Sunday, 30 November 2014

New renderings of the 2016 M2 surface on the inter-webs. The successor of the BMW 1M is scheduled to go on sale in early...

New renderings of the 2016 M2 surface on the inter-webs. The successor of the BMW 1M is scheduled to go on sale in early...

New renderings of the 2016 BMW M2 surface on the inter-webs. The successor of the BMW 1M is scheduled to go on sale in early 2016 with a world premiere taking place just a few months earlier.

To differentiate itself from the M235i Coupe, the F87 M2 will sport uniquely styled front and rear bumpers, front wings, sills, boot lid and standard 19-inch M wheels. The rendered M2 here also comes functional vented hood, M3/M4 side mirrors, carbon fiber roof, ceramic brakes with yellow calipers and full LED headlights.

The overall weight plans ask for a limited of 1530kg, lighter than the current M235i. It features a carbon fiber strut brace within the engine bay and composite plastic panels.

Under the hood, just as we reported, it will not sport the inline-six turbo from the new M3 and M4 - even detuned - but rather an updated version of the N55 Twin-power 3.0 litre engine with 370 horsepower. The M2 prototype runs with both a manual and automatic transmission so we expect both options to be available in the production series.

The power output suggests a 0-60mph time of 4.4seconds with the DCT, 0.5seconds faster than the 1M Coupe. However this isn't all, the shocker really comes from the statement that BMW is looking into an xDrive version of the M2 coupe in selected markets. And if that wasn't enough, an M2 convertible will also be launched in 2016.

Friday, 28 November 2014

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer now with xDrive

BMW launches the 220d and 225i Active Tourer models with xDrive technology. Compared to previous models, this is the first time BMW xDrive is made available on a front-wheel drive concept with transversely installed engines.

The new xDrive aims to improve traction and cornering dynamics for BMW’s front-wheel drive vehicle, a highly controversial model that many  BMW enthusiasts have yet to embrace. The North American market has decided for now to not import the 2 Series Active Tourer.

 The BMW 225i xDrive Active Tourer has a fuel consumption combined of 6,5–6,4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 152-148 g/kg while the BMW 220d xDrive Active Tourer reports a fuel consumption combined of 4,8-4,6 l/100km and CO2 emissions combined 127-122 g/km.
Both models feature BMW xDrive as standard in combination with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission.

Slender, lightweight four-wheel architecture.
The slender architecture featuring compact, lightweight components and the resulting low amount of space required by the new four-wheel drive system are excellently suited to the concept of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Thus the additional weight of the entire four-wheel drive technology is only around 61 kg. Furthermore, measures for reducing system-related losses and an energy-efficient operating strategy ensure extremely favorable fuel consumption and emission levels.

 Power from the front drive to the rear axle is transferred by means of an angular gear (Power Take-Off) on the front differential and a two-part cardan shaft. The central component of the four-wheel drive system is an electro-hydraulically controlled multiple-disk clutch (Hang-On) inside the rear axle drive, which facilitates infinitely variable distribution of torque to the front and rear wheels. The corresponding commands are provided by an electronic control unit which, like the hydraulic pump, is located on the rear axle.

Power Take-Off: angular gear and two-part cardan shaft.
The angular gear is mounted behind the engine on the automatic transmission and crankcase. The input shaft is a hollow shaft construction and directly connected to the front axle differential. In this way, part of the drive force is transferred from the differential basket to the cardan shaft via the hollow shaft, the crown wheel and the pinion shaft. The angular gear operates at a fixed gear ratio (1:1.74) and is permanently engaged, meaning that the cardan shaft always rotates when the vehicle is driven. Reversal of transmission takes place in the rear axle drive so that the front and rear axle drive shafts both rotate at exactly the same speed.

