Thursday, 30 August 2012

Goodwood Revival 2012.


BMW Group Classic at the Goodwood Revival 2012.

The Goodwood Revival Festival reels its visitors into the glamour and allure of bygone days like no other historic race event. Held annually since 1998, it has a unique way of recreating the atmosphere of the 1940s to 1960s and today ranks among the world’s most renowned motor race meetings. It is also a regular highlight of BMW Group Classic’s calendar: “The Goodwood Revival is the perfect place to bring alive the successful heritage of our brands in an authentic ambience,” says Karl Baumer, Director of BMW Group Classic.

Competing for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy.

This year, BMW Group Classic will be fielding three unusual BMW racing bikes in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy contest. In addition to a BMW RS 54, two race-prepared BMW R 5 pre-war models will be lining up to resurrect BMW’s successful motor sport history on two wheels. Each of the three motorcycles features highlights that represented the state of the art of their time. For example, the BMW R 5 – which also contested various championship titles in non-racing guise – already boasted valve control with twin camshafts. The legendary BMW RS 54 went further, with two overhead gear-driven camshafts per cylinder. The first post-war BMW racing bike to go on sale swept up several German championship titles and, as a BMW works racing machine, finished as runner-up in the Motorcycle World Championship of 1956.
      
Strong presence of all BMW Group brands.

The Goodwood Revival will see the BMW Group presenting its brands and their respective heritage in all their diversity. Alongside models from the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce fold, the festival will also include a motorcycle with the Husqvarna badge. A highlight from the company’s days as a leading aero-engine manufacturer, moreover, will be present in the guise of the newly restored Klemm 25 aircraft and its BMW engine.

BMW Group Classic’s garage line-up in the March Motor Works area, meanwhile, will be consistently sporting 1950s and 1960s attire. TheBMW andRolls-Royce brands will display the BMW 507, BMW 503 and BMW Isetta, along with the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, to lure visitors into the world of British showrooms of that era. MINI will evoke 1960s London with Peter Sellers’ classic Mini, while BMW Motorrad will be offering a garage for the true enthusiast with motorcycles such as the BMW R 24, BMW R 26, BMW R 51/2 with sidecar, and the BMW R 69 S. Likewise parked in the motorcycle garage will be the Husqvarna CR 400 with which Steve McQueen ventured beyond the tarmac. On show outside the four BMW Group garages will be a rather special highlight – the BMW 328 in which Sir Stirling Moss won his first car race.

A further attraction at the airfield will be the Klemm 25 aircraft of 1927 powered by a BMW Xa aero-engine, which will be taking part in the Freddie March Spirit of Aviation competition. The 5-cylinder radial engine with 60 hp output has been deployed since 1937 and, along with the aircraft, has undergone a full restoration. On completion in 2008, the Klemm 25 was registered as Germany’s oldest aircraft with standard certification.
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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Car-Sharing Service


BMW Group Announces Launch of ParkNow Mobile Parking Service and Details DriveNow Car-Sharing Service, Featuring 70 All-Electric BMW ActiveE Vehicles, in San Francisco

At a press conference with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, BMW Group Member of the Board Dr. Ian Robertson today announced the upcoming launch of ParkNow, an innovative mobile parking solution that is a joint venture with Urban Mobility, and provided new details about DriveNow, a unique premium car-sharing service which features a fleet of BMW ActiveE all-electric vehicles.  San Francisco serves as the initial U.S. market for each service. 

San Francisco is at the forefront of cities working to develop and implement innovative approaches to urban challenges, including traffic congestion and the need for smarter, greener parking systems. There are an estimated 505,000 vehicles in San Francisco, yet only 448,000 parking spaces available at any given time.  On weekdays, the total vehicle population increases by approximately 35,000.  An estimated one-third of all downtown traffic on weekdays is due to vehicles searching for a parking spot.

“The BMW Group is more than a premium car company, it is also focused on developing and delivering new services to help meet the increasing need for flexible mobility solutions in our cities,” said Dr. Robertson. “The premium car-sharing service DriveNow and parking solution ParkNow will help meet that demand in San Francisco and, ultimately, in other cities. Our introduction of these services in San Francisco
represents BMW’s commitment to encouraging the development of new mobility options that will reduce emissions and congestion and improve the quality of life for San Franciscans.”

“San Francisco is the ‘Innovation Capital of the World' and the car sharing and EV Capital of America," said Mayor Lee.  "I am pleased that BMW has chosen San Francisco as the first U.S. site for its innovative services and has launched their program entirely with electric vehicles."

