Legendary model premieres, trailblazing innovations, top sporting performances and pioneering decisions – the history of the BMW Group is full of milestones that have shaped the development of the company for the past 104 years. And behind each historic event, there are fascinating stories of people, technologies and products. They are all about the courage to dare to do something new, creativity in the search for unique solutions and the willingness to compete with the very best. In 2020, a host of anniversaries offer opportunities to narrate these stories. As a taster for the many different historic events that are worthy of attention in 2020, BMW Group Classic presents four very special anniversary stories below.
Martin Stolle was a talented young engineer in the development department of BMW and he was having great fun riding his motorcycle from the British marque Douglas. After the First World War, his employer – like all German companies – was prohibited from producing aero-engines. They kept their heads above water with large-displacement four-cylinder inline engines for trucks, tractors and boats. A new product needed to be created in order to secure a permanent future. Martin Stolle had the brilliant idea. Inspired by the engine powering his Douglas machine, he designed a 500 cc, air-cooled twin-cylinder engine with horizontally opposed combustion chambers. This type of engine arrangement was already known as a Boxer engine, in which the pistons always operated “one against one” similar to boxing competitors in a fight. The power unit impressed aficionados with its outstanding smooth-running performance right from the start – a quality that continues to excite fans of BMW motorcycles powered by Boxer engines to this day.
In 1920, production of the new engine was launched. At that time, Stolle was just 34 years old and his design of the Boxer engine was based on smooth-running and reliability. In his initial design, he settled for generating 6.5 hp at 4 500 rpm. The new power unit was supplied to various motorcycle manufacturers under the sales designation “Bayern-Kleinmotor” (Bavaria Small Engine). And soon Stolle’s development was installed in motorcycles of the brands Helios, Bison, SMW (Stockdorfer Motoren Werke), Corona and Hoco. The most successful motorcycles were manufactured by Nürnberger Victoria-Werke, whose KR 1 model powered by the “Bayern-Kleinmotor” from BMW attracted a large number of purchasers. More than 1 000 examples of the first Boxer engine from BMW were installed in this model alone.
Two years after the launch of sales for the new BMW bestseller, Martin Stolle followed in the footsteps of “his” engine. He switched companies and moved to Victoria-Werke where he was involved in other successful motorcycle developments. In Munich, his legacy was not only a groundbreaking engine concept but also a pioneering inspiration for the future of BMW. The company was destined to move forward on two wheels. The development of a complete motorcycle had already begun. In September 1923, the BMW R 32 was presented – naturally powered by a Boxer engine.
Motorcycle races were quite simply too dangerous. For this reason alone, the young engineer Robert Kohlrausch was given a sports car by his father in 1930. From that point onwards, his son enjoyed a sensational career of speed on four wheels. In his first race on 15 June 1930, Kohlrausch took victory in the Kesselberg Race competing in the sports-car class up to 750 cubic centimetres.
The vehicle that assisted the rookie in achieving success from a standing start came from Eisenach like the driver himself. This was where BMW produced its first roadster on wheels just one year after its debut as an automobile manufacturer. The BMW 3/15 PS DA 3 “Type Wartburg” – named after the city’s landmark castle – was ideal for driving fast laps with engine performance enhanced to 18 hp and a weight of just 400 kilograms. “Bobby” Kohlrausch was the first driver to understand how to make the most of these qualities. He accelerated from one victory to another, winning a total of 27 national and international races with the first BMW roadster up until 1933. This string of wins enabled him to lay the foundation stone for the reputation of the brand in motor sport.
Simultaneously, the “Type Wartburg” laid the tradition of BMW roadsters 90 years ago. Its successors, the BMW 315/1 and the BMW 319/1, also continued the successful racing heritage, along with the BMW 328, which went on to become the most successful German sports car of all time. The BMW 507 was presented in 1955 and also raced in a number of competitions but the car’s primary fascination to this day has been its aesthetic appeal and legendary flair as a dream automobile. Sheer driving pleasure defines the story of the BMW roadster in all its facets to the present day. It ranges from the BMW Z1 designed as a technology platform, through the BMW Z3 produced for the first time in the USA and the BMW Z8 which swiftly took on the mantle of a classic, to the BMW Z4 that is now continuing the tradition of open-top sports cars at BMW meanwhile in the third generation.
The first competition also happened to be the first victory for the BMW 328. At the Eifel Race in 1936 held on the Nürburgring, it was the fastest vehicle in the two-litre class. Four years later, the car competed in a race that transformed the BMW 328 into a motor-sport legend. Two men raced to a spectacular triumph. The duo of Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer drove in the Mille Miglia held in 1940, a race which entered the annals of motor sport and the company BMW – and this only had a really perfect ending as a result of a surprising stopover shortly before the finishing line.
In 1938, the BMW 328 had already made its mark with a class victory in the Mille Miglia. Two years later, BMW set its sights on overall victory. Three roadsters and two closed versions of the BMW 328 were entered in the race. The BMW 328 coupé had been styled with an aerodynamically streamlined body by Italian specialist coachbuilder Touring. The young drivers von Hanstein and Bäumer were nominated as drivers. Both of them had started their racing careers on motorcycles and at the beginning of the 1930s they had both achieved initial successes with BMW models in automobile racing. Bäumer had already been successful driving the BMW 3/15 PS DA 3 “Type Wartburg”, and in 1938 von Hanstein became the German Sports Car Hillclimb Champion in the BMW 328. They were the dream team for the Mille Miglia in 1940.