Hang-On: electro-hydraulically controlled multiple-disk clutch.
The multiple-disk clutch located in the rear axle drive (Hang-On) directs a proportion of torque to the rear wheels according to each driving situation, thus ensuring variable power distribution between the front and rear axle as required. In extreme cases (e.g. the front wheels are standing on ice), the ratio can be 0:100. The required operating pressure (0 to 40 bar) is delivered by an electro-hydraulic pump, the speed of which is defined by a pulse-width-modulated signal from the electronic control unit. Pressure is not measured by a sensor, but extremely accurately by means of voltage and power alignment. In order to ensure maximum positioning accuracy, run-in behaviour and temperature influences are independently compensated, the system constantly adapting to ever changing operating conditions.

Efficient valve helps reduce fuel consumption.
Moreover, xDrive utilises an energy-efficient operating strategy: When four-wheel drive is not required – which is usually the case in day-to-day operation – the pump is deactivated, rendering the system unpressurised. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is then driven only via the front wheels. In order to make use of additional saving potentials, BMW has provided the multiple-disk clutch with a spring-loaded Efficient valve, which lowers the oil level in the clutch and significantly reduces friction losses (oil splash losses). When required, the system takes only fractions of a second to build up maximum operating pressure in the Efficient mode and thus deliver maximum torque to the rear wheels. This intervention goes unnoticed by the driver and passengers and without any losses in traction.

Intelligent networking: fast, precise and proactive.
In order to guarantee efficient and constant power distribution to the front and rear axle as required, the four-wheel drive system is managed from the control unit of the Dynamic Stability Control feature (DSC). In order to analyse each driving situation, DSC analyses a large amount of data providing information on each respective running condition and ensuring optimum distribution of drive torque. This information includes vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, wheel speed, longitudinal inclination, accelerator position and the setup via Driving Experience Control. Furthermore, the DSC status, including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) and Performance Control is taken into account. Adjustment of the four-wheel drive system to the ever changing driving and road conditions is performed – in typical BMW xDrive manner – within fractions of a second, thus guaranteeing consistently neutral and safe handling even in difficult conditions. Nevertheless, the variable distribution of power between the two axles goes virtually unnoticed by the driver. Also, within the framework of the efficient operating strategy, torque distribution is precisely regulated as to avoid any loss of power due to wheel spin.

 BMW xDrive: maximum traction, enhanced cornering dynamics.
Thanks to DSC networking, any imminent wheel slip for example can be detected at an early stage. Through precise distribution of drive torque this situation can be anticipated and avoided. If for instance the vehicle threatens to drift outwards over the front wheels, increased tractive force is supplied to the rear axle, allowing the vehicle to turn in more accurately. On the other hand, xDrive directs excess force to the front wheels, should the rear of the vehicle threaten to swerve outwards. As a result, maximum four-wheel performance is available even before slippage occurs. Therefore, xDrive featured in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer not only ensures best possible traction and safety in adverse road conditions, but also enhances vehicle stability, cornering dynamics and ride comfort. In driving situations where the interconnection of all four wheels is disadvantageous – i.e. in an emergency stop – the system opens the multiple-disk clutch completely within milliseconds.

Only if optimum power distribution to the front and rear axle is not sufficient to keep the Active Tourer on the desired course, DSC intervenes by reducing engine output and/or by decelerating individual wheels. Moreover, DSC assumes the function of a transverse differential lock: If a wheel spins without transferring power, it is automatically slowed down, whereby the axle differential directs more power to the wheel opposite.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

4 reasons you need a compact car

These cars are small but perfectly formed. They are cheap to buy and run and a terrifically competitive market means they drive better, look better and have better interiors than ever before. These are now viable cars for nearly every household; even families would find them useful as second cars or an excellent first car for a teenager or twenty-something.


These cars are small. I do mean small. Their length is around 3.5m. Specific examples are as follows; Seat Mii, Fiat 500, Skoda Citigo, Citroen C1, Toyota IGO, Peugeot 107. For a good comparison, the Ford Focus is 3.95m and the Mini Cooper S is 3.73m long. But why is small so special? Well you will be able to fit these cars into the microscopically small garages in today’s new builds and open your door allowing you to exit the car whilst still in the garage! They are so small you can squeeze then into tiny spaces in car parks and in front of your house. Their small size will help nervous parkers to manoeuvre with confidence.


