Top 10 greatest BMW engines

Date Published: October 29, 2020

BMW has a long lasting reputation for making some of the best performance engines from sport cars to aircraft to electric innovations. It is clear that BMW has proven their value in creating outstanding models. However, the big question still remains. Which BMW engines are the greatest of all time? Here is a list of some of the greatest BMW engines.

1.The inline 6-cylinder BMW Illa aircraft engine (1917)

In 1917, shortly after the foundation of the Bavarian Engine Works – or “Bayerische Motoren Werke,” or BMW as we know it , the first BMW engine was developed. Engineers developed the BMW IIIa aircraft engine. 

2. The 2-cylinder boxer engine in the BMW R 5 motorcycle (1936)

BMW is one of the most diverse car brands of all time. BMW went from producing aircraft engines to producing motor vehicle and motorcycle engines. The BMW R5 is powered by a 30-cubic-inch (500 cc) boxer engine with an impressive power output for the time of 24 hp. The R 5 is said to be one of the most reliable engines produced by BMW.

3. The inline 6-cylinder engine in the BMW 328 (1986)

The 6-cylinder engine is one of the engines that created the long lasting reputation of BMW as a sporty vehicle. This sports car was a real machine, having the ability to hit up to 5000 revolutions per minute, the BMW 328 was a real beast!

4. The V8-cylinder engine in the BMW 502 (1954)

The BMW 502 is well known for its sweeping lines and curving body, it is also popularly known as the “Baroque Angel”. The V8 engine was one of the first mass-produced engines in the world. Many authorities were impressed with the BMW 502 and found it to be very reliable hence police and fire departments used the car as an emergency vehicle. 

5.The 4-cylinder turbo engine in the BMW 2002 Turbo (E20) (1973)

This model was the first mass-produced European car with a turbocharger. In it’s time, an engine with a turbocharger was not very common. Today, the turbocharger is an important technology to make car engines even more efficient.

6. The inline 6-cylinder engine in the BMW 3.0 CSL racing coupe (E9) (1974)

At the end of the 1980s the multi-valve became popular: the four-valve tech from auto racing was increasingly being used in mass production. While the mass-produced version of the engine in BMW 3.0 CSL racing coupe was a two-valve producing horsepower(hp) of up to 206, the racing version had a four-valve cylinder, producing up to 440 hp. Today, multi-valves have become more common in engine design and allow us to save resources as we drive.

7. The 4-cylinder turbo engine in the BMW Formula 1 racing car (1983)

The BMW Formula 1 racing car engine paved the way for today’s downsizing method in designing engines. The downsizing method is the shrinking of engines without losing performance. This particular engine is only 92 cubic inch (1.5 liter) in size and was rumored to have reached 1200hp in training sessions.

Considering the fact that this was before electronic driver assistance systems, the performance of this engine was iconic and paved the way for many engines that exist today.

8. The 6-cylinder diesel engine in the BMW 524td (E28) (1983)

After BMW had been creating engines for 60 years, it was time that they made their mark with a mass-produced diesel engine in BMW 5 series. Diesel was once only used in tractor and trucks,  but became more acceptable for cars. The BMW 524td offered sheer driving pleasure and paved the way for many diesel engines that exist today. 

9. The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) (1987)

The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) has one of the greatest reputations for engine smoothness. In order to test out the smoothness of this engine, a coin was placed on the edge of the engine while it was running and it did not fall off. The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) set the tone for electric engines where “smoothness” is a key feature. 

10. The hybrid 3-cylinder engine and electric engine in the BMW i8 (I12) (2014)

The BMW i8 engine is powered by both an electric and a gasoline engine. The hybrid 3-cylinder engine and electric engine has the horsepower reach of 362. The combustion engine drives the rear wheels, while the electric engine takes care of the front axle. In 2019, the BMW i8 Plug-in hybrid won the Engine of the year award for the fifth year in a row.

Author: Omega Fumba

BMW: coronavirus will affect new car demand for the rest of 2020

Date Published: October 17, 2020

Oliver Zipse, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW says that the coronavirus will most likely affect the demand for new cars for the rest of 2020.

“It is clear that automotive demand in countries that have been hard hit by the pandemic, like Spain, Italy and the UK, will probably remain relatively low for the rest of the year.” – says Zipse

Since most countries were under lockdown restrictions, industries such as the motor industry have been affected in an unpleasant manner. Factories and car dealerships were shut, causing a delay in production and car sales.

