Tag Archives: 2011 NYIAS

First ride E30 M3: Superb handling, engine and classic BMW styling

3 May

By Matt McCarron

What do you get when you take an E30 M3 in pristine condition, add a list of modifications as long as the Great Wall of China, some windy back roads and an experienced driver? A memorable experience, that’s what.

When GermanAutoNews was offered the chance to take a ride in an E30 M3, it didn’t take much time to come up with a decision. After all, this is the E30 M3 we’re taking about, a car synonymous with the S14, a high-revving inline four-cylinder that loves to be pushed above 3,000 rpm, and impeccable handling thanks in part to the vehicle’s 52 to 48 weight distribution. However, this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill E30 M3. In fact it’s about as far from the stock North American spec E30 M3 as it could possibly get.

1991 BMW E30 M3

This special E30 M3 was built by Turner Motorsport of Amesbury, Mass. To make this M3 stand out from the pack Turner went all-in with just about every option or upgrade available including a 2.5-liter stroker kit, stage 3 ported/polished head, Evo 3 throttle bodies, Evo 2 camshaft, B&B Triflow muffler, heavy duty clutch, lightweight flywheel, coilover suspension and a whole host of other improvements.

All of these improvements were evident as the M3 rounded the corner of Haigis Mall at UMass Amherst. The vehicle’s exhaust gave off a subtle yet undeniable drone as it made its way toward our camera, and the suspension could be seen trying to keep up with the never-ending bumps and dips that are much too prevalent around the UMass campus. The final component to be experienced before even entering the vehicle was the award-winning sound system, featuring two Focal 27VX 11″ subwoofers,  165EX 3-way and 136EX 2-way speakers and Precision Power 4400 and 2600 amplifiers.

As the ride began we hoped the owner and driver of the M3 would drive the car like it was supposed to be driven. And it didn’t take long to figured out the owner wasn’t intent on leisurely driving around town, all the while being careful to stay under 3,000 rpms and stay at the recommended speed limit.

Actually, from the moment we left the first stoplight it was apparent this was going to be a fun ride. So we fastened our seat belt and away we went. The 2.5-liter S14 screamed with ever-growing intensity as it roared towards redline, while the heavy duty clutch gave the ride a sudden and attention-grabbing snap as it ripped into the next gear. Both upshifts and downshifts came quickly, maybe even somewhat harshly, courtesy of the five-speed Dogleg transmission and upgraded drivetrain.

2.5-liter S14 with Evo II valve and intake cover paint design

The stiff and tight suspension, featuring coilovers along with upgraded camber plates, control arms, strut braces and sway bars made taking corners at high speeds a thing of beauty. There was practically no bending and no nose-diving whatsoever when carving through a corner. The 52 to 48 front to rear weight distribution really showed its worth on the back roads, allowing little to no understeer or oversteer.

As we made our way back toward the campus we really showed the under-appreciated power of the 2.5-liter S14. In today’s high-end, high-performance car industry, where more and more vehicles are approaching or eclipsing 500 horsepower, the 270 provided in this M3 might seem like a pathetic amount. I mean really, the Hyundai Sonata Turbo puts out 274 hp, but that doesn’t matter. The Sonata might have more horsepower, but the S14 delivers all 270 horses to the driver in an unforgettable crescendo of noise and emotion. The S14 screams and howls in ways modern engines just can’t match. In a world where naturally aspirated engines are increasingly being discontinued in favor of forced induction units, the S14 stands alone as one of the truly great naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines of all time.

Our ride in the E30 M3 showed us something. It isn’t the most powerful, quickest or most eye-catching vehicle we have been in. However, when push comes to shove it just might be the best. It combines a raw, un-computerized experience, something that is becoming harder and harder to find in today modern vehicles, and something we will not soon forget.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

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Video: Onboard 1991 E30 M3 with 270 horsepower

3 May

Here’s a video of a very agile and powerful E30 M3. This vehicle has at least 78 more horsepower than a stock North American spec E30 M3, which has 192 hp.  This E30 M3 is a replica of the Sport Evolution (Evo III) version of the E30 M3. The Sport Evo was limited to 600 units and featured an enlarged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. It produced 238 horsepower and is considered to be the epitome of the legendary E3o model line.

