BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc

  • 30 Dec 2019 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    International recognition for current models, attractive design and technological innovations – Munich premium brand again achieves numerous successes in public surveys and expert rankings.

    The appeal of the current model range and the progressive character of the latest technological innovations by BMW were also confirmed in the course of 2019 by a large number of coveted awards. The Munich premium brand's track record includes national and international awards, which are based both on public surveys and on the judgement of experts. The new BMW 3 Series, which was able to collect numerous titles immediately after its market launch, is one of the most frequently chosen prizewinners.

    The wide range of award-winning models and technologies is also striking. The list of winners includes the outstandingly sporty BMW M automobiles as well as models with electrified drive. In addition to the new edition of the compact BMW 1 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X models and the luxury sports cars of the BMW 8 Series were among the winners in various competitions. Further renowned awards were presented to BMW for innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. At the J.D Power Awards, prizes for "Highest Quality" went to the BMW 2 Series and the BMW X4.

    Award-winning variety: BMW models successful with conventional and electrified drive.

    BMW M automobiles won seven categories of the "sport auto Award". The Swiss "Auto Illustrierte" also awarded BMW M GmbH the title of "Best of the Brands" in its competitive environment. The BMW M2 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 227 g/km) ranked among the “10 Best Cars” of the year for the experts of the US “Car and Driver” magazine. BMW's leading position as a supplier of vehicles with electrified drive systems was also confirmed by its excellent performance in several competitions. The drive system of the BMW i8 Coupé won the internationally renowned "Engine of the Year Award” (fuel consumption combined: 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 42 g/km*) and the BMW i8 Roadster (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km) won the award in the  “Hybrid Drive” category. This is the fifth time in a row that their drive has won an award at this competition. The two hybrid sports cars also took second place in the "Plug-in Hybrid Sedans/Sports Cars" category of the "e-mobility Award" presented by the car journal "Auto Zeitung".

    In Great Britain, BMW won the "DrivingElectric Awards" twice: the BMW 330e Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 1.9 - 1.6 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 15.4 - 14.8 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 43 – 37 g/km) won the ”Best Medium Plug-in Hybrid Car” category. The BMW X5 xDrive45e (fuel consumption combined: 2.0 - 1.7 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 23.5 - 20.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 47 - 39 g/km) won in the "Best Premium Plug-in Hybrid Car" category. The plug-in hybrid luxury sedans of the BMW 7 Series were named "Green Executive Car of the Year" in the readers' poll of the British "Professional Driver Magazine".

    Award-winner straight from the start: the new BMW 3 Series.

    The new BMW 3 Series got off to an outstanding start not only thanks to its successful market launch, but also with top positions in numerous national and international competitions. In Germany, the new sports saloon immediately won the "Auto Trophy" in the "Middle Class" category awarded by the "Auto Zeitung" and the "Design Trophy" on top of that. The new BMW 3 Series was also honoured with the "autonis" trophy issued by the car magazine "auto, motor und sport" as the "best design innovation of the year".

    Its inner values were equally awarded: the new BMW 3 Series won the "best networked car of the year" award in the top category of the "Car Connectivity Award", also presented by "auto, motor und sport". The driving dynamics of the new BMW 3 Series led to two class victories in the readers' choice of the magazine "sport auto". In their respective competition categories, the new BMW 330i Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 6.1 – 5.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 139 –132 g/km*) and the new BMW 330i Touring (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 146 – 136 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan (combined fuel consumption: 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 168 – 160 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: 7.6 – 7.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 172 – 163 g/km) received the “sportiest cars of the year” award.

    In Great Britain, the specialist magazines "What Car?" and "Auto Express" unanimously named the new BMW 3 Series "Executive Car of the Year" and “Compact Executive Car of the Year”. The “Carbuyer” magazine awarded it the title of “Best Compact Executive Car” and “Business Car” named it the “Best Premium Car”. In addition, the British comparison portal "carwow" declared the latest generation of the mid-range model "Car of the Year". In Asia the new BMW 3 Series was honoured as well. It was named “Premium Car of the year” at the ”Indian Car of the Year” and the "Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan" awarded it the title "Import Car of the Year".

    Further titles for the BMW 5 Series and a double "Golden Steering Wheel” victory.

    The BMW 5 Series was also able to add further successes to its collection of titles in the course of 2019. In the "auto, motor und sport" vote for the "Best Cars", it secured class victory in the "Upper Middle Class" category. In the race for the "Auto Trophy", the BMW 5 Series was also victorious in its vehicle class. In addition, the editors of the car magazine "Auto Test" also placed the BMW 530d Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 5.1 – 5.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 135 – 131 g/km) in the top position in their ranking of all models tested in the course of the year. The British magazines "Auto Express" and "Carbuyer" voted the BMW 5 Series "Car of the Year" in its vehicle segment and "Best Large Executive Car" respectively. The title "Executive Estate Car of the Year" awarded by "Professional Driver Magazine" went to the BMW 5 Series Touring. 

