The 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

0226193   The annual Concours d’Elegance at Amelia Island will take place March 7th to 10th.  This event draws many unique and rare classic cars.  Proceeds go towards charitable efforts such as Community Hospice and Palliative Care, Shop with Cops, and Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Events include Porsche driving experience, RM Sotheby’s auction, MotorXpo, Cars and Coffee meet, book signings, and the car show.


41′ AMG Carbon Edition: Performance at sea.

0226192     Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing unveil the eleventh edition of their exclusive boat. The “41’ AMG Carbon Edition” owes its lightweight construction and design to the current Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe.  To achieve performance and versatility, the engineers followed a single design aim: weight reduction. Compared to the previous Performance boat of 2017, the new design is able to reduce weight by approximately 500 pounds thanks to carbon-fiber and other lightweight materials. The hull of the 41-foot long vessel uses carbon fiber sandwich construction on both sides of a lightweight core. This allows a more rigid structure of considerably reduced weight. The end result is a lightweight vessel with a lower center of gravity, greatly improving the handling.022619     The contrasting design of the boat is the result of collaboration between the Cigarette Racing Team and Mercedes-Benz designers. The hull is painted in a color exclusive to the the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door Coupe. The graphic design contrasts between dark matte gray and gloss bright red.  These design features are continued in the interior of the boat and features an innovative fabric which is able to reflect body heat away from the occupant. This technology made a darker color choice more comfortable and luxurious. The cockpit is equipped with three Garmin touchscreen displays. These displays show GPS coordinates, navigation charts and engine/operating data, and can also be used to control the ambient lighting.0226191     The 41’ AMG Carbon Edition is powered by a set of four Mercury Racing 400R outboard engines producing 1,600hp.  The boat is able to carry eight passengers at its maximum speed of 83 mph or up to 20 passengers at cruising speed. It is able to offer a combination of performance, excellent handling and versatility thanks to its lightweight construction and power. Traits shared by its land based role model, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-door Coupe.

The Coupe is the first four-door sports car to be developed entirely in-house by the performance brand. Highlights include active rear-wheel steering for great agility, extendable rear spoiler for optimum downforce, an electronic rear axle with limited slip differential, and a specially adapted AMG Ride Control sport suspension based on Air Body Control. The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 is powered by a hand-built 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine developing 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft peak torque.  The Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S develops 630 horsepower and 664 lb-ft peak torque.  The 4 door coupe invites customers seeking a vehicle which offers the impressive Driving Performance of the two-door AMG GT sports car combined with day-to-day suitability and ample space for four passengers.


BMW Audio Explained

Wondering what the difference is between all the audio options for your next BMW?  We’ve explained everything you need to know here. Bear in mind that there may be minor differences to the information you’ll find in this post.


Base (stereo)
The base system as the name suggests is the basic audio option. In some countries, it is replaced by the HiFi system as the standard option.  Equalizer settings here are very limited with minimal adjustments.  It’s usually composed of 4 mid-range speakers and 2 underseat woofers. Tweeters are nowhere to be found here (which can be observed by the missing mesh tweeter grilles inboard of the side mirrors).  The head unit is responsible for the amplification, reducing audio quality and maximum audio output. This may result in a lack of sufficient volume, and wishing you could turn it up more. Towards the end of the volume scale you may start experiencing distortion.

In the US and Canada, it’s not even available and is replaced by the HiFi system as the standard option.

The HiFi system is a noticeable upgrade with tweeters and an amplifier.  The graphic equalizer option is missing and leaves the listener with the same tuning options as the previous sound system – bass/treble, front/back, and left/right.  Some HiFi options will also include an additional midrange speaker for the center-channel dash.  This system has more volume due to the amplifier and cleaner audio signal as a result of a higher quality head unit.  Speakers for this audio option are considerably better than for the base (stereo) option.

Some Harman Kardon setup’s specifications are similar to the regular Hi-Fi systems, but usually have more speakers.

Top-Hifi (Harman Kardon)
Top-HiFi is the best audio option out of all standard three and is branded as Harman Kardon in all the newer models. For older BMWs, naming will vary. However, all of these setups share a similar layout.  You’ll find a surprising amount of speakers – usually about 16. Two underseat woofers, and 7 mid-ranges along with 7 tweeters. One pair is installed in the front deck, while the remaining can be found in the rear deck and four doors.  The amplifier in the Harman Kardon system has 10 channels and is connected to the head unit by a fiber optic cable. You’ll find a graphic equalizer, as well as a surround sound option in the radio menu.

Harman Kardon is a significant improvement with more amplifier power, equalization, and additional speakers that are better quality and have higher power handling.


Bang & Olufsen Audio 

Bang & Olufsen offer a premium audio system for high-end BMW models, including the 5, 6 and 7 series, as well as the X5 and X6. It features improved amplification and speakers.  The B&O system packs a punch with 16 channels and 1200 watts of power.  Speakers are located in the same way as in the Harman Kardon system. To add to its premium appearance, the side tweeters are illuminated, and the center channel speaker extends out from the dashboard.



BMW Increases it’s Carbon (Fiber) Footprint


BMW’s $100 million investment in SGL Group’s carbon fiber division in Moses Lake, WA is paying off in big ways. As their designers continue to find new uses for lightweight materials, BMW builds larger, lighter, stronger and more powerful vehicles than ever.

The new style 7-Series sets the standard for lightweight materials use. The new car is longer and lighter than the outgoing body due to the use of the new carbon core technology, high strength aluminum and magnesium.


2016 BMW 7 Series

The 7 boasts what is probably the closest thing yet to mainstream application of structural carbon fiber. Cast carbon-fiber panels are bonded over steel in the B- and C-pillars, as well as the center tunnel, adding stiffness and strength. The hat shelf behind the rear seats is a cast carbon panel. Sturdy woven tubes stiffen the sills and form the longitudinal roof rails reaching from the A-pillars back to the Cs. The roof bows are also carbon fiber. Forming so much of the upper structure from the lightweight material helps drop the center of gravity compared with the outgoing car.

Carbon fiber isn’t the lone lightweight material though. The doors—both the inner and outer panels, as well as the crash structure inside—and the trunklid are made from aluminum, as are the front and rear shock towers. The dash support is a magnesium casting spanning the width of the firewall. BMW says it trimmed 190 pounds as compared to the old style car.