The new generation of cars of the BMW 7 series set again new standards in the luxury class - including the suspension kit. It posed a challenge to the H&R engineers, who, as usual, lived up to the task.
Friday, December 26, 2008
BMW's are known for well balanced true driving machines but never cars to even think about rubbing elbows with supercars like the Bugatti Veyron. The BMW tuner G-Power takes a stab at the record for world's fastest 4-door. G-Power accomplishes the record at an astounding 228.4 mph on the ATP High Speed test track in Papenburg, Germany. How did they get BMW M5 up to that speed. They simply slapped on a twin superchargers onto the already tuned V10 engine.
Below (after the jump) is the press release for the detailed information on this German monster BMW M5 Hurricane RS.
Z4 painting "An Expression of Joy"
Normally the models in BMW's art car line -- sixteen and counting -- get their body panels splashed up with designs by the who's who of the art world. BMW has decided to switch up the concept for a commercial for the new Z4; instead of the car being the canvas, the Z4 paints a canvas. Guided by modern artist Robin Rhode and a team of technicians, the Z4 is rigged up with machines that spray paint from the wheels, with everything captured on film by director Jake Scott, Ridley's son. The tire prints in all kinds of hues are laid down on an enormous white canvas, and the result is called "An Expression of Joy." You can check out the press release after the jump, the high-res gallery of images below, and Wallpaper magazine has behind the scenes video. If you like what you see, you might even be able to buy a slice of it in due time.
We are less than a week away from the beginning of a new year and I wanted to give you some heads up on what to expect from BMW in 2009. In January at the Detroit Auto Show we will be seeing for the first time the all new, redesigned, reinvented 2009 BMW Z4. Then just a couple of months later, March 2009, the Geneva Show will bring us some more exciting concepts from BMW: Progressive Activity Sedan, Concept eDrive, BMW Z4 Individual and Rolls-Royce EX102 Concept.
I'm sure you're wondering what the Concept eDrive is, but don't worry, I'm here to help you out. The eDrive model will be an electric vehicle, either a 1 or 3 Series model and it will show the possibilities and BMW's commitment for their Project i.
Shanghai Auto Show will bring us the most powerful BMW 7 Series, 760Li, the high-end and highly expected 7er. The 7 Series line will be completed with the first 7er xDrive and 7 Series Hybrid.
Later in the year, the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS), production version, will be introduced at Frankfurt and around the same time, we will be seeing the Mini Crossover as well.
The BMW X1 production version will be launched in 2009 as well, along with many models in the X line: X5 M, X6 M and X6 Active Hybrid.
So, since I'm a tease today, I kept the best part for the end of this article. Remember this words: BMW Z Vision Concept.
This is a concept that will be introduced by BMW either at the Frankfurt Show or a bit later in Tokyo. Here is what sources close to BMW had to say about the Z Vision Concept:
And if I were to translate this, then I would say that the BMW Z2 is closer than we expected.
Overall, 2009 seems to be a great year for BMW and implicitly for us, we will have many models to cover and even more rumors to discuss. So, stay tuned and we will bring you the latest news.
We are continuing our coverage on the BMW engines - Part 1 can be found here - and today we are going to focus on the latest and what some might call, the best BMW engines to date, such as the award-winning N54 engine.
The "new generation" engines will be the main focus of my engine technical articles. For two reasons; these are the engines I am personally most well versed in and spend the most time working on, secondly; they have the newest innovations which includes all of the aforementioned ones. The N52 (now the N52K, it has received its first update) is the new 2.5L or 3.0L 6cyl engine found on all 1, 3 and 5 series, as well as the X3, and X5.
For terminology purposes all current production 3 series will be referred to as chassis code E9x. For the new 3 there are 4 different designations to better describe which body style. Working at BMW, we refer to all cars by their chassis designation. E9x is a term for the 3 in general.
More specifically the E90 is the sedan, the E91 is the touring (5 door/hatchback), the E92 is the coupe, and the E93is the hardtop convertible. Similarly the 5 and 6 are known as E6x vehicles. The E60 is the 5 series sedan, the E61 the touring. The E63 is a 6 coupe and the E64 is a 6 convertible.
And since we've gone this far I might as well tell you the new 7 is the E65, the E66 is the Li (long wheelbase). E70, the new X5 (the previous was the E53). E71 is an X6. E83 is an X3. E85 is a Z4 roadster, and E86 a Z4 coupe. I'm sure that's more than enough for now.
