BMW Car Leasing History and Technology

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Learn about BMW Car Leasing

Before you choose to lease a new BMW, here is bit of history about the brand, its cars and some of the technology it uses. After the information, there will be some links to the BMW car leasing deals currently available.

BMW is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. BMW is known for its performance and luxury vehicles. It also owns and produces the MINI brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.


BMW's History:
BMW started out producing aeroplane engines under the name of Rapp Motorenwerke. The current BMW logo is a derivation of the Rapp logo. The 'Roundel' is said to represent an aeroplane's propeller. The white 'blades' cutting through the blue sky. The colours of white and blue are also those found on the flag of Bavaria, where BMW was founded.

After WWI, BMW was forced to cease production of aeroplane engines and in 1923, it shifted its efforts to focused on the production of motorcycles, before later, in 1928-9, moving onto producing the cars we're familiar with today.

BMW's first car was produced in 1927 and was called the 'BMW Dixi' or the 3/15 DA-1. It was replaced by rhe 3/15 DA-2 in 1929. The DA-2 stayed around during the 1930's and was superceeded by the BMW 326.

The BMW 326 is a relatively rapid medium sized sedan produced by the Bavarian firm between 1936 and 1941, and again briefly after 1945. It had an innovative design and sold well despite its relatively high price.

First presented in February at the 1936 Berlin Motor Show, the 326 was offered for sale from May of that year. Featuring a box chassis that could readily be adapted for derivative models, the 326 was the first BMW available with four doors. Also innovative were the torsion bar rear suspension and the hydraulic brake control.

It might surprise you that after many years of successfully selling cars, the BMW group found itself in financial difficulties in 1959. The automotive division of BMW called a shareholders meeting and decided to try and cash in on the economic boom in Germany rather than go into liquidation. BMW decided to buy the rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta car. The tiny cars were powered by a modified form of BMW's motorcycle engine. This decision proved to be the right one and helped the company survive.

BMW then went on to build many successful and prestigious cars, including the 501, the 502 and 3200CS before it built the 'The New Class'.

The BMW New Class was a line of compact sedans and coupes produced by German automaker BMW starting with the 1962 1500 and continuing through the last 2002s in 1977. Powered by BMW's four-cylinder M10 engine, the New Class models featured a fully independent suspension, MacPherson struts in front, and front disc brakes. Initially a family of four-door sedans and two-door coupes, the New Class line was broadened to two-door sports sedans with the addition of the 02 Series 1600 and 2002 in 1966.

Sharing little in common with the rest the line beyond power train, the New Class caught auto enthusiasts' attention and established BMW as an international brand.

After the success of the BMW New Class, the automotive giant made what turned out to be a very wise decision. In 1975, it introduced the 3 Series.

The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car mand was the successor to the BMW New Class. The BMW 3 Series has been produced in five different generations and has seen five different body styles. It is BMW's best selling automobile -- in 2005, it accounting for nearly 40% of the company's auto sales.

Between 1975 and 1978, to accompany the 3 Series, BMW introduced the 5 Series, the 6 Series and the 7 Series. It is these names that are all familiar to us modern day drivers.

Fast forward to 1994, and after many successful years producing cars BMW bought the British Rover Group and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was making huge losses and BMW decided to sell everything apart from the rights to build the new Mini, which BMW launched in 2001.


Current Models:

The BMW 1 Series.
The BMW 1 Series is a compact car produced since 2004. The 1 Series is the only vehicle in its class featuring rear-wheel drive, 50:50 weight balance, a longitudinally-mounted engine and an advanced aluminum multilink suspension. It is currently BMW's second best-selling automobile, accounting for nearly 20% of the total sales in 2008. The 1 Series was launched globally in Autumn 2004 and shares many similarities with the larger 3 Series. The model was introduced to provide a lower point of entry into the BMW range as the 3 Series moved gradually up-market. Initially launched as a 5-door hatchback, a 3-door version was also launched in July 2007. The 1 Series is priced between the MINI and the current 3 Series.

The BMW 3 Series.
The BMW (E90) series is the fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series range of compact executive cars. The car is also available as a estate, coupe and coupe cabriolet.A high performance BMW M3 version of the E90 is also available.

The New BMW 3 Series saloon is 49 mm longer, 78 mm wider and 9 mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase is longer by 35 mm. Large amounts of aluminium were used in the body work and suspension in an attempt to keep the weight close to previous models; however, the new 3 series weighs more than comparable older models.

The BMW 5 Series.
The BMW 5 Series is a mid-size / executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. The car is now in its fifth generation. And on January 29, 2008, the 5 millionth 5 series was manufactured. The 5 Series began the BMW tradition of being named with a three-digit number. The first digit represents the model, and the following two digits normally represent the cc of the engine.

The new BMW 5 Series represents a significant step forward in technology over previous models. With complete electronic control over all aspects of the vehicle from the suspension, to brightness of interior lights, to different temperature zones within the cabin. The vehicle is also equipped with an array of safety features from adaptive headlamps to Hill start assist, and is also equipped with a Trailer Stability Program to aid when towing a large trailer or caravan.

The BMW 7 Series.
The BMW 7 Series is a line of full-size luxury vehicles produced by the German automaker BMW. Introduced in 1977, it is BMW's flagship car and is only available as a 4 door saloon.

