Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marc Girard - New Head of BMW Interior Design

38-year-old Marc Girard from France is to take up the post as head of the Interior Design department at BMW Automobiles commencing 1 April 2009.

Marc Girard has worked as a designer for the BMW Group for 15 years now. His most recent position was as team leader at Interior Design BMW Automobiles. From 2004 to 2006 he was head of Interior Design for the MINI brand and responsible, inter alia, for the interior styling of the MINI Clubman.

Marc Girard

Marc Girard names enthusiasm as the most important incentive for his creative work: “Interior design offers customers control, protection and a feeling of security. I am pleased to be able to assume this responsibility and to create this crucial interface within the development process together with the entire BMW Interior Design team.”

The designer will succeed the long-time head of Interior Design, Michael Ninic, who died suddenly last year. Since then, the then head of Design BMW Automobiles and current director of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk, has administered this task provisionally and in addition to his other duties. “During his time with the BMW Group, Marc Girard consistently demonstrated his ability to understand and press ahead not only with his business but also BMW’s design philosophy.

His many years of experience, his team spirit and his power to convince will lead the team and the work of Interior Design BMW Automobiles into a successful future,” Adrian van Hooydonk comments. The BMW brand will offer its customers an interior that features a combination of optimum ergonomics and dynamics as well as subtle details and materials. The new 7 Series and the Z4 are already proof of this.”

In March 1993, after completion of training and studies in Paris and in the USA, Marc Girard joined BMW, where during the following years he assumed responsibility, inter alia, as project manager in the lifestyle, prototypes and advanced design sectors, both for exterior and interior design. From 2000 to 2002 he developed the interior design for the BMW 1 Series, the first vehicle of the brand to enter the compact segment. Following this, Marc Girad became a member of the team of designers responsible for the development of the second-generation MINI. After being appointed head of MINI Interior Design, he devoted his time to the MINI Clubman. In 2006 he joined the BMW Interior Design team.

Marc Girard lives in Munich with his wife and two children. He regards the design process as an interplay between creative people, as a close relationship and collegiality that produces optimum results. “I am grateful for the trust that has been placed in me and for the great chance,” says Marc Girard. “My passion for the automobile and my many years of experience provide me with confidence for the forthcoming challenges.”

[Source: BMW AG ]


BMW X6 M to be unveiled at New York Auto Show

As we suspected and hinted in a few of our previous articles, the BMW X6 M has been confirmed to debut at the New York Auto Show next month. One of sources confirmed this a couple of weeks ago along with the fact that the “twin brother” BMW X5 M will  be present as well.

Today, Motor Trend received official confirmation from BMW, but only regarding the X6 M. With the official unveiling scheduled for the first week in April, I don’t see any reason why both would not present together at the NYC Auto Show.


The X M models (sounds kinda silly, I know) are powered by a tuned up V8 4.4 liter Twin Scroll Twin Turbo engine, outputting 550 horsepower. The M SAVs will feature an improved all-wheel-drive system, but in order to reflect the true M performance, it will offer a more rear-concentrated approach.

Technology from the 7 Series, like the Head Up Display or Adaptive Drive will be standard on the BMW X5 M and X6 M.

That’s all the news for now, but as always, stay tuned for more information coming up next week.

[Source: MotorTrend ]


New Eisenmann exhaust for BMW 135i Coupe

The Eisenmann 82/83 exhaust system seen in the video and photos below is priced at around $1,800, but according to many 1 Series fans, it is absolutely worth it. I haven’t had the chance to test it, but after seeing the video below, I have no choice but to join Nate and his team for a ride.

Beside the cool look, the Eisenmann exhaust sound is phenomenal, proving once again that the BMW 1 Series Coupe belongs to the true bimmer fans.

I would tell you more about the exhaust, but I would rather let you enjoy the great video, and wait about three minutes in and you will have another surprise. You’ll see why we like the “IND dudes”.

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Photo gallery after the jump


BMW 7 Series Hamann Kit

Back in November, we announced that the German tuner Hamann is working on a body kit for the new 2009 BMW 7 Series. Courtesy of Matthew at gmpperformance.com, we have some new images with Hamann 7er sporting new wheels along with a few body upgrades.

BMW 7 Series Hamann 001

The rear design was enhanced by adding a roof spoiler and rear spoiler attached to the trunk which it’s a bit too flashy for my taste.

We don’t have the final specs, but from what we can tell, the rear has been widen as well, an attempt to give a more aggressive look and accommodate the larger wheels.

From all the upgrades, we would enjoy the wheels the most, much cleaner look than the other ones.


Orange Lumma BMW M5 found through Google Street View

Google Street View: Yup, no more privacy in this world and we’re here to confirm it again. The unique but weird looking Orange Lumma BMW M5 has been spotted again through the wonderful eye of Google Street View.

