BMW and South Africa: A very special relationship.

BMW:BMW and South Africa: A very special relationship.

Munich. When the 2020 DTM season gets underway next weekend
(1st/2nd August) at Spa-Francorchamps
(Belgium), the grid will feature two BMW works drivers from South
Africa: Sheldon van der Linde and Jonathan Aberdein. This is van der
Linde’s second season at the wheel of the BMW M4 DTM. Aberdein,
meanwhile, is contesting his first year as a works driver for the
Munich-based manufacturer. The BMW brand can look back on a long
history in South Africa, while both drivers have been fans of BMW
since they were young boys.


The BMW Group’s first plant outside Germany opened in South Africa in
1973. Over the next 35 years, more than one million BMW 3 Series were
produced at the site in Rosslyn, to the north of Johannesburg. At the
Rosslyn BMW plant, BMW also created the BMW 530 MLE in 1976, which is
widely seen as one of the early steps of BMW Motorsport. The racing
version of the BMW 530 MLE won the Star Modified Racing Series three
times in a row and went on to become the world’s most successful 5
series on the track. After a big investment, the Rosslyn plant was
converted to produce the new BMW X3 in 2018. BMW South Africa employs
over 40,000 people directly and indirectly, and is one of the
country’s leading exporters of automobiles.

South Africa also plays a special role in the motorsport history of
BMW: Nelson Piquet (BRA) won the World Championship title in the final
Formula 1 race of the 1983 season at Kyalami, in the province of
Gauteng. That was the first Formula 1 title for BMW and the first for
a car with a turbo engine.

Kyalami is also the racetrack, with which van der Linde associates
his first memories of BMW. He comes from a family of racing drivers
and his father Shaun used to drive BMW cars on the touring car scene.
“I grew up next to the race track from I think four years old,
watching my Dad race in a BMW at that time”, van der Linde remembered.
“That was my first memory of BMW and that was where it kick-started.
BMW stayed in my mind since then and that is why I always wanted to
become a BMW driver one day, because I grew up with it and I think it
was clear that I wanted to make the next step at some point in my life
and also be like my Dad. He was my example and I obviously wanted to
do what my Dad was doing.” Van der Linde achieved that goal in the
2019 season, when he joined the squad of BMW works drivers.

Another dream came true for van der Linde last autumn when he
contested a home race in South Africa as a BMW works driver. He raced
in a BMW M6 GT3 for BMW Team Schnitzer at the finale of the 2019
Intercontinental GT Challenge at Kyalami. “I would have never expected
to be in a BMW at Kyalami exactly like my Dad was long ago. For me, it
was a very special event and one of my highlights of last year”, van
der Linde said. “It was my first ever home race as a BMW works driver
and just having all the home support from the fans and BMW South
Africa was phenomenal. There are so many passionate BMW fans in South
Africa and I had the feeling that we had the majority of the fans on
our side.”

The father of his new fellow BMW works driver, Aberdein, was also an
active racing driver, maybe not in BMW race cars, but privately it was
he who awakened his son’s enthusiasm for BMW when he was still but a
boy. “One day, when I was still pretty young, I arrived home and there
was a bright red BMW M3 E46 in the garage that my father had just
bought”, Aberdein reflected. “And I thought that was by far the
coolest thing I had ever seen in my life. That was a really, really
high performance car and still now is one of my favourite BMWs.”

Aberdein’s passion for the brand has never waned. “I’ve always liked
all the BMW M3s and M4s that BMW have produced. And then, at the
beginning of this year when I signed my first professional contract
with BMW, that was a very, very special moment.”

When the two South African BMW DTM drivers get the season underway at
Spa-Francorchamps, they can be assured of the support of many of their
compatriots. BMW is one of the most popular automobile brands in South
Africa. “I myself have seen quite a few BMW and BMW M models on the
road around Cape Town. They are a very popular choice for South
Africans”, Aberdein confirmed. And van der Linde agreed: “The brand is
very popular. Not only that people are enthusiastic when they see BMW
at the racetrack. You also see so many BMW road cars on the road which
is always a nice feeling because you are part of the brand and so many
people have so much passion for the brand. For many years, BMW in
South Africa has one of the highest market shares in M automobiles in
the world. It’s a special feeling to be representing what so many
people love in South Africa.”


Original Press Release

Imposing presence, exclusive charisma: the BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition.

BMW:Imposing presence, exclusive charisma: the BMW X7 Dark Shadow Edition.

