All posts in “BMW”

2020 BMW M340i xDrive Revealed

BMW have released official details for the BMW M340i xDrive ahead of its release at the Los Angeles Motor Show 2018 which starts in two weeks. The 3 Series was officially unveiled a month ago at the Paris Motor Show. At that time, BMW had only released details of its four cylinder offering. For the Los Angeles show, BMW have unveiled a powerful straight six version!

The M340i has been released with in both rear wheel drive and xDrive formats. The current range topper gets a 3.0 litre. six cylinder engine producing 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. of torque. It will be the most potent 3 Series in the normal range. The M3 should be the next step up in terms of performance.

The power will propel the sedan to 60 mph in just 4.2 second. The engine features an aluminium crankcase and cylinder head with a new, single, twin scroll turbocharger. The engine benefits from a 25 % reduction in weight over the previous model which should transform performance.

The BMW M340i sits 10 mm lower to the ground thanks to the M Sport suspension (which also receive optional adaptive dampers) and a wider track. Visual enhancements include a new grille, rear spoiler and 18 inch alloys as standard. Inside, M Performance improvements are on offer with a new set of sports seats.

BMW M340i xDrive

2019 BMW Z4 M40i Review

Z is an extremely significant letter for BMW. The latest iteration of the Z4 has caused something of a stir, not for its 340hp twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-six TwinPower unit, not for the 7min 55sec Nurburgring lap time, but because of an automotive icon called the Toyota Supra. The previous generation of the Z4 may have suave looks with its swooping lines and artsy interior, but the driving experience left enthusiasts wanting more. The same cannot be said for the last of the Supra that was unveiled way back in 1993, the year in which I was born. BMW and Toyota have developed this new Z4 in partnership with the forthcoming Supra, a project which allows a saving in cost and shared engineering knowledge and expertise. This is good.

Enough of the background, what’s the finished product like? Well, I’ll have to wait to comment on the Japanese Coupe offering and try the topless option that is the Z4 for now. There will be a handful of four cylinders soon, but for now it is the range topping Z4 M40i that is on offer for me to get my grubby mitts on – no complaints. You’ll probably know what comes with the M40i badge by now – the good old straight-six 3-litre with 340hp and 500Nm, pretty potent, but this is no Lotus with a weight of 1,480kgs, thankfully the 50:50 weight split helps mask it a little.

I am in Lisbon leaving the opulent Penha Longa resort the the roof down in search for some testing roads for the Roadster. First impressions are burbly with the M developed power unit clearing it’s throat on start up and gargling at every given lift off the throttle and downshift. It’s not just the acoustic pleasures that make the Z4 feel quick, the acceleration swells and the 4.6 to 100km/h time would is more than convincing. The 8-speed steptronic transmission is lightning fast and smooth. That is where the feel, unfortunately, seems to come a premature end.

The steering wheel doesn’t wriggle with feel in the palms and communication to the tires at either axle is fairly muted. For a sports car these are elements that are fundamental to the driving experience. It makes it difficult to gauge where the limits of adhesion are and where the understeer ends and the snap oversteer begins. Ease off a little and things make a lot more sense – soak in the views, listen to the pops and bangs, enjoy the blue skies and the wind running through you bald patch – life is good. The ride is brilliant courtesy of adaptive dampers. Even in Sport mode there is a softness to the suspension that is refreshing.

The cabin is great with pleasant ergonomics and the iDrive system is still fantastic. However, the horrible trend of making everything touch screen and making buttons touch sensitive continues to bug me. The screen carries nasty fingerprints that smear and show up in the sun and the touch buttons are annoyingly difficult to feel when you’re on the move focusing on the road.

What was ever wrong with an old fashioned button to change drive modes? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the new digital dash might look badass to your 5 year old son, but the dials are a challenge to read without a needle, the new space displays information that is all then projected onto the heads up display. I digress – on a more positive note, the cabin does look cool and cohesive, it is a nice place to sit.

To my eyes, the good looks continue on the outside. Yes, it is not as dramatic as the concept car we all fell in love with, but production models rarely are. It looks muscular and imposing with the ever growing kidney grilles dominating the front end. There are nice details in the LED headlamps and it looks like a premium product. Speaking of premium products…the Porsche Boxster is undoubtedly going to be compared to the offering from BMW.

The 718 is only available with a 4-cylinder that has taken a beating as it had huge shoes that the 6-cylinder Boxster left to be filled. The M40i has a strong engine but the mid-engined Boxster is very alluring to sports car fans. As mentioned earlier, when you’re cruising or driving around town, what I imagine Z4s will spend most of their lives doing, the BMW is a compelling proposition and a fantastic cruiser. I would not be disappointed to own an Z4 M40i, just do not expect it to pump your veins with adrenaline or make you laugh with out loud with glee.

2019 BMW M850i Review

It has been a staggering 20 years since we last saw a BMW 8 Series roll of the production line in Germany. I was left salivating at the thought of seeing a new 8 Series hitting the streets after sighting the sensual swooping lines of the BMW Concept 8 Series at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2017 – it was a pleasant surprise to see that the production ready 2019 BMW 8 Series on sale to the public carries the dramatic lines and sharp features of the concept. I flew over to Lisbon where the German manufacturer chucked me the keys to the 2019 BMW M850i to see what the sporty coupe had to offer.

Whilst admiring the vast proportions of the M850i before jumping in I asked myself a question – what exactly is this luxury yacht born to compete with? BMW call labelled the 8 Series the ‘Gentleman’s Racer’ – hmm, I’m not so sure. In my mind this is a large GT that I could see tempting buyers away from an S-Class coupe and a GT that would not really tickle the fancy of a focused 911 driver. Looking around the car, there is no doubting that it has some serious presence – its modern styling and ginormous grill give this thing presence, the vast dimensions command the attention of other road users. On the topic of all things HUGE, check out those exhaust surrounds, they would provide a small child the ultimate hiding space for a game of hide and seek. Unlike other manufacturers, BMW have opted to make the quad pipes behind them fairly visible and therefore slightly more acceptable. Let’s hope all models and not just the M850i are treated to the pipes…I suspect the diesel will not be.

So what exactly is the M850i packing? Serious heat, that’s what. The full fat M8 is to come – BMW confirmed that we will see the M8 Coupe, Convertible and Grand Coupe soon, but until they arrive the M850i will be the range topper with 530 horsepower and 750Nm of torque coming from a new 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Yum. Power is transferred to all four wheels using the xDrive system and a lightning fast yet silky smooth autobox. This results in a 0-100km/h time of just 3.7 seconds. Just imagine how outrageously fast the M8 will be…

Enough of the stats and staring, whats this V8 8er like to drive? Jump in, adjust the supremely comfortable seat and hit the ignition switch. Initial impression are brawny to say the least. In the default comfort mode the exhaust barks with intent, this statement is followed by a spattering of bangs – dramatic. Ahead of me is the all new BMW digital dash that we can expect to see across the model line up. Jazzy. You’ve probably seen the giant bejeweled gear selector before, it’s a bit chavvy in my eyes but I’m a little old fashioned. iDrive is touch screen and features a smorgasbord of new tech. It has gotten a little too complex but is still the best system in the industry in my humble opinion. Grab the giant jewel stick in it in D and away we go.

Comfort is…comfortable. It’s actually calming and serene. The GT credentials are immediately apparent and it makes me think that this car has been set up to munch miles like a 5 series and will struggle dynamically. As it to be right on cue, the preloaded navigation led me off the smooth Portuguese highway onto some of the prettiest passes I’ve ever seen time for some Sport+ me thinks.