The BMW Z4.
The BMW Z4 is a rear-wheel drive sports car. If follows a line of past BMW roadsters such as the BMW Z1, BMW 507, and the BMW Z3. The Z4 replaces the Z3. Starting with the 2009 model year, the second-generation Z4 is built with a retractable hardtop. Impressively, it can retract in around 20seconds. BMW have also engineered the car so that when the roof is folded away, the car retains its 50:50 weight distribution.

The BMW X1.
The BMW X1 is a crossover compact SUV. All sDrive models are rear wheel drive, while xDrive models are all wheel drive. The X1 has up to 1350 liters of storage space.

The BMW X3.
The BMW X3 is a compact crossover SUV now in its first generation. Following the X5, the X3 was the second vehicle marketed by BMW as a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).

The BMW X5.
The BMW X5 is a mid-size crossover SUV sold by BMW since 1999, making it BMW's first SUV. BMW described it as a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) rather than an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle), to emphasize its on-road ability despite its size.

The BMW X6.
The BMW X6 is a mid-size luxury Sports Activity Coupe released for sale in the second quarter of 2008. The X6 was marketed as a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) as it combines the attributes of an SUV with the stance of a coupe.

According to BMW's website, "Extracting maximum driving pleasure from every drop of fuel: this is the aim of BMW EfficientDynamics". With an array of intelligent technologies, BMW's EfficientDynamics is able to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while improving your vehicle's performance.


Their website continues,"The array of leading-edge technologies that are part of the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy are as diverse as they are innovative. From new fuel combustion technologies to lighter construction materials, low-friction components and improved aerodynamics all the way to comprehensive and highly sophisticated energy management. However, the aim of each of these innovations is the same: to deliver maximum driving pleasure from a minimum of fuel.To achieve this aim, new engines have been developed: petrol engines with lean-burn technology and High Precision Injection. Diesel engines with third-generation common rail injection and light-weight materials that lead to a 20 kg reduction in weight.

The Auto Start Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration make more of every drop of fuel. Improved aerodynamics - such as the innovative air vent control - together with tyres with reduced rolling resistance and a range of efficiency-enhancing modifications to the drivetrain all lead to the same result: more dynamic performance from less fuel.

How effective are these innovations? The figures speak for themselves: for every 100 km, the new BMW 120i (five-door) consumes one litre of fuel less than its predecessor, yet it can sprint from zero to 100 km/h one second faster."


Auto Start Stop.
Again, some information from BMW's website: A clever way to save fuel: the Auto Start Stop function turns off the engine each time the vehicle comes to a complete halt - such as at traffic lights - and restarts it automatically. A reduction in fuel consumption is the result.

The principle is simple: if the engine is not running, it cannot consume fuel. The Auto Start Stop function turns off the engine whenever it is not needed. In a traffic jam or in stop-and-go traffic, simply putting your BMW into neutral and taking your foot from the clutch will activate the function. "Start Stop" on the Info Display signals that the engine has been turned off.

To set off again, just put your BMW back into gear: the moment you depress the clutch, the engine immediately springs back to life and you can drive on without a moment's delay.

Driving comfort and driving safety are not affected by the Auto Start Stop function. The function is not activated, for example, until the engine has reached the ideal running temperature. The same applies if the air conditioner has not yet brought the cabin to the desired temperature, if the battery is not adequately charged or if the driver moves the steering wheel.

The Auto Start Stop function is coordinated by a central control unit that monitors data from all relevant sensors, the starter motor and the alternator. If necessary for comfort or safety, the control unit will automatically restart the engine: for example, if the vehicle begins to roll, the battery charge falls too low or condensation forms on the windscreen.

Furthermore, the system also recognises the difference between a temporary stop and the end of the trip. It will not restart the engine if driver's seatbelt is undone, or if the door or bonnet is open. If desired, the Auto Start Stop function can be completely deactivated with the press of a button.

When used consistently, the Auto Start Stop function delivers significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


Dynamic Stability Control.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) adds to safety by facilitating vehicle control even in adverse driving conditions or on tough surfaces.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is the nucleus of the chassis control systems in BMW vehicles. It ensures the highest possible levels of stability when driving, and it maximizes traction of all wheels when setting off or accelerating. It is able to detect the first signs of oversteering or understeering and helps keep the vehicle safely on course, even if the tyres have varying levels of grip.

Sophisticated sensors permanently check how the vehicle is driving. Information comes a range of sensors monitoring wheel rotation, steering angle, lateral forces, pressure and yaw (degree of rotation around the vertical axis). A simulation model stored in the DSC control unit to ensure stability ("one-/two-track model") and can be compared information coming from the steering wheel and accelerator: if there is too great a difference between the model and how the vehicle is currently travelling, DSC acts to increase stability or traction.

The engine and brake management systems are targeted specifically; xDrive is also included in all-wheel drive vehicles. Reducing or increasing the engine torque or braking individual wheels can improve stability and traction. Active Steering's integrated yaw regulation system can even help significantly reduce steering effort and the extent of DSC's contribution to stability.


All of BMW's current range of new cars are available to lease. If you are interested in leasing a BMW, take a look at our BMW car leasing deals

BMW Car Leasing And Contract Hire.

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