Parallel to the start of the largest model initiative in the history of the brand, BMW is also increasing the attractiveness and diversity within the range of existing series with a multitude of new features being introduced in the autumn of 2017. From November 2017, the new BMW M550d xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: 6.7 – 6.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 176 – 168 g/km) and the new BMW 640d xDrive Gran Turismo (combined fuel consumption: 6.2 – 5.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 163 – 153 g/km) will become available, whilst as from December 2017, two new petrol engine variants will be offered for the new BMW X3. Furthermore, the choice of special equipment features for the new BMW X3 will be complemented by exclusive exterior and interior options by BMW Individual.

The BMW X1 xDrive20d (combined fuel consumption: 4.8 – 4.7 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 127 – 123 g/km) will in future come with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission as standard. Moreover, as from November 2017, the range of optional light alloy wheels for the compact Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) will be complemented by five new variants. In addition to the introduction of the BMW Connected Services Microsoft Office 365 with Skype for Business, the upgrade of BMW Connected+ with new personalised digital mobility services will ensure further advancement in the field of intelligent networking. Starting in the autumn of 2017, the number of cities in which the digital parking space search service On-Street Parking Information can be utilized will increase even further.

New BMW M Performance model: BMW M550d xDrive Touring featuring the most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine available worldwide

From November 2017, the fleet of exceptionally sporty BMW M Performance automobiles will be complemented by a fascinatingly powerful but also impressively efficient model variant of the new BMW 5 Series Touring. The new BMW M550d xDrive Touring will feature the most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine available worldwide. The M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology used on the 3-litre, straight six-cylinder power unit comprises multi-stage charging with four turbochargers and Common Rail direct injection operating at a maximum pressure of more than 2,500 bar. A maximum power output of 294 kW/400 hp and a peak torque of 760 Nm available between 2, 000 and 3, 000 rpm ensure spontaneous response and constant power delivery across the entire speed range.

The BMW M550d xDrive Touring brings its exceptional engine performance to the tarmac via an 8-speed sports transmission and intelligent rear-wheel oriented four-wheel drive technology and accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds. The sporty diesel engine convinces not only with highly responsive performance characteristics, but also with impressive fuel economy. Combined fuel consumption of the new BMW M550d xDrive Touring is between 6.7 and 6.4 litres per 100 km with CO2 emission levels of 176 to 168 grams per km (figures as per EU test cycle, depending on selected tyre size).

Included in the standard equipment range for the BMW M550d xDrive Touring are, inter alia, an M sports suspension, Integral Active Steering and model-specific exterior and interior features. Moreover, 19-inch M light alloy wheels with mixed tyres and the M sports brake system underscore the BMW M Performance model’s dynamic character.

Superior and efficient: The new BMW 640d xDrive Gran Turismo

As from November 2017, the model range of the new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo will be extended with the production start of a second diesel engine variant. The new BMW 640d xDrive Gran Turismo combines sporty performance and supreme ride comfort with a high level of efficiency. Its 3-litre straight six-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology features multi-stage charging with variable intake geometry for the high and low pressure chargers as well as Common Rail direct injection. It delivers 235 kW/320 hp and a maximum torque of 680 Nm.

In conjunction with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and the intelligent four-wheel drive system xDrive, the powerful diesel engine allows the new BMW 640d xDrive Gran Turismo to accelerate from 0 to100 km/h in 5.3 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is between 6.2 and 5.8 litres per 100 km, with corresponding CO2 emission levels of 163 to 153 grams per km (figures as per EU test cycle, depending on selected tyre size).

The BMW X3: Starting with two additional engines and special equipment features by BMW Individual

In December 2017, just a few weeks after the market launch of the new BMW X3, two four-cylinder petrol engines are to be added to the drive portfolio. In addition to BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with Twin Scroll turbo charger, High Precision Injection, fully variable valve control VALVETRONIC and variable camshaft control Double VANOS, both 2-litre power units also boast a weight-optimised design and a new engine encapsulation system for optimising acoustic characteristics and warm-up behaviour. They come as standard with the combination of an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and intelligent four-wheel drive technology BMW xDrive

The engine featured in the new BMW X3 xDrive20i delivers a maximum power output of 135 kW/184 hp and a peak torque of 290 Nm. The car’s sporty characteristics are reflected in an acceleration of 8.3 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, an exceptionally economical average fuel consumption of between 7.3 and 7.1 litres per 100 km and CO2 emission levels of 168 to 163 grams per km. The second petrol engine delivers a power output of 185 kW/252 hp and 350 Nm of torque, allowing the new BMW X3 xDrive30i to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is between 7.3 and 7.2 litres per 100 km with CO2 emission levels of 168 to 164 grams per km (figures as per EU test cycle, depending on selected tyre size).

