Woodcliff Lake, N.J.–August 2, 2016… With the launch of the first generation of the BMW M3 in 1986, the BMW M GmbH, operating under the name BMW Motorsport GmbH at that time, revolutionized the sports car as it was built first and foremost for performance. The original M3 was developed as a homologation special to enter the World, European and German Touring Championship (DTM) racing. It was very successful in its time and is still considered as one of the purest high performance street legal sports coupes. To mark the 30th anniversary of this automotive icon, 500 “30 Jahre M3” (30 Years M3) special editions will be produced, of which 150 units will reach U.S. shores. The limited edition is available with a manual transmission for $83,250 plus Destination and Handling or with Dual-Clutch transmission for $86,150 plus Destination and Handling.
A legendary color Macao Blue metallic for an exclusive model. As a tribute to the first generation of the BMW M3, the anniversary edition “30 Jahre M3” is built in the exclusive BMW Individual exterior color Macao Blue metallic, which once celebrated its premiere in Europe as an option for the last and most powerful version of the first generation of the Sport Evo BMW M3. Combining the uncompromising driving dynamics of the Competition Package with unique exclusivity of stylish details from BMW Individual, the limited edition also features BMW Individual Full Merino Leather in bi-color Black/Fjord Blue with color-matching contrast seams. BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line with enhanced features such as the kidney frame, rear M3 designation and Sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes highlight the model’s sporty but elegant stance on the road.
“30 Jahre M3 1/500” badging.
Highlighting the unique and limited production, special “30 Jahre M3” logos embellish the interior. Exclusively designed M gills bear the logo as well as the doorsill finishers, interior trim finishers in carbon fiber with Black Chrome accents and the embroidered front headrests. Additionally, M sports seats with woven-in BMW M stripes enhance the sporty interior ambience.
Performance meets power.
The Limited Edition comprises an increase in engine output by 19 hp to 444 hp and 406 lb-ft. Also included in the Competition Package is the Adaptive M suspension, which has been comprehensively aligned to the increased performance. Optimized features also include new springs, dampers and stabilizers, modified characteristic curves of the three modes Comfort, Sport and Sport+ as well as a correspondingly modified standard Active M differential on the rear axle and new Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) feature settings.
Moreover, the Competition Package of this special edition model includes 20-inch forged Light Alloy wheels with 666 M star spoke design and mixed Performance Tires (front: 265/30 R20, rear: 285/30 R20).
All of these measures lead to a noticeable increase in performance. The BMW M3 “30 Jahre M3” with optional 7-speed M double clutch transmission sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and 4.0 seconds with manual transmission.
U.S. market models only.
All 150 U.S. models will be equipped with the Driver Assistance Plus Package which includes safety features such as Active Blind Spot Detection, Active Driving Assistance, Side and Top View Cameras and Speed Limit Information. Additional equipment includes the Executive Package, which includes Head-up Display and provides additional comfort with the Heated Steering Wheel, Rear View Camera, Heated Rear Seats, Park Distance Control, Wireless Charging. Also included are Adaptive Full LED lights and Automatic High beams.
The BMW “30 Jahre M3” Limited Special Edition “will be available at selected dealers beginning in August, 2016.
BMW returns to the Ardennes as defending champion, after the BMW Z4 GT3 triumphed last year on its final appearance at a major 24-hour race. Three BMW teams will take their place on the starting grid when the endurance classic is held for the 68th time. At the wheel of the BMW M6 GT3 will once again be a host of BMW works drivers.
The marathon at the “Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” is a permanent fixture on the international race calendar and, in BMW, has a regular winner. BMW cars have crossed the finish line first on 22 occasions. The first overall victory came in 1965, courtesy of local favourites Pascal Ickx (BE) and Gérard Langlois (BE) in a BMW 1800 ti. Nick Catsburg (NL), Lucas Luhr (DE) and Markus Palttala (FI) were at the wheel of a BMW Z4 GT3 for the latest success in 2015.
“After the marathon at the Nürburgring, the 24-hour race in Spa is another highlight of the endurance season. This year, the standard of the field is once again incredibly high,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “The fans can look forward to an exciting race at a wonderful circuit. We have a few irons in the fire, who all want to have a say in the battle for top results. It is hard to predict who will succeed in this quest at a 24-hour race. The BMW M6 GT3 has certainly proven on several occasions already that it is utterly competitive. I am confident that this will also be the case when the car makes its debut at Spa-Francorchamps.”
As at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (DE), the ROWE Racing team will field two BMW M6 GT3s. Both cars boast strong driver line-ups. At the wheel of the number 98 car will be last year’s winner Catsburg (NL), Stef Dusseldorp (NL) and BMW works driver Dirk Werner (DE). The cockpit of the number 99 BMW M6 GT3 will be shared by Maxime Martin (BE), Philipp Eng (AT) and Alexander Sims (GB). Eng and Sims have formed a regular pairing for ROWE Racing throughout this season’s Blancpain GT Series, while the race is a home outing for Belgian BMW DTM driver Martin.