Munich. The experience of luxurious driving pleasure
has reached a whole new dimension in the BMW X7. The first Sports
Activity Vehicle (SAV) in the luxury segment combines a striking
appearance with generous interior comfort combined with the brand’s
hallmark sporty flair. An edition model now brings out the imposing
presence and exclusive charisma of the BMW X7 in a particularly
concentrated form. With its unique BMW Individual design and equipment
features, the BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow underlines both the sporty
appearance and the luxury ambience of the largest SAV. The most
striking feature of the edition model is the BMW Individual special
paint finish in Frozen Arctic Grey metallic. This particularly
high-quality and elaborate variant of the body finish is now used for
the first time in a BMW X model. Additional selected variants of the
special BMW Individual paint finish will be added to the range of
optional equipment items for the BMW X7, BMW X6 and BMW X5 to coincide
with the start of production of the edition model.

The precisely coordinated details of the design and features for both
exterior and interior give the BMW X7 edition model the status of a
collector’s item. The BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow will be produced at
the BMW plant in Spartanburg/USA from August 2020 onwards in a limited
edition of about 500 units. The edition model is available worldwide
and can be combined with all engines offered for the BMW X7.

The expressive paint finish of the BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow is
supplemented with the BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line including
extended features. This means that in addition to the side window
surrounds, the covers of the B and C columns and the exterior mirror
bases, a black chrome finish is also featured on the frame and the
bars of the BMW kidney grille, the Air Breathers and the tailpipe
covers of the exhaust system. This creates a subtle contrast to the
matt shimmering body surfaces, also emphasised by the BMW Individual
Roof Rail High Gloss Shadow Line and the sun protection glazing. The
dynamic character of the SAV is emphasised by the aerodynamically
optimised bodywork elements of the M sports package, which also forms
part of the equipment package for the edition model. Another exclusive
feature of the BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow is the 22-inch M light-alloy
wheels in V-spoke design with a Jet Black matt finish and fitted with
mixed tyres. The superior performance of the engine is accompanied by
the emotionally powerful sound of the M sports exhaust system.

An impressive combination of sporty flair and luxurious ambience also
characterises the interior of the edition model, which is available
with either six or seven seats. The driver and front passenger enjoy
the superior sporty flair of the luxurious SAV on electrically
adjustable comfort seats with memory function. An M leather steering
wheel and BMW Individual equipment details specially developed for the
BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow bear witness to the very highest level of
exclusivity. A contributing factor here is the BMW Individual Merino
full leather upholstery in the specific two-tone variant Night
Blue/Black with contrasting seams, as is the BMW Individual roof liner
in Night Blue with Alcantara finish. The upper part of the instrument
panel and the armrests of the doors are covered with nappa leather in
Night Blue. Black merino leather is used in the lower section of the
instrument panel and on the front backrests. In addition, BMW
Individual interior trim finishers in Fineline Black with aluminium
inlays contribute to the fascinating aura of the edition model’s
interior. In the centre console area, the unique design is underscored
by means of BMW Individual interior trim finishers in Piano Black
finish bearing an edition logo.

In addition to the Frozen Arctic Grey metallic version available
exclusively for the BMW X7 Edition Dark Shadow, additional special BMW
Individual finishes will be integrated into the production process at
the BMW plant in Spartanburg from August 2020. This means that the BMW
X7, BMW X6 and BMW X5 models can now also be given a particularly
high-quality finish in Urban Green and Grigio Telesto metallic.

Original Press Release

Electromobility market shares in comparison of brands (7/2020 Info-graphics).

BMW:Electromobility market shares in comparison of brands (7/2020 Info-graphics).

Do you need help? Please contact our support team from 9 to 17 CET via

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Thu Jul 23 08:00:00 CEST 2020 Press Release

BMW Group market position within competition. Electromobility in Germany, Europe, Globally. Source: IHS Markit New Registrations 1/2020-6/2020. (7/2020 report)

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BMW Group Streaming


14 July 2020. Follow the link and watch the webcast of the world premiere of the first-ever BMW iX3.

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CO2 emission information.

The following applies to consumption figures for vehicles with new type approval, September 2017 onward: The figures for fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy consumption are obtained in accordance with the specified measuring procedure (EC Regulation No. 715/2007), as issued and amended. The figures are for a basic-version vehicle in Germany. The bandwidths allow for differences in the choice of wheel and tire sizes and items of optional equipment and can be changed by the configuration.

Obtained on the basis of the new “Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure” (WLTP), the figures are converted back to the “New European Driving Cycle” (NEDC) for the sake of comparability. Values other than those stated here may be used for the purposes of taxation and for other vehicle-related duties relating to CO2 emissions.

More information about official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be obtained from the “guideline on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and current consumption of new passenger cars”, available here:

Original Press Release

Precision work in the wind tunnel: 3D rider model being used to optimise the BMW S 1000 RR aerodynamics.

