BMW looking to reinvent both its design language and marketing

BMW is on the verge of a huge change. Within the next year and a half, or so, BMW will be launching six new models, the largest product offensive in the brand’s modern history. A few of those cars are going to be at the higher end of the market, higher than BMW has had before, such as the BMW X7 and 8 Series Coupe. That move upmarket, as well as a shift in advertising and design language, will help BMW sort of reinvent itself for the future.

According to BMW design boss Adrian van Hooydonk, “In fact, six or seven new BMWs will be rolled out in the next year-and-a-half or so. I’ve been with this company a while and we’ve done a lot of product in the past, but I would say that we’ve never done so many new cars for one particular brand in such a short period of time.”

It’s a time van Hooydonk feels is a great opportunity, “an opportunity, because if you can roll six cars in one-and-a-half years, you can pretty much transform the brand,” van Hooydonk told Autocar. “We also felt that it was the right time because we felt quite happy with the design up until now. But you have to keep moving. You don’t want to become a sitting duck.”

One of the interesting moves BMW will be making is switching up the roundel and logo on its higher-end luxury products. So rather than the blue and white roundel that we’ve come to know, it will instead go old-school, with a black and white roundel and the brand’s full name, “Bayerische Motoren Werke” spelled out around it. This design will be present on the cars themselves as well as all marketing for them. So it will create a distinct image for top-of-the-line BMWs.

Hildegard Wortmann, BMW’s brand chief, spoke about this new change in image, “by going back to our roots and using the full name, like Alexander McQueen”. The latter of which is a fashion house that used the same technique, changing its logo back to an old-school one and writing out its full name on higher-end products.

Van Hooydonk also spoke about the new design language the would become of BMW. “This new chapter in our form language. Pretty quickly, we came to the conclusion that it should be something that is cleaner, where we are trying to achieve a lot with fewer elements, and fewer lines.” he said. “But the lines that we do have should be crisper, sharper and more precise. We believe that this will fit very well with these new top-end products. When you reduce the form language, the details matter more. In the luxury segment, where often more is more, we are offering luxury in a very modern way.”

BMW also wants to create more individuality throughout the BMW lineup. “In the next vehicle generation, we want to separate each and every model. They have very different types of competitors that could be from totally different brands. The industry has changed in that sense,” said van Hooydonk. It’s quite promising to hear, as BMW’s design language seems to be getting a bit bland, as of late.

It spells good news for the new 8 Series, though, a car whose concept is one of the prettiest to ever wear a roundel. “For the luxury cars, it is always a good idea to separate them from the next car up – that’s something that we will do. If you look at the 8 Series, I believe it deserves that name. Like the previous 8 Series, it’s a car that’s not a saloon-derived coupé.” said van Hooydonk.

These are exciting changes for BMW and its fans. Not only will the cars be getting more exciting and more sophisticated but they will more individualized. So the days of generic-feeling BMWs will soon be gone. What’s even more exciting still is that it will be happening quickly, as a massive new product offensive will be underway within the next year. Now is a good time to be a BMW fan.

[Source: Autocar]

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Which all-time BMW would you choose for a getaway car?

Everyone car enthusiast is a big fan of car chase scenes in movies. In fact, a good car chase scene can be the entire reason I see a movie sometimes. Some of the best include movies like Bullit, the original Italian Drive and Ronin. Though Ronin is one of my all-time favorites, and could possibly be my favorite, as it features my favorite type of cars — ’80s/’90s German sport sedans —  and Robert De Niro, of course.

I just recently watched a newcomer to the classic car chase list — Baby Driver. It features some of the best choreographed car chase scenes in movie history and is one of the most exciting. What’s even more impressive is that it has multiple car scenes, all of which feature humble cars, such as a Subaru WRX, Chevy Avalanche and even a Saturn Ion. And it got me thinking, what car would I choose to use as my getaway car?

Well, the answer was quickly narrowed down to one of two different eras of the same model, the E28 BMW M5 and E39 BMW M5. Both of which check every single one of my Getaway Car Boxes. They’re both fast, handle well, can fit people/loot and are both surprisingly inconspicuous. In fact, only car enthusiasts can pick them out from a crowd.

