Saturday, January 3, 2009

BMW heiress blackmailed by survivor's grandson

Reports are surfacing from Munich where Susanne Klatten, the richest woman in Germany and heiress to the Quandt family fortune, is alleging she has been blackmailed. The Quandt family, which owns controlling interest in BMW, was outed in a recent documentary outlining the family's wartime activities that included close ties with Adolf Hitler and the use of slave labor during the Holocaust to make batteries and munitions for the Nazis.

According to the reports, Klatten, now married with three children, met a man in a bar with whom she entered into an affair. With the aid of an accomplice, the man secretly filmed their encounters and tried to extort some $51 million from Klatten to keep the matter quiet. The accused blackmailer, Helg Sgarbi, has reportedly done the same with other wealthy German women, but in this instance has claimed motives stemming from his Jewish grandfather's subjugation in the Quandt's factories during the Holocaust. Klatten approached state prosecutors when the ransom demands grew, and Sgarbi is now being held in police custody.

[Source: Inside Line]



For Sale: BMW Z4 with 551HP M5 V10 Engine

Germans love power and speed. While most of us would have been more than content with a stock BMW Z4 M, the owner of this Z4 that's for sale on a German online vehicle marketplace found that an inline-six with 343 HP couldn't satisfy his lust for speed. So what more reasonable than to throw in a BMW M5 / M6 sourced 5.0-liter V10 engine. But even the M5 V10's 507 HP weren't enough for our German protagonist who decided to replace the Z4's inline-six with an even more powerful, Hartge-prepped version of the V10 delivering a hefty 551 HP. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Aside from a set of Hartge 20-inch alloy wheels, the Z4 V10 is all stock on the outside. The asking price for the V10-powered German roadster is a not-so-easy-to-swallow, 97,900 Euros which comes to about $137,700 US with the current exchange rates.

Source: Mobile , Via: Autogespot



BMW’s screaming S54B32 inline-6 laid to rest

The last application of the venerable S54B22 in a BMW car was the BMW Z4 M, which featured the motor in a slightly detuned form as compared to the one that made its debut in the E46 BMW M3. The M3's S54B32 made 343hp at a screeching 7,900rpm and 365Nm of torque at 4,900rpm while in the Z4 M, this was reduced to 315hp at 7,900rpm and 340Nm at 4,900rpm.

When you look at the S54B32 engine code, it tells you that the engine is a Sport engine from the 54 engine family (S54), is fuelled by Benzine (B), and is 3.2 liters in displacement (32). It uses a cast iron block (to withstand the high pressures), graphite-coated cast aluminium pistons, high 11.5:1 compression, double VANOS, electric throttle operation and one throttle per cylinder.

It won the International Engine of the Year award for the year 2001, together with the Best New Engine award. The engine also took the 3.0 liter to 4.0 liter engine honour from 2001 to 2006.

The S54 will not be used in any BMW application anymore, and in its place is the new N54 twin-turbocharged engine, which makes 326hp in its latest application, the F01 BMW 740i. The two turbochargers are run in parallel, unlike BMW's twin-turbodiesel which has a sequential arrangement with two turbochargers of different size.

The N54's peak horsepower output is lower than the S54's highest rated horsepower but the N54 offers so much more torque - between 400Nm to 450Nm depending on whether it's in a 1/3-Series or the new F01 7-Series. The torque is also accessible across a much wider range, making it a much more practical engine for daily driving. Thus the "successor" in terms of engine at least to the Z4 M is the new Z4 sDrive35i, but we all know there's going to be something more exciting when the new Z4 M comes out.



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