BMW:Precision work in the wind tunnel: 3D rider model being used to optimise the BMW S 1000 RR aerodynamics.

Munich. The FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) may
have been forced to take a break from racing for a few months, but
work has continued where possible at BMW Motorrad Motorsport. In the
wind tunnel, for example, engineers have been fine-tuning the
aerodynamics of the BMW S 1000 RR in the BMW Group Acustic Wind
Tunnel. An important role in this work is being played by BMW
Motorrad World SBK Team rider, Eugene Laverty (IRL) – in the form of
a 3D model.


Aerodynamics play a key role in determining the top speed of a World
Superbike. Even the smallest of details can make a big difference
here. The goal is to keep the aerodynamic drag as low as possible. The
BMW Group Acustic Wind Tunnel in Munich (GER) has everything the BMW
Motorrad Motorsport engineers need to test and develop aerodynamic
updates for the RR used in WorldSBK.

However, to simulate the flow conditions as realistically as
possible, it is not enough to simply position the bike in the wind
tunnel by itself. Out on the racetrack, there is also a rider on the
bike, creating his own air resistance, even if his riding position has
also been optimised aerodynamically. For that reason, the whole
package of motorcycle and rider is used in the airflow, which is
generated by the wind tunnel’s 2,600-hp electric motor and can reach
speeds of up to 255 km/h. To make this possible, BMW Motorrad
Motorsport has turned to an innovative method: 3D scanning.

“Eugene was here in Munich with us before the outbreak of the
coronavirus pandemic. He was trying to find the ideal sitting position
on the RR and, while he was in that position, we took detailed
measurements with a 3D scanner,” said BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
Marc Bongers. Detailed measurements means every individual glove
finger, every contour of the helmet, every seam in the leather
overalls, every crease that affects the aerodynamic drag and with it
the airflow. “Based on the data from the 3D scan, we created a plastic
model made of two halves. It took about a week to get all the details
right, however our 3D Eugene was then ready for action,” Bongers added.

Since then, the plastic Laverty has been providing a very important
service. He has racked up over 50 test runs in the wind tunnel. “Using
a 3D model like this allows us to work more efficiently on development
of our RR,” explains Bongers. “While a real rider must travel to get
here, the plastic version is available at any time for testing in the
wind tunnel. This means that we can evaluate and implement updates
even faster.” Another major advantage of the 3D model became
particularly apparent during the coronavirus-enforced break. While
WorldSBK riders Laverty and Tom Sykes (GBR) were unable to travel to
Munich due to travel restrictions, plastic Laverty was waiting in
Munich, ready to get back on the RR in the wind tunnel.

So, what does the real Laverty make of his double? “He’s just a few
shades paler than my Irish complexion,” said a chuckling Laverty,
referring to the light plastic used to make the model. “All joking
aside, it was a little unusual to sit on the bike for so long and to
be measured from every angle with a 3D scanner. However, the result is
awesome. I can do my bit to make our RR faster without having to be in
Munich in person. It’s not every day you get to see yourself as such a
detailed model. It is fascinating what is possible with modern
technology, and the BMW Group is leading the way in many areas in this regard.”

Following the break for the coronavirus, it has now also been
possible to measure team-mate Sykes in Munich. His 3D model will soon
also see action in the wind tunnel. The next races for the optimised
RR, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team and the real drivers will take
place on the first weekend in August. The 2020 WorldSBK season, which
was suspended after the opening round in Australia, will resume at
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

Original Press Release

Everything at a glance: the latest BMW Welt Information.

BMW:Everything at a glance: the latest BMW Welt Information.

Munich. More than three million people come through
the doors of BMW Welt every year, making it one of the most visited
attractions in Bavaria. Together with the BMW Museum and BMW Group
Classic, it combines the past, present and future of the BMW Group. 

At BMW Welt, each brand in the BMW Group receives visitors in its own
experience area. Children, teenagers and families can also explore the
city and the mobility of the future in the Junior Campus. A
comprehensive range of guided tours rounds off the BMW Welt brand experience. 

Visitors can discover the BMW and MINI Lifestyle & Accessory
flagship store with its vast assortment of high-quality products from
the two brands. The four restaurants, which are run in cooperation
with a traditional Munich purveyor of fine foods, provide the culinary
delights. The two-star EssZimmer restaurant, the domain of top chef
Bobby Bräuer, is one of Munich’s most fashionable gourmet addresses.

A special experience for BMW customers is to pick up their new car at
BMW Welt. They first set their eyes on their new vehicle on the
Premiere stage, making this initial contact an unforgettable experience.

BMW Welt is an exceptional and exclusive event location and provides
a unique setting for more than 400 events annually. With its TV and
streaming studios it also offers a fully featured digital event platform.

