This article explores why the MacPherson strut was so popular.
The MacPherson strut was invented by Earl MacPherson in the 1940s when independent front suspension was still something of a wonder and too expensive for all but the upper luxury or exotic sports car market.
I should point out that what we call “suspension” is actually “superimposion”; the body of the car is not suspended but supported.
The origins of the term come from the days of horse and carriage. Initially the carriage body was bolted directly to a frame underneath which two axles were bolted, also directly. Add in wooden wheels with metal tyres and a very bumpy ride results.
To improve this a flexible vertical post was fitted at each corner of the frame with two leather straps slung across the width of the frame (ie transverse) from the top of each post, one at the front and one at the back. The body of the carriage was then attached to these straps. That is, the body was suspended by the straps. As the posts could bend the body could now move independently of the frame, up to a point.
It didn’t take long for some genius to realise that putting the springy bit between the frame and the axles worked much better with the leather strap replaced by a metal “leaf” spring of similar shape. So the transverse leaf spring “suspension” came into being.
The axles were still rigid and the wheels still wooden.
With the advent of amazing horseless carriage and it’s death defying speeds of over 30 mph (typical horse speed beyond which one should not travel for fear of being unable to breath – or so they thought) the limitations of rigid axles and leaf springs became apparent.
Although leaf springs provide some natural damping this decreases as the springs get softer and more comfortable.
The consequence of having insufficient damping is that when the wheel goes over a bump or a hole it continues to bounce up and down for quite some time afterwards. Which is not good, especially if the wheel is bouncing around just at a time when you wanted it to grip the road.
Additional springing was introduced when pneumatic tyres were adopted but this had next to no damping making that issue worse.
So, dampers were introduced to control the wheel movements dynamically. By about 1927 dampers were used which could provide a spring like function on the initial movement from rest, thus allowing a softer spring without allowing the wheel to crash up against the bump stops upon hitting a bump at speed. Which is why dampers are often called “shock absorbers”, or shocks for short.
In the modern designs the dampers do a lot to control wheel movements and to prevent body roll, making them a very important part of the handling role of the suspension as well as the ride.
So, we need a spring and a damper. And something to join the wheel to the body, which we do not want to be a rigid axle because with a rigid axle if one wheel goes over a bump that wheel changes its angle to the road and the other wheel has to move around too. Plus the body has to be above the axle (generally) making the floor high.
To a lot of people’s amazement, we do not want the wheels upright, and we do not want them at the same angle to ground all the time.
The wheel (front wheels in particular) needs to lean in slightly toward the centre of the car at the top (negative camber) when travelling in a straight line and sightly more so on the outside wheel when cornering. But, as the wheel goes up and down, such as over a bump, the angle of the wheel with respect to the road should not change much, if possible.
So, if the links between the body and the wheel are correctly designed the wheel angles can be optimised for cornering or going over bumps and, if you are really clever, doing both at the same time and on both sides of the car.
The double wishbone suspension is generally considered the perfect choice. Except with a narrowish front engine car in the ‘40s the engine prevents the wishbones being long enough for an ideal design. And, it is expensive.
In a double wishbone design there are two V shaped “wishbones” (as per a turkey or chicken wishbone) one above the wheel centre line and one below, attaching the wheel to the car body. Thus there are 6 mounting points which need bracing, rubber mounts, bolts and assembly time. There must be a steering pivot (or upright) attaching the wishbones to each other and to the hub about which the wheel spins. We also need a spring (coil now not leaf - very modern) which needs 2 mounting points which need bracing, rubbers, bolts and assembly, and a damper which also needs 2 mounting points with bracing, rubbers, bolts and assembly.
So, lots of parts and cost and space. And possibly sub-optimal performance.
Earl MacPherson was given the task of coming up with a lightweight low cost car at General Motors. In fact, the target was more or less impossible, which is just as well otherwise some brilliant solutions may have never been developed. MacPherson put a tubular damper inside the coil spring, instantly removing 2 mounting points and freeing up space. He then made the damper body into a strong strut capable of holding the spring, taking the suspension loads and extending the lower end of the strut so that it reached below wheel centre, thus taking on the role of the upright – more parts and connections eliminated. This strut leans in toward the centre of the car with the top attached to the car body at the top of the inner wheel arch just below the bonnet. When viewed from behind it makes one side of a triangular structure with the car body forming the second, mostly vertical side, and a vaguely horizontal member running from below the wheel centre toward the centre of the car making the third.
The wheels rotate about the strut for steering and the geometry is fixed by the 2 mounting points. The bottom member (the track control arm) is a relatively long arm going under the side of the engine which reduces wheel angle changes over bumps etc. To stop the whole thing moving forwards/backwards the anti-roll bar (which the double wishbone design also has) is attached to the track control arm and used as a brace.
Thus we have two body mounting points with attendant bracing and bolts and rubbers and one hub attachment point plus a unitary upright/spring/damper strut unit.
Brilliant. Hats off to Earl.