    BMW won a double victory at the "Golden Steering Wheel 2019" ceremony. The new BMW 1 Series prevailed in the "Compact Class". The new BMW 8 Series was awarded the title "Most Beautiful New Model of the Year" in the "Auto Bild" and "Bild am Sonntag" competitions. The BMW 8 Series Coupé, the BMW 8 Series Convertible and the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé in the luxury sports car segment also made a big impact in Spain. This was reflected in a double success in the "Motor Awards 2019" competition of the online portal "". The new BMW 8 Series was named both "Best Car" and "Best Sports Car” here.

    BMW remains a leader in driver assistance systems, operation and networking.

    In 2019 BMW once again added to the brand typical driving pleasure with the market launch of further innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. Numerous awards underline the brand's leading position, which has been strengthened by recent progress. The most important innovation in the field of vehicle operation is the BMW Operating System 7.0, which also includes the Intelligent Personal Assistant. The innovative language assistant was awarded the "Tech Award" by the British comparison portal "carwow" as the most important technology innovation of the year in automobiles.

    Four titles went to BMW in the competition for the "Car Connectivity Award". The reader survey of the car journals "auto, motor und sport" and "Moove" showed that, in addition to the overall victory for the BMW 3 Series as the "best networked car", the BMW Live Cockpit Professional was a clear success in the "Navigation Systems” category. Readers chose the Driving Assistant Professional as their favourite in the "Safety Assistance Systems" category. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System was also voted the best innovation in the "Sound Systems" category.

    Here is a summary of the main awards won by BMW in 2019:

    • Awarded by “Engine Technology International”
      “International Engine of the Year"
      - BMW i8 Coupé, BMW i8 Roadster (Hybrid Drive category)

    • Distinctions conferred by “J.D. Power“
      “J.D. Power Awards”
      - BMW 2 Series (Highest Quality small vehicles category)
      - BMW 2 Series (Highest Quality compact vehicles category)

    • Awarded by “Automotive Circle”
      “EuroCarBody Award”
      BMW X7 (Premium Segment category)

    • Awarded by “Auto Bild“ and “Bild am Sonntag“
      “The Golden Steering Wheel”
      - BMW 1 Series (Compact Class category)
      - BMW 8 Series (Most Beautiful New Model category)

    • Awarded by “Auto Bild“ and “Computer Bild“
      “Connected Car Award”
      - BMW X5 (Upper Class category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "auto motor und sport"
      "Best Cars"
      - BMW 5 Series (Upper Mid-Range category)

      - BMW 3 Series (best new design)

    • Distinctions conferred by "auto motor und sport" and "MOOVE"
      “Car Connectivity Award"
      - BMW 3 Series (best networked car)
      - BMW Live Cockpit Professional (Navigation Systems category)
      - Driving Assistant Professional (Safety Assistance Systems category)
      - Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System (Sound Systems category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "Auto Zeitung"
      "Auto Trophy"
      - BMW 3 Series (Middle Class category)
      - BMW 5 Series (Upper Class category)
      - BMW X2 (SUV 25 000 to 50 000 euro category)
      - BMW X5 (Luxury SUV category)
      - BMW brand (Best Design category)

      "Design Trophy"
      - BMW 3 Series (Sedans, Estates, Vans category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "sport auto"
      “sport auto Award"
      - BMW M140i xDrive (compact car over 35 000 euros category)
      - BMW 330i (sedans/estate cars up to 50 000 euros)
      - BMW M340i xDrive (category sedans up to 100 000 euros)
      - BMW M5 Competition (sedan/estate car category over 100 000 euro)
      - BMW Z4 sDrive20i (convertible/roadster category up to 50 000 euros)
      - BMW Z4 M40i (convertible/roadster category up to 100 000 euros)
      - BMW 230i Coupé (Coupé category up to 50 000 euros)
      - BMW M2 Competition (Coupé category up to 75 000 euros)
      - BMW M4 Competition (Coupé category up to 100 000 euros)

    • Distinctions conferred by "Auto Illustrierte” (CH)
      “Best of the Brands”
      - BMW M GmbH (Factory Tuning category)

    • Distinctions conferred by “What Car?” (GB)
      “Car of the Year“
      - BMW 3 Series (Executive Car category)
      - BMW 5 Series (Luxury Car category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "Auto Express” (GB)
      “New Car Award"
      - BMW Series (Compact Executive Car category)
      - BMW 5 Series (Executive Car category)
      - BMW X3 (Midsize SUV category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "carwow” (GB)
      “Car of the Year“
      - BMW 3 Series (Overall Winner)
      - BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (Tech Award)

    • Distinctions conferred by “Carbuyer“ (GB)
      “Best Car Award“
      - BMW 1 Series (Small Luxury Car category)
      - BMW 3 Series (Compact Executive Car category)
      - BMW 5 Series (Large Executive Car category)

    • Distinctions conferred by “DrivingElectric“ (GB)
      “DrivingElectric Award" 
      - BMW 330e (Medium Plug-in Hybrid Car award)
      - BMW X5 xDrive45e (Premium Plug-in Hybrid Car award)

    • Distinctions conferred by “Professional Driver Magazine“ (GB)
      “Car of the Year“
      - BMW 5 Series Touring (Executive Estate Car category)
      - BMW 745e/745Le/745Le xDrive (Green Executive Car category)
      - BMW X7 (Luxury SUV category)

