Sporting options available for M6 and 6-series BMWs

August 12th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

bmw-m6-sport-s

The BMW 6 Series Coupe and Convertible are now offered with a new sports package aimed at enhancing driving dynamics and adding a more sporting appearance.

Available on all non-M derivatives, the Edition Sport package comprises a new contoured bonnet for an aggressive look, bespoke 19-inch light alloy wheels and M anti-roll stabilisation system for improved handling. The suspension enhancement will benefit Edition Sport model customers with the insertion of stiffer anti-roll bars for a 10 per cent firmer front axle and a 30 per cent firmer rear axle rear. This results in improved handling and a more composed ride during enthusiastic driving.

A Brushed Aluminium interior, Extended lighting and the opportunity to specify one of seven colours, of which Imola Red and Carbon Black are new to the 6 Series range, completes the offering. Building on this specification, BMW 650i Edition Sport Coupes and Convertibles also come with a Sports exhaust for enhanced engine breathing and aural pleasure.

The BMW M6 Coupe is to be offered with a competition package aimed at offering enhanced driving dynamics. The new package features a revised suspension configuration comprising a 12mm lower front end and 10mm lower rear, retuned Dynamic Stability Control and ABS settings, and a modified Variable M differential for greater cornering capability.

Visually, a competition package-equipped M6 Coupe has a new bonnet with precision lines for an increased sporting look and M double-spoke light alloy wheels with wider rims that are shod with new Pirelli P Zero Corsa System tyres.

BMW in New Zealand has yet to advise us as to whether we will be seeing any upgrades to the 6-series here.

Model

Output
Hp

Torque
Nm

Zero to 100km/h Seconds

Top speed
mph

Combined L/100km

Emissions g/km

BMW 630i Edition Sport Coupe

272

320

6.2

155*

7.9

188

BMW 630i Edition Sport Convertible

272

320

6.7

155*

8.3

198

BMW 635d Edition Sport Coupe

286

580

6.3

155*

6.9

183

BMW 635d Edition Sport Convertible

286

580

6.6

155*

7.2

190

BMW 650i Edition Sport Coupe

367

490

5.1

155*

11.7

279

BMW 650i Edition Sport Convertible

367

490

5.5

155*

12.6

299

*Electronically-limited

BMW revises the M3 looks: Power to stay the same

August 5th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

bmw-m3-2009-fq

In the model year 2009 the BMW 3 Series Saloon, the four-door BMW M3 will feature divided rear lights with the brand-typical L-shaped contour. The two LED light clusters for the taillights and the indicator lights, which also feature LED technology, have a distinctive and high-quality appearance. The new rear end design is rounded off by modifications to the bumper and rear lid. The list of interior refinements includes a newly conceived fresh air grille located in the centre of the cockpit, a newly designed storage area under the armrest on the centre console and a pearlescent chrome light switch cluster.

The new start/stop button, also in pearlescent chrome, and the rotary controls for the air conditioning sporting the same design are not only featured in the BMW M3, but also in the Coupe and the Convertible. Likewise, from the autumn, all variants of the BMW M3 will be equipped with crash-active headrests that reduce the risk of cervical injury in the event of a rear end collision. The choice of exterior colours available for the BMW M3 will also be widened as from the autumn. The colour space grey metallic is now also available for the BMW M3 Saloon. Le Mans blue metallic is new in the range of colours offered for all body variants.

AC Schnitzer rocks the BMW X6

July 30th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

ac-schintzer-bmw-x6-fq

AC Schnitzer has been a BMW fiddler for a long time now with subtle mods on most models over the years.

This AC modified X6 is something else though with huge 22-inch wheels and a flared body-kit coupled with a lower ride height thanks to a set of Nurburgring spec AC springs.

With the X6 it is a matter of taste, but if this goes as good as it looks, we will be very happy.

MINI SUV could be on the shared BMW-Fiat platform

July 22nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

mini-suv-crossman

News of the MINI SUV said to labeled ‘Crossman’ and to debut at the forthcoming Paris Motorshow could utilise the partnered platform from BMW and Fiat has come to light.

The platform is touted to be under consideration for the new Fiat Punto Grande, the Alfa Romeo MiTo and the MINI Crossman. It has been substantiated that the platform codenamed C-Evo will be used for the new Alfa 147 and could house either FWD and AWD set-ups.

