BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc

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  • 28 Nov 2019 10:47 PM | Anonymous


    Dear Members,

    November started with our annual Melbourne Cup Day Show & Shine at Steeples at Mornington Racecourse.

    We had a fabulous turn out with cars ranging from the 60s to new and even a few non-BMWs which was fantastic, with a Ford winning the peoples’ choice award. Phil Kolar even brought along a historic Formula 5000 racecar, that had just raced at the Sandown Historics, to show everyone. It was quite an attraction, especially when he started it up!

    Lunch was great as per usual and we did our sweep and raffle, with some great prizes being won by lots of our members and certificates being handed out to class winners of the day.

    While I was playing scrutineer at Sandown for the Supercars, some of our members attended the Motors at the Mansion at Pirra Homestead in Lara, boy what an amazing place that is.  All who attended had a great day and managed to dodge the bad Melbourne weather and get some fantastic photos taken.

    Our November members meeting was held at Zagame Autobody in Westmeadows, and what a super night that was.  We had a guided tour around their new bespoke repair shop and learnt a lot about what they have in store for the future.  Thanks very much to Jessica and the team at Zagame for such a fantastic night. Last time we visited, the upstairs high-end repair dept wasn’t yet completed. Now it is up and running and there are some amazing cars undergoing restoration at the moment. 

    Our drive day this month was a little different with us only going as far as Castlemaine, then boarding the old steam train for a trip to Maldon for lunch.  What a wonderful old train it is and I was lucky enough to ride with the driver up in the loco on the way home.  This was an awesome experience that I highly recommend, if you ever get the opportunity! 

    Maldon is a lovely old mining town and we all managed to have our lunch and get in a little bit of shopping before having to return back to the train and then back to Castlemaine.

    Geelong Revival, WOW, what else can I say?  The weather was amazing with a gentle breeze and the temp getting to low 20s, just perfect for a weekend of cars and everything else that goes with the Revival. 

    We featured the E31 8 series on the Saturday for their 30 year anniversary and boy, we were not disappointed.  Some of us got to the display area early to set up and help usher cars in and it was an unbelievable sight, watching 27 E31 roll down the drive and get into their positions for the day.  We also had other BMWs attend and managed to have 43 cars on display for Saturday. 

    There was a large number of members who stayed down at Geelong, so we all went out for dinner in Torquay and had a really enjoyable night, catching up with members from all over Australia.  One member drove his E31 from Perth, what an amazing effort, one came down from QLD and another from NSW, we also had Lindsay Fox’s 850csi there as well and what a sight that was.  Thanks to Theo Hoffs for his determination to get as many 8s there on the day, you really did a fabulous job and what a brilliant way to celebrate 30 years of this wonderful car.

    Sunday was another fantastic day, both weather wise and with cars on display.  We had over 35 cars and Sunday the E30 was the feature. Again, they did not disappoint with every different type of E30 in attendance, from baurs and convertibles to coupes and sedans and even a touring and a couple of M3s. What a wonderful little car it is, and you could hear the crowd comment on the wonders of the little E30.

    We were also given 2 cars from BMWGA for our weekend display, they were a new X4M Competition and a M4CS thank you, these two cars went down well with the crowds as well, with lots of people looking at them and asking questions.

    We end November and welcome Summer in with our multi club drive weekend away this weekend, heading away for a 4-day driving break. Friday and Saturday nights, we are based at Merimbula, with a big loop through some awesome driving roads before heading up to Corryong for Sunday night and back home through the Victorian High Country on Monday. As I write this Jo is madly packing so we can head off first thing in the morning. We will have stories and lots of pics of the weekend up on our usual pages for all to see over the weekend.

    We have members from three BMW Clubs coming again, BMWDCM, BMWCCC and BMWDCNSW. Looking forward to catching up with our interstate friends again.

    I will finish this event off in my December report, no doubt we will have lots of stories to tell.

    December will still see a few events to round out the year. We are off to the Drive-in on Friday night to see the new Ford v Ferrari movie. I am really looking forward to that, I haven’t been to a drive-in for decades! Then we are down at Phillip Island on Sunday, 8 december for the last round of the 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship. It is always a popular event and hopefully it will be a beautiful summers day to round out the sprint year too. You had to be quick with your entry as it filled up very quickly and promises to be a fantastic day.

    Our last members meeting for the year will be at Strike Bowling just for something different.  If you register and pay to come by Sunday night (1 December), you go in the draw to win a ride with our great friend, Jim Richards, in his Porsche racecar. I have been lucky enough to do this before and it is a lot of fun! You need to be available to attend Sandown on 5 December, but I can assure you it is well worth taking the day off!

    A huge thank you to Belinda at Shannons for giving us the ride tickets to give to our members. Don’t forget to call Belinda on 0417 490 949 if you need a quote or any help at all on insurance matters. She is always happy to help our members and will look after you with all your motor or home insurance needs. Shannons are great supporters of our Club, so make sure you ask them for a quote.