ParkNow, which will be available to drivers beginning in September, is an online mobile parking service that enables users to pay for parking in advance, with guaranteed access and clearly defined rates, based on their personal preferences. Customers can search for parking using ParkNow’s mobile app or website, reserve, pay and then be navigated directly to the parking facility, reducing time spent looking for parking, as well as emissions. There are currently 14 ParkNow locations in and around San Francisco piloting the system. Stations are located around the city, close to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway) and bike-sharing stations, as well as at San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport and in Palo Alto. Four ParkNow partner operators, ProPark America, Towne Park, ABM Parking and California Parking, will launch over 100 additional ParkNow locations in the coming weeks.

DriveNow which launched in June in San Francisco is a flexible, premium car-sharing program offering the opportunity to drive BMW’s first all-electric vehicle, the BMW ActiveE with zero emission driving. The fleet of 70 ActiveE vehicles is located at eight DriveNow Stations around San Francisco, with two additional stations in Palo Alto and at the San Francisco International Airport coming soon.  After registering online or in-person, customers can locate and book an available car using the DriveNow web site or mobile app. They can then return the car to the same – or any other – DriveNow Station, allowing for convenient one-way trips, if desired. Stations are located around the city, close to BART, MUNI and bike-sharing stations. Through a partnership with California-based Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint network, the largest network of independently-owned electric vehicle charging stations, drivers can easily locate a nearby charging station if they need to top-off during the course of their rental, which has no time limit. Parking and charging is free at DriveNow Stations.

All of these initiatives are part of BMW i, a BMW brand focused on developing sustainable premium mobility solutions. Richard Steinberg is the CEO of DriveNow. Gary Neff is the CEO of ParkNow.

BMW is a Launch Partner of the non-profit Green Parking Council. GPC works at the intersection of parking, green building, clean technology, renewable energy, smart grid infrastructure, urban planning and sustainable mobility. By challenging the parking industry to collaborate and create open-sourced, sustainable best practices, GPC encourages exceptional industry transformation through partnerships, creativity and ingenuity.

BMW i Ventures is the automaker’s venture capital company, created to fund budding technology companies working to solve mobility challenges in the world’s most densely populated cities. It has made strategic investments in several companies, including
Coulomb Technologies. Coulomb's ChargePoint is the largest online global charging network, connecting electric vehicle drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. The investment by BMW supports the development of infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles.

Other investments include ParkAtMyHouse, an innovative online marketplace designed to connect home and business owners interested in earning money by renting their space with drivers in need of a convenient, safe and cost-effective place to park. The service has 20,000 unique locations and over 150,000 registered drivers. An international rollout in cooperation with BMW i is currently live in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the U.S. The first i Ventures investment was in MyCityWay, a set of location-aware apps for urban navigation that provide users with information on public transportation, parking availability and local entertainment in San Francisco and 70 other cities across the U.S. and around the world.

The BMW i brand also notably encompasses two revolutionary new vehicles set to launch in 2013 and 2014 – the BMW i3 and BMW i8. The BMW i3 and BMW i8 will become the first two production vehicles to be purpose-built as electric and hybrid-electric using entirely new methods and materials such as lightweight, but ultra-strong carbon fiber reinforced plastic, which is being produced at a BMW factory powered by hydroelectricity in Moses Lake, Washington.

DriveNow website: www.drive-now.com

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The new BMW X3 sDrive18d

BMW is now offering a more accessible way into X3 ownership with the first rear-wheel-drive model in the range, the new BMW X3 sDrive18d.  Powered by a 143hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine, and available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, the new model teams effortless performance with better than ever emissions and fuel consumption.

Thanks to an extensive suite of EfficientDynamics technologies, the new BMW X3 sDrive18d emits just 135g/km of CO2 , and has a combined fuel consumption of 55.4mpg, making it the cleanest and most fuel-efficient model in the X3 range. These figures allow the sDrive18d to occupy VED Band E, with a Benefit in Kind (BIK) taxation rate of only 21 per cent. This impressive fuel economy doesn’t impact on performance with the 2.0-litre diesel engine developing 143hp, with a peak torque of 360Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, resulting in the BMW X3 sDrive18d accelerating from zero to 62mph in 9.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 121mph.

