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The BMW V12 is most likely dead after this generation

BMW hasn’t had much use for V12 engines over the past few years. With modern turbocharging and even electrification, it’s been easy to make the same, if not superior, power figures from a much smaller displacement turbocharged V8. Still, there’s something about a V12 that’s just so endearing, which is why it’s stuck around for these years. However, even its silky-smooth charm won’t be able to keep it around forever, which is why the BMW V12 is likely dead after this generation.
During a recent interview with Autoblog (which we spoke about yesterday), BMW M CEO Markus Flasch was asked if the BMW V12 had any life in it.
“Beyond what we have, I don’t believe we will see a new twelve-cylinder model in the foreseeable future.” said Flasch.

That might be sad news to a lot of BMW enthusiasts. After all, BMW does have some incredible V12s in its history, including the simply awesome BMW 850 CSi, which had a V12 engine and a six-speed manual gearbox. However, any realistic car enthusiast understands that any engine bigger than eight-cylinders is doomed. Emissions restrictions and the need to save the planet are going to take big, gas-sucking engines away.
Another reason for the lack of BMW V12 is Rolls Royce. After this generation of Rolls Royce Ghost, the famed British luxury brand will no longer be using BMW engines. Rolls created its own twin-turbocharged V12 for the new Phantom and Cullinan and no longer uses a BMW V12. So once Rolls no longer needs the big engine, there’s really no need for BMW to develop one. The only car in BMW’s lineup that uses a V12 is the M760i and that sells in far too few of numbers to warrant continue twelve-cylinder development.

We’ll all miss the BMW V12, as the brand has long had a history of making creamy-smooth twelve-pot engines. However, its demise will only be a sign of changing times and change is exciting. The addition of electrification, either to enhance internal combustion or to act on its own, has made the V12 obsolete. The main benefit of the V12 was its smooth, effortless power delivery. Nothing is smoother or more effortless than electric power. So as the BMW V12 dies off, we’ll be gaining electrified Bimmers with smoother, more instantaneous torque. So as a legend dies, a new era is ushered in and it should be a better one.
[Source: Autoblog]

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Nico DeMattia – 2019-06-16 17:17:28
BMW BLOG

BMW M8 means no supercar according M Boss

For decades, BMW enthusiasts have been begging for a proper supercar something to take on the exotics from Italy and Britain. Despite their calls, though, BMW hasn’t answered. The Bavarians keep insisting that such a supercar won’t exist and they’ve done it again. According to BMW M Boss Markus Flasch, a BMW supercar is no longer necessary due to the release of the new BMW M8.
Flasch told some Australian journalists that the M8 “is the ultimate performance machine that we offer; it will be the fastest ever BMW at the Nürburgring Nordschleife,” Not only that but he hinted that it can take down a very specific, very fast supercar, as he claims BMW test drivers call the M8 “a Porsche Turbo killer.”

The BMW M8 sounds like an awesome car but claimed it to be a 911 Turbo-killer is a bold claim. Few cars are faster than the 911 Turbo at any price. However, Flasch does seem confident about the BMW M8 and what it can do.
“The center of gravity is 24mm lower than in the M5, you sit lower and we’ve done a lot to the connection of the chassis to the body. It makes the front much stiffer and the steering feels different; all our test drivers were surprised by the different character,” he said.

That does sound promising, as the M5 is already a monster so to be able to sit in something similar but that’s lower, sharper and more connected to the driver sounds like a ton of fun. Will it be good enough to replace a proper supercar, something mid-engine and exotic? Will it be able to take down established performance juggernauts like that 911 Turbo? Or will it just feel like faster BMW M850i, making it a speedy grand touring car? We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.
[Source: Car Scoops]

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Nico DeMattia – 2019-06-13 12:32:23
BMW BLOG

Take Car Throttle’s BMW knowledge quiz

BMW has some of the most commonly memorized chassis and engine numbers among car enthusiasts. Ask almost any true car enthusiast what an E46 M3 is and they’ll likely know. BMW numbers are far more commonly known than say, Toyota numbers. So, as true-blue BMW enthusiasts, you should be more knowledgeable than most, right? Well, you can find out with Car Throttle’s new BMW numbers quiz.
In this quiz, you’ll be tested on your knowledge of BMW chassis and engine codes and will have to pair body styles with each. It’s actually a bit harder than I originally assumed it would be. I thought I would breeze right on through it. Without the use of the interwebs to cheat, though, I was only able to manage a paltry 5/10. In my defense, there was one that I clicked the wrong answer. Although, my intended answer was also wrong… Though, I had a very “duh” reaction to almost all of my wrong answers. The only one that I really was stumped on was the last one. I won’t spoil it though.