Its no good being small if you handle like a cruise ship. To nip around busy city centres and squeeze into tiny parking spaces, you need a car with responsive steering and a small turning circle. A good benchmark is the MINI which reviews wall as nippy city cars. Its minimum turning circle is 10.7m. Compact cars perform better; VW up 9.8m, fiat 500 9.3m and Toyota iq 7.8m. Then there are a few models with really tiny turning circles- Hyundii i10 4.8m and Kia Picanto 4.9m.
Turning circle is only one measure of the handling ability of these cars. The responsiveness and security of the drive depend on a whole host of factors. Even though the Hyundai and Kia have tiny turning circles reviewers don’t rate their handling that well compared to other cars in the category. Instead the overall handling that well compared to other cars in the category. Instead the overall handling offered by the VW up and Fiat Panda seem to be the best in this group.


City driving and manoeuvring mean you need a car with excellent all round visibility. Most compact cars are well designed to provide this. The consumer organisation which performed comprehensive testing of visibility in 2010. No compact car appeared in the list of 10 worst cars for visibility. However the Fiat 500, Hyundai i10 and Smart For Two Coupe all appeared in the top 10.


These cars are designed to be as cheap as possible. You can get ab entry level fiat panda, Kia Picanto, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii or Ford KA for £8,500. Add another £1,000 and Renault Twingo, Hyundai i10 and even a VW up are in your range. Of course optional extras car quickly add to the entry price.
Any car that emits less than 100g/km of CO2 is not taxed. Many compact cars do not attract road tax but choose certain combinations of model and engine type and you can end up paying tax. For example all fiat 500 models so not attract road tax whereas a Panda can be free or up to £130 per year if you choose the 4X4 version. Nearly all versions of the Hyundai i10 attract tax. Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 are only £20 per year to tax.

The most fuel efficient petrol cars have an MPG (combined) in the 70-75 range. Several of the compact cars fall just under this level; the VW up Blue motion, Fiat Panda, Seat mii and Skoda Citigo all deliver 69mpg. Fuel economy does depend on the engine type and size can vary enormously within a range so if this is important to you, check the brochure specifications carefully.
Compact cars are cheap to insure. Several compact cars are in cheapest insurance groups (1&2); Hyundai i10 1.0, SEAT Mii and the Skoda Citigo. Of course certain options will take these cars into higher groups. In group 3 you find the following: Kia Picanto, Smart For Two and Toyota iQ. The Fiats are in group 5.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Yas Marina Blue BMW M4 With M-Performance Parts

Another BMW M4 goes back to European Auto Source in order to receive some fresh M Performance Parts. The California-based shops is focusing quite a bit on tuning up the new M3s and M4s and so far the projects have been quite exciting.

The M Performance parts are high-quality aftermarket solutions for BMW owners that gives the car owners a choice of improving their cars. To many, the carbon fibre outlook of these additions perfectly uplift cars like the BMW M4 seen here. They are also a viable solution for owners who would like to keep everything produced in-house by the car marker as well.

BMW M Performance Parts bring motorsport style and performance to a variety of BMWs. Every owner can choose from accessories in four categories: aerodynamics, drivetrain, cockpit and chassis. They fulfill the high standards set by BMW and offer optimum quality for long-lasting durability. The premium materials in each component are precisely manufactured, rigorously tested and expertly configured for your specific BMW model to ensure the best results.

The design of these M aero parts are completed by BMW designers to ensure the parts not only fit perfectly on the car, but that they also enhance its looks.

The BMW F82 M4 seen here received the BMW M Performance ABS Side Blade Attachments, BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber Front Splitters with ABS Lower Splitter, a BMW M Performance Gloss Black Kidney Grilles, then the BMW M Performance Gloss Black Side Markers and additionally, an EAS Personalization Coding as requested by the owner himself.
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