The extra dose of luxury and exclusiveness added to the new BMW X3’s character is also reflected in the extensive range of products offered by BMW Individual. The BMW Individual body colour variant Sun Stone metallic effectively accentuates the powerfully modelled surfaces of the Sports Activity Vehicle in a most impressive manner. The sophisticated interior ambience is created by the BMW Individual upgraded leather trim Merino in the colour combinations Fiona Red/Black, Ivory White and Tartufo, door sills bearing the BMW Individual lettering and BMW Individual interior trim strips in a black piano gloss finish.

BMW X1 xDrive20d now with 8-speed Steptronic transmission as standard, new light alloy wheels for the compact SAV

Starting November 2017, the 140 kW/190 hp four-cylinder engine in the BMW X1 xDrive20d will come as standard in conjunction with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission, allowing the compact SAV to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. Average fuel consumption of the BMW X1 xDrive20d is between 4.8 and 4.7 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions 127 to 123 grams per km (figures as per EU test cycle, depending on selected tyre size).

Furthermore, the range of light alloy wheels optionally available for the BMW X1 will be upgraded. The choice will comprise five new variants ranging from 17-inch wheels with aerodynamically optimised turbine styling to 19-inch M light alloy wheels in a double-spoke design and bicolour optics.

Enhanced networking and productivity inside the vehicle: Microsoft Office 365 with Skype for Business, On-Street Parking Information in further European cities

With the integrated function Microsoft Office 365, BMW is the first manufacturer to offer a safe server connection for the exchange and processing of mails, calendar entries and contact data. This function allows direct transfer of addresses from calendar entries into the navigation system and selection of telephone numbers via the connected mobile telephone. Moreover, from the end of September 2017, it will be possible to use the Unified Communication solution Skype for Business from Microsoft inside the car. This service is also fully integrated into the onboard iDrive control system. Upcoming telephone conferences are automatically identified. It is possible to participate simply by pressing the controller. During the journey, the name of those taking part in the discussion can be shown on the Control Display. The new BMW ConnectedDrive service will first be available in Germany, Great Britain and France. Additional countries are to follow at the end of 2017.

From the autumn of 2017, the number of European cities in which the unique On-Street Parking Information service, which assists the driver in finding a free parking space at the roadside, will be extended even further. The digital parking space finder, which is available in conjunction with the Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) service for all current BMW models, can be also used in the Swedish cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö as well as in the French cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Nantes and Toulouse. Moreover, the cities of London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast in the UK have been added to this list.

BMW Connected with new services

The intelligent networking of the vehicle and the driver’s Smartphone will be further intensified with the service package BMW Connected+. Since July 2017 the extended range of digital services has been available for all current BMW models and BMW i models and comprises the highly personalised and simple display of Smartphone contents inside the car as well as new mobility services.

Overview of the new BMW models in the autumn of 2017*
BMW X1 Output (kW/hp) Fuel consumption according to EU (l/100 km) CO2 emissions (g/km)
BMW X1 xDrive20d 140/190 4.8 – 4.7 127 – 123

 

BMW X3 Output (kW/hp) Fuel consumption according to EU (l/100 km) CO2 emissions (g/km)
BMW X3 xDrive20i 135/184 7.3 – 7.1 168 – 163
BMW X3xDrive30i 185/252 7.3 – 7.2 168 – 164

 

BMW 5 Series Touring Output (kW/hp) Fuel consumption according to EU (l/100 km) CO2 emissions (g/km)
BMW M550d xDrive Touring 294/400 6,7 – 6,4 176 – 168

 

BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Output (kW/hp) Fuel consumption according to EU (l/100 km) CO2 emissions (g/km)
BMW 640d xDrive Gran Turismo 235/320 6,2 – 5,8 163 – 153

*all new models available from the start of production in November and/or December 2017

The new BMW M5 (fuel consumption combined: 10.5 l/100 km [26.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 241 g/km) is the most exciting and emotionally enthralling high-performance sedan from this model range ever released by BMW M. The sixth generation of this fantastically sporty machine will be launched in 2017 complete with the M xDrive system, whose all-wheel-drive technology enables the business sedan’s dynamic prowess to be experienced in even greater depth.