When the race started on 28 April 1940, the two closed BMW 328 cars lived up to expectations and took the lead right from the start. But after just seven laps, the BMW 328 Kamm coupé had to retire from the race with technical problems. Now it was up to von Hanstein and Bäumer to secure success for BMW. Their Touring coupé unerringly ate up the miles and continued to expand its lead over the Italian competitors who had achieved many racing victories. Only the constellation in the cockpit gave the team management a real headache. Fritz Huschke von Hanstein was so fixated on victory that he continuously pushed forward the change in drivers that had actually been agreed. And Bäumer soon found it extremely difficult to suppress his impatience. The team management ordered him to remain in the passenger seat. Shortly before the finishing line, the drivers undertook a manoeuvre that took spectators’ breath away. Von Hanstein brought the BMW 328 to a stop on the open road and Bäumer took over the steering wheel. There was undoubtedly ample time for the late change in driver. When Bäumer crossed the finishing line, the BMW 328 Touring coupé had a lead of a quarter of an hour over the second-placed Alfa Romeo. Von Hanstein and Bäumer also set up a speed record with an average speed of 166.7 km/h that went down as an eternal record never to be equalled in the history of the Mille Miglia. The three BMW 328 roadsters that had lined up at the start took third, fifth and sixth places to earn the team award for the team from Munich alongside overall victory.
The classic Mini has always been a source of inspiration for Nicholas Upton from the US. He has restored a wide range of examples of the British original small car. And Upton has been dreaming of a Morris Mini Traveller for a very long time. A very special type of restoration project has been coming to fruition at his workshop in California. Upton has combined the engineering of a classic Mini Cooper S with the body of a Morris Mini Traveller and created an estate car that never even existed. The little runabout from the West Coast of the US is not going to win any prizes for authentic restoration, but it will be a genuine eyecatcher at any meeting of classic cars. Upton’s custom special is one of the topics in the video-clip series “Work in Progress” in which BMW Group Classic presents unusual classic fans and their vehicles – you can watch it on the YouTube channel of BMW Group Classic.
A wealth of different versions is a constituent element of the tradition of the MINI brand. 60 years have now elapsed since it was launched. Even then, it was obvious that the revolutionary concept of the classic Mini was good for more than one model. The inventive genius of the engineers and the brand diversity of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) paved the way for this. As early as 1960, BMW presented a Mini Van alongside the classic Mini. The closed delivery van was the ideal company vehicle for workmen and tradespeople. An estate car with all-round glazing followed and this was marketed as the Morris Mini Traveller and the Austin Seven Countryman. A Mini Pick-up completed the line-up of small commercial vehicles in the following year. And the desire for more finesse was soon satisfied. The Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf provided an individual profile with distinctively upmarket radiator grilles, an extended luggage compartment and swallow-tail wings at the rear.
In addition, a version was created in 1961 that would contribute to the legendary status of the classic Mini like no other. The Mini Cooper met the desire for enhanced driving fun with output increased from 34 to 55 hp and appropriate chassis modifications. The sports-car designer John Cooper had identified the sporting talent of the classic Mini at an early stage. Ultimately, power was further enhanced with the Mini Cooper S packing 70 hp. It formed the platform for those racing vehicles that enabled the classic Mini to take three victories at the Monte Carlo Rally – and delivered the inspiration for Nicholas Upton’s unique version of the Morris Mini Traveller.
Trailblazer for sustainable mobility and endurance runner – within the six years following its launch, the BMW i3 has become an extremely successful model and a symbol of electric mobility. Since its market launch, it has been the most widely sold electric vehicle in the premium compact segment. More than 165,000 units have been sold worldwide to date. And since the car’s launch, sales figures have steadily increased year after year. The BMW i3 convinces in everyday use with a future-oriented interpretation of driving pleasure and versatile qualities reaching far beyond driving short distances in major metropolitan regions. This is underscored by the experience gained by electric car pioneers who regularly travel longer distances in their BMW i3 and have each completed more than 200,000 emission-free kilometres.
Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship and continuing sales success since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has acquired the status of an icon. The BMW Group will continue to further develop this vehicle and currently plans to extend production until at least 2024. Customers emphasize above all the reliability, durability and the practicable range of the BMW i3, whether in the heat of South Africa or in the cool north of Sweden. The first all-electric vehicle from the BMW Group has for years now proven everywhere to be a cost-effective means of transport that is fully suitable for day-to-day use. Customers who had their BMW i3 delivered shortly after its launch and since then have subjected both the vehicle and its original battery to a real endurance test, use sustainable mobility not only for daily commuting between home and the workplace, but also regularly for longer distances and even holiday trips.
“The vehicle concept of the BMW i3 is unique,” comments Helmut Neumann from the community of Titz in North Rhine Westphalia. “It looks so modern from the outside that people still turn around to catch a glimpse of it.” Neumann has been driving around locally emission-free since 2014 and even drove his BMW i3 BMW (60 Ah) (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 12.9 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) as far as Berlin and the Alps without any trouble. “Apart from the immense driving pleasure, the BMW i3 is simply an extremely economical car,” he says. “This applies both to power consumption and maintenance costs alike.” With an average power consumption of 13 kWh per 100 kilometres over the entire lifespan, energy costs are kept to an absolute minimum – not only compared with an automobile with combustion engine, but also with other electric vehicles. At an electricity rate of 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, Neumann’s energy costs are just EUR 3.90 per 100 kilometres.
An analysis by the German Automobile Club ADAC has already shown that in addition to ecological aspects, economical aspects speak in favour of the electric vehicle. In a comparison of overall costs, the BMW i3 was around 20 percent better in terms of size and performance than a comparable BMW model powered by a combustion engine. In addition to lower energy costs and high value retention, low expenditure for maintenance and wear also contribute towards cost-effectiveness. For the driver of a BMW i3, oil changes or defective exhaust systems are relicts of the past. Deceleration is usually effected by means of recuperation. Therefore, even after over 277,000 kilometres, Helmut Neumann has still not had to replace the brake pads and discs on his BMW i3 one single time.