    • Distinctions conferred by “Business Car“ (GB)
      "Business Car Award“
      - BMW 3 Series (Premium Car category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "" (ES)
      - BMW 8 Series (Best Car category)
      - BMW 8 Series (Best Sports Car category)

    • Distinctions conferred by "Car and Driver” (US)
      “10 Best Cars“
      BMW X1 (Best Subcompact Luxury SUV category)
      BMW M2 Competition (Best Cars category)

    • Distinctions conferred by “Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference (JP)
      “Car of the Year”
      BMW 3 Series (Import Car of the Year category)


  • 27 Dec 2019 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    The BMW iFE.20 is already an asset for BMW i Motorsport away from the track as well. Its flax cooling shaft emphasises its great importance as a tech lab for the BMW Group, being the first BMW race car fielded by a works team with parts made out of renewable textile fibres – making it a pioneer for series production.

    BMW i Andretti Motorsport and the BMW iFE.20 got off to a successful start in Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with their victory in Diriyah (KSA) in November. Alexander Sims (GBR) heads into the new year and the next race in Santiago (CHI) at the top of the driver’s standings, but the BMW iFE.20 is already an asset for BMW i Motorsport away from the track as well. Its flax cooling shaft emphasises its great importance as a tech lab for the BMW Group, being the first BMW race car fielded by a works team with parts made out of renewable textile fibres – making it a pioneer for series production.

    “The flax cooling shaft that we use in the BMW iFE.20 is further proof of the hugely important role of BMW i Motorsport as a tech lab for the BMW Group,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We are consistently using Formula E as an innovative platform for series development – in this instance for testing flax in extreme weather conditions. What’s particularly remarkable is the fact that in some areas this renewable material even has advantages over materials established in racing, such as carbon. Our ambition is to always use the best suited material for each part.”

    Compared with carbon, flax has greater absorption and greater impact resistance, which can be advantageous on the street circuits with their bumps and crash barriers, on which Formula E takes place. The same is true of contact with other cars during races.

    The BMW iFE.20 is the first works BMW racing car in which the material is used. However, the expansion of this concept to include other BMW Motorsport race cars is currently already in the development phase.


  • 19 Dec 2019 1:37 PM | Anonymous

    Next milestone: Doubling the number of electrified vehicles +++ by end of 2021 +++ BMW 330e* handed over at BMW Welt +++ BMW iX3*: new balance between range and battery size +++ Comprehensive model offensive – also for electrified vehicles.

    As an e-mobility pioneer, the BMW Group has reached another electromobility milestone and already delivered half a million electrified cars to customers worldwide. Sebastian Mackensen, BMW Group Senior Vice President Market Germany, handed over the keys to a very special BMW 330e* to its future owner at BMW Welt today.

    "Half a million vehicles is the best proof: Our broad range of electrified vehicles is meeting exact customer needs. Now, we are stepping up the pace significantly: We aim to have one million electrified vehicles on the roads within two years. This is our contribution towards effective climate protection," said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

    Comprehensive e-vehicle product offensive

    Next year, the BMW X3 will become the first BMW Group vehicle available with four different drive train variants: efficient diesel, petrol, plug-in hybrid and pure electric. The biggest market for the pure electric BMW iX3* is China, where it will also be produced for the global market.The BMW iX3* will be the first to benefit from the ground-breaking fifth generation of our highly efficient BMW electric drive trains, which provide a new balance between range and battery size. The key lies in making the drive train substantially more efficient. Our technology flagship, the BMW iNEXT – which will also be available from 2021 – will combine electromobility with highly automated driving. The fully electric BMW iNEXT will be produced on the same assembly line in Dingolfing as vehicles with combustion engines and plug-in hybrids.This will be followed in 2021 by the BMW i4, a pure electric Gran Coupé in the premium mid-size segment with strong emotional appeal. The BMW i4 will be produced at the main plant in Munich.

    Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship and continuing sales success since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has acquired the status of an icon. The BMW Group will continue to further develop this vehicle and currently plans to extend production until 2024. Since late this year, the BMW Group’s electrified model line-up has also been joined by a further pure electric vehicle, the MINI Electric*. The more than 90,000 registered prospects indicate the high level of customer interest in the first pure electric MINI.

    Ambitious goals for electrified vehicle sales

    With 12 electrified vehicles currently, the BMW Group is one of the world's leading providers of electric mobility. The company has been the market leader for electrified vehicles in Germany since 2016 and also occupies a leading position in Europe and worldwide. The company has formulated clear goals for sales of electrified vehicles for the years ahead: A quarter of all vehicles sold in Europe should be electrified by 2021. This should reach a third by 2025 and half in 2030.

    “We already offer an electrified drive train variant for most of our model line-up – from MINI to the BMW 7 Series. Our customers get to choose: Not just their preferred model, but also the drive train that suits them best,” explained Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales. “This is the diversity our customers want and that can best meet their individual mobility needs.”

