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German Cars

BMW Brilliance

BMW has always been a favourite standout brand of mine, and BMW is forging new models and technology even as we speak.  It has been a bit of a gruelling year-or-two with the covid shenanigans, and car manufactures are only one small segment of the global economic pie to have taken a sizable hit.  The shortage of semiconductors has been, and still is, a problem because cars rely on these items for controlling anything from your electric windows to all the fancy driving assistance aids.  However, the winds are changing, and the rebound is occurring.  Luxury car marques like BMW seem to be doing very well, and even with the electronic chip shortages being a bit of an issue it seems that BMW will get through this period in fairly good shape.  There is always a talking point re this special car marque; sometimes the designs might look great to some and not so flash for others, but there is always a gem being turned out from this great team of motoring designers and manufacturers.  BMW cars are more often than not great to drive, good looking, practical and advanced cars.

In this covid recovery period, various chief financial officers recently mentioned that, for now, luxury marques like BMW would consciously undersupply demand levels, which seems a prudent, sensible path to take, as BMW new car prices are holding up very well – quite bullish in fact.  The increased pricing power has already trickled down to the bottom lines for BMW and Daimler.  Mercedes achieved a 12.2% return on sales in the last reported quarter, which was up from 8.4% in the same period in 2018 (2018 being of a period not affected by the pandemic or diesel emissions litigation costs).  BMW achieved a 16% return on sales, which was up from 8.6% in 2018.  BMW also reported a $5.7 billion net profit in the second quarter of this year, suggesting global auto markets are continuing to recover from the pandemic — particularly when it comes to luxury cars like BMW and Mercedes.

BMW M4 Minty Green

This is great news for BMW and car lovers in general, but what’s new in BMW’s box of tricks?  A very cool thing that BMW revealed at the recent Munich Motorshow (early September 2021) was to be found in the BMW M4 corner, where this manic machine, with its impetuous acceleration, showed a jaw-dropping minty green sheen to its beautiful, sexy exterior.  The M4 Competition wore a Mint Green paint job and sat upon gorgeous bronze 20-inch rims.  Both of these options are available as part of the brand’s expanded BMW Individual customization line, which you can find on BMW’s online configurator, where more than 130 other paint options and eight different wheel options are available.  This latest BMW M4 Competition also had a new fibre front splitter, a restyled rear bumper, a rear wing, and some unique side skirts that were all made with carbon fibre.  Carbon fibre interior seating surfaces and trim pieces are also part of the online configurator.  So, try before you buy!

The Munich motor show also allowed the public to preview a hydrogen-electric BMW X5 that is due to enter very-limited production in 2022.  This is an exciting moment because the vehicle was first previewed in 2019 as the i Hydrogen Next concept.  It’s currently in the prototype stage, and early this month it was confirmed with the go ahead, going by the name of BMW iX5 Hydrogen.

A hydrogen-electric vehicle is like a battery-electric vehicle, but instead of drawing power from electricity out of the charged battery the hydrogen-electric vehicle relies on a hydrogen fuel-cell stack to produce electricity power.  BMW’s iX5 Hydrogen has the hydrogen fuel-cell positioned up front where it draws hydrogen from 2 tanks, one in the X5’s transmission tunnel and another under the rear seats.  The tanks are made from carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic and can hold about 5.9 kg of hydrogen at more than 10,000 psi.  Tank filling takes only a few minutes.  The hydrogen fuel-cell combines hydrogen with oxygen from the air to create electricity.  This process only has water (H2O) as a by-product – Wow!  The electricity primarily powers a single motor at the rear axle but is also used to charge a small battery that steps in from time-to-time to deliver extra grunt to the motor during high-load situations.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen Platform

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen will have a total system power output of 275 kW.  The hydrogen fuel cell, on its own, generates about 125 kW.  The vehicle’s aerodynamically shaped 22-inch wheels are wrapped in a new Pirelli tyre that is made from natural rubber and a wood-based synthetic fibre known as rayon.  These two materials replace much of the petroleum-based synthetic rubbers used in modern tyres.