Back to the engines.
As I stated we have the N52 for the current 6 cylinder. The N62 is the current V8 (also has received first update, now the N62TU), sized from 3.6L all the way to 4.8L. Mechanically both the N52 and N62 engines are tremendously more weight efficient than their predecessors, mainly through the use of materials and construction.
In particular the N52 uses a magnesium aluminum alloy crankcase with an aluminum cylinder head and oil pan. The valve cover is magnesium. These are extremely light weight materials. I could go one about boring construction techniques but basically everything is as light as possible.
For example the camshafts are constructed from a hydroforming process. The cams are not cast. A hollow steel tube is used and each cam lobe is like a ring that can slide onto the shaft. Each lobe is placed in proper position and the assembly place in a die. The steel tube is then pressurized with water at around 4000 bar (~58,000 psi). The bar expands and the lobes are now a press fit onto the tube. These cams are exceptionally light weight and strong.
There are 3 other major changes. An electric water pump is used to reduce parasitic loses by not being belt driven. This is also a much more precise way of controlling/monitoring engine temperatures more efficiently. Secondly, Valvetronic. This is a system that allows for variable lift on the intake valves. Third, a vacuum pump is needed due to the Valvetronic system as it reduces manifold vacuum. The pump is used for the brake booster for example. Then N62 V8 includes all of the previously mentioned technologies.
Finally there are 3 other new generation engines to be noted. The N54, the N63, and the N73. The N54 is the bi-turbo inline 6 that powers the 135i, 335i and 535i. The N63 is the new bi-turbo V8 introduced in the X6 and will be powering various upcoming models like the new 7s and 5s, 6s,and X5s. finally the N73 is the current V12 in the E66 760Li.
The N73 is similar to the N52 and N62 except the fuel system is direct injection. The engine uses Valvetronic and is naturally aspirated. The N54 and N63 are both parallel bi-turbo engines with direct injection. They do not use Valvetronic. It is redundant due to the naturally more efficient charged air intake. They also do not incorporate DISA valves in their intake manifolds. The DISA valves operate the variable intake runner length. Again due to the charged air intake the system is not needed.
The one special thing about the N63 is its architecture. It's a totally radical new design based on the "efficient dynamics" principle that BMW has now incorporated into its development process. The strange thing about the engine is that the exhaust manifolds, turbines, compressors and catalytic converters are packaged in the "V" area between the cylinder heads where normally an intake manifold would be. Conversely there are two intake manifolds, one for each bank, located where the exhaust manifolds would normally be. Basically the intake and exhaust ports have flipped. It's a very ingenious design for many reasons.
Coming up we will take a look at the systems individually in separate articles, and have a little more engine/vehicle specific information. Until next time…
I was reading an article yesterday on AutoSavant.com about Chrysler's CEO hinting in an interview with Automotive News that Chrysler could become the next BMW or Mercedes.
Mr. Jim Press stated: "If there's one company in America that can build high-craftsmanship, innovative vehicles, it's Chrysler." Also Mr. Press said that in the event of Chrysler coming out successfully from this financial crisis, they will operate as a small boutique manufacturer producing high-performance, high-quality cars much like German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz do currently.
Apparently, Jim Press, co-president of Chrysler LLC, stated in an interview last week that should Chrysler survive, it would survive as a small boutique manufacturer producing high-performance, high-quality cars much like German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz do currently.
Now, he's on a roll, maybe due to the holiday season, and he says that the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup will be a car that even Mercedes-Benz would build it…if they were in the truck business. No offense to Dodge Ram fans, but I don't see it as a car that any BMW or Mercedes executive would drool over it.
I won't get into the other details of his interview, but I do want to make sure that you know some facts before you draw your conclusion: Chrysler is ranked as one of the worse car manufacturers when it comes to quality work and reliability and for the past years, they haven't done much in the R&D department either. Their car design and innovation has stalled, but it is worth mentioning the hybrid system that was built together with BMW, GM and Daimler.
So, in my opinion, Chrysler needs a major restructuring and new vision in order to be even considered in the same class as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It takes years to build a new brand, to earn the customer trust and respect, so…these are the perfect times for them to rethink their strategy.
Interesting article on AutoSavant and I encourage you to read their full analysis, but as always, feel free to share your opinion with us.