    The Power of Choice

    The BMW Group model line-up offers highly efficient combustion engines as well as modern plug-in hybrids and pure electric drive trains. This “Power of Choice” enables the company to meet customers’ varied needs and wants in different regions of the world. Depending on the drive train chosen, all current and future models deliver brand-specific driving pleasure. No matter which type of drive train the customer decides on: They can always expect a high level of efficiency and lower CO2 emissions from the BMW Group.

    Exclusive handover at BMW Welt

    A customer from Munich was in for a surprise when he came to collect his new vehicle. As part of a special and exclusive handover, the customer received the keys to his new BMW 330e* from Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President Market Germany: The car in question was the BMW Group's 500,000th electrified vehicle. “For me, the BMW 330e – the plug-in hybrid 3 Series – combines the best of both worlds: For the most part, I can drive emission-free – especially in the city – but, on longer trips, I still have the flexible range of a combustion engine,” explained the car’s new owner, Florian Merk.

    Sebastian Mackensen added: “I am very happy to celebrate the delivery of our 500,000th electrified vehicle here at BMW Welt. No one sells more electrified vehicles in Germany than we do. There are already about 60,000 electrified BMW and MINI models on German roads today. And in 2020 we will continue to launch additional models.”

    BMW Group possesses extensive electromobility know-how

    Thanks to its years of e-mobility experience, the BMW Group has acquired extensive and sound knowledge in this area. This provides the basis for the company to develop eDrive technology in-house, including the engine, power electronics and also the battery as well as the battery cells. This ensures BMW and MINI electrified vehicles still deliver brand-typical driving characteristics.


  • 18 Dec 2019 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to the generous support of Geelong BMW, who organised to get us two cars from BMW Australia for Geelong Revival, I had the privilege of driving an X4M Competition and a M3 CS over the weekend – admittedly not for very long.

    Both are very fine cars and I’d take either of them if they were a prize in a raffle. But if I had to put down my own hard earned cash, I’d take the M3 CS – it just more my sort of car and I understand that not everyone would agree (Jo Mawson being one!).

    So, I’ll start with the M3 CS.

    I like the look of the F80/F82 cars. Muscular and purposeful. In my personal view a distinct improvement on the rather bland E90/92 M cars. I’m not sure I would want the Frozen deep blue finish – I’m told the Frozen finish is easy to clean and it proved to be so when the seagulls repeatedly left their mark on the cars whilst on display at the waterfront – as I think it could quickly start to look like a neglected old car. But whilst new I concede it has a certain presence.

    Opening the door reveals the first of the many weight saving features which are part of the CS pack- no keyless entry. I was a bit taken aback by this as I was standing right next to the rear door which has roller sun blinds!

    Weight is down and power up with the suspension enhanced – must be good.

    But the interior looks gorgeous, with sculptured seats and M-tricolour edged seat belts with CS etched into the dash. And it gets even better once seated.

    The seats are firm supportive and very snug, instantly reminding me of the Recaro seats in my ’81 E21 323 JPS.  I did not have the chance to drive for more than about 30 minutes at a time but I’m sure they will be comfortable on a long drive.

    Oddly, given the weight saving ethos, there is full electric adjustment and memory for both seats and external mirrors. Given the strong family design theme still running from the ‘60s to today, getting a suitable setting was quick and easy. And now it felt very much like my ’05 E46 M3 – a theme I’ll be coming back to.

    Leather trim on the upper dash, splashes of carbon fibre and an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel of what I think ideal thickness (some reviewers say too thick) but no centre arm rest and only single zone climate control (weight again).  Odd, but lovely.

    Press the (keyless) start button and a delightful burble erupts at the back with a meaningful hum at idle which cries “ready for action”.  Snick the now classic M gear knob across to the right (yes- dual clutch transmission) and the gearbox defaults to auto mode.  I’m sure that can be changed but I did not work my way through the thick owner’s manual which nearly filled the glove box. I was happy to see how well it worked as an auto.

    I will freely admit that my M3’s SMG gearbox is a woeful auto but the M3 CS’s DCT works perfectly. At any time one can flick a paddle and assume temporary manual control just as with a paddle equipped “slush box” system.  There is no creep at idle but nor is there any jerk when a touch of throttle is applied. Parking is a breeze and a creep mode can be induced if really required.  This is all an improvement, minor in the most part, from the DCT implementation in the E90/92.

    Once on the move the whole car feels alive and responsive.  The steering has a wonderful weight and feel.  I can not say what would happen when the car is stretched as I did not get to drive it out of town.  But it gave me every indication that is was ready to party and was going to be good at it!

    I’d say the F80 is more race suit and the E90 M3 more business suit. But a tastefully tailored race suit you could wear to work.

    Switching to fully manual transmission control the gear changes are instant, smooth and delightfully executed. It will change up readily in a way my E46’s SMG just won’t.  This is such a step forward I’m saddened that BMW are going to discontinue the DCT in favour of the “conventional” torque converter autos.

    I liked it a lot. A real lot.

    With a few more kays under my belt I really appreciated just how far suspension design and tuning has come in the last 18 years or so. The ride is surprising smooth and quiet, and yet those who know far better than I testify that this car corners flatly and with tremendous grip. It is astonishing how this can be achieved.

