Saturday, December 20, 2008

Video: 2009 BMW Performance and Accessories unveiled

A couple of days ago we brought you a new teaser for the upcoming BMW Performance Parts for the new 2009 BMW 3-Series and 1-Series. The BMW Performance Parts and Accessories are now officially online with 32 upgrades and the full video that may make BMW owners want to go spending their cash right away.

Upgrades include aerodynamics enhancements, braking system upgrades, chassis improvements, interior upgrades and a couple of performance upgrades.

Click here to check out the BMW Performance site.

 

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LA 2008 Live: 2009 BMW 750 Li gets 400-hp and iDrive powered owner’s manual

The 2009 BMW 7-Series made its U.S. debut today at the 2008 LA Auto Show. The U.S. will get two variants of the new 7-Series including the 750i and the 750 Li. The outgoing 360-hp 4.8L V8 will be replaced by the 4.4L twin-turbo V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.

That makes an outstanding 400-hp with a maximum torque of 450 lb-ft for the very-large sedan. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, BMW says that fuel-economy was also improved but wouldn't give us any specific numbers. What they did tell us was that the 2009 BMW 7-Series will be the first car to get its own "Integrated Owner's Manual." What does that mean?

That means your 2009 750i or 750 Li won't come with a physical book. Instead BMW will deliver the owner's manual electronically through the iDrive. What happens when iDrive fails to operate? Well, you figure it out.

Follow the jump for more high-res photos from the show.

2009 BMW 750 Li - Live from 2008 LA Auto Show:

   

 

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LA 2008 Live: 2009 MINI E shows that there is still hope in the future

While GM has their Volt, Toyota has the Prius and Honda has their Insight and FCX Clarity, BMW readies 500 Mini E electric cars for private use. We're here at the LA Auto Show bringing you live coverage of its world premiere.

Now for the details: the Mini E can do 156 miles on a full-charge of its lithium ion batteries, which is more than twice what GM's EV1 was capable of. With a 0-60 time of under 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 95 mph, the Mini E should do just about anything a normal driver would require. With an even weight distribution, BMW says that the 3,230lb Mini E will retain the agility and handling of the current Mini. It won't retain the back seats though, that area is reserved for the batteries.

The Mini E can fully recharge its battery in 2.5 hours using a special 'wallbox' that comes with the car. Want one? Well you better be in New York, New Jersey or California with a lockable garage. BMW offers the Mini E with 1-year leases with prices starting at $850 per month.

2009 MINI E - Live from 2008 LA Auto Show:

    

Press Release:

The BMW Group will be the world's first manufacturer of premium automobiles to deploy a fleet of some 500 all-electric vehicles for private use in daily traffic. The MINI E will be powered by a 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor fed by a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery, transferring its power to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox nearly without a sound and entirely free of emissions. Specially engineered for automobile use, the battery technology will have a range of more than 250 kilometers, or 156 miles. The MINI E will initially be made available to select private and corporate customers as part of a pilot project in the US states of California, New York and New Jersey. The company is looking into expanding the MINI E pilot to include Europe. The MINI E will celebrate its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19 and 20.

The MINI E's electric drive train produces a peak torque of 220 Newton meters, delivering seamless acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 152 km/h (95 mph). Featuring a suspension system tuned to match its weight distribution, the MINI E sports the brand's hallmark agility and outstanding handling.

By introducing the MINI E, the BMW Group is underscoring the resolve with which it works towards reducing energy consumption and emissions in road traffic. The BMW Group is drawing on its unique technological expertise in the field of drive systems to develop a vehicle concept enabling zero emissions without renouncing the joy of driving. Putting some 500 cars on the road under real daily traffic conditions will make it possible to gain widely applicable hands-on experience. Evaluating these findings will generate valuable know-how, which will be factored into the engineering of mass-produced vehicles. The BMW Group aims to start series production of all-electric vehicles over the medium term as part of its Number ONE strategy. The development of innovative concepts for mobility in big-city conurbations within the scope of "project i" has a similar thrust, as its objective also includes making use of an all-electric power train.

The energy storage unit: cutting-edge lithium-ion technology engineered specifically for use in the MINI.

