Images: Nitin Gupta
BMW India very recently showcased the prowess of its X range of vehicle in Gurgaon from 16th to 23rd October 2011. The event, christened BMW Xperience 2011 took place at a specially designed test course to exhibit the intelligence and capability of the X series vehicle in dealing with off-road conditions. The test course, designed exclusively by international experts included 10 simulated obstacles, where each obstacle brings out a unique feature of the BMW X range. BMW Xperience provided the drivers an opportunity to drive the BMW X5, the BMW X6 and the all-new BMW X3, under the expert guidance of international BMW trainers.
The X range of vehicles, are equipped with BMW xDrive technology, which has the capability to react to various surfaces within a fraction of a second. The system offers advantages in terms of traction. When setting out on slippery or loose ground, for example, the time-lag between the loss of wheel grip on the surface and the re-distribution of drive forces to wheels with grip is only a few milliseconds. And it thinks ahead too. As one drives, the xDrive analyses data from the on-board electronics systems such as speed, steering angle, torque output and other key factors – and calculates whether the vehicle can follow the driver’s wish or if it threatens to oversteer or understeer, thereby preventing the vehicle from swerving.
Further, the xDrive monitors the driving situation constantly and distributes drive power smoothly between the axles. According to the requirements of driving dynamics, the power transmission proportion may vary between 50:50 and 0:100 per cent, with the default ratio being 40:60. However, if there is any sudden change in requirements on account of differences in the friction values between the road surface and the driven wheels or because of the driving situation, the torque split can be varied within a fraction of a second without the driver even becoming aware of the change. xDrive system aims at providing handling typical of rear-wheel drive vehicles. Even in normal situations on the road, all-wheel-drive BMW models send the lion’s share of drive to the rear wheels.
Dr. Andreas Schaaf, President BMW India, said, “BMW Group is a pioneer in creating new vehicle segments. The entire Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) was created by BMW. The BMW xDrive is one of the most advanced examples of a four-wheel drive systems in use today’s world. The BMW Xperience is a one of its kind event, being organized at such large scale in India. This is an exciting opportunity to experience the superiority of the BMW X range of SAVs in a stimulating and safe off-road environment.”
The test track comprised of various sections such as a steep incline, river bed, sand, banked surface and a variety of other obstacles to let the drivers witness the intelligence and capability of the X range of vehicles. The obstacles have been illustrated in the images below.
The banked course to highlight the low center of gravity of BWM vehicles. Vehicles with high center of gravity have a high probability of toppling over in such conditions.
Diagonally opposite wheels on humps. As you accelerate, the xDrive system detects which wheels have traction and which ones don’t. Torque is delivered to wheels with traction.
xDrive provides torque to all the wheels, preventing the vehicle from sliding back over such steep gradients. The inclination was also used to demonstrate the Hill Hold / Hill Descent Control function available on some of the X range of vehicles. While going up, with the Hill Hold function turned on, one doesn’t have doesn’t have to apply brakes to prevent the vehicle from sliding back. Just lift the foot up and the car will stay in place. No worries of banging into the vehicle behind you as you sop and start again in a steep, narrow lane Shimla.
The Hill Descent Control function lets you specify a speed using Cruise Control and the car coasts down at the speed specified (even very slow speeds such as 5, 7 , 9 km/h ) without having to worry about acceleration or braking.
Mirrors to let the drivers know how the wheels are behaving.
Again, torque delivered only to the wheels with traction.
Parked on the incline with the Hill Hold function on.