Unlike Martin, fellow DTM driver Martin Tomczyk (DE) will be making his debut at Spa-Francorchamps: this is the first time the experienced German has driven at the 24-hour classic. He is supporting BMW Team Italia and its team principal Roberto Ravaglia (IT). Tomczyk is hoping for a successful race in the number 15 BMW M6 GT3, alongside Stefano Colombo (IT), Giorgio Roda (IT) and Max Koebolt (NL). The Boutsen Ginion team also lines up in the same class, with drivers Karim Ojjeh (SA), Julian Darras (FR) and Olivier Grotz (LU).
The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps also forms the highlight of the season in the Blancpain GT Series. The BMW drivers will leave the pit lane for free practice at 13:20 on Thursday. That is followed in the evening by the first real highlight of the event: the two-hour night qualifying. The top grid positions will be determined in the Super Pole competition from 18:00 to 18:30 on Friday. Following the warm-up in the morning, the race gets underway at 16:30 on Saturday. 24 hours later, we will know the winner of the 68th staging of this endurance classic.
Quotes ahead of the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Nick Catsburg (#98 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing):
“The BMW M6 GT3 is a really great car and we have a fantastic team. This car is still in its first season, but I believe we have what it takes to mix it with the very fastest in the field. It would be fantastic if I could repeat last year’s win, but that will be anything but easy. Since the victory in 2015, this race has always had a special place in my heart. Spa-Francorchamps is a special track, with high-speed and flowing corners. I think every racing driver likes the circuit. It is just a really cool event.”
Dirk Werner (#98 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “I am really looking forward to this race and hope we can challenge for a place on the podium. I have a good feeling. I already know the ROWE Racing team from the Nürburgring 24 Hours, where they made a very positive impression. We are well positioned for Spa, as far as the car, team and drivers are concerned. The BMW M6 GT3 has already proven on the Nordschleife that it is competitive. Spa is one of my favourite tracks. I really enjoy driving there, particularly in this special race with so many GT3 cars.”
Stef Dusseldorp (#98 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “The standard is pretty high in Spa. All the manufacturers turn up with good teams and good drivers. As such, it will not be easy to make it onto the podium. However, we are well prepared. Our performance was good in recent races. I think the circuit ought to suit the BMW M6 GT3.”
Maxime Martin (#99 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “I love Spa, although I have never really had much luck at my home race so far. I have always been in with a chance of winning, but it was simply never meant to be. I hope that changes this year. We obviously have a new car in the BMW M6 GT3, so we don’t really know where we stand on this track. Furthermore, the race is really tough. However, I am hugely looking forward to it. The atmosphere at the circuit is unique and the fans are fantastic.”
Philipp Eng (#99 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “Probably the greatest GT3 race in the world awaits us at Spa-Francorchamps. The field consists of over 60 cars and the standard is immense. It would obviously be awesome if we could repeat BMW’s victory from last year. However, that will be extremely difficult. The BMW M6 GT3 is good-natured to drive. That helps, as it takes a lot of pressure off the driver, as you need not always be absolutely on the limit, but can instead focus on the traffic. That is important in Spa. Despite this, the race is still physically tiring. Every lap of this track is a new challenge.”
Alexander Sims (#99 BMW M6 GT3, ROWE Racing): “It will be very exciting to drive the BMW M6 GT3 for the first time in Spa. BMW is always very strong there, and I hope we can continue that with the new car this year. I have raced in the Pro-Am class for the past two years, and made it onto the podium on both occasions. It would be great to push for a top finish in the overall standings this time. However, we will have to wait and see what our pace is like. Only then will we be able to realistically evaluate our chances.”
Martin Tomczyk (#15 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Italia): “It is simply awesome to be involved in the 24 Hours of Spa for the first time in my career – and with BMW legend Roberto Ravaglia’s team to boot. The first test with BMW Team Italia went superbly and was very promising. The performance of the car was good. I like the fact that Roberto and his team have clear goals for this 24-hour classic: we want to be in contention at the head of the field in the Pro-Am Cup. I am obviously proud to have been involved in both the 24-hour races that are so important to BMW, at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in May and now in Spa.”
Munich/Spielberg. 37 years after its premiere on the race track, the BMW M1 will once again generate a fantastic atmosphere among motor-sport fans in the warm-up for the Formula 1 World Championship race. BMW Group Classic is staging a revival with the racing cars in the Procar Series just before the race for the “Austrian Grand Prix” at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Races with these cars were enthusiastically received in the supporting programme on Formula 1 weekends in Europe. When the first Procar Race was held at Zolder, Belgium, in May 1979, contemporary Formula 1 racing drivers competed in identical racing versions of the BMW M1 against national sports-car professionals, private drivers and talented upcoming drivers. Some of these drivers are now taking the opportunity to get back into the cockpit of the BMW M1 at the Legends Parade in Spielberg – including the three-time Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda, who won three Procar Races in 1979 and also succeeded in claiming the overall placing.