Except the Chevrolet Cadet that all this was meant to appear on never made it as, amazingly, GM top brass said is was too expensive. A more likely reason is that, at that time, only top of the range cars had independent suspension and it was unthinkable for a budget priced car to have a better suspension.
MacPherson left GM, walked across town to Ford and his invention surfaced on the UK built Ford Consul and Zephyr, quickly spreading across the entire Ford range.
Sadly, because of the Ford connection some snobs initially refused to recognise the brilliance of this design and refused to use a MacPherson strut design despite reasonable licensing deals.
Although the MacPherson strut has some geometric shortcomings a half decent MacPherson strut installation beats an 80% good double wishbone setup. By the 1970s just about everyone was using a variation on the theme at the front with many different designs for the rear suspension, from “live” axles through double wishbones to the dreaded swing axles and compact low cost torsion bar beams.
Lotus’ Colin Chapman (of F1 fame) re-invented MacPherson’s rear strut design – which had not been a success – becoming the Chapman strut for obvious reason. This was probably the best rear axle strut design there has been, but it too was not a success with a nasty habit of breaking welded joints. The semi-trailing arm design rear suspension, such as used on BMWs since the 1957 600 model (whose suspension design, with mild evolution continued right up until it was replaced by the similar-but-different Z axle in the 1990’s), has proved to be superior overall.
The gradual switch to double wishbone front suspension has occurred for two main reasons. The first is that cars are a lot wider and engines narrower, making room for wishbones. The second is that automation and other production efficiencies have reduced the cost significantly.
On a final note, BMW used the equally innovative and even more compact motor scooter inspired Dubonnet type front suspension on the Isetta, 600 and 700 models. This design has more technical flaws than the MacPherson strut and is less suited to heavier wheel loads but was an ideal low cost solution on those vehicles.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
I’d just like to check in with everyone and let you know about some of the virtual events coming this month, as well as let you know that we have a whole host of in person events lined up ready to go, just as soon as we are released from lockdown. Even if they only lift the 5km rule and we can start socialising within the Melbourne area, we have events lined up to suit that.
I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this very trying time and I hope you are all looking forward to safely getting out and about again as soon as we are allowed.
As a committee, we have been working very hard to keep things going and interesting via our Zoom meetings and social media. We hope that you have been able to join in on some of the virtual events we have been putting on over the past few months.
The roadmap to us being able to travel and get back to normal is taking a little longer than we all hoped for, but we need to all just hang in there as there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will all be able to see each other again soon - be it from 1.5 metres apart.
We have 3 virtual meetings/events planned so far for October. Our AGM is on 13 October. We are then having a guided tour of Mornington BMW on 20 October, where we will be hosted by Tony and Alex who will be able to answer any question you may have. This will be a very interesting night and we will be also doing a virtual raffle, so be sure to log in on the night so you can be part of the fun. Our next event will be our presentation night on 27 October. We have been holding out for this night, as we wanted to do this in person but unfortunately COVID got in the way. I urge you all to register, it will be a lot of fun, there will be some great prizes to be won and most importantly, this is the night we recognise some of our members great achievements from 2019. We plan on trying to make this a celebration, so dress up in your best outfits and crack open a bottle of bubbly so we can all toast those who have won awards. Again, we will be joined by our virtual raffle wheel so you have to be logged in to win.
For those who live in the Bellarine Peninsula/Geelong regional area, we also have a Coffee and Cars morning planned for 18 October. We have quite a few members that live out of the Metro lockdown zone, so we thought it would be nice for them to be able to meet up and enjoy a safe coffee and catch up.
Jo has been working on some great events which we are hoping we will be able to release after the announcements on or about 19 October. So that you can plan to attend, I will give you a quick run down of what we are hoping to release.
All going well, on 25 October we will be doing a Metro Picnic Drive, starting from the Old Templestowe Hill Climb track and then heading out through some of Melbourne’s wonderful scenic and interesting roads. Firstly stopping at Yan Yean, where there are large facilities for a comfort break and we can take some time to stretch our legs, have a morning snack (please bring your own) and then off for some more great driving to hopefully arrive in Yarra Glen, where we will stop again for a lunch break. There could possibly be some cafes and shops open here but as with morning tea, I would suggest you come prepared with food and drinks just in case. This drive stays within the Metro area, just in case we still aren’t allowed out of Melbourne yet.
On 3 November (Melbourne Cup Day), we are hoping to hold our annual Show and Shine, in a very special, very exclusive location right in the middle of Melbourne! We can’t tell you where just yet, but it is somewhere very nice indeed. There will be a grab and go breakfast option to pre-order and also a two course lunch for after judging. We can then relax and watch the race in one of their very comfortable function rooms. Jay Leno Garage Products will be on board for this event with their products available for sale on the day and we will also have some great hampers as prizes for the winning cars. There will also be a special deal for a member’s to be able to stay the night before to make the event a special “Coming out of COVID” event. Keep your eyes peeled for event notices.