At just £28,580 OTR for the SE model, the X3 sDrive18d is £2,890 less than the xDrive20d. With the exception of Hill Descent Control, reserved for four-wheel-drive models, the sDrive18d matches the standard equipment on the xDrive20d in every respect. SE models feature Auto Start-Stop, Drive Performance Control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Nevada Leather upholstery and BMW iDrive with a 6.5-inch colour screen.  M Sport models feature a host of sporty additions such as 18-inch alloy wheels, M aerodynamic bodystyling, Sport seats and Sport suspension, amongst other items.

Model
Power  hp
Torque   Nm
0 – 62mph seconds
Top Speed mph
Combined mpg
CO2 Emissions g/km
BMW X3 sDrive18d
143
360
9.9 (10.3)
121 (118)
55.4 (52.3)
135 (142)

The introduction of this new entry-level model sees the engine range for the BMW X3 expand to four diesels variants. The BMW X3 is a compelling proposition whichever powerplant is chosen thanks to its dynamic styling, luxurious quality and its sheer versatility. Folding down the rear seats increases boot space from 550 to 1,600 litres, while the BMW X3 sDrive18d can also be ordered as an option with a trailer coupling offering maximum towing capacity of 2,000kg.

Having redefined the sector with an unbeatable blend of driving dynamics, premium cabin design and the latest BMW ConnectedDrive technology, this latest addition to the model line-up builds on the BMW X3’s success, selling more than 74,000 units in the first half of 2012, a rise of 38.4 per cent on the same period last year.
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BMW Zagato Roadster.


Pebble Beach. Barely three months after the sensational premiere of the BMW Zagato Coupé, BMW and Zagato are turning heads again at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with the fruits of their latest collaboration. Created in just six weeks’ worth of lavish handcraftsmanship, the BMW Zagato Roadster represents another masterful example of the traditional coachbuilder’s art and an elegant take on the sporty, masculine marker laid down by the BMW Zagato Coupé.

At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, this one-of-a-kind automobile finds itself in the best possible company. Every year connoisseurs and exponents of coachbuilt classics come together on California’s Pacific coastline to gorge on, mull over and be amazed by an array of automotive exotica. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a more appropriate venue for the premiere of the BMW Zagato Roadster.


The next stage of a successful collaboration.

The decision to launch another collaboration between BMW and Italian coachbuilder Zagato was made only a short time after the BMW Zagato Coupé took its first bow. Encouraged by the positive reaction to the Coupé, Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, and Andrea Zagato soon agreed to take their partnership a step further. On the menu this time would be a Roadster model. “We set ourselves the challenge of preparing the car in time for the renowned Pebble Beach Concours” explains van Hooydonk. The BMW Zagato Roadster was duly conjured up in record haste, with only six weeks separating the first design idea from the finished model. “It was only with the expertise of both companies in the manufacture of high-end one-off cars and another display of outstanding teamwork that we were able to finish the car on schedule,” adds the BMW design supremo.

Andrea Zagato picks up on the theme: “Our success in finishing the car in such a short space of time shows what is possible when two successful companies pool their resources” says Zagato. “BMW is a high-achieving carmaker boasting a vast well of knowledge and technical capability in this area. When you combine that with our expertise in the creation of micro-series cars and our streamlined production processes, everything is in place to produce a beautiful model like the BMW Zagato Roadster in double-quick time”.


The design – Italian finesse meets Bavarian roadster tradition.

It quickly became clear that the partnership’s next jointly developed model would be a roadster. Indeed, no other concept embodies the pure fascination of motoring quite like this breed of car. With the roof down, two seats and exceptional performance, it allows the driver to experience dynamic thrills and driving pleasure with all the senses. To this heady blend the BMW Zagato Roadster adds the fineries of the Italian “dolce vita”, its designers succeeding in lending the car its own distinct character without blurring its family ties.

BMW and Zagato can both look back on a long and successful tradition of building roadsters, and the BMW Zagato Roadster sees their respective design DNAs melting into one. There is, of course, more to designing a roadster than slicing the roof off a coupé. “This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible, but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car which evokes a powerful driving experience,” says Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada, describing the design philosophy behind the BMW Zagato Roadster. Like the BMW Zagato Coupé, the Roadster is ready to drive – and intended to be driven at high speeds.


The car’s proportions make no secret of the special driving experience that awaits the driver. The sweeping hood and long wheelbase pin the driver back close to the driven rear wheels. There, he sits low down in an ultra-sporty position inside the cockpit. The taut, hallmark BMW surface treatment and Zagato’s clearly defined distribution of visual mass lend the BMW Zagato Roadster an athletic appearance – poised and eager, demanding to be driven.


Distinctive front-end design.

