It doesn’t seem five minutes since I went on the launch drive for the then new F30 (sixth generation) 3 Series and yet here I am, freshly returned from driving the seventh generation G20.
The 3 Series is still BMW’s bread and butter, a car it has to get right. So, have they?
Looking back at my notes from the F30 drive, I see I was somewhat disappointed. And I was not alone. The car seemed a bit disconnected and lacking the driver dynamic we so associate with BMWs until pushed. The MSport version was better but still not quite there on feel.
In fairness, BMW have oscillated between dynamic, feelsome 3 Series cars best aimed at the enthusiast and somewhat more placid iterations which will suit the volume buying general public. It is a hard act to balance the competing needs, and what I see as a delight to drive others may find too nervous or edgy. And vice versa.
But I am glad to report that the mojo is back.
Hopping out of my daily drive (a fifth generation E90 320d) into the G20 330i MSport was like changing from of my favourite shirts to another. Instantly comfortable and at home, even though the dashboard has gone all digital and looks almost alien. Except, the fuel, speed, revs and temp left to right layout is still there (not present in the E90 sadly) dating back to the 1936 328. I’m not sure yet whether I like it, but I don’t dislike it.
I recently drove a 440i F33 (essentially sixth generation 3 Series with a different name) convertible and whilst that was familiar enough, it drove like the rest of the F3x range, only perhaps more so being a convertible. Remote and wafty.
The G20, however, felt much more like my E90 and E46 318i before it. There is a nice weight to the steering and a direct response from the car with instant feedback on what was going on at ground level. I felt I could place the car accurately and securely.
The ride was a revelation after complaints that the E90 and F30 were too jiggerly and harsh over broken surfaces. It was altogether smoother than either of those models but not soft or jouncy over bigger bumps. In Comfort mode the body control did seem a little lacking over just one section of unmade road with some sections partially washed away, but in Sport mode it was fine without being too rough. Corrugations along the dirt road section of the route were not only smooth but quiet. Impressive.
But don’t think this was a corner carving drive with tyres screeching, it was rather more sedate than that. So what it is like as one approaches the limit I can’t say. But the point is it felt like fun at safe and moderate speeds, and that is probably more important.
Although, it did not feel as quick as it clearly is. The stats show it gives my E46 M3 a run for its money in a straight line, but it did not feel that quick even though the speedo begged to differ. We opened the (optional) sun roof for more aural feedback but there wasn’t any really. I would have loved a loud button, even if it was only louder inside. There’s a beautiful engine note in there trying to get out I’m sure. But I may not want the loud button pressed all the time – on the freeway for example when a bit of peace and quiet on a long trip is preferred.
So, it drives well, and looks good in my book. There are a few touches which make me scratch my head – the crease where a “air blade” vent should be just behind the front wheel but isn’t. The extra trim to repeat the Hofmeister kink immediately behind the rear door. Not sure I would want to clean the fake air intake grilles around the front, but they look nice when someone else cleans them. The “shark nose” effect of the grille works for me. Overall, a progression from E90 through F30 and concluding at G20 looking a bit tauter at each step.
The boot is huge, although the side mesh pockets may be annoying as the mesh can not be taken down as far as I can see. And there does not appear to be a way to pop the floor mat up and hide things underneath, such as umbrellas, shopping bags etc. Pity.
Of more concern, there is no spare wheel yet the tyres are not run flat in every case.
The rear seat has plenty of leg room, as it should with the inevitable stretch of wheelbase. Even with the sunroof the headroom in the back was just enough for my overly long body thanks to the roof being sculptured behind the sun roof cassette. The rear passengers can now control their own air con etc settings. Neat.
Talking of the sun roof, it has a concertina cover along the sides reducing wind noise.
But back to the driving seat where the buttons around the iDrive controller seem to keep growing, adding the electric park brake and hill hold controls plus the Start/Stop button off the dash. But this time it seems thought out and intentional. The cover in front of the gear selector looks better too, moving out of the way at a touch to reveal two generous cup holders (there are bottle holders in the door pockets), a 12 volt power socket (used to be a cigarette lighter socket) and a USB socket with a non slip platform which doubles a wireless phone charger if your phone does this.
The trio of buttons for the safety systems now have a proper place and the pull down lidded cubby to the right of the steering column returns. Yeh!
The direction indicator stalk is of the mechanical kind, as per the F30 and the E46 and before rather than the soft touch used on the E90 which I greatly prefer. Likewise the windscreen wiper stalk which has to be moved to position 1 for Auto, thus preventing a manual flick wipe in auto mode, rather than the E90 push button for Auto I prefer.
But there is loads of neat tech, including active cruise control with lane keeping which will regulate speed, distance to car in front and steer between lane markings. Great in traffic but a bit over the top on the freeway.
Being a day time drive I can not report on the lights, but I am sure they are at least as good as the amazing lights fitted to the F33 440i.
But the “lane departure warning” signal has been moved from the inner edge of the door mirror housing of the F3x to the far end of the mirror glass, which I’m not so keen on.
