All posts in “BMW”

2019 BMW 750Li Review

Since I was a small boy (still am) I’ve always been envious of the person driving me around – I am forever curious about how it feels to drive the car in which in sat in, whatever it is. There have, however, been a handful of exceptions – I’m sure the reasons speak for themselves. These anomalies include a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bentley Mulsanne, Mercedes-Maybach S600 and the BMW 7 Series.

These are cars that, in my mind, are meant to be enjoyed not from behind the wheel, but from behind the front seats. The rear seats are lounges, spaces that are designed to take you away from the reality of being stuck in the horrendous LA traffic or the ugly concrete clad surroundings of the M25 in London.

Chances are that if you find yourself in the rear cocoons of the aforementioned limousines you have a few more cars that you drive for pleasure or to flex at the golf club. The limousine is for the Micky Mouse gloved driver, not the owner, to put miles on.

It just so happened that I recently drove an S600 Maybach, Phantom and Mulsanne and I found them to be remarkable to drive, not just to be driven in. When the invitation to pilot the new BMW 7 Series popped into the inbox my childish curiosity had me hitting accept.

A couple of weeks later I found myself in the back of the BMW 750Li and it was a phenomenal place to be sat. Just a week before I was in the back seats of the Mulsanne and the BMW felt as plush, equally special and even more technologically advanced. The loungers were sublime, the cabin whisper quiet and the fit and finish something that would not be out of place in the Sultan of Brunei’s living room. Once again, I found myself enjoying the opulence of soft leathers, massage seats and near silence – I almost fell asleep.

Then my driver pulled over, chucked me the keys and disappeared. I would be lying if I said it was not a little intimidating, the 7 Series is, I think it is fair to say, an utter enormous car. Let’s get one thing out of the way from the outset – those ginormous grilles. The kidneys have over the years evolved into a plethora of shapes and sizes – on the X2 they appear to be fitted the wrong way up, on the X7…well let’s skip past that, but on the 7 Series face lift they are big enough to swallow small children and other cars alike.

Confession time – I did not like them before, I hated them when I saw them on a M760Li at Geneva and I still do not like them on the M Sport trimmed cars. However, on the Design Pure Elegance package cars, the swooping lower section of the bumper combined with the slender laser lights and that imposing pair of grilles looks mighty impressive to my eyes, something akin to a majestic and proud cruise ship.

The rear continues the design language I first saw on the 3er and Z4 with the L shaped lights, this time presented with the horizontal connecting light beam that you can find on most Porsches…and the Bugatti Chiron. Unless you are reading this is China, your opinion in the styling is somewhat irrelevant as that is where 40% of 7 Series cars are delivered and the new status promoting styling is very much catered to the Chinese market…and me apparently.

Back to my driving experience – I’m behind the wheel and the space upfront is impressive, the width of the car continues to make itself known in a good way. The view from the side mirrors accentuates the the length. Into drive and away I…sail. It is just as quite up here, you would never know that the engine under the hood is a hefty great V8. The 750Li xDrive I am piloting packs a supercar worthy 530 bhp and a twisting 750 Nm of torque. Considering that it weighs the same as a small cottage it is impressive that it will shift to 100km/h in 4 seconds.

As I pull out of the hotel onto the baked Spanish tarmac my eyes are drawn to something in the aforementioned wing mirrors. I stop turn the wheel and discover that it is the rear wheel steer system the I can physically see turning the rear wheels. It helps explain why I only had to apply a marginal amount of steering lock to navigate the 90 degree turn. The steering was so light that it could have been done with a single finger. Innovations like this are only the start of the list of things that make driving the car as much of a breeze as it is to be the VIP passenger in the back of it.

All of the controls are light – yes, this translates to a total absence of feel in a number of aspects, but this is not exactly a car you drive to the Nordschleife on a Sunday. As with the steering input, everything is effortless, simple and does not require much concentration. The gigantic length and width of 7 Series soon becomes less frightening and, as is the passenger experience, it is very soothing.

The raft of tech aids such as active cruise control and lane assist means that the 7 Series is essentially able to drive itself on the highway and the rest of the technologies packed into the cabin further sooth the driving experience. The new iDrive system still proves itself to be the best in the business, gesture controls are far more useful than I first imagines and there is still a lovely, tactile wheel to use to control the screen in addition to the touch screen feature (take note every other manufacture in the world. #SaveTheControlWheel).

