With the forthcoming races on the Nürburgring the current German Touring Car Masters (DTM) season will finally reach its decisive phase. Moreover, during the DTM weekend being held from 13 to 15 September 2019, visitors can expect a further attraction. The BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage (combined fuel consumption: 10.0 – 9.3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 227 – 213 g/km) will make its world debut on the legendary racetrack in the Eifel. The special edition of the BMW M4 Coupe, which forms the basis of the BMW M4 DTM deployed by BMW M Motorsport, fascinates with an exclusive exterior and interior look reflecting the impressive tradition of the high-performance racing cars. The BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage, powered by a 331 kW/450 hp straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology will be produced and sold worldwide between November 2019 and April 2020 as an edition model limited to 750 units.
Light blue, dark blue and red – these are the colours by which motorsport fans immediately recognize the BMW M GmbH logo. Immediately after the founding of the BMW Motorsport GmbH in 1972, the characteristic colours already adorned these racing cars, which were based on the BMW 3.0 CSL and became highly successful in touring car racing. Since then, the distinctive stripes in the three classic BMW M GmbH colours have stood for exhilarating performance and exclusive design also on the road. The BMW M4 Edition///M Heritage takes up this unmistakable colour combination on unique exterior and interior design features. There is a choice of the three body colours Laguna Seca Blue, Velvet Blue metallic and Imola Red available for the edition model. Furthermore, the two-seater’s carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof boasts a striking decorative strip in the BMW M colours, which is integrated into the CFRP composite at the factory using a special manufacturing process. Likewise unique are the forged, 20-inch M light alloy wheels in a star spoke design featuring the colour Orbit Grey matt and fitted with mixed tyres.
The interior of the edition model is also characterised by an exclusive selection of colours and materials. The spectrum of equipment includes model-specific full leather M seats in a bicolour design and with prominent openings within the area of the seatbacks. Each seat colour is oriented towards the exterior paint and is complemented by partly bicoloured contrast stitching. In conjunction with the exterior colours Laguna Seca Blue and Velvet Blue metallic, the seats come in Silverstone/Black with turquoise stitching or Velvet Blue and Orange respectively. With the exterior finish Imola Red, the seat colours Red and Black correspond with yellow and red contrast stitching.
The both appealing and exclusive colour scheme continues with interior carbon trim strips designed exclusively for the BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage and whose CFRP structure incorporates the stripe design featuring the three characteristic M colours. Both the interior trim strips and the door sills bear emblems with the imprints “Edition ///M Heritage” and “1/750” as an indication of the limited edition of this model. The lettering “///M Heritage” – in turquoise, orange or red respectively – is also to be found on the front headrests.
The BMW M4 Edition ///M Heritage offers a particularly exclusive opportunity to experience the handling characteristics of a high-performance sports car marked by dynamics, agility and precision. At the same time, with this model, the BMW M GmbH is continuing the tradition of exclusive special editions, a tradition that has been cultivated now for several model generations. They reflect the enthusiasm for exceptional sporting successes or awareness of the history of selected models, of which many have become much sought-after collectors’ items in the course of time.
Expressive paint finishes and a characteristic interior design were already hallmarks of the BMW M3 Edition of the year 2009. At that time, with the variants Alpine White, Black, Dakar Yellow and Monte Carlo Blue there were as many as four body colours available for the edition model based on the fourth generation of the BMW M3. In the year 2012, BMW Motorsport’s successful comeback in the DTM triggered the production of the BMW M3 DTM Champion Edition. During the first season following an almost 20-year break, BMW came first in the manufacturer’s rating, with the BMW Team Schnitzer winning the team classification. Moreover, the Canadian Bruno Spengler seized the driver’s title. Only 54 units of the edition model were produced – one for each racing victory BMW was able to clinch in the DTM by then. And there were several more in the years that followed. In the 2016 season, it was the German BMW Motorsport works driver Marco Wittmann in particular who was hard to beat and who eventually became the new DTM champion. The BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition, which was limited to 200 units, was brought to market in his honour. The strongly racing-oriented special edition not only exhibited exclusive design features but, above all, was provided with numerous innovations that had previously helped the 368 kW/500 hp BMW M4 GTS achieve its outstanding performance.
The same year, BMW M GmbH also presented an edition model of the BMW M3 Sedan in memory of the BMW M3, which had made its debut three decades previously. The special edition 30 Years M3 was finished exclusively in the colour Macao Blue metallic and produced in a limited quantity of 500 units. The latest example to date of a fascinating combination of performance and exclusiveness is the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Years. This open-top high performance sports car was produced in a limited edition of 300 and presented in 2018 – three decades after the premiere of the first-generation BMW M3 Convertible. This edition model also featured exclusive paint finishes – namely Macao Blue metallic and Mandarin II uni – and a specific interior design, providing for unique and aesthetic driving pleasure both on country roads and on the racetrack.
Click to enlarge
MONTH IN REVIEW
Happy Fathers Day!
Our August started with an event with a difference, on Sunday 4 August we went on the Steam Rail Snow Train to Gippsland. Members had a choice of going to Mt Baw Baw to play in the snow or going to Walhalla to tour the beautiful gold mining town.
Our August members meeting was then held at Waverley BMW where we had a very interesting pressentation about the IQpod. Not sure what that is? Have a read of Lawrence's story here.
Some of our members then attended Phillip Island over the weekend of 17/18 August for the second last round of the 2019 Garagistic E30 Racing Championship. Our president, Graeme also found himself back in the driver's seat for the first time in years.
Our last event for the month was the German Auto Show, run by the Volkswagen Club of Victoria in aid of the Deaf Children's Association. As always, it was a fantastic turnout of cars from Porsche to BMW - we're told there were over 75 BMWs in attendance from BMWDCM, BMWCCV, the Southern BM Classic Collection and the Makulu Vehicle Storage Collection. A fantastic effort!
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 412 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.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
In October our monthly meeting will be an Oktoberfest themed event at the Tivoli German Club followed by our first Annual General Meeting (AGM).
At the AGM, as is the usual custom, all committee positions will be declared vacant and committee members elected or re-elected for the next 12 months.
Members will have received by now call for nominations for committee positions.
The notice of AGM will be sent out by September 23.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Here's our plans for September:
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
Click on any of the following events for more information.
NEWS | BLOG
Have an interesting story about you or how you came to own your BMW? How about a story about a restoration or a build of your car? It could be anything!
Email us because we'd love to read it and share it with our members.
Members are welcome to submit their business to be shared on the Member Services page on our website. We are all about supporting those who support us, so if you would like your business listed, email us with your details and we'll add you to the page!
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
August has been another very cold month but that did not stop us from holding some amazing events.
We started off August with an event with a difference. On Sunday the 4th a group of us parked our cars and caught the Steam Rail Snow Train down to Gippsland, with some heading to Mt Baw Baw to play in the snow and the rest of us went to Walhalla to tour the beautiful old gold mining town. The Train sold out within weeks of being publicised, so you had to be in quick for this one, but don’t worry, we will do it again!
The first Tuesday, 6th August, we held our members meeting at Waverly BMW, where we had a very interesting presentation all about the amazing IQpod they have, which is a one stop shop for minor repairs, wheel repairs etc, read more here.
We had a few members racing down at Phillip Island over the weekend of 17th and 18th August, both doing the E30 Racing round and competing in the annual August Access Enduro. I co-drove with Alex Jory in the enduro side of the weekend and had a lot of fun playing in the changing conditions. It was my first time back in a race car in a few years and we acquitted our selves very well, second outright behind a much faster E36 M3, and over a lap ahead of the rest of the E30’s and other cars! Was a lot of fun and you can read my story here.
August sees the start of the Show season, with one of the best German Car displays you will see anywhere. Sunday the 25th was German Auto Show, run by the Volkswagen Club of Victoria, in aid of the Deaf Children’s Association, and is always a fabulous turn out of everything German with some very obscure cars and lots of lovely classics. It was wonderful to see so many BMWs out on what turned out to be an amazing Winters day. I think there were more BMW’s there than any other Marque this year, with cars coming from our DCM Members, Southern BM Classic Collection, Makulu Vehicle Storage Collection and also some from BMWCCV members. Was great to have everyone combined under the BMW banner and mixed in together. Someone said they counted over 75 BMWs, which is fantastic. Thank you to all our members who came and welcome to all the new Members that signed up with us on the day.
Our membership is still growing with 15 new members signing up this month. Welcome!
September is looking like another fabulous month with events like the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Sandown Sprint, Coffee & Cars, Stony Creek Drive and Go Karting and of course, our members meeting at Shannons on the 3rd September.