Although the only offerings at launch are 330i and 320d there will be other engine options to follow, including a plug in hybrid – the fuel filler flap has provision already.
Overall, a big sigh of relief that this is a return to the 3 Series we love and a cracking car.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
BMW consistently continues to pursue the brand’s current model offensive whilst developing an innovative vehicle concept for the premium compact segment. During the annual results press conference, BMW AG CEO Harald Krüger will announce the presentation of the first BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. With the sporty and elegant four-door coupe, the premium automobile manufacturer is adding to its range in the compact segment a particularly designoriented model for modern, urban target groups. The concept of a four-door coupe, already successful in higher vehicle classes, will in future combine a dynamic charisma and an expressive design with a high degree of everyday suitability also in the premium compact segment. The first BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will make its word debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019, with the worldwide market launch beginning in the spring of 2020.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe sets new accents in individuality, aesthetics and emotion in the premium compact segment. It combines an emotive design with sportiness and the latest innovations in operation and connectivity technology. Therefore, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe offers the ideal prerequisites to attract new target groups to hallmark BMW driving pleasure. BMW already offers a unique range of compact models for various different requirements and target groups that is unmatched within the competitive environment. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will once again create fresh impulses in this class. It builds on the latest BMW front-wheel drive architecture and shares a multitude of technological developments with the new BMW 1 Series, which will also be presented during the course of 2019.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has been conceived as a global offering that constitutes an attractive enrichment, especially for markets in which car buyers show a strong affinity for notchbacks. As an exclusive alternative to the classic saloon, the four-door coupe addresses all target groups that prefer a sophisticated design and a self-assured look in the compact segment as well.
Well, I think its official - Melbourne is in drought. A quick Google search confirms what we all knew, that we haven’t had any decent rainfall for over 3 months.
If the realisation of the big dry hadn’t already hit home, it certainly did at the picturesque Albert Park race track, for the running of the 2019 Rolex Formula 1 Grand Prix.
I, like many hopefuls, was luckily enough to have one of my cars chosen to represent the BMWDCM in our display at the Grand Prix Circuit. The number of clubs represented this year was reduced from previous years but there were still hundreds of cars on show, with Marques and models from all over the world, suiting all manner of different tastes.
We were positioned on the grounds of the Albert Park golf course. If it wasn’t for the pristine putting greens sprinkled around the site (all thoroughly fenced off to avoid damage to the perfect green grass by the throng of Grand Prix spectators) you wouldn’t have guessed that we were parked on one of the fairways. The distinct lack of moisture was painfully apparent, with dead grass and fine dust our nemesis for the four day event.
Of course, we weren’t the only car people battling with the issue of dust. Spare a thought for the new car salespeople, who had their work cut out for them, constantly dusting of the fine new (and very expensive, mostly) beauties on show, including McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche. Personally, my heart skipped a beat at the Aston Martin stand where I renewed my love affair with a DBS Superleggera, resplendent in Gun Metal Grey. Luckily for me, and my bank balance, the Minister for War and Finance (AKA “the wife”) said no.
Undeterred, the event was a huge success with massive crowds attending on all days, even Thursday and Friday, which last year was much quieter. Media reports have quoted the event attracted its highest attendance figures since 2005.
Even people who don’t have an interest in cars could enjoy the experience that an F1 event has to offer, with so much to see and do, with massive choices of food and beverage vendors, (although HEINEKEN was the drink of choice, being one of F1’s major sponsors). Music and other entertainment was constantly on offer, and who couldn’t help but be in awe of the F/A-18 Fighter Jet as it roared overhead.
Our Club had 20 road cars lined up in history order with informative signs for all to read and delight the masses. My White E34 M5 was strategically placed next to its Great-Grandson, a new F90 M5 Competition Pack, also in crisp White. I had a lot of people speak to me, many saying the same thing – that they once owned an E34, and they all said that they would have their old car back in a heartbeat, such is the love and adoration of this (now 30 year old) model.
But, there was a race that had to be run and won. I, like most others I am sure, was hoping for great things from Daniel Riccardo, in this new season with a new team. But, his race start was less than ideal, with one of the few bits of green grass causing big problems only seconds into the race. The guy really could do with a bit of luck, something that seems to constantly elude him. I am certain that race officials will need to do something about that now infamous tuft of grass that surely cost him dearly.
Although the race was relatively uneventful and Valterie Bottas drove to what seemed like an effortless victory, it capped off yet another great weekend, and a fantastic event by our BMWDCM organisers.
Thanks must go, yet again, to Lawrence, Jo, Graeme, and anyone else I have neglected to mention, for organising such a wonderful event. I had a great time, and look forward enthusiastically to the next one.
Steve Garth | Member #40BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
In case you missed it, the Australian F1 grand Prix was on again last weekend.
