Double victory for BMW at the “Best Cars Award” 2018.

Munich. For BMW, the year 2018 begins with a double
victory at the “Best Cars Award”. Both the BMW 5 Series and the BMW X1
claim class victories in the latest reader’s poll held by the trade
journal “auto, motor und sport”. With first place in the “Upper
Midrange” category, the BMW 5 Series was able to repeat last year’s
success. The Sports Activity Vehicle BMW X1 asserted itself in the
“Compact SUV” class. Moreover, six further current BMW models were
able to gain places on the winners’ rostrum in each of their
respective vehicle classes. The prizes were presented yesterday during
a festive gala at the International Congress Center Stuttgart (ICS).

The “Best Cars Award” is one of the most coveted and
tradition-steeped prizes in the automotive sector. The public survey
held among readers of “auto, motor und sport” took place this year for
the 42nd time. More than 117,000 readers participated in
the latest voting, in which they were able to choose from 378 current
models in eleven vehicle categories.

With 28.8 percent of votes, readers chose the BMW 5 Series as their
favourite in the “Upper Midrange” class, the car thus continuing the
series of successes it achieved last year when in addition to the
“Best Cars Award” from “auto, motor und sport”, it also won the “Auto
Trophy – World’s Best Cars” from “Auto Zeitung” and was voted “Car of
the Year” in the UK. Furthermore, the BMW 5 Series clinched other
renowned accolades, including the “Red Dot Award” and the “iF Gold
Award” for outstanding design, the “Car Connectivity Award” and the
title “Goldener Computer” for its advanced networking technology. The
BMW 5 Series was also awarded the title  “Value Champion 2017”
certifying its above-average value stability.

With its class victory at the “Best Cars Award” 2018, the BMW X1 has
also replicated its earlier successes. In 2016, it was already able to
clinch victory in the reader’s poll held by “auto, motor und sport”.
This time, it gained top place in the category “Compact SUV”, winning
15.9 percent of votes. The compact Sports Activity Vehicle scores not
only with versatility, premium characteristics and brand-typical
dynamics, but also with exceptionally innovative networking technology
that is unmatched in its competitive environment.

BMW’s success in the current “Best Cars Award” is also owed to a
certain extent to the top 3 places won by six further models. It is
the outstanding placements earned by the electrified BMW i automobiles
in the overall ranking of all current models that are also
particularly noticeable. For example, the purely electrically driven
BMW i3 (combined power consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined
CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) achieved 2nd place in the category “Small Car”,
the BMW i8 Coupe with plug-in hybrid drive (combined fuel consumption:
1.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 42 g/km; combined power
consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km) was awarded third place in the category
“Sports Car”.

Overview of BMW model rankings:

Winner Upper Midrange                    BMW 5 Series
Winner
Compact SUVs                      BMW X1
2nd place
Small Cars                          BMW i3
3rd place
Compact Class                   BMW 2 Series Coupe
3rd place Midrange Class                   BMW 4 Series
Gran Coupe
3rd place Sports
Cars                         BMW i8 Coupe
3rd place
Large SUVs                        BMW X3
3rd place
Vans                                                 BMW 2 Series
Active Tourer/BMW 2 Series
Gran Tourer
 

Further information on official fuel consumption figures, specific
CO2 emission values and the electric power consumption of new
passenger cars is included in the following guideline: “Leitfaden
über Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch
neuerPersonenkraftwagen” (Guideline for fuel consumption, CO2
emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which
can be obtained from all dealerships, from the Deutsche Automobil
Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760
Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at http://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html.
LeitfadenCO2 (GuidelineCO2) (PDF ‒ 2.7 MB))

BMW i3: combined power consumption: 13.6 – 13.1 kWh/100 km; combined
CO2 emissions: 0 g/km

BMW i8: combined fuel consumption: 1.9 l/100 km; combined CO2
emissions: 42 g/km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km

Original Press Release
Author:

Interview with Jens Marquardt on the development of the new BMW M8 GTE: “The special team spirit will definitely stay with us for a long time”.

Daytona. BMW Motorsport presented the new BMW M8 GTE in its
livery for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in
Daytona (USA) on Wednesday. The running of two cars in the GT class
in the 24-hour race at the “Daytona International Speedway”
represents the race debut and the next milestone in “Mission8”.
Speaking in an interview, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt
looks back on the development of the BMW M8 GTE and underlines the
importance of team spirit in the development crew.

 

Mr Marquardt, the race debut of the new BMW M8 GTE is just
around the corner. Take us through the development of the car over
the past few months. How did it all begin?

Jens Marquardt: “The first race for the new BMW M8 GTE at Daytona
will be very special for every one of us at BMW Motorsport. The roots
of the GTE project lie in a combination of many aspects. At the start
of the programme, back in 2015, the goal was to expand our activities
in traditional motor racing – BMW M Motorsport – and to position
ourselves even more internationally. At the same time, the possible
return to Le Mans brought its very own fascination for our team.
However, the most important factor was that the production model, the
BMW 8 Series Coupé, was developed at the same time. We were given a
green light from the board to develop a thoroughbred GTE racing car,
parallel with the colleagues in production development. That is how it
all began. Now the BMW M8 GTE is ready for Daytona. For the first time
in BMW Motorsport history the race car will be in action before its
series counterpart.”

When you started to develop the BMW M8 GTE, there was not
actually a production model…

Marquardt: “Correct. Right from the word go, we worked with our
colleagues in production development to synchronise the individual
steps as closely as possible. It was a challenge. When we needed the
first chassis of the production car, there simply wasn’t one yet. We
were, however, able to work with special prototype chassis from
production development. We progressed step by step in that manner.
Furthermore, at the start of our development, there were still minor
changes to the production model. To a certain degree, we were dealing
with a moving target.”

How was the cooperation with colleagues in production?