Remember those pops and bangs on start up? In Sport+ they become more and more frequent and are amusing – not quite AMG levels of silliness. The engine tone is enough to inspire more fruity driving and the car transforms from a long distance cruiser to canyon bruiser. That being said, this is a heavy old brute. This is a two tonne car and BMW have tried their best to hide it with agility improving features such as electrically controlled dampers, active four-wheel steering, anti-roll and stiffer springs, honestly, it works, but you can still feel Newtons laws at work.

On a damp squiggle of a road, the xDrive makes its presence known allowing for over zealous application of the throttle with little drama, much speed and delicious engine/exhaust parp. It will make you giggle. I eventually ran out of road as I approached the gates of somewhere a little bit special – Circuito do Estoril. In my mind, this was going to be a wee bit irrelevant. As alluded to earlier, in my eyes this is a car for crushing long distances in with ease and not something that should be hunting for apexes on a racetrack where Ayrton Senna won his first Grandprix.

Apparently I was wrong. Heading out of the pitlane onto the damp Estoril track was something of a revelation. I was following none other than racing legend Philipp Eng piloting an M5 Competition.

Philipp could have left me in his wake at the drop of a hat, but the M850i really was not embarrassed by the most potent M5 ever. Through the corners the all-wheel-drive did not dull but instead aided the capabilities of the 8 Series and the four wheel steering effects were pronounced in the tighter bends.

BMW dubbed the 8 Series as ‘The Gentleman’s Racer’ a big claim and one I approached with a fair bit of skepticism. Following a full day on the road and track is it clear that with the use of dynamic aids and clever engineering this is one of the best rounded cars on sale today. It offers so much in terms of usability and dynamic entertainment. Yes, it could be slightly more engaging on the street, the steering is a little numb and there isn’t a lot of feedback on the whole, but this is what the M6 will surely offer.

2019 BMW 3-Series (G20) Officially Revealed

The BMW 3 Series is a very important car for BMW. Now in its seventh generation, the 3 Series saloon has traditionally been one of the biggest selling models IN BMW’s extensive range. The seventh generation car debuts today at the Paris Motor Show 2018. It gets a revised look that doesn’t differ too dramatically from the previous generation, reduced weight and new standard options.

The 3 Series was first launched in 1975, making it 43 years old this year. The new car is 85 millimetres longer than its predecessor, 16 millimetres wider and just 1 mm taller. The wheelbase is 41 millimetres longer and 43 mm wider at the front, 21 mm wider at the rear.

The 3 Series retains the BMW kidney grille, framed by a single surround and split with wide bars. The customary BMW twin headlights are also apparent. Both the front foglights and the Air Curtains are integrated into the outer air intakes. The ‘Hofmeister kink’ is now integrated into the C- pillar, giving the rear doors a “freestanding” glass edge.

The chassis features 25 per cent increased rigidity and, overall, some 55kg have been shed from the weight, 20 kg from the body along and 7.5 kg from the subframe. M Sport models will get electrically controlled dampers switchable between Comfort, Sport and Adaptive.

Engines will include a BMW 330i and the BMW 320d, both with four cylinder power units. The 320d gets 190hp and a peak torque of 400Nm for a 6.8 second 100 km/h sprint. The 330i, 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque with a 100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds.

The 3 Series will feature a new generation of six-speed manual gearbox and an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The diesel power unit gets an xDrive all-wheel-drive system from launch.

Inside, the instrument panel has a modern look. The instrument cluster is new and the control display completes the grouping. The transmission tunnel does feature a conventional iDrive controller after all, leaked photos had suggested otherwise. Boot capacity is 480 litres.

There is more standard equipment than ever before. The entry level SE model features Extended LED headlights with cornering light and eyebrow indicators, BMW Light Carpet, interior Ambient Lighting with up to 11 colour settings, reversing camera and latest generation reversing assistant, electric folding rear view mirrors, three-zone air conditioning and enhanced acoustic glazing.

All 3 Series models will benefit from 40:20:40 split folding rear seats and folding rear headrests as standard. The entry model features a leather Sport steering wheel and BMW Live Cockpit plus, with an 8.8-inch central instrument cluster.17 inch wheels are standard too.

The M Sport models get larger air intakes and a different bumper, side skirt and rear apron design. BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim, kidney grille bars in High-gloss Black, air intake trim in High-gloss Black and a rear diffuser in Dark Shadow are also available together with Sports seats, an M leather steering wheel, an anthracite-coloured BMW Individual headliner and interior trim strips in Aluminium.

From launch, customers can choose from two non-metallic colours and ten metallic shades including Portimao Blue metallic which is unique to the M Sport model.

The new BMW 3 Series goes on sale from 9 March 2019 with prices starting from £33,610.

BMW Vision iNEXT Officially Revealed

BMW have announced a new concept car, the BMW Vision iNEXT. It is said to form the building blocks for the future of the BMW Group. Addressing the question: “How will we be moving around in future?”, the iNEXT builds on the 2007 “project i” and the BMW i3. At a time when electric cars and futuristic forms of mobility are key talking points, BMW hope the concept will steer their future approach.

Whilst a concept today, the BMW iNEXT presents a vision of a vehicle BMW will bring to market in 2021, most likely as a replacement to the i3 platform. The press release appears to confirm that the BMW iNEXT will be a new technology flagship for BMW.

The BMW iNEXT gets BMW SAV proportions with a futuristic Liquid Greyrose Copper exterior colour scheme that changes between warm copper and dark rose. The design incorporates a large, interlinked double-kidney grille and a side window graphic, the blue accent surfaces at the front, sides and rear hark back to the BMW i Vision Dynamics design language.

As electric cars do not require cooling, the kidney element now serves as an “intelligence panel” housing various sensors. Many of the parts have been 3D printed while the front gets super-slim headlights.

The iNEXT has large 24-inch wheels and the traditional concept trick of cameras for the exterior mirrors. Illuminated touch sensitive panels replace door handles and the two doors open towards each other, dispensing with the B-pillar. Plenty of carbon fibre has been incorporated into the structure.

Inside, the BMW Vision iNEXT driver can choose to either drive themselves (in “Boost” mode) or be driven (“Ease” mode). In “Boost” mode, the steering wheel and displays are positioned clearly towards the driver. When “Ease” mode is engaged, the driver’s immediate environment changes: the steering wheel retracts slightly, creating a more open sense of space. The display panels switch from driving-related content to “Exploration Mode”, which provides the driver and passengers with suggestions of places and events in the surrounding area that could be of interest to them. The front seat head restraints can also be folded back, allowing the people in the front to communicate more effectively with the passengers in the rear.

The centre console between the front seats uses a matt, open-pore wood finish. Handwoven Enlighted Cloudburst Jacquard cloth extends across entire seat area and into the side panelling. There are no screens or controls anywhere other than in the steering wheel and drivers area. Intelligent technology is integrated out of sight. For example, BMW propose that various functions might be operated through wood or cloth surfaces in the near future.

No performance details have been released yet, the release talks only of the technological implications of the design study.

2019 BMW Z4 M40i Leaked ahead of Pebble Beach

A series of photos appear to have leaked showing the front, rear and side profile of the new BMW Z4. The Z4 is eagerly awaited. It is a joint project between Toyota and BMW which should also see the Toyota Supra receive the same platform. The legendary status of the Supra name creates an immense amount of speculation that the new BMW Z4 could have some real performance credentials.

