Tuesday, 24 January 2012

BMW - BusinessCar Awards 2012


Six times a champion for BMW at the BusinessCar Awards 2012.

BMW UK has scooped six awards from one of the country’s leading fleet publications.  BusinessCar magazine has honoured BMW with the headline accolade of ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, for the fourth year in a row, in recognition of BMW’s diverse product portfolio and class-leading running costs.

‘Business Car of the Year’ has been awarded to the new BMW 1 Series in honour of its appealing overall package with low running costs making the smallest BMW just as tempting as its larger family members.  The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon has been named ‘Green Car of the Year’ for the second year in a row thanks to its class-leading driving dynamics coupled with exceptional economy and attractive ownership costs.


For the third year in a row both the BMW X5 and BMW 3 Series Saloon held onto their titles, having once again been named ‘Large 4x4 of the Year’ and ‘Upper Medium Car of the Year’ respectively.  Topping off the awards haul, the BMW 7 Series was also voted ‘Luxury Car of the Year’.

The BusinessCar Awards are the only honours voted for solely by the title’s readers, reflecting the opinions of the people who really matter in the fleet industry, which gives them a particular gravitas.


Paul Barker, Editor of BusinessCar commented: "BMW's impressive and class-leading combination of desirability, efficiency and driving pleasure has again shown itself, with this haul of awards, decided by the readers of BusinessCar, proving that the brand is at the forefront of the company car market.

"Across the range there is a model for every level of employee, each one offering low tax bills, good running costs and the premium BMW badge. The people running these vehicles and giving them to their staff obviously appreciate the job BMW is doing."


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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

January News in Brief

New engines for the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch

March 2012 sees the introduction of three new powertrains for the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch – the 116d EfficientDynamics, 125d and 125i – completing the range’s engine line-up.

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics is powered by a 116hp, four-cylinder 1.6-litre TwinPower Turbo diesel engine which powers the car from zero to 62mph in 10.5 seconds, while peak torque of 260Nm ensures a smooth delivery of power.  Emitting just 99g/km CO2 and returning 74.3mpg makes this the most efficient series-production BMW to date.  These impressive economy figures are due to optimized features including a centrifugal pendulum, longer final drive ratio, Optimum Shift Indicators, 10mm lower suspension and reduced rolling resistance tyres.

Based on the current SE specification, the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics comes with 16-inch light alloy V-spoke wheels, Bluetooth hands-free with USB audio interface, front foglights, multifunction leather steering wheel and BMW Professional Radio with freestanding 6.5-inch Display and iDrive controller.

Thanks to its low CO2 emissions of just 99g/km the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics qualifies for the lowest BIK rate of 13 per cent, while offering a 100 per cent write down allowance in the first year, a 100 per cent discount on the London Congestion Charge and zero Vehicle Excise Duty.

The BMW 116d EfficientDynamics is on sale from March 2012 with prices starting from £20,885 OTR.
M Sport arrives on the BMW 1 Series

From March 2012 the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch will be available in M Sport guise.  In addition to the SE specification it will include exterior styling cues including M aerodynamic bodystyling, 18-inch M Star-spoke light alloy wheels, High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim and kidney grille with extra-wide high-gloss black vertical slats.

The interior gets the M Sport treatment with Sports seats in exclusive Anthracite Hexagon cloth and Alcantara upholstery, Aluminium Hexagon interior trim with Estoril Blue trim finishers, Anthracite headlining, M designation door sill finishers, M Sport multifunction steering wheel and an M Sport short-shift gear lever.  M Sport suspension, lowering the car by 10mm, completes the package.

Prices for the new BMW 1 Series 5-door M Sport Hatch range from £22,510 OTR for a BMW 116i M Sport to £27,820 OTR for a BMW 125d M Sport.
125d and 125i complete the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch line up

Two new engines will be available on the new BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch from March 2012.  The 125i and 125d, only available in M Sport guise, both feature ventilated front and rear brake discs and dual chrome exhaust tailpipes as standard.

The BMW 125d features a 2.0-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, with two-stage twin turbo.  Developing 218hp and up to 450Nm of torque, it launches from zero to 62mph in a mere 6.5 seconds.  This impressive performance doesn’t hamper the cars economy with it returning 57.6mpg and emitting 129g/km CO2 on the combined cycle.

The BMW 125i introduces BMW’s latest 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine with TwinScroll turbo.  Accelerating from zero to 62mph in just 6.5 seconds it develops 310Nm of torque and 218hp, while still managing to return 44.1mpg and emit CO2 emissions of just 152g/km.

The BMW 125i M Sport costs from £26,030 OTR while the BMW 125d M Sport is available from £27,820 OTR.

The BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible Exclusive and Sport Plus Edition

Two new special editions offering enhanced standard equipment, alloy wheels and unique upholstery will be available on the BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible.

Building on the existing M Sport trim level, the Sport Plus Edition features a package of styling and functional enhancements designed to highlight the dynamic qualities of the BMW 1 Series.  The exterior is enhanced by 18-inch M double-spoke light alloy wheels, Chrome kidney grille with black vertical slats, Dark Line rear lights and Black mirror casings.  Inside exclusive Boston leature upholstery lines the seats while a Bluetooth handsfree facility with USB audio interface are both included as standard.

The BMW 1 Series Exclusive Edition builds on the Coupé and Convertible ES specification, adding 17-inch Star-spoke light alloy wheels, Chromeline exterior trim, Oxide Silver mirror casings, Chrome kidney grille and Chrome exhaust tailpipes.  The interior is bolstered by the addition of bespoke Boston leather upholstery, Brushed Aluminum trim, BWM Edition door sill finishers and BMW Professional radio with single CD player, with MP3 playback capability.  Additionally the BMW 1 Series Coupé gains Anthracite headlining as standard.