    It may come as a shock to some, but I am told it is nearly Christmas! I don’t know where this year has gone! As I look back, we have certainly packed a lot in to 2019 and I hope you have enjoyed the year as much as we have. 

    I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas, from all of us on the Committee.

    If I don’t see you somewhere in the next few weeks, take care, drive safe and I’ll see you at an event soon.

    Graeme Bell | President
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.

    P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
    Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of:BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council
    CAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club

  • 28 Nov 2019 10:31 PM | Anonymous

    The day had finally arrived for us to set off from our home in Wollongong NSW, to Victoria to attend the Geelong Revival Motoring Festival. The 8 Fest display of E31 cars was of course the big drawcard, and my 850i had been prepped and cleaned in readiness. On Thursday 21 November my son Jordan and I packed the car and we headed off for the trip south. We made it about 4 kms when the old girl started to play up. Engine surges, power loss and completely shutting down plagued us as we tried to work out what was going on. We even let her sit the required 16 minutes for her to go to sleep to see if the systems would re-set. Alas, she did not want to play nice. She may have been jealous that we were heading to an event to look at other cars. So, we limped back home and swapped everything over to my 135i. I was determined to make it to the event.

    It all went smoothly from there. We made it in good time to our overnight stop in Albury. There was plenty of good driving practice for my son who is on his L’s. Next morning we set off to meet up at Theo’s place in Donvale and met a number of the other E31 crew. Much discussion was had over the symptoms of my car and many suggestions offered on what could be the issue. The options ranged from oxygen sensors, to water in the distributor caps, to ‘nothing, it will be fine when you get home’

    After lunch we formed up in convoy and headed to Geelong. We enjoyed the Friday night cruise down to the event location, and then settled in at our house base in Torquay for some nibblies, drinks and plenty of conversation.

    Saturday morning we joined up with the other BMW people at the meeting point in Geelong, and cruised in formation down to the foreshore and parked up for the day’s display. It was awesome to see 26 E31 vehicles in the one spot. Lots of different variants and colours, and even a CSi. This was the first one I had seen in the flesh in Australia so it was quite a buzz. This display was the biggest meeting of E31’s I had seen since the BMW 100 years anniversary festival in Munich in 2016. A real honour to be around such wonderful cars. Seeing such a great turnout made it even more disappointing that mine didn’t make it. Despite the disappointment it was a great day out.

    On Sunday, a number of the 8’s (and my 135i) cruised down towards the Great Ocean Road and then back to the ferry crossing over to Sorrento. My son was in his element following the 8’s all the way, which also allowed me to get some great photo’s and video’s. Jordan really enjoyed the Victorian Learner’s laws, as in NSW Learners are restricted to only 90 kmh, regardless of what the posted speed limit is. He also got a real buzz from driving onto the ferry. After a lunch stop at the Portsea Hotel we went for a final photo shoot, where Jordan and I left the remaining 8’s to head for our overnight stop at Seymour.

    All in all it was an excellent weekend with great people and great cars. Thanks to Theo for all the work done with the organisation, and the ‘Determination Award’ we got for making it down after the initial car troubles. Thanks also to the Committee and other volunteers of the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne for all their effort.

    PS: The day after we got back I took the 8 out for a run to see if I could narrow down the cause of the problems. She ran as smooth as she ever has done, with no error messages and not a hint of trouble. ..Stupid cars.

    Ian McLachlan | Vice President
    BMW Drivers Club NSW

  • 28 Nov 2019 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    London Symphony Orchestra. Teatro alla Scala. Bolshoi Theatre. Bayerische Staatsoper. Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Elbphilharmonie. Polish National Opera. The Munich Philharmonic. For many years and often even decades, BMW has been collaborating with world-renowned orchestras in creating formats such as “BMW Opera Next” and “BMW Classics” to offer entirely novel ways to experience music. As a result, millions of visitors have enjoyed free concerts performed at the famous squares in select cities all over the world as well as on online platforms.

    In addition, the electrification of vehicles opens up entirely new possibilities at the crossroads of sound, music and mobility. In 2019, BMW partnered with internationally renowned film music composer and Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer to compose the electric drive sounds and sound signs for the BMW Vision M NEXT.

    Music is highly emotional and creates unforgettable moments. What is the potential hidden in this universal language? Developing new sounds continuously represents an incredible opportunity.

    To this end, BMW intends to also involve orchestras as part of the sonic exploration that will define sounds of the future and its international partners were thrilled at the prospects of this initiative.

    Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of London Symphony Orchestra:
    “Each summer since 2012, London’s iconic Trafalgar Square plays host to the capital’s largest free open-air classical music concert, BMW Classics. Our shared mission in producing ‘BMW Classics’ is simple – to bring great music and the opportunity to participate in great culture to as many people as possible – and with this concert now being livestreamed on the orchestra’s YouTube channel, we can reach audiences all around the world. Every year we also present a brand new work by an emerging composer; without the support of BMW and the Mayor of London, commissioning a new piece and holding a free event of this sort would simply not be possible. The LSO is proud of our Principal Partnership with BMW and look forward to working together for many years to come.”