The current BMW Z4, the sixth generation Z car, has been around since 2009. The new version is expected to debut this month during Monterey Car Week. The photos reveal the look of the BMW Z4 M40i. They show a car which retains many of the features of the 2017 Z4 Concept including the rear and the large front wheel vent.

The photos show a grille which is more upright and looks larger thanks to the black surround. The front air intakes also incorporate larger air blades. The rear looks almost exactly the same as the concept car. Whilst there are no interior shots, we do expect that BMW will cram the cabin with its latest technology.

The pictures tie in closely to the patent images we shared last month. It is now believed that the patent images show the entry level model while these photos show the top of the range model.

As we recently revealed, BMW have opted to use the M40i drivetrain as the top of the range meaning no M Performance version. The BMW Z4 M40i will almost certainly get a 3.0 litre inline 6, turbocharged to give 335 hp in the Europe and 382 hp in the US.

Production Version BMW Z4 Leaked in New Images

Dutch publication Autoweek.nl recently uncovered images of the new BMW Z4 which appear to have been filed with a patent or copyright office. The photos reveal CGI sketches of what looks to be a pretty much finished Z4.

The photos reveal a car which is quite close to the concept car we saw last year. The most noticeable feature is that BMW’s double roundel signature lights have been replaced. The designs also show a car which gets a clamshell bonnet and a set of smaller kidney grilles.

The production version does away with the Concept’s sharknose look in favour of something a little more blunt. The rear bears some resemblance to the concept car with a ducktail spoiler and long rear brake lights. The face tailpipes of the concept car seem to have been replaced with traditional round tailpipes and the sketches retain the front wheel vent.

The sketches seem to lack some width at the rear. The Z4 has always carried wide rear wheel arches, the renderings seem to make these narrower with a less distinct raking profile. Hopefully some paintwork will sort that illusion as the rest seems to be pretty good!

The BMW Z4 will return to a fabric drop top rather than the current metal version. This decision will ensure that weight savings are made. Expect the latest BMW infotainment specifications. Engines will likely include turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol engines, paired with an eight-speed auto or six-speed manual.

The BMW Z4 and upcoming Toyota Supra will both be based on the same platform with the same powertrains. Both are expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show 2018 in October.

Official: 2019 BMW X5

BMW have announced the new BMW X5. Following hot on the heels of the BMW X2 and BMW X4, the original luxury SUV gets a thorough makeover for the 2019 model year. It is a fourth generation model and carries across much of the technology developed across BMW’s new 5 Series and 7 Series models.

The BMW X5’s wheelbase is 42 mm longer than its predecessor and 36 mm longer overall. BMW have added an additional 66 mm of width and 19 mm of height.

The most obvious change to the design is the massive BMW kidney grille with its single-piece surround. It dominates the front view and is sure to divide opinion. Otherwise, the changes are mild, the active ai intakes for example. The rear gets a split tailgate and a new design.

The new BMW X5 comes with LED headlights as standard with the option of BMW Laserlight with Adaptive LED Headlights. Both xLine and M Sport models will be available from launch together with BMW Individual options.

The most interesting model from our perspective will not be made available in Europe. BMW have fitted a new V8 engine into the BMW X5 xDrive50i. The V8 puts out 462 hp and peak torque of 650 Nm, however, it won’t be available in Europe. The new BMW X5 xDrive40i develops 340 hp and peak torque of 450 Nm. The new BMW X5 M50d gets 400 hp and peak torque of 760 Nm while the entry level BMW X5 xDrive30d produces 265 hp and peak torque of 620 Nm. All include an eight-speed Steptronic transmission.

The X5 comes as standard with Dynamic Damper Control. For higher spec models, BMW’s Adaptive M suspension Professional is available with active roll stabilisation and Integral Active Steering. The suspension system makes use of air suspension which, as well as increasing comfort, allows the vehicle height to be adjusted by up to 80 millimetres. 22-inch lightweight alloy wheels will be offered as an option for the first time.

A new Off-Road package is available which gives the driver a separate button with the choice of four driving modes; sand, rock, gravel or snow.

Technology has expanded too with Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Steering and lane control assistant, Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Assistant, Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision protection and evasion aid, Crossing traffic warning, Priority warning and Wrong-way warning.

A Parking Assistant is expanded to include acceleration and braking duties as well as steering. Emergency Stop Assistant brings the car safely to a standstill if a medical emergency occurs. A new Reversing Assistant is also available which takes over steering to manoeuvre the vehicle along a path recently negotiated forward.

Inside the new BMW X5 has received a total redesign. Vernasca leather is standard for all X5 models. In terms of space, the rear seats split 40:20:40. With the seats up, the load capacity is 645 litres, down, the maximum rises to 1,860 litres. A third row will also be available as an option as is the case with the current model.

BMW have developed new multifunction seats, cooled/heated cupholders, Panorama glass roof Sky Lounge, Dynamic Interior Light, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, Rear-seat entertainment Professional system with 10.2-inch touchscreen display and glass applications for selected controls.

In terms of infotainment. A new BMW Live Cockpit Professional display and control system is fitted as standard. It uses a new BMW operating system which is used across the instrument console and the 12.3-inch display. It is operated using steering wheel buttons, iDrive Controller, touchscreen display, voice control or BMW gesture control.

The BMW X5 will be built at BMW Plant Spartanburg in the US. It should be available in November 2018.

BMW X8 Trademarked Across the World – Audi Q8 Rival Gets Ready

Given the runaway success of the SUV market, it was perhaps inevitable that BMW would soon muscle in with a range topping BMW X8. If their recent trademark applications are to be believed, this might happen sooner rather than later!

Audi are set to unveil the Audi Q8 very soon, with Mercedes-Benz producing the GLS for some time and Range Rover’s continuing to sell very well, it seems a logical step for BMW to take.

BMW have evidently been busy filing the required legal paperwork to protect their badge. The BMW X8 name has been trademarked in markets around the world this year. BMW have also managed to obtain trademarks in the Far East recently, all but completing the filings.

The X8 would likely hit the market in 2020 if BMW give it the green light. It will follow in the footsteps of the planned BMW X7 which will debut later this year and joins ta model range which incorporates all of the numbers 1 through to 6!

BMW are thought to be debating whether the X8 should take the form of a long wheelbase version of the X7, or whether it would be better as a coupé version of the X7. It is thought that BMW’s main target would be the Chinese market.

2019 BMW M3 CS Review

When BMW launched the current M3, it meant a move from the brutal power of a V-8 to the intelligent performance of a downsized, turbcharged straight-six. The M3 became a more efficient car – without sacrificing actual performance.

But now brutal power is back, as the current model generation makes a grand exit with the M3 CS model. It’s powered by the familiar S55 3.0-liter straight-six, but power output has been bumped from 431 to 460 horsepower. Maximum torque is up 50 Nm to 600 Nm.

Not just more powerful, the M3 CS is louder, its chassis and steering have been retuned for even sharper responses, and the stability control system allows for more generous drift angles. 0 to 100 kph now takes a mere 3.9 seconds, breaking the psychologically important 4-second barrier, and the vicious acceleration is cut off by a governor at a lofty 280kph.

Despite the increased power and torque, there is a total absence of turbo lag, and it is as tempting as it is effortless to reach velocities far beyond the legal. The chassis is a revelation: It is fun to play with the tail, and the different drive mode settings cover a surprisingly large stretch from the sensible and comfortable to the agile and extreme.

The interior is snug and cozy, executed in the slightly conservative style of the outgoing 3-series. But it features satisfying enhancements, such as light grey and black leather seats and microsuede accents on the dashboard and center console.

