Friday, 31 October 2014

10 reasons why a BMW i3 is the best electric car!

1. Speed 
First and foremost, speed is important. The BMW i3 will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 7.2 seconds! Pretty impressive for an electric car. The electric motor of the i3 delivers 125 kW/170 hp with a torque of 250 Nm. The full torque is instantly available from a standstill which is a feature of electric motors and doesn't need to be built up first through engine speed, as it does with combustion engines. This makes the BMW i3 particularly agile, with impressive acceleration. Equally impressive is what BMW claim to be a 'nearly silent driving experience'. Top speed is limited to 93mph which of course is plenty given the maximum speed limit in the UK is 70mph! 

2. Emission-Free 
The BMW i3 is emission-free so you'll be doing your bit big time for the environment.

3. Range
When we talk about electric cars, one of the first questions that's inevitably asked is "how far can it go?" The BMW i3 boasts an impressive real-world range of 80 to 100 miles. Add another £3,150 to the basic £25,680 purchase price and you get the range extender i3, with a 650cc rear-mounted motorcycle petrol engine that acts as a generator for the battery, and which pushes the range to a maximum of 186 miles on one (9-litre) tank.

4. Flexibility 
The i3’s sustainable design makes it the perfect vehicle for many different environments. Driven by pure electric power, customised for sustainable transport, it is the perfect embodiment of intelligent travel. Every detail has been optimised to create an integrated concept where every component plays its part perfectly. Just one glance at the dynamic exterior and the spacious interior tells you everything you need to know. 

5. More Space 
Open all the doors and you can look right through the whole car. There's no transmission tunnel so the floor is flat contributing to a sense of airiness. The battery is stored in the floor of the Drive Module, so there’s no transmission tunnel to divide the space, leaving more space for you and your passengers. Inside, the carbon fibre Life Module feels innovative and futuristic.

6. Sustainable Materials 

The interior of the BMW i3 features the use of natural, sustainable materials, including KENAF fibres in the door panels. This fast-growing member of the cotton family is particularly sustainable. With a characteristic fibre structure, which remains visible after processing, it quietly emphasises the premium nature of BMW i. Our designers have also developed a completely naturally-tanned leather, using olive leaves, that offers the outstanding quality and feel you expect from BMW. Along with the use of natural materials, 25 percent of the plastic used in the interior comes from recycled material or renewable resources. All the seat textiles on the seats are created from up to 100 percent recycled fibres. 

7. Battery

The energy supply that drives the car, as well all the other vehicle functions, is provided by a specially developed high-voltage lithium ion battery, which sets new standards in terms of energy efficiency. The intelligent heating/cooling system ensures that energy performance (and, in turn, the vehicle's range) are less affected by temperature fluctuations than you would expect with batteries of this type. This makes a significant contribution to both the performance and service life of the cells. The BMW i3 comes with an 8 year/100,000 mile high-voltage battery warranty as standard, along with the 3 year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty. 
The battery can be fully charged in up to 8 hours with the supplied charging cable. By using the i3's standard 32Amp AC Fast Charging, common in home charging and public charging solutions, charging time of the i3 can be reduced to less than 3 hours (0-80%).

8. Charge at home
The most obvious difference when you first own an electric car should be the change in your fuelling habits. You'll find that charging quickly becomes an intuitive routine. With 360° ELECTRIC, you can always rely on your new BMW i3, thanks to the portfolio of products and services that provide easy and convenient charging. 

Using the cable provided, you can charge the high-voltage battery from a conventional socket. For regular fast charging we recommend the BMW i Wallbox as a convenient home solution. With the BMW i Wallbox Pure, AC fast-charging can take less than 3 hours (0-80%). For rapid charging, the optional DC rapid-charge function is the perfect solution for the BMW i3. Charging up at suitable public DC rapid-charge stations for example, takes less than 30 minutes (0-80%).

