The US launch of the BMW i3 all electric vehicle is highly anticipated at Chapman BMW. Fully electric cars have significantly higher energy efficiency and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional vehicles. Already on a wait list, the i3 will be BMW’s first fully electric car that also boasts “cradle to grave” sustainability. BMW has ensured that sustainable practices and materials are incorporated in the i3 from the start of the production process, to ownership, and finally to the end of the cars life.
BMW’s Leipzig shop which manufactures the i3 is LEED Gold certified and gathers all of its energy to operate from four wind turbines. To become LEED Gold certified, BMW Lepizig needed to earn high points in nine categories ranging from waste and water efficiency, to design, materials, and sustainable education. It is the first automobile manufacture in Germany to obtain all of its energy solely from wind turbines. The turbines generate so much electricity that BMW finds them self with a surplus after powering the factory. BMW outsources the carbon fiber used for the passenger cell of the car from a facility in Moose Lake, Washington that produces 100 percent of its electricity from hydro power and has 50 percent less CO2 emissions then others facilities like it. The choice to use malleable carbon fiber sheets verses aluminum saves BMW energy in production as well as produces a car that is light weight increasing over all driving range.
A portion of the i3’s interior is created with recycled materials and environmentally refined wood accents, while the leather is tanned with olive leaf extract as a natural alternative to traditional chemicals. Any aluminum features in the exterior or interior of the car are made from melted down recycled aluminum, cutting energy use up to 95 percent that what would be needed to melt down aluminum alloy.
The least sustainable part of all electric vehicles happens to be the part that powers them. Batteries can be made of recycled components, but cannot be melted back down and recreated because of toxic chemicals inside. BMW’s solution to the i3’s battery is in a re purposing program. After 1000 charges, the battery is replaced with an all new one to ensure maximum range performance. The old battery is then turned into a solar energy storage cell for residential use or is combined with other batteries to build a large storage cell to store extra power produced from renewable sources.
BMW is the first car company to create an electric vehicle that maintains sustainability efforts throughout its production stages and past the death of the car. The i3 will come to Chapman BMW for a test drive event in April 2014, and will be available for purchase at Phoenix BMW dealerships June 2014.
Information was obtained from BMW’s Veritably Sustainable Press Release.
The new BMW 4 Series Convertible is being referred to as a “fifth generation premium convertible”. It is the first to be called a 4 Series, however, its predecessors include four generations of 3 Series convertibles. Like the 4 Series Coupe, it’s distinguished by a new body that is longer, wider and lower than before, in an attempt to make it look both sportier and more elegant, according to BMW.
It retains the old 3 Series’ three-piece folding hard-top, which slides away gracefully in about 20 seconds, and while you’re trundling along in traffic at speeds of up to 11mph. BMW has also made improvements throughout to enhance the car’s practicality. Despite the lower roof line, there’s more passenger room inside. Both headroom and legroom are improved over the 335i convertible. While space is still restricted with the roof down, it’s larger than before. With the top up, the shorter overhangs produce a more extended look than the coupe, and the lack of a B-pillar furthers the elegance.
Inside, the 435i comes standard with leatherette upholstery, a sunroof and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which includes a 6.5-inch display. Optional features include heated front seats, a self-parking system, which can automatically locate a parking spot and steer the car into it, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, navigation, a head-up display and a 16-speaker Harmon Kardon surround-sound system.
The 435i features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder rated at an even 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 8-speed automatic is again standard, but the manual is available on both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy for the 435i is 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the automatic, 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway for the manual, 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway for the automatic all-wheel drive and 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the manual all-wheel drive.
As for safety, the 4 Series comes with stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with collision-mitigation features and a full complement of airbags. Among the other available safety features are BMW Assist and a lane-departure warning system.
To get your hands on the new BMW 435i convertible, visit Chapman BMW.
Recently BMW unveiled the latest updates of iDrive with ConnectedDrive and new touch capability. Highlights include a new touch-pad input option, high-resolution graphics and new internet-connected features. A whole array of functionality, including remote services, app support and more, has also been revised.
Available on new models at Chapman’s Phoenix BMW dealerships, ConnectedDrive is more than just a web browser on your dashboard. It aims to give you the information you need while driving without being too distracting. From a weather forecast or sports news to finding a highly rated restaurant or the local speed limit, you can get pretty much everything you need through ConnectedDrive.
Rather than relying on your phone’s internet connection, ConnectedDrive has its own built-in SIM card which means you get all the internet-connected features without eating into your own monthly data package. It also means the system can call the emergency services automatically if you’re involved in an accident, or you can call BMW’s concierge service to get information or request roadside assistance should your car break down.
The iDrive controller is now larger and incorporates a touchpad, much like the one on your laptop. As well as controlling the cursor in the web browser it also lets you swipe around and draw letters, such as when you need to input an address in the satnav. With voice recognition, ConnectedDrive allows you to control most functions just by speaking. Once you know the commands, you can enter a destination in the satnav, search Google or play a particular album. While you’re driving, ConnectedDrive can read emails, messages and other information aloud using a text-to-speech system.
In the ConnectedDrive menu you’ll find Info plus, Messages, Mobile Care, BMW Online and Internet. Info plus places a call to BMW’s concierge service, which is available 24/7 and can transfer addresses to the in-car navigation system. Messages is where you’ll find information sent from the Info plus service, or details you’ve sent to the car yourself using the Google Send-to-Car feature. Mobile care is the shortcut to call the breakdown service. BMW Online includes news, weather forecasts, online, email and apps.