Outside, the M3 CS is distinguishd by specific dark grey wheels shod with 265/35 ZR 19 front and 285/30 ZR 20 rear rubber. Cup tires are standard in Europe and a no-cost option in the US. The gurney flap on the trunk lid adds downforce and emphasises that this M3 means serious business. The front hood and roof are made from carbon fiber.

If we have one grievance, it is the omission of a manual transmission option on this yet-unsurpassed M3, even though it is available on the base M3. But that won’t keep us for a second from recommending the M3 CS to any BMW aficionado.

On the US market, the awesome BMW M3 CS retails for USD 97,400; in Germany, it is listed at EUR 113,700. That said, you’d be lucky to get one at all. Almost all of the 1200 units BMW is planning to build are already spoken for.

2019 BMW M5 Competition Sedan

Slap the name “Competition” on it and people will expect serious oomph. That is exactly what BMW did with its 2019 M5 Competition Sedan–the most powerful M5 to date.

Thanks to a 4.4L V8 with TwinPower Turbo technology, the car produces 617-hp and 553 lb-ft of torque which translates to a 0-62 time in 3.3 seconds and a max speed of 189 mph (optional M Driver’s Package). The M5 Competition Edition also receives more camber up front and tweaks that make the chassis stiffer.

Cosmetic upgrades include blacked-out details on the grille surrounds, badging, mirrors, door handles, fender vents, window surrounds, and the exhaust’s tips.

Learn more From BMW $110,995

BMW Trademarks the “M7” Name

News emerged today of BMW’s recent successful application to trademark the M7 name. The German company appears to have submitted the application to the United States Trademark and Patent Office. It backs up a similar trademark BMW owns in Europe which was filled in 2005.

What the news confirms is that the idea of an M Power tuned 7-Series is still very much being considered for production. BMW already produces the 600 hp M760i which shoehorns an impressive V12 under its hood. Naturally, it isn’t one of the company’s best sellers but it has a solid following with fans, being one of the final V12 limousines available on the market place.

What BMW could be considering is a sportier version of the M760i, perhaps with a lighter V8 or in place of the V12 lump. Such a limousine wouldn’t be the worst decision. Mercedes-AMG sells plenty of S 63’s while Audi offers competition too, in the space of the Audi S8.

The other possibility is that BMW has no intention of using the badge at all. It could simply be place holding the name for if and when it does finally decide to expand its offering to a sporty limousine. I guess only time will tell!

1980 BMW M1 Coupe

Coming to auction 11 May 2018 in Monte Carlo, is a mighty-fine supercar of yesteryear–the 1980 BMW M1 Coupe. Built to compete against the all-powerful Porsche in the World Sportscar Championship, this is the German brand’s first mid-engined vehicle, and this particular example arrives in excellent original condition.

One of only 453 ever built (and one of 98 finished in orange), the car is powered by an inline-6 3,453cc engine with double overhead cams, 4 valves/cylinder, and mechanical fuel injection, providing 277-bhp for a top speed of 160 mph.

The wedge-shaped, aerodynamic fiberglass bodywork is wrapped around a multi-tubular spaceframe chassis, while Lamborghini-developed wishbones at front and rear provide suspension.

This M1 also boasts disc brakes on all wheels, anti-roll bars, a 5-speed transaxle, and black and grey interior with Recaro seats, AC, electric windows, remotely operated door mirrors & heated rear screen. Expected to fetch north of $650,000.

Bid Here

Photos courtesy of Bonhams

5 Best Commuter Motorcycles of 2018

This list serves as a guide to commuter, motorcycles. It’s not an official segment of motorcycles, but certain lifestyles demand daily transportation in and out of urban areas, and a small motorcycle is the perfect answer. The five motorcycles included vary in size, style and price but are all perfect for navigating the daily grind.

Prefer to skip directly to the picks? Click right here.

The Short List

Best All-Around Commuter: 2018 Ducati Monster 821



In the Ducati Monster lineup, the 821 risked falling into obscurity as the middle child. The 797 is prized as the approachable, entry-level Ducati since the Scrambler line spiraled off into its own sub-brand. The Monster 1200 might have a near identical design to the little 797, but if you look closer, it’s a tech-laden superbike with no fairings and serious power. Instead of being a slightly bigger version of the 797, the 821 borrows supersport-level tech from the 1200 and brings it down to an approachable level. It gets the best of all worlds — the controllable and lightweight nature of the 797, plus a little extra shove from the engine and the top-of-the-line tech and control systems from the 1200. And it costs just over $11,000.

Who It’s For: The commuter who doesn’t need the power of a bigger engine, but wants the tech that seemingly only the bigger, more expensive bikes get.

What’s Good: “For some, and understandably so, the 147-horsepower Monster 1200 may prove to be too much bike and the 797 too small and rudimentary. The 821 comes in as the Goldilocks option: it utilizes the same frame, brakes, tank and headlight, the beautiful if intricate, color TFT instrument display and traction control and ride mode system as the more expensive 1200 — but delivers it all in a much more manageable, affordable package. That seems to be the magic of the Monster. The Scrambler may be its own sub-brand, but the Monster has its own following under the larger Ducati umbrella. It offers the same styling with different levels of performance, attracting a wider array of riders. It succeeds with an architecture Ducati got right the first time and has simply fined tuned over the years in small, minute increments like Porsche has done with the 911.” – Bryan Campbell

What to Watch Out For: The term ‘all-new’ for 2018 has to be used loosely. “The engine in the new 821 is the same 821cc Testastretta L-Twin engine from the outgoing model but gets a host of modern hardware from the bigger, more technologically advanced 1200. Looking at the 797 and the 821 side-by-side, you might say they’re both entry-level models; if the 797 is the base model, with no options ticked, the 821 is the upgraded sport package. – Bryan Campbell

Value: There are very few other bikes at this price point with this much technology on board, though that much tech is becoming increasingly more common. Aside from the power deficit and the yellow paint job option, the 821 is incredibly similar to its big brother, the Monster 1200 — a bike that starts around $17,000.

Design: “Ducati’s Monster married a superbike engine to a Super Sport frame and created somewhat of a new genre with the “naked” sportbike — a modern cafe racer of sorts. It was an undeniable hit. It was different. It was beautiful. It could handle the canyon roads as well as a race bike could tackle the track and it came with three different engine options: the M600, M750, and M900. Until now, we’ve had the all-new Monster 1200 and 797; and now, the latest update: the middleweight 821. For 2018, in keeping with tradition, Ducati brought its iconic, entry-level roadster into the modern era with an incredibly minimalistic approach.” – Bryan Campbell

Verdict: “The 821 certainly isn’t a paradigm shift in the Monster universe, but what it gets right is bringing upper-echelon sportbike technology within the grasp of new riders — or riders not interested in spending nearly $18,000 for what should be standard on any modern sport bike.” – Bryan Campbell

What Others Are Saying:
“Stylish yet utilitarian, practical yet exciting, thoroughly modern but consciously linked to its glorious past, the 821, like Italy itself, blends opposing forces in a harmonious whole, forging its own identity in the process. The 821 isn’t just the Monster 1200’s little sibling. It’s a user-friendly package suitable for less experienced riders, but it’s also competent and engaging in ways that appeal to riders looking for a motorcycle distinguished, not by a single dominant sensation, but by the parity of its parts in pursuit of motorcycling bliss.” – Cycle World

“By far the biggest change, though, is to the electronics, and this comes in two parts. First, the old, letterbox-esque LCD dashboard has been consigned to the trash can in favor of a thoroughly modern color TFT display. Second, Ducati have thrown a full-on electronics package as standard at the 821 and that means full ride-by-wire with 8-level configurable traction control, three-level configurable ABS, and three engine maps.” – Ride Apart

“In the end, I think the new Monster would make a fantastic and stylish first Ducati for any rider with more than six months of riding experience under their belt. Ducati wasn’t B.S.-ing when it claimed the new 821 is the “Best Balanced Monster.” – Motorcycle.com

Engine: 821cc L-Twin
Horsepower: 109
Torque: 63 lb-ft
Price: $11,995

Best Value Commuter: 2017/18 Kawasaki Z650



In the middle-weight naked bike category, the bikes are so closely matched that any scrutiny has to be done under a microscope. Pricing is all evenly matched, though the Kawi is one of the more affordable options compared to its Japanese rivals (even on the ABS model at $7,399) and also edges out the competition on styling with lively pearl white plastics and an electric green trellis frame. Where the Z650 really shines is under power in the mid-range, right where you need it for passing traffic in day-to-day commuter traffic.