Marquardt: “Very close and efficient. The developers on the
production side obviously had their own specific challenges to
overcome. Despite that, they were always open to the GTE project, and
always willing to help. That was real teamwork. We synchronised the
focus of our development with the core areas of the production model.
The question was: what should the racing car emanate and embody? The
core values of the BMW 8 Series Coupé should also be the strength of
the BMW M8 GTE.”

Can you give us any examples of these development focal points?

Marquardt: “Let’s take the design aspects. We are obliged to adopt
the same external contour and roof line as the production model.
However, it was also important to incorporate elements such as the
headlamps, the Carbon Core and the centre console in the race car,
based on the BMW 8 Series Coupé. The topic of carbon fibre played a
major role.”

Does the joint development mean that the BMW M8 GTE is more
similar to its production counterpart than any other BMW race car?

Marquardt: “When you look at the regulations, the engine in the BMW
M6 GT3 is extremely close to that in the production model. However, we
were able to make more substantial changes to the chassis. In the case
of the BMW M8 GTE, the chassis is closer to the production model, but
the engine had to be modified significantly. The most important thing
is that we based the BMW M6 GT3 on an existing car. That was different
this time. Because the race car will be in action before the
production car, we worked intensively with the design department from
a very early point to ensure that were on the same page when it came
to the design. That worked very well.”

The GTE class is fiercely competitive, both in the IMSA and
the FIA WEC. How big was the challenge, with regard to performance?

Marquardt: “We are certainly up against some tough competition with
the BMW M8 GTE, that much is clear. The BMW M6 GTLM, which itself was
derived from the GT3 car, served as a reference. But this time we were
able to concentrate fully on the demands of the GTE class. As such,
many parts have been specifically designed for this car to explicitly
align areas such as weight, centre of gravity and aerodynamics with
the eventual area of application. We have actually exceeded our own
requirements when it comes to the engine and aerodynamics. We have
also made big strides with other components, such as the chassis and
traction control. This is confirmed by the feedback from the drivers.
We will see how this is reflected in the results over the course of
the year. The Balance of Performance obviously also plays a big role,
however the BMW M8 GTE certainly has great potential.”

Were there specific key moments in the development?

Marquardt: “The special team spirit in the development team will
definitely stay with us for a long time. The engineers consistently
motivated each other and put a lot of heart and soul into this
project. The rollout in Dingolfing was the first highlight. The second
step, in which the final chassis and aerodynamics were added to the
car, was of similar importance. It was an extremely tight schedule,
which led straight into a 24-hour test. We achieved all that as a team
with a remarkable group dynamic. I am proud of everyone at BMW Motorsport.”

To what extent does the development work continue after the
first race in Daytona?

Marquardt: “After the car has been homologated, there are some areas
in which we can, and may, make changes. We can still do some work on
the software, in particular. We will also continue to work on aligning
the BMW M8 GTE with all its systems, and will integrate all the
reference values we have acquired. First of all, however, we are
looking forward to the maiden race in Daytona.”

Original Press Release
Author:

Warm-up laps in Italy: The new BMW 8 Series Coupe undergoes vehicle dynamics testing on the racetrack.

Munich. With the presentation of the BMW Concept 8
Series, BMW already offered a close-to-series glimpse at the design of
their new luxury segment sports car. The dynamic qualities of the new
BMW 8 Series Coupe are now also clearly manifesting themselves. A
close-to-series prototype is currently undergoing intensive testing on
a high-speed proving ground in Aprilia, Italy. The tests serve in
particular to optimise the vehicle’s driving dynamics on surfaces with
a high friction coefficient and mark yet a further decisive stage on
the way to the launch of the new BMW 8 Coupe during 2018. 

The test drives are being carried out with a heavily camouflaged
prototype, which nevertheless gives strong indication of the new BMW 8
Series Coupe’s typical sports car proportions. As in the case of the
BMW Concept 8 Series, the dynamically stretched lines, the flat
silhouette and the powerful front and rear ends give a foretaste of
the fascinatingly sporty driving experience.

This impression is confirmed with each lap completed on the proving
ground in Italy. With its around 4 kilometres long oval circuit,
including steep bends, the area situated in the proximity of Rome
offers above all the perfect conditions for high-speed and high
friction coefficient tests. Moreover, the acceleration, braking and
steering behaviour of the new sports car are analysed on circuits,
slalom courses and different road surfaces. The highly demanding test
programme facilitates the targeted harmonisation of all drive and
suspension systems. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe has shown that it
offers maximum agility and precision in highly dynamics situations.
Likewise, the car is also able to meet the highest demands in terms of
supremacy and comfort.

“The test drives under the most severe conditions show that we are
right on target with our concept for the new BMW 8 Series Coupe. The
vehicle dynamics values already achieved are absolutely impressive.
Our customers and fans can look forward to a genuine sports car,” says
Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of the BMW AG, Development and
Research, who oversees the test programme in Italy.

The high vehicle dynamics potential results from an extraordinary
close connection between motorsports and series production. The new
BMW 8 Series Coupe is being developed parallel to and in close
coordination with the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE racing car. Whilst the
prototype of the production model is undergoing endurance tests, the
teams, which are supported by BMW Motorsport, are currently preparing
in Daytona (USA) for the initial racetrack use of the BMW M8 GTE. On
27/28 January, the BMW M8 GTE will make its racing debut at the
Daytona 24-hour race. In June 2018, it will then participate in the
24-hour race at Le Mans. The knowledge gained there and at numerous
other racing events in the FIA WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship (IWSC) in North America will directly benefit series
development of the BMW 8 Series Coupe.

Likewise, the know-how gained during training and on the racetrack
will advance development of the new BMW M8. In June 2017, a prototype
of this new model from the BMW M GmbH was already presented during the
24-hour race on the Nürburgring. The Nordschleife of the legendary
racing circuit is also the main proving ground for testing and further
enhancing the new BMW M8.

The BMW Group has defined its strong presence in the luxury segment
as one of the major pillars of its NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. With
the consistent extension of its model portfolio through the addition
of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and the new BMW M8, the BMW Group
creates the ideal prerequisites for winning over the most demanding
target groups and convincing them with a unique combination of supreme
dynamics and modern luxury.