All in all it is very easy to summarise the BMW 750Li xDrive. The car is an incredible place to be sat, whether it be in the front seat or the rear. It is a calming, enjoyable place to be and one that I think challenges and proves itself to be worthy of the best in the segment. I am sure you will be seeing those imposing grilles in a capital city near you very often indeed.

2019 BMW Alpina B7 Officially Revealed

The facelift BMW 7 Series has only just been revealed. Alpina have wasted no time with the release of their Alpina B7’s, based on the platform of the facelifted model. Of course Alpina were able to get their hands on the new design early on account of their close relationship with BMW.

In essence, the new Alpina B7 is just a facelift of the old version. It features the new front grille, the vertical air breathers and the modified headlights of the 7 Series upon which it is based.

2019 BMW Alpina B7

Under the bonnet mild changes have been made. The 4.4 litre biturbo V8 engine gets larger turbines, new inter cooler connections and a tweaked engine management system. Power output remains the same though, pegged at 608 hp and 800 Nm. The modifications affect the delivery of that power with 100 km/h arriving 0.1 second quicker at 3.6 seconds. Top speed is an impressive 330 km/h.

The suspension is different too. It gets the same two-axle air suspension system, combined with Dynamic Damper Control and Active Comfort Drive. Alpina have different control systems though. For example, at 225 km/h, the new Sport+ Mode automatically reduces the B7’s ride height by 15 cm to reduce the centre of gravity. The variable-ratio electric steering system has been modified by Alpina too, it combines with the rear wheel steering for superior handling over the standard 7.

As you would expect, BMW’s updated interior tech is also available for the super saloon. The latest BMW iDrive 7.0 navigation system sits surrounded by Nappa Leather and subtle Alpina design touches. Sound isolation has also improved with new shielding in the rear wheel arches, enhanced sound insulation elements in the B-pillar area and 0.2 mm thicker window glass.

Pricing and availability for the Alpina B7 are yet to be released. It should be on display at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 which takes place next month so we will be sure to catch up with it then!

BMW M850i Coupe First Edition Revealed – 400 Units Only

The BMW M850i Coupe has hit the market. As is customary with most models these days, it gets a ‘First Edition’. The limited edition BMW M850i Coupe First Edition will be available to 400 BMW customers. It comes packed with unique design features and a glut of options.

The starting point for the First Edition is a newly developed BMW Individual special paint finish Frozen Barcelona Blue. It is combined with a BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line which includes the BMW kidney grille frame and slats, the air breathers and tailpipe trims finished in black.

BMW M850i Coupe First Edition

20-inch M light alloy wheels are also finished in Jet Black. The option list is also extended to include an M Carbon roof and an M Carbon exterior package.

On the inside, BMW Individual full leather Merino trim is available in a unique colour combination, Ivory White and Night Blue. Extras include an M leather-covered steering wheel as well as the BMW Individual Alcantara roof liner, each finished in Night Blue. Interior trim strips are finished in Black Piano and bear the lettering “First Edition 1/400”.

BMW M850i Coupe First Edition

The BMW M850i gets a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 530 hp and 750Nm of torque. The power is driven through all four wheels resulting in a 0-100 km/h time of just 3.7 seconds. The BMW M8 is set to arrive very soon, until it does, the BMW M850i is the most powerful 8 Series you can buy!

BMW M850i Coupe First Edition

1982 BMW Alpina B7 S Turbo

This BMW beaut, now up for auction at RM Sotheby’s, is an Alpina B7 S. That’s a huge deal, and if you don’t know why, shame on you.

Just kidding. Of course, all vintage car fans know that Alpina makes high-performance versions of BMW cars. It’s been doing that for more than 50 years now, bringing spoked wheels and turbocharged motors to BMW’s otherwise vanilla models.

Suffice it to say that Alpina makes better BMW cars than BMW itself. You want proof? Look no further than the ride you see above, a 1982 Alpina B7 S. With its boxxy yet sleek corners and understated decals, this ride screams vintage.

But the car isn’t just about looks. Alpina didn’t skimp on the specs, that much its clear. We’re talking a twin-turbo 3.5-liter inline six that makes 330 horsepower. That’s not terribly impressive these days, of course. But those are insane numbers at the time and brought the car parallel to dedicated sports coupes of the era.