Characterised by traffic snarls due to blocked roads surrounding Albert Park circuit and seas of the Ferrari faithful (ok not only Ferrari, but they stand out with their oversized flags), this yearly spectacle also tantalises with the sounds of exotic machinery howling away beyond the Albert Park treeline.
As you can tell, it was my first time attending.
I was given the opportunity thanks to the club display organised by the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne. Having the car onsite to store a picnic hamper and some camping chairs prompted a family outing to the F1 on Saturday. My car mad five year old insisted on watching each race as it came on, but the downtime in between races prompted us to walk around Albert Park and see what the GP has on offer.
Having watched the Formula 4, Supercars and the Carrera Cup, it was time for the Formula 1 practice session.
The anticipation was overwhelming. Sure, the cars don’t sound like they used to, the echoing high pitched wail of a redlining 8 cylinder screamer replaced with a more subdued and almost dignified bellow and whistle from a turbocharged mill.
Having returned to our vantage point at the entry of turn 9, I was awestruck by the sheer speed of entry, massive braking and effortless turn in these technological marvels exhibited. Sure I’ve watched F1 on TV previously, but that doesn’t do justice to actually experiencing them in person. What’s more, this was only a practice session. I wanted more.
Come race day Sunday, we got in nice and early. Walking past the stares on envious fans waiting for the gates to open, we set up our viewing spot on the hill between turns 9 and 10. The record breaking crowds of the previous day were a distant memory, as Albert Park was just waking up.
Suddenly, the influx of fans, indicating the gates were open, arrived in droves, looking to score that perfect spot. Looks like our hill was a poorly kept secret, as it was the first to fill up.
The racing action started early, meaning we stayed in our spot for the entire day, only leaving to grab a bite to eat and an occasional cheeky Heineken.
The fans kept pouring in, and it slowly became apparent that our spot was the new temporary residence of the Dutch cheer squad, resplendent in orange, matching nicely with their sunburnt arms and face, cheering on young Max.
First was the classic racecar parade lap, book ended by a seemingly frustrated ex Group C Porsche, with the demonstration lap speed being just above idle speed, and a plucky little Fiat 500 racer practically at race pace.
Following outstanding close racing sessions by the Australian GT, Carrera Cup, Supercars and Formula 4, it was time for the main event.
Heralded by flying demonstrations by a very skilled and somewhat unhinged pilot in a F17 jet, the pre-race fanfare was the perfect excuse to grab some lunch and a refreshing beverage (or two). We worked our way back through the crowd to our viewing spot, fending off envious stares at our plates of heaped Brazilian barbecue.
Just in time, the F1s were out on their parade lap, darting nervously to warm their tyres for clean getaway when the flag finally drops.
So this was it; the hype and fanfare of the weekend leading up this very moment.
The stage was set, and the cars were off. Almost immediately there was a collective gasp and sigh as the crowd favourite Danny Ricciardo ripped off pieces of his car in an overly enthusiastic start. He went off to retire early, much to the disappointment of local fans.
However, we had a new crowd favourite; Max Verstappen, who had worked his way up to third spot. The atmosphere was intoxicating, this was real racing fan action, something you’d unlikely find in the ultra-exclusive lounges and cocktail parties overlooking the main straight.
We had enjoyed every minute.
We had shared snacks and yarns with our neighbours, celebrated with the Dutch cheer squad and experienced the emotional roller coaster that is a Formula 1 Grand Prix race.
This level of excitement can only be experienced in the thick of the action, surrounded by passionate F1 fans, enjoying the best weather Melbourne had on offer. In fact, I’d say we were having more fun than some of the drivers.
Big thanks to Jo, Graeme and Lawrence, together with everyone who helped organised and make this weekend possible.
When the circus comes to town again next year, you can bet I’ll be there.
Igor Kay | Member #151
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The BMW Group has secured a major order from INEOS Automotive Ltd. for the delivery of petrol and diesel engines. The contract is a further important step in the BMW Group’s strategy to expand its business providing drivetrains to industrial customers.
The powerful and efficient BMW TwinPower Turbo engines are destined for INEOS Automotive Ltd.’s new off-road vehicle project under a contract that foresees the delivery of a high-range five-digit number of engines. With this agreement, the BMW Group opens up additional sales channels and taps new growth potential.
“Our company is famous for efficient high-performance engines that are among the best in the world”, said Pieter Nota, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for Sales and Brand BMW and Aftersales BMW Group. “We offer a broad range of premium, tailor-made drivetrain technologies and services for carmakers and other customers and believe this is a business area with real growth potential.”
BMW Group engines with the latest fuel-saving technology have been crowned “International Engine of the Year” in their class many times in recent years.
The BMW Group operates a global sales and licensing business for its combustion engines, electric batteries and vehicle platforms as part of its dealings with clients inside and outside the car industry.
Both the development and production of engines belong to the core competencies of BMW Group and have characterized the German company since it was founded in 1916.
INEOS Automotive Ltd. was founded in 2016 by INEOS Group, a global manufacturer of chemical, oil and gas products.
