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Getting Our Butts In The Seats
Both the non-M BMW 3 Series sedan and 4 Series coupe have so far brought much pleasure to us at Autoblog. The terrific four-cylinder 328i trim has become our favorite of the 3 Series line, while we have yet to get a chance at the 428i coupe. That said, the 35i trim powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine is not exactly to be sniffed at.
We all know the ones you're really waiting for, though. The F80 fifth-generation M3 sedan and the supremely sexy F82 M4 coupe. Rumors have been buzzing for a couple of years now that the engine would be another V8, only turbocharged this time, or else a tri-turbo six. Well, today BMW confirmed that the mill under the hood's power bulge is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo of the biturbo variety, referred to internally as "S55B30 variant."
Based on the effort - and money - BMW is spending to break off the coupes and convertibles in its lineup as even-numbered models (like the new 2 Series and 4 Series), we figured the production version of the 2012 Concept Active Tourer was a lock to wear the 1 Series GT name. These spy shots paint a different picture, however, as they show the car seemingly in full showroom-ready trim during a photo shoot, wearing the 225i name indicating that it will be in the 2 Series family.
While it's still very possible that this badging is the final bit of trickery for disguising the front-wheel-drive 1 Series GT, the hatchback itself appears to be the real deal. Aside from new fascias, a smaller grille and slightly different lights, the styling of this "225i" stayed pretty true to the Concept Active Tourer. Thanks to our long-lensed photographer, we also get a brief glimpse inside the hatchback, which reveals a two-tiered instrument panel layout including the free-standing navigation display that is similar to the concept car.
Regardless of what name this new model will wear, expect it to be unveiled at next year's Geneva Motor Show in March before arriving in the US sometime in 2015.
Vaunted men's magazine Playboy knows that its readers are nearly as interested in cars as they are in the female anatomy... sorry, we thought we could write that with a straight face. Anyway, the buff-book does occasionally fill some of its spreads with sexy metal, to accent all the rest of the sexiness.
To wit, the magazine has unveiled its feature on the 2013 Cars of the Year. Without giving us much in the way of criteria for the awards, nor a clear framing of the categories ("Responsible Ride" is a particularly challenging concept, especially when you consider that the Mazdaspeed3 was the winner), Playboy has nevertheless highlighted what we assume to be it's favorite 12 or 13 (depending on how you count) cars from the 2013 model year.
Headlining the class is the Porsche 911, which Playboy writers single out for having "remarkable electronic voodoo." BMW M5 is named "Slickest Sports Sedan" though the Cadillac ATS then follows on because "we couldn't resist giving the new Caddy a shout-out." The rest of the picks are pretty conventional (save, perhaps, the Honda Fit EV as "Ace Electric"), even if the categories and methodology are fairly wonky. Cruise through or gallery for a taste or check out the full list, here. The site is safe for work, and you can legitimately (this time) say that you were reading it for the articles.