Coronavirus and the car world

Coronavirus: How can the car industry hope to recover?

As infection rates have decreased, business is slowly getting back to normal. There is hope for the car industry to recover. This might take a while, due to the effect that COVID-19 had on the economy. Many people lost their jobs and buying a brand new car might not necessarily be a priority right now. 

The car industry is heavily reliant on China. 80% of global car production involves “made in China” parts. As China is carefully reopening it’s economic activity, there is hope for the car industry.

Niu Technologies, an electric scooter firm has reported on big rises in sales. The electric scooter sales were reported to be up by 61% ,which was boosted by strong sales in China.

BMW Group sales were down 20.6% globally in the first three months of 2020, including an 18% decrease in sales in Europe. But Zipse noted that global sales fell by 44% in April.

Author: Omega Fumba

BMW Made its First Electric Car in 1972

Date Published: October 14, 2020

In 1972, BMW took its first major step into the world of electric cars by introducing the 1602e. It took about 40 years for BMW to produce a fully functional electric car. Here is BMW’s electric car journey.

First BMW electric car was built 48 years ago

BMW 1602e

The BMW 1602e paved the way for the likes of the i3 and the i8. The 1602e was shown off in Munich where the car was used to lead long-distance runners at the 1972 Olympics.

Here are some of the interesting facts about the 1602

  • 12 normal 12V car batteries in, but they were all combined to function as a single, massive cell. Put together, the batteries weighed 771 lbs. 
  • The batteries used were lead-acid type batteries. The lightweight lithium-Ion battery technology that is used a lot today was not available back then.
  • The batteries were combined with an electric motor from Bosch. However, the car only had a limited range of just 37 miles.
  • Only two secret prototypes were built.
  • The 1602 had no means of charging, so the batteries needed to be switched out to keep running. 

Does BMW have a fully electric car?

The BMW i3 is BMW’s first fully electric car. Even though this was BMW’s first fully electric car. It certainly was not the first attempt. Here is a list of BMW electric cars the came before the success of the i3:

  • BMW 1602 (1972)
  • BMW LS Electric (1975)
  • The BMW LS Electric had a plug to charge. This model took 14 hours to charge and could only go 19 miles on a single charge.
  • BMW 323xi (1987)
  • The electric 325xi was able to go 93 miles on one charge.
  • BMW E1 (1991)
  • The BMW E1 was able to go 100 miles on a single charge. However, because of cost issues, the E1 project was scrapped. The E1 used an aluminum shell and plastic body panels, making it the true predecessor to the i3.

When did BMW build an all electric concept vehicle?

The 1991 BMW E1 is known as the predecessor of the BMW i3. Even though the E1 was scrapped, it was BMW’s first purpose-built all electric car.

Author: Omega Fumba

What to check for when you buy a used BMW

Date Published: October 2, 2020

Are you interested in buying a BMW but a brand new car does not fit your budget? Here’s what to check for when you buy a used BMW.

Three steps to consider when buying a used BMW

Do your research

Doing your research is the most important step in buying any preloved car. BMW has a variety of different models with their own trim levels. The trim levels may differ depending on the year of the model.

When you are planning on buying a used BMW, you need to think about the depreciation of the car. Most cars lose their value quickly but, the more expensive the car is, the longer it takes to lose value.

Check the vehicle's history

Another important thing to do when purchasing a car is to check the history of the vehicle. A vehicle history report (VHR) will tell you about the previous owner’s accidents, warranties, service, and possible liens. You can search online for a free vehicle history report, but you will need a vehicle identification number (VIN).

Read the vehicle’s warranty. If the car does have a warranty, find out what is included in the warranty and if it is transferable to the next owner.

Get the best deal

If there is a specific car model that you are interested in, look up the real market value of that car. The market value will tell you what other car buyers are paying for pre-owned BMWs. 

Tips for buying a used BMW

Used car checklist: what to look for when buying a second-hand car

It Is extremely important that you take a good look at the history of the vehicle. When looking at the car report, keep in mind that a car report only mentions things that were reported. This means that even though it is wise to carefully look through the report, you should not fully rely on it. 

Buying a used BMW? How to inspect a used BMW?

When you are buying a used BMW from a car dealership, they are required by law to give you certain information about the vehicle. You need to make sure that you watch out for any mechanical issues with the vehicle.