But picking two is cheating, so I had to narrow it down to one. Having to choose just one, I’d have to go with the E39 BMW M5.

The E39 M5 is the perfect getaway car in my eyes. Its 4.9 liter naturally-aspirated V8 makes 394 hp (which is 400 hp by Nico maths), all of which is sent through a proper six-speed manual gearbox and to the rear wheels only. It can get from 0-6o mph in 4.8 seconds. While that’s not anywhere near as fast as modern performance sedans, it’s far fast enough to outrun the fuzz and any baddies who you might be chasing.

It’s also one of the best handling sedans in the history of the automobile. Not many performance sedans provide such a good balance of sharp handling, supple ride comfort and a controlled chassis. It’s the sort of car that can be driven incredible hard on normal roads and not be upset by the imperfections of public pavement.

Most importantly, though, it’s barely noticeable. Aside from its quad exhausts, it’s nigh impossible to pick one out from a crowd of cars, without being a genuine BMW enthusiast. A de-badged E39 M5 would look like any other old BMW to whoever’s chasing you. So when the heat is off, it can quickly blend right back into traffic.

What would be your perfect BMW getaway car?

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Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels and Other Modifications At AUTOCouture Motoring

With just a subtle difference between the Alpine White and Mineral White, for the casual onlooker, the two exterior finishes will look the same. However, Mineral White does come with a bit of a darker twist to it, delivered by a flatter overall look. In most lighting scenarios, both will help the BMW M3 look pretty damn gorgeous, putting its curvaceous lines in full view. This particular BMW F80 M3 build comes from AUTOCouture Motoring. It features a bevy of aftermarket parts and additions, giving the M3 a more aggressive exterior note overall.

The current BMW M3 is powered by a 3.0 Liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, shared by the BMW F82 M4. In both versions, the engine delivers 425 horsepower and 486lb-ft of torque. When paired with the optional 8-Speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) system, it will sprint from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in as low as 4.1 seconds. To many, the M3 is the perfect foundation for a classy aftermarket build.

Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring

For this Mineral White BMW M3, it all started with exterior cosmetic and carbon fiber touches. First, the OEM GTS hood was installed. Found on the more track-oriented BMW M4 GTS, the hood gives that aggressive look the front-end needed. The vehicle’s front also features a Vorsteiner GTS carbon fiber front lip. Moving onto the back of the vehicle, you’ll find a PSM rear diffuser and PSM V2 trunk spoiler, featuring its top portion color-matched to the M3’s exterior color scheme.

Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring

The most impactful additions come in the wheel department. The tuner equipped this M3 with a set of HRE S104 forged wheels. Featuring sizes of 20×8.5 and 20×11.5 in the front and rear, respectively, these wheels come with a charcoal face, gloss black barrels and polished lips, perfectly completing the M3’s exterior looks. Behind these beautiful wheels, you’ll find a set of Brembo GT Style III rotors with custom painted frozen silver brake calipers by iND Distribution. Finally, a Rogue Engineering race stud kit helps the wheels stay attached in high-performance cornering situations.

Take a look at the complete media gallery of this Mineral White BMW M3 right below.

Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring




Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring







Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring



Mineral White BMW M3 Gets HRE Wheels By AUTOCouture Motoring



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BMW CEO: “Our top priority is electric mobility”

BMW’s commitment to electro-mobility has never been more obvious than the recent show of force put out at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The company not only unveiled the updated i3 Facelift and the all-new i3S, but it also displayed two concepts both powered by an electric motor. Firstly, we had the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, a plug-in hybrid which makes use of the electric power to travel with zero emissions, when needed, and secondly, the i sub-division of BMW gave us the futuristic Vision i Dynamics, a preview of a four-dour Gran Coupe out in 2021.  The MINI brand also delivered their own vision of electric cars, in the form of MINI Electric Concept.

In an interview with Driving.ca, BMW CEO Harald Krueger emphasized once again the company’s electric future. “Our top priority is electric mobility,” Krüger said, adding that the company will deliver 100,000 vehicles with some form of electric powertrain to global customers this year. “Not many companies can achieve that. We can react quickly to demands and segments, and the flexibility of our architecture for front- and rear-wheel drive can deliver into several sections.”

Krueger also talked about the production of electric motors, which is handled in-house by the Bavarians.