Quite apart from its notably enhanced performance, the new BMW M5 also boasts far greater everyday practicality and supreme poise. It therefore constitutes another evolutionary step in every respect for an exceedingly successful vehicle concept that first emerged in 1984 with the launch of the original BMW M5.

A superior drivetrain: M xDrive.

High-performance driving dynamics on the one hand paired with the everyday practicality and qualities of a business sedan on the other: this neatly sums up M’s traditional approach to model development – one which strives to harmonise individual drive components into a flawless whole.

“The core component of M xDrive is a central intelligence unit with M-specific software delivering integrated control of longitudinal and lateral dynamics. The new drivetrain technology – making its debut on the new BMW M5 – therefore combines all of the agility and precision of standard rear-wheel drive with the supreme poise and traction of the all-wheel-drive system,” explains Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH. “As a result, the new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy on both the race track and the open road – and in various weather conditions, too.”

The M xDrive system enables a wonderfully fleet-footed rear-biased set-up by only bringing the front wheels into play when the rear wheels aren’t able to transmit any more power to the road and additional tractive force is required. Even when it is being driven in a particularly sporty manner and unleashing high levels of power, the new BMW M5 with M xDrive behaves predictably and can be controlled with ease by the driver, paving the way for an even richer experience of the business sedan’s extraordinary performance capabilities.

The driver can choose from five different configurations based on combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD).

The configurations allow the drive system’s characteristics to be tailored to both the driver’s personal preferences and the nature of the journey. Purists can opt for classical rear-wheel drive by completely deactivating the all-wheel-drive system.

All in all, the new drive system engenders class-beating handling dynamics accompanied by unrestricted everyday usability. This is made possible by a central intelligence unit with M-specific software for integrated control of longitudinal and lateral dynamics. The result is optimum performance in each of the different configurations. With the advent of M xDrive, the engineers have succeeded in fusing the classical qualities of standard rear-wheel drive with the benefits of the sports-focused BMW xDrive.

This all adds up to a sense of dynamic flair that astounds even seasoned DTM drivers: “I’m a big M5 fan,” explains BMW works driver Timo Glock, for example. “I often drive long distances and I need plenty of room for my family, but I wouldn’t wish to give up the chance to explore the car’s sporting character. With M xDrive, not only can the new BMW M5 be steered with the usual precision and agility, it also offers me something I really appreciate, living in Switzerland: a noticeable boost to traction and controllability – even when driving in particular environmental conditions, such as wet weather and snow, and in both everyday driving situations and when pushing the car to its performance limits.”

Sportiness and smoothness: eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.

In the new BMW M5 the task of relaying the engine’s power falls to an extremely slick eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Thanks to its incredibly short shift times and optimal ratio spacing, the transmission combines with the new M xDrive system and the further improved turbocharged V8 engine to form a perfectly orchestrated whole.

In addition, the transmission offers impressively smooth start-off characteristics, makes manoeuvring easier and has a wide ratio spread that helps to keep fuel consumption low. The driver has the usual choice of three shift programs, as well as the option of changing gear manually using shift paddles on the steering wheel and even performing sporty multiple downshifts. The eight-speed M Steptronic forms part of a new, finely honed overall package that turns the BMW M5 into a high-performance sedan offering genuine everyday practicality, and also resolves the apparent contradiction between sportiness and comfort.

More powerful and more efficient: the newly improved turbocharged V8 engine.

Lurking under the bonnet of the new BMW M5 is the latest version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology. The further improved high- revving engine outperforms its predecessor in terms of power output and torque. The enhancements implemented by the engineers include higher injection pressure, new turbochargers, more powerful lubrication and cooling systems, plus a modified, lighter exhaust system, which generates an even clearer rendition of the unmistakable M soundtrack. Thus equipped, the V8 propels the sedan to still greater feats of dynamic performance.

However, it is the combination of engine, M xDrive and eight-speed M Steptronic, even more than the upgrading of engine’s technical specifications, that really sharpens the high-performance character of the new BMW M5; it takes the dynamic driving experience to a far higher level than the relatively moderate increase in power alone would allow.

Hardware and software with an M-specific set-up.

