Auto blogTue, 09 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:58:00 EST
For the most part, they look almost identical to their coupe versions, except that they now boast an electrically folding soft top.
BMW is dropping the top of the 2 Series in early 2015 in the US with convertible versions of the 228i and M235i. They'll make their world debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year and will show their faces on this side of the pond at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show.
The entry-level premium sedan segment is pretty hot right now, with the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class doing well for their respective automakers here in the US. Of course, BMW has its 2 Series, but that's currently only available as a coupe, with a convertible bodystyle forthcoming. That all looks to change, however, as our spies recently caught BMW testing a four-door 1 Series sedan that seems to have the A3 and CLA clear in its sight.
BMW's entry-level four-door is expected to ride on the same front-wheel-drive UKL platform that we recently spied in Mini Countryman form. We're pretty sure this thing will launch under the 1 Series line (odds for sedans and wagons, evens for coupes and convertibles), but it's anyone's guess with BMW - after all, the five-door, front-drive Active Tourer wears a 2 Series nameplate.
Look for the 1 Series sedan to launch sometime in 2016 as a 2017 model. Better late than never in the entry-lux segment, we suppose.
If you only look at the videos from BMW, it appears that the best way to celebrate the 30th birthday of the M5 is some smoky drifting, and it sure looks like a great way to mark the occasion to us. Now that the Bavarian brand's new 30th anniversary special edition is all set to hit the road, the most powerful M5 ever is getting it own chance to roast its tires on video, as well.
The M5 30th Anniversary Edition shouldn't have any problem hanging its rear end out, really. Under the hood, its twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 is turned up to 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque and can allegedly sprint to 60 miles per hour in a scant 3.7 seconds. That's pretty impressive for any sports car but especially for a sedan that can still carry four passengers comfortably cosseted in leather and Alcantara upholstery.
BMW is making just 300 of these celebratory models worldwide, and appropriately for the anniversary, only 30 of them are going to be available in the US. If the special M5 doesn't make your heart race, the video basks in a little nostalgia, as well, by showing off the original model for some historical context.
The last time the Dinan name graced the pages of Autoblog, Michael Harley was waxing poetic about the S3-R BMW 1M Coupe, a car that still stands in his ranks as one of the best cars he's ever driven. And that wasn't just because it was, you know, amazing. It's because as far as tuners go, Dinan produces some seriously well-executed products. Harley said of the 1M, for example, "It was so fully formed and well-rounded that it felt like BMW itself had made it."
Eager to sample some of these wholly wonderful wares, I cleared a few hours in my Monterey Car Week schedule and booked a date with the S1 M5 you see here - the (current) daily driver of Mr. Steve Dinan, himself. But unlike the S3-R 1M the company tuned previously, the donor car in question here is vastly different and, if I'm honest, not as good. See, I adore the stock 1M in a way words cannot express, but the standard-issue M5... good as it is, there are indeed a few flaws.
But after driving the Dinan S1 M5 around the Monterey Peninsula, I can confirm two things. First, Harley's conclusion that Dinan builds products that feel 100 percent BMW-spec is absolutely true. And second, Steve and the gang haven't just created a tuned M5, they've built a better one.
I recently spent some time behind the wheel of the BMW M235i and, well, I didn't love it. Sure, it's a great car, but I just didn't truly bond with it the way I have with previous M cars. What I had hoped for was a proper successor to the 1 Series M Coupe I fell in love with in 2011, but what I got instead was just a sporty 2 Series that didn't exactly stir my emotions in the same way.
But now there's this: the honest-to-goodness BMW M2. Previously, spy photographers captured a development-mule M2, but this is the real thing, in its full prototype body. Notice the aggressive front fascia that mimics the M3/M4, the more more robust wheel/tire package, and the M-standard quad exhaust outlets around back. This thing sure does look the business.
Details are slim as of this writing, but rumors suggest power will come from BMW's now-ubiquitous N55 turbocharged 3.0-liter six, with output somewhere in the 360- to 380-horspower range. The seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission seems like a good fit here, too. As does a six-speed manual transmission (here's hoping).
