By William Maley
BMW's Concept X7 iPerformance made an early debut this week due to a leak and the response could be summed up as eww. Today, BMW has officially revealed the concept before its debut at Frankfurt and we highly doubt opinions are going to change.
Cartoonish and polarizing are the words we would use to describe the Concept X7 iPerformance. The front end features the largest twin-kidney grilles which makes it look it has a set of buck teeth. This is emphasized by the narrow headlights and massive bumper vents. The side profile at first glance reminds of the Toyota Land Cruiser/Lexus LX 570 with a large area of glass and similar styling for the rear pillars. Massive 23-inch wheels fill in the large wheel wells.
The interior layout is similar to what you'll find on the 5- and 7-Series models, albeit with some futuristic touches such as the steering wheel. A large screen on the center stack houses the infotainment system while a 12.3-inch screen facing the driver provides a digital instrument cluster. The concept features seating for six people.
As this concept bears the iPerformance nomenclature, it means there is a hybrid powertrain under the hood. BMW doesn't say much about the powertrain aside from there being a turbocharged gas engine and the ability to plug the vehicle in to recharge the battery.
A production version of the X7 will be arriving next year.
Press Release is on Page 2
BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
A new dimension in spaciousness. Munich, Germany - September 8, 2017... With the unveiling of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, the BMW Group is not only pulling back the covers on a new model concept for the luxury segment, it is also introducing a whole new take on luxury for the BMW brand. The Concept X7 iPerformance embodies this understanding of luxury in the form of a striking exterior composed of intently focused lines, and combines it with a generously-sized, six-person interior pared down to the essentials: elementary forms, high-class materials and a state-of-the-art infotainment system brimming with connectivity. The Concept’s iPerformance badge denotes the presence of groundbreaking BMW eDrive technology allied with a BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine to create an exceptionally efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid powertrain that excels in all driving situations – including running with zero local emissions.
A taster of the production version.
This study car offers a look ahead to the future production model set to make its debut in 2018. The forthcoming BMW X7 forms part of the largest model offensive in the company’s history. As part of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy, the BMW Group is seeking to substantially increase its sales and revenues in the luxury class. The BMW X7 has a key role to play here, as Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Management Board responsible for Sales and Brand BMW explains: “Since BMW founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment with the first X5 back in 1999, every subsequent X vehicle has broken new ground. The BMW X7 continues this tradition: the X family’s new top model extends BMW’s offering in the luxury class and redefines the concept of luxury for the BMW brand and beyond. It also embodies one of the most important elements of our corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, to grow our presence in the luxury class. Furthermore, the BMW Concept X7 demonstrates it’s perfectly possible to combine a large sports activity vehicle with an electrified drivetrain.”
A case study in modernity, luxury and presence.
The status of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance as a luxury-class BMW SAV is instantly apparent. The spectacular exterior, imposing dimensions and skilfully judged proportions endow it with an extraordinary sense of presence and an ultra-modern aesthetic fused with innate dynamism. “The Concept introduces the BMW Sports Activity Vehicle DNA into the luxury segment. The new BMW design language employs just a few, extremely precise lines and subtle surface-work to raise the bar in terms of presence and prestige,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The BMW Concept X7 iPerformance has a luxurious and sophisticated feel to it, thanks to its understated use of forms and incredibly precise details.”
The luxurious character of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is brought alive by its cabin, in particular. The vehicle’s sheer size forms the basis for an interior experience unmatched by any BMW past or present. As a result of the interplay between precise, pared-down forms and an open sense of space, the driver and passengers find themselves immersed in a very modern setting with an equally exclusive feel. The wealth of possibilities offered by personalised, digital connectivity allows the vehicle’s interior to be turned, as desired, into a personalised place of either retreat or productivity.
A contemporary feeling of lightness in the interior.
Inside the roomy cabin of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance, clear forms, warm colours and select materials combine to create a highly exclusive, sophisticated ambience. In addition, the large panoramic roof provides a remarkable amount of room above the occupants’ heads while also giving the interior a light and airy, open-to-the-sky feel. The six amply proportioned seats are arranged in three rows, and four of them have an exclusive individual design. Secured to the vehicle floor by nothing more than a slender seat base, the individual seats allow those sitting directly behind to enjoy generous legroom. The dark, olive-bronze leather – with discreet gold pigmentation – covering the seat bolsters carries the air of exclusivity through to the finer details and the Smoke White leather adorning the remainder of the seats provides an intriguing contrast. The shell-like backs of the individual seats are likewise trimmed in leather and serve to enhance the high-class, contemporary ambience.
A perfect ensemble of materials and colour.
The dark shoulder line running underneath the windows traces a continuous horizon throughout the cabin that brings fresh calmness to the bright interior. Decorative materials are deployed sparingly. Having said that, the selective use of open-pore ash in a dark-stained, matt finish sets the seal on the natural material experience. Matt and polished aluminium elements have likewise been carefully incorporated to add further classy touches. And the luxurious sense of spaciousness enjoyed from all seats is reinforced to subtle effect by strands of laser light in the roof and the dynamic ambient and contour lighting.
Minimalist forms in the driver’s cabin.
Amid the modern and pared-back design of the interior is the driver focus familiar to BMW customers. The forms and surfacing of the instrument panel, centre console and doors allow them to “wrap around” the driver. And the raised seating position provides unbeatable all-round visibility and an exceptional view over the road. The new BMW design language, featuring amply-sized surfaces and clear edges, gives the instrument panel a “reduced to the essentials”, modern aesthetic. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen and central touchscreen information display are sited at close quarters to one another. The effect is of one unbroken – and smartly sophisticated – display. A new operating concept allows interactive use of the two displays. Below them, in the centre stack and centre console, the grouping of functions within the clean and tautly chiselled surfaces underscores the minimalist approach. Partially backlit crystal glass in the dark Silver Night shade lends sophisticated flourishes to control elements like the selector lever, iDrive Controller and multifunction buttons on the steering wheel.
Personalised infotainment through the seamless integration of the owner’s digital world into the car.
The two individual seats in the second row offer all the benefits of the front pair. The first sign of an attachment between the panoramic roof and body comes comfortably to the rear of the second row of seats in the form of a Y structure, which means the passengers in the centre row experience the same sensation of freedom and lightness as those in the front. Second-row passengers also enjoy personalised infotainment comfort courtesy of the rear-seat entertainment system’s touchscreen monitors. Here, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance showcases the BMW Group’s vision of seamless integrating the customer’s digital world into the car via BMW Connected. For example, passengers here have access to highly personalised, digital services such as their choice of infotainment / office content, with which they can make their journey more comfortable, more entertaining or more productive. And content can even be shared with others on board. For instance, they can send a track to the car’s music system by touch gesture, forward an interesting article to the next-door display for the person sitting alongside them to read or transfer an address from their email directly to the car’s navigation system. Interactive LED choreography via the doors and instrument panel traces the communication flow between the rear screens and the display at the front of the cabin.
Impressive size and presence – the exterior.
The expansive exterior of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance projects the exclusive experience available inside the car confidently to the outside world. Clear, vertical proportions with significant ground clearance identify the Concept as an X model without the need to look twice. At the same time, the Concept speaks its own, unmistakeable design language – a new one for BMW – through an array of details and design features which set it apart clearly from previous models. Viewed from any angle, the interplay between a small number of precise lines and artfully sculpted surfaces sends out a charismatic statement of modernity, presence and exclusivity.
A new face in the BMW X family.
The front end of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is one of its most eye-catching angles, the vehicle’s height alone ensuring it rises prominently over the road. In an all-new interpretation of classical BMW elements, the front-end design groups together the various facets of the vehicle into a powerful visual statement. The large, vertical kidney grille at the heart of the upright front-end silhouette hogs the attention. The grille frame and bars are single-piece and solid in design, as if hewn from a single piece. Look at it again, though, and fascinating contrasts emerge between gleaming edges and matt surfaces, all of which breathes extra vibrancy and class into the frontal impression.
The upper sections of the slim, elongated twin headlights with BMW laser light link to the large kidney grille. A blue X signature in BMW laser light provides a confident pointer to the Concept’s membership of the SAV family from BMW. The headlights and kidney grille combine to create an exciting contrast of horizontal dynamism and vertical solidity, bringing traditional BMW front-end design cues into the future. Large, tautly sculpted surfaces surround the familiar BMW design icons, underlining the car’s cohesive and muscular front-end aesthetic.