The extensive field testing has already started in earnest within Europe.  Particular focus points have had the engineers examining how effectively the CO2-free drivetrain works in real-life conditions.  Also, they are measuring metrics which include reliability, safety, and efficiency during everyday conditions to ensure that the new model is perfect for mass production.  Hydrogen fuel cell technology has the potential to supplement internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrid systems, and battery-electric vehicles.  The BMW iX5 Hydrogen has hydrogen tanks that can be filled quickly in only 3–4 minutes.

BMW states that the small batch of iX5 Hydrogen models that are destined to be built in 2022 will only be used for demonstration and testing purposes.  BMW doesn’t expect to have any hydrogen-electric vehicles at dealerships until 2025 at the earliest and depending on the direction that the automotive markets take.

Newest off the showroom floor is the all-new BMW iX3 with its refreshed exterior design.  The new BMW iX3 has a sexier appearance and introduces the M Sport Package as standard.  BMW has achieved an impressive CO2 emission assessment for this next-generation iX3, and the vehicle boasts an exceptionally efficient drive system.  Extensive use of secondary raw materials in the manufacture of aluminium castings and thermoplastics combines with the new iX3 boasting an absence of rare earth materials and the use of more green electricity in its production.

BMW iX3 2022

The BMW iX3 has a kidney grille that is larger still, and it has a single-piece frame that comes in Pearl-effect Chrome with blue accents to match with the BMW i styling cues.  Its headlights have been made slimmer.  It also boasts 19-inch black aerodynamic wheels, an automatic tailgate, adaptive suspension, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

BMW is a bit of a landmark in the automotive world, a benchmark, the perfect blend of performance, luxury and practicality.  In the future, BMW wants to be ready to supply customers with their powertrain of choice, whether it be gasoline, diesel, battery or hydrogen.  In the case of hydrogen, BMW sees it as an opportunity for customers that favour long-distance driving or who happen to live in regions without adequate battery recharging infrastructure.

I have so many favourite BMWs and other cars, including the 4.0-litre Falcons, which have rolled our roads over the last few decades of motoring, but let’s not be nincompoops and let’s embrace new ways of automotive power; let’s embrace the new BMW i technology.

Audi News

Audi has been pumping out some magnificent cars in the last few years, most of them being excellent petrol and diesel cars.  What direction are they taking in the blending of hybrid technology and EV-only?  The straight answer is that Audi is on the ball and have been introducing an exciting range of EV power into their brand nice and gradually, as they should.

Audi e-tron S Sportback

The e-tron is, perhaps, the more widely identified model that Audi are making as fully electric cars.  The e-tron is already nearing a new update, and the set of models we’re likely to see arrive sometime in 2022 are the Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback.  What is special about these two is that Audi e-tron S models carry two electric motors on the rear axle and one on the front and can generate a nearly instantaneous 370 kW of power and 973 Nm of torque in full boost mode for 8 seconds at a time.  Because the 2 rear motors have been designed independently of one another, they can operate with the utmost precision and can help the driver power out of corners with the confidence of Audi’s special torque vectoring systems.  In normal driving conditions, the front motor remains off until it is needed.  When needed for ultimate performance and traction, the front electric motor flicks on and into action.

The new Audi e-tron S models boast wider bodywork than the standard models.  They will be equipped with Digital Matrix LED headlights, where each light is divided into 1.3 million pixels and can be controlled with precision, opening up many new functions.  As road traffic regulations allow, these digitized lights could include on-road lane markers and lightbeam functions that can dip around or below other cars.  The matrix-design LED headlights come as standard, however.

Audi e-tron S

Both of the Audi e-tron S models come standard with a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, 3D satellite navigation imagery, predictive traffic light information, in-vehicle LTE-powered Wi-Fi for up to eight connected devices, a top-view camera, traffic sign recognition, Audi active lane assist with turn assist, Audi pre sense front, adaptive cruise assist and Audi phonebox with signal boosting capability.

