All posts in “BMW”

BMW S1000RR ‘Phantom’

Looking more like a wheeled Gundam robot than a motorcycle, Mehmet Doruk Erdem’s BMW S1000RR ‘Phantom’ is a sight to behold. Sure, it’s just a rendering, but it looks like it could take to urban…

The post BMW S1000RR ‘Phantom’ first appeared on Cool Material.

The most powerful BMW M is the four-door, four-seat M5 CS

We all love those BMW M models, from the smallest, right up to the largest, they are all masterpieces of German Engineering, and the CS models mark the most sporty of them all, with bespoke, lightweight modifications to create the ultimate M-series version … now BMW took the already impressive M5 to the next level … the BMW M5 CS limited run, exclusive special-edition. To be launched in the spring of 2021 in Germany at a base price of €180,400.

The new BMW M5 CS will come with the most powerful engine of any M-Series model in history, 635 hp, which is a 10 hp increase over the BMW M5 Competition … this is really supercar territory, in a four-door sedan. To put that into perspective, the amazing 2021 Audi RS6 comes with 591 hp, the 2021 Mercedes E63S AMG packs 603 hp … even a Bentley Flying Spur with her 6-Liter engine only has 626 hp … so this new BMW M5 CS beats them all.

In fact, this new BMW M5 CS even narrowly beats the V10, 630 hp Lamborghini Huracán EVO, and this German comes with two more seats and decent luggage space! Yes, you are reading that correctly, the BMW M5 CS is a four-door sedan, with four seats, unlike the regular M5 or the M5 Competition which are technically five-seat models. The BMW M5 CS ditches the rear seats of these ‘lesser’ models and replaces it with a pair of body-hugging sport buckets .. and they match the absolutely stunning, carbon fiber front seats perfectly.

The leather used on the interior of the BMW M5 CS is a fine-grain Merino, on the press release car finished in black with Mugello Red contrast sections and stitching. Naturally an illuminated M5 logo is displayed on the backrest of the front seats, but probably the most attention to detail is that embossed outline of the famous Nürburgring track on all four headrests.

The BMW M5 CS also went on a diet … loosing 70 kg compared to the M5 Competition, the M5 CS comes with a bespoke chassis tuning and custom M xDrive setup. The engine cover on the M5 CS is made from CRFP and includes exclusive air vents, the front splitter, the mirror covers, the special rear wing, the rear diffuser … all made from CRFP too … even the roof shows exposed carbon fiber on this car. For the CS version, BMW even changed the exhaust tips, and yes, there are still four of them.

The BMW M5 CS comes with bespoke Goldbronze details, like the typical BMW kidney surround, the “M5 CS” badges at the front and the rear, the air vents on the fenders, and the 20-inch M Forged Y-spoke wheels … all finished in this special shade of gold for CS only. The BMW M5 CS comes standard with BMW Laserlight, and just to match the Goldbronze details, the L-shapes running lights are switching to yellow when low or high beam is activated, just to set this car apart from the other M5 models.

The body of the BMW M5 CS can be finished in some special shades too, like Brands Hatch Grey metallic for instance, or a more distinctive matt paint from the BMW Individual option list, Frozen Brands Hatch Grey metallic or an absolutely stunning Frozen Deep Green metallic as seen on the photos of the M5 CS in this article.

Going back to the interior, the steering wheel comes in Alcantara with a bright red ring at the top, behind it you’ll find a pair of shifting paddles made from carbon fiber, while black Alcantara is also used for the headliner, note that there is no more storage under the arm rest on the central console … on the M5 CS this is a fixed arm rest … all in the name of weight reduction.

Naturally the seat belts come with the M style red and blue stitching, while re CS badges can be found on multiple places inside the BMW M5 CS cockpit, even the floor mats come with M5 badges, most of the stitching on the interior is finished in double line red …

And let’s talk about driving the BMW M5 CS, 635 hp might sound a bit frightening at first glance, but this special-edition model comes with it’s bespoke M xDrive all-wheel-drive mode … only for those fearless drivers that really insist, you can get those special track tires to really come loose when you go into 2WD mode without DSC help.