We will also be holding our first AGM for the club in October, so look out for notifications - some of which have already been sent out.
Drive safely and I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.
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
After just 15 years on the market the BMW 1 Series is now into its third generation, code named F40, and it marks a significant change by adopting front wheel drive.
The first generation 1 Series ruffled a few purist feathers by having a hatchback body design but this was quickly forgiven when the 2 door Coupe 1 Series was released, topped off by the manic 1M version.
By the time the second generation came out in 2011 the controversy over a 5 door hatchback had been forgotten.
Will front wheel drive, and a 3 cylinder engine, put the 1 Series back in the purist’s cross hairs again? Time will tell, but the on-road reviews give no cause for concern.
Although not scheduled for public launch until the end of October, Shaaron and I were invited to a static “sneak preview” at Geelong BMW. The show car was a M135i in Misano Blue, my first impressions were of a stylish interpretation of the familiar 1 series form well suited to the colour. The kidney grille features the same aeroplane motif treatment as used on the new Z4 (lower grade versions get a plain grill) but without the puckered face look which blighted the previous generations. This is one grill which looks better for being a little bigger.
It looks longer, but it isn’t, 5mm shorter in fact. The illusion is caused by the “glass house”, the windows and roof, which is longer, extending further forward over the shorter bonnet. The bonnet can be shorter because the engine is now mounted sideways, or transverse, not front to back, or longitudinal which means 6 cylinder engines will not fit.
The upside is increased room in the passenger compartment, in particular in the rear where knee room goes up 33mm.
The F40 is also taller, although when viewed in isolation that is not apparent, by 13 mm all of which is reflected in extra head room in the rear and allows a panoramic sunroof to be fitted without compromising front headroom. I can sit in both front and rear seats without a problem with the sunroof fitted which is not the case with the previous generations. It is verging on being a “cross over” from hatch to SUV but not quite an X2.
I like the styling, which was also not the case with the previous generations of hatchback.
The show car has the M Sports seats as standard and they are superb, nice and snug with adjustable side bolsters to match your hip and waist size. Although the seats are a little further off the ground than before, the seating position is more Z4 than X4. Shaaron found entry and exit to be easier than our E90 3 series and, subject to a back to back test, a little better than the X2 we had been considering because of its higher seat position (sit into rather than down to) but which is perhaps a little too high for her. Plus, the door frames give better head room when getting in and out.
The interior has been brought right up to date and no longer looks like a cheaper version of the bigger cars’ system. The show car featured the full Live Cockpit Professional system (seen here in promotional mode) with a clear digital display replacing the analogue gauges in front of the driver. I could see all the important bits of the dash – I have a long body and usually the steering wheel blanks off the top of the dials.
The specification and inclusions is impressive, LED headlamps on all trim levels for example, yet the 118i starts at $42,990 excluding dealer/delivery and the M135i xDrive (all wheel drive) is at $63,990 excluding dealer/delivery. There is, of course, a tempting and extensive options list which is almost certain to boost the price of every car ordered. But if you have a strong will you can get what I think is a bargain.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
This September, the Frankfurt Motor Show will provide the backdrop for the world premiere of the third-generation BMW X6 (fuel consumption combined: 10.7–6.1 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 243–159 g/km)*, the car that established the Sports Activity Coupé segment a good ten years ago. At the event, BMW will also present a spectacular one-off vehicle with a Vantablack® VBx2 nanostructure paint finish that highlights the expressive design language and confident, dominant and muscular appearance of the new BMW X6 to perfection. This exclusive show car is the result of a collaboration between BMW and Surrey NanoSystems, the inventors of the Vantablack technology.
The BMW X6 is the first and only vehicle in the world to feature a Vantablack VBx2 paint finish. “We turned down numerous requests from various automobile manufacturers in the past,” explains Ben Jensen, founder and Chief Technical Officer of Surrey NanoSystems. “It took the BMW X6 and its unique, expressive design for us to entertain the idea.” With design highlights like the optional Iconic Glow kidney grille, distinctive twin headlights and striking taillights, the new BMW X6 provides fascinating contrasts to offset the Vantablack VBx2 paint finish, which changes the viewer’s visual perception of an object’s three-dimensional shape.
The human eye perceives Vantablack as two-dimensional.
A surface coated in Vantablack loses its defining features to the human eye, with objects appearing two-dimensional. This can be interpreted by the brain as staring into a hole or even a void, making Vantablack a rather unsuitable vehicle paint finish, as it blots out virtually all the design details and highlights. For this reason, the BMW X6 was coated in the VBx2 variant initially developed for use in architectural and scientific applications. This coating can be sprayed on and has a one-per-cent total hemispherical reflectance (THR), meaning it is still considered “super black” while enabling a small amount of reflection from every angle. Thus, materials painted with it seem to lose their three-dimensional appearance – as demonstrated impressively on the BMW X6.
Vantablack: the “blackest black”, developed for aerospace applications.
The name Vantablack has already become synonymous with an entire range of extremely black coatings and paints such as VBx2. It contains an acronym of the technology enabling this superior black in its first two syllables, which stand for Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array, a matrix made out of carbon. Each of these carbon nanotubes has a length of 14 to 50 micrometres, with a diameter of 20 nanometres, making it around 5,000 times thinner than a human hair. As a result, around a billion of these vertically aligned carbon nanotubes fit into one square centimetre. Any light striking this surface is almost completely absorbed rather than reflected, and effectively converted into heat.
This technology was initially developed for coating space-borne components. As Vantablack can be applied at temperatures from as low as 430 degrees Celsius, it is suitable for delicate materials such as aluminium, and optical components coated in Vantablack enable observation of faint stars and distant galaxies that stray light from the sun makes difficult to detect. The first generation of Vantablack introduced by Surrey NanoSystems in 2014 absorbed up to 99.965 per cent of light, almost completely eliminating reflectance and stray light.
What was your first thought when you were approached with the idea of providing the BMW X6 with a Vantablack paint finish?
Ben Jensen: To be honest, we received inquiries from most of the big-name automotive manufacturers, almost from the day we launched the original material in 2014, but we’d always said no. This was also due to the fact that we only had a suitable material once we came up with VBx2. When we were approached by BMW, we were still quite hesitant to begin with. But the new X6 looked so incredibly different that it just felt like a really good fit.
Have your expectations been met?
Jensen: I think it went beyond all our expectations. The BMW X6 in Vantablack looks absolutely fantastic. We also realised that it wouldn’t have worked if we’d put on the original material, as the viewer would have lost all sense of three-dimensionality. VBx2 with its one-per-cent reflectance provides just enough of a hint of shape. Add to that the contrast between the matt black surface and details such as the Iconic Glow kidney grille, the headlights and the windows – everything is just set off beautifully.
Hypothetically speaking, could you imagine Vantablack VBx2 becoming a regular paint finish option for people buying a car in the future?
Jensen: I think it worked really well on the BMW X6, because of the size of the car, its distinctive shape, and how imposing it is. But putting a paint like that on a conventional car lacking a distinctive design would probably detract from it in some way. In addition, developing a Vantablack VBx2 car paint durable enough for daily use is a huge technological challenge.
However, Vantablack already has an important role in advanced automotive technology …
Jensen: Indeed, the material is now being used more and more in various types of, laser-based sensor equipment for driver assistance systems and technologies for autonomous driving, for instance. That is because incident sunlight can cause a degradation of performance in these systems as well. A Vantablack coating eliminates these issues and results in increased safety.
What does it mean to you that “your” BMW X6 is the first car in the world to have been chosen for such a project by the makers of Vantablack?
Al Attar: I first heard about Vantablack a few years ago – and I’ve been absolutely fascinated with the technology ever since. So, for me personally, this is a big deal. When my colleagues told me about a possible collaboration some months ago, I was very excited.
What makes the BMW X6 the perfect car for this project?
Al Attar: Internally, we often refer to the BMW X6 as “The Beast.” I think that says it all. The Vantablack VBx2 finish emphasises this aspect and makes the BMW X6 look particularly menacing. Moreover, the BMW X6 has always been the most provocative and in-your-face model in our portfolio. So why not emphasise this even further, with a finish that simply captivates the viewer’s attention? After all, that’s what the BMW X6 has always been about.
But a Vantablack finish makes objects appear two-dimensional. Doesn’t that render it supremely unsuitable as a car paint, especially for a car with a design as expressive as the BMW X6?