Based on the current MINI, the car will initially be available as a two-seater. The space taken up by back-seat passengers in the series model has been reserved for the lithium-ion battery. When in use in the zero-emissions MINI, the battery unit combines high output with ample storage capacity and a small footprint with power ratios that are unrivalled in this field of application so far. The lithium-ion storage unit will have a maximum capacity of 35 kilowatt hours (kWh) and transmit energy to the electric motor as direct current at a nominal 380 volts. The rechargeable battery is made up of 5,088 cells grouped into 48 modules. These modules are packaged into three battery elements that are compactly arranged inside the MINI E.
The energy storage unit's basic components are based on the technological principle that has proven itself in practice in power supplies for mobile phones and portable computers. The MINI E's lithium-ion battery can be plugged into all standard power outlets. Its charge time is strongly dependent on the voltage and amperage of the electricity flowing through the grid. In the USA, users can recharge a battery that has been completely drained within a very short period of time using a wallbox that will ship with every MINI E. The wallbox will be installed in the customer's garage, enable higher amperage, and thus provide for extremely short charging times. Wallboxes fully recharge batteries after a mere two-and-a-half hours.

Driven by electricity: reliably, affordably and free of emissions.

A full recharge draws a maximum of 28 kilowatt hours of electricity from the grid. Based on the car's range, a kilowatt hour translates into 5.4 miles. Besides the benefit of zero-emissions driving, the MINI E thus offers significant economic advantages over a vehicle powered by a conventional internal combustion engine as well.

The heavy-duty battery delivers its power to an electric motor, which transforms it into thrilling agility. Mounted transversely under the MINI E's bonnet, the drive train unleashes its full thrust from a dead standstill. This provides for the car's fascinating launch capability. The MINI E's intense driving experience is augmented by its dynamic deceleration potential, which is also directly coupled to the accelerator pedal. As soon as the driver releases the gas pedal, the electric motor acts as a generator. This results in braking force, and the power recovered from the kinetic energy is fed back to the battery. This interaction ensures extremely comfortable drives - especially at medium speed with constant, but marginal, variation. In city traffic, some 75 percent of all deceleration can be done without the brakes. Making substantial use of this energy recuperation feature extends the car's range by up to 20 percent.

Signature MINI agility in a new guise.

Weighing in at 1,465 kilograms (3,230 lbs), the MINI E has an even weight distribution. Minor modifications made to the suspension ensure safe handling at all times. The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system has been adapted to this model's specific wheel loads.
The MINI E's brake system comes with a newly developed electric underpressure pump. Its Electrical Power Assisted Steering (EPS) is the same as the one used in mass-produced MINIs. Both brake and steering assistance react to driving conditions and are thus extremely efficient. Even the air conditioning's electrical compressor only operates if desired or necessary.

Design: unmistakably MINI, undoubtedly new.

At first glance, the MINI E is obviously an iteration of the brand. But its design, which is the blueprint for the zero-emissions two-seater, has been complemented by a number of visual cues that point to its revolutionary drive concept. All of the units produced for the pilot project will have the same paintwork and bear a serial number next to their side turn signal lights.
The MINI E's coachwork sports an exclusive combination of metallic Dark Silver on all panels but the roof, which is clad in Pure Silver. What distinguishes the zero-emissions MINI is a specially designed logo in Interchange Yellow, depicting a stylized power plug in the shape of an "E" set against the silver backdrop. It has been applied to the roof, in smaller dimensions to the front and back, to the charger port lid, the dashboard trim, and - combined with the MINI logo - to the door jamb, in slightly modified form. The color of the roof edges, mirror housings, interior style cues and seat seams will match the logo's yellow tone as well.

Moreover, the central gauge and the battery level indicator behind the wheel of the MINI E, which replaces the MINI's rev counter, feature yellow lettering against a dark grey background. The battery level is displayed in percentage figures. The central gauge includes an LED display indicating power consumption in red and power recuperation in green.
MINI E customers will be part of a pioneering mission.

A 500-unit, limited-production MINI E series will be manufactured through the end of 2008. The project will thus attain an order of magnitude that clearly exceeds the size of currently comparable test series. Putting the MINI E on the road on a daily basis will be a pioneering feat to which both the drivers and engineers of the first zero-emissions MINI will contribute as a team.

MINI E customers will join forces with BMW Group experts to assist in the project's scientific evaluation. MINI E engineers accord high importance to staying in touch with the drivers on a regular basis, as this will help them analyze driver behavior besides vehicle characteristics in order to gain the most accurate and realistic picture of the demands placed on a vehicle with a purely electrical drive in the select usage areas.

Special charging station and full service for every MINI E.

The cars will change hands based on a one-year lease with an extension option. Monthly lease installments will cover any required technical service including all necessary maintenance and the replacement of wearing parts. At the end of the lease, all of the automobiles belonging to the project will be returned to the BMW Group's engineering fleet where they will be subjected to comparative tests.

The MINI E's lithium-ion battery can be charged using a wallbox provided to MINI customers. Only lockable garages or similar buildings will qualify as homebases and power stations for the MINI E.

Maintenance by qualified specialists.