    Vladimir Urin, General Director of Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow:
    “We are very pleased that our long-standing friendship and partnership with BMW has been embodied in open-air concerts, which can be visited by residents and guests of Moscow. Now the Bolshoi Theatre has become part of this international initiative organized by BMW in the late twentieth century. Not only Berlin, London and Munich, but also Moscow are waiting for these summer concerts, thanks to which the widest public has the opportunity to listen to contemporary stars of the opera scene. This initiative is very much in line with the spirit of the Bolshoi and BMW, because we are always striving for new things - new technologies, new machines, premieres, young talents – and now attracting a new audience. And we are not ready to stop. This season we plan to reach new geographical boundaries of our capital.”

    Alexander Pereira, CEO and Artistic Director of Teatro alla Scala, Milan:
    “For the Teatro alla Scala, BMW is a strategic partner with whom we created numerous projects over the past years. We believe that the relationship between our cultural institution and BMW, as a company known the world over for its excellence, goes far beyond traditional sponsorship, it is a true partnership. Since 2014, BMW has been our main partner for the project ‘Opera For Kids’, offering over 200,000 children and their families the opportunity to visit Teatro alla Scala for the very first time. As a result, a number of these children took up playing instruments immediately following their visit. Teatro alla Scala is proud to collaborate with the department of Cultural Engagement at BMW in pursuing their mission to develop and promote the art of music.”

    Matthias Schulz, Artistic Director, and Daniel Barenboim, General Musical Director of Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin:
    “It is our mission to ensure that the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is seen as a venue where people can experience something truly unique with all their senses. ‘State Opera for All’ has been hugely successful in creating exactly that for thirteen years! For that reason, we are all the more pleased about taking our next steps together with BMW as our main partner in launching our digital partnership. With ‘BMW Opera Next’ we will make use of the opportunities arising from digitalization and social media to open up new perspectives and become more accessible, specifically to inspire younger audiences.”

    Nikolaus Bachler, General Manager of Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich:
    “BMW has been our trusted partner for 24 years. It is a cooperation on equal footing, which in turn allows for an open exchange. The initiative ‘Opera for All’ would simply not be possible any other way. BMW fully understands how important access to music is – for all people – be it to classical music, jazz or pop.”

    Paul Müller, Executive Director, and Valery Gergiev, Music Director of Munich Philharmonics:
    “Music is not a static entity – it needs to prove itself again and again to each new generation. That demands strong partners offering a genuine exchange. BMW is such a partner – together, we develop ideas and promote novel approaches. Our initiative ‘Spielfeld Klassik’ illustrates beautifully how this collaboration ensures that we are well-positioned in the field of musical education for all ages.”

    BMW Group is also partner of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (USA) and Frieze Music in London and Los Angeles. In addition, BMW Group cooperates with numerous opera houses and orchestras on their initiatives including Bachfest Leipzig. Other international partners of BMW include the Orchestre de Paris (France), TNSC Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Portugal), BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts (Belgium), Sugi Opera Seoul (South Korea), Latvian National Opera (Latvia) and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Since 2002, BMW Group has been the main partner of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.


  • 27 Nov 2019 4:13 PM | Anonymous

    In 2018 the concept of gathering as many of the surviving 8 series BMWs, was kicked around by Theo Hoffs and a small group of 8 series owners.  Shortly after Theo and Jo decided tog run the “8 Fest” in conjunction with the Geelong Revivalevent.

    Over the next 10 months, Theo contacted as many ‘8’ owners as he could locate. These were from all over Australia and New Zealand.  Organising this event was done pretty much single handily by Theo, with a little help from Jo. Thanks to Theo's enormous drive and persuasive personality, 27 “8 series” BMWs arrived at the event.

    Some of these cars came from QLD, NSW and one was driven over from WA.  Peter, an 850csi owner from NZ, even crossed the ditch to join us.

    Day 1 | Friday

    Owners and cars met at Theo and Robyn’s house in Donvale.  We greeted the interstate guests and had an early BBQ lunch.  In order to beat the peak hour traffic, we left from Donvale in convoy at around midday.  Once we arrived at Geelong, we went to our respective accommodation and many of us met up for tea and drinks Friday evening.

    Day 2 | Saturday

    It was an early gathering at Rippleside Park with some other clubs and then onto the venue at Eastern Beach.  The weather was excellent, and a great day was had by all.  Jo & Graeme presented awards and fittingly, Theo was applauded by all for his tremendous effort in getting such a successful show together.

    Later we adjourned to the Torquay Pub for dinner and a catch up with all the other members who displayed their cars along side the 8 Fest.

