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Ready to roll: BMW Team RLL launches 2015 USCC campaign in Daytona.

Munich (DE), 20th January 2015. BMW Team RLL will begin its seventh consecutive season of sports car racing competition at this weekend’s 53rd annual Rolex 24 at Daytona (US) celebrating a very special anniversary. The race marks the 40th anniversary of BMW’s first race in the US and BMW Team RLL will compete with the numbers 24 and 25 on its two BMW Z4 GTLM machines in honour of the iconic BMW 3.0 CSL racing cars that debuted at the same race four decades ago.

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt said: “We are looking forward to an exciting USCC season in 2015, in which BMW Team RLL will once again fly our flag in the GTLM class. Our mission is to return to winning ways with the BMW Z4 GTLM and strong drivers, and build on the great successes we have celebrated in North America in the past. After all, the 40th anniversary makes this a very special year for BMW of North America. We want to do everything in our power to ensure that we also have plenty of reason to celebrate from a sporting point of view.”

“Forty years ago, while BMW of North America was still in its infancy, BMW’s first national marketing programme in the United States was to go racing,” commented Ludwig Willisch, Chairman and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “BMW Motorsport introduced two BMW 3.0 CSL racing cars in North America for the 1975 IMSA season at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Those cars became legends and laid the foundation for the success BMW has enjoyed in the past four decades, where today we are the number-one luxury brand.”

2015 is the third season of competition for the BMW Z4 GTLM and this year two new chassis have been constructed and tested extensively at two pre-season tests at the Daytona International Speedway.

For the Rolex 24 at Daytona, BMW has assembled a team of stellar BMW drivers that include current BMW DTM stars Augusto Farfus (BR) and Bruno Spengler (CA). Spengler will be having his first 24-hour race start ever. Farfus and Spengler will co-drive the number 25 car with season-long drivers Bill Auberlen (US) and Dirk Werner (DE), the latter pair having driven together in 2012 in a BMW M3 GT. Jens Klingmann (DE) and Graham Rahal (US) will join John Edwards (US) and Lucas Luhr (DE) in the number 24 BMW Z4 GTLM. Edwards and Luhr will drive the car for the entire season.

With the addition of the experienced Luhr, BMW Team RLL includes two of the top-three drivers on the all-time North American sports car racing victories list. Luhr stands third with 51 victories and Bill Auberlen stands second with 53. Both are chasing Scott Pruett (US) who has 59 wins.

Preview quotes prior to the Daytona 24 Hours:  

Bobby Rahal (Team Principal, BMW Team RLL):

“The two toughest races of the championship are the first two of the season. With Daytona being a 24-hour race, it certainly can end up playing a major role in how you do in the championship. The odds are probably against you to finish, let alone do well, so the first thing is that you’ve got to really do everything you can to make sure you get to the end. And then, of course, where you are at the end can make a big difference. Last year with only a couple of hours to go we were looking pretty good; like we had a chance to win the race. And then we had one car lose a wheel bearing and the other car had to make a stop to replace the wheel bearing as a safety precaution, so we went from having a chance to win the race to ending up with second place as our best finish, and fourth. It was a pretty good performance overall and, to be honest, probably better than we thought we would do, because we were clearly not the fastest car. But even with the one problem we spent a fairly small amount of time in the pits, and that’s the key. It sounds simplistic, but whoever spends the least amount of time in the pits is pretty much going to win the thing. We have to approach it in the same manner this year. With two new BMW Z4 GTLM cars, that are probably a little stronger than last year and a little better overall, and having had a good test, I think there is a good chance for us to do well.”

Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“The level of effort for the programme this year has been extraordinary. Both new cars are extremely well prepared and we’ve had two very good tests. We do have a few drivers who are new to Daytona, so I’m trying to be the go-to-guy that any of them can come to ask about the smallest issue to ensure our line-up will be as well prepared as the BMW Z4 GTLM. I am extremely proud to continue to race for BMW, especially as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of BMW Motorsport’s first race in the States at this year’s Rolex 24.”

Augusto Farfus (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I feel a very special connection with Daytona, because my very first 24-hour race was here in 2003. I like the track, the atmosphere, everything. Last year was the first year for the BMW Z4 here and this year we have a much higher level of preparation to add to our experience. Everything feels like it is pointing in the right direction.”

Bruno Spengler (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“This will be my first 24-hour race ever and I am very pleased I will be doing it at Daytona with BMW Team RLL. To add this race to my DTM calendar this season is something very special. My first few laps during our test in December were quite an experience, because it was the first time I’d driven on such extreme banking. The Rolex 24 will be a new challenge for me and I’m always looking for that.”

Dirk Werner (No. 25 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I’ve competed at the Rolex 24 quite a few times, but the race remains an open bill. I’ve come close to the podium, but have not reached it yet. I’m very pleased to be starting another full season with BMW Team RLL. I love racing in the States, because this is where I really learned sports car racing. I want to give my best this year and my first opportunity is the Rolex 24.”