The principal hardware components of M xDrive are based on those of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and the Active M Differential, while the M-specific driving dynamics control software ensures innovative deployment. The drivetrain has been reinforced for greater rigidity and strength to factor in the high torque, rear-biased configuration and 2WD option. While the transfer case splits a portion of the engine’s drive between the front and rear wheels in a smoothly adjustable ratio (depending on requirements), the Active M Differential is responsible for then distributing the drive between the rear wheels. This active control element is part of the M xDrive system’s functionality and its locking effect can be varied between zero and 100 per cent, as the situation demands.

This ensures enhanced traction, agility and handling stability when the car is being driven in a very sporty manner or on roads with differing levels of grip – i.e. exactly when it is needed. Since M xDrive includes M-specific dynamics control capability, stabilising interventions from the DSC system are only required in extreme situations. And so the engine’s huge power can be converted into propulsive force with virtually zero losses. The upshot of all this is that the new BMW M5 can be guided with even greater precision and directional accuracy, responds sensitively and directly to the driver’s inputs and thus requires few steering corrections when driving at the limit.

À la carte handling dynamics: 4WD, 4WD Sport or 2WD.

Every time the engine is started, the BMW M5 defaults to 4WD mode with DSC on. Even in this basic configuration, which initially allows a certain amount of slip at the rear wheels to produce the agility for which M models are renowned, M xDrive offers tangible benefits in situations such as accelerating out of bends. The sedan completes the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) or 200 km/h (124 mph) sprints in the sort of times that leave its predecessor trailing in its wake and will make fans of sporty driving everywhere instantly prick up their ears.

Drivers with an even greater thirst for sporty action can tap into the car’s full performance potential by engaging a second configuration: M Dynamic Mode (MDM) with the M xDrive system’s 4WD Sport mode has been configured for ultra-sporty and dynamic handling. As a result, the new BMW M5 becomes far more agile than in the standard configuration and channels even more drive to the rear wheels

At the same time, MDM permits far greater wheel slip, allowing the enthusiastic driver to send the sedan into a controlled drift and experience the remarkable agility of the new BMW M5 – a familiar trait of M models – to the full. The onset of oversteer is telegraphed in good time while the linear increase of sideslip angle makes it easily controllable, particularly as MDM aids stability at the limits of performance.

With DSC deactivated, there is a choice of three modes (4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD). In 4WD mode, M xDrive has a neutral set-up that lends itself to optimum controllability and outstanding traction. This is of particular benefit on roads that are in mediocre or poor condition. At the same time, 4WD mode also lets the driver explore the dynamic performance capabilities of the new BMW M5 with the DSC control system deactivated.

Engaging 4WD Sport mode alters the M xDrive configuration for even greater agility and sportiness. The blend of absolute precision, delightful handling and phenomenal traction it reveals is a sure-fire route to supreme driving pleasure. 4WD Sport mode’s set-up has been fine-tuned with the assistance of highly experienced specialists and is geared towards track use in dry conditions.

With 2WD mode activated, the new BMW M5 offers the keen driver the experience of driving a high-performance sedan with rear-wheel drive only, delivering a pure form of driving enjoyment that captivates in its own unique way. The combination of incredibly agile handling, terrific feel and exceptional controllability can be attributed to the Active M Differential.

The BMW Group is using the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach to present its exciting new take on a BMW roadster. Dynamic, progressive and an irresistible purveyor of thrills, the BMW Concept Z4 boasts lithe and compact proportions, a dynamic silhouette and an emotionally appealing use of forms.

The attention-grabbing design study offers a look ahead to the series-production version of the car set to be unveiled over the course of next year.

“The BMW Concept Z4 in an all-out driving machine,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Stripping the car back to the bare essentials allows the driver to experience all the ingredients of motoring pleasure with supreme directness. This is total freedom on four wheels.”

A statement of unbridled driving pleasure.

The sporty and progressive BMW Concept Z4 encapsulates the BMW Group’s vision of a modern roadster. “The BMW Concept Z4 expresses the new BMW design language from all perspectives and in all details. From the dynamic- looking front to the striking flanks to the clean-cut tail end: a few lines and the subtle interplay between surfaces are enough to generate a sense of power and emotion,” adds van Hooydonk.

BMW’s roadster tradition, reloaded.

The BMW Concept Z4 adopts classical roadster design cues, such as a long wheelbase, a low-slung, stretched silhouette and a compact rear end, wraps them in a fresh, confident package and enriches them with the contemporary BMW design language. A shorter bonnet and crisp overhangs ensure the driver sits closer to the centre of the car than in previous BMW roadsters. This gives the new proportions a focused, sporty and agile feel. The outline of the car follows a distinct wedge shape, which fills the BMW Concept Z4 with dynamism before it even pulls away. The large domes stretching out rearwards from the cabin elegantly integrate the function of rollover bars and provide a sporting conclusion to the low-to-the-road silhouette at the rear.