Photos and story will follow soon.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Version of F10 M5 to have four-wheel-drive

3 May

By Matt McCarron

British automotive magazine Autocar has reported BMW officials have verified reports that a four-wheel-drive version of the new F10 M5 will be produced. It is unclear at this time if the four-wheel-drive version of BMW’s top-of-the-line performance sedan will make its way to the U.S.

The final production version of the F10 M5 is scheduled to make its world debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.

For more information on the F10 M5 visit Autocar’s Web site.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Review: 2011 New York International Auto Show

24 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Press days at major automotive events such as the New York International Auto Show have plenty of perks for media and company personnel alike. From the free water, espressos, lattes, sandwiches, and smoothies to the hordes of industry professionals to network and talk with, you might think one can easily lose sight of one’s primary mission. However, despite these added creature comforts, the world and North American premieres, newly redesigned vehicles and concept cars still took center stage.

The four major high-end German automotive manufacturers all had plenty to admire and ask questions about. Mercedes-Benz had by far the most impressive and expansive display of new and face lifted vehicles. From the world premiere of the Concept A-Class, the North American debuts of the C63 AMG coupe and MY2012 SLK350 and the MY2012 E63 AMG with a new 5.5-liter twin turbocharged engine, Mercedes seemed to have all the bases covered at this years show. Now before I go any further, don’t get the idea that Mercedes was the only German manufacturer to have exciting and intriguing automotive eye candy.

Porsche also had premieres including the world premiere of its top-of-the-line four-door super sedan, the Panamera Turbo S. Along with the Turbo S Porsche also had the North American debut of the Turbo S’ green, eco-friendly sister, the Panamera S Hybrid. Porsche also a good sized display area that featured everything from a Cayman with a bike rack and bicycle on the roof, to a recreation of the world’s first hybrid car, the “Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus”, which was developed 111 years ago by Prof. Ferdinand Porsche.

BMW had two significant vehicles that it showed off for the first time on U.S. soil. The MY2012 650i and the Z4 with the all-new inline four-cylinder engine featuring TwinPower turbo technology. In addition to being fitted with BMW’s newest engine, this particular Z4 was also equipped with the optional citrus yellow package. This package make the vehicle as bright as the sun and definitely will attract attention from your local police department. Finished in Atacama Yellow, the citrus yellow package also adds the M Sport package, giving the Z4 an aggressive stance and special wheels, shifter, steering wheel and foot rest, all of which have the BMW M logo on them.

Last but definitely not least in the four major German manufacturers was Audi. Audi unveiled its A7 Sportback for the first time in the United States and had the most expansive display area of the four manufacturers. This gave Audi the opportunity to spread its lineup out across the showroom floor and to exhibit many of its vehicles. Included in this mass of Audi’s finest was the ultra exclusive and mind-blowing Audi R8 GT. The special edition of the R8 V10 was drenched in carbon fiber from head to toe. Along with the weight-saving carbon fiber the R8 GT had an interior that was nothing short of a masterpiece.

The 2011 New York International Auto Show was GermanAutoNews’ first time at the press days of a major automotive show. However, after being around the finest engineering Germany has to offer, you can be assured it will not be the last.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

Audi Q3 unveiled one week before the Shanghai auto show

13 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Audi has unveiled its Q3 compact SUV in anticipation of next week’s Shanghai auto show. This is Audi’s first time venturing into the premium compact SUV market, with the Q3 being in direct competition with the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK350.