Neumann is one of the customers who participated in the retrofit programme and substituted the 60 Ah battery of his BMW i3 with a gross energy content of 22 kWh for a 94 Ah high-voltage battery unit (BMW i3 (94 Ah): combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) with a higher energy content of 33 kWh. The new battery offers greater energy reserves. “This makes things simply more convenient on long journeys,” he says.
Experience obtained by customers who use a BMW i3 from the first years of production shows that even with the original battery, the achievable vehicle range decreases only marginally even after high mileage. This validates the BMW Group’s expectations in regards to the quality of the high-voltage battery unit. Not one BMW i3 high-voltage battery has had to be replaced due to premature ageing to date. As the battery’s potential is far from being exhausted when reaching the previously quoted 100,000 kilometres, the BMW Group has now extended its European warranty for the battery in new BMW i3 vehicles even further. The maximum mileage over a warranty period has been extended to 8 years and/or 160,000 kilometres.
The BMW Group has also developed solutions for re-using batteries that are no longer suitable for demanding use in automobiles. After a long life in cars they can still provide valuable service as stationary energy storage units. High-voltage batteries from pre-series vehicles and those handed in by customers participating in the BMW i3 retrofit programme are used on the grounds of the BMW plant in Leipzig as storage units for the green power produced there by means of wind turbines.
Offering a range that is actually achievable in practice, the BMW i3 meets the requirements of regular long-term use. Gabriele Forster from Austria immediately found the ideal drive and charge rhythm, for example. She made a conscious decision in favour of an environmentally friendly vehicle with which she now commutes every day between home and work. At midday and overnight she plugs her BMW i3 (60Ah) into a wall box, which is sufficient to cover a distance of around 200 kilometres each day with a battery that has a capacity of 22.6 kWh.
Robert Cleary from the US drives locally emission-free almost 150 kilometres every day. Only on one single occasion did he run out of power – about 50 metres from his front driveway. The problem was solved using an extension cable. Robert had already participated in field testing with the BMW Active E and in 2014 was therefore given a BMW i3 (60Ah) in the “Electronaut” version for electric vehicle pioneers. His car constantly provides a topic for discussion. Together with colleagues from his company, Robert initiated an electric vehicle workgroup that, among other things, advocates the provision of additional public charging stations. He is convinced that “electric driving strengthens environmental awareness”.
To Shaun Maidment from South Africa “range anxiety” is completely unknown. “I once drove the BMW i3 from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It took slightly longer, but it was okay,” he says. On normal workdays, he drives up to 300 kilometres, making use of customer visits to charge the battery. In 2014, Maidment opted for a BMW i3 (60 Ah) with Range Extender (combined fuel consumption: 0.6 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 13.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 13 g/km). However, he now considers the petrol-driven “emergency power generator” indispensable. “The Range Extender is essentially just a kind of assurance.” In order to further promote electric mobility in his home country, Maidment has launched a crowd funding platform designed to support the installation of further public charging stations in South Africa.
With a battery of the latest generation installed in the BMW i3 (120 Ah) (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km), whose gross energy content has now been extended to 42.2 kWh, it was possible to increase the vehicle range to values between 285 and 310 km as per WLTP test cycle and to 260 kilometres in everyday use. This equates to an increase of around 50 percent vs. the BMW i3 featuring a high-voltage battery of the first generation.
Even after many years of all-electric driving, customers are still fascinated by the spontaneous power and torque of the electric motor and the one-pedal feeling with which their vehicle decelerates by means of recuperation. “In the past, I have also tested other electric vehicles, also larger and faster ones,” says Rob van Roon from the Netherlands, “but none of them was as agile and easy to handle as the BMW i3.” Since the end of 2013, Roon has driven 276,000 kilometres with the first series production electric vehicle from the BMW Group, with another 25,000 having been added since March 2019 in a new BMW i3 (120 Ah). The new model only needs to be charged once a day, and van Roon usually knows how to make practical use of this. “Charging doesn’t necessarily mean waiting,” he says. “I spend the time doing administrative work or making phone calls, which demands my full attention.” On long journeys he has discovered the advantages of the quick charging stations from Ionity, which can be found at around 200 service areas along European long-haul routes. “If you can eat there, you can charge your car there,” he has noticed. Consequently, Rob van Roon and his family have driven their BMW i3 on trips taking them as far as the North Cape, the Algarve and Sicily.
In October 2013, Leif Carlsson from Sweden had already taken the first opportunity of a test drive in Stockholm. “After one single lap I was convinced – this is my car. It was the coolest drive I had ever experienced.” Today he still drives a BMW i3 (60Ah) with Range Extender every day and after travelling more than 216,000 kilometres, he enjoys the ideal balance between driving pleasure and sustainability. At first, it is sufficient to charge the car from conventional power sockets at home or at the workplace. In Sweden, there is no shortage of these even in multi-storey car parks, because there, auxiliary heating systems in automobiles are often supplied with electricity from the mains. Meanwhile, quick charging stations have been installed at workplaces and the network of public charging stations is becoming increasingly denser. Therefore, Carlsson now hardly ever uses the Range Extender. On the other hand, he still appreciates the auxiliary heating in his BMW i3 during the winter. The timer function works perfectly. When I get in the car to leave, the interior is warm and the windows free from ice and snow.”
