes, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Brake Control and Cornering Brake Control are all fitted as standard. BMW's Tyre Puncture Warning System is also fitted, alerting the driver to the possibility of a loss in pressure, while the standard Run-flat tyres ensure the car can be driven safely for up to 90 miles at up to 50mph, with all tyres punctured.

Another safety feature on the 1 Series is the recently introduced Brake Force Display (BFD). Using a double segment of lights in the rear light cluster, BFD increases the brake light illumination area as soon as the ABS system is activated or the car detects a rapid deceleration. The extra illumination warns drivers behind that the car is braking sharply.

Should the worst happen and an accident occurs, sensors in the Advanced Safety Electronics system cut the fuel pump and alternator, and the battery is deactivated to minimise the risk of fire. Six airbags are standard in the 1 Series with the two front airbags intelligent, dual-stage versions that inflate in speed and size depending on the severity of the accident and work in conjunction with the active seatbelt tensioners. Front side airbags are located in the side of the front seat and AHPS head airbag system protects both front and rear passengers. To protect the smaller passengers, two ISOFIX child seat restraints in the rear are available across the 1 Series range, and can include front seat fixings and passenger airbag deactivation.

Standard/Optional equipment:

Standard -
Six-speed gearbox (five-speed on 116i); six airbags; Brake Force Display; Run-flat tyres with Tyre Puncture Warning System; aluminium front suspension; five link rear suspension; on-board computer; ISOFIX child seat fixings; CD player.

SE specification -
7 x 16" alloy wheels; automatic climate control; front arm rest; front fog lamps; interior auto dimming mirror; three-spoke leather sports multifunction steering wheel; lights package; Park Distance Control - rear.

Sport Specification -
7 x 16" alloy wheels; automatic climate control; Black Gomera interior trim; colour coded exterior body parts; front fog lamps; sports seats (in Motion cloth / Sensatec); sports suspension; three-spoke leather sports steering wheel.

Optional highlights -
Six-speed automatic gearbox (120i, 120d); leather upholstery; Business and Professional navigation (with TMC) and iDrive controller / folding screen; Park Distance Control - front and rear; sports seats; HiFi speaker system; Professional HiFi with Logic7.

Prices latest (28/07/04)

BMW Great Britain has announced pricing for the forthcoming 630i and 535d models. Powered by the world's lightest six-cylinder engine, the BMW 630i Coupé is priced at £45,255 on-the-road, while the 630i Convertible with its unique fin-structure roof costs £50,655.  Pricing for BMW's most powerful flagship diesel, the 535d, starts from £36,575 for the Saloon with the Touring costing £38,600

3-Series News (22/07/04) :P>

The new 3-Series will be out in the UK in Summer 2005 & will be available in at least four different models, a saloon, estate, coupe & convertible. Also BMW are considering a MPV. The new 3-Series design is less extreme than it’s older relations making it more conservative, as BMW realise that the 3-Series accounts for 57% of its global sales worldwide, BMW knows it can’t be too radical. “It’s the proportions that are important; we have worked hard at getting them right. We want to make a new statement” said Chris Bangle. Floor pan &structure mainly made of Steel, also using a Hyrid construction already featured on the new 5 & 6-Series helped by weight balance using aluminum for the load bearing structure forward of the windscreen. But this may be too costly for large volume units like the 1-Series & 3-Series. The 3-Series should use a variety of high tensile steels varying in thickness to help keep the weight down whilst increasing rigidity. :P>

The new 3-Series is bigger in every dimension partly to distance it from the 1-Series & allowing it to move up-market in both size & price. It will incorporate new electronics more lighter & stable than the technology today, with re-programmable software making engine management easier. It will share suspension parts with the 1-Series, engines will range from 1.8l four-cylinder up to 4.0litre V8, with a 50:50 weight distribution. :P>

Saloon to be called E90, Touring E91, Coupe E92, and Cabriolet (convertible) E93, although all two-door variants will be badged as a 4-Series. :P>

Other developments include revised MacPherson strut front suspension with an aluminum subframe & other light-weight components. At the rear a complex five-link trapezoidal set-up made primarily of steel to replace the current four-link system used today. All models should get stability control (DSC), electronic differential locks (EBD), & brake control (DBC) as standard. :P>

Active steering will be offered as an option, unlikely to see four-wheel drive versions as BMW has the X3 & X5 range. :P>

British built four-cylinders engine play an important role in the 3-Series future & will be joined by lighter six-cylinder versions, all will get a modest power gain over current engines. Five new Diesels will be available using the latest variable-van turbo charging & second generation common rail technology. The top diesel will be the raved about 3.5l with twin-turbo chargers delivering 286Bhp with 413ib torque, insiders hint at 0-60Mph in around 6.0secs with a top speed limited to 155Mph. :P>

Six-speed manual gearboxes with both traditional & clutch-less sequential shifts along with a six-speed automatic version. Also offered later in 2006 will be the dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) now available in Audi’s, developed with ZF, claimed to offer drivers interrupt-free shifting in both manual & automatic modes. :P>

The new M3 will be due in 2006. Convertible version will feature canvas roof to help save load space.

BMW 1 Series on tour (14/07/04) :P>:P>

This month the UK will get its first sight of the all-new BMW 1 Series thanks to a unique travelling showcase. Called the 'BMW 1 Series on Tour', the four-week-long exhibition will visit four of the top cosmopolitan cities in the UK, bringing with it every variant of 1 Series going on sale. In September the 1 Series will be available in 116i, 120i, 118d and 120d models with prices starting from £15,690.

The 'BMW 1 Series on Tour' begins in George Square, Glasgow, on 15 July for four days before moving on to Times Square in Newcastle from 22 July through to 25 July. By 31 July the exhibition will hit the Lowry Plaza in Manchester finally ending at @Bristol, for four days starting 12 August.

To herald the start of the 'BMW 1 Series on Tour' the public in Glasgow will be able to slip behind the wheel for a test drive on the day, on a first come first served basis. At the other three venues a BMW representative will be on hand to arrange a future test drive.

Prospective customers will not only be able to see and experience the 1 Series up close, but other interactive options will also be available including driving simulator games and special photo booths to take your picture inside the car. A bar and lounge area serving non-alcoholic beverages and ice-creams also offers an area of relaxation in the city centre.

A regional publicity campaign has already started to complement the 'BMW 1 Series on Tour' with radio stations in the four areas offering listeners the chance to win a selection of BMW Lifestyle products, the loan of a 1 Series for a weekend or a weekend break at a Malmaison hotel.

BMW X3 receives sporting aerodynamic package (12/07/04) :P>

Following the successful introduction of the new BMW X3, a sporting aerodynamic package is now available. Comprising body-coloured bumpers, side sills, wheel arch trims, footboards, modified fog lights and remodelled rear valance, the package costs £1,250 (excl. painting and fitting). The new rear end also features a chrome exhaust trim or oblique sports-style exit pipes, while an exclusive range of 19-inch alloy wheels and tyres priced from £1,999 completes the package.


BMW has a history of being creative with automobiles. From the iconic art cars of Andy Warhol and David Hockney to working with film producers the world over, BMW has always been acutely aware of cars and their place in culture. Now it has teamed up with Intersection magazine and 16 artists to showcase the BMW 1 Series in a new urban environment.

Called CAR PARC1, the multidisciplinary exhibition will take place at car parks in London and Birmingham over two weekends in July to show the BMW 1 Series in a new light. Contemporary artists using film, music, graphic design, photography and fashion will exhibit the all-new 1 Series in an innovative environment. To give an idea of what to expect one artist has used a synchroballistic camera normally reserved for recording missiles in flight to create an abstract vision of the car, while another has built a chandelier using BMW roundel badges from the bonnet of the 1 Series.

The public and fans of cars or art will first be able to view the CAR PARC 1 exhibition at the multi-storey car park in Welbeck Street, London. The exhibition will be open 24 hours a day from 12.00pm on Friday, 16 July until to 8.00pm on Sunday, 18 July. The following weekend CAR PARC 1 transfers to the car park of the Custard Factory arts venue in Birmingham, opening from 12.00pm on Saturday, 24 July until 9.00pm on Sunday, 25 July.

"We wanted to work with Intersection because they bring an original approach to cars," says BMW's Corporate Communications Manager, Mark Harrison. "The magazine has stimulated a shift in the way cars are perceived over the past few years, and we were interested in seeing how we could enhance it further."

The BMW 1 Series goes on sale in the UK on 18 September with prices starting from £15,650 for the 116i. Other cars in the range include 118d, 120i and 120d models in standard, SE and Sport specifications. A BMW 118i goes on sale in December, with pricing announced nearer the launch date.

BMW Alpina wheels now more affordable

For those wanting to individualise their cars further, the range of BMW Alpina alloy wheels, complete with tyres, has just become more affordable. Buyers in the market for bespoke rims ranging from 17 to 21-inches in size will be pleased to know they are now priced at up to £1,194 less than before.

There are six different styles in total to choose from and, depending on size, these are available on the 3 Series, Z4, past and current 5 Series, X5, 7 Series and Z8. The biggest savings to be had are on a set of bolted split rims for the previous 5 Series now priced at £3,295, however the most affordable Alpina wheel and tyre set starts at £1,995 for the 3 Series. Wheels 21-inches in diameter for the X5 and 7 Series also witness to some of the biggest savings, now being priced at up to £4,595 and £3,995 respectively - £1,155 and £630 less than previously sold.


The BMW inline six-cylinder petrol engine with magnesium alloy crankcase and VALVETRONIC.

  1. BMW engines enter a new era.

    2. The BMW inline six-cylinder petrol engine
    with magnesium alloy crankcase and VALVETRONIC.
    2.1 Short version.
    2.2 Long version.
    The most innovative power unit of our time.
    2.3 Higher output, lower fuel consumption, maximum power density.
    2.4 Milestone in lightweight engine construction.
    2.5 The world's first six-cylinder to feature VALVETRONIC.
    2.6 BMW innovation: world premiere of the electric water pump.
    2.7 Further innovations and consistent lightweight construction
    of aggregates and components.
    2.8 Technical specifications.
    2.9 Performance and torque diagram.

    3. The use of magnesium in engine construction.

    4. BMW and its power unit portfolio.
    4.1 High competence and long-standing tradition in engine construction.
    4.2 The history of the BMW inline six-cylinder petrol engine.

    The BMW inline six-cylinder diesel engine with Variable Twin Turbo technology.

    5. The BMW inline six-cylinder diesel engine with Variable
    Twin Turbo technology.
    5.1 Short version.
    The sportiest diesel engine of all time.
    5.2 Long version.
    BMW innovation - Variable Twin Turbo technology.
    5.3 World premiere: BMW presents first series production diesel
    power unit to feature Variable Twin Turbo technology.
    5.4 The sportiest series production diesel of all time.
    5.5 Technical specifications.
    5.6 Performance and torque diagram.
    5.7 BMW and the diesel engine:
    technological challenge and sporty driving performance.

    6. Efficient dynamics: the technology of driving pleasure.

    7. BMW engine production.
    7.1 BMW engine production plant in Steyr.
    7.2 Engine production within a network.


Coinciding with the 75th anniversary celebrations of BMW Automobiles, the company is once again making its mark in history through engine technology - its core competence. Featuring revolutionary inline six power units, BMW is simultaneously opening several new chapters in engine manufacture. Featuring a lightweight construction and numerous innovations, the new BMW 3.0 litre internal combustion engine with a composite magnesium/ aluminium crankcase and VALVETRONIC sets standards in trendsetting engine technology. The new 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine featuring Variable Twin Turbo technology will undoubtedly take a front seat in the first row of BMW high-performance power units.

BMW engines enter a new era

The BMW Group enters new dimensions:
"We will keep our foot on the accelerator pedal, we will continue to forge ahead." ith these words Dr. Helmut Panke, chief executive of the BMW AG, proclaimed at this year's Annual Accounts Press Conference in which direction the Bavarian premium manufacturer is moving - 'straight ahead', as usual. New series, new models and the opening up of new markets - BMW has impressively underlined over recent years that when it comes to the brand with the white and blue badge, actions speak louder than words. In 2003, BMW achieved the highest sales figures ever, the number of vehicles sold reaching 928,151.

The inline six-cylinder engine.
When speaking of acceleration, Dr. Panke is not referring to just a short spurt, but "the lasting accomplishment of a higher speed". In aspiring to do this,
a premium manufacturer requires the appropriate premium engines. Superior technology has rendered BMW the leading producer of power units. BMW regularly receives the annual'International Engine of the World Award', BMW has initiated advancements in engineers' construction with the introduction of innovations such as VANOS and VALVETRONIC, successfully establishing them on the market.

