Friday, 23 September 2011

Winter tyres could save your life

  • Tests prove huge safety benefits
  • Winter tyres performed well in wet conditions, too
  • Majority of drivers not choosing winter tyres
Winter tyres offer huge safety benefits over normal tyres in adverse conditions, according to research by What Car?, but UK motorists appear unmoved by that fact.

In snow, summer tyres took more than twice the distance to stop on average compared with winter tyres. When braking on sheet ice from 12mph, the average stopping distance for winter tyres was 12.5 metres and the summer tyres 19 metres.

Winter tyres don’t only work better on snow and ice, they also perform better than summer tyres on wet roads when the temperature falls below 7C.

However, just 10% of UK motorists swapped to winter rubber last year, while 5% tried but failed due to a shortage of tyres. A full 85% didn’t even bother.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: 'Winter tyres make for much safer winter driving, so we would encourage all motorists to change their tyres in the colder months. Used in this way a set of winter tyres will last motorists several years.'

For the evaluation, What Car? tested four brands of winter tyres against their summer tyre counterparts in a series of cold-weather performance tests. The snow and ice testing was carried out in northern Sweden, and the wet and dry tests in Germany.

Learn more about BMW Winter Tyres and our special offers here>>>

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New BMW M5


At a glance:

  • Fifth generation of the world’s most successful high-performance sedan in the premium segment of the executive class; new BMW M5 is an exceptionally dynamic high-performance sports car with four doors and five seats; consistent further development of the vehicle concept initiated in 1984 with the first-generation BMW M5; compelling track potential combines with the comprehensive practicality of a luxurious business sedan; groundbreaking character headlined by significantly improved efficiency, supreme long-distance comfort, and innovative driver assistance systems and infotainment functions.
  • World premiere of a newly developed BMW M high-performance engine: high-revving 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo package – consisting of Twin Scroll Twin Turbo technology, cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control; 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm, maximum torque: 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) from 1,500 rpm; maximum speed: 7,200 rpm; wet sump lubrication optimised for high lateral loads, lag-free power delivery, typical M car thrust.
  • Significantly improved balance between performance and fuel consumption: acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds, 0–200 km/h (124 mph) in 13.0 seconds, top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph (305 km/h / 190 mph with M Driver’s Package); average fuel consumption in EU test cycle: 9.9 litres/100 km (28.5 mpg imp); engine output 10 per cent up on predecessor model, maximum torque increased by 30 per cent, fuel consumption cut by more than 30 per cent; extensive Efficient Dynamics technology, including Auto Start-Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration.
  • Power transfer to the rear wheels via the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic; traction-optimised automatic gear selection; Launch Control; Low Speed Assistance; automatically activated parking mode; M-specific gear selector; M leather steering wheel with shift paddles.
  • Hallmark M conceptual harmony produces superior performance characteristics with precise interplay of drive and chassis technology, aerodynamics and weight balance; power-to-weight ratio: 3.3 kg (approx. 7 lb)/hp; M-specific suspension (front and rear axle kinematics), M Servotronic steering, Dynamic Damper Control, DSC stability control system including M Dynamic Mode; bodyshell mounting using special panels; lightweight compound high-performance braking system.
  • Outstandingly agile handling thanks to innovative rear axle differential with Active M Differential; electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential enables fully variable distribution of drive between the rear wheels to optimise traction and stability in dynamic lane change manoeuvres and acceleration out of corners; degree of lock can be varied between 0 and 100 per cent according to the situation; fast, precise and pre-emptive responses thanks to constant data cross-checking between the Active M Differential and DSC stability control system, and monitoring of the accelerator pedal position, wheel speed and yaw rate.
  • Two individually configured set-ups for the car can be called up using the new M Drive buttons on the steering wheel; range of programmable parameters unique in the segment: engine response, M Servotronic responses, Drivelogic shift program, DSC mode, Dynamic Damper Control and information in the Head-Up Display.
  • Characteristic body design with familiar M aesthetics reflecting the car’s extremely dynamic yet precisely controllable nature; specific design features contributing to performance characteristics; front apron with extremely large air intakes for the engine and brakes; athletically flared wheel arches to emphasise wide track; hallmark M “gills” with integrated indicator bars; aerodynamically optimised rear apron with diffuser between the right and left-hand pair of twin exhaust tailpipes; gurney-style rear spoiler on the boot lid; 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in exclusive double-spoke design.
  • Unique combination of sports car cockpit and luxurious ambience for the interior; M-specific instrument cluster in black-panel technology; newly designed, leather-covered centre console; M sports seats; standard specification also includes: Merino leather upholstery with extended features, exclusive aluminium Trace interior trim strips, BMW Individual roof liner in anthracite, electrically operated steering column adjustment, four-zone automatic climate control and ambient light.
  • Extensive range of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive unmatched by competitors in this segment and beyond: M-specific Head-Up Display (standard), Adaptive Headlights for standard xenon light, High-Beam Assistant, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian detection, Lane Change Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, Surround View, Speed Limit Info, internet usage, extended integration of smartphones and music players, real-time traffic information and apps for receiving web radio and using Facebook and Twitter.
  • Almost all BMW 5 Series Sedan equipment options available, including Comfort Access, M multifunction seats, active seats, doors with Soft Close Automatic function, hands-free tailgate opening, electric glass roof, trailer coupling.
  • Specifications and performance: BMW M5: V8 petrol engine, M TwinPower Turbo technology with Twin Scroll Twin Turbo, cross-bank exhaust manifold, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve control. Displacement: 4,395 cc, output: 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm, max. torque: 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) at 1,500 – 5,750 rpm. Acceleration 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 4.4 seconds, acceleration 0–200 km/h (124 mph): 13.0 seconds, top speed: 250 km/h / 155 mph (305 km/h / 190 mph with M Driver’s Package). Average fuel consumption: 9.9 litres/100 kilometres (28.5 mpg imp), CO2 emissions: 232 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.