Courtesy of  the folks at BushAutoblog, the Orange BMW M5, or by its real name CLR 500 RS, was found on the map right across from the Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge, UK. The BMW Lumma CLR 500 RS is powered by a V10 engine that delivers 560 HP and it tops out at 203 mph.


As a trademark, Lumma painted their M5 in this orange color, liked by some, but disliked by many others. As far as myself, I prefer the black matte finish we’ve seen before.As BushAutoblog points out as well, the car is registered in Dubai, which for some reason doesn’t surprise me.

Now let’s go back to that Google privacy thingy: what are the odds of seeing two orange M5s in a city? Slim to none…? So, if you own one, be careful where you’re going, so you escape from the Google’s eye, or even worse, your significant others.




BMW 760Li and 2011 BMW 5 Series spotted together

BMW 760Li 2011 BMW 5 Series

Talk about another lucky shot, the rumored, semi-confirmed BMW 760Li has been spotted again somewhere in Germany. This time, the 2011 BMW 5 Series joins the picture as well.

Both cars are undergoing intensive testing hence the “army” of engineers around them. While the BMW 760Li sports very little camouflage, the next generation 5 Series is still covered with the plastic fake  body panels. Our sources say that in the summer, we will start seeing the first pre-FEP test mules where the extra plastic cover is replaced by the funky black and white camo.

The 2010 BMW 760Li will be released at the end of this year and it will be powered by a V12 twin-turbo engine. Even though no official confirmation  has been received, we strongly believe that the engine powering the new Rolls-Royce EX200 will make be the one chosen for the high-end 7er. So that translates into 6.6 liter engine, ZF 8-speed transmission and over 500 horsepower.

As a trademark for the BMW 760Li, the exhaust system will have four square pipes.

The 2011 BMW 5 Series will be released early next year and everyone is having fun with car renderings. Of course, we’re surfing the same wave and came up with our version: BMW 5 Series Renderings.

Some technology from the recently launched BMW 7 Series will make into the new 5er as well: Dynamic Drive active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering, Dynamic Damping Control, Night Vision System or lane departure warning.

Start-stop automatic transmission will be used for the six cylinder engine, in order to increase fuel efficiency. There will be a wide range of engine offerings, from the European 204hp 2.0L twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine to more powerful ones like the twin-turbo V8 4.4 liter engine.

The petrol engines’ power range from about 180 to about 407 horsepower and the diesels from 180 to approximately 290 hp.

The Motorsport version of the 5 Series is expected to be launched in 2011, typical to the M models lifecycle.

More spy photos at Autojunk.nl


Review: BMW 730d - Long Term Drive

The 730d model is only available for the European market and its 3.0liter diesel engine develops an output of 180 kW/245 hp at an engine speed of 4,000 rpm.

Maximum torque of 540 Nm or 398 lb-ft at just 1,750 rpm. Compared with the former model, the new BMW 730d thus offers an increase in power by 10 kW or 14 hp on 10 per cent less fuel. The average fuel economy is around 32MPG.


The model tested by Richard was priced at £57,310.


What’s it like driving a luxolimo? Very nice indeed. Those who say big cars don’t have a place anymore need to live with one. No, you don’t need the space most of the time. Yes, it is rather decadent, taking up so much road space. Certainly, there’s just as much room in a £35k-cheaper Ford Mondeo.

But with big cars come big indefinable benefits. It’s heavy, so is able to waft where smaller, lighter cars are irritable. Think big cruise liner as opposed to choppy speedboat. There’s much more space to soak up nice and disturbance at speed, too. Side winds are simply ignored. Ambient conditions? An irrelevance. The list goes on.

What do we like?
Lots. The seats are huge. The dash is huge. The centre arm rest is massive. Getting into ’smaller’ cars, such as a Honda Accord, feels a real step down in comparison. Incidentally, I stepped into the Accord, to prove one of the 7’s many contradictions. Big cars needn’t be thirsty ones.

Full Review at MSN UK


BMW Concept 5-Series Gran Turismo

Some of you like it and some of you don’t. Nonetheless, a production version of the recently unveiled BMW Concept 5-Series Gran Turismo will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. Sales are expected to begin early next year.

We have just uploaded a video of an animation by BMW that gives you a more detailed look at the new Concept 5-Series Gran Turismo. Also for you BMW 5-Series fan, BMW says that this new concept also hints at the next-generation 5-Series.


BMW shares jump on talks of Damiler cooperation

According to a report by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, BMW shares jumped up 2 percent today on possible cooperation talks between the Munich based automaker and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.