John Edwards (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“We had a great race going here last year, but a wheel bearing failure cost us a better finish. That is one of those frustrating things that can happen in a 24-hour race, so I do feel we have something to make up for this year. Daytona may not be a track where we have the pace of our competitors, but an endurance race like the Rolex 24 has many more facets than only speed. There are ten races this season, not 11 like last year, so every race has increased significance – especially these long ones. Not finishing is not an option.”

Jens Klingmann (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“I’ve had some experience in 24-hour races in Europe, but this will be my first Rolex 24 at Daytona – in fact, this is only the second time I’ve ever been in the States. I love the atmosphere over here and am enjoying every second. I watched last year’s race on television and I’ve always wanted to race here. I’m here to support the team and help them gain points towards the championship.”

Lucas Luhr (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“This will be my first race in the States for BMW and I’m really looking forward to it. The Rolex 24 can be a challenging race, because you have a very long time in the dark and there are quite a lot of cars. The last time I raced at Daytona I was racing in a prototype car, so I was a little worried that the first time they went flying by I would be a bit sad, but that was not the case at all. The BMW Z4 GTLM is so much fun to drive, the GTLM class is so competitive and you have to push so hard I don’t miss the prototypes at all. The only thing is you have to keep an eye on the mirrors.”

Graham Rahal (No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM):

“This is my second year at the Rolex 24 in the BMW Z4 GTLM. Everything feels just that much more comfortable and you get up to speed just that much quicker.  If we can run as strongly as we did last year and not have a failure we have a very good chance. The team has worked very hard putting together a very good car. Having won this race overall in a BMW powered prototype it would be great to add a GTLM class victory.”

 

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The new BMW 1 Series model range

Almost two million units of the BMW 1 Series have been sold worldwide over the last ten years, and this latest edition is poised to set another new benchmark in driving pleasure in the premium compact segment. The new 3-door and 5-door BMW 1 Series models come with a comprehensively revised engine line-up and additional measures designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, allowing them to lead the way once again in the introduction of new BMW EfficientDynamics technology.

The selection of engines available for the new BMW 1 Series model range has been enhanced by the addition of latest-generation petrol and diesel units with three and four cylinders. The torquey and high-revving engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology team up with rear-wheel drive – still a unique selling point in the compact segment – to deliver a suitably intense driving experience. And an even broader spread of standard equipment, an output boost for the six-cylinder in-line engine powering the BMW M135i M Performance Automobile and cutting-edge innovations from BMW ConnectedDrive also imbue the brand’s hallmark characteristics with renewed vigour.

Modified exterior and interior design includes familiar BMW styling cues underlining sports performance and premium characteristics.
Carefully considered updates to the exterior design of the new BMW 1 Series shine the spotlight on its sporting elegance and high-end presence. A newly designed BMW kidney grille and larger air intakes help to emphasise the car’s dynamic potential in familiar BMW style. Headlights with a significantly flatter geometry play a similar role. They come with LED daytime driving lights as standard and can now be specified in full-LED specification as an option. The rear lights have also been completely remodelled. They now display the “L” shape characteristic of BMW models and reveal LED-powered lights. Elsewhere, the sophisticated design of the upper centre console with the controls for the radio and climate control system is foremost in accentuating the premium ambience on board the new BMW 1 Series.

Automatic air conditioning, BMW Radio Professional and BMW iDrive fitted as standard; new equipment variants.
Standard equipment for the new BMW 1 Series model range now also features automatic air conditioning, a rain sensor, the BMW Radio Professional and the iDrive operating system, complete with a high-resolution 6.5-inch display integrated in the instrument panel as a freestanding monitor. And the Advantage, Sport Line, Urban Line and M Sport packages available as an alternative to standard specification provide fresh scope for targeted individualisation.

New generation of engines, new benchmarks in efficiency.
An extensively updated line-up of engines and extended BMW EfficientDynamics technology ensure that the new BMW 1 Series model range once again sets new standards in its class by further reducing fuel consumption and emissions. BMW 1 Series customers will now be offered three- and four-cylinder power units from the BMW Group’s new engine family. The new efficiency pacesetter in the brand’s model range is the BMW 116d EfficientDynamics Edition with 85 kW/116 hp and average fuel consumption of 3.4 litres/100 kilometres (83.1 mpg imp) combined with CO2 emissions of 89 g/km in the EU test cycle.

As an alternative to the standard six-speed manual gearbox, there is the option of an eight-speed Steptronic transmission (standard in the BMW 125d, BMW 120d xDrive and BMW M135i xDrive). The latest version of the automatic unit now also offers transmission management supported by navigation data.

A 5 kW increase in output (to 240 kW/326 hp) from its six-cylinder in-line engine allows the new BMW M135i (average fuel consumption: 8.0 litres/100 km [35.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 188 g/km) to strengthen its position as the elite sports performer in the BMW 1 Series’ competitive segment. Like the BMW 120d and BMW 118d, the BMW M Performance Automobile can also be specified with the intelligent all-wheel-drive system xDrive which, as well as serving the causes of traction and directional stability, also enhances the car’s dynamics. The new BMW M135i xDrive (average fuel consumption: 7.8 litres/100 km [36.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 182 g/km) sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.7 seconds.

