En 1995, BMW a été le premier constructeur automobile européen
à proposer des voitures de série fonctionnant au gaz naturel. Jusqu’ici, elles sont équipées d’un réservoir sous pression rempli
de G.N.C. (gaz naturel comprimé), à l’avenir, elles pourront aussi recevoir un réservoir cryogénique pour le G.N.L. (gaz naturel liquéfié). Et ce, pour deux raisons : primo, le G.N.L. renferme trois fois plus d’énergie pour un volume identique, ce qui permet de tripler l’autonomie de la voiture. Et secundo, le gaz naturel liquéfié se rapproche beaucoup de l’hydrogène liquéfié en ce qui concerne ses propriétés essentielles et se prête de ce fait à merveille à préparer la voie à une économie de l’hydrogène. Avec la 523g, BMW a présenté au Salon de l’Automobile de Francfort (IAA) 1999 un prototype fonctionnant exclusivement au gaz naturel qui, équipé d’un six cylindres de 184 ch, offre toutes les performances d’une BMW.
Et qui est classé EZEV (Equivalent Zero Emission Vehicle) d’après
la définition de l’Office californien de l’Environnement (CARB).
Les EZEV ou, en français, EVZE sont des véhicules qui, dans leur bilan énergétique total – de l’énergie primaire à la roue qui tourne – n’émettent pas plus de polluants que les centrales californiennes n’en émettent pour produire le courant pour propulser une voiture électrique.
La 523g reste sensiblement en-dessous de ces valeurs. Son bilan énergétique et écologique est donc significativement supérieur aussi à celui d’un véhicule à pile à combustible transportant du méthanol comme combustible. Pour BMW, c’est la preuve qu’il est économiquement et écologiquement plus efficace d’exploiter dans la mesure du possible les énergies primaires directement à bord du véhicule au lieu de les transformer en plusieurs étapes avec les pertes que cela entraîne.
BMW FOR 2001:
BUILDING ON RECORD SUCCESS.
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, January 8, 2001… If you need proof that success breeds success, BMW is an excellent case study.
In the first nine months of 2000, BMW of North America, Inc.,
sold 135,257 automobiles and sports activity vehicles in the U.S., representing a 16.3-percent increase over the same record-setting period in 1999 and eclipsing 1998 total sales that were also
a record. Customers weren’t the only people who admired BMWs last year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Edmunds.com, J.D. Power, and Automobile magazine, to name just a few,
recognized BMW products as best-in-class for their safety, appeal, desirability and All-Star status.
For 2001 BMW builds on this success with the most comprehensive product lineup in its history. In a clear-cut case that more of a good thing is better, drivers can now choose from 32 models, up from 20 at the beginning of last year. There are also more powerful engines and more opportunities to personalize a BMW through an expanded array of options. Equally important to drivers, the 2001 BMWs offer more value for money than ever before.
3 SERIES: MORE POWER, MORE TRACTION.
Since it was introduced in 1975, the 3 Series has been the epitome of the sports sedan, continually redefining the concept originally introduced by its predecessor, the legendary BMW ’02 Series. The third-generation 3 Series, now in its third model year, is available in sedan, coupe, sport wagon and convertible body styles, and offers ten models compared to six last year.
For 2001, the 3 Series makes news on two fronts. A re-tuned
2.5-liter, 184-horsepower, six-cylinder engine adds more performance to four 325i models, namely a sedan, coupe,
sport wagon and convertible. An enlarged 3.0-liter six with
225 horsepower make the 330i sedan, coupe and convertible models even more enticing.
To meet a growing demand, the 325xi and 330xi sedans and the 325xi sport wagon come with full-time all-wheel drive and the DSC-X traction and stability-enhancement system. True to its heritage, BMW’s version of AWD, a system similar to that on the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle, does not, in any way, diminish the unique 3 Series driving experience.
NEW DESIGN ENHANCEMENTS AND THREE NEW MODELS.
BMW’s midsize luxury sedans and sport wagons have a subtle,
but distinctive new look for 2001. The design enhancements include a new more contoured appearance for the signature kidney grille, revised front lighting units with illuminated headlight rings and round parking lights/turn signals, a redesigned spoiler with round
“clear look” fog lights and new rear lighting clusters that improve
the 5’s visibility to approaching motorists. The updates also include exterior trim details and three new metallic exterior colors.
Three new six-cylinder models strengthen the 5 Series’ appeal
for 2001. The retuned 2.5-liter six, providing 184 horsepower, is the basis of the new 525i sedan and 525i sport wagon. Priced exactly
$ 3,500 less than their 528i predecessors, these two models extend the 5 Series’ market reach.
The new 530i sedan, with its 3.0-liter, 225 horsepower engine,
larger front brakes and standard automatic climate control makes the leader of the six-cylinder, midsize luxury-sport sedan category
a convincing performer on the road and in its market segment.
To improve handling performance, all six-cylinder 5 Series models now come with 16-inch wheels, up from 15-inch wheels last year. The optional BMW Onboard Navigation System has been upgraded with a wider monitor, additional functions and new controls.
7 SERIES: SUBTLE DESIGN CHANGES
AND AN INTEGRATED CELL PHONE.
The luxurious 7 Series sedans receive a subtle design freshening for 2001, including body-color rocker panels, body-color finishes on the lower front and rear bumper surfaces and clear front, side and rear turn signal lenses.