The electric drive's high-voltage technology requires that maintenance work be done by qualified personnel using special tools that are not included in MINI service partners' standard toolboxes. In light of this, a service base will be set up on both coasts, staffed by service engineers that are specially trained to perform maintenance and repair work on the MINI E's electrical components. In the event of drive malfunction, these experts will provide professional support at the customer's local MINI dealer or the service base's specially equipped workshop. Technical inspections will take place after 3,000 miles (just under 5,000 kilometers) and at least after six months.

Production in Oxford and Munich.

The MINI E has already gone through the major phases of product development for mass-produced vehicles and passed numerous crash tests on the way. Aspects investigated besides passenger protection were the impact of collision forces on the lithium-ion battery and finding a non-hazardous location for it in the car. The MINI E's energy storage unit emerged completely unscathed from all of the crash tests mandated by US standards, which are especially high.

Production of the approximately 500 cars will take place at the company's Oxford and Munich sites and is scheduled for completion before the end of 2008. MINI's UK plant will be responsible for manufacturing the entire vehicle with the exception of the drive components and the lithium-ion battery, with the brand's series models rolling off its assembly lines concurrently. The units will then be transferred to a specially equipped manufacturing complex situated on BMW plant premises where the electric motor, battery units, performance electronics and transmission will be integrated.

 

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HAMANN wheels for the 2009 BMW 7-Series

Following the launch of its 21-inch EDITION RACE wheels for the Maserati GranTurismo, HAMANN is also offering wheels for the new 2009 BMW 7-Series.

HAMANN hasn't gotten around to offering any aerodynamic or performance packages for the new 7-Series but we expect HAMANN engineers to offer a more powerful version of the 730d diesel.

The 2009 BMW 7-Series will make its stateside debut at the 2008 LA Auto Show later this week and will go on sale in spring 2009. Two variants will be offered at launch including the 360-hp 750i and the 400-hp 750Li. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

Click through for more pictures.

HAMANN EDITION RACE Wheels for the 2009 BMW 7-Series:

   

 

 

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2009 BMW 335d BluePerformance pricing revealed

Along with the 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance, BMW will also be offering the new 2009 BMW 335d BluePerformance this month in all 50 states.

Power comes from the same turbocharged 3.0 liter inline-six diesel engine that makes 265-hp and a peak torque of 425 lb-ft. The 2009 335d can go from 0 to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds with an estimated fuel-economy of 23/33 mpg (city/highway) and a range of at least 550 miles on a full tank. We recently had the chance to drive the 335d at a Consumer Reports event and were very pleased with the performance.

Pricing for the 2009 BMW 335d BluePerformance starts at $44,725 with $900 in federal tax credit. That's a $4,625 difference when comparing it to the $40,100 2009 BMW 335i.

Follow the jump for the high-resolution image gallery.

2009 BMW 335d BluePerformance:

   

 

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2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance pricing revealed

BMW of North America has just wrapped up the media launch of its new 2009 BMW Advanced Diesel with two BluePerformance vehicles in a live web press conference. First on the list is the 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance. The diesel X5 will be available for sale later this month in all 50 states.

Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0 liter inline-six diesel engine that produces 265-hp with a maximum torque of 425 lb-ft. That allows the BMW X5 xDrive35d to go from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.2 seconds with an estimated average fuel economy of 19/25 mpg (city/highway).

Pricing for the 2009 BMW xDrive35d BluePerformance starts at $52,025 but keep in mind your eligible for a $1,550 rebate for purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Follow the jump for the high-resolution image gallery.

2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d BluePerformance:

   

 

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Video: BMW Performance teaser, something new coming this month

BMW has released a new teaser video along with a short message reading:

Can't wait to see more? Join us again in November when we will show you what genuine driving pleasure is all about. Because with BMW Performance true passion is a matter of course. See you then.

From the teaser we're guessing that we'll get to see new performance parts for the 2009 BMW 3-Series since performance products and accessories are already available for the current 3-Series and the 1-Series. Whatever it is, it seems really exciting.

Follow the jump to see the video.

 

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Video: BMW Product Navigator lets you configure your car using your fingertips

We were pretty amazed when we saw Robert Downey Jr. and his 3D computer in Iron Man has he redesigned his superhero costume (the scene where he's dumping out all the unnecessary components of his suit into a 3D garbage bin).

BMW, the first automaker to use the technology, has teamed up with Microsoft to allow you a similar service called the BMW Product Navigator. Potential BMW owners will now be able to configure their new car using Microsoft Surface. Buyers will be able to chose accessories, wheels, and other information and see their vehicle in action before placing an order.

Check out the video after the jump.

 

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Brabham Racing BT 92 unveiled at Essen, Sir Jack Brabham pretty upset

•  Carbon bodywork, adjustable suspension, huge brakes.