    Oddly, despite all the M1 button presets for the ultimate personal choice of the many selectable parameters such a throttle response, suspension stiffness, steering weight, I get the impression that this is not a dual character car in the way that many “hot” cars are. It seems it will seamlessly move from comfy cruiser in a city traffic jam to an all out racer on a nice twisty road or possibly even race track.

    In a word, brilliant.

    So, what of the brightly coloured X4M.

    For a start, I like the colour better, and I like the overall shape. The front end styling is sharp and dramatic with lots of nice black details. If one is going to have a SUV, sorry, SAV, at least have a curvy one.  Yes, I know the idea of a coupe 4x4 type vehicle seems to contradict its very reason for existence, but the loss of functionality is minor compared to the improvement in styling – in my eyes at least.

    It’s a bit of a step up into the X4M.  Literally if not figuratively.  I think I would find that tiresome but it’s a feature of the genre.  But once behind the wheel it all looks and feels very BMW and, oh, so just right. The feeling is far more car like than I had expected and it has a nice commanding feel. The driver’s seat is supportive but not overly snug with plenty of provision for those with a wider beam.

    The instruments, general dash layout and M-style gear lever action leave you in no doubt that this is an M-Car, and the exhaust burble on start up confirms this to be so.  But otherwise it is a completely “normal” drive unless you active some of the sporty settings and spice things up. There is no doubt that it is smooth and powerful, but I did not feel the same level of “special” that I did in the M3 CS.  On the move its composure and lack of excessive lean and wallow belie its height and weight. I’m pretty sure that on just about any piece of road you could name it would give the M3 CS something to worry about and still be comfortable.

    One thing which I noticed very quickly is the shallow rear window, a by-product of that sloping roof line.  Rear seat headroom is not overly compromised but I spent a bit of time trying to adjust the interior mirror before realising that it is the window which needed adjustment! A rear view camera does a wonderful job when reversing but the letter-box view took some getting used to on the road.  Thankfully the large door mirrors give a superb rearward view.

    And there is no getting away from the huge cargo space and commanding view.

    If you like a SUV style vehicle, and you like a fast rewarding drive, this has got to be a good possibility for you.

    Both cars attracted a lot of attention at the Geelong Revival and we are greatly indebted to Phil Curran and his staff at Geelong BMW for arranging to get these from BMW Australia and cleaning them etc ready for us to pick up. And thanks to BMW Australia for making them available to us.

    Lawrene Glynn | Member #3
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 15 Dec 2019 2:34 PM | Anonymous

    An enthusiastic bunch of members, family, and friends attended the December Members meeting at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverly on 10 December.  A fun evening of laughs, thrills, and spills was had by all. 

    We put on our fancy bowling shoes, headed up to the lanes and were grouped into three teams each with our own lane.  Food and beverages were consumed as the games commenced.  There were plenty of strikes and spares going around, as the competitive nature of participants shone through.  To offset this, there were quite a few gutter balls thrown as well, as we were all trying to get into a rhythm.  Some of us seemed to have issues with our footing, with a couple of bowlers tripping and hitting the deck while running up to bowl.  Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported, and more than likely provided a bit of humour to the spectators.

    With the exception of a couple of bowlers, most scores were within a handful of points of each other, and competition was tight.  Heading into the second game it was fairly close between teams one and two, with the third team only part way though their first game.  Teams continued to bowl neck and neck for the remainder, with the big winner being 10 pin bowling at the end of the night.

    After the games were finished, Jo got the barrel out and did the final members draw for the year.  Plenty of lucky winners, with bottles of BMWDCM wine being awarded as prizes to most, and a couple of gift bags with extra goodies included to big prize winners.  Looking forward to cracking open my bottle of Cab Sav over the holiday season.

    After a fun night bowling with new and old friends, we ditched the stylish footwear for our own shoes, and headed off into the night.  Here’s to more fun events with this great bunch of people in the 2020.

    Greg Dickson | Member #211
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 9 Dec 2019 2:43 PM | Anonymous

    Day 1: 29 November

    The morning of Friday, 29 November, saw Canberra shrouded in a smoke haze from the Tallaganda bushfire as we prepared to drive to Merimbula to rendezvous with members from the NSW BMW Drivers Club and the BMW Drivers Club of Melbourne.  The smoke haze persisted all the way to the town of Bemboka, at the foot of the Brown Mountain.  Coffee and a mini custard tart from the Bemboka Pie shop replenished us before we turned-off the Snowy Mountains Highway and drove via the Mogilla (gorilla) Road to Candelo, thence to the Princess Highway and down to our Merimbula accommodation at the Sapphire Valley Caravan Park.

    Driving the Mogilla Road was a new experience for us.  It is a well surfaced road which offers the opportunity to not only enjoy the drive but to also take in the local undulating scenery.  Unfortunately, the landscape was mainly brown from the drought rather than the usual lush green of the Bega Valley.  Our thoughts were with the farmers and we hoped they’d soon receive the much needed rain.  The road from Candelo to the Princess Highway wasn’t as enjoyable as there were many potholes and road works being undertaken.  Once we reached the Princess Highway it was an uneventful run to Merimbula and to our accommodation.

