Tag Archives: F10 M5

BMW M Makes Splash with Four New Diesel Models

26 Jan

BMW M550d Sedan: Photo Courtesy BMW Group

It wasn’t long ago when there was only a handful of BMW M cars to choose from. BMW’s Motorsport division has sold the legendary M3 and M5 for over 25 years, with others along the way such as the M6, M Coupe and M Roadster. However, recently BMW’s high-performance brand has expanded and multiplied, completely changing their “M” (marketing) strategy, with the unveiling of the X5M and X6M SUV’s and 1M Coupe.

BMW M has also made a dramatic change in the types of engines used within the last 3 years, and this is reflected in the four new diesel vehicle. Gone are the days of Motorsport’s naturally-aspirated engines. With the introduction of the X5 and X6M BMW moved away from the traditionally higher-revving, but less fuel efficient naturally aspirated engines in favor of forced injection, known internally as TwinPower Turbo technology. TwinPower effectively combines the air entering the turbocharger in a way that gives you twice the power equivalent of conventional turbocharging.

BMW M550d Touring: Photo Courtesy BMW Group

Enter “BMW M Performance” models. The M550d xDrive Sedan, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d diesels will spearhead this new model lineup. These vehicles are based on the current model lines, but as the name implies have been developed and improved by BMW M division. Changes to the engines, transmission, suspension and chassis result in increased performance, improved handling, practical everyday usability and excellent fuel economy.

Powering the M Performance lineup will be a new inline, six-cylinder diesel engine. Along with a 3.0-liter displacement the engine is aided by three, yes…three turbochargers. This, when paired with a diesel’s ability to produce massive amounts of torque result in 381 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque. Power is transferred to the wheels via an eight-speed sports automatic transmission with enhanced gearshift dynamics. Zero to 62 MPH performance figures vary from 5.4 seconds for the X5 M50d, to only 4.7 seconds in the M550d Sedan.

BMW X5 M50d: Photo Courtesy BMW Group

On the more economical side the new tri-turbo inline six achieves between 30.5 MPG in the X6 M50d and 37.3 MPG in the M550d xDrive. These numbers are possible due to an auto stop/start function and an ECO PRO mode.

Esthetic adornments on the exterior include exterior mirrors and air intake bars painted in Ferric Grey paintwork and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. Nineteen-inch M alloy wheels come on both the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan, Touring and X5 M50d. The X6 M50d gets 20-inch M alloy wheels and exclusive 20-inch M light-alloy wheels in Ferric Grey available as an option for all models.

BMW X6 M50d: Photo Courtesy BMW Group

Unique interior styling feature gearshift lever with M logo, M leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles and BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite. Two trim choices are available, Brushed Aluminium Shadow in the BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d or Aluminium Hexagon in the BMW M550d xDrive. The M sport seats are finished in Nappa leather and Alcantara with contrast stitching and embossed M logo.

The four new diesel M vehicles are scheduled to go on sale in Europe beginning this summer, but whether or not these are destined for U.S. shores is yet to be determined.

New 3.0-liter Inline Six-Cylinder Diesel Engine with Three Turbochargers: Photo Courtesy BMW Group

© 2012 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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Lightweight BMW M3 CRT unveiled

27 Jun

By Matt McCarron

Limited Production BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology): Courtesy BMW Group

Power to weight ratio in everything in racing. Less weight allows a vehicle to accelerate with less friction and drag, making it quicker and faster. Lowing the weight of a car also its improves, agility, responsiveness and overall handling. BMW Motorsport, established in 1972, has a long tradition of taking their regular street cars and creating lighter and more nimble versions. The past lightweight M3’s include the iconic 3.0 CSL as well as lightweight M3s developed for both the E36 and E46 chassis production runs.

This past weekend, in anticipation of the Nurburgring 24-hour race BMW M unveiled their latest slim and trim creation, the BMW M3 CRT (Carbon Racing Technology). Unfortunately for U.S customers the M3 CRT will only be available to those in the European market.

Unlike the two previous production lightweight M3’s, BMW M chose to use the E90 M3 four-door chassis as the basis for the M3 CRT. This M3 has trimmed down thanks to a substantial portion of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The hood of the M3 CRT is made of CFRP, making it 50 percent lighter than the steel equivalent on the regular E90 M3. The innovative material is also used in the construction of the vehicles seats. The M3 CRT supports its passengers with bucket seats composed of recycled-paper honeycomb and an exterior covering of CFRP. The final spots where CFRP is utilized is on a portion of the front lip used to channel air, and on the rear spoiler. All of these weight reductions allow the M3 CRT to have an unladen weight that is 99 lbs less than the standard M3 sedan. According to BMW, if you take into account the interior changes the weight savings total 154 lbs.