•  19-inch wheels wrapped in Dunlop tires.

•  It's hot… and it's illegal.

The new Brabham BT 92 based on the new BMW M3 Coupe has relaunched Brabham Racing - the only problem is that this is not the real "Brabham Racing."

While the BT 92 may be every bit of hotness that one tuner can offer the BMW M3 Coupe, this isn't the Brabham Racing company. Apparently Sir Jack Brabham has come out vocally strong showing his anger for the use of his family name on a range of accessories from whoever it is at 2008 Essen Motor Show displaying the car. The 82-year old said that he will be taking legal action over the use of his name. He said he recently found out that someone had registered the names Brabham and Brabham Racing in Germany.

"The Brabham family is a big family," Sir Jack told Global Coast. "There are some Brabhams still racing and we want to protect our name. I am extremely upset about this."

Follow the jump for the high-res image gallery.

Brabham BT 92 - Based on BMW M3 Coupe:

   

 

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2009 BMW Z4 Officially Revealed

•  2009 BMW Z4 features lightweight two-piece retractable hardtop.

•  sDrive30i produces 255-hp; sDrive35i produces 300-hp.

•  Mated to 6-speed manual or an 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.

•  sDrive35i does 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds; top speed limited to 130 mph.

Here it is - after all the spy shots and leaks, the 2009 BMW Z4 has been unveiled prior to its 2009 North American International Auto Show debut next month in Detroit. The new 2009 BMW Z4 is more powerful, better looking and combines the roadster and a coupe variants into one model with a two-piece retractable hardtop that folds down in 20 seconds.

With the 2009 BMW Z4, the German automaker is also unveiling its new badging system. Following the whole xDrive theme, the new Z4 will come in a sDrive30i variant and a sDrive35i variant. Both will be available with a 6-speed manual or a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The Z4 sDrive30i is also available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive30i is powered by a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine that makes 255-hp and a maximum torque of 220 lb-ft. 0 to 60 mph comes in at 5.6 seconds when mated to a manual transmission and 6.0 seconds when mated to the optional sport automatic. The 2009 Z4 sDrive35i is powered by the popular 3.0L twin-turbo making a total of 300-hp. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds with a manual and 5.0 seconds with the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. Both models can go up to an electronically limited 130 mph and 150 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package. The Sport Package features Adaptive M Suspension with Electronic Damping Control.

The M version of the new Z4 will make its debut next year. For now the 2009 BMW Z4 will be produced at the company's Regensburg plant alongside the 3-Series and the BMW 1-Series. Sales will begin in the fall of 2009.

Click through for the high-res image gallery and the press release for more details.

2009 BMW Z4:

   

Press Release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 13, 6:00PM EST 2008… Poised to lead its market segment once again, the 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster will make its North American debuts at the 2009 North American International Auto Show on January 11.

Return of a Classic

The classic roadster is back – more powerful and more stylish than ever before. It is the BMW Z4, the only car in its segment combining classic roadster proportions with a seating position moved close to the rear axle, rear-wheel drive, with a retractable hardtop.

The new BMW Z4 offers all the driving pleasure of a BMW Roadster with particularly refined and stylish flair. Driving with the roof down, this two-seater offers a refreshingly intense experience of the sunshine and the wind rushing by – and driving with the hardtop closed it provides all the comfort of a sporting coupe in the premium segment. So through this diversity and wide range of qualities, the new BMW Z4 is the re-birth of the roadster.

The design of the new Z4 comes out through classic details interpreted in new, up-to-date style. This outstanding two-seater offers a unique combination of elegance, agility, and supreme comfort. The aluminum shells of the two-piece lightweight hardtop come to rest in the roof compartment, saving maximum space in the process. Even with the roof closed, the new Z4 retains the proportions typical of a genuine roadster.

To ensure driving pleasure, the new BMW Z4 is offered with two inline-6 engine displacing 3.0 liters: 300 hp in the BMW Z4 sDrive35i and 255 hp in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i ensure truly outstanding acceleration and response at all times.

Comprehensive use of BMW's EfficientDynamics technologies serves to provide an unparalleled balance of driving pleasure and fuel efficiency. While both models are available with a manual six-speed gearbox, the Z4 sDrive35i is available also with a dual-clutch sport automatic transmission featuring seven gears. The six-speed sport automatic is available on the Z4 sDrive30i. Both sport automatic transmissions feature steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Featuring Dynamic Drive Control as standard, the BMW Z4 enables the driver to choose between three drivetrain and suspension settings at the touch of a button.

Design: the modern look of a classic roadster.