A prominent bar extends across the full width of the front apron in its lower section, before rising vertically to frame the outer air intakes at their upper edge. This lends the front end additional stature. Quasi-vertical aero lips further accentuate the car’s powerfully assured stance on the road. Customary X features like the trapezoidal bumpers and underguard, meanwhile, are merely hinted at, their understated design serving the cause of clear and exclusive surfacing.
From the side, the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance cuts a sumptuous figure, complete with the characteristic ground clearance of X vehicles. The nigh-on vertical front end, striking and almost vertical rear and steeply rising angle from the rear wheels to the tailgate give the muscular proportions a modern flourish. The high-set lines of the flanks bring an expressive confidence to the car’s silhouette. And the long shoulderline stretches the car and injects an athletic tension to the flanks. It also separates the car’s body into the light and airy glasshouse (which offers a preview of the large interior) and the muscular metal forms.
For the first time in an X vehicle, the wheel arches feature a circular cut and emphasize the exclusivity and elegance of the flanks. Smart and precise surfacing absorbs the powerful wheel arches in an aesthetic movement. The surfaces gain in volume and strength as they head towards the rear end, further underscoring the subtle dynamism of the car when viewed from the side.
Bold accents in the flanks.
A conspicuous chrome strip in the door sills provides an exclusive counterpoint to the car’s long, stretched shoulderline and sophisticated surfaces below. As with the trim element at the front end, the chrome strip in the car’s flanks frames the Air Breathers in a vertical accent, before continuing in a straight line to the rear end. These surrounds for the front, side and rear air apertures create a geometrically precise impression and lend the car a sense of robust solidity.
The exclusive exterior colour shade Manhattan metallic immerses the car’s surfaces and forms in a dark olive-bronze that highlights the confident styling of the flanks with sophisticated flair. With their bold multi-spoke design, the 23-inch light-alloy wheels combine the muscularity for which BMW’s X models are renowned with the exclusivity of a luxury BMW sedan, while aerodynamically optimised inlays between the spokes reduce drag. Added to which, conspicuous aero lips at the front and rear also ensure improved airflow around those areas of the car and send out a powerful visual message of the plug-in hybrid drive concept’s efficiency. A bird’s-eye view of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance reveals a particular highlight. Like the side window surrounds, the panoramic roof is framed by an eye-catching chrome strip, which extends from one A-pillar to the rear end – and back around the other side. In between, the roof’s transparent, Y-shaped supporting structure adds a modern flourish.
Power, presence and exclusivity at the rear.
The rear of the BMW Concept X7 iPerformance sends out an impressive statement of powerful authority and exclusive elegance. The imposing size of the vehicle’s body – the key to its huge swathes of interior space – is particularly clear when viewed from the rear. Vertical aero lips mark out the rear of the car clearly from the flanks. Within the upright rear silhouette, the slim rear lights break up the body volumes and a classy chrome bar connects the two lighting elements. The boldly designed lights create a three-dimensional L shape and bring a technical, high-quality flavour to the rear. As at the front of the car, the surfaces frame the lights like jewels. Between the wheel arches, the rear apron with practical tailgate opening provides a strong platform for the rear structure. The absence of tailpipe embellishers in the rear apron is an indicator of the vehicle’s plug-in hybrid drive concept. And the subtle, body-coloured underguard ensures the rear concludes its progress towards the road in stylish fashion.
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By William Maley
When Mini held a trial period for the Mini E back in 2009 and 2010, there was the thought that Mini was close to launching an electric vehicle. But that did not happen as what was learned from this would be used for the BMW i3.
At long last, Mini will be launching an electric vehicle in near future. Before that, the automaker will be previewing the model as a concept at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
The electric concept looks like a somewhat futuristic version of the current Cooper hardtop model with a streamlined front, handles integrated into the doors, odd looking wheels, and the taillights forming the Union Jack using LEDs. There is no information about the electric powertrain. Hopefully, we learn more when it debuts next month.
Press Release is on Page 2
MINI presents pure-electric design study at the IAA: the MINI Electric Concept, complete with iconic design and urban driving fun.
Munich, Germany, August 29, 2017. MINI is using the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt am Main to showcase its take on future personal mobility in the city – in the form of the MINI Electric Concept. Designed for use in urban areas, this concept car offers a window into how pure-electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead. And the
MINI Electric Concept also brings the iconic design, city-dwelling heritage and customary go-kart feeling of the MINI brand into the electric mobility age. MINI will present an all-electric series-production model in 2019.
“The systematic electrification of the brand and product portfolio is a mainstay of the BMW Group’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. The MINI Electric Concept offers a thrilling preview of the all-electric production vehicle. MINI and electrification make a perfect match,” remarks Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Urban mobility is ingrained into the MINI brand’s DNA; the city is its natural habitat. Indeed, this environment and the specific demands it places on a car provided the canvas from which the MINI design team brought the MINI Electric Concept to life. The responsive drive system, sublimely judged suspension tuning and use of aerodynamic add-ons produce driving dynamics very much in the MINI mould and a fine operating range. It all comes together to make the MINI Electric Concept a highly attractive, zero-emission solution to the current challenges facing personal mobility in our cities and their surroundings.
“With its characteristic go-kart feeling and powerful electric motor, the MINI Electric Concept is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot. That’s how we at MINI envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.
MINI – blazing a trail for electric mobility at the BMW Group.
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. All of them helped to gain vital insights into the use of pure-electric vehicles, and this knowledge was subsequently incorporated into the development of the BMW i3. The MINI E also offered driving fun in spades, thanks to outstanding acceleration and handling.
The British premium brand’s first series-production model with a plug-in hybrid drive system was presented in spring 2017 in the shape of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The new model variant enables electric and therefore locally emission-free mobility for the first time. The all-electric MINI Electric Concept represents a seamless continuation of this bloodline. In the future, all electrified products from the MINI brand will be grouped together under the “MINI Electric” banner.
Unmistakably MINI – the design.
“The MINI Electric Concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Indeed, aerodynamics and lightweight design aren’t just important in the world of motor sport; they are also essential factors for maximising electric range. The car’s surfaces have a sense of precision and contemporary clarity about them that lends added impact to the car’s efficient character. Plus, striking accents and vivid contrasts give the exterior that distinctive MINI twist.”
A front end brimming with character.
A hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights make the MINI Electric Concept instantly recognisable when viewed from the front. Even from the outside, it is obvious that this car has an electric heart. 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.
The highly expressive add-on parts in the front apron highlight the dynamic character of the MINI Electric Concept, at the same time as increasing its range with their aerodynamic benefits. The front apron’s simulated “air intakes” are also sealed, yet they still include dark louvres that look like cooling fins and inject some added technical flair. The crisp lines of elements such as the LED headlights and fibreglass structures contrast with the expanse of clear surfaces, and lend the front as a whole a very sophisticated look.
Compact and agile – the flanks.
The contrasting blend of colours, smooth surfaces and precisely contoured details continues into the MINI Electric Concept’s flanks. Clearly moulded fibreglass add-on parts along the lower edge serve to intensify the car’s snappy proportions. The car’s silhouette is composed of taut, clean-cut surfaces, producing a minimalist impression that exudes efficiency. The elements below the surfaces help to convey a feeling of restrained power and understated athleticism. The paint finish in Reflection Silver – a matt liquid metal colour shade – showcases the surfacing to exceptional effect and thereby focuses the spotlight on the model’s lightweight and sophisticated character.
Material and colour highlights take a light-hearted approach to softening the technical appearance of the car’s flanks, as well other areas of the car. A large yet discreet “E” badge above the front wheel provides another tell-tale sign of the power source. The interplay between matt and high-gloss surfaces within a family of colours results in a progressive look with a puristic and classy feel. Further “MINI E” badges are integrated into the radiator grille and exterior mirror caps. Colour gradients in the accent shade Striking Yellow, incorporated into both the roof and side skirts, add further flourishes. The colour of the roof flows from matt white to high-gloss yellow, while the yellow of the side skirts gains in transparency as it rises, appearing to merge into the body colour. These colour gradients accentuate the concept car’s lightness and modernity.
Innovative 3D printing.
