80 years of BMW car manufacturing

80 years of BMW car manufacturing

Chronology of the fundamental principle of the Bavarian company BMW Effective dynamics.

The production of BMW cars began 80 years ago when the DA 3 with 15/2 hp was first introduced, which went down in history as the Dixi. Even back then, the key principle of BMW in the development and production of vehicles was high efficiency combined with excellent dynamics. A principle that has proven extremely successful in the history of the company and has underpinned the brand's identity. Thus, the foundations of BMW EfficienDynamics were laid 80 years ago. The overall strategy includes numerous innovations aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining or increasing power and dynamics, thanks to which BMW creates and implements a number of technologies that set new standards in the automotive industry.


Advertising publications in the press on July 9, 1929 informed the public that BMW was already a car manufacturer. Last night, the lucky few, invited to the new BMW showroom in central Berlin, had the opportunity to be the first to admire the small car with the designation 3/15 PS DA 2, the last two letters being the abbreviation Deutsche Ausführung or "German modification". Very soon the first car of the BMW brand became popular and to this day remains legendary as the Dixi.

The first car rolled off the assembly line on March 22, 1929 at the BMW plant near the former Berlin-Johannisthol airport. This is the beginning of something more than the production of BMW cars. Although the Dixi is largely based on an existing model with parts and components already in production, this car undoubtedly carries the typical BMW style: from the outset, efficiency and dynamics are paramount to the company and are at the core of the company's identity. brand. So far, BMW is known for producing many economical and high quality products such as aircraft engines and motorcycles.

Before BMW placed the brand's blue and white logo on the Dixi grille, the car was technically refreshed with a coupe made entirely of steel. As a result, the BMW 3/15 won the International Alpine Rally during its first run in 1929, successfully completing all long hikes in the Alps on a tour that lasted five full days.

In addition to reliability, Dixi attracts consumers with its versatile economy and relatively low price: consuming only six liters of fuel, Dixi is more economical than railway, and buyers can pay 2 Reichsmarks for the base model in installments. Thus, BMW became much cheaper than the similar Hanomag and competed with the bestseller of the time. Opel Tree frog.

VANOS technology in 1938

Step by step, BMW engineers have perfected their technologies over the years to enhance both efficiency and functionality, providing a significant advantage over their competitors. For example, back in 1930, BMW researched variable valve timing and received its first patent for this technology in 1938/39.

The prototypes of the BMW 802 aircraft engine are equipped with a technology that, even today, naturally raised to a higher level, maintains the higher efficiency of all BMW petrol engines - Twin VANOS. In the BMW 2 horsepower aircraft engine, the intake and exhaust valves are controlled by toothed discs with adjustable settings during operation.

In 1940, BMW introduced for the first time yet another key element and key direction of Efficient Dynamics - the use of lightweight materials. The BMW 328 Kamm Racing Coupé is a particularly striking example of the best performance of the BMW 328 in motorsport. The car's tubular frame is made of ultra-light alloy and weighs only 32 kg. Together with the aluminum body and the six-cylinder engine, the vehicle's curb weight is only 760 kg. Superior aerodynamics, as exemplified by Wunibald Kamm, one of the pioneers in this field, provides the car with a drag coefficient of almost 0.27. This, together with 136 hp. the two-liter engine provides a top speed of 230 km / h.

BMW returned to this concept again after the war, following the same philosophy in 1971 in the BMW 700 RS. This new race car features an extremely lightweight construction, an improved tubular frame and lightweight aluminum trim.

The racing car weighs 630 kg including the internal equipment, which is not a problem for the engine specially developed for this model: a two-cylinder with 70 hp. village and working volume 0.7 l. Liter power 100 HP s./l, a remarkable achievement today, thanks to which the top speed reaches 160 km / h. With the great German racer Hans Stuck behind the wheel of the BMW 700 RS, he won many victories in various mountain races.

1968: BMW six-cylinder engine

In 1968, following the astounding success of its new line of cars and 02 models, BMW resumed the 1930s tradition by developing more powerful six-cylinder engines. It is also the debut of the BMW 2500 and 2800, with which the company returns to the large car market in sedan and coupe versions.

The engines, identical in both models, are angled at 30 °, the power supplies reach the crankshaft, travel in at least seven bearings, and include twelve counterweights for vibration-free smoothness, further enhanced by an overhead camshaft.