The new BMW Z4 takes on the classic look of the roadster in modern, flowing lines. The car's proportions are borne out by the long and low-slung engine compartment lid, short overhangs, the long wheelbase and large wheels as well as the low seating position near the rear axle.

The front view features a large, upright BMW kidney grille, wide air intake and the dual round headlights, typical of the BMW brand. All surfaces and lines, including the character lines on the hood, strive towards an imaginary target point on the road ahead.

The side view is dominated by the dynamic flow of the car's shoulder line connecting the front and rear wheel arches and accentuating the stretched, athletic look of the Roadster. The horizontal orientation of the car's lines and surfaces at the rear, in turn, emphasizes the sheer width of the new BMW Z4. Further characteristics are the extra-large hood extending far over the wheel arches, the black A-pillars, the gills at the side with their integrated LED direction indicators, as well as the slender rear fixtures with three-dimensional LED-fed rows of light.

Stylish, sophisticated, and typical of a genuine roadster: the interior.

For harmonious unison of the exterior and interior so important in an open-air car, the shoulder line is reflected by the door panels with their unique configuration and flow from front to rear.

The contoured surface to the left and right of the steering wheel incorporates the controls for the lights and air conditioning. These elements are available trimmed in Satin Silver matte, Brushed Aluminum, and Ash Grain Wood, the respective color and trim variant also being used on the center console and door handle.

The standard seats with integrated headrests on the BMW Z4 sDrive35i feature high-quality Kansas leather in a choice of three colors. A fourth choice, Ivory White Nappa leather, is also available as part of the Exclusive Ivory White Leather Package, which includes sport seats and Anthracite wood trim.

An Extended Leather option (Z4 sDrive35i only) adds leather on the upper section of the instrument panel, the doorsills, the sun visors in Black leather as well as the leather-finish door closing handles in upholstery color on the passenger's side.

The entire range of paintwork colors available on the new BMW Z4 is made up of no less than nine color tones including Orion Silver metallic exclusive to the new Roadster.

Cycling in 20 seconds: the retractable hardtop.

The new BMW Z4 is the first BMW roadster to protect its occupants from wind and weather with a fully retractable hardtop. This two-piece lightweight aluminum shell opens and closes at the touch of a button within 20 seconds. The compact packaging of the folding roof enables the Z4 Roadster to retain the characteristic, slender proportions of its predecessor.

This innovative roof system offers outstanding acoustic and aerodynamic qualities and sets a new standard in the Z4's segment. Large windows and the high-quality roof lining give the hardtop a light look. Driver and passenger enjoy a bright ambience, generous space, and optimum visibility. Compared with the former model, the side windows are 40% larger, the see-through area in the rear window 52% larger, and all-round visibility increased14% over the previous generation.

The glass rear window in the hardtop is equipped with an electric defroster and the four side windows of the new BMW Z4 may be lowered individually. The higher roofline and larger door openings allow easier and more convenient access with the roof closed.

The retractable roof may be operated either by a switch in the center console or by remote control key fob when equipped with optional Comfort Access. Comfort Access also allows convenient loading and unloading of the luggage compartment with the roof open. To provide access to the luggage compartment in this case, the open hardtop is moved to an interim position facilitating the removal of large objects.

Flexible storage with optional through-loading.

The roof compartment and the luggage compartment are separated from one another by a moveable partition, which may be folded up to increase luggage space if the roof will remain closed.

The moveable partition in the new BMW Z4 is unique in the premium roadster segment, and offers enough luggage space with the hardtop open for a medium-sized hard-shell suitcase.

Using the optional through-loading system to the passenger compartment, the Z4 is able to accommodate a 46-inch full-size golf bag. When the roof is closed the luggage compartment easily accommodates up to four crates of large bottles or – when using the through-loading system – two 46-inch golf bags.

Various other storage compartments are designed into the interior. The new Z4 offers storage trays in the center console, a 10-liter glove box, hinged compartments in the doors, and additional space behind the seats.

Included with the Cold Weather Package is a storage package that provides an even wider range of storage and loading functions, with fastening nets on the rear panels of the seats and in the passenger's footwell, lashing belts in the luggage compartment, as well as a storage box in the bulkhead leading to the luggage compartment.

Optional through-loading system together with a transport bag ensures even greater versatility, allowing the user to load slender items such as golf bags or two pairs of skis measuring up to 67 in length.

A successful concept with a great tradition: inline-6 engines in the BMW Roadster.

Elegant roadster lines, the BMW kidney grille, and a inline-6 engine form a combination that, in 1934, made the BMW 315/1 an unprecedented success both on the road and in motorsport. That combination has been retained to this day in the BMW Z4.