For João Gonçalves from Portugal a test drive in the winter of 2013 was also enough. It was “Love at first sight – combined with many economical and ecological advantages.” Since then he has enjoyed every trip “to work, in his spare time and on holidays. My BMW i3 takes me simply everywhere.” He drives up to 250 kilometres a day and an opportunity to recharge the battery is always easily found during working hours at the office or when visiting customers. Meanwhile Gonçalves changed to a BMW i3s (120 Ah) (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km). The increased output of 135 kW/184 PS hp adds to driving pleasure and the high-voltage battery’s extended storage capacity “makes daily life even easier”, he says. “And longer journeys are now more comfortable and faster.” To prepare for long journeys Gonçalves uses the navigation system of the BMW i3. “It plans my route and indicates quick charging stations along the way, so I can be sure of reaching my destination without any problems.”
MONTH IN REVIEW
Happy New Year!
We hope you had fantastic Christmas and are enjoying the holiday (if you're lucky enough to have one!), and most importantly staying safe with all the bushfires around.
2019 was a fantastic year for us. We have run over 80 events with over 50% membership participation which is just fantastic!
Moving on to December, we started the month with our annual multi-club weekend which took us to NSW for a 2 night stay in Merimbula. It was fantastic to see so many Vic, NSW and ACT members attend.
Next up was our movie night, which was originally supposed to be at the Dromana Drive-In. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to change the location to the Karingal Cinema. Ford v Ferrari was an awesome film with something for everyone - tears, laughter, heartache and great cars. We definitely recommend seeing it, if you haven't already!
Our last members meeting of the year was held at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverley. It was a really great way to finish off the year with some varied bowling styles, all members seemed to have a great time and most walked away with some prizes in the raffle!
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 427 MEMBERS
Welcome to our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
THE MONTH AHEAD
As we move into a new year, we're starting with a quieter month in January:
Friday, 31 January - Monday, 3 February
Bathurst 12 Hour
It's time for our annual trip to the Bathurst 12 Hour!
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
NEWS | BLOG
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
Proudly supported by:
Welcome to my last Report for the year and what a year 2019 was! I could bore you with the stats but in short, we have run over 80 events this year, with over 50%-member participation. By that I mean that around 50% of our membership have been to at least one event in 2019, many of you a lot more than that. This is amazing, as to us it means we are doing the right thing in the way of events. Most clubs like ours would be lucky to run at 20% member participation and we are very happy that you keep coming and supporting the club we have all built together. We are still growing, with nearly 430 members in our less than 2 years and new members coming along all the time, quite a lot from recommendation of existing members or looking at how great our events are and wanting to be a part of the our club. Thank you all for making it such a great club to be a part of and also welcome to all of those of you that have joined us to make it even better in 2020.
December started with a our annual Multi Club Weekend away, which took us into NSW with a 2-night stay in Merimbula. It was great to see so many Vic, NSW and ACT members and also young ones on the long weekend too.
This is an event we plan on doing each year with varied destinations and the date may vary slightly, but it will be at the end of the year so keep a look out for this weekend. We always include great driving roads, great exploring, fabulous food and accommodation. Thank you again to Peter Williams for the amazing driving routes and Jo who always manages to get it right with accommodation and venues for meals, etc.
Our movie night in December was supposed to be at the Drive In, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we all met up at Village Cinemas at Karingal to watch Ford v Ferrari. This was an awesome film with something in it for everyone - tears, laughter, heartache, great cars and fantastic driving and just another different type of event to add to the list. We may be a car club, but we are a very social bunch and it’s nice to do some different events, sometimes not in our cars.
Our last Members Meeting of the year was held at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverly and this was a really great way to finish off the year with some pretty varied styles, but all members had an absolute ball. Again, just a fun social night out with a great bunch of friends. In amongst the bowling fun we had our Christmas raffles too. I am pretty sure nearly everyone who attended came away with some great treats, thanks to Ross from Celebrations in Clarinda.
As I am writing this the weather is searing hot, with wild northly winds and a storm on the way, so I urge you all to take care this holiday season and stay safe and not only drive carefully on the roads but also be mindful of the weather. We do live in a beautiful country but one that has extremes we need to live with, and with summer time and the lack of rain everywhere it brings the threat of fires and extreme heat. So please have a great holiday if you are off somewhere but stay safe and made sure you have the Vic Emergency App on your phone.
Look out for our events calendar for 2020. It will be updated and added to over the next week or so, as we finalise what will be a huge year, beginning with our yearly trip to Mount Panorama to support the BMW teams at the Bathurst 12 Hour. With some great drive events and not to forget our Yokohama/Traction Tyres Drivers Championship in 2020 which will be at some really mind-blowing tracks and an unprecedented number of events to suit everyone!
Take care and I wish you all a very safe and Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at an event in 2020.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of:BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilCAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
The appeal of the current model range and the progressive character of the latest technological innovations by BMW were also confirmed in the course of 2019 by a large number of coveted awards. The Munich premium brand's track record includes national and international awards, which are based both on public surveys and on the judgement of experts. The new BMW 3 Series, which was able to collect numerous titles immediately after its market launch, is one of the most frequently chosen prizewinners.
The wide range of award-winning models and technologies is also striking. The list of winners includes the outstandingly sporty BMW M automobiles as well as models with electrified drive. In addition to the new edition of the compact BMW 1 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X models and the luxury sports cars of the BMW 8 Series were among the winners in various competitions. Further renowned awards were presented to BMW for innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. At the J.D Power Awards, prizes for "Highest Quality" went to the BMW 2 Series and the BMW X4.