    In total we had 45 cars on display for Saturday - great effort everyone!

    Day 3 | Sunday

    Another early start and we made our way along the coast road as far as Aireys inlet.  We all had a good time at the “chocolatier”, in fact we had too good a time there because we overstayed and missed the 12-noon ferry back at Queenscliffe.

    We crossed to Sorento on the next ferry voyage and met at the Portsea Pub, then checked out the disappearing Portsea beach.

    Next, we moved to the Portsea Back Beach for a photo shoot.  By co-incidence, every car in the photo was a different colour.

    The scenic drive which followed took us along the waterfront at Rosebud, Dromana, Mt Martha and ended at the Royal Hotel in Mornington.

    The local 8 series owners had a great weekend and rolled out the red carpet for our interstate visitors.  Everybody involved agreed that the event was a great success and promised to attend the next one – whenever that may be.


    Bruce Paris |  Member #46
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 22 Nov 2019 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    After its success in the “Automotive Brand Contest”, another award has been bestowed on the campaign with its 360° approach – History of the brands BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce is put in context with authenticity and intense emotional appeal – Second stage of the YouTube film series launched.

    A few weeks after its success at the “Automotive Brand Contest”, BMW Group Classic has now also won the “German Design Award” 2020 for its communications campaign “Our Brands. Our Stories.”. In particular, the distinguished award celebrates the multimedia approach of the international campaign, which includes the “classic#heart” blog, billboard and advertising images, and an online newsletter, alongside video clips produced to a very high quality. “Our Brands. Our Stories.” focuses on owners and fans of the brands BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce, who share a passion for historic automobiles and motorcycles across the world.

    “Our Brands. Our Stories.” was developed in a collaboration between BMW Group Classic and its longstanding partner, Munich creative agency shot one brand communication. The key attribute of the campaign is the combination of authentic storytelling with community-generated content. This means that senders and the target group for the messages meld into an interactive, continually growing community. In an entertaining way, their stories highlight how diverse expression of enthusiasm for classic cars and motorcycles can be. The portraits of the protagonists’ individual experiences are infused with the emotional importance their vehicles have for them – irrespective of the vehicles’ age, type and condition.

    Intensely emotional YouTube film series with more than 10 million views.

    Classic fans from all over the world tell the story of their links with the historic vehicles in the films posted on the YouTube channel of BMW Group Classic. US automobile journalist Jason Cammisa tells the tale of how his enthusiasm for a BMW 3 Series with an inline six-cylinder engine developed from early childhood. The series also features Dimitris “Dee” Fragkos from Greece, who was almost born in his grandfather’s classic Mini, and Spanish motorcycle expert Beatriz Eguiraun, who fulfilled her dream of creating a café racer styled personally by her with a custom bike based on a BMW R 80 from the 1980s.

    The episodes of the series “Our Brands. Our Stories.” posted so far have already been viewed more than ten million times on YouTube. The series is being continued over the coming weeks. The second stage is starting on 21 November with the portrait of a Turkish fan of classic BMW M models.

    The series “Our Passion. Our Adventures.” captures the enthusiasm for the brands of the BMW Group at important international classic-car events like the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

    The series “Work in Progress” accompanies personalities and records their unusual vehicle projects on camera. It shows the development including some surprises over a period of several months.

    Other elements are a billboard and advertisement campaign in which employees of BMW Group Classic and owners of unusual historic vehicles are portrayed. They also talk about their very personal links with classic cars and motorcycles. The classic#heart blog dedicates a unique section to these stories.

    The newsletter “Our Brands. Our Stories.” is published once a week and it reports highlights from vehicle history, activities and offers from BMW Group Classic, along with exceptional events and news from the collector and fan scene.

    All elements of the campaign are communicated in social media through the dedicated channels of BMW Group Classic, which makes them available to another target group.

    To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the MINI brand, fans of the original British small car had the opportunity to become part of an “Incredible Mini Tour” and share their personal experiences with the classic Mini on various social media channels.

    Two illustrious awards for outstanding communications design.

    The campaign “Our Brands. Our Stories.” also succeeded in impressing the jury of the “German Design Award” 2020 with their high level of effective communication, the 360° approach and the diversity of the formats used. The award is conferred every year by the German Design Council and aims to salute innovative products and projects, along with their originators and production teams. The German Design Council was established as a foundation in 1953 on the initiative of the German Federal Parliament. Its activities support companies in the areas of communication and brand promotion with a special focus on design development.

    Only a few weeks ago, BMW Group Classic won another award for its campaign “Our Brands. Our Stories.” in the “Automotive Brand Contest” 2019. The international design contest for automobile brands was launched in order to highlight outstanding product and communication design. Awards are bestowed on projects and initiatives that present a brand holistically and consistently over a number of media and products. The jury believed that the campaign by BMW Group Classic achieved this objective with distinction


  • 21 Nov 2019 6:30 PM | Anonymous

    The ‘SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race’ event has begun with the first test sessions being held at the ‘Fuji International Speedway’ (JPN). Before taking to the track in his #4 ZF BMW M4 DTM, Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) had already completed some laps around the circuit with his handcycle. ‘Fuji International Speedway’ will be the venue for the para-cycling competitions of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games (JPN). Zanardi has a good chance of qualifying for the games.