Who It’s For: The rider who wants to save a money rather than shell out for the absolute best in class but still wants to enjoy tight and twisty back roads on the way home from work.

What’s Good: “Team Green developed this bike as the bigger brother of their own monkey-bike, the Z125 Pro. That means power took a backseat to flickability during development. Which is why Kawi only breathed on their tried-and-tested 649cc parallel-twin engine, opting to smooth out delivery and provide grunt where it was needed most — in the mid-range.” — Matt Neundorf

What to Watch Out For: To be a better bike for a wider audience, Kawasaki set up the front forks more lightly sprung than usual. It makes the bike more user-friendly to novice riders but aggressive riders might overdo it and find the front end diving under hard braking.

Value: For a modern, naked sports bike to have this level performance and a $6,999 price tag hanging off the bars, it’s a bargain.

Verdict: “You feel this as soon as you settle into the saddle. During stop-and-go stints in downtown Santa Monica, there were no struggles to stand flat-foot at lights, and the bike never felt like it could get away from me. The revised chassis geometry and slim, straight bars make 90-degree, grid-street negotiations a breeze, meaning this thing will do well for urban commuters too.” — Matt Neundorf

What Others Are Saying:
“In all, the Z650 satisfies nearly all of the prerequisites for an affordable, mid-level, sport-inspired machine. In terms of performance, nearly all of the systems found on the Z650 have massive amounts of potential to take a rider with little to no experience, and allow for a great deal of maturation to take place; a rider can develop their skills for a good while, before stepping to the next rung on the proverbial ladder.” – Ultimate Motorcycling

“As it stands, the bike is a great addition to the Z family, and proof of what Kawasaki has learned from years spent with the Z1000 and Z800 (both of which will be replaced by the Z900 for 2017). And it’s a great option for those naked bike lovers who’ve been waiting for a mid-displacement twin with Team Green badges on its side.” – Cycle World

Engine: 649cc parallel twin
Horsepower: 63
Torque: 42 lb-ft
Price: $6,999

Introduction

Navigating any concrete jungle can be hell — especially if you call the asphalt wilds your commute. Driving into the city is certified insanity and public transportation isn’t always the most reliable (which is the understatement of the year for any New Yorker). That only leaves one serious option: a motorcycle. In the city, agility trumps power and bulk is the enemy of timeliness. To get to work on time what you need is a slender, nimble bike that looks good and handles well — here are five of the best motorcycles for any city-dweller.

Terms to Know

Sport Standard: A style of motorcycle with an up-right riding position, with handle bars close enough to the rider not to neccesitate and agressive lean or reach.
Naked style: A motorcycle lacking plastic fairings, exposing the engine and transmission.
Twisties: When a road has many, tight and winding turns.
Lane splitting: Riding your motorcycle between the lanes or rows of slow moving cars or stopped traffic. California is the only state in the U.S. to officially legalize lane splitting.
Flickability: The ease at which a bike can be quickly change direction, leaning from one side to the other.

What Makes a Great City Motorcycle?

Surviving city traffic — mad cabbies, delivery trucks and frantic commuters — on a motorcycle requires patience, quick reflexes and steel nerves from a rider and it’s crucial the motorcycle itself can keep up. A compact, slender bike is a good place to start. Dodging potholes and traffic and going for narrow or closing gaps between cars is the norm when you’re cruising down a crowded avenue or side street. To be able to get any of that done with ease a good city motorcycle utilized that smaller silhouette by being lightweight and flickakble. Of course, bigger bikes are at a disadvantage there but if they can hide their weight with a nice and low center of gravity, heavier bikes can ride like they’re half the size.

Power is important but only if it’s in a usable spot in the rev range. There’s no use having chart-topping power and torque if you have to be flirt with the redline to see any of it. Motorcycles that work best on city streets have a healthy low- and mid-range — basically where the engine speed lives when you’re coming off light or traveling at traffic speeds.

When you are dipping and diving, weaving your way through town, your attention has to be at an all-time high. And not surprisingly, if you’re not physically comfortable on your bike, you’re going to be distracted. That’s not just the ergonomics of the seating position either. Although it is incredibly important that you’re not stuffing yourself onto the bike and cramping up your needs, riding comfort also stems from a great suspension setup. A super stiff suspension setup, where you can feel every rut, rock and crack can not only be bone shatteringly uncomfortable but can lead to a nervous, twitchy and unsettled bike.

It’s a tall order to build a bike that’s versatile enough to handle city streets and still have the capabilities to hop on the highway to get out of town. But when manufacturers get the formula right, a city-bound motorcycle can be an incredible asset in fighting back the daily grind.

Buying Guide

What’s in This Buying Guide

5 Best Urban Motorcycles of 2018

Best All-Around Commuter: 2018 Ducati Monster 821



In the Ducati Monster lineup, the 821 risked falling into obscurity as the middle child. The 797 is prized as the approachable, entry-level Ducati since the Scrambler line spiraled off into its own sub-brand. The Monster 1200 might have a near identical design to the little 797, but if you look closer, it’s a tech-laden superbike with no fairings and serious power. Instead of being a slightly bigger version of the 797, the 821 borrows supersport-level tech from the 1200 and brings it down to an approachable level. It gets the best of all worlds — the controllable and lightweight nature of the 797, plus a little extra shove from the engine and the top-of-the-line tech and control systems from the 1200. And it costs just over $11,000.

Who It’s For: The commuter who doesn’t need the power of a bigger engine, but wants the tech that seemingly only the bigger, more expensive bikes get.

What’s Good: “For some, and understandably so, the 147-horsepower Monster 1200 may prove to be too much bike and the 797 too small and rudimentary. The 821 comes in as the Goldilocks option: it utilizes the same frame, brakes, tank and headlight, the beautiful if intricate, color TFT instrument display and traction control and ride mode system as the more expensive 1200 — but delivers it all in a much more manageable, affordable package. That seems to be the magic of the Monster. The Scrambler may be its own sub-brand, but the Monster has its own following under the larger Ducati umbrella. It offers the same styling with different levels of performance, attracting a wider array of riders. It succeeds with an architecture Ducati got right the first time and has simply fined tuned over the years in small, minute increments like Porsche has done with the 911.” – Bryan Campbell

What to Watch Out For: The term ‘all-new’ for 2018 has to be used loosely. “The engine in the new 821 is the same 821cc Testastretta L-Twin engine from the outgoing model but gets a host of modern hardware from the bigger, more technologically advanced 1200. Looking at the 797 and the 821 side-by-side, you might say they’re both entry-level models; if the 797 is the base model, with no options ticked, the 821 is the upgraded sport package. – Bryan Campbell

Value: There are very few other bikes at this price point with this much technology on board, though that much tech is becoming increasingly more common. Aside from the power deficit and the yellow paint job option, the 821 is incredibly similar to its big brother, the Monster 1200 — a bike that starts around $17,000.