*Due to the prototype vehicle status, technical details like fuel
consumption, CO2 emissions etc. will be communicated later this year.

Original Press Release
Author:

Green light for the new spearhead: BMW M8 GTE makes race debut at the “Rolex 24” in Daytona.

Munich. This is the moment BMW Motorsport has been waiting
for: after months of intensive development, the new BMW M8 GTE will
make its race debut this weekend. The new top model for
international GT racing will take to the track at the legendary
24-hour race in Daytona (USA), the opener of the 2018 IMSA
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The 56th edition of
the endurance classic takes place on 27th/28th January.

 

The honour of contesting the first race with the BMW M8 GTE goes to
BMW Team RLL. Team principal Bobby Rahal’s (USA) crew enters their
tenth season with BMW and is set to compete in the IMSA series with
two BMW M8 GTE this year.

 

The BMW M8 GTE is the result of BMW’s latest thinking in GT car
development and constructed in order to be eligible to compete at Le
Mans – something BMW will do this year for the first time since 2011.
Where the BMW Z4 GTLM and BMW M6 GTLM raced in the four previous IMSA
seasons were derived from GT3 versions of these cars, the BMW M8 GTE
was designed and built specifically as a GTE specification racing car
in conjunction with its upcoming BMW 8 Series road car counterpart,
making for the minimum number of compromises and maximum performance.

The twice-around-the-clock classic will not only see the debut of a
new BMW racing car, but it will also see the most substantive change
to the BMW Team RLL driver line-up in a decade. With Bill Auberlen
(USA) transitioning to a new role as a BMW of North America Brand
Ambassador supporting marketing and PR activities, the experienced
veteran of 400 races with BMW has moved away from a full-time seat and
will drive in a support role at the “Rolex 24”. Auberlen will share
the No. 25 BMW M8 GTE at Daytona with season-long drivers Alexander
Sims (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA). Philipp Eng (AUT) will also
drive the No. 25 machine. The No. 24 BMW M8 GTE will have John Edwards
(USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) as its drivers for the season. Nick
Catsburg (NED) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) will support at Daytona.

Led by Bobby Rahal, BMW Team RLL finished the 2017 IMSA season with
four victories including consecutive wins in Laguna Seca and at the
Petit Le Mans to close the BMW M6 GTLM programme second in GTLM
Manufacturer, Team and Driver standings. Since 2009, the team has
totalled 17 GT class wins among 68 total podium finishes campaigning
the BMW M3 GT, BMW Z4 GTLM and BMW M6 GTLM.



Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL):
“The BMW
M8 GTE is the only entirely new car in the GTLM field this year and we
believe it has a great deal of potential. While we fought a number of
new car gremlins at the Roar, I think everyone is generally quite
happy. Certainly we will have a busy time back at the shop before the
‘Rolex 24’, but that is nothing unexpected. Compared with teams like
Schnitzer who have been racing for BMW for multiple decades, we are
the new guys, but the relationship is everything in motorsport. We are
very proud to start our tenth year with BMW and especially proud to be
the team that will debut the BMW M8 GTE.”

 

Connor De Phillippi (No. 25 BMW M8 GTE): “This will
be my first race with BMW and I’m eager to add what I can to a team
that ended the 2017 season very successfully.”

 

Alexander Sims (No. 25 BMW M8 GTE): “The BMW M8 GTE
is a very nice car to drive. I think BMW has done a great job building
on the strengths of the M6 while also addressing its weaknesses.”

Bill Auberlen (No. 25 BMW M8 GTE): “I am cautiously
optimistic having driven quite a few new BMW racing cars over the
years. The BMW M8 GTE checks all the right boxes for me and I’m
excited to share in its debut race.”

 

Philipp Eng (No. 25 BMW M8 GTE): “I have a very
strong connection to the BMW M8 GTE having been involved with the
programme since the first day. I hope our first race will be a
successful one.”

John Edwards (No. 24 BMW M8 GTE): “This year will be
quite an exciting one. I’m excited to share the No. 24 car with Jesse
(Krohn) for the entire season along with Augusto (Farfus) and Nicky
(Catsburg) at Daytona.”

Jesse Krohn (No. 24 BMW M8 GTE): “We still have a
great deal to learn. Our car ran limited laps at the Roar because of a
number of teething issues, but we have a very positive outlook for the
‘Rolex 24’.”

 

Nick Catsburg (No. 24 BMW M8 GTE): “A brand new car
is never an easy thing, but I have high expectations because the laps
that I did drive at the Roar made me feel the car certainly has potential.”

Augusto Farfus (No. 24 BMW M8 GTE): “The car has
shown reasonable pace so far and we are confident and motivated. To
finish high in the order in our debut race would be a great reward for
all the work everyone has contributed to the BMW M8 GTE program so far.”

Original Press Release
Author:

BMW Motorsport News – Issue 03/2018.

Whether in the DTM, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar
Championship, or countless other championships: Week after week BMW
teams and drivers around the world do battle for points, victories
and titles. Away from the track too, members of the large BMW
Motorsport family around the world are also creating headlines. The
“BMW Motorsport News” allows us to regularly summarise all the
action for you in a compact and informative manner. This way, you
are always up to speed.

Social media: Farfus and Eng take fans with them via Instagram Stories.

Within the space of a week, the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA) and the 12
Hours of Bathurst (AUS) mark two major events in the 2018 endurance
season. Two BMW works drivers will be in action in both races: Augusto
Farfus (BRA) and Philipp Eng (AUT) will first compete as the BMW M8
GTE makes its debut at Daytona. Then after the 24-hour marathon, they
will embark on the 16,000-kilometre flight from the USA to Mount
Panorama, Australia. BMW fans around the world can be part of this
extraordinary motorsport journey from continent to continent on
Instagram. Both Farfus and Eng will regularly use Instagram Stories to
provide exclusive insights into what goes on behind the scenes at the
24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Bathurst. It is the first time
that two drivers will take over the BMW Motorsport Instagram account
at the same time. Back in December 2017, António Félix da Costa (POR)
shared his “story” from the Hong Kong (CHN) season opener of the ABB
FIA Formula E Championship in 24 short clips in an Instagram takeover.
The BMW Motorsport Instagram account went live in 2016 live and
currently has around 406,000 followers. You can access it here: www.instagram.com/bmwmotorsport.