The design of the dark-coloured 19-inch wheels adds another visual highlight, picking up on the idea of the radiator grille’s accent bar and reinterpreting it in asymmetrical form. The aerodynamic inlays – made using a 3D printing process – echo the fibreglass structure of the air deflectors and inject the wheels with great aesthetic appeal. The recessed louvred surfaces in the simulated air intakes were also produced using a 3D printing method. These two elements emphasise the light and modern character of the MINI Electric Concept, while at the same time illustrating the opportunities offered by 3D printing in terms of producing functional design elements for vehicle styling and customisation
Clarity and dynamism – the rear end.
The rear of the concept car also marks it out as a thoroughbred MINI. Its wide stance on the road is striking in a sporty way, without lapsing into excessive flamboyance. The upper section is dominated by clear surfaces, but the rear takes on a far more dynamic aspect as it cascades down. This familiar approach from MINI, where the car’s volume steadily increases from the top down, makes the shoulders appear broad and athletic. The rear light assemblies constitute yet another standout visual feature and provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots. Framed within the classic MINI outline, they each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix. The rear apron features aerodynamic elements similar to those at the front, including air deflectors and a fibreglass diffuser. These reinforce the car’s efficient dynamism on both a visual and functional level. There is also a yellow accent strip that provides a striking colour contrast when the car is viewed from the rear, while simultaneously announcing the presence of an electric drive system. This is further underlined by the absence of exhaust pipes and the dark louvred surfaces in the simulated air outlets.
Cutting-edge, pure and dynamic (in an efficient way), the MINI Electric Concept encapsulates MINI’s near-term vision of an all-electric car designed for urban mobility in a changing world.
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By William Maley
It has been 15 years since Bentley unveiled the Continental GT. Since that time, the British automaker has been making tweaks and changes to keep it in the spotlight. But there comes a point where you need to start anew. Last night, Bentley pulled the sheets off the second-generation Continental GT.
The EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept is very evident as an inspiration for the redesigned Continental GT's design. A blunt nose features a large, rectangular mesh grille. The side profile comes with flared wheel arches for the front fenders and sculpted rear haunches. Around back are a set of taillights shaped like ellipses. Bentley has changed up the proportions of the Continental GT via a longer wheelbase and the front wheels pushed 5.3-inches forward.
You would expect Bentley to roll out the red carpet when it comes to the Continental GT's interior and they do. A sea of leather, metal, and wood finishes gives off an air of ultimate luxury. Bentley took Porsche's idea of putting the climate control and other functions around the transmission selector. But the piece de resistance of the GT is with the 12.3-inch infotainment screen. When you enter the vehicle, the screen is hidden by a piece of wood veneer. Press the start button and the screen rotates forward. But that's not all. You can rotate the screen to a third side with three analog dials—a temperature gauge, compass, and chronometer.
Under the hood lies an upgraded 6.0L W12 engine with 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. Despite a curb weight of 4,947 pounds (which is about 170 pounds less than the outgoing GT), Bentley says the new Continental GT can hit 60 mph in a mind-jarring 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 207 mph.
Underneath the skin, the Continental GT uses the modular MSB architecture that first debuted on the Porsche Panamera. There is also the Bentley Dynamic Ride system that uses a 48-volt electrical system to control electronic actuators on the anti-roll bars to reduce body roll when cornering. A three-chamber air suspension system can provide either a smooth or sporting ride.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but expect to see the Continental GT arrive at dealers sometime next year.
Press Release is on Page 2
THE ALL-NEW BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT – THE DEFINITION OF LUXURY GRAND TOURING
Third generation of the peerless Continental GT: the definitive luxury Grand Tourer A statement of true luxury: bold, sculptured exterior design Innovative luxurious interior offers unrivalled Grand Touring refinement Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain Seamless integration of handcrafted, natural materials and cutting-edge technology Revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display and digital instrument panel Enhanced version of renowned 6.0-litre W12 TSI engine delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds); top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph) Dual-clutch, eight-speed transmission for faster, more efficient performance (Crewe, 29 August 2017) Bentley Motors is today announcing full details of its new Continental GT, the definitive Grand Tourer.
Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, the new third-generation Bentley Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology, to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey.
“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”
At the heart of the new Continental GT sits an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated, for the first time, to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, for faster, more efficient gear changes.
A new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.
The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff, body. The engine is positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.
Offering four seats and improved luggage capacity for genuine real-world usability, the new Bentley Continental GT’s luxurious cabin is packed with exquisite details such as a new ‘diamond in diamond’ leather design. In addition, significant work has gone into harmonising the extensive portfolio of 15 colours across hides and carpets.
The new Continental GT also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves the veneer to reveal the touchscreen as well as three elegant analogue dials.
The interior design of the Continental GT is tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, with unrivalled attention to detail that creates an effortless ownership experience. The cabin seamlessly integrates cutting-edge onboard technology with the finest handcrafted natural materials. The result is an exquisite, harmonised, connected and luxurious space.
The new Continental GT will make its global debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show between 12 and 24 September, 2017.
The Evolution of Bentley’s Famous Design DNA
The exterior design of the new Continental GT is based on a bold new vision that is unmistakably Bentley. The all-new body and materials save more than
80 kg over the previous Continental W12 body.
While the Continental GT retains the classic elegance that made its forebear so popular, the form of the new car is more sculptural and sharply defined and takes much of its inspiration from the critically acclaimed EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car.
To allow for such a bold reimagining of the Continental GT, the aluminium skin has been crafted using Super Formed technology – a precision technique working with aluminium heated to 500°C which has previously been used on Bentley fenders. This method allows designers to invoke more complex, sharply defined body lines and a deeper, sculpted haunch muscle.
The Continental GT is the first production car ever to have an entire body side made from the Super Formed process.
The Continental GT’s profile is longer and lower due in part to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward, which in turn allows the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. However, the key signature lines of the original Continental still dominate, with the ‘power line’ travelling from the headlights to the muscular rear haunch.
The rear of the car is a radical styling departure, with the taillights now shaped into ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust tail pipes below them.
The lighting on the Continental GT uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the head lamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond.
The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem – an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect, highlighting the three-dimensional depth of the optics.
The new Continental GT has 21” wheels as standard, with two styles available, reflecting in turn the model’s elegant and sporting characters. A 22” lightweight, forged wheel is also offered, alongside a hand-finished option, which allows for a twisted polished finish.
In another example of Bentley’s exacting attention to detail, and the unique way in which Bentley design often serves a dual engineering purpose, the elliptical exhausts have a complex perforated sleeve which adds visual detail but also reduces the exhaust temperature.
The new Continental GT customer has a class-leading portfolio of 17 exterior paint colours to choose from – carefully selected to complement the character and lines of the car. In addition, a limited extended range of colours will be offered at launch, as well as the option of full bespoke colour-matching for Bentley customers.
The Finest Handcrafted Cabin: A World of Hidden Delights
The interior of the new Continental GT showcases Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the authentic use of materials, from the highest-quality natural leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers – including Koa, Bentley’s newest veneer – and hand-polished chrome details. For the first time, unique dual-veneer options are offered. Over 10 square metres of wood are used in each Continental GT, and it takes nine hours to create and fit the wooden inlays by hand.
The exquisitely styled dashboard of the new Continental GT is sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. A floating leather top flows seamlessly to the doors.
The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia, but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest automatic Swiss watches, known as Côtes de Genève. This surface – a first in the automotive world – is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm.
New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface.
The new knurling design is available on the iconic Bullseye vents, bezels and other primary control rotaries, and not only gives a finely faceted visual impact but provides a precise technical feel when operating the controls.
Another hidden delight is the addition of bronze inserts between surfaces on the primary controls, which adds a level of fine detailing never seen before.
The 20-way adjustable seats in the new Continental GT set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the cooling, heating and massage functions, while the bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting.
A new, unique quilt is also available: called a ‘diamond in diamond’ quilt, the effect is of a floating quilted surface in a sea of leather, which is extraordinarily soft to touch. The new interior pattern features both stitching and embroidery. The inner diamonds are embroidered, using a specially-designed machine that balances high speed with quality. Eighteen months were spent developing the embroidery, individually optimising and programming the exact alignment of each one of the 712 stitches that make up each diamond shape – an unrivalled attention to detail.
A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is aimed at lifestyle-oriented customers. The new Bang & Olufsen installation benefits from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface.
A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile.
In order to ensure optimal audio enjoyment, laminated acoustic glass is used for the windscreen and side windows, resulting in a nine-decibel reduction in exterior noise ingress versus the outgoing model.
Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT are striking. The driver-orientated instrument panel is now fully digital and configurable by the driver. While the main dials appear to be real, they are in fact digital graphics designed to look three-dimensional. This display can show information from across the infotainment system including satellite-navigation information.
The Continental GT features the innovative and industry-first Bentley Rotating Display. At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display.
When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” retina-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone.
The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive.
The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future, and offers customers the choice of digital or analogue display or clean, calm cabin.
The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port.
Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Google point of interest search makes finding unusual destinations simple, while real time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling.
Sublime Power: The Beating Heart of Bentley
The new Continental GT is offered at launch with an enhanced version of Bentley’s peerless 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine that sets a new benchmark in performance.
Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, the W12 TSI engine is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The unique ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is 24 per cent shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting weight distribution and maximising usable cabin space.
The new powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, and accelerates the new Continental GT to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds), and on to a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph).
A dedicated Sport Launch mode delivers maximum acceleration through careful clutch pressure sensing and pre-loading when a race-style start is required by the driver.
The W12 TSI combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery. At 278 g/km CO2 (a 16 per cent improvement over the previous Continental GT), the engine also meets Phase 2 of Euro 6 and US ULEV 125 (LEV3) emissions targets.
The new engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds.
Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.
Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring.
The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration, and impressively quick gearshifts, both hallmarks of the Continental GT’s dynamic character, as well as improved combined fuel economy (23.2 mpg or 12.2 L/100 km versus the previous model’s 19.9 mpg or 14.2 L/100 km).
Shift times are variable and depend on the selected driving mode. In Sport mode, shifts are seemingly instantaneous to deliver uninterrupted torque delivery and maximum acceleration performance. In Comfort mode, shifts are deliberately relaxed to allow for a seamless and imperceptible gear change.
Maximum speed is reached in sixth gear, with the seventh and eighth gears acting as overdrive gears for relaxed cruising.
A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. The vehicle will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.
Based on the conditions and the driver’s behaviour, the system will send drive to the front axle as required. This reduces the understeer effect from fixed all-wheel drive, as well as increasing driver engagement for those who revel in the dynamic attributes of the Continental GT.
Unrivalled Grand Touring Ride and Handling
The third generation of Continental GT features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise.
This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling.
While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces.
Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalise his or her own dynamic settings.
The air suspension on the new Continental GT is revised and uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This allowed Bentley’s engineers more scope for tuning the suspension to improve the ride comfort and dynamic character of the car. The system offers the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement depending upon which mode the driver has selected.
Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Continental GT. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from unwanted road disturbances. The steering system features a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuverability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. The introduction of EPAS also allows the Continental GT to be offered with a wide range of Driver Assistance features including Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist.
Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of a lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear.
The brakes, as always on the Continental GT, are bigger on the front axle, with a 15 mm increase in size to 420 mm to match the increased performance.
The exhaust tail pipes have also been revised, and now have an adaptive valve for greater tuning potential.
Bentley Personalisation Options and Mulliner Bespoke
The all-new Continental GT redefines personalisation and bespoke luxury. Paint, leather, veneer and lifestyle options are virtually unlimited and tailored to the individual.
The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 70 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual-veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish.
Two technology option packs are offered at launch: City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving, both curated to optimise the customer experience. City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking.
The Mulliner Driving Specification adds a more sporting look to the car with 22” lightweight forged alloy wheels, unique ‘diamond in diamond’ quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jewelled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals and indented leather headliner. Customers can also choose personalised stitching in the front and rear of the car and personalised treadplates.
As with all Bentleys, the Continental GT can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements.
Extreme Conditions: Global Testing for the Perfect Grand Tourer
Bentley’s highly skilled engineers have put the new Continental GT through the extraordinary rigours of extreme hot and cold weather testing – as well as durability tests – around the globe to ensure the new Grand Tourer triumphs in all driving conditions, covering nearly one million kilometres.
A demanding and thorough development drive programme put the new Continental GT through cold-climate testing in polar areas, hot-weather testing in America and durability testing on the grueling roads in South Africa; as well as tests in the Middle East, China and Europe.
A team of expert Bentley development engineers led the testing in Sweden for serious sub-zero driving on frozen lakes and in snow. In America, testing also took place in the below sea-level ‘oven’ of Death Valley with temperatures approaching 50 degrees Celsius for a trial covering thousands of kilometres.
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By William Maley
Whether Porsche purists want to admit it or not, the Cayenne is an important model. For a time, it was Porsche's best selling model - the Macan holds that title now. The model also generates a fair amount of profit for the company. With new and redesigned competitors arriving, Porsche decided it was time to introduce a new Cayenne.
The new Cayenne is somewhat boring to look at, especially when compared to the last-generation model. The front and sides mimic the Macan, while the back is inspired by the upcoming Panamera Sport Turismo. It might become a bit more exciting when other models such as Turbo are launched down the road. Overall size grows by three inches to 194. The wheelbase remains the same 114 inches as the last-generation model.
The Panamera's influence can fully be seen inside as the Cayenne features a 12.3-inch display in the center stack and touch controls around the console. A pair of 7-inch displays flank the center tachometer to provide key details such as trip info and navigation.
For the timebeing, the Cayenne will only be offered with two turbocharged engines. The base model gets a 3.0L turbo V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. S variants get a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 440 hp and 406 lb-ft. Both come paired with a eight-speed automatic.
Performance figures are as followed,
Cayenne: 5.6 seconds (0-60 mph), 14.2 seconds (quarter-mile), 152 mph (top speed)* Cayenne S: 4.6 seconds (0-60 mph), 13.2 seconds (quarter-mile), 164 mph (top speed)* *Figures are with the optional sport chrono package
Porsche says this is most agile Cayenne yet, thanks to Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control electronic roll stabilization system (with a 48-volt electrical system), three-chamber air suspension, and rear-wheel steering.
Surprisingly, Porsche was able to drop 143 pounds from the new Cayenne. This is due to extensive use of aluminum and a lithium-ion polymer starter battery (which saves about 22 pounds).
The 2019 Cayenne arrives at Porsche dealers next summer with prices of $66,750 (Cayenne) and $83,950 (Cayenne S). Both prices include destination.
Press Release is on Page 2
Third Generation Porsche Cayenne Models Make Global Debut in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen
New engines, new chassis, innovative control concept, and increased connectivity Atlanta, Georgia. Today Porsche unveiled the new 2019 Cayenne. The all-new Cayenne builds on the formula that started in 2003 while pushing performance boundaries even further through new technologies that significantly improve on-road performance and comfort. The new Cayenne is more athletic both in appearance and driving performance due to new styling cues and engineering developments. In line with the its modern exterior, the interior carries many of the same design cues and new technologies that made their debut on the 2017 Porsche Panamera.
Among the many changes, optional rear-axle steering creates a virtual reduction of the wheelbase at low speeds and a virtual lengthening at high speeds for improved agility and stability. Available Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) offer even greater stopping power and reduced brake wear. Every new generation Cayenne model will come with a turbocharged powertrain and all-wheel drive that complement the new lighter weight platform.
Performance: New Powertrains and Standard Equipment
Porsche will offer two models at launch: the Cayenne and Cayenne S. Both are powered by turbocharged six-cylinder engines. The Cayenne uses a 3.0-liter single-turbo V6 making 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (or 5.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package). The new Cayenne is also capable of running the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds or 14.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono package, and it is able to reach a top track speed of 152 mph. The Cayenne S uses a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 440 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. It is able to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.9 seconds (or 4.6 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) and continue on toward a top track speed of 164 mph. The Cayenne S quarter mile times drop to 13.3 seconds (or 13.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono package) .
A newly-developed eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission is standard across the Cayenne line. It offers improved comfort and quicker response times in its lower gear range for improved performance both on- and off-road. Meanwhile, an intentionally long eighth gear allows for relaxed cruising. The long gear is designed to complement the performance-minded lower ratios with the option for comfortable highway cruising. Driver-selectable transmission programming further enhances how the Cayenne handles on varied terrain. The default setting is the on-road program. Four other modes activate the conditioning for mild off-road terrain: Mud, Gravel, Sand, or Rocks. The drive mode, chassis settings, and differential locks can be selected to adapt to the relevant scenario. Fully variable Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive is standard on all Cayenne models. The system offers excellent performance characteristics while also providing extensive traction on rough ground.