Lauda from Austria will be campaigning against a number of former rivals at his historic home competition, driving the BMW M1. Hans-Joachim Stuck (DE), runner-up in the overall placings in 1979 and in third place in 1980, is returning to the cockpit of his successful car. Jochen Mass (DE), Christian Danner (DE) and Marc Surer (CH) are also behind the wheel of precisely the models of the BMW M1 in which they raced during the Procar Series. Austrians Dieter Quester and Sepp Manhalter, and Markus Hotz from Switzerland will also be rekindling their memories of exciting battles for position in Procar races. Gerhard Berger (AT), Jos Verstappen (NL) and Jan Lammers (NL) are three other former Formula 1 racing drivers who will be taking part in the Legends Parade. The field of celebrity drivers is completed by Harald Grohs (DE), who won races in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) driving the BMW 635i and the BMW M3, and BMW brand ambassador Leopold Prinz von Bayern (DE). Both drivers once lined up on the grid in a BMW M1 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and they are being joined by multiple Touring Car Champion Johnny Cecotto from Venezuela.
The sporting spirit of yesteryear is being reawakened with the comeback of the Procar Racers in Spielberg. Today the focal point will continue to be the BMW M1, as it was then. This was the first vehicle designed from scratch by BMW Motorsport GmbH to compete in racing. The series version generating 204 kW/277 hp was propelled to a top speed of almost 265 km/h and delivered the fastest road-going German sports car of its time. The Procar Series not only provided the perfect stage for the first super sports car from BMW, but at the same time created an entirely new form of competition on the race track. The trial of strength in the racing versions of the BMW M1 constructed in conformity with the Group 4 regulations and each generating 345 kW/470 hp turned into a big success with spectators. And today the drivers, too, continue to eulogise about the handling characteristics of the mid-engined coupé, the sound of the legendary inline six-cylinder engine and the sporty appeal of a race series that was all about the skills and abilities of the drivers.
This is the third time that the Legends Parade staged in the context of the Austrian Formula 1 race has reflected very special chapters of motor-sport history. Last year, the BMW Group took part in a rendezvous of historic Formula 1 racing cars. The Brazilian Nelson Piquet drove the Brabham BMW BT52, which he had previously driven to victory in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1983. This year, BMW is providing the entire starter field in celebration of the centenary anniversary of the company. The 14 former racing cars in the Procar Series which were registered for the Legends Parade are currently almost without exception in the ownership of private aficionados and collectors who are as fascinated by their comeback on the race track as the drivers. Two of them will even enjoy the privilege of being able to race in their own vehicle. Gerhard Berger is the proud owner of a BMW M1 Procar, as is Sepp Manhalter, who owns precisely the vehicle that he drove past the finishing line in seventh place at the Zolder race circuit in May 1979. He will be driving this car on Sunday.
Munich (DE), 13th April 2016. After the two endurance classics in Daytona (US) and Sebring (US), the next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) takes BMW Team RLL to the west coast of the USA, and Long Beach (US), on 16th April.
BMW Team RLL has had more success at Long Beach than any other venue that has played host to the IWSC. Since its inaugural season in 2009, the team has not failed to finish the race without at least one BMW on the podium. The Bobby Rahal-led team has won the race three times; once with the BMW M3 GT2 in 2011 and twice with the BMW Z4 GTLM, in 2013 and 2015.
The Long Beach contest sets a much different stage than the season’s opening 36 hours of combined racing at Daytona and Sebring. It is a street course, only 1.968 miles long and, at 100 minutes in length, the shortest race of the season.
BMW Team RLL is looking to the race at Long Beach to celebrate the first win with the BMW M6 GTLM. Introduced at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the two new BMW M6 GTLMs showed strength, but succumbed to teething problems with the number 25 car finishing fifth. The number 100 car did not finish. At the 12 Hours of Sebring in mid-March the story was a different one as Bill Auberlen (US) scored the class pole in the number 25 BMW M6 GTLM, drove the fastest GTLM lap of the race, and finished second with co-drivers Bruno Spengler (CA) and Dirk Werner (DE). The number 100 BMW M6 GTLM, with Lucas Luhr (DE), John Edwards (US) and Kuno Wittmer (CA) at the wheel, finished sixth. After two races, BMW stands third in the GTLM manufacturer points.
Auberlen, who makes his home only a few miles from Long Beach in Redondo Beach (US), and season-long teammate Werner are looking to carry the momentum from Sebring and duplicate last season’s Long Beach performance – a win from the pole. The duo stands third in GTLM driver points, Edwards and Luhr are ninth.
The race at Long Beach takes the green flag at 4:05 p.m. Saturday, 16th April.
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):
“If you look at our track record in Long Beach, it’s pretty good. We’ve been on the podium every year and won three times. I think the pace of the BMW M6 GTLM right now is competitive. It’s a big car so it’s going to be interesting to see if that creates any issues in the tight confines of a street circuit. Based on the reliability, performance and pace of the car so far, we should be in the thick of it. We have had some good strategies in place there over the years that have helped us win, so I have every reason to believe we can have another good, strong race.”
Bill Auberlen (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM):
“Getting the pole and setting the fast lap at Sebring showed the true potential of the new BMW M6 GTLM. Now we are heading to a race I’ve won twice in the last three years. I have high hopes for bringing BMW its first win with the all new M6.”
Dirk Werner (Number 25 BMW M6 GTLM):
“I am looking forward to going back to Long Beach after last year’s win. It is a special track with great atmosphere. We will have to see how much our new BMW M6 GTLM likes street courses and sprint races, and we will not have a lot of time to tune the set-up. But BMW, the team and, of course, Bill have so much experience that I am confident for a good result.”