I thought I had done horribly until I read the comments section of the page, where many enthusiasts got much lower scores than I. Still, you’d imagine someone who loves BMWs should know more of the top of his head. Though, it’s hard to memorize absolutely every single chassis, engine, horsepower, torque and spec of every BMW, all of which are floating around in the mess inside my brain somewhere.
While it’s only ten questions long, it’s still surprisingly fun. If you’re a genuine BMW enthusiast, it should be a fun minute or so of distraction while you’re at the office, pretending to work. Once you’re done, make sure to comment on Car Throttle with your score and then shoot on back here and post your score again.
[Source: Car Throttle]

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Nico DeMattia – 2018-06-13 18:25:57
BMW BLOG

BMW racing to patch 14 security vulnerabilities

According to Chinese researchers, a number of BMW vehicles might have up to 14 vulnerabilities in the on-board computers which have prompted BMW to begin issuing security patches over-the-air and through dealer networks. These flaws affect the infotainment unit, telematics controls, and the wireless communications systems on BMW’s i Series, X1 sDrive, 5 Series, and 7 Series models dating as far back as 2012. Four of the discovered vulnerabilities require hackers to have physical USB access to the car, while six of the vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely. The last four vulnerabilities require physical access to the car’s computer.

“Our research findings have proved that it is feasible to gain local and remote access to infotainment, T-Box components, and UDS communication above certain speed [for] selected BMW vehicle modules and been able to gain control of the CAN buses with the execution of arbitrary, unauthorized diagnostic requests of BMW in-car systems remotely,” the researchers at at Tencent’s Keen Security Lab wrote in a preliminary report, noting that a full report would be available sometime in 2019 to allow BMW time to patch the flaws.
The report says that if a hacker gains physical access to the car, the interfaces present inside those BMWs could be exposed. Hackers can also use a USB stick to inject malicious code into BMW’s ConnectedDrive by gaining root control of the hu-intel system.
In a statement to ZDNet, the BMW Group noted that the research was conducted in conjunction with BMW’s cybersecurity team, highlighting that “third parties increasingly play a crucial role in improving automotive security as they conduct their own in-depth tests of products and services.”
[Source: DigitalTrends]

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Horatiu Boeriu – 2018-05-25 17:38:44
BMW BLOG

BMW CEO Confirms G05 X5 Will Be Unveiled This Year

This week BMW hosted its 98th Annual General Meeting in Munich, bringing together employees, officials and shareholders. It was a good moment to take both a look back and one towards the future and the CEO of the BMW Group, Mr. Harald Kruger took a moment to talk about the plans for the following months. From torturing us with yet another teaser for the BMW iNEXT to talking about upcoming SUVs, a number of topics were covered, including the new G05 X5.
We’ve been saying it for months now but when it came to the launch date, no official came forward with a confirmation as to when it was going to happen exactly. The prototypes we’ve seen on the road confirmed that the car is in its final stages of testing so we’re really close but now we also have official confirmation from the top man in Munich. Speaking to the crowd at the event, Kruger said “2018 will be our X year, with: the new X3, the cool X2, the athletic X4, from the summer on, and, as I can reveal exclusively today: later this year, a successor to the X5.”

We can go even further and say that we will see the new X5 next month, but sales won’t begin until later this fall.
This will mark and unusually short production span for the current generation model, with the F15 X5 going out of production later this year. The new one, on the other hand, should be quite a big step forward, bringing the X5 in line with the competition for a change.
The exterior has been redone as well as the interior. All that sounds enticing but the more interesting changes will happen under the sheet metal as the G05 uses the CLAR architecture which lowers the car’s overall weight. At the same time, new engines will be introduced, with the entry-level xDrive40i model using the B58 3-liter straight six mill. For European customers diesel mills will be plentiful, while hybrid choices haven’t been left out either. The xDrive40e model promises a longer electric range while the power output should remain close to the 313 HP of the current version.

