The development of a BMW two-man bobsled, which is the result of the partnership with the German Bobsleigh, Luge, and Skeleton Federation (BSD), has reached an crucial milestone: Test rides at Königssee and in Altenberg delivered promising results. The sled concept developed exclusively using computer simulations and verified in the BMW Aerodynamic and Research Center has proven successful. Additional optimisation potential for the prototype will be identified during further test rides in the coming weeks and will feed into the design of a new sled. The goal is to use this in the coming 2019/2020 World Cup season.
At the end of a development and test phase that lasted ten months only, the BMW prototype passed its baptism of fire with flying colours. With double Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich, world champion Johannes Lochner and junior world champion Christoph Hafer on the steering handles, the run times at the test rides at Königssee and on the demanding track in Altenberg were within a few tenths of a second of the current World Cup bob.
A measuring system provided by BMW Motorsport and modified for bobsleds evaluated and compared all of the rides. Friedrich’s impressions were extremely positive.
“It’s fascinating: BMW takes something on, and at the first attempt it is really very good. So many companies have already tried to build a sled, which was then mothballed after three days. In contrast, the BMW prototype has already come a long way. The bob runs really well and you can steer it precisely,” said the overall World Cup winner. “The BMW engineers work very meticulously and with a lot of passion to make sure it is as fast as or faster than the others.”
The innovative approach to the development of the new two-man bob started from nothing, oriented itself on BMW vehicle development and focused on the replicability of the sled. It was also about finding the perfect balance between the stability and agility of the sled.
Initially, the design was developed exclusively using computer simulations and the aerodynamics were optimised using the “computational fluid dynamics (CFD)” numerical method. Around 10,000 different forms were calculated, including “digitalised athlete dummies”: To develop sporting equipment with the ideal ergonomics for the various BSD drivers and crewmen, the athletes were scanned, and their body dimensions were incorporated into the calculations.
The design developed this way, considering aerodynamic and ergonomic aspects was initially milled as a foam model, the values calculated on the computer were verified in the BMW Group Aerodynamic Test Centre and optimised in line with the analysis results obtained. This form was manufactured using carbon to ensure reproducibility. The cutting of the individual carbon layers was computer-controlled, and these carbon layers were placed such that the sled is able to absorb the huge G forces in the ice track optimally. Then, the model was baked in an autoclave at 175 degrees. Thomas Hahn’s, head of the BMW technology transfer, development team received support from the BMW partner network in the motorsport sector.
“The approach and pioneering spirit of our technology partner BMW is impressive time and again,” said Thomas Schwab, general secretary and sports director of the BSD. “We are delighted that in the BMW prototype an innovative approach demonstrated its great potential right from the start and are excited to see what further development brings.”
Hahn is very pleased with the intermediate result and said: “The initial test results are promising – both at Königssee and on an extreme track like the one in Altenberg. We started with a blank sheet of paper and it turned out that our calculations stood the test in practice. Now we need to push the limits further in additional tests and based on these results, identify the areas in which we can make improvements.”
On 7 March 2019, the anniversary of the company’s establishment was celebrated for the 103rd time. During this period, a small aero-engine factory transformed itself into the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. This development reflects the character of the company and the key people who shaped its success. The company ethos is based on the courage to innovate, the readiness to go the extra mile, the drive to compete with the best and the ability to overcome special challenges. In 2019, BMW Group Classic looks back on numerous events, outstanding achievements and innovations that are based on precisely these principles.
100 years ago: A high-altitude flight as the first record for BMW.
On 17 June 1919, the experienced test pilot Franz Zeno Diemer set out to help the fledgling company BMW achieve a first world record. He took off from Munich’s Oberwiesenfeld airfield piloting his aeroplane manufactured by Deutsche Flugzeugwerke and powered by the BMW IV aero-engine on the route to a sensational record attempt. The 230 hp engine was designed on the basis of a principle conceived especially for flying at great altitudes. Diemer took around one and a half hours to fly his machine up to an altitude of 9,760 metres. In the open cockpit, he had to contend with temperatures down to minus 50 degrees and breathe in air with gradually diminishing oxygen levels. Never before had an aircraft flown so high.
90 years ago: The BMW 3/15 hp – launch on four wheels.