24h Daytona: Tomczyk to reinforce Turner Motorsport.

Turner Motorsport is set to receive VIP support for the 24 Hours of
Daytona (USA) next weekend. Martin Tomczyk (GER) will be in action for
the Amesbury (USA) team in the GTD class at the endurance classic. He
will alternate at the wheel of the number 96 BMW M6 GT3 with Jens
Klingmann (GER) and other drivers. The other Turner drivers will be
announced next week. Tomczyk contested his first race in the USA in
2017 at Daytona and went on to contest the entire season in the GTLM
class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (IWSC) for BMW
Team RLL. This year, the former DTM champion will be in action in the
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the new BMW M8 GTE.

Blancpain GT Series Asia: Studie AG competes with BMW M4 GT4.

BMW Team Studie will contest the 2018 season of the Blancpain GT
Series Asia with two new BMW M4 GT4s. Previously, the crew of team
principal Bob Suzuki (JPN) contested the Japanese Super GT
Championship GT300 class with a BMW M6 GT3. They are the first
Japanese team to contest an entire season in the Blancpain GT Series
Asia. The driver line-up will be announced at a later date. The season
gets underway on 14th/15th April in Sepang (MAS).

Original Press Release
Author:

Dakar Rally 2018 – Finale, Cordoba

Media Information

Dakar Rally 2018

20 January 2018

Dakar Rally 2018

Finale, Cordoba

 

  • Four MINI crews complete Dakar Rally 2018.
  • Przygonski / Colsoul finish sixth to maintain fifth place overall.
  • Boris Garafulic / Filipe Palmeiro move up to 13th.

 

Munich. Dakar 2018 is over and, according to some of the MINI
competitors, the 40th edition of the world-famous race
was the toughest Dakar they have ever experienced. The past two
weeks, ending in a short Stage 14 in Argentine city Cordoba today,
has thrown many challenges at the drivers and navigators and only 43
of the 92 auto crews that started the race accomplished a Dakar
finish. Four of the seven MINI crews entered were among the 43 auto
crews who successfully completed what is, arguably, the world’s
toughest rally.

 

The greatest achievement has been that of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski
(POL) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) who secured a solid fifth place
overall in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#312). Przygonski’s
previous Dakar experience and the misfortune that befell some of his
fellow MINI crews in this year’s edition of the race, urged the Polish
driver to exercise some caution and take a safe and steady route to
the front of the field. His sensible approach paid off with him taking
the accolade of first MINI to complete the 2018 Dakar.

A strong Stage 13 yesterday saw Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver
Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in the #317 MINI John Cooper Works Rally finish
in 7th place to move three places up the general rankings
to 13th ahead of the final stage today. A 12th
place finish in today’s final 120km special stage ensured the pairing
maintained their overall placing of 13th at the race end.

For Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Andreas Schulz (GER) in the
MINI John Cooper Works Buggy (#305) yesterday was a fun stage and left
them feeling happy ahead of the final stage, even though the end
result is not what  they hoped for.  A 15th place finish
today saw the pairing end the race in 19th overall, but in
doing so they made Dakar history as the first ever driver and
co-driver to complete the race in the new MINI JCW Buggy, which made
its debut this year. Hirvonen has been amazed by the buggy’s
performance and believes the vehicle is a strong future Dakar contender.

Close behind Hirvonen in today’s stage and final rankings were
Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue (ARG) in the MINI John
Cooper Works Rally (#307). A 16th place stage finish in
Cordoba saw the pairing remain inside the top 20 at the finish line.
It was not the result that local driver Terranova had aimed for, but
he is focused now on analysing the data from the race to understand
how to improve in future Dakar.

The MINI crews, along with the other competitors, now head to the end
of race ceremony to join a huge 40th anniversary party
staged by the organisers, which is expected to be attended by
thousands of spectators.

MINI Family reports: Finale

 

Sebastian Mackensen, Head of MINI

“Congratulations to this year’s Dakar winner, Carlos Sainz. And a
huge well done and congratulations also go to Kuba Przygonski and Tom
Colsoul on a hard-fought fifth place in the MINI John Cooper Works
Rally. We are happy for the team and are proud of this performance. We
knew how difficult it would be to make it onto the podium in Cordoba
in one of the MINI John Cooper Works this year. Despite the early
retirements and setbacks in this particularly unforgiving edition of
the Dakar, the X-raid team of Sven Quandt showed great morale,
fighting spirit and the team spirit typical of MINI, and refused to be
discouraged, even in the face of bizarre racing incidents. Everyone
who made it to the finish line at the Dakar deserves the greatest
respect. We are looking forward to the next Dakar – we will be taking
on this ultimate rally challenge once again in 2019!”

 

Sven Quandt, X-raid Team Principal

“It was quite a mixed Dakar; from the drivers’ side I think there
were unfortunately some mistakes that pulled us back quite a bit, but
on the technical side we were astonished. The new MINI John Cooper
Works Buggy was really impressive and lasted without any problems.
Performance-wise it really showed that this is the right weapon for
the future but the MINI John Cooper Works Rally was also good and,
until Nani dropped out early due to a big hit in the car, we were in a
good position. From a safety side, the cars were incredible; you could
nearly make any roll and nobody was in jeopardy. Even if the car was
20 or 40kg heavier it didn’t matter because we had super-safe cars and
that’s the most important thing for this race. Kuba did an incredible
performance – driving very steady all the way through from the
beginning. Fifth place is an incredible result for him. He shadowed
the leaders throughout the race, getting closer to the front and
nobody was watching him. He and Tom made no mistakes – this is how you
do a Dakar.”