We've seen all manner of marriage proposals over the years, but our favorites, of course, revolve around cars. One guy proposed to his girlfriend at a traffic stop, another during an autocross event, while yet another got dozens of Mazda MX-5 owners together to spell "Marry Me?" in Miatas. This latest proposal, however, put the M in Marriage as only a BMW enthusiast could.
While visiting BMW Welt in Munich, Bachir from Lebanon rolled out in a new blue M3 and got down on one knee in front of the gathered crowds to pop the question to Layal, his girlfriend of one year.
We'll let you watch the clip for yourself to see how it went, but suffice it to say that she was delighted. The couple plan to drive to the church in a procession of M cars for what promises to be a high-octane ceremony in their home country.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:57:00 EST
All this, for one minute and 47 seconds of action-packed footage with no official plot.
We arrive in Cape Town, South Africa, on the third and final practice day for the drivers of a BMWStories internet video called The Epic Driftmob feat. BMW M235i. We are immediately whisked to a large, empty parking lot on the outskirts of Cape Town, where tires are squealing and chunks of rubber are flying as five red BMW M235i coupes churn up more smoke than a California wildfire. And the smell - it smells like heated metal, the kind of thing rev limiters are made for. Times five.
BMW is taking a page from the Harley-Davidson playbook with its groundbreaking R NineT. A retro cafe racer with an urban hooligan twist, the bike is fully customizable from fork to exhaust. Of course, any motorcycle can be customized, but the fact that BMW has built its newest bike to encourage modification using parts that can be swapped with simple tools is a radical move for a motorcycle maker best known for its plug-and-play touring bikes.
To underscore exactly how radical, BMW has even partnered with custom heavy-hitter Roland Sands Design, which developed the initial concept for the bike and is now manufacturing a full line of parts and accessories for the R NineT, including radial valve covers ($950), retro racing saddles ($400-$420), radial gauge housing ($400) and a radial headlight bezel ($250), among other things, all of which can be swapped with a socket wrench or screwdriver instead of a hacksaw, wire cutters and TIG welder.
Alas, the bike I tested for two weeks was stock, so consider it a blank canvas.
Racing series typically select a safety car appropriate to the kinds of racecars for which they'll be setting the pace. So you might find a Mercedes SLS pacing a Formula One grand prix, for example, and you're more likely to find a BMW M4 on duty at a DTM race and a Chevy Camaro or SS on an oval speedway for a NASCAR or Indy race. It would only stand to reason, then, that the FIA Formula E Championship kicking off next month in Beijing would press a plug-in into service as its safety car. But the organizers didn't go for your run-of-the-mill Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius.
No, the safety car for Formula E will be a BMW i8 specially modified for the occasion. As you can see from the video below, the hybrid sports car packs a full roll cage, racing buckets with harnesses, special communications systems and on-board fire extinguishers. But that's not all.
In partnership with technological partner Qualcomm, the Formula E support fleet - including two examples each of the i8 and i3 - will feature inductive charging. So while one is out on the track, or at least sitting at the end of the pit lane waiting to be deployed - the other will be charging wirelessly. The vehicles are still pending FIA approval, and only one has been outfitted with the Qualcomm Halo wireless charging system (with the others to be retrofitted later), but they were all on hand for the recent practice race at Donnington Park.
If you want to move five passengers in very rapid fashion and you've got a $75,000 budget, two newly introduced four-door models immediately come to mind - both are the highest performing vehicles in their respective segments. But which is faster off the line, to the 60-mile-per-hour benchmark or flat-out over an even longer run? Evo took both to paved aircraft runway to find out.
In lane one we've got the all-new Porsche Macan Turbo, which boasts a twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter V6 rated at 400 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche is fitted with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, and the 4,244-pound crossover has the traction advantage of standard all-wheel drive. In lane two is the all-new BMW M3, powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It is also equipped with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, but only the rear wheels of the 3,595-pound sedan are driven. Both the BMW and Porsche arrive with launch control, which helps to remove driver error off the line.
Which automaker's launch control system is better off the line? Does all-wheel-drive grip give the crossover the advantage it needs to overcome its adversary's power-to-weight advantage? Will aerodynamics factor into the results? Which would you put in your garage, and why? The video may surprise you.