Event date: 8 June 2020
I am a relatively new member to the BMWDCM and I already feel so welcome.
My name is Jacob and I recently purchased my first BMW, a 2004 325ci e46 and the only thing I wish I had done is purchase it sooner! I am in love with my car an absolute pleasure to drive. It may be 16 years old but something about being behind the wheel of a BMW makes it feels like a touch above.
I joined BMW Drivers Club Melbourne about 3 weeks ago to be able to interact and meet fellow BMW enthusiasts but little did I know I was joining a family, a great group of people. I had my first virtual club zoom meeting last week held by Jo, and Graeme. There were some special guests, reputable people in the motorsport industry who have been involved in Marshalling and officiating for a very long time and were very generous with the knowledge and open to many questions, a great way for me to be introduced to the club by hearing what is involved behind the scenes on race weekends and track days.
Then today I went along to my first social meet and drive to Macedon on Queens Birthday Public holiday. What an amazing day, I came up from Geelong to meet at meet point 1 at Warrandyte, we then headed to Wallan for meet point 2 and then off we went to our final destination Macedon Memorial Cross. The weather was sensational, the cars were sensational and the company was great. It was my first time meeting many members face to face.
The club organised a great day and had everyone's best interest at heart through the COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing, the drive was amazing great landscape and to top it off some of the best BMWs I have seen, 47 in fact I’m told.
Highly recommend BMWDCM to any BMW enthusiast out there or anyone wanting to be in a club who put on great gatherings very helpful and just have a liking for cars.
Jacob Bennett | Member #514
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
I've just bought my first BMW, and to put it mildly, I'm super impressed. It's a fabulous driving experience.
A friend told me about the club, so I decided I'd join up and see what goes on in the BMW community. From the info that's hit my mailbox to date, quite a bit!
The drive on Sunday followed a fabulous route, great scenery, and a variety of road types. Well done to whoever spent the time mapping the route and providing the instructions, top job.
There wasn't a lot of time/opportunity to mingle, apart from Wallan but I realized this was just a drive only event and we needed to adhere to the COVID restrictions. If the objective was to blow the cobwebs out, objective achieved. My friend and I had a great day, and I got to have my first decent drive.
That's enough from me for now. Loving the Beamer and very happy to get my backside in a car that's designed to be driven.
Graham Thomas | Member #534
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
MONTH IN REVIEW
In May we held our virtual members meeting with a remote tour around club sponsor, Creative Custom Cars. Alan How gave us an amazing tour of the projects they have there at the moment.
We have been working on future events and preparing for our new normal. As we start getting out and about again we recommend you download the Covid-Safe App and have it working on your phone. If someone who attends one of our events becomes unwell, it will be much easier to follow up with you.
We are very happy to let you know that our second edition of idrive is currently at the printers and will be at your doorstep very soon!
Unfortunately due to COVID-19, there were some delays but we're so excited to share idrive with you.
BMWDCM are proud supporters of the Blue Ribbon Foundation. If you would also like to support the Blue Ribbon Foundation, click here to purchase your own bear or badge.
If you require assistance from Jo or Graeme during this time, please do not phone the Bell Motorsport phone number (03 5979 1599) and instead phone Jo on 0412 661 900.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 468 MEMBERS
Welcome to our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an event soon!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
Finally, the good news we have all been waiting for, restrictions are starting to ease and we can start to leave our homes.
Here's what we've got planned for June:
Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar for more events as they become available.
We will be needing help for the upcoming Sandown Driver Training and Come & Try day. If you are interested in helping please email Jo.
MEMBER CAR OF THE MONTH
This month we're kicking off our feature member's car of the month.. We had so many interesting submissions we thought we'd kick off with a motorbike! To read all about John's 1959 R69 click here.
To submit your own car, or motorbike for next month, click here.
NEWS & BLOG
Everyone has their own BMW story - we'd love to share yours.
Email us to feature in our very own idrive magazine.
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
Proudly supported by:
All Residential/All Commercial
Creative Custom Cars
Welcome to all the new members that have joined us through lockdown. Our membership is sitting at 468 as I write this, and it continues to amaze me how our club has grown in such a short time. I think the committee and membership as a whole, deserve a huge pat on the back for making this the best BMW Club around. It is amazing to see we have continued to grow, even though we haven’t been able to get out and about and run events.
Very soon you will be receiving edition 2 of our wonderful annual Journal, idrive. I have seen a few snippets and I can’t wait to see it in print and read all of your stories and be taken back to all the wonderful events we ran over the last year. Thank you to the advertisers and sponsors that have come on board to allow us to produce such a world class Journal. You will be impressed; Jess and Leigh have done an amazing job, yet again. It's hard to think it could be better than edition 1, but I think you will be amazed at what you get in your mailbox.