“According to our calculations, a cooperation in purchasing, r&d and financial services could generate annual cost savings of up to 3 billion euros or 1.10 euros per Daimler share and 1.60 euros per BMW share,” Commerzbank analyst Daniel Schwarz said in a note to obtained by the publication.

“We believe that BMW is the more efficient company with regard to purchasing compared to Mercedes,” Schwarz said, saying that Daimler will end up gaining more from the cooperation.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that both automakers are stepping up previous efforts to share cost due to the current economic downturn, reports Automotive News Europe.


BMW lays off 850 workers at Mini plant, cuts back production

It seems like even compact cars aren’t safe in this economic downturn. BMW announced today that it has laid of 850 workers and has cut back production at its Cowley factory that builds Mini Cooper models. BMW said the move was made due to weaker demand for the compact hatchbacks.

The Cowley factory, which employs 4,700 workers and turns out 800 units per day, will have production suspended this week. Staff who normally work weekend shifts will be moved to weekday work starting March 2.

In a statement, BMW said that while “Mini has been weathering the economic downturn, it is not immune from the challenges of the current situation.” The German automaker said that union representatives have been involved in the discussions and that the decision has not been taken lightly.

BMW sales rose 4.3 percent to 232,425 cars in 2008. However, January 2008 sales were down 35 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

Source: Detroit News


BMW 5-series Gran Turismo Concept - Auto Shows

The concept you see here will hit European streets in production form in November of this year looking very similar and keeping the 5-series Gran Turismo name. (It has also been known as the "Space-Functional Concept" and "Progressive Activity Sedan" during its development.) Its tail will wear a "GT" badge, and it will make use of BMW's confusing new "sDrive" and "xDrive" nomenclature.

To us, it looks like an oversized hatchback, but BMW arrogantly insists the 5-series GT is "a new concept not just for BMW, but for the entire automotive world." To corroborate this theory, the company points out some unique elements, of which two stand out. One of them is the split tailgate, which you can partly or fully open. The partial opening is not the window, as on some station wagons, but the lower part. The trunk then opens as it would on a conventional sedan. The point of this complex and heavy tailgate, according to BMW, is that the trunk can be opened without creating a draft on rear passengers’ necks. Really.

The other notable feature is a partition between the passenger compartment and the trunk, about an inch thick. Even when you fold down the rear seats, the loading area ends at the partition, although it can fold as well if you require more space. BMW says that decoupling the loading area from the passenger compartment increases acoustic comfort. We can think of a similar idea from the late 1980s, when the Citroën XM was launched with a glass partition behind the rear seats. That “feature” was eventually discontinued.

Keep Reading: BMW 5-series Gran Turismo Concept - Auto Shows


Geneva 09' Preview: BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo Unveiled

BMW is out to create another vehicle that no one has yet to ask for with its 5 Series Gran Turismo Concept, which BMW refers to as a Progressive Activity Sedan.

The concept is neither a sedan, wagon or SUV, instead its a combination of all three vehicles. It's overall shape is similar to the X6, but with a lower ride height. One interesting feature is the two-piece double-jointed tailgate. Just like the X6, the Concept only has room for 4 passengers.

Just like past BMW's concepts, the production model is expected to be very close to what we see here and is expected to be released sometime in 2010.


Comparo: Infiniti G37x vs. BMW 328xi (Again)

The BMW 3-Series has been the gold standard for small sports sedans since America had a gold standard. Well, it seems that way. The Ultimate Driving Machine has seen off the Germans (Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4), Americans (Cadillac CTS) and Japanese (Infiniti's G-force). Repeatedly. Despite the min-Merc's rep as a credible corner carver, it's the Infiniti that's posed the most dangerous threat to the 3's rep. In fact, Infiniti's persistence is the automotive equivalent of the posse in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Who are zees guys? These days, the G-Unit chases the 3 with a bigger engine, remapped power delivery and a Bimmer baiting tagline: "Beyond Machine." We shall see . . .


Chris Bangle Leaves BMW - Good or Bad Thing?

So maybe all of the BMW fan boys have something to celebrate today. Chris Bangle, Chief of Design at BMW Group, is leaving as he has announced that he will quit his position at BMW and leaving the automotive industry altogether to seek his own design endeavors. Chris Bangle has been BMW’s Chief of Design since 1992 and worked for Fiat and Opel before then.

Chris Bangle will be replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk as BMW’s head of design.

With the many controversial designs over the years at BMW Chris leaves behind a legacy that is liked by many and hated by some. The face of BMW was completely changed and those who did not like IT pointed the finger at Bangles direction. The future of BMW will no longer be influenced by Bangles ideas or designs and we do not know if this a good thing or bad one. What do you think? Will BMW be better off without him or do you love what Bangle had to offer BMW in some of his latest designs such as from the BMW Z4, 7-series to the 1-series and so on?