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Gabriel Nica – 2018-05-17 18:01:58
BMW BLOG

Rolls Royce Cullinan teased again ahead reveal

The first-ever SUV to come from Rolls Royce, the Cullinan, is set to debut tomorrow, May 10. So, naturally, the media hype train is at full steam ahead, with Rolls pushing more and more small teaser photos and video snippets as we get closer to launch. This latest new photo released just one day ahead of its reveal shows off a bit of the center console.
Nestled between both seats lies the Cullinan’s version of BMW’s iDrive controller. What’s nice is that Rolls Royce gives BMW’s typical rotary wheel its own unique flavor, being big and metal with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy in the center. Surrounding it are the typical suite of redundant buttons but they’re displayed in a unique fashion, so they don’t look as if they’ve been pulled directly from a Bimmer.

More interesting, though, are the buttons that surround the rotary dial, more specifically the two buttons on the right of it. Sitting next to the passenger seat are two buttons we never thought we’d see in a Rolls Royce product. The first is a hill decent control button, which to be honest isn’t actually that unusual. There are plenty of cars that have such a button that aren’t rugged SUVs. The really crazy thing to see is the button below that, labeled “OFF ROAD”.
We never, and I seriously mean never, thought we’d see a Rolls Royce with an off road button. I think if you were to show Sir Henry Royce the Cullinan and its “OFF ROAD” button, he’d have a heart attack and spill his brandy all over his lion-skin rug. How uncouth, for a Rolls Royce product to go off road. Rollers are supposed to be about elegance, opulence and typically English, reserved luxury. A Rolls with something as vulgar as an off road button would, and probably does, infuriate the more classic Rolls Royce faithful. Yet, here we are. It’s a strange world.

 
Personally, I actually like that it has an off road button. To me, there’s actually always been a bit of quiet vulgarity to a Rolls. They’re massive and imposing when they don’t necessarily need to be. They sport engines so unbelievably large and powerful when they don’t necessarily need to. There’s something about a Rolls Royce that, calmly, says “I’m bigger, better and more powerful than you. But I do it while wearing a perfectly tailored tuxedo and sipping the finest champagne”. So the fact that the Cullinan has an off road buttons says, to me at least, “I can do anything you can do, Range Rover, but better and in more style”. And I like that.

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Nico DeMattia – 2018-05-09 13:07:06
BMW BLOG

BMW M Founder Jochen Neerpasch Honored in Blue Hero Art Project

If you happen to be a fan of BMW and what it stands for today, you’re probably a fan of Jochen Neerpasch without even knowing it. Among cult followers of the Bavarian brand you’ll find people who are absolutely fascinated with this legendary figure towering over the M stripes as we know them today and rightfully so as there wouldn’t have been any in the first place, without his inspiration and hard work. That’s probably why when BMW called and told me that the man himself would be in town for a special event in his honor I started giggling like a little girl, a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time.
It had all started about 2 years ago when one dedicated artist set out to paint 101 of the most iconic images in BMW’s 100 years of existence. Mr. Adrian Mitu managed to create an entire art installation in the process which used among other things a lot of coffee, something to give it a twist, if you will. His initial “Blue Coffee” experiment was so well received that it is now hosted by the BMW CCA museum in Spartanburg, where it truly belongs. But that was the starting point for what was to follow this year.
In the meantime, coincidence made it that a very dedicated PR executive wanted to meet the founder of the BMW M brand and therefore traveled to Germany to get an interview from the living legend. In doing so, some interesting and creative ideas popped up in the right places. Fast forward a couple of months and Adrian Mitu was ready to show what he put together in honor of Jochen Neerpasch, in his presence.