    The ‘SUPER GT x DTM Dream Race’ event has begun with the first test sessions being held at the ‘Fuji International Speedway’ (JPN). Before taking to the track in his #4 ZF BMW M4 DTM, Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) had already completed some laps around the circuit with his handcycle. ‘Fuji International Speedway’ will be the venue for the para-cycling competitions of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games (JPN). Zanardi has a good chance of qualifying for the games. 

    At the 2012 games in London (GBR) and 2016 in Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Zanardi won a total of four Paralympic gold medals and he is 12-time para-cycling world champion. Participation in the Tokyo games is his big target for 2020. Before the Dream Race event started, Zanardi had the opportunity to experience the circuit with his handcycle and gather first information of what to expect at a possible start at the ‘Fuji International Speedway’.

    “Now I have a very good idea of what I have to prepare for,” said Zanardi. “I’ll bring home important information that will help me to prepare both technically speaking, because I am planning to develop a new bicycle, and also physically speaking. Each track has its own requirements and you can adapt your training procedure to the different courses you are going to race on. It is going to be a very interesting event. The track is beautiful but really hard. You never have a flat section, you are always either climbing or descending and I think it will also take some skill as far as approaching the turns because there are many areas where you have to brake hard and to steer in in the right moment with the right line. So I hope that my driving skill will help me a bit in those sections but there is a lot of work to do because this scenario is quite different to the ones on which we have competed up to this point. It is exciting and I am very grateful to BMW for offering me this opportunity, for sure mainly for the wonderful BMW M4 DTM I am going to be driving over the weekend, but also for this reason.”

    Now, Zanardi is fully focused on his appearance in the ZF BMW M4 DTM. On Friday, the free practice sessions for the Dream Race will be held, while for each Saturday and Sunday, one qualifying and one race are scheduled. Zanardi forms the BMW M Motorsport ‘Dream Team’ with Marco Wittmann (GER) and Kamui Kobayashi (JPN).


  • 20 Nov 2019 3:58 PM | Anonymous

    The MINI John Cooper Works GP distils the racing essence of the modern MINI. Inspired by the brand’s legendary motor racing achievements, this model – limited to just 3,000 units – embodies maximum performance and uncompromising dynamics.

    This can be seen instantly in the car’s design: a purist yet highly emotional exterior and interior visualise the GP genes more radically than ever before. The MINI John Cooper Works GP follows on from the likewise limited-edition John Cooper Works GP small series of 2013 and 2006.

    The exterior – emotionally designed top-level performance.

    The flat front section with its wide track, large front apron, flared wheel arches and a rear wing visible even from the front instantly conveys uncompromising dynamic performance. Classic MINI icons such as the elliptical headlights and the hexagonal radiator grille ensure a clear-cut sense of identity and high recognition value. At the same time, characteristic John Cooper Works elements such as the hood scoop in the bonnet and the hexagonal honeycomb grille with GP logo in the radiator grille underscore the sporty perception of the front.

    The side view of the MINI John Cooper Works GP reveals the sportiest MINI silhouette to date. The interplay between the narrowing window area and the rising shoulder line traces a wedge shape at the side that gives the impression of acceleration even when the car is stationary. Below this, voluminous surfaces form a powerful vehicle corpus. The large front apron and large roof spoiler give the side view maximum sporty flair as well as ensuring aerodynamic optimum performance. The exterior paint finish Racing Grey metallic alternates between light grey and blue-violet, creating a powerful sense of depth, while the roof and mirror caps are finished in Melting Silver. All typical chrome elements at the front, side and rear such as MINI logos, door handles, fuel filler cap, side scuttle and headlight surrounds are finished in high-gloss black in this small-scale series.

    Racing feeling with striking colour accentuations and carbon fibre elements.

    Deliberate MINImalism in terms of form and colour focuses on technology, further emphasised by coloured accentuations in high-gloss Chili Red and matt Rosso metallic. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre optimises the power-to-weight ratio, while the highly optimised axle load distribution promises the hallmark MINI go-kart feeling. The absolute highlight in the side view are the attached wheel arch covers – so-called spats – which are made of carbon fibre. Elaborately hand-crafted recycled carbon fleece from the Landshut plant is used here. For the first time, the carbon fibre fabric is directly visible and showcased by means of black hexagon stitching. Meanwhile the numbering in the front spat shows the small-series production number. The 18” lightweight forged wheels in bi-colour design interpret the striking four-spoke theme of the MINI John Cooper Works GP in filigree style. It is the lightest 18” forged wheel ever to feature in the MINI, making a significant contribution to weight reduction.