BMW Progressive Activity Sedan To Be Debuted Early

BMW Progressive Activity SedanBMW has created a new concept that seems to have everyone looking for information. The concept has been dubbed the Progressive Activity Sedan and is a mix of the hatchback and sedan version of the new 5-Series and touring models. The concept has been spotted a few times in the disguise of a test mule while on test runs.

But it looks like BMW is ready to take off the wrappings and reveal more details to us during a press debut on February 11-12 that will be held in Munich. There is a video that BMW released which shows us a drawing of the new sedan – but it has only a few details. It does give us an idea as to how it will look when it is completed.

If this debut date is true then it will arrive almost a month ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. Which means that the public debut will be in Geneva and hopefully we will get an even better look at it. Until than it will be hard to give our true opinion on the car.


2011 BMW 5-Series - Spied

Caught in wagon form wrapped in plastic camo, spy images of BMW’s new 5-series show the mid-sizer is taking shape with a broader snout and a larger twin-kidney grille similar to that of the new 2009 7-series. A rounded tail also alludes to a more conservative familial resemblance as the German automaker continues to tone down the controversial flame-surfaced styling of the current 5-series.

While we expect more information at an auto show later this year, the new 5-series will be slightly longer, wider, and lower than the existing car when it arrives in early 2010. It will again feature a hybrid steel-aluminum structure, with the doors, hood, and roof made of the lighter metal. However, this is in contrast to the existing car’s design, which employs aluminum for nearly the entire front half of the vehicle for optimum weight distribution. The new structure is easier and less expensive to manufacture, yet still could aid handling by offsetting the weight of the engine and lowering the center of gravity. Rear-wheel drive is standard and the automaker’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will again be optional, and expect the torque-vectoring active differential from the X6 crossover to be offered as an option on certain models.

Keep Reading: 2011 BMW 5-Series - Spied


BMW Concept Scribble Video - Is This The New 5-Series GT?

This makes you start to really think how BMW designs their cars. Why do they use those silly round headlights with halos around them? Why do they have well balanced vehicles with rear wheel drive? What if they had to design a car to “appeal” to certain customers or circumstances? Hmm, what if.

This new BMW video draws speculation of the upcoming BMW V5 PAS (BMW 5-Series GT Concept). From the subtle suggestions of new features being transferred to a “car” with more legroom, truck room and headroom complete with a panoramic roof. New storage area features that are revolutionary and “ingenious”… that’s what it is all about.

Below we have included the first video of a series presenting a revolutionary concept by BMW. Innovative space concepts, premium comfort. It is not a sedan, no SUV and no station-wagon, but 100% BMW.

We thought this was interesting enough to post leading up to the silly Superbowl Commercials this weekend. At least they didn’t pay millions of dollars to air this one. Thank God! Enjoy!

[source: BMWwebTV]


500bhp BMWs - for half price?

Mouth-watering sports saloons at less-than-list price? Vijay Pattni runs through Auto Trader's used car ads to discover big-bhp bargains...


Upcoming Alfa Romeo 149 May Share BMW 1-series or Next Mini Cooper Platform - Car News

After a month-long shutdown of production—and its head office in Italy—Fiat is expected to make a statement about future cooperation with BMW. The two companies had been talking about sharing the platform for Fiat subsidiary Alfa Romeo’s upcoming 149 hatchback. It is likely that Fiat is interested in using either BMW’s 1-series architecture or the next Mini Cooper’s platform for the Alfa. BMW wasn’t as keen on the idea, but other areas of cooperation between the two automakers’ small cars are likely.

Keep Reading: Upcoming Alfa Romeo 149 May Share BMW 1-series or Next Mini Cooper Platform - Car News


BMW Creates Bavarian Deep Blue Yacht

BMW Bavarian Deep Blue YachtIt looks like the designers and engineers at BMW have some spare time on their hands, Instead of working on a new ground breaking model they have come up with a few designs in the form of a ship. Somehow the word boat just seems to minuscule a word to use for this design.

Designworks USA was commissioned by Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH to create a 46 foot sport yacht. The picture that we have provided above is an example of this same boat. You can clearly see the luxury and detail that BMW puts into most of their cars - but we don’t see their logo

The design of the boat seems to get rid of the aqua dynamics of a normal speedboat to make room for comfort and people who will use it to sun bathe instead of actually taking out into the water. It has been given a very spacious deck and a large cabin. The propulsion used for it will be up to the customer and will be made at their specifications.

This is actually BMW’s second boat that they have designed. The first is the Zeydon Z60 sailing yacht.


Save over £2,009 in 2009...on a 265bhp BMW?

