Tags Posts tagged with "2012"

2012

471

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, BMW

e057bmw i3 reveal nyc 01 Researchers halfway to cutting carbon fiber costs by 90%

Carbon fiber has been utilized for decades to build racecars, as a means to cut weight while maintaining strength. But until recently, the space-age material has been largely absent from the street on anything but supercars because of the expense to use it. Recently, BMW signaled a major shift in that trend when it starting using carbon fiber reinforced plastic panels on the i3 and i8. This relatively small scale start might be just the beginning; the German company believes that a breakthrough to inexpensively manufacture the lightweight stuff is just on the horizon.

MAI Carbon Cluster Management GmbH counts BMW, Audi, Airbus, the German government and many other organizations as supporters, and it’s researching how to make carbon fiber cheaper to produce, according to Automotive News Europe. The company thinks it can reduce costs by 90 percent in the near future. “We’ve certainly reached a halfway point on our cost-cutting target for suitable carbon-fiber parts,” said project head Klaus Drechsler to Automotive News Europe.

Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely clear just what MAI Carbon is doing to make such a huge leap possible. However, a recent post on the company’s website talks about a new form a carbon fiber using a thermoplastic matrix that could be cured in less than three minutes. That’s compared to about 90 minutes in the traditional process with an autoclave.

The news of cheaper carbon fiber is especially welcome to companies like BMW that are already pushing its use forward. The automaker is already investing $100 million to triple capacity at its Moses Lake, WA, joint venture factory through 2015, and promises to bring the lightweight material to more models in the future.

Researchers halfway to cutting carbon fiber costs by 90% originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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356

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology, BMW

bfb86bb42ffcbde3428489b88dab1f5a9163.jpeg Can the government mechanically force you to wear your seatbelt? w/poll

The National Highway Traffic Administration is considering the use of ignition interlocks in vehicles that would require the seatbelts of occupied seats to be fastened in order to drive the car, Automotive News reports, four decades after Congress moved to prevent manufacturers from installing them in cars sold in the US market. Following a transportation bill passed last year that lift some of the restrictions on seatbelt interlocks, automakers such as BMW are considering the benefits of using them in future cars. Now, before you go crying about your lost freedom, keep reading.

BMW said in an October 2012 petition that the use of seatbelt interlocks would allow the company to make lighter and more spacious vehicles, if the devices could be used in lieu of unbelted crash tests. The crash test has required the addition of bulky safety features, such as knee bolsters, that aren’t as necessary when occupants are buckled up, especially when considering the dizzyng list of safety features that come standard on today’s cars. Europe, which has a higher rate of seatbelt use than in the US, doesn’t perform unbelted crash tests on cars sold there.

But NHTSA didn’t give in to petitions from automakers to allow the use of interlocks. Yet. It does say that it “agrees with the theoretical premise that a seatbelt interlock system could have the potential to increase seatbelt use rates,” which is “consistent with our past research.” The agency also says it will study the safety potential of seatbelt interlocks through 2015, hoping to answer one of the main issues at hand: how restrictive should seatbelt interlock systems be?

Sam Campbell, head of US safety engineering at BMW, says he hopes NHTSA’s study will lead to changes in US safety regualtions by 2017 or 2018, Automotive News reports. If the interlock systems pass muster, perhaps we’ll see more automakers “add lightness” to their vehicles a bit more easily than before, while maintaining high safety standards.

View Poll

Can the government mechanically force you to wear your seatbelt? w/poll originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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485

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, BMW, Luxury

1e56bmw x4 spy shots BMW X4 tunes up its crossover game in Germany

Except for the fancy wheels and the overly expressive fascias, the production version of the BMW X4 looks like it will carry over practically untouched from what we saw in the X4 Concept several months back. With the same fastback roofline as the concept, these spy shots show that the X4 is taking shape to be a baby version of the BMW X6.

Sharing the same platform as the X3, the lower and wider X4 will be positioned slightly more upmarket – as is the case with the X5 and X6. We hear that this could mean that the X4 will ditch the X3’s base engine to give an even sportier feel right out of the gate, but word has it that an M version will being showing up down the road as well.

BMW has already revealed what it plans to show off at the Frankfurt Motor Show (i3, 4 Series Coupe, next-gen X5, refreshed 5 Series, X5 Concept eDrive plug-in hybrid and Concept Active Tourer Outdoor), so barring any surprised we definitely won’t be seeing the X4 there. At this point, with as close to production as these images would have us believe, our best guess would be that we’ll see the X4’s official unveiling happen either at LA or Detroit.

BMW X4 tunes up its crossover game in Germany originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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418

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Performance, BMW, Misc. Auto Shows, Design/Style

2c98l BMW M4 Concept beckons the new golden child of M cars

Ushering in the next-generation of two-door M performance cars for BMW, the new M4 Concept was officially unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last night after an unceremonious embargo leak yesterday afternoon. The reality of the fact that we will never again have a new M3 Coupe is a little easier to deal with after browsing the M4 Concept’s sleek and sporty lines.