Original Press Release

Innovative strength from Lower Bavaria: Production of high-tech components for the BMW iNEXT starts in Landshut

BMW:Innovative strength from Lower Bavaria: Production of high-tech components for the BMW iNEXT starts in Landshut

  • Wendt: “Automated driving is a great chance for Germany as an
    industrial location – in-house component production serves more than
    ever as an innovation hub”


Munich/Landshut. The Lower Bavarian BMW Group
Landshut plant again assumes its role as an innovation driver for the
automotive future: With a number of important high-tech components, it
will give the BMW iNEXT, which starts rolling off the assembly line in
Dingolfing from 2021, a face. The BMW iNEXT is the BMW Group’s first
all-electric production vehicle prepared for fully automated driving.
Today, Dr. Andreas Wendt, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG
responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network, and Hubert Aiwanger,
Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria and the Bavarian Minister of Economic
Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, opened a new production
facility at the Landshut location. The innovative kidney grille – the
“eye” – for the BMW iNEXT will be produced there.

The technologically complex kidney grille is vital for
highly-automated driving: It allows the integration of camera
technology, radar functions and further sensors required for highly
developed driver assistance systems into the front end of the vehicle.
The BMW Group Landshut is investing a total of over 50 million Euros
in innovative components for the BMW iNEXT and further future vehicle models.

In-house production of components as an innovation hub for
future issues such as automated driving  

“Automated driving is a huge chance for Germany as an industrial
location. With future-oriented technologies, we are generating
decisive competitive advantages. Especially during the current
transformation of our sector, our in-house component production at
Landshut is assuming more than ever the role of an innovation hub,”
says board member Wendt. “In addition to highly automated driving,
mobility of the future will be characterized by electric mobility and
digitalisation – the BMW iNEXT is synonymous with all of this, as are
Landshut and the BMW Group in Lower Bavaria.

Aiwanger, the Deputy Prime Minister of Bavaria, praised the strength
and the presence of the BMW Group in East Bavaria: “The
future-oriented project BMW iNEXT underscores the economic
significance of the automobile industry and vehicle construction in
the region. The state of Bavaria is proud of the fact that this
relevant chapter in the history of the sector is being opened here at
this location.” Furthermore, he added that with a view to the corona
crisis, the state government was grateful for the BMW Group’s support
of the regional economy even in difficult times.

Broad spectrum of high-tech components from Landshut

The kidney grille for the BMW iNEXT was developed at the BMW Group’s
Landshut Lightweight Construction and Technology Center (LuTZ) and is
symbolic of the transformation of the sector: For the BMW iNEXT, the
brand-characterising radiator grille will become a multifunctional,
innovative high-tech component. Apart from the grille, the Landshut
plant will also produce further innovative components for the cockpit
and the electric drive system for the iNEXT, but also structural
components made from carbon fibre compound materials such as CFRP, for
example. The light metal casting department provides the housing for
the future electric drive motor and also developed the globally unique
Injector Casting Process (ICA), whereby the electric drive system for
the BMW iNEXT does without rare earths.

Effective use of the competitive advantage and
industrialisation competence

“Thanks to our in-house component manufacturing facility for
lightweight construction and the technology centre here at this
location, we have a genuine advantage over our competitors. We have
industrialisation competence, we can develop strategically crucial
innovations and at the same time reliably assess external partners and
suppliers,” said Dr. Wolfgang Blümlhuber, Purchasing and Supplier
Network, Senior Vice President Technology Driving Dynamics, Light
Metal Casting.

“The Landshut plant stands for innovative power from Lower Bavaria,”
emphasised Dr. Stefan Kasperowski, Head of BMW Group Plant Landshut.

By investing in the manufacture of iNEXT components, the BMW Group is
making a clear commitment to the location.” Willibald Löw, Chairman of
the Works Council of BMW Group Plant Landshut, added: “Today in
particular, this is a strong signal for long-term local job security.”

If you have any questions, please contact:

Corporate Communications

Saskia Eßbauer, Corporate Communications, Telephone: +49 89 382 18364

Eckhard Wannieck, Head of Corporate and Culture Communications, Telephone: +49 89 382 24544

BMW Group Plant Landshut
BMW Group Plant
Dr. Britta Ullrich, Communications BMW Group Plant Landshut;
Telephone: +49 871 702 3232

Bernd Eckstein, Head of Communications BMW Group Plants Dingolfing
and Landshut,
Telephone: +49 8731 76 22020


Product Communications
Bernhard Santer, Product
Communications BMW Automobiles,
Telephone: +49-89-382-24360

Ingo Wirth, Head of Communications BMW, Telephone: +49-89-382-25814

Media website:


The BMW Group Plant Landshut
The BMW Group Plant
Landshut is one of 31 BMW Group production locations in 14 countries.
At the Lower Bavarian component location, around 4,000 employees
produce light metal cast components for engine, suspension and body,
plastic components for the vehicle exterior, carbon body components,
cockpit and equipment options, electric drive systems, special motors
and drive shafts. These components are delivered to all BMW Group
vehicle and engine plants worldwide. Therefore, some of the innovative
power from Landshut is to be found in every BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce.