“The BMW 7 Series has defined our identity at this site for over 40 years. We are proud that BMW’s top model, the new BMW 7 Series Sedan, will also be built here in Dingolfing. Our goal as the brand’s primary plant for the luxury class is to ensure that every vehicle our experienced and competent team puts on the roads guarantees excellent quality,” says Ilka Horstmeier, Director of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing.
The so-called “digital launch” presented a particular challenge for the production start: It means production of a new vehicle is ramped up to the full daily volume from one day to the next. To ensure high quality standards are fulfilled from the very first vehicle, complex components underwent virtual testing for fit accuracy prior to the start of production.
Since production of the first 7 Series began in 1977, more than 1.9 million BMW 7 Series cars have been built in Dingolfing. From the very beginning, the global market was crucial to the success of the luxury sedan. The BMW 7 Series is easily the number-one export from the plant in Lower Bavaria. Last year, over 90 percent of all units produced were exported abroad. The Chinese market plays an especially important role for the model: In 2018, 44 percent of global sales were delivered to customers in China.
New exterior design accents
The redesigned front and rear ends give the new BMW 7 Series a uniquely expressive appearance. At the front, the enlarged kidney grille contrasts very effectively with the slim headlights. As a result, the BMW 7 Series is clearly recognisable as part of the new BMW luxury segment and fits in with the design language of the BMW 8 Series and the BMW X7.
The rear-end design also brings fresh accents: The flatter three-dimensional rear lights rely completely on LED technology. Beneath the chrome bar between the two rear lights, there is now a slim six-millimetre light strip, which creates a discreetly illuminated accent when daytime running lights are switched on and produces a distinctive night-time design in the dark. There are also special rear lighting effects when the car is locked and unlocked.
The BMW 7 Series will continue to be available in two body variants, including the Long Wheelbase version with its 14-cm-longer wheelbase. 80 percent of customers opt for this version, which offers even more space in the rear.
The interior of the new BMW 7 Series Sedan is now also available with extended quilting around the centre console and in the armrests integrated in the door trim. New fine-wood interior trim is also available. Improved acoustic shielding in the rear wheel arches reduces the level of tire noise noticeable in the interior. To further enhance acoustic comfort, the side windows now also come with increased material thickness.
Six-cylinder plug-in hybrid debuts in the new BMW 7 Series
For the first time in a BMW Group vehicle, a plug-in hybrid will be available with a six-cylinder engine. In the BMW 745e / 745Le (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km / 2.3 – 2.2 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.6 – 15.1 kWh/100 km / 15.7 – 15.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions from fuel: 2 – 48 g/km* / 53 – 50 g/km*), a 286 horsepower six-cylinder inline engine is combined with a 113 horsepower electric engine, for a total system output of 394 horsepower. The new BMW 7 Series is the first BMW Group vehicle with a fourth-generation battery. The latest battery-cell technology gives the luxury sedan an all-electric driving range of up to 58 kilometres*, ensures local emission-free driving and is virtually silent. The battery installed in the BMW 745e / 745Le is manufactured in Dingolfing, just a few kilometres away, at the Competence Centre for e-drive Production (component plant 02.20).
From there, Dingolfing already supplies BMW Group vehicle plants worldwide with batteries and electric engines for production of electrified vehicles.
Digitalisation supports BMW 7 Series production process
The production process for Dingolfing’s top model is supported by a range of innovative solutions. For assembly of less-ordered special equipment, like the rear centre console, the vibrating alarm of a smartwatch alerts employees on the corresponding section of the line that an “exotic” is coming up and gives them instructions for additional work steps.
Data glasses are also used in training new staff. When learning new work steps, virtual assistance is projected into the employee’s field of vision. This enables rapid, sustainable learning in pre-assembly of complex components like the rear light. This augmented-reality application is used at assembly training centres and constantly refined in agile working methods in close cooperation between production planning and IT.
Digitalisation is also making further inroads in supplying assembly lines with components. The latest generation of autonomous tugger trains is currently being piloted on longer routes between the warehouse and assembly hall. The capabilities of driverless tugger trains go beyond automation of earlier solutions. New and smarter logistics helpers will enable dynamic route guidance according to delivery priority, with active obstacle avoidance.
The BMW Group Plant Dingolfing
Plant Dingolfing is one of the BMW Group’s 30 global production sites. At Plant 02.40, about 1,500 cars of the BMW 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series roll off the assembly lines every day. In total, the plant manufactured nearly 330,000 cars in 2017. At present, a total of approx. 18,000 people and 800 apprentices work at the BMW Group’s site in Dingolfing.
In addition to the automotive core production, BMW Group Plant Dingolfing is also home to production facilities for vehicle components such as pressed parts, seats as well as chassis and drive components. Due to the plant’s aluminium expertise in vehicle construction and longstanding experience in producing alternative drives, BMW Group Plant Dingolfing furthermore provides crucial components for the BMW i models – such as high-voltage battery, e-transmission and the drive structure – to the production site in Leipzig. In addition, Dingolfing produces both high voltage batteries and electric engines for the BMW Group’s plug-in hybrid models.
