Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Video: Top Gear - BMW M3 Sedan vs. Lexus IS-F

This weekend on Top Gear Clarkson answers the question if the new Lexus IS-F is beastly enough to beat the BMW M3 Sedan. Of course, this high-performance sedan race in incomplete without the new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG but we're guessing Top Gear couldn't get their hands on one for the show.

We'd love to go on and on but you only have a limited time to watch the video before the YouTube Police yanks its down.


2008 BMW M3 Sedan: 4.0L V8 making 414-hp with a maximum torque of 295 lb-ft. 0 to 60 mph comes in at 4.8 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.
2008 Lexus IS-F: 5.0L V8 producing 416-hp with a maximum torque of 371 lb-ft. 0 to 60 mph comes in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 168 mph.

Follow the jump for the video.



Exterior Design: Which is the best looking roadster?

An inevitable question arises about the best looking roadster as soon as the new 2009 BMW Z4 was unveiled. The supremacy of the SLK seems to be attacked by BMW's latest roadster, a car that has already received many applause and positive reviews. 

But in the best looking roadster category, we also have the Audi TT-S along with the classic Porsche Boxster S. This comparison will strictly focus on the exterior design for now, we will ignore the performance and interior for now, but we will be back with comparisons on that as well.

With my best efforts, I tried to equally find the best looking photos out there on the web, so we can keep this fight fair and square. Even though this voting might sound a little biased since we're on a BMW blog, I assure that there were times when a BMW car did NOT win in our poll. 

Comparison: 2009 BMW Z4 vs. Mercedes SLK vs. Audi TT-S vs. Porsche Boxster S

Continued on the next page



Spy shots: 2010 BMW X3 caught alongside current model

New spy shots of BMW's latest X3 prototype indicate the company may be moving the crossover's development forward to match the competition. Previous reports had indicated that the current BMW X3 would have to soldier on for a few more years until the arrival of an all-new model at the end of the decade. However, with the impending release of the new Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, BMW is worried about losing its leadership position.

The latest spy images show a car with completely finished headlights and tail lights, slightly expanded dimensions for added interior space and more X5-like styling. Bringing in the X5 resemblance could also be a calculated move to help some of the upcoming X5 M model's cachet rub off on the smaller sibling. In addition to the revamped exterior, a full array of gadgets and features are expected to be available for the X3 to help keep its edge against Audi and Mercedes. It is even possible that BMW could make the night-vision heads-up display currently found in the X6 and other models available on the
BMW X3. Bi-xenon lights with around-corner capability and new seats that feature massage functions and ventilation are also expected for the new model.

2010 BMW X3 SUV spy shots

Spied alongside the current model, we can clearly see that two vehicles will be very similar bar a few minor styling changes. The new 2010 model will sport a rounder overall appearance and its roof profile will be slightly shorter.

Engines will remain largely the same, with a choice of four diesels ranging from 177hp (132kW) to 299hp (223kW), and most markets getting the option of two petrol engines rated at 231hp (172kW) and 306hp (228kW). A new hybrid model is also tipped to be on the table, though specifications are still forthcoming.

2010 BMW X3 SUV spy shots2010 BMW X3 SUV spy shots2010 BMW X3 SUV spy shots2010 BMW X3 SUV spy shots



2011 BMW 5 Series Details Emerge

2011 BMW 5 Series Turbo V-8 Engine, Technical Details Emerge - Auto News - Motor Trend
Range-topping V-8 to Replace M5's V-10, Hybrid Options Likely for Next-Generation Model

While BMW's next 5 Series won't appear until early next decade, technical details are leaking out. Codenamed F10, the 2011 5 Series will feature engines based on the new turbo range. (Note: The present-generation car is pictured). There's a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six in the 540i, a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the 550i, and a twin-turbo clean diesel. Even the M5 will switch from the ultra-high-revving V-10 to a turbo V-8, we hear. Hybrids will likely be available as both full dual-mode and mild types, depending on how they're received in the upcoming X6 and 7 Series hybrids.

Photo Gallery: 2011 BMW 5 Series Turbo V-8 Engine, Technical Details Emerge - Auto News - Motor Trend



BMW unveils 2010 Z4 Roadster ahead of Detroit Auto Show Debut

BMW has released the first details and images for its all-new BMW Z4 Roadster, which is set to make its debut next month at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show before going on sale in the following months. The design of the new Z4 comes out through classic details interpreted in a very modern style, highlighted by an automated folding aluminum roof.

The hardtop brings the Z4 in line with the competition, opening and closing in 20 seconds. The weight penalty is offset by greater security, better visibility and greater comfort. The side windows are 40% larger than the outgoing soft-top model, and the rear window is fully 52% larger. The Z4 also keeps its classic roadster proportions, with a long hood, short overhangs, and strong shoulders. However, the car's styling has been modernized with new integrated LED indicators on its flanks as well as on the head and tail-lamps.

2010 BMW Z4 Roadster



New BMW Z4 Brochure Scans Leak [BMW Z4]

What look to be brochure scans of the shark-nosed 2010 BMW Z4 have hit the web courtesy of BMW Blog, and it looks consistent with previous leaks.