For 71 years now the inline six engine has served as a basis of driving pleasure. And there is no reason to break with this tradition, a tradition that is probably unique in the field of engine construction. This is due above all to the fact that it is based on a proven physical principle (no free inertia forces and moments). Today more than half of all BMW automobiles are powered by either an inline six petrol engine or a diesel engine. Consequently, BMW is the world's largest manufacturer of inline six power units for automobiles.

Optimum balance of masses, silky-smooth turbine-like running characteristics, fast-revving - ideal genes, pioneering innovations, high performance, low fuel consumption and the engineers' constant meticulous attention to detail have optimized the BMW inline six engine and rendered it an icon. The principle of consistent innovation to raise its own standards has placed BMW in a pole position in technology, not only in the field of engine construction, but also as a carmaker as a whole.

The concept of efficient dynamics.
he BMW designers' main conflict of objectives arises from the customer's desire for more power, comfort and safety on the one hand and from the equally understandable desire for lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emission on the other: BMW subsumes this issue under the term efficient dynamics, and understands this as being considerably more than the mere improvement of a few test values. Consequently, BMW interprets the term dynamics as the general behaviour of the vehicle, as its performance offered to the customer as a part of the driving experience. Efficiency is equally as comprehensive, this being the overall ratio between input and output, including, for example, 'on demand' and 'just in time' production, as well as the sensible use of resources. It is particularly crucial to BMW that efficiency should not belittle dynamics - and vice versa.

Technology leader BMW forges ahead: engine construction reconceived.
Due to its specific location in the vehicle and its concentrated mass, BMW designers focus predominantly on the power unit when it comes to discussing efficient dynamics, weight and the distribution of weight in the vehicle within the framework of the concept. And this is precisely the point at which emotions are sparked among engineers, as the BMW power unit is not only a splendid example of technology, but also a matter of inner attitude. Hence the new challenges were taken up passionately. This resulted in the creation of typical BMW high-tech power units that fundamentally question previously known concepts and countless details - and respond with innovative, trendsetting solutions.

In the 75th year of the BMW automobile and 71 years after the first BMW inline six engine, BMW is taking a giant and fundamental step into the future of engine construction. BMW has radically reconceived both the internal combustion engine and the diesel engine, taking the BMW inline six power unit into a new era.

Next Generation M5. (07/07/04)

It has been 20 years since the launch of the first BMW M5. After three generations, more the 35,000 sales and countless attempts by competitors to emulate its performance and success, the BMW M5 still makes its position as the benchmark. Each successive generation has extended the bounds of both performance and luxury. The last generation M5, the most successful ever, significantly pushed the performance envelope with the first V8 from BMW M, mated to a six-speed transmission.

The all-new fourth generation M5 pushes that envelope even further with the first V10 engine to power a production sedan. The new V10 produces 507 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque by European measure. This new engine is mated to a seven-speed SMG transmission. With this new powertrain the M5 offers the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. In the tradition of BMW M, the chassis has been engineered to keep up with the power while the exterior treatment is subtle, yet distinctive. :P>

First high-revving engine to be featured in a production sedan
This is the first application of a V10 engine in a regular production sedan, if it’s possible to call any product from BMW M “regular.” It once again sets the benchmark in its class. This engine was engineered to rev, with a redline of 8,250. With 25 percent more power than the previous M5’s V8, this new engine offers 100 horsepower per liter of displacement, pure race car territory. The 90o V10 is designed for maximum stiffness and minimum vibration.

The new V10 features double-VANOS variable valve timing. Each cylinder has its own electronically controlled throttle butterfly. The new MS S65 engine management system uses the most powerful processors currently approved for use in automobiles. It has been designed specifically to deal with the V10’s high output and high revs as well as the comprehensive controls that are required.

Seven-speed SMG gearbox features Drivelogic
The driver of the new M5 is able to maximize the potential of the new V10 engine with a seven-speed SMG gearbox. Like other BMW SMG gearboxes shifts can be made from either the lever on the center console or the paddles on the steering wheel. Compared to the previous SMG, gear changes happen 20 percent faster with this latest generation SMG, making for smooth, crisp shifts.

With Drivelogic, at the driver’s disposal are eleven program options. This enables the SMG’s shift characteristics to be tailored to suit the driving situation and the mood. Six of these programs can be selected in the sequential manual gearbox mode (S mode). These programs adjust shifting speed and style because, in the S mode, the driver does all the shifting. In the Drive (D mode) the transmission shifts automatically, depending on which of the five programs is selected, the driving situation, the road speed and the position of the accelerator pedal.

Taken together the drivetrain of the new M5 provides truly awe inspiring performance. From rest 60 miles per hour will be reached in well under five seconds. The rush of acceleration never lets up until the electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. The top speed may be limited but with the speedometer reaching all the way to 205 mph, the mind conjures intriguing possibilities.

The perfect blend of ride comfort and agility
The M5 has long been known for handling that matches its performance, carefully blended with impressive ride comfort. More than just a “tuned” 5 Series suspension, the aluminum suspension on the M5 has been engineered to match its performance. The suspension is mated to 19-inch wheels with performance tires. Keeping power on the road is critical, so the M5 features the Variable M differential lock. By constantly monitoring and comparing the speed of the rear wheels, the Variable M differential lock can ensure that power gets to the drive wheel with the most traction even in extreme driving situations. Its benefits are particularly apparent when accelerating out of a corner.

The Dynamic Stability Control system in the M5 has been designed to suit its performance. Of course, the DSC can be deactivated at the push of a button. The M5’s DSC also offers the choice of two driving dynamics programs. One allows DSC to function the way it always has. At the touch of a button, the M Dynamic Mode is engaged which lets DSC facilitate more spirited driving.

To ensure that this level of handling does not compromise ride quality, the new M5 features Electronic Damping Control, with three program modes (comfort, normal, sport). EDC constantly adjusts the suspension to suit the driving conditions.

To complement its performance potential, the M5 is equipped with generously sized high performance brakes with perforated compound brake discs. The aluminum twin-piston brake calipers have been designed for minimum unsprung weight and maximum stiffness. They will haul the new M5 to a stop from 62 mph (100 km/h) in under 120 feet and from 124 mph (200 km/h) in just under 460 feet.

Styling is subtle but purposeful
In the tradition of BMW M, the exterior styling of the new M5 follows the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” philosophy. The casual observer may not, at first glance, recognize the M5’s performance potential. The less casual observer instantly will. The modified front spoiler and rear apron are instant giveaways. So too are the modified side sills. The wheel arches are more prominent in order to house the generous wheel and tire package. Following BMW M’s recent traditions, the new M5 has more aerodynamic exterior mirrors, four tailpipes and exclusive wheels. Similar to the latest M3, the M5 features exclusive gills incorporated into the front fenders.

The exclusive leather interior features sports seats. Other styling touches, from the instrument cluster to the center console and the steering wheel are all unique to the M5. Even the optional head-up display is M-specific.

The all-new BMW M5 once again combines the comfort and amenities one expects of a luxury sedan with the performance capability and driving experience that can be provided by few cars of any type.

30.06.2004, Corporate Issues
£40 million investment at BMW Group Plant Swindon
BMW Group Plant Swindon has embarked upon a £40 million investment in new
production facilities.  A major supplier to the new MINI Convertible which goes on sale this week, the plant's 
investment programme will take place over the next three years. Supplying all the main pressings for the car, Plant Swindon 
beat internal and external competition to be the new supplier as well as continuing to supply parts for the hatchback model.


The 1 everyone’s waiting for (25/05/04)

Offering unsurpassed driving dynamics courtesy of the only front-engine, rear-wheel drive set-up in its class, the all-new BMW 1 Series goes on sale in September with prices starting from just £15,690 OTR.

Powered by a choice of four engines from launch, the 1 Series will be available as three different models – Base, SE and Sport. Buyers will also be able to choose eight different body colours, three of which are unique to the BMW 1 Series.

For those looking to buy a new BMW 1 Series via a finance package provided by BMW Financial Services, a deposit of £2,762 and monthly payments of just £229 will get them behind the wheel of a 116i. After 35 months the owner will have the option to buy the car by paying a final payment or hand the vehicle back.

The BMW 1 Series is available in three different models with the Base variant offering a vehicle which has remote central locking, six airbags (driver, passenger, front side and front head) and Dynamic Stability Control combined with Dynamic Traction Control as standard. Run-flat tyres, front electric windows, engine starter button, adjustable steering column along with passenger seat height adjustment and BMW Business CD player also feature.

Moving up a model level the SE brings with it a host of specification enhancements. Automatic air-conditioning, leather-clad multi-function steering wheel and rear Park Distance Control are all standard. An auto-dimming interior mirror counters the glare from other motorists’ headlights, while the armrest ensures relaxed driving. Front fog lights help when visibility is bad and the 16-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels give the car an air of distinction.

Sport is the final model offered. All Sport models come with 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning, sports suspension, sports seats, sports steering wheel, front fog lights and Black Gomera trim. For buyers of the 116i and the 118d who select a Sport model, the standard features list also includes colour-coded exterior bodywork.

A range of optional equipment can be specified to further enhance the appeal of 1 Series ownership. BMW’s Business navigation system, which includes the fitment of the iDrive controller, can be added as can full leather upholstery, all round Park Distance Control and xenon headlights. A Comfort Package is another option that includes rain-sensing wipers, a Storage Package, cup holders, front armrest, interior auto-dimming mirrors and rear Park Distance Control. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also offered for buyers of 120i and 120d models. Comfort Access (keyless entry), Extended Voice Control and Professional navigation systems will appear some time after the model launch.

To complement the choice of specification, four engines are provided to suit each individual buyer’s requirements. The entry-level 116i has a 115bhp 1.6-litre Bi-VANOS petrol engine capable of a zero to 62mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 125mph, while still posting a 37.7mpg consumption figure; power being transmitted to the road via a five-speed manual gearbox. The other petrol engine to be offered is the VALVETRONIC 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in the 120i with 150bhp on tap. This car achieves a zero to 62mph time of 8.7 seconds and maximum speed of 135mph and, like the two diesel-powered cars offered, comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

The current flagship of the 1 Series range is the 120d. Powered by a 163bhp 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engine this car achieves 49.6mpg but still records a 7.9 second zero to 62mph time and a 137mph top speed. Those who want to retain the driving dynamics of the 1 Series but be powered by a slightly tamer diesel can opt for the 118d and its 122bhp 2.0-litre engine. Averaging 50.4mpg this car promises to be frugal yet still achieve a zero to 62mph time of 10 seconds and reach a top speed of 125mph.

10.05.2004, Corporate Issues;
BMW Group and partner Bavarian Auto Group start off with new factory and dealerships in Egypt 
In the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Industry and Technological Development H.E. 
Dr. Ali Al Saiedi the grand opening of the new factory in Sixth of October City near Cairo was celebrated 
by BMW AG (Germany) and Bavarian Auto Group on May 10, 2004.

Technology, Research & Development (30/04/04)
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, April 27, 2004. 
The U. S. Department of Energy today awarded a grant to a partnership, which includes BMW and is led by Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., 
for a combined research project titled? Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration Project?.  The goal of the project is to study hydrogen 
as a fuel in real-world driving conditions. This 5-year program will use Federal funds, as well as donations from partnership members, to finance construction 
and testing of 24 hydrogen filling stations in California. Due to the nature of the project, the stations will vary from using renewable resources such as wind 
power to using a hydrogen pipeline. Some stations will be fixed; others will be relocatable.

First official pictures of 170 bhp MINI Cooper S Convertible and a minor MINI refresh for hatchback models. (25/04/04)

MINI UK is delighted to announce pricing and specification details of its new range topping MINI Cooper S Convertible. The MINI Cooper S Convertible will make its UK debut at The Sunday Times Motor Show Live on 25th May. It will be priced at £17,595 and will go on sale in the UK at the end of August. Just like the MINI One Convertible and MINI Cooper Convertible, the MINI Cooper S Convertible will be built at Plant Oxford in the UK.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible is powered by the flexible 1.6 litre, four-cylinder engine used in the MINI One and the MINI Cooper. However, the addition of supercharger and intercooler technology enables the MINI Cooper S Convertible to produce 170bhp at 6,000rpm. Maximum torque of the MINI Cooper S Convertible is 220Nm at 4000rpm. This means that the MINI Cooper S Convertible has an additional 7bhp, and 10Nm more torque than the original MINI Cooper S.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible races from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and accelerates from 50-75mph in fourth gear in 6.6 seconds. Top speed is 134mph and fuel consumption is 32.1mpg.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible is fitted with a fully electric roof, Park Distance Control and 16 inch 'X lite' alloy wheels as standard. An exclusive 17 inch, five star bullet alloy wheel is available exclusively for the MINI Convertible range. Just like the MINI One Convertible and MINI Cooper Convertible, the MINI Cooper S Convertible will be launched with a choice of ten exterior paint colours including Cool Blue, Hot Orange and two exclusive MINI Cooper S colours - Hyper Blue and Dark Silver.