Audi Grandsphere Concept

Also hugely exciting for Audi fans is the Audi Grandsphere concept, a luxury sedan with an electric drive system.  Magnificent comfort, which Audi liken to a first-class flight, will be the experience Audi is aiming for with Grandsphere.  At 5.35 metres long, the Grandsphere sedan combines the luxury of private travel in ultimate comfort with a comprehensive onboard experience with Level 4 automated driving where the interior turns into a spacious sphere of experience without a steering wheel, pedals, or displays.  Instead, the front of the cabin is a first-class lounging area with maximum space, more open views, and access to all the functions of a holistic digital ecosystem that the Audi Grandsphere will provide.  This is a very ambitious car; however, with the rate of hybrid and EV technology becoming more and more readily available, and as we already live in an age where digitized everything is at your fingertips or voice control, the Grandsphere concept might not be too far from becoming a reality.  I only hope that the fun and satisfaction of human ability and the experience of the real world will not be stifled by technology and virtuality.

Audi Grandsphere Interior Concept

A Class-C Update From Mercedes.

Mercedes-Benz have updated their evergreen C-Class saloon and Estate with what Gordon Wagener, the chief design officer of the Daimler group said reflected the desire to apply “sensual purity”. It’s due for release in the northern hemisphere’s summer season.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse, 2021 // Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2021

The new C-Class will feature both forms of hybrid tech, being petrol and PHEV, and will run 48V technology. The battery alone will power the C-Class for up to 100 kilometres, the company says. The petrol engines will be four cylinders from what M-B call FAME (Family of Modular Engines). Along with turbocharging both the petrol and diesel engines the C-Class will have, M-B add in an ISG or integrated starter-generator. This provides low speed assistance using a 48 volt on-board electrical system that ensures functions such as gliding, boosting or energy recovery. Fast re-engagement has seamless switching from off to on when at lights or a stop sign.

Two engines with petrol will be available, one of 1.5L, the other of 2.0L. 125kW/250Nm for the C180, 150kW/300Nm for the C200 and C200 4MATIC from the 1.5L, with 190kW/400Nm for the C300 and C300 3MATIC versions. A pair of 2.0L diesels factor in, with 147kW/440Nm and 195kW/550Nm. Top speeds are limited at the upper end of the range to 250kph.

The plug-in hybrid C-Class will operate in all-electric mode in many cases thanks to an electric output of 95 kW (129 hp) and an all-electric range of around 100 kilometres. For many areas in Europe this could mean little to no ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) usage. The battery is an in-house design and built in a “pouch configuration” with 96 cells, with a total capacity of 25.4kWh. There is an internal cooling system fitted, managing heat discharge in any driving environment. The high density structure allows a charge rate of 30 minutes to full from empty using a 55kW charger. An 11kW charger is standard.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse, 2021 // Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2021

Energy recovery rates can be driver controlled via rocker switches in the console across all driving modes except for Sport. Lifting the foot from the accelerator has the regenerative system act like brakes, slowing the C-Class whilst simultaneously feeding back energy to the battery. Mercedes-Benz have engineered in two additional driving modes which will enable the driver to take advantage of what the powertrain offers: BATTERY HOLD: Maintaining the charge state of the high-voltage battery is given priority, e.g. when intending to drive in a city centre or green zone later on; selection of the most suitable drive configuration by the hybrid powertrain system, depending on the driving situation and route, and ELECTRIC: Electric driving up to 140 km/h, adjustable energy recovery rate in overrun mode, adaptation of Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC for electric driving, activation of the combustion engine using a pressure point of the accelerator pedal (kick-down).

Extra tech sees optional rear-axle steering with 2.5 degrees of angle reducing a turning circle to 10.5 metres. These have the rear wheels in an opposite direction in steering at speeds up to 60kph, then align with the direct front steering above 60kph. The rear steering also effectively reduces the steering ratio to 2.1 turns lock to lock, down from 2.35.

Notable changes to both the saloon and wagon have seen increase to the overall dimensions. The previous model saloon jumps from 4,686mm to 4,751mm in length, the Estate from 4,702mm to 4,751mm. Width is up by 10mm and 20mm respectively to 1,820mm each. Both share an increased wheelbase of 2,865mm, up from 2,840mm each. Luggage capacity for the Estate ranges from 490L to 1,510L, with a slightly lower load lip, and the rears eats have a 40/20/40 split for extra versatility. A powered tailgate is standard across the range.

