The Z Story continues – images of an exhibition

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Early this year BMW Belux organized a remarkable exhibition in its BMW Brand Store in Brussels.

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It was the 11th edition of the BMW Art & Design Sessions, and this time it focused on the iconic roadster age which changed automotive history forever since 1955.

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The show was close to breathtaking with on display the very exclusive BMW 507, a pristine Z1, (see photo here above)

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a BMW Z3, a Z4 cabrio and coupé, and last but not least a BMW Z8 (well known from the James Bond films).

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Of course, one looked also to the future, with an exclusive presentation of the BMW Concept Z4.

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We just let you admire our photos here…

Art and design in the BMW Brand Store

Just a few words more about this Brussels BMW Brand Store, situated at the Boulevard de Waterloo. It started life as an Experience Center of the German premium brand, and on January 21 2015 this BMW Brand Store launched the concept ‘Art & Design Sessions’.

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Within this concept, an artist or designer presents his work and meets invited people in an exclusive event. The Antwerp photographer Marc Lagrange, designer Xavier Lust, artists Yann Guitton and Hervé Poulain, Nicolas Destino and last but not least iconic photographer Terry O’Neill filled the first editions of the Art & Design Sessions in the BMW Brand Store.

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Just for the record, Hervé Poulain is the retired French racing driver and professional auctioneer who instigated the BMW Art Project, where artists could use BMW automobiles as their canvas. In 1975 he commissioned Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car…

As said, enjoy my photos!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We added a Nikon 5600 to our camera stable…

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Looking for improved DSLR connectivity with a smartphone, and still having that trusted Nikon image quality, we opted lately for the Nikon 5600. We did not have yet a DSLR with a moveable screen to enable selfie videos for vlogging, so this was also a good reason to have a go here. It came with a Nikon 18-140 mm lens, which makes it also very versatile. With the 1,5 focal length multiplier, this actually boils down to 27-210 mm.

Here follows our story of unpacking and the first weeks of use…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Compact body

What we liked first was the compactness of the body, and the nice “feel” of the grip.  Nikon has nevertheless found room for a 3.2″ touchscreen. This screen comes in quite handy when shooting with your right eye, as the right-hand side of the rear LCD can be swiped to position the initial AF point. It’s got a good autofocus system (39 points) which performs wonderfully in terms of simply being given a target and then left to the job of keeping that subject in focus.

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Excellent images

Of course, Nikon excellence also comes with the 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, giving also lively and quite good images, also in JPEG format.

It has also 1080/60p video capability, and what’s more, a time-lapse movie feature.

Of course, one of the good features of a DSLR is its battery stamina: it will “take” 970 images on a full battery charge.

Snapbridge

As said, the camera featurs SnapBridge, which is primarily a Bluetooth-based system which uses a low-energy connection to stay connected to your smart device and to transfer images. Although the camera is Wi-Fi capable, that capability is used solely for remote live view operation and video transfer. It works well, as long as you stay in the 2 MP format which is suitable for instance for Facebook use.

The first shots are taken, and results can be seen for instance on the photos of the VW T-Roc. We are quite pleased with the punchy images!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Masters of the automobile: Roberto Giolito

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We met Roberto Giolito at the presentation of FCA Heritage at the Rétromobile Show in Paris lately. You can read our report about this presentation and the FCA heritage activities in these columns. Here we focus on the man behind it all, who started in high school as a jazz bass player…and brush him here a short portrait.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Volvo wins international prizes with its XC60 and XC40…

Volvo XC60 wins World Car Of The Year 2018
Volvo XC60 wins World Car Of The Year 2018…

The new Volvo XC60 midsize SUV has been named World Car of the Year 2018 at the New York Auto Show, and it also scooped the prestigious North American Utility of the Year Award earlier this year, while the XC40 small SUV was named European Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month.

The World Car of the Year win is the first in this competition for Volvo Cars, and you can understand that this brought some very smiling faces…

XC60 T8 Inscription
The powerful XC60 T8 Inscription…delivering 407hp and acceleration from 0-100 km in just 5.3 seconds.

These two accolades come hot on the heels of Mr Samuelsson’s World Car Person of the Year recognition, awarded by the same panel of international media in Geneva earlier this month. Mr Samuelsson was given this inaugural award in recognition of his work in driving the success of Volvo Cars in recent years.

Volvo Car Group President & CEO Håkan Samuelsson at the European Car of the Year award ceremony
Volvo Car Group President & CEO Håkan Samuelsson proudly posing with the coveted prize at the European Car of the Year award ceremony.

The 2018 European Car of the Year award for the XC40 follows other recent recognition, including the Car of the Year award by leading UK automotive publication “What Car?”

The XC40 is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new compact modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 Series, including fully electrified vehicles. Co-developed together with Geely, CMA provides the company with the necessary economies of scale for this segment.