The new Z4 is therefore being launched exclusively with inline-6 engines, a choice of two engines providing both power and performance. These unique engines exhibit refinement and fast-revving response typical of a BMW six-cylinder, offering an unparalleled balance of performance and fuel efficiency in the premium roadster segment thanks to the BMW EfficientDynamics engineering strategy. The individual versions of the new BMW Z4 come with on-demand management and control of the car's accessory drives, a variable oil pump, intelligent lightweight technology, and optimized aerodynamics.

BMW Z4 sDrive35i: performance with efficiency thanks to Twin Turbo and High Precision Injection.

The most dynamic version of the new Z4 comes with the world's first inline-6 engine to feature twin turbochargers, High Precision Injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase.

The use of two turbochargers (each supplying three cylinders) ensures responsiveness never seen before on a turbocharged engine. The engine achieves peak torque of 300 lb-ft without the slightest delay, and maintains this high level of torque throughout a broad rev range from 1,400–5,000 rpm.

Maximum output of 300 hp comes at 5,800 rpm, and the BMW Z4 sDrive35i accelerates to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds (optional seven-speed double clutch sport automatic transmission in 5.0 seconds). The acceleration continues all the way to an electronically-limited 130 mph (150 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package).

High Precision Injection is a key element in the Z4's efficient performance. Injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber offers a cooling effect allowing a higher compression ratio and optimized combustion efficiency. This second generation of direct gasoline injection developed by BMW ensures significant benefits in fuel efficiency without restricting the dynamic qualities of the engine.

The 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine: powerful and light thanks to magnesium.

Offering spontaneous power and performance, excellent motoring refinement and outstanding efficiency, the 6-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i again offers the very best in its segment. Weighing just 355 lb thanks to its composite magnesium/aluminum crankcase, cylinder head cover made of a special synthetic material and lightweight camshafts with aluminum VANOS control unit, is exceptionally light.

While BMW's VALVETRONIC engine management controls valve stroke on the intake valves, double-VANOS varies the angle of the intake and outlet valves in an infinite process. This allows particularly efficient use of fuel, providing a "beefy" torque curve and giving the engine instant response.

The engine in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i develops maximum output of 255 hp from 3.0 liters capacity at an engine speed of 6,600 rpm. Maximum torque of 220 lb-ft, in turn, comes at just 2,600 rpm.

With this kind of power, the BMW Z4 sDrive30i accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds (with optional sport automatic in 6.0 seconds). Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph (150 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package).

6-speed transmission with short gearshift travel featured as standard.

All variants of the new BMW Z4 come as standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Developed specifically for BMW's new Roadster, the various transmission options are particularly sporting in their character. Indeed, this is borne out in particular by extremely short gearshift travel much shorter than on all other current BMW models with a manual gearshift.

Optional: 7-speed sport automatic with double clutch and 6-speed sport automatic with paddle shifters.

As an option, the BMW Z4 sDrive35i is available with BMW's newly developed double-clutch sport automatic gearbox. Based on the M DCT transmission introduced in the BMW M3, this 7-speed gearbox ensures faster acceleration and extra performance in comparison with the 6-speed manual gearbox, while providing the comfort features of a BMW automatic transmission. The 7-speed double-clutch sport automatic shifts gears without the slightest interruption of power.

The BMW Z4 sDrive35i with its seven-speed sport automatic accelerates to 60mph in just 5.0 seconds, while fuel consumption is expected to outperform the fuel economy on the same model with a manual gearbox.

Sport automatic gives the driver the choice of either automatic (Program D) or manual gear selection. If desired, the driver may shift gears manually by means of paddles on the steering wheel.

The 6-speed sport automatic transmission available on the BMW Z4 sDrive30i promotes not only driving comfort, but also the sporty performance of a BMW Roadster. Indeed, the characteristics of the car are attributable to the direct connection linking the transmission to the engine, based on modern torque converter technology with an integrated torsion damper, avoiding unnecessary slip and therefore helping to eliminate any loss of power and performance. Even the slightest movement of the gas pedal, therefore, is converted spontaneously into a quick response with gearshift times reduced to a minimum.

The sport automatic transmission offers the driver the opportunity to shift gears manually when desired. Apart from selecting gears via the selector lever on the center console, the driver also has the option to use the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.

Sophisticated suspension technology, high-performance lightweight brakes.

Rear-wheel drive, near perfect weight distribution, the long wheelbase and the low center of gravity on the roadster create ideal conditions for supreme agility.

Featuring traditional spring-struts, a "double-jointed" front suspension made largely of aluminum, and a constant-geometry rear axle, the new Z4 comes with proven suspension concepts in a configuration perfectly tailored to the characteristics of the car.