Finally, the good news we have all been waiting for, we will be getting out and about again now the restrictions are starting to ease. After months of self-isolation and everyone doing their best to stem the spread, we can now start running events again.
We had another great virtual members meeting at the start of the month with a remote tour around club Sponsor, Creative Custom Cars. Alan How giveus an amazing tour of the projects they have there at the moment. We also recorded the tour and the rest of the meeting, if you would like to go and have a look, it is here.
We have been working on future events and getting ready to get back to our new normal. The last few months have been very different, which I think make us realise how lucky we are living in Australia. When you look at what has happened in other countries, we have been very lucky and have been able to contain anything that has come here, now allowing us to start venturing out again. As we start getting out and about again we recommend you download the Australian Government's Covid-Safe App and have it working on your phone when you do come to events, it will make it a lot easier if something does happen and we need to follow up with all who attend.
We will still have our members meeting for June virtually, with representatives from different areas of motorsport officiating joining in to tell us about their area of expertise. We often ask for people to come and help at our track days or to register with Motorsport Australia as an Official, so this is your chance to log in and ask questions about the many varied roles available to officiate at a club or race meeting. We often think of flaggies or scrutineers as they are the ones we see most, but there are lots of jobs that need to be filled to run an event and if you’d like to get involved without driving (or get into some of the big race meetings for free) then there are plenty of roles to choose from. Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, 2 June to find out more.
Our first meet-up and drive since all this began, will be on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday Monday. We are very much looking forward to getting out and seeing people and going for a drive again, especially along some of Peter Williams’ amazing drive routes.
On Sunday, 14 June we are back on track, literally! Our Driver Training and Come & Try Day at Sandown is all go. We released entries on Saturday night last weekend and before the end of the week we were sold out with a growing wait list. We have, and still are, working very closely with Sandown and Motorsport Australia to get us back on track and we will be one of the very first clubs to return to running track days under the new regulations. The rules are still evolving on exactly what we will be doing, or allowed to do, on the day. We will have a lot of changes to how we run the event and some officials from Motorsport Australia are coming along to see how we do it and how the new rules will work in practice. It will be interesting, and we are confident everything will work as it should and everyone will have a great time. One thing I will mention is that we cannot have spectators at this event. So if you are not entered or an official unfortunately you won't be able to come and watch this time.
The good news continues though, our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship Round 5, including the Cross-Border Cup with BMW Drivers Club NSW at Winton on 4 July is only a few weeks after Sandown. If you miss out on Sandown, or indeed go to Sandown and need another track fix, we will have the entries out for that shortly too. We need lots of Victorian members to come and help us bring the Cross-Border Cup home! Keep your eyes on your email, as soon as Motorsport Australia approve the supplementary regulations, we will get them out to you.
That’s it from me for now, I am very much looking forward to getting out and seeing our members and running events again. It is important to remember that we still need to be sensible, keep your social distance and keep up your hand washing and other sanitary processes and we will be able to get back to normal and keep every one safe at the same time.
Take care, see you down the road somewhere.
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 CouncilMotorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
What make is your vehicle? BMW
What model is your vehicle? R69
What year is it? 1959
What engine does it have? 600cc flat twin air cooled
What colour is it? Dover white.
When did you purchase it? 2016
Where did you purchase it? UK
What attracted you to this particular vehicle? The stylle, and it's a BMW icon.
Do you work on it yourself? Yes, I do all the work.
Generally, what do you love about it? The style and rarity.
If you had to pick one piece of it that you just love to look at, hear or touch, what would it be and why? The whole bike!
Tell us about the best drive you've had in it. As usual in the Pyrenees.
What about the worst drive? Why? None!
Any improvements/modifications/restorations planned? No. I'll keep it standard.
In two words, how would you describe it? Gorgeous and style.
Is there anything else about your car that is of interest (i.e previous celebrity owner, raced, a show winner, limited number in Australia)? Only 2,956 units produced.
Thanks for sharing with us John! If you'd like to share your car (or motorbike!) with us, click here to submit your car or bike for next month!
Finally, we are getting good news and signs that things are opening up as restrictions are lifting slowly.
We will be doing a virtual members meeting again on Tuesday, 2 June but then getting back to actually getting out into the world!
We are setting up events as we speak, the plan being that we will return to doing drives and outings in June. The first will be a drive on the Queen’s Birthday holiday, look out for entry details for that in the next couple of days.