For the BMW M5 CS the engineers went back to work on the already impressive suspension of the M5 Competition, adding dampers developed for the M8 Gran Coupé, modified springs and anti-roll bars … the M5 CS offers an 7 mm lowered ride height. The BMW M specialists have retuned the bearing springs at the front and rear axle of the BMW M5 CS and also refined damper control.

The wheels for this limited-edition BMW M5 CS are 9.5×20 at the front with 275/35R20 Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, for the rear axle BMW went with 10.5×20 with 285/35R30 tires, naturally only a set of M Carbon ceramic disk brakes would match this much power, these brakes are 23 kg lighter than the M Compound brakes on the M5 Competition, and car be finished in either red, or optionally in gold to match the wheels.

With the reduction in weight compared to the BMW M5 Competition, and the slight increase in power, it is no surprise the CS evolution beats the M5 Competition in acceleration, 0 to 100 km/h takes only 3 seconds (compared to 3.3 sec for the M5 Competition), reaching 200 km/h is achieved in a mere 10. seconds (the M5 Competition needs 0.5 seconds more) … BMW did limit the top speed of this M5 CS to 305 km/h (189 mph).

Manhart takes the BMW F95 X5 M Competition to the next level with the MHX5 800

Today the SUV market is crowded, there is a model for just any kind of customer, from practical, to fast, to spacious … you name it, there is an SUV that matches perfectly. But then there is the Super SUV segment, with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga which is fast and luxurious with 600 hp, or the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid with 680 hp. And let’s not forget my favorite SUV, the Lamborghini Urus that dumps 640 hp onto the street … but that’s nothing compared to the massive 823 hp in the Manhart MHX5 800.

Yes, you are reading that figure correctly, German-based Manhart Performance GmbH and Co. KG takes the already impressive 625 hp from the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-Liter, V8 engine in the BMW X5 M Competition well over 800 hp. Manhart changes the factory ECU with their in-house developed MHTronik version, puts in a bespoke Manhart turbo power kit, complete with a new inter-cooler and creates the MHX5 800.

Going from 625 hp to 823 hp, and boosting torque from the standard 750 Nm to a massive 1,080 Nm, should come with some impressive sounds, so Manhart installs new rear mufflers. Valve-controlled, quadruple 100mm carbon or ceramic-coated tailpipes to cater to your needs. If you really want to go to the extreme, Manhart offers ‘Race-edition’ down-pipes that remove the catalytic converters and come with OPF-Delete pipes from stainless steel … but this option might not be street-legal … just don’t tell anyone.

Because of the 30% power increase, the 8-Speed Steptronic needs a Manhart upgrade too, while the adjustable suspension gets the Manhart treatment that allows a 30mm lowering to clearly show off those new Concave One forged wheels Manhart installs. Massively wide 10.5×22 inch wheels with 29/30ZR22 tires on them, cover the standard disk brakes, Manhart can however offer more powerful brakes if the customer requests them.

The Manhart MHX5 800 not only receives engine upgrades, or wheels, the exterior is modified too. First off with the traditional Manhart gold trim, but they add carbon fiber parts into the mix too, a new engine cover with race style air vents for instance. But also a new front spoiler, side skirts and a rear diffuser are part of the deal from Manhart, while the interior gets some bespoke carbon fiber parts on the steering wheel and shift paddles.

Personally I wouldn’t fit the gold trim or striping on my car, but it is part of the Manhart look-and-feel …

BMW M5 CS: Most Powerful BMW Ever Made, €180,400 Price Tag!

BMW has released a new CS model, the BMW M5 CS which is a limited model that will sit above the M5 Competition. This is the fourth CS model following the launch of the M3 CS, M4 CS (from previous gen), and the M2 CS. It is the most powerful BMW road car ever made.