Reimagining the design language and surfaces.

The clearly sculpted shark nose at the front end spawns dramatic surface contouring that extends the full length of the flanks. The new direction taken by BMW’s design language can be seen here in just a few precise lines that form clear surfaces, while the body’s volumes are powerfully sculpted. The surfaces and forms therefore create an extremely modern and emotionally engaging impression. The large Air Breathers rearwards of the front wheels act as the source of the flanks’ elaborately modelled surfaces (they appear to be shaped by the flow of air as it exits the Air Breathers). Light and shaded surfaces develop in a rising movement towards the rear, then twist to form muscular wheel arches and athletic volumes.

All of which shines a bright stylistic spotlight on the car’s rear-wheel drive. The dramatic interplay of lines and surfaces underscores the wedge shape of the flanks and infuses them with even greater dynamism. And the low door sills, with their distinctive crease, makes the body appear closer to the road, emphasising the low-slung sensation when viewing the car from the side.

The expressive Energetic Orange frozen exterior paint finish showcases the contrasts of light and shade in the surfacing, accentuating the three- dimensionality of the exterior. And the 20-inch light-alloy wheels in a sporty bi- colour double-spoke design provide harmonious finishing touches to the styling of the flanks.

Low and progressive – the front end.

The design of the BMW Concept Z4’s front end is undeniably sporty in nature. The relationship between the low-set, broad kidney grille and the positioning of the headlights higher up sparks deliberate associations with the BMW Z8 and lends the BMW Concept Z4 a certain flamboyance. In place of the customary bars, the inside of the kidney grille features elaborately designed mesh, whose vertical orientation recalls the sporty, functional kidney design of early BMW roadsters such as the BMW 328 Mille Miglia. In a departure from the BMW norm, the Concept Z4 provides a vertical interpretation of the classical four-eyed

headlight look, with two overlapping tubes on each side. The turn signal indicators point diagonally towards the kidneys from above and underline the dynamic flair of the front end. And the clamshell bonnet with stylised gill vents curves over the wheels, creating an intriguing and virtually seamless sweep over the front end as a whole.

The front apron cuts a genuinely athletic figure with its sculptural design language. Its trio of large air intakes are a nod to the powerful engine further back and so carry the promise of a dynamic driving experience. The large carbon-fibre insert in the central air intake is straight out of the motor sport playbook and champions the use of detail to emphasise the front end’s dynamic presence.

Together, these design elements compose a fresh and memorable face for the Concept Z4 – one which pays a very modern and sporting tribute to the celebrated roadsters of BMW’s past.

Athletic and eye-catching – the rear end.

The design of the BMW Concept Z4 likewise references details and qualities from BMW’s rich roadster tradition and updates them for the years ahead. The wide and low design of the rear picks up the lines of the car’s flanks and massages them into a modern rear of beguiling clarity in terms of surfaces and styling elements. The powerfully flared wheel arches give the car broad haunches, which are emphasised by the slim, L-shaped rear lights and therefore further enhance the car’s sporting stance.

Above the rear lights, the boot lid – complete with prominent spoiler – stretches across to the burly wheel arch extensions, sending out a message of power-infused agility. Below, large air outlets in the rear apron create their own dynamic impression. The carbon-fibre diffuser adds a sporty and exclusive flourish and signs off the rear end at its lowest point to the road.

Exterior and interior in unison.

The kinship between the interior and exterior of the BMW Concept Z4 is evident in both forms and colour scheme. The design language of the interior takes the powerful, three-dimensional character of the exterior and adds another voice to the dynamic chorus. Much of the interior adopts the colour of the car body, creating a clear visual link between the interior and exterior. Only a classy chrome trim strip provides separation.

Maximum focus on the driving experience.

At the same time, the interior serves to reinforce the total focus on the driving experience too. The driver’s seat as well as the door trim panels, instrument panel and centre stack that encircle the driver are finished entirely in black, meaning that they stand out prominently from the coordinated orange shades of the exterior and the rest of the interior. Together they form a clearly defined area that wraps around the driver like a capsule, producing a very sporty sensation.

This creates a pure-of-purpose driving environment with a pronounced “cone of vision”, where the steering wheel as well as the surrounding black surfaces appear to be surging forward and, in so doing, accentuate the cabin’s powerful driver focus.