New Volvo XC40 - exterior
New Volvo XC40 has pleasing proportions and will be offered with a wide range of drivetrains.

In 2017, the company announced its commitment to electrify all Volvo Cars launched from 2019. In line with this leadership position in electrification, a hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

 

We spoke with Robert Irlinger, Senior Vice-President BMWi: “our e-mobility strategy is well underway, and is now one of our core competences”

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The BMW Group has been working on its strategy for future (e) mobility for years now. Since 2007, they we have grown to a new level, thanks to their Strategy Number ONE. With this strategy, BMW put its BMW EfficientDynamics technology package and, even more importantly, BMW i on the road. Development on the clever and iconic i3 then started in 2008.

Already back in back in 2010, BMW decided to offer all types of drives in all vehicle segments from the next decade on, and to do so depending on market demands: state-of-the-art, efficient, clean combustion engines; plug-in hybrids starting in 2015; and fully electric, battery-powered drives from 2021 onward.

ACES as strategy in NEXT

ACES as strategy in NEXT…

BMW the revised the strategy in 2016 to – Number ONE > NEXT – and has added new topics, namely digitalization, autonomous driving and the far-reaching rollout of e-mobility.

When BMW started to implement this revised strategy in 2016, they realigned their organizational setup in research & development. In doing so, they focused on two top priorities: Digitalization, which includes the extension of connectivity, the application of artificial intelligence, and the development of autonomously driving premium vehicles. The second priority was Drive technology, with EfficientDynamics NEXT for the combustion engines, and the development of semi- and fully electrified vehicles with battery and fuel cell technologies.

Mix drivetrains

The BMW mix of (future) drivetrains: Battery operated/Plug-in-hybrid, fuel cell and last but not least combustion engine...

The driving force of these numerous trendsetting technologies is iNEXT, which is enabling the entire company and all brands to deal with these issues of the future.

In 2021, when the BMW iNEXT is scheduled to hit the roads, it will have integrated all strategic innovation topics for the mobility of tomorrow.

All the more reason to have a talk on the last Brussels Salon with Robert Irlinger, Senior Vice-President BMWi and Peter Henrich, CEO of BMW Group Belux.

Just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We spoke with Robert Irlinger, Senior Vice-President BMWi: “our e-mobility strategy is well underway, and is now one of our core competences””

We drove the Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI 150 HP 4×4 automatic: the Yeti successor gets a classic look…and is better than ever.

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When it comes to compact and bigger SUV’s, Skoda has some formidable cards up its sleeve. Its SUV’s all look pleasing and well proportioned, and are strong contenders in their respective segments. For the successor of the Yeti, Skoda opted for more mainstream styling, to win the hearts of ever more followers. It also offers even more room. Our test car came with the trusty two litre diesel engine, cleverly coupled to the 7-speed 4×4 DSG transmission. Clearly showing us again how smooth, powerful and thrifty modern powertrains have become…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We drove the Skoda Karoq 2.0 TDI 150 HP 4×4 automatic: the Yeti successor gets a classic look…and is better than ever.”

We spoke with Peter Quintus, Sales Manager BMW M GmbH: “we embody a unique driving philosophy”

These are great times for BMW “M” : the BMW M5 has been voted “World Performance Car 2018”, making this the seventh time BMW has received a World Car Award from the organisation “World Car of the Year”.

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A good occasion to publish here the interview we had with Peter Quintus (on the left of the photo, and with Peter Henrich, CEO of BMW Group Belux) on the Brussels Car Show early this year…just read further!

Hans Knol ten Bensel Continue reading “We spoke with Peter Quintus, Sales Manager BMW M GmbH: “we embody a unique driving philosophy””

We drove the Tiguan Allspace 1.4 TSI DSG: the beauty of space…

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The Tiguan is an absolute bestseller in its home country, and VW decided to widen its appeal by offering a longer version, which allows it to be a 7 seater, or rather 5+2 as VW calls it, as the extra two seats are meant for smaller kids. The Tiguan has gained in stance and elegance with this elongated body, and it was also for us an opportunity to drive the latest generation Tiguan, and again be amazed by its chassis, suspension and the state of the art petrol engined drivetrain…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Seat Arona Excellence 1.6 TDI 95 HP and 1.0 TSI 115 HP: it does your thing…the right way!

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Compact SUV and crossovers are all the rage nowadays, and the VW Group has many irons in the fire in this segment. Under the Seat brand it offers in the B segment the well styled Arona, which not only pleased us with its pure, angular contours, but also with the way it drives, handles and performs, and offers lots of pleasure to the whole family.

This test drive also amply showed us the high level of engineering and well honed workmanship which went into this Arona, and last but not least how good modern day diesel and petrol engines have become…

Just read further!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “We drove the Seat Arona Excellence 1.6 TDI 95 HP and 1.0 TSI 115 HP: it does your thing…the right way!”