 

“The (vehicle) has to be functional, and the company has to be a cost leader in new technologies. It’s a challenge, but we have the biggest in-house for electric vehicles.” Krüger said BMW makes its own electric motors, while most others source theirs from suppliers; it also assembles its own batteries, buying only the cells.

Charging standards and inadequate charing infrastructure has been a hot subject in the electric world in the last few years, and both are seen by many as obstacles in the quicker adoption of EVs.

“You need a knowledge network to develop a charging standard,” he said. “Companies cannot afford three or four standards, and customers need to be able to use every available charging station with standardized switches.”

 

There are also degrees of electrification, and Krueger is open to almost everything. Some automakers are bypassing plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), which run for a short period on electricity only after they’re plugged in, and revert to regular hybrid operation when the charge runs out.

They’re pricier than conventional cars, but Krüger thinks they’ll stick around. “If the infrastructure (for public recharging) isn’t there, this is the proper choice,” he said. “If you’re living in Canada and traveling long distances every day, you’re depending on the engine because you might not have the electricity available. And in future, if cities have a ban (on gasoline vehicles downtown), you can drive to the city border on gasoline and then enter on purely electric. The business is changing and there are so many transformations, and it’s exciting to work on the sustainability of the future.”

[Source: Driving.ca]

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Design: MINI Electric Concept explained by Christopher Weil, Head of MINI Exterior

Last month in Frankfurt, MINI has unveiled their second and future production series electric hatchback. It has been nearly ten years since MINI took a significant, pioneering step with the MINI E – and laid the foundations at the BMW Group for the development of electric mobility solutions to production readiness. The MINI E unveiled in 2008 was the first all-electric car from the BMW Group to be driven by private users in everyday traffic conditions – as part of an extensive field trial. Over 600 MINI E cars entered service worldwide for the purpose of the field studies.

The new MINI electric is based on the standard three-door model in the company’s current range. The design of the MINI Electric Concept stands out with a hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights. Identifying features include the vividly contrasting silver and yellow colour scheme reminiscent of the earlier MINI E, as well as the distinctive E badge.

Besides this, the radiator grille and headlights have been reinterpreted to reflect the emission-free drive technology under the bonnet. As the electric drive unit requires very little cooling air, the radiator grille is closed for superior aerodynamics. A Striking Yellow accent bar in the grille – with an E badge in the same colour – produces a powerful contrasting effect, which is echoed by the styling of the daytime running lights in the all-LED headlight assemblies.

MINI Electric Concept will be powered by a lithium-ion battery but power specs, range and efficiency specs have yet to be disclosed. It will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Oxford and will go on sale in 2019.

To learn more about the new electric concept and about MINI’s future, we interviewed Christopher Weil, the head of MINI Exterior Design.

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{CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures} Chapter 12: Nacogdoches, TX Adventures!

Back in March of 2016 we bought a little 1970’s 4-seater Piper and we have had many fun flying adventures.  Interested in reading more of the {CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures}? PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,  Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10, Chapter 11Entire Series (newest posts first).

A special thanks to my husband Paul who flies the plane and edits all our videos. Please subscribe to his Texas Gooney Bird YouTube channel if you are interested in following our adventures. It would make his day!

It was a gorgeous weekend in the beginning of October so we decided to take a little day trip to Nacogdoches, TX. The flight is about an hour so that would give us plenty of time to explore the town.

There were some scattered clouds that day and they looked so gorgeous up there.

These clouds look a lot closer in this photo than they actually were.

We flew over Lake Livingstone. You can see the dam in this photo.

Talking about dams, I will never forget when we took a family trip to Las Vegas and I had to book a “Dam Tour” for the Hoover Dam. I kept on cracking up when I was ordering it on the phone.

“I want to order tickets for the “Dam Tour” for four.

OK, you want four tickets to the “Dam  Tour”?

“Yes, thank you. How much are the children tickets for the “Dam Tour”?

And it went on and on. And I was greatly amused and it made my day because I am a nerd and like cursing without really cursing.

I always get excited when we see the airport. Before we locate it there are always a few minutes of:

“Is that the airport?”

“No, that isn’t the airport, but I think it see it over there.”

