Tags Posts tagged with "carbon fiber"

carbon fiber


Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Rumormill, Luxury

81172013 bmw 6 series gran coupe 001 Next BMW 6 Series, M6 to take aim at Porsche

Since BMW reintroduced the 6 Series line back in 2003, the big two-door has happily sat as the brand’s de facto grand tourer. That will allegedly change come 2017, as Car is reporting that Munich will put its coupe on a diet with the so-called G15 generation, allowing the 6 to go after the likes of Porsche.

All three of the current 6’s body styles will be carried over for 2017, with the base 640i Coupe trimming over 500 pounds of body fat, to around 3,450 pounds. Even the droptop is getting some lipo, dropping from 4,255 to around 3,750 pounds. It’s unclear how much the Gran Coupe will be lightened, as it will be the only member of the 6 Series family that’s growing in size. BMW will stretch the wheelbase of its fullsize, four-door coupe, which should make it decidedly more sedan like.

The weight savings come thanks to a new modular architecture that promises a “more advanced material mix.” That means carbon fiber, high-strength steel and aluminum elements, and even some titanium and magnesium bits.

Along with xDrive all-wheel drive, Car is promising new six- and eight-cylinder engines, with the 640i’s 3.0-liter, turbocharged gas engine producing 347 horsepower while the diesel mill turns out 333. The 4.4-liter V8 of the 650i will deliver 476 ponies, while the range-topping M6’s twin-turbo V8 will reach the magical 600-hp figure.

Of course, we can expect to hear more about the next 6 in the coming months and years. In the meantime, though, let us know what you think of Car‘s positing below, in Comments.

Next BMW 6 Series, M6 to take aim at Porsche originally appeared on BMW Top News on Tue, 02 Dec 2014 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Luxury

41efbmw i8s More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year

The BMW i8 recently won the BMW Top News Technology of the Year award, and it’s going to get even better. In October, Automobile magazine reported that BMW’s i brand is working on an i8S that would be stiffer and more powerful, and celebrate the marque’s centenary in 2016. At the time, one of two power unit combinations was suggested, either one of them good for more than 500 horsepower.

Car magazine has added more info on the coupe said to be called Project M100, saying that in addition to being a birthday gift for BMW, it will also be a going-away statement to current chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is expected to retire in 2016 or 2017. It will also be so thoroughly reworked that there will be plenty of daylight between it and the standard i8: a more integrated carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a wider range of materials used in the build, a larger luggage bay due to the omission of rear seats, a more aggressive suspension supporting heartier brakes and wider tires, and – perhaps – a different aero and ground-effects package to be visually different and make the most of the alterations.

As for that power unit, Car says that the two options mentioned by Automobile are still under consideration, being either a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder with 320 horsepower and a 204-hp electric motor, or a 3.0-liter straight six with 480 hp and a 109 hp. Either choice gets an integrated starter motor good for another 27 hp, and a total torque number of roughly 520 pound-feet, 100 additional lb-ft than the current car. Word is that it will be shown for the centenary in 2016 then go on sale by the end of 2017.

More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Europe, BMW, Tesla, Electric, Technology

369d0cf9ebd7770547848afc12e0bf9b2cbd.jpeg Tesla in talks with BMW about batteries, charging collaborations

With Toyota and Daimler no longer holding Tesla shares, the electric vehicle company might be looking for a new partner – possibly a Bavarian one. In a new interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he has had talks with BMW execs about future collaboration.

We are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations,” Musk said in the interview, according to Reuters. However, a Tesla spokesperson has tempered things by saying no formal agreements are in place at the moment.

In the same interview, Musk reportedly praised BMW’s use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in its i sub-brand offerings, and said he would like to have a battery factory in Germany in the next five or six years.

The possibility of technological cooperation between Tesla and BMW has been a hot topic this year. In June, Musk reportedly met with BMW execs, and the two companies were also rumored to have met with Nissan to discuss charging technology. When Daimler sold off its shares, there was talk of it opening the way for possible collaboration between the two automakers, as well.

Tesla in talks with BMW about batteries, charging collaborations originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Electric, Luxury, Design/Style, Technology

ac432015 bmw i8 fd 2015 BMW i8: BMW Top News Technology of the Year finalist

Traditionally, nominations for the BMW Top News Technology of the Year award are earned for specific developments – a new-think powertrain, a uniquely developed material, a groundbreaking smartphone app, or what have you. In the case of BMW’s marvelous i8, it so bristles with novel applied sciences and fresh features that we broke with tradition and nominated the entire car.