Chassis: Fundamental Improvements Start With Structure
The third-generation Cayenne has a newly-developed lighter weight chassis that contributes to an overall weight savings of up to 143 lbs versus the previous generation, even with extensively increased standard equipment. Following the Porsche 911 and Panamera models, the new body of the Cayenne also uses an intelligent combination of alloy and steel. The exterior is made almost entirely of aluminum as are the floorpan assembly, front section, and virtually all the chassis components. One particular technical highlight is the innovative lithium-ion polymer starter battery, which alone accounts for a weight saving of 22 lbs.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Cayenne incorporates major technological and mechanical developments which greatly enhance performance. This starts with the chassis and progresses to a separated link design for the front axle, a multilink rear axle, and – for the first time with the Cayenne – staggered front and rear tire sizes ranging in diameter from 19 to 21 inches that help to improve on-road driving dynamics. The choice to use a staggered tire setup in this generation underscores the fact that the Porsche Cayenne is designed to be the sports car within its segment.
Enhancing both agility at lower speeds and handling at high speeds, rear-axle steering is available as an option. This technology reduces the turning radius at low speeds for easier maneuverability by turning the rear wheels out of phase with the front axle. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn in phase with the front axle to provide a virtual lengthening of the wheelbase to improve roadholding and directional control.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) offers familiar variable damping settings found in other Porsche cars. It will be standard equipment on the Cayenne S and an option on the Cayenne. In addition to PASM, a new three-chamber air suspension is also optionally available which furthers the range of comfort- and performance-oriented settings. The new system increases air volume versus the previous system and offers a finer degree of specific calibration through the addition of a third air chamber. Finally, available Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) adds stabilizer bars that are now controlled via a 48-volt electrical system for greatly improved responsiveness versus hydraulic management.
When equipped, all of those systems generate data that are analyzed centrally, in real time, by Porsche 4D Chassis Control. This technology debuted with the second-generation Panamera. The system works to make virtually instantaneous adjustments, optimizing handling even further. With the exception of the active PASM damper system, all other chassis systems are new developments.
Dynamic design language: wider appearance and larger wheels
The new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors. At the same time, it adopts new design elements that hint at how this generation builds upon its predecessors. New horizontal light edges create a wider, more athletic appearance as do enlarged air intakes in the front fascia. The wheelbase remains unchanged at 114 inches, while overall length increases slightly to 194 inches and width (with side mirrors folded) is 78 inches. Cargo area volume with the rear seats raised increases by almost 15 percent over the previous generation to 27.19 cubic feet. When closed, the rear fascia features a new three-dimensional LED light design that features the Porsche logo spanning the width of the vehicle through a narrow strip of lights.
Broadly speaking, LEDs are a main feature of the new Cayenne and are standard on all models. Customers may also choose to upgrade from the standard headlights to either the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PLDS) or LED Matrix Beam headlights, which also include PDLS.
World premiere: Porsche Surface Coated Brake with tungsten-carbide layer
Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) technology is the latest example of Porsche assuming a pioneering role in developing high performance brakes. This world-first is available as an option for all Cayenne models and consists of a cast-iron disc with a tungsten-carbide coating. The finish increases friction values while reducing wear and brake dust. The brakes – which are exclusive to Porsche – will take on a visually impressive glossy appearance complimented by white painted calipers. The PSCB system is only available in combination with 20-inch and 21-inch wheels. The Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) remain the top system available.
New Sport Chrono Package with PSM Sport
The new Cayenne utilizes the redeveloped Sport Chrono Package which reflects the design first employed in the 918 Spyder. The Mode button on the steering wheel is one clear indicator of this approach. As well as the Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus driving modes, the driver can select an individually configurable mode. Pressing the Sport Response button in the center activates the most performance-oriented engine and transmission mapping for 20 seconds. The Sport Chrono Package also includes a separate PSM Sport mode, in which the driver can utilize a wider range of the new Cayenne’s driving dynamics.
Digital evolution: Porsche Advanced Cockpit and new PCM
The newest version of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) makes its way into the new Cayenne, ushering into the model line a new level of connectivity. At the heart of the new display and control concept from Porsche is the 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen, launched last year with the new Panamera.
A range of digital functions can be operated intuitively through touch and also voice controls. The standard Porsche Connect Plus allows subscribers to have access to services including online navigation with real-time traffic information. The analog controls on the new center console are focused on the main functions of the vehicle. Other buttons are integrated into the smartphone-like, glass-look touch surface, which gives acoustic and haptic feedback when operated. In typical Porsche style, the driver has a central analog tachometer to view. This is flanked by two 7-inch full-HD displays showing relevant driving data that can be selected and changed using the multi-function steering wheel. Cayenne customers may specify a variety of available assistance systems as well that include Night Vision Assist, which uses a thermal imaging camera to detect pedestrians and animals before they are visible to the naked eye. Lane Change Assist, Lane Keep Assist including traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, ParkAssist including Surround View, and Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control are also available.
PCM also offers the ability for a great degree of customization by saving preferred settings and menu layouts including up to six individual profiles. In addition to a large number of interior settings, a profile is used to store specifications for lights, driving programs, and assistance systems. Depending on the equipment, each driver can also apply his or her own settings to the new sound systems from Bose® and Burmester®.
A new Off-road Precision App, specially developed for the Porsche Cayenne, is now also available as part of Connect Plus. It allows rough-terrain drives to be documented in detail, helping the driver to improve her or his own skills using video recordings.
Pricing and U.S. market availability
The 2019 Cayenne and Cayenne S models are available to order with a base MSRP of $65,700 and $82,900 respectively, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fees. They will reach U.S. dealers midway through 2018.
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By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
July 29, 2013
For the past few years on the automotive auto show circuit, BMW has been showing off two concept vehicles that previews a new sub-brand; the i3 electric vehicle and i8 plug-in hybrid. Today in New York City, BMW pulled the covers off the first production vehicle of their new i sub-brand, the i3.
The BMW i3 is definitely a different type of vehicle from the Munich automaker. Built on what BMW calls the LifeDrive architecture, the i3 comes in two parts. First is the Life Module which is the i3's body. The Life Module is made out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic which contributes to the i3's curb weight of around 2,700 pounds.
The second part of the LifeDrive architecture is the Drive Module. Using an aluminum chassis as a base, the Drive Module includes a 22-kilowatt, 450-pound lithium ion battery mounted in the middle of the vehicle and a rear-mounted electric motor that provides 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The run to 60 MPH takes about seven seconds and reaches a top speed of 93 MPH. BMW says the i3's range is somewhere between 80 to 100 miles. Recharging takes about 3 hours when using the standard charger and 30 minutes when using SAE DC Combo Fast Charger. Those who have a case of range anxiety will be happy to hear that BMW will offer a 650cc two-cylinder engine as a range extender.
The i3 will start at $42,275 (includes a $925 destination charge) before incentives. The i3 arrives at dealers next spring.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at email@example.com you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
Press Release is on Page 2
Worldwide debut of the all-new BMW i3.
The Ultimate Driving Machine in a new era of Individual Urban Mobility
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – EMBARGO: July 29, 2013 08:30 Eastern Time. . . BMW today introduced the all-new BMW i3 electric car, constructed in a revolutionary way from next-generation materials. The BMW i3 will go on sale in the US market in the second quarter of 2014, and starts with a base MSRP of $41,350, before any federal or state incentives, and before Destination & Handling fee (currently $925).
1. Highlights & Quick-References: The All-New BMW i3.
2. The Ultimate Driving Machine: Driving Dynamics Worthy of BMW.
3. The Future of Urban Mobility
4. Design. Aesthetic Appeal with Elegant, Renewable Interior.
5. Explore the Worlds (Vehicle Trim Levels).
6. BMW ConnectedDrive. Mobility services and new driver assistance.
7. 360 Electric. Support and Convenience for Electric Mobility.
8. Safety: Always a true BMW.
1. Highlights: The All-New BMW i3:
The new all-electric BMW i3 is a landmark in BMW’s mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker. The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand, and is a truly purpose built electric car. It’s a new era for electro mobility at BMW.
The vehicle concept behind the BMW i3 was designed from the outset to incorporate an all-electric drive system. This has numerous advantages over “conversion” vehicles, in which the original combustion engine is swapped for an electric motor. The engineers can design whatever works best, in terms of construction, dimensions and configuration of the electric drive system’s components. The car’s development is dictated by the characteristics designed into the car by the development team and not by the constraints imposed by a pre-existing vehicle design. For example, the space in a conversion vehicle set aside for the fuel tank or exhaust system cannot be used. In the BMW i3 there is no need for this kind of compromise.