John Edwards (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM):
“Long Beach will be an interesting race for our BMW M6 GTLM since it will be our first street course. BMW had a lot of success with the BMW Z4 GTLM on those streets, and I’m confident that we have another machine capable of winning its first street race like its predecessor did. The BMW M6 GTLM is longer, but the car also has better torque to help us get out of the slow corners, which is key for lap time at Long Beach. Lucas and I have had some bad luck to start the season, but the BMW M6 GTLM has shown a lot of promise, and I’m excited to start putting in the results that the car deserves.”
Lucas Luhr (Number 100 BMW M6 GTLM):
“Long Beach is one of the coolest tracks and the venue is very special. It will be the first time for the BMW M6 GTLM there but I am sure we will be strong. After the win last year it would be nice to win again in BMW’s 100th year, so I’m looking forward to the race. John and I will give 100% to take a good result.”
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 28, 2016… The two new BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM racing cars will start the 54th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, the opening round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, from the third and sixth positions in the GTLM field.
This afternoon’s 15-minute qualifying session was held under rainy skies making for the wettest track of the day and very difficult conditions. A red flag for a competitor’s crash halted the action after only four cars completed two timed laps, but as a minimum of 10 minutes of green flag time is required by the rules the session became a slippery two-lap shootout.
With a 2:02.497 minute lap around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course, John Edwards qualified the No. 100 M6 GTLM in the third position, just over one second slower than the pole sitting No. 911 Porsche. Edwards will share the car with Lucas Luhr, Graham Rahal and Kuno Wittmer.
Dirk Werner qualified the No. 25 M6 GTLM machine in the sixth spot with a time of 2:03.974. Werner will co-drive with Bill Auberlen, Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler. The talented quartet finished second in last year’s Rolex 24, finishing only .478 seconds behind the GTLM class winner after 725 laps of battle.
In the 21-car GTD class, Markus Paltalla qualified the No. 97 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 13th and Jens Klingmann qualified the No. 96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 16th.
“Those were tough conditions and I am very pleased with the job John did,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “He really did not have much time in the car. I thought we were going to be P2. Third is a good place to start the race and Dirk isn’t that far behind. Really, where you qualify for this race makes no difference but it is just nice to see that the M6 was competitive in the wet.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: (3rd) “In a brand new car it would have been cool to go out and get pole position, but that didn’t happen. Those were really poor conditions. We knew it would be tough, but I think we have a car in the M6 that can handle the rain better than the Z4. Even with a little mistake in turn six on my best lap we weren’t that far off the Porsches. I look at this as progress and right now we have a safe starting position for the long 24 hour race.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: (6th) “Every corner was an adventure, as there was a lot of water on the track and it was easy to go off. I am just happy we had a clean qualifying. P6 is all right, we are in the middle of the field and I think we have a good car for the race.”
The 54th Rolex 24 at Daytona takes the green flag at 2:40 p.m. Saturday, January 30 with the first two hour hours of coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage shifts to FOX Sports 2 from 4 to 10 p.m. ET. FOX Sports 1 will pick up the broadcast from 7 – 9 a.m. ET and then finish with three hours of coverage beginning at 12 p.m. ET Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at@BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – January 25, 2016… BMW Team RLL will begin to write a new chapter in BMW racing history when the team takes the green flag at this weekend’s 54th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona with two new BMW M6 GTLM racing cars.
Replacing the BMW Z4 GTLM as BMW’s weapon of choice for international sports car competition this year, the twin turbocharged V8-powered M6 has shown its strength in early season testing. The M6 posted the quickest GTLM time – 1:45.066 minutes – in the recent three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 test at the Daytona International Speedway.
This year is a historic one for The Ultimate Driving Machine® as Bavarian Motor Works celebrates its 100th anniversary and to mark the occasion one of the M6 machines will race with the number 100. The second M6 will continue to race the number 25 in honor of BMW Motorsport’s first season racing in the US in 1975. 2016 also marks the 40th anniversary of BMW’s first overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Two commemorative liveries, one looking at the history of BMW’s racing success in the US and one looking to BMW’s future, will be debuted in a media conference at the Speedway on January 27 at 9 a.m.
In its seven seasons of North American sports car competition, BMW Team RLL has posted 13 victories among 57 podium finishes, winning the American Le Mans Series Manufacturer and Team championships in 2010 and repeating the feat and adding the driver title in 2011. Beginning with the BMW M3 GT2 in 2009, the team successfully introduced the BMW Z4 GTLM in 2013 and expects to continue its winning ways with the BMW M6 GTLM in 2016, the 100th anniversary of Bavarian Motor Works.
BMW Team RLL will make only one change to its driver lineup for this year’s Rolex 24. Kuno Wittmer will replace Jens Klingmann in the No. 100 M6 as the BMW Motorsport driver will race fulltime in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport M6 GTD this season. Wittmer, the 2014 GTLM drivers champion, will support season-long drivers John Edwards and Lucas Luhr in the No. 100 machine at Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans. IndyCar star Graham Rahal will race for his father’s team for a third consecutive Rolex 24.