Ten years later, BMW had already expanded its product portfolio with motorcycles – then came the next step. The Board of Management decided to get involved in the automobile business. The Chairman was Franz-Josef Popp, who had held a management position with the company in the early stages of aero-engine production. “Our experience in the area of motorcycle construction encouraged us to embark on the production of small cars, for which there appears to be a promising domestic market. With this end in mind, we purchased automaker Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach,” announced Popp in the company’s Annual Report. On 22 March 1929, the first BMW 3/15 PS left the assembly halls in Berlin-Johannisthal. Almost 16,000 units of the new small car followed in the years up to 1932.
60 years ago: Debut for the classic Mini.He sketched out the first design drafts on a napkin. The designer Alec Issigonis created a revolutionary small car on the basis of the resulting plans. On 4 April 1959, the first classic Mini rolled off the assembly line at the Austin Longbridge plant in Birmingham. In spite of an external length of 3.05 metres, the little car provided sufficient space for four occupants and their luggage. Issigonis applied a completely new design at the time, with front-wheel drive, a four-cylinder transverse engine mounted at the front of the car, and the gearbox configured beneath. This design layout was soon adopted by virtually all manufacturers in modified form. It offered the best prerequisites for the principle of creative use of space and for excitingly agile driving performance – attributes which characterise the models of the British premium brand to this day.
60 years ago: The turnaround was achieved with the compact BMW 700.
During the 1950s, the company made significant contributions to getting people in the young Federal Republic of Germany on the road with the BMW Isetta and the BMW 600 that was derived from it. However, the aspirations of the customers continued to rise and it was necessary to create a new small car with a conventional design in order to compensate for falling sales. The Viennese BMW importer, automobile designer and former racing driver Wolfgang Denzel provided the key impetus. He presented the BMW Board of Management with the design for a two-door notchback car that had been designed by the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti. The prototype formed the platform for the BMW 700, which was presented for the first time on 9 June 1959. By 1965, more than 190 000 units had been sold and BMW succeeded in ascending out of the economic trough.
60 years ago: Small shareholders defend the independence of BMW.
Sales problems in the automobile and motorcycle business had caused BMW serious financial difficulties during the 1950s. At the Annual General Meeting held on 9 December 1959, the takeover of the company by Daimler-Benz AG was therefore an item on the agenda. However, the restructuring plan associated with the takeover was opposed by many of the small shareholders. During the course of a turbulent discussion, the lawyer Friedrich Mathern managed to depict inconsistences about the official figures. He objected that all the development costs for the BMW 700 had unjustifiably been included in the balance sheet for 1958. He also criticised the fact that the value of the BMW brand and its employees had been valued much too low. The meeting was then adjourned – with the result that the time-limited offer from Stuttgart expired. BMW remained independent but the financial crisis had not been resolved. The increased commitment of major shareholder Herbert Quandt ultimately provided the assurance needed to move forward. In the following year, he submitted a new restructuring plan which also took account of the interests expressed by the small shareholders.
50 years ago: A new era of motorcycle production begins.
Aero-engines had already been manufactured in Berlin-Spandau under the direction of BMW since the 1930s and after World War II motorcycle and car compnents as well. In 1969, the entire production of motorcycles was relocated from Munich to Berlin. The start of production for the BMW /5 Series went hand in hand with the move. The technical director at the time, Helmut Werner Bönsch, presented it with self-assured words: “There is no doubt that BMW has been building the best and most advanced motorcycle in the world for many years. Our ambition is to maintain this reputation into the future.” This was indeed the case. The BMW 50/5, BMW R 60/5 and BMW R 75/5 models had been developed as sporty touring motorcycles in a modern design, and they had a completely new chassis with telescopic fork for the front wheel and variable rear-wheel suspension. And for the first time, customers were able to choose between versions with different colours.
40 years ago: The BMW M1 lined up on the grid in the Procar Series.
The BMW M1 mid-engined sports car was already irresistible when it was standing still. But it developed its true fascination on the racing track. This emerged above all in the Procar Series initiated by the Managing Director of BMW Motorsport GmbH at the time, Jochen Neerpasch. The races were staged in 1979 and 1980 as part of the warm-up for the Formula 1 World Championship races in Europe and they developed into a runaway success with the public. The protagonists themselves were also captivated by Neerpasch’s idea of staging races between Formula 1 drivers and touring car drivers piloting vehicles with identical engineering and generating 470 hp. On 12 May 1979, the first race in the Procar Series started in Zolder, Belgium, and 16 more races were to follow.