 

Jakub Przygonski

“We are so happy to be at the finish. It was a tough race and not so
easy. We checked and all of guys in front of us are very experienced
at Dakar so we are happy to be in such a good group. I am one of the
youngest, for sure, in the top five and top ten so I think we have to
get some more experience and then we will be really, really fast. It
was a good race for me and Tom, we had a good connection inside the
car and our car was really good. For sure, the car was better than
last year with less weight and better suspension and tyres. We had no
issues all race, the car was definitely faster and everything worked
really good for us.”

 

Orlando Terranova

“It was a difficult two weeks for the whole team. We never had a
clean stage this year, with different problems of navigation or
mistakes, but the only good thing was to push when we could in some
stages and feel that the car was fast and we were on the pace. It was
not a good Dakar for me but we need to analyse now and work out how to
improve. The car is amazing; the response of the engine and the new
package of suspension and tyres is very good.”

Mikko Hirvonen

“It’s been an amazing adventure again even though we didn’t get the
result we wanted. It was definitely the toughest Dakar I have done
even though I don’t have a lot of Dakar under my belt yet. This one is
how I always imagined it would be and it was a tough two weeks but
really fantastic. It’s a shame we didn’t get the result because the
mechanics and the whole team worked so hard before Christmas to get
everything ready. But, still I think everybody can be happy with the
car they built because we were really quick in some places, even
though the stage results didn’t always show it due to some mistakes. I
think we can be really proud of what the team has done in the last six
months – this Dakar has been hard work for everybody.”

Dakar Rally 2018
: MINI final standings

Pos

Driver

Co-driver

#

MINI

Team

Time

5

Jakub Przygonski
(POL)

Tom Colsoul
(BEL)

312

MINI John Cooper Works
Rally

Orlen X-raid Team

+02:45:24

13

Boris
Garafulic
(CHI)

Filipe Palmeiro
(POR)

317

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW Rally Team

+12:49:42

19

Mikko Hirvonen
(FIN)

Andreas Schulz
(GER)

305

MINI John Cooper Works
Buggy

MINI JCW Buggy
Team

+16:20:28

20

Orlando
Terranova
(ARG)

Bernardo Graue
(ARG)

307

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team

+18:54:01

Original Press Release
Author:

Regeneration, fitness training and global race appearances: What the BMW DTM drivers work on during winter.

Munich. Just six months separate the 2017 DTM season finale in
Hockenheim (GER) in October and the 2018 opener at the same track in
May. It might sound like a long break, but the six BMW DTM drivers
don’t get bored during that time. They have an extensive programme
even during the DTM break. The drivers prepare themselves mentally
and physically for the coming season. And all six BMW DTM drivers
are at the wheel of race cars – even in winter – at tracks around
the world.

Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (GER / BMW Team
RMG) was back in action on the racetrack, for the first time at the
FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN) just a few weeks after the DTM season
finale. In the BMW M6 GT3, he hurtled through the narrow urban canyons
of the “Guia Circuit”. In December and January, Wittmann used the DTM
break to pursue one of his great hobbies: skiing. And at home in
Fürth, he also still works regularly in his father’s body shop. This
winter, Wittmann’s major challenge is getting a truck driving license.
“I started with a first aid course, and now it’s time for the
practical driving lessons, which I’m really looking forward to,” he
said. A much pacier driving experience awaits Wittmann on the first
weekend in February, when, like last year, he will contest his first
race of the year at the 12 Hours of Bathurst (AUS) with the BMW M6
GT3. Then after he returns home, the intensive preparation for the
2018 DTM season gets underway with a fitness week for all BMW DTM drivers.

His BMW Team RMG fellow driver Timo Glock (GER)
headed straight from the DTM season finale at Hockenheim to the USA.
He was at the Formula 1 races in Austin (USA) and Mexico City (MEX) as
a TV expert for RTL – a role that he will spend more time pursuing
this year in addition to his race starts for BMW Motorsport. “Since I
will be on the road a lot in 2018 with my races for BMW and my TV
appearances, I’m trying to spend as much time as possible with my
family this winter,” said Glock. Skiing with his son was on the agenda
numerous times in December and January, after returning from the media
presentation of the new BMW M5 (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 l/100
km; CO2 emissions combined: 241 g/km)* at Estoril (POR) in November.
Then at the end of January, Glock will fly to Australia, where he,
like Wittmann, will once again compete in Bathurst with the BMW M6 GT3.

The third BMW Team RMG driver, Augusto Farfus (BRA),
is experiencing one of the most intensive winters of his career and
clocked up plenty of air miles in the process; he is in action in
various BMW racing cars in Asia, America and Australia. He was at the
wheel of the BMW M4 DTM once again when the DTM and Japanese Super GT
Championship met in Motegi (JPN) in November, before he had the honour
of driving the 18th BMW Art Car in Macau. That was followed
by a guest appearance in the Brazilian Stock Car championship and test
drives in the BMW M8 GTE in the USA in December. After a short break
for Christmas with the family, Farfus returned to the USA at the
beginning of January for intensive preparations for the 24 Hours of
Daytona. He will be in action for BMW Team RLL in that race next
weekend. His world tour continues right after the race: from Daytona
he will head straight to Australia, where he will contest the 12 Hours
of Bathurst. Back in Europe, Farfus will jump straight into preparing
for the start of the season in both the FIA World Endurance
Championship and the DTM. “First Daytona and Bathurst, then DTM and
WEC – it really is a very exciting programme,” said a delighted Farfus.