    Register your interest in the new BMW M5 and receive updates by clicking here>>>

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    Wednesday, 7 September 2011

    BMW 730Ld Saloon

    BMW 730Ld is the Professional Driver chauffeur car of choice

    The BMW 730Ld Saloon has been crowned Car of the Year at the Professional Driver Car of the Year Awards 2011, while also taking the title of Chauffeur Car of the Year.  Not to be outdone, the BMW 530d Gran Turismo retained its title of Executive Car of the Year for the second year in a row.

    The BMW 7 Series was commended for its unrivalled mix of passenger luxury, low running cost and driver satisfaction making it the ideal chauffer car both for the driver and the driven.  Its exceptional quality and improved fuel consumption, along with an excellent manufacturer-backed chauffeur programme clinched the title.

    The 5 Series Gran Turismo was praised for its abundance of rear leg room, command driving position, its sheer versatility and high quality.   Its unique interior packaging matched with the choice of powerful yet economic drivetrains and an outstanding satellite navigation system, earned the 5 Series Gran Turismo its title as the judges applauded it as a car made for chauffeuring.

    Mark Bursa, editor of Professional Driver magazine and chair of the judging panel, said: “The BMW 730Ld offers an exceptional mix of comfort, rear-seat luxury and driveability. Since 2009, the 7 Series has been improved, with better fuel economy now above 40mpg combined. And crucially, it's part of a beefed-up manufacturer-backed chauffeur programme that makes it much more affordable for chauffeurs on a lease basis than either the Jaguar XJL or the Mercedes S-class”

    Stephen Chater, BMW Group Corporate Operations Manager, said: “We are delighted to win these awards showing the 7 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo to be class leading competitors in the chauffeur market.  They highlight everything that BMW believe in; building cars of the highest quality that, thanks to EfficientDynamics, are amongst the most efficient in their sector.”

    A total of 33 cars were entered for the Professional Driver Magazine Car of the Year Awards, which were judged by more than thirty judges from the chauffeuring and private hire sector and the motoring media.

    The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and the BMW 7 Series are available on the BMW Chauffeur Programme, offering competitive contract hire rates, enhanced specification packages and predictable running costs.

    To make these vehicles appeal to the driver as well as the driven, tailored benefits include BMW Service Inclusive, which lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles and covers all of the vehicle's basic servicing requirements.  As part of the programme, professional drivers are also covered in the event of an immobilisation which cannot be repaired at the roadside.  Should this occur a replacement vehicle which is PCO licensed for London, can be provided, giving operators peace of mind that clients will always be catered for to the highest standards.  London PCO licensed demonstrators are also now available, so customers can put the vehicles to the test with their clients.

    For more information on the BMW Chauffeur Programme visit

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    Bucks County Show

    Specialist Cars were at the Bucks County Show on Thursday 1st September with a BMW's and MINI's on display. Visitors to our MINI stands got a free MINI wrist band and pen. Thank you to everyone who visited us and we hope you had a fantastic day at the show.

    Our BMW shop

    The Z1 makes another appearance


    Our stand was right by the main attraction ring

    MINI Sales Exec Chris Lane joins in the fun

    A very happy customer after her visit to the face painter

    I Love MINI!

    The face painter at the MINI stand

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