A minor refresh for MINI One, MINI One D, MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S.

From July 2004, the MINI hatchback range will receive an enhanced interior and exterior look. In addition, modifications to the transmission will increase engine flexibility in the mid range. Trevor Houghton-Berry, general manager MINI UK said: "Clearly we did not want to change a winning formula - customers love the friendly face and retro interior of the MINI. This model update is merely a few subtle tweaks to make the MINI even more desirable than it already is."

New transmission
A new five-speed 'Getrag' gearbox with modified gear ratios will feature in all MINI One and MINI Cooper models. The modification results in improved acceleration for both models. The MINI One now accelerates in fourth gear from 50-75mph in 11.9 seconds (previously 12.8 seconds).

Torque on the MINI Cooper has been increased from 149Nm at 4,500rpm to 150Nm at 4,500rpm. This minor improvement helps the MINI Cooper knock 0.1 of a second off its 0-62mph acceleration sprint to record a time of 9.1 seconds (previously 9.2 seconds). Acceleration in fifth gear from 50-75mph takes 13.5 seconds, an improvement of one second.

MINI One and MINI Cooper engine power remain the same at 90bhp and 115bhp respectively but the Cooper S posts a 7bhp increase in performance taking its maximum output to 170bhp at 6,000rpm. Top speed is increased by 3mph to 138mph and the all-important 0-62mph is achieved in just 7.2 seconds, a reduction of 0.2 seconds. Also, torque has been increased by ten Newton metres, peaking at 220Nm at 4,000rpm.

The exterior
All MINI models receive new clear glass headlights that provide brighter illumination. The optional xenon headlights have also been modified to include an additional ring of light spots for increased visibility.

The MINI One and MINI Cooper also get a re-designed front and rear bumper. At the front, the bumper has been lowered, while at the rear, the rubbing strip has been split with the fog light re-positioned neatly between the two halves (previously the rubbing strip was a single unit with the fog light above). Reversing lights are now integrated into the newly designed rear light clusters.

Two new metallic exterior paint colours will be introduced from July - Astro Black (replaces Cosmos Black) and Black-Eyed Purple (replaces Indi Blue). Another new metallic colour, Hyper Blue, will be reserved for Cooper S models. Electric Blue will be extended as a colour option on all models with the exception of the MINI Convertible range. This means that there is a choice of ten exterior colours for every MINI in the range.

The interior
All MINIs will receive the following ergonomic improvements:

· New storage area
· New 'coin tray' area under the handbrake
· Larger rear cup holder
· Door armrest with improved ergonomic grip
· More spacious door bin for improved storage
· Additional side mounted sun visor for driver
· Improved side support from seat bench side bolsters
· Addition of passenger grab handle above window
· Larger rear view mirror
· Clock repositioned from headlining to central instrument panel
· Improved interior ambient lighting
· ISOFIX and CD preparation as standard
· Rev counter (previously not standard on MINI One)

Upholstery choices have been expanded to offer 14 different cloth, cloth/ leather and full leather designs. Cloth Dragon replaces Cloth AQUA as the standard upholstery for MINI One and MINI One D, and Cloth Octagon replaces Cloth KALEIDO as standard on MINI Cooper models.

A new 'body coloured' trim has increased MINI Cooper S interior trim choices to five. Colours available are Chili Red, Liquid Yellow, Electric Blue and Hyper Blue. Alternatively customers can choose from silver, anthracite, alloy patina, and wood.

Prices have been moderately increased by an average of 2.5 per cent across the range to reflect the new additional specification. The price increase is effective on all cars produced from 1st July 2004. Adjusted MINI prices are as follows:

MINI One £10,780.00
MINI One D £11,695.00
MINI Cooper £12,100.00
MINI Cooper S £15,180.00
(Prices shown are on the road prices)

The refreshed MINI model range will make its UK debut at Motor Show Live on 25th May - 6th June at the Birmingham NEC.

75 Years of BMW Automobiles: the first BMW came from Berlin
75 years ago, on 22nd March 1929, the first BMW car rolled off the assembly line. It was a BMW 3/15 PS built in Berlin. That is one of the discoveries made by motoring historians Walter Zeichner and Rainer Simons while carrying out research for their latest book, The Development History of BMW Automobiles 1918-1932. Describing the early stages of BMW car manufacturing, it is due out in time to mark this major anniversary.

Dixi, the forerunner:

In the late 1920s, the BMW Board of Management resolved that it was time to launch into serial car production. Following various experiments and trials with prototypes built in Munich, it was decided to start off with a licensed version of an existing model: a derivative of the Austin Seven featuring a 750 cc four-cylinder engine that generated 15 horsepower.

In November 1928, BMW took over the Eisenach car factory and set about turning their Dixi into a new small car that would wear the BMW emblem. As time was pressing, modifications were limited to giving the car an all-new body. At the time, Germany was seeing the appearance of the first modern, all-steel car bodies, supplied to a number of companies by the large AMBI-BUDD production plant in Berlin. The first BMW would also receive its superstructure from this company.

22nd March 1929: the first BMW was produced in Berlin:

BMW swiftly hired a factory workshop from the Berlin body manufacturers. By March 1929, the first units of the BMW 3/15 PS DA 2 were emerging from this plant near the old Berlin-Johannisthal airfield, to be stored with BMW dealers for later distribution. It wasn't until 9th July 1929 that BMW went public with its first four-wheeler. A launch ceremony at the new BMW salesroom in the centre of Berlin and a full-page announcement in the press drew public attention to the new car.

Sporty BMW cars become milestones of motoring history:

The rest is history, as they say. The BMW 3/15 PS not only initiated the 75-year success story of car makers BMW, but thanks to its sporting successes also laid the foundation for the brand's underlying philosophy. Whenever BMW launched a sporty model, it went on to become a milestone of motoring history: 328, 700, 1800 and 2002 in association with the brand name BMW are codes that bring a gleam to the eyes of every car devotee. They would be followed by letters such as CSi, M and Z, reflecting brand values that carried the company through even the worst economic troughs to become one of the most successful and profitable car manufacturers in the world today. In 2003, the BMW Group built and sold some 1.1 million vehicles. 75 years ago - in the year of the notorious "Black Friday" that triggered the Great Depression - sales totalled 5,368 BMW cars.

Anniversary publication:

Rainer Simons and Walter Zeichner, both distinguished motoring historians and authors of numerous books, have mapped the early years of BMW's four-wheeled history. In their book The Development History of BMW Automobiles 1918-1932 they devote almost 450 pages to the fascinating era of the 1920s and '30s. During their research for the book, the two authors discovered that the first BMW car came from Berlin - a fact that had long been buried. Their richly illustrated publication, part of the "Dimension" edition of BMW Group Mobile Tradition in a high-quality presentation goes on sale in April (ISBN for the English version 3-932 169-35-2, for the german version 3-932169-36-0)

The BMW Group celebrates 75 Years of BMW Automobiles:

Highlights of this anniversary year include the "2000 Kilometres through Germany" in July, in which BMW classics of every decade celebrate the company heritage in a road show. In April, the Techno Classica in Essen presents a major exhibition that will entice hundreds of thousands of visitors into the enthralling past of the blue and white emblem.

At an international level, the first 75 years of BMW car production will also be the focus of BMW's presence at the major events of the global vintage and classic scene. Among these are the great festival of classic automotive design, the Concorso d'Eleganza at the Villa d'Este on Lake Como, at the end of April, and the more sports-oriented Festival of Speed held at the end of June next-door to the Rolls-Royce factory in Goodwood on England's South Downs.

Latest 1-Series & 2-Series News (updated 23/03/04)

1-Series Hatchback due 2005, 2-Series Coupe & Convertible due 2006, 1-Series Touring due in 2007. Already voted best drive in it's class by "Autocar" magazine. Prices to start from £15,630, rear wheel drive on sale in UK in September 2004, bigger boot than Compact. Traditional longitudinal front engine driving the rear wheels. M2 M-Power 240Bhp version planned, but at least 3 years away at present. Styled by American Chris Chapman under leadership of Chris Bangle using complex surfaces that now have become BMWs' trademark. 330 litre boot growing to 1150 litres with the folding seats down. Perfect weight distribution, variety of high-tensile steels help keep the weight down to under 95kg of todays Compact. Front & Rear alloy suspension, run-flat tyres freeing up space to usually located for the spare wheel, also encompasses plastic housing under the floor. American dealers won't sell the 1-Series hatch, but are keen on the 2-Series Coupe & Convertible provided they come with Six cylinders. 2.0litre engines will have double Vanos but not the Valvetronic system. DSC (stability control), DBC (brake control) & EDB (electronic diff-locks) are standard, steering is rack & pinion using a hydraulic pump, four-wheel disc brakes & vented upfront. The dash mixes elements of Z4 & X3 with BMWs optional iDrive & monitor rising from the dash top. 7-Series style plastic key placed into the ignition slot, drivers must press the start-stop button, steering wheel moves for rake & reach for comfy spot-on driving position. Standard wheels are 16" with optional 17". 6-Speed manual & automatic gearboxes, but 1.6 litre version will only have 5-Speed manual. Already 10,000 potential buyers register with a 1000 confirmed orders.

ENGINE 116i (1.6) 120i (2.0) 118d (2.0) 120d (2.0)
Power 114Bhp 148Bhp 121Bhp 161Bhp
Torque 111 lb ft 148 lb ft 207 lb ft 251 lb ft
0-62mph 10.8secs 8.7secs 10.0secs 7.9secs
Top Speed 124mph 135mph 125mph 137mph
Avg mpg 37.7 38.2 50.4 49.6
Weight 1205kg 1260kg 1340kg 1340kg

The BMW Concept M5 (06/03/04)

Following 20 years production and three generations of the 'businessman's express', BMW has shed a little light on the next generation M5 with the unveiling of the BMW Concept M5 at the Geneva Motorshow (March 2, 2004).

Translating Formula 1 technology directly into a road car, the BMW Concept M5 is powered by a V10 engine - a BMW first. Delivering around 500bhp and 500Nm of torque, the Concept M5 is capable of completing the zero to 62mph sprint in well under five seconds.

Such impressive levels of performance are made possible by specially modified Bi-VANOS camshaft timing, individual throttle butterflies and engine electronics derived from the BMW Williams F1 car. These are linked to an enhanced DSC traction control system, a variable limited slip differential and adapted brakes to ensure that the Concept M5 offers an exhilarating, yet safe, driving experience.

Alongside the engine developments, Formula 1 technology is carried over to the gearbox. The Concept M5 is equipped with a seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox - another first for BMW.

Under the skin, the BMW Concept M5 is based on the 5 Series saloon launched in 2003, both cars benefiting from an aluminium chassis and lightweight aluminium front body panels. Visually, the BMW Concept M5 stands apart from its 'standard' 5 Series brethren by the addition of modified front and rear air dams, side sills, side air vents and four exhaust tailpipes. Additionally, it has M alloy wheels of an exclusive design measuring 8.5J x 19 on the front and 9.5J x 19 on the rear, with 255 / 40 ZR 19 and 285 / 35 ZR 19 tyres respectively.

While the BMW Concept M5 is strictly a concept car, a production version of the car could be available within a year.

The new high performance BMW X5 4.8is (06/03/04)

BMW Great Britain is enhancing the X5 success story by announcing details of the new X5 4.8is as well as a range of product enhancements across the X5 model line up. These additions supplement the new styling, engines, gearboxes and xDrive, BMW's new four-wheel drive system, that were introduced in December 2003.

Priced at £57,450.00 OTR, customer deliveries of BMW's flagship X5 4.8is start in May 2004.