Al Attar: Yes, there is a certain inherent contradiction. But that’s exactly what makes this interesting and explains why the BMW X6 is the perfect car for this project. In addition, Vantablack VBx2 opens up new possibilities for us as designers. We often prefer to talk about silhouettes and proportions rather than surfaces and lines. The Vantablack VBx2 coating foregrounds these fundamental aspects of automotive design, without any distraction from light and reflections. I am very proud of how beautiful the new BMW X6 has turned out, including its bold and expressive surfaces. But the most remarkable evolution over the predecessor concerns its proportions. And that is precisely what Vantablack underscores, albeit in a rather unexpected fashion.
Hypothetically speaking, could you imagine Vantablack VBx2 becoming a regular paint finish option for people buying a car in the future?
Al Attar: Absolutely. BMW X6 drivers are among our most extrovert and free-spirited customers. If anyone were to opt for a Vantablack paint option, it would definitely be a BMW X6 driver.
Third-generation BMW X6 to start in November 2019.
The latest incarnation of the car that established the innovative and distinctive Sports Activity Coupé (SAC) segment will have its world premiere at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, from 12 to 22 September. The showroom launch will begin shortly afterwards, in November 2019. The third-generation BMW X6 employs a precise and exclusive design language to underscore its confident, dominant appearance. In addition, its advanced powertrain and chassis technology combines with numerous innovations to provide a uniquely sporty yet luxurious driving experience. Like its predecessors, the new BMW X6 is produced at the BMW plant in Spartanburg in the United States.
From 28 August 2019 visitors and automobile enthusiasts can experience a new permanent exhibition space at BMW Welt. Now it’s official: “Welcome to M Town!”, the new home of the BMW M brand. The innovative design concept is based on the marketing campaign with the same name. M Town, the digital and social communication platform, is the virtual dream city and home to all motorsports enthusiasts and fans of the BMW Group brand specialising in high-performance sports cars. The dynamic rhythm of M Town pulsates wherever you find passion for high-performance automobiles. Now you can also feel it at BMW Welt. The new space creates an extraordinary experience for visitors thanks to the unique combination of sophisticated design and state-of-the-art technology. “BMW Welt is more than just a home for individual BMW Group vehicles. We want to keep thrilling our fans and visitors with innovative and architectural highlights. The new BMW exhibition space now turns M Town into reality”, says Helmut Käs, Director of BMW Welt.
The new BMW M exhibition space is dedicated entirely to the most powerful letter in the world. Automobile fans with a passion for motorsports and design can discover the M Town way of life in a virtual town showcased with spectacular videos on bmw-m.com. Here everything focuses on the high-performance sports cars by BMW M GmbH and fascinating everyday driving experiences. An illuminated graphic display of M Town, which disappears into the distance perspectively on a large LED Screen, points the way to the virtual dream city. The elegant ceiling illumination made up of shining black and dynamically shaped jets, reflects the dynamic character of the vehicles on display. At the “Selfie Point” visitors can share their experience on social media and record their impressions under the motto “I finally found M Town at BMW Welt”. “M Town now also finds a very special home at BMW Welt. The newly designed exhibition space invites every car enthusiast to become a citizen of M Town for a short time”, says Markus Flasch, Director of BMW M GmbH.
The new exhibition space opens with the BMW X3 M Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.5 l/ 100km; CO2 emissions combined: 239 g/km) in Donington Grey metallic and the BMW X4 M Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.5 l/ 100km; CO2 emissions combined: 239 g/km) in Toronto Red metallic, which both combine the spirit of adventure with the exclusive high-performance claim of BMW M. Both cars are accompanied by the BMW M4 Convertible (fuel consumption combined: 10.2 l (9.5 l)/ 100km; CO2 emissions combined: 232 g (217 g)/km) in Individual Frozen Dark Blue II metallic and the BMW M5 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.6-10.5 l/ 100km; CO2 emissions combined: 241-238 g/km) in in Snapper Rocks Blue metallic.
The data at a glance:
“M Town” exhibition space:
When: From 28 August 2019
Where: BMW Welt
Admission: free of charge
What a great day at the German Auto show. The sun was out as well as a great line up of cars.
It's amazing how everyone starts smiling and feeling better once we get a bit of sunshine and what a place to enjoy it, the venue the College for the Deaf on St Kilda Road is just fantastic with it's old buildings and gardens which make it a perfect back drop for a car show.
There was a fantastic line up of BMWs on display as well as Porsche's and VWs - something for everyone.
Another great display by the BMW Drivers Club so looking forward to the next event and especially the Geelong Revival.
Bruce Greaves | Member #203
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
With the latest generation of the security vehicle built on the basis of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) for the luxury class segment, the premium carmaker BMW now meets the increased need for individual protection and superiority in any situation. The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 (combined fuel consumption: 13.0 l/100 km; combined CO2emissions: 298 g/km*) offers private individuals and persons at risk customised protection against violent attacks, kidnapping or organised crime. This is often a decisive criterion, especially in regions like South America, Africa or Russia.
The integration of series components and additional safety-related equipment of the BMW X5 Protection VR6 into the vehicle architecture was already taken account of during development. Production is carried out according to the stringent production standards defined by the BMW Group. Thus the BMW X5 Protection VR6 combines a standard range of integrated protective equipment with the driving dynamics, comfort and advanced technology of the BMW X5. This is complemented by the equally supreme and discreet appearance of the new security vehicle, which is almost identical to the production model in terms of driving characteristics, high-grade interior and design.
The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 fulfils the requirements of resistance class VR6 in accordance with the internationally recognised official test criteria of the VPAM (Prüfstellen für Angriffshemmende Materialien und Konstruktionen; Associations of Testing Institutes for Attack Resistant Materials and Constructions). The official certification was carried out according to the Guidelines for Bullet Resistant Vehicles (BRV 2009), Explosive Resistant Vehicles (ERV 2010) and PAS 300, which define the bullet and explosive force resistance of security vehicles.
Maximum protection thanks to a holistic safety concept.
The integration of the protective equipment rendering the new BMW X5 a security vehicle of the resistance class VR6 was already taken into account during the development of the SAV. In this way, it was possible to implement a holistic safety concept comprising all areas of passive and active passenger protection. The moulded armour-plating components and the security glazing were developed exclusively for each model. They blend in harmoniously with the overall vehicle concept in terms of function and design. Therefore, both outside and inside, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is barely distinguishable from a conventional production vehicle. The anonymity resulting from this constitutes an additional safety aspect.
In contrast to retro-fitted armouring, there are also decisive advantages with respect to the effectiveness of the protective equipment and handling characteristics. The holistic safety concept of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 makes it possible to already identify during the development stage potential weaknesses such as body joints and transitions between metal and glazing and to integrate effective protective measures. Certification includes the complete vehicle and not just the materials used. This is the only way to make a realistic assessment of the effectiveness of the model-specific protective cell. Likewise, the suspension and brakes on the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 are aligned to the increased weight vs. the production vehicle in order to ensure hallmark BMW agility also in critical driving situations.
Protected space: armoured passenger compartment and security glazing.
The interior of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 offers passengers an extremely high level of protection against attacks with firearms and/or explosive devices. The key element of the protective equipment is the armoured passenger compartment of the SAV. Moulded components made from high-strength steel adapt perfectly to the contour of the body within the area of the doors, side frame, roof and front wall. Furthermore, an aluminium underbody splinter shield, the likewise armoured luggage compartment partition and security glazing are all standard and contribute towards a comprehensive protection of the interior. Multilayered safety glass with a thickness of approx. 33 mm for the windscreen, doors and luggage compartment partition wall also withstands attacks by impact weapons and is fitted with an internal polycarbonate layer as additional splinter protection. Moreover, penetration by bullets or fragments is prevented by tightly sealed protection and overlapping amour-plating, e.g. within the sensitive areas of door gaps and bodywork joints as well as the transitions between body panels and glazing.
The combination of amour-plated bodywork and security glazing facilitates effective protection against attacks by handguns and long firearms using ammunition up to a calibre of 7.62 × 39 FeC or 7.62 × 39 SC respectively, as used in weapons of the type AK-47, a most commonly used weapon in the world. Furthermore, the armoured passenger compartment withstands lateral blasts of up to 15 kilograms of TNT from a distance of four metres. Innovative so-called Post Blast Protective Technology for the security glazing ensures particularly effective protection against secondary attacks. Even following a blast, all windows remain firmly in position, thus eliminating any formation of gaps between glazing and body.