The new BMW appears to come complete with a folding hard-top and not a sign of a soft top in these scans. The exterior seems to pick up cues from the GINA Light Visionary concept in the front on a body which has gone from flame surfaced to flame broiled. The other little detail hidden within is the bottom scan which says "The new BMW Z4, arrives 9 May 2009." More details as they appear. [BMW Blog]



2009 BMW 7 Series | wheels by Hartge

2009 BMW 7 Series | wheels by HartgeThe BMW tuning specialist Hartge has released a new set of 2009 BMW 7 Series wheels that come in 22" in anticipation of its tuning program for the latest BMW 7-Series model.

The new Hartge 2009 BMW 7 Series wheels are 9.5 x 22" offset 25 in the fron [...]



2009 BMW X6 | Hamann tuning

2009 BMW X6 HamannFinally the german tuner Hamann revealed some details of their latest tuned BMW , the X6. What Hamman offers is a new body kit that has a front skirt with LED daytime lights, wide side skirts, new rear bumper, small rear wing and 23-inch Design Edition Race rims. Customers have the option to choos [...]



BMW LayerON concept

BMW LayerON conceptVideo update! The BMW LayerON Concept is a design developed for the future, with an outlook to 2015. Created by Turin IED students Aydar Nigmatullin, Patrick De Laet Moreno and Rocco Sergio D'Argento, and sponsored by BMW, the concept is built on basis of consumer habits, preferences and the desire for personalization [...]



New 2009 BMW Z4 brochure revealed

2009 BMW Z4The new generation 2009 BMW Z4 was revealed in a leaked scanned brochure of the model, found by the guys over BMW Blog. The new BMW Z4 appears to come complete with a folding hard-top and not a sign of a soft top in the scanned pictures. Even though the official unveiling date is set for Monday, we have the occasion [...]



BMW Built 5 millionth 5-Series Car in January

BMW Built 5 millionth 5-Series Car at January


January 29 marked an important milestone in the 5-Series history as the 5 millionth model rolled off the production line at the BMW's Dingolfing factory. The 5 millionth model is a 530d Sedan dressed in a Carbon Black Metallic color. The history of the 5-Series began in 1972 and since then BMW has presented five different generations of its luxury mid-size model that has set many of the standards in the specific segment.



BMW Re-launches The Z4 Roadster

BMW Z4 P0049882.JPG

Hey, why not do this again … I guess that's what BMW were thinking, but at any rate, here's the new-new-new Z4 Roadster.

All things considered, this is a pretty fun ride. The driving dynamics are top notch, the build quality is going to be among the best in the world, it's got a ton of comfort & convenience features, and to top it all off (so to speak) the Z4 Roadster has a power folding hardtop. Great. Yes, having a folding hardtop does and weight and complexity, but it's always an idea I've liked. You get the best of both worlds: The fun and direct experience of a convertible and you also get the security warmth and sound isolation of a coupe.

We'll get more into the details, and more beauty shots after the jump.

First, the mechanicals. As you would expect, the engine choices in the new Z4 roadster are top notch.

BMW Z4 sDrive35i:

BMW Z4 P0049883.JPG

BMW Z4 P0049889.JPG

BMW Z4 P0049890.JPG

BMW Z4 P0049881.JPG

straight-six petrol engine with Twin Turbo and direct fuel injection (High Precision Injection)
Capacity: 2,979 cc, max output: 225 kW/306 hp at 5,800 rpm,
max torque: 400 Nm/295 lb-ft from 1,300–5,000 rpm
Acceleration [0–100 km/h]: 5.2 sec
(seven-speed sports automatic with double clutch: 5.1 sec)
Top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
Average fuel consumption to EU standard: 9.4 ltr (9.0 ltr)/100 km (30.0/31.4 mpg imp)
CO2 emissions to EU standard: 219 g (210 g)/km.

BMW Z4 sDrive30i:
straight-six petrol engine with magnesium/aluminium composite crankcase, VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS
Capacity: 2,996 cc, max output: 190 kW/258 hp at 6,600 rpm,
max torque: 310 Nm/228 lb-ft at 2,750 rpm
Acceleration [0–100 km/h]: 5.8 sec (sports automatic: 6.1 sec)
Top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
Average fuel consumption to EU standard: 8.5 ltr (8.3 ltr)/100 km (33.2/34.0 mpg imp)
CO2 emissions to EU standard: 199 g (195 g)/km.

BMW Z4 sDrive23i:
straight-six petrol engine with magnesium/aluminium composite crankcase, VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS
Capacity: 2,497 cc, max output: 150 kW/204 hp at 6,200 rpm,
max torque: 250 Nm/184 lb-ft at 2,950 rpm
Acceleration [0–100 km/h]: 6.6 sec (sports automatic: 7.3 sec)
Top speed: 242 km/h (239 km/h) (150/148 mph)
Average fuel consumption to EU standard: 8.5 ltr (8.2 ltr)/100 km (33.2/34.4 mpg imp)
CO2 emissions to EU standard: 199 g (192 g)/km.