The BMW M5 CS is powered by a 4.4 liter V8 engine with 635hp and 750nm. The M5 CS accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3 seconds, 0-200km/h in 10.3 seconds and the top speed is limited at 305km/h. Compared to the BMW M5 competition, there is an increase of 7hp and a weight reduction of over 70kg which ensures better balancing and performance.

Like the standard M5, the M xDrive system allows the car to be modified in stages from 4WD, 2WD and Dynamic Stability Control ((DSC) thanks to the use of a variable multi-plate clutch system.

The interior features two adjustable weight-saving M Carbon seats in the front and at the rear seats. These seats made a debut on the new M3 and M4, unlike other fixed carbon seats these are built by combining two pieces making them fully adjustable. The interior features fine-grain Merino leather on the front seats and Merino leather counterparts at the rear seats,illuminated M5 logos on the front seats, Alcantara steering wheel and headliners and contrasting panels in Mugello Red.
BMW M5 CS seats

The exterior presents interpretation of BMW icons for instance, BMW kidney grille in Gold Bronze and L-shaped BMW laser headlights. The M5 CS contains parts with Gold Bronze accents, carbon fiber- reinforced plastic (CFRP) and exposed carbon fibre. The 20 inch M forged wheels in Y-spoke design, the M5 CS badges, M gills on the front wing and the boot lid are all enhanced with Gold Bronze. The bonnet is entirely made from CFRP and features air vents in exposed carbon fibre. The CFRP parts are lightweight and improve the handling of the car.

More on the headlights; BMW laser light is standard here and the L-shaped light tubes shine white during the day and yellow when low or high beams are activated. They will also illuminate in yellow when the Welcome Light is activated.

The M5 CS has a sport exhaust system made of stainless pipes with more highlights than those on the M5 CP. A standard set of Pirelli P Zero Corsa Track tyres are fitted on the M5 CS, measuring 275/35 R 20 at the front and 285/35 R 20 at the rear.

The market launch will be in Spring 2021 and the car will be priced at 180,400 Euros in Germany.

BMW Motorrad X Kingston Custom “Spirit of Passion” R18

The new BMW R18 cruiser is a beautiful monster of a bike, and it’s already been modded by some renowned shops. Now, Dirk Oehlerking, who runs Kingston Custom has turned the modern beast into an…

The post BMW Motorrad X Kingston Custom “Spirit of Passion” R18 first appeared on Cool Material.

The M1 was the first BMW Motorsport car in the Eighties

These days everybody knows the BMW M3, the BMW M5 or the smaller BMW M2 … some of these even come in upgraded Competition versions, but all of these BMW Motorsport models that we know today had their origins back in the Eighties … with the M1, the first production car from BMW’s in-house Motorsport division.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

At one point BMW even had Automobili Lamborghini SpA working on their new mid-engine super car … but sadly this didn’t go beyond a few prototypes being developed at Sant’Agata, the actual production models for the BMW M1 were assembled by Baur in Stuttgart, Germany.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

Back in the early Seventies, BMW wanted to create a new model to enter into FIA Group 5 racing, and regulations required 400 cars to be sold to customers for road use, the BMW M1 was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The fiberglass bodies would be made in Italy and shipped to Germany for final assembly, where both road cars and bespoke race cars would be built side by side … a total of 450 BMW M1 would be built.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

And now you might have a chance to own a piece of BMW Motorsport history in the shape of a bright white, 1980 M1 with AHG upgrades. This specific M1 (chassis WBS00000094301090) was delivered as a regular street version in late 1979, as a 1980 model, but only a few years later BMW dealer AHG added their ‘Studie’ package.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

The AHG modifications included a power increase to 350 hp on the factory M88, 3,454cc in-line six cylinder engine, an impressive body kit inspired by BMW’s own Procar racers, complete with flared fenders, stunning 16″ BBS multi-piece wheels (8″ at the front, 9″ at the rear), a new exhaust, a bespoke, full black leather interior, and to make the look complete, a typical BMW Motorsport livery with the red and two-tone blue stripes.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

Only 10 BMW M1 would be built with the AHG Studie package, which makes this already rare car, even more interesting, this BMW M1 ended up in the United States of America probably in the Nineties, but the current owner didn’t acquire it until 2014, today she is for sale at auction through a dealer in Costa Mesa, California … she holds a Montana title.