    Later in the afternoon other drive participants started to arrive and we were able to reconnect with friends we hadn’t seen since last year’s run.  Our motel-style accommodation was very comfortable and the room was clean with good facilities.  The staff were friendly and a little taken aback from the sight of 12 BMWs at their Park.  The grounds of the Park were very peaceful with the local kangaroos lounging around nearby.

    Dinner was at the Merimbula RSL Club who put on a fine repast.  The dinner afforded us the opportunity to regale each other with our adventures driving to Merimbula and to meet the other participants.  It was an early night as the long Day 2 beckoned.

    Day 2: 30 November

    We were rolling from the Park by 9am as we had a 500km round trip ahead of us.  The day was clear and cool, which made a change from the smoky, warmth and humidity of the previous day.  Perfect weather conditions for a long drive and excellent turbo weather for those of us with air-to-air intercoolers.

    From Merimbula the convoy of 12 BMWs drove to Bombala where we stopped at the Cosmo Café for coffee.  The road to Bombala provided a bit of everything – undulations, hairpin bends, open sections and sweeping bends.  Even my navigator thought it was a great section of road. 

    From Bombala, we split into two groups for the drive to the Marlo Hotel for lunch.  One group of eight cars went via the Bonang Highway and the remaining four, including us, cruised down the Monaro Highway to Cann River, then the Princess Highway through Orbost to the Marlo Hotel.  I particularly liked the section of road from Orbost to Marlo. 

    As we headed towards Cann River, the brownish, open landscape around Bombala gave way to wooded and green.  It also started to rain, heavily in some parts.  While I would have preferred it dry for better driving, it was pleasing to see rain.  The road was well surfaced and perfectly suited to cruising.  There were few cars or caravans to impede our progress. 

    The rain continued all the way to Marlo, with a light drizzle upon our arrival at the Hotel.  As the temperature was about 15 degrees, the Hotel was warm and inviting, while we awaited the arrival of the other group.  We could have easily settled in for the afternoon, but the return journey awaited us.  The Hotel overlooks the mouth of the Snowy River and the Pacific Ocean beyond.  Unfortunately, the rain prevented us sitting on the outside deck, which would have been perfect for lunch.  However, the sizable dining room was comfortable and well patronised.  The quality and variety of food was impressive and I think everyone was well satisfied with their lunch.

    We departed the Hotel in the continuing drizzle of rain.  With the 12 cars now reunited, we followed the coast to Cape Coran, then via the Princess Highway to Cann River where we stopped briefly while some of us took fuel.  From Cann River we cruised up the Monaro Highway, eventually turning off the Highway on to Imlay Road, which took us to Eden and then to Merimbula.  Imlay Road provided something of interest for everybody and is well worth exploring.  We also left the wet weather behind.

    Once back at the Caravan Park, it was a quick change for dinner, which was at Doci’s Italian Restuarant.  Another superb meal, washed down by a few bottles of wine, accompanied by excellent conversation.  The walk back to our accommodation, in the cool Merimbula air, was pleasant and reminded me how tired I think most of us were.  At least we could have a little sleep-in as Sunday’s departure wasn’t until 10am.

    Day 3: 1 December

    The first day of summer dawned clear and a little warmer.  The plan was to drive to Bemboka via Candelo and then to Cooma for lunch at the Cooma Hotel.  Some of our party were very excited at the prospect of stopping at Candelo to check out the local markets.  Unfortunately, Candelo was packed by people attending the markets and parking spaces were at a premium.  As we were on the clock in terms of needing to be at Cooma for lunch, it was decided to push on to Bemboka for a coffee break.  The chatter over our radios from the disappointed marketeers subsided after several kilometres!  Fortunately they were able to indulge their shopping addiction at Bemboka.  Someone even found a top hat for next year’s Melbourne Cup!

    Again, the Mogilla Road proved an entertaining drive and we invaded the Bemboka Pie shop for coffee, and in my case, another mini custard tart.

    The drive up the Brown Mountain was slow due to the amount of traffic, although we were able to pick-up pace once we cleared Nimmitabel when the road opened up.

    Cooma was cool, but the Hotel was warm and inviting.  The Hotel offered a comprehensive menu with sizable portions.  Needless to say, I don’t think anyone left hungry.

    It was time to say our goodbyes.  Our Victorian friends headed to Corryong for the night, while the Sydney group headed home via Canberra.  After two excellent, but tiring days, I was pleased I only had the relatively short drive to Canberra.

    I would like to thank all the organisers for another excellent outing.  Everything went off without a hitch.  I would especially like to thank Peter for mapping out the wonderful driving roads.  But as he modestly says, he had nothing to do with building them.

    We look forward to next year’s adventure.

    Ian & Jenny Cartwright
    BMW Car Club Canberra

  • 7 Dec 2019 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    Early last month, I received an emailed from a member asking if I could set up and event to see the Ford v Ferrari movie.  I spoke to the committee and we all decided this might be a nice end of year event.

    On looking around we found that it was showing at the Dromana Drive In, and what better way to watch a car movie, with a car club but at a drive in, in our cars.