Ask them what parts might have been serviced or replaced recently and pay close attention to problems with things like the cooling system and its components, including the water pump and thermostat. It is also necessary that you test drive the vehicle to make sure that there are no problems. 

Ultimate guide to picking a used BMW

Reliability

Buying a used BMW means that you will have a car that is reliable, regardless of the model. With the correct maintenance, BMWs are very reliable.

Budget

It is important that you plan ahead and know how much you will spend. Like other cars, some BMW models will cost more than others. You also need to consider other costs besides buying the car itself, there are costs such as; buying a service plan and running the car.

Model

When buying a car, you need to think about what you need to get out of the car. It could be luxury, comfort, space or simply the need to get around, there definitely is a model for everyone. Here are the different types of car categories to choose from:

  • Family cars
  • Sports cars
  • Hatchbacks
  • Estate cars

Author: Omega Fumba

South Africans are keeping their cars for longer

Date Published: October 2, 2020

Due to our crippling economy, many South Africans are keeping their cars for longer periods of time. A research published by the Automobile Association (AA) looks at how the economy influences people’s decisions around car ownership.

Why South Africans are holding on to their cars for longer than before

“A good extended or pre-owned mechanical warranty is a smart investment to make, as it gives you the opportunity to be fully prepared for non-wear and tear damage to your vehicle’s engine, transmission, drive train, electrical system, turbo assembly and loads more” says Ricardo Coetzee, the head of Auto & General.

Coetzee also stated that it may be a good financial move to keep your car longer to save on car repayments, but with older vehicles there is a higher risk of having a mechanical breakdown. More than 90% of South Africans have said that they have chosen to keep their cars for longer because of the current economic state. In a research conducted by Automobile Association (AA), just over 40% of South Africans say that they are keeping their cars for between 5 and 10 years. And, just under 35% have stated that they are keeping their cars for over 10 years.

There is a need for better maintenance of vehicles. “Proper, proactive maintenance is key to protect you against a mechanical breakdown, massive expenses, an accident or worse. In addition, a good extended (or pre-owned) warranty / service plan could come in very handy when it comes to the replacement of components that were damaged by something other than wear and tear”, says Ricardo Coetzee 

14 car parts most likely to fail

Auto & General(AA) and the Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association(TEPA), have put together a list of car parts that are most likely to fail on higher mileage cars. They have also advised that car owners should inspect and maintain these car parts on a regular basis. Here is the list of car parts:

  • Timing belts
  • Brake system 
  • Brake hoses or brake system seals
  • Brake fluid 
  • Radiators and Radiator hoses
  • Alternators
  • Water pumps 
  • Shock absorbers 
  • CV joints
  • Clutches
  • Engine and gearbox seals 
  • Starter motors 
  • Oil pumps 
  • Engine and gearbox mountings 
  • Wheel bearings
  • Universal joints

A growing number of South Africans are keeping their cars for more than 10 years

Maintenance

The research conducted by the Automotive Association shows us that only 20% of car owners have maintenance plans for their cars, whilst just under 50 percent of car owners have stated that they pay for maintenance out of their own pocket.

David Chard, the managing director of AA Warranties says that too many people rely on the hope of their car not breaking down, and when their car does break down, they prefer to pay from their own pocket instead of having a solid financial plan in place. Chard says that it is easy and budget-friendly to get a service or maintenance plan.

Important steps vehicle owners must take to keep their vehicles running for longer

Here are a few important steps from the MD of AA Warranties on how to keep your vehicle running for longer:

  • If you are starting a vehicle from cold, allow it to idle for five minutes for the oil to circulate
  • Avoid speeding, turning and braking
  • Try not to over-rev your vehicle
  • Attend to warning lights immediately; don’t think these will go away in time, they may indicate serious issues
  • Regularly check tyre pressure. Do this when you stop to refuel. Also check your oil when refuelling
  • Check wheel alignment and balancing every six months, especially after extensive travel
  • Replace serviceable items (e.g. brake pads, fan belts) according to the service schedule of your vehicle
  • Request the parts which were replaced during a service to ensure they were in fact replaced
  • Stick to the servicing schedule of your vehicle; being proactive about your vehicle’s well-being is part of being a responsible car owner
  • Consider a mechanical warranty to provide ‘medical aid’ cover for your vehicle.

Author: Omega Fumba