How the BMW M3 Sedan & M4 Coupe Lost Weight But Gained Power

Everyone wants to lose weight and gain power.  While us puny humans alternatively spend hours in the gym  burning lots of calories and then at Taco Bell ingesting lots of calories, the BMW engineers spend their time working with new materials and inventing new technologies.  The results of their work is evident in the 2015 BMW M3 and M4 models.

Beginning with the 2015 models, the BMW naming scheme uses odd numbers for cars with four doors, like the M3 sedan and even numbers for cars with two doors, like the M4 coupe.  Previously, both cars had the M3 designation, known as the M3 sedan and the M3 coupe.

BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe TwinPower Turbo Engine

M TwinPower Turbo Inline 6-cylinder Engine

Smaller engines usually don’t provide more power, but BMW has engineered a turbocharged motor with greater fuel efficiency.  Though the new engine produces more torque and up to 425 horsepower, the fuel consumption has improved by a whopping 25% for 17 mph City and 26 mph Highway.

 

Dynamically, the two cars are nearly identical.  The M TwinPower Turbo Inline engine with its 6-cylinders bring a racing edge to the vehicles with both being below 4 seconds to reach 60 mph.  For the interior, though, the M3 sedan comfortably seats 4 while the rear seats for the M4 coupe provide much less space.

Additional weight was lost thanks to using carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a material that BMW is now using across its line.  By using this lightweight material for the roof exterior, the center of gravity for the car was also lowered.

The hood and doors are made from aluminum, another weight saving decision.

BMW seems to be asking the question “Do you prefer a coupe or a sedan” and letting drivers answer the question.  So, dear reader, would you prefer the M3 sedan or the M4 coupe for your daily commute?

Related:
2014 BMW 3 Series in Newport News, VA

2014 BMW 4 Series in Newport News, VA

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BMW GoPro Integration Records Adventures

While you may not have heard of GoPro before, after reading this blog post you’ll be hunting them down.  BMW has been working with GoPro to develop a camera integrated with your car’s Connected Drive.  Now, all those great track runs and road exploits can be recorded and relived with the BMW GoPro integration.

And its awesome. GoPro produces cameras that are high quality yet small and unobtrusive.  They can record all your exploits, whether its driving a winding country road or rafting the Grand Canyon (see below for incredible video).

BMW has teamed with GoPro to become the sole automaker to provide the only integrated app for recording your driving adventures

There’s a BMW GoPro App for that

BMW owners need to download the GoPro app from iTunes first.  The GoPro camera (models HERO3+ and later) communicates with the app via the driver’s iPhone.  The iPhone must also be connected to the vehicle using BMW’s Connected Drive using a USB port or the BMW snap-in adaptor.

Reduced Distractions

While it sounds like a lot to get going, the goal is actually to reduce distracted driving.

Once the systems are all connected, the iPhone can be put away.  The GoPro camera is controlled using BMW’s iDrive controller and generously-sized high-resolution screen.

BMW GoPro controlled by iDrive

iDrive control in the
2014 BMW 5-series

The camera can be aimed using iDrive, the screen, or one of six pre-set modes can be used: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse, and Straight Road Time-lapse.

The driver can view an almost-live feed on the infotainment screen and can easily start or stop recording.  Basic camera functions, including putting your GoPro into SLEEP mode to conserve battery life, can be controlled using the iDrive.

The two videos below show the power of the BWM GoPro:

BMW ConnectedDrive

Need to know more about the BMW Connected Drive?  While all the videos can be seen at BMW’s YouTube channel, this one is our favorite:

Who is GoPro?

GoPro creates adaptable, versatile camera and accessories so people can self-capture footage while experiencing their favorite activity.  Their go-everywhere, do-everythingcameras include wearable and gear-mountable ‘capture devices’ used across the sports spectrum from professional athletes to the everyday enthusiast.

“GoPro has deep roots in motorsports and is passionate about enabling drivers to capture their road or track experience,” said Adam Silver, GoPro Director of Strategic Product Opportunities. “The GoPro and BMW collaboration sets a new standard in the category and is an important first step in a partnership designed to deliver next-level integration between camera and car.”