9. Charge at work
BMW customers can access flexible and time-saving charging options in public locations, car parks and city centres. The BMW i Navigation with BMW ConnectedDrive fitted as standard, allows the BMW i3 to display the nearest charging stations and their availability in real time, including them in your navigation route if required. So you can easily find one of the fast-expanding network of public charging stations to top up your battery and your BMW i3's fast charging capability can take full advantage of their 32Amp offer for charging in less than 3 hours (0-80%).

10. Connectivity
The BMW i3 is the first fully online all-electric vehicle, thanks to its bespoke range of BMW i ConnectedDrive solutions for electric vehicles. The BMW i Navigation with range assistant and display of charging stations will show you the most efficient route to your destination.

The BMW i Remote App brings your BMW i3 to your smartphone. And thanks to the BMW TeleServices, your BMW i Service Authorised Workshop is always up-to-date on your service needs. 
All i3s get as standard:
  • Bluetooth
  • DAB radio
  • iDrive Touch
  • Cruise control
  • BMW Business Navigation
  • BMW Online
  • BMW Apps
  • Advanced ConnectedDrive.

11. Neat Navigation System 
BMW i3’s Navigation system with BMW i ConnectedDrive Services has been specially developed to make driving as easy and convenient as possible. At the heart of the BMW i Navigation is the range assistant with dynamic Range Map.

This clearly displays the maximum distance that the vehicle can achieve in all directions from your current location. The intelligent Range Map dynamically updates based on a number of factors including:
  • your current battery charge
  • traffic conditions 
  • terrain of the route
  • variable distance depending on the driving mode that is selected. 

12. There's an App for it! 
Yep there's app for this car, namely the BMW i Remote App for iOS and Android. With this app you can get detailed information about the current status of your BMW i3 at any time. This includes range display, battery condition and level of charge, service messages and also the vehicle’s location. With Charge Control, charging at the charging station can be started or ended remotely. The climate control of the interior cabin and the high-voltage battery can be activated before the journey from your smartphone so that the BMW i3 is already at the ideal temperature when you get into the vehicle while the high-voltage battery’s performance is optimised. The BMW i Remote App also supports route planning. Important destinations, available charging stations for example, can easily be sent to the vehicle before you start your journey. Impressive tech!

13. Safety 
A special safety concept was developed for the BMW i3, tailored for electric vehicles. The exceptionally strong vehicle passenger compartment is made of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) and offers protection for the high-voltage lithium ion battery, which is optimally positioned in the Drive Module, safe from the outside world. Innovative driving assistant systems help you make the right decisions. And, in case of emergency, there’s a wide range of services to help you to stay safe. 
A range of innovative driver-assistance systems in the BMW i3 not only make driving a pleasure but also make parking worry-free. With the optional Driving Assistant Plus, the BMW i3 will warn you before a potential collision happens and can automatically maintain speed and distance in city traffic and traffic jams. The Park Assist option makes easy work of parking. 

14. Gearless - instant response
The i3 is electric and gearless, so it's instant to respond, makes almost no noise doing so and just keeps on responding. There are no gear shifts to worry about. 

15. Cheaper than you think
Last but certainly not least is the price of the BMW i3 which starts at £25,380. This is when your factor in the government's £5,000 grant for electric vehicles. £25,000 is cheaper than I thought this car would be when you consider all the technology, including the radical carbon fibre construction. And how much will you be saving each year not buying petrol? 


4 Star BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review

The 2 Series Active Tourer is a ground-breaking car for BMW but is it any good?...

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer marks a huge change for the German manufacturer. Not only is it the margue's first MPV but it is also front-wheel drive. Although never before has BMW developed a front-wheel drive car but the success of MINI has given it the perfect opportunity to explore new markets.

