Thursday, 15 December 2011

BMW xDrive Cup

Experience the joys of winter and collect badges - The BMW xDrive Cup to visit four countries

Following last year’s huge success, the BMW xDrive Cup is returning to the Alps with some new highlights. At 13 winter sports venues in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, winter lovers will have the opportunity to collect “badges” and win exciting prizes. High-ranking travel destinations such as Sölden, Alta Badia, Davos Klosters and Garmisch-Partenkirchen are also on the agenda. During the BMW xDrive Cup, which is organised by BMW Group in joint cooperation with Skiline Media AG, skiers and snowboarders are awarded prizes in a total of six events.

The BMW xDrive course offers all winter lovers the opportunity to experience at first-hand the four-wheel drive system xDrive. Skiers and amateur snowboarders alike will be able to compete against each other on the Giant Slalom especially prepared for the event and, at 10 of the 13 destinations, even post their own personal skiing video online. The purchase of a skiing pass at one of the BMW xDrive Partner skiing areas will be rewarded with a badge. A performance badge will be awarded for each 5,000 metres of altitude covered. Badges can also be collected when using selected slopes at BMW xDrive Cup destinations. Even in bad weather there is something to do: At people can search for a hidden link to obtain the Webtour Badge.

Participants with at least five badges will take part in the monthly draw for
 “K2 LTD. BMW M Design Edition” skis. Participants who have collected at least 15 badges will also take part in the draw for a brand new BMW X1. The person with the most badges at the end of the season can look forward to a one-week BMW Ice Fascination driver training course in Sweden. For further details visit

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

M Quiz Questions and Answers

Specialist Cars held exclusive M events last week to celebrate the launch of the new BMW M5 and to showcase the fantastic range of M models. On the night, guests were invited to take part in an M Quiz to test their knowledge. So, here are the eagerly anticipated answers. Would you have known the answer to all of these?

Q1. The BMW 1M coupe was launched earlier this year and was an instant hit with the press. Some said it will be a future classic, and that was before it had even reached the showroom!

450 of these models were produced for the UK market but can you name the 3 standard colours the 1M coupe is available in?

A. Valencia Orange, Alpine White, Sapphire Black

Q2. The new BMW M5 is powered by an impressive 8 cylinder M twin turbo charged engine. The engine utilises all of the proven BMW engine technology such as VANOS (variable valve timing), VALVETRONIC (variable valve adjustment) and high precision fuel injection.

What is the official BHP of this engine?

A. 560 BHP

Q3. In 1994 McLaren cars joined forces with BMW to produce the legendary McLaren F1. Limited to a hundred units, this super car produced 627BHP from its 12 cylinder BMW engine and reached a top speed of 240.1 MPH! The production ended in 1998.

What is the official BMW engine code for the 6 litre, 12 cylinder engine which powered this car?

A. 570 – 2

Q4. The BMW car configurator on the website allows customers to “build” their dream car. They can then save, print or even send the details to a friend.

How many M models are there currently on the configurator for customers to build?

A. 6

Q5. The BMW E36 M3 GT coupe was built in 1995 and was available exclusively in British racing green. This rare car was fitted with an adjustable front spoiler and a more powerful engine than the standard model.

How many of these RHD vehicles were produced for the UK market?

A. 50

Q6. In 2010 the BMW E92 GT2 race car made its Le Mans 24 hour debut. One of the cars entered in the race was chosen to be the 17th BMW Art Car.

What was the name of the American artist who designed the art work on the #79 M3?

A. Jeff Koons

Q7. The BMW M Experience can be found on the website. It guides you through the history of BMW M GmbH with interesting facts, figures, videos and illustrations. The company was originally named BMW Motorsport GmbH.

What year was the BMW Motorsport GmbH division first founded?

A. 1972

Q8. The BMW E92 coupe can be ordered with the optional “competition package” (S07MA) at a cost of £3,385.00.

What does the competition package consist of? Please note: Carbon splitters/spoilers are available separately.