As the competence centre for the future technologies lightweight
construction and electric mobility, the Landshut plant is not only
merely involved at an early stage in development processes for the
production of new vehicles. At the Lower Bavarian location, components
for the groundbreaking BMW i models or the flagship of the BMW brand,
the BMW 7 Series, are also produced. Moreover, the BMW Group’s
Lightweight Construction and Technology Center (LuTZ) is based in
Landshut. There, specialists from the most diverse faculties jointly
conduct research on innovative high-tech-materials as well as on
tailor-made mixed construction concepts and production processes for
the mobility of tomorrow.

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW
Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and
motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services.
The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly
facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries.

In 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2.5 million passenger vehicles and
more than 175,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the
financial year 2019 was € 7.118 billion on revenues amounting to
€ 104.210 billion. As of 31 December 2019, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 126,016 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established
ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain,
comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to
conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.






Original Press Release

An interview with Marco Wittmann: “I think we are far more competitive than we were in 2019”.

BMW:An interview with Marco Wittmann: “I think we are far more competitive than we were in 2019”.

Munich. Roughly nine months have passed since Marco Wittmann
(GER) last went racing in the Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM. The delayed
start of the 2020 season is now just around the corner for the
two-time DTM champion. In an interview, Wittmann talks about the
long wait and his expectations of the coming 18 races.

Marco, how much are you looking forward to finally getting the
2020 season underway in a few days?

Marco Wittmann: “The anticipation ahead of finally climbing back into
a race car and getting the season started is huge. The later start
date is new to everyone and there is also a bit of regret that no fans
will be allowed at the circuit. However, I believe we will have the
support of the fans watching on television and we will obviously try
to put on a really cool show for them. The season-opener at Spa is
also new and rather special for us so we are really excited.”


How has the enforced break, due to the pandemic, affected your
pre-season preparations?

Wittmann: “Preparations have obviously been a bit different. We had
far more time to work on your fitness. The amount of stamina and
strength training we did was huge and far greater than usual.
Otherwise, we moved the team meetings back a little until we were
allowed to meet up again. However, we also did a lot virtually in the
meantime – things like Skype meetings, Zoom meetings, etc. That was
obviously new territory for us all. It actually worked really well,
even though I am not really a big fan of virtual stuff. I prefer to
speak to people face to face.”

Besides training, what have you been up to?

Wittmann: “I still work in my father’s workshop, even during a normal
season. Usually that is one or two days per week, when there are no
appointments. The coronavirus situation meant that we had no
motorsport appointments, so I actually ended up in the workshop every
day. That was really cool, as it is still gives me a great balance and
stopped me getting bored. We were fortunate that we never had to close
the workshop and could, in principle, continue to work.”

What did you learn last season?

Wittmann: “I believe we primarily spent the winter working on the
car, to wipe out the deficiencies we had in the 2019 season. The turbo
engine was new to us all and we really struggled with it. We have,
however, managed to get on top of the technical issues from last
season. I then tried to work on myself – using data and videos from
past races. I hope we are well-equipped and have taken a step forward.
I think we are far more competitive than we were in 2019.”

The season-opener at Spa throws up a two-day event on a track
that is new to most of the drivers. How difficult will it be to go
into qualifying on the back of just one practice session?


Wittmann: “It is obviously an extremely compressed weekend, when
everything has to run smoothly. The fact that we are racing at Spa for
the first time in 15 years will make life a little bit difficult for
everyone. Both BMW and Audi had the opportunity to test there for a
day, with Augusto Farfus doing the driving for us. We gathered the
first basic data there so we will travel to Spa with some sort of
set-up already. However, we only have one practice session to change
things, then it is straight into qualifying. As a driver, you have to
find your feet quickly out on the track – but I like challenges like
that. You don’t have a lot of time to think, because everything comes
thick and fast and you just have to get everything right. I am looking
forward to it.”

This year, there will be a few back-to-back races. Will that
suit you?

Wittmann: “I am a fan of racing every weekend. It will be fascinating
to see how that really works out when the season gets underway. I
think back-to-back races are cool. You are really fired up and in
stress mode. Let’s see how we feel after the final weekend (laughs),
but it is obviously cool that, despite everything, we have managed to
put together a calendar that still allows us to complete nearly all
the races. I think that is very good news for the DTM and the fans, as
well as for us drivers.”