We have also been in discussion with Motorsport Australia and tracks to see when we will be able to get back on track. I am very happy to say that we will be going ahead with our planned Sandown Come and Try and Driver Training Day on 14 June. We have the permit and everything organised, we're just working through the final requirements for a Covid-Safe plan so we can release entries. So keep an eye on your emails, entries should be out later this week. It will be great to get out and have a squirt on a track again! This day will be for everyone, whether you want to come and practice, just a few laps to stretch your car's legs, or get a few tips on lines and improving lap times, you are all welcome.
We will also be needing some instructors and officials for the event, so even if you don’t want to drive around the track you can come and help as an official. There won’t be any spectators allowed this time and there will be a few other requirements to keep everyone safe, but should be a great day!
Other events and our strategy to get back out doing the things we love will be released as we go along and, of course, will depend on the fluctuations of restrictions and how we, as a community, respond to easing restrictions and any outbreaks.
Keep well everyone, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter!
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Over more than 100 years of history at the BMW Group, there have been many events that have presented the business with exceptional challenges – much like the current situation. Lots of highs and some lows have been encountered on the pathway from the modest aero-engine factory to the status of leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Celebrating the occasion of its 100th Annual General Meeting, the BMW Group looks back to key moments in the development of the company and remembers how the associated difficulties were overcome.
Every crisis – and this also applies to the present – entails an opportunity to emerge with renewed strength. What powers are necessary to achieve this? A company with innovative strength that embraces change and is geared to the future. A company producing pioneering products with the courage to develop unique solutions and the indomitable will to compete with the best. Then you also need a highly motivated workforce that is always willing to go the extra mile. These capacities, abilities and skills have always empowered the company to overcome setbacks, surmount crises and master new challenges. The prism of history and key corporate indicators from more than 100 years show how crisis situations have repeatedly provided the launchpad for developing renewed strength and continuing the success story of the BMW Group.
During the First World War, the fledgling company was only manufacturing one product: the BMW Illa aeroengine. The 6-cylinder inline engine had the reputation of being the best aero-engine of its era. Its design principle was now transferred to the successor model – and the superiority of the technology was proven with a World Record. On 17 June 1919, an aircraft powered by the BMW IV aeroengine took a pilot to an altitude of 9 760 metres for the very first time. Never before had an aircraft flown so high. But after the end of the war, production of aero-engines was prohibited in Germany. New ideas had to be generated so that the expertise in building engines could continue to be applied productively. Consequently, BMW expanded its product range. Power units were marketed as the “Bayern-Motor” or “Bavaria Engine”, which in common with the aero-engines featured reliable and fuel-efficient operation. They were mounted primarily in boats, trucks and buses.
Reliability was also the chief hallmark of the “Bayern-Kleinmotor” (Bavaria Small Engine). The first Boxer engine from BMW was only supplied to other manufacturers. The main purchaser was Nuremberg-based company Victoria, which very successfully mounted the engine in its motorcycles. But when Victoria moved over to using an engine the company had developed in-house, BMW’s sales collapsed. In this situation, the company management made the daring move of taking a big leap forward. Chief Designer Max Friz was commissioned to develop a complete motorcycle. The BMW R 32 was presented at the German Motor Show in 1923. While other manufacturers were still focused on the geometry of bicycles, Friz had consistently designed the BMW R 32 around the engine. For the first time, a twin Boxer engine was mounted in the model with the cylinders arranged transverse to the direction of motion. When motorcycle manufacture started up again, BMW was transformed from an engine supplier into a vehicle manufacturer.
After the end of the war in 1945, BMW lost its production site in Eisenach since it was located in the Soviet occupation zone, and with loss of the location went the know-how necessary for automobile manufacture. At the same time, work began on dismantling the facilities in Munich, parts of which had been destroyed. Nevertheless, a start was made on a modest beginning with emergency production of pots and pans, fittings, agricultural implements and a handful of bicycles with lightweight alloy frames. Then the military authorities gave the green light to restart production of motor vehicles and the BMW R 24 was the first post-war motorcycle to be produced in Munich in 1948. The single-cylinder engine received an enthusiastic reception, becoming a symbol of entrepreneurial courage and signalling the launch of a new era of individual mobility. More than 12 000 machines were sold and the successor model BMW R 25 achieved almost double the number of motorcycles. And just one year later, another model powered by a Boxer engine followed in the form of the BMW R 51/2.
