Supercars, Hypercar, News

BMW commissions new Art Cars

Following on from Jenny Holzer, Olafur Elíasson and Jeff Koons, Chinese artist Cao Fei, 37, and American artist John Baldessari, 84, will be the youngest and oldest artists represented in the collection respectively.

Fei and Baldessari are each due to create unique versions of the BMW M6 GT3 in the coming year, ready for presentations in museums in 2017, before appearing in action on the racetrack.

The BMW M6 GT3 spearheads the range of cars available to the BMW customer racing programme. It is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which has been modified slightly for use in motor racing. The powertrain has dry sump lubrication and generates up to 585hp - with the whole car weighing less than 1,300kg.  

BMW Board Member, Ian Robertson announced the collaboration of the two artists at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 'The 40th anniversary of the BMW Art Collection is a time to look ahead. The collection is the embodiment of the cultural commitment of the BMW Group - its vehicles stand for the combination of cutting-edge technology and inspiring art.

Cao Fei dubbed by BMW as one of the most promising and Chinese artists of her generation; expressed her excitement in joining the ranks of renowned artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and David Hockney. "I'm thrilled to be able to join the magnificent list of BMW Art Car artists. Acceleration, a concept that reminds me of my desire for speed as a runner during the Young Pioneers days, is deeply connected to the entangled contemporary relationships between velocity, energy, and the country."

John Baldessari, described as 'a great pioneer and godfather of an entire art scene in LA and beyond' told the press how he was honoured to have many of his respected peers recommend him as a BMW Art Car artist. 'Creating art that exists outside of a museum is important to me, and should be a goal for all artists. This will definitely be my fastest artwork yet.'

Since 1975 artists from the world over have been creating Art Cars on the basis of contemporary BMW automobiles. 'It is fantastic that the tradition of the BMW Art Car series will be continued with the BMW M6 GT3. Motorsport and the BMW Art Cars have always been very closely linked. Our racing cars in the special designs of well-known artists have cult status among the general public. I am convinced that the same will be true of the works by Cao Fei and John Baldessari. Naturally we want to fight for wins with the BMW M6 GT3 Art Cars. This combination of art and performance on the racetrack really is unique.' said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director.

Pick-up, Diesel, News

New Fiat Fullback pick-up revealed

Fiat has unveiled a new pick-up called the Fullback.

The new pick-up truck is named after the cornerstone Fullback position in rugby and will be available in the UK in autumn 2016.

Unveiled at the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show, the new, medium-duty pick-up will join Fiat's Professional range and will be available in double cab body style configuration only for the UK, making it an 'ideal vehicle' for both commercial and leisure time activities, says Fiat.

Measuring up to 1,780mm in height, 1,815 mm in width and 5,285mm in length, with a wheelbase of 3,000mm, the Fullback will offer a 'competitive payload' of 1,045 kg and will be powered by a 2.4-litre, aluminium, turbo-diesel engine with a power output of either 150hp or 180hp. Two transmissions will be available, a new six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic transmission with sports mode, and both will be combined with a four-wheel drive system.

The Fullback is Fiat Professional's first contender in the medium-duty pick-up truck segment in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region. Visitors to the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show will also be able to see the Fiat Fullback equipped with a selection of special accessories currently under development by Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' brand for after-sales service.

Available in the UK in two trim levels, pricing and specifications will be announced closer to the vehicle's launch in autumn 2016.

Coupe, Concept Car, News

Modified BMW M4 Coupe revealed at SEMA

BMW has unveiled a modified BMW M4 Coupe at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association).

Taking place in Las Vegas, BMW revealed a selection of sports-oriented BMW M Performance Parts at the customisation and sports tuning show. The M4 Coupe's 'motor racing style appearance' has been further enhanced with the M Performance aerodynamic components. The front inserts in high-end carbon fibre (CFRP) and the M Performance front trim grille in high-gloss black give the face of the M4 Coupe an even more striking expression. The lateral M Performance side sill attachments made of polyurethane (PUR) with the new "M Performance" inscription are joined by exterior mirror caps in carbon fibre finish, side gills in high-gloss black and BMW racing stripes for a 'dynamic side view'.

At the rear there is a carbon fibre diffuser with three 'strikingly shaped' bars derived from motorsports and a newly designed BMW M Performance through-flow carbon fibre rear spoiler. The new "M Performance" inscription on the lateral end plates of the rear spoiler as well as the motorsports stripes on the spoiler constitute add further sporty touches.

All M Performance aerodynamic components are harmonised with the car's airflow response, says BMW so they ensure optimised aerodynamic performance. The adjustable M Performance coilover suspension likewise enhances sporty driving pleasure. The lowered suspension 'intensifies' the sporty look of the M4 Coupe as well as a more dynamic ride feel.

The inline 6-cylinder with M TwinPower Turbo Technology remains the same, offering an output of 425hp. Fitted with an M twin-clutch transmission, the exhibition car at SEMA accelerates to 60mph in 4.1 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. A lightweight exhaust system comprises a stainless steel exhaust duct with a rear silencer made entirely of titanium and bearing the "M Performance" inscription. Tailpipe trim elements made of carbon fibre with M logo add another visual highlight.

The SEMA show runs until November 6.

Coupe, News

BMW reveals Concept M4 GTS

BMW has previewed a future high-performance model for road and track with the Concept M4 GTS.

The latest model from BMW's M Division, the Concept M4 GTS showcases new technologies set to make their series production debut in a new model to be unveiled at a later date. For example, the engine powering the concept is equipped with the same innovative water injection system that has endowed the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car - offering a 'noticeable increase' in output and torque.

Designed to fulfil its purpose as a successful track machine, the Concept M4 GTS includes manually adjustable front splitter and rear wing - both finished in exposed carbon - ensuring a 'perfect aerodynamic balance'. Another example of the engineers' adherence to lightweight design is the CFRP (carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic) bonnet, which lowers the car's weight and centre of gravity further still. A wide front air intake optimises airflow and minimises front axle lift.

Finished in Frozen Dark Grey Metallic, with Acid Orange accents on the front splitter, the lightweight, forged and polished M Sport alloy wheels also feature an Acid Orange accent. The 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10.5 J x 20 (rear) wheels are fitted with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres (265/35 R19 at the front, 285/30 R20 at the rear).

The engine's water injection system, introduced by BMW M Division, uses the physical effect of water when vaporising to draw the required energy. The water is injected into the intake manifold as a fine spray. When the water vaporises, the intake air cools significantly. As a result, the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber - and therefore the engine's tendency to "knock" - is reduced, enabling the turbocharged engine to use higher boost pressure and earlier injection timing.

This technology ensures an increase in output and torque, while at the same time reducing the thermal stress on performance-relevant components. All of which also enhances the stability and durability of the turbocharged engine, says BMW.

The Concept M4 GTS is also fitted with innovative rear lights featuring organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) technology. OLEDs are a new type of light source producing full-surface and homogenous illumination - in contrast to LEDs, which emit light to a single point. OLED technology 'heralds a new era in light design' and lighting concepts, opening up new possibilities when it comes to a characteristic and distinctive light signature for BMW models - both for their daytime driving lights and during the hours of darkness.

No word yet as to if the Concept M4 GTS will make it in to full production.