A. Lower suspension, DSC+, EDC, sport mode, Y spoke wheels

Q9. The new BMW M5 is fitted with some clever technology designed to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy but without compromising on power. BMW EfficientDynamics is now available on the M range and includes engine stop/start, light weight engineering and high precision fuel injection.

According to the sales brochure, what is the total combined MPG figure for the new BMW M5?

A. 28.5

Q10. In 1978 BMW Motorsport GmbH, as it was known then, produced their first M badged production car. The car was fitted with a 3.5litre mid positioned engine which produced 277BHP, this was a substantial amount back in 1978. The car was on sale for whopping £22,000.

What was the first M car offered to the public back in 1978?

A. M1

Q11. The M on the M badge stands for motorsport and displays the close connection to its motorsport heritage.

Do you know what the three colours represent on the badge?

A. Blue symbolises the Bavarian flag, Red symbolises Power and the colour in the middle symbolises the bond between the blue and red

Q12. In 2010 BMW M GmbH launched the E92 M3 GTS. All of the cars were produced in orange and were fitted with a slightly larger 4.4 litre V8 engine producing 444BHP. The car utilised light weight engineering and cost approx €115,000 when released.

How much lighter is the M3 GTS compared to the standard model?

A. 70kg

Q13. BMW Motorsport GmbH entered the world of F1 in the early 80’s with the Brabham BMW BT52. 6 cars were produced with 4 cylinder 1499cc, detuned to 600BHP! The M12 engines were turbo charged which could potentially produce 1200BHP.

What year did Nelson Piquet win the Formula 1 drivers world championship at the wheel of the Brabham BMW? BMW finished 3rd in the constructors championship that year.

A. 1983

Q14. BMW returned to F1 in the late 90’s and signed an exclusive agreement with Williams F1 to build a new V10 (the E41) for the FW22 chassis which made its race debut in the year 2000. Williams BMW F1 came third in the construction championship during that first year.

Which British World Champion drove this car back in 2000?

A. Jenson Button

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Auto Express Group Tests

BMW 1 Series wins Auto Express Group Tests as the best Hatchback.

BMW 1 Series

More spacious and refined newcomer takes hatch honours

The best cars evolve to filter out their weak points, and that’s exactly what the new 1 Series has done.

BMW has accepted that the previous model’s boot was too small and its rear seats cramped, so the new car is longer and wider, with an extra 30mm slotted into the wheelbase.

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BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

Moving elegance. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe.

Munich. The presentation of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe sees BMW venturing into a new vehicle segment once again. The third model in the BMW 6 Series line-up follows in the tyre tracks of the Convertible and Coupe, and is the first four-door Coupe in the history of the brand. The athletic elegance of the car’s design makes it a particularly handsome addition to the range. Powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology combine to produce an impressively dynamic driving experience. And the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe also makes its mark with exclusive equipment features and a level of practicality unmatched by its premium four-door Coupe rivals.

At a glance.

BMW demonstrates its ongoing commitment to broadening the diversity of its model range with the presentation, for the first time, of a four-door Coupe based on the BMW 6 Series; BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe sets new benchmark in the top-class premium segment in terms of aesthetics, emotionality and modernity.

Unique combination of sporty driving pleasure, elegant design, exclusive interior ambience, travel comfort and practicality; the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe displays an – in some areas – significant step forwards in terms of design harmony, performance, equipment, practicality and integration; high-quality interior with generous levels of space and impressive seating comfort; third rear seat (4+1-seater); length: 5,007 millimetres, wheelbase: 2,968 millimetres; split/folding rear seat backrests allow boot capacity to increase from 460 litres to 1,265 litres.

Building on the aesthetically pleasing styling of the BMW 6 Series, the design of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe showcases its distinctive character; strikingly low-slung appearance.

Front-end design points to BMW 6 Series identity, individual character embodied by model-specific electroplated bars between the air intake and foglamps; twin round headlights with three-dimensional light rings, optional adaptive LED headlights; distinctive silhouette with flowing Coupe-style roof line and elegant take on the Hofmeister kink, complete with “Gran Coupe” lettering on the C-pillar; eye-catching rear emphasises the width of the car; LED rear lights in an L-shape – like the BMW 6 Series Coupe and BMW 6 Series Convertible; full-length third brake light above the rear window.