The invitation to the event read that we were to meet our “Blue Hero”, a name derived from the colors of the M badge and the special place this man held in the hearts of so many BMW fans, but I had no idea of the beautiful art I was about to see or about the man I was going to spend a couple of minutes talking to. We knew Mr. Neerpasch was coming but none of us truly understood just how that would make us feel until we got to the event and actually saw him standing there.
At 79 years old, Mr. Neerpasch looks like he’s seen it all. His genius still shines in his bright blue eyes and the way he speaks, in a soft tone and extremely calm manner, shows a confidence that only true marketing geniuses posses and are born with, I might add. He’s taller than one would expect and has the vigor of someone 20 years younger, at the very least, as he impresses everyone with his sharp wits and interesting remarks, even humor in certain awkward situations, like when his mic would cut off from time to time. And yet, the audience, myself included, seems to be mesmerized by the fact that he is truly there.

Speaking in metaphors and complimenting the artist for the work he did in his honor, we somehow forgot that we were there to see the installation as well, and not just he man it honors. And then I take a closer look at what was sitting right in front of me, a true work of art by any measurable scale.
Standing tall at 1.8 meters by 4.5 meters in size, it covers the impressive CV Mr. Neerpasch put together during his lifetime. The work follows two stories that spread between the 1940s and 1990s – the evolution of the BMW brand in parallel to the automotive career of Jochen Neerpasch. They highlight important milestones for both the company and Neerpasch and his personal career, such as racecar driving, the implementation of BMW Motorsport as a standalone company in 1972, establishing the first major junior team in BMW’s racing history, facilitating unique competitions such as the BMW M1 Procar Championship as well as recognizing the potential of the interaction of art and motorsport by helping Hervé Poulain kick off the first BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder in 1975 which amounted into a collection that still continues today.

Every diagonal line accounts for a decade of automotive history, from the times when Mr. Neerpasch was a little 12-year old boy working at Borgward and driving a Isabella for hundreds of kilometers, to the one story that started it all, when he simply stopped at the Porsche building, went inside and asked for a job in the motorsport department. The audacity of the young man sitting in front of them must’ve convinced someone at Porsche to give him a chance, but in the tractor department at first. It was enough to get his foot in the door and this was the spark that ignited the bonfire that came afterwards.
After working on engines at Porsche and even racing a couple of cars in various races, including the Le Mans 24-hour, he joined Ford where he created the Cortina, a car that was a tough nut to crack in Touring racing for years on end. In doing so, he was actually working with another motoring legend, a certain Carol Shelby. Seeing just how good he was, he was approached by BMW to join them and make the Bavarian brand a well-known competitor in motorsport. Little did anyone know just how important this move would turn out to be.

After failing to defeat the Ford Cortina in the first coupe of runs, the BMW 3.0 CSL was created, taking things back to basics and basically stripping the car of any unnecessary weight it might be carrying. The iconic Sebring race of 1975 then took place with BMW claiming its first win on the North American continent and therefore setting a foothold in the US market. Seeing as people though BMW stood for British Motor Works, Jochen knew that wouldn’t stand and the marketing efforts began, to start promoting both BMW and the Motorsport efforts.
The M stripes as we know them were actually created under his supervision and we got to learn how they came to be. Apparently it all started with the 3.0CSL model. The car was supposed to be sponsored by Texaco which back then had the color red in its logo. Chip in the traditional blue colors of the Bavarian flag and you get what we all know today as the M stripes. It’s as simple as that. Furthermore, after they were created, the teams used to wear jackets with the stripes and the BMW badge on them and they looked so cool people simply wanted to buy them. Who was Jochen to stand in the way of their happiness? Thus the BMW M brand was created as a standalone division and they were the first ones to sell clothes and accessories to car enthusiasts.

All the money these sales would collect would then be reinvested in the M division. Probably one of the most important projects that Mr. Neerpasch oversaw was the creation of the BMW M1, the original M car. The development of the car was done in collaboration with Lamborghini as we all know but due to financial issues, BMW had to pull out at the last moment, going over to Sant’Agata Bolognese to pick up the prototypes they have put together in order to avoid losses. As Mr. Neerpasch recalls, BMW even had the chance to buy out Lamborghini but at that time this sort of move was considered too risky because you simply didn’t know what you would’ve bought. Let that sink in for a moment.
The M1 was developed from the get go as a racing car. The collaboration with Lamborghini was deemed necessary because they had enough resources to make up to 1,000 units of the car in road-legal guise just to get it homologated for racing purposes. This would’ve saved BMW the effort of putting together an assembly line just for 1,000 cars. In the end only about 400 M1 road-legal cars were made and BMW simply decided to make its own racing series for the iconic car just so that it would see it race. And what races those were.