Ring in the New Year with a dose of horsepower - Vijay Pattni brings you the top hot hatch buys on Auto Trader right now.


BMW DesignworksUSA pens Bavaria Deep Blue 46 motoryacht

You might think that BMW's designers would be busy enough coming up with new segment-busting crossovers or toning down Chris Bangle's "flame-surfacing" design language, but they've found the time to dabble in naval architecture (to be fair, DesignworksUSA is an independently operated studio acquired by the BMW Group in 1995, but still...). The Munich office of the industrial design firm has been commissioned by Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH to come up with the 46-foot sport yacht you see here.
The design compromises some of a speedboat's aquadynamics in favor of more space for the vessel's sun-worshipers, offering a spacious deck, a commodious cabin and more sun bathing space than Club Med. With any motoryacht of this size, propulsion options are left up to the customer, with each example made according to the buyer's specifications, so don't expect to see a marinized pair of the M5's V10 underneath the rear deck. The latest crossover between automotive design and naval architecture, this is BMW's second boat following the Zeydon Z60 sailing yacht. Check out more about the Bavaria Deep Blue 46 in the press release after the jump and the image gallery below.

Bavaria Deep Blue 46 by BMW DesignworksUSA

Deep Blue 46 By BMW DesignWorksUSA
The Bavaria Deep Blue 46 offers sporting dynamics and a generous, innovative spatial concept.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA has combined traditional boat design with dynamic lines, thus giving the Deep Blue its individual and distinctive character.
"Powerful, expressive proportions and sculptural exterior surfaces emphasize the boat's high performance, simultaneously creating the vessel's stylish silhouette. Moreover, a generous hulk design proclaims a new space dimension on board, reflecting customers' desire for maritime freedom and mobility.
Deep Blue 46 By BMW DesignWorksUSA"The heightened superstructure creates additional headroom inside, thus allowing more light into the boat's interior. Extensive seating offers the owner the possibility to welcome friends aboard for a cosy get-together.
"The central cockpit area accommodates an optional bar featuring a built-in foldable grill element and enough space to store all that is needed for an enjoyable BBQ, including drinks.
"With a performance-oriented helm stand, a central seating arrangement in the main lounge area, an additional wind-protected reclining area next to the helmsman, the spacious bathing platform and the front sundeck with room for at least three people, the Deep Blue 46 offers maximum, functional space well arranged and clearly structured.
Deep Blue 46 By BMW DesignWorksUSA"The well-balanced composition of deck and superstructure underline an elegant symbiosis of functionality and design.
"The design does justice to the most important aspect – safety on board without compromising on aesthetics and sportiness.
The vessel's heightened side, which was derived from ship design and on which one can lean and relax, is a new feature on a Bavaria deck, offering perfect protection from the elements and an enhanced feeling of safety in any weather conditions.
The deck width continues with what the vessel's side implies.
Deep Blue 46 By BMW DesignWorksUSAAlmost 4.50 meters in width, the Deep Blue 46 offers not only a great deal of space for those on board but also a uniquely designed hulk that can accommodate storage for a dinghy.
"The firstling from the new BAVARIA product line equals an invitation to come aboard and become acquainted with the new world of BAVARIA, a world in which functionality and design merge into a natural unity, grandeur, and sporting gracefulness into an uncompromising spatial experience. "
"With the new Deep Blue product line we have opened a new era for BAVARIA with products that fit the future with premium design whilst keeping a customer-oriented price position. Consequently Bavaria will present itself with a new and sharpened profile in the boat market", says Laurenz Schaffer, director of the Munich studio of BMW Group DesignworksUSA.
About BMW Group DesignworksUSA
DesignWorksUSA design studio is an independently operating BMW Group subsidiary based in Los Angeles, Singapore and Munich.
In addition to its activities for the BMW Group, the international design team works for a number of big names from the field of IT and consumer electronics, aviation, lifestyle and medical.
In 1995, BMW Group acquired DesignworksUSA. Since 2004, Verena C. Kloos has overseen the strategy and operations for the Los Angeles, Munich, and Singapore design studios.
Deep Blue 46 By BMW DesignWorksUSAFor more information visit www.designworksusa.com.
About Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH
Bavaria Yachtbau was founded in 1978. Today the enterprise is one of the largest shipbuilding companies worldwide. With around 600 employees it produces around 3.000 sailing and motor boats per year.
All boats are distributed directly to the customers by a worldwide dealer network. Around 85 percent of the overall production is sold outside Germany.


Hamann BMW X6 Tycoon - SUV What?

SUV? Do you see an SUV? I surly don’t. All I see is a beefed up BMW of some type with HAMANN written on it.

Okay, so it is an SUV, the BMW X6 tricked out in German tuner, Hamann, accessories including a power bump to the twin-turbo inline-6 found in the xDrive35i model to an astounding 360hp.