1980 BMW M1 AHG – photo copyright BringATrailer auction site

With still 10 days to go on the BringATrailer auction, this amazing 1980 BMW M1 has been bid up to $350,000, interested in placing a bid? Just go to the auction site, register, and try to put the winning bid in at BringATrailer 1980 BMW M1 auction

Save Me: BMW 1M Coupe Abandoned in Hong Kong

Only 6,309 units of the BMW 1M Coupe were made, that may seem like a high number but it is not. In fact, this E82 M coupe is held in high regard within M-Town and has become a highly sort after M car. So when we saw these photos circulating on the internet, we left our Christmas dinner half eaten to find out more.

Our friend Michael Tracy does a good job showing us all the good cars Hong Kong has to offer, he stumbled upon this abandoned BMW 1M Coupe sitting on a very busy street, one that is frequented by cement trucks. Explains why it’s covered in a blanket of dust. This particular street is notorious for abandoned rare cars, some of which are normally linked to a string of repair garages located in this very area.

BMW 1M Coupe Abandoned
Abandoned BMW 1M Coupe

The car definitely went through an accident before ending up here, Michael was not able to trace the owners or anyone with reliable information on why it was sitting there. Most importantly, we could not immediately find out if the car is for sale. One thing for sure, there are numerous BMW lovers out there who would love to get hands on this car as it is, for the sole purpose of getting it back on the road in a better shape. Even our very own car reviewer Zaid would love that, he recently purchased a Valencia Orange BMW 1M Coupe – yes, banana farming has good profits.

Zaid BMW 1M Coupe
Zaid’s BMW 1M Coupe in Valencia Orange

That said, the BMW 1M Coupe needs no introduction. As raw as they come, nothing compared to what you find in a modern BMW M car (fake engine sounds, OPF, AWD etc). It’s fitted with the popular 3.0L N54 twin-turbo straight-6 engine producing 335hp and 450nm of torque, which can jump to 500nm during overboost. Offered with a 6-speed manual only, this RWD coupe is not a boy racer car. Doesn’t take much guessing to realize our case car here ended up in the wrong hands.

Merry Christmas all, and a happy new year!

Photos by Cars of Hong Kong

2021 BMW iX3 Review

I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of electric cars. Having experienced battery powered offerings ranging from the Renault Zoe to the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, I can categorically say that I am not ready to drop my addiction to fossil juice for the volt life. That being said, there are a few applications in which I can picture myself driving an electric car – short, mundane and preplanned journeys. I have suffered from the stress and anguish of range anxiety on road Trips on which I’ve spent more time staring at the battery percentage and range than I did enjoying the views or fabulous roads.

The BMW iX3 is not intended to be used for cross country cruises or for blasting up mountain passes. This is a car for the school run, weekly shop and the odd trip to visit friends and family on the weekends. That is not to say it cannot cross continents, it can but there are other X3s better suited to such applications. This is the first BMW model to be available with petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid or full EV powertrains to choose from.

With ‘the power of choice’ in mind, I hit the road in the iX3 to see what this 286 horsepower ‘Sport Activity Vehicle’ with a claimed WLTP range of 460 kilometres felt like. I tried to be sensible and drive in a fashion I imagine a buyer of such a car would, but as with all electric cars, I immediately engaged sport mode and floored it. The instant torque was amusing, the way that 2.2 tonnes shifted was impressive and the accompanying, configurable ‘drive sound’ added some character. 0-100km/h is dispatched in a respectable 6.8 seconds with the top speed capped at 180.