BMW M automobiles won seven categories of the "sport auto Award". The Swiss "Auto Illustrierte" also awarded BMW M GmbH the title of "Best of the Brands" in its competitive environment. The BMW M2 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 227 g/km) ranked among the “10 Best Cars” of the year for the experts of the US “Car and Driver” magazine. BMW's leading position as a supplier of vehicles with electrified drive systems was also confirmed by its excellent performance in several competitions. The drive system of the BMW i8 Coupé won the internationally renowned "Engine of the Year Award” (fuel consumption combined: 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 42 g/km*) and the BMW i8 Roadster (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km) won the award in the “Hybrid Drive” category. This is the fifth time in a row that their drive has won an award at this competition. The two hybrid sports cars also took second place in the "Plug-in Hybrid Sedans/Sports Cars" category of the "e-mobility Award" presented by the car journal "Auto Zeitung".
In Great Britain, BMW won the "DrivingElectric Awards" twice: the BMW 330e Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 1.9 - 1.6 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 15.4 - 14.8 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 43 – 37 g/km) won the ”Best Medium Plug-in Hybrid Car” category. The BMW X5 xDrive45e (fuel consumption combined: 2.0 - 1.7 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 23.5 - 20.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 47 - 39 g/km) won in the "Best Premium Plug-in Hybrid Car" category. The plug-in hybrid luxury sedans of the BMW 7 Series were named "Green Executive Car of the Year" in the readers' poll of the British "Professional Driver Magazine".
The new BMW 3 Series got off to an outstanding start not only thanks to its successful market launch, but also with top positions in numerous national and international competitions. In Germany, the new sports saloon immediately won the "Auto Trophy" in the "Middle Class" category awarded by the "Auto Zeitung" and the "Design Trophy" on top of that. The new BMW 3 Series was also honoured with the "autonis" trophy issued by the car magazine "auto, motor und sport" as the "best design innovation of the year".
Its inner values were equally awarded: the new BMW 3 Series won the "best networked car of the year" award in the top category of the "Car Connectivity Award", also presented by "auto, motor und sport". The driving dynamics of the new BMW 3 Series led to two class victories in the readers' choice of the magazine "sport auto". In their respective competition categories, the new BMW 330i Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 6.1 – 5.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 139 –132 g/km*) and the new BMW 330i Touring (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 146 – 136 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan (combined fuel consumption: 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 168 – 160 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: 7.6 – 7.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 172 – 163 g/km) received the “sportiest cars of the year” award.
In Great Britain, the specialist magazines "What Car?" and "Auto Express" unanimously named the new BMW 3 Series "Executive Car of the Year" and “Compact Executive Car of the Year”. The “Carbuyer” magazine awarded it the title of “Best Compact Executive Car” and “Business Car” named it the “Best Premium Car”. In addition, the British comparison portal "carwow" declared the latest generation of the mid-range model "Car of the Year". In Asia the new BMW 3 Series was honoured as well. It was named “Premium Car of the year” at the ”Indian Car of the Year” and the "Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan" awarded it the title "Import Car of the Year".
The BMW 5 Series was also able to add further successes to its collection of titles in the course of 2019. In the "auto, motor und sport" vote for the "Best Cars", it secured class victory in the "Upper Middle Class" category. In the race for the "Auto Trophy", the BMW 5 Series was also victorious in its vehicle class. In addition, the editors of the car magazine "Auto Test" also placed the BMW 530d Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 5.1 – 5.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 135 – 131 g/km) in the top position in their ranking of all models tested in the course of the year. The British magazines "Auto Express" and "Carbuyer" voted the BMW 5 Series "Car of the Year" in its vehicle segment and "Best Large Executive Car" respectively. The title "Executive Estate Car of the Year" awarded by "Professional Driver Magazine" went to the BMW 5 Series Touring.
BMW won a double victory at the "Golden Steering Wheel 2019" ceremony. The new BMW 1 Series prevailed in the "Compact Class". The new BMW 8 Series was awarded the title "Most Beautiful New Model of the Year" in the "Auto Bild" and "Bild am Sonntag" competitions. The BMW 8 Series Coupé, the BMW 8 Series Convertible and the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé in the luxury sports car segment also made a big impact in Spain. This was reflected in a double success in the "Motor Awards 2019" competition of the online portal "coches.net". The new BMW 8 Series was named both "Best Car" and "Best Sports Car” here.
In 2019 BMW once again added to the brand typical driving pleasure with the market launch of further innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. Numerous awards underline the brand's leading position, which has been strengthened by recent progress. The most important innovation in the field of vehicle operation is the BMW Operating System 7.0, which also includes the Intelligent Personal Assistant. The innovative language assistant was awarded the "Tech Award" by the British comparison portal "carwow" as the most important technology innovation of the year in automobiles.
Four titles went to BMW in the competition for the "Car Connectivity Award". The reader survey of the car journals "auto, motor und sport" and "Moove" showed that, in addition to the overall victory for the BMW 3 Series as the "best networked car", the BMW Live Cockpit Professional was a clear success in the "Navigation Systems” category. Readers chose the Driving Assistant Professional as their favourite in the "Safety Assistance Systems" category. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System was also voted the best innovation in the "Sound Systems" category.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport and the BMW iFE.20 got off to a successful start in Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with their victory in Diriyah (KSA) in November. Alexander Sims (GBR) heads into the new year and the next race in Santiago (CHI) at the top of the driver’s standings, but the BMW iFE.20 is already an asset for BMW i Motorsport away from the track as well. Its flax cooling shaft emphasises its great importance as a tech lab for the BMW Group, being the first BMW race car fielded by a works team with parts made out of renewable textile fibres – making it a pioneer for series production.
“The flax cooling shaft that we use in the BMW iFE.20 is further proof of the hugely important role of BMW i Motorsport as a tech lab for the BMW Group,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We are consistently using Formula E as an innovative platform for series development – in this instance for testing flax in extreme weather conditions. What’s particularly remarkable is the fact that in some areas this renewable material even has advantages over materials established in racing, such as carbon. Our ambition is to always use the best suited material for each part.”