Design: “Ducati’s Monster married a superbike engine to a Super Sport frame and created somewhat of a new genre with the “naked” sportbike — a modern cafe racer of sorts. It was an undeniable hit. It was different. It was beautiful. It could handle the canyon roads as well as a race bike could tackle the track and it came with three different engine options: the M600, M750, and M900. Until now, we’ve had the all-new Monster 1200 and 797; and now, the latest update: the middleweight 821. For 2018, in keeping with tradition, Ducati brought its iconic, entry-level roadster into the modern era with an incredibly minimalistic approach.” – Bryan Campbell

Verdict: “The 821 certainly isn’t a paradigm shift in the Monster universe, but what it gets right is bringing upper-echelon sportbike technology within the grasp of new riders — or riders not interested in spending nearly $18,000 for what should be standard on any modern sport bike.” – Bryan Campbell

What Others Are Saying:
“Stylish yet utilitarian, practical yet exciting, thoroughly modern but consciously linked to its glorious past, the 821, like Italy itself, blends opposing forces in a harmonious whole, forging its own identity in the process. The 821 isn’t just the Monster 1200’s little sibling. It’s a user-friendly package suitable for less experienced riders, but it’s also competent and engaging in ways that appeal to riders looking for a motorcycle distinguished, not by a single dominant sensation, but by the parity of its parts in pursuit of motorcycling bliss.” – Cycle World

“By far the biggest change, though, is to the electronics, and this comes in two parts. First, the old, letterbox-esque LCD dashboard has been consigned to the trash can in favor of a thoroughly modern color TFT display. Second, Ducati have thrown a full-on electronics package as standard at the 821 and that means full ride-by-wire with 8-level configurable traction control, three-level configurable ABS, and three engine maps.” – Ride Apart

“In the end, I think the new Monster would make a fantastic and stylish first Ducati for any rider with more than six months of riding experience under their belt. Ducati wasn’t B.S.-ing when it claimed the new 821 is the “Best Balanced Monster.” – Motorcycle.com

Engine: 821cc L-Twin
Horsepower: 109
Torque: 63 lb-ft
Price: $11,995

Best Value Commuter: 2017/18 Kawasaki Z650



In the middle-weight naked bike category, the bikes are so closely matched that any scrutiny has to be done under a microscope. Pricing is all evenly matched, though the Kawi is one of the more affordable options compared to its Japanese rivals (even on the ABS model at $7,399) and also edges out the competition on styling with lively pearl white plastics and an electric green trellis frame. Where the Z650 really shines is under power in the mid-range, right where you need it for passing traffic in day-to-day commuter traffic.

Who It’s For: The rider who wants to save a money rather than shell out for the absolute best in class but still wants to enjoy tight and twisty back roads on the way home from work.

What’s Good: “Team Green developed this bike as the bigger brother of their own monkey-bike, the Z125 Pro. That means power took a backseat to flickability during development. Which is why Kawi only breathed on their tried-and-tested 649cc parallel-twin engine, opting to smooth out delivery and provide grunt where it was needed most — in the mid-range.” — Matt Neundorf

What to Watch Out For: To be a better bike for a wider audience, Kawasaki set up the front forks more lightly sprung than usual. It makes the bike more user-friendly to novice riders but aggressive riders might overdo it and find the front end diving under hard braking.

Value: For a modern, naked sports bike to have this level performance and a $6,999 price tag hanging off the bars, it’s a bargain.

Verdict: “You feel this as soon as you settle into the saddle. During stop-and-go stints in downtown Santa Monica, there were no struggles to stand flat-foot at lights, and the bike never felt like it could get away from me. The revised chassis geometry and slim, straight bars make 90-degree, grid-street negotiations a breeze, meaning this thing will do well for urban commuters too.” — Matt Neundorf

What Others Are Saying:
“In all, the Z650 satisfies nearly all of the prerequisites for an affordable, mid-level, sport-inspired machine. In terms of performance, nearly all of the systems found on the Z650 have massive amounts of potential to take a rider with little to no experience, and allow for a great deal of maturation to take place; a rider can develop their skills for a good while, before stepping to the next rung on the proverbial ladder.” – Ultimate Motorcycling

“As it stands, the bike is a great addition to the Z family, and proof of what Kawasaki has learned from years spent with the Z1000 and Z800 (both of which will be replaced by the Z900 for 2017). And it’s a great option for those naked bike lovers who’ve been waiting for a mid-displacement twin with Team Green badges on its side.” – Cycle World

Engine: 649cc parallel twin
Horsepower: 63
Torque: 42 lb-ft
Price: $6,999

Best Big Engine Bike: 2018 Ducati Multistrada



As far as styling and sound go, the Multistrada can be polarizing. What’s not up for debate, though, is how well the big adventure sport bike rides and tackles turns. The secret is the phenomenal Skyhook semi-active suspension and the clever way Ducati engineers hid the bulk of the Multistrada’s 518 pounds. It has the looks of an adventure bike, but when you start to flick the ‘Strada back and forth, navigating traffic and city streets, it’s easy to forget it can handle a mountain pass or two as well.

Who It’s For: The long distance commuter.

What’s Good: “The high-visibility LED graphic display makes swapping riding modes and adjusting suspension settings a simple task, displaying them in simple, visual terms. With a dry weight of 467 pounds, the Multistrada 1260 feels light and agile, albeit a bit tall (seat height is adjustable from 32.5-33.3 in), which makes maneuvering the bike in and out of parking spaces somewhat difficult if you’re a shorter rider.” — Justin Coffey

What to Watch Out For: “Don’t expect to take the new 1260 off-road, as its 17-inch cast Marchesini wheels are more adept at eating up the asphalt than dirt.” — Justin Coffey

Value: The sports-adventure bike category is a tough one to navigate — nearly every manufacturer offers one at this point and they’re all similarly priced. The Ducati, though, has style to go with its tech and performance.

Design: The Multistrada 1260 feels much like the outgoing 1200cc model. Riding position stays the same – upright, comfortable, with wide handlebars and ample wind protection thanks to the on-the-fly adjustable windscreen. With the longer wheelbase, the new 1260 is more confident in corners, more noticeably so in the faster, sweeping curves on the island of Gran Canaria. — Justin Coffee

Verdict: “Ducati’s Multistrada was designed to offer the owner a variety of options. From taking the long way home to riding the length of South America, the Multistrada is capable of many tasks, although it excels at making twisty (paved) roads disappear into the distance. Locking luggage comes standard (optional aluminum panniers are available from Touratech), as do heated grips, keyless ignition, a tire pressure monitoring system and a quick-shift function (clutch-less up- and downshifts, available on the S and Pikes Peak models). With its upright riding position and multiple ride modes, the new 1260 can transform from a docile urban commuter to an aggressive sport-touring machine with the push of a few buttons.” — Justin Coffey

What Others Are Saying:
“So much of what has made the Multistrada a popular machine since 2010 is captured wholly in the new 1260. The engine is the biggest improvement. Ducati claims six additional ponies over the 1200, but it doesn’t really feel faster. The longer wheelbase makes it less prone to wheelie, I’m sure—mostly it’s how linear the power delivery is that made me smile. It’s happy to lug around town, and has a fat midrange that won’t disappoint.” – Cycle World

“The handling of the Multistrada 1260 is superb for a motorcycle of its size. At a claimed 511 lbs wet and with a 62.4-inch wheelbase, I was pleasantly impressed with how precise and light the front end felt and how quickly the entire motorcycle could be flicked from side to side.” – Motorcycle.com

Engine: 1262 90-degree L-twin
Horsepower: 158
Torque: 95.5 lb-ft
Price: $18,695+

Most Stylish: 2018 BMW R NineT Urban G/S



The heritage line at BMW is a tad confusing. The R NineT that launched the line, though it’s a pretty bike, at $15,000 seems rather tame. It does have the technology and power to warrant a price tag around that limit, but the Urban G/S not only looks miles better, it’s more affordable as well. Granted, though it’s more pared down, tech-wise, it still handles just as well as the R Nine T its based on. A Dakar racer it is not, but while weaving through traffic downtown few things look cooler.