“Wait, I think I see it now! Oh, that isn’t it.”

“There it is!”

And I breathe a sigh of relief that someone finally found the airport.

I also love watching Paul land the plane. He sets it down so much smoother than the guys flying the commercial jets.

Fill-er-up! Since the Gooney is small and basic she doesn’t use much fuel. She almost gets the same mileage as my car. 
A L Mangham Jr. Regional Airport has a courtesy car and if you buy gas you can borrow it. Another perk of flying!

Of course everyone was starving so we decided to try out a new-to-us Mexican Restaurant called El Ranchero.

I cracked up when I read on the menubar sign that adults can get two free margaritas per meal  They apparently don’t have a liquor license and can’t sell alcohol so they also allow customers to BYOA (bring your own alcohol).

Pilots can’t drink 8 hours before flying so Paul was out. And once I figured out how much sugar was in a margarita (especially the watered-down free ones!) they lost all their thrill. Give me a nice wine or dirty martini. But I just told Paul I wasn’t drinking because he wasn’t drinking. 😉

 The food was inexpensive and decent. I would go back.

We decided to take the short drive to downtown Nacogdoches. It is really a beautiful historic town.

We had some coffee and the boys shared a milkshake at Dolli’s Diner. The coffee was good but they only had artificial-flavored fake creamer so I had to have mine with milk. It really irks me when a place advertises they sell coffee and they don’t have real creamer. So next time I will try out Java Jack’s.

The milkshake apparently was quite delicious.

There are many really interesting buildings in town.

Luke is already as tall as me. 5’7″ and only 12…

And there are also many fun things to explore. Notice that Paul is always getting in some extra exercise. Yes, he is a bit odd, but I still love him. I guess he can’t judge me for skipping on free margaritas. 😉

The weather was warm and the day was beautiful and we really enjoyed walking around. Many of the businesses were closed, but there was some really nice window-shopping opportunities. They also had quite a few antique stores but I knew I couldn’t bring anything home that was larger than a shoebox.

We went to the visitor center and studied some of the local history.

Nacogdoches historical is very interesting. It was the first actual “town” in Texas, founded in 1779. That is OLD in Texas history.

Just before we had to head back to the airport Luke was able to get a free drum lesson. These guys were really nice.

But all good trips have to come to an end and shortly later we were packed back in our seats ready to head back home.

And what a view!

Finally we see Hook airport in the distance.

And Paul gently puts down the Gooney Bird.

It was perfect day with the family.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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McGinley chasing first win for 12 years; McDowell struggling in Korea

Paul McGinley at the opening of the Paul McGinley Golf Academy at Mount Juliet recently. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Paul McGinley at the opening of the Paul McGinley Golf Academy at Mount Juliet recently. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

European Senior Tour — Paul McGinley hasn’t won a tour event since he claimed the Volvo Masters at Valderrama in 2005. But he has a chance to end that 12-year drought when he goes into the final round of the Farmfoods European Senior Masters just one shot behind American Clark Dennis.

The Dubliner, 51, carded a level par 72 in testing conditions to remain on two-under par at the Forest of Arden.

Order of Merit leader Denis, who has already won twice this season, posted a three-over-par 75 to slip back to three-under par.

Playing alongside Des Smyth, McGinley started on the back nine and while he dropped a shot at the 10th and followed a birdie four at the 12th with another bogey at the par-three 18th, he came home in one-under-par with his lone birdie arriving at the par-five seventh.

Farmfoods European Senior Masters, Forest of Arden (Par 72)

Detailed scores

1 DENNIS, Clark 66 75 141
2 MCGINLEY, Paul 70 72 142
T31 WALTON, Philip 74 78 152
T34 SMYTH, Des 74 79 153
T38 RAFFERTY, Ronan 75 79 154
T44 DARCY, Eamonn 76 80 156
T44 MCGOVERN, Brendan 74 82.

McDowell struggling in Korea

On the PGA Tour, Graeme McDowell followed a pair of 73s with a 77 to lie joint 57th on seven-over in the inaugural CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island in South Korea. Scores

Justin Thomas (70) and Scott Brown (71) lead by two strokes on nine-under-par from India’s Anirban Lahiri (69) and Australia’s Marc Leishman (71).

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