You’d have Formula 1 pilots going up against Touring car pilots on tracks like the Nurburgring. This was carnage and an absolute show, as everyone wanted to show that their type of racing was better than the other. You’d have Nikki Lauda going up against Hans Joachim Stuck and the likes, and fireworks were bound to show up in the Procar Series, an atypical type of racing which we’d never see again.
As the timeline on the Blue Hero installation continues, one can’t help but honor Jochen Neerpasch for his influence on how drivers train today, as he was the one to set up the BMW Motorsport Junior program and the one who realized that in order to perform at your best, you had to be in the best shape possible. Fitness training was introduced in the pilots’ daily lives and this vision is now a rule at all motorsport teams around the world, be it Formula 1 or the DTM.

He was also the one that brought us the BMW Art Car program which saw artists like Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder sign off on racing cars wearing their designs and actually doing some racing on the track. It was a delight to see them both come to life and race on the world’s most well known tracks back in the day. As he talks about the project he also confesses that the Roy Lichtenstein art car was his favorite, which is why it as immortalized in the painting by Adrian Mitu. Looking at it you can also see how careful the artist was in making a true connection between each decade of Neerpasch’s life. If you pay attention you’ll notice that the Brabham F1 car blends into the Art Car designed by Roy Lichtenstein and this type of connection between one decade to another can be seen throughout the painting.

His career wasn’t tied exclusively to BMW though. He was also the one who tried to get Mercedes-Benz in Formula 1 at first and he played an important role in Michael Schumacher’s upbringing, basically Neerpasch being the one who brought him out to the big league. The rest is history.

And while all of this makes him look like some extraterrestrial who simply fooled us into thinking he was human just so that he could play a prank on us, speaking to the man Jochen Neerpasch seems so normal you’d think you’re simply talking to an ordinary man not someone who shaped the automotive world we know today in so many ways. When asked about his career and the times that went by he speaks of his experiences with such grace and confidence that you really start to believe that the road he walked and drove on was simply the only way ahead.
I had the audacity of asking him about present day though and about the future and his answers show that the passion for cars and racing simply doesn’t go away, no matter your age. He confesses that his garage isn’t nearly as impressive as one would think at first and that his daily driver is a BMW X3 xDrive35d, for practical reasons. I can understand the practical side of things when it comes to a BMW X3 but the engine choice shows that he still likes to feel vast amounts of torque from time to time when pushing the pedal to the metal, leading me to ask what he thinks about modern day BMWs.

And then it hits me as he starts talking, the answer being so obvious it makes me blush: “Of course, if you ask me, the only true BMW cars are BMW M cars. And I don’t mean the big, heavy SUVs they are making today but the small ones.” I then try to find out which one is his favorite and his passion comes into play once again: “I really like the M4. I think it’s the best car they make today and I hope to drive one on the Nordschleife one day”. The purist in me almost instinctively says ‘I guess it would have to be a manual’ to which a surprising reply comes ‘I don’t think so. I like to enjoy the latest technology available and the DCT gearbox is very good as far as I’m concerned’.

The atmosphere in the room as we were saying goodbye to this incarnation of marketing genius was damn near depressing. Nobody wanted Mr. Neerpasch to leave but he had a plane to catch and we had stories to write. The artwork behind us would remind every single one of the people in that room of the wonderful hour spent in the presence of greatness and it truly is worthy of having Mr. Neerpasch’s portrait on it. The amount of details hidden throughout it and the way it tells the story of one of the most important figures in BMW’s history make it worthy of being showcased around the world which is what the team behind the project is hard at work today, trying to figure out a way to share this installation with as many people as possible.

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Gabriel Nica – 2018-04-07 17:41:49
BMW BLOG