    We had lots of interest but unfortunately, only a few days before the event I had a message from a member who had been told by another club he was associated with that the session time had been changed from 9pm to 11.30pm.  On confirming this with the Drive In, I realised that this was not going to work with all who had registered as some had children coming as well.

    A quick call around and with Jess helping me send out an email to all who had registered, we managed to keep the same night, but change the venue to Village Cinemas Karingal Hub. 

    We had a nice group attend and all were pretty excited.  I knew only a little about the history of this battle, so I was quite in the dark about it all.  I had heard of Carrol Shelby but not of Ken Miles, so the story was really new to me and I loved every bit of it. 

    From the friendships made, to the corny fight scenes, to the amazing setting up of the car, until race day.

    I wont say too much more as I know there are a few out there that say it is not exactly true to what happened but it is a Hollywood movie about racing and you just have to love the way they have put this together and the likeness to the original characters, the casting was brilliant.

    If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend you go if you are at anyway interested in racing, as this is a great film, with laughter, anger, disappointment and tears.  A must see.

    Thank you for all who came and my apologies for those who did want to see it at the drive in, I will try to arrange another night early next year, if we can find a movie worth watching.

    Jo Mawson | Member #2 & Vice President
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

  • 6 Dec 2019 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    The customer racing range of products in the BMW M Motorsport programme is getting a new top-of-the-range model. From the 2022 season, privateers and privateer teams around the world will have the opportunity to do battle for wins and titles in a GT3 model based on the next generation of the BMW M4. The BMW M4 GT3 will be the new top vehicle in the customer racing offering.

    The customer racing range of products in the BMW M Motorsport programme is getting a new top-of-the-range model. From the 2022 season, privateers and privateer teams around the world will have the opportunity to do battle for wins and titles in a GT3 model based on the next generation of the BMW M4. The BMW M4 GT3 will be the new top vehicle in the customer racing offering.

    The race car has been in development for several months and will undergo intensive testing next year. The BMW M4 GT3 will succeed the BMW M6 GT3, which has been in action around the world since 2016 and has brought home wins at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN) and in numerous international race series.

    The production model BMW M4, which forms the base for the BMW M4 GT3, is powered by a six-cylinder engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo Technology that achieves more than 500 hp. The engine and chassis of the road vehicle are the perfect basis for the development of the GT3 racing version. With this goal in mind, the BMW M engineers built an engine – the S58 – that boasts impressive engine characteristics and explosive power delivery, the motorsport genes of which can also be experienced away from the racetrack at any time.

    “With our new GT3 project, we are emphasising the significance of BMW M Customer Racing. It is a central pillar of our motorsport programme,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “With the introduction of the new GT3 regulations for 2022, the BMW M4 is the perfect base. The core product from our colleagues at BMW M is yet again just great. Without wanting to give too much away, the BMW M4 GT3 will be a real highlight in terms of optics and technology. The term ‘icon’ is definitely appropriate here. We want to play a major role in international GT racing with the BMW M4 GT3, as its predecessor did at its victories at the 24-hour races in Spa-Francorchamps, at Macau and in many other race series around the world. Development is already at full speed. The rollout is planned for the second half of 2020.”

    Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH, said: “It is only logical that future top models in customer racing will be based on the next generation of the BMW M4. We will already be setting new standards in terms of sporting performance in production, which is why it makes sense to present the new GT3 sports car on this platform as well.”

    While the 2020 season will be one of development and testing, regular tests in race conditions are planned for 2021.


  • 6 Dec 2019 12:06 PM | Anonymous

    Winners are grinners and I managed to win the bowling event draw prize for a Hot Lap with Jim Richards.

    It was nice to hang out in the relaxed environment with Jo and Serena and a few other BMWDCM members who were there along with Jim and his nice wife Faye.

    Jim has a beautiful Porsche GT3 RS. He drives so smoothly it feels like the car was floating itself through the corners rather than being driven.

    With such a smooth driving style I could get a sense of how he can go so fast by letting the car flow around the track and a real privilege to experience first-hand someone so especially good at his profession.  He makes it look so effortless and easy and at first disappointing to realize I can never come close to being able to drive that well. 

    Oh well, I really enjoy being part of the club and experiences like this will help improve my driving and I will have an exciting time learning how to drive better and am privileged to have people like Graeme and Chris coaching me and owning a Bell Motorsport E30.

    At lunch Jim shared his driving history and I guess after driving so many cars in so many events and with such natural talent that it is no wonder he has won Bathurst and other championships so many times.  It was interesting to see how humble and a bit shy he is so I guess his driving does the talking.

    I believe he has two cars in his private collection, I think that infamous Nissan Skyline and one of those special BMW M3s.  It was kind of nice to get confirmation yet again on how great the classic M3 is.

    Thanks to Shannons and BMWDCM for a memorable day.

    Rod Martin | Member #29
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    I rocked up early to the Sandown raceway to ride with Jim Richards, excited and a little apprehensive. It was only a few days before that my name, along with Rod Martin's got pulled out of the hat as the two lucky winners.  It was my own 10 year old that pulled the names out of the hat! But before anyone cries 'Rigged!', you can find the video on the BMWDCM Facebook page...