After a few accelerations the novelty wore off and I set about driving the car the way it was intended to be. I turned my attention to the braking regeneration options starting with ‘one-pedal’ driving. This was surprisingly good fun, I challenged myself to not use the brake pedal at all, it took some focus but was achievable after a few minutes of experimentation. I could not get comfortable with was the ‘adaptive’ mode where the braking force would automatically adjust itself using the navigation system to bring the car to a standstill without using the brakes. The level two autonomous systems worked brilliantly, only requiring assistance at traffic lights, roundabouts and coming to a stop with no car ahead of you on the road. I found myself trusting the systems almost immediately. The steering was accurate and did not have iX3 bouncing between the white lines.

When the twisty roads between towns presented themselves, I took control and engaged sport mode with maximum regeneration and found myself having much more fun than expected. Yes, the inherent feel and feedback in minimal, but the steering is quick and sharp and when applying max power out of bends there were noticeable rear-wheel-drive characteristics to be felt. Back to real world testing – the iX3 handled its weight with grace, the ride was firm in sport but the adaptive dampers meant this could easily be remedied. Being electric meant that wind and road noise could be intrusive at higher autobahn speeds, but not to uncomfortable levels. The cabin was well appointed and the usual BMW iDrive goodies are all you could want from an infotainment system. You could never tell this is a BMW that had been built in China. There was almost as much space as in a conventionally powered X3, the only difference was the marginally shallower boot as the electric motors hid beneath the boot floor.

As mentioned in the opening of this review, I can see the application and allure of having an electric car and this 150kW offering which can be charged from 0-80% in 34 minutes on an IONITY fast charger, certainly makes a case for itself. It is as comfortable and capable as I hoped with an added sense of humour. If you’re in the market for an electric family car that can take care of your simple commutes this may well be the car for you!

2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé Review

Size matters – but does 200mm make a difference? This seemingly small measure is what differentiates the 2020 BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupé from the M8, minus the GC nomenclature. However, 200mm means this M8 can accommodate an extra pair of doors and seating for five. With four in the back things are habitable. Headroom is not great, but if you wiggle them around a bit, two 6-foot adults could handle a long journey back there. You can try and shoehorn a fifth in, but they have to straddle the central armrest and make everything a little too cosy in the back seats.

Enough of the practicalities, this is an M car and all I care about is how this massive twin-turbo V8 powered 625bhp brute performs. With xDrive 553lb ft, and 0-100 banished in a supercar worthy 3.2 seconds, the numbers look good near identical to the two-door, making it BMW’s equal-fastest production model.

The xDrive means the power can be utilised, even on the road and in almost any conditions. However, weighing in at 2,055 kilograms means that this is a car which you have to consider the laws of physics in. The way speed builds is borderline scary and you’ll swear that the speedometer is making things up as the numbers rapidly approach and fly past legal limits. With a bewildering number of settings for the steering, engine, suspension and exhaust, you’ll have to find what suits you. With everything in the most aggressive settings things are a handful and the car bounces up and over bumps. Knock the suspension back into comfort and leave everything in full attack mode with the traction control in M Dynamic Mode and you’ll be having a fabulous time. The traction control system in MDM means you can apply proper slip angles on the throttle and let the xDrive system display a true sense of humour. You can, of course go to fourth base and engage rear-wheel-drive mode, but with the weight and all of that power I was not brave enough to explore this on a wet British country road, there is no way to have 100% of the power being sent to the rear with any assistance systems engaged, you are on your own.

The M8 Competition Gran Coupé does handle surprisingly well for a car of this size, I would argue that it is a viable alternative to the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door which is worthy praise, indeed. There is a surprising amount of feedback in a car this size, but do not expect it to be as engaging as a BMW M2 CS, this is still designed to be a comfortable daily driver. This is where the M8 Competition Gran Coupé excels. The way it can be transformed from a taught speed freak into a sedate city cruiser with undeniable presence is astonishing and impressive in equal measure.