    The rear section echoes the distinctive front and side design. The expressive roof spoiler is not only a statement in sporty styling: its shape also ensures optimum downforce and fits in perfectly with the geometry. The same goes for the air diffusers and air ducting surfaces in the apron. Prominently placed at the centre of the lower rear area, the classic double tailpipe embodies the John Cooper Works DNA. The bright stainless steel double tailpipes are manufactured with the largest possible diameter and protrude powerfully and puristically from the diffuser.

    The interior – pure racing style.

    The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP combines purist sporty flair with powerful colour accentuations. The dark colour and material concept creates a reduced, sporty basic mood, with high-quality, deliberately coloured details at selected points. In the driver area, the new free-standing digital instrument cluster on the steering column puts the relevant information in the driver's field of vision as required by the situation at hand.

    3D printing in detail.

    The latest production techniques such as 3D printing round off the special interior experience. A striking highlight from the driver's perspective are the aluminium shift paddles on the sports steering wheel – manufactured using 3D printing. They echo the hexagonal theme from the exterior in the form of filigree breakthroughs. The shift paddles are a prominent element in the interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP in terms of both appearance and new improved haptics and are featured in this form for the first time in a MINI. Another new element is the 3D-printed steering wheel clasp and the individual decorative trim strip in the passenger area. Each decorative trim strip is unique and bears the vehicle’s limited-edition production number. Their GP-specific hexagonal structure echoes the surface structure of the shift paddles. In this way, MINI demonstrates a whole new dimension of how 3D printing can be integrated in the serial production process. The use of additive processes such as 3D printing not only raises customisation to a new level, it also enables entirely new forms of design style that were not previously possible using conventional tools.

    Minimalistic rear area.

    The MINI John Cooper Works GP does not have a rear seat, as was the case in the predecessor models, with preference instead being given to achieving the lowest possible overall weight. The clear and tidy surfaces of the rear compartment also reflect a reduction to the essentials. The large “GP” lettering in the rear panel is achieved by the use of different grains and gives the interior a striking, novel accentuation. Behind the front seats, a red cross-brace generates a racing atmosphere.


  • 19 Nov 2019 3:40 PM | Anonymous

    The most efficient way to get from Melbourne to Castlemaine is on the Calder Freeway, but that would have none of the adventure of the route that Peter Williams mapped out for us for the Malden Steam Train Drive on Sunday 17 November. The roundabout trek via the Burke & Wills Track gave us stunning scenery, twisting roads and some wildlife to keep us on our toes.

    We switched from petrol to steam power for the next leg of the journey, in a 1920s art deco carriage on the Victorian Goldfields Railway trip to Malden. Graeme signed up to see the engine in operation up close during the trip, and came back grinning like a big kid.

    Getting a feed in Malden at lunchtime is quite a challenge! One venue doesn’t have a working phone number, another cafe was cakes and coffee only. The place we finally settled on… ahem gave us plenty of time to share stories, although with the train trip back to Castlemaine fast approaching, unfortunately the elusive Christmas shop will have to wait until next time.

    Many thanks to Lawrence and Shaaron for organising a great day.

    Simon de Lisle |  Member #430
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    On Sunday, 17 November seven cars, six BMWs and one (modern) Mini - took part in an excellent day of multi-modal transport.  The 15-odd participants (well, perhaps not all odd, or not very odd) assembled at the Wallan North McDonalds for a departure at the civilised time of 9:50am.  Remarkably we left very close to the scheduled time - just as well, as we had a train to catch!  The Peter Williams-designed drive took in some interesting roads and beautiful countryside in cool but fine weather.  The roads were a little choppy in places but not enough to unsettle our fine machines.  The only incident of note was a mother duck trying to shepherd her brood of ducklings across the road.  “Why?” remains the age-old question, but one to which no answer was forthcoming.  No ducks were harmed in the making of this movie.

    At Castlemaine we parked our vehicles and transitioned to our second mode of transport, namely the historic steam train service to Maldon.  We had a very comfortable first class carriage reserved for our use, which we graciously shared with a small number of overflow passengers from the rest of the train, including a clearly deluded individual who apparently actually chose to drive another German brand, one that features a star-shaped logo (decency forbids me naming it).  During this excursion several of our party partook of the food and beverage service, including a very quaffable shiraz.  The barman noted that it was his first experience of receiving payment via Apple Watch, so the journey was a decided mixture of old and new.

    At Maldon we took up our third mode of transport - Shank’s Pony.  A short walk took us to the main street of this historic small town, where the group dispersed to locate suitable lunch spots.  Unfortunately all the various choices proved to be rather slow in serving their meals, which left little time to visit the town’s retail establishments, no doubt to the chagrin of the proprietors of same, although possibly to the benefit of our bank balances.  Nevertheless everyone returned to the train in time for the return journey to Castlemaine, where the group broke up to find their own ways home, thus concluding a most enjoyable outing.

