XI FTW: The xi resource.
Reverse engineering a BMW with one diff too many.

Site Status

April 10th, 2012 Posted in XIFTW Updates |

As you may have noticed, the site has more or less been in a holding pattern for a while. I think I always expected to sink a lot more time into it but, as is always the case, I got busy in some other projects and haven’t really touched this much. I still have and drive the XI daily, though, as the summer comes up again (with it the various maintenance requirements and projects that a 150k-mile car has), I want to ask the question: Is this site useful to you? There’s a poll over on the right and I’d definitely appreciate the feedback as I decide whether to put in the work to keep it up and move hosts or just bring it down entirely. Thanks

Boston Autoshow 2009

December 4th, 2009 Posted in Events |

I just attended the Thursday evening session of the New England International Autoshow (running from Dec 2 to Dec 6) and will have a full review and photo gallery posted this weekend.  If you get a chance, head on over and you can see new models from the big manufacturers as well as some classics (read: Newport Concourse d’Elegance) for $12.  Sadly, no Mercedes or Porsche this year but still a good turnout from the makers.

BMW and the $89,725 Hybrid

November 19th, 2009 Posted in xiftw Blog |

Are you completely, utterly recession proof?  If so, the BMW X6 Active Hybrid might be the new car for you.  With just-released 2010 prices of a tad under $90,000 and an average MPG hovering around 20mpg, the new X6s do their best to fill the niche for big-oil executives and Saudi princes who have been wondering what they’re going to trade their Priuses in for now that they’ve realized their still making money hand over fist.

According to BMW, the X6 ActiveHybrid “feature an upgraded twin-turbo, High Precision Direct Injection, V8 engine with a 3-phase synchronous electric motor positioned between the engine and torque converter. When the driver requires more power, the electric motors supply additional torque for enhanced performance, boosting the overall output of the vehicle..”

“Imagine getting up to 480-hp in the ActiveHybrid X6 and [eventually] 455-hp in the ActiveHybrid 7, without an increase in fuel consumption for maximum versatility. ”

Like all X-models, the sport-activity coupe sports the x-drive all wheel drive system although this is the first time x-drive has come alongside the ///M badge.  I’m still holding out for the M3x but I think that might still be a ways off.

The ActiveHybrid version, at least, will be available in early December.

See the X6 ActiveHybrid announcement press release here

[source: BMW, images: BMW]

Six on Two

November 17th, 2009 Posted in xiftw Blog |

In one-wheel-drive related news, BMW Motorrad recently announced the Concept 6 motorcycle at the 2009 EICMA.  The concept bike features the BMW trademark inline-six cylinder engine style - a previously unexplored idea.   BMW seems re-excited enough about this engine design to possibly make the move to production although they don’t state that explicitly in the press release.  Until it makes it to the dealer floors, though, we’ll have to drool over some of the specs they are already claiming…

According to BMW, “This engine definitely opens up a whole new dimension of motorcycling in terms of supremacy, power delivery and running smoothness. The output of the new 6-cylinder will be within the range of the BMW Motorrad 1.3 in-line 4-cylinder engines. However, its torque level will be in the very top class of large-volume motorcycle engines. It draws its power from a capacity of 1.6 litres, among other things.”

“The performance characteristics are therefore highly impressive: even at low engine speeds from 2000 rpm torque of 130 Nm is available, and the highest engine speed of some 9000 rpm reveals a level of dynamic potential which is barely matched within the touring bike segment in particular. This configuration essentially qualifies the Concept 6 engine for a wide range of potential motorcycle concepts.”

For more details visit BMW Motorrad: http://www.bmw-motorrad.com

New Poll

November 16th, 2009 Posted in xiftw Blog |

Added a new (and slightly more specific) poll to try and see what you are looking for when you visit xiftw.com.  I’ve focused mainly on my E46 XI but would be more than happy to add information for other BMW chassis models as I come across it, if there is a decent interest.  If you have any info in particular that you’d like to see on the site to help the other DIYers out there, just use the contact page and let me know

BavAuto 2009

October 5th, 2009 Posted in Events, Photos |

Rain held out enough for BavAuto 2009 to be another solid event with a great turnout, great cars, and great friends.  Here are a few of my photo highlights.

See the rest of the gallery here

Busy, busy

April 12th, 2009 Posted in XIFTW Updates, xiftw Blog |

Hi everyone.  I’ve been getting a bunch of emails recently (perhaps something to do with my mention on wikipedia?) but haven’t gotten a chance to respond to them.  Don’t worry, I’ll get right on it and you’ll be hearing from me soon.  Unfortunately, the recent side-projects haven’t been bimmer related but AutoX season is coming up as is a mini road-trip so I’ll be having a bunch of site updates shortly, too.

Again, good to hear from everyone and thanks for the continued interest!

Ice Racing

March 4th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized |

After two warm winters of waiting, I finally got the chance to attend an Ice Racing event sponsored by the Boston Chapter of BMW CCA.  Although pretty chilly, the conditions really couldn’t have been better for such an event.  The course had been freshly plowed earlier in the week and, of course, right before a rain storm dumped an inch of water across the lake.  As you can see, the entire course was as slick as a skating rink and it was nearly impossible to walk on let alone attempt to drive.

Even with speeds only hitting 5 or maybe 10mph in the corners, there were still plenty of spins and, unfortunately, there were a few casualties.  The snow banks had frozen over turned out to be pretty hard.  A couple bumpers got taken off but nothing major happened that might put a damper on the day.  In general, all the drivers were well aware of the conditions and managed to keep the staging areas and practice course safe.

The XI performed beautifully in the ice - or at least as well as I could expect it to in those conditions - and being able to spin at some low speeds was more than fun.   Even with Blizzaks and AWD, though, it still beached itself pretty well a couple times and needed a solid three-person push back on to the practice course once (better than the GMC truck that needed to get towed out by a Range Rover).

Thanks go out to Stan Jackson - the event organizer, as well as all the instructors who donated their time to running such a great event, and the tow truck crew and drivers who helped keep cars relatively on course.  Also want to send a shout out to Stefan at Turner Motorsports who got lost with me on the way to the event and a thanks to Rachel who kindly gave me half of her sandwich and a delicious cookie.

See the rest of my gallery.

BMW 7-Series with xDrive in 2009

February 25th, 2009 Posted in xNews |

This is old news (Dec. 2008 was an eternity ago) but as Autoblog pointed out, BMW has developed a 7-series that will incorporate the xDrive system to be released in late 2009.  This, of course, is pending BMW making it through the financial meltdown relatively unscathed, I’m sure.

Here’s an excerpt from their text:

“So for the first time in the model line’s history, the new BMW 7 Series will be offered with all-wheel drive.

Engineers in Bavaria have reportedly worked hard to keep the 7’s rear-drive dynamics intact, and have opted to fit the xDrive system with a 30:70 rearward bias instead of the 40:60 in other applications. xDrive-equipped 7s will also get a slightly higher ground clearance and Hill Decent Control, a system usually reserved for serious off-road vehicles. The option will be available on all versions of the 7 save the smallest diesels and gasoline engines that we don’t get in North America anyway, fetching a €2500-2800 premium (in European markets) over conventional rear-drive versions. BMW is testing the 7 Series with xDrive in snow-draped locales before the option is offered in other markets starting at the Frankfurt Motor Show in October 2009, after which Quattros and 4Matics will be looking over their shoulders.”

I’ll keep my ears open for more news.

[Autoblog]

Thanks Judith!

February 22nd, 2009 Posted in xiftw Blog |

I have some new-found inspiration in making some updates.

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