Below (after the jump) is a press release from Hamann portraying the different aspects of design and engineering gone into the Hamann BMW X6 Tycoon.


Mind Blowing: BMW \\\M Car Compilation Video

This machine is mind blowing! That is what I tell the owner of AutomotiveAddicts.com every time I get to drive his BMW M3. BMW put together some time ago an awesome compilation celebrating the BMW M – Motorsport \\\M vehicles. I will let the video do the talking. Enjoy (after the jump)


Review: 2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

They say the longer the job title, the smaller the job. In the automotive world, the longer the model name, the more hype, money and technology involved. For those of you new to this game, the BMW X5 xDrive 35d is BMW's biggest SUV with all wheel-drive and a diesel engine. (No, it's not a 3.5-liter powerplant, but alphanumerics outpaced pedantry a long time ago.) No matter what you call it, I'm an unabashed fan of the modern diesel-powered vehicle. With diesel more expensive that gas, and an intimate understanding of the overarching importance of depreciation, it's not diesel's fuel-efficiency that flicks my wick. I enjoy the beefy, progressive power delivery. The X5 xDrive 35d may be a belated entry into the diesel SUV market, but it's no slacker underfoot.


America v Germany: 1st Place - 2008 BMW 335i

If you like to drive like your hair's on fire, deciding between the athletic American 2008 Chevrolet Corvette hardtop coupe and the Bavarian corner carver 2008 BMW 335i is a bit like choosing between cocaine and cocaine. If you're a more sensible motorist, it's like choosing between A.H. Hirsch 16 Year Old Reserve Pot Stilled Sour Mash Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Schloss Rüdesheim VSOP brandy. in either case, the question is a matter of taste and price. Hence this test: which performance car offers the better buzz for $40k?


2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i - First Drive Review

As the brand’s only two-seater, the Z4 carries the torch for BMW’s sports-car line, which traces back to the Z8, 507 TS, and 328 (the one from the ’30s, not the modern sedan). The Z’s new folding-hardtop roadster/coupe configuration allows for more freedom in design, and it is one of the harbingers of the BMW look for the next few years. Thankfully, the questionable styling cues of the previous Z4 have been refined into a more sophisticated and elegant form. With the me-too product strategies employed by the German luxury brands, BMW needs a strong competitor in this segment to demonstrate its ability to build a high-performance car that can match the best that Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have to offer.

We drove the 300-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, which sees duty across the BMW lineup; thus equipped, this car carries the ridiculous sDrive35i badge. The sDrive part denotes rear-wheel drive, and the absurd naming convention—a similar xDrive badge is also applied to all-wheel-drive versions of the 3-series and BMW’s SUVs—is reportedly used to better protect the brand’s trademarks. The base engine for North America is the naturally aspirated 255-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six also found in many other Bimmers, here badged sDrive30i. Since the previous Z4—as well as the Z3 that preceded that car—came in an M version, it would be natural to assume a new M Roadster is on the way. There’s certainly plenty of room under the hood for the 4.0-liter V-8 from the M3, but the BMW M division says it’s not working on such a project. Both current models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The base car can also be optioned with a six-speed automatic. Turbo models without a clutch pedal are equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox called “7-speed Sports Automatic with Double Clutch.”

Keep Reading: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i - First Drive Review


2009 BMW Z4 looks pretty amazing in white


Since the 2009 BMW Z4 official photos have been released, I have been a huge fan of Deep Sea Blue color and I did not believe there will be another Z4 paint that will make me enjoy it more.

But I was wrong, courtesy of Pekka, member of GCZ, we have new photos of the Z4 in a white color. Even though BMW doesn’t list this paint on their website,  based on the BMW Z4 ordering guide and options article we posted a while back, i can certainly say that we’re looking here at the beautiful Alpine White.

The Z4 spotted in these photos is a Right Hand Drive model, the first I have seen so far.


We’re just a little bit over a month away from the moment the first Z4 will reach the U.S dealerships and I’m excited to drive the new roadster. Every review I have read so far, it’s praising the handling capabilities, dynamics and the amazing twin-turbo engine.


2009 BMW Z4 - Chassis Secrets

Our friend Richard Aucock, who provided us with the behind the scenes article from the BMW Z4 International Launch, has a new article regarding the new roadster and its chassis secrets.

He is currently working on a few more articles from the Z4 launch, so I encourage you to follow him on his blog, as we will do the same.


Heinz Krusche is BMW’s chassis guru. I’ve met him several times, and always enjoyed top insight from him (not least his tales of how he keeps DSC turned on for the road – but ‘always’ turns it off when on track…).