If you knew enough about Alpina, you wouldn’t be surprised at all. The automaker’s philosophy was that owning a sedan shouldn’t mean forgetting that you still deserve utmost speed and performance. As such, apart from the engine, Alpina threw in a lot of other upgrades for the Alpina B7 S. Like improvements to the suspension, new shocks, springs, and additional bracing, to boot.

This particular 1982 Alpina B7 S model is the 22nd made out of just a total of 60. We expect for hardcore vintage car collectors to eat this one up in no time. The car has been driven merely 36,000 miles, by the way. Owning it means also owning a thrilling chunk of the history of high-performance sedans.

SEE MORE HERE

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

BMW South Africa Take on Historic Restoration Project

These days the 5 Series is most likely to be associated with the morning commute. Three decades ago, in the mid-1907’s though, it was a competent Touring car. It’s status was such that BMW even produced a South Africa only, road homologised version in the form of the BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition.

The BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition was produced on the southern tip of Africa as part of a limited production run. BMW were keen to compete in the flagship Modified Production Series in South Africa. Starting in 1976, BMW South Africa ran a car in the Series, achieving fifteen wins from 15 consecutive starts and 3 championship titles in three consecutive years. BMW eventually retired the 530 MLE in 1985 as the most successful racing BMW 5 Series in history.

In order to compete in the series, it was necessary for BMW to homologate the 530 MLE. 110 units of the Type 1 530 MLE were produced in 1976, with a further 117 versions of the Type 2 530 MLE built on the production line at the BMW Group Plant, Rosslyn in 1977. Very few of these cars are still on the road.

BMW South Africa recently announced that it has purchased number 100 of these cars, previously owned by race driver and the racing 530 MLE’s team manager Peter Kaye-Eddie. The car is matching numbers, however, it is in need of some TLC. BMW will share the restoration of this rare and iconic piece of 5 Series history with us through social media using the hashtag #BMW530MLE.

The car is quite special in its own right. It has a 3.0 litre straight six which originally produced around 197 bhp together with 277 Nm of torque, a 208 km/h top speed and a 0 – 100 km/h sprint time of 9.3 seconds. In the context of modern performance, this might not seem a huge amount of pace, in the mid-1970’s it would have been class leading! The BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition also featured weight-reduction measures that included bodywork and pedals drilled by hand, manual windows with no air conditioning, and Mahle wheels.

BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition

Of course, away from the racing heritage, the BMW 530 MLE plays an important part in the development of the M Division. It was the first car developed by BMW Motorsport for road use, predating the BMW M1 and the E28 BMW M5. There were no known examples of the 530 MLE until BMW South Africa sourced this (well used…) example.

The restoration of this BMW 530 MLE will be carried out by a team led by Luis Malhou of Custom Restorations.

2020 BMW 7 Series

The 7 Series sedan is one of BMW’s most impressive staples, no doubt about that. Updated for 2020, this revamped lineup now gets a Twin Kidney Grille that’s 40% larger than the last model.

Change is hard, but often they’re necessary. The new design is either one you’ll love or hate, but do keep in mind that the increased opening provides more cooling for the motor and brakes. Form follows function.

That’s not to say the updated 7 Series sedan is hideous. Far from it, actually. You get redesigned headlights with adaptive LED technology, but you can get lasers if that’s more of your thing. BMW also freshened up the hood with a slightly reshaped design. Plus, the fenders are now a tad bit more muscular.

You can get the entry 740i model as a rear-wheel-drive, while the rest come with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Hop inside and you’ll find the latest-gen digital instrument cluster also found on the 8 Series and X5.

There will be new leather and trim options, says BMW. That’s on top of what the carmaker says is improved acoustic comfort. And by the way, there’s now wireless charging in front of the cup holders for easier access.

The top-dog V12 engine with its 600 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque is still king, of course. But for the budget-conscious, BMW introduces the re-engineered version of the 4.4-liter V8. It now generates an increased horsepower of 523 and up to 553 pound-feet of torque, much more than before.

At launch, you can get a hybrid option with the best of both worlds: a six-cylinder inline engine with 280 horsepower combined with an electric motor rated at 113 horsepower. Not too shabby.