BMW has this to say about the way trick folding hardtop:

Two-piece electrohydraulically retractable hardtop in lightweight aluminium shell construction. The hardtop opens and closes fully automatically in each case within 20 seconds, the roof elements coming to rest in the roof compartment to give the car a low-slung rear-end design reflecting the traditional proportions of a roadster as well as a large luggage compartment ranging in capacity from 180–310 litres (6.3–10.9 cu ft). The high-quality interior lining finished in an extra-light colour as well as large windows including the heated glass window at the rear ensure an exclusive ambience and optimised all-round visibility.

The revamped, yet still feared idrive also turns up in the Z4. They say it's improved, let's see if it is:

First use of the BMW iDrive control system in the BMW Roadster. In conjunction with the optional Professional navigation system the new generation of BMW iDrive comprises an ergonomically optimised Controller for the selection and control of functions by turning, pressing and tipping the Controller, function buttons on the Controller for direct menu entry, freely programmable favourite buttons for even easier operation, as well as a folding 8.8-inch display with high-resolution graphic presentation and an optimised menu structure. Enhanced navigation system with an even wider range of functions in entering destinations, planning trips and presenting maps. Optional audio system with hard disc memory. Unrestricted use of the internet in the car as an option in conjunction with the Professional navigation system.

The gear box, which has the great twin clutch as an option will surly be a highlight:

Seven-speed sports automatic with double clutch as an option on the BMW Z4 sDrive35i. Shifting gears without the slightest interruption of -traction, the transmission provides a unique combination of the extra comfort of a BMW automatic transmission with maximum dynamism and performance. Acceleration and fuel economy improved once again over the manual gearbox models. Six-speed sports automatic with optimised gearshift dynamics, direct connection to the engine and minimised converter slip available as an option on the BMW Z4 sDrive30i and BMW Z4 sDrive23i. All sports automatic transmissions with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.

And of course, there's the overall safety outlook that BMW is renowned for:

Comprehensive safety concept with extremely stiff body structures, defined load paths, specific use of high-strength steel and special deformation elements, head/thorax airbags integrated at the front and at the side in the seat backrests, three-point inertia-reel seat belts with new belt tightening technology, massively reinforced A-pillars and roll bars behind the headrests, runflat tyres and a Tyre Defect Indicator fitted as standard, dual headlights with bi-xenon light technology likewise featured as standard equipment.



Brand Spankin’ New Images: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i

We saw the official reveal of the 2009 BMW Z4 this past weekend and we saw videos of the new hardtop roadster in action yesterday.

Today we bring you some new images of the 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i - one of the two variants BMW will offer in the new Z4 lineup (the other variant is the 255-hp sDrive30i). The 2009 Z4 sDrive35i is powered by BMW's outstanding 3.0L twin-turbo inline-6 engine that makes a total of 306-hp. That allows the Z4 to go from stop to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds when mated to a manual transmission and 5 seconds flat when mated to the new 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters.

Follow the jump for the full-high res image gallery of the 2009 BMW Z4. Don't be afraid to maximize the gallery to fully enjoy the pictures.

2009 BMW Z4:




Spy Shots: BMW prototype hints at a production CS Concept

It was reported earlier last month that BMW dropped plans to build a production version of the CS Concept. CEO Norbert Reithofer said that the CS "does not meet the internal requirements for the rates of return." However, spies have now caught a new low-slung prototype that suggests that a production CS Concept may still be alive.

Caught around the company's Munich Headquarters, the prototype was wearing the body of a 7-Series but was longer, lower and wider.

It seems like BMW doesn't want to be left out from all the buzz surrounding the Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera and the upcoming Lamborghini Estoque.

Head over to AutoExpress to see the full shots.

BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show:

BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show 

BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show 

BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show BMW CS Concept at the 2008 New York Auto Show 



BMW Z4 Photo

BMW Z4, originally uploaded by jarapet.



Economic Downturn Hurting European Automakers, Too - Car News

Like North America, the Old World is in automotive crisis, and even premium carmakers are scrambling to reduce production and capacity.

While the U.S. auto industry is on the brink of collapse, things don't exactly look rosy on the other side of the pond, either. The fallout of the financial crisis is forcing cutbacks at most European automakers, including Porsche, BMW, and Daimler. Bentley and Aston Martin are scaling back production, a sign that even the super-rich are postponing car purchases.

BMW, Daimler Halting Production

BMW is closing several plants for several weeks this month and in January, including its Munich plant, where the 3-series is built. Altogether, BMW wants the stoppages to result in 40,000 units fewer than planned. "The situation on the main markets is very difficult," said Ian Robertson, board member for sales and marketing at the Bavarian carmaker. "We have reduced production and aim to keep supply and demand in a balance in the coming months as well." Much of BMW's 2009 launch plans seem patently unsuited to a market characterized by fuel-economy concerns and personal-income woes: Besides the next-gen Z4 roadster—expected to be priced $10,000 higher than its predecessor—BMW is also launching a smaller Rolls-Royce in the $200,000-plus range, a crossover model resembling a fastback 5-series, and an "M" high-performance version of its decidedly politically incorrect X6 SUV.



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