The armour-plated floor offers protection against hand grenades of the type DM51. Enhanced underbody reinforcement comprising fibre composite materials, which also withstands attack by hand grenades of the type HG85, is optionally available. A particularly extensively armoured roof is available as a further special option. The additional reinforcement comprising security steel and fibre composite materials offers certified protection against drone attacks with explosive charges of the category DTG5, which, inter alia, includes up to 200 grams of C4 and over 500 fragments.
A further model-specific, integral component of the standard equipment for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is the self-sealing fuel tank. A special sheathing ensures that the tank closes automatically following an attack in order to prevent fuel spillage. Standard runflat tyres with reinforced sidewalls allow the driver to continue the journey even after a complete loss of tyre pressure. Optional model-specific post crash functions also serve to retain mobility in extreme situations. They ensure that the engine of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is not switched off after a collision and that the energy supply is not interrupted.
Superior engines, model-specific suspension.
Not only in terms of design is the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 almost indistinguishable from the corresponding production model. A high degree of agility on the road and impressive off-road performance provides perfect conditions for safely mastering any situation. The necessary power comes from an extremely efficient V8 petrol engine featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The technology package comprises two turbo chargers located within the V space between the cylinder banks, one operating at an increased maximum pressure of 350 bar and the latest versions of the fully variable valve control system VALVETRONIC as well as variable twin VANOS camshaft control.
Spontaneous response and superior power development characterise the new eight-cylinder in the engine portfolio for the BMW X5. From a 4.4-litre displacement it mobilises a maximum power output of 390 kW/530 hp within a speed range of between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm. The power unit delivers a maximum torque of 750 Nm at 1,800 rpm, which remains available up to 4,600 rpm. Therefore, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is by far the most powerful vehicle within the competitive environment. The supreme pulling power of its V8 engine facilitates acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. Top speed of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is electronically limited to 210 km/h.
Design and tuning of the suspension for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 are both oriented towards the outstanding engine performance and the model-specific weight of the security vehicle. The components and systems, which have been precisely aligned and combined into a harmonious overall package, guarantee maximum agility as well as an outstanding level of comfort. The construction of the suspension comprises a double wishbone front axle and a five-arm rear axle as well as a specifically reinforced steel spring system and electronically controlled dampers with independent characteristic diagrams. 20-inch light alloy wheels with mixed tyres permit enhanced lateral acceleration and maximum track stability during dynamic cornering. The sports brake system also guarantees constantly high braking performance even under extreme conditions.
Active Roll Stabilisation contributes additionally to the supreme handling characteristics of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6. The vehicle’s electric swivel motors ensure fast and precise compensation of body roll during dynamic cornering. Furthermore, they actively counter the vibrations triggered by unevenness on one side of the road. As a result, the vehicle’s self-steering and load change behaviour are both noticeably optimised. Therefore, Active Roll Stabilisation enhances the comfort, agility and stability of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6.
Moreover, the standard equipment of the security vehicle also includes Integral Active Steering. The front and rear wheels steer in opposing directions or turn in the same direction depending on the current speed. Thus, agility during cornering and stability during lane change are enhanced, as are the manoeuvrability of the vehicle in city traffic and parking.
Comprehensive comfort and safety features, individual options.
Thanks to its integrated safety concept, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is equipped to cope with every-day traffic conditions as well as those situations requiring special protection and flexible reactions. At the same time, it offers the degree of sportiness, versatility and comfort that is characteristic of the BMW X5. There are four seats available in the generously sized interior. Due to the holistic development concept, convenient entry and exit as well as all-round visibility offered by the production vehicle are fully retained.
The windscreen and front section of the side windows come as standard with heating function. The security glazing features electric windows on the driver’s side. Optionally, electric windows can also be installed at the passenger’s side. In addition, the opening height of the windows at the front can be limited to around ten centimetres to enable communication with the outside world and the exchange of documents while preventing larger objects from entering the vehicle.
Standard model-specific features of the BMW X5 Protection VR6 include an intercom and an attack alarm system. The intercom facilitates communication with persons outside the vehicle without the need to open doors or windows. For this purpose, exterior mirror-integrated microphones, an external loudspeaker and a hands-free microphone, which is installed in the roof liner, as well as additional internal loudspeakers, are used. The attack alarm function ensures at the push of a button that the doors are automatically locked and the windows on the driver’s and passenger’s side are closed. Furthermore, audible and visual alarms are activated. Control elements for the system as well as further model-specific functions are installed in an additional switch panel in front of the gear selector lever.
Standard equipment features include, inter alia, 4-zone automatic climate control, a hi-fi loudspeaker system, Ambient Light, Automatic Soft Close for the doors and the M leather steering wheel. Additional standard features are the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, the multi-display set-up of which comprises a fully digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch control display enabling the driver of the BMW X5 Protection VR6 to use the diverse online-based services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive. This also includes the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, a system that facilitates the operation of numerous functions by means of natural voice commands.
The range of optional equipment also includes, inter alia, comfort seats, Active Seat Ventilation and a massage function, Rear Seat Entertainment Professional and glass applications for selected control elements. Furthermore, all exterior colours, seat upholsteries and interior trim strips available for the SAV can be chosen for individualising the BMW X5 Protection VR6. Additional ease of manoeuvrability is provided by a reversing camera and Surround View, including the Remote 3D View function, which transmits a live image of the vehicle and its surroundings to the customer’s smartphone. BMW Laser Light with Selective Beam, which increases the high beam range to more than 500 metres, is also available for the security vehicle as an alternative to the standard LED headlights.
Moreover, additional optional features designed to suit each model are available for each desired purpose. Therefore, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 can be additionally equipped, for example, with LED front flashers in the radiator grille, rear flashers, roof-mounted light beacons including signal tone system, a roof antenna with additional receiver for digital radio as well as armour-plating for the vehicle batteries. A pennant holder is also available for representation purposes.
BMW offers customers discreet and confidential advice from experienced experts. A high degree of flexibility with regard to customer needs leads to individual solutions. A further network of qualified BMW service partners guarantees reliable support with regard to maintenance, repair and supply of parts. Special driver training is also offered.
The new BMW X5 Protection VR6: a genuine BMW for customised protection. Like all of the Bavarian brand’s security vehicles, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 was subjected to a comprehensive testing regime. This includes test and calibration drives within the framework of the serial development process, which guarantee reliable performance and function also under extreme conditions.
The security vehicle is already fitted with its unique suspension technology at the BMW Spartanburg plant in the US federal state of South Carolina, where the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is produced alongside the production model variants of the SAV. The subsequent integration of protective equipment and further model-specific safety features by highly qualified experts at the manufacturer’s special plant in Toluca, Mexico, offers uncompromising implementation of the holistic safety concept. As opposed to retro-fitted armoured vehicles, which may compromise security or have components subjected to excessive loads, production is carried out according to stringent BMW quality standards.
Ballistic testing is carried out by an independent state testing authority to verify the resistance effect of the armouring and security glazing in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines. However, the ballistic tests exceed by far the usual requirements. In addition to the required 90 and 45-degree ballistic tests, the test scenario is supplemented by gunfire from additional angles in order to best reflect realistic conditions. The official testing and certification of the entire vehicle provides evidence of the reliability of the safety concept as a whole.
Unique experience: the first BMW security vehicle was built more than 40 years ago.
All over the world, private individuals, officials and celebrities alike rely on security vehicles from BMW. The high reputation is built not least on a unique tradition. The BMW Group has more than 40 years of experience in the development and production of security vehicles with model-specific protective equipment. As early as in 1978, BMW presented the first security vehicle based on a BMW 7 Series sedan. Even then, the BMW 733i High Security offered a holistic security concept and hence considerable advantages compared to retro-fitted security vehicles. For each of the following generations, a high security version of the luxury sedan was also produced.
Further security vehicles were built based on the BMW 3 Series and the BMW 5 Series. In 2004, the BMW X5 Security was the first Sports Activity Vehicle with model-specific protective equipment to arrive on the market. In 2009, the BMW X5 Security Plus was the first vehicle of its kind to comply with the requirements of resistance class 6. With the new BMW X5 Protection VR6, the fourth generation of the SAV is now offered as a security vehicle. The equipment features designed to offer protection against attacks and other hazards have been consistently further developed during the course of time. Thus, once again, the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 sets benchmarks in the protection of persons at risk.
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12. Inspiring Character.
MINI Lifestyle and Special Editions. 51
13. A Question of Style.
The MINI Lifestyle Collection. 54
Creating something very special on the basis of a car already very special – this is the hallmark of the special editions, limited editions and one-off showpieces built time and again in the last sixty years first on the basis of the classic Mini and then on the basis of the new MINI. This is not surprising, considering that this unique small car has fascinated and inspired artists in all disciplines time and again, fashion designers and painters as well as actors and musicians showing their creativity in designing and creating very special versions of the brand.