There is news inside the 7’s elegant cabin as well. With the 2001
7 Series, BMW becomes the first manufacturer to offer a standard digital cell phone integrated into the vehicle. The phone system includes BMW’s Mayday feature, which allows Roadside Assistance or emergency responders to determine the car’s exact location through the standard Onboard Navigation system. Further enhanc-ing safety, 17-inch, run-flat tires are available as a no-cost option.
740i drivers prefer a decidedly sporty accent to their luxury; more than half them specify the optional Sport Package. For 2001, this option, including 18-inch M parallel-spoke wheels and performance tires, Shadowline black exterior trim, Vavona redwood interior trim and Electronic Damping Control (EDC), is also available on the long-wheelbase 740iL and V12-powered 750iL. EDC provides cockpit control of shock absorber damping settings including a Sport mode for more agile handling and is, in fact, standard on all 750iLs.
The 740iL and 750iL are available as light-armored Protection models, the first such vehicles launched by a manufacturer to address this segment of the market.
X5 SPORTS ACTIVITY VEHICLES:
NOW AVAILABLE WITH SIX- OR EIGHT-CYLINDER ENGINES.
The original X5 4.4i, powered by BMW’s 4.4-liter V8 engine, is joined this year by a six-cylinder model. Under the new X5 3.0i’s hood is the 3.0-liter, 225-horsepower, inline six-cylinder engine also found in the 330i models and the 530i sedan. And the newest X5 is the only vehicle in its class to offer a five-speed manual transmission. It may also be ordered with the optional STEPTRONIC 5-speed automatic transmission that allows the driver to select smooth automatic shifting or take manual control of gear changes. Their sophisticated version of all-wheel drive featuring a special version of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC-X) and Hill Descent Control ensures that either model can handle even the toughest driving assignments.
A wide range of options for both X5 models, available in Packages and stand-alone, make it easy to equip a Sports Activity Vehicle to individual preferences and needs.
Z3: MORE POWERFUL ROADSTERS AND COUPE.
When the Z3 roadster was introduced in 1996, it played a major role in the rebirth of two-seat sports cars, a market segment that was virtually dormant for years. For 2001, both Z3 six-cylinder roadsters get what most sports car drivers can never seem to get enough of – more power. The Z3 roadster 2.3 becomes the Z3 roadster 2.5i and receives 14 more horsepower (184hp vs 170hp) in the process and the Z3 roadster 2.8 is now the Z3 roadster 3.0i with 225 horsepower.
The 2001 Z3 coupe 3.0i also benefits from 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder power. Interior design changes introduced in the roadster last year are now featured on the coupe as well. So are some distinctive front-end design changes. Both the Z3 roadster 3.0i and Z3 coupe 3.0i now come with larger front brakes and standard 17-inch wheels and tires.
This year, all three Spartanburg, South Carolina-produced Z3 models are available with BMW’s STEPTRONIC 5-speed automatic transmission that allows for conventional automatic shifting or driver-controlled shifts.
ULTRA HIGH-PERFORMANCE MODELS FROM BMW M:
2001 M3 COUPE ARRIVES, JOINING REVISED M5.
The long-awaited 2001 M3 coupe will begin arriving at BMW centers in February. At its heart is a normally aspirated, 333-horsepower six-cylinder engine, which is shared by M3s worldwide. But horsepower isn’t the only news. A new level of crisp handling is provided by extensive use of aluminum suspension components, the new
M Variable Differential Lock, Dynamic Stability Control and
M Servotronic power-assisted steering. The spacious and comfor-table interior, with new M sport front seats, takes the aches and pains out of high-performance driving. Fine-tuned over thousands
of kilometers of testing on Germany’s legendary Nurburgring race track, the new M3 coupe is the fastest, most-responsive and best-handling road-going M3 ever built.
The 394-horsepower M5 sedan receives many of the 2001 5 Series’ design enhancements. Other refinements include updated Sport
and Luxury interior options and a new exterior color, Le Mans Blue, that commemorates BMW’s historic 1999 win at the French 24-hour endurance classic.
Z8: AN ELEGANT EXPRESSION
OF BMW’S PASSION FOR DRIVING.
The stunning Z8 roadster is the latest in a tradition of limited-production BMWs, going back nearly 70 years, that elegantly express the company’s passion for driving. The Z8, a contemporary rendition of the BMW 507 of the 1950s, perfectly blends a decidedly retro feel with industry-leading technology. Its aluminum body, aluminum spaceframe, advanced lighting system and
394-horsepower V8 engine are thoroughly contemporary, but not at the expense of emotion. “Just looking at those beautiful, classic lines, I get the feeling of romantic passion,” said Chris Bangle, BMW’s director of design. Every detail, from its starter button, to its center instrument panel to its “sexy derriere,” as Bangle describes it, contribute to the Z8’s classic elegance.
Z8 roadsters are hand-built in Munich. The assembly and finishing period for one of these automotive masterpieces is about 10-times longer than for a 3 Series sedan. The addition of Stratus Gray Metallic, a new exterior color, is the only 2001 change for the Z8.
BMW IN AMERICA.
BMW of North America, Inc. was established in 1975. Since then, the company has grown to include marketing, sales and financial service organizations in the United States; a South Carolina manufacturing operation; DESIGNWORKS/USA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Palo Alto and various other operations throughout the country. BMW is represented in the U.S. through a network of more than 340 car, 315 Sports Activity Vehicle and 160 motorcycle retailers. BMW US Holding Corp., the Group’s headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW products is available to consumers via the World Wide Web on the BMW homepage.
The address is: http://www.bmwusa.com.