By 1954, the annual production at the Munich plant had risen to 30 000 motorcycles. But soon after that the market underwent a change. The motorcycle lost out in terms of image and prestige to the automobile. Within the space of just three years, the sales figures came down to 5 400 BMW motorcycles. Nevertheless, the company steadfastly continued with motorcycle production. Traditional business from government agencies continued to be a mainstay of the business in times of crisis. BMW motorcycles were especially successful with the police service because of their reliability and smooth-running characteristics – not only in Germany but also in many other countries. Equipping police patrols often paved the way for entry into new markets. Persistence ended up paying off. New models and the relocation of BMW Motorrad production to Berlin in 1969 presaged a new chapter of success. The newly developed /5 Series was consistently designed as a sports racing machine and lent pioneering momentum to the motorcycle sector. As a sports and leisure machine, the motorcycle experienced a comeback and BMW was ideally positioned with its new models to emerge stronger from the motorcycle crisis.
At the end of the 1950s, BMW was on the edge of financial collapse. Sales problems in the automobile and motorcycle business had put the company in serious difficulties. At the Annual General Meeting in December 1959, the sale of the company to Daimler Benz AG appeared to be already a foregone conclusion. However, it failed with a last-minute reprieve as a result of committed small shareholders putting up spirited resistance to the restructuring plan that was part of the takeover. The shareholders’ principal criticism was that the BMW brand and its workforce had been valued much too low in the restructuring concept. BMW remained independent but the basis for economic recovery was only laid a year later with a new restructuring plan developed under the aegis of major shareholder Herbert Quandt. His plan was based on the independence of BMW AG, new structures and new models. The new BMW 700 small car steered the company back on the road to success and the real breakthrough ultimately came with the BMW 1500, the first model in the “New Class”.
Society’s attitude to the automobile underwent a change after the oil crisis in 1973 with its speed limit of 100 km/h and the car ban on Sundays. Big cars with large engines fell out of favour along with powerful sports cars. However, the management at BMW set about getting through the lean period and coming out stronger at the other end. Pioneering investments highlighted the countercyclical strategy. In Munich, the new Group Headquarters building known as the “Four-Cylinder” and the BMW Museum were opened. And in Dingolfing a new production plant started up operations in November 1973. The vehicle development engineers responded quickly and presented the BMW 1502 and the BMW 518 as two fuel-efficient entry-level models in 1974. When the oil crisis petered out in spring of 1975, demand started to take off again. BMW was in an ideal position for the upturn with new models, expanded production capacities and optimised sales structures. This was already confirmed during the first quarter of 1975. BMW had smashed the previous record from 1973 by around 50 percent with 78 000 new vehicles registered. Two models posted particularly good sales: the BMW 1502 and the BMW 518.
During the 1970s and 1980s, BMW developed into one of the fastest-growing automobile manufacturers in the world with a broadly-based model range and a steadily increasing number of employees in the workforce. The acquisition of British automotive manufacturer Rover Group on 31 January 1994 was intended to significantly expand the range of automobiles on offer. However, the development opportunities were overestimated when the purchase was made. The company underwent restructuring to form the BMW Group and after six years the British subsidiary was sold. Only the MINI brand remained with the BMW Group. The modern MINI presented in 2001 generated a revolution in the small-car segment – emulating the launch of its classic predecessor. The new MINI embarked on an extraordinary success story with premium quality and modern safety, combined with driving fun and individual style. Furthermore, the BMW Group succeeded in securing the name rights for the Rolls-Royce marque. Since 2003, the BMW Group has therefore been present in the blue-riband luxury class. A new plant had previously been built for production of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom at Goodwood in the United Kingdom.
From autumn 2008, a global crisis in the financial markets rocked not only the banking sector but also numerous other sectors. As a consequence of this, automobile sales in the most important markets underwent a significant fall. Government stimulus packages were initiated in order to re-launch demand and most importantly to support the purchase of particularly efficient models. While huge efforts were made worldwide to secure the future of the automobile business, the BMW Group ran a covert project which was to completely redefine the concept of individual mobility. With this aim in mind, the BMW Group had already launched project i in autumn 2017. The objective was to develop an all-electric automobile for use in metropolitan urban areas and in parallel to design a complete ecosystem for local zero-emission driving. The BMW i3 was presented in autumn 2013 – and this was accompanied by a host of concepts, packages and services for innovative materials, an environmentally benign production process and a charging infrastructure which transformed electromobility into an experience full of comfort and marked by driving fun.
The small car only needs a modest footprint to park, it buzzes quietly along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and in the permanently neon-soaked hotel and casino landscape it only needs precisely the amount of electricity that is necessary for the driving fun that is so typical of the marque.