Bruno Spengler (CAN / BMW Team RBM) went straight
from the 2017 season finale to Spain, to spend a week playing golf
with friends. Then the Canadian returned to the wheel: in Estoril he,
like Glock, was a guest at the presentation of the new BMW M5, and
introduced the high-performance car to international media
representatives in greater detail. Then in mid-December, it was on to
Shanghai (CHN) for Spengler. “We had a special mission there: setting
a new track record for production cars with the BMW M5 on the Formula
1 track. We did it, we beat the previous record by six seconds,” said
Spengler. Over Christmas and New Year, the 2012 DTM champion treated
himself to a few peaceful days with his family. Then in mid-January he
broke new racing ground: in Marrakech (MAR) he took part in the
official rookie test for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship on behalf
of the MS&AD Andretti Formula E Team. And just a few days later,
Spengler is a world away from the Moroccan desert. This weekend, he is
holding driver training courses in a BMW M5 at a BMW event in the
Swiss ski resort of Gstaad. Then at the beginning of February he will
head to Mechelen (BEL) to join his BMW Team RBM to prepare for the
season. This will be followed by the fitness week with all the BMW DTM drivers.

Philipp Eng (AUT), new to the DTM and BMW Team RBM
this season, started December with a targeted muscle-building
programme, as the perfect preparation for his new role. The aim was to
improve his fitness. “I think that there is a lot more strain in the
DTM than in the GT series since the car has a much greater downforce
and accelerates much more quickly,” he said. The Austrian spent
Christmas at home with his family in Salzburg (AUT), and celebrated
New Year in London (GBR). On 3rd January, Eng boarded a
plane to the USA – to the “Roar” ahead of the 24-hour race in Daytona.
At the endurance classic in Florida, he will also be one of the
drivers to take the wheel of the new BMW M8 GTE in its first race. He
and Farfus will then fly straight from Daytona to the other end of the
world, to the 12-hour race of Bathurst. After the race, he will
continue his preparations for his maiden DTM season.

Also new to the BMW DTM squad and BMW Team RBM is former BMW
Motorsport Junior Joel Eriksson (SWE). His winter
break after the season finale of the FIA Formula 3 European
Championship kicked off with the DTM Young Driver Test. Then he also
headed to Macau, where he secured pole position and second place in
the qualifying race at the prestigious Formula 3 race. In January he,
like Spengler, took part in the rookie test for the ABB FIA Formula E
Championship in Marrakech. However, Eriksson is spending most of the
winter in intensive preparation for his DTM debut. “I had the
specialists at Formula Medicine put together a training plan for me,
which gives me the perfect preparation for my first race,” said
Eriksson, who will visit BMW Team RBM in Belgium for the first time
next week. When he is not involved in race action, he sometimes still
works as a truck driver in his native Sweden and restores classic cars
in his free time.

 

* The fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures shown were
determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the
version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to
a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown
considers the different size of the selected wheels and tires.

The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to
Directive 1999/94/EC and the Pkw-EnVKV, and based (for classification)
on the fuel consumption and CO2 values as per the NEDC cycle.

Further information on official fuel consumption figures and specific
CO2 emission values of new passenger cars is included in the following
guideline: “Leitfaden über Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und
den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen” (Guideline for fuel
consumption, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new
passenger cars), which can be obtained free of charge from all
dealerships and at https://www.dat.de/en/offers/publications/guideline-for-fuel-consumption.html.

Original Press Release
Author:

Dakar Rally 2018 – Stage 12, Chilecito – San Juan

Media Information

Dakar Rally 2018

19 January 2018

Dakar Rally 2018

Stage 12, Chilecito – San Juan

 

  • Stage 12 ends with three MINI crews in the top ten.
  • Orlando Terranova / Bernardo Graue finish sixth in stage.
  • MINI crew Przygonski / Colsoul maintain sixth place overall.

 

Munich. Dakar 2018 is drawing to a close. Following the action
of Stage 12, there now remains just two more stages before the Dakar
finish line in

Córdoba, Argentina.
Stage 12 started perfectly for the four crews of the MINI
Family as they made the most of stony tracks that weaved in and out
of canyons and across many small rivers.

 

Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue (ARG) quickly settled into
the stage and pushed hard to take the lead and held it until near CP2,
when a puncture required attention. Despite losing time, the pair
continued pushing the now front runners. It was a happy crew of the
MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#307) that eventually finished the stage
in fourth place, just under six minutes off the finish time of the
first placed car.

Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Andreas Schulz (GER) in the MINI
John Cooper Works Buggy (#305) also put their mark on Stage 12 by
quickly settling into sixth place for the greater part of the stage.
Despite tiredness from having only a few hours’ sleep, the pair
continued at a good pace to hold this position right to the finish of
the stage.

The third crew of the MINI Family to take a top ten slot in Stage 12
was that of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and co-driver Tom Colsoul
(BEL) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#312). Their daily race
ended with eighth place, just over two minutes behind their fellow
MINI crew of Hirvonen / Schulz. This result saw Przygonski maintain
his sixth place in the overall race classification.

Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in a MINI
John Cooper Works Rally (#317) completed Stage 12 in 13th.
This result meant the pair moved up two more positions in the overall
classification to 16th.

MINI Family reports: Stage 12

Orlando Terranova

“It was a good day. We tried to push for the whole race. We felt a
good pace in the first section but towards the end of it, about 40km,
one tyre had a small puncture and I made a mistake – I decided to stop
and fill it up. But then after 10km we had to stop again for the same
tyre and we lost maybe five minutes. This was a good day for the team.
It was the first day we felt we could push beyond the pace of the
leaders and it felt good.”

Mikko Hirvonen

“We had a pretty good day considering we rolled yesterday and had a
really long day – I only slept for two hours and now we’ve just had
the longest special stage of the race! We did pretty well and it
wasn’t easy with the navigation either. Even though we were behind
another car for 130km and lost a little time, I’m happy. The car was
running perfectly. In some areas it was fantastic and I really enjoyed it.”

Jakub Przygonski

“Stage 12 was a really long special stage, 500km or so. There was a
lot of rivers and hard navigation. The early parts were like a WRC
stage, which was nice. We were really pushing, going sideways and
enjoying the time. But then, at one place, we made a really big
mistake; we couldn’t turn and we jumped downwards from the rock. We
landed in a good place, without any stones between some rocks below.
It was a risky moment for us. We were on the limit. But we are here!”