Electric power steering plays a role also in the BMW Z4, enhancing the precision and comfort of steering maneuvers and reducing fuel consumption, since the electric motor for steering power assistance is activated only when required or desired by the driver.

The new Z4 comes with new high-performance brakes, featuring low weight and low brake pad wear. At the same time the BMW Z4 is the first car in its segment to feature an electrical parking brake activated and released by a button on the center console.

Both versions of the new BMW Z4 come as standard on 17-inch light-alloy rims and with runflat tires as well as a Tire Pressure Monitor.

BMW's standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) serves not only to activate the ABS brakes and ensure stability on slippery surfaces by activating the brakes or reducing engine power, but also comprises other functions such as Brake Drying and Brake Standby as well as a Start-Off Assistant. Acting in a similar way to a mechanical limited slip differential, DSC electronic rear brake management is used to simulate a limited slip differential for stronger acceleration in turns.

Activating Dynamic Traction Control at the touch of a button, the driver is able to raise the response thresholds for intervention by the DSC, thus enjoying the option, for example, to set off on loose snow with the drive wheels slightly spinning. And when desired, the driver is also able to deactivate DSC altogether (ABS remains active).

Adaptive M Suspension featuring Electronic Damping Control (EDC).

The agility of the BMW Roadster may be further enhanced by ordering the optional Sport Package featuring Adaptive M Suspension with Electronic Damping Control. A central control unit varies the "compression" and "rebound" stages on the four twin-sleeve gas pressure dampers to provide optimum response at all times. The response time is so fast that a signal coming from a front wheel crossing a hole in the road reaches and re-adjusts the rear dampers even before the rear wheels reach the same uneven road surface.

Comfort and sportiness in one: Dynamic Drive Control.

Dynamic Drive Control allows the driver of the new Z4 to choose the drive characteristics of the car. In addition to changing damper forces on the Adaptive M Suspension, DDC also conditions the responses of the gas pedal, the power steering, and the response thresholds of Dynamic Stability Control. And if the car is fitted with either sport automatic transmission, the adaptive gearshift logarithms are adjusted.

The driver operates Dynamic Drive Control via a button on the center console next to the gear selector. By pressing the button, s/he is able to choose from the NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, thus activating a pre-configured, perfectly balanced set-up. The SPORT mode, for example, offers more-direct steering behavior and a more-direct response to the gas pedal. The SPORT+ mode, in turn, serves additionally to activate the Dynamic Traction Control mode of DSC, intentionally allowing slight wheelspin and thus enabling the driver to take a bend in a controlled drift.

Extra space, more safety.

The new BMW Z4 is slightly larger outside than its predecessor, at the same time offering significantly more comfort in terms of space and a lot more loading space: BMW's new Roadster is 5.8" longer, 0.4" wider, and 0.3" lower. Wheelbase has grown 0.1" to measure 98.3.

Apart from all-round visibility, the interior offers greater headroom (+0.20), extra shoulder room (+0.79) and more elbow freedom (+1.69). The door opening, increased in size by 1.02, allows even more convenient access with the roof closed.

The extremely stiff bodyshell, lightweight construction and near 50/50 weight distribution enhance both the safety and agility of the new BMW Z4. High load-resistant subframes, optimum use of crush zones, the extremely stiff passenger cell and highly efficient restraint systems ensure outstanding accident safety. Frontal and head/thorax airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by the sensor-controlled electronic safety system as a function of the type and severity of a collision. The head/thorax airbags are integrated on the outside of the seat backrests and inflate over a large surface in the event of a collision from the side.

Making its premiere in the BMW Roadster: the latest generation of iDrive.

The new Z4 is the first BMW Roadster to feature the iDrive control system as part of its optional navigation system. In the new Z4 the iDrive serves to activate all entertainment, information, navigation and telecommunication functions.

The system itself is made up of a Controller on the center console and a folding, high-resolution Control Display on the instrument panel, allowing the driver to intuitively and safely mastermind all available functions.

Pressing the direct selection buttons on the newly configured Controller, the user is able to spontaneously change to the CD, radio, telephone and navigation functions. The range of direct selection buttons has now been rounded off by the three MENU, BACK and OPTION command buttons, and programmable favorite buttons in the instrument panel allow the user to save and directly select radio stations, telephone numbers and navigation destinations, and other menu items available directly through iDrive.

Measuring 8.8 inches in size, the high-resolution Control Display with its resolution of 1,280 x 480 pixels offers excellent clarity in presenting graphics or pages from the internet. A picture of the Controller shown in the Control Display gives the driver greater and clearer orientation in choosing the next step in the operating process.