This is a city with a magic glow where replicas of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Egyptian pyramids and Venetian canals form backdrops for spectacular hotel and casino buildings. Elvis doubles welcome you on every street corner, and Las Vegas itself can easily take on an otherworldly aspect owing to its location in the middle of the Nevada Desert. The fact is that the imitations of famous sights on Las Vegas Boulevard – familiar to everybody simply as the “Strip” – attract more tourists every year than each of the originals. And there have always been illusionists in the show arenas like David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy or Hans Klok, who hold a magic attraction for public audiences. In the casino and entertainment metropolis, everything is larger than life and more spectacular than anywhere else. This also applies in the street. Where super-long stretch limousines, exclusive sports cars and pick-ups with muscular engines meld into everyday experiences, only a truly awesome automobile is capable of generating the wow factor. For example, an all-electric small car from the United Kingdom. And it’s a fact: In Las Vegas, the new MINI Cooper SE (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) is a truly exotic machine with high emotional appeal.
Anybody buzzing down the “Strip” in the MINI Electric while generating zero local emissions turns heads in astonishment and gets lots of thumbs-ups. The city’s most famous boulevard is almost seven kilometres long and charts its course from north to south. Lines of hotels with sonorous names like “Venetian”, “Mirage”, “Flamingo”, “Caesars Palace”, “Bellagio”, “MGM Grand”, “New York, New York” or “Luxor” lead the way to the equally famous welcome sign with the immortal words “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” to offer yet another photo opportunity. When cruising down the “Strip”, the fabulous MINI Cooper SE amazes passers-by with snappy but almost soundless bursts of acceleration. The journey from one traffic light to the next represents an ideal opportunity to make use of the two-stage brake energy recovery. Depending on the volume of traffic, each of the two toggle settings has its own distinctive appeal. If you toggle to strong recuperation, the MINI Electric is aggressively decelerated as soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal. This mode channels a particularly large amount of energy back into the high-voltage battery. In the other mode, the car rolls to a stop at a leisurely pace and with reduced braking action.
When night falls in Las Vegas, the facades, advertising hoardings, direction signs and floodlights form a multicoloured, flashing and dazzling ocean of neon tubes and LED modules. However, the city council of Las Vegas is doing all it can to reduce the consumption of resources. All public buildings now generate their electricity from renewable sources. And charging stations for electric vehicles are easy to find. The MINI Electric recharges its batteries so as to be ready for the outing on the coming day.
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, is a famous saying among visitors that promises discretion. But in the era of social-media livestream, it’s pretty much impossible to stop the occasional embarrassing fact being leaked to the outside world. More and more tourists are also keen to explore the attractions in the environs of the city. Just 30 kilometres away from the “Strip”, Red Rock Canyon at sunrise presents a wonderful play of colours on the shimmering rock formations clothed in a red glow.
Soon afterwards it gets really hot. If there happened to be some shadow somewhere on the desert roads, the thermometer would be indicating around 50 degrees Celsius there. Under the burning sun, the temperature is even higher. Any mobile phone battery will soon run out of juice when subjected to these conditions. By contrast, the high-voltage battery of the new MINI Cooper SE remains “cool”. The range is between 235 and 270 kilometres with a fully-charged battery, and it only comes down very gradually. This is made possible by an extremely effective all-in cooling system for the interior and the high-voltage battery. Thanks to highly efficient heat-pump technology, the cooling system runs like a dream into the bargain. It also permits pre-conditioning of the interior. After going hiking at Red Rock Canyon, the driver of the MINI Electric is in for a truly enviable treat because a refreshingly pre-cooled car awaits the driver’s return. The remote app for MINI Connected even allows the pre-conditioning to be activated remotely – provided the all-important smartphone has not lost its charge in the heat.
Another popular excursion takes visitors to the Hoover Dam located around 50 kilometres to the south-east of Las Vegas. The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge takes Highway 93 across the Colorado River and the canyon it has carved out of the rocks, providing a fascinating view of the monumental dam across the valley. It blocks the river to Lake Mead and supplies Las Vegas with drinking water. 17 turbines also harness the power of the water to generate electricity. Powerful electromagnetic waves occur near the dam as a side effect of the zero-emission energy generation. These waves encourage the development engineers of the BMW Group to divert to the Hoover Dam on their test drives through Death Valley with prototypes of new models, in order to put the ruggedness of the electronic vehicle systems through its paces. Tests like this have significantly improved the electromagnetic shielding over recent decades. As a consequence, the onboard electronics of the MINI Cooper SE remain distinctly unimpressed during the trip over the dam, while the occupants are once again unable to take their eyes off this man-made spectacle.
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