No other car has become the object of art and fashion as often and in the same diversity as the classic Mini and the MINI. Indeed, specialists discovered the potential of the classic Mini very early on, adorning the car both outside and inside with exclusive special features tailored to individual customer requests. On behalf of affluent and prominent customers, they therefore created spectacular special models enhancing the cult status of the Mini to an even higher level.
British actor Peter Sellers was one of the first celebrities thrilled by the Mini and seeking to live out their sense for exclusive style. So giving the originally rather spartan small car particular sophisticated features within the interior and finishing the body in wickerwork design, Sellers promptly started a new trend. Indeed, this design later thrilled Rainier of Monaco to such an extent that he also had a classic Mini built in wickerwork trim as his own very special toy.
Other special versions of the classic Mini likewise remained unique, one-off models being built for many years to the individual taste of their future owners. In fact, it was only in the 1970s that Mini had the idea to offer Special Editions straight from the factory in response to frequent requests for a truly exclusive model. The first car of this kind, the Mini Limited Edition 1000, immediately proved a success in 1976. On its 25th birthday in 1984, the Mini for the first time appeared as an Anniversary Model, with further Anniversary Models then following every five years until production of the classic Mini finally ceased in
the year 2000.
In the last few years of its production life, the classic Mini again attracted great attention on the part of creative artists. In 1997, for example, British fashion designer Paul Smith created a one-off model boasting unmistakable stripe livery.
A year later Smith designed a Special Edition Mini standing out both through its brilliant blue paintwork and straightforward elegance within the interior.
Celebrating its 40th birthday, the Mini became the subject of passion among an illustrious group of artists, each giving this forever-young small performer their very own, truly unique design look. Super-model Kate Moss, for example, who had already been driving a classic Mini in London for a long time, opted for a cobweb motif, while pop icon Davie Bowie had a Mini manufactured all in chrome and with reflecting glass surfaces. On the road, however, Bowie decided to stick to his regular production model he had bought only recently: “When it comes to parking the Mini is like a sandwich when you feel hungry – it is a perfectly designed classic”. Actor Michael Caine, to quote another example, gave his black Mini a gold bar look alluding to the successful film “The Italian Job” in which Caine was involved in three Mini Coopers used to transport gold in one of the most spectacular pursuits in the history of the cinema.
After the re-launch of the brand, the MINI again attracted the attention of fashion designers and many other artists almost over night. Celebrating the market launch of the MINI, the musicians of Jamiroquai created a one-off showpiece of the new MINI, Jay Kay, the group’s singer and a thrilled fan of stylish cars, adorning the MINI, among other features, with the group’s logo on its doors and bonnet as well as the name “Jamiromini”.
In one of her music videos, Madonna had a MINI Cooper converted for offroad use, the car giving up its doors but instead receiving offroad tyres and camouflage paintwork. Highlighting the start of sales of the first-generation MINI Convertible in 2004, designers at Bisazza, the Italian lifestyle label, had the idea to present this open four-seater in a dress made of tiny mosaic stones. Indeed, no less than three MINI Cooper S Convertibles as well as two fixed-roof models received this magnificent look in individual style and colours, with more than 30,000 glass stones used on each car.
Joining forces with renowned artists, MINI has been committed for twelve years to the largest charity event in Europe, the Life Ball held annually in Vienna and generating revenues for national and international aids care projects. The event thus serves to support projects committed to enlightenment, medical research, and the treatment of HIV patients. Contributing to these projects, every year MINI has presented a special one-off model from the current portfolio finished in unique style by fashion designers.
The succession of Life Ball cars started just a few months after the official market launch of the new MINI with a car covered entirely by red fabric. A year later a MINI One proudly bearing the autographs of numerous celebrities made its appearance at the Life Ball. Since 2003, major fashion designers have given the MINI their special touch. The first of these designers was Angelo Missoni adorning a MINI Cooper with countless flower motifs. In 2004 Gianfranco Ferré gave a red MINI Convertible a truly impressive crocodile look, with a MINI Cooper Convertible in Donatella Versace’s exclusive blossom look following in 2005, its interior also highlighting that typical Versace style, with gold-coloured seams on the black leather seats and Swarovski crystals on the gearshift lever.
In 2006 another MINI Cooper Convertible made its appearance on stage at the Life Ball Gala in Vienna, this time in the trendy jeans look of the Diesel fashion label. And the 2008 Life Ball MINI, finally, proudly came in the provocative pin-up look of lingerie label Agent Provocateur. In 2013, Roberto and Eva Cavalli unveiled the Life Ball MINI 2013 refined by fashion designer Cavalli. Since 2002 the cars provided by MINI have been auctioned after the Life Ball Gala, with proceeds going to aids projects.
“Creative Use of Space” lies at the core of the MINI brand. As early as 1959, the classic Mini offered an ingenious solution for one of the most pressing problems of that era – urban mobility at an affordable price. The solution was a vehicle that made the most of its potential and provided maximum driving fun on a minimal traffic footprint. The classic Mini demonstrated that even a small car can be exceptionally exciting and it went on to influence urban mobility for generations to come. Today, one of the biggest challenges in major cities is finding attractive and affordable living space. Once again, the solution here is: “Creative Use of Space”. Since 2016, the brand has used its initiative MINI LIVING to demonstrate how this principle can be transferred to urban living space. MINI LIVING adopts a creative approach to the challenge in large cities – and presents architectural solutions for urban living worlds of the future.
MINI has joined forces with Chinese property developer NOVA Property Investment Co. to create the world’s first MINI LIVING building in Shanghai. The project is based on an innovative co-living concept. MINI is creating a vibrant urban neighbourhood out of a group of six buildings right at the centre of the city. This was previously a disused industrial complex in an upcoming part of the city’s famous Jing’An district. An urban hotspot is rising out of a former paint factory with lots of space for working, networking and living. The project is developing apartments of different sizes for singles, flat shares or families to rent on a short, medium or long-term basis. Anything that does not fit into the apartments themselves, whether this relates to activities or facilities, can take place or be accommodated in the community spaces. Generous lobbies, exhibition areas and a food court are an invitation to linger and spend time relaxing. The package is completed by gardens, play areas, shops and restaurants that will also be accessible to the general public. The idea of MINI LIVING is that sharers will get more out of life – to the advantage of the residents and the entire city. Digital booking of services complements the package. For example, the residents can make restaurant reservations, order food, or call up room cleaning and service, and book vehicles for shared use. MINI LIVING is demonstrating an intelligent approach to space and is also developing new opportunities for individual and at the same time communal life in the city.
Driving fun in the MINI is fascinating. But the unique feeling so typical of the MINI goes much, much further. And to express his or her passion for unmistakable style also off the road, the genuine enthusiast will find lots of options in the MINI Lifestyle Collection. This unique Collection comprises fashion, jewellery, accessories and lots of lifestyle products which make it easier not only for the MINI driver to clearly express his or her individual style. Technology, innovation, fun and quality are the primary features offered by the MINI Lifestyle Collection. And like the MINI model range, the MINI Lifestyle Collection is constantly growing and becoming increasingly versatile. New models and new lifestyle products, therefore, enable the connoisseur to enjoy the typical feeling of MINI in a growing number of situations.
On its route in becoming an international best seller in all classes and on all levels of society, the classic Mini in its day already inspired the world of fashion time and again. Renowned designers created individual, one-off models with exceptional body paintwork and interior features. In the 1970s the Mini finally proceeded from the garage to the houses of its fans everywhere – as a miniature model for the children’s room or as a collector’s item for the display cabinet.
Introducing the MINI, the Company also decided to start the unique MINI Lifestyle Collection. And from the beginning, this exclusive line-up of outstanding products was characterised by stylish, cosmopolitan and highly appealing as well as truly surprising details. The MINI Lifestyle Collection takes up the latest exciting trends time and again, continuing and enhancing these trends in the typical style of the brand.
In their drafts for the MINI Lifestyle Collection, the most outstanding designers focus not only on the latest fashion trends, but also on the design language and lines of the various MINI models. Indeed, the cars also set the foundation for the various products through their colours and materials, helping to create a product portfolio typical of the brand and truly versatile in every respect, and constantly introducing new ideas to remain absolutely unique. Yet a further highlight in the current range is the John Cooper Works Collection comprising both fashion products and accessories as an expression of the brand’s sporting spirit also beyond the race track.