The X5 4.8is will add further lustre to BMW's successful SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) story. The X5 commands some of the best residual values in the industry and achieved record UK sales of over 8,500 units in 2003. With its combination of V8 performance, practicality and road holding, the X5 4.8is is also expected to enhance the X5's existing levels of customer satisfaction. In 2003, both Top Gear and WHICH? magazine published surveys showing that X5 customers were more likely to recommend their car to a friend than any other model on the market.

High performance in the marketplace is linked to high performance on and off the road, with the new X5 4.8is powered by a 4.8-litre V8 engine developing 360 bhp at 6,200 rpm and 500 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. This engine is derived from the 2002 International Engine of the Year already fitted in the BMW X5 4.4i, BMW 545i SE, BMW 645Ci and BMW 745i models. Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard, the new car powers from 0 to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 153 mph. BMW's patented VALVETRONIC induction system and bi-VANOS camshaft timing technology ensure that fuel consumption is a relatively frugal 20.9mpg on the combined cycle.

Keeping power and traction perfectly balanced is the responsibility of BMW's new xDrive four-wheel drive system. Standard across the BMW X5 and forthcoming X3 ranges, xDrive uses a centrally mounted electronically-controlled clutch to distribute power to the axle with most traction. In conjunction with this clutch, BMW's standard DSC system can reduce power and even brake individual wheels to ensure the car benefits from all available grip. This sets new standards for traction from a 4 x 4 system and ensures that any loss of footing is dealt with in an instant, rather than waiting until the car becomes physically unstable.

Externally, enhanced sporting styling to the front and rear valances differentiates the new BMW X5 4.8is from the standard X5. The new car also features a unique V-spoke alloy wheel with 9.5J x 20-inch wheels on the front and 10J x 20-inch wheels on the rear, fitted with 275/40 R20 and 315/35 R20 tyres respectively.

Colour also sets the car apart, with the 4.8is the only model in the X5 range available in Le Mans Blue and Imola Red. Also available are Titanium Silver, Sterling Grey and Black Sapphire. Inside, Cream Beige Nappa leather and Nappa leather / Alcantara trim are only available on the BMW X5 4.8is with Black Nappa leather also offered.

Enhancements across the range
From March production, all BMW X5 models will receive significant enhancements to the standard and optional equipment. Brake Force Display becomes standard, alerting drivers behind to emergency braking by the BMW in front. This innovative braking system illuminates further brake lamp bulbs, intensifying the lights under heavy braking or when the ABS cuts in. BMW's Tyre Pressure Warning System becomes standard on all models: it constantly monitors tyre pressures and alerts the driver to a sudden or progressive tyre deflation via the Check Control system.

Enhancements to the BMW X5's optional equipment include the introduction of the new Panorama Sunroof. Replacing the standard sunroof and priced at £1,095.00, this large two-panel sunroof offers heat-reflective tilting glass panels, a large sliding front panel and independently sliding headlining panels.

Also new are Adaptive Headlamps, priced at £275.00. Launched on the BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible and more recently on the BMW 5 and 6 Series, Adaptive Headlamps use the cars speed, steering and yaw angles to swivel the bi-xenon headlamps (standard on 4.4i and 4.8is; optional on 3.0i and 3.0d) by up to 15 degrees. This aims the headlamp beam in the direction the car is travelling rather than the direction the car is pointing.

Finally, for those venturing off the beaten track, the new BMW X5 can be specified with a digital compass for the interior mirror for an additional £60.00, which uses an LED display in the mirror to provide the direction of travel.

5-Series Touring (17/02/04)

The new BMW 5 Series Touring and all-new high performance BMW 535d BMW 
Great Britain has announced details of the new BMW 5 Series Touring models and a new high 
performance diesel engine for the 5 Series range. The third generation of BMW 5 Series Touring 
will debut at the Geneva Salon on 2 March, and goes on sale in the UK in May 2004 with 
two petrol and two diesel variants.

Model Guide OTR Price
BMW 525i SE Touring £29,415.00
BMW 525d SE Touring £30,300.00
BMW 530d SE Touring £33,890.00
BMW 535d SE Touring N/A
BMW 545i SE Touring £43,945.00

BMW's Secret Project Caught With Its Guard Down 

BMW's latest project, a vehicle planned not to reach dealer-ships until December, has been photographed undisguised during promotional filming at Point Cook. :P>

Until now, the 1-Series has only been photographed in its heavy disguise, but this picture was taken on Monday in Greg Norman Drive by amateur photographer Cameron Waldon. :P>

It provides a world-first glimpse of what the car looks like. :P>

"They had security there and were asking people what they were doing before letting them through," Mr Waldon said. :P>

"Every time someone came past they would put a car cover over it so no one could see it. It kept driving around the round-about, and the security guards were not letting anyone within about 30 metres of it." :P>

Digitally altered images generated by the lucrative automotive "spy" industry have also provided a realistic idea of what the new BMW will look like. But BMW is not going into details about what is considered one of the most important new models in years for the German brand. :P>

"The car was out here for a brochure shoot," a BMW spokeswoman said. :P>

"It was stored at Tullamarine and trucked to the location. The car has already gone back to Germany." :P>

Costing from $30,000, the 1-Series is intended to introduce young buyers to the brand in the hope they will one day move up to a bigger, more expensive model. :P>

It will sell on BMW's strengths of rear-drive dynamics and attention to detail. :P>

It is not unusual for development cars to be photographed on test in Australia, particularly in the Northern Territory where the speed-unlimited roads and high temperatures push a car to extremes. But such road test vehicles are always heavily disguised. :P>

There have been regular sightings of the 1-Series in Europe, where it has been driven around covered in black cladding to hide it from cameras. :P>

Some car makers like to take publicity photographs and film television commercials in Australia. :P>

Three years ago the then new Mini was pictured in Sydney before its release while, more recently, the Lexus RX330 luxury off-roader was also spotted in Sydney. :P>

Latest shots of the new M5, Alpina Z4 & Mini Facelift (07/02/04)

Alpina Z4; called the "Roadster S", fitted with the hand-built 3.4 litre straight six from the B3S &uprated 6-Speed gearbox, the Alpina Z4 pumps out 300bhp enough to go 0-60 in 5.1 secs, with a top speed of 169Mph. With upgraded springs & dampers, front & rear spoilers, 18 inch wheelswith a on-the-road price of £38,900. Also a "Lux" pack costing a £5,500 worth of kit, including Leather, Sat-Nav & Xenon headlamps & 19" alloys will be available for £3,950.

Bangle strengthens design teams of the BMW Group (03/02/04)

Munich. The BMW Group has reorganised its development departments as it focuses more strongly on its brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce. In the course of this new orientation Christopher Bangle, Director of BMW Group Design, has also aligned the design area towards the various business areas of the BMW Group. Brand specific design studios have been set up for each of the three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce as well as for the areas BMW Motorrad and BMW M. These new brand studios will now accompany the entire development process for new models from the first sketches to the start of production. They will receive support from cross-brand specialist departments responsible for strategic and technical tasks, for example model technology.

The heads of departments responsible up to now for the design of MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad and BMW M will head the respective brand design studios: Gert Volker Hildebrand (MINI), Ian Cameron (Rolls-Royce), David Robb (BMW Motorrad) and Ulf Weidhase (BMW M and Individual). A new yet familiar member of the team of Group Design Director Christopher Bangle is Adrian van Hooydonk who will head the BMW automobile brand studio. Until now Van Hooydonk was president of DesignworksUSA, the Californian design studio of the BMW Group.

An overview of the heads of the brand design studios of the BMW Group:

BMW Automobiles:
Adrian van Hooydonk, 40, has been a designer at BMW since 1992 and president of DesignworksUSA, the Californian design studio of the BMW Group, since 2001. The Dutch designer developed the exterior design of the current BMW 6 Series and 7 Series among other projects.

BMW Motorrad:
David Robb, 48, came to BMW as an exterior designer for automobiles and later headed the exterior design studio. In 1993 he took over as head of BMW Motorrad design.

BMW M and Individual:
Ulf Weidhase, 51, came to BMW in 1988 and has headed the design team for BMW M Automobiles and BMW Individual.

Gert Volker Hildebrand, 50, has headed the MINI design team since 2000. Before this appointment he headed design teams for Volkswagen, Seat and Mitsubishi.

Ian Cameron, 53, came to BMW in 1992 as an exterior designer and among other things was project manager for the design of the 3 Series and the current Range Rover. In 1999 he was appointed the head of the newly-created design team of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.


The latest 1-Series artists impressions (21/12/03).

The latest 1-Series codenamed E81 has been caught testing on UK roads, to help hone the chassis on UK roads. The new "Golf" rival hatchback is scheduled for it's premiere in autumn 2004. BMW hope to sell 30,000 a year in the UK with the starting price of £15,000. Prototypes will soon be descending on Welsh roads so that engineers can fine tune the chassis as BMW predicts the UK will be one of it's biggest markets. Four cylinder engines from the UK's Hams Hall plant in Birmingham will be mounted North-South channeling power to the rear wheels. It will share some components with the forthcoming 3-Series including the suspension with MacPherson struts up front & trapezoidal link rear axle. Extensive use of Aluminum will help it achieve it's target weight of 1150kg for the 3-door hatch version. It will measure 4150mm long & should have a wheelbase of 2650mm. Boot space is said to be 270 litres with split rear seats to enlarge it's capacity to 1000 litres. The 1-Series will have wraparound lights at front & rear, with convex & concave body surfaces & strong shoulder line along it's flanks. Traditional kidney grill & the famous "Hofmeister kink" in the C-pillar are certainties to ensure it stands out. Base engine is the 1.6 litre up to 2.0 litre M2 (2-door variant) with 220 Bhp high-reving engine to nearly 9000 Rpm which should cover 0-60 mph in 5.0 secs, all manual engines will have 6-Speed gearbox & even a diesel engine will feature. Other features are likely to be carried over from the new 5-Series, like it's "tonned-down" iDrive & Active steering will be a £800 option. Production is due to start next summer at the Regensburg plant in Germany, with BMW hoping to build 180,000 units a year.

Strange BM (22/11/03)

Looks like a squashed Z4? (Don't ask me I have no clue)

Sad Loss (12/11/03)

Graham Arnold of the BMW Drivers Club & Club Lotus, sadly passed away on Monday morning. Our sympathies are with his family & friends. Graham was a wonderful character

who I was personally speaking with at the NEC Classic Car show on Sunday. He'll be sadly

missed by all at both Clubs.

Armour-plated security comes to more BMW models (15/11/03)

Expanding the range of special BMW Security vehicles offering protection from firearms attack, robbery, kidnap and car jacking, BMW today announces the introduction of X5 Security cars. The X5 Security joins 7 Series High Security and 3 Series Security vehicles, which have become the cars of choice for visiting heads of state, high profile business people and celebrities throughout the world. :P>

From the exterior all BMW Security cars are almost identical to standard road cars bringing absolute discretion to owners. However appearances can be deceptive - and shocking for potential assailants - as all Security models are heavily armoured, featuring significant modifications like bullet-resistant, reinforced passenger cells, triple glazing and strengthened door joins.

All modifications are engineered into Security cars during production, a process reflected in the case of the 7 Series High Security by its unique engineering number - E67.

This creates a more comprehensive security package than post-production armouring (retrofitting) which can leave hollow cavities unsecured and cause unnecessary weight penalties. Even though all BMW Security cars are designed to provide the ultimate in protection from violent attack, they also boast similar performance and comfort to equivalent road cars.

X5 4.4i Security:

The latest BMW Security vehicle, the X5 4.4i Security is particularly suited to remote areas or where roads are poorly maintained. In these conditions an armoured Sports Activity Vehicle fitted with xDrive, BMW's revolutionary four-wheel drive system, offers the perfect deterrent to the threat of ambush or attack.

Conforming to the independent weapons standard B4*, the X5 Security's reinforced glass stops ammunition up to calibre .44 Magnum from breaching the glass. The glazing is approximately 20mm thick and coated in polycarbonate which acts as splinter protection for the passenger cell.

Door shuts, cable ducts and door joins in the B pillar are normally weaker areas of any car. To provide a completely secure passenger cell, these areas of the X5 Security are reinforced to ensure no munitions can penetrate. The entire reinforced passenger cell features sections supplemented by ballistic resistant steel capable of withstanding a .44 Magnum attack. Run-flat tyres allow the driver to travel safely up to 30 miles at speeds of 50mph, even when punctured or deflated.