Who It’s For: The rider who wants iconic style and design cues blended into a modern BMW.

What’s Good: “Calling it a new model is a touch misleading, though, because it’s essentially just a restyled R nineT Scrambler — except better looking. A high front fender, nose fairing and the iconic combination of red seat and blue tank graphics over a white paint job bring out the best in the R NineT’s styling. The exhaust differs from the Scrambler’s as well, but the rest of the running gear — like the compact analog-digital combo speedo — is identical. It even comes standard with the Scrambler’s alloy wheels, but the optional spoked wheels (pictured) are the ones you want. As a styling exercise, there’s no doubt the Urban G/S is a home run.” – Wesley Reyneke

What to Watch Out For: Where the original G/S that this bike takes most of its inspiration from was known for dominating Dakar, the Urban G/S is not as off-road savvy. It has a few design touches here and there that would help it do better on a dirt than the R NineT it’s based on, but for the most part, it’s just that: design touches.

Value: It might be a slightly paired down version of the more expensive R NineT, but there’s no doubting it looks better. Saving around $3,000 doesn’t hurt either.

Design: “The Urban G/S’s upright ergonomics make it all-day comfortable, but you’ll eventually pine for a cushier saddle, if you do find yourself in the saddle. Its 485-pound form factor won’t give you supermoto-like levels of handling, but the low center of gravity makes it relatively easy to muscle through turns. It’s a deceptively compact motorcycle.” – Wesley Reyneke

Verdict: “The Urban G/S does have incredible potential to be customized beautifully, to be made unique, to be made your own. If customization isn’t your thing, that shouldn’t turn you away. Out of the box, the Urban G/S is a great-looking and well-performing motorcycle. Even if you won’t actually race across the desert with it, it’ll make you feel like you can.” – Wesley Reyneke

What Others Are Saying:
“The heritage the Urban G/S pays tribute to is reminiscent of the old R80 G/S, a motorcycle that basically invented the adventure-touring category. In its time, dirt bikes were lightweight, single-cylinder machines. The original G/S was a street bike fitted for off-pavement duty, a motorcycle made for exploring. The modern version, the Urban G/S, really is no different..” – Revzilla

“The thing is, while none of the other models have really struck my fancy, I really like the R NineT Urban G/S. BMW seemed more willing to admit the Urban G/S is not an adventure bike but a daily bike for people who loved that first adventure bike and who are moved by the styling..” – Cycle World

Engine: air- and oil-cooled 1,170cc flat-twin
Horsepower: 110
Torque: 85 lb-ft
Price: $12,995

Best All-Electric Option: 2018 Zero DS ZF13.0 +POWER TANK



There’s an argument to be made that motorcyclists have a better understanding of torque than most. Sitting so close to the fulcrum point at the wheel, with any amount of twist from the engine you can easily feel the forces at work. Now consider that one of the defining characteristics of electric vehicles is their maximum torque is available from zero RPM — full power can be instantaneous and available throughout the rev range. When you need to make a last minute pass or get ahead of traffic off the line, an electric motorcycle can spoil a rider. The Zero DS ZF13.0 +POWER TANK is admittedly on the expensive side for the bike that it looks like, however, having 188 miles per charge is a mileage stat not many other bikes can boast. Efficiency is the Zero DS ZF13.0 +POWER TANK, but the way it sends power to the rear wheel is addictive and a great way to spice up any commute.

Who It’s For: The eco-concsious commuter who has a taste for neo-futurism and appreciates that quality power doesn’t mean paying through the teeth at the pump.

What’s Good: Even without the Power Tank option added, the DS gets better city mileage than almost any other bike in its price bracket or power class. Spring for the Power Pack and the DS ZF13.0 increases its range from 147 miles to 188 miles. In other words, more than enough to stifle any lingering range anxiety.

What to Watch Out For: You’re paying for the battery performance, technology and capabilities. Where the Zero falls short is the overall refinement. The plastics seem to be on the cheaper side of the spectrum. But if you can look past that, the DS’s 188-mile range makes it an incredible commuter.

Value: As mentioned, the plastics and overall refinement of the Zero DS falls a tad short, but the better range and money saved at the pump is really why you’re buying this. It’s no electric-assist pedal bike either. Aside from the lack of exhaust note, this is a genuine motorcycle and should be looked at as such. Not many other motorcycles at this price point can claim the same endurance.

Design: The DS design lands somewhere in the gray area between the dirt world and sports standard city bike. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — giving off the peppy character of a scrambler or dual sport while retaining the practicality and comfort of a city bike helps the DS stand out. Oddly, its the complete lack of noise as you ride by that catches the attention of most.

Verdict: There’s a lot to go back and forth on with electric bikes — the lack of sound, the range anxiety, the lack of gears or on some, the pointless gears. But the DS can handle corners well enough (despite being 457-lbs) and will go further than anything else you have in your garage on two wheels. Not to mention it’s one fewer reason to vist the gas station and give them money.

What Others Are Saying:
“Basically, with some cute bodywork and clubman bars, this bike would be the perfect scrambler. Like all Zero motorcycles, it’s best as your daily commuter, but if you really need to do those 100-mile Sundays in the canyons, or just have a long distance commute, there’s always the power tank, which gives it an additional 25 miles at Highway/City combined. That 25 miles of range comes at a price of $2,695 and 44 lbs of added weight.” – Clean Technica

“Zero DS is pleasurable in virtually any riding environment. It’s not your run of the mill electric bicycle “wannabe” motorcycle, but the real deal. If there were a negative issue, it would be that it’s so quiet that other motorists are often unaware of your presence, requiring extra vigilance on your part..” – The Fast Lane Car

Power: Lithium-ion Cell Zero Force Battery
Horsepower: 60
Torque: 81 lb-ft
Price: $16,890
The Best SUVs Under $50,000

Choosing one among the endless many is no easy task. Moreover, since the average price for an SUV 2017 was just under $40,000, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To cover all the bases, we bumped the budget up to $50,000 and chose the best new SUVs you can buy in 2018. Read the Story

Concept: BMW M8 Gran Coupe

With the rise in popularity of sleek, streamlined four-door coupes, BMW responds by revealing a concept to compete in the 4-door sports luxury segment.

Sporting the ‘Gran Coupe’ moniker, the BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe debuted in Geneva Motor Show with a slight glimpse of what the future holds for BMW.

With a more aggressive design language, the silhouette that the M8 has revealed a lot of where the company wants to go: masculine, very upfront almost bull-like nose, and a sleeker backside. It pulls off a sexier look than the more contemporary rivals like the Audi 7-series, or the S-Class Coupe… But with more doors.