The instrument cluster and central information display form a high-quality cluster of screens that are integrated into the driver’s cockpit to flawless ergonomic effect. The two displays are now positioned at almost the same height and in close proximity to one another, which gives the impression of a single, cohesive unit. They work together to deliver the right information at the right time. The driver can choose which elements they wish to call up (via touch command) from the content available in the information display – route guidance, playlists or other infotainment features. Above the instrument cluster, the Head-Up Display presents the key driving information within the driver’s direct field of view.

Prominent surfacing.

Emerging from the driver’s side of the cabin is a sporty instrument panel of inherent lightness. The clever arrangement of surfaces and edging breaks up the considerable volumes and engenders the impression of a powerfully chiselled muscle. The clear wraparound design from the doors to the instrument panel enhances the sporty, cocooned feeling in both seats.

Pared back to the essentials.

In keeping with the focus on the essentials, all the controls are grouped into “function islands”. Nothing distracts from the driving experience. Trim elements inside the cabin are likewise minimalist in nature. Indeed, it is instead the classy materials, carefully applied polished chrome accents and swish, hexagonal laser- cut motifs in the seats that do most to create the interior’s exclusive ambience. Carbon-fibre door sill finishers and embossed asymmetrical logos in the seats and instrument panel set the seal on the interior’s sporting profile.

The new, second-generation MINI Countryman represents a more distinctive and mature proposition than its predecessor. A striking design language envelops the exterior of the urban all-rounder, while the interior is awash with creative details underscoring the premium character of the new MINI Countryman (combined fuel consumption: 7.0 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 159 – 49 g/km). The new car is clearly recognisable as a member of the MINI family, yet has a character very much its own. “We see the new MINI Countryman as the adventurer of the family, always up for new experiences – either in the city or off the beaten track,” explains Christopher Weil, Head of Exterior Design at MINI.

The silhouette – powerful and rugged

Ever since it was launched in 2010 the MINI Countryman has been winning over drivers with its distinctive design. The second generation of the Sports Activity Vehicle is equally as compact as its successful forebear and makes a convincing statement through its authentic design. “It was clear to us that the new MINI Countryman needed to go a step further aesthetically and yet still remain a MINI,” says Oliver Sieghart, Head of Interior Design at MINI.

“In terms of its design, the Countryman is the most rugged and upright model in the MINI family.” Visual anchor points shared elsewhere in the brand family include the floating “helmet roof”, the chrome strip on the shoulderline and the clear silhouette, which incorporates classical MINI design features. And the new MINI Countryman extends the theme, with headlamps fully encircled by daytime driving light rings for the first time. Indeed, the evenly illuminated rings are a signature element, ensuring the striking contours of the headlights are visible during both the day and night.

The design language of the new MINI Countryman is now more pared-back and modern. The car has sharper lines and catches the eye with its taut surfaces and details. For example, metal edging has been added to the distinctive black band that wraps around the car and takes in the wheel arches. This edging is purposefully squarer in execution, rather than rounded. The flanks, with their precise surfaces, give the car its contours and create tautness. The edging around the wheel arches catches the light and sharpens the focus on all four wheels. The lights, the front grille and the hallmark side scuttles are also more prominent in appearance.

Meanwhile, the optional ALL4 package gives the Countryman’s design a more muscular off-road character. With its roof rails, additional black bumper accents and silver-coloured underfloor protection, the new car cuts an even brawnier figure.

The interior – pure and practical

Alongside the classical strengths of an SAV (think raised seating position, all-wheel drive and a spacious interior), the new MINI Countryman also offers customers a wealth of details and an authentic design. Tauter surfaces enable greater clarity and inject sharper graphic appeal into the design of the interior. Horizontal segments lend the cockpit area a visually broader and more modern look. The use of high- quality materials and scope for customisation – e.g. through the addition of chrome accents or backlit trim strips – bring an exclusive character to the new MINI Countryman.

And the variety of details available, from subtle to extravagant, is undeniably large. “The MINI brand has a long tradition, which we are keen to express in a modern interpretation rather than just reference,” says Sieghart. That means seats with diagonal stitching, whose contemporary interpretation and colour scheme lift the classical seat cover profile to a new level thanks to a dash of creativity and a fine sense for the aesthetic. A standout feature is the interior option MINI YOURS – British Oak illuminated, where translucent sections in the trim strips help to generate vivid patterns. This option provides different expressions for daytime and night modes and infuses the interior with a special aesthetic appeal.

The plug-in hybrid model – electrifyingly new, electric in yellow

The new MINI Countryman sees the MINI brand add a plug-in hybrid model to its line-up for the first time. This variant can be identified from the outside by numerous accents in yellow, such as the MINI E logo and the charging flap next to the side scuttle. The interior also contains elements which single this out as the plug-in hybrid model in the range, including accents on the steering wheel and instrument cluster, instruments adapted to electric driving and an extended user interface, which clearly highlights the car’s plug-in hybrid functions. Plus, the start/stop button in the centre console is no longer red – as in all other MINIs – but yellow instead.

An impressive parade of all the cars and motorcycles entered in competition and the announcement of this year’s prize winners provided a dazzling Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como with a fitting climax late on Sunday afternoon in front of thousands of spectators. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este had once again underlined its stand-out status on the exclusive event calendar for historic cars and motorcycles. All eyes were trained on the line-up of precious classic machines and striking concept cars over the two days of the Concorso. Under a pleasantly warm sun, the event’s “Seventies Style – the Jet Set is back” banner spanned a host of special exhibitions and highlight features, creating a fitting stage for a weekend that will live long in the memory.

As ever, the best was left until last. The jury of experts provided the event with its crowning moment as the Trofeo BMW Group for “Best of Show” was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider from 1932. The Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este prize decided by public referendum was won by a Ferrari 166M Barchetta from 1950. And in the Concept Cars and Prototypes competition the Bentley Exp 10 Speed Six coupé was presented with the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award. The Concorso di Motociclette beauty contest for classic motorcycles was held for the fifth time this year, and a Münch-4 TTS-E from 1973 took the honours with victory in the Trofeo BMW Group for motorcycles.

The parkland and green spaces of the Villa d’Este luxury hotel and adjacent Villa Erba once again provided the perfect backdrop for this illustrious and long-established event centred around historic cars and motorcycles. Visitors from around the world greeted the parades of competition models with waves of applause in recognition of the elegance and aesthetic beauty of the rare classic machines and the extravagance of the prototypes and concept cars. The various special exhibitions and “Seventies Style” motto for the event helped to conjure a richly evocative ambience. For example, the “90 years of the Rolls-Royce Phantom” anniversary was celebrated with a special category of competition, while the 1970s theme was reflected in both a special exhibition focusing on the 40th birthday of the BMW 3 Series and a line-up of BMW Art Cars. The first four examples of this one-of-a-kind project, in which the worlds of art and cars collide in eye-catching fashion, took their places alongside the latest member of the now 17-strong collection. Back in 1975 Alexander Calder painted a BMW racing car for the first time. Following in its tyre tracks later that decade were works of art on wheels by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In 2010 Jeff Koons created the latest addition to the BMW Art Cars Collection. All five BMW Art Cars on display in Cernobbio have lined up in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race.

The history of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este began in 1929, when a beauty contest for cars took place at this very spot for the first time. This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza was the eleventh edition of this exclusive get-together to be co-hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel. Now, as ever, Lake Como welcomes a field of exceptionally valuable and rare historic cars and motorcycles to its shores, but nowadays the event also bridges the past, the present and the future of automotive aesthetics. This role is clearly expressed in the visionary designs of the prototypes and concept cars on show – and reinforced every year by new BMW concept studies presented out of competition.

This year the BMW Group presented two head-turning concept studies at the Concorso d’Eleganza. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represented a formidable statement on the part of the BMW Design team as it paid tribute to the BMW 3.0 CSL – a timeless classic and iconic BMW coupé from the 1970s. “Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage, but also how important the past can be in determining our future,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Group Design. “The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represents a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. With intelligent lightweight construction and modern materials, the Hommage brings the character of that earlier model into the 21st century, showing it in a new and exciting guise,” he adds, summarising the approach the design team took with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage.

Since the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is also committed to showcasing beauty on two wheels, BMW Motorrad likewise unveiled a world premiere at the event. Under the motto “The Spirit of the Open Road” the BMW Motorrad Design team revealed the BMW Motorrad Concept 101. Elegant, exclusive, extrovert and riding a wave of unbridled power, it represents a totally new take on the touring bike concept. This high-performance, emotionally rich and ultra-exclusive six-cylinder machine turns every ride into a very special experience.

BMW are integrating Life360 – a family app enjoying considerable global popularity – into their vehicles. 50 million families around the world already use Life360 to stay connected with their friends and relations. Whether planning dinner together, meeting up with a car pool or wanting to make sure that the kids or grandparents have made it home safely, the Life360 app allows families and friends to communicate easily and bring each other quickly up to speed. After signing up to a new private “circle”, users can share their location and make phone calls or chat online. They can also choose to switch off the location-sharing function. It is also possible to create several groups, although members of different circles, such as close and extended family, can only view one another if they are also members of the same group.

The integration of Life360 into BMW ConnectedDrive allows the car’s navigation system to guide the driver to a circle member’s current location directly through the app. Telephone conversations with group members can likewise be made directly from the application via the car’s audio system. All that’s required is a live Bluetooth connection between the phone and the car. The Life360 app is certified for use in BMW cars with the Apple iPhone and can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store.

The integration of smartphone apps into BMW cars enables BMW ConnectedDrive to offer users a steadily and rapidly expanding range of services and features. The Apps for Automotive (A4A) interface developed by BMW allows BMW to seamlessly integrate smartphone apps from third party suppliers into their cars. These applications are not simply shown in the car’s display – their functionality is integrated into the car with maximum usability and the smoothest possible control logic. These BMW-certified apps meet the same requirements in terms of safety and ease of use as every other vehicle function that is operated by the BMW iDrive Controller and displayed in the BMW Control Display. The innovative A4A interface ensures that current and future models can be equipped with the latest apps at any time via BMW ConnectedDrive, bringing exceptional flexibility to BMW models and ensuring they keep pace with future developments. All that’s required are a connectivity platform – already provided by ConnectedDrive Services (with BMW apps) and a smartphone hooked up with the car via a snap- in adapter or USB cable.

Some of the most prominent applications that can be used in BMW models are summarised below:

  • Spotify (Apple iOS) – Music service. One of the world’s most popular music streaming services for smartphones, tablets, computers and home entertainment systems, Spotify has more than 50 million users and over 12.5 million paying subscribers across 58 countries.
  • Deezer (Apple iOS) – Music service. This comprehensive music experience is available in 182 countries and offers a back catalogue of more than 30 million music tracks which can be played on mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets as well as on home audio systems, integrated in-car devices and computers.
  • TuneIn Radio Free/TuneIn Rad io Pro (Apple iOS) – Internet radio. Over 50 million listeners tune in to TuneIn every month. This gives them access to 100,000 FM, AM, HD and internet radio stations and two million on-demand programmes from every continent. BMW ConnectedDrive supports both the charge-free version and the ad-free Pro option.
  • Aud ible (Apple iOS) – Audio books and other audio content. The world’s largest provider and producer of digital spoken content offers more than 130,000 audio programmes. BMW ConnectedDrive allows Audible customers to access their libraries via the iDrive operating system.
  • Glympse (Apple iOS) – GPS-based location information. This app allows you to inform other users of your location for a set period of time. The timespan involved ranges from a few minutes to several hours. It’s a handy way, for example, of letting people know your expected arrival time without having to call ahead.
  • M Laptimer (Apple iOS; only BMW) – Driving analysis tool. This application was developed by M GmbH for ambitious BMW drivers. Telemetry data is sent directly from the car’s sensors to the connected Apple iPhone – a function that clearly sets this application apart from other such tools. The M Laptimer app records data including acceleration, braking points, lap times and g-force, and also offers a comparison function which allows drivers to measure their stats against other motorists’. Virtual laps can be played back in animated form for comparison purposes and shared via e-mail, Twitter or Facebook.
  • GoPro app (Apple iOS) – Camera remote control. GoPro cameras are compact, robust, easy to operate, very small and handy to use. All of which makes them ideally suited to recording spectacular sport and leisure activities in photo or video form. On a race track, for example, the cameras can be attached to either the inside or the outside of the car to provide the perfect record of hot laps. The GoPro app for the iPhone, available free of charge from the Apple App Store, enables intuitive remote control of the GoPro camera via smartphone. For example, options such as video, recording mode or photo burst can be selected.
  • BMW Connected app (Apple iOS / Google Android) – This free app allows access to Twitter, connects to radio stations around the world via web radio and leads you to your final destination after you’ve parked the car courtesy of its Last Mile function. The application can also guide you back to your parking space on request. Other integrated functions include a calendar, Wiki Local (for useful information from your local area) and news via the latest RSS feeds. The BMW Connected app also reveals the latest range of certified smartphone apps.