How important will experience be in this extraordinary season?
Will it be an advantage for you and BMW Team RMG that you have
worked together for so long?

Wittmann: “It is always helpful to have an experienced team and to
know each other well, then you already know how to get started and
what set-up you need at many racetracks. I think the busy calendar
will not make a big difference, as we will not have much time for
analyses and everyone is ultimately in the same boat. When we have a
double-header, as we will at the Lausitzring and Zolder, then you
don’t have much time for reflection. You just have to go out and
perform again. On top of that, you have the fact that we are racing on
different layouts, which I personally find really cool. It is a bit
like starting from scratch again the following weekend.”

The current situation has forced the cancellation of the
planned season-opener at the Norisring. How sorry were you to hear
that decision?

Wittmann: “It was an extremely bitter pill for me. I am in direct
communication with the organisers, MCN (Motorsport Club Nürnberg), for
whom it was really a herculean task. I tried to give a lot of input
and to help, and I think we were well on the way to making the event
possible. You have to consider that it is not a permanent racetrack,
so it costs a lot to set up, for example. Eventually, the city of
Nuremberg vetoed it. In these times, it goes without saying that
safety has to take priority. Despite that, it was still a real shame
for me personally, as it is my home race. A lot of love and emotion
goes into that event.”

Setting aside the absence of the Norisring this time, which
circuits on the calendar are you most looking forward to?

Wittmann: “Two, in fact. Obviously, the opener at Spa, because it is
a super cool racetrack and I have driven there twice before – once
with Formula BMW and in the BMW M6 GT3. The circuit has a mega history
and is a typical old-school, natural racetrack. I am also looking
forward to Assen, because that was my most successful weekend last
year. It is a very cool racetrack with a great atmosphere and I really
like the layout.”

What are your goals for the 2020 season?

Wittmann: “The ultimate goal is definitely to win the title. When you
already have two titles, as I do, then you are never happy with second
or third place. However, to be able to challenge for the title at the
end of the year, we must first score some victories and podiums.”

Original Press Release

BMW Group Plant Munich gears up for fully-electric future

BMW:BMW Group Plant Munich gears up for fully-electric future

Munich. In preparation for production of the
fully-electric BMW i4, BMW Group Plant Munich will pause vehicle
production for six weeks this summer. No cars will be produced between
the end of the late shift on 23 July and the start of the early shift
on 7 September. Plant Munich will take advantage of this break in
production to implement numerous structural and remodelling measures
before the fully-electric BMW i4 goes into standard production next year.

“We are gearing up our Munich plant for the future. Once
remodelling is finished, we will be able to produce vehicles with
diesel, petrol and hybrid drive trains, as well as the fully-electric
BMW i4, all on the same line. This will allow us to respond flexibly
to customer demand,” said plant director Robert Engelhorn.

Integrating the BMW i4 into the existing production system will
be a major challenge for Plant Munich. The high-voltage battery makes
the BMW i4 body concept different to that of the vehicle models
previously built at the plant. Nevertheless, about 90 percent of the
existing production systems used in the body shop can be integrated
and enabled for future BMW i4 production. Only 10 percent –
specifically, equipment used in production of the rear end – cannot be
integrated, because of the high-voltage battery, and require new
systems to be set up.

The high-voltage battery in the BMW i4 is installed from below.
A new and separate battery assembly will be set up for this within
vehicle assembly. “Confined structures make any remodelling and
installation measures at Plant Munich particularly challenging. Old
systems have to be removed, and new ones installed and put into
service, in very tight spaces within six weeks. This takes meticulous
planning and a lot of creativity,” underlined Engelhorn.

As well as installing new systems, existing production equipment
will also have to be converted so the BMW 3 Series Sedan and BMW 3
Series Touring – both with combustion engines and hybrid drive train,
the new BMW M3 and the fully-electric BMW i4 can all be produced on
the same line.

This production interruption has been planned and prepared for
since early 2019. Virtual reality (VR) is also being used across the
board in transmission and final assembly to optimise future processes.
The VR pilot project provides a sneak preview of planned structures
and processes, increases planning accuracy in the early phases of a
project and reduces planning time.

Employees are able to get a feel for their new workplace in a VR
training space. VR goggles provide them with a glimpse of their new
working environment and planned work processes. As a result, employees
often come up with ideas for improvement that enable new operations to
be optimised in advance and adapted for rollout.

From 28 August, systems will be refilled so production can
resume after the break and, starting with the early shift on 7
September, vehicles can once again roll off the production lines at
the main plant in Munich.

