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New BMW X5 SUV Conquers The Deserts Of Morocco

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New, 2019 BMW X5 Off-Roading Morocco Desert

The German SUV is more capable off-road than ever.

Better in virtually every way than its predecessor, the all-new BMW X5 is arguably the best all-around utility vehicle on the market. BMW took it to Morocco to show off just how capable it is on difficult terrain.

A team of engineers, surveyors, technicians, workers and pilots moved over 3,500 cubic meters of earth to recreate the Monza circuit in Merzouga, one of the most desert areas of Morocco, which the X5 seemed to have little trouble conquering.

For its fourth-generation, the premium SUV is available with a new xOffroad package that offers four off-road driving modes — xSand, xRocks, xGravel, and xSnow — and comes standard with Dynamic Damper Control.

Its Adaptive M Professional suspension features active anti-roll stabilization and Integral Active Steering, and drivers can adjust the vehicle’s weight by 80 millimeters at the push of a button or by using the BMW Display Key.

The 2019 BMW X5 xDrive40i is powered by a 3.0L six-cylinder engine that produces 340 hp and 332 lb-ft. of torque. Those looking for a bit more oomph have the option of the X5 xDrive50i, which makes 462 hp and 479 lb-ft. of torque. powered from a 4.4L V8.

U.S. pricing starts at $61,695 for the former and $76,745 for the latter.

New, 2019 BMW X5 Off-Road Morocco Desert, front

New, 2019 BMW X5 Off-Road Morocco Desert

New, 2019 BMW X5 Off-Roading Morocco Desert, climb

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BMW

BMW Creates Meteoric M850i Night Sky For Outer Space Geeks

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BMW M850i Night Sky Meteorite

The unique 8 Series features meteorite inlay and 3D-printed brake calipers.

BMW has revealed the M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky, a one-off take on the new M850i created by the company’s Individual Manufaktur team for astronomy fans.

The car features an outer space theme. Inside, hunks of meteoric rock adorn the center console, start/stop button, shift lever, iDrive controller and other surfaces, while Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites can be found on the center console’s trim finishers, brake discs, exterior mirror caps and the front splitters.

For the non-space geeks among us, Widmanstätten patterns are the result of iron-nickel crystals forming on meteors over the course of around 10 million years and cannot be reproduced on Earth.

Special LED project constellations of stars on the center console and other interior surfaces.

Not content with the space theme, BMW created new lightweight brake calipers using generative design processes (3D printing). The pieces manage to be 30 percent lighter than the 8 Series’ usual calipers without negatively affecting necessary strength characteristics.

The one-off Night Sky edition is finished in San Marino Blue metallic paint over a black base coat. Its debut coincided with a meteor shower that took place overnight from January 3 – 4, resulting from the Earth briefly passing through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH, with fragments from the asteroid entering our planet’s atmosphere and burning up.

Some of these meteoric fragments were incorporated into the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky’s interior.

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BMW, Porsche’s Ultrafast EV Charger Adds 62 Miles In 3 Minutes

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BMW, Porsche Ultrafast EV Charger

It only takes 15 minutes for an electric vehicle’s batteries to be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity.

BMW and Porsche, along with several other partner companies, have made great progress developing an ultrafast EV charging system.

Their so-called FastCharge research program has resulted in a 450 kW prototype charging station that can add 62 miles (100 km) of range in just three minutes or nearly fully charge a mostly depleted battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.

While the ability to charge an electric car in just a few minutes will be a boon for EV owners, today’s electric vehicles aren’t able to charge at 450 kilowatts. Tesla’s vehicles, for instance, utilize a 400-volt battery configuration, but Porsche and Audi’s FastCharge tech can handle higher voltage levels of up to 920 volts, which experts believe will become the norm.

Their charging station is able to handle so much current and voltage thanks to actively cooled cables that use a circulating water-glycol solution to manage temperature. The electric vehicle must also be compatible and use intelligent charging strategy that not only precools the battery before charging begins, but also monitors cell temperature during the charging process.

Suffice it to say, the long, tedious hours that it used to take to charge an electric car are almost a thing of the past.

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New BMW M340i Is No M3, But It’s The Fastest Non-M 3 Series Ever

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New, 2020 BMW M340i, black

It’s the hottest and quickest 3 Series that’s not an M3, as well as the most powerful non-M 3 Series ever made.

BMW has revealed the M340i variant of the all-new BMW 3 Series, which it says is the most powerful non-M-tuned 3 Series to date.

Power for the German sports sedan comes from a 3.0-liter straight-six engine turbocharged that produces 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, sent to the rear wheels or, optionally, all fours via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Old school driving enthusiasts will be disappointed to hear that there’s no manual transmission option.

A lower overall curb weight than its predecessor thanks to the extensive use of aluminum in its construction, as well as a near-50:50 weight distribution and an M-tuned suspension, steering, and brake components, help drivers make the most of the engine’s output.

Inside, the M340i’s list of standard features include a 12.3-inch configurable screen for the instrument cluster, a 10.2-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system with Apple CarPlay compatibility, leather-upholstered sport seats and a glass roof. BMW still doesn’t offer Android Auto on its cars.

The new M340i competes with the 354-horsepower Audi S4 and the 390-horsepower Mercedes-AMG C43 and has been primed to play key part in BMW’s offensive to reclaim the ultimate driving machine title. Sales begin in summer 2019.

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