One of the technical innovations of these two models, identical in their design qualities, is a triple hemispherical rotary-movable combustion chamber, which interacts with pistons of the corresponding design. The precise configuration guarantees an optimized combustion process, in this case providing more power while saving fuel: the 2.5-liter engine delivers a maximum output of 150 hp. sec., 2.8 l - impressive even 170 l. C, which is enough to guarantee the BMW 2800 a place in the exclusive group of cars with a top speed of 200 km / h. Both models remain virtually unrivaled, and BMW's six-cylinder engines set the standard in engine development for many years to come.

A significant contribution to this superiority is made by the racing car with exceptional EfficientDynamics advantages for this period - the BMW 1971 CSL, built in year 3.0. Once again, the intelligent lightweight design makes this remarkable model even more dynamic, and the excellent aerodynamics also help optimize engine performance. The qualities of this type of lightweight, powerful and fast coupe have made it unbeatable for many years, and BMW has won all but one of the European passenger car championships between 1973 and 1979.

1972 Olympics: BMW electric car

In the early 70s, BMW designers focused on more than major improvements in motorsport. The 1972 Olympic Games marked the beginning of intense research into electric motor technology. A small fleet of orange-colored BMW 1602 sedans equipped with battery electric motors became the symbol of the Munich Games. For the next three decades, BMW was one of the world leaders in the field of electric vehicles.

Only a year later, BMW introduced another innovative model, equipped with the most advanced technologies of its time: the BMW 2002 Turbo became the first production car in Europe to be equipped with a turbocharged engine. This gives BMW a leading role in turbocharging technology in both series production and motorsport.

BMW's next step in efficiency was the BMW M1978 in Year 1. This superb sports car with four-valve technology opens up a new stage in the optimization of cylinder loading. BMW began using this technology successfully in motorsport in the late 60s and converted it into series production ten years later. The optimized cylinder load technology has subsequently been carried over to other BMW models such as the M635CSi, M5 and M3.

In 1979, digital technology helped for the first time to achieve higher efficiency thanks to the digital engine management system in the BMW 732i. This improvement is further enhanced by the automatic reduction in fuel consumption by reducing fuel consumption to zero in fuel consumption mode. Thus, the automotive industry is entering a new phase of technological development, and BMW is becoming a pioneer in the field of automotive electronics.

BMW has always placed great emphasis on the important role of the driver in improving vehicle efficiency. For this reason, in 1981, another advancement in the field of electronics was presented - the world's first fuel level sensor, which is equipped with the fifth BMW series. This new display draws the driver's attention to fuel consumption by clearly showing him how he can drive more economically. Currently, the fuel consumption indicator plays an important role in the context of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy.

BMW 524td: the cornerstone of diesel technology

BMW's decision to enter the diesel market is one of the most revolutionary in the company's history. A completely new generation of engines marks this remarkable breakthrough.

The BMW 524td, introduced in June 1983, is powered by a diesel engine that combines the advantages of diesel technology with the characteristics of a BMW of outstanding dynamics and improved performance. This led to the creation of the BMW turbodiesel engine, developed from existing six-cylinder in-line units ranging from 2.0 to 2.7 liters.

Using turbocharging technology and the large intake and exhaust cross-sections of the 2.4-liter engine, BMW engineers increased the output to a remarkable 115 hp. At the same time, the combustion process in the vortex combustion chamber is intensified to even higher standards, providing an ideal basis for reducing fuel consumption and combustion noise. According to the DIN standard, the modern BMW turbodiesel handles 7.1 l / 100 km, although the car's top speed is 180 km / h and the acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h is achieved in 12.9 seconds.

A truly unique concept: the eta engine

Another new concept presented by BMW, this time in the field of gasoline engines, is eta. This technology has been used by BMW since the fall of 1981 in the BMW 528e sold in the American market. In the spring of 1983, this model was followed by the BMW 525e, developed for Germany, and in 1985, the BMW 325e was introduced to the European market.

The letter "e" stands for this, the symbol of efficiency. Indeed, the 2.7-liter V-XNUMX has been optimized without compromise for improved performance and economy. It consumes only 8.4 l / 100 km, although the engine power is 122 hp. At the time, such low fuel consumption with the powerful six-cylinder engine was considered a real sensation. The concept of a powerful engine with relatively low energy consumption was completely unusual in Europe at the time and remains exceptional today.

In the early 80s, BMW also began developing the hydrogen car, taking the lead in this field. Together with the German Institute for Space Technology Research and Testing, he built several test models until 1984. One such vehicle was the BMW 745i Hydrogen.

BMW consistently supports and develops the development process, creating experimental versions of the BMW 7 on hydrogen for all vehicle generations.