We just couldn’t help ourselves. Oh, we could’ve focused on the i8’s carbon-fiber monocoque, or its well-resolved plug-in-hybrid powertrain that incorporates a tiny 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, or its seamless through-the-road all-wheel drive. This is a car that will even have frickin’ laser beams for headlights – at least it will for our friends in Europe (and it will in the US, should our legislators ever catch up).

It may sound odd to suggest that a six-figure sports car is a good value, but there’s an argument to be made. The i8 isn’t just a bit of street theater that stops traffic better than any Lamborghini or Ferrari. It also has performance that’s comparable to far more conventional automobiles like Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4 (a car that isn’t that much less expensive when similarly equipped), yet it offers whisper-quiet, gas-free electric commuting, too.

The BMW Top News team tested the i8 exhaustively this fall, from dynamics testing on Northern Michigan’s undulating Tunnel of Trees route to assessing ride quality and fuel economy during long interstate slogs, to poring over all of its menu-driven features and various drive modes. It’s the real deal, and it looks, sounds, and drives like the future.

In the end, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to nominate a single aspect of BMW’s exotic yet surprisingly livable sports coupe – it had to be the whole package. Can you blame us?

2015 BMW i8: BMW Top News Technology of the Year finalist originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: BMW, Toyota, Tesla

e6b35c0881029de64c9281dbe3adc4cf5fe7.jpeg Toyota sells off Tesla shares, too

The incredible rise of Tesla’s stock price has done little to now stop two major shareholders from ditching their stake in the American EV manufacturer. First, Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, ditched its four-percent stake, and less than a week later, Toyota is doing the same thing, selling off an undisclosed bit of its Tesla investment.

The move comes as Toyota winds down sales of the RAV4 EV, which gets its batteries and electric motor from Tesla at the company’s Fremont, CA factory.

“We have a good relationship with Tesla, and will evaluate the feasibility of working together on future projects,” Toyota spokesperson Kayo Doi told Bloomberg via email.

According to Bloomberg, Toyota maintained a 2.4-percent stake as recently as March 31, making it the tenth-largest of Tesla’s investors. As the Japanese shed an undisclosed percentage of its shares, though, another automaker might be eyeing the California company.

Value Walk has a speculative story that claims BMW could be looking at tying up with Tesla, based on a reported meeting between execs from the two companies. The fact that the Munich-based company’s carbon-fiber expertise fits nicely with the Palo Alto company’s EV knowhow is apparently the driving force behind this speculation. But as usual, take this with a grain of salt.

Toyota sells off Tesla shares, too originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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Filed under: Hybrid, Safety, Technology, Hatchback, BMW, Electric

5fe101 2014 bmw i3 fd 1 BMW looking to fix i3 acceleration problem uncovered by Consumer Reports

The BMW i3 has been hailed in some quarters as the future of electric mobility, what with its innovative carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body and commitment to sustainable materials wherever possible. The modernist little hatch is even available with a 650cc two-cylinder gas engine with 34 horsepower to act as a range-extender for those who want it. However, that optional engine might have a drawback – at least for the moment.

Consumer Reports brought the problem to light when one of its drivers was behind the wheel of an i3 using the range-extender. When the driver attempted to pass another vehicle on a rolling, two-lane road, the BMW suddenly had no power to accelerate – a scary situation. CR started examining the car and found something pretty shocking: After driving at a constant speed for a while without any regenerative braking in range-extended mode, acceleration to 60 miles per hour plummeted from about 9 seconds normally to a staggering 27 to 40 seconds in their testing.

A BMW spokesperson told CR that it knows about the problem and has a fix coming next spring that also works on current models. The upgrade includes a state of charge indicator, a warning about loss of power and uses the car’s navigation to boost the battery before driving on rolling terrain. It is not clear if the severe power deficiency will also eventually result in a recall.

The issue is bad news for the i3 that is already proving quite popular, with a reported six-month waiting list to get one. However, the range-extended model already had a small hiccup in the US when BMW had to hold them at port until the EPA certified the fuel economy for the variant. It was eventually rated at 117 mpge with an estimated total range of 150 miles – 72 miles on electric power and another 78 miles with the range-extender running.

BMW looking to fix i3 acceleration problem uncovered by Consumer Reports originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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