This leads to the LifeDrive architecture concept, which was purpose-built specifically for the BMW i3. It is comprised of two modules; the Life Module, and the Drive Module. Think of the Life Module as the passenger cabin, or greenhouse. It is the first-ever mass produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger cell in the automotive business, and is a big factor in the cars efficiency. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic is equally as strong as steel, while being 50% lighter, and 30% lighter than aluminum. The result is an electric car that weighs about 2,700 lbs (preliminary US figures).
Due to the lightweight, high tensile strength of CFRP, the passenger cell has added protection, and the battery has less work to do, which allows for the use of a smaller, lighter battery that saves even more weight, reduces charging time and increases range. The light weight design of the Life Module also lowers the BMW i3’s center of gravity, making it a more engaging and dynamic car to drive.
The Drive Module, which is constructed out of 100% aluminum, consists of the 22-kWh, 450 lb. lithium-ion battery, electric drive train, MacPherson strut and 5-link rear suspension system and structural and crash components. The battery mounted in the rear, close to the drive wheels, gives impressive performance characteristics while also providing better traction.
Another benefit of the LifeDrive architecture concept is that there is no space-consuming transmission tunnel running through the center of the car, like in most internal combustion powered cars, because of the separate Drive Module. This gives the BMW i3 the interior space of the BMW 3 Series, while only having the footprint of the much smaller BMW 1 Series.
Even the vehicle’s key is sustainably manufactured. The source material of the new bio-polymer key is based on castor oil pressed from castor seeds. The owner’s manual is also made from renewable resources.
The interior is made using high quality renewable sources and recycled materials. The BMW i3 has the Next Premium interior, which blends sustainable resources with a premium feel for the same interior quality as the BMW 5 Series Sedan. 25% of the plastics in the interior and 25% of the thermoplastic parts on the exterior are made from either recycled materials or renewable sources.
According to studies carried out as part of BMW’s Project i, involving more than 1,000 participants and conducted over some 12.5 million miles, it was revealed that the average daily distance covered was around 30 miles. The BMW i3 will be able to travel 80 to 100 miles on a single charge. This can be increased by up to approximately 12% in ECO PRO mode and by the same amount again in ECO PRO+ mode. It is able to recharge in only 3 hours with the use of a 220V Level 2, 32-amp J1772 charger. The SAE DC Combo Fast Charging, which charges the BMW i3 up to 80% in 20 minutes, and 100% in 30, can be had as an option.
In order to reduce range anxiety, a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline-powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels. The Range Extender adds roughly 330 lbs. to the vehicle curb weight and has a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons.
Since 1999 according to the DOE, average gasoline prices in America have increased from approximately $1.136 to $3.618, or about a 218%. In the same time, the pricing of electricity has increased from 6.6 cents to 9.9 cents, a change of only 50%, making electricity a far more attractive commodity from a pricing standpoint.
BMW i3 Quick-Reference Highlights.
Pricing (before federal or local incentives) starts at $41,350; $45,200 for Range Extender model. Destination & Handling Fee not included.
On Sale: Q2 of 2014 in the USA.
BMW’s 360 Electric electro mobility services.
BMW i Remote app, which connects with the car.
BMW Navigation is standard.
BMW Intelligent Emergency Call (‘eCall”), Anti theft alarm and Rear Parking Distance Control are standard.
170-hp, 184 lb-ft hybrid-synchronous electric motor with max. revs of 11,400 rpm.
80-100 mile real-world EV range.
22-kWh lithium-ion battery, which weighs 450 lbs.
650cc gasoline powered Range Extender optional; holds charge, doesn’t power wheels.
0-30mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-60mph in approximately 7.0 seconds (preliminary).
Top speed of 93 mph, electronically limited to preserve efficiency.
BMW’s signature, near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution.
Ultra-tight turning radius (32.3 ft), which is ideal for city driving.
Macpherson strut front and 5-link rear suspension set up.
Single Pedal Driving Concept with Brake Energy Regeneration, which feeds power back into battery.
3 drive modes: Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+.
3 hour 220 V @32 amps charging time.
Optional SAE DC Combo Fast Charging allows for 80% charge in 20mins; 100% in 30 mins.
Chassis and Body.
Purpose built construction. World’s first mass-produced CFRP-constructed electric vehicle.
Built on innovative LifeDrive architecture composed of two parts: Life Module and Drive Module.
Life Module is essentially the cabin, constructed from Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP).
Drive Module is where all of the powertrain components are housed.
Drive Module is made from 100% aluminum.
Magnesium cross-member for instrument panel saves 20% weight vs. steel.
BMW 1 Series external footprint with BMW 3 Series interior space.
Adaptive Full LED headlights and LED taillights (standard in US market).
Weighs in at roughly 2,700 lbs.
No space-consuming transmission tunnel dividing car’s interior.
Pillar-less design with rear coach doors allow for easy entry and exit to rear seats.
Driver-oriented super-ergonomic controls.
Three vehicle Worlds (trim levels): Mega (standard in US), Giga, and Tera.
Standard 19-inch light alloy wheels with unique 155/70 all-season tires. 20-inch light alloy wheels optional.
No transmission tunnel and low console allows for Slide-through Experience, which benefits urban driving by the ability to exit from the passenger side.
Made with sustainable, renewable materials.
Instrument panel surround and door trim use fibers from Kenaf plant.
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof panel is made partially with recycled CFRP from manufacturing process of other components
25% of plastic used in interior comprised of recycled materials.
Dashboard wood trim crafted from responsibly-forested eucalyptus.
CFRP components are sustainably produced in Moses Lake, WA, USA, where the factory uses hydroelectric power.
The Leipzig, Germany assembly plant uses wind-generated electricity.
Olive-leaf extract is used to tan interior leather surfaces.
2. The Ultimate Drive Machine®.
BMW makes the Ultimate Driving Machine, and that holds true for the BMW i3. The hybrid synchronous electric motor, which weighs only 110 lbs., is developed and produced specially by the BMW Group for use in the BMW i3, with maximum revs of 11,400 rpm, generates an output of 170 hp and outputs maximum torque of 184 lb-ft on tap from the moment the car pulls away. That’s propels the 2,700 lb car from 0-30mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-60mph in approximately 7.2 seconds, and to an electronically limited top speed of 93 mph (preliminary USA figures). Much like engine braking with a manual transmission, but even more effective, the accelerator pedal also acts as a brake when the driver lifts off the accelerator.
The BMW i3 features Brake Energy Regeneration, which, when the driver lifts off, the motor acts as a generator and converts the kinetic energy into electricity, which is fed back into the battery for a range gain. This Regeneration is speed-sensitive, which means that the car “coasts” for added efficiency at high speeds, and generates the strong braking effect at lower speeds.
The BMW i3’s accelerator pedal has a distinct “neutral” position. Rather than switching straight to energy Regeneration when the driver eases off the accelerator, the electric motor uses zero torque control to separate from the drivetrain and deploy only the available kinetic energy for propulsion. In this mode, the BMW i3 cruises using virtually no energy at all. This is another way anticipatory driving can preserve energy and increase the car’s range.
The impressive electric motor, small turning circle of 32.3 feet, – a major benefit to driving in the city – BMW’s near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution, precise electric power steering and the stable suspension set-up help to make the i3 as satisfying to drive as every other BMW.
The BMW i3’s tires are a unique 155/70/19 size on 19-inch light-alloy wheels, but the contact patch is the same of that of a more conventional 16-inch tire. To improve efficiency, they have low rolling resistance, and the narrow section width is a key factor in the BMW i3’s super-tight turning radius.
The BMW i3 uses the BMW eDrive rear-wheel drive powertrain previously found on the BMW ActiveE. eDrive offers driving dynamics worthy of the Ultimate Driving Machine name and offers zero tailpipe emission driving. Beyond the traditional immediacy of response offered by electric motors when pulling away, power development in the BMW i3 also remains unbroken through higher speeds. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission, allowing the BMW i3 to accelerate with an uninterrupted flow of power up to its top speed.
3. City Friendly: The Future of Urban Mobility.
The BMW i3 marks the introduction of a new type of megacity vehicle. Its small size allows it to easily maneuver and park on city streets, while the car’s short front and rear overhangs make parking in tight spaces much easier. Its sharp turning radius and nimble handling are the perfect match for city driving. In the front, the Slide Through Experience allows the driver to slide through the car and exit on the passenger side, to avoid exiting into a busy city street. This is made possible because of the absence of the transmission tunnel. The coach doors make getting into and out of the car much more practical by eliminating the B pillar and creating one large opening to enter and exit.