Reducing drag while driving was one of the highlights of the development of two BMW sports cars in the late 80s. The first of these models is the BMW Z1, a true example of innovation and high technology, introduced in 1988 and known not only for its very light weight thanks to its special synthetic materials, but also for its resistance coefficient of 0.36.

Another example of new aerodynamic standards is the BMW 850i Coupé, introduced a year later. Despite the powerful air vents for the twelve-cylinder engine, this elegant coupe has a drag coefficient of just 0.29. This is possible thanks to the many aerodynamic components in the car's design, such as the exterior mirrors, which have been carefully designed with little or no impact on air resistance.

In 1991, BMW returned to the concept of an electric vehicle, demonstrating what had been achieved in this area with the BMW E1. An integral part of the modern world, this first all-electric vehicle offers ample space for four passengers and their luggage.

In accordance with the concept of using lightweight materials, the body is made from a combination of extruded aluminum profiles with plastic and aluminum cladding. The aim of this special vehicle is to achieve the driving pleasure typical of BMW using the latest technology. This has been impressively achieved as it proves that BMW's ability to develop alternative powertrains is as innovative and dynamic as the development of conventional engines.

In 1992, BMW introduced a completely different valve control system - BMW VANOS in the M3. Power and torque have been improved, as well as fuel economy and emissions management. By 1992, VANOS was included as an additional enhancement to BMW six-cylinder engines, replaced in 1995 by the twin VANOS, which was also introduced in BMW V1998 engines from year 8.

1995: BMW XNUMX Series and Intelligent Lightweight Design

In 1995, the next generation BMW 5 entered the market as the first expression of the concept of intelligent lightweight construction. This is the world's first large-scale production of a vehicle equipped with a chassis and suspension made entirely of light alloy, which reduces the weight of the entire vehicle by about 30%.

All aluminum motors are also 30 kg. lighter than before, thus reducing the curb weight of the BMW 523i by 1 kg. at 525 kg.

In the same year, BMW also introduced the 316g and 518g, the first natural gas vehicles in Europe to go into series production. Alternative engine technology has helped reduce CO2 emissions by about 20% and the formation of ozone-depleting hydrocarbons (HCs) by a remarkable 80%. At the same time, these new engines are contributing to the development of hydrogen engines due to the similar characteristics and quality of the two fuels. The total number of natural gas-fueled BMW vehicles reached 2000 units by 842.

In 2001, BMW improved VANOS technology for variable valve timing - the era of VALVETRONIC begins. This technology, which is still unique today, lacks carburetor housings. With the BMW 316ti four-cylinder engine, this means more work with less fuel, especially when refueling, a significant 12% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the previous model. One of the great advantages of this technology is that it can be used all over the world without particularly high demands on fuel quality. Subsequently, BMW introduced VALVETRONIC in other petrol engines, including the model's four-cylinder engine. MINI introduced in 2006

BMW EfficientDynamics - a valuable asset

The BMW Group is successfully expanding and deepening its developments in order to achieve higher efficiency combined with the maintenance and enhancement of driving dynamics through the overall BMW EfficientDynamics concept. Technologies and functions such as braking energy regeneration, automatic start / save, shift point indicator, driver assistance systems on demand, intelligent lightweight concept and superior aerodynamics are standard on all new models in the appropriate combination. Following the principle of BMW EfficientDynamics, each new model surpasses its predecessor in terms of reduced fuel consumption and improved dynamics.

The statistics compiled by the German Automobile Directorate not only demonstrate the remarkable superiority of BMW EfficientDynamics over comparable technologies implemented by other first-class manufacturers, but also demonstrate the pre-eminence of the BMW Group worldwide. The new BMW and MINI models registered in Germany have an average fuel consumption of 5.9 l / 100 km and CO2 emissions of 158 grams per kilometer. Both figures are well below the average for all new cars registered in Germany in 2008, which is 165 grams per kilometer. At EU level, the BMW and MINI brands achieve fuel economy and CO2 emissions levels below the overall average of European car manufacturers. Between 1995 and the end of 2008, the BMW Group reduced the fuel consumption of its cars sold in Europe by more than 25%, thus fulfilling the BMW Group's commitment to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). ).

Within statistical limits, BMW or MINI consume significantly less fuel than the average for all newly registered vehicles in Germany. In terms of the consumption of its fleet, limited by the German automotive authorities, the BMW Group also surpasses even the largest European manufacturers and is therefore fully equivalent to a large number of manufacturers focused mainly on small cars in their area.

Text: Vladimir Kolev



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