Tags Posts tagged with "2011"



Filed under: Performance, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, BMW

d02avanmeel BMW names new head of M divisionBMW’s performance division has been run by Dr. Friedrich Nitschke since 2011, developing, among other products, the new M3 and M4. But soon the good doctor will be retiring, and BMW has just named his successor.

Taking Nitschke’s place as chairman of BMW M GmbH will be Franciscus van Meel (pictured at right), who until recently served as managing director of Audi Quattro GmbH – the rival outfit that makes Ingolstadt’s performance models, including the R8 supercar and RS line of performance models.

Van Meel will join BMW on October 1, presumably to learn the ropes from Nitschke before the 59-year-old executive steps down at the end of the year. Back in January, Audi named Heinz Peter Hollwerweger as head of Quattro GmbH and reassigned van Meel to its Beijing R&D center, a role which evidently didn’t suit him as well as creating Autobahn-storming German muscle cars.


Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, BMW, Luxury

3ee8001 bmw m2 spy shots628opt BMW M2, were happy to see you

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the BMW M235i and, well, I didn’t love it. Sure, it’s a great car, but I just didn’t truly bond with it the way I have with previous M cars. What I had hoped for was a proper successor to the 1 Series M Coupe I fell in love with in 2011, but what I got instead was just a sporty 2 Series that didn’t exactly stir my emotions in the same way.

But now there’s this: the honest-to-goodness BMW M2. Previously, spy photographers captured a development-mule M2, but this is the real thing, in its full prototype body. Notice the aggressive front fascia that mimics the M3/M4, the more more robust wheel/tire package, and the M-standard quad exhaust outlets around back. This thing sure does look the business.

Details are slim as of this writing, but rumors suggest power will come from BMW’s now-ubiquitous N55 turbocharged 3.0-liter six, with output somewhere in the 360- to 380-horspower range. The seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission seems like a good fit here, too. As does a six-speed manual transmission (here’s hoping).

BMW M2, we’re happy to see you originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: BMW, Design/Style

ecda1222aff104e4da11af9f0014c2589dfb.jpeg Bangle urges auto design shakeup, says industry not innovating

Controversial designer Chris Bangle, the man behind the notorious E65 BMW 7-SeriesBangle Butt,” has some rather sharp criticism for the current crop of automotive designers in an upcoming full-length interview with Automotive News Europe. The preview, posted on Automotive News, details parts of the interview, with the always vocal Bangle lamenting the state of modern automotive design.

“Even concept cars today simply anticipate the next production model coming down the line. Is this innovation? No. And at the end of the day this is what’s preventing car design from moving into a new era.” Controversial as Bangle’s design philosophy may be, we can’t help but think he has a point. His so-called “flame surfacing” at BMW and other stylistic elements had a huge influence on modern automotive design, although as the years have passed, there hasn’t been much innovation on the same scale.

Interestingly, Bangle also mentions that he’s been courted by a few manufacturers that wanted to install the American as the head of their design teams. He’s flatly rejected them, telling ANE, “It’s not something you can do part time, you have to do it with all your heart and soul or you’re going to get it wrong.”

The full interview with Chris Bangle will go live at on Automotive News Europe’s website on Monday, September 2.

Bangle urges auto design shakeup, says industry not innovating originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, First Drives, Electric, Luxury

M Meets Edison

ffbd11 2014 bmw i8 p fd 2015 BMW i8 Prototype

The real telling moment for the new BMW i division will be seeing how the recently tested 2014 i3 sells in its various markets, since that is the car that changes how we perceive our expectations of the brand. But this 2015 BMW i8 green supercar has all the earmarks of a slam-dunk project, we just needed to drive it and make sure for ourselves.

BMW has a spectacular test facility in southern France, called Miramas, and that’s where we just had our first brief go behind the wheel of the i8. There were three cars for us there and they were dressed up in exactly the same paisley camo that we’ve all seen in the spy photos published everywhere for the past year. The interiors, though swathed in masking to hide all the details, varied in their color.

As opposed to our realization that driving the stink out of the i3 was not the right attitude, with the i8 we were mostly encouraged to do exactly that by the entire BMW project team. Our essential takeaway from this event is that even BMW feels much more at ease splashing the i8 around with the media, because they’re certain we’re going to enjoy it. Even if the technology underneath is all new, this is the type of product BMW knows how to do in its blood and bones.

Continue reading 2015 BMW i8 Prototype

2015 BMW i8 Prototype originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Acura, BMW, Mercedes-Benz

80d701 2012 mercedes benz c class NHTSA gives okay for three automakers to skirt tire related recalls

BMW, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz are all going to avoid small recalls, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued petitions for “findings of inconsequential noncompliance” to the three manufacturers, according to Tire Business. Basically, the petitions allow the brands to avoid recalls for some very, very minor issues.