Next race is Stage 13, San Juan – Córdoba. For more information about
Dakar 2018, please visit the host’s event home page here.

Dakar Rally 2018
: MINI standings after Stage 12

Pos

Driver

Co-driver

#

MINI

Team

Time

6

Jakub Przygonski
(POL)

Tom Colsoul
(BEL)

312

MINI John Cooper Works
Rally

Orlen X-raid Team

045:15:33

+02:51:02

16

Boris
Garafulic
(CHI)

Filipe Palmeiro
(POR)

317

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW Rally Team

055:08:49

+12:44:18

20

Mikko Hirvonen
(FIN)

Andreas Schulz
(GER)

305

MINI John Cooper Works
Buggy

MINI JCW Buggy
Team

058:40:24

+16:15:53

21

Orlando
Terranova
(ARG)

Bernardo Graue
(ARG)

307

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team

060:44:27

+18:19:56

Original Press Release
Author:

Dakar Rally 2018 – Stage 11, Belen – Chilecito

Media Information

Dakar Rally 2018

18 January 2018

Dakar Rally 2018

Stage 11, Belen – Chilecito

 

  • Two MINI crews complete Stage 11 inside the top ten.
  • MINI crew Przygonski / Colsoul maintain sixth place overall.
  • Hirvonen / Schulz finish Stage 11 despite race incident.

 

Munich. Stage 11 of Dakar started a little different to
normal. Instead of the cars starting the stage at timed intervals,
the fastest 25 competitors from all categories would be mixed
together. The sight of a car starting the stage alongside a
motorcycle was quite exciting to see. Then there was the addition of
the huge trucks and other categories, all fighting from the start
line for fresh, unmarked soil ahead.

 

Right from the very start of the stage, it was clear the duo of Mikko
Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Andreas Schulz (DEU) were determined to
carry out what Hirvonen had promised the day before – to complete the
remainder of Dakar with fast stage times. In the first three sections,
Hirvonen was true to his word by placing the MINI John Cooper Works
Buggy (#305) at the front of the leading pack.

At 107km, the “Flying Finn” and Schulz’s race day came to a dramatic
stop with a heavy rollover. Even though the two men were uninjured,
fellow MINI Family members Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue
(ARG) stopped to give assistance. Unfortunately, a badly damaged
radiator meant the car was unable to continue. Help came later with
the arrival of a service truck. Hirvonen / Schulz eventually completed
Stage 11 and onward to the overnight stop for further repairs.

Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and his co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) in
their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#312) once again played out a
consistent stage performance amongst the tall dunes and soft sand that
saw them complete in seventh. A puncture and a small navigation error,
together with a reduction in speed in the later part of the stage, to
prevent damage to the car’s steering, did not change the pair’s
overall race classification of sixth place.

The MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#307) of Orlando Terranova (ARG)
and Bernardo Graue (ARG) also secured a top ten finish with a fine
ninth place – even though they stopped to assist Hirvonen / Schulz.
Terranova also admitted he was off the pace at the start because of
stomach sickness.

Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) continue
their fight to climb higher up the leader board after delays
encountered in the first week of Dakar 2018. Their 11th
place finish now puts the MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#317) crew
18th overall.

MINI Family reports: Stage 11

Jakub Przygonski

“The stage was difficult navigation mixed with hard dunes and soft
sand off piste. The last 50km, we slowed down a little bit because it
was too risky for the drive shafts. We had one puncture and a small
navigation mistake but otherwise we maintained a good tempo. The next
two days will see two hard stages. The goal for us is to keep our
overall standing. The guys in front of us are fighting really hard so
we have to see what happens.”

Orlando Terranova

“Today was a long day also – it’s been a nice Dakar! For us the start
was easy going; I didn’t feel good to make a push. We were driving
with Mikko when he had a crash. We tried to help by putting the car
back on its wheels. We lost maybe 20 minutes and then had a few little
problems but we are here at the end…”

Next is Stage 12, Chilecito – San Juan. For more information about
Dakar 2018, please visit the host’s event home page here.

Dakar Rally 2018
: MINI standings after Stage 11

Pos

Driver

Co-driver

#

MINI

Team

Time

6

Jakub Przygonski
(POL)

Tom Colsoul
(BEL)

312

MINI John Cooper Works
Rally

Orlen X-raid Team

039:10:45

+02:54:18

18

Boris
Garafulic
(CHI)

Filipe Palmeiro
(POR)

317

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team

048:37:23

+12:20:56

20

Mikko Hirvonen
(FIN)

Andreas Schulz
(DEU)

305

MINI John Cooper Works
Buggy

MINI JCW Buggy
Team

052:38:12

+16:21:45

23

Orlando
Terranova
(ARG)

Bernardo Graue
(ARG)

307

MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team

054:48:34

+18:32:07

Original Press Release
Author:

“10 questions to…” Christopher Weil.

Christopher Weil is a passionate designer. Since 2013 he has been
Head of Exterior Design at MINI, i.e. the man responsible for shaping
the exterior of both current and future MINI models and the brand’s
concept and vision cars. As a new year gets underway, he answers ten
questions about design in general and the MINI design in particular.
He explains why good design is something you experience as well as
see, and predicts exciting things in store for the MINI brand.

1. Why did you become a car designer?
I’d always
dreamt of becoming a car designer, I had a sort of inner urge. For one
thing, I’ve enjoyed drawing ever since I can remember – every scrap of
clean paper got scribbled all over! And I’m also fascinated by future
themes, basically anything and everything that’s new. Being a car
designer not only lets me fulfil my passion for creativity, it gives
me a chance to help shape the future. Exterior design has particular
appeal for me. That feeling of seeing your “own” car driving on the
road is really something special. It’s my absolute dream job.