See all the fantastic ways GoPro cameras are put to use via the GoPro Youtube channel.  Here are our two favorites – one is thrilling (at the :57 mark), the other is adorable (the entire time).

”Creative and Insightful”

2014 7 Series BMW

The 2014 BMW 7 Series
comes equipped with BMW Apps

Phil Johnston, Head of BMW Group AppCenter USA, had this to say: “’Creative’ and ‘insightful’ just begin to describe the experience.  GoPro is a natural fit for BMW enthusiast drivers. The power and flexibility of the BMW Group App Integration Platform coupled with GoPro’s advanced camera technology brings new, safe, and engaging experiences to the enthusiasts that were previously not possible.  When the camera is connected to the car, it allows GoPro’s app to present context-appropriate presets that allow the enthusiast to capture the perfect shot.”

Carmakers have been working hard to provide drivers with recording technology for awhile.  BMW has gotten it right by teaming with GoPro.  Beginning July 2014, integration will be functional on 2012 and later  models equipped with BMW Apps.

Its probably obvious that we at Casey BMW are very excited about this development.  Stop into Casey BMW with any questions.

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BMW US Apprentices Make 2015 X6

BMW is readying its next generation of a popular model, and its being produced at the sole BMW US auto plant in Spartanburg, SC.

BMW US Apprentices

BMW is bringing a European-style apprenticeship program to the plant, which focuses on the BMW X model line of SUVs, producing up to 1200 vehicles a day, to help workers earn a four-year degree.

BMW US Apprentices work at South Carolina Plant

BMW Plant in Spartanburg, SC
Photo courtesy of AnthonyA7

Werner Eikenbusch, BMW’s head of workforce development, is originally from Germany.  His parents were blue-color employees and did not foresee college in his future, so he left high school in the 10th grade for a vocational school.  This vocational school combined on-the-job training with school-based classes.  Without this type of program, Eikenbusch would not have had the opportunity to become an engineer and eventually rise up through the BMW corporation.

New employees, typically new high school graduates, work part-time while also getting an all-expenses paid associates degree from a local technical college.  Having a two-year degree practically guarantees a job after graduation at one of the world’s premier automakers.

BMW X6 Manufactured in Spartanburg, SC

BMW created the X6 Sports Activity Coupe when it combined the Sports Activity Vehicle performance with the design lines and rooftop of a coupe.  BMW is now introducing the second generation BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe, a vehicle manufactured in Spartanburg that the world has embraced.

Related:  2014 BMW X6 Model Overview

The new X6 introduces the first rear-wheel drive – knows as the sDrive – to the BMW line-up, joining models with xDrive (or all-wheel drive).  The sDrive will be powered by the TwinPower Turbo inline six engine, generating 300 horsepower.

The X6 keeps its muscular details, optimizes for aerodynamic efficiency.  Double swage lines sharply define the side contours that emerge from the front wheel arches to the rear door handles and rear lights.  The front wheel arches include Air Curtains and Air Breathers, which combine to reduce turbulence.

The interior boasts roomy luxury and the high seating expected of a BMW SAV.  Ambient lighting is designed to create an alluring effect throughout the cabin.  Multiple trim packages are available so the interior can be tailored to the driver’s tastes.

BMW sees the value in investing towards their employees.  Come visit Casey BMW and test drive the 2014 BMW X6 to see the quality and pride of ‘Made in the USA’.

 

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BMW Vehicles Score High on Front-Crash Prevention Tests

Vehicles with automatic braking and related safety features are becoming more standard, and BMW is an automaker on the cutting edge of improving this technology to reduce front-end crashes.

Three BMW models were recently selected by IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) for advanced or perfect scores for their front-crash prevention systems including collision warning and automatic braking function.

What are front-crash prevention systems?

2014 BMW X5

The 2014 BMW X5 received a “superior” rating.

Also called forward-collision warning systems, front-crash prevention systems are designed to detect and warn when a vehicle is getting too close to the vehicle in front of it. The systems may use radar or cameras to analyze the road in front of the car while software determines the closing rate.

The driver may receive an audio and/or visual warning, and the software may prepare to stop by pre-charging the brakes or applying the brakes autonomously.

“We know that this technology is helping,” said David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer at Arlington, Virginia-based IIHS. “Reducing the speed reduces the amount of damage that occurs to both the striking and struck cars and reduces injuries to people in those cars.”