Compared with carbon, flax has greater absorption and greater impact resistance, which can be advantageous on the street circuits with their bumps and crash barriers, on which Formula E takes place. The same is true of contact with other cars during races.
The BMW iFE.20 is the first works BMW racing car in which the material is used. However, the expansion of this concept to include other BMW Motorsport race cars is currently already in the development phase.
As an e-mobility pioneer, the BMW Group has reached another electromobility milestone and already delivered half a million electrified cars to customers worldwide. Sebastian Mackensen, BMW Group Senior Vice President Market Germany, handed over the keys to a very special BMW 330e* to its future owner at BMW Welt today.
"Half a million vehicles is the best proof: Our broad range of electrified vehicles is meeting exact customer needs. Now, we are stepping up the pace significantly: We aim to have one million electrified vehicles on the roads within two years. This is our contribution towards effective climate protection," said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Next year, the BMW X3 will become the first BMW Group vehicle available with four different drive train variants: efficient diesel, petrol, plug-in hybrid and pure electric. The biggest market for the pure electric BMW iX3* is China, where it will also be produced for the global market.The BMW iX3* will be the first to benefit from the ground-breaking fifth generation of our highly efficient BMW electric drive trains, which provide a new balance between range and battery size. The key lies in making the drive train substantially more efficient. Our technology flagship, the BMW iNEXT – which will also be available from 2021 – will combine electromobility with highly automated driving. The fully electric BMW iNEXT will be produced on the same assembly line in Dingolfing as vehicles with combustion engines and plug-in hybrids.This will be followed in 2021 by the BMW i4, a pure electric Gran Coupé in the premium mid-size segment with strong emotional appeal. The BMW i4 will be produced at the main plant in Munich.
Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship and continuing sales success since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has acquired the status of an icon. The BMW Group will continue to further develop this vehicle and currently plans to extend production until 2024. Since late this year, the BMW Group’s electrified model line-up has also been joined by a further pure electric vehicle, the MINI Electric*. The more than 90,000 registered prospects indicate the high level of customer interest in the first pure electric MINI.
With 12 electrified vehicles currently, the BMW Group is one of the world's leading providers of electric mobility. The company has been the market leader for electrified vehicles in Germany since 2016 and also occupies a leading position in Europe and worldwide. The company has formulated clear goals for sales of electrified vehicles for the years ahead: A quarter of all vehicles sold in Europe should be electrified by 2021. This should reach a third by 2025 and half in 2030.
“We already offer an electrified drive train variant for most of our model line-up – from MINI to the BMW 7 Series. Our customers get to choose: Not just their preferred model, but also the drive train that suits them best,” explained Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales. “This is the diversity our customers want and that can best meet their individual mobility needs.”
The BMW Group model line-up offers highly efficient combustion engines as well as modern plug-in hybrids and pure electric drive trains. This “Power of Choice” enables the company to meet customers’ varied needs and wants in different regions of the world. Depending on the drive train chosen, all current and future models deliver brand-specific driving pleasure. No matter which type of drive train the customer decides on: They can always expect a high level of efficiency and lower CO2 emissions from the BMW Group.
A customer from Munich was in for a surprise when he came to collect his new vehicle. As part of a special and exclusive handover, the customer received the keys to his new BMW 330e* from Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President Market Germany: The car in question was the BMW Group's 500,000th electrified vehicle. “For me, the BMW 330e – the plug-in hybrid 3 Series – combines the best of both worlds: For the most part, I can drive emission-free – especially in the city – but, on longer trips, I still have the flexible range of a combustion engine,” explained the car’s new owner, Florian Merk.
Sebastian Mackensen added: “I am very happy to celebrate the delivery of our 500,000th electrified vehicle here at BMW Welt. No one sells more electrified vehicles in Germany than we do. There are already about 60,000 electrified BMW and MINI models on German roads today. And in 2020 we will continue to launch additional models.”
Thanks to its years of e-mobility experience, the BMW Group has acquired extensive and sound knowledge in this area. This provides the basis for the company to develop eDrive technology in-house, including the engine, power electronics and also the battery as well as the battery cells. This ensures BMW and MINI electrified vehicles still deliver brand-typical driving characteristics.
Thanks to the generous support of Geelong BMW, who organised to get us two cars from BMW Australia for Geelong Revival, I had the privilege of driving an X4M Competition and a M3 CS over the weekend – admittedly not for very long.
Both are very fine cars and I’d take either of them if they were a prize in a raffle. But if I had to put down my own hard earned cash, I’d take the M3 CS – it just more my sort of car and I understand that not everyone would agree (Jo Mawson being one!).
So, I’ll start with the M3 CS.
I like the look of the F80/F82 cars. Muscular and purposeful. In my personal view a distinct improvement on the rather bland E90/92 M cars. I’m not sure I would want the Frozen deep blue finish – I’m told the Frozen finish is easy to clean and it proved to be so when the seagulls repeatedly left their mark on the cars whilst on display at the waterfront – as I think it could quickly start to look like a neglected old car. But whilst new I concede it has a certain presence.
Opening the door reveals the first of the many weight saving features which are part of the CS pack- no keyless entry. I was a bit taken aback by this as I was standing right next to the rear door which has roller sun blinds!
Weight is down and power up with the suspension enhanced – must be good.
But the interior looks gorgeous, with sculptured seats and M-tricolour edged seat belts with CS etched into the dash. And it gets even better once seated.
The seats are firm supportive and very snug, instantly reminding me of the Recaro seats in my ’81 E21 323 JPS. I did not have the chance to drive for more than about 30 minutes at a time but I’m sure they will be comfortable on a long drive.