Don’t ask us how these segments work because we’re just as confused as you are. While these are concept cars, we hope that the car goes into production with the same dichromatic paintwork called ‘Salève Vert’. I think that means a shade of green.

BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe Iced

BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe IcedWhat’s funny are the stock photos look to be a nighttime rendezvous on top of a frozen lake, so that means that the M8 concept is cooler than what you have? Or a nod to James Bond and Die Another Day?

What’s probably going to happen is it will definitely have a Gran-Turismo vibe so it’ll have an old-school automatic transmission rather than the jolting DSG dual-clutch, maybe XDrive, and cross fingers, working quad exhausts(!)

Here’s to hoping our prayers get answered. Are you listening, Bavaria?!

The 5 Best BMW M3’s of All Time

Certain car brands have their typical stereotypes: Volvo is known for their world-renowned safety; Volkswagen is synonymous with ‘stance’ or the excessively lowered suspension lifestyle, and Subaru owners love to vape.

In the European car world, one brand has the reputation of being ‘The Driver’s Car’ and it’s in a lovely place called Bavaria… Wherever that is. Locally known as ‘Bayerische Motoren Werke’, we enthusiasts are more familiar with their acronym: BMW.

That honour was earned through the desire of destroying the competition and in turn, created one of the best cars in modern history: The BMW M3. Built because of an eligibility rule, BMW set forth in becoming the greatest German car in motorsport, even if there were risks that it would flop in sales. Thankfully, it didn’t, and a legend was born.

So with that in mind, let us now educate you and relive the history of greatness. Here are the best M3 cars of all time.

E36 (1990 to 2000)

E36

E36

The second iteration of the M3 brought classiness and refinement that the first generation didn’t have (more on the first generation later on).

The reason why the E36 is the 5th best M3 is that compared to the entire lineage, it didn’t look that good. Sure, it brought the 3.0L inline-six engine to the world and it was drastically different from the first M3, but it looks awkward, bulky, and out of place, especially compared to the later models. It was a step in the right direction, but it was in need of refinement.

We think it’s best that we say our thanks to the E36 and quickly move on.

E90/92/93 (2007 – 2013)

E90/92/93

E90/92/93

The mid-2000s brought the best in companies: the world gave birth to the Audi S4, the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG, and the E90 BMW M3. This particular generation had a delicious, buttery, high-revving S65 V8 engine. Producing 414bhp, it loves to ride the redline and asks for more.

Even though it had a chunky V8 at the front, the balance was poised and had precise steering compared to the competition.

In a famous Top Gear episode, Richard Hammond picked the BMW M3 and crushed the competition around the track as the Audi was prone to AWD understeer, and the C63 AMG was just too much to handle around the bends. The BMW was a perfect mix of power and handling, which were backed up by results.

The looks were mixed, but it looks way better than the E36 and considering it was created at the same era as the (in)famous ‘Bangle Butt’, we think that the E90 got lucky on this one. The chassis code was dependent on the body-style with the sedan, cabriolet, and wagon having their own codes, respectively. It may be confusing, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming later on.

This generation stepped up from the plucky inline-six it had before and has a modern silhouette that still looks new a decade later. As we move further up into the echelon, however, the real legends emerge and are timeless classics.

E30 (1985–1992)

E30

E30

For the die-hard fans, bet you didn’t expect this coming? I can feel the comment box lighting up. But let us create some controversy!

Yes, the E30 is the genesis for one of the greatest sports car in the world. The 1985 3-series was rebuilt inside and out to defeat the Mercedes 190E in DTM or the German Touring Car series. Because of homologation, BMW had to create a roadworthy version of the M3 racing car to compete and they did it in a spectacular fashion. BMW made mincemeat out of Mercedes in DTM and ruled British Touring Car, and much other racing series. The E30 M3 was created out of necessity and it was a great success.

It’s not the best because of the spartan nature it presented: it was a pure race car, and nothing else. For the purists, it’s the best M3 but the generations that are left in this article will definitely put up a fight to be known as better than grandpa.

F80 (2014 – Present)

F80

F80

Alright, so here’s where the real fun begins. So the F80 replaced the V8 road-chomper that we all know was the E90 series.

Due to changing times and emissions regulations, the V8 was no more and we ushered in a new era of forced induction with a twin-turbo inline six. Complete with a body redesign, this was the new design language for BMW’s future. It is paving the way for the future generations but still remembering their heritage, continually being known as ‘The Driver’s Car’.

The F80 design looks absolutely stunning and the twin-turbo setup produces more power than the V8 it replaced while using less fuel. It is truly the best of both worlds, but be careful if you’re a wealthy socialite and ordering your first BMW M3 coupe on the phone because that doesn’t exist!

What? What do you mean?

Well, to accompany the new design language, BMW also overhauled their model lineup in an elegantly confusing fashion. Let the great people at Cartelligent.com demonstrate:

BMW currently assembles its lineup into 10 distinct groupings. The sportier coupe-style are designated by even numbers (2 Series, 4 Series and 6 Series) while the sedan-style models are given odd numbers (3 Series, 5 Series and 7 Series):

  • 2 Series – A smaller two-door model available as either a coupe or convertible
  • 3 Series – A compact four-door model available as a sedan, sports wagon or Gran Turismo
  • 4 Series – A compact coupe-style model available as either a two-door coupe or convertible or a four-door Gran Coupe
  • 5 Series – A mid-size four-door model available as a sedan or Gran Turismo
  • 6 Series – A mid-size two-door model available as a two-door coupe or convertible, or a four-door Gran Coupe or ALPINA Gran Coupe
  • 7 Series – A full-size four-door model available as a sedan or ALPINA sedan

So what you really want is the new BMW M4. Unless you want a 4-door, then you can get the M3. Or maybe a gran coupe 4-series instead because it comes with 4-doors?

E46 (2000–2006)

E46

E46

So now, we have reached the top: The King of the Mountain. The bold claim of being the best M3. Ever.

Produced to replace the awkward E36, the E46 ruled the sports world for six years in a land that had bland and subpar competition: The B5/B6 Audi S4 had a lot of engine issues especially with the V8 variety, and Mercedes W203 of the same vintage was garbage due to their partnership with Chrysler at the time.

The E46 was in a league of its own: it possessed the chiseled good looks that the E36 didn’t have and didn’t look bubbly like the E90. It had the inline-six that was lighter than the V8 and can be bought with the six-speed slushbox (don’t bother with the SMG transmission). It had mechanical steering and not a lot of electrical helpers or ‘nannies’ that the later generations had to have.

Other plus sides: It can be picked up for relatively cheap compared to E30 M3’s, which are car museum prices (might as well get a 993 Porsche, gasp!), and not dirt-cheap like E36 which attracts the crowd you don’t want to buy a used car from. The F80 is getting high at prices after options, while the E90 M3 is slightly more expensive used compared to an E46.

It was more advanced than the E30 that came before it, but not as bloated as their successors. It was the perfect mix of luxury and raw driving purity. It had the best of both worlds, and that’s why it’s the best one.

Sx-Z | 2012 Pebble Beach Concept Cars

GALLERY: 2012 Pebble Beach Concept Car Lawn Recap

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance showcases an introduction to some of the years best revealed production and concept cars.

If concepts and exotics are your thing, like they are ours, the Concept Car Lawn is the place to be and see the latest concepts.

Check out the gallery of this years Concept Car Lawn below.

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