BMW scores high on front-crash prevention tests

The IIHS is funded by insurance companies to conduct multiple collision tests across vehicle market segments and features. For front-crash preventions systems, vehicles are rated as basic, advanced or superior depending on the availability of automatic braking and how effective the system is at two test levels of 12 mph and 25 mph.

The BMW 5 series and X5 SUV models equipped with their optional automatice braking and collision warning systems earned the best score of “superior” from the IIHS.

2014 BMW 3-series

2014 BMW 3-series

The BMW 3 series model equipped with the optional collision warning system with city braking function (an optional camera-based collision mitigation system) earned the score of “advanced”.

Conduct your own front-crash prevention tests

Visit Casey BMW today to see this technology in action.  Test drives on the BMW 5 Series, X5 and 3 Series are available now!

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BMW solar carport concept offers true zero-emission life

The 2015 BMW i8 could be charged with the BMW solar carport concept

The 2015 BMW i8 could be charged with the BMW solar carport concept

One of the benefits of an electric vehicle (EV) is being able to prevent toxic emissions coming from your car, though the prime power source was still a power factory somewhere producing burning fossil fuels and sending smoke into the environment.  Now, the introduction of the BMW solar carport offers the opportunity to take your car totally off the grid for a true zero-emission life.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA released its concept for a solar carport when it also introduced the new i8 in Los Angeles earlier this year.  The carport will allow for greater self-sufficiency via renewable resources for owners of BMW electric car owners.

The carport’s roof, supported by bamboo (another renewable resource) and carbon fiber elements, is made of solar panels. These high-tech panels harvest the sun’s energy and converts it to electricity.  The carport stores the solar energy until the electric vehicle is plugged in to recharge.

The modern materials and minimalist styling perfectly fit the BMW i models’ designs.

Related: ▶  2014 BMW i3 Information
▶  3 Reasons why BMW has tripled their carbon fiber production
▶  Super-light BMW i8 Changes the Game

Solar power with electrical grid backup

The 2014 BMW i3

The 2014 BMW i3 Available Now

Cloudy days won’t necessarily mean lack of energy.  The carport can be connected to your community’s electricity grid to supplement the solar power.

The carport uses the BMW i Wallbox Pro charging station that is currently used for charging the i3 electric vehicle via the electric grid.  The Wallbox Pro will show the portion of energy that came from the solar panels versus grid power.

BMW solar carport designer

“With the solar carport concept we opted for a holistic approach: not only is the vehicle itself sustainable, but so is its energy supply,” explains Tom Allemann, who is responsible for the carport design at BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

Now, both the vehicle and its power source will be sustainable.  Says Tom Alleman of BMW DesignWorks USA, “This is therefore an entirely new generation of carports that allows energy to be produced in a simple and transparent way. It renders the overarching theme of lightweight design both visible and palpable.”

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No need to wait until the BMW solar carport goes from concept to reality. Visit Casey BMW today and test drive the ultimate driving vehicles today.

 

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Three Reasons and One Guess about the tripling of BMW carbon fiber production

BMW recently announced plans to partner with SGL Group to triple BMW carbon fiber production capacities at their Moses Lake, WA facilities.  The expansion will make the plant the world’s largest carbon fiber production plant.  All the details are available at BMW USA’s news site.

The Moses Lake plant currently produces 3000 tons of carbon fiber, which seems like a lot.  Sure, carbon fiber is a wonder material that is ultra-lightweight, incredibly strong and very high-tech.  But what will BMW do with 9000 tons of it?

BMW i3 Models

One of the reasons for BMW carbon fiber production - BMW i3

The uniquely outstanding BMW i3

Right now, the Moses Lake plant has two production lines dedicated to the production of carbon fiber solely for the manufacture of BMW i3 electric vehicles.  The daily output was recently increased from 70 per day to 100 cars per day to meet the U.S. demand for the vehicle.

The 2014 BMW i3 utilizes the carbon fiber in the body’s frame in the form of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic).

The i3’s innovative styling and electric vehicle status are big draws for the car.  The surprise comes when drivers sit in the roomy interior, loaded with technology.

