Tag Archives: 2012 CLS Class

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

Advertisements

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

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better

28 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: Courtesy Porsche North America

Car manufacturers often make special or limited production vehicles. However, very few take it to the level and extreme Porsche has. First they released the model 997.2 GT3, then the critically acclaimed and even more extreme GT3 RS. But now they’ve really done it. Porsche has taken the GT3 model line to the very limits of what seems possible with a flat six-cylinder engine, producing what could be, the very essence of a street and track car.

Enter the GT3 RS 4.0. The vehicle, which will be limited to only 600 units worldwide, has the largest displacement engine ever offered in a 911, a 4.0-liter flat six punching out 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and 337 lb/ft at 5,750 rpm. That’s 50 horsepower more than the GT3 RS with a 3.8-liter flat six. In addition to having the largest engine the GT3 RS 4.0 has the most powerful output per-liter of any 911 engine ever produced, with 125 horsepower per liter.

All of this horspower, and a power to weight ratio of just 5.99 lbs/hp allows this special 911 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, unchanged from the regular GT3 RS. However, while the 0-60 times might be the same, the difference in track times between the GT3 RS 3.8 and 4.0 on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife racetrack are drastic. The GT3 RS 3.8 recorded an official time of 7 minutes and 33 seconds, while the 4.0 lapped the famous “Green Hell” in 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Six seconds might not seem like a lot, but in the world of motorsports it’s a lifetime.

This improvement is possible because of weight reduction. With carbon fiber sport bucket seats, carbon fiber front fenders and luggage compartment lid the GT3 RS 4.0 weighs in at only 2,998 lbs (full tank of fuel). Other cosmetic changes include large rear wing and speical “4.0” badging on the engine lid and lower left-hand corner of the doors. The GT3 RS 4.0 also has a unique gray line, with red accents running from the nose of the hood all the way back to the rear.

The GT3 RS 4.0 is available in Carrera White and will go on sale in the U.S. beginning in late 2011 at a base MSRP of $185,000 (plus destination).

© 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

New York Auto Show 2011: E63 AMG gets new engine, forced induction

24 Apr

By Matt McCarron

The days of the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated engine are gradually coming to a close in many of the current AMG models. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the refreshed MY2012 E63 AMG at the 2011 New York International Auto Show on April 20 with a new power plant under the hood. The new engine, a 5.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 replaces the outgoing 6.2-liter naturally aspirated unit. The 5.5-liter blown beast produces 518 hp and 516 lb-ft, and can be increased to 550 hp and 590 lb-ft with the optional AMG Performance Package. Regardless of the impressive performance numbers Mercedes claims the new engine results in a 22 percent decrease in fuel consumption, in accordance the European Driving Cycle (EDC).

The new engine achieves increased fuel economy with the help of new technological gadgets. The MY2012 E63 AMG features an Eco stop/start system, which when placed in the Controlled Efficiency “C” mode shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. When in “C” mode, the vehicle as starts in second gear and shifts earlier, reducing the amount of fuel needed to power the vehicle. Another new feature adding to the increase fuel efficiency is an all-new electromechanical AMG steering system. The system doesn’t use any fuel when traveling in a straight line, rather only when the vehicle is being steered.

However, if you’re getting concerned the new E63 AMG might have lost some of its potency, fear not. In addition to the fuel sipping “C” mode, the seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission also has the familiar “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual) modes which consume plenty of fuel.

The MY2012 E63 AMG also comes with an upgraded interior, complete with all of the leather-trimmed luxuries AMG customers have come to expect. Characteristic AMG exterior styling rounds out the package with new lightweight alloy wheels, wider front fenders and AMG rocker panels and a sports exhaust with chrome plated tips.

The new MY2012 E63 AMG will go on sale in the U.S. starting in the fall.

© 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

Mercedes-Benz A-Class concept to be unveiled at 2011 NY auto show

7 Apr

By Matt McCarron

Mercedes-Benz has announced the all-new A-Class concept will make its North American debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show later this month. In addition, the A-Class concept will also make its world debut at the Shanghai auto show this month.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class concept: Courtesy MB USA

The A-Class concept is a front wheel drive vehicle, powered by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, producing 210 horsepower. The new engine is part of Mercedes’ BlueEFFICIENCY line, meaning the A-Class concept will be able to deliver the performance Mercedes owners have come to expect, while have low emissions and excellent fuel economy. The turbocharged power plant isn’t the only new piece of technology on the A-Class concept. All 210 horses are transferred to the wheels via the new Mercedes duel clutch transmission.

Other technological firsts on the A-Class concept include being the first compact car to feature a radar-based collision warning system, that is backed up with Mercedes’ brake assist technology.

If size, appearance and horsepower count for anything, then you can expect the production version of the A-Class concept to compete directly with the BMW 128i and Audi A3.

© 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

One-off BMW M3 pickup unveiled

1 Apr

By Matt McCarron

BMW Motorsport has secretly developed a number of one-off vehicles deep inside the bowels of Munich over the years. Some of these vehicles, from the ill-fated E34 convertible, E39 M5 touring and M8 have been exposed over time.

One-off BMW M3 Pickup: Courtesy BMW

Today BMW M unveiled their most recent and public one-off vehicle. The BMW M3 pickup truck was finally revealed after months of candid spy photos have been distributed over the Internet. The one-off M3 has the same high-revving V8 as in the other three versions of the current M3, producing 420 hp. However, unlike the other three variants, the M3 pickup has a rear axle load capacity of 990 lbs. The roof of the M3 pickup is also unique in that it has a removable targa covering.

It’s probably a good thing the M3 pickup will be the one and only M3 to feature a tow hitch and, according to BMW, be able “to carry up to 20 standard 46-inch golf bags.”

Unfortunately, like all of the other secret one-off creations that have emerged from BMW’s motorsport division, the M3 pickup truck will once again recede into the secret storage rooms within BMW headquarters.

© 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