Certain areas of the Munich plant, such as engine production,
will continue to operate at full scale to secure supplies for the
global production network.

Original Press Release

Extreme performance wherever you choose to go: The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.

BMW:Extreme performance wherever you choose to go: The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.

Fresh design features and refined equipment emphasise the exclusive
racing character of the top athlete even more intensively – 4-cylinder
turbo engine with 225 kW/306 hp, 8-speed Steptronic Sport
transmission, ALL4 all-wheel drive and suspension technology designed
using the race track expertise of John Cooper Works guarantee
outstanding driving fun and inspiring versatility – market launch from
November 2020.

Munich. Irresistible character matured on the race
track. The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman (combined fuel
consumption: 7.3 – 6.9 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions:
166 – 156 g/km, preliminary figures) brings its qualities to bear both
on the road and on unpaved terrain. The outstanding power of its 225
kW/306 hp 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is transferred to the road
via an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission and ALL4 all-wheel drive
as standard – a combination that guarantees extreme performance on all
types of surface. The extreme driving pleasure package is rounded off
by suspension technology featuring the John Cooper Works racing
know-how. Modified design, refined equipment and additional options
bring out the sporty and exclusive character of the new MINI John
Cooper Works Countryman to the full.

Engine power meets versatility: The new high-performance athlete for
the premium compact segment occupies the top position in both
disciplines of the British premium brand’s model range. It offers
unbridled power and plenty of room for experiencing the thrill of
racing in everyday driving. In addition, the expressive exterior has
now been refined and fresh accents have been added to the high-quality
interior. The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will be launched
in November 2020.

With four doors and a large tailgate, five full-size seats, a
variable-use interior and a luggage compartment volume that can be
expanded up to 1 390 litres, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman
can not only master daily transport tasks in city traffic, but also
meet all comfort demands on longer journeys. The most powerful engine
ever used in a standard MINI, the intelligently controlled all-wheel
drive and the differential lock on the front wheels integrated into
the 8-speed Steptronic transmission ensure superior performance at all times.

Equipped with specific modifications to the basic engine, advanced
MINI TwinPower Turbo technology and an independent cooling system, the
drive unit impresses not only with its maximum output of 225 kW/306
hp, but also with its maximum torque of 450 Nm. The spontaneous power
delivery, which is sustained into high load ranges, enables the new
MINI John Cooper Works Countryman to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in
5.1 seconds (preliminary figure). Speed burst manoeuvres are
accompanied by the striking sound of the model-specific sport exhaust
system. The tailpipes with an enlarged diameter of 95 mm are real
eye-catchers, too.

In order to ensure not only hallmark agility, but also particularly
high steering precision and handling that can be masterfully
controlled even in highly dynamic driving situations, the new MINI
John Cooper Works Countryman features a body structure and a
connection with the chassis, which is characterised by high rigidity.
In addition to model-specifically modified components, the chassis
also features suspension and damping features refined with racing
expertise, DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) and electromechanical
steering. As an option, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman can
be equipped with an adaptive chassis. Its standard equipment includes
a sports brake system with 4-piston fixed caliper disc brakes on the
front wheels and single-piston floating-caliper disc brakes on the
rear wheels, as well as 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels
with brake callipers painted in Chili Red.

The aerodynamically optimised exterior features also contribute to
the superior performance of this versatile athlete. The powerful
charisma of the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is now even more
intensively emphasised with the redesign of the radiator grille. The
standard LED headlights and the rear lights have been newly designed.
At the front, the high-quality lighting technology is now even more
recognisable, while at the back the Union Jack light design is an
irresistible eye-catcher. The Adaptive LED headlamps with variable
light distribution and matrix function for the high beam lights are
optionally available. The exterior colours White Silver metallic and
Sage Green metallic as well as the option Piano Black Exterior are
new. Here, the headlamp surrounds, rear lights and radiator grille are
finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome, as are the door
handles and the model lettering on the luggage compartment lid.

The interior also features new accents. The sports car flair of the
new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is now combined even more
extensively with a modern premium ambience. The digital instrument
display behind the steering wheel with a diameter of 5.0 inches is a
new optional equipment component. The optional Connected Media
equipment in the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also includes
an 8.8-inch colour display with touchscreen function in the
characteristic central instrument panel, which now features even
higher quality design. In its new version, it has a bezel and
touch-sensitive control panels with high-gloss Piano Black surfaces.

Thanks to a SIM card installed as standard, the new MINI John Cooper
Works Countryman is “always online”. This enables the use of
numerous digital services. The MINI Navigation Plus option also
provides real-time traffic data, the MINI Online Internet Portal,
Apple CarPlay preparation and the seamless integration of the Amazon
Alexa voice assistant among other things.