Motorsport-wise, anyone with a level three or above racing licence and a BMW race car is invited to go racing with E30 Racing at Phillip Island on 7-8 November, the entry is via the Motorsport Australia Event Entry Portal, so if you have a race car and a licence get onto that one! As far as our Drivers Championship goes, we are keeping in touch with the other clubs and tracks and as soon as anything is released or confirmed, we will let you know. At this stage, we believe our championship round on 6 December with AROCA will be proceeding. AROCA are also hoping to hold a sprint event at Winton on 15 November which we are invited to attend.
We still have our “Member of the Month” which you can enter as many times as you wish if you have more than one car. Let us see what you have and hear the story behind your favourite vehicles.
Times are very difficult for us all at the moment but we just need to keep doing the right thing and we will be out of this soon. I would like to thank you all for standing by us through this trying time and know the BMWDCM Committee have been working hard to try to make things as interesting as possible while we are all stuck in lockdown.
Hoping to see you all soon. Hang in there team, it won’t be long now.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of:
BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council
Motorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
The all-new BMW 128ti, Alpine white, Y Rim 18” Styling 553 M (10/2020).
When Nick Catsburg (NED) crossed the finish line in the #99 BMW M6 GT3 shortly after 15:30 on Sunday afternoon, the celebrations knew no bounds. Together with ROWE Racing and his team-mates Alexander Sims and Nick Yelloly (both GBR), Catsburg had just won another thrilling Nürburgring 24 Hours (GER) on the Nordschleife. This was the first victory for ROWE Racing at the 24-hour race. And it was also a very special success for record winner BMW: the manufacturer’s 20th overall victory came on the 50th anniversary of the endurance classic. That was all a few days ago now, but the emotions are still just as strong.
1970 – 2010 – 2020: BMW was the overall winner of the inaugural 24-hour race in 1970. The 19th and most recent overall victory came courtesy of BMW Team Schnitzer in 2010. Since then, BMW had endured a long wait for its 20th overall win, although BMW teams had finished the race second on the podium on four occasions in recent years. It was almost as though the racing gods had come up with a special plan: overall victory number 20 was to come in 2020, at the 50th anniversary of the 24-hour race, 50 years after the first win and ten years after the latest success.
“The moment the car crossed the finish line is one we will remember for a very long time,” says BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We have waited ten years for this victory, although the BMW teams have missed out by incredibly small margins in recent years, and have finished runner-up on four occasions. The fact that we made it onto the top step of the podium on the 50th anniversary makes the win even more special. ROWE Racing took full advantage of the potential of the BMW M6 GT3 in extremely difficult conditions, with a flawless race and the right strategic decisions at the right time. It was an outstanding performance and team effort, which was rewarded with that long-awaited victory.”
This success is also of particular importance to ROWE Racing team principal, Hans-Peter Naundorf. In 2017, the team missed out on overall victory by just 29.418 seconds after a dramatic climax. The 2018 and 2019 races did not go to plan, but the team’s fortunes changed this year. “With all the factors that made this race so special, the history of BMW, the yearning desire of all of us to finally win this race, and all the joint efforts, this success is something very, very special,” says Naundorf. “Throughout all the years, we have always invested the most energy and placed our biggest hopes in this race, and we have experienced some bitter disappointments with early exits, particularly in the last two years. It is very satisfying to have achieved this success – particularly as this year’s was the toughest 24-hour race in recent history. In the end, we were simply tougher than the rest.”
It was the ROWE Racing team that claimed the very first 24-hour victory for the BMW M6 GT3 at Spa-Francorchamps in 2016. However, Naundorf believes there is no comparison between the two successes: “Our success in Spa in 2016 surprised everyone. At the Nürburgring, we had been one of the favourites for years, and we knew that we could do it. As such, after all the preparations and intensive years, this is a far bigger breakthrough. In Spa, we claimed an unexpected victory with a totally new car. Now, after five years, the BMW M6 GT3 is a stalwart and everything is sorted. In this situation, every little screw has to fit perfectly into place, you have to have the right drivers in the car, and then the weather gods have to give you these conditions, in which only the very best can come through without making any mistakes. Conquering the Nordschleife is the toughest thing I have done in my 25 years in motor racing.”
Naundorf believes that the BMW M6 GT3 has benefitted from its maturity and the many kilometres it has completed on the Nordschleife: “The car is incredibly stable when you know how to use it properly. There are no longer any areas in need of improvement, all BMW cars ran like clockwork.” The strength of the BMW M6 GT3 on the Nordschleife this year is underlined, not only by the fact that it not only took overall victory, but also that four of the five BMW M6 GT3 finished the race without any incidents – including three cars in the top four. The third spot on the podium went to BMW Team Schnitzer, with the #98 ROWE Racing car in fourth place.
All figures relating to performance, fuel/electric power consumption and emissions are provisional.
All of the stated model variants, equipment features, technical data, fuel/electric power consumption and emissions figures relate to the offering in the German market. Dimensions and measurements refer to vehicles with basic configuration in Germany. These may vary depending on the wheel/tyre size and items of optional equipment selected.