The car bodies for all Rolls-Royce models are also manufactured at the site. The Dynamics Centre, a large storage and transshipment facility, provides the global BMW and MINI dealership organization with original parts and equipment.
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2018, the BMW Group sold over 2,490,000 passenger vehicles and more than 165,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2017 was € 10.655 billion on revenues amounting to € 98.678 billion. As of 31 December 2017, the BMW Group had a workforce of 129,932 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
As a visitor from overseas , this iconic motoring spectacle is a must see event.
It is a festival of great passionate enthusiasm which resonates through all attendees and the fantastic friendly welcome which is given.
As a guest of the BMW Drivers Club of Melbourne we were treated to an outstanding display of cars which were showcased in an exemplary professional way allowing all visitors to gain the full benefit of these fantastic cars.
This event allows spectators to get close to the action, clear access to pit lane areas and encourages people to embrace the culture of the motorsports on display. It was a real pleasure to have had the opportunity to drive a couple of laps on the track in a classic BMW E21 318i and an experience I will never forget.
It is true testament to those that give their time freely by virtue of their passion and enthusiasm and should be applauded.
It is noticeable that the committee dedicate a great deal of their time in providing a first class operation and this was reflected on the day by the number of people who attended the display. There was always someone available to answer questions and more importantly gave a warm friendly welcome.
Adam Williams | International GuestBMW Drivers Club Melbourne
From March 29 to 31, the Art Basel show in Hong Kong will open its doors offering again extensive insights into the modern and contemporary works by emerging and established artists, presented by 242 of the world’s leading galleries. As an official partner of the show, BMW will not only provide the VIP shuttle service, but also present the world’s first BMW Art Car (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975), created by legendary artist Alexander Calder, in the BMW Lounge at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Furthermore, the latest BMW Art Journey awardee Zac Langdon-Pole will be on-site documenting his journey and the next BMW Art Journey shortlist will be announced.
BMW Art Journey at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019In 2015, together with Art Basel, BMW enabled an initiative to support young emerging artists: the BMW Art Journey. Latest awardee Zac Langdon-Pole (represented by Michael Lett, Auckland) will be on the ground in Hong Kong for the documentation of his BMW Art Journey project “Sutures of the Sky”. His journey took him across a world that humans and birds have been navigating through millennia. He followed the flight paths of birds like the white stork or the arctic tern, traveling along the earth’s axis where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres’ summers intersect. Migrating birds cover some of the longest distances traveled by any living being. Their routes have guided the Polynesian pathfinders across the seas. Inspired by this ancient celestial tracing, Langdon-Pole's journey questions the position of humans as the center of the world. Weaving through Europe and the Pacific Islands of Samoa and Hawaii, his BMW Art Journey seeks to understand how culture intersects with the science of celestial mapping – and from there flows into larger existential inquiries about who we are and how we are situated in the world.
Zac Langdon-Pole will take part in the Art Basel´s Conversations series on Saturday, March 30, 2019 “Artists Telling Stories: Narrative Forms and Strategies”.
For further information, please click here.
An international jury of experts will gather again at the upcoming Art Basel show in Hong Kong to select a shortlist of three artists from the Discoveries sector for the next BMW Art Journey. Members of the jury are Claire Hsu, Executive Director Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Presidente Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Phil Tinari, Director Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing; Samson Young, artist and winner of the first BMW Art Journey.
The shortlisted three artists who will be invited to submit their proposals for a journey will be announced at the BMW Lounge on March 28, 2019, at 5.30 PM. That evening, BMW will host an exclusive VIP cocktail reception to celebrate the announcement of the BMW Art Journey shortlist.
BMW Art Car #1 (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975) by Alexander CalderThe first ever created BMW Art Car will be on display at the BMW Lounge at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019. By painting the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975 Alexander Calder laid the foundation stone for the Art Car Collection. It was also one of his final works of art before he passed away. As a sculptor who normally devised his own shapes, Calder managed to free himself from the formal structure of racing cars and, by painting them, aspired to give them his own distinctive mark. As in the case of his sculptures and mobiles, he used intensive colors and gracefully sweeping surfaces which he distributed generously over the wings, bonnet and roof.
It was originally the French racing driver Hervé Poulain who had the idea of letting an artist have his or her way with an automobile. Poulain commissioned American artist and friend Alexander Calder to paint his BMW racing car in the early 70's; this was the spark which led BMW to establish the Art Car Collection.
Since then, prominent artists from throughout the world have designed BMW automobiles of their times, all making extremely different artistic statements. The nineteen exhibits created for the Art Car Collection until now include works by well-known artists such as Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, A.R. Penck, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, John Baldessari and Cao Fei. The Art Cars reflect the cultural and historical development of art, design, and technology.
BMW is a global partner of Art Basel also supporting the shows in Basel and Miami Beach as a long-term partner.
Furthermore, BMW and Artsy joined forces to collaborate on promoting the arts on a global scale. Following "The Future of Art", a series of short videos, which were published in 2017, the next joint collaboration as a result of the long-term partnership will be presented in the evening of Wednesday, March 27, 2019 in Hong Kong.
About Art BaselFounded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives such as Art Basel Cities, working with partner cities on bespoke cultural programs. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.
About BMW Group Cultural Engagement
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group's Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.
The March Members Meeting at Shannons featured a fascinating presentation on car manufacturing and assembly by Lawrence Glynn.
Lawrence worked for the Department of Transport for many years, auditing car makers’ processes for meeting Australian Design Rules (ADRs), and he drew on his experience to outline the key principles of mass production. Contrary to popular belief these weren’t invented by Henry Ford, although he was certainly the first to put them into practice at scale, thus revolutionising (some might say inventing) the global car industry.
Lawrence highlighted the importance of consistency and repeat-ability in mass production, and the vital role of design and production engineers in achieving this in the most efficient manner.
Lawrence enlivened his presentation with some great stories from his assembly plant visits all over the world, although unfortunately he adhered to the mantra of “no names, no pack drill”! He finished with a YouTube video showing the new 3 Series being manufactured and assembled. The video revealed the widespread use of robots and advanced sensors to achieve quality, but also showed the many human checks that are still required. None of the workers managed to crack a smile for the cameras however!
The presentation was attended and enjoyed by approximately 20 members.
David Francis | Member #243BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Premium automobile manufacturer BMW is consistently moving ahead with the electrification of its drive portfolio and now presents its latest plug-in hybrid models at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. At the same time, BMW also announces the market launch of an additional sports activity vehicle (SAV) with electric drive. The globally popular BMW X3 will likewise be produced in a plug-in hybrid variant as of December 2019. This makes it the first model of the brand to be offered with both a conventional combustion engine and a plug-in hybrid system – with the addition of a purely electrically powered version in 2020.
Once again in 2018, the BMW Group further consolidated its status as a pioneer and market leader in the field of electrified automobiles (source: IHS Markit New Registrations 2018 Report 04. 01. 2019). With a market share of more than 9 per cent, the company leads the worldwide ranking of established premium providers of vehicles that are purely electrically powered or run on plug-in hybrid systems. In 2018 the BMW Group was the market leader in the premium segment of electrified vehicles in both Germany and in China. With a share of more than 16 per cent, the company also once again led the overall European market for electrified vehicles. BMW Group achieved a new worldwide sales record in 2018 with more than 140 000 units of electrical and plug-in hybrid vehicles sold – an increase of 38.4 per cent over the previous year. As one of the four future-oriented ACES topic areas (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services/Shared), electromobility is one of the key elements of the company’s strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT. The aim of the BMW Group is to have put more than half a million electrified vehicles of its brands on the road by the end of 2019.
With the purely electrically powered BMW i3 (BMW i3: combined power consumption: 13.1 kWh/100 km*; BMW i3s: combined power consumption: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km*), the BMW i8 Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions from fuel: 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 from fuel: 46 g/km*), the plug-in hybrid variants of the BMW X5 and the BMW X3, the BMW 2 Series, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series, the BMW X1 xDrive25Le produced in China for the local market, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (combined fuel consumption: 2.5 – 2.4 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 13.7 – 13.4 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 56 – 55 g/km*) and the purely electrically powered MINI, the BMW Group will have 12 electrically powered models in its programme by the end of 2019. Not only is the sheer number of vehicles available unique but also their variety – from the premium compact segment through to the mid-range, upper mid-range and luxury performance segment, and also including the sports car and sports activity vehicle categories. By 2025 the BMW Group will have increased the selection of its brands’ electrically powered vehicles to at least 25 models.
World premiere: the BMW X3 xDrive30e with plug-in hybrid drive.
BMW starts production of another SAV with plug-in hybrid drive in December 2019, thereby further expanding its range of electrically powered vehicles. Seeing its world premiere at the 2019 International Geneva Motor Show, the BMW X3 xDrive30e combines the versatile properties of a premium mid-range sports activity vehicle with cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology. Its robust characteristics, sporty driving performance figures and all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive – also active when running on electric power alone – are combined with outstandingly low levels of fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Due to the use of the very latest battery technology, the BMW X3 xDrive30e achieves an electrically powered range of up to 50 kilometres*. Thanks to BMW eDrive technology, its combined fuel consumption is reduced to up to 2.4 litres per 100 kilometres*, with CO2 emissions of up to 56 grams per kilometre*.
The plug-in hybrid system in the BMW X3 xDrive30e consists of a 4-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and an electric motor. Both drive units put their power on the road – or unsurfaced terrain – via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and the intelligent all-wheel drive system. Their joint system output of 185 kW/252 hp can be increased by up to 30 kW/41 hp by temporary use of the electric motor's peak output. The BMW X3 xDrive30e takes just 6.5 seconds (provisional figure) to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h.
The latest BMW plug-in hybrid model is fitted with a lithium-ion battery which is positioned under the rear seat in order to save space. With a luggage volume of 450 litres, the transport capacity of the BMW X3 xDrive30e is at the level of those model variants which are fitted with a conventional engine.
Other world premieres in Geneva: BMW 330e Sedan, BMW X5 xDrive45e and the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW 7 Series.
The leading role of the BMW Group in the area of electrification is also reflected in its current engine range. At the 2019 International Geneva Motor Show, BMW presents the second generation of plug-in hybrid models in as many as three vehicles segments.
The new BMW 330e Sedan is especially impressive due to an increase in electrically powered range as compared to its predecessor model of some 50 per cent to up to 60 kilometres*, a level of fuel consumption that has been reduced to up to 1.7 litres per 100 kilometres* and CO2 emissions reduced to 39 grams per kilometre* – all combined with the sports sedan’s hallmark driving pleasure. The system output of its plug-in hybrid drive amounts to 185 kW/252 hp – with the possibility of a temporary increase by an additional 30 kW/41 hp using the standard XtraBoost. As a result, the new BMW 330e Sedan does the sprint from standing to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds (provisional figure).
Increased output, efficiency and electrically powered range are also offered by the latest version of the BMW X5 with plug-in hybrid drive. The new BMW X5 xDrive45e is now fitted with an in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine adapted on a model-specific basis combined with an electric motor – with a system output that is now increased to 290 kW/394 hp. 5.6 seconds (provisional figure) is all it takes the sports activity vehicle to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h. Its electrically powered range is now approximately 80 kilometres*, almost three times that of its predecessor. As such, day-to-day commuter runs can easily be covered on electric power only, thereby reducing local emissions to zero. With its 69-litre fuel tank, the BMW X5 xDrive45e is also perfectly suited to use over long distances. Its progressive plug-in hybrid drive technology reduces combined fuel consumption to up to 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres* and CO2emissions from fuel to up to 49 grams per kilometre*. The qualities of the BMW X5 xDrive45e as a travel vehicle are likewise borne out by its versatile luggage compartment: here the storage volume of 500 to 1 716 litres is only very slightly less than that offered by variants of the SAV that are powered by conventional means. The ground-breaking all-round properties of the BMW X5 xDrive45e are complemented with the intelligent all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive. This transfers the power of both drive units to all four wheels, providing sports-style driving pleasure on the road and supreme off-road performance over unsurfaced terrain.
In the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW 7 Series, the sporty flair, travel comfort and feel-good ambience of a luxury sedan are combined with the ability to enjoy locally emissions-free and virtually noiseless mobility. Their electrically powered range has been increased by almost 30 per cent as compared to the predecessor models, now at a distance of between 50 and 58 kilometres*. The model range comprises the BMW 745e (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.6 – 15.1 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 52 – 48 g/km*), the long version BMW 745Le (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 –2.2 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.7 – 15.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 53 – 50 g/km) and the BMW 745Le xDrive (combined fuel consumption: 2.6 – 2.3 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 16.3 – 15.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 59 – 52 g/km*) with extended wheelbase and intelligent all-wheel drive. Its drive system now comprises an in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine adapted on a model-specific basis together with an electric motor. By setting the drive experience switch to SPORT mode, the driver can tap into a system output of 290 kW/394 hp. The new BMW 745e accelerates in 5.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, while the new BMW 745Le takes 5.3 seconds. Meanwhile the new BMW 745Le xDrive reaches the 100 km/h mark from standing in 5.1 seconds.
BMW 530e Sedan and BMW 225xe Active Tourer with further developed lithium-ion batteries and increased electrically powered range.
The latest progress in the field of battery cell technology has also led to an extension of the options for locally emissions-free driving in the plug-in hybrid models of the BMW 5 Series and BMW 2 Series. Although its dimensions remain unchanged, the new lithium-ion battery for the plug-in hybrid model of the BMW 5 Series Sedan now has a gross energy content that has been increased from 9.2 to 12.0 kWh. This means an increase in electrically powered range by more than 30 per cent to 64 kilometres*. The BMW 530e Sedan now achieves a combined fuel consumption of at least 1.7 litres per 100 kilometres* and CO2 emissions of at least 38 grams per kilometre*. As an additional model variant, the all-wheel drive BMW 530e xDrive Sedan will also be included in the programme worldwide from July 2019 onwards. The latter achieves an electrically powered range of up to 57 kilometres*. Its combined fuel consumption is at least 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres*, while CO2 emissions are at least 44 grams per kilometre*.
In the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, state-of-the-art battery cell technology paves the way to further reduced consumption figures as well as an increase in the electrically powered range of more than 25 per cent to up to 57 kilometres*. While retaining the same dimensions as before, its lithium-ion battery now has a gross energy content that has been increased from 7.7 to 9.7. The combined fuel consumption of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer is at least 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres*, its combined power consumption is at least 14.7 kWh per 100 kilometres and its CO2 emissions level is at least 43 grams per kilometre*. The hybrid-specific all-wheel drive system contributes to the BMW 225xe Active Tourer's sporty and versatile driving properties. Its standard and optional fittings include numerous modern driver assistance systems as well as the current innovations in the field of intelligent connectivity and digital services – for increased convenience when charging the high-voltage battery and an even more intense electrical driving experience.
Cutting-edge battery technology, new operating system and innovative digital services for an optimised electric driving experience.
In addition to the very latest battery technology, the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the new BMW X5 and the new BMW 7 Series also feature a new display and operating system as well as innovative digital services for an even more intense electric driving experience. Their standard fittings include the BMW Live Cockpit Professional with newly designed screens in the instrument panel and the Control Display, which also provide clearly laid-out details of the battery charge state, electrically powered range and operating mode of the plug-in hybrid system. The buttons used to select the drive mode are now integrated in the drive experience switch unit. Here, a press of the button is all that is needed to activate the modes SPORT for a particularly dynamic set-up and ADAPTIVE for a set-up that is geared towards the relevant driving style and situation, as well as the three operating modes HYBRID, ELECTRIC and BATTERY CONTROL. HYBRID mode serves as the standard setting that ensures a balanced set-up and optimised interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. It also possible to select ELECTRIC mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. The HYBRID button is pressed twice to activate this operating mode in an efficiency-optimised version (HYBRID ECO PRO). The coasting function is one of the factors that contributes to a further reduction in fuel consumption.
The technology of the intelligent energy management system has likewise been further optimised. Since this is now linked to the navigation system, the interaction between combustion engine and electric motor can be adapted more precisely to the route and driving situation. In the new BMW 330e Sedan and the new BMW X5 xDrive45e, a control unit that draws on navigation and sensor data is also able to optimise brake energy recuperation efficiency in HYBRID ECO PRO mode. When approaching a junction or a vehicle driving ahead, for example, recuperation can be put to particularly intensive use for the purpose of deceleration.
During the charging process, the fully digital instrument panel provides graphically displayed information on the battery's current charge status and therefore the car’s potential electrically powered range. The graphic display – designed individually for each vehicle – also shows the amperage available at the charge station being used, as well as indicating when the battery is fully charged.
New digital services help make it more attractive and convenient to charge the high-voltage battery when out and about. For example, the navigation system shows the driver nearby hotels, restaurants, cafés and sights or cultural facilities when a public charging station is being selected. Customers are also given a forecast as to the occupation status of charging stations. In addition, BMW enables ChargeNow customers to reserve an enabled charging station for a limited period based on in-car activation.
A distinctive sound created especially for electrified BMW models is used for the purpose of acoustic pedestrian protection, emitted via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range radiates a vibrant acoustic presence, though without impairing the acoustic comfort of vehicle occupants.
Fuel consumption, CO2 emission figures and power consumption were measured using the methods required according to Regulation VO (EC) 2007/715 as amended. The figures are calculated using a vehicle fitted with basic equipment in Germany, the ranges stated take into account differences in selected wheel and tyre sizes as well as the optional equipment. They may change during configuration.
The details marked * have already been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle and adapted to NEDC for comparison purposes. In these vehicles, different figures than those published here may apply for the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related duties which are (also) based on CO2 emissions.
It must have convertible weather as we had four tops down on the Apollo Bay run along the Great Ocean Road, with the return route heading in land. With the roof down as we turned along Skenes Creek Road under the trees the air felt cool and fresh, a perfect compliment to the excellent lunch we had just enjoyed at the Apollo Hotel.
The Great Ocean Road is, of course, renown for its aquatic scenic beauty and we took full advantage of that at Torquay to get some photos of our assembled cars. Our route had taken us there via the aptly named Horseshoe Bend Road which features a series of bends which gave it its name.
Magnificent vistas of the coastline and swell enliven the otherwise rather frustrating drive to Lorne along one of the most popular stretches of the road. It is somewhere everyone wants to be but nobody wants anyone else there! The absence of a burning sun made the otherwise highish temperatures for open top driving a delight as the air moved briskly past our heads, protected by the wind deflector and side glass.
Once past Lorne, the road opens up a bit and the traffic thins, but brisk progress is still intermittent all the way to Apollo Bay. Although that matters little when enjoying the sounds of a M2 not too far back and the delights of being in the open.
I can recommend the Apollo Hotel for quick service and tasty meals. Being in a line of cars behind two coaches which stopped at the Hotel, it didn’t look too promising. I don’t know where the passengers went, but we had plenty of space and attention in the bistro and it was quiet enough for easy conversation, getting to know a couple of our newer members and two prospective members.
A few made their own way home and the rest of us returned to the Prince’s Highway in convoy along the in land route which made for some more uninhibited spirited driving within the legal limits.
My thanks to all those who came out on the drive and to Peter Williams for another set of excellent route instructions.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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