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Auto blogTue, 23 Jul 2013 11:57:00 EST
Because Four Is Greater Than Three
Say what you will about the name 4 Series, there is a method to BMW's madness. On one hand, it's easy enough to just buy into the logic that odd numbers are reserved for sedans and wagons, and that even numbers are reserved for coupes and convertibles. On the other hand, consider the idea that the higher numbers are used to separate the more dynamic, more engaging vehicles that use the same platform. It's that sort of separation that differentiates the 6 Series so nicely from its 5 Series roots, after all. And if we're being cynical, it also allows BMW to charge a bit more money for its lower-volume offerings.
So with the new two-door version of the 3 Series, BMW has gone the route of strengthening the dynamic virtues of its F30 chassis to create a car that's more removed from its sedan kin than one might think. And after spending some time with the new 4 Series on the roads around Lisbon, Portugal, as well as the famous Circuito do Estoril racetrack, it's increasingly clear that calling this car a 3 Series Coupe simply wouldn't be fair.
Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:31:00 EST
The National Highway Traffic Administration is considering the use of ignition interlocks in vehicles that would require the seatbelts of occupied seats to be fastened in order to drive the car, Automotive News reports, four decades after Congress moved to prevent manufacturers from installing them in cars sold in the US market. Following a transportation bill passed last year that lift some of the restrictions on seatbelt interlocks, automakers such as BMW are considering the benefits of using them in future cars. Now, before you go crying about your lost freedom, keep reading.
BMW said in an October 2012 petition that the use of seatbelt interlocks would allow the company to make lighter and more spacious vehicles, if the devices could be used in lieu of unbelted crash tests. The crash test has required the addition of bulky safety features, such as knee bolsters, that aren't as necessary when occupants are buckled up, especially when considering the dizzyng list of safety features that come standard on today's cars. Europe, which has a higher rate of seatbelt use than in the US, doesn't perform unbelted crash tests on cars sold there.
Although it was finally just confirmed that the last of the BMW 1 Series coupes and convertibles went out of production months ago, we won't have to wait very long to see this model's replacement, the all-new 2 Series. BMW released a teaser video for its new coupe today and also announced that the 2 Series will officially debut on October 25.
We may still have to wait until the Detroit Auto Show to see it up close and in person, even though both the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show are nearly upon us. Either way, it's not clear when the 2 Series will roll into dealerships. Considering we've already seen the coupe sitting out mostly undisguised for a photo shoot, there really isn't much to see in terms of styling of the car in this sun-drenched, dirt-slinging teaser. BMW does say that this is the first trailer ahead of the 2 Series' unveiling, so there are likely to be more to follow the video seen below.