The BMW 1 Series Exclusive Edition and Sport Plus Edition are priced at £500 over the cost of the standard SE and M Sport Coupé and Convertible models, offering customers a saving of up to £1,815 and £1,450 respectively.

BMW Z4: The fastest roof in the west

BMW’s award-winning Z4 Roadster is now available with a revised folding hard-top for greater ownership enjoyment. Engineers in Munich have enhanced the elegant two-piece folding roof with a reinforced hydraulic system so that it can now be raised or lowered at speeds of up to 25mph.  Previously the roof could not be lowered while on the move.  The BMW Z4 is offered as sDrive20i, sDrive28i and sDrive35i with prices starting from £29,480 OTR rising to £39,450 OTR. The BMW Z4 remains a popular sportscar purchase  in the UK with some 2,231 sold in 2011.

BMW 3 Series: Engine range expanded

BMW’s class-leading 3 Series Saloon range is to expand in March with the introduction of three new entry-level engines. The BMW 316d and 318d Saloons feature a BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine which has a common-rail direct injection system combined with a single turbocharger with variable vane technology. Both these new diesel engines can come with the optional 8-speed automatic transmission.

With its 116hp engine the 316d Saloon delivers peak torque of 260Nm between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm. Such low-down performance makes for swift and effortless progress. The driving characteristics are particularly smooth when the engine is fitted with the eight-speed automatic gearbox.  In this combination fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are better than the manual transmission. Meanwhile, the BMW 318d has a 143hp all-aluminium engine with 320Nm of torque between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm which enables it to post respectable fuel consumption figures while still achieving sprightly performance.

Joining the two diesel engines is the four-cylinder powerplant of the 320i Saloon that is built at Hams Hall in the Midlands. This TwinPower Turbo engine with High Precision Direct Injection also features VALVETRONIC and Bi-VANOS for optimum efficiency. These factors plus other advances result in all round efficiency savings of around seven per cent.

All three new engine derivatives go on sale in March, 2012.

BMW Blue Performance in the UK

For the first time in the UK the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon, the BMW 120d Hatch, BMW 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon, BMW 520d Saloon and Touring and the BMW 530d Saloon and Touring will be available with the option of BluePerformance technology for £995.  This provides a storage catalytic converter which reduces the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of the vehicle, thereby providing compatibility with the strict EU6 emission standards due for introduction in September 2014.

The EU6 emission standards reduce the cap on NOx emissions by over 50 per cent, compared with current EU5 regulations, to 80mg/km. Combined emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides are also capped at 170mg/km. 

New BMW X4 confirmed as Spartanburg celebrates its 2 millionth vehicle

Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production, has confirmed that a new BMW X4 will be built at Plant Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. The announcement came as Arndt revealed a further US$900 million will be invested in the facility between now and 2014.

“This is in response to rising global demand for our BMW X models and the expansion of the BMW X family to include the BMW X4.” he said.  “This will create 300 new jobs by the end of this year. This will allow us to produce 350,000 units in Spartanburg in the mid-term,”

This is the first indication a BMW X4 will be offered following the global success of the BMW X6, but the car is still three years away from introduction.

Production at Plant Spartanburg first started in 1994 and news of the latest planned investment will mean BMW AG’s total commitment to the area now nearly tops US$6 billion. The plant has already undergone four expansions and produced six different BMW models (318i, Z3, Z4, X5, X6, X3) and their variants over the years.

This week also saw the 2 millionth vehicle roll off the production line. The historic BMW X3 xDrive35i M Sport in Vermillion Red with Oyster Nevada leather interior will be retained by the plant and displayed in the museum. In 2011 the plant produced 276,065 vehicles for more than 130 markets around the world, representing an increase of 73 per cent over the previous year. The BMW X3 also played a major role in this positive development. Global sales of this highly-successful model rose 156 per cent in 2011 to reach a total of 117,944 vehicles.

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

New BMW 3 Series Saloon


The new BMW 3 Series Saloon retains the title What Car? ‘Best Compact Executive Car’ 2012 for seventh year.

The new BMW 3 Series Saloon has lived up to the legacy of its predecessor having been crowned What Car? ‘Best Compact Executive Car’ 2012, for the seventh consecutive year with the 320d SE.

The BMW 3 Series Saloon reigned supreme in the Compact Executive category, recognised for remaining ahead of the competition in every way.  With its EfficientDynamics package making this ‘3’ the most economical car in its class it appeals to both business and retail customers.   However, it was not just the BMW 3 Series’ outstanding economy that stood out for the judges; it was commended for being smooth and refined whilst still offering that sheer driving pleasure.

 

Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “The new BMW 3 Series is great to drive, with sharp steering and a well judged chassis.  But the biggest gains are in efficiency; it delivers 60mpg and CO2 emissions so low that it falls into the cheapest 13 per cent company car tax band for diesels.  It’s a convincing winner of our Executive Car of the Year award.”

 

Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW UK, said: “It is a testament to the quality and refinement of the BMW 3 Series to win this prestigious award for seven consecutive years.  To have this consistent recognition, across the generations, for all of the hard work that goes into producing BMW’s core model is a great honour.”


Continuing the success of the ‘3’, the BMW X3 took home the accolade of What Car? ‘Best SUV’ 2012 having fought off stiff opposition in a very competitive sector.  The BMW X3 xDrive20d was awarded the top honour in recognition of its exceptional blend of efficiency, practicality and quality.  While CO2 emissions of just 147g/km and a combined consumption of 50.4mpg ensure that running costs are kept to a minimum.

Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “There’s more competition than ever among SUVs, but the BMW X3 wins the category award by offering lots of space, excellent fuel efficiency and a beautifully finished cabin.  It’s a great family car, really – and its running costs are around those of a regular hatchback.”


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