Related: ▶  2014 BMW i3 Information
▶  i3 Trim Level Overview

BMW i8 Models

2015-bmw-i8-ev

The eagerly awaited BMW i8 may already be sold out.

Production has started on the 2015 BMW i8, a super-charged sports car with a hybrid engine that demands the impressive fuel efficiency of 50 mpg combined while still generating 357 horsepower and 420lb-ft of torque.

Related: Super-light BMW i8 Changes the Game

Like its sibling the i3, the i8 uses a body frame made of CFRP.  Though the i8 hasn’t hit dealerships yet, its reported that the initial supply of the i8 has already sold out based on projections.

This car is so cool that Louis Vuitton created a custom line of luggage based on the car.  And, naturally, each bag is made out of carbon fiber, though that won’t stop the baggage handlers from ripping it to shreds.

Solar charger carport concept

This is an idea that makes so much sense, logic makes me wonder why it took so long for it to be realized.

BMW  has released its concept for a carport that will produce electricity to power your i3 or i8 electric vehicle.  The energy for your car won’t come from another engine but from the sun itself.  The roof of the carport is actually solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity.

The carport is pretty with a very modern, minimalist design.  Visit Motor Authority to view pictures of the BMW carport concept.

The carport uses both bamboo – a renewable resource – and carbon fiber for its structure.  While still in the concept stage, interest has been high and buyers are ready.

Any other use for increase of BMW carbon fiber production?

Internet discussion has already begun that carbon fiber will begin to find its way into models beyond the BMW i or BMW M lines.  The massive BMW carbon fiber production may end up in more features than just the body frame including wheels, seat frames and steering wheels.

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BMW participates in One Lap of America, Not Cannonball Run

A BMW M235i ran the One Lap of AmericaBMW Performance Driving School and BMW M Performance Parts sponsored a 2014 M235i in the recent One Lap of America event.

The event started on May 3, 2014 in South Bend, IN.  The 7 day, 3,249 mile route took 69 teams – including 7 separate BMW cars – through a tour of the eastern United States.

After a wet skidpad challenge, the map shows that the cars headed south to Grissom Air Force Base for their first time trial.  See the BMW M235i run the course, where it achieved fastest overall speed:


Related:  2014 BMW M235i Model Overview


The entire 2014 Tire Rack One Lap of America Map is available for review, along with past routes.

The cars passed through Virginia on May 7 on their way to the New Jersey Motorsports Park Thunderbolt Raceway after the time trial at the BMW Performance Center in South Carolina.

Did Farrah Fawcett and Burt Reynolds show up?

The Cannonball Run, officially known as the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, was an unsanctioned underground car race that occurred 5 times in 1970’s.  The route for the Cannonball Run was from New York City to Redondo Beach, outside of Los Angeles, CA.

The initial race was not staged as a competitive run, but as a celebration of the US Interstate Highway system plus a protest of the stricter traffic laws of the time especially the new 55 mph maximum speed law.  It later turned into a cross-country free-for-all.

One Lap of America

The One Lap of America has been an annual event since 1984 with routes typically staying close to the Midwest and Eastern United States.  Various sponsors have supported the event over the years, with Tire Rack being the most recent.

While the Tire Rack One Lap of America has a respect for automobile speed limits, competition is still part of the event.  Each car goes through a time trial at various race tracks along the route.   And there is a very strict tire policy to ensure only street-legal tires are used.

And there are lots of winners; the participants are divided into categories based on type of vehicle and number of doors.

Ready to feel like a the power of a cross-country race?  Come into Casey BMW and test drive the M235i.

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Super-light BMW i8 Changes the Game

bmw i8 - beautiful with the wing doorsBMW has spent years pouring billions of Euros into the research and development of their “I” line – sustainable electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.

Built from scratch using the most advanced technology, brilliant minds, and lightweight materials, the “I” brand promises to change the game for electric car makers around the world.

Specifically, the BMW i8 was in development for 38 long months as BMW took the time and resources it needed to get it right.

“There were long nights,” said Carsten Breitfeld, director of the i8 project. “Some nights when we went to bed not sure how to go forward.”

The hard work paid off

The result: a lightweight, plug-in hybrid, with a futuristic sex-appeal unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The i8 perfectly balances high-performance and efficiency; it’s a sports car with a conscience.

MarketWatch.com notes that cars have never been made like this before. “The steel-bodied Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive weighs 3,858 pounds. The i3 is 998 pounds lighter, fully 25% less.” The “i” program has its own carbon-neutral supply chain, which begins with a hydroelectrically powered facility in Moses Lake, Washington, that makes the carbon-fiber thread from which the super-lightweight vehicles are built.

Flagship of the i Brand: BMW i8

The BMW i line was launched at the 2014 Sochi Olympics; we told you all about it back in February.

The i8 will be the line’s technology flagship, coming fully-loaded with an 8.8-inch display with 3-D navigation graphics, connectivity functions, a Harman/Kardon audio system, optional laser headlamps, and a heads up display.

The i8 is expected to be available this fall – but don’t wait to stop by Casey BMW! Let us know what you think about the new “i” line and see the already-available i3 for yourself.

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Could Concept Car Become the New 9-Series BMW?

BMW 7-Series BMW available now

2014 7-Series BMW.
Soon to be the ‘little’ brother?

BMW revealed its Vision Future Luxury Concept car to the public at the Beijing Auto Show last week. The insanely-luxurious car is bigger and sleeker than the 7-Series, and rumored to be the basis for the automaker’s upcoming ultra-premium 9-Series BMW model.

If and when a 9-Series is introduced to the market, it will likely top the $200,000 range, boldly competing in Bentley and Rolls-Royce territory – a first for BMW.

The Vision Future Luxury Concept

The Vision Future Luxury Concept has an aggressive forward-raked shark nose, BMW’s

signature kidney grille, and a front fascia adorned with four of BMW’s state-of-the-art laser headlights. Its side profile cleverly hides its flush-mounted suicide doors, which open into an incredibly airy and open interior.

According to Businessinsider.com, BMW’s Vision Future Luxury Concept car comes packed full of just about every possible feature. The car’s technology is especially impressive with BMW’s “three dimensional display”, which blends the car’s multiple display screen into the interior accents and BMW’s Touch Command Tablet, which allows backseat passengers to access the internet, an array of multimedia options, and the car’s navigation and communication features.

New 9-Series BMW or just a concept car?

What do you think? Could BMW’s Vision Future Luxury Concept become the 9-Series BMW?

Stop by Casey BMW and let us know your opinion! While you’re in, be sure to check out our large range of luxury vehicles – you’re sure to find something to fit your needs.

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Futuristic BMW i3 Trim Levels: Dressed to Impress

The new BMW i3 happens to be the most futuristic BMW we’ve seen to-date, and its trim level names are just as out-of-the-box as the car itself. The BMW i3 trim levels are named Mega, Giga, and Terra, a far-cry from BMWs usual naming conventions.

BMW i3 Trim Levels

BMW i3 Electric Vehicle

The i3 is an electric car that stands out in the crowd; boasting an aerodynamic exterior design with opposing doors, a unique black belt, and large wheels. BMW separates the i3 from the rest of its lineup by referring to its three trim levels as ‘worlds’. Though not yet for sale, you will see on BMW’s website that when configuring your i3, you’ll first choose which world you want: Mega, Giga, or Terra.

Futuristic BMW i3 Trim Levels

Mega is the base model, and comes standard with 19″ forged aluminum wheels with all-season tires, a grey leather steering wheel highlighted with blue BMW i accents, lightweight SensaTec fabric made from recycled materials, and an instrument panel trimmed in elegant grain foil.

One step up is the Giga world, which adds a grey leather steering wheel highlighted with silver BMW i accents instead of blue, active climate-wool and soft olive leaf-tanned leather seat lining, leather-covered instrument panel, added sustainable interior materials, Sirius® Satellite Radio, and a universal garage door opener for $1,700.

The luxurious Terra world adds black leather steering wheel with silver accents, more interior leather, and upgraded 19-inch wheels for $2,700.

But wait, there’s more!

Additional performance, entertainment, and convenience options are available as add-ons, so you can create a car that is the perfect fit for you. If you just can’t wait for the new i3, stop by Casey BMW to see our wide range of vehicles ready for purchase today!

Plan on coming in to test drive the new i3 once it is available.  For encouragement, see how much fun these Europeans had:

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