Australian delivery dates are yet to be confirmed.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse, 2021 // Mercedes-Benz C-Class, 2021

Take 5: BMW’s Mid Size Saloon Updated.

BMW have declared 2020 to be the year of reinvigoration. The German sports luxury car maker continues to roll out uipdates in 2020 and the latest is to the mid-sized sedan, the 5 Series. The range brings the seventh generation 5 Series to market with: 520i, 530i, 530d, 530e PHEV, M550i xDrive and M550i xDrive Pure. Included on all variants will be the M Sport package. There has been changes to the fuel pressure system on the petrol engines for the 520i and 530i. They’ll have a bump from 200 bar to 350 bar for better throttle response and fuel efficiency.

Pricing for the range starts from $95,900 for the 520i 2.0L TwinPower Turbo. There is 135kW and 290Nm on tap here for a 7.8 second 0 – 100kmh time. Head to the 530i with 185kW and 350Nm for 6.1 seconds and the price is $115,900. A PHEV joins the range at $118,900 with BMW’s Synchronous Electric Motor and 2.0L TwinTurbo and packs a 215kW and 420Nm punch. 0 – 100 time is 5.9 seconds.
A six cylinder diesel for the 530d sees power at 195kW and a thumping 620Nm of torque for $125,900. The run to 100 takes 5.7 seconds. Moving into the M550i xDrive Pure and it’s a 4.4L V8 TwinPower unit with 390kW and 750Nm. At $137,900 it’s take just 3.8 seconds to reach freeway speeds. For a little extra the M550i xDrive has the same performance but ups the luxury stakes for $152,900. It’s the flagship for the M Performance line and has the fully variable xDrive AWD system. All prices are Manufacturers List Price.

The PHEV has the electric engine integrated with the gearbox and the package can be switched between petrol, hybrid, or electric only for propulsion. When driven in petrol-only mode, the 530e produces 135kW and 300Nm, while the electric motor offers standalone outputs of 80kW and 265Nm. Battery range is around 67km. BMW adds an XtraBoost function. It bumps peak power to 215kW for up to ten seconds when “vigourous acceleration” is required. It’s a standard fitment and engages when the Driving Experience Control’s Sports mode is selected and the drive selector moves to M/S.
Standard trim in the 520i includes the M Sport package, with the exterior features such as 19 inch alloys and Adaptive LED headlights adding visual pull with Dakota Leather trim, Parking Assistant Plus, and Head Up Display are part of the interior features. The 530i adds a Harman Kardon 16 speaker hifi, front heated seats, and automatic tailgate. The M550i xDrive sees 20 inch alloys and M Performance tuning. handling and drive has the M Sport diff and Adaptive M Suspension Professional. A luxury touch is the soft close for the doors and a leather coated instrument panel. Forward vision is courtesy of BMW’s Laserlight system.

That’s available as an option on the BMW 520i, 530i, 530d and 530e, while the BMW M5 Competition donates the M Multifunctional Seats are optionable for all models. Visual spark for the 520i is available with high gloss red M Sport brakes, and a zero dollar option for the rest of the range. A different form of visual appeal can be optioned as well, with the Drive Recorder that uses the surround cameras to provide up to 40 seconds worth of video.
Bend the ear of your local BMW dealer for a test drive when the range is released.

Mercedes-Benz GLB Ready To Roll For Australia.

Mercedes-Benz has released to the Australian market the GLB. For the brand, it’s the first compact vehicle they manufacture to include a third row of seats. There’s enough space, by the way, for anyone up to 1.68 metres to suit the rear two seats. Conveniences such as a pair of drink holders, storage, and USB ports will be fitted, plus the seats will fold flush with the GLB’s cargo floor. These can be accessed by a 40:20:40 split fold centre row that moves by up to 140mm.