    I've never been to Sandown before, it's impressively big. I was trying to figure out where to go, but by luck, I saw Jo and Graeme's X5 - and headed over that way. I was early, but there was already a fair crowd of people milling around inside the track side garage. The first thing I noticed, above the friendly chatter inside, was the distinctive noise of a single car out on the track. Jim Richard's Porsche simply sounds awesome. Even on the far side of the track, you can hear it echoing around, and then when it flies past us at full tilt on the straight - the roar of that distinctive flat 6 engine is so satisfying.

    I signed up, and unexpectedly soon a woman came and asked me if I'd like to go early. I did, and before I knew it I was in a flurry of suiting up and finding the right helmet. 10 minutes later I'm standing outside as Jim comes in from the last hot lap. People help me to clamber in, do up the harness and connect a lead to my helmet mike, In the middle of it all Jim reaches his hand out and introduces himself. The helmet mic was great. It meant we could chat despite the noise inside the car. I told him I was a little nervous about being in a race car on a track with a true race driver, and his response was, "Look, think of it this way, this is my car and I have no intention of crashing it." And true to his word, I had nothing to worry about. It was a lot of fun. I appreciated how fast and responsive the car was. The way it braked and accelerated, and the way Jim shifted its weight from corner to corner to keep it moving at speed. By the end of the laps, I was thinking, "What a car, and a what a driver!" Jim was such a gentleman. During the laps, we talked about the car, and he talked me through the corners; explaining what he was doing at each point to set himself up for the next one.

    All in all, it was a great experience. I clambered out at the end, thanked Jim for the drive, and was thinking about how could I do more of this track racing stuff...

    Simeon Taylor | Member #168
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

    Elsie in Merrmbula

    On the first day of the bmw drivers club everybody sped off leaving me my mum and Matilda all alone, actually i was glad. We set off for the small water side town, went to a Vinnies to see if we could find any thing nice. 

    I found a golden dress, Tilly  got a swan shirt and a fairy statue . Then we went to Best and Less, Tilly got a night gown with a matching dolly sized night gown as well. I got a nighty with cats on it. It started raining so we went back to the hotel we were staying at. After a little bit we went to the pool and we had A LOT of fun. We chilled out for a little bit and soon every one come back and we all got ready for the dinner that night. 

    p.s i got to draw the raffle ticket and pulled out .... MY DAD.

    Elsie Taylor

  • 4 Dec 2019 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    Sunday 24 November, Geelong Revival Motoring  Festival - well on its way with this being the third and final day of car enthusiast making their mark on the picturesque waterfront of Victoria’s biggest township outside of Melbourne.  Not just a car display day , but so much more with a drift track, a drag strip and plenty of entertainment in between. The smell of food caravans and food trucks giving mixed cravings as you walk along the foreshore.  Even worse for us, our display being downwind of a kebab stand...

    With plenty of E30s with a mix of other club members BMWs, our cars gave a prestige presence with 19 cars on show, even an X6 giving its attitude that, yes I’m a BMW.  Thanks to the line up from Lawrence Glynn and Jo Mawson.

    The day was perfect for this type of show, not just for car enthusiast, but also for families that were regular seen enjoying the curious change to their normal Sunday walks in the park.

    It’s interesting to have seen quite a few BAUR’s as part of this line up, as I heard people speak and compare them to the regular convertible as part of our display.

    A walk around the bay, intrigued by some displays, their owners are more than happy to inform you of the work they have done to get their vehicle in their current condition, in turn making one feel you're not the only mad man (or woman) out there.  I picked up on hints that will assist in keeping my cars pristine.  One exception, was a white non-restored but registered XW-GT. This car almost looking like it was straight out of barn and was hidden for the last 30 years.  Even down to the cobwebs still on the door pillars attached to the glass window that hadn’t been disturbed by its owner. 

    Our view overlooked the foreshore from the Geelong enclosed swimming area, all the way to the pier, giving us the advantage of the best view to just sit back and relax when not exploring with the 3x3 marque set up behind the cars, as if this an eagle protecting its young.

    Experience now tells me to bring deckchairs and snacks, which was topped up by setting up under the shade behind the marque with our pre-prepared cheeses, cold meat, dips and crackers.  We even snuck in a nice bottle of red and picnic wine glasses.

    The afternoon brings conversation with anyone who wants to listen, not just about cars, but almost anything in general. I have learnt now, being near Lawrence, one will learn some interesting engineering history.

    Afternoon is drawing in, and with the hint of the lanes being open to exit for the day, we pitch in to assist with the pack up for the day. The marquee is stripped of its BMW Drivers Club signage and collapses with the assistance of every one on every corner (these things bite if not correctly collapsed).

    With everything packed we all slowly make our way out of the display area, driving down the makeshift dragstrip as if were celebrities at a Grand Prix parade.  Just enough daylight to enjoy the drive home.  Then the hard part, the wash car again time from the days dust (mine is then covered due to the recent paint job) and the home final pack up of empty food containers and putting my E30 to bed.

    Paul Holliday | Member #296
    BMW Drivers Club Melbourne

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