Using the navigation system is even easier thanks to iDrive. Full-screen map presentation, for example, offers an incomparably detailed overview of the region in which the driver is currently traveling. As an alternative the Control Display also offers an assistance window presenting further highlights and maps independent of the main map.

With navigation data saved on an 80 GB hard disc installed in the car, access times are faster than before. And at the same time the hard disc may also be used as a 15 GB music archive.

Roadster-specific climate comfort and leather with Sun Reflective Technology.

The new BMW Z4 is equipped as standard with air conditioning and seven blower stages. Optional automatic climate control allows separate temperature selection on the driver's and passenger's side, individual, automatic temperature control in five stages of intensity, and manual adjustment of air stratification. With the roof open, automatic climate control includes convertible mode.

Like BMW's Convertibles, the leather in the new Roadster incorporates Sun Reflective Technology. A special, highly innovative type of leather on the seats, interior panels, and steering wheel that significantly reduces the heat effect of bright sunshine: Treatment of the leather in Sun Reflective Technology serves to integrate special color pigments into the material to reflect infrared radiation in the sunlight.

Top-end audio and communication systems.

The audio systems available in the new BMW Z4 set standards in the segment in every respect.

The CD player fitted as regular series equipment also serves to play music files in the MP3 format. The available premium hi-fi system comes with up to 14 loudspeakers and two additional subwoofers for an intense and precise experience in sound, with amplifier output of up to 650 watts. A standard AUX-In port is provided, allowing the integration of various external MP3 player. A 6-disc CD/DVD changer in the glove compartment is also available.

A Bluetooth interface is available in conjunction with optional BMW Assist to offer greater safety and convenience for making telephone calls while driving. To fully integrate the latest smartphones in the car, the new BMW Z4 is also available with a smart phone integration option.

 

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Videos: 2009 BMW Z4 in action, Land Shark not driven by Skeletor in video

Over the weekend, BMW revealed the 2009 Z4 prior to its world debut at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show next month. We have now posted videos of the new 2009 BMW Z4 in action along with videos of the exterior and interior details. The more we look at the new Z4 the more it makes us think that this is the real life Land Shark - Skeletor would be so happy.

The 2009 BMW Z4 hardtop roadster will be available in two variants including sDrive30i and sDrive35i. The 255-hp sDrive30i will go from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds with a manual transmission and 6.0 seconds with an automatic. The 300-hp sDrive35i goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds with a manual and 5.0 seconds with then new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters.

Any other seconds you need to know about? Oh yes - the 2009 Z4 will drop its hardtop in 20 seconds.

Click through for the videos.

 

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Video: 2008 BMW 135 vs. 2009 Nissan 370Z

The fastest production Nissan 'Z' has landed and is ready to change the sports coupe segment forever - well, according to InsideLine. Powered by a 3.7L VQ37VHR that makes 332-hp, the 2009 Nissan 370Z offers Porsche Cayman S performance for a price that's significantly below - at $29,930.

The folks at InsideLine decided to pin the new 'Z' up against the BMW 135i which offers similar technical specs at $5,000 more.

Who's the clear winner? Check out the video after the jump.

Refresher:

2009 Nissan 370Z: 3.7L VQ37VHR making 332-hp with a peak torque of 270 lb-ft. 0 to 60 comes in at 5.1 seconds.
2008 BMW 135: 3.0L twin-turbo inline-6 making 306-hp with maximum torque of 300 lb-ft. 0 to 60 mph comes in at 5.1 seconds.

Follow the jump for the video.

Source: InsideLine

 

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BMW loses Clonewars Italian court battle



Take a close look at the image. A court in Italy has just ruled that the crossover pictured above, the five-seat CEO built by Shuanghuan Automobile of Shijiazhuang, China, is not a clone of the BMW X5. Um... yeah. The legal battles began when Shuanghuan introduced their "Noble" last year, a near-clone of the Smart fortwo. Mercedes-Benz wasn't impressed, and threatened a lawsuit. Shortly thereafter, BMW started losing sleep over the Chinese CEO, an obvious facsimile of their previous-generation X5 (E53). The Bavarian automaker took Shuanghuan to court in Munich this past summer and won their case, and when Martin Motors (the distributor of Shuanghuan Automobiles in Italy and central Europe) started selling the CEO in early 2007, BMW again took legal action, this time in the Italian judicial system.

Last week, the Germans met their defeat when the Italian courts rejected their claims. To date, Martin Motors has sold about 200 copies of the CEO and expects to sell about 1200 this year in their European markets. "We are convinced the CEO wasn't a clone of the X5. We are happy to see our view supported by a court ruling," said an obviously pleased spokesperson from Martin Motors. We have to wonder how quickly the Italians would change their tune if Shuanghuan began to knock-off the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

 

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