The MINI Lifestyle Collection has already become a highlight in the fashion scene and is to be admired regularly at the most outstanding fashion events. One of these events is the renowned BREAD & BUTTER fashion show in Barcelona, where the MINI Lifestyle Collection has already been presented on various occasions. Other, comparable events likewise provide the ideal setting time and again for the MINI brand. Like the MINI itself, the products in the MINI Lifestyle Collection have also made it to the cinema screen, with numerous performances in many productions. The MINI Cuckoo Clock and the MINI Baby Racer, for example, played important roles in the Disney production Lily the Witch – the Dragon and the Magical Book. Together with the leading female star Alina Freund, the animated dragon Hector showed his great interest in the MINI Lifestyle Collection in this cinema production of the famous children’s book. In particular he loved the MINI Baby Racer that enabled him to get around in fast and furious style.
A clearly defined language of form, inimitable design and high-quality materials are the hallmark of the current MINI Lifestyle Collection 2018–2020. It offers a diverse selection of products that make the complex everyday routine simpler, more enriched or enhanced, and they embody the essence of the MINI brand – even beyond the vehicles themselves. The collection includes more than 100 items and encompasses clothing through accessories, bags and luggage to articles for children and mobility products.
The visual profile of the MINI Lifestyle Collection 2018-2020 features two new impressive accent colours “Island” and “Coral”. The contemporary shade of blue “Island” melds with the exterior colour of “Island Blue” from the current MINI Countryman. The bright shade of red “Coral” provides the ideal hue to complement this livery and defines a fresh accent. The two accent colours are a perfect foil in interplay with the basic colours of Black, White and Grey.
The product selection of the current MINI Lifestyle Collection ranges from the popular logo T-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts, through the MINI Logo Patch Sweatshirt Kids with practical kangaroo pocket and caps, to bags and suitcases of different sizes. Then there are also stylish accessories such as umbrellas, Bluetooth Speakers, watches, sunglasses and travel mugs, the MINI Cloth-Bound Notebook, the MINI Fountain Pen and the MINI Tea Maker. The range for younger MINI fans includes the MINI Bulldog and the MINI Puzzle Set. Juniors can experience different versions of driving fun with the MINI Pull Toy Car, the remote-controlled MINI Countryman RC and the MINI Tricycle. In addition, the MINI 60 Years Lifestyle Collection was created in celebration of the landmark anniversary, including special designer items in the style of the British brand.
All products in the MINI Lifestyle Collection are marketed worldwide through the MINI dealer network.
8. Made in England – Then and Now.
MINI Production between Past and Future. 39
9. Individualists Unite!
MINI fans are networked worldwide. 42
10. The Car for All Classes, with the Qualities of a Star.
MINI as a Member of Society. 45
11. Small Car, Great Show.
MINI Marketing. 48
The first Mini was an Austin Seven coming off the production line in Austin’s Longbridge Plant in Birmingham on 4 April 1959. The team of twins was subsequently completed five weeks later, the first Morris Mini-Minor leaving the Morris Plant in Oxford on 8 May. The two models were presented to the public together for the first time on 26 August 1959. Despite their different origin, the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor were virtually identical, the only distinctions on the outside being their radiator grilles, the wheel caps and body colours: The Austin Seven was available in Tartan Red, Speedwell Blue, and Farina Grey, the Morris Mini-Minor came in Cherry Red, Clipper Blue, and Old English White.
Production at the two plants continued for ten years with the model built in Longbridge bearing the name Austin Mini as of 1962. Plant Oxford, which had been building cars since 1913, built exactly 602, 817 units during this period, all of them the basic version of the four-seater. All other model variants ranging from the Mini Van through the Mini Pick-Up all the way to the Morris Mini-Traveller and Austin Seven Countryman were built in Longbridge. In 1969 all production activities were concentrated at the Longbridge Plant, with the model range being streamlined and Mini becoming the brand name for this revolutionary compact car. So the days of the twin brothers (or sisters?) were over once and for all.
With the brand being re-positioned in 2001 under the guidance of the BMW Group and production of the modern MINI starting as planned, it was only obvious that MINI had to move back to Oxford, the plant so rich in tradition thus once again becoming the starting point for a genuine revolution in the small car market. And like the classic Mini, the MINI made a remarkable start into the market exceeding all expectations: within just six years, Plant Oxford built no less than a million units of the MINI. This was indeed just as long as the classic Mini had taken to exceed the one-million mark, but back then production was still at two plants.
After 41 years and a production volume of more than 5.3 million units, the last classic Mini left Plant Longbridge on 4 October 2000. Since the decision to build the modern MINI in Oxford had already been taken half a year before, only nine months remained from then on to the start of MINI pre-production and just 13 months to the start of actual series production. Clearly, therefore, the roughly 2,500 employees in Oxford at the time and their colleagues from BMW Plant Regensburg supporting the modernisation process faced a great challenge and a truly tight timetable in making this new start into the market.
The BMW Group had already invested some £ 280 million in the Rover Plant in Oxford back in 1996/1997, thoroughly modernising the Bodyshop and Final Assembly. Another project also completed back then was a state-of-the-art Paintshop, at the time the second-largest construction project in Great Britain following the Millennium Dome. And now this was followed by further investments amounting to some £ 230 million serving to modernise and re-structure the plant.
All this made Oxford one of the most modern car production plants in the world, boasting cutting-edge technology specifically for the production of the MINI. No less than 229 production robots were installed at the time to build the body-in-white, with a laser measuring system serving to check the body of the MINI down to a precision of no less than 0.05 millimetres. The Paintshop was likewise custom-built for the requirements of MINI production, not only allowing very precise and environmentally friendly application of the paint, but also providing the contrasting paint finish on the roof so typical of the MINI Cooper.
Oxford also became the first European car production plant to make exclusive use of electrical tools in final assembly, while the KISS (Core Production Integrating Management System) serves to fully automate communication in the production process by using the most advanced information technology. In this process the complete production of each individual model is electronically documented from the body-in-white all the way to final assembly, again ensuring that every MINI complies with the supreme quality standards of the BMW Group.
When production of the new edition of the MINI was launched in autumn of 2006, the production facilities in Oxford (Bodyshop, Paintshop and Assembly), Swindon (Pressings) and Hams Hall (Engine Production) were integrated in the MINI Production Triangle for the first time. Body panels have been produced in Swindon, some 70 kilometres west of Oxford, since 1954. Today, pre-assembled body components such as lids and doors for the MINI Bodyshop are manufactured at Plant Oxford. Since 2001, the plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham has been the BMW Group’s Competence Centre for the production of four-cylinder petrol engines with a capacity of up to 2.0 litres. The plant delivers petrol engines directly to Oxford – just in time and just in sequence, that is at exactly the right time and in the right sequence for final assembly.
Capacity that started in 2001 as 300 vehicles manufactured each day has now increased to production output of around 1 000 units per day. Every 67 seconds, a workforce of 4 500 employees manufactures a MINI – each one of them is an ambassador for its idea, its country and its zest for life. In 2019, 60 years of the brand’s existence was celebrated in Oxford alongside a landmark production anniversary. The ten millionth vehicle of the brand rolled off the assembly line at the traditional site with an illustrious heritage: a MINI 3 Door from the 60 Years Edition.
Since 2000, the BMW Group has invested more than two billion pounds sterling in its production facilities in the United Kingdom. Recently, final assembly was expanded at the MINI Plant Oxford and a new paintshop was built. The latest investments have been channelled into the MINI Cooper SE. From November 2019, the first all-electric powered model manufactured by the brand will be produced at the MINI Plant Oxford.
The models MINI 3 Door, MINI 5 Door and MINI Clubman are currently being produced at the MINI Plant Oxford. In order to take account of the continuous increase in demand, the BMW Group reached a decision in 2014 on contracted-out production of MINI models at the contract producer VDL Nedcar based in Born, Netherlands. MINI is therefore the only automaker to have series vehicles produced under contract manufacture in the Netherlands. The BMW Group benefits from the logistically advantageous location of the VDL Nedcar plant in the Born and its proximity to the British production triangle with locations in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall. The MINI Convertible and MINI Countryman models currently roll off the assembly line in Born.
In addition, the BMW Group and Chinese automobile manufacturer Great Wall concluded a joint-venture agreement in 2018. This covers a number of areas including the production of all-electric powered MINI vehicles for the Chinese market. A joint manufacturing facility is also scheduled for construction in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
An active and truly versatile fan community all around the classic Mini was already established in the United Kingdom Great Britain, the home country of the classic Mini, way back in the 1960s. Right from the start, fans expressed their common interest in the car and the brand by exchanging knowledge and experience all about the Mini and its technical features. Due to the charming character of this small compact car, owners of a classic Mini strongly identified right from the start with both their car and the brand, sharing this enthusiasm in joint drive-aways and regular Mini meetings, with clubs originally organised on a local basis spreading wider and wider to bring together large regions.
