Shortly after taking office as the head of the Maryland Insurance Administration, Commissioner Al Redmer Jr. has sold his Baltimore, Md.-based insurance business. It’s still…
BMW will launch a lighter, next-generation 2019 X4 in July, and repairers can expect higher-strength steels and some aluminum in the body-in-white.
“An intelligent material mix has made it possible to bring about a substantial weight saving, not just in the chassis design but also in the body’s construction,” BMW wrote in a news release. “BMW EfficientLightweight measures led to the increase in the proportion of aluminum as well as high-strength and ultra-high-strength grades of steel. This has made the body structure more solid than ever, serving up benefits for both vehicle agility and occupant protection. Additionally, the car has a significantly lower center of gravity which enhances the Sports Activity Coupe’s cornering dynamics.”
A diagram provided by BMW shows aluminum elements including the strut towers and a small crossmember on the floor. Door rings, rocker rails extending back to the quarter panel, both kickpans, the suspension tunnel and a roof frame crossmember are among the ultra-high-strength steel parts. Multiphase steel elements include the floorpans and roof frame rails.
Such ultra-high-strength steel often can’t be sectioned, heated, pulled or otherwise repaired, an important consideration for BMW certified shops working on the structure, but also a restriction to remember for shops doing cosmetic work on the exterior.
A BMW spokeswoman was checking into the metal or metals used in the exterior panels and closures.
The strut towers aren’t the only notable structural aspects of the suspension for collision repairers.
“The design principle of a double-joint spring strut axle at the front and five-link rear axle forms the ideal basis for a harmonious blend of dynamism and comfort,” BMW wrote. “Fitting aluminum swivel bearings, lightweight tubular anti roll bars and new wheel location components at the front axle has brought about a considerable reduction in unsprung masses.”
Other elements which could affect collision repair include:
- Active air flaps come standard.
- The xDrive30i, which could be considered the base X4, includes “variable sport steering,” a more elaborate version of electronic power steering, and a Performance Control function standard on both types of X4s improves handling by “varying the distribution of drive torque to the rear wheels according to the situation at hand.”
- A 75 percent larger heads-up display on the windshield is optional.
- The car has voice and gesture control, the latter which works off of a 3-D sensor in the center console.
- “The standard built-in SIM card also allows drivers of the all-new BMW X4 to use Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic locating and accident severity detection. With the new BMW Teleservice Accident Assistance, the vehicle now detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment. The driver receives a message in the iDrive display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly. A push of a button is all it takes to obtain professional support from the BMW Accident Assistance team, who can also put the customer in touch with a BMW Service Partner if necessary.”
- BMW-to-BMW communications will warn drivers of hazardous conditions — such as “an accident, a broken-down vehicle, dense fog, heavy rain or black ice” — which could cut down on frequency. It also presents another system that shops must ensure works correctly.
- X4s come standard with “Active Protection,” which tightens seatbelts and closes windows and the moonroof (also standard) automatically when a crash is likely.
BMW, Feb. 14, 2018
The new BMW X4 xDrive M40d, a European variant of the U.S. 2019 BMW X4, is shown. (Provided by BMW)
BMW will launch a lighter, next-generation 2019 X4 in July, and repairers can expect higher-strength steels and some aluminum in the body-in-white. (Provided by BMW)