Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BMW is moving ahead with the Progressive Activity Sedan

If you thought the BMW X6 was a huge risk by the popular luxury German automaker, wait until you see what else they have in the works. According to AutoCar, BMW is moving ahead with plans to produce what is known as the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) or a "5-Series GT."

The BMW PAS, which insiders say is "modern grand tourer with a luxury cabin and interior flexibility," will be priced somewhere between the BMW 5-Series sedan and wagon and the 7-Series. It will be pitched at drivers who want an SUV but are not looking for a full-scale sports-utility.

So is this just a smaller X6? Those who have already been up-close-and-personal with the PAS describe the car as a "tall 7-series hatchback than a low-rise X6," reports AutoCar. Inside the car is said to offer rear leg-room that of a long-wheelbase 7-Series.

Engine lineup is not yet known but expect to find the 3.0L twin-turbo 6-cylinder as well as the 3.0L turbodiesel under the hood.

Source: AutoCar



Used Hartge tuned 551-hp BMW Z4 for sale

There is no such thing as too much horsepower - or is there? The current 2008 model BMW Z4 M makes a total of 330-hp. The recently unveiled 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i makes a total of 306-hp and while BMW has yet to reveal details on the 2009 BMW Z4 M we expect it to be quite a bit more powerful than the current 330-hp version or the new 2009 Z4 sDrive35i.

However if you're one of those that may not be content even if BMW ends up dropping 400 horses in the 2009 BMW Z4 M, there is something very unique waiting for you if you're willing to spend 97,900 Euros ($138,727 USD).

A use Hartge tuned BMW Z4 M that is powered by the M5 and M6's 5.0L V10 engine is on sale at But this V10 doesn't make just 507-hp - Hartge has tuned the engine further to extract a total of 551-hp.

You can check out the listing at

Hartge BMW Z4 551-hp 5.0L V10:






Review: 2009 Euro Wagon Shootout: BMW 535xi Wagon, Mercedes E350 Wagon, Volvo XC70 T6, Volkswagen Passat 2.0T Wagon

Station wagons, or "estates" as they are known across the pond, occupy that strange place in the auto market between SUVs, minivans and sedans. On the surface, wagons promise the holy grail of cargo schlepping and fuel sipping. But they're not as sexy as a sedan, not as practical as a modern crossover and they can't haul as much crap as a minivan. In the new world "station wagon" brings up PTSD style flashbacks of 1970s Country Squire wagons with a roof-rack and eight kids in the back on the way to summer camp, 8-track blazing, and your dad at the helm wishing he had a terrier and a 240Z instead. Thankfully, this is not your dad's Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser. For this comparo we've selected the BMW 535xi Wagon, Mercedes E350 Wagon, Volvo XC70 T6 and the Volkswagen Passat 2.0T Wagon.

View article...


Give this 550-hp V10 Hartge BMW Z4 a home

Hartge's V10-powered BMW Z4

Here at Autoblog, we cherish the simple things in life. Like a cold beer on a hot afternoon, spending the holidays with family or stuffing an oversized engine into a little sportscar. It's a time-honored tradition, and this example is no less worthy than any that has come before.

Evidently unsatisfied with the S54B32 inline-six powering the top-of-the-line Z4 M, one European enthusiast dropped in the 5.0-liter V10 from the M5 and M6 into his little Z4. But even the stock 507 horses from the high-revving ten wasn't enough for this Bimmerphile, so he went with Hartge's 550-hp version, complemented by the tuner's own 20-inch rims, but, worryingly, no sign of upgraded brakes to go with the 200+ extra horsepower. The converted roadster cost €170k new, but is now on the market for under €98k (tax in), or about $138,000 in American greenbacks. A hefty sum for sure, but can you really put a price on 0-60 in under 4?

Gallery: Hartge V10 BMW Z4

[Source: Autogespot]



Bid farewell to BMW's legendary M inline-six

Say what you will about their design department, but BMW is known for producing some of the most amazing engines on the market. Especially the Bavarian automaker's stoic M division, whose current V10 engine has won its fair share of awards and then some. The same goes for the S54B32, Bimmer's internal code-name for the 3.2-liter iron-block straight-six which the company is now preparing to retire after seven years in production.

Over its lifetime, the 3.2 provided motivation for such performance icons as the E46 M3, the Z3-based M roadster and breadvan, and the Z4 M, as well as the exotic Wiesmann MF3. But with a new Z4 on its way, S54B32 is being sent to pasture, replaced now in various applications by Bimmer's highly-rated twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. The latter is a a fantastic engine, but there will always be a special place in our hearts for the cast-iron 3.2.