A low-set kidney grille, complete with intricate z-design grating, as well as focused twin circular headlights and a three-dimensional front apron shape the expressive face of the BMW Zagato Roadster, as they do the front end of the Coupé. It is this area of the car that provides the stylistic link between the two models, giving them a clear identity, reflecting their family ties and, at the same time, making them easily recognisable.

Overall, the BMW Zagato Roadster’s front end is very three-dimensional, wide and powerfully formed. The nose surges forward dynamically, dipping down close to the road, and allows the BMW Zagato Roadster to cut an agile figure, crouching as if about to pounce. The contoured hood extends this aura of dynamism with its sweeping lines and taut surfaces, while a pair of air intakes carved into the hood supply the engine compartment with extra air and hint at the brawny powerplant inside. The focused headlights accentuate the car’s driver-oriented character and high-speed concept; the “razorlight” – a precise LED light strip set into the matt surface above the headlights – finishes these elements off with an extra touch of class.

Sitting low between the headlights is Zagato’s take on the BMW kidney grille, featuring matt kidney surrounds. A stand-out detail here – and one shared with the BMW Zagato Coupé – is the use of a large number of small matt-sheen Zagato “z” letters to make up the kidney grating. This arrangement injects added depth into the grating and lays on a high-quality accent for the front end.


Dynamic side view.

The flanks of the BMW Zagato Roadster reflect the extrovert character of its Coupé sibling. Here, the clearly defined distribution of visual mass and eye-catching tail of a Zagato blend with the hallmark surface treatment and use of forms familiar from BMW models. Together, they imbue the BMW Zagato Roadster with a distinctive and athletic allure. The black colouring of the A-pillars allows them to fade into the background and set off the sculpturing of the car’s body even more effectively.

The BMW Zagato Roadster’s silhouette outlines a poised and alert presence, the car’s sweeping hood, long wheelbase, short overhangs and low rear end merging into a taut, sporty whole. The basic choreography of lines and surfaces is similar to that of the BMW Zagato Coupé, but subtle differences are noticeable at the rear. The tail end as a whole places a greater emphasis on elegance than that of the Coupé, which shows a sharper sporting edge. The Roadster’s lines are smoother here and the rear is lower-slung. Plus, a fine additional line forges a visual connection between the sill and the rear apron to round off the rear end design in style.


Another noteworthy detail of the BMW Zagato Roadster are its roll-bars – an important design element of many roadsters and commonly an identifying feature. The roll-bars of the BMW Zagato Roadster are quintessentially Zagato. The designers took their inspiration for these technical components from an aircraft wing and experimented with their mass before settling on a dynamic forward-leaning focus and powerful structure. “The low, dynamic roll-bars, inspired by an airplane wing, are an eye-catcher that make the BMW Zagato Roadster recognisable from a distance” says Norihiko Harada. Their brown colour gives the roll- bars an even more prominent profile. Allow the eye to wander further back, and the car’s rump provides a harmonious conclusion to its overall silhouette. Other striking details include the air outlets adorning the Roadster’s flanks, which mirror the form of the hood vents and reproduce their dynamic theme. The silver “z” positioned below the flank vents references the BMW/Zagato collaboration.

A bird’s-eye view of the car highlights the BMW Zagato Roadster’s interpretation of the hallmark Zagato double-bubble roof in the soft-top cover. The cover uses this double-bubble element to extend the lines of the hood all the way to the rear, where it accentuates the muscular proportions of the rear-wheel-drive Roadster. These two roof domes – the “doppia gobba” in local parlance – are a signature feature of Zagato design and can be found on almost every Zagato car.


Sporty yet elegant rear-end design.

The sharply chiselled tail of the BMW Zagato Roadster provides a fine advertisement for the exquisite talents of the Zagato body specialists. The rear end displays a seamless perfection, giving it a feel of quality – like a sculpture cast from a single mould. Here, the high degree of handcraftsmanship within the walls of the Zagato design studio and the company’s vast well of experience in working with surfaces and forms come resplendently to light.

Taken as a whole, the rear of the BMW Zagato Roadster has a very broad, low-slung appearance, giving the car a wide stance and planted muscularity on the road. Like those of its Coupé counterpart, the BMW Zagato Roadster’s rear lights are arranged behind black tinted glass. The glass area extends in a shallow black band around the whole of the rear end, underlining its horizontal geometry. Beneath it, the dark diffuser gives the BMW Zagato Roadster a squat, powerful stance. Exhaust tailpipes positioned towards the outer edges of the rear add further emphasis, their matt finish contributing another flourish of quality. The body-coloured surfaces between the tailpipes draw the final lines in the distinctive, low-to-the-road and broad-set looks of the rear end.