In case of queries, please contact:

Corporate Communications

Matthias Bode, Spokesperson MINI Communications

Andreas Lampka, Head of Communication MINI
Telephone: +49-

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the
BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles
and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility
services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production
and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global
sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2019, the BMW Group sold over 2.5 million automobiles and more
than 175.000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the
financial year 2019 was € 7.118 billion on revenues amounting to €
104.210 billion As of 31 December 2019, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 126,016 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore
established ecological and social sustainability throughout the
value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear
commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.






Original Press Release

Development milestone: BMW M4 GT3 rolled out at BMW Group plant in Dingolfing.

BMW:Development milestone: BMW M4 GT3 rolled out at BMW Group plant in Dingolfing.

Dingolfing. Last Saturday’s rollout of the BMW M4 GT3 at the
BMW Group plant in Dingolfing (GER) marked an important milestone in
the development of the new BMW icon for the GT racing scene. After
months of virtual work, BMW works driver Augusto Farfus (BRA)
heralded the next phase of preparations, taking the new car out onto
the streets for the first time. Despite facing many challenges, the
BMW M4 GT3 has so far completed all the development steps according
to plan and will travel to Miramas (FRA) for initial tests next week.


Farfus rolled out of the garage at the wheel of the BMW M4 GT3 for
the first time at 9:40hrs last Saturday and set about completing the
first important function tests. The BMW Motorsport engineers spent the
whole day putting the new GT car, which will replace the BMW M6 GT3
from the 2022 season, through its paces. The first tests are scheduled
to take place on the track at the BMW Group’s test centre in the
southern French commune of Miramas next week.

“It is always an emotional moment when a newly-developed BMW race car
takes to the track for the first time,” said Marquardt. “This time,
however, I am particularly proud. Given the difficult conditions of
the past few months, it is quite remarkable that we have managed to
implement our development programme as planned, and whilst complying
with the BMW Group’s strict safety and hygiene regulations throughout
the COVID-19 pandemic, have managed to stick to the date originally
envisaged for the rollout of the BMW M4 GT3. I’d like to say a big
thank you to everyone who has shown such commitment and the passion we
have become accustomed to in the face of the extraordinary challenges
faced in recent months, and who have overcome these challenges
imperiously. Thanks to the very close and intensive collaboration with
our colleagues at BMW M GmbH, we have been able to use the basis
provided by the new BMW M4 production model to develop a race car that
has everything it needs to continue the successful history of BMW
Motorsport as a new GT icon.”

Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH: “With every BMW M4, we are taking
motor racing technology to the streets. That is particularly true of
the new BMW M4 Coupé, which forms the perfect basis for the race car.
The straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower turbo technology and
high-rev concept is used in both the production car and the race car.
Our engineers designed the power unit from the outset with performance
characteristics derived straight from the world of motor racing. We
are confident that this approach will pay dividends in terms of
performance and driving pleasure for both our GT3 customer teams at
the racetrack and for our customers who purchase a new BMW M4 or BMW M3.”

The race car and production car were developed in parallel, and both
are now in the midst of an intensive period of testing out on the
track. The production versions of the new BMW M4 Coupé and the BMW M3
Limousine (combined fuel consumption: 10.9 – 10.5 l/100 km; combined
CO2 emissions: 249 – 239 g/km, provisional figures) will be
launched in September. The BMW M4 GT3 will contest its first races,
for the purpose of testing under competitive conditions, in 2021 and
will do battle for victory as the new BMW icon on the GT racing scene
from the 2022 season. Between now and then, the BMW Motorsport
engineers and BMW works drivers still have a lot of development and
testing to do.

“It was fantastic and a great honour for me to be able to drive the
first few metres in the new BMW M4 GT3,” said Farfus after the
rollout. “I have been involved in the development of several BMW race
cars and am always particularly pleased to be a part of such an
important project. Although our main job during the rollout is to
perform functional tests, I had a good feeling in the car from the
outset and am already looking forward to the tests scheduled for the
coming months.”

The rollout in Dingolfing was a milestone and a highlight of the
development process, which began back at the start of 2019 with CFD
computer simulations. The engine, generating more than 500 hp, took to
the test stand in Munich in February, while initial tests were
performed in the BMW Group wind tunnel from the middle of the year,
using a 60-percent scale model of the car. The first test chassis of
the BMW M4 GT3 was produced at the BMW Group plant in Regensburg (GER)
in early 2020. After that, the test car used for the rollout was
assembled within roughly six weeks in the BMW Motorsport workshop.

Interested parties can contact BMW Motorsport about the BMW M4 GT3 by

Original Press Release