The 2 Series Active Tourer uses the same UKL1 front-wheel drive architecture as the new MINI but has been stretched to increase passenger space inside. From the launch, engines available in the 2 Series Active Tourer have also been carried over from the MINI, so there's the 218i which uses the new 13bhp three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo as well as the 218d powered by the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel from the Cooper D. BMW predicts the latter will make up the bulk of sales but later this year four other variants including the 220i, 216d, 220d and 220d xDrive will be made available to buyers.

The new BMW arrives in a market, which is seeing ever decreasing sales as buyers continue to shun boxy MPV's and move into chunky crossovers such as the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 2008. However, the 2 Series Active Tourer won't get an easy ride, having to fend off MPV opposition in the shape of the Mercedes B-Class, VW Golf SV and Ford C-Max.

styling - The criteria which an MPV needs to meet in order to be successful limits how stylish and visually engaging the desgin can be. With slab-sided bodies and squared off panels, MPV's are arguably the least visually dynamic segment in the market. However, BMW has attempted to inject some life into an unloved class with a car that features styling cues borrowed from coupe models.

The trademark kidney grille is narrow and rests just below the headlamps, a feature you'll see on BMW's such as the 4 Series and 6 Series. In an attempt mask the car's bulky exterior, each panel wears a subtle crease or kink to help break up the lines of the bodywork.

The interior is one of the finest and most lavish in its class. Lashings of leather and sporty red stitching make it a truly inviting place. Aluminium inserts in the dash and center console give a premium feel, with every twist and prod of the controls affirming the well-engineered desgin.

Driving - Only two engines will be offered from launch, and we've driven them both. The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel will be badged as the 218d, and is expected to be the most popular model among buyers. The main reason lies with efficiency, which stands at 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

Like the desgin, an MPV's driving dynamics can be limited due to the shape and size of the vehicle. However the 2 Series Active Tourer is rather agile for its size and manages body control well weighted and accurate but select sport mode and it becomes artificially heavy.

Turn into a bend and you'll notice some movement in the body but even through quick changes in direction the Active Tourer never feels unsettled. It's only when you really hurt it into a corner you'll notice excess body roll however that's always going to be the case with a car of this size and height.

The biggest issue with the Active Tourer is the engine. It's gruff on start up and it never really settles into smooth thrum. There's plenty of shove on offer, with 330Nm of torque helping complete the 0-62mph sprint in 8.9seconds and power delivery is always smooth, even if the engine sounds a little lumpy.

At higher speeds engine noise is eradicated by excessive wind noise kicked up by the tall a-pillars and wing mirrors. The ride is always supple, though, even on larger 18-inch alloy wheels, so it's comfortable on the move if you can ignore the slight lack in refinement.

The other offering from the launch is the 218i model. It uses the three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine from the MINI Cooper and solves those refinement issues associated with the diesel model. It's hushed at start up and well isolated from the cabin at speed as a consquence it isn't as efficient as the diesel, managing 58mpg and 115g/km of CO2.

Reliability - Although badged as a BMW, the 2 series Active Tourer shares little in common with he rest of the BMW lineup. It's based on a stretched version of the MINI platform and is front-wheel drive, so it's not a combination we've seen before from the German manufacturer. However, the 2.0-litre diesel engine is a little more familiar as it is shared with MINI, so it should be reliable.

Running Costs -  Efficiency is also a strong point for the 2 series Active Tourer, the 2.0-litre diesel we tested returns 68.9mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions at 109g/km. and 112g/km of CO2, with an engine of exactly the same power and displacement.

The lighter and smoother 1.5-litre turbo engine from the new MINI could aslo be a genuine alternative to the diesel, as economy figures don't fal too far behind. BMW says 57.6mpg and 115g/Km of CO2, which is highly impressive for a petrol engine powering a car of this size.

Another incentive for the 218i model would be the saving you make on the purchase price. Although slightly less economical, the petrol variant costs almost £2,000 less than the 218d.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

5 Star for the BMW 3 Series

The Best Compact Executive Car of 2013, the latest BMW 3 Series is better built and a great drive...

The BMW 3 Series is now in its sixth generation, and it's better than ever thanks to its blend of upmarket image, great driving dynamics and low running costs. however thanks to the Mercedes C- Class and Audi A4 being more and more competitive, it's got a lot more work to do to be the best in class.

The 3 Series is very well equipped and it's more spacious than it has been in the past, and partly thanks to an excellent range of petrol and diesel engines it's a very refined and comfortable way to travel as well. It's also good at being an executive car that has been give the Best Compact Executive award in our 2013 ceremony.

Available as either a saloon or as an estate or 3 series GT, which mixes the practicality of the touring with the sportiness of the saloon - but the bulbous rear might be a stumbling block for some, the car is available in eight specifications: ES, SE, Sport, EfficientDynamics, Modern, EfficientDynamics business, luxury and the ever-popular BMW 3 Series M Sport model.

The BMW 3 Series can be brought with four-wheel drive in the UK now, which means buyers who would usually only be looking at Audi's quattro models have more chosen when they come to buy a new car. The BMW 4 Series is closely related to the 3 Series, being a coupe version that replaces the precious 3 Series Coupe. There will also be a BMW 4 Series Convertible to replace the precious 3 Series Convertible. BMW has also reveled the new BMW M3 saloon alongside the new BMW M4, and it will feature a storming 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six engine with 425bhp.

The styling - Given the success of the 3 Series, its not surprising that BMW didn't mess with a winning formula for the latest model. The traditional saloon shape is given a sporty twist courtesy of a purposeful stance, low bonnet line and smart double-kidney grille.

Elsewhere, the M Sport styling package includes 18-inch alloys, a subtle body-kit, gloss-black trim for the window surrounds and discreet M badges on the front wings. However, you'll pay £710 for the xenon lights with their distinctive LED rings - These are standard on both the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4.

Inside, there's a minimalist wraparound dash, with only a few buttons, clear digital read-outs and a large center console screen that's controlled using the iDrive scroll wheel and buttons next to the gearlever. Overall, the dash is easy to get along with, although the orange climate control display looks dated and it doesn't feel as luxurious as the C-Class.

Still, no complaints about the classy materials and solid finish, while M sport cars boast supportive Dakota leather sports seats, Bluetooth, Cruise Control and a DAB radio.

The Driving - BMW has forged a reputation for making fun-to-drive cars, and the 3 Series is no exception. The excellent grip and direct steering mean that it's easy to keep control of the car at all times. A system called Drive performance control offers three different modes to choose from - EcoPro, comfort and sport. It's not too hard to tell what each one does - EcoPro is set up for economy, while comfort and sport do what is says on the tin. Variable ratio Sport steering and Adaptive Drive dampening are available as optional extras, too.

A wide range of four and six-cylinder engines are available, with the 320d 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel returning 64.1mpg without sacrificing performance - it's a great engine for this model. Head down a twisty back road and the 3 series feels secure and well balanced. The steering is positive and well weighted, there's plenty of grip and you can subtly adjust your line using the throttle. The all-new C-Class may have closed the gap when it comes to involvement and agility, but the 3 Series still has the edge.The latest 3 Series finished 14th in our Driver Power 2014 satisfaction survey, with a top 20 result for reliability and predictably strong showings for performance and handling. However, unhelpful staff and expensive repairs put BMW’s dealers 24th out of 31.
As for safety, the BMW scored the full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, but it is second to the Lexus IS as it has six airbags as opposed to eight in the IS.
Adaptive brake lights are also standard on the 3 Series, as well as automatic lights and wipers, and rear parking sensors. You can also buy lane change assist, blind spot warning and auto high beams as optional extras on the lower-spec models.

Five Secrets You Didn’t Know about the Audi A6 Saloon

For a car to reveal all it has to offer requires some long-term testing. But sometimes drivers never find out a car’s “little secrets” simply because the opportunity never comes up. Discovering a car’s hidden gems earlier on can lead to better vehicle performance and smarter ownership. So today, We’re going to dig deeper into the little tricks that the Audi A6 3-litre TDI S-Line S-tronic with Quattro four-wheel drive has to offer.
Some tricks make full use of the car’s in-built technology and others simply make your life easier.

Secret 1:  The Virtual Dipstick
Today’s modern engines have done away with some of the mundane weekly checks that our parents used to carry out. Checking the oil being one of them – essential to ensure the engine isn’t going to seize due to a lack of lubrication.
The A6 is quite capable of advising you that it needs a top-up and that you should get it sorted pronto. No sudden stops at the roadside in a panic, just a detour to the garage to get some of that black gold.
Once topped-up the central display will tell you all is well, so you can lose the oily rag and avoid dirty fingers that every dipstick check delivers.
More secrets are revealed when you gain access to the car’s computer such as service intervals information and what pressure the tyres are at and, if you really need to know, the car’s Vehicle Identification Number.

Secret 2: The Self-Suspending Boot Floor
Everyone dreads a flat. Especially when it’s raining and especially when the entire family (including restless kids) are in the car. On this Quattro car, during the test, it was necessary to put the Audi toolkit into use and as usual it was under the boot floor.
Normally, holding the floor up while accessing the kit requires three hands, or at least a shoulder to prop it open. In this case however, the flush fitting handle that lifts the floor up has a little hook on the end of it, which once engaged secures the floor panel to the top boot seal. Simple yet ingenious.
More obvious but worth mentioning are the two gas-struts that keep the bonnet open – no other strut required. It’s the little things that please most owners, right?

Secret 3: Locking Rear Seats Deter Felons
One advantage of the saloon over the estate version is better security. Any miscreant breaking into your estate car can easily access the storage area simply by clambering over the back seat.
In some saloons, the thief can still get in the boot by dropping the seatbacks. Not so in the A6! That’s because the backrests are lockable so you can prevent access to the boot. That’s clever thinking to protect your valuables.

Secret 4: The Car That Parks Itself.
Self-parking cars are not uncommon. For an experienced driver though, the challenge is trusting the tech to achieve the delicate art of parallel parking. The idea of technology is to make life easier for the user. But to achieve car parking nirvana, you have to learn to trust the tech.
The thing is, this A6 can effectively park itself. It takes an act of will to relinquish the steering wheel but you still need to control the brake and throttle. On the road test, the A6 demonstrated that it was entirely capable of assessing the space available and manoeuvring itself into the gap accordingly.
Subsequent tests revealed so long as the space was of adequate size, the Audi parked itself successfully – no drama or fuss. Although, on one occasion, it wasn’t perfectly straight. Then again, how often do we get it exactly right?

Secret 5: The Digital Handbook
In the glove box of any new car you’ll find the handbook, which these days are about the size of a hardback version of War and Peace. To get the best out of your car this needs to be read from cover to cover but, in all honesty, how many owners actually do that?
The A6 almost dispenses with this antiquated method of information and instead allows the driver to access a digital handbook on screen. To do this it is first necessary to get to grips with the Audi’s systems before you can get to the guide that takes you through the car’s main controls and systems.
It isn’t meant to replace the handbook (the A6 comes with a printed version), but when those occasions arise the handbook isn’t where it should be, i.e. in the car as opposed to a mouldering drawer in the garage, you can still find out what you need to know, especially in an emergency.

These days we are becoming much more accustomed to in-car technology and 21st Century automotive marvels. It has become much easier to connect your mobile device to stream music and access contacts, it’s just the Audi A6 still has some tricks up its very smart sleeve and it is willing to let you in on the secret.

The Nissan Juke Evolves

Nissan were responsible for creating a while new class within the automotive market. The Juke initiated the start of the supermini SUV models, which then sparked the introduction of further competition for Nissan. Following the date the Juke took to market, the likes of the Vauxhall Mokka, Ford Eco Sport and Mini Countryman all became entrants to the same category in a bid to compete with the Nissan Juke and take advantage of their growing sales- surprising, as the offerings the Juke can give in terms of functionalities and spec are somewhat intimidating to other operators in the automotive industry.

The Juke is recognised on the roads for its charming looks and is characterised by its quirky facial features that give it expression when on the roads. Its slender exterior is enhanced by the comprehensive range of styling options that come available, giving the user the ability to take personalisation that next step further. The unique customisation aspect is what sets Nissan aside from its competitors as the user can tailor their vehicle to suit individual preferences.

Alloy wheels come available as either 17 or 18 inch in size and there is a versatile range of colours and finishes that can complement your wheel choice. Door handles and wing mirrors can all be customised with contrasting colours to the one selected for the main body of the car, and the Juke can offer headlamp finishers that bring out the volume and depth of the front fog lights.

This personalised theme can continue into the cabin, as again Nissan are offering many different colour options and schemes that can create an ambience and set the mood for the interior of the car; these offerings include personalising the interior inserts, centre console and velour mats. Internally, state of the art technology includes an infotainment system featured on the centre console situated between the driver and front passenger that is inclusive of SAT NAV, Bluetooth and phone connectivity and also displays a parking camera, lane departure system, blind spot warning system and moving object detection. But even more impressive is the Nissan Connect that acts as your smartphones best friend; allowing you to use Facebook, Twitter and many more applications.
When it comes to engine size, there are five different versions available in the Juke but only one diesel- that being 1.5 litre. The petrol engines available in the Juke range from 1.2 to 1.6 litre, with a turbo version also available; all offer a punchy performance and consistent handling, allowing drivers to feel confident behind the wheel.

The Nissan Juke also scores highly in terms of practicality as is boasts great carrying capacity and generous amounts of cabin space. This allows the vehicle to cater for a wide range of the automotive audience as it is the perfect contrast between a sporty drive and a spacious family car.

Retailing between £13,420 and £23,750, the Nissan Juke brings a huge offering to potential buyers. Whatever styling packages you choose for your motor, you can be sure to turn heads on the road due to the bold exterior the Juke has.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

BMW Product Manager Explains The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

At the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer media launch in Innsbruck, Austria, the BMW product Manager Jochen Schmalholz in charge of the first front wheel...

At the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer media launch in Innsbruck, Austria. The product Manager Jochen Schmalhoz in charge of the first front-wheel drive BMW was interviewed.

Schmalholz spent some time with us explaining the idea behind the 2 Active Tourer, also as well as the market and customer demographic. He explains why the 2 Series Active Tourer is "Still a BMW" although the power is sent to the front wheels. Also he confirms that a 7-seater Active Tourer will follow, along with a hybrid variant.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer will follow in the tire tracks of the Coupe as the second member of the new BMW 2 Series line-up, it impresses from every angle with its sporty presence and harmonious proportions.

Meanwhile measuring at just 4,342 millimeters long (170.9 inches), 1,800 millimeters (70.8 inches) wide and also 1,555 millimeters(6.12 inches) in height, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer offers similar inside space as larger X vehicles. The versatile luggage compartment, whose capacity can be enlarged from 468 to 1,510 litres.

Therefore by expanding its product range, BMW have been looking to attract new customer groups to the virtues of the BMW brand. Just as it has already done with its successful BMW 1 Series, around 70% of the first-generation BMW 1 Series cars sold went to customers new to the brand. 75% of first time BMW buyers are expected for the new minivan.

The Active Tourer is the first ever BMW with front-wheel drive and the first core-brand BMW to become available with a three-cylinder engine. Therefore the new front-wheel drive architecture - with a transversely installed engine - allows maximum usage of the interior volume in a relatively small vehicle. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is the first BMW to benefit from the modular engine concept.

However the main markets for the 2 series Active Tourer will be Europe and China. Its likely that Europe is to account for some 40% of sales and China around 15%.

Alpine White BMW E92 M3 is ready for the track

What separates this BMW E92 M3 build from the rest we’ve shown lately is its six-speed manual gearbox, a rarity around the world. If you like old school cars and exciting driving,
then a manual transmission is the way to go, especially on a BMW.

Built entirely with uncompromising performance in mind, this Alpine White BMW E92 M3 project features several high-performance aftermarket additions that turn the car into a great track car.

It has all the features that enhance driving performance, improve safety and upgrade the overall visual exterior appearance at the same time. Definitely the most prominent aspects of this build are the wheels and the aftermarket exhaust system. The wheels are VOLK ZE40 wheels, a perfect complement for a performance vehicle like this, together with performance tires.
As far as the exhaust system goes, European Auto Source have added to this project an Akrapovic Evolution Titanium Exhaust System with GT4 X-Pipe.

Furthermore, there are several visual and safety upgrades added by EAS there as well – a Mode Carbon endurance front lip spoiler, BMW Edition black chrome fender gills, black chrome kidney grilles, BMW Peformance alcantara steering wheel, carbon fiber mirror caps and BMW Performance carbon fiber trunk spoiler.
A set of iND painted reflectors has also been installed on this project, together with an iND painted trunk badge.

Handling and stance are improved thanks to KW Clubsport coilovers. With a Macht Schnell Competition Stud Conversion Kit, the exterior work is completed.
The interior has seen a lot of upgrades! First of all, helping the driver handle the six-speed manual gear changes, there is a Macht Schnell MS97 spec shifter knob installed. Safety is improved by the Recaro Pole Position fixed-back racing seats, Recaro slider tracks, Recaro steel side mounts and Schroth Profi I ASM FE 4-Point harnesses.

BMW Z4 Red Carbonic Video

Carlex Design take on a BMW Z4 project and turn the sporty roadster into a highly customized vehicle. The project was dubbed BMW Z4 Red...

Carlex Design take on a BMW Z4 project and turn the sporty roadster into a highly customized vehicle.

The project was dubbed BMW Z4 Red Carbonic and the customization list is dominated by the extensive use of carbon fiber and Alcantara. Furthermore, the project team took the first sketches highlighting the aggressive lines of the Z4 and have created a unique desgin, a combination of lines, textures and contrasts between black and red colour.

However both the exterior and interior desgin created by Carlex Design complements each other well, where the deep purring sound of the BMW's engine gives a thrilling pleasure, sending chills down the spine!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The most notorious car pile ups in History

The first car was designed by Benz Patent- Motorwagen way back in 1886 with Ohio City claiming the first gasoline powered car accident in 1891. Engineer James Lambert was said to be driving his very own gasoline powered buggy with James Swoveland as his passenger, when the vehicle hit a tree root Lambert lost control of the car, hitting a hitching post.
Fortunately both men suffered only minor injuries; however accidents are not always that tame- here are some of the biggest car pile ups in history:

Finland, March 2005, 300 Vehicles

One of the most unforgettable car pile ups took place in Helsinki in Finland in March 2005. At least 300 vehicles were involved in this catastrophic pile up which resulted in 3 deaths and more than 60 injuries. The accident was blamed on the weather, heavy snowfall followed by a week of good weather lured drives into a false sense of security when they were actually driving in treacherous condition.

Brazil, September 2011, 300 Vehicles

Three hundred vehicles collided with each other along the main route between Sau Paulo and the4 coast in Brazil, the pile up stretched along 2km of the Imigrantes highway. Two trucks and three cars caught fire in the collision, which left one person dead and 29 injured.

Germany, July 2-009, 259 Vehicles

The biggest car crash in Germany’s history took place back in 2009 on the Autobahn, were speed limits were not enforced. A combination of heavy rain and reckless driving caused a massive puile up involving 259 cars, 60 people were injured and the clean- up was said to have cost over £1.5 million.