    David Francis |  Member #243
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne 

  • 14 Nov 2019 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    My first visit to Zagame Autobody inspired me to see an Australian business doing world class body work on iconic cars. This is not your average panel shop by any means and have a look at the video to get an idea of the facility.  

    Collectible Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mazeratis, Aston Martins, and Rolls Royces were just a few of the magnificent vehicles in their Bespoke Autobody department.

    No doubt some of these owners aren’t happy to have their cars in the body shop but they must be impressed with the customer experience provided by the expert staff who showed us around, and the no expense spared amazing facility.

    The employees I spoke to said it was great to work for the Zagame family, so seems to me the high standard the Zagames have created here is not just for this business but the way they conduct their organization.

    It's nice to know a company like this has chosen to be a major sponsor of the BMWDCM.

    Thanks to Graeme and Lawrence for taking the time to be our hosts.

    P.S Have to say tough to know which car was my favourite but definitely like to have the Mercedes GTS as a daily drive haha.

    Rod Martin |  Member #29
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    Zagame Autobody have released a fantastic video to showcase their new bespoke division.  See it here.

  • 14 Nov 2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    Zipse: “energy density to double by 2030” • Development of next-generation battery cells • Cutting-edge laboratory and analytical equipment • Production of prototype cells to industry standards • Sustainable, long-term material procurement

    The BMW Group is building on its leading position in the world of electric mobility and has pooled its many years of experience with battery cells and extensive knowledge in the field in a new Competence Centre. The purpose of the facility in Munich is to advance battery cell technology and carefully dissect the production processes. “The new Battery Cell Competence Centre puts us in an enviable position,” said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Taking the technology currently in the BMW i3 as a basis, by 2030 we will be able to double the energy density of our battery cells – and therefore also the operating range of the vehicles for our customers.”

    The BMW Group today presented its new high-tech Competence Centre to media representatives from around the world in the presence of Bavarian state premier Dr Markus Söder, revealing state-of-the-art labs, research facilities and prototype systems.

    And Zipse continued: “Battery cell technology is a key success factor in our electric vehicle offensive, as it influences both operational performance and battery costs. Our unrivalled expertise throughout the value chain ensures we are always at the cutting edge of technology. We can specify the exact formats we want to procure, as well as the materials and the conditions involved. As a result, we are ideally positioned to drive forward the rollout of our electrified vehicles.”

    The new Competence Centre maps the entire value chain of battery cell technology – from research and development to a cell’s composition and design, and its suitability for large-scale manufacture. The facility brings together the full breadth of the company’s expertise and lays the foundations for adding to it. The short distances and cross-functional collaboration at work here will enable complete, transparent and sustainable development of battery cells. Here, it is important that consideration is given to the issue of recycling from the outset.

    The BMW Group is investing a total of € 200 million in the Competence Centre and employees 200 people here. With this investment, the company is making a statement technologically but also safeguarding jobs and key skills. The company is working together with its employees to define the future of electric mobility at the BMW Group. “The Joint Works Council has been committed to the Battery Cell Competence Centre from the outset,” said Stefan Schmid, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Works Council at BMW AG. “The employee representatives at the BMW Group are actively involved in shaping these future-focused areas of the automotive industry, with the aim of developing the specific expertise of our employees within the company – and in so doing securing jobs for the long term during the process of transformation.” 

    Materials development at the root of cell development

    The BMW Group is developing future generations of battery cells at the new Competence Centre, focusing on customer-relevant aspects, such as improving energy density, available peak output, service life, safety, charging characteristics and performance at varying temperatures, and reducing battery costs. The BMW Group’s aim of developing the best battery cells for its models was formulated with these specifications at the forefront, reflecting the company’s commitment to giving electrified vehicle owners the very best cells for the vehicle concept at hand.

    Selecting the right materials from the beginning is crucial if these high standards are to be met. For this reason, the experts at the Competence Centre are constantly investigating innovative materials and systematically comparing them with one another. This leads to the creation of new material sets for the battery cell’s individual elements: the anode, cathode, electrolyte and separator. The way in which the various materials interact – the cell chemistry, in other words – is another fundamental factor in the evolution of the cell design.

    To guarantee access to the latest developments and knowledge at all times, the BMW Group works together with renowned worldwide partners throughout the value chain. These partners range from scientific institutions and universities to established companies and start-ups. And that enables the company to acquire know-how, ensures it is not dependent on individual developments and means it can create synergies and ultimately shorten development times. Working with a network of partners allows the BMW Group to consolidate its in-depth understanding of this cutting-edge technology and exploit the potential and opportunities of future innovations.

    Cutting-edge laboratory and analytical equipment

    Experts from around the world in the new development laboratories and facilities are striving to enhance the chemical composition and design of battery cells. Simulation and chemical analysis are assisting cell development from the word go.

