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BMW Team RLL Qualify New M6 GTLM Racing Cars 3rd and 6th for 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona

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.

 

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BMW Team RLL Begins New Chapter with the M6 GTLM at 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona.

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.

 

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30 years of BMW all-wheel drive:From the BMW 325i “Allrad” to the BMW X5 xDrive40e

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.

 

New Competition Package Amps Up The BMW M3 And M4.

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.