Such people exist in every car company, but they don’t always have the power of Krusche.

He wields the same sort of influence as Jost Capito at Ford. There’s another genial genius – and look at how well Fords drive. Lotus, too, has Matt Becker, ensuring that every model drives sublimely.

So, speaking to Krusche is always enthusing. Here, then, are five reasons why the Z4 is another tick against his name.

1. Stiff Body In White
The basic bodyshell is 25 percent stiffer than before. Vital, said Krusche, for the entire driving experience. This torsional rigidity is the starting point, the vital gear in the cog. Without such a good starting point, he said, it is impossible to make cars drive well.

‘It is a big step down if the tolerances are too great.’ You can’t turn a fundamentally bad car into a good one with tweaks alone.

2. 3 Series front axle
The new Z4 uses the 2-joint front axle from the E90 3 Series (and also the various iterations of 1 Series). It’s vital, said Krusche, not least for improving feedback to steering.

With it, BMW can independently tune directional stability, steering feel and lane change stability. Curing a major flaw of the E85 Z4: its wearisome camber steer.

The rear axle, incidentally, is a development of the old Z4 (and is also on the X3). ‘There was no reason to change it,’ said Krusche.

3. Axially parallel layout electric power steering
The new Z4 also uses the axially-parallel EPAS system from the 3 Series. It means the engine isn’t sat on the steering column, so mass is reduced and a purer feel from the road is allowed. The electric motor is in parallel to the steering rack.


2009 BMW 335d - Road Test

So here’s BMW’s first diesel offering in the U.S. in almost a quarter-century. But as you survey the tempting array of 3-series cars, you may be asking, “So what? Why should I care about this oil burner?”

It’snot because you’re gonna save a bundle on fuel. Check our statistical sidebar. Yes, the 335d has better EPA fuel-economy ratings—23 city, 36 highway, 27 combined—than either of the 3-series gasoline burners. A 328i automatic is expected to achieve 18/28/22, and the 335i is rated at 17/26/20. But at this writing, ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel (now the nationwide standard) costs about 15 percent more per gallon than premium gasoline.

Factor in the higher cost of the car—with a base price of $44,725, the 335d is the most expensive non-M member of the 3-series—and the math gets worse. The feds will give you a $900 tax credit on this diesel, but even so, you’re looking at a $1575 disparity between a 335d and a 335i automatic.

Keep Reading: 2009 BMW 335d - Road Test


107 yrs old woman getting a track ride in a BMW M3 Race Car

Well, we all knew that BMW has a wide range of fans, from all over the world, all ages or social status, but when an 107 years old woman celebrates her birthday by getting a track ride in the powerful and fast BMW M3 sports car, then we know how loved the BMW brand really is.

Sporting a crash helmet, Dulcibella King-Hall, who turns 107 on Saturday, fulfilled her life-long dream when she was driven around the former Grand Prix circuit three times.


Even though the top speed was only 108 mph, she is to be admired for wishing to go through such thrills. An insurance form of 5 million pounds had the be signed prior to her adventure.

Before she could step in, wheelchair-bound Dulcibella had to sign insurance forms covering her for up to £5million.

But how did she really feel?

“I felt really excited when we were going around the track but I wasn’t frightened. I’ve always liked cars and the feeling of going that fast was amazing.”

All we have to say is this: Kudos for being so brave and adventurous! We wish many more years and maybe another similar birthday present next year!

Thanks for the tip Stephen!

[Source: DailyMail UK ]


The $3,500,000 Maybach SW38 Roadster?

You're a hard-to-please bunch, with only 17% of you opining that the $50,000 Porsche 928 was nicely priced. Today we're going with a much, much cooler vintage German machine… at 70 times the price!

Yes, folks, this is the most expensive vehicle for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds (speaking of which, do yourselves a favor and check out the stuff at Hemmings Auto Blogs- which is like mainlining the uncut stuff if you're a car junkie- when you're done here). It lives just a few miles from me, over at Fantasy Junction, and the guys selling it are the same ones who ran the not-quite-as-valuable BMW 633CSi at the Arse Freeze-A-Palooza 24 Hours Of LeMons. It's one of two Spohn-bodied convertibles made, it's powered by an airplane engine, and it evaded destruction by the RAF, the Eighth Air Force, the Red Army, and- most dangerous of all- the Rust Monster. You can have it… for three-and-a-half mil! Reasonable price, or would you need to fortify yourself over at Booth Number Two to see it that way?


Lumma Design BMW CLR X 650 GT: Why Or Why Not?

Take the oddly-shaped segment-bending BMW X6, add a bunch of carbon fiber doo-dads, lower it over deep-dish wheels and name it after a Mercedes-Benz racer. The result? The Lumma Design BMW CLR X 650 GT.