MORE FROM BMW

Photos courtesy of BMW

BMW’s Next M3 and M4 Will Have Manual Gearbox

BMW Wants You To Row Your Own Gears

It seems BMW really wants to make the next M3 and M4 cars it produces into the true ultimate driving machines. I don’t know about you, but to me, that indicates the cars will come with a manual gearbox. Recently, CAR Magazine reported that both the M3 and M4 will come with a manual. 

Not all versions of the car will be available with a manual transmission, however. The cars in what the publication refers to as the “Pure” form will receive a stick shift. According to the publication, the Pure models are the base, bare-bones, all-about-driving cars. 

BMW M3BMW M3
Image from BMW

Pure cars will come with a little less horsepower (according to CAR, 454 hp rather than 474 hp), and not as many frills and features as higher trim level vehicles. The word Pure, is just an internal designation at this point. BMW will likely come up with some new term that the marketing department has massaged into position. 

Those cars available with the manual transmission will be without all-wheel drive. Yep, you’ll only be able to get a stick if you’re cool with rear-wheel drive. That shouldn’t be too big of a deal, though, for the folks who want a manual. 

CAR also notes that the reason the cars will have less power and lack all-wheel drive is that BMW doesn’t have a manual that can handle the high levels of torque coming from the new twin-turbo straight-six engine. That’s the best reason I’ve ever heard, and I’ll be thrilled with the option of a good old six-speed and only about 450 hp.

2019 BMW X7

BMW just unveiled the X7, the German automaker’s first humongous radiator grille with a car attached to it. Just kidding. But look at that thing, it’s huge! No surprise it’s designed to compete with the full-fat Range Rover or the Mercedes GLS.

The car is 5,151mm long, 2,000mm wide, and 1,805mm tall, making this seven-seater monster BMW’s biggest SUV thus far. The biggest car you can ever own, at least in the UK, is a Range Rover. The BMW X7 is much, much larger.

The BMW X7 comes in two models, but both will feature three rows of seating for six or seven people depending on what configuration you choose. The first model will feature a 3.0L inline-six engine that’ll produce 335 horsepower while the second model will bump that up to 456 horsepower thanks to its 4.4L V8 engine. The former can hit zero to 60 in just 5.8 seconds while the latter can hit in just 5.2 seconds. Both cars, however, are limited to a speed of 130mph. AWD comes as standard.

You’ll also get a bunch of driver assist systems like Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Assist. If you want to take it even further, you can pay extra for optional additions like semi-autonomous systems, Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound, and the BMW Digital Key, which turns your smartphone into a car key for unlocking and starting your car.

Pricing starts at $73,900. Deliveries are expected to begin March 2019. Make sure to check back with Men’s Gear as we learn more.

LEARN MORE HERE

Photos courtesy of BMW

Could BMW i8 Replacement Come Soon?

A New Electrified BMW Supercar? Yes Please

It seems BMW’s affinity for electrified powertrains will extend to new supercars in the future. There have been a few rumors of BMW working on a new EV supercar, but now it seems more likely. BMW R&D boss Klaus Froehlich sat down with Autocar and one of the topics he discussed is an electric supercar or at least a hybrid supercar much like the i8. 

“If you are an engineer, once in your life, you want to make a super-sports car,” Fröhlich told Autocar. “I think partial electrification will enable that.”

He pointed to the fact that BMW has the ability to build high-powered electric drive units, super light carbon fiber chassis, and high-performance gasoline engines. He said those three elements could be combined to make a supercar. 

What Will it be Like?

According to Autocar, the new model could compete directly with Ferrari and McLaren. It would have a much larger gasoline engine paired with high-powered electric motors and a carbon fiber chassis much like the i8’s. The car should have 700 hp so it can edge out the M8’s 620 hp and put the car at the top of BMW’s M-Division lineup. 

2011 BMW i8 Concept Gallery2011 BMW i8 Concept Gallery
An i8 replacement would be much more powerful.

That 700 hp mark sounds like a lot until you consider that Froehlich told Autocar the electric motors BMW produces should make 197 hp and 378 lb-ft of torque. Froehlich also said that BMW’s M-Division will eventually go fully electric, but that hybridization will play an important role moving forward.

