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Author Topic: Should be entertaning  (Read 2850 times)

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sleeperred90tgp

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Should be entertaning
« on: November 26, 2007, 08:44:46 AM »

Don't miss this
 
 
On Thursday, November 29, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT, NGC premieres back-to-back one-hour episodes of Ultimate Factories that feature two automotive icons:  BMW and Corvette. 

 
National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes you behind the scenes and inside the high-tech mega-manufacturing plants called the Ultimate Factories,  where, in less than two days? time, the most advanced automotive technology can produce these innovative marvels of engineering and design.

On Thursday, November 29, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT, NGC premieres back-to-back one-hour episodes of Ultimate Factories that feature two automotive icons:  BMW and Corvette. 

Get an inside look at all the space-age bells and whistles and 'bots in their state-of-the-art, world-class factories. 

From the assembly lines to the ovens to the highly trained personnel charged with ensuring the absolute perfection of these products, find out what it really takes to make what, for many consumers, would be the car of their dreams.

Ultimate Factories: BMW and Ultimate Factories: Corvette also trace the history and evolution of these legendary machines that are much more than just a means of transportation for their owners. 

With their distinctive features and signature design elements, they inspire intense pride and loyalty ? and just a little bit of road envy.

Ultimate Factories: BMW
Thursday, November 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (World Premiere)

It rockets from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, and the G-forces might make you lose your lunch.  It reaches 155 mph before an electronic speed limiter says ?Now, that?s fast enough!?  That?s the BMW Z4 Roadster.  Its graceful body, sumptuous creature comforts and nimble handling make it the ?ultimate driving machine.? Go on a one-of-a-kind tour of the three Ultimate Factories that work together to create this world-class automobile.

Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) started in 1916 in the Bavarian region of Germany, pushing the performance envelope in aircraft engine design.  To this day, the company continues to make innovative breakthroughs.  Ultimate Factories takes you to Landshut, Germany, where the automotive industry?s lightest mass-produced six-cylinder crankcases are made.  They are then sent to another factory in Munich, which assembles 1,200 engines a day, each delivering more than 200 horsepower.  The engine and crankcase are then shipped to Spartanburg, S.C., where every BMW Z4 on the road in the world is made.

The American plant has 4,500 associates ? and almost 500 robots ? that produce 600 vehicles a day.  From the Body Shop to the Paint Shop and then Assembly, in just under 40 hours a sleek, customized and luxurious BMW Z4 Roadster, replete with the unique double kidney grill and blue-and-white logo reminiscent of the Bavarian flag, could be yours.

BMW's Spartanburg plant is also home to world's first automotive Paint Shop that integrates methane gas from rotting trash into its process.  Methane gas routed from the nearby Palmetto Landfill contributes 63 percent of all the power used, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in upstate South Carolina by 60,000 tons per year ? the equivalent of 4,300 cars driving around the equator every year.

Ultimate Factories: Corvette
Thursday, November 29, at 10 p.m. ET/PT (World Premiere)

America?s love affair with Corvette began more than 50 years ago in 1953, when designer Harley Earl convinced General Motors to build a two-seater that would rival European sports cars.  Two years later, Ed Cole introduced the small-block V-8 engine that became the choice for the performance car market and still rules the road.

The race-car-inspired Corvette Z06 is the pinnacle of Corvette engineering and aerodynamics.  With its lightweight space frame and 505-horsepower engine, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 198 mph.  This is a true American sports car. 

Visit the Ultimate Factories where this automotive icon that rivals exotic foreign cars like the Ferrari and Lamborghini is put together by state-of-art-computers, robots and a human touch.  At the plant in Hopkinsville, Ky., the aluminum skeleton, or space frame, is built in just 18 minutes.  It weighs 285 lbs. ? 30 percent lighter than the standard steel frame. Then, in Bowling Green, Ky., the floors, doors, panels and paint are added, as well as the power seats, the dashboard and one distinctive Corvette feature, the classic teardrop rear window.

At GM?s Performance Center in Wixom, Mich. (near ?Motor City? ? Detroit), the revolutionary Z06 engine is hand-built like a race-car engine, by one technician in four hours.  And every hand-assembled engine carries the name of the specialist who built it.  The engine goes to the Bowling Green facility, where workers install the critical component, called the power train:  the engine, transmission and torque tube (driveshaft system).  The power train then meets the space frame ? and Corvette?s high-performance street machine is born.