The LDBMWCLRX650GT will be debuting at the Geneva Auto Show and despite what you might think, it's actually fairly tasteful compared to what we've previously seen from tuners at Geneva. Consider the Fab Design Benzies from last year, yeesh. Anyway, this X6 gets all of the baubles with none of the dreary performance updates normally associated with tuned cars, so we're sure it'll be a huge hit. [Carscoop]


BMW M Sport Package Prices Announced [BMW M Sport]

For you tuner kids who've grown up and earned some bank at daddy's company, BMW has just announced pricing on their M Sport appearance and "tuning" packages.

The M Sport packages include more aggressive styling upgrades meant to emulate actual M cars bigger wheels — slightly lowered suspension with stiffer tuning, a short throw shifter for the handful to be sold with a manual and different trim finishes. No power upgrades, which is no surprise from a company engaged in projects like the 5-Series GT Concept. Overly dear pricing breakdown below.

  • BMW 3 Series Sedan — $3750
  • BMW 3 Series Wagon — $3270
  • BMW 3 Series Coupe — $3250
  • BMW 3 Series — $3250
  • BMW 550i — $4800
  • BMW X5 3.0 and 4.8 — $6500



Review: 2009 BMW 750i

The 2009 750i is the car I was expecting from BMW back in 2002. That 7 turned out to be the poster child for automotive arrogance. It introduced flame surfacing [including the Bangle butt] and iDrive. The 2002 7-Series drove me right into the arms of Mercedes. Its controls were impossible to decipher, the ergonomics were infuriating and it was truly ugly. In the face of the criticism, BMW countered that their customers were too backwards to comprehend the brilliance and innovation inherent in the design. Sales continued-- until they didn't. The new 750i is a mechanical admission of corporate guilt that offers redemption for lovers of the pre-Bangle 7-Series.


BMW Z2 Gets the Green Light for Production...Expected in 2012

It's been rumored for a while that BMW has been working on a smaller roadster that will be dubbed the Z2 and according to AutoBild, BMW executives have now given the small roadster the green light.

The Z2 will be based on the 1 series and will be offered as a roadster and a small coupe, just like the previous Z4. The car was developed under BMW's Project i team and will be a front-engine, rear wheel drive car with a target weight of 2,200 lbs. Powertrain options are expected to be powered by a 1.6L turbocharged engine, an extended range hybrid, and an all electric motor with lithium-ion batteries.

A concept version is expected this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the production version is expected in 2012 or 2013


2008 BMW X6 xDrive50i - Long-Term Road Test Update

Update 2: A long winter of discontent can’t diminish our love of the beastly BMW.


Date: March 2009
Current Mileage/Months in Fleet:
18,805/8 months
Average Fuel Economy/Range:
15 mpg/338 miles
Normal Wear:
Repair: $0

Winter in Michigan is ugly. The short days, gray skies, and freezing temperatures conspire to infect a percentage of the population with clinical-strength seasonal affective disorder, a temporary depression that is doing its best to ensnare our long-term BMW X6. Since our last update, the X6 has been rear-ended, thrown another check-engine light, and torn its way throughtwo snow tires. Thank goodness winter’s almost over.

It Started Out With a Kiss

While sitting at a stoplight in mid-January, a staffer glanced in the mirror and noticed an inbound PT Cruiser that didn’t seem to be slowing appropriately. With heavy cross traffic leaving him no out, he had no choice but to grip the wheel and watch as the PT Cruiser skidded into him, demolishing its grille but fortunately not leaving any major scars on the X6.

Later that month, an editor noted a harsh idle at startup, and made it only a few hundred feet before an “Engine malfunction! Reduced power” warning appeared in the vehicle-information screen. Cycling the vehicle off and then on again made the problem—both the rough idle and the warning—vanish. The dealer was able to track down the incident in the computer’s memory at a later service visit and reported a misfire, likely due to the extreme cold. In a winter that has seen negative temperatures in the double digits, the X6 is our only long-termer to have any issues relating to the cold, although both this and a prior issue surfaced only once for a very brief period and then promptly vanished.

Keep Reading: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive50i - Long-Term Road Test Update


BMW X6 M coming to the 2009 New York Auto Show

All the details and press shots of the BMW X5 M and X6 M will be released on April 4th. BMW has just confirmed that the X6 M will make its stateside appearance at the 2009 New York Auto Show on April 8th. What about the X5 M? Apparently there BMW did not say whether the high-performance X5 will make it to the Big Apple.

Power for both models is expected to come from a 500-hp twin-turbo 4.4L V8. Both models will go head-to-head with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG.

Make sure you join us on April 8th for live coverage of all the debuts at the 2009 New York Auto Show.


Aston Martin



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