Not having to fill up on gas is a big advantage while living in the city due to the lack of gas stations. Since electricity is so readily available, recharging is possible almost anywhere, and practically gives the BMW i3 unlimited range due to being able to charge at any and every stop.
Emission-free driving is also a plus in the city. Cities are so congested with cars idling at red lights or stop and go traffic, so having a car that runs on electricity that doesn’t pollute is another way that the BMW i3 benefits the environment, and its owner.
On a similar note, the navigation system can take traffic conditions into consideration and help route around any areas of large congestion, which is a huge benefit when living in a city with a lot of traffic. It can help maximize efficiency and cut down commute times in order to save you time.
The same navigation system also remembers the owners driving style and can judge by that and the amount of charge left if a route is too long or if a recharge is necessary for the return journey.
4. Design: Aesthetic Appeal with Elegant, Renewable Interior.
The BMW i3 is stretching the definitive envelope of what a conventional car can be and how it should look. Its striking appearance is unique to the BMW i sub-brand while still remaining unmistakably a BMW.
The front end has a clear and simple design. BMW’s iconic kidney grilles headlines the front end with the BMW i blue background. Under the kidney grille, silver layers sculpt the front apron. Contrasting black surfaces identify the functional load compartment under the hood and air inlets. Aerodynamic Air Curtains give an aggressive appearance to the BMW i3, while also helping to increase the range by minimizing air resistance and drag. U-shaped, LED headlights, give a fresh take on the BMW light design and give the car character.
At the rear end, the large rear window gives great visibility and easy access to the trunk. The roof lines are optimized to give as much interior space as possible. The LED U-shaped taillights are housed in the rear window and appear to be floating there.
The rear diffuser is the lowest point on the car and lends to its aerodynamics. Outlined in blue (not available with Solar Orange Metallic exterior color), the diffuser is shaped to show the BMW i3’s powerful stance.
Thanks to its LifeDrive architecture, the BMW i3 is a new canvas for BMW interior designers. There is no center tunnel taking up space, which creates an open, roomy cabin. The front and rear bench seats allow for easy movement inside the vehicle and even allow the driver to exit through the passenger door if necessary.
All driving controls are ergonomically placed for easy access to the driver. The instrument panel stretches through the whole interior from the air vents next to the steering wheel to just before the passenger door. It encompasses the radio and climate controls as well.
The freestanding steering column is a distinctive element in the light interior. All of the driving controls, such as the instrument cluster, start/stop button and gear shift selector can be found there.
The interior, which is put together using a technique known as layering, – which is the utilization of space through the structuring of lines and surfaces into layers – features Next Premium. It is made of high quality renewable raw materials, in the name of sustainability. The driver’s seat is located in a semi-command driving position, set-up higher for a better view of the road. Certain parts of the instrument panel and door panels are made using southern Asia’s Kenaf plant natural fibers to save about 10% weight, while the interior leather is tanned using a natural process that uses olive leaf extract to provide protection against fading and wear while giving a unique look.
Using a magnesium supporting structure for the instrument panel saves weight in two ways. Superior material attributes over conventional sheet steel results in a weight reduction of 20%. Also, the high composite rigidity of the magnesium supporting structure allows a reduction in components and lowers weight by a further 10%.
The wood trim used in the dashboard is crafted from eucalyptus which is grown in Europe and certified as 100% sourced from responsible forestry. As the eucalyptus ages, it darkens and changes color. The location of the crafting was selected carefully to ensure short delivery routes to the production stages.
The Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), which is produced near Moses Lake, Washington, is made primarily with the use of hydroelectric power, harvested nearby. This is done to minimize the effect that BMW i3 production has on the environment. Since more than 10% of the carbon fiber needed to manufacture the BMW i3 is made from recycled materials, it is another way the BMW i3 is completely sustainable. The roof is made of CFRP scraps to help recycle left over material from other parts.
5. Explore the World: Vehicle Trim Levels.
Due to the unfamiliarity of electric mobility technology in the United States, buying an EV can be a daunting experience for the average customer. BMW sought to make this process as simple as possible in the new BMW i3. The BMW i3 comes in three different worlds: Mega, Giga and Tera, all of which come equipped with a very high level of standard equipment.
The base Mega World comes standard with 19-inch extra-efficient forged aluminum wheels, BMW Navigation, BMW ConnectedDrive with eCall, the BMW i Remote, an alarm, 7.4 kW on board charger and LED headlights, DRLs and tail lights. The interior is donned in bright, lightweight Sensatec and sustainable cloth, which is made from recycled materials. It also features a leather trimmed steering wheel and grained dash trim.
The next level, Giga World, has all the features of the Mega World but with the addition of distinct Giga-specific 19-inch wheels and an interior wrapped in leather and wool cloth. A universal garage door opener is included for easy access to the i3’s BMW i Charging Station, which is usually mounted in the garage. It also has Comfort Access, a sunroof, and satellite radio. The leather-trimmed steering wears contrasting stitching to give a classy, sporty look.
The top-of-the-line Tera World, adds unique 19-inch wheels, a luxurious full leather, olive leaf-tanned interior, with textile accents and contrasting stitching, and anthracite floors mats.
Available for every world is the Technology and Driving assist, and the Parking assist packages. The Technology and Driving Assist package adds a host of convenience and safety technologies to the BMW i3. It includes the wide-screen Navigation Professional with advanced real-time traffic and the new touch pad, Traffic Jam Assist, BMW Assist with Enhanced Bluetooth and USB with BMW Apps, Online Information services, Deceleration Assistant, ACC Stop & Go, Speed Limit info, BMW ConnectedDrive services, Forward Collision Warning, Pedestrian Protection and City Collision Mitigation. The Parking Assist package is ideal for living in the city and includes a rearview camera, Park Assistant, which helps take advantage of tight parallel parking opportunities, and Front Auto Park Distance Control.
The BMW i3 full options list for USA will be released Fall 2013.
6. BMW ConnectedDrive. Mobility services and new driver assistance systems.
BMW ConnectedDrive is the interface between the customer, their car, 360 Electric, and the Premium Mobility Service. Connected mobility is the embodiment of an individual, sustainable, efficient and convenient form of urban mobility. It is a crucial part of the BMW i and urban lifestyle.
An embedded SIM card in the BMW i3 is the key that unlocks the BMW ConnectedDrive services, available to the new electric model. A feature of BMW ConnectedDrive is BMW i Navigation, which can search for a nearby charging station, which should give the driver piece of mind, knowing that there is a station nearby. It can also give a real world range estimate and visualization of the estimate with the SpiderMap, Real Time Traffic Information and plan a route that avoids the traffic as best as possible.
The customer has access to personal assistance from a BMW ConnectedDrive agent at any time of the day or night. Concierge Service can help answer almost any of the driver’s questions. They can recommend restaurants, give information on destinations or guide the driver to the nearest charging station, among other things.
In the unfortunate situation when an accident occurs, Intelligent Emergency Call (“eCall”) sends information like location, number of front-seat occupants, and even crash severity data to the BMW ConnectedDrive Call Center, which quickly informs the appropriate 911-dispatch center.
BMW ConnectedDrive can also connect directly with your iPhone with an original Apple cable that connects to the car and built-in BMW Apps.
The optionally available Driving Assistant Plus for the BMW i3 comprises Collision Warning with brake priming function, which is activated at speeds up to about 35 mph (60 km/h) and is able to respond to both moving and stationary vehicles ahead, as well as to pedestrians. It also comes with Active Cruise Control including Stop & Go function. In addition to visual and audible warnings, the system is capable of braking the vehicle by itself, if required, with up to maximum stopping power. The Parking Assistant can also be found on the option list and performs the steering maneuvers at the same time as controlling accelerator, brake and gear selection, enabling fully automated parallel parking. Another handy optional extra is the Traffic Jam Assistant that allows drivers to delegate the tasks of pulling away, braking and steering to keep the vehicle in lane. Meanwhile, the Speed Limit Info system is also offered.
7. 360 Electric: Support and Convenience for Electric Mobility.
Electric cars differ drastically from their gas-powered counterparts, and the 360 Electric features further that differential. All of the 360 Electric features help to ensure convenient electro mobility in most situations.