A dynamic club scene also developed quite early on in Germany, gaining additional momentum through the re-launch of the brand and the introduction of the MINI. In the meantime, thousands of members are organised throughout Germany in more than 100 classic Mini communities and more than 50 MINI Clubs. Through their wide range of activities, these enthusiasts act as authentic ambassadors of the brand and competent partners for new fans of both the classic Mini and the MINI. Furthermore, MINI enthusiasts joined together to share activities in lots of other countries. The international MINI Community is a phenomenon without parallel in the world of the automobile. MINI owners are individualists and this is reflected in the styling and equipment of their vehicles geared to personal style. At the same time, they have much in common and this is expressed in exceptionally communicative engagement with each other and in enthusiasm for technology, motor sport, lifestyle and design.
The Community became increasingly international with the general spread of modern means of communication. Upon the introduction of the MINI into the market in 2001, the brand was positioned with the same standard philosophy and spirit for the first time worldwide in all relevant markets. Above all, use of the internet had enhanced the options to interact across national borders and continents. Members of national MINI online communities foster contact with similar clubs throughout the world on the World Wide Web.
As in the past, real-life meetings which, thanks to the use of many communication channels and the support of MINI have taken on impressive dimensions, are naturally still among the highlights of all activities. In 2005, for example, MINI Germany, together with the national classic Mini and MINI Clubs, organised the first national meeting in Germany for fans of the brand. Back then more than 2,500 participants travelled to the National Meeting, heading for the Loreley Plateau on the River Rhine, where they enjoyed a highly entertaining programme with MINI Driver Training, a Design Workshop, meetings with Mike Cooper and rally legend Rauno Aaltonen, as well as the presentation of new versions of the MINI. A second meeting at the Hildesheim Aerodrome in 2008 proved even more successful, at least in terms of participation, with twice as many MINI enthusiasts from all over Germany attending the event.
The national and international activities in the British club scene are even more spectacular. In 1999, for example, more than 50,000 visitors attended the International Meeting in Goodwood celebrating the 40th birthday of the brand. In 2007 269 cars driving through Blackpool formed the longest MINI convoy the world has ever seen. Indeed, this unique parade was promptly entered in the Guinness Book of Records, breaking the former record set up by the MINI Club in Vancouver, Canada, when 195 cars had formed a similar convoy. The brand’s 50th birthday was celebrated at the MINI United Festival on the Formula 1 race track at Silverstone in Britain in 2009. Tens of thousands of fans enjoyed a varied mix somewhere between a lifestyle party and music festival, show programme and motor-sport action.
As a supplement to the market-specific activities in a large number of countries, the International Mini Meeting (IMM) has been held for the past 41 years. The IMM was launched on an initiative by German fans of the classic Mini. It was held for the first time in 1978 and since then it has developed into the world’s biggest annual event for the owners and friends of the classic Mini. Meanwhile, Mini Clubs in various European countries have taken on the role of host. At intervals of five years, the British homeland of the classic Mini and the MINI is the showplace for the IMM.
The focus of attention is always enthusiasm for the classic Mini and its exceptional history since 1959. The event is one of the highlights in the calendar of the international Mini Club scene. The participants undertake journeys over hundreds or even thousands of kilometres in order to present their lovingly maintained classic Mini or individually styled MINI to other enthusiasts, and to enjoy the togetherness experience of an exceptionally active community.
Since 2006, MINI has been conquering the USA every two years. The rally MINI Takes The States is a happy invasion by thousands of MINI fans with their vehicles. They take part in a fun-loving and exciting tour over some 4 000 kilometres across the United States with lots of stops at famous sights and in major cities where MINI drivers present their vehicles, meet up at informal get-togethers and the massive convoy of varied classic Minis and MINIs continues to grow. The journey takes drivers along carefully selected routes and through some beautiful scenic countryside.
Apart from pure driving fun and the community event, the rally is also all about social engagement. A substantial portion of the starting fee is transferred to the aid organisation Feeding America, which provides meals free of charge for needy Americans. At the MINI Takes The States rally, which travelled from Portland in the far North West and Orlando in the South East to the meeting point at
Keystone / Colorado in the Rocky Mountains during the summer of 2018, donations for around 1.1 million meals were collected. The next MINI Takes The States Event will be held in 2020.
Alec Issigonis saw the Mini from the start as a car for everybody – for all kinds of drivers and all social classes. He therefore sought, through the car he had created, to solve the everyday problems of individual mobility. With this in mind, the compact and economical Mini was exactly the right answer for increasingly dense traffic in the inner city and for the concerns at the time about the reduction of oil supplies following the Suez Crisis.
But soon it became clear that the Mini was much, much more. Its concept alone was so convincing that the car was seen and acknowledged as a trendsetter. Its sporting qualities made the Mini a genuine winner, its charming design made it incredibly popular throughout the population. So suddenly the Mini had become a genuine cult, its innovative and non-conformist character perfectly reflecting the spirit of the 1960s, at a time when progressive concepts, the thrill of adventure, and even a certain lack of respect versus conventional values dominated the world. This was a car quite different from others but nevertheless offering more and providing even more fun – exactly the right car at the right time. Very quickly, therefore, fashion creators, musicians and other artists were captivated by the unique style of the Mini, stars discovering the qualities of the car and the world recognising the qualities of the Mini as a star itself.
Launched in 2001, the new MINI, a truly unique car just as popular and charming right from the beginning, quickly established a large, and, in particular, widespread fan community. All over the world, numerous celebrities now enjoy the agile driving pleasure offered by this modern and nimble performer. No surprise, therefore, that the MINI has already starred as the “leading car” in many Hollywood films. And it is also no surprise that the MINI is to be found in the private fleets of many famous actors, musicians, fashion designers and other stars in show business, society and sport.
The classic Mini quickly gained the reputation of a car for everybody on all levels of society. While Issigonis still regarded practical and economically-minded families seeking sensible mobility at low cost as his target group, he was also aiming at all levels of society as potential drivers of the Mini. Lord Snowdon, a good friend of Alec Issigonis, deserves the honour to have introduced the classic Mini into the society in London. One of the first owners of this small classic and completely thrilled by the car’s compact dimensions and excellent handling, Lord Snowdon soon became a common sight driving speedily through the British capital. As the husband of Princess Margaret, he obviously used his muscle, making sure that in 1960 Issigonis had the opportunity to present his small car to nobody else but his sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth herself. So when the Queen took her seat next to Issigonis in the Mini, enjoying a lap through the big park of Windsor Castle, the classic Mini had really made a Royal breakthrough.
In the years to come the classic Mini became a genuine scene car particularly in Great Britain, gaining growing popularity throughout all levels of society, in all age groups, and with all nationalities. Time and again, prominent artists gave further momentum to the great reputation of this small performer. Fashion designers Paul Smith and Mary Quant discovered their love for the Mini, stars in the pop and rock scene such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton and David Bowie expressed a clear pledge to this small athlete from Britain.
Trends destined to soon influence not only the fashion, art or music scene worldwide, but also the world of politics and society, came out in full power from Swinging London in the 1960s. Paul Smith, who, among other achievements, became Britain’s most famous designer of men’s fashion by combining classic designs with modern, in many cases very bright and almost screaming colours, even created a limited Special Edition of the Mini in the 1990s. A unique, one-off Mini boasting paintwork created by Smith in his typical multi-colour stripe livery became at least as popular as this special series, even though it was built only once.
Mary Quant, the style icon of British women’s fashion and the inventor of the mini-skirt, was also inspired by the classic Mini. Shortly after she received her driver’s licence, she ordered a black Mini and later created her own Special Edition characterised by features such as the seat upholstery in black-and-white stripes. And she was just as thrilled by the new MINI: “A really fashionable, happy and smiling car”.
The British music scene in the 1960s had the same broad impact as the British world of fashion, musicians from Britain presenting that unique and unmistakable British style in truly revolutionary songs. And with the Mini offering very similar style and character, the stars were obviously thrilled by the new car. So bands like The Beatles, The Who or The Spencer Davis Group as ambassadors of a new British culture gaining growing popularity the world over also helped to promote the Mini and its unique image.