The lineup for the No. 25 M6 will remain the same as last year with Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner supported by BMW Motorsport DTM drivers Augusto Farfus and Bruno Spengler. The talented quartet finished second in last year’s Rolex 24, finishing only .478 seconds behind the GTLM class winner after 725 laps of battle.
“We are all excited about kicking the season off,” said Bobby Rahal, Team Principal. “Of course, the most difficult race of the season is the first race. It is always a challenge for any team and manufacturer. But as we’ve shown over the course of the last several years, we have had some pretty trouble-free runs. One car might have been affected a little bit more than the other at times but the whole idea of this kind of racing is to spend as little time in the pits as possible. It’s a tough race. Racing for 24 hours is difficult. It’s just comes down to consistency, reliability and staying out of trouble. Even though it’s a new car, we go into this race feeling pretty confident. I think the BMW M6 GTLM is a more sophisticated car than we’ve had in the past and there are challenges that come along with that but we have a lot of confidence in BMW, our drivers and our team and I think that our expectations of having a very good race are reasonable.”
Bill Auberlen, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “A new baby first needs to walk before it can run, but the M6 GTLM has certainly found its legs quickly as we demonstrated at the Roar test. I am very proud to be part of the team bringing another BMW racing car to the track. This is the fifth generation (E36 M3, E46 M3, E92 M3, E89 Z4, F12 M6) I’ve had the honor of racing in the last two decades.”
Augusto Farfus, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “It’s an honor to be back with BMW Team RLL and be part of the first race of the M6 GTLM. The team did a very good job at the Roar test and the car felt very strong. Of course, in a 24-hour race anything can happen, but I think we will make a good first impression.”
Bruno Spengler, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “This will be my third career 24 hour race and second consecutive Rolex 24 with BMW Team RLL. The M6 GTLM is new, but I believe it to be quite well born. We had a strong Roar test and I am very motivated for the race.”
Dirk Werner, driver No. 25 BMW M6 GTLM: “This year will be my ninth Rolex 24 At Daytona and I am looking forward to it as much as my first race there. For sure this year will be special. BMW celebrates its 100th anniversary and we will race the new BMW M6 GTLM for the first time. Certainly big challenges are ahead of us, but with the support of BMW Team RLL and BMW Motorsport I think we have a good chance for a podium finish.”
John Edwards, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “We’re finally switching from testing and development into race mode. It’s been great to see the improvements made during the development process with our new M6 GTLM, and I’m confident that we’ll have good pace in 2016. We found a great car balance during the Roar test and I think we all feel ready to race. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the GTLM class this year with the addition of Ford and a new aero kit for the Corvettes, but I know that if we can just survive the first 22 hours of the race, BMW will be fighting for the win on Sunday afternoon.”
Lucas Luhr, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “After many months of testing and developing our M6 GTLM it is time to go racing. It is a big challenge to have the Rolex 24 as our first race, but I think we are well prepared. We had a strong Roar test so I am looking forward to the race. It is going to be a very tough fight this year in the GTLM class, but I’m looking forward to another year with BMW team RLL. I love racing in the US. I think it is the best GT racing in the world.”
Graham Rahal, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “I am thrilled to be joining BMW for a third year in a row and now in the new M6. I think they have once again assembled a great team, and with the top notch mechanics and team at RLL behind us, I think we should have a great shot to pick up my second Daytona 24 Hour win in a BMW powered machine.”
Kuno Wittmer, driver No. 100 BMW M6 GTLM: “I am really looking forward to participating in my first race for BMW. Everyone on the team has made me feel at home. We have done extensive testing with the BMW M6 GTLM. The Rolex 24 will be its first real race test. Of course, we are not treating this as a test. We are a competitive team that’s wants to win! The Rolex 24 is a daunting event. Patience is always the key.”
The 54th Rolex 24 at Daytona takes the green flag at 2:40 p.m. Saturday, January 30 with the first two hour hours of coverage on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Coverage shifts to FOX Sports 2 from 4 to 10 p.m. ET. FOX Sports 1 will pick up the broadcast from 7 – 9 a.m. ET and then finish with three hours of coverage beginning at 12 p.m. ET Follow BMW Team RLL on Twitter at@BMWUSARacing for “from-the-pit-box” updates all weekend.
BMW, one of the world’s most successful premium carmakers, also boasts an excellent position in the all-wheel-drive market, a segment it first entered 30 years ago. Around one in three BMW cars sold around the world is now equipped with the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system. BMW’s success in this segment has been driven not only by the ever-popular BMW X models but also by all-wheel-drive models based on the other model series, from the BMW 1 Series to the BMW 7 Series. Across these model series, a large choice of AWD models is offered in a wide range of engine versions. At the same time, BMW continues to refine this technology and take it in new directions. By offering BMW xDrive in combination with a hybrid drive and with a front-wheel-drive platform, the company has repeatedly demonstrated its proficiency in the all-wheel-drive field, proficiency that will secure BMW’s position at the forefront of this sector well into the future. Today, BMW offers more than 110 models – of either transmission type – with BMW xDrive in 12 different model series, as well as the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 sports car and the compact BMW 225xe with electrified all-wheel drive.