Highlights and details.

The unique character of the BMW Zagato Roadster is reflected in even smaller details. The 19-inch light-alloy wheels in classically sporty five-spoke design have a hint of propeller about them, offering a subtle nod to the origins of the two companies: both BMW and Zagato founder Ugo Zagato took an airborne route into automotive construction. The discreetly attractive matt finish of the wheels lends the car extra allure from the side.

A very special highlight of the BMW Zagato Roadster is its paintwork. The exclusive exterior paint finish, a brilliant grey with impressive depth, appears to wrap the car’s body in a cloak of liquid metal. Depending on how the light hits the body, the colour spectrum ranges from dark grey to a light silver, bringing the surfaces and forms of the BMW Zagato Roadster to life.


The interplay of exterior and interior.

The open-top nature of a roadster means it is often the interior that catches the eye first. Only later does your attention move on to the exterior and the interplay between the exterior and interior. The BMW Zagato Roadster zeroes in on this peculiarity and consciously allows the boundaries between inside and outside to blur.

To this end, the colours and materials marking the transition from interior to exterior exude a special exclusiveness. A strip of brown leather wraps around the interior like a rail to create a visual connection between the inside of the car and its exterior. The brown leather extends from the instrument panel over the door sill and around behind the seats, and even incorporates the roll-over bars. Embracing the driver and passenger like a large protective arm, this leather adornment provides an attractive transition into the otherwise predominantly black interior. The warm shade of brown reappears in various areas of the interior, including the contrast stitching of the seats, the steering wheel and doors, and the centre console. The interplay of colours and composition of details bathe the interior of the BMW Zagato Roadster in a sumptuous ambience, while the brown “z” embroidered into the seats is a further nod to its origins.

The interior itself boasts the clear structuring you would expect from BMW and invites the driver to give the machine around him a thorough workout. Details such as the sweeping horizontal lines along the inside of the doors and the full-length centre console lend a rarefied sense of exclusivity to the sporty promptings and driver focus of the interior.


Zagato – a coachbuilder with a lo ng tradition.


Founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919, today Zagato is the only automotive body manufacturer still in independent ownership. From its earliest days, Zagato has taken a minimalist and pared-down approach to its creations, very much in keeping with the Milanese tradition of design. Form takes precedence over details, thanks in part to technical considerations. Body designer Ugo Zagato learned his trade in – among other industries – aviation, where aerodynamics and lightweight construction play a central role. Zagato duly applied these principles rigorously in the construction of cars and soon celebrated a rash of race victories as a body construction partner to Alfa Romeo. The “necessary beauty” of aerodynamics and lightweight construction came to represent a maxim of design, one that has defined the form of every Zagato since.

Today, with Andrea Zagato and Marella Rivolta-Zagato, becoming the third generation of his family to take his seat at the helm, the company describes itself as a design studio combining the emotion and handcraftsmanship of body construction with the precision of state-of-the-art technology. Zagato follows coachbuilding tradition in developing only the shell of the car and leaving the mechanics of the machine untouched. More than 200 Vmax concepts, special editions and micro-series have been created in this way down the years and find appreciation among connoisseurs and collectors the world over. Indeed, all Zagatos are coveted collector’s items today and worth many times what their original owners paid for them.

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Monday, 6 August 2012

OLYMPIC MEDAL


LOCAL ATHELETE SECURES OLYMPIC MEDAL.


Local Cyclist, Laura Trott and team mates Joanna Rowsell and Dani King, won gold in the Women’s Team Pursuit final on Saturday 4th August. Laura, who is from Hertfordshire and used to train locally, at the Welwyn cycling track in Welwyn, Hertfordshire. Laura has been cycling since the age of 8 and at just 19 has been National Champion 17 times in a number of different events including; road racing, grass track and track.

As a junior Laura won the Junior World Title in the Omnium last year and delivered an outstanding performance. Before London 2012 Laura was Senior World Champion in the Team Pursuit at Senior level which she won when she was just 18 and the only Great Britain rider to have done this! Laura had already won the 2 world titles and was European Champion at Junior Level and again this year at Senior Level both for Team Pursuit in Australia.

Specialist Cars have been supporting Laura throughout her training in the build-up to London 2012 and provided her with a car to help her get to-and-from competitions and promotional events. Here at Specialist Cars we are very proud of Laura achieving a London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal and look forward to celebrating with her at the dealership soon.

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