As great as a cruiser/daily driver the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is, it cannot disguise its large dimensions. The M8 coupe felt like a big car with a surprisingly small cabin and the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is not much different. On the road is looks large, I caught a glimpse of the reflection of myself in a shop window and laughed at how gargantuan the car looked. I also noticed that the car is a very good looking thing, to my eye anyway. The interior is a fantastic place to soak up the miles with all of the latest tech you could come to expect from a car priced at more than €130,000.

I would strongly recommend the M8 Competition Gran Coupé. It offers supercar performance, saloon car usability and a compelling breadth of ability. The biggest problem with the M8 Competition Gran Coupé is the BMW M5 Competition. It fulfils the same philosophy at a much lesser price. If I had the choice and did not have to consider price, the striking design and imposing face of the M8 Competition Gran Coupé would have my vote, but both would be a pleasure to own.

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera leads this month’s list of discounts

The average price of a new car in America last year was $35,932. This month, the biggest discount off the retail price of a new car in America is awfully close to that figure at $34,001. For those keeping track (as we do every month with a post like this one), that’s by far the largest discount we’ve seen so far this year, and it means buyers of the 2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera are paying an average transaction price of $273,819.

The British automaker calls the DBS “the ultimate production Aston Martin.” With a 715-horsepower V12 engine pulsating underhood, sufficient to push this grand touring coupe from 0-60 in a skosh over 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 211 miles per hour, who are we to argue?

If that’s too rich for your blood — and let’s be honest, it’s still a whole heck of a lotta money — the next biggest discount might be at least a little more attractive. According to data provided by TrueCar, buyers of the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT are seeing discounts of $23,103 off the car’s average sticker price of $159,995. That’s a heck of a lot of car for $136,892, though admittedly still expensive. But at 14.4% off retail, it’s a better deal than the $132,122 average transaction price of the 2020 BMW M8. The BMW’s $16,497 discount equals 11.1% off the M8‘s $148,619 sticker.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

Radical BMW M3 and BMW M4 Officially Revealed

The new BMW M3 and BMW M4 have officially debuted. They must be the most talked about models in BMW’s history, owing to BMW’s new grille design.

Looking past that controversy though, there is plenty to like about the next-generation BMW M3 and BMW M4.

BMW M3 and BMW M4: Highlights

2021 BMW M3 and M4

– Powered by a 3.0 litre six-cylinder engine, producing 480 hp or 510 hp for the Competition model.
– Kidney grille allows improved air flow
– Carbon fibre roof and flared wheel arches
– Adaptive suspension and electronic dampers
– BMW Live Cockpit Professional
– Optional M Carbon Bucket Seats

BMW M3 and BMW M4: Engine and Chassis

2021 BMW M4 Exhaust Tips

Both cars are powered by a 3.0 litre, six-cylinder engine which comes in two flavours; a standard model and a Competition model. The former produces 480 hp, the latter, 510 hp.

In the BMW M3 Sedan, the 100 km/h sprint times are 4.2 seconds and 3.9 seconds respectively. The M4 Coupe manages the same statistics.

Customers will have the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. BMW plan to release a version which uses the xDrive all-wheel-drive system in summer 2021.

xDrive models will get an Active M Differential, rear-wheel-biased setup, with three selectable modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD.

The suspension is adaptive with electronically controlled shock absorbers and M Servotronic steering. There is a new integrated braking system with two settings for pedal feel and response. M Compound brakes come as standard, with M Carbon ceramic brakes optional.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) includes an M Dynamic Mode and, for the first time, integrated wheel slip limitation and M Traction Control adjustable through ten stages.

BMW M3 and BMW M4: Design

Green 2021 BMW M3

Both models get distinct designs. To start with the most obvious feature, the new frameless kidney grille. It gets horizontal bars, as opposed to the traditional vertical versions.

Typical BMW wheel arch flares give both cars the M-car look, alongside M gills, side sill extensions and new front and rear aprons.

Both BMW M3 and BMW M4 get a carbon-fibre roof with aerodynamically optimised fins. There is a small rear spoiler and a familiar quad tailpipe. BMW offer a range of new, exclusive exterior paint finishes and M Carbon exterior package and BMW M Performance Parts available as options.