MONTH IN REVIEW
How is it already October? Winter is long gone and now we are past the Spring solstice - the days are longer than the nights and soon enough we will be able to get out and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather!
September started with our usual members meeting, where Jo and Graeme gave a presentation on preparing for a motorsport event. We had quite a few members attend on the night with many questions asked. Just talking about getting on track is making us excited for the day when we can! if you missed the presentation but would like to view it in your own time, we've uploaded it to the website here.
On 22 September we then held a very special members only meeting, where Eva Priller from BMW took us on a tour of BMW Classic in Munich. It was amazing to see all of the cars, the archive room, cafe and workshop. We'd like to give a very special thank you to Eva for the tour. Next time you're in Munich, make sure visiting BMW Classic is at the top of your to do list!
VicRoads have recently made some changes to the Club Permit Scheme. The biggest change is that new registrations will include an additional fee for number plates. You can read more about the update by clicking here.
As we get to a hopeful end to Stage 4 restrictions, we hope to see you all very soon. Please reach out if there is anything we can do to help you, or feel free to suggest some events you'd like to see once we're able!
If you require assistance from Jo Mawson or Graeme Bell during this time, please do not phone the Bell Motorsport phone number (03 5979 1599). Please instead phone Jo on 0412 661 900.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 493 MEMBERS
Welcome to our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an event soon!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Here's what we've got planned in October:
Unfortunately we can't give too many details on other upcoming events right now. Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar for when we can resume events.
NEWS & BLOG
Our Blog page on the website is constantly being updated with not just club news, but everything BMW from all around the world! We welcome you to submit any articles of your own!
September Virtual Members Meeting | Preparing for a Motorsport Event
Private Tour of BMW Classic in Munich
BMW around the globe.
Everyone has their own BMW story - we'd love to share yours.
Email us to feature in our very own idrive magazine.
Members are welcome to submit their business to be shared on the Club Partners page on our website and idrive magazine.
We believe in supporting those who support us. If you would like your business listed, email us with your details!
As always - thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at an event soon!
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
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Creative Custom Cars
Welcome to (almost) October, winter is long gone and now we are past the Spring solstice the days are longer than the nights and soon enough we will be able to get out and enjoy the beautiful Melbourne Spring weather!
Whilst another month is gone and most of us are still in Stage 4 lockdown, we have worked extremely hard to keep things interesting for you all and hope you are weathering the isolation well. Thankfully now the numbers are getting to the point we can start to think about a life out on the roads and seeing all our friends again. We just have to be patient a little longer.
We started the month with our September Members Meeting, Preparing for a Motorsport Event. This attracted a lot of interest and we had a great powerpoint presentation prepared by Jo and I on what you need to do to get yourself ready for the track. Jo went through all the slides slowly explaining everything in detail and letting the members ask questions on areas they were not too clear on. You can now find the presentation on our website and refer to it when we are allowed to return to track days. Which, incidentally, will be as soon as we can organise something concrete. I have been talking to the Alfa Club about what they are planning as well as Sandown and Winton and Motorsport Australia, to see what we can organise. We still have to play it by ear with the loosening of restrictions, as everyone is being far more cautious about opening up this time. As soon as we have news, I will let you know. I am sure you are as eager as we are to get out and have a drive again.
22 September was our Exclusive BMWDCM member only tour of BMW Classic in Munich. With over 100 registered this was always going to be a great night. I am very thankful to all those who logged in early to enable us to start on time and Eva was an amazing host, taking us through the archive area and explaining some of the amazing pieces and allowing our members to ask some questions. Then we went across to the workshop area, which is fully glassed and allows customers and visitors to see what is happening. I really liked the open and transparent nature of the workshops.
Eva then took us around some of the Classic Collection, which was amazing and in this building we also viewed the Wall of Fame, with all the names of the winners of BMW Awards: Friend of the Marque and the Dr Gerhard Knöchlein Award as well as the Club of the Year Award. Pretty impressive.
In October we have three virtual events planned. Starting on 13 October, with our AGM and Oktoberfest. Please join us for this and vote in your new committee for the next 12 months. By now you should all have your documents pertaining to the AGM and any voting and proxy forms that need to be returned. Of course, we will also have a bit of fun, so if any of you want to dress up in your Lederhosen’s and Dirndls there will be prizes for best dressed on the night. Log in to see the committee all dressed up Bavarian style. Remember we need a quorum to hold the AGM, so please attend so we can make sure all the regulatory boxes are ticked.
On 20 October our members meeting will be hosted at Mornington BMW, starting with a tour of the showroom and workshop and then we will sit down with Tony Traikovski, Business Manager, and Alex Pressman, Sales Manager, to talk about all the things we want to know about getting finance through BMW and things like aftercare, add-ons, extended warranties and so on. Make sure you have your questions at the ready for they boys. There will also be lifestyle give-aways on the night, curtesy of Mornington BMW.