20 years ago: World premiere for the BMW X5.
An all-rounder with all-wheel drive which was not only capable of impressive driving on off-road terrain but also demonstrated excellent performance on the road – this was how the BMW X5 was presented in autumn of 1999, as the world’s first Sports Activity Vehicle. A few months later, the BMW X5 Le Mans demonstrated its huge potential for dynamic driving. This was an experimental vehicle with a V12 engine generating more than 700 hp. Racing driver Hans-Joachim Stuck achieved a top speed of 309 km/h in this car on the Nürburgring. 20 years after the debut of the first SAV, the family of BMW X models has grown to seven model series. In 2018, 37.3 percent of the brand’s total sales were generated by BMW X models.
20 years ago: The BMW Z8 exerts fascinating appeal with classic aesthetics.
In 1999, BMW also presented a milestone in its roadster history, which was certainly not lacking in highlights. The BMW Z8 styled by Danish designer Henrik Fisker created a sensation at its world premiere on the occasion of the International Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). The elegant lines recalled the legendary BMW 507 and the luxurious cockpit make it an eye-catcher to this day. The classic forms clothed innovative engineering: a self-supporting aluminium frame with the external skin bolted on, powered by a 400 hp V8 engine. A total of 5,703 units of the BMW Z8 were manufactured between 2000 and 2003 at a dedicated production facility established especially for this vehicle at the BMW plant in Munich.
BMW Group Classic will be saluting these anniversaries in a variety of events and publications during the course of 2019. In the meantime, the Press Department of BMW Group Classic is providing more detailed information on the topics outlined above.
MONTH IN REVIEW
Firstly, thank you to all those who completed our survey last month. It's always great to understand your preference to ensure that we're bringing you the right events. We were encouraged by the results, in many cases, supported what we had already assumed. We'll certainly use this information as a guide when planning future events.
Now on to February - it was absolutely packed with an event to interest everyone.
We started our month with the Bathurst 12 hour. A small group of members joined us, some opting for the corporate package and others opting to camp on top of the mountain. Read more about the weekend here. We highly recommend you put this one in your calendar for next year!
On 9 February we held a drive to Geelong Museum of Motoring. Our day started at Lorbek Luxury Cars where we had a chance to check out some of the exotic cars currently on sale and also have a chat with the staff. We then left for Geelong Museum of Motoring, with many staying over night for the Torquay Motor Show the next day. Read more about our day here.
On 10 February we then attended the Torquay Motor Show. It was great to be part of the annual display, organised by the Rotary Club. Read more here.
We then held the first round of the 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers' Championship at Sandown on 16 February. Thanks to all the members that made it out to Sandown, it was a great start to the 2019 motorsport year. Read about Royce's day here.
The following day, we joined up with Club MINI on a drive to Mitchelton Winery. We met at Zagame Autobody and were given a guided tour around their state of the art facility. Thank you to Jessica from Zagame for having us. Read more about our day here.
Just to finish off an incredibly busy month, on 24 February we had another display, this time at the Yarra Glen Racecourse for the RACV British and European Motor Show. Always a great show, with lots of interesting cars to see and again, a perfect summers day for a drive to see all the cars on show.
Did you see our competition to name our magazine?Click here for entry and to find out more information.
Our First Birthday Celebration!
12 months.. where did it go?
We are excited to be able to celebrate 1 year of operation of our club. Join us at The Vincent, Albert Park on 13 April 2019 to celebrate all that was in our first year.
We will also be presenting awards for the 2018 Drivers' Championship, the Cup Day Show & Shine, Member of the Year, the President's Award and Special Recognition Award.
We will also be launching our brand new magazine.
If you attend only one event this year, make sure it's this one! Details and registration here.
Update: Eastlink Great Australian Rally
You may remember we attended the Eastlink Great Australian Rally in January - we're happy to let you know that the rally raised $58,000 for Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation for Cancer Research. An absolutely brilliant effort for a worthy cause.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 333 MEMBERS
Welcome to all 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
Miss an event in February? Let's catch up at one of the following events:
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
BMW CLUBS AUSTRALIA NATIONALS
NEWS | BLOG
BMW CLASSIC NEWSLETTER
The official BMW Clubs around the world are supported by BMW through its BMW Clubs and Community Management section of BMW Classic. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter.