There will be three models available, the GLB 200, GLB 250, and GLB 45 Matic. Both the Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 and the GLB 250 4MATIC are available to order now. Deliveries are expect for July as a starting point. The manufacturer’s list prices are: GLB 200 from $59,900 (MRLP) and GLB 250 4MATIC from $73,900 (MRLP). The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4 MATIC will be priced at $88,900 (MRLP) when it arrives in Australia later this year.The Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 sees 120kW and 250Nm from a direct injection turbocharged 1.3L four cylinder. A dual clutch automatic with seven ratios sends drive to the front wheels. The GLB 250 amps that with a 2.0L engine that produces 165kW and 350Nm. Transmission is the 8G-DCT eight-speed auto, and grip comes from the 4MATIC all wheel drive system.

AMG step in for the GLB 35 4MATIC and have waved their wand over the 2.0L petrol engine. 225 kW and 400 Nm power down via AMG’s SPEEDSHIFT DCT eight-speed auto with their Dynamic Select drive system. There will also be the AMG exhaust system, their bespoke braking system, plus their Sports suspension called Ride Control with electronically controlled damping. AMG’s power steering with speed sensitive adjustment is also on board.Mercedes-Benz have their highly regarded MBUX multimedia system as standard and the front seat occupants will be able to access infotainment via a pair of side by side 10.25 inch screens. Keyless entry, remote tailgate and engine start, the THERMOTRONIC climate control system, and “Comfort” seats will be standard. The door sills will be internally illuminated, and again convenience is standard thanks to satnav, smartapps including the Mercedes-Benz Me Control app and a charge pad, auto wipers, 19 inch alloys, and aluminuim roof rails. PARKTRONIC parking assist is backed up in the safety stakes with Blind Spot assist, Lane Keep Assist, and Traffic Sign Assist. Active Brake Assist with semi-autonomous braking is standard as are nine airbags.

The GLB 250 factors in a sunroof, powered memory front seats with heating, twin spoke 19 inch alloys and an adjustable suspension. Steering is aligned with the all wheel drive system with Sports Direct-Steer, and even a form of off-road suspension. Downhill Speed Regulation and the cornering lamps come into play as well, with the lights on each lower corner coming into play at speeds of up to 50kph. There are a few extra touches for the GLB 35 4MATIC, such as an AMG steering wheel with Nappa leather, Lugano leather on the seats, brushed stainless steel AMG foot pedals, and Carbon Structure interior trim. Outside is AMG’s Night Package trim, 20 inch diameter five spoke alloys, AMG body additions and dark tinted rear window glass.
The arrival of the GLB brings to six the number of models in the Mercedes-Benz compact car portfolio, which includes the A-Class hatch and sedan, B-Class, CLA Coupé and GLA compact SUV. Says Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales: “Every third Mercedes-Benz is now an SUV, every fourth a compact car. So a compact SUV such as the GLB blends all the success factors of our two highest-volume segments.”

October Faction: BMW Set To Launch 4 Series Coupe.

BMW Australia has confirmed the 4 Series Coupe is set for an October 2020 launch date down under. There’s plenty to look at and plenty to like in this striking new machine.

BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology is applied to a pair of four cylinder engines and a six. BMW says the fours will produce 135kW and 300Nm for the 420i, 190kW and 400Nm for the 430i, and for the big six in the M440i 285kW and 500Nm. Autos are the super slick 8 speed Steptronics complete with steering wheel paddle shifts.

For those that prefer the personalisation aspect, BMW’s M Sport Package is ready and waiting. The already bold air intakes are increased in area, and matched at the rear by a large contoured apron. Underneath is the M Sport suspension and 19 inch M Sport M alloys, plus Cerium Grey external accents for the M440i and M Carbon exterior highlights can be optioned. Inside, comfort and safety has the extra touches of knee pads on either side of the centre console plus specific other touches.BMW’s design team may have looked at the past for the future; the front sports a pair of striking yet familiar kidney grilles, with inspiration possibly from the art deco and pulp science magazines of the early part of the 20th century and nod towards their own BMW 3.0 CSi. There’s a heavier nod towards a vertically inclined styling, with a deeper reach towards the lower edge of the front apron. Inside is the newly added horizontal mesh material. There are assertive looking intakes on either side, and sit underneath LED headlights that sweep back deep into the upper edges of the front fenders. Adaptive swivelling adaptive LED with BMW Laserlight are optionable. Laserlight increases high beam range to over 500 metres at speeds of over 60 kilometres per hour.