If the BMW i3 buyer has a private parking space at their home, BMW i will offer a home charging station, which includes a BMW i charging station for convenient charging. They will even send a representative to install it to any specific need. 360 Electric will also help with public charging by locating the nearest station.
As part of 360 Electric, the BMW i Remote app links to your car and can monitor its battery level, charging status and other charging-related functions, such as heating and air conditioning. The app can also give the cars location, lock or unlock the doors, honk the horn, or flash the lights.
Before driving away in the BMW i3, it is recommended to precondition that battery to the preferred operating temperature of between 60 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit to optimize range. Battery temperature may be monitored through the iDrive system. The battery liquid cooling system keeps the battery at the ideal operating temperature which increases performance and life expectancy. Battery condition is controlled and operated in harmony by the intelligent energy management system. This, combined with Brake Energy Regeneration system extends the vehicle’s range while enhancing its performance.
The Range Assistant is engaged both for route planning and during journeys already under way. Topographical mapping technology helps find the most efficient route to your destination by calculating distance, elevation and other factors, in order to get the best range from your BMW i3. If the destination is beyond the cars range, it can suggest switching to ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ to get more from the battery’s charge.
In the unlikely circumstance of a breakdown, the BMW Assist Safety Plan provides contact with a Response Specialist at the touch of a button.
BMW Assist also introduces Navigation services specially-developed to enhance electric mobility alongside familiar features including the Concierge Services information facility and the intelligent BMW Assist eCall. Moreover, drivers may use the BMW i Remote app to share information with their car using a smartphone. The pedestrian navigation function guides the driver from parking place to their final destination and back.
8. Safety: Always a true BMW.
From an efficiency standpoint, the body of the BMW i3 needs to be not only strong but, above all, light. However, from a safety point of view, it has to be not only light but, above all, strong. This apparent conflict of interests highlights the engineers’ pioneering work in developing the vehicle architecture of the BMW i3. Here, there is no contradiction between lightweight construction and safety. Quite the opposite, in fact: the LifeDrive concept of the BMW i3, with its combination of aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), is on a par with other structures and even performs better in some areas of crash testing despite its lightweight design. The use of CFRP essentially allows the construction of extremely lightweight bodies. Moreover, CFRP possesses an impressive ability to absorb energy and is extremely damage-tolerant. CFRP is the lightest material that can be used in the construction of car bodies without compromising on safety.
The LifeDrive concept is based around two horizontally separate independent modules. The Drive module – the aluminum chassis – gives the car its high-strength foundations and integrates the battery and drive system into a single structure. The Life module, meanwhile, consists principally of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger compartment made from CFRP. With this innovative concept, the BMW Group takes the combination of lightweight design, vehicle architecture and crash safety to an entirely new dimension.
LifeDrive module offers tremendous safety.
The crash requirements in automotive manufacture are very strict. Numerous impact criteria stipulated by the stringent guidelines of global consumer protection organizations and legislators have to be taken into account. During the development of the BMW i3 concept, there was close consultation with the international crash test institutes on the innovative car body and safety concept of the BMW i models.
The high-strength passenger compartment teams up with the intelligent distribution of forces within the LifeDrive module to provide the cornerstones for optimum occupant protection. Even after the structurally-debilitating offset front crash at 64 km/h (40 mph), the extremely rigid material maintains an intact survival space for passengers. The crash-activated aluminum structures at the front and rear end of the Drive module provide additional safety, so that less body deformation occurs compared with comparable steel
bodies. Furthermore, the “cocoon effect” of the CFRP car body ensures that the doors can be opened without any problem and the interior remains largely free of any intrusions.
Even rescue scenarios have been worked through and checked. In standard cutting tests, the process of rescuing occupants from a BMW i3 involved in an accident was comparable to that for a conventional vehicle. In some respects, indeed, it was more straightforward since the lighter components can be more easily cut than high-strength steels, for example.
Impressive rigidity, combined with its ability to absorb an enormous amount of energy, makes CFRP extremely damage-tolerant. Even at high impact speeds it displays barely any deformation. As in a Formula One cockpit, this exceptionally stiff material provides an extremely strong survival space. Furthermore, the body remains intact in a front or rear-on impact, and the doors still open without a problem after a crash.
In its dry, resin-free state CFRP can be worked almost like a textile, and as such allows a high degree of flexibility in how it is shaped. The composite only gains its rigid, final form after the resin injected into the lattice has hardened. This makes it at least as durable as steel, but it is much more lightweight.
The high tear resistance along the length of the fibers also allows CFRP components to be given a high-strength design by following their direction of loading. To this end, the fibers are arranged within the component according to their load characteristics. By overlaying the fiber alignment, components can also be strengthened against load in several different directions. In this way, the components can be given a significantly more efficient and effective design than is possible with any other material that is equally durable in all directions – such as metal. This, in turn, allows further reductions in terms of both material use and weight, leading to another new wave of savings potential. The lower accelerated mass in the event of a crash means that energy-absorbing structures can be scaled back, cutting the weight of the vehicle.
Superior protection in a side impact.
The ability of CFRP to absorb energy is truly extraordinary. Pole impacts and side-on collisions both highlight the impressive safety-enhancing properties of CFRP. Despite the heavy, in some cases concentrated forces, the material barely sustains a dent, and passengers enjoy nearly unbeatable protection. All of which makes CFRP perfectly suited for use in a vehicle’s flanks, where every centimeter of undamaged interior is invaluable. However, there are limits to what CFRP can endure. If the forces applied go beyond the limits of the material’s strength, the composite of fibers breaks up into its individual components in a controlled process.
In the Euro NCAP side impact test, in which a pole strikes the side of the vehicle dead-center at 32 km/h (20 mph), the carbon fiber composite also demonstrates its extraordinary energy-absorbing capacity. The Life module absorbs the entire impact with minimal deformation, guaranteeing optimum passenger protection. Even as CFRP dissipates energy, danger to passengers or other road users is substantially mitigated.
The best of both worlds: combining aluminum and CFRP.
The new Drive module has also been carefully designed and structured with these exacting crash requirements in mind. Crash-active aluminum structures in the front and rear sections of the vehicle provide additional safety. In a front or rear-on collision, these absorb a large proportion of the energy generated. The battery, meanwhile, is mounted in the underbody section of the car to give it the best possible degree of protection. Statistically, this is the area that absorbs the least energy in the event of a crash, and the vehicle shows barely any deformation here as a result. Moreover, positioning the battery in the underbody allows the BMW Group development engineers to give the vehicle an ideal low center of gravity, which makes it extremely agile and unlikely to roll over.
The high-voltage battery also benefits from the excellent deformation properties of the CFRP Life module. In the side crash test, the pole does not penetrate as far as the battery. The mix of materials used and the intelligent power distribution in the LifeDrive module ensure that the high-voltage battery is optimally protected even in the side sill area.
All in all, the high-strength CFRP passenger cell teams up with the intelligent distribution of forces in the LifeDrive module to lay the foundations for optimum occupant protection.
In the unfortunate situation when an accident occurs, Intelligent Emergency Call (“eCall”) sends information like location, number of front-seat occupants, and even crash severity data to the BMW ConnectedDrive Call Center, which quickly informs the appropriate 911-dispatch center.
Lithium-ion batteries are safe even in the event of a fire.
Safety is a key criterion in the development of the BMW i models. A range of systems and measures have been implemented in the vehicle that ensure safety in normal operation and in the event of accidental fires. The high-voltage system is designed to cope with accidents beyond the legal requirements, with the high-voltage battery including features that ensure its safe reaction even in situations such as this.
The latest series of tests conducted by the renowned DEKRA E-Mobility Competence Center were extremely extensive – ranging from how a car might catch fire, how the flames might spread and what would be required to extinguish the fire, to the pollution caused by run-off of the water used for fighting the fire. The experts concluded that electric and hybrid cars with lithium-ion drive system batteries are at least as safe as vehicles with conventional drive systems in the event of fire.
To ensure maximum safety in such a crash scenario, the high-voltage battery is disconnected from the high-voltage system and the connected components discharged when the passenger restraint systems are triggered. This safely prevents the possibility of a short circuit, which could lead to electric shocks or cause a fire.
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If you get this, you are a critical thinker.· 0 replies
I enter the bedroom.
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I won against Keele Christopher
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I'd be going to Mario's on that beachfront boulevard in Galveston to pig out at their Italian buffet.