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:
I usually start off welcoming our new members, saying how proud I am of our club and how many of you have joined us, but this month there is one very, very, special new member that arrived in a hurry, some 15 weeks before she was due! I am very proud to say welcome to the world, to our family and to our club, our newest, youngest member, Olivia McKenzie Bell, my very first Grandchild! Congratulations to Sean and Jenna, so very happy for you both.
Memberships are also still bubbling along nicely, we must be doing something right, 332 (at time of writing) and counting!
2019 really has started with a rush, in more ways than one! Whilst the sun is shining and the weather has been perfect, we have been out enjoying it in our cars, all over the country-side. February has been an incredibly busy month with events on every weekend, with lots of members coming along to enjoy the wide range of things on offer.
We started off the month with our club trip to the Bathurst 12 Hour, what a fantastic event! Both for the race and for the weekend away, read the story about it here. Whether you come and do it in style in the corporate suite or camp on the Mountain, it really is a must do, whether you love racing or not. Lots more to do and see that just the 12 Hour race. Look out for the event to be listed for 2020, we will definitely be doing it again!
On the Friday after the 12 Hour we were invited to go to the CAMS Victorian Motorsport Awards Night, to receive a certificate for our inaugural year of being a Member of CAMS. I was very proud to represent the Club and accept the award.
That second weekend saw two more events. A cruise down to Geelong to the Motoring Heritage Museum on Saturday, to check out some of the history of motoring in Victoria. Very interesting and a great place to spend the afternoon. We then drove on down to Torquay, where we had a group dinner before retiring for the night so that we would be nice and close for the Torquay Motor Show on the Sunday. Another fantastic display of Members car’s there, with lots of interest from the public for our club and some of the beautiful cars our members bring out to show.
We had our first members meeting for the year on the second Tuesday, due to a few of us being at Bathurst the first weekend. It was a fantastic night. Ewen gave a very interesting talk on his and Emma’s jaunt through the high country on the Targa Rally, then Jo let everyone know about the array of upcoming events and other information about what has gone on over the summer break. Lots of people came and enjoyed a relaxed and informative night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there, as I was in a video conference with all the delegates from Clubs Australia. You can read the minutes of that meeting here (if you're logged in). We do like to keep our members informed of what goes on in Clubs Australia and Internationally as well, you can read any of the newsletters we get on our blog and website, should you like to keep abreast of all things club related in Australia and around the world.
Continuing a busy month, the third weekend was again a busy one with events on both days. Saturday was the first round of the 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Sandown, hosted by AROCA. A beautiful sunny day to be out enjoying some track time with lots of cars and fun to be had. Several members were posting personal best times in the near perfect conditions.
Sunday started with a very interesting tour of Zagame Autobody, our new club sponsor, where we were treated to a fantastic morning tea and we were the first to be shown the nearly completed high end body shop upstairs that will be exclusively for the more valuable cars. What a facility! Definitely second to none in the repair business and some of the cars they have out the back are just amazing! From Zagame we enjoyed another of Peter Williams’ fantastic country drive routes, winding through our beautiful countryside and ending up at Mitchelton Winery for a late lunch and a wander around the beautiful grounds. If you are up that way, it is a definite must visit place, the food was amazing and the views from the tower definitely worth seeing. Also, there is a rather large museum of Aboriginal art and history hidden away underground that is also very much worth looking at.
Just to finish off an incredibly busy month we had another display, this time at the Yarra Glen Racecourse for the RACV British and European Motor Show. Always a great show, with lots of interesting cars to see and again, a perfect summers day for a drive to see all the cars on show.
We now head into another busy month, with big displays at the Phillip Island Historics, both Saturday and Sunday; our display at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to look forward to; our members meeting at Shannons on the 5th and our first Hillclimb at Haunted Hills to finish off March. We are definitely keeping up the momentum with lots of things for you to choose from.
It should be noted that the Hillclimb will be our first Motorsport/Driver Training event that we are running ourselves. So, whether you would like to compete or have a little instruction or even if you’d like to just come and have a look, you are very welcome to join us and see what makes for a great day out. We are always looking for helpers too, so if you’d like to see what is involved in running events, we would love you to come and help there too.
We would also like to remind you that the BMW Clubs Australia Nationals is on in Melbourne over Easter. As members of an Official BMW Club, you are invited to go to any of the events on offer and meet up with your interstate and interclub friends, new and old, and enjoy this bi-annual event. It is only held every 2 years, the last in Brisbane and the next in Canberra in 2021.