Finishing off the month, on 27 October will be our Virtual Awards Presentation Night from 2019. Be sure to join on this night to congratulate all your fellow members who will be receiving an award on the night. Some of us are dressing up to try to make this a fun night, dress down if you want but let’s try to make this a huge night seeing that COVID robbed us of our birthday party and presentation night this year.
You may have seen a notice from VicRoads which we posted on Facebook over the weekend, regarding changes to the Club Permit Scheme, if not, you can view the updates here. Not much will change from the way it is now, they were talking about quite a few new things, but the only real change is that from 4 October on you will have to pay for the number plates. Up until now they have been free. Everything else they are changing is really just changes to wording to clarify some of the rules, so no real differences to be concerned about. There will be a major review of the system next year, so something to look forward to, or not.
As we are nearing the new COVID normal, your committee are working hard organising some great events, waiting to be released once we have firm direction on when we can indeed get out and about safely again. As soon as we are free to venture out, we will be sending out notices, so be sure to check your emails regularly to see what fun stuff we have in store for you all.
As always, if you are struggling, please reach out, we are all in this together and sometimes we all need a shoulder to lean on. If you know someone that is alone or even if you are, pick up the phone and have a chat, it can really make someone’s day to have a friendly voice on the phone when we can’t meet yet.
Be safe, stay well and let’s hope we will see you all on the road somewhere very soon.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council
Motorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
The premium automobile manufacturer BMW is presenting itself at Auto China 2020 in Beijing with new models and concepts for extremely sporty driving pleasure and sustainable mobility. The focus of the presentation at the international auto show in the Chinese capital will be the joint world premiere of the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 10.2 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 234 g/km) and the BMW M4 Competition Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 10.2 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 234 g/km). In addition, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan in its version for the Chinese market, the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo and the new BMW M5 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.6 – 10.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 242 - 239 g/km) will premiere in Beijing. The growing importance of electric mobility in the premium segment is emphasised by the presentation of the BMW iX3, which is manufactured in China, and the BMW Concept i4 study.
Since the motorshow date had to be moved from spring to autumn due to the corona pandemic, Auto China 2020 will be held at the China International Exhibition Center from September 26 to October 5. Automobile manufacturers, suppliers and service providers from all over the world will be showing their new models, products and technologies on an exhibition area of more than 200 000 square metres. The auto show concept includes strict hygiene regulations and a high use of digital technology. At the BMW stand, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant digital companion, available in numerous current models, will take on the role of moderator.
World premiere: The new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupé.
One of the highlights of Auto China 2020 is the joint world premiere of two high-performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH. The new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and the new BMW M4 Competition Coupé will be presented for the first time. With these two high-performance models in the premium mid-range segment, the hallmark M combination of racetrack-oriented performance and superior suitability for everyday use reaches a level never before attained. Their world premiere in Beijing underlines the growing importance of the Chinese automobile market for the BMW M GmbH product range.
The new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and the new BMW M4 Competition Coupé are powered by an in-line 6-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics, mobilising a maximum output of 375 kW/510 hp and delivering a maximum torque of 650 Nm. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Both models accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds each.
The extremely high torsional rigidity of the body and chassis connection support the dynamic performance, agility and precision typical of BMW M automobiles, a linear build-up of lateral forces over the entire lateral acceleration range and neutral self-steering behaviour right up to the limit. Standard equipment also includes an Adaptive M chassis, M Servotronic steering and forged M light-alloy wheels in 18-inch size on the front and 19-inch size on the rear axle.
A distinct design with numerous M typical details adapted from racing unmistakably highlights the increased performance characteristics of both models. A new operating concept, which offers the driver maximum freedom in configuring an individual vehicle setup, also contributes to the emotional driving experience.
China premiere: The new BMW 5 Series in the version for the Chinese market.
The latest model generation of the BMW 5 Series for the Chinese automobile market also makes its first public appearance in Beijing. With its fresh design accents and numerous technological innovations, it is ideally suited to further expand its position as the most successful business sedan in China. The versions of the BMW 5 Series for the Chinese market feature specific details In line with special market requirements. In addition to the wheelbase extended by 130 millimetres, these include some high-grade equipment options such as the Skylounge panorama glass roof or the Professional rear-seat entertainment system with two tiltable touch screens. At the same time, the new BMW 5 Series for China adopts the more forceful exterior design, the interior refined in many details, the increased efficiency and the numerous innovations in the areas of driver assistance, operation and networking that characterise the latest model generation.
The new model generation is now even more attractive thanks to a more prominent BMW kidney grille as well as redesigned headlights and rear lights. In addition, there are is a wide range of individualisation options. For example, the BMW 535Le with 215 kW/292 hp plug-in hybrid drive (fuel consumption combined: 1.5 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions from fuel: 36 g/km) can be combined with the M sports package. The latest advances with regard to operation and networking are offered by the BMW Operating System 7 with its wide range of new functions and digital services, including the enhanced BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. This now features new graphic displays, even more natural voice input and additional functions.