    The BMW Group has been analysing battery cells since 2008, allowing it to draw on many years of experience and, as a result, extensive expertise in the field. The laboratory at the new Competence Centre boasts the state-of-the-art technology and methodology needed to further expand the company’s knowledge, monitor trends for the battery cells of the future and play an active role in shaping developments.

    The laboratory has been producing internally developed test cells in small formats for some years already with the aim of identifying the ideal cell structure from the myriad materials and variants. Great value is placed here on minimising the quantities of material used while optimising their properties.  If a cell passes the initial durability and charging behaviour tests, it is subjected to further testing in a larger format. An entire testing hall is on hand for this purpose and enables a wide variety of test types. The experts are also able to make use of an in-house safety lab, where the battery cells’ robustness can be investigated under extreme conditions. In this way, the BMW Group is able to maintain the same high standards of safety despite increasing energy densities and faster charging capabilities.

    A sustainable and reliable supply path until 2025 and beyond

    Sustainability and supply reliability are key factors in the ongoing expansion of electric mobility. For the BMW Group’s procurement specialists, ethical production and processing of raw materials begins at the very start of the value chain, which is why they closely scrutinise the battery cell supply chains – all the way back to the mines from which the materials are sourced. Complying with environmental standards and respecting human rights take top priority. The BMW Group publishes an up-to-date list of the countries of origin for cobalt on its website (see: ).

    The company has also restructured its supply chains for the upcoming fifth generation of high-voltage batteries and will begin direct procurement of cobalt and lithium for battery cells in 2020. This ensures complete transparency regarding the origin of these two vital raw materials for batteries. Added to which, the relevant agreements guarantee a reliable supply of these materials until 2025 and beyond. In future, cobalt will be sourced directly from mines in Australia and Morocco, and lithium from countries including Australia.

    Manufacturing technology of the future

    The BMW Group is also taking steps to ensure that future generations of battery cells can be manufactured on a large scale. The Competence Centre offers both ideal overall conditions and high-quality production facilities conforming to the industry standards of established cell manufacturers. New production technologies have been integrated here, bearing in mind the importance of flexibility with cell format in order to create greater scope for incorporating different developments.

    Manufacturing battery cell prototypes enables full analysis and understanding of the value chain processes for the cells. Adding the BMW Group’s in-house production expertise to the equation means the company can commission a specific chemical composition, mechanism and design for battery cells. In future, the BMW Group will be in a position to enable potential suppliers to manufacture cells in accordance with its particular requirements.

    Recycling-friendly design

    Batteries that are no longer fit for vehicles can be reused in stationary energy storage systems, helping to integrate renewable energy into the public power grid, increase grid stability and lower energy costs for consumers. The BMW Group has launched several major innovations with this in mind. The company is also using battery storage systems to steadily optimise power supply at its plants around the world.

    For a number of years now, the BMW Group has been pursuing a carefully conceived recycling policy for battery cells in batteries that can no longer be used as stationary storage devices either. Viable recycling techniques have been developed with partners during and since the development of the BMW i3. These and other recycling methods are now being upscaled for industrial applications. Again, the company has teamed up with partners for the job at hand. The aim is to achieve a recycling rate in excess of 90 per cent. When designing the battery cells, the BMW Group sets out to ensure that it will be possible to recycle them efficiently at a later stage.

    The Battery Cell Competence Centre will enable the BMW Group to build even greater expertise in the recycling of batteries and to work even more intensely on recycling techniques that lend themselves to use on an industrial scale.

    In an effort to further increase recycling rates, the company is constantly trialling recycling concepts for new vehicle components in its recycling and dismantling centre. In addition, the BMW Group is collaborating with research institutes and suppliers to drive the implementation of new recovery technologies for materials that will be used more often in future.

    International production network for electric mobility

    The BMW Group has created a highly flexible production network that can react quickly to the changing demand for electrified models. Today, the company already builds electrified vehicles at eleven plants around the world, and integrates them into the existing production system.

    The batteries required for the electrified models come from the company’s three battery factories in Dingolfing (Germany), Spartanburg (USA) and Shenyang (China). The BMW Group has also located production of batteries in Thailand as part of a link-up with the Dräxlmaier Group. BMW Group Plant Dingolfing plays a leading role within the network as a competence centre for electric drive systems.

    Ambitious targets for electrified vehicle sales

    The BMW Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of electrified cars, with a total of twelve models in its line-up at present. The company has set clear targets for sales of its electrified models. In 2021 they should account for a quarter of all vehicles sold by the BMW Group in Europe. This figure should rise to one third in 2025 and then to half of all vehicles sold in Europe in 2030.

    In order to achieve these targets, the BMW Group will offer a selection of 25 electrified models from 2023. Providing the platform for this undertaking are the flexible vehicle architectures for all-electric, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion models that allow the company to react swiftly to changing circumstances. More than half of the 25 models will have all-electric drive systems.


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