The X5 Security compromises neither performance nor interior comfort in its design. It comes with a V8 4.4-litre engine developing maximum output of 320 bhp at 6,100 rpm. Its 0-62 time of 7.6 seconds means that it is more than capable of leaving the scene of an incident quickly while its 130 mph top speed will leave any pursuers far behind.

330i Security:

Like the X5 Security, the BMW 330i Security closely resembles the standard 330i road car. However its chassis has been extensively adapted to compensate for additional weight, with reinforced springs and dampers. This ensures that it is just as agile and safe to drive as the production version, and still boasts a top speed of 130 mph and 0-62 time of 7.3 seconds.

Conforming to the independent weapons standard B4, joins and gaps in the armoured body shell are reinforced with ballistic resistant steel and high-tech fibre material. Bullets or splinters are prevented from penetrating the interior even at gaps and overlapping points. In addition, a special fibre-reinforced mat in the underbody area of the passenger cell is available as an option, preventing bullet splinter penetration.

Common to both X5 and 330i Security cars is an intercom featuring 'assault alarm'. Occupants are able to communicate with those outside the vehicle - at a road block for example - without opening a door or window via an internal microphone and loudspeakers incorporated into the exterior mirrors.

In the event of a hostile reception, occupants press a button to activate the assault alarm. This features a loud siren which wails intermittently for 30 seconds, complemented by flashing high-beam headlights and foglights.

7 Series High Security:

BMW 7 Series High Security exceeds even the high levels of protection offered by BMW 330i Security and BMW X5 Security vehicles. Meeting the requirements of B6/B7 weapons standard, 760 Li and 745 Li High Security derivatives are able to withstand attack from explosives or bullets of the armour-piercing 7.62 x 54R API calibre - often used by terrorist organisations.

Standard underbody protection prevents grenade fragments from entering the passenger cell. Its effectiveness has been verified independently with hand grenades detonated simultaneously below the driver's seat and the rear right seat.

Fibre-reinforced material and special steel elements are used as an additional measure against armour piercing munitions. The material prevents fragments and secondary projectiles from entering the passenger compartment and keeps their angle of dispersion as small as possible.

High Security 7 Series feature multi layer laminated triple glazing, with an internal polycarbonate layer. Its function is to protect passengers from glass fragments.

A host of additional features serve to protect occupants in the event of attack:

.. Emergency exit through front windscreen
.. Intercom system with additional 'attack alarm' function
.. Remote starting system
.. Fire-extinguishing system with temperature sensors
.. Emergency fresh-air system
.. Partially lowered windows
.. Automatic central locking when moving off


Owners and chauffeurs of Security and High Security cars are offered special training programmes, helping them to understand and practice the requirements of car control in critical driving conditions. Vehicles can be serviced and repaired at selected BMW workshops or will be maintained by a worldwide operation crew. Parts supply is assured thanks to a dedicated worldwide logistics programme.

To ensure that these special vehicles do not make their way into the wrong hands, BMW offers a special 'buy back' service for Security cars which are up to seven years old. Following a thorough technical inspection at BMW's Dingolfing Plant, they are either sold or go into BMW's car pool. Cars from the Security car pool are then made available for potential customers throughout the world, at short notice.

Notes to editors:

1. The inspection and classification of BMW security models is carried out by the State Ballistic Authority in Munich in accordance with Euro standard DIN 1063 and DIN 1522/23-1. The guidelines of the Munich Ballistic Authority provide the criteria for specially protected vehicles - i.e B4 for X5 and 330 Security and B6/7 for High Security 7 Series.

2. Due to the nature of the security vehicle market and the purpose for which these cars are designed, BMW will not release sensitive information or technical detail about its security cars.

More BMW Euro IV diesel engines to filter through in 2004 :P>

The successful BMW diesel story continues to unfold thanks to the launch of Euro IV compliant 2.0-litre diesel engines this month. This adds to the appeal of 3 Series diesel models which already benefit from free service and maintenance packages, superb economy and class-leading performance figures. :P>

Now more company car drivers are set to benefit from cheaper motoring, as BMW announces the arrival of additional Euro IV BMW diesel engines next year. In March 2004 the 525d SE, 530d SE, 330d SE and all-new 330Cd SE Coupé will join Euro IV compliant 2.0-litre diesel 3 Series models*.

Euro IV compliance means exemption from the government?s three per cent surcharge on diesel company car tax, saving drivers hundreds of pounds in contributions each year. With better emissions performance, the new generation of cleaner BMW diesel engines also promise significant environmental benefits and come well ahead of the 1 January 2006 Euro IV deadline for all new cars.

Savings by model - higher rate / lower rate company car tax payer

320td Compact - £129.29 / £235.08
320dES Saloon - £137.51 / £250.02
320d SE Saloon - £150.61 / £273.84
320d SE Touring - £154.67 / £281.22
320Cd SE Coupe - £159.39 / £289.80
330d SE - £180.97 / £329.04
330Cd SE Coupé - TBC
525d SE - TBC
530d SE - £203.15/ £369.36

Particle filter
While adjustments to the engine have enabled Euro IV compliance for 3 Series diesel models, new 5 Series diesel variants will feature a revolutionary second-generation particle filter. This includes an element with catalytic coating capable of eliminating particle emissions by almost 100 per cent.

Together with specifically harmonised engine management, the coating negates the need for additives in the fuel as most particle emissions are permanently converted within the filter itself.

Ash accumulation is reduced to a minimum, helping extend the service life of the filter elements while improvements to the engine further serve to prevent particle generation from the start. Upgraded injection jets and optimised injection timing on second generation common-rail diesel units help to reduce significantly the emission of raw engine particles, helping extend the filter?s long regeneration intervals.

In designing the particle filter, BMW engineers ensured that it would have no perceptible effect on the performance of BMW?s larger diesel engines. There is also no increase in fuel consumption, and therefore CO2 emissions, which might otherwise erode the benefits of Euro IV status by pushing the car into a higher tax bracket.

Free service and maintenance
As well as promising less tax for company car drivers, all new diesel 3 Series come with a free service and maintenance package. Valid for five years or 60,000 miles, Service Inclusive covers items like oil services, inspection services, replacement pads and discs, wiper blades, brake fluid as well as all labour charges.

While linked to BMW?s three year unlimited mileage warranty, maintenance costs are kept to a minimum saving owners thousands of pounds. Service Inclusive is also fully transferable if the vehicle is sold making the 3 Series diesel an attractive prospect for used car buyers.

Service Inclusive is also available as an option on new 5 Series models, for a one-off payment of £750.00

Note to editors:
* 525d SE and 530d SE will be Euro IV compliant in both manual and automatic variants from March 2004. Euro IV compliance also applies to all manual 330d SE Saloon and Touring, 330Cd SE Coupé models from March 2004 and all current 3 Series 2.0-litre diesel variants; 3 Series diesel models with automatic gearboxes remain Euro III compliant. :P>

Race Circuit News. (14/10/03)

BMW is opening a High-performance centre at Rockingham's Johnny Herbert race school, for dealer & owner events. 

BMW has no plans to join the "200Mph Club" (14/10/03)

Even with it's F1 partner. Burkhard Goeschel, BMWs director of R&D, dreams of a small, light - under 1000Kg roadster. "Weight is the key" says Goeschel, although this is no more than a thought. There is no official program at present, although he envisages a Roadster with "Front-Mid Engine with rear wheel drive" using exotic materials like carbonfibre & plastic in both it's construction & engine. "It's an absolute to keep the weight down, we started with the M3 CSL I can see other models going this way," said Goeschel. Keeping the cost below £35,000 (at today's prices) would mean using four-cylinder engines rather than the heavier six-cylinder or V8s. The new M5 V10 is capable of revving to 9000Rpm, there's no reason why the smaller engines can't be designed to do the same. Adding cylinders, adds torque, but also adds weight.

New Alpina Cars. :P>(17/09/03)

BMW has no plans to build an M-Powered Z4 & instead will throw it's support behind the Alpina versions.

Alpina will use a heavily reworked 3.0Litre straight six engine & bore it out to 3.3Litres, power will be increased by 69Bhp up to a total 300Bhp. 0-60Mph dash's should take 5.3secs with a top speed up to 168Mph. The new Alpina Z4 is to be called the "Roadster S", it also gets reworked suspension & 19" Alpina alloys wheels. 

Also Alpina have developed a new B7, using a supercharged version of the 4.4Litre V8 to give 500Bhp, an increase of 167Bhp over the standard 745i. Using six-speed automatic gearbox Alpina claims 0-60Mph in less than 5.5secs & a top speed over 186Mph.

New Mini Engine. :P>(03/09/03) :P>

BMW is working with Peugeot Citroen on development of the future engines to be featured in the new Mini’s. Versions will include a 1.4 & 1.6 Litre capacities with direct injection, available from 2006, followed later by Valvetronic versions.

The new Mini’s will require a taller bonnet to enable the vertically arranged intermediate arms next to the camshaft to fit. An electric motor operates the arms to vary the intake-valve opening, optimising the engine for performance under load & emissions under light throttle use.

Pic's of the 7-Series Facelift (01/08/03)

M Power News (22/07/03) :P>

BMW's M-Power division is planning a massive onslaught to gain it's performance crown back from it's main rivals. Four new models are planned including a V8 powered M3 (four-door varaint), an M4 (two-door coupe/convertible), & a V10 powered M5 saloon & M6 Coupe. :P>:P>

Under BMW's new badging all two-door variants are to get even numbers & four-door versions will be named with odd numbers. BMW has registered the names for it's sports car expansion, there is also a series of lightweight CSL specials that use Carbon-fibre materials with involvement from it's F1 division. The CSL's not only will have lighter body composits but more powerful engines.

The new M3 & M4 will use a 400Bhp V8 due on sale in 2006 starting at £45,000 at todays prices, also planned is an Estate (Touring) version to take on it's rivals like the Audi S4, Mercedes C32 AMG & forthcoming C55 seen as a large market share for Tourings. The V8 version is likely to be a 4.0 Litre with drive to the rear wheels & update version of the SMG Sequential Manual Gearbox through the traditional 6-Speed manual. Although heavier than the tradition 6-cylinder engine it will be off-set by the lighter hybrid construction on all new 3 & 4-Series. :P>

The new M3/M4 will be based upon the forthcoming 3-Series due out in 2005 codenamed E90. :P>:P>

The new M5 & M6 will feature 5.5 Litre V10s with BMW's third-generation Vanos Varible Valve timing system. Using Aluminium forward of the windscreen contributing to a 50:50 weight distribution. Prices starting at £55,000 for the M5 available in 2005 & £80,000 for the M6. Both developing 500 Bhp with 450Ib ft torque, expect 0-60 Mph in approx. 4.5 secs, weight shouldn't be more than 1756Kg which means a power to weight ratio of approx. 300 Bhp per tonne for the M5. M6 is to take on the mite of Porsche's 911 Carrera, Merecedes SL55 AMG & the new Aston Martin DB8. Sharing modified suspension from the new M5 & using a carbon-fibre roof, boot floor, bulk-head, bonnet & boot lid for the new Super Coupe. :P>:P>

All M-Power models will have re-profiled front & rear bumpers with deep spoilers, large cooling ducts, flared wheel arches, beefed up side sills, deeper rear valance & four exhaust pipes. Also 19" alloys as standard on the M5 & M6. :P>:P>

Also testing is being carried out on a Z4M using the new V8, but is yet to be approved. :P>

Also hot new Golf rival M2 based on the forthcoming 1-Series, with 220 Bhp high-reving 2.2 Litre (see lower down my news page for early story on this). :P>

4-Series latest (24/06/03)

These artist impressions show how the forth-coming 4-Series Coupe & Cabrio might look. Also hot

Z4 Race Versions (24/06/03)

3 different variations on a theme (Hartge/Alpina/AC Schnitzer);

BMW Motorsport division is still undecided whether to go-ahead & build a Z4M.
It could be launched at the Detriot Motorshow next January & could feature the V8 destined for the next generation M4 (know as the current M3). It should produce over 350 Bhp & be priced around £38,000 to inable it to compete with the Porsche Boxster S.

Three new tuned versions of the new Z4 can soon be optained as an alternative;

Hartge Z4 5.0
Using the M5's 5.0 Litre V8 400 Bhp engine shoehorned into its engine bay, with 368Ib of torque, should do 0-60 Mph in 4.2 secs & capable of over 180 Mph. Priced at £80,000 on sale now.

