Continental has named its new head of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Birgit Hiller will take on this role from 1 September 2021, succeeding Dr Felix Gress, who has decided to leave the company after more than 11 years. She will report directly to Nikolai Setzer, chief executive officer of Continental.
BMW M GmbH has selected Hankook Tire as an original equipment tyre supplier and is fitting the BMW X3 M and X4 M with the Hankook Ventus S1 evo Z; both models wear tweaked versions of the UUHP tyre in size 255/40 ZR21 102Y on the front axle and 265/40 ZR21 105Y at the rear. This is Hankook’s first partnership with BMW’s performance division, but it reports that “other tyres for M GmbH models are already in development.”
The BMW Group is beginning to test near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train in everyday conditions on European roads. Prototypes of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT will examine how effectively the CO2-free drive train, model-specific chassis technology and vehicle electronics systems work together under real-life conditions. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT is a pure electric vehicle that uses hydrogen as fuel by converting it into electricity in a fuel cell. The recently launched testing programme will pave the way for the BMW Group to present a small-series model with this sustainable drive technology, developed on the basis of the BMW X5, in late 2022. Extensive field testing of these vehicles will provide practical experience in the use of this sustainable drive technology.
Yokohama is supplying its Advan racing tyres to seven cars entered by four teams in the 49th Nürburgring 24-Hour Endurance Race (3-6 June). Supported teams include Walkenhorst Motorsport, a BMW customer racing team that entered into a partnership agreement with Yokohama Rubber last year. Four Walkenhorst machines will run on Advan tyres, including three BMW M6 GT3 cars competing in the top-level SP9 class. The cars will use the Advan A005 for dry conditions and the A006 for wet conditions.
Pirelli claims a world first with the launch of a range of FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) tyres. Designed for the BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in-hybrid, these tyres contain FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon. According to Pirelli, its FSC-Certified P Zero represents “a new horizon for increasingly sustainable tyre production.”
Another original equipment approval for the Yokohama Advan Sport V107. Yokohama Rubber is delivering this particular tyre to BMW M GmbH for factory-fitment on the BMW M3 saloon and BMW M4 coupe in the front wheel size 275/40ZR18 (103Y) and rear wheel size 285/35ZR19 (103Y). Supply began last November and complements Yokohama’s original equipment presence on the BMW M5.
Yokohama is supplying its Advan Sport V107 tyres to BMW for the manufacturer’s new iX3. The German marque’s first sports activity vehicle (SAV) with an all-electric-drive system uses three sizes of the Advan Sport V107 on the new electric SAV: 245/50R19 105W, 245/45R20 103W, and 275/40R20 106W. Yokohama began shipping the tyres to the BMW Group in September 2020.
The relationship between Michelin and BMW dates back 35 years, and at present the tyre maker supplies to no less than nine ‘M’ models – the M2, M3, M4, M5, M8, X3 M, X4 M, X5 M and X6 M. Most recently, Michelin tailored two of its high performance tyre lines for original equipment fitment on the BMW M3 and M4.
Cars competing in the DTM race series will race exclusively on Michelin tyres during the 2021 season. As per the agreement signed that Michelin Motorsport signed with DTM management last week, the tyre maker will supply Michelin Pilot Sport GT S9M tyres as well as a range of associated services. Drivers will use the Michelin tyres for the first time at the DTM test drives on 7-8 April at the Hockenheimring and 4-6 May at the Lausitzring in Germany. The season starts on 18 June in Monza, Italy.
The BMW M2 CS Racing is the new entry-level model in the BMW M Motorsport product portfolio, and the car has its own race series. BMW M Motorsport is collaborating with motorsport agency tolimit to bring the BMW M2 Cup to European circuits this year. Each of the identical cars competing in the series will race on Goodyear tyres.
Pirelli shares that its tyres have gained a total of 78 original equipment homologations for the latest versions of the BMW 8 Series Coupe, Gran Coupe, and Cabrio, including M Sport models. These cars ride on bespoke Pirelli P Zero and Cinturato P7 tyres. Depending on model, Pirelli will supply BMW with 18- to 20-inch fitments.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz have announced that they are putting their autonomous drive technology collaboration on hold. David Leggett, automotive analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, comments on the news: “The two companies cited the cost of developing a new next generation shared autonomous drive technology platform, as well as current business and economic conditions, as reasons for putting the cooperation on hold.”
Audi announced its withdrawal from the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), effective at the end of the 2020 season. As things stand, BMW will be the only remianing factory team at the beginning of 2021; R-Motorsport dropped out earlier in the year. Audi wants to concentrate on Formula E and customer sport in the future according to a statement from Ingolstadt. The 2020 season of DTM has yet to start, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. DTM has not started its 2020 series yet due to the Coronavirus crisis, but has announced a new Esports series with Hankook a founding partner.