As always, if you have any ideas for events, or go somewhere you think others might like too, drop us a line and tell us about it. Whilst we do come up with some great ideas, we are always on the lookout for new ones! Same goes for our merchandise lines, one of our soon to be available club items comes directly from a member mentioning an idea he had. So, next month we will have BMWDCM Club Plate Log Book covers available, thanks Paul, a great idea! Can’t wait to see them when they arrive.
I look forward to catching up with you all at an event or club meeting soon.
Take care and drive safe.
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
Zagame’s facility for the repair of exotic and prestige cars is astonishing. It’s located in the enormous, former “The Age”, building near the airport. BMW Drivers Club Melbourne and clubMINI Victoria joined for a tour of the facility on 17 February, attended by about 40 people. In a hall running the length of the building is a state-of-the-art repair facility with multiple sealed paint cubicles, sealed restoration rooms, panel preparation area and a large assembly/disassembly area. Behind that is an enormous parts warehouse for Audi and other brands, and behind that again is storage for 500 cars undercover where predelivery detailing can be performed. We were also treated to a preview of their upstairs repair area for supercars, with yet more sealed repair and paint cubicles and two bays with simulated daylight to ensure precise colour matching. Zagame have recently added BMW to their approved repairer appointments.
After the tour, most of those present headed off on a convoy drive to Mitchelton winery near Seymour. We travelled via the enjoyable Wallan-Romsey road then had a brief stop in historic Lancefield. Our route then took us via Pyalong to Seymour, through part of the volcanic countryside of the area with stark, rocky outcrops on hilltops and ridges. The roads offered excellent scenery and good cruising, with some twistier sections for entertainment.
To call Mitchelton a winery is to greatly undersell it. The complex is on the banks of the Goulburn River and has a large cellar building, an administration complex, a two storey hotel, a café and the restaurant where we had a good, if overly slow, lunch. And it has its own 3-storey tower too, offering outstanding views of the river, the surrounding vineyard and the distant hills. Under the tower is a large gallery that was empty of people but full of large, expensive aboriginal artworks. Everyone seemed to enjoy the good company over lunch and most of us had a bit of a look around the complex before leaving. One couple even stayed in the hotel to make a relaxed long weekend of the trip. A simple drive home down the Hume wrapped up a very interesting and enjoyable day.
Peter Williams | Member #36BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
On Saturday we got up really early to go to Sandown. We left at about 7 o'clock. When we got there we said hi to all the boys and crida gave me a bump on my shoulder. I said hi to belly and Jo I said hi to Rachael and had a look at Rachael‘s E36 because I have one of them that dad and I are building together.
Everyone had a good look at dads knew paint job on his E30.
When Dad started driving he knew there was something wrong but he knew straight away what it was.
He started taking out the plugs out and seeing what ones were black, one of them was very black and we figured out it was the coil.
Later on in the day I had a parade lap in Rachael’s car Witch was really fun but there was a little green mini up front that was holding us all up. I could tell Rachael was a very good driver.
I hope Blake doesn’t mind but I snuck in and grabbed a few biscuits and Jo made me a beautiful egg and bacon roll and at that point I was really hungry.
Dad’s best time was 1 minute and 26 seconds and he reckons he could still pick up another second. Dad was so happy that he figured out what the problem was with the plugs and the coils and that the car didn’t break down. Everyone did grate and had great fun especially me.
Thankyou Belly, Jo and Rachael.
Royce Lyne | 11 years oldBMW Drivers Club Melbourne
It is the remarkable history, timelessly fascinating charm as well as products with unique and groundbreaking features that characterise the premium brand MINI. Even today, 60 years after introducing its very first model, the British car manufacturer continues to raise the bar in terms of driving fun, striking design and individuality. Across multiple generations the unrivaled go-cart feeling and space-optimizing interior continues to attract an ever-growing fanbase. In this, the year of its landmark anniversary, MINI reflects on six decades of inspiration and presents 50 design pieces in the characteristic style of the iconic brand.
Heritage meets zeitgeist – the textiles.
Inspired by MINI’s racing past, the MINI 60 Years Lifestyle Collection offers a brand new clothing range for women, men and children. The MINI Stripe T-Shirt features the iconic colour of British Green for women and Black for men. The T-Shirts’ linear stripes, which are broken up by offset edges, are featured in the trend colour Coral (introduced in the MINI Lifestyle Collection 2018-2020) as well as a vibrant Lemon hue. With the stylised classic Minis featured on the MINI Car Print T-Shirts and a laurel wreath motif on the MINI Vintage Logo T-Shirt (also available for kids), the Collection offers authentic symbols of driving fun – be it on the road or race track.