Alpina Roadster
Slotting in the 3.3 Litre straight six engine from it's B3 E46 that delivers 300 Bhp with 266Ib of torque. Six speed manual gearbox with leather & wood Alpina trim. Priced at £40,000 on sale early 2004.

AC Schnitzer Z4 30
Schnitzer uses the standard 3.0 litre straight six engine & then bolts-on a Supercharger to boost performance to 295 Bhp with 280Ib of torque. Options include stainless steel exhaust, short-shift gearbox, beefed up suspension & brakes plus spoilers & hugh alloys. Priced at £38,000 on sale September 2003.

Artist impression of the forthcoming M6


1-Series (10/06/03)  

Next generation BMW X5 (06/06/03)
Sources tell us that BMW is planning to follow the footsteps of Mercedes-Benz, with the next generation X5.

BMW will follow MB and have a short and long wheelbase version of the X5, to serve the needs of customers abandoning the Roundel in favour of XC90's, MDX's etc., with third seat options.

Rumour has it, that BMW will use the name X5i and X5Li, to differentiate the two versions. Look for a late 05' introduction.

3-Series Touring (03/06/03) :P>

Next generation 3-Series Touring code named E90 been seen in shake-down tests in Germany., with more style & space than it's predecessor. The new Touring will feature a slide-out boot floor for easy loading, power operated tailgate to accompany split opening. Prices likely to start at £21K (UK) when on sale a year after the Saloons launch in late 2005. The new E90 is to feature the famous "Hofmeister" kink in the C-Pillars to match the 5-Series along with scaled down versions of it's wrap-around headlamps. Engines will feature the usual four & six pot valvetronic varible vavle timing & diesels, with a possible range topping 3.6litre V8 producing 270Bhp the first since the 2002 Turbo was produced in 1974. The Coupe arrives in late 2006 along side it's new coupe/cabrio with folding roof design – already patented in Munich. The niche models are likely to get the 4-Series tag, meaning the next generation Motorsport model could be named the M4. With the arrival of the new 1-Series the new 3-Series can be bigger than it's out going predecessor to boost cabin & boot space. New aluminium chassis & component sharing with the new 1-Series in particular the MacPherson strut & multi-link rear suspension. All new 6-speed gearboxes will be available in both manual & automatic versions. Other high-tech gismos to include the active steering option, electronic-hydraulic braking, adaptive headlamps, anti-lock, DSC-T traction control & CBC cornering brake control.

23May 2003 BMW bets on new 5 to take it up a gear :P>:P>

    By Nick Tattersall :P>

    FRANKFURT, May 23 - It has jet-fighter style head-up displays, headlights that look round corners and uses infrared technology to keep its distance from the car in front while the driver just steers. :P>

    BMW's new 5-series saloon car, to be launched in Europe in July, may be giving the makers of auto electronics plenty to rub their hands about, but industry watchers wonder whether the company is getting too clever for its own good as it banks on the car to keep profits flat this year. :P>

    Months of falling sales of its core luxury brand and the cost of developing new models, which also include a 6-series coupe and X3 sports utility this year, have taken the shine off the Munich-based group's traditionally roaring profits, with core earnings down 18 percent in the first quarter. :P>

    Investors so far seem to be giving it the benefit of the doubt, with its stock outperforming the European autos sector index by over five percent since the start of the year. :P>

    But some analysts question whether the group, famed in the investment community for its conservative forecasts, will immediately be able to offset falling demand for its top-selling but ageing 3-series with the new 5. :P>

    "The new product story should come through in 2005, not 2004, in our view. The 3-series is ageing and could easily more than offset the 5-series upside," Credit Suisse First Boston analysts, who rate the stock "neutral", said in a recent note. :P>


    Under design chief Chris Bangle, BMW has made a departure from its traditional conservative styling philosophy, which saw updated models being launched that looked exactly like their predecessors. :P>

    The latest 7-series, the company's large executive saloon, won a rash of criticism for its bulbous looks and its "iDrive" computer system, which used a single aluminium knob to control hundreds of different functions from the audio system to the suspension settings. :P>

    "It could be that in 30 years time people will look back and say that the 7-series and iDrive was the point where the auto industry became too clever for the consumer," said Garel Rhys, a motor industry researcher at Cardiff University in the UK. :P>

    "There is a genuine fear for the driver of touching anything in the 7-series -- you might end up heading to Uranus or start to dematerialise." :P>

    Some observers fear the 5-series, one of the group's main profit drivers, may suffer the same mistake.  :P>

    But in tacit recognition that the original iDrive system might have been a technological step too far BMW says it has made the system in the new car easier to navigate. :P>

    The list of optional extras nonetheless contains a mind-boggling array of three-letter acronyms, including ACC (Active Cruise Control) which can automatically control the distance from the car in front on motorways. :P>

    The plethora of gadgets that manufacturers are increasingly packing into their cars is good news for their suppliers -- Germany's Continental, a leading electronic braking system maker, is keeping its profits on the up with such products as its core tyre business remains weaker. :P>

    The 5-series will also be the first BMW to feature an optional "head-up" display system, which projects information such as road speed or navigation instructions onto a virtual screen in the driver's line of vision. But Rhys is sceptical. :P>

    "If too much of your attention is diverted to near sight, then before you know it your brand new 5-series will be embedded in the back of a 44-tonne truck." :P>

22 May 2003 Motor racing-Williams are still contenders, says Head

Williams are still serious Formula One contenders and people should be wary of writing them off, according to the team's technical director Patrick Head. :P>

    Head, in an interview with Britain's Autosport magazine on Thursday, also criticised individuals at engine partners BMW for "trying to rattle our cage in the press" after an unimpressive start to the season. :P>

    Williams have not won a race since March 2002, finishing on the podium just once this year when Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya came second in Australia. :P>

    They are currently level with Renault in third place on 35 points after six rounds, 29 behind leaders Ferrari. BMW, who believe they have the strongest engine, are impatient for results. :P>

    "There is an overall acknowledgement that we started the season at too low a level, but we've improved the car a lot since the beginning of the year and we are on quite a strong development slope," said Head. :P>

    "I am mildly disappointed in terms of individuals at BMW who think they can achieve anything through trying to rattle our cage in the press. It shows their limitations and it is a bit sad," he added. :P>

    "We don't consider ourselves out of the game and when I see people say it will be a three-way fight between McLaren, Ferrari and Renault it just makes me smile. :P>

    "I suspect we will be players pretty soon." :P>

    Head, a co-founder of the championship-winning team with Frank Williams, owns a stake in the company and said he was not thinking about selling up. :P>

    "Basically, you either stop or you do it at 100 percent," he said. "And I am desperately unimpressed with not being at the front. :P>

    "There is no point banging my fist on the table, the only way you make something better is to work out what is wrong and put it right. I learnt that a long time ago." :P>

12 May 2003 Thai minister trapped in car after computer fails :P>:P>

    BANGKOK, May 12 - Security guards smashed their way into an official limousine with sledgehammers on Monday to rescue Thailand's finance minister after his car's computer failed.

    Suchart Jaovisidha and his driver were trapped inside the BMW for more than 10 minutes before guards broke a window. All doors and windows had locked automatically when the computer crashed, and the air-conditioning stopped, officials said.

    "We could hardly breathe for over 10 minutes," Suchart told reporters. "It took my guard a long time to realise that we really wanted the window smashed so that we could crawl out. It was a harrowing experience."

 12 May2003 Motor Racing-Montoya's driving licence confiscated for speeding :P>

    NICE, France, May 12 - Colombian Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya has had his driving licence confiscated for speeding, French police said on Monday.

    The Williams driver was caught driving at 204 kph in his BMW on a motorway between Le Muy and Frejus, on the French Riviera.

    Chased by motorcycle policemen, he had his licence confiscated on the spot.

    Montoya, who lives in Monte Carlo, faces a heavy fine as speeds are limited to 130 kph on French motorways.

    The incident will not affect his world championship campaign since a regular driving licence is not required to drive a Formula One car.

13 May 2003 Imtech: orders worth 20 million euro from BMW :P>

NedCarGouda, 13 May 2003 - Imtech N.V. (technical service provider inEurope) has received orders worth about 20 million euro for varioustechnical solutions in car factories operated by BMW in Germany,Volvo in Belgium and NedCar in the Netherlands.Netherlands, 13 May 2003, (Hugin) - Imtech N.V., :BMW, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, is constructing one of the mostmodern car factories in the world in Leipzig in East Germany. In twoenormous production facilities covering a total surface area of morethan 150,000 m², Imtech will provide all technical solutions for airconditioning and climate control. In addition, Imtech is responsiblefor the complex process engineering technology in the fully automatedpaint line.

 In the Volvo factory in Gent, Belgium, the Volvo S50 and Volvo S60are produced. Imtech is responsible here for the development andimplementation of the hardware and software for the robot productionof the bodywork, including all electrical engineering and theconstruction of control panels.

 NedCar in the Dutch Born, a partnership between Mitsubishi MotorsCorporation and DaimlerChrysler, will be producing a new generationof cars as from 2004: DaimlerChrysler's new Smart and a MitsubishiCompact Car. Imtech is responsible here (in combination) for thecontrol engineering technology, the electrical engineering and thedata communication traffic.

 Last year, Imtech was also able to report an order of 29 million eurofor providing the technical infrastructure in a new test centre to bebuilt for DaimlerChrysler in Stuttgart.

Latest images of the new 3-Series (Facelift) (02/05/03)

Exide Technologies Named Motorcycle Battery Supplier to BMW.

Exide Technologies (www.exide.com), a global leader in stored electrical energy solutions, has signed a new, two-year agreement with BMW to supply original equipment batteries for the carmaker's motorcycle line.

Under the terms of the agreement, Exide is providing BMW with its Exide(R)

maintenance-free gel motorcycle batteries for the K and R BMW motorcycle

models.  As a result, 80 percent of BMW motorcycles will be equipped with

Exide product in 2003.  The batteries are produced at Exide's facility in

Castanheira, Portugal, and shipped to the BMW operation in Berlin, Germany --

the only BMW location that produces the motorcycles.

BMW engineers chose Exide's 19 amp-hour maintenance-free, valve-regulated

lead-acid (VRLA) motorcycle battery as a result of its unparalleled

performance in both concept competitions with competitors and subsequent

laboratory and field tests which took place during an eight-month period.  The

long shelf life of Exide's motorcycle batteries, combined with their high

deep-discharge resistance and strong charge acceptance after deep discharge,

make them an ideal power source for the rugged BMW motorcycle models.  The

batteries also are built to withstand punishing vibration, salt spray, gas and

oil, and to protect against equipment-damaging spills, corrosion and seepage.

"For nearly a century, BMW has been successful in its quest to produce the

perfect rider's machine, and more than half of these vehicles still prowl the

world's roads," said David G. Enstone, president of the Exide Technologies

Global Transportation Business Group. "It's a mark of our progress that

Exide's world-class motorcycle batteries are now the power behind the world-

class BMW motorcycle marque."

In addition to motorcycle batteries, Exide has supplied automotive batteries to BMW for more than 20 years.

This amazing E65 7-Series Limo. Lottery winners start a orderly queue here. (Details soon.)

31 Jan 2003 - BMW recalls 164,000 X5 SUVs worldwide :P>

FRANKFURT, Jan 31 - German luxury carmaker BMW AG said on Friday it was recalling 164,000 of its X5 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) worldwide due to a fault with the brake hose, a move that would cost up to five million euros. :P>

    "We have written to customers asking them to bring their cars to the garage. It could affect 164,000 cars, 19,900 of them in Germany," a BMW spokesman said, adding that the necessary adjustments would only take a few minutes. :P>

    He said the brake hose in some of the cars could come loose over the front axle which could lead to damage and a loss of brake fluid in extreme cases. The recall affected cars built between August 1999 and April 2002. :P>

    BMW shares were down 2.1 percent at 26.15 euros by 1230 GMT, underperforming European peers on the DJ European autos index, which was flat. :P>

    Since it started building the X5, BMW has delivered close to 240,000 of the cars to customers worldwide. The model has been one of the company's main drivers of growth in the important U.S. market. :P>

    BMW said it was not aware of any accidents linked to the fault, which it had discovered during routine quality checks.