Together with the new BMW 5 Series for the Chinese market, the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo and the new BMW M5 Competition will also be presented at Auto China 2020. These models also benefit from precisely modified design, new individualisation options and the latest developments the areas of driver assistance, operation and networking.
The BMW iX3: The first fully electrically powered BMW X model, made in China.
At Auto China 2020, BMW is underpinning the consistent continuation of its current electrification strategy with a production vehicle and a concept car that provide hallmark BMW driving pleasure in combination with locally emission-free drive systems. Drivers will soon be able to experience electric mobility in a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV): BMW iX3 (fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 17.8 – 17.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km). The first BMW X model with fully electric drive combines local emission-free driving pleasure with typical BMW sportiness and the comfort, versatile functionality and spaciousness of an SAV.
In the BMW iX3, the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology is used for the first time. With the latest development stage of the electric motor, power electronics, charging technology and high-voltage storage, significant progress is being made in the areas of performance characteristics, power consumption and range. The new electric drive has a power density 30 per cent higher than that of the previous generation, generates a maximum output of 210 kW/286 hp and accelerates the BMW iX3 from zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. With the new high-voltage storage system, whose gross energy content is 80 kWh, and thanks to the high efficiency of the drive, the BMW iX3 has a range of up to 460 kilometres in the WLTP test cycle and up to 520 kilometres in the NEDC test cycle.
The BMW iX3 will be launched in the course of 2020 for sale on the Chinese automobile market. It will be the brand's first model to also be manufactured for worldwide export at the Chinese BMW Brilliance joint venture production site in Shenyang.
The BMW Concept i4: Looking ahead to a new era of driving pleasure.
The BMW Concept i4, also on display at Auto China 2020, offers a look into the future at local zero-emission driving pleasure in a premium automobile from BMW. The concept car heralds the BMW i4, which will be produced as a purely electrically powered Gran Coupé for the premium middle range from 2021 onwards. With this model, fully electric mobility reaches the core of the BMW brand.
Balanced proportions, a striking appearance and attention to detail characterise the clearly designed exterior of the BMW Concept i4. Flowing lines stand for dynamic performance, four doors underline the car’s functionality and suitability for everyday use. The front is dominated by the large, closed BMW kidney grille. This serves as an intelligent surface for advanced driver assistance systems thanks to the integrated sensor technology. In the interior, the large Curved Display reinterprets hallmark BMW driver orientation.
The BMW Concept i4 heralds a new era of brand typical driving pleasure with its drive technology as well. Fifth generation BMW eDrive technology combines dynamic performance and efficiency in a unique fashion. A maximum output of up to 530 hp, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in around four seconds and a top speed of more than 200 km/h testify to superior athleticism. Power delivery is extremely responsive and virtually silent. The range is up to 600 kilometres in the WLTP test cycle.
Event date: 22 September 2020
Wow, I only joined BMWDCM in June this year, I think I've attended nearly all the virtual meetings/events since. But this one tonight was something special, a virtual tour of BMW Classic in Munich!
We were hosted by Eva Priller, who looks after BMW clubs from around the world. We started in what I believe is the 100 years archive room, where a lot of rich history about BMW is kept and displayed. In a nutshell there is a lot of original documents and articles in here. She then moved on to showing us through the cafe, which is open to the public.
By far the highlight for me was the collection of cars and motorcycles. In here you can find Elvis Presley's original white BMW 507, which was looking absolutely immaculate in its presentation and hands down I think the car everybody wanted to see! There are also other cars at BMW Classic Group, like a nice Rolls Royce, as they like to take care of other makes that BMW owns. My favourites in here would have to be the Lemans winner, the GP car and of course, the E30 race cars.
Once again, another great meeting by BMWDCM!
Tim Oh | Member #538
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
A big thank you to the BMWDC for arranging an exclusive members only tour of the BMW Classic Munich. What a club and what better way to spend the evening during Covid-19 stage four lockdown in Melbourne.
We were so fortunate to have such a delightful and knowledgeable host in Eva Priller who explained that BMW Group Classic is the branch of the BMW Group responsible for all activities concerning the history of the company and its four brands BMW, BMW Motorrad, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
BMW Classic comprised of the BMW Museum, BMW Group Classic Services and the BMW Group Archive. Eva along with her helper started the tour by providing a great sample of the archives which displayed original drawings, photos and car parts just to mention a few. Leading from the display we were taken through the Café’Mo 66 which seems a great place to stop, grab a coffee and take in all that BMW Classic Munich has to offer.
We then walked though the 100 year old complex and taken to the services and workshop area which is completely transparent as all the walls are made from glass. We were given a glimpse only at the workshop in order to maintain confidentially to the owners of the cars being worked on. The Workshop looked comprehensive and well laid out.