The legends and stories all about the Mini and its role as a means of transport for the stars remain fascinating to this very day. In 1964, for example, John Lennon ordered a Mini although at the time he did not even have a driver’s licence. His colleague George Harrison lent his Mini to Eric Clapton in 1967 and only got it back three years later. And the story about Spencer Davis is that he wrote the biggest hit his band ever had while driving through the night in the rainy Scottish Highlands on an almost empty tank. That was when, looking at the fuel gauge, only one thought went through his mind: “Keep on Running!”
In 1966, the Beach Boys from California in the US took their surfer sound on an international tour and posed in front of a Mini Moke in the United Kingdom. The picture of the Californian musicians and the beach buggy emblazoned with the name of the band went all over the world. At around the same time, American band The Monkees reached the peak of its popularity. A photo from this era shows guitarist and singer Michael Nesmith together with his wife Phyllis looking out through the folding roof of a Mini into the camera directed towards the couple from above.
Nobody knows how often the classic Mini served in films and television as a means of transport or as the star in the background. It is to be admired, at any rate, in the 1966 cult classic “Blow Up” and of course in countless TV and cinema appearances by comedian Rowan Atkinson better known as Mr Bean. A Mini Moke even starred in the James Bond thriller “Live and Let Die”. In 1973, Roger Moore embarked on a wild car chase in the beach buggy during his first appearance as agent 007. The classic Mini is also one of the very few British small cars ever to play a leading role in the cinema, for example in the 1969 classic “The Italian Job” starring Michael Caine. The whole film virtually revolves around only one subject, a wild pursuit through Torino with three Mini Coopers. No surprise, therefore, that immediately after the film had premiered Rover launched a special series of classic Minis finished like the film stars themselves and proudly bearing the title of the film. “The Italian Job” came back to the silver screen no less than 34 years later, this time starring Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg in the new version from Hollywood, presenting the story of a spectacular gold robbery in even more powerful and dramatic style. When “casting” the four-wheeled stars in the film the producer’s and director’s choice – obviously! – was to go for the new MINI Cooper S now able to present its agility and sporting performance not only on the streets of Los Angeles, but even below the streets of the city.
A year earlier the MINI Cooper had already shown its qualities as the ideal car for wild pursuits in the agents’ comedy “Goldmember”. In choosing the stars for his production, script writer and leading actor Mike Myers had picked not only an unusual line-up of Hollywood stars – ranging from Steven Spielberg to Tom Cruise, Michael Caine, Robert Wagner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta and all the way to Beyoncé Knowles and Ozzy Osborne – but also six MINI Coopers in Union Jack livery. In the meantime, the MINI Convertible has also made its way to Hollywood, winning over the hearts of movie-goers once and for all in the year 2007. This was in the comedy “The Heartbreak Kid”, in which Malin Akerman and Ben Stiller went on their honeymoon journey in a MINI Convertible. Obviously, on the way this open four-seater became the scene for all kinds of wonderful debates and amusing stories involving the newly-wed on their trip together. A Hollywood career is also being pursued by the latest MINI generation. Four MINI Cooper S 3 Door models appeared in the science fiction comedy “PIXELS” driven by the main protagonists Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Denis Akiyama and Josh Gad, with the aim of protecting the world against invaders from outer space in the form of video-game characters.
The MINI always hits the headlines wherever it appears – even before a new model is introduced into the market. Innovative marketing campaigns always good for a surprise and generating great appeal present both the MINI brand and the individual models with their full impact.
MINI marketing uses an exceptionally wide range of communication channels to establish close contacts with potential target groups. Supplementing classic activities in print media, on the radio and television, MINI’s marketing experts developed innovative online activities right from the start tailored precisely to the modern, trend-minded and technology-oriented user of the world wide web and taking the options of interactive communication with the public into account. This approach empowers MINI to continuously generate new momentum in automobile construction and in the world of marketing.
Innovative, self-confident, charming: right from the start the classic Mini clearly presented its exceptional character not only on the road, but also in a close dialogue with the public. From the early years classic marketing concepts were used consistently to present the special features of this revolutionary small car in truly convincing style. With a twinkle in the eye, even the very first sales brochures emphasised that the whole world had been waiting for the “Incredible Austin Seven”, the letter “v” in “Seven” being replaced by the number “7”. And the Austin’s sister model, the Morris Mini-Minor, was presented just as proudly as the “Most Exciting Car in the World”.
The Mini marketing experts also kept a close eye on the worldwide success of television, carefully using this new media also for the Mini. Special TV commercials were therefore produced for various purposes in the market, in all cases emphasising selected facets of the Mini’s character and naturally considering the cultural context of the local public. Whether as the perfect solution for congested traffic in downtown Paris or as the ideal means of transport to the beach in Australia – the Mini was always presented as the right car at the right place. Even in a cartoon it proudly presented its superiority, full of humour and again with that famous tongue-in-cheek style.
The re-launch of the brand in 2001 also marked a new beginning in marketing carefully prepared in parallel to the development of the car as such. The main challenge was to establish MINI as the first premium brand in the small car segment, with MINI to be positioned worldwide as a unique and fully independent brand in its own right – a brand revolving around the concept of enthusiasm and thrilling lifestyle.
These principles of brand management remain unchanged to this day, with the MINI characterised by its outstanding product substance and progressive technology, emotional design and agile driving behaviour as well as almost unlimited options in customising the car. A further significant point is finding the right balance of continuity of a brand now going back 60 years and its innovative capacities. Introducing the MINI, customers the world over for the first time had the opportunity to experience premium qualities in a small car. These outstanding qualities and features are indeed to be found in every model made by the brand, at the same time distinguishing MINI clearly from the competition. The same applies to the brand’s appearance in public, where all marketing tools follow a unique, consistently recognisable style. Graphic elements, colours, the language of pictures and the MINI concept conveyed in words and pictures are clearly defined. MINI is refreshingly different. Through its openness and self-confidence, the brand gains great acceptance, through its appearance it arouses curiosity
To arouse the attention of the target group in mind right from the start prior to the market launch of the MINI, the responsible marketing experts have been taking a new approach in communication from the beginning. The magazine “MINI international”, for example, regularly portrays selected cities around the globe, focusing on their particularly creative inhabitants. Apart from classic communication, other innovative forms of communication such as “guerrilla marketing” have always been implemented right from the start. In 2000, MINI
was the first car brand to use the internet not only as an information source, but also as a positioning medium.
In 2013, the brand continued the tradition of unconventional and humorous promotions in a broad range of communication channels with the campaign to promote the market launch of the new MINI. The launch campaign kicks off centred around elaborately produced TV commercials. Tongue-in-cheek stories showcase the unique driving fun offered by the brand as well as the powerful emotional bond established between drivers and their MINI. A familiar co-star with the fans of the brand will appear alongside the brand new MINI: the English Bulldog Spike. Individual lifestyle, enthusiasm for driving fun, innovative technology and a sense of quirkiness are highlighted in the TV commercial, which is shot with various endings. On his first trip in the new MINI, bulldog Spike gets to know and appreciate all the main strengths of the newest member of the British small car family.
The MINI Design Team also created a sensation with some exceptional happenings at Milan’s Salone del Mobile in 2013. Das MINI Design Team staged the MINI Paceman as a dynamic sculpture. The MINI KAPOOOW! installation was conceived in two parts in which the MINI Paceman broke through spatial boundaries and experienced a transformation of materials and forms. Athletic agility empowered the MINI Paceman to make the leap into a universe where colours and materials undergo transformation and open up unimaginable experiential spaces. The first phase showed the rear end of the MINI Paceman as a highly dynamic sculpture. It was presented as a chrome-plated authentic vehicle and then began to undergo metamorphosis. The individual parts of the vehicle appeared to fly apart. In the second phase, the MINI Paceman broke through a boundary in the middle of the space. In this new dimension, the vehicle changed its original form and the front end became an idea made of paper. The material of paper was presented as a metaphor for “prototyping” in the creative process.
The Panamericana is one of the last big automobile adventures. In 2018, three models of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4$ with plug-in hybrid drives took on an intercontinental road trip along the world’s longest north-south road route in order to prove just how tough sustainability can be. The journey along the historic dream route – 17 000 kilometres from Dallas in the US State of Texas to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina – took them through different climate zones, across dense jungle and over challenging high-altitude mountain passes. Along with well-built highways, the three plug-in-hybrid models also had to contend with parts of the route network comprising dirt tracks and narrow mountain passes.
In 2018, the spectacular feat showcased MINI and the qualities of the electric power unit in those countries where awareness of sustainable mobility is only coming slowly to the fore. At the same time, these countries are being particularly affected by the consequences of climate change.
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