31Jan 2003 -Motor racing-Williams and BMW tighten partnership :P>

    BARCELONA, Jan 31 - Williams and engine suppliers BMW have tightened up their partnership as they challenge for the Formula One world championship this year. :P>

    "Since June 2002 we have conducted a root and branch assessment of how BMW and Williams work together," said Williams general manager Alex Burns in a statement at the launch of their new FW25 car at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday. :P>

    "The benefits of this extensive project are starting to pay tangible dividends and I can confidently say that Williams and BMW are now operating an almost seamless enterprise." :P>

    Both sides said the improvements would speed up the exchange of information between the factory in Grove, England and BMW headquarters in Munich. :P>

    "It is our common objective to seamlessly mesh the competencies and resources of both companies in one project," said BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen. :P>

    Williams, nine times constructors' world champions between 1980 and 1997, are starting the fourth year of a five-year agreement with BMW. Last year they were runners-up to Ferrari. :P>

    The German carmaker has been considering what to do after 2004 and Theissen said last year that the options were either to build their own car, to intensify collaboration or quit the sport altogether. :P>

    World champions Ferrari make their chassis and engine in an integrated factory, as do Toyota, but Williams technical director Patrick Head said that was not necessarily better than the path chosen by BMW and Williams. :P>

    "There is no reason that suggests the organisational structure we have is inherently inferior than a car maker running a Formula One team under its own roof," he said. :P>

    "In fact, you may say that combining the specialist and rather niche expertise of an organisation such as Williams with the enormous resource and expertise of a car manufacturer such as BMW is the optimum configuration." :P>

    Both partners said they had invested heavily for the future with major technical programmes. Williams have embarked on a "period of unprecedented capital expenditure" including a new wind tunnel and improved aerodynamics facilities. :P>

    "For its part, BMW Motorsport will inject the entire knowledge base of the BMW Research and Innovation Centre into the Formula One project, especially in the areas of power train and electronics," the team statement said.


31 Jan 2003 PSA to begin making joint BMW engines end-2005 :P>

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Friday it would begin manufacturing its new family of small gasoline engines, developed with BMW, at a new production unit in Douvrin, France at the end of 2005. :P>

    The new unit, which will be attached to an existing plant that produces engines for both PSA and Renault, will require an investment of some 430 million euros ($465.2 million) and employ 820 people. :P>

    PSA said the cost would be divided between the two manufacturers according to the volume of engines produced for each firm. :P>

    PSA and BMW announced in July of last year that they planned to build a new family of small engines for the Peugeot and Citroen brands as well as future models of BMW's Mini. :P>

    At the time, the companies said initial costs for the project would total 750 million euros. :P>:P>

30 Jan 2003 Bosch Supplies Gasoline Direct Injection to New BMW 12-Cylinder Engine :P>

Bosch has introduced its gasoline direct injection technology to the luxury class through its BMW 7-series application.  The vehicle sports Bosch's innovative DI-Motronic system in its new 12-cylinder engines. :P>

    "The combination of Bosch gasoline direct injection and Valvetronic valve control produces a power pack which is both economical and clean," says Dr. Rolf Leonhard, head of development of gasoline injection systems at Bosch. :P>

    The six-liter engine produces 327 kilowatts, with a maximum torque of nearly 600 newton meters, while offering remarkably low emission levels. Vehicle emissions are lower than both the EU4 statutory European levels -- which will take effect in 2005 -- and the U.S. low emission vehicle (LEV) regulations. :P>

    In V-type engines the gasoline direct injection system has two separate compressors -- one for each row of cylinders.  The compressors feed electro- magnetically controlled valves, which can inject the gasoline directly into the combustion chambers at any precisely selected moment.  Fuel quantity is governed by the data collected by a broadband lambda sensor and matched exactly to the volume of air entering the engine. :P>

    Other components supplied by Bosch for BMW's 7-series include Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the vehicle's wiper system. :P>

    Bosch designs and produces precision automotive components and systems sold to vehicle and powertrain manufacturers worldwide.  These include systems and components for gasoline and diesel injection, airbag components, brake systems, telematics, as well as small motors, electrical and electronic equipment. :P>

    Robert Bosch Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, is responsible for North American operations.  Robert Bosch GmbH is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. 

M6 News (21/01/03) :P>

The new M6 is to get V10 500Bhp £80,000 will be BMW's most powerful car todate. :P>

Reaches the UK in 2005 & will be priced to take on Porsche 911 Carrera, Aston Martin DB8, & new super-coupes from Mercedes & Audi. The new aspirated engine will be upped to 5.5 litres, will acknowledge BMW's F1 involvement as well as competing with rivals stratospehic power outputs without resorting to either Turbocharging or Supercharging. :P>

6-Speed manual or Automatic gearbox , with BMW's third generation version of the SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) will also be on offer. :P>

Weight is likely to be 1700kg, but expect a 0-60mph time of under 4.6secs. Top speed will be electronically limited to 155Mph, but unlimited it should be capable of over 186Mph. :P>

Aluminium underpinings, with a combination of struts & multilink suspension at the rear. It shares it's basic geometry with the forthcoming new 5-Series due in Sept 2003, but many components will be unique to the M6. BMW's Active steering are also being modified to suit the hardened performance. :P>

The cars more muscular appearance hints of 7-Series with Z9 Concept. Setting it apart from the standard 6-Series is a deeper front air dam with larger cooling vents, 19" Alloys, flared wheel arches, chunky side sills & lower rear valance with a diffuser-style duct, the M6 styling changes will also reduce downforce at speed. 


X5iL :P>

BMW's new X5 is to get a longer wheelbase to accommodate 3 rows of seats. The new "X5iL" will be able to seat 7 passengers hinting at BMW's involvement to break into the MPV market. The change is likely to appear to the forthcoming X5, which will be available in short & long wheelbase models. Next year BMW will develop a variety of packaging & design concepts based on the new 1-Series, the next-generation 3-Series, & this years 5-Series. 


What Car? Award :P>

BMW kicks off 2003 in award-winning style following a record 2002, BMW has started 2003 in a similar vein to a memorable 2002 with a 2003 What Car? Award.  The BMW M3's third consecutive year as Best Performance Car caps a great 12 months for BMW that has seen sales records broken, production going from :P>

strength-to-strength, future innovations becoming reality and BMW celebrating a number of historic milestones. 


17/01/03 Dr. Joachim Milberg, Retired Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group, Nominated For Election to Deere & Company Board of Directors :P>

Deere & Company announced today that Dr. Joachim Milberg, retired Chief Executive Officer of Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) AG, has been nominated for election to the Deere & Company Board of Directors.  The nomination will be voted upon by shareholders at the company's annual meeting on February 26. :P>

    Dr. Milberg, 59, a member of BMW's Board of Management since 1993, was named BMW's Chairman of the Board of Management in 1999, where he remained until his retirement in May 2002. Prior to joining BMW in 1993, Dr. Milberg taught at Munich (Germany) :P>

Technical University.  He also served as Director of the Research Institute for Machine Tools and Management Science with the Centre for Production Automation and Robot Technology in Munich, and the Production Technology User Centre in Augsburg, Germany. :P>

    Dr. Milberg earned his doctorate in production engineering at the Technical University of Berlin in 1972. :P>

He is a director of Allianz Versicherungs AG, BMW AG, MAN AG, and Royal Dutch Petroleum Company/Shell. :P>

    Dr. Milberg is the third new member who will have been elected to the Deere & Company Board of Directors since Robert W. Lane was elected Chairman & CEO in August 2000.  Other members were:  Dipak C. Jain, Dean of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and Aulana L. Peters, an attorney and former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. :P>

    As the world's leading producer of equipment for agriculture and forestry, Deere & Company creates smart and innovative solutions, in the form of advanced machines, services and concepts, for customers on the farmsite, worksite and homesite worldwide.

BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8: a very special version of a very special car. :P>

  This new edition of BMW's contemporary classic roadster is sure to raise eyebrows.  A Z8 with an automatic transmission, powered not by the BMW M engine, but rather by a specially developed, higher-performance version of BMW's "regular" V-8 engine and featuring 20-inch wheels and tires in place of the original model's 18-inchers. A very special car indeed. :P>

This new Z8 is not only from BMW, but also from ALPINA.  ALPINA was established in 1964 as an official and approved "ennobler" of BMW automobiles. :P>

Their tradition is to take production BMWs and make them even more appealing to connoisseurs of automotive finery. :P>

ALPINA has transformed the Z8 through a variety of refinements, some dramatic and some subtle.  Most dramatically, the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8 replaces the Z8's BMW M engine (5.0 liters, 394 horsepower, elaborate individual throttles for each of the eight cylinders and many other racecar-like engineering characteristics) with a performance-developed version of BMW's "regular" V-8 engine.  Remarkably, the 4.8-liter ALPINA engine comes to within 19 hp of the BMW M unit (375 hp, vs. 394), does so at lower rpm levels, and is thus suited to teaming with an automatic transmission.  Its power peak comes at 5800 rpm, vs. 6600; its torque peak occurs at the same 3800 rpm but is actually higher: 383 lb-ft. (vs. 368 lb-ft).  In another significant departure from the original Z8, and in harmony with the new engine, the 6-speed manual transmission is replaced by a special BMW ALPINA automatic transmission.  Based on the 5-speed ZF automatic employed in V8-powered 5 and X5 Series, the ALPINA version features SWITCH-TRONIC.  In addition to up- and downshifting by "tipping" the shift lever rearward or forward, the driver can also shift by pressing "+" and "-" buttons near the steering-wheel rim.  Directly in front of the driver, a transmission display instrument indicates the range (P, R, N, D), mode (Automatic or Manual) and the gear currently engaged. :P>

    Modifications to the beautiful exterior of the Z8 have been kept to a minimum.  Special BMW ALPINA 20-inch wheels, with five clusters of four spokes each are 9.0 inches wide at the front and 10.0 at the rear.  They carry Y- rated performance tires of dimensions 255/35R-20 at the front and 285/30R-20 at the rear. :P>

     Retaining the Z8's power telescopic adjustment, the BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8 adopts a different steering wheel, with three leather-and-metal-finished spokes in place of the Z8's "banjo" spokes.  An ALPINA logo replaces the BMW emblem on the steering wheel's center hub.  The cockpit is upholstered in Soft Nappa (distinctive from the Z8's Nappa), with special piping and ALPINA logos in the upper seatback. Three color schemes are offered: Black/Black, Black/Crema and Black/Sport Red. :P>

     ALPINA plans to build only 555 BMW ALPINA ROADSTER V8s. Of those approximately 450 will come to the US beginning later this month. :P>


BMW Z4 Roadster blends thoroughly modern styling, classic roadster proportions and a driving experience second to none :P>

    The winner of Automobile Magazine's 2003 Design of the Year Award, the BMW Z4 sets new standards for premium roadsters with its innovative, influential design.  The new Z4, making its first appearance at the NAIAS, is a modern interpretation of all the classic roadster features -- a long and sweeping hood, a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a low seating position in a cockpit that is set back.  Its artfully dynamic exterior design features groundbreaking use of concave and convex lines. :P>

    The handling and responsiveness of the Z4 is unparalleled thanks to its incredibly rigid chassis, sure-footed suspension based on the much-lauded 3 Series suspension and Electric Power Steering.  Both the Z4 2.5i and 3.0i offer optional Sport Packages, which include upgraded wheels and tires and Dynamic Drive Control. :P>

    The unique-folding soft-top features an integrated tonneau cover and heated glass rear window.  The available fully-automated soft-top can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button in less than 10 seconds. :P>

    Beginning with April production both the Z4 2.5i and 3.0i will be available with an optional six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox. BMW Group In America BMW of North America has been present in the United States since 1975. :P>

Since then, the BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales and financial service organizations for the BMW and MINI brands; a South Carolina manufacturing operation; DESIGNWORKS/USA, an industrial design firm :P>

in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  The BMW Group is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW car, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle, 148 BMW Motorcycle retailers and 69 MINI car dealers.  BMW US Holding Corp., the Group's headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.:P>


1-Series latest 17/12/02 :P>

"Watch-out Ford & VW, BMW is after your sales". Industry pundits are tipping the 1-Series formula - edgy looks, class leading dynamics & that aspirational badge - to do some serious damage to mainstream rivals sales. They will include the Focus & Golf & in a twist of fate, Rovers replacement 45. The 4150mm-long 1-Series is less likely to have as much cabin space as it's front-wheel rivals but will be aiming to beat it's rivals. The baby BMW will come with 115Bhp 1.8 & 143Bhp 2.0 litre four-cylinder engines updated to met future EU4 emission regulations. Two versions of the 2.0 litre common-rail turbodiesel will be offered with either 115Bhp or 150Bhp. Predicted prices are to start around £15,000. BMW wants to sell 180,000 1-Series annually but predicts it could rise to 250,000. Expect three-door & five-door hatches to be joined by two-door coupe & cabriolet, likely to be called the 2-Series & spawn a 240Bhp M2. Also planned is a £20,000 Z2 sports convertible. 


