Niamh Hart. BMW. October 14th , 2017.
BMW Motorsport returns to Le Mans with the FIA WEC in 2018. The last time a BMW race car featured on the grid was back in 2011, with the BMW M3 GT2. One year prior to that, the Jeff Koons’ (USA) BMW M3 GT2 Art Car had caught the eye, as it wrote the latest chapter in the story of the BMW Art Car Collection at Le Mans. Among the BMW Art Cars that had started previously at Le Mans were Alexander Calder’s (USA, 1975) BMW 3.0 CSL, the BMW 320i designed by Roy Lichtenstein (USA, 1977) and Andy Warhol’s (USA, 1979) BMW M1. BMW Motorsport‘s greatest sporting hour in Le Mans came in 1999, when Yannick Dalmas (FRA), Joachim Winkelhock (GER) and Pierluigi Martini (ITA) took overall victory in a BMW V12 LMR. The McLaren F1 GTR, powered by a BMW engine, had previously triumphed at the "Circuit de la Sarthe" in 1995. The first time a BMW car started at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was back in 1939, when a BMW 328 claimed a class victory after 236 laps of racing. After 1972, BMW cars regularly lined up at the endurance classic.
The M Sports suspension, which is standard on the M40i model, offers the keen driver a firmer suspension (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars). Adaptive M Suspension is optionally available on the M40i model, offering electronically controlled dampers and even sportier suspension settings. Similarly, Dynamic Damper Control is available on the 30i model, and includes electronically controlled dampers that adapt the damper responses to the road surface and driving situation. At the same time, the driver can use the Driving Dynamics Control toggle switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics as they please between the more comfortable and sportier ends of the scale. M Sport brakes are standard on the all-new BMW X3 M40i and feature blue-painted aluminum four-piston fixed calipers at the front and amply proportioned brake discs have high levels of thermal resistance to deliver phenomenal stopping power despite their extremely low weight. The standard Variable sport steering from the BMW X3 M40i is optionally available on the BMW X3 xDrive30i model.
The new BMW i3s incorporates a number of design elements all of its own that underscore its particularly dynamic character. Both the front and rear aprons are notable for their model-specific, powerfully shaped contours. At the front, the bumper inlay as well as the U-shaped surround encircling it have a black finish. The front apron‘s side sections are bordered on their lower edge by accent strips in BMW i Blue or Frozen Grey that further emphasise the width of the car. The accent in the closed BMW kidney grille is also painted in high-gloss black on the BMW i3s to give the grille a larger and more prominent appearance. The rear apron of the new BMW i3s is likewise composed of individually styled contours, while the black surround frames an extra-wide, body-coloured inlay. On the new BMW i3s, the roof line accent also sports the same high-gloss black finish as the A-pillars.
Just 6.9 seconds is enough to see the new BMW i3s burst past 100 km/h (62 mph) on its way to a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). It returns a combined electric power consumption of 14.3 kWh per 100 kilometres on the NEDC cycle. Its electric range runs to 280 kilometres (174 miles) based on the NEDC cycle, 235 to 245 kilometres (146 to 152 miles) as per WLTP and up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in everyday use. A 28 kW/38 hp two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option for both the new BMW i3 and the new BMW i3s. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car‘s overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres (93 miles), increasing it from around 180 kilometres (112 miles) to a maximum of 330 kilometres (205 miles). The all-electric range of the new BMW i3 with range extender is 225 to 235 kilometres (140 - 146 miles) as per NEDC and 190 to 200 kilometres (118 - 124 miles) as per WLTP. The corresponding figures for the new BMW i3s with range extender come in at 220 kilometres (137 miles) on the NEDC and 185 to 195 kilometres (115 to 121 miles) on the WLTP cycle.
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