Accessories – from perfectly cool to absolutely covetable.
The MINI Colour Block Ice Tea Jug and the MINI Colour Block Ice Tea Mugs serve cool refreshments during the sultry summer season. The Jug as well as the Mugs are available in three colours: Black, Coral and Green. The MINI Beach Tennis Set, featuring bright coral balls, offers beachgoers of all ages fun in the sun. Passion across the generations: that’s what MINI and football have in common and that is the feeling the MINI Football drives home in style.
60 years on the road – the luggage.
The duffle bag in itself represents an absolute classic, even more so in form of the MINI Striped Duffle Bag. The contrasting pattern, which also makes an appearance on the MINI Striped Shopper and the trendy MINI Striped Belt Bag, highlights the bag’s retro appeal. Trolleys and other accessories perfectly round off the travel pieces in the new Collection.
60 years of play – the kids’ products.
Optimising space has long been one of the most striking characteristics of the MINI brand. The MINI Striped Toybox provides the children’s room with ample storage space for the little ones’ favourite games. In addition, a true toy legend gets the MINI 60 Years treatment: the MINI Striped Yo-Yo. As with the Toy Box and many other accessories of the line, it features the recognisable stripes, in this case concentrically merging into a circle. One of the Collection’s undisputed highlights is the MINI Bulldog 2.0. The cuddly canine is a trusty companion on big and small adventures. The MINI Striped Baby Gift Set, including five individually patterned pairs of socks and a striped hat, makes for a very special gift for new parents.
On Friday, 8 February 2019 BMW Drivers Club Melbourne were invited to attend the Victorian CAMS State Awards Dinner to receive our recognition certificate for becoming an Affiliated Club.
Graeme, Jo, Lawrence and Shaaron all dressed up for the evening, with Graeme accepting the certificate on the club's behalf.
"Four of us attended the night and we were lucky enough to be sitting on a table with multiple winners and what a great bunch they were.
After everyone was called to be seated, the award ceremony started quickly, and we were amongst some very worthy recipients. With drivers of all ages, to officials and clubs, all being presented with some type of award throughout the evening." - Jo Mawson
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913 Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council CAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
The abbreviation GP in connection with MINI regularly sparks the interest of racing enthusiasts who are fans of the British premium brand. And since the name of Name John Cooper Works is always mentioned in the same breath, the immediate effect is a sense of excitement at the imminent prospect of a very special model. And this is now justified: next year the new MINI John Cooper Works GP will be taking roads all over the world by storm – along with the hearts and minds of a particularly performance-oriented target group. The new edition of the top athlete in the model range is powered by a 4-cylinder engine with an output of more than 220 kW/300 hp and featuring MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, making it by far the fastest and most powerful MINI ever to be approved for use on the road. Its market launch will call for fast decisions, too: the new MINI John Cooper Works GP is to be produced in a limited edition of just 3 000.
Anyone who gets the chance to take a seat in one of these exclusive, extremely athletic cars can look forward to pure driving fun and uncompromising race feeling. This was the promise offered at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September 2017 when the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept with its powerfully emotional look was presented for the first time. Large front and rear aprons, a striking roof spoiler and the extensive use of lightweight materials left no doubt as to the sporty ambitions of the study.
Serial production development for the new MINI John Cooper Works GP is now entering its crucial phase – namely on the race track, where whole-vehicle testing is to be carried out in the course of the next few months. Drawing on tradition-steeped John Cooper Works expertise, the suspension developed specifically for this model will be precisely adapted to the exceptionally high output of the new engine. Rigorously defined aerodynamic properties and an optimised weight go together with the relevant drive and suspension technology to create an optimum all-in package for thrilling performance characteristics.
Focused application of motor racing technology and expertise lays the foundation for new records in the fight against the clock. The benchmark here is the top athlete of the last MINI generation. The Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap time achieved by the predecessor model of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP was 8:23 minutes– faster than many a sports car from the higher segments. In fact, MINI has quite a tradition of leaving supposedly superior competitors behind it. In the hands of Formula 1 designer John Cooper, the classic Mini itself matured to become a small but high-speed racing machine that regularly beat the big players at their own game – not least with its three outright victories at the Monte Carlo Rally.
The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is based on the principle of tapping into the sporting genes of the MINI to create a superior racing machine – in fact it embodies this notion in its most extreme form. Its predecessor was produced in a limited edition of 2 000 vehicles, as was the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit which came out back in 2006. Both have since become much-coveted collector’s items. And the new model is already being eagerly anticipated by fans of the MINI and John Cooper Works brands.
“The fastest MINI in our brand history – which now goes back 60 years – is an expression of pure racing passion,” says Thomas Giuliani, Vice President Product and Launch Management. “We are well aware of the enormous fascination exercised by the MINI John Cooper Works GP, not just from the euphoric reactions to the concept vehicle but also from past experience: after all, every one of its predecessors was completely sold out even before the official market launch.”
New six-cylinder in-line engine with superlative performance. The most powerful straight-six petrol engine ever to see action in a BMW M car provides the muscle for stunning performance attributes. The newly developed high-revving unit with M TwinPower Turbo technology generates maximum output of 353 kW/480 hp from its 3.0-litre displacement, together with peak torque von 600 Nm (442 lb-ft). The version of the bi-turbo unit developed specially for the BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition raises the output figure by 22 kW/30 hp to 375 kW/510 hp.
Flawless distribution of power: M xDrive, Active M Differential. The new high-performance engine teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and uses the new M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which made its debut in the BMW M5, to channel its power to the road. The M xDrive system has a rear-wheel bias and offers BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M owners two AWD driving modes. The centrally controlled interaction between M xDrive and the Active M Differential at the rear axle allows the all-wheel-drive system to split the engine’s power between the four wheels as required to deliver optimal traction, agility and directional stability. The BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M both sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, while their Competition variants hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in just 4.1 seconds.
M-specific chassis technology provides sublime dynamics.
The combination of dynamism and precision for which BMW M cars are renowned is underpinned by model-specific body strengthening elements and sophisticated chassis technology tuned astutely to marshal the engine’s power. With three settings selectable at the touch of a button, the M-specific suspension’s electronically controlled dampers enable both excellent everyday comfort and extremely direct contact with the road, with low wheel and body movements. The bespoke kinematics and elastokinematics of the M-specific suspension – with its double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle – deliver precise wheel location and directional stability. Composed to also deliver precisely controllable on-limit handling, the chassis technology package rounds off with M-specific steering (including M Servotronic and variable ratio) and powerful M compound brakes. Among the other items on the standard specification list are 20-inch M light-alloy wheels.
Like the damper control systems and M xDrive modes, the engine and transmission characteristics and steering set-up can be adjusted at the touch of a button. The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system allows controlled wheel slip in M Dynamic Mode and, needless to say, can also be switched off. Plus, the content shown in the optional Head-Up Display can be specified via the iDrive menu. The driver can store two overall set-up options – configured as desired from the above parameters – in the iDrive menu and select them as and when required using the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
Signature M design elements for the exterior and interior.
M-specific design features optimise the supply of cooling air for the BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models, as well as their aerodynamics. Inside the cars, the electrically adjustable sports seats, Vernasca leather upholstery, M-specific cockpit, M leather steering wheel and M gearshift selector lever create a sporty and luxurious ambience.
The BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition bring further exclusive accents to the exterior, in the form of High-gloss Black for the BMW kidney grille surround, exterior mirror caps and M gills, and the rear spoiler of the Sports Activity Coupe. Their standard equipment also includes 21-inch M light-alloy wheels in polished Black and an M Sport exhaust system. The expressive aura of the interior, meanwhile, is enhanced by M Sport seats with extended Merino leather upholstery, model-specific door sill plates and a model nameplate on the centre console. Options for the Competition models include special bi-colour leather upholstery variants with Alcantara applications.
The optional M Carbon exterior package (expected to be available from August 2019), which features design elements in carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the front air intakes, the air blades in the front apron, the rear diffuser and the exterior mirror caps, adds further individual flourishes. On the BMW X4 M and BMW X4 M Competition, these elements are joined by a CFRP rear spoiler.
Among the items fitted as standard in the BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models are LED headlights, the hi-fi speaker system and the ConnectedDrive navigation package including the Navigation system Professional. The options list for the BMW X3 and BMW X4 provides further scope for individualisation and includes cutting-edge driver assistance systems and the digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive.
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