Oddly, given the weight saving ethos, there is full electric adjustment and memory for both seats and external mirrors. Given the strong family design theme still running from the ‘60s to today, getting a suitable setting was quick and easy. And now it felt very much like my ’05 E46 M3 – a theme I’ll be coming back to.
Leather trim on the upper dash, splashes of carbon fibre and an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel of what I think ideal thickness (some reviewers say too thick) but no centre arm rest and only single zone climate control (weight again). Odd, but lovely.
Press the (keyless) start button and a delightful burble erupts at the back with a meaningful hum at idle which cries “ready for action”. Snick the now classic M gear knob across to the right (yes- dual clutch transmission) and the gearbox defaults to auto mode. I’m sure that can be changed but I did not work my way through the thick owner’s manual which nearly filled the glove box. I was happy to see how well it worked as an auto.
I will freely admit that my M3’s SMG gearbox is a woeful auto but the M3 CS’s DCT works perfectly. At any time one can flick a paddle and assume temporary manual control just as with a paddle equipped “slush box” system. There is no creep at idle but nor is there any jerk when a touch of throttle is applied. Parking is a breeze and a creep mode can be induced if really required. This is all an improvement, minor in the most part, from the DCT implementation in the E90/92.
Once on the move the whole car feels alive and responsive. The steering has a wonderful weight and feel. I can not say what would happen when the car is stretched as I did not get to drive it out of town. But it gave me every indication that is was ready to party and was going to be good at it!
I’d say the F80 is more race suit and the E90 M3 more business suit. But a tastefully tailored race suit you could wear to work.
Switching to fully manual transmission control the gear changes are instant, smooth and delightfully executed. It will change up readily in a way my E46’s SMG just won’t. This is such a step forward I’m saddened that BMW are going to discontinue the DCT in favour of the “conventional” torque converter autos.
I liked it a lot. A real lot.
With a few more kays under my belt I really appreciated just how far suspension design and tuning has come in the last 18 years or so. The ride is surprising smooth and quiet, and yet those who know far better than I testify that this car corners flatly and with tremendous grip. It is astonishing how this can be achieved.
Oddly, despite all the M1 button presets for the ultimate personal choice of the many selectable parameters such a throttle response, suspension stiffness, steering weight, I get the impression that this is not a dual character car in the way that many “hot” cars are. It seems it will seamlessly move from comfy cruiser in a city traffic jam to an all out racer on a nice twisty road or possibly even race track.
In a word, brilliant.
So, what of the brightly coloured X4M.
For a start, I like the colour better, and I like the overall shape. The front end styling is sharp and dramatic with lots of nice black details. If one is going to have a SUV, sorry, SAV, at least have a curvy one. Yes, I know the idea of a coupe 4x4 type vehicle seems to contradict its very reason for existence, but the loss of functionality is minor compared to the improvement in styling – in my eyes at least.
It’s a bit of a step up into the X4M. Literally if not figuratively. I think I would find that tiresome but it’s a feature of the genre. But once behind the wheel it all looks and feels very BMW and, oh, so just right. The feeling is far more car like than I had expected and it has a nice commanding feel. The driver’s seat is supportive but not overly snug with plenty of provision for those with a wider beam.
The instruments, general dash layout and M-style gear lever action leave you in no doubt that this is an M-Car, and the exhaust burble on start up confirms this to be so. But otherwise it is a completely “normal” drive unless you active some of the sporty settings and spice things up. There is no doubt that it is smooth and powerful, but I did not feel the same level of “special” that I did in the M3 CS. On the move its composure and lack of excessive lean and wallow belie its height and weight. I’m pretty sure that on just about any piece of road you could name it would give the M3 CS something to worry about and still be comfortable.
One thing which I noticed very quickly is the shallow rear window, a by-product of that sloping roof line. Rear seat headroom is not overly compromised but I spent a bit of time trying to adjust the interior mirror before realising that it is the window which needed adjustment! A rear view camera does a wonderful job when reversing but the letter-box view took some getting used to on the road. Thankfully the large door mirrors give a superb rearward view.
And there is no getting away from the huge cargo space and commanding view.
If you like a SUV style vehicle, and you like a fast rewarding drive, this has got to be a good possibility for you.
Both cars attracted a lot of attention at the Geelong Revival and we are greatly indebted to Phil Curran and his staff at Geelong BMW for arranging to get these from BMW Australia and cleaning them etc ready for us to pick up. And thanks to BMW Australia for making them available to us.
Lawrene Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
An enthusiastic bunch of members, family, and friends attended the December Members meeting at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverly on 10 December. A fun evening of laughs, thrills, and spills was had by all.
We put on our fancy bowling shoes, headed up to the lanes and were grouped into three teams each with our own lane. Food and beverages were consumed as the games commenced. There were plenty of strikes and spares going around, as the competitive nature of participants shone through. To offset this, there were quite a few gutter balls thrown as well, as we were all trying to get into a rhythm. Some of us seemed to have issues with our footing, with a couple of bowlers tripping and hitting the deck while running up to bowl. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported, and more than likely provided a bit of humour to the spectators.
With the exception of a couple of bowlers, most scores were within a handful of points of each other, and competition was tight. Heading into the second game it was fairly close between teams one and two, with the third team only part way though their first game. Teams continued to bowl neck and neck for the remainder, with the big winner being 10 pin bowling at the end of the night.
After the games were finished, Jo got the barrel out and did the final members draw for the year. Plenty of lucky winners, with bottles of BMWDCM wine being awarded as prizes to most, and a couple of gift bags with extra goodies included to big prize winners. Looking forward to cracking open my bottle of Cab Sav over the holiday season.
After a fun night bowling with new and old friends, we ditched the stylish footwear for our own shoes, and headed off into the night. Here’s to more fun events with this great bunch of people in the 2020.