My favourite part of the tour followed which was the guided tour around the sample (approx. ¼ only of the total collection we were told) of the BMW Group Classic cars on display, an area originally built and used to manufacture aircraft engines. Eva explained that the collection is constantly changing and therefore no one tour would be the same. I was really pleased to see rare cars, racing cars, concept cars, prototype cars and even a personally owned car of Elvis Presley. It really is an exceptional display that everyone is guaranteed to find a car to fall in love with, not to mention that most of the cars are still driven and can even be hired.
Overall the tour provided an insight into the BMW Classic group as a company, its history and the long history of BMW as a brand.
Again thank you so much to the BMWDC committee for your hard work and providing us, your members with such a wonderful and invaluable tour of BMW Classic Munich.
Adam Sleep | Member #421
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Thank you Jo and Graeme for organizing the exclusive virtual members only tour of the BMW Classic facility and Members Honour Wall in Munich. We felt very privileged to take the tour of this wonderful collection of historic cars. As this facility is not open to the public it really was a very special treat. Thanks also to Eva Priller from BMW Club and Community Management in Munich gave us the guided tour.
The tour was really interesting and informative. Eva estimated that less than one quarter of the cars they hold are on display and explained that the collection now contains many new cars as well. Apparently it’s easier for BMW to add new cars to the collection now, rather than try to source them in 20-30 years time when they have become classics. Of the cars on display we particularly loved seeing the E30 M3 race car and the E28 535i motorsport.
It was a real treat to see so many wonderful examples of the cars we all love and dream about. So much history in one place and there were some exceptional examples on display. Apparently, many of them are road registered and can be hired for the day. This option would definitely be on our agenda next time we visit. Maybe we could hold a members meeting there one day when restrictions are eased!
Unfortunately we joined the meeting late due to prior engagements, so we missed Eva taking our group through archives.
Nella Santisi & Andreas Doelling | Member #141
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
For the very special September monthly meeting, 58 of us were treated to a guided tour of BMW Classic in Munich via Zoom.
Our host for the evening was the lovely and enthusiastic Eva Priller, who provides a link between BMW and the BMW clubs around the world with their various models and ages of cars.
Since BMW’s 100th anniversary in 2016, BMW Classic is housed in the front portion of the original BMW manufacturing works, just up the road from BMW’s iconic 4-cylinder tower, BMW Welt and the BMW Museum. BMW Classic looks after BMW’s collection of historic models, race cars and concept cars. These are rotated through the BMW Museum and the storage/display area of BMW Classic. BMW Classic also supplies parts for any historic BMW of any age, if necessary manufacturing parts from original blueprints – often by 3D printing these days where possible.
With so much history, it was appropriate that the tour started in the archive room. Eva showed us samples of the various drawings, photos and original documents covering BMW’s manufacture of aircraft engines, motorbikes and cars. Several artefacts were also on display, such as the steering wheel from a BMW F1 car.
Eva pointed out the café that has recently been added in the front of the buildings, where the public can come in any time as part of welcoming the general public to the site. There is also a workshop area where the restoration and maintenance takes place, but our view was limited due to customer cars being present.
Finally we were taken into the storage and display area, where an extensive collection of cars and motorbikes was on display. Eva explained how most of the vehicles were road-registered and driven regularly. Some, including a lovely 1938 327 saloon, are even available for hire for weddings and the like – presumably to be driven by people who can find their way around a non-synchromesh gearbox. Race cars were on display from F1, Le Mans and touring cars. Jo even navigated Eva around the area in order for people to see the M3 race car! The oldest models dated back to just after the Dixi, and the newest were probably around the 1970s.
The display included two 507s, including the white one that once belonged to Elvis Presley. Eva didn’t give much detail of its restoration, but it’s worth reading about the extraordinary lengths BMW Classic went to in order to restore it to its original condition before it was presented at the famous Concours d’Elegance Pebble Beach in BMW’s centenary year.
The BMW Garmisch concept car, restored and re-presented last year, was also present, although not remarked on. An elevated section also contained various BMW concept cars from decades past, but without much detail offered. The collection also included several Z1 roadsters and various race and road cars of the 2002 and E30 eras.
Finally, a Rolls Royce and several classic Minis (including a Moke) were included in the display, recognizing BMW ownership of those marques.
The display area includes an award wall for BMW car clubs and individuals which have been especially significant in keeping the history and enthusiasm for BMW vehicles new and old alive.
It was quite a special privilege to be able to view the collection in this hosted manner. Any club members planning a trip to Europe are well-advised to include BMW Classic, along with the BMW museum and BMW Welt, on their itinerary. If you contact the committee in advance, it may be possible to arrange viewing of some parts of BMW Classic, but at the very least a visit to the café and a viewing of the workshop area is possible on any day.
Peter Williams | Member #36
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
See the Elvis BMW 507 on Petrolicious video here.BMW’s write-up about the car is here.There are also longer videos on the Internet with more details of its restoration, which also illustrate the capabilities of BMW Classic.
A recent Zoom club event held on 22/09/20, was a very interesting and fun event. I loved the fact that it wasn’t just online because of COVID-19, but it was an truly international affair.