Exclusively appointed interior with driver-focused cockpit; door panels flow into one another seamlessly, providing a harmonious connection all the way from the instrument panel to the rear compartment; flatscreen Control Display; comfort-oriented rear seat backrest angle; seating position slightly higher than in the BMW 6 Series Coupe and BMW 6 Series Convertible.

Engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology; BMW 640i Gran Coupe with six-cylinder in-line petrol engine (235 kW/320 hp), twin-scroll turbocharging, direct injection and VALVETRONIC, and BMW 640d Gran Coupe (230 kW/313 hp) with variable sequential turbocharging and common-rail direct injection available from launch; flagship BMW 650i Gran Coupe with new eight-cylinder engine (330 kW/450 hp), two turbochargers, direct injection and VALVETRONIC to be added to the line-up; all model variants fitted as standard with an eight-speed sports automatic transmission and Driving Experience Control switch; BMW EfficientDynamics measures unmatched in the segment – including Auto Start-Stop function and ECO PRO mode – come as standard with all engine variants.

State-of-the-art chassis technology including Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Damper Control as standard; Integral Active Steering and Adaptive Drive available as an option; BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive available from launch of the BMW 650i Gran Coupe.

Intelligent lightweight design mirroring that of the BMW 6 Series Coupe and
BMW 6 Series Convertible: aluminium doors with frameless side windows, aluminium bonnet, chassis technology including spring supports made largely from aluminium, thermoplastic front side panels, glass fibre composite boot lid.

High-quality and extensive standard equipment includes eight-speed sports automatic transmission, Auto Start-Stop function, Dynamic Damper Control, Servotronic, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, xenon headlights with LED daytime running light rings, cruise control with braking function, electrically operated, automatically folding and heated exterior mirrors, Dakota leather upholstery and heated front seats, electric seat adjustment with memory function for the driver and front passenger, 2-zone automatic climate control with extended features, automatically dimming exterior and rear-view mirrors, electric steering wheel adjustment, and the Radio Professional with HiFi loudspeaker system and USB audio interface.

Unrivalled range of BMW ConnectedDrive products, including BMW Parking Assistant, Speed Limit Info, camera-based Collision Warning with braking function (in conjunction with Active Cruise Control) and latest-generation BMW Head-Up Display; exclusive options list includes a Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System, comfort seats and sports seats, active seats, seat ventilation, Exclusive Nappa leather, ceramic applications, heated rear seats and 4-zone automatic climate control; extensive range of model-specific BMW Individual features and M Sport package available from launch.

Model variants:

BMW 650i Gran Coupe (BMW 650i xDrive Gran Coupe) :
  • V8 petrol engine, BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with two turbochargers and High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, VALVETRONIC.
  • Displacement: 4,395 cc, output: 330 kW/450 hp at 5,500 – 6 000 rpm,
  • max. torque: 650 Nm / 479 lb-ft at 2,000 – 4,500 rpm.
  • Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 4.6 seconds (4.5 seconds),
  • top speed: 250 km/h /155 mph.
  • Average fuel consumption*: 8.6 – 8.8 (9.2 – 9.4) litres per 100 kilometres / 32.1 – 32.9 (30.1 – 30.7) mpg imp,
  • CO2 emissions*: 199 – 206 g/km (215 – 219 g/km), exhaust standard: EU5.
BMW 640i Gran Coupe:
  • Six-cylinder in-line petrol engine,
  • BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with twin-scroll turbocharging,
  • High Precision Direct Petrol Injection and VALVETRONIC.
  • Displacement: 2,979 cc, output: 235 kW/320 hp at 5,800 – 6 000 rpm,
  • max. torque: 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) at 1,300 – 4,500 rpm.
  • Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 5.4 seconds,
  • top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph).
  • Average fuel consumption*: 7.7 – 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (35.8 –
  • 36.2 mpg imp),
  • CO2 emissions*: 179 – 183 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.
BMW 640d Gran Coupe:
  • Six-cylinder in-line diesel engine,
  • BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with two-stage turbocharging and common-rail direct injection.
  • Displacement: 2,993 cc, output: 230 kW/313 hp at 4,400 rpm,
  • max. torque: 630 Nm (465 lb-ft) at 1,500 – 2,500 rpm.
  • Acceleration [0 – 100 km/h / 62 mph]: 5.4 seconds,
  • top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph),
  • Average fuel consumption*: 5.5 – 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (49.6 –
  • 50.4 mpg imp),
  • CO2 emissions*: 146 – 149 g/km, exhaust standard: EU5.
* Figures according to EU test cycle and depending on tyre format;
BMW 650i Gran Coupe: provisional figures.