BMW had tire placards on 364 X6 M CUVs that stated the car could only handle four passengers, when in reality it had room for three in the back. Actual plausibility of fitting three real humans in the slope-roofed Bimmer aside, the Munich-based manufacturer argued it was inconsequential, as the placards were correct regardless of the number of passengers.

Honda’s case focused on 212 2011 and 2012 Acura TSX sedans equipped with 18-inch wheels. The TPMS systems on these cars were set for 17-inch wheels, rather than the larger hoops, but even with the lower settings, the tires maintain adequate load capacity.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz was the luckiest to get off, as it faced recalling 1,479 C-Class sedans built from March 2011 to August of the same year. While this affected the most cars, it’s far and away the least consequential for the German brand – the tire placards identify the spare tire size incorrectly. As the inflation levels were correct, there was no point in issuing a recall.

NHTSA gives okay for three automakers to skirt tire-related recalls originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, LA Auto Show, Performance, BMW, Misc. Auto Shows

9e6f005 bmw m4 spy shots BMW M4 Concept headed for Pebble Beach?

If a report from AutoExpress is to be believed, BMW will have a surprise in store for August’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The sleuths on the other side of The Pond are expecting to see a production-ready concept of the M3 Coupe-replacing BMW M4. The near-production showcar move is something we’ve seen from BMW, particularly when it comes to M products, over the years.

From the report, AE is expecting production versions of both the M4 and M3 sedan to be shown at the North American International Auto Show in January. We’ve covered the M4 rather obsessively, reporting on the company’s efforts to reduce the new car’s curb weight just last week.

AutoExpress dives deeper, though, speaking to BMW Group’s Senior VP Brand and Product Strategies, Klaus Froehlich. According to Froehlich, the M3/4 only shares about 20 percent of its parts with the 335i/435i. The engine is expected to be a bespoke unit, and will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There should be plenty of carbon fiber to cut weight, as well. The report gets even more explosive, though, as the British outfit has revealed that the M3 and M4 will be joined by a 4 Series Convertible and the new BMW 2 Series in Detroit.

Now, this all seems fantastic, and we’re inclined to believe that an M4 Concept could arrive at Pebble. But debuting four (four!) models, especially two M cars, at one auto show just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. What seems more likely, though, is for the two M cars to arrive in Detroit, having been preceded by the 4 Series Convertible at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Why? Well, LA isn’t covered in snow for half the year, making it a much bigger convertible market than Detroit. As for the 2 Series, that’s a toss up. We could see it being shown at any of the big American shows, or it could be held until Geneva. We’ll be sure to update when we know more.

BMW M4 Concept headed for Pebble Beach? originally appeared on BMW Top News on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Hatchback, BMW, First Drives, Electric

A Purer Than Ever Sort Of Driving Pleasure

29122014 bmw i3 fd 2014 BMW i3

This all started back in 2007 when the megacity urbanization trend hit full stride and BMW began brainstorming the 2020 future of mobility. The product was thus originally called the BMW MegaCity vehicle. Then the ‘i’ division of BMW was officially born in 2011, and we have since been exposed to various “leaked” images and official prototype unveilings of both this i3 and the i8 eco sports car. The latter (called i12 in the halls of Munich) was originally called the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics and presented as a diesel-hybrid.

The time is now upon us for the market launch of the plug-in i3 (called i01 internally). The wider motoring public already has its opinions and BMW is listening to all of them, so there’s a bundle of nerves around these limited drives of the i3 for a select few members of the media, BMW Top News included. We came to an airfield outside of Munich and were handed an i3 test car to drive around a set course filled with blue- and white-striped cones. BMW tech experts were everywhere and some of the discussions around the various technical displays even got a little heated.

After our vast amounts of coverage during the gestation period of this new i3, we are well aware of the vocal – or at least written – sentiment of doubt among many computer users and BMW faithful. Not that this undertow of nay doesn’t have its place in BMW’s execution of the deliberately gradual i3 information rollout, but Munich and Leipzig (where the production center for i is located) are almost exclusively focused on customers who are new to BMW. These customers lack preconceived notions of BMW as a performance brand, and also crave the latest and greenest expression of their environmental concerns, preferably in an insanely networked and connected premium package. BMW i representatives have announced publicly that interest in the i3 is huge among newbies. Could the i3 become the Toyota Prius Plug-in for the no-Toyota-thank-you crowd?

Continue reading 2014 BMW i3

2014 BMW i3 originally appeared on BMW Top News on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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