ULTIMATE FACTORIES: BMW

FACT SHEET ON BMW AND THE MAKING OF THE Z4 ROADSTER

Loyal BMW fans refer to their beloved cars as ?bimmers,? while BMW motorcycles are called ?beemers.?

The United States is BMW?s largest automotive market, comprising 23.1 percent of BMW?s automotive sales.

Germany is a close second at 22.3 percent.

The Spartanburg, S.C., BMW manufacturing plant employs about 4,500 people who produce 600 vehicles a day.  The 100,000th Z4 was produced merely two years after production began at the Spartanburg plant.

BMW's Spartanburg plant is also home to world's first automotive Paint Shop that integrates methane gas from rotting trash into its process.  Methane gas routed from the nearby Palmetto Landfill contributes 63 percent of all the power BMW Spartanburg uses, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in upstate South Carolina by 60,000 tons per year.  That?s the equivalent of 4,300 cars driving around the equator every year.

The BMW Z4 M Roadster?s 255-horsepower 3.0 si inline six-cylinder engine is capable of accelerating the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.  The Z4?s top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.

The Z4 Roadster weighs in at 3,277 pounds ? 136 pounds heavier then the original Z3 Roadster.

The BMW Z4?s engine crankcase is the first crankcase made with magnesium.  It?s 24 percent lighter than an all-aluminum crankcase and is the lightest mass-produced six-cylinder crankcase in the world.

Chris Bangle?s ?flame surfacing? design and aggressive styling choices on the Z4 have caused controversy with many BMW traditionalists.  Much to their dismay, the new style can be seen on most of BMW?s new fleet of vehicles.

Last year, BMW released a version of the BMW Z4 M Coupe for customer motor racing.  It is the first two-seater available for customer teams.

BMW short films are credited with pioneering the innovative marketing technique of branded content.  In 2001 and 2002, BMW produced a series of short films, called ?The Hire,? featuring the different performance aspects of various BMW vehicles.  The entire second season of the films featured the BMW Z4 Roadster.
 
Most BMW enthusiasts believe the famous white-and-blue BMW logo represents a rotating airplane propeller ? evoking the company?s origins as an airplane engine manufacturer.  BMW even perpetuated this myth.  But today, a leading BMW historian says the logo?s design evokes the blue-and-white Bavarian flag.

ULTIMATE FACTORIES: CORVETTE
FACT SHEET ON CORVETTE AND THE MAKING OF THE Z06

Enzo Ferrari said, "Corvette is the only real sports car made in America.?

A Corvette has been selected as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 nine times: 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2004 ? 2007.

The 2007 Z06 was one of Automobile Magazine's "Automobile All-Stars" for 2007.

Myron Scott, Chevrolet's former chief photographer, is credited with coming up with the Corvette name, drawing from the small, fast warships of the "Corvette" class.

While many were involved in its design and production, Belgium-born Zora Arkus-Duntov is generally considered the "Father of the Corvette.?

The Z06 records a 0 ? 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a standing quarter mile of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph.

At 0.28 coefficient of drag, the Z06 is the most aerodynamically efficient Corvette ever.  The Z06 has a 505 horsepower LS7 427 cid (7.0 liter) small-block engine, the biggest and most powerful small-block ever available from GM.

The assembly of every LS7 engine is performed by hand by a dedicated team member at GM's new Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich.

In a radical departure from anything Chevrolet has done before, the primary structural element of the Z06 is aluminum instead of steel (as on the non-Z06 cars).

The front fenders are molded with carbon fiber rather than Fiberglas, cutting their weight to three pounds apiece, 80 percent less than a conventional steel fender.  The balsa-core composite floorboard also uses carbon fiber, saving five more pounds.  Thanks to these changes, the Z06 will weigh just over 3,100 pounds.

On October 31, 2005, the application of magnesium AE44 alloy in the engine cradle (the world's first magnesium chassis component) was bestowed an Honorable Mention in the Automotive News PACE? (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contributions to Excellence) Awards competition. This was the first award granted to the Z06 Corvette
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