Unbridled performance and a customised driving experience: BMW M GmbH develops new display and control system for its high-performance sports cars

Unbridled performance and a customised driving experience: BMW M GmbH develops new display and control system for its high-performance sports cars

Premiere in the new BMW M8 Coupe and new BMW M8 Convertible: Setup button for configuration of powertrain and chassis systems now also enables selection of braking system settings – New M Mode promotes focused driving on the road and track.

The feeling of an M car is unmistakable – and now it can be tailored even more closely to the individual. BMW M GmbH is unveiling a new display and control system for the configuration of the powertrain, chassis and driver assistance systems on its high-performance sports cars. As well as additional scope for adapting the vehicle settings both to the situation at hand and to personal preferences using the Setup button, drivers will also enjoy the services of the new M Mode (activated at the touch of a button). The Setup button can be used to adjust the vehicle settings, while M Mode allows the displays and driver assistance systems to be tuned to the driver’s requirements. This extra individualisation and even more intuitive operation will be included for the first time in the new BMW M8 Coupe and BMW M8 Competition Coupe (fuel consumption combined: 10.6 – 10.5 l/100 km [26.7 – 26.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 242 – 238 g/km; provisional figures), and the new BMW M8 Convertible and BMW M8 Competition Convertible (fuel consumption combined: 10.8 – 10.6 l/100 km [26.2 – 26.7 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 246 – 241 g/km; provisional figures). With the help of these new features, drivers of BMW’s high-performance models for the luxury segment can enjoy their exceptional range of abilities – from supreme long-distance comfort to alluring track dynamics – in even greater depth.

The control system developed for BMW M models traditionally enables their powertrain and chassis technology to be configured in a wide variety of ways according to personal tastes and needs. Indeed, the driver can activate various settings for the engine, suspension and steering independently of one another. In models specified with the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels can also be tweaked. And now the new BMW M8 Coupe and new BMW M8 Convertible offer the ability to configure the braking system as required, too.

The new Setup button on the centre console of the new BMW M8 Coupe and new BMW M8 Convertible enables direct access to all available setup options for five vehicle parameters. Pressing the button brings up a Setup menu in the Control Display, which offers an overview of the vehicle settings currently engaged. The driver can then activate their desired mode for the engine, suspension, steering, brakes and M xDrive – in a single step in each case – via the touchscreen or the iDrive Controller.

The engine characteristics can be adjusted by means of the EFFICIENT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS settings, while the COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT PLUS chassis options give access to the three profiles for the electronically controlled dampers. The driver can also choose between COMFORT and SPORT for both the M-specific electromechanical steering and the new braking system. When DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is deactivated, the 4WD, 4WD SPORT and 2WD (for pure rear-wheel drive) settings for the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system also come into play. Two individually composed variants of this setup can be stored permanently with the driver’s preferred settings for the engine sound, gearshift characteristics, driving stability control and Auto Start Stop function. The overall vehicle configuration can then be called up instantly at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.

The M-specific version of a new braking technology paves the way for the configuration of braking characteristics, a feature available for the first time in the new BMW M8. The new system brings together the brake activation, brake booster and braking control functions within a compact module. The integrated braking system reduces weight by around two kilograms and employs a vacuum-free brake booster to enhance the car’s overall efficiency. The brake pressure required is triggered by an electric actuator, which allows it to be generated more dynamically and also ensures significantly faster and more precise interventions from the driving stability control system.

The integrated braking system also does an excellent job of allowing vehicle deceleration to be geared precisely to the driver’s requirements and of generating sublime pedal feel in any situation. Braking feedback to the driver is unimpaired by wet road surfaces, significant lateral acceleration or high brake temperatures, and this ensures precise metering of braking power at all times. The version of the new braking system developed for BMW M models also presents the driver with two pedal feel settings.

COMFORT and SPORT modes alter the amount of pressure on the brake pedal required to slow the car. This allows the driver to choose between a comfort-oriented perception of the braking process and a particularly direct, instantaneous response to applications of the pedal. The new BMW M8 teams this innovative system with both the standard M compound brakes and optional M carbon-ceramic brakes.

In addition to the new configuration options opened up by the Setup button, the new BMW M8 also allows the gearshift characteristics of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission to be adjusted using the Drivelogic button on the selector lever and the engine sound to be varied via a separate button on the centre console. M Dynamic Mode – which raises the intervention thresholds for the driving stability control and allows controlled drifts – and DSC Off mode can also be initiated at the touch of a button.

A fresh addition to the new flagship models from BMW M GmbH is the M Mode button on the centre console. This can be used to alter the responses of the driver assistance systems and the screens in the all-digital instrument cluster and Head-Up Display. M Mode allows the driver to activate ROAD and SPORT modes, while the new BMW M8 Competition Coupe and BMW M8 Competition Convertible also come with a TRACK setting. These options enhance the hallmark M driving experience according to the situation at hand. Changing the settings alters the information presented to the driver on the screens, while the safety-enhancing interventions by the driver assistance systems – such as active braking or steering inputs – are reduced to a bare minimum or deactivated altogether.

In the default ROAD setting, all the standard and optional driver assistance systems are fully activated. A simple press of the M Mode button engages the SPORT setting, in which the active driver assistance systems (in the configuration set by the driver) now only transmit alerts on speed limits and overtaking restrictions. This mode disables all interventions in the braking and steering systems, aside from those made by the Collision Warning with braking function and the Evasion Assistant.

In SPORT mode, the driver benefits from M View in both the instrument cluster and the Head-Up Display. Here, only relevant information for sporty driving – i.e. an M-specific engine speed dial and the shift lights (which indicate the ideal time to change gear), a digital speed display and the gear currently engaged – is displayed in the cockpit. Information on coolant temperature, charge pressure, tyre condition, and longitudinal and lateral acceleration can be viewed in the right- and left-hand areas of the instrument cluster. The Head-Up Display read-out is concentrated around the engine revs and shift lights, navigation instructions and distance warnings, the gear selected and the vehicle speed, plus the speed limits and overtaking restrictions detected by the Speed Limit Info system. Pressing the M Mode button again returns the driver to the default ROAD mode.

An extended press of the M Mode button engages TRACK mode, which is available in the Competition models and designed exclusively for use on race circuits. The decision to activate this mode must be confirmed using the iDrive Controller. In this setting, all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems are deactivated. In addition, the audio system and Control Display are both switched off in order to focus the driver’s attention even more intently on the road ahead. TRACK mode allows drivers of the new BMW M8 Competition Coupe and new BMW M8 Competition Convertible to experience an ultra-pure, racing-car-inspired distillation of M feeling. Added to which, the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display also include M View, although TRACK mode blanks out the road sign detection and distance information. Pressing the M Mode button again takes the car out of the TRACK setting and back into ROAD mode.

Source: BMW Europe



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