The focus from day one: traction and dynamics.
BMW’s first foray into the all-wheel-drive market came with the unveiling of the BMW 325i “Allrad” at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in 1985. From the outside, the newcomer didn’t immediately reveal its inner qualities, so its performance when the journalists took it out on the test track was even more of an eye-opener. This very first BMW all-wheel-drive system not only improved traction away from surfaced roads and in adverse weather conditions, but also made for more dynamic handling through corners. “The new BMW is the new champion when it comes to handling,” was the verdict of the testers from German car magazine Auto Zeitung not long after the first unveiling.
Today, the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system takes typical BMW driving dynamics to new levels. The current generation of this system is controlled by the Integrated Chassis Management (ICM) system, which ensures that xDrive always responds appropriately at the earliest possible moment, based on reliable sensing and monitoring of the current driving situation. The interventions may be performed either entirely by BMW xDrive, or by xDrive in combination with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) or Dynamic Performance Control (DPC). The resulting fast and precise control of drive power distribution ensures typical BMW handling characteristics even under extremely dynamic cornering.
The all-wheel-drive system is biased towards the typical BMW rear-wheel-drive characteristics. That is to say, on the all-wheel-drive models a greater share of the drive power is sent to the rear wheels, even under normal driving conditions. This maintains the typical BMW precise steering response, with virtually no torque steer. For crisp turn-in and high tracking stability, the latest-generation BMW xDrive system starts increasing the amount of power sent to the rear wheels as soon as the vehicle enters a corner, further enhancing the driving pleasure for which BMW is a byword.
BMW all-wheel-drive technology: continuous evolution since 1985.
The full-time all-wheel-drive system featured on the BMW 325i “Allrad” of 1985 split the drive power in a ratio of 37 to 63 per cent between the front and rear wheels. In response to wheel speed differences, visco locks in the transfer case and rear differential were capable of providing a virtually rigid connection between the front and rear wheels, in order to improve traction and stability. This model’s name was soon changed to BMW 325iX, and from 1988 it was offered in a “touring” version as well (lower-case spelling up to and including the E46 series).
1991: BMW 525iX.
Three years on, BMW introduced an all-wheel-drive model in the BMW 5 Series too. For the first time, the power split was now electronically controlled. The newly developed system featured multi-plate clutches that allowed the default 36:64 front-to-rear power split to be varied seamlessly and automatically in line with driving conditions. Initially a hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch was used at the rear axle, but this was later replaced by electronically controlled selective braking intervention. The system monitored the driving situation using wheel speed signals from the Anti-lock Braking System, supplemented by further information about brake status, engine speed and throttle valve position.
From the outset the all-wheel-drive system of the BMW 525iX was a class apart. The electronic control system delivered a very fast and precise response, resulting in safe, neutral handling characteristics even in difficult driving conditions, such as on wet roads or snow. In the BMW 5 Series, too, the first all-wheel-drive models were offered in both Sedan and touring versions.
1999: The Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) opens a new chapter.
In the run-up to the new millennium, a highly innovative vehicle concept from BMW made its sensational debut. The BMW X5, the first Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), impressed customers with driving dynamics that were unmatched among other all-terrain vehicles of the time. The outstanding all-wheel-drive system played a big part in this. A planetary gear system split the drive power in a ratio of 38:62 per cent between the front and rear wheels, while electronic control systems such as DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), ADB-X (Automatic Differential Brake) and HDC (Hill Descent Control) ensured the new BMW X5 was both sporty on the road and equipped to handle challenging conditions off the beaten track.
In the years following the successful launch of the SAV concept, there was no let-up in the fast pace of all-wheel-drive development at BMW. The next year, 2000, a model-specific version of the BMW X5’s all-wheel drive technology became available for the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series.
2003: BMW xDrive makes its debut in the BMW X3 and BMW X5.
Four years on from the debut of the BMW X5 in 1999, BMW kept up the momentum by launching the SAV concept in a further vehicle segment. The new BMW X3 was more compact than the BMW X5 and offered even more agile handling. It set new benchmarks and remained the only premium model in its class for years to come.
The newly developed BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which was introduced in the same year in both the BMW X3 and the BMW X5, soon extended BMW’s lead in the AWD segment. Based on an extremely fast-acting electronic multi-plate clutch in the transfer case, xDrive worked in tandem with the Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) to continuously adapt the drive power split to the current driving situation. In addition to wheel speed, for the first time the electronic control system also took into account Dynamic Stability Control data, for example about steering angle, accelerator position and lateral acceleration. This is what makes BMW xDrive the world’s first, and still only, “intelligent” all-wheel-drive system. Unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems, which only react when at least one wheel is already spinning, xDrive is able to detect a risk of oversteer or understeer at the very first signs, and proactively corrects this by redirecting the flow of drive power.
In the years that followed, the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system was fitted not only on the X models but also on the xDrive versions of the BMW 3 and 5 Series Sedan and Touring models. By the time the second generation of the BMW X3 was introduced in 2010, more than 600,000 units of this series had already been sold worldwide. A little earlier, sales of the BMW X5 – which entered its second generation in 2006 – had topped the one million mark.