The Q3 is offered with four different engine choices. All four engine are turbocharged four-cylinders and feature direct injection, energy recovery system and start-stop system. The basic power plant for the Q3 is a front-wheel drive 2.0-liter TDI, producing 140 hp. This particular engine also gets remarkable fuel economy, 45.2 mpg. The second engine option is also a 2.0-liter TFSI quattro that produces 170 hp. The first and second engine options are mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while the other two power plants, producing 177 hp and 211 hp respectively, feature quattro all-wheel drive and are mated to Audi’s seven-speed S Tronic transmission, allowing the driver to choose from four different driving modes.

Audi Q3 Compact SUV: Courtesy Audi USA

Another aspect to the Q3 that contributes to its overall efficiency is its lightweight design. The engine hood and wraparound tailgate are made of aluminum, resulting in the basic version of the Q3 weighing in at only 3,307 lbs. The passenger compartment is composed of ultra high-strength steel and the vehicle’s low drag ratio of 0.32 adds to the Q3’s excellent fuel economy.

With interior and technological options that are available on the Q3, the sky’s the limit. Audi is offering the Q3 is a choice of 12 exterior paint colors with five customized combinations with add-on parts. These add-on options include the standard black add-on parts, or if the customer chooses, add-on parts with full paint finish or color-contrasting anthracite gray.

Standard technological features include but are not limited to, an on-board computer, ambient lighting package, panoramic glass roof, storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable and heated seats, two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, tinted rear windows, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel.

The Audi Q3 will make its world debut at the Shanghai International Auto Show on April 19. The Q3 will go on sale in Germany starting in June at a base MSRP of 29,900 Euros ($43,151.90 USD)

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe unveiled

20 Mar

By Matt McCarron

Just months after the world premiere of the 2012 C-Class coupe at the Geneva Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the car which they hope will lay waste to competitors such as the Audi RS5, and current benchmark of two-door sports cars, the BMW M3.

The C63 AMG coupe will be powered by the same 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine in the C63 AMG sedan. The hand assembled power plant produces 451 hp and 443 lb-ft. This allows the C63 AMG coupe to accelerate from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. Although the C63 AMG coupe produces more horsepower than either the M3 or RS5, the real difference is with the amount of torque. The 443 lb-ft in the C63 AMG coupe is significantly more than the M3 or Rs5, with 295 and 317 lb-ft respectively.

The C63 AMG coupe can become even more potent with the addition of the optional Mercedes-Benz Performance Package. The package utilizes technology from the SLS AMG including forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft. This reduces the weight by 6.6 pounds. The addition of this high-tech equipment results in a total horsepower output of 481 hp and reduces the 0-60 time to 4.3 seconds. Other benefits include an increase in top speed from 155 to 174 mph (electronically limited). In addition to the performance modifications, the Performance Package features a number of cosmetic changes to the exterior of the vehicle. This includes the variable intake manifold finished in titanium gray, the AMG high-performance braking system with two-piece front rotors and red painted brake calipers, a carbon fiber spoiler and the AMG performance steering wheel.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe: Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA.

Ironically, for a car having so much power and torque the C63 AMG coupe also has a greener side. The high-revving V8 is mated with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The transmission allows the driver to select from a variety of driving modes, including the Controlled Efficiency or “C” mode. This limits the amount of acceleration and makes the transmission shift early, resulting in improved fuel economy.

However, most customers who are in the market for a world-class high-performance coupe are not concerned about the amount of gasoline being consumed, and do not want to be driving around with slow, conservative transmission settings. Luckily the transmission in the C63 AMG coupe has faster and more aggressive settings. The “S”, “S+” and “M” modes are available at the touch of a button, with the gear changes in the “S+” and “M” modes taking only 100 milliseconds. The C63 AMG coupe also has a Race Start function to provide the best possible launch.

If the lighter and more nimble C63 AMG coupe is anything like it’s four-door sibling then BMW and Audi will be forced to take notice. Mercedes AMG seems to have its eyes on taking the top spot in the two-door sports car category and continues to develop and produce vehicles which are getting closer to doing just that. The C63 AMG coupe is scheduled to make its first appearance in U.S. showrooms starting in September.

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com