BMW M3 and BMW M4: Interior

2021 BMW M4 Seats

BMW’s interior is an improved version of the 4-Series interior we saw a few months ago. Both cars get BMW Live Cockpit Professional with fully digital display grouping, BMW Maps navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant as standard.

There is a significantly expanded selection of driver assistance systems. Park Distance Control, Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Info are fitted as standard. Options include Driving Assistant Professional with Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Active Navigation, Emergency Lane Assistant, Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant, BMW Drive Recorder and BMW Head-Up Display with M-specific displays.

There are M-specific control/operating concept with Setup button for direct access to the settings for the engine, chassis, steering and braking system. The two steering-wheel mounted M buttons return.

There is a choice of seat designs too. They include a newly developed M sport seat with fine-grain Merino leather trim and an impressive new M Carbon bucket seat, shown here in the BMW M4.

BMW M4 Photo Gallery

BMW M3 Photo Gallery

What’s hiding beneath this mystery BMW M8 mule?

Spy photos of a mystery BMW M8 mule being tested at the Nürburgring could be our first glance at BMW’s rumored 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid. The demise of BMW’s mid-engine i8 plug-in hybrid with no news of a direct replacement led us to wonder what BMW really has in store for the future of the formula, but if this early prototype is anything to go on, it may be alive and well. We’re not sure what BMW plans to call its next round of all-electric and plug-in variants, but whatever it ends up being called, the prospect is certainly fascinating. 

Let’s start with what we’re looking at. At first glance, this appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill BMW M8 with some camouflage over the front and rear, which is about what you’d expect to see from a company that is likely developing alternative bodywork for a mid-cycle update or a new appearance package. Looking more closely, however, we see the strategic tinting of the rear window glass along with very obvious air intake vents where the rear side windows should be. Translation? There’s something back there that 1) needs air flow and 2) BMW doesn’t want us to see. 

To further grease the skids, our spies tell us that the engine in this car did not sound anything like the V8 found under the hood of either the BMW M8 or its racing variant, the M8 GTE, which carries over the former’s front-engine layout. In fact, the spy even referred to the sound as “unusual,” which could just be good salesmanship, but the fact of the matter remains that whatever is under there, it’s not from an M8, or any other 8 Series derivative currently known to us. 

Conveniently, all of the things that make this an unlikely M8 variant, from the mid-engine layout to the unconventional exhaust note, make a compelling case for it as a revival of BMW’s plug-in flagship. Even the wheels appear strikingly similar to those on the BMW Vision M Next concept the company showed at Frankfurt last year, which was said to be a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine making 600 horsepower. BMW claimed it could do 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph and boasting 62 miles of all-electric range. 

Related Video:

BMW Begins Development of M3 Touring… due in 2022

It’s been a bone of contention with BMW fans for many years. It’s possible to get a Sedan and Coupe variant of the M3 (or M4 as the Coupe is now known), why is can’t BMW produce a BMW M3 Touring?

It appears BMW have been listening. Yesterday, it released a teaser image, confirming that a prototype had left the factory to begin its testing phase.

BMW’s estate-bodied M-cars are among its most sought after. The combination of power, space and practicality magnetises petrol-heads like nothing else.

BMW M3 Touring Render

Since BMW’s E61 M5 Touring, there has been a hole in the market. BMW has finally decided to fill this with a new BMW M3 Touring, the first in the long history of the M3 brand.

A press release asks “How about an extra-large and highly variable luggage compartment in a high-performance sports car?”

Specifications for the BMW M3 are all but revealed. Early prototype drives confirm that the 3.0 litre inline-6 will be tuned to produce up to 510 hp in Competition trim.

The all-new BMW M4 Coupe and the new BMW M3 Sedan will be celebrating its world premiere in September. The M4 Convertible will follow next year. The M3 Touring will follow in 2022.