 

Sophisticated chassis technology, Tyre Pressure Indicator fitted as standard.
Advanced chassis technology teams up with rear-wheel drive and an almost perfect (50 : 50) distribution of weight between the front and rear axles to give the new BMW 1 Series unmistakable handling traits headlined by agility and dynamic excellence. Options include adaptive suspension, M Sport suspension, Variable Sports Steering and an M Sport braking system. A Tyre Pressure Indicator showing each individual wheel is now part of the standard specification.

New assistance systems and services from BMW ConnectedDrive.
The selection of optional driver assistance systems from BMW ConnectedDrive available for the BMW 1 Series now also includes the radar-based Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function. The latest-generation Parking Assistant now enables parallel parking in tight spaces restricted either by two obstacles or on one side only, as well as automatic transverse parking. Features such as the camera-based Driving Assistant, rear-view camera and Speed Limit Info system with No Passing Info display can also be specified.

All models in the new BMW 1 Series line-up come as standard with an embedded SIM card, which allows use of the likewise standard Intelligent Emergency Call and BMW TeleServices functions, as well as access to optional internet-based mobility services. In addition to BMW Online and Real Time Traffic Information, customers can also enjoy the Online entertainment function. Further online services can be integrated into the car using smartphone apps and operated safely, intuitively and conveniently via the iDrive system. Meanwhile, the new Navigation system Professional also offers automatic map updating by mobile phone via the embedded SIM card, which is free of charge to customers for the first three years following registration of the car.

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BMW M Performance Parts for the BMW 2 Series Convertible

Munich. At BMW the letter M signals the presence of high performance and a very special brand of sporting allure. And now Original BMW Accessories from the M Performance range can be specified for the new BMW 2 Series Convertible, stylistic and technical modifications combining to elevate the joy of sporty driving to even higher levels.

Extra dynamism for the exterior.
Side skirts and skirt decals with M Performance lettering lend the BMW 2 Series Convertible extra sporting appeal, as does the rear diffuser. They also match up nicely with the exclusive front grille with black trim surround and the carbon exterior mirror caps. BMW M Performance accent strips which run along the flanks of the car below the crease line inject fresh visual momentum, while attractive BMW M Performance 19-inch light-alloy wheels in 405 M and 624 M styling advance the cause of exclusive sportiness. The 624 M can be ordered in either a bi-colour (matt black / milled) or a polished variant. A stainless steel silencer with chromed tailpipe embellishers and inscribed M logo ensures the car signs off in dynamic fashion. Customers can also specify the tailpipe embellishers in carbon.

High-quality carbon for a more sporting interior.
The BMW M Performance Accessories range offers a host of finely matched products made from high-quality carbon (some combined with Alcantara) for the interior of the BMW 2 Series Convertible. These include the selector lever trim or – in manual cars – the gearshift lever with Alcantara gaiter, as well as a handbrake grip likewise with Alcantara gaiter. The centre console trim, centre armrest and interior trim strips can also be retrofitted in carbon as accessories. Alcantara steering wheels with carbon trim, which can be specified with or without an integrated Race Display, are impressively grippy and provide a sporty feel.

Like the easy-care BMW M Performance floor mats with eye-catching M Performance lettering, the attractive BMW M Performance pedal covers and footrest in stainless steel also emphasise the sporting character of the BMW 2 Series Convertible. Another highlight feature is the BMW M Performance key case, with its sophisticated Alcantara/carbon material combination and blue hex bolt. LED door sill plates in stainless steel with illuminated M Performance lettering even bring a sporty sense of occasion to climbing aboard.

Boosting performance with the BMW M Performance Power Kit.
The BMW M Performance Power Kit for the BMW 220d Convertible (fuel consumption combined: 4.7–4.4 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 124–116 g/km)* boosts engine output by 11 kW/14 hp – from 140 kW/190 hp to 151 kW/204 hp – and cuts the car’s 0 – 100 km/h time by 0.3 seconds. To this end, the engine control unit (including engine data update) and the other hardware components, such as the larger-capacity intercooler, work together to maximum effect. However, despite the higher engine output, there is no increase in fuel consumption in the ECE test cycle. Another highlight for connoisseurs of sporty driving is the BMW M Performance limited-slip differential, which reduces slip through the driven wheels when one loses grip. This allows it to optimise traction and thus give the car’s on-limit handling even greater precision. The BMW M Performance lightweight sports brake discs optimise deceleration (even in the wet) thanks to their special perforation and grooving, and reduce unsprung mass thanks to their lower weight. They also accentuate the car’s sporting profile, especially if light-alloy wheels with an open design are fitted.

Original BMW Accessories increase the value of the car.
In contrast to many third-party products, Original BMW Accessories – which include the range of BMW M Performance Parts – are always matched perfectly to the model in question and are permitted for use with that vehicle. The car’s warranty, moreover, remains unaffected. All of which means the high-quality selection of Original BMW Accessories enhances not only the car’s driving pleasure, but its value as well.