With all that Froehlich said during the interview in mind, it’s clear that BMW sees electric cars as the future for high-performance vehicles. While BMW hasn’t officially released anything that explicitly says the i8 will be replaced by a much more powerful supercar, Froehlich’s interview is a clear sign of where things are heading. 

1975 BMW 2002 Turbo

The design of the car you see above might look a bit less dapper now, but this 2002 Turbo is actually a historic model for BMW. It was the first turbocharged car in Europe, if you must know. Plus, it singlehandedly helped launch what would become the automaker’s M performance tag. Suffice it to say it’s one of the true landmark heroes in the automobile world.

BMW took the 2002 chassis and bumped it to 170 horsepower by virtue of the KKK turbocharger with 0.55 overpressure. They also increased the compression from 6:9:1 to 9:5:1 and threw in an oil cooler for good measure. It fit in bigger breaks to cope with the increased engine power, then added a limited slip differential for improved high-speed cornering. You’re looking at the ultimate vintage car brought up to modern day standards.

That’s not all — BMW also went ahead and added huge wheel arch extensions for the ider 6J alloy wheels and 185/70 VR13 tires, and everything came together with the red instrument surround and turbo boost gauge and new sports seats that made the interior as intriguing as the exterior.

The 2002 Turbo you see above is an original model from the UK, with the car registered there in 1975. BMW only made 1,672 units; only 10 are roaming England to this day. This car was restored in the early ‘90s and has been in Carcoon storage for nearly two decades. Now, it’s time for this bad boy to hit the road again, and you can drive one around town for a cool $154,000.

BUY IT HERE

Photos courtesy of Hexagon Classics

Manhart MH8 600: BMW M850i Gets 621hp Package

We have yet to see the BMW M8 and tuning companies have already playing with the current range topping M850i. Manhart Performance have today announced a performance program for the current range topping BMW 8 Series. We believe that they are the first to tackle the highly anticipated luxury GT car, presumably keen to capitalise on the wait for the M Powered model!

The BMW M850i uses BMW’s 4.4 litre V8 power plant. Fitted to the 8 Series, the engine is also expected to make its way into the new X5 M50i as well as the M550i next year. It makes sense for Manhart to get to grips with it as early as possible.

Manhart MH8 600

The modification at this early stage is limited to just software optimisation. The MHTronik software does wonders for the performance though! Power is boosted by 91 hp up to 621 hp and torque rises to 870 Nm. Both figures that provide serious rivalry to the upcoming M8. Performance figures haven’t been announced, needless to say, 10ths of seconds will have been lost from the 100 km/h sprint. With the limiter removed, top speed will also have improved.

Manhart’s improvements are cosmetic too. The M850i gets a new set of front and rear carbon fibre spoilers. It sits lower, on H&R springs with a set of 100 millimetre quad tailpipes venting from a new muffler. Manhart have even switched out the wheels for a new set of 21 inch units.

Pricing for all of these modifications should be available through Manhart direct. Expect more optimisation options to come in time.

G-Power Unleashes 800hp BMW F90 M5

BMW’s latest M5 is a serious weapon. It comes equipped from the factory with a 600 hp, 4.4 litre V8 engine, enough to allow it run with some of the very bets sports cars. G-Power, who have a record to maintain when it comes to the M5, have recently released their own take on the F90 M5. The headline figures? An additional 200 hp!

G-Power’s program for the BMW M5 includes a mixture of hardware and software modifications. On the electrical side, G-Power adds its own performance software to the enegine management system. For hardware, customers get modifications to the turbochargers; optimised housings, an enlarged intake, larger turbines and new compressor wheels.

The modifications allow a reduction in exhaust back pressure and exhaust gas temperature while simultaneously increasing airflow. G Power also fit a titanium exhaust system with four 100-millimetre Carbon-Titanium tailpipes.

The G-Power BMW M5 puts out 800 hp and 980 Nm of torque as a result. Improvements of 200 hp and 230 Nm respectively. The sprint to 100 km/h takes just 2.9 seconds and top speed levels off at 335 km/h. Staggering performance when you think of the sheer size and weight that the M5 carries.

G-Power also add improvements to the visual look of the M5. The offer their trademark Hurricane RR forged wheels which measure 21 inches in diameter. The cost for these is €7,521 which includes a set of tyres.

With the performance and exhaust pipe modifications, the package you see in the photos costs €28,663 net of tax!

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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.

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.