2008: SAC with Dynamic Performance Control and hybrid drive.
With the two Sports Activity Vehicles now firmly established in their respective segments, in 2007 BMW went on to present the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe. Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), the brand-new BMW X6 elevated the typical dynamic character of the BMW X models to a new level of intensity. For the first time, the intelligent all-wheel-drive system was combined with Dynamic Performance Control (DPC), which varies the drive power split between the rear wheels when cornering to ensure unrivalled agility and stability, even under sudden throttle changes or on overrun. In 2009, the BMW Active Hybrid X6 demonstrated a further perfect pairing – between BMW xDrive and hybrid propulsion. Meanwhile, in the same year, BMW M GmbH added two very special models to its range of high-performance sports cars. With an M-tuned BMW xDrive system, including Dynamic Performance Control, the BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M boasted performance that was previously unknown in the all-wheel-drive market.
2009 also saw the arrival of a new X model, the BMW X1. For many years to come, the BMW X1 was destined to remain the only vehicle of its kind in the premium compact segment. Its intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system, like that of the new BMW X3 (2010), was also combinable with Performance Control. This system selectively brakes the wheel on the inside of a turn while simultaneously increasing engine power, resulting in quick and precise turn-in to corners and taking the agile handling of both models to new levels.
BMW xDrive also available for other model series.
The steady advance of the BMW X models has been accompanied by an increase in the number of xDrive versions offered in the other BMW model series too. Designed to improve cornering agility and precision, BMW xDrive provides an enhanced driving experience and an optimal combination of dynamics and comfort. So it was only a matter of time before this intelligent drive technology made its debut in the BMW 7 Series as well, in 2009. In spring 2012, the first all-wheel-drive Coupe and Convertible models were then offered in the sporty BMW 6 Series. BMW xDrive can also be specified on the current BMW 3 and 5 Series and, since 2013, on the Convertible, Coupe and Gran Coupe models of the new BMW 4 Series.
Driving progress ever forward.
BMW took things forward in the premium mid-sized segment with the launch of the BMW X4 in 2014. The new Sports Activity Coupe offers a unique blend of driving enjoyment, sophisticated style and contemporary practicality. It comes with BMW xDrive as standard and is available in a wide range of engine versions. In the same year, BMW also presented the third generation of the BMW X5, the second generation of the BMW X6, and M Sport versions of both models. BMW xDrive also made its debut in the new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. This was a debut with a difference, being the first time BMW had combined its intelligent all-wheel-drive system with an all-new front-wheel-drive format.
With the BMW i8, unveiled in 2014, the BMW Group took a bold new step in new directions – which also extended to the all-wheel-drive system. This 2+2-seater sports model is powered by a highly advanced plug-in hybrid drive system that pairs an internal combustion engine driving the rear wheels with a high-performance electric motor driving the front wheels.
Focused on the future: BMW xDrive meets BMW eDrive.
BMW’s latest all-wheel-drive models bring technology advances that are firmly focused on the future of mobility. The BMW i8 was followed by the international launch of the first production plug-in hybrid model from the BMW core brand: the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Thanks to full-time BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive and eDrive BMW EfficientDynamics technology, this Sports Activity Vehicle mates thrilling and effortless sporty performance with outstanding efficiency. Intelligent hybrid power management synchronises the operation of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor to maximise efficiency at all times, while also responding perfectly to the driver’s demands. The drive from the two power units is transferred to the road via the full-time BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
BMW 7 Series: Integral Active Steering combinable with BMW xDrive.
In September 2015, the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series makes its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). This high-end BMW luxury model pioneers groundbreaking innovations on all fronts, and will be available with BMW xDrive from its market launch in October. The new luxury sedan will also be the first model to allow intelligent all-wheel-drive to be combined with Integral Active Steering – that is to say with passively steering rear wheels.
The BMW M3 Sedan, the BMW M4 Coupe and the BMW M4 Convertible demonstrate the perfect combination of high-performance sports car engineering with unrestricted everyday utility. From spring 2016, all three body styles will be available with a special Competition Package from BMW M GmbH that combines added sporty personality with enhanced dynamics. As well as extensive handling upgrades, the Competition Package also comes with exclusive equipment features and a14 kW/19 hp hike in power that takes output to 331 kW/450 hp (BMW M3/M4 Coupe: combined fuel consumption 8.8–8.3 l/100 km [32.1–34.0 mpg imp], combined CO2 emissions 204–194 g/km; BMW M4 Convertible: combined fuel consumption 9.1–8.7 l/100 km [31.0–32.5 mpg imp], combined CO2 emissions 213–203 g/km)*.
The extra power also means improved performance. The BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe with optional 7-speed M Double Clutch transmission sprint from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.0 seconds (without Competition Package: 4.1 s), while the BMW M4 Convertible reaches the same speed in 4.3 seconds (without Competition Package: 4.4 s). The sprint time for models with the standard 6-speed manual transmission is likewise 0.1 seconds faster in all cases than without the package.