[Source: Car]



Hartge BMW Z4 M with M5 V10 engine for sale

Shoehorning big engines into little roadsters is a classic operation - take the Breckland Beira V8 and Irmscher GT40 for a pair of recent examples - but the tuners at Hartge have accomplished what may be one of the most impressively OEM-looking engine swaps of recent times. The combination of BMW Z4 and M5/M6 5.0L V10 engine is inspirational, and with the car now for sale, it could be yours. Fitting the big V10 into such a small package as a last-generation BMW Z4 may seem like an impossibility, but the photos illustrate the job was done with a level of expertise that could be mistaken for ease.

Hartge BMW Z4 V10

View article...


How to retrofit a Night Vision System in your BMW

Technology is making it easier to see in the dark and the so called "night vision" systems from BMW and other manufacturers have created some positive buzz in the past few years. The camera found in the BMW Night Vision System is developed by FLIR,  a company that specializes in thermal imaging. (Disclaimer: FLIR is a proud sponsor of BMWBlog). Innovative infrared technology was made available in a BMW for the first time in 2005, when the BMW 7 Series was the first model to receive this latest gadget. 

As of January 2006, the BMW 5 and 6 Series were listing the Night Vision System as an option in their catalogue. The BMW Night Vision System was initially sold for $2,200, but it wasn't available on all the 7 Series models for example. 

BMW Night Vision camera

Many buyers were not and might still not be aware that the Night Vision System can be retrofited in their BMWs. FLIR, used to make commercial nightvision systems for law enforcement, marine, and airborne vehicle, but with their PathfindIR  camera they stepped into the automotive world. This is their first infrared nightvision adaptable for any car, although they have demoed the system on BMW vehicles at the CES this year.  The Pathfinder allows you to see clearly in total darkness, further than with headlamps alone, through light fog, smoke, and dust. Pathfinder uses the same technology currently used by the U.S. Government for night vision.

Many companies in the U.S are working together with FLIR on providing aftermarket BMW retrofitting. Some of the most respectable and known for their quality work are Nav TV Corporation, based out of Boca Raton FL, and Bimmernav from Austin TX. If you're one of those people that are not tech savvy or good with tools, these companies will install, test and train you on how to use the system. The average price for the BMW Night Vision Thermal Camera Kit is $3,499.

So, if there is no authorized dealer trained by FLIR in your area or  if you have experience with car audio/video installation, FLIR provides some great instructions and videos on how to setup, test and troubleshoot the PathfindIR camera. 

The FLIR camera offered as an option on some of the BMW models, can be retrofitted in earlier BMWs and Range Rovers simply by plugging this camera into the BMW TV Video module. Installation is simple and straight forward an can be controlled via the BMW Navigation computer monitor or via a "on demand" switch.

The camera above gets mounted in a grill, and the AV output hooks into any LCD or the BMW Navigation computer monitor. The threaded slots for easy mounting, standard video output and 12V power all make the PathFindIR an easy to install aftermarket product.

The downloadable files below will give you more detailed instructions and information on the Night Vision System developed by FLIR. 

FLIR Camera User Guide

Application Story BMW

Recently, I have seen many older BMW models with an aftermarket install of the FLIR camera, including an E39 M5 and X5, so it's doable and I certainly find the Night Vision System being more useful that many other expensive BMW options or packages.

P.S If any of you has a Night Vision System retrofit on your bimmer, please leave a comment telling us your opinion.



BMW M3’s 3.2-liter straight six engine comes to an end

S54B32 engine

With sadness it is our duty to report that one of BMW's best engine in the last 16 years has come to the end of its life. Codenamed S54B32, the 3.2 liter straight six cylinder engine "died" when the last E85 Z4 rolled out of the production lane this past summer. The S54B32 also powered one of the most popular M cars in the BMW's history: the E46 M3. 

The S54B32 evolved from the S52B32 engine which powered the E36 M3 in the 90's. It outputs 343 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. The engine was shared among the Z3 and Z4 M Roadsters and Coupe and it was one of the most admired engines by the BMW fans.

To quote the friends at Jalopnik, "The reasons for its popularity are two-fold: its specific power output exceeds 100 HP/liter without the aid of forced induction and its torque curve is fat, smooth and gap-free across the rev range. The S54B32 revs quickly, makes power everywhere, sounds like nothing else on the planet, responds instantly and, most importantly, is really, really fast." 

S54B32 engine M3 E46


If you followed our article and analysis on the International Engine of the Year awards, you might have noticed that 3.2 liter straight six naturally aspirated engine won the award in 2001, the same year it was introduced as a new engine in the BMW line-up. For the next five years, it won the award for the Best Engine in the 3 liter to 4 liter category, an impressive run.

The new BMW Z4 will bring a new line-up of six straight engines, from the 2.5 liter 204 horsepower and 3.0 liter 258 horsepower to the 306 horsepower twin-turbo  3.0 liter engine. Many bimmer fans are nostalgic and are having a hard time adopting the new turbo engines in favor of the naturally aspirated ones, but according to BMW, this is the proper step in the right direction.

[Source: Jalopnik ]

S54B32 engine



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