Greg Dickson | Member #211
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Day 1: 29 November
The morning of Friday, 29 November, saw Canberra shrouded in a smoke haze from the Tallaganda bushfire as we prepared to drive to Merimbula to rendezvous with members from the NSW BMW Drivers Club and the BMW Drivers Club of Melbourne. The smoke haze persisted all the way to the town of Bemboka, at the foot of the Brown Mountain. Coffee and a mini custard tart from the Bemboka Pie shop replenished us before we turned-off the Snowy Mountains Highway and drove via the Mogilla (gorilla) Road to Candelo, thence to the Princess Highway and down to our Merimbula accommodation at the Sapphire Valley Caravan Park.
Driving the Mogilla Road was a new experience for us. It is a well surfaced road which offers the opportunity to not only enjoy the drive but to also take in the local undulating scenery. Unfortunately, the landscape was mainly brown from the drought rather than the usual lush green of the Bega Valley. Our thoughts were with the farmers and we hoped they’d soon receive the much needed rain. The road from Candelo to the Princess Highway wasn’t as enjoyable as there were many potholes and road works being undertaken. Once we reached the Princess Highway it was an uneventful run to Merimbula and to our accommodation.
Later in the afternoon other drive participants started to arrive and we were able to reconnect with friends we hadn’t seen since last year’s run. Our motel-style accommodation was very comfortable and the room was clean with good facilities. The staff were friendly and a little taken aback from the sight of 12 BMWs at their Park. The grounds of the Park were very peaceful with the local kangaroos lounging around nearby.
Dinner was at the Merimbula RSL Club who put on a fine repast. The dinner afforded us the opportunity to regale each other with our adventures driving to Merimbula and to meet the other participants. It was an early night as the long Day 2 beckoned.
Day 2: 30 November
We were rolling from the Park by 9am as we had a 500km round trip ahead of us. The day was clear and cool, which made a change from the smoky, warmth and humidity of the previous day. Perfect weather conditions for a long drive and excellent turbo weather for those of us with air-to-air intercoolers.
From Merimbula the convoy of 12 BMWs drove to Bombala where we stopped at the Cosmo Café for coffee. The road to Bombala provided a bit of everything – undulations, hairpin bends, open sections and sweeping bends. Even my navigator thought it was a great section of road.
From Bombala, we split into two groups for the drive to the Marlo Hotel for lunch. One group of eight cars went via the Bonang Highway and the remaining four, including us, cruised down the Monaro Highway to Cann River, then the Princess Highway through Orbost to the Marlo Hotel. I particularly liked the section of road from Orbost to Marlo.
As we headed towards Cann River, the brownish, open landscape around Bombala gave way to wooded and green. It also started to rain, heavily in some parts. While I would have preferred it dry for better driving, it was pleasing to see rain. The road was well surfaced and perfectly suited to cruising. There were few cars or caravans to impede our progress.
The rain continued all the way to Marlo, with a light drizzle upon our arrival at the Hotel. As the temperature was about 15 degrees, the Hotel was warm and inviting, while we awaited the arrival of the other group. We could have easily settled in for the afternoon, but the return journey awaited us. The Hotel overlooks the mouth of the Snowy River and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us sitting on the outside deck, which would have been perfect for lunch. However, the sizable dining room was comfortable and well patronised. The quality and variety of food was impressive and I think everyone was well satisfied with their lunch.
We departed the Hotel in the continuing drizzle of rain. With the 12 cars now reunited, we followed the coast to Cape Coran, then via the Princess Highway to Cann River where we stopped briefly while some of us took fuel. From Cann River we cruised up the Monaro Highway, eventually turning off the Highway on to Imlay Road, which took us to Eden and then to Merimbula. Imlay Road provided something of interest for everybody and is well worth exploring. We also left the wet weather behind.
Once back at the Caravan Park, it was a quick change for dinner, which was at Doci’s Italian Restuarant. Another superb meal, washed down by a few bottles of wine, accompanied by excellent conversation. The walk back to our accommodation, in the cool Merimbula air, was pleasant and reminded me how tired I think most of us were. At least we could have a little sleep-in as Sunday’s departure wasn’t until 10am.
Day 3: 1 December
The first day of summer dawned clear and a little warmer. The plan was to drive to Bemboka via Candelo and then to Cooma for lunch at the Cooma Hotel. Some of our party were very excited at the prospect of stopping at Candelo to check out the local markets. Unfortunately, Candelo was packed by people attending the markets and parking spaces were at a premium. As we were on the clock in terms of needing to be at Cooma for lunch, it was decided to push on to Bemboka for a coffee break. The chatter over our radios from the disappointed marketeers subsided after several kilometres! Fortunately they were able to indulge their shopping addiction at Bemboka. Someone even found a top hat for next year’s Melbourne Cup!
Again, the Mogilla Road proved an entertaining drive and we invaded the Bemboka Pie shop for coffee, and in my case, another mini custard tart.
The drive up the Brown Mountain was slow due to the amount of traffic, although we were able to pick-up pace once we cleared Nimmitabel when the road opened up.
Cooma was cool, but the Hotel was warm and inviting. The Hotel offered a comprehensive menu with sizable portions. Needless to say, I don’t think anyone left hungry.
It was time to say our goodbyes. Our Victorian friends headed to Corryong for the night, while the Sydney group headed home via Canberra. After two excellent, but tiring days, I was pleased I only had the relatively short drive to Canberra.
I would like to thank all the organisers for another excellent outing. Everything went off without a hitch. I would especially like to thank Peter for mapping out the wonderful driving roads. But as he modestly says, he had nothing to do with building them.
We look forward to next year’s adventure.
Ian & Jenny Cartwright
BMW Car Club Canberra
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