The Competition Package also includes Adaptive M Suspension, which has been extensively tuned to the enhanced performance and handling, and which features new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, along with reconfigured driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+). The standard Active M Differential on the rear axle and DSC Dynamic Stability Control have likewise been configured to match the upgraded dynamics. Exclusive forged, machine-polished, weight- and rigidity-optimised 20-inch M alloy wheels – front 9J × 20; rear 10 J × 20 – with exclusive multi-spoke 666 M styling and mixed tyres (front: 265/30 R20, rear: 285/30 R20) complete the list of chassis upgrades.
For the BMW M3 and BMW M4 Coupe, the Competition Package includes special lightweight M sports seats that combine perfect support under extremely hard driving with exceptional comfort on long journeys. Seatbelts with woven-in BMW M stripes cap off an extremely sporty interior ambience.
Eye-catching exterior highlights of the Competition Package include the M sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes. Even more than its good looks, the most distinctive feature of the M sports exhaust system is its potent sound, which brings added emotional resonance to the driving experience. The starting rumble and the distinctive burble on overrun never fail to get under the skin of dedicated drivers time and again.
The Competition Package for the BMW M3 and BMW M4 is topped off by extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line exterior trim. The high-gloss Black finish has been applied not only to the side window trim, window recess finishers and exterior mirror frames and bases, but also to the BMW kidney grille, the side gills and the model badge on the tail.
A compact high-performance BMW sports car was already causing heads to turn and hearts to flutter over 40 years ago. Indeed, the BMW 2002 turbo perfectly encapsulated BMW’s resolution to deliver outstanding dynamics, exceptional agility and optimum car control. As if to demonstrate in similarly resounding style that this commitment is alive and well, BMW M GmbH can now unveil the new BMW M2. With its high-performance six-cylinder in-line engine, rear-wheel-drive agility, lightweight aluminium M Sport suspension and extrovert styling, the new BMW M2 Coupe has all the ingredients to deliver the last word in driving pleasure.
Characteristic M design.
A single glance is all it takes to pick the new BMW M2 Coupe out as a member of the BMW M family, with its styling also keen to advertise its dynamic attributes. Inspired by models from the history of BMW in motor racing, the new M2 Coupe makes no secret of its extraordinary performance potential. The low front apron with large air intakes, muscular flanks with characteristic M gills, 19-inch aluminium wheels in familiar M double-spoke design and low, wide rear with M-specific twin-tailpipe exhaust system all play impressive roles here. The time-honoured character of BMW M cars is also present and correct in the design of the interior. The Alcantara of the door cards and centre console together with porous carbon fibre creates an ambience of rare quality and heady sporting ambition further underlined by blue contrast stitching and M embossing on selected details. Sports seats, an M sports steering wheel and an M gearshift lever ensure BMW M2 drivers are in perfect command of their car it at all times.
The newly developed, three-litre six-cylinder in-line engine in the new BMW M2 deploys cutting-edge M TwinPower Turbo technology to develop 272 kW/370 hp at 6,500 rpm (fuel consumption combined: 8.5 l/100 km [33.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 199 g/km)* and, in so doing, lays down a marker in the high-performance compact sports car segment. The same applies to power delivery. Peak torque of 465 Nm (343 lb-ft) can be increased to as much as 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) in short bursts under overboost. All of which enables the new BMW M2 Coupe with optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) and Launch Control to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Yet, with its M DCT transmission, fuel consumption of just 7.9 litres* per 100 km (35.8 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of just 185 g/km*, the car is also keen to emphasise its outstanding efficiency.
Motor sport expertise.
With the lightweight aluminium front and rear axles from the BMW M3/M4 models, forged 19-inch aluminium wheels with mixed-size tyres, M Servotronic steering with two settings and suitably effective M compound brakes, the new BMW M2 Coupe has raised the bar once again in the compact high-performance sports car segment when it comes to driving dynamics. The electronically controlled Active M Differential, which optimises traction and directional stability, also plays a significant role here. And even greater driving pleasure is on the cards when the Dynamic Stability Control system’s M Dynamic Mode (MDM) is activated. MDM allows wheel slip and therefore moderate, controlled drifts on the track.
Intelligent connectivity when you want it.
The new BMW M2 Coupe comes with an extensive list of standard equipment in keeping with its performance-focused set-up. The seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic, available as an option, changes gears with extraordinary speed but no interruption in the flow of power. A wide selection of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive is also available. The ConnectedDrive Services provide the basis for extensive vehicle connectivity, and this option also enables the use of innovative apps, which are integrated seamlessly into the car using BMW ConnectedDrive technology. For example, the GoPro app allows the driver to record fast laps of the track with a dashboard-mounted action camera, using the iDrive Controller and Control Display. Meanwhile, the driver’s individual style at the wheel can be analysed as desired with the M Laptimer app. Information on speeds and braking points can be shared easily via e-mail or Facebook.
From powerful stock.
The new BMW M2 Coupe is not only the direct heir to the successful BMW 1 Series M Coupe, but also – in its underlying philosophy – a descendant of the original E30 BMW M3 and the BMW 2002 turbo. The latter caused a sensation over 40 years ago, embodying the commitment of what is now BMW M GmbH to outstanding dynamics, unbeatable agility and optimal car control.