• Mar 25, 2011
BMW tests its vehicles in the heat of Death Valley – Click above to watch video after the jump

BMW runs its vehicles through some extreme environments, and it's all in the name of research. One of its (and nearly every other automaker's) favorite stomping grounds is, quite literally, a hot spot. Death Valley, California is one of the hottest places on the planet, and the German automaker comes here to subject its vehicles to temperatures that can exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

This year, the BMW team has decided to capture their efforts on video. In the process, it seems they've also beat U.S.-based spy photographers to the punch by showing glimpses of what appears to be a 2012 3 Series wearing blacked-out camouflage. Click past the jump to see BMW's newest development cars out testing in the scorching heat.

[Source: YouTube via BMW Blog]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      You would think that BMW would be able to get some HD cameras
        • 3 Years Ago
        You would think that BMW would be able to build some all electric supercars.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh!!! Hi Dan! Down-voted. Thanks for dropping by!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SW
        true or not that comment is the best I've seen in a long time.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They did, but in true BMW fashion, 38 of the 700 motors on the camera failed and had to be returned to the manufacturer to be fixed while the whole thing was shot on an old vhs video camera.

        That being said, when that camera was working, it was a thing of beauty and you'd lie, cheat and steal to get one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      bmw, stop the teasing and show us the car!
      this whole thing with manufacturing actually making videos with camouflaged cars is silly, show us or dont show us!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hope the new 3-Series will remain driver focused unlike the 5-Series.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I heard that N54 engined BMWs had problems with overheating...hopefully future BMWs avoid this problem. I've always found it fascinating about the lengths manufacturers go to to test their cars and the locations they pick!
        • 3 Years Ago
        BMW has yet to actually explain why their HPFP keep failing on the N54/55 since its introduction almost 5 years ago. Oddly enough their N63B44 turbo V8 does not have the problem, despite the fact that it's also DI.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not sure when such testing exists why we see such huge issues with cars. HPFP failure, wastegate actuator failure, and so on.

      Also makes me wonder why BMW is so unresponsive in dealing with issues when they do arise.

      Makes me think that the testing is for marketing videos like these.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it just me, or does that supposed 3 Series look huge? I know the camo adds some bulkiness, but still.

      Sadly, I don't doubt that it IS the new 3... I just lament the fact that every generation they all get bigger. The 3 will eventually be the size of the old 5, the 5 is getting closer and closer to a 7, and the 7 just becomes more of a portly cruiser every refresh.

      For some perspective, I learned to drive in a '96 740il. That car, albeit the biggest one BMW offered, was a fantastic driver's car. It was amazingly light on its feet, way sharper and more communicative than an equivalent Lexus or Mercedes (which I also sampled at the time). I was so excited recently to have a chance to drive a newer (not newest) 750i, and I was downright disappointed. Very nice, spacious, and loaded with technology, but it was a lethargic boat by comparison... Even with a far more impressive engine. Because of course, it's larger, softer and weighs more. I then realized how far forward our tech has moved, and how far backwards we have stepped dynamically. This is particularly sad for BMW, as that is the ONE THING that truly separates them from the competition.

      I wouldn't be surprised if this next 3 or perhaps the one after that is the size of a 90's 7 Series. Tragic. Sorry to rant a bit off topic.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Everything seems to be bigger in the auto world year after year.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Cars are getting larger because people are getting fatter, especially in North America. Most of the imported luxury vehicles are exclusively built for America where in Europe and Asia these same vehicles would normally be too large. Just look what happened to the new Camaro and Challenger, they're huge compared to the originals.
      • 3 Years Ago
      wow...eating crow ...completely missed "(and nearly every other automaker's)". Sorry AB.. lol.
      • 3 Years Ago
      shut the fuc* up - america isn't getting fatter; to claim cars are getting bigger because of that is simply ignorant. Card are getting biggest due to safety standards and the tech packed into them.
      Pull apart an 80/90's 3 series, and what do you find in the door seals - nothing aside from metal. pull apart a current 3 series, and you'll find airbags, electronics and sensors of all sorts. It isn't BMW or any other manufacturer's fault - it's life, deal with it, people.
      The next generation 3 series isn't going to be worse than the current once - the 3 series is the bread & butter of BMW, do you REALLY think they're going to risk it? No. Stop acting so fuc*ing stupid. You all know it's going to be an amazing car. Every 3 series has been.
      • 3 Years Ago
      AB makes it sound like BMW is one of the few if not the only OEM to test vehicles in the Death Valley...Almost every OEM that sells in North America tests in the DV. Nothing special that BMW is doing...
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW camouflaging their vehicles is like throwing a tablecloth on a table. Same with Porsche.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hope the new 3-Series will remain driver focused unlike the 5-Series.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Drove all through death valley last april. Was more beautiful than I ever expected.
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