BMW iX3: Full Electric BMW X3 Revealed

BMW pioneered many electric car segments. Yet it’s not until now that it reveals a competitor for the most popular. The BMW iX3 marks BMW’s first attempt at an all-electric SUV.

It is also the first time BMW has applied BMW I technology in a model from the BMW core brand. Of course, the BMW iX3 is a variety of BMW’s X3 model range. As such, the X3 is now available with a petrol or diesel engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or all-electric drive system.

The BMW iX3 is the first BMW to be produced for export at its Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. The majority of BMW’s X3 range is built elsewhere at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, United States.

The BMW iX3 benefits from progress with BMW’s core electric systems. Power density is increased by 30 per cent over the BMW Group’s existing fully electric vehicles. Operating range, weight, installation space requirement and flexibility are all improved.

BMW has worked on packaging of its parts. Electric motor, power electronics and transmission are all arranged in a central housing for the first time.

The electronic motors produce 286 hp and 400 Nm of torque. It hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). The majority of the power is routed to the rear for a proper BMW experience.

The batteries carry the iX3 a respectable 460 kilometres (285 miles) in the statutory new WLTP test cycle (up to 520 kilometres (323 miles) in the NEDC test cycle).

2021 BMW iX3 Rear

It uses Active Recuperation too, alongside Brake Energy Regeneration. At the suspension end, Adaptive suspension comes as standard.

BMW has opted to install a sound generator, named BMW IconicSounds Electric. The press release claims it has been developed in collaboration with Hans Zimmer. It will be interesting to see hear what this sounds like.

Thankfully, the BMW iX3 also gets a more conventional look than some of BMW’s other contemporary models. Key features include a new grille, re-designed front facia, blue accents and a re-designed rear apron.

Otherwise, the BMW iX3 contains all of the usual interior refinements. BMW Live Cockpit Professional with BMW Maps cloud-based navigation system and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, all standard.

Acura NSX, a pair of 2 Series Gran Coupes and a time machine | Autoblog Podcast #628

In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by West Coast Editor James Riswick and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. This week, they’re driving a 2020 Acura NSX, two versions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (M235i and 228i) and the updated 2020 Honda Civic Si. Then, the gang gets to talking about what they’d drive in 1975 and 1985, along with plenty of other tangents. Finally, they wrap it up with news about the upcoming 2021 Acura TLX Type S and the fate of this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

Autoblog Podcast #628

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2021 BMW iX3: Full Electric SUV Leaked Online

Pictures of the upcoming BMW iX3 have surfaced online. The full-electric SUV is set to go head-to-head with the established Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC. The exact launch date remains to be seen as the coronavirus pandemic messes with the schedules of car manufacturers around the globe. Until then the leaked give a first glimpse at the first full-electric BMW SUV.

The photos leaked without any additional info but rumours suggest the iX3 will have a battery capacity of over 70 kWh and a range of approximately 400 km. By comparison, an I-Pace promises 470 km of range and the EQC 445 km.

The photos show an X3 with a number of key changes. BMW’s kidney grille has been covered with smaller air intakes made possible through the reduced cooling requirements of the electric drivetrain. The front bumper gets verticle air intakes and brake cooling ducts.

The wheel design looks bespoke to the BMW iX3. It likely carries an aerodynamic advantage over a more conventional version. Blue accents feature lower down the iX3 with blue trim elements placed where the exhaust might normally be found.

We have already seen a concept version of the BMW iX3 at the Beijing Motor Show 2018 which is fairly similar to the concept unveiled today. Following the unveiling of the Beijing concept car, BMW moved to trademark iX1 through to iX9, indicating that it was considering an entire range of electric models.

BMW was the first German manufacturer to launch electric and plug-in hybrid mass market models nearly 8 years ago. The 2013 i3 and 2014 i8 sported a very bold design which did not meet all expectations. The new iX3 is much more conventional in design and a close relative to the X3 both in design as well as in concept. SUVs remain hot so it will be interesting to see how well the iX3 fares compared to its combustion counterparts.