Czech Republic, March 2008, 231 vehicles

A 231 vehicle crah caused by bad weather took place on the Czech Republic’s major motorways connecting Prague and Brno back in March 2008. With 30 people injured, the pile up caused a 24 mile tail back with around 20,000 people getting stuck in the traffic jam. The damage caused in the accident was said to have cost over 28 million crowns- over £800,000

Los Angeles, November 2002, 216 vehicles

One Sunday morning, a combination of thick fog, wet roads and too much speed resulted in a massive chain reaction crash on the Long Beach Freeway in Los Angeles. Forty people were injured, but miraculously nobody died when 216 cars ploughed into the back of each other in 2002.

Tennessee, December 2011, 176 vehicles

When three separate chain reaction pile ups occurred in Hendersonville, Tennessee, back in 2001, 176 cars were involved and one person died. The mass of wrecked cars stretched along two miles on Vietnam Vets Boulevard. It began when a car ran off the highway, causing the first of three multi car pile ups.

England, March 1997 160 vehicles

Back in 1997 a lorry, driven by David Fairclough, joined the M42 motorway near Bromsgrove where he slammed into the back of a tanker, which then hit the car in front before exploding. The ensuing moments saw another 158 vehicles join the pile up that stretched 400 yards along the motorway. The catastrophic crash happened in dense fog during the early morning rush hour; three people died and another 60 people were injured.

In the UK alone there are around630,000 to 800,000 road casualties every year, with over 21,000 people seriously injured in car accidents in 2013.

Friday, 24 October 2014

BMW & Tesla Talking Different Approaches But Will Ultimately Face Off

Not even going to try to analyze who has it right or who is a bigger innovator, but it's clear that both companies have chosen...

There isn't any point in trying to analyze who has got it right or who is a bigger innovator. However it's clear that both companies have chosen to focus on different aspects of their respective vehicles.

Looking closely at Tesla, it's all about the batteries. Unlike every other automobile manufacturer, BMW included, Tesla's approach isn't for their electric cars to complement their lineup of petrol and diesel offerings since they don't have any. However instead, its to render petrol vehicles from their competitors obsolete. In order to do so, their cars have to be at least as good or better than most features of competing gas cars; and that includes range, performance and utility. On the other hand BMW doesn't need to necessarily worry about making everything better. They only focus on the specific needs of certain customers, and to make a vehicle that is better than any other at a specific set of tasks, without cannibailzing sales of other vehicles in their lineup. Therefore if you accept that premise, it's not difficult to understand why we have the Model S and the BMW i3.

Even though Tesla Knew they had to knock it out of the park with their first high volume vehicle offering. They still knew they had to offer a car that could stand its ground against all of the top luxury sedans while offering a range, long enough to allow for the road tips enabled by the supercharger network. Even though that was an enormous task, one that few automotive analysts really believed they would pull off, however remarkably they did just that and the Model S is a smashing success. No disrespect to the 'Sexy' styling and the fabulous performance of Model S, but the heart and soul of what the car is can be attributed to the enormous batter pack it uses, filled with industry leading, with the high energy-density batteries. The main thing about the Tesla is the batteries, even though the Mode S uses batteries that have a higher energy density than any other EV manufacturer, they still aren't satisfied. they aren't waiting for the market to bring them better, cheaper cells for their future cars. However instead they are in the process of building what will be the first of many Gigafactories, which will be the largest lithium ion battery manufacturing plants in the world. Therefore this will drive down the costs, guarantee that they have the supply that they need, and allow them to constantly upgrade to better cells without needing to wait for battery manufactures to retool production facilities to produce them. The key to Tesla's success is having the best batteries available, and to manufacture them for less than what their competitors are paying for comparable cells. However this is the only way to offer a large battery for long range electric vehicles, and to be able to price them competitively. It's Tesla's edge, and perhaps their only hope to compete and actually beat the large, establish automakers.

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