2. Where do you get your inspiration as a car designer? What
spurs you on?
I draw my inspiration from positive
future scenarios, Utopias. The future has always been a great place
for me, a sort of improved version of now. That’s also what I think
our task as designers should be: to make the future a better place.
And that includes cars and mobility. As a designer, I’m also inspired
and captivated by products where you can see that someone has worked
long and hard on the subject matter and really got to grips with
whatever the topic is. The result is often something unique. And
that’s exactly what I aspire to achieve with my design work: the
product shouldn’t just move the MINI brand forward, it should inspire
others too. In other words, the emotion I’ve put into it should also
resonate with the user and trigger something inside them.

3. What is the function of exterior design in your view?

Good exterior design is like a promise, showing what
the vehicle is capable of – and more besides. Good exterior design
reveals the car’s character too. This can be every bit as challenging
as it is powerful. For me, good exterior design means creating an
emotional tie with the beholder solely by means of the vehicle’s form.
To achieve this, designers have to enrich the expanse of surfaces with
emotional appeal and inject a sense of motion by adding the right
lines to suit the character of the vehicle at hand. The product itself
has to communicate and strike a chord, without the customer needing to
read an explanatory brochure first.

4. Why have you chosen to work at MINI?
MINI is
an automotive icon. Everyone, big or small, knows what a MINI looks
like and could probably even draw one too. More crucially, however,
MINI is much more than just a product. It is a companion through daily
life, it symbolises an open-minded outlook on the world, full of
optimism for the future. Our customers form a very special bond with
their cars. Very few other manufacturers can say the same. The task of
transporting this unique quality into the future intrigues me. And the
brand has enormous untapped potential. The current MINI LIVING and
MINI FASHION collaborations, for example, provide an indication of
what the future might hold.

5. What makes a MINI so special for you
personally?
It’s difficult to put into words. At its
essence a MINI is something very special – it’s approachable, nearly
human. Rather than the emotions that can be stirred by the workings of
a high-tech machine, a MINI is more about the relationship with the
driver. MINI conveys some of its driver’s personality, while also
having a character of its own. MINI owners identify with the product
to a far greater degree than customers of other brands. MINI is an
extraordinary experience, one I enjoy myself – when I get into my MINI
and drive off, it simply makes me happy. So you really can call it a
close relationship. MINI does all of that. And it’s something we want
to take to a whole new level in the future.

6. What is it that makes the MINI design
special?
The MINI DNA – in other words, what Sir Alec
Issigonis sought to achieve with the classic Mini – has a special
formula. It’s about a product whose every detail is well thought out
and fulfils a purpose. The surfaces of the brand’s cars have always
had a very clean-cut, almost pared down feel. It’s “pure car” – i.e.
purity of form (rather than dispensing with non-essentials). This has
had the additional effect of creating a strong, iconic design. The
challenge lies in refining such an icon without blurring the identity
of MINI in the process. The friendly appearance of its cars is another
special MINI trait. For years now, MINI has resisted the temptation to
give its design a more aggressive tone – despite all the sporting
prowess on offer. There is, after all, no denying the go-kart
qualities, as I was able to experience first-hand on an Alpine rally I
took part in a while back. There was some strong competition from
supercars, yet the MINI still ran rings round everyone. It was a
highly impressive display, and tremendous fun too.

7. What would you say are important issues for the future?

For me, digitisation is one of the key issues. MINI is
going digital, but I imagine it will do so in a somewhat warmer, more
personal and human way than other brands of car. People will continue
to come first at MINI, not technology. Our technology will, of course,
still be state-of-the-art. And in some areas we will even lead the
way, such as with customisation using 3D printing, which will allow
MINI customers to design and fit parts themselves. But it won’t be all
about the technology, rather the experience will be king. Car design
is also set to become increasingly connected and its scope will extend
far beyond what we see now. Today, we basically still just design the
shape of a car, but in future we will be working on far more. A wealth
of possibilities are opening up, which makes the whole thing very exciting.

8. So, what role will exterior design have to play in
future?
Exterior design will still be important. Even
if, at some point in the distant future, MINI is nothing more than a
mobile box (to exaggerate things slightly), no matter how ultra-modern
and pared down the box looks, it will still transmit the brand’s core
values. Design is essentially communication. The emotional bond that
is formed with vehicles starts with their exterior, as it’s the first
touchpoint of any car. Nurturing this relationship – indeed, ensuring
there is a relationship in the first place – is what we seek to do at
Exterior Design. It will still be our job as designers to make a MINI
instantly recognisable as a MINI.

9. What will be the identifying features of a MINI in
future?
I think that there will continue to be design
elements that create identity and therefore make MINI as recognisable
as ever. The contrasting roof is without doubt a fundamental MINI
characteristic, as is the MINI “face” with its hexagonal radiator
grille. I see these two elements as the core visual features of MINI,
clear identity creators. Everything else is variable and offers scope
for further development. But I think there will still be a need for
iconic design elements in future.

10. You have overseen the new facelift for the MINI Hatch
(3-door and 5-door). Don’t you think it’s a bit subtle, when
compared to the previously stated vision for the future of
MINI?
Model updates – or Life Cycle Impulses, as they
are also known – always involve treading a fine line between
innovating and preserving. I’m personally of the opinion that design
thrives on this contrast. The modifications and impulses of the
current model update can be found in the smaller details, and they are
both right for the car and in touch with the times. Features that were
soft before have a more contrasting effect on the updated models.
There is more definition in the MINI logo, for instance, while the
wheels and lights have likewise been given a much sharper look. The
contrast with the surrounding soft surfaces creates a far more modern
appearance. New exterior colours, rear lights with a Union Jack design
and the option of customising the side scuttles and trim strips
through MINI Yours offer our customers some very intriguing new
features, and sees us taking a big step into the future.

CV:

Christopher Weil has been Head of Exterior Design at
MINI since 2013. This means he has overall responsibility for the
entire exterior styling of both current and future MINI models, and
concept cars. Weil’s previous work for the BMW Group included
designing the exterior of both the BMW 3 Series and the BMW 328
Hommage, which was unveiled in 2011 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa
d’Este classic car and motorcycle event.

Thank you very much!

Original Press Release
Author: