BMW’s Vision ED concept car on show at Auckland Museum

July 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW NZ has put together a eye-catching exhibit for its striking Vision EfficientDynamics car that’s currently on show at Auckland’s Museum. The best part is that it’s open for public viewing all weekend (Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17).

Following an appearance at the Australian Motor Show the concept can be viewed for free at the Atrium end of the Museum.

The Vision EfficientDynamics car is scheduled for production in 2013 and is set to become the world’s first green supercar. It’s powered by a three-cylinder turbo-diesel with a hybrid synchronous motor at the front axle and a full hybrid engine at the rear axle enabling a maximum power output for the system of 241kW. This new technology allows the BMW VisionED to achieve a 0–100km/h sprint time of just 4.8 seconds while returning a very low economy figure of 3.76 litres per 100 kilometres, and a CO2 emission rating of just 99 grams per kilometre. Continue reading “BMW’s Vision ED concept car on show at Auckland Museum” »

BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept going on show in NZ

June 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s striking Vision EfficientDynamics car, is coming to New Zealand for a special one-off appearance and will be put on display at the Auckland Museum from Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17.

The high-tech machine will be part of next week’s Australian Motor Show and will pop in to NZ after, so it’s a great chance to see a groundbreaking concept car for free.

“The BMW VisionED represents the future of BMW mobility and unlike other concept cars, which often never see the light of day, the BMW VisionED is confirmed to go into production in 2013 and will be known as the BMW i8,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Mark Gilbert.

“This ground-breaking model is a showcase of BMW technology and provides strong indications of drivetrain technology and the level of connectivity all future BMW models will feature.” Continue reading “BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept going on show in NZ” »

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. Part 2

February 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines superb driving performance with extremely low consumption

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. Part 1

February 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines superb driving performance with extremely low consumption

BMW 335d 2009 Review

February 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When tough decisions need to be made it so often seems like the automotive world just isn’t a fair place. You can fit performance tyres to your car but they’ll wear out quicker. You can buy a Mazda MX-5 but your mates will call you names. And you can have scorching performance but you’ll pay for it with poor fuel economy. But this final statement is steadily being proven wrong by frugal yet powerful diesel vehicles and leading the charge is the BMW 335d.

The 335d has established itself as the star performer in the face lifted 3-series range. It’s rolling evidence that BMW’s EfficentDynamics philosophy of power, fuel economy and low emissions is far more than mere marketing hype. It comes with an inbuilt ability to sway the opinion of even the staunchest petrol purist. This unique gift starts with the straight six-cylinder diesel lump wedged under the bonnet.

Despite the ‘335’ badging motivation comes from a 3.0 litre engine that breathes deeply through a twin turbocharger set up. Power output is 210kW but the 520Nm of torque is the magic number. This figure easily trumps the torque of performance V8s and even BMWs own halo model M3. Peak torque is accessible from just 1750rpm and comes on with a surging acceleration that pushes the 335d from standing to 100kph in a mere 6 seconds. The engine is highly flexible and can deliver its power in either a relaxed fashion or with total urgency. The accessible mid-range poke allows for effortless passing on the open road and low-rpm cruising around town.

What’s the fuel cost for such performance? Just 7.1l per 100km combined and even with vigorous driving economy will only worsen slightly. It’s an impressive figure considering the motor’s generous 3-litre displacement and the vehicle’s burly 1665kg weight. All up, the 335d’s diesel motor is a gem and delivers so much grunt for so little diesel and all with an endearingly throaty exhaust note.

Shifting all the torque to the rear-wheels is BMW’s 6-speed automatic transmission, which is about as good as you can get from a traditional auto and harnesses the power well. It has an available sports mode that is intuitive in holding lower gears and allows the 335d explosive punch out of corners. If manual changes are your thing there are shifting paddles mounted on the steering wheel or a sequential floor shifter. The engine’s predictable, linear acceleration makes the manual shift options an easy and entertaining choice.

In terms of handling the 3-Series chassis and suspension compliment the powerful engine well. A perfect 50:50 weight distribution helps keep the 335d flat and sure-footed during cornering. Wide low-profile run flat tyres sit on each corner and guarantee ample levels of grip but do ride quite hard. The suspension is set with sporting intent rather than comfort, this can mean intensely uneven roads are quite jarring in the cabin. The suspension is uncompromisingly firm which makes for high handling limits but may not suit those seeking a part-time luxury cruiser. However, when the 335d hits the open road and with some space to get the turbos spooling up any ideas of a soft-riding cruiser will be rapidly forgotten.

Steering is exceptionally precise with a solid responsive feel and most importantly it is communicative. Overall, the BMW 335d offers truly rewarding driving dynamics that will stimulate the senses.

Visually the 2009 facelift has revised styling most noticeably up front with a new grille, headlights and bonnet providing a more purposeful face. Taillights and sill panels have also received treatment but it does remain an aesthetically understated vehicle. Our test car was fitted with the optional M-Sport package that injects more visual muscle to hint at what lays under the bonnet. The 335i’s clean no nonsense lines are attractive to most but will really appeal to those who feel no need to signal their go-fast intent.

The 335d cabin is highly functional and appealing with soft leather seats, dark plastics and silver metal trim. It’s pleasantly basic with minimal, intelligently positioned switchgear. BMW has continued with its once-criticised iDrive unit but serious work has been put into it and the results are impressive. Everything from radio settings to sat nav can be controlled through the large control dial, it’s a system that’s easy to learn and intuitive. The large display screen is crisp and can split in two so you can keep an eye on your navigation while performing other operations.

General interior fit and finish is excellent with all touch surfaces feeling just right. Small storage options are limited in the cabin but this minor issue doesn’t extend to the boot, which has a very useful 450-litre capacity. The front leather seats are cosseting and offer a variety of electronic adjustment, combined with a reach and rake shifting steering wheel getting set up is easy for any body type. Entry and exit of the vehicle isn’t so simple with the seats located fairly low within the cabin, older drivers or those with mobility issues may be deterred. Although the 3-Series dimensions have grown over the years it remains a small sedan and rear seat space is restricted. With the correct adjustment three adults can squeeze into the back without issue, but if you’re planning on carrying adult rear occupants regularly it may pay to look toward the larger 5-Series.

Safety credentials are top notch with six-airbags standing guard and electronic systems working under the surface: ABS brakes, stability and traction control, cornering brake control, electronic differential lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake detection.

The 335d shows all the 3-Series virtues that have made the model such a success over the years. It has the dynamic ability, the robust build quality and the elegant styling. But what makes it really stand out is the hi-tech diesel-sipping power plant under the bonnet. The motor is complimented well by all other aspects of the car but the effortless power it provides and the fuel economy it can achieve put it at the pinnacle of production diesel engineering. If your want a car that’s a dedicated performance sedan but you also want something with genuine green credentials then BMW has made this once distant desire finally possible. If you also have the coin to afford it, then the BMW 335d isn’t one of life’s tough decisions at all.

Price: $106,900

What we like:

  • Exceptional diesel engine
  • Dynamic handling
  • Build quality

What we don’t like:

  • Rear seat space
  • Occasionally harsh ride
  • Diesel performance is expensive

Words and Photos: Adam Mamo

BMW 335d (2009) – Specifications

Cylinders/valves 6/4
Capacity in ccm 2,993
Stroke/bore in mm 90.0/84.0
Max. output in kW (PS) at 1/min 210 (286)/4,400
Max. torque in Nm at 1/min 580/1,750-2,250
Power-to-weight ratio (EU) in kg/bhp 5.8

Weight in kg
Unladen weight EU 1,655
Maximum permissible weight 2,100
Permitted load 520
Permitted axle load front/rear 1,015/1,120

Drag (cw) 0.30
Top speed (km/h) 250
Acceleration 0 – 100 km/h (in s) 6.0
Acceleration 0 – 1,000 m (in s) 25.2
Acceleration 80 – 120 km/h in 4th/5th gear (in s) -/-

Fuel consumption
Urban (l/100 km) 9.7
Extra-urban (l/100 km) 5.6
Composite (l/100 km) 7.1
CO2 emissions (g/km) 189
Tank capacity in I (approx.) 61

BMW Vision EfficienDynamics teaser

December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines superb driving performance with extremely low consumption. A hybrid drive system and a revolutionary design are among the highlights.

The new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines superb driving performance with extremely low consumption. A hybrid drive system and a revolutionary design are among the highlights.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept revealed (+video)

August 31st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

BMW Vision concept fq

Ready to feature at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the futuristic styled BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept has been revealed ahead of the event.

Set to display a blend of the German carmaker’s current and future technologies, the Vision concept is described by BMW as a “symbol for the future of sheer driving pleasure”.

Powered by a diesel-electric hybrid system, the Vision concept features a conventional 1.5 litre 3-cylinder turbo-diesel mated to a pair of electric motors.

Combined the motors produce a total output of 261kW and an amazing 800Nm of torque.

The mid-mounted diesel engine is joined by electric motors positioned at the front and rear axles, improving weight distribution and also making the Vision concept all-wheel-drive.

The Vision can run on electric power alone (50km range), or diesel only (645km) or a combination of the two.

BMW’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s used in current BMW models will work the gears it’s been set for ultimate economy.

The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept offers impressive performance figures achieving a top speed of 250km/h and covering the 0-100km/h dash in just 4.8 seconds. Fuel consumption is just 3.1 l/100km, with CO2 emissions rated at 99 g/km.

Aerodynamics have dictated the styling for the Vision concept with a coefficient drag figure of just 0.22 aiding the car’s fuel efficiency.

The Vision concept’s exhaust system features a Thermo-Electric Generator (which BMW has been working on with NASA for some time), developed – as the name suggests – to convert thermal energy in the exhaust into usable electric power.

An energy management system is also featured, using rain sensors and information downloaded to the sat-nav system to forecast driving conditions on the trip ahead and prepare the car’s power supply for the task.

The Vision concept will have it’s official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

BMW working on sustainable sports car concept

July 30th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Alongside yesterday’s shock announcement that BMW is quitting F1 after the 2009 season, the automaker also announced a new focus on improving its green credentials. This doesn’t mean that BMW’s future model range will be limited to dull economy orientated vehicles. Quite the opposite in fact as the automaker will reportedly showcase a new sustainable sports car concept at Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Late last year it leaked that BMW was working on a “green” super-sports car based along the lines of the M1 Homage concept (pictured). BMW development board member Dr Klaus Draeger has now revealed to a German motoring magazine that the company is planning to unveil a sustainable sports car concept at the upcoming Frankfurt event.

The concept will be a showcase for the latest in BMW EfficientDynamics technology, but further to that the concept will feature sustainable design and material elements.

According to earlier reports, BMW is looking into the viability of the project, with the ultimate goal to create a two-seater sports car that displays all of firm’s most sophisticated environmental technology. A limited production is predicted for release at the end of 2012.

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