Built-in satnav is nothing new, but most systems still rely on the RDS-TMC data which isn’t always particularly up to date. Given that TomTom and other providers (such as Google) offer so-called HD traffic, car manufacturers seem behind the times. However with the integrated SIM, ConnectedDrive provides real-time traffic information and can use that to plan the fastest route as well as showing exactly where traffic is backing up locally.
The satnav also benefits from the new system’s upgraded processing power. Zooming in and out of a map is super-smooth, and you can even zoom out to a globe view and rotate it at will. You also get a 3D building view for major towns and cities, which might help to make the directions clearer in unfamiliar places as you can identify landmarks and better understand the route on-screen.
For more information on BMW’s iDrive with ConnectedDrive, visit Chapman BMW.
Thanks to the Internet, connecting to people with similar interests has never been easier. With a cult-like following, BMW has some of the best available resources online for its enthusiasts. For more information about connecting with enthusiasts, visit Chapman BMW.
There are two, usually distinct ways to connect with other BMW enthusiasts. You have car clubs, which typically have chapters located all over the country, or even world. You also have forums, where you can create online discussions about various BMW topics or other interesting tidbits.
BMW Car Club of America
While the BMW Car Club of America operates independently of the BMW corporate structure, they offer wonderful benefits. The BMW CCA has numerous chapters across the country. Through the car club, enthusiasts are invited to well-organized meets and events surrounding their love of all things BMW.
These events could include informal social gatherings, tech inspections, or even sanctioned club-racing events for those who are licensed to do so. There are two types of club-racing events for BMW CCA members, the BMW CCA Club Racing, and the BMW CCA Endurance Racing Series Sponsored by Turner Motorsport.
Joining the BMW Car Club of America provides a unique experience to meet new enthusiasts and racecar drivers, while enjoying everything a BMW has to offer. While the BMW CCA does offer a forum for discussion and sharing information, another site does this particularly well.
While BMW CCA may provide a unique experience, BimmerForums is where you go for all your latest news and technical information. Here, BMW owners and enthusiasts can share their experiences and stories online about their BMWs. At BimmerForums, you can get information on track-day events, turbocharging, auto detailing, tires, wheels, and much more.
For easier navigation, BimmerForums also breaks down information and discussions by specific BMW model, so you can always find what you are looking for.
If either BimmerForums or BMW CCA don’t wet your whistle, there are still a plethora of places you can go to meet BMW enthusiast. A simple Google search will bring up hundreds of pages of search results of other people looking to connect.
What is great about the Internet is that no matter what you are looking for in other BMW enthusiasts and websites, there is almost certainly a place for you to find a comfortable home. Check out you BMW dealer in Chandler for more.
BMW has been doing a lot of work lately on automated driving systems, with the BMW TrackTrainer and Emergency Stop Assistant. The brand is now taking it a step further with Highly Automated Driving, designed for everyday use on roadways. BMW has actually been testing automated driving vehicles for some time. In fact, BMW has already completed over 3,000 miles of testing with their test team.
But in order to offer drivers comfortable and safe vehicles in the future, equipped with the most modern assistance systems available, the engineers at BMW Group Research and Technology have been working on the development of electronic co-pilots to support automated driving in specific situations.
To accomplish this, researchers have equipped a BMW 5 Saloon with intelligent software as well as vision assistance and environment detection systems. The advanced automated assistance function for motorway journeys can be activated with the push of a button. From this point on, the prototype system can autonomously control acceleration and braking, and it can safely pass slower vehicles.
By accessing digital maps, the camera and the localization data of an extremely precise GPS, the automated vehicle prototype can determine its location in its own lane, and it also receives exact information about the characteristics of the route ahead, including the number of lanes that section of the motorway has. This information is supplemented by data from the forward-looking camera integrated in the lane departure warning system. Objects in front of the vehicle are detected by the radar sensors of the adaptive cruise control system with Stop and Go function and by a laser scanner as well. The same is true for objects at the sides or rear of the vehicle.
The emergency stop assistant prototype realized by BMW is yet another milestone in the development of automated functions for assisted driving. The system incorporates innovative technologies for controlling and pinpointing the location of a motor vehicle and analyzing the vehicle environment for added safety. The system activates the emergency flashers, carefully monitors traffic and guides the vehicle to the right shoulder of the road.
Research will also continue on automated vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems in order to develop innovative assistance functions for the future. For example, the Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant in the BMW i3 Concept, coming to Phoenix BMW dealerships in 2014. Since the BMW i3 Concept is primarily designed as an urban vehicle, it is equipped with functions that make parking easier and driving in congested traffic less stressful. The park assistant automatically parks the vehicle without any driver intervention. The car accelerates and brakes on its own, and shifts gears from forward to reverse as needed when difficult parking maneuvers are required. The Traffic Jam Assistant helps drivers to relax in rather tedious traffic situations and congested areas. It maintains a safe distance between vehicles and automatically controls the speed and steering, and is able to stop the car if necessary.
Although it may be a few years before we actually see a self-driving automobile, they are definitely getting closer. Visit Chapman BMW on I-10 for more information.