The designers have looked at how the 4 Series Coupé can stand still and look fast and muscular. Elegant lines in curves and straight work together to pick out the frameless windows in the doors, the short front and rear overhangs, and emphasis the taut LED rear lights. The roofline is a metal wave, smooth, yet powerful. There has been subtle increases in size; there is an extra 128mm to 4,768, width is up by 27mm to 1,852, and a small height increase of just 6mm. It is now 1.383mm and makes the 4 Series 57mm lower than the 3 Series. The wheelbase is up by 41mm for2,581mm. Handling is sharpened by the increase in track with an extra 28mm up front, and 18mm for the rear.
Depending on model, integral head restraints will be fitted, with the rears eats sculpted for a 2+2 configuration. The front seats are a sports style, and the driver graps an M specific leather wheel. It’s a proper cockpit feel with a centre console that houses the Start/Stop button flowing high into the dash itself, and the door panel trim complements that of the instrument panel which is now a broader surface area design. Noise is reduced thanks to an acoustic glass windscreen.

Cabin tech arrives in the form of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a SIM card for 4G LTE connectivity. The BMW Connected Package Professional brings in BMW’s Teleservices which includes the Intelligent Emergency Call, Reat Time Traffic Information, Concierge Services and Remote Services.

A built-in SIM card with 4G LTE connectivity and standard BMW Connected Package Professional enable use of digital services including BMW TeleServices and Intelligent Emergency Call, Real Time Traffic Information with hazard warning, Remote Services and Concierge Services. BMW’s 7.0 OS is standard too, with fully integrated digital access and information. The Live Cockpit Professional delivers a 12.3 inch driver’s screen and a 10.25 control display for the centre. There is also a Head Up Display as standard.

Pricing will be confirmed closer to the October launch date. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/vashi-dengi-zaim.html

New Audi TT And TTS For 2020.

Audi has provided details of the revamped and restyled Audi TT and TTS. Pricing for the Audi TT Coupe 45 TFSI quattro with the 2.0L TSFI 169kW engine starts from $79,900 and the
Audi TTS Coupe TFSI with 210kW starts from $99,900.

The TTS should see the tonne in 4.7 seconds. Economy whilst doing so is rated as 7.0L/100km. The TT is close, with 5.3 seconds and 6.6L/100km. Torque is almost identical at 380Nm and 370Nm respectively. Both powerr down via Audi’s much vaunted “Quattro” system.

The dominant factor visually is the new “Singleframe” grille. Audi says this remains true to the origins of this iconic sportscar, but with a more aggressive, contemporary interpretation. That price represents over $5,000 of value compared to the pevious model, with features such as the LED headlights, the dynamic rear indicator lights, and auto fold wing mirrors.

Highlights inside include heated front seats, Nappa upholstery, and a smartphone charge pad. There is also an a punchy 12 speaker system with 680W from B&O. An option available is the S Line Sport Package. This is $7,990 and includes 19 inch alloys, the exterior post package, bespoke front seats, and aluminuim strip highlights.

The TTS has over $8,500 of extra value with items such as metallic paint as standard, along with red brake calipers. The TTS can be specced with the $4,900 S performance package. This includes Matrix LED headlights, black high-gloss exterior accents, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, park assist and an extended leather package.

The Audi TT range also feature an impressive complement of safety and driver assistance systems including: Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, Audi parking system with front and rear sensors and rear view camera, progressive steering, and cruise control with speed limiter.

Sheetmetal can be clad with Cosmos Blue, Pulse Orange and Turbo Blue available for the TT with the TTS available with Pulse Orange and Turbo Blue.

Head to the Audi website for more details.
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