In-Car Tech

BMW's next-gen Digital Key offers smarter tech, safer connectivity

BMW owners can use their smartphone instead of a traditional key fob.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW will introduce the second generation of its Digital Key this winter, ushering in a smarter, safer way for owners to connect with their luxury vehicles.

From their smartphone, BMW owners were able to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the engine and share the key with others using the BMW Digital Key as part of BMW Connected on the smartphone.

The next-gen system (2.0) will use a security chip that works separately from the smartphone operating system. This chip can be used even if a smartphone has run out of battery. This system arrives in vehicles later this year.

BMW Digital Key 2.0 3.0 Users will soon be able to take advantage of more safety and security features.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW isn't stopping there. They have already announced plans for Digital Key 3.0, which include the implementation of ultra-wideband-based technology. The automaker says that this technology will, "offer maximum anti-theft protection and enable precise localization between the device and the vehicle. As a result, the mobile phone must no longer be held directly up to the door handle to unlock the car, but can conveniently be left in the pocket."

In 2017 BMW Group joined the Car Connectivity Consortium, which is working to establish cross-industry, standardized technologies and security standards. Representatives from smart device creators and other automobile manufacturers are also a part of the organization.

"Our customers want cross-vendor interoperability. Standardization is the only way to achieve this; proprietary solutions are no longer beneficial," said Dr. Olaf Müller, head of Development Digital Access Systems at the BMW Group.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The BMW R 18 Classic is a throwback to vintage motorcycle design.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The BMW R 18 Classic is the cruiser sibling in the BMW R 18 family. It's a touring bike that takes vintage cruising motorcycle design, borrowing from the BMW R 5, and makes it thoroughly modern while focusing on what the company sees as motorcycle "essentials".

BMW designers created the motorcycle's pear-drop tank, open-running universal shaft, and double-lined paintwork are reminiscent of the legendary boxer dating back to 1936. Its bodywork is made of metal and the suspension pairs with a double-sided swinging arm and a cantilever suspension strut to further the connection to the R 5.

BMW R 18 Classic

Photo courtesy of BMW

It has a double-loop steel frame and a rear swinging arm with an enclosed axle. The telescopic fork and directly mounted central suspension strut allow for 120 mm of suspension travel at the front and 90 mm at the rear. Twin disc brakes give stopping power at the front while a single disc brake at the rear works in tandem with four-piston fixed calipers.

The R 18 Classic gets its power from BMW's newly developed two-cylinder boxer engine, dubbed "Big Boxer". It is the most powerful two-cylinder power plant that BMW has ever used in motorcycle series production and has an output of 1,802cc. It gets 91 horsepower and at 4,750 rpm and from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, 110 pound-feet of torque is available at all times. Engine drag torque control comes standard. Reverse assist and hill start assist are also available.

Drivers can ride their BMW in their choice of Rain, Roll, or Rock drive mode.

The bike rides on spoked wheels (a 16-inch is at the front) and has mid-mounted footpegs, which allow for laid-back driver positioning. Its windshield, saddle bags, and passenger seat are removable. There is an additional LED headlight and standard electronic cruise control.

BMW R 18 Classic The R 18 Classic is now configurable on the BMW Motorrad website.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has designed the bike to be conversion-friendly. It has an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted part set. The automaker further explains, "Carefully conceived interface points for the hydraulic lines of the brake, clutch and cable harness likewise allow entirely problem-free installation of higher or lower handlebars in conjunction with matching hydraulic lines and cable harnesses. In addition, the visible valve covers (cylinder head covers) and the belt cover (engine housing cover) are designed in such a way that they are located outside the oil chamber, making them very easy to change."

For the new model, BMW Motorrad has worked with suppliers to come up with a variety of high-end aftermarket parts for the motor. Mustang Seat has been enlisted to offer a variety of high-quality hand-made seats. Vance & Hines worked with the exhaust system to make it customizable.

The 2021 BMW R 18 line starts at $17,495. The R 18 Classic has a starting MSRP of $19,495.

Trending News

 
 

A new collaboration with lifestyle brand Kith gives BMW 150 special edition M4s to sell.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The Kith brand is two things: a multifunctional lifestyle brand and progressive retail establishment. BMW is also two things: a posh luxury automotive brand and a horsepower-happy precision-crafted automotive company. In both, the two sides of each brand are not mutually exclusive.

A new collaboration between Kith and BMW puts that premise to the pavement. The 2022 BMW M4 Competition x Kith interprets the redesigned 2022 BMW M4 Competition coupe as a showcase of the Kith brand. It is limited to 150 units worldwide.

2022 BMW M4 Competition x Kith 

Photo courtesy of BMW

New York native Ronnie Fieg is the founder of Kith and a lifelong BMW enthusiast. He owns a classic E30 generation BMW M3 that he's customized to his taste. Today's M4 Competition is considered the "spiritual successor" of the E30. Fieg has created a one-of-one BMW M4 Competition Design Study by Kith that mimics the specifications – and Kith design touches – of his own classic vehicle.

Additionally, Fieg has created a line of apparel and accessories inspired by classic BMW design. They're available exclusively through Kith's retail locations, including online, beginning today. The collection, featuring 94 styles of apparel and accessories, is Kith's largest single offering to date.

"Everything we work on at Kith has to come from an authentic place," said Fieg. "Some of my favorite memories from growing up came from going to visit my grandfather and riding around in his BMWs in the 1980s. I remember he had an E21 320i and that his prized possession was a white E30 M3. These moments in my life really shaped my passion for BMW, so working on this project with them has brought everything full circle."

BMW M4 Competition Design Study by Kith

Photo courtesy of BMW

The partnership features one major milestone for BMW. It's the first time that the company has altered its iconic roundel badge for a collaboration. Merging logos is a trademark of Kith design. The fused logo created for the BMW M4 Competition x Kith adds an extra ring around the BMW roundel in the BMW M colors of light blue, dark blue and red, as well as details in bright lettering focusing on Kith and the collaboration. The rear decklid of the BMW M4 Competition x Kith features a black Kith logo with the iconic tri-color BMW M stripes.

The BMW M4 Competition x KITH. True legends live on. www.youtube.com

BMW will sell the models exclusively in matte paint finishes of Frozen Black, Frozen Dark Silver and Frozen Brilliant White. They retain all the usual under-hood and underbody components. There are also unique interior color bursts and accents throughout the cabin.

The BMW M4 Competition x Kith will be available for preorder with a starting MSRP of $109,250 plus the usual destination and handling fees.

Trending News