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Thursday, 8 December 2011

BMW 7 Series Limousines

Nobel Prize Laureates are chauffeured in BMW 7 Series Limousines

Stockholm, Sweden. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize® has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. Since 1969 an additional prize has been awarded by Sweden’s Central Bank at the ceremony in Stockholm called The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

At the Award Ceremony on 10th December, which takes place at the Stockholm Concert Hall, His Majesty the King of Sweden hands each Laureate a diploma and a medal. The Award Ceremony is followed by a Banquet at the Stockholm City Hall for about 1,300 people.

During their stay in Stockholm, the Laureates and their families are chauffeured in 12 black long-wheelbase BMW 7 Series cars by Freys Hyrverk, the limousine company which has been purveying services to the Nobel Foundation since 1901. The BMW 7 Series, as BMW’s flagship sedan, represents the ultimate luxury experience, bringing together powerful design, supreme comfort, innovative features and a clear commitment to sustainability.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Laura Trott wins omnium bronze for GB

Track World Cup: Laura Trott wins omnium bronze for GB

Great Britain's Laura Trott won a second medal of the week by taking bronze in the omnium at the Track World Cup in Colombia.

The 19-year-old finished third in the individual pursuit and fifth in the scratch race before winning the time trial to give her a score of 29 points.

American Sarah Hammer took gold ahead of Canada's Tara Whitten, the overnight leader in the two-day event in Cali.

Trott won a gold medal in the team pursuit earlier in the week.

She entered the second day of the omnium, which features six disciplines, in fifth place after finishing fifth in the flying lap, fourth in the points race and 11th in the elimination race on day one.

Her time trial success left her just one point adrift of Whitten in the final standings, but Hammer was a comfortable winner on 14 points after recording two wins, two runners-up finishes and two fourth places.

Trott, Wendy Houvenaghel and Paralympian Sarah Storey won gold in the team pursuit on Friday and Houvenaghel took silver in the individual pursuit on Saturday.


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Stevenage Parts Department

Please be aware that our Stevenage parts department will be closed for stock check all day on Saturday 10th December. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Monday, 5 December 2011

Poplars Garden Centre Christmas Event

Specialist Cars were at the Poplars Garden Centre Christmas event this week. To celebrate the countdown to Christmas we welcomed customers with a mince pie whilst they enjoyed an exclusive shopping evening.

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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Laura Trott - Blog

Me, my car and the Olympic Stadium

Since getting my car last month I have been very busy. As soon as I got it, it was off to Manchester for another training camp with the team and a bit of preperation for my first world cup of the year. Training was pretty standard for this week abit of time in the gym, a bit of road and then my main training on the track.

The following week was very exciting. Off in my car again but back down to London to the new Olympic Velodrome. This was the first time I had been in the Olympic Park and it was quite surreal. Its obviously not completed yet. They're still laying a lot of the greenery and the roads down but the track is all ready to go. So we had a few days down there getting used to it and having a look at what we will be racing on in 2012. It was all very exciting and quite scary really. It was weird to think that if all goes well that is where we will be competing in less than a years time.

I was only there for a short period of time before leaving for my first world cup of the season which is in Cali, Colombia. After a very long flight and being jet lagged because they're 5hours behind we started to get on with the training again as if we were on any other track. This track is very different to others though as its not all indoors. There's a roof over it but the sides are open meaning that the wind comes through. Which we are obviously not used to. But its a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to racing now which starts today (30th Nov-3rd Dec.)

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