As was the case with the Concept 4 Series Coupe, we expect the this M4 to transition from concept car to production coupe with very few changes. Among the features we’s bet against making it into production include the front splitter and the exhaust tips – both made from carbon fiber. Other notable details are the aero-shaped mirrors, the subtle M stripes on the carbon fiber roof and the 20-inch wheels exposing big six-piston from brakes. If it were up to us, we’d say bring this car to production as is – except for the paint color.

There is still no word on the M4’s powertrain or if it will even offer a manual geabox, but we would imagine that we’ll be seeing this car in production form, complete with all of those details at the LA Auto Show.

Continue reading BMW M4 Concept beckons the new golden child of M cars

BMW M4 Concept beckons the new golden child of M cars originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 16 Aug 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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466

Filed under: Government/Legal, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari, South America

95131e8d3f4ebce0da11af9f0014c2589dfb.jpeg BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists

Bloomberg Markets is reporting that BMW, Volkswagen and Ferrari have been using tungsten ore sourced from Columbia’s FARC rebel terrorists. The extensive story focuses on Columbia’s illegal mining trade and calls into question the provenance of the rare ore that is used not only in crankshaft parts production, but is also found in the world’s computing and telecommunications industry for use in screens.

The ore is mined by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army), and exported to Pennsylvania, where it is refined. The refined ore is then sent over to Austria, where a company called Plansee turns it into a finished product. Now, it’s important to note that we aren’t talking about the world’s supply of tungsten here. In 2012, Plansee’s American refinery purchased 93.2 metric tons of tungsten, valued at $1.8 million. That’s peanuts, with the entire Colombian tungsten mining industry producing just one percent of the world’s supplies.

That doesn’t make indirectly supporting FARC any more acceptable, though. BMW, VW and Ferrari are all committed to not accepting mineral supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also in the grips of a guerrilla insurrection funded, in part, by illegal mining. The same commitment would figure to extend to Colombian mining, but as BMW points out, it’s difficult for a multi-national manufacturer to know where every item in its supply chain comes from. A company spokesperson says as much, telling Bloomberg, “These few grams out of the billions of tons of raw materials passing through the BMW supply chain are of no practical relevance.”

This response is perhaps somewhat blasé, but BMW, Ferrari and Volkswagen aren’t directly negotiating with the FARC rebels, and we’d be stunned if the three manufacturers were even aware of where the tungsten was coming from. By the time it arrives in their respective factories, it’s traveled from Colombia, to Pennsylvania to Austria, making for a rather difficult web of countries and networks to track. Even so, with Bloomberg drawing a spotlight on the activities, we’re assuming a few phone calls are going to be made.

BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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428

Filed under: Government/Legal, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari, South America

95131e8d3f4ebce0da11af9f0014c2589dfb.jpeg Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists

Bloomberg Markets is reporting that BMW, Volkswagen and Ferrari have been using tungsten ore sourced from Colombia’s FARC rebel terrorists. The extensive story focuses on Colombia’s illegal mining trade and calls into question the provenance of the rare ore that is used not only in crankshaft parts production, but is also found in the world’s computing and telecommunications industry for use in screens.

The ore is mined by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army), and exported to Pennsylvania, where it is refined. The refined ore is then sent over to Austria, where a company called Plansee turns it into a finished product. Now, it’s important to note that we aren’t talking about the world’s supply of tungsten here. In 2012, Plansee’s American refinery purchased 93.2 metric tons of tungsten, valued at $1.8 million. That’s peanuts, with the entire Colombian tungsten mining industry producing just one percent of the world’s supplies.

That doesn’t make indirectly supporting FARC any more acceptable, though. BMW, VW and Ferrari are all committed to not accepting mineral supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also in the grips of a guerrilla insurrection funded, in part, by illegal mining. The same commitment would figure to extend to Colombian mining, but as BMW points out, it’s difficult for a multi-national manufacturer to know where every item in its supply chain comes from. A company spokesperson says as much, telling Bloomberg, “These few grams out of the billions of tons of raw materials passing through the BMW supply chain are of no practical relevance.”

This response is perhaps somewhat blasé, but BMW, Ferrari and Volkswagen aren’t directly negotiating with the FARC rebels, and we’d be stunned if the three manufacturers were even aware of where the tungsten was coming from. By the time it arrives in their respective factories, it’s traveled from Colombia, to Pennsylvania to Austria, making for a rather difficult web of countries and networks to track. Even so, with Bloomberg drawing a spotlight on the activities, we’re assuming a few phone calls are going to be made.

Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:31:00 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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