While the look of the MINI Crossman has caused considerable debate, it looks unlikely that BMW won’t produce it. The big MINI is due out in 2015.

One million MINIs produced since 2001

July 18th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Since production began in 2001 Plant Oxford has seen over one million MINIs leave the plant destined for customers abroad. The one millionth MINI for export has now left Plant Oxford.

More than 80 per cent of MINI production is currently exported to almost 80 countries worldwide with the largest export market being the USA. The most recent sales figures have been the best in MINI USA’s history. In the first half of the year, MINI USA has reported sales of 26,400 cars, an increase of 33.6 per cent. The increase in MINI sales is indicative of the structural shift taking place in the USA, with MINI dealers reporting many customers moving out of their large cars like SUV’s and trucks into MINIs.

In the first six months of 2008, MINI recorded a worldwide increase in sales of 17.9 per cent compared to last year delivering 126,810 vehicles. The introduction of the MINI Clubman has contributed greatly to this success — every fifth MINI sold is a Clubman.

Plant Oxford employs 4,700 associates who work a three shift pattern producing up to 800 MINIs a day, seven days a week. An additional 2,100 associates work at the MINI pressing plant in Swindon and engine plant in Hams Hall near Birmingham; the three plants together form the MINI production triangle in the UK.

In addition, MINI UK will open the doors to a brand new model at MINIVERSITY, the Oxford-based car manufacturer’s home at the 2008 British International Motor Show.
Between 22 July and 03 August, the UK media and British public will have the opportunity to view first hand some of the smartest things to come out of Oxford in recent years.  MINI owners will have access to ‘The Union’, an area to meet others in the MINI community, while future customers can take a walk through the ‘Faculty of Engineering’ and discover the millions of ways to personalise a new MINI. The stand will also incorporate a Quadrangle-style area on which the entire MINI range will be displayed.

The most recent ‘graduate’ from MINI Plant Oxford, the brand new MINI John Cooper Works will be shown to the public for the first time on British soil.

Hamann hardens BMW’s 6-series

July 16th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

hamann-bmw-6-series-fq

Hamann are famous for taking BMW’s best and making them better.

The treatment that Hamann has given the 6-series range makes them look like absolute stunners.

Hamann can modify any model within the 6-series range and give it more power and torque, not to mention some very handsome wheels to fill the lowered arches.

Electric MINIs to glide down Californian streets?

July 11th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

Over the next months, the BMW Group will be carrying out various series of tests on electrically powered vehicles to determine the alternative drive of the future. Several hundred MINI vehicles are being prepared for this.

The cars, built in the Oxford plant, will be modified accordingly in Munich and fitted out for trials.

“This step will allow the BMW Group to gain an initial knowledge of how mobility can be achieved efficiently using purely electrically powered vehicles. Our task here is to combine the ultimate driving experience with an efficient electrified drive with practically no emissions”, underlined Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

The tests on alternative drives in a MINI body will be used over the next 12-18 months to refine the technology. Details about the drive concept and its marketing will be published towards the end of the year.

Rumours are abound that 500 such MINIs will be leased to members of the public in California for the trials.

BMW and Fiat contemplate getting into bed together

July 10th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

The BMW Group and Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) are considering the possibility of co-operation in the areas of components and architectures for their Mini and Alfa Romeo vehicles.

As part of possible cooperation, BMW Group will provide FGA with support in launching the Alfa Romeo brand in the North American market.

A Memorandum of Understanding to this effect has been signed by Friedrich Eichiner, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Corporate and Brand Development, and Alfredo Altavilla, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Fiat Group Automobiles and CEO of Fiat Powertrain Technologies.

“We are currently examining with the Fiat Group possibilities for the joint use of components and systems in Mini and Alfa Romeo vehicles in order to achieve economies of scale and thus cost reductions within the framework of our Number ONE strategy”, Eichiner said on Monday in Munich.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Group and Fiat Group Automobiles, said: “The proposed co-operation with BMW is a significant cornerstone of our strategy of alliances. We are delighted to work with such an esteemed and respected partner in the automotive industry with the clear objective of improving the competitive position of both parties.”

The two partners have agreed not to divulge details of the possible collaboration. The results of the cooperation discussions will probably be achieved by the end of the year.