We were greeted by the lovely Eva Priller from the BMW Club & Community Management Team, direct from BMW’s headquarters in Munich on a bright and sunny day.
Eva took us inside one of the several large halls, that contained so many of BMW’s classic and historic cars and motorcycles. I don’t think anybody noticed, but my jaw hit the table when I spotted an E9 CSL Batmobil. It is my absolute favourite Bimmer, and I loved seeing it parked amongst 2002’s, E30’s, and many E36’s. Many in race livery. There were simply too many others, to mention them all.
It was interesting to learn that BMW is currently sourcing more storage space, to house ALL the models. Including the current and upcoming ones, so they wouldn’t require searching for older and used vehicles in the future. I also loved the fact that almost all the cars on show were road registered and frequently driven, to avoid wasting away.
Fun event, and sincerely hope to one day being able to visit the BMW Museum and Plant in Person.
Walter Buehler | Member #38
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Thank you for the virtual tour of BMW group classic with Eva.
I found the night really well run, Eva was a great host and fascinated by the glimpse we got to see.
What amazed me was the café which they change to suit events or themes happening at the time. BMW have a proud heritage and to be able to display it all on the former site of itself from 100 years back is a marvel as so few brands can claim this and put that level of care and effort to protect the brands heritage.
Tony Traikovski | Member #472
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
56 years have passed, but memories of the great triumph achieved by the small car with the starting number 37 have hardly faded. In 1964, the classic Mini Cooper S clinched the first of three overall victories at the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. At the wheel: the then 30-year-old Northern Irish rally driver Patrick “Paddy” Hopkirk. In his honour, MINI now presents an edition model with exclusive design and equipment features to mark one of the most spectacular achievements in the history of international motor racing. One unmistakable reminder of Hopkirk’s coup in the classic Mini is the winning car’s start number 37, which is featured in stylised form on the driver and passenger doors of the edition model.
The MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition is available in selected automobile markets from October 2020 as the MINI Cooper S 3-door (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 147 – 139 g/km), the MINI Cooper S 5 door (combined fuel consumption: 6.5 – 6.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 141 g/km) and the MINI John Cooper Works (combined fuel consumption : 7.1 – 6.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 162 – 157 g/km). Like the famous starting number and the powerful engine, the body finish in Chili Red and the white roof of the edition model are inspired by the historical model.
Hopkirk’s victorious run in the Mini Cooper S was frenetically celebrated by spectators on site and motor racing fans in the UK. Driving the small British car with his English co-pilot Henry Liddon, Hopkirk overcame the odds against competitors with significantly greater engine power. The handicap formula in force at the time meant that differences in weight and output within the starting field were compensated to a certain extent. But the crucial factors in the challenging chase over country roads and mountain passes, through ice snow, round tight corners and down steep slopes were the agility and reliability of the Mini Cooper S and Hopkirk’s driving skills.
The surprise win in Monte Carlo made Paddy Hopkirk the UK’s most famous rally driver overnight. At the same time, the classic Mini advanced from outsider and crowd pleaser to being a motor racing legend. This status was underpinned in the years that followed when the Mini Cooper S dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. Hopkirk’s Finnish team mates Timo Mäkinen and Rauno Aaltonen added two more outright victories to the title collection in 1965 and 1967. The winning streak at the Monte Carlo Rally continues to inspire MINI fans all over the world to this day. With the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition, they now have the opportunity to express their passion for racing in a particularly authentic way.
The edition model combines its exterior paintwork in the style of the historic rally winner in a market-specific manner with 17-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in Track Spoke Black design or 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy forged wheels in Cross Spoke Jet Black matt design and numerous other accentuations in dark colours. The frame and horizontal brace of the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black, as are the inserts for the lower air intakes, the opening in the bonnet, the door handles, the fuel filler flap, the tailgate handle, the MINI logos at the front and rear as well as the surrounds for the headlights and rear lights.
The start number 37 also appears on the side indicator elements known as side scuttles. Other unmistakable features on the exterior are the LED headlights and the rear lights in Union Jack design, stickers with the inscription “Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo” and a single white bonnet stripe on the driver’s side, which like the tailgate of the edition model bears the signature of the 1964 “Monte” winner. In addition, the famous number and letter combination 33 EJB of the number plate of the 1964 Monte Carlo winning car is shown on the bonnet strip using 3D effect graphics.
Hopkirk’s signature also appears on the decorative trim strip on the passenger side, which forms part of the Piano Black high-gloss interior surfaces. Another exclusive design feature is the MINI LED entry sills bearing the name “Paddy Hopkirk”. The MINI Excitement Package and Comfort Access are also included in the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition. A market-specific configuration also includes auxiliary headlights in Piano Black, a key cap with the start number 37 and the Waistline Finisher in Piano Black for the trim strips between the body and the greenhouse. In addition, the edition model can be tailored to the driver‘s personal style so as to create an entirely unique specimen. To optimise driving pleasure, comfort and individual style, almost all items are available from the range of optional extras for the MINI 3-door and MINI 5-door.
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