X7 Update 17/12/02 :P>

BMW has axed plans for a X7 Range Rover rival to concentrate on a more sporty MPV. BMW doesn't like the word "MPV" (who does) so is still struggling to find a name for its concept. It will be a stylish 7-seater based on the next generation X5 paltform & may have off-road ability.


Mini News 17/12/02:P>

Mini-2. :P>

New variants of the Mini are being planned, due on sale late 2006. It will be longer, wider & taller in a bid to give it more cabin room & a better boot. It may also get more doors too - but with a twist. BMW designers are toying with the idea of rear sliding doors like those on the forthcoming Peugeot 107. Access to the boot could be via two individual doors opening outwards like the old Mini Traveller. Power will come from all-new four cylinder petrol engines, the result of a joint venture between BMW & Peugeot-Citroen. The move will ensure that BMW can ditch the current 1.6litre Chrysler engine now supplied by arch-rival Mercedes-Benz.

BMW Automatic Parking Device :P>

BMW have invented a car that parks itself. BMW have built an X5 with radar controlled device that seeks out a suitable parking space & steers the car into it. :P>

The "parking assistant" part of the BMW mobility programme is called "Connected Drive". :P>

The system uses radar controlled sensors fitted in the front & rear of the vehicle, they determine the start, end & width of a parking space when driving under 19Mph. If the parking space is large enough a secondary system cuts in & takes control of the steering, reversing the vehicle into the space. However, human intervention is stil required to apply the brakes. Alloy wheel saving technology is still a few years away, & the system is unlikely to appear before 2007 starting with the 7-Series.

BMW's product launches in next two years :P>

Luxury German carmaker BMW AG said on Thursday its second-quarter pre-tax profit rose 2.5 percent to 1.02 billion euros, broadly in line with expectations, and reiterated its outlook for the whole year. :P>

    The results come as the company embarks on the biggest product offensive in its history at a time when car markets are uncertain. :P>

    By 2005, BMW says it will have tripled the number of models it offered in 1992. Following are the model and engine launches which BMW has so far announced for the next two years. :P>


 - Oct 2002 - Z4 sports car to replace the Z3. The car, which will be launched in the United States first, is important for the company's sporty image. BMW is hoping the larger Z4 will attract a broader spectrum of buyers than its predecessor. :P>

    - Jan 2003 - New Rolls Royce. BMW will gain the right to produce Rolls Royce cars from rival German carmaker Volkswagen AG next year following a legal battle for control of the brand in 1998. :P>

    - Later in 2003 - New 5-series limousine. This will be BMW's most closely watched launch as its 5-series is the company's main profit driver. :P>

    - In 2004 - New 1-series car, which will try to tempt VW Golf buyers to trade up to a BMW. :P>

    - In 2004 - New 6-series car, which will come as a large coupe and convertible. :P>

    - In 2004 - New X3 sports utility vehicle (SUV). This will be a smaller version of BMW's popular but expensive X5 SUV. :P>


    - Oct 2002 - Diesel engines for the flagship BMW 7-series, which could prove key to the car's longer-term success as 40 percent of luxury limousines sold in Europe are diesels. :P>

    - Beginning 2003 - 12-cylinder engine for the 7-series. :P>

    - Early 2003 - New six cylinder engine for the 7-series. :P>

    - 2003 - Diesel version of the Mini.

Z2 News (30/07/02) :P>

BMW to build MX-5 beater; :P>

Codenamed E82/2 :P>

Two seater roadster :P>

To cost under £20,000 :P>

Will share 1-Series platform :P>

On Sale late 2006 :P>

Designed to complement all new Z4 :P>

Modern look not retro :P>

Using BMW's new "Flame Surfacing" design :P>

Long Bonnet & short rear overhang :P>

Simple "back to basics" interior :P>

Cloth hood :P>

Engines will be 4 cylinder units, starting with 110Bhp 1.6 up tp 240Bhp 2.2 M-Power unit designed to rev to 9000Rpm.

BMW ends speculations about C1 successor :P>

The BMW C1 will have no successor in the foreseeable future. With this decision BMW is putting the lid on the speculations about the future of this innovative vehicle concept on two wheels. The analyses carried out with regard to the model decisions for the future concerning the years to come, show that the necessary sales volume cannot be achieved. :P>

Whiles sales of the current C1 were satisfactory with 10,600 units in the year 2001, the sales figures for 2002 are still below expectations even though media response is positive and public interest remains high. Prognoses show that the total sales targets for the C1 will not be achieved.
Now the BMW Group is starting talks with its production partners about how production volume can be adapted to the discernable reduced demand.
The availability of the C1 for the markets will not be affected by the reduced production. The innovative vehicle concept on two wheels will remain a component in the product range of the BMW Group beyond the year 2003 in all its colour and equipment variants.

1-Series News (3rd July) :P>

New baby BMW for just £15,000 on sale in the UK from Mid 2005. :P>

The new 1-Series should measure in at 4150mm in length & 1700mm wide, 100mm shorter than the current 3-Series Compact. :P>

The two box design with it's engine mounted longitudinally needs a longer bonnet that it's rivals with transverse arrangement. :P>

Thin framed doors give the new 1-Series a "Coupe" like appearance. :P>

Production versions of the 1-Series will flaunt the sharp-edged look similar to the concept CS1 shown at the Geneva Motor show earlier this year. :P>

Up to 5 different variations are planned, 3-door hatchback, a 5-door hatchback & a 2-door coupe. :P>

UK Sales will now be delayed to mid-2005. :P>

A four seater Cabrio & 5-door touring with higher roof, will get approval providing the main stream models are a success. :P>

Engines will start with the 1.6, 1.8 & 2.0 litre petrol & will use BMW's Valvetronic system, later the Direct-Injection system form the V12 760iL may be used. :P>

Two versions of BMW's 2.0 Litre common-rail turbodiesel engines will be alloy blocks with the latest Bosch injection technology. :P>

M2 engine is believed to be a 2.2 or 2.4 Litre with electro-hydraulic valve actuation that allows it to rev to 9000Rpm & should produce 240Bhp. Costing approx £25,000 at today's prices. :P>

The baby BMW is to built at the Regensburg factory.

M2 Latest "2-Series" (25/06/02) :P>

BMW have registered the name of "M2" according to Autocar for it's forthcoming smallest BMW performance car. Likely to be priced at £25,000 at todays prices & due out in 2005 to take on the Golf V6 & Impreza WRX. Autocar also discovered that BMW has registered 4-Series, 6-Series, M2, M4 & M6. The baby M2 will be joined by an M4 Coupe & Cabrio & M6 powered by next years 6-Series V10 500Bhp engine.

M7 ? (21/05/02) :P>

BMW is to unleash it's most powerful 7-Series in 2003. The 760i is to use a new V12 48-Valve 410 Bhp engine with Valvetronic & Direct-injection. The 760i will be available in normal & long wheelbases & prices should start at around £60,000. The new flagship won't be badged as some insiders have predicted to a M7, but BMW is concentrating on the new M5 with it's forthcoming V10 engine.

Z5 :P>

The best driver's car ever? This is the BMW Z5, the car which insiders say will be the finest driving machine ever built by BMW - which arguably means THE best. :P>

Set to replace the power-packed M Coupe, the new BMW super sports car, combines features from the soon-to-be released Z3 and the X-Coupe concept car. :P>

Although the front lights are distinctively individual when compared to those of the current BMW range, the rear lamps are expected to be largely identical to those that were first shown on the X Coupé. :P>

And the new coupe is aiming high, with the Porsche 911 its target, as well as about-to-be-launched supercars from Japan, including the Mazda RX-8, the Honda NSX, and the Nissan GT-R. :P>

Performance from the new lightweight 2 plus 2 BMW is expected to be impressive. :P>

This is not a "big cubes" car, with only 2.2 litres capacity, but it produces 180 kW and will be almost as quick as the giant-killing M3, with 0-100 km/h in under 5.6 seconds and top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h. :P>

This will make it extremely lithe and maneuverable, while an advanced version of the M3's SMG sequential gearbox will make it ultra-exciting to drive fast, cool as a cucumber in traffic. :P>

Ultra-competitive pricing :P>

And pricing is expected to be ultra-competitive, in the same league as the current BMW 330 CSi - around R300 000 at current prices. :P>

Codenamed Z5, the newcomer is no overnight sensation at BMW, says Auto Express. Board support was first sought for the project in 1999, when managers were weighed down by problems at Rover. :P>

At that time, two other ideas were also being presented to bosses, including a V8 coupé aimed at Jaguar's XKR, and a ?200 000 spaceframe V10 replacement for the M1. :P>

Codenamed Z29, the V8 was deemed too close to the Z8 and forthcoming 6-Series, while the V10 machine, known as M2, was too expensive. :P>

As a result, the Z5 is the only project to have made it to prototype stage. It is based on a similar platform to the one on the forthcoming Z3. Made largely of aluminium, and featuring kevlar boot, bonnet and door panels, the car is expected to weigh little more than 1 000kg. Wheel builder BBS is expected to help produce a set of lightweight alloys, further improving the suspension's efficiency.

Although front engined, the model's proportions show that engineers are pursuing a design which will see the motor mounted as far back as possible in the chassis to help improve weight distribution and handling. :P>

Obviously the coupé will offer BMW's advanced DSC traction-control system as well as ABS. However, as with the current crop of models, this can be switched off by keen drivers. :P>

BMW is also expected to make much of its F1 experience to help sell the new car at its launch late in 2003. It is even possible that the engines will be badged to celebrate the firm's long association with race machine builder Williams.

As the model is developed, BMW is also rumoured to be in the process of developing an all-new V8 edition of the coupé, although this model could be as far away as 2008. If this car goes ahead, it is likely to use the all-new M3 engine destined to appear in the next-generation 3-Series in 2006.

1-Series News (The New E81) 25/09/01
Head of Research & Development Burkhard Goeschel, claims will ensure that the 1-Series delivers all the “sporting characteristics & driving pleasure” of other models in the BMW line-up.
Alongside the initial three-door & five door hatchback, BMW is also developing four-door saloon & five-door estate variants. Goesschel stated from the start the 1-Series would not just be a model but a whole range of cars. Coupe & booted versions are also in the pipeline.
In line with BMW’s plans to distance sportier 2-door niche models from their volume selling siblings, are likely to receive unique exterior styling & a 2-Series nameplate. They will not be launched until the second half of the decade.

Heavy secrecy surrounds the diamensions of BMW’s new small car, codenamed E81, but rumours have it at around 4150mm in length, matching the Audi A3. The 3-door hatchback should weigh in at 1100kg. It will share a number of components with the next generation 3-Series (codenamed E90) including driveline, suspension & Wiring loom. It will be build alongside the next generation 3-Series to help keep costs down.

Keeping the kerb weight down allows BMW to rely on the four-cylinder 16 valve power plants from the newly established Hams Hall, starting the line-up will be the 1.6 Litre 105 Bhp unit & the 2.0 Litre 143 Bhp four pot units. Together with BMW’s valvetronic varible valve timing, all engines will get Direct Injection technology as seen on the new 6.0 Litre V12 7-Series, promising reductions in fuel consumption & emissions.A more powerful high performance M-version is also on the cards at the end of 2005, packaging & reworking of the 2.0 Litre unit delivering around 240 Bhp using lightweight magnesium block & electo-magnetic valve actuation to help raise the red-line to 9000 Rpm.

Production of the new 1-Series should start at BMW’s Regensburg factory in Southern Germany in August 2004. Entry level versions should start at £15,000 for the entry level models up to £25,000 for the hot M-Power version in today’s money.

1-Series (Update) (Starting price approx. £15,000) :P>

Due out late 2004, BMW expects to break into Europe's biggest market segment with a £15,000 hatch to take on Audi's A2 & the Mercedes A-Class. The hatch will be positioned between the new Mini & the 3-Series compact. It will Not be 3-Series based, will have smaller dimensions & lower target price a unique platform for the 1-Series. It will be built in both hatchback & saloon body styles, mirroring Volkswagen's strategy with the Golf & Bora. The hatch will be aimed primarily at European buyers & the saloon at the US market. Coupe & Cabriolet versions are also planned. Coupes & Cabriolets to be named 2-Series.
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