BMW has finally realised what everyone else noticed from the first day it was introduced, the BMW 1 Series has an incredibley ugly face. But thanks to a major facelift, the car now looks much better. It’s still not beautiful. But it’s now not such an embarassment for the company.
The whole front end has been redesigned and now features bigger air intakes, a revised apron and a different kidney grille with a more sculpted frame and chrome accents. But perhaps most importantly, the 2015 BMW 1 Series now has new headlights. As standard the car comes with twin circular configuration headlights with with LED daytime running lights. Optionally, the 1-Series can be bought with full LED headlights (including the indicators) as well as adaptive LED headlights with High Beam Assistant function and LED fog lights with cornering.
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BMW is testing out Google’s Glass smart eyewear to see if it can help improve production quality, and also speed up the workflow of their technicians and engineers involved in developing pre-series production vehicles.
Before a vehicle makes it to full-scale production, one of the final hurdles is pre-series production tests. This is where technicians and design engineers work out all the little bugs and issues of the vehicle’s design, before it is signed off and mass-production can start. It involves a lot of back-and-forth communication with quality testers and engineers. Prior to using Google Glass, potential issues identified in pre-series vehicles were documented in writing. According to BMW, in around one in four cases the problem’s description was too vague or unclear, and required additional questions from the responsible specialist engineering department.
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With the BMW i8 and i3 bringing high fashion to the hybrid and electric car market, there’s no doubt BMW will want to keep the same level of style and excitement to any subsequent ‘i’ models. To top the i8 will be a tall order, it looks great, goes like stink, and costs very little to run. But if BMW were to put the i8 in second place within the i range of vehicles, then logically the i9 moniker would come into play.
The BMW i9 concept is the work of Spanish designer Carlos Aliaga Pastor. The concept usses similar styling cues to the i8 and i3, in particular the splits in the bodywork and the now almost trademark blue-colored highlights. The inspiration for the exterior design came from a variety of sources; including hammerhead sharks, almond nut casings and powerboats – not exactly three things which normally have much to do with each other, but whatever, it works.
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BMW of North America and Polyphony Digital, Inc., makers of the Gran Turismo series of driving games, have revealed a new BMW M Performance M4 Safety Car which will be made available, in digital form, to owners of the Gran Turismo 6 game for the Playstation 3.
The real BMW M Performance M4 Safety Car made its North American industry debut at the 2014 SEMA show as a demonstration vehicle for BMW M Performance Parts in North America.
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Vorsteiner is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion (as well as make some more money) they’ve created a brand new performance package for the also brand new BMW M4. The exterior modifications provided by the Vorsteiner GTRS4 kit are pretty obvious, and include some significantly wider front and rear wheel arches, which are 4-inches and 7-inches wider respectively.
In addition to the pumped up arches, the Vorsteiner GTRS4 also features a new front bumper, deeper side skirts and a new rear bumper. All the new body panels, including the arches are made from carbon fiber.
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BMW’s barnstorming SUV duo, the X6 M and the X5 M are back for the 2015 model year with a fresh new look and a dollop of extra power. The second generation X6 M and X5 M will be unveiled at the upcoming 2014 LA Auto Show.
The 4.4 litre twin-turbocharged V8 of the previous generation has been carried over, but thanks to some upgrades it now produces 4-percent more horsepower and 10-percent more torque, taking the final figures up to an impressive 575 horsepower and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque. Those numbers also clearly imply the new SUVs are the most powerful all-wheel drive BMWs ever built.
The transmission used in both vehicles is a new 8-speed M Steptronic auto which replaces the previous 6-speed automatic. Power is sent to all four tires via BMW’s xDrive system which utilizes an electronically controlled mutli-plate clutch which allows torque to be transferred fully between the front or rear axles, however in normal conditions it functions with a rear-biased torque split.
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A German Government-funded project, which was developed through a collaboration between staff and students at the Technische Universität München (TUM), and auto industry professionals at BMW and Daimler, has resulted in what can only be described as not a bad looking electric car.
The goal of the project was to create a superlight electric car which was highly efficient, but at the same time was safe and practical for everyday use. But it wasn’t cheap. In fact it’s borderline disgraceful that it took a $9 million (7.1 million Euros) grant to fund the project.
To top it all off, the TUM Visio.M prototype wasn’t engineered for mass production. Which kind of makes it pointless. The technology used throughout the vehicle, while advanced, isn’t revolutionary. It uses carbon fiber for the chassis and body, with a sandwich construction for the passenger compartment making it extremely light yet strong. Polycarbonate windows are used instead of glass to cut weight further, and there are lightweight steering and transmission components. It all adds up to just 1,179 lbs (535 kgs) including the heavy battery.
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German tuning outfit, Manhart Racing, are in the process of developing a tuning and performance kit for the BMW i8 hybrid. The details are still sketchy. In fact they consist of just two images of the car, one from the front and one from the rear.
There are no accompanying specifications, or any details regarding performance modifications. The i8’s complicated hybrid drive system is probably pretty tricky to work on extensively. So unless they’ve ditched it entirely in favor of a larger internal combustion engine (highly unlikely), expect the drivetrain upgrades to be minimal.
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At the end of 2015, BMW Motorsport will be retiring the Z4 GT3 racer, and in its place they will be offering the M6 GT3. Development of the all-new racer is already underway, and BMW Motorsport are aiming to start track testing of the car early in 2015.
Preliminary sketches of the M6 GT3 have just been revealed by BMW, and they give a pretty good indication of what the car will look like. The car’s graphics and huge rear spoiler are vaguely reminiscent of those used on the iconic BMW CSL Batmobile from the 1970s.
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The BMW 2 Series Convertible is the soft-top alter-ego of the BMW 2 Series Coupe which was revealed earlier in 2014. It’ll be available in a range of tune, although the models available will depend on your location. The US will get the 228i and M235i models, with optional xDrive all-wheel drive available on the 228i. European buyers will most likely get a couple more options, including both diesel and smaller displacement 4-cylinder gasoline engines.
The folding fabric roof of the 2 Series Convertible is just about the only thing that separates the car from the coupe version of the car. It raises and lowers in 20 seconds at the touch of a button at speeds of up to 30 mph. BMW’s engineers have worked hard to make sure the noise levels inside the car are as low as possible. In fact the cockpit of the car is up to 7 decibels quieter than that of the previous 1 Series Convertible. The top can be ordered in one of three different colors; black, anthracite with silver effect, and brown with silver effect.
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