M3 CRT with special rear spoiler: Courtesy BMW Group

In accordance with the rest of the vehicle BMW Motorsport has placed a special, enlarged version of the naturally-aspirated V8 power plant in the M3 CRT. The engine, which can also be found on the M3 GTS, has been increased from 4.0-liters to 4.4-liters. Both horsepower and torque have also been increased because of this. At its peak the 4.4-liter punches out 450 hp at 8,300 rpm, with the maximum torque of 324 lb-ft ready to go at 3,750 rpm. All 67 units of the M3 CRT feature the seven-speed M double-clutch transmission (DCT) with launch control. The added horsepower combined with the reduction in weight give the M3 CRT a power-to-weight ratio of 7.7 lbs per horsepower.

The M3 CRT only comes in one color, BMW Individual Frozen Polar Silver metallic with Melbourne Red accents on the side kidney grills and hood vents. The interior offers the same individual touches with special aluminum grain on the door panels and trim pieces. Rounding out the interior is an Alcantara-covered M steering wheel, and special Sakhir Orange and Black two-tone design that covers the lightweight bucket seats.

BMW CRT Individual two-tone interior: Courtesy BMW Group

© 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 Mini Coupe Fully Revealed

21 Jun

By Matt McCarron

2012 Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) coupe: Courtesy BMW Group

No more partially disguised spy photos. Today, photos of the 2012 Mini coupe were officially unveiled. The new two-door variant of the agile and sporty car will be available in four trim levels, from the basic Mini coupe all the way up to the top-of-the-line, race-inspired John Cooper Works (JCW) coupe.

The entry-level Mini coupe is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 122 hp at 6,000 rpm and 118 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm. The estimated fuel economy of this version is impressive. According to the new EU driving cycle the entry-level Mini coupe gets 52.3 mpg imp.

Next on the totem pole of Mini coupes to choose from is the SD coupe. The SD coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that puts out 143 hp at 4,000 rpm and 225 lb-ft from 1,750-2,700 rpm. As with many newer compact turbodiesels, the fuel economy is remarkable. The SD coupe is estimated to get 65.7 mpg, according to the EU standard.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) coupe: Courtesy BMW Group

If you yearn for something more aggressive and powerful, go for the Mini S coupe. The S coupe features a boosted 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve management. The result of this engine is 184 hp at 5,500 rpm and 177 lb-ft at 1,600-5,000 rpm. 192 lb-ft is available via the overboost function from 1,700-4,500 rpm.

The ultimate in performance is the John Cooper Works coupe. This special Mini has the most powerful engine available with an impressive 211 hp at 6,000 rpm and 192 lb-ft at 1,850-5,600 rpm. As with the S coupe the JCW coupe has an overboost function, giving the driver 207 lb-ft from 1,700-4,500 rpm. The JCW coupe can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph.

The Mini coupe distinguishes itself from any other Mini on the road with a number of unique design and aerodynamic elements. The Mini coupe features a “helmet roof” design and is the only Mini to have an active rear spoiler that extends automatically at speeds of in excess of 50 mph. The interior of the vehicle has been redesigned to offer passengers more head room.

As with all Minis, the coupe is available in a number of exterior paints and interior trims. The roof of the coupe comes in contrasting color standard, along with optional matching sport stripes on the hood, trunk lid and rear apron, while the sport stripes on the roof are painted in the primary body color. Customers also have other options when it comes to the exterior and interior of the vehicle.

If you’re someone who wants a fun and focused car that is perfect for short cruises around town or long, spirited drives on back roads the Mini coupe might be the vehicle for you.

The 2012 Mini coupe is scheduled to go on sale in U.S. showrooms beginning in October.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works coupe: Courtesy BMW Group

© 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 BMW 1-Series Revealed

6 Jun

By Matt McCarron

With the first generation of the 1-series in the rear view mirror BMW has unveiled the second generation of their smallest and most fuel efficient vehicles. The second generation (F20) promises to deliver a strong combination of efficiency, luxury, performance and aggressive styling.

BMW has chosen to stay consistent with the push to bring turbo technology to a growing number of their vehicles.  For the first time all models of the 1-series, including both gasoline and diesel engines feature BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology package, with twin-scroll turbocharger, high precision injection, Valvetronic and Double-Vanos variable valve control.. Five new 1-series models, two gas-powered and three diesels have been unveiled so far.

BMW 1-series 116i and 120d: Courtesy BMW North America

The 116i and 118i are the two gasoline-powered versions, with the diesel 116d, 118d and 120d rounding out the lineup. The 116i and 118i both feature a 1.6-liter four-cylinder in-line engine, producing 136 hp and 170 hp respectively.

The remaining three diesel variants all share the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder in-line engine. These also have the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology package and variable-geometry turbocharger with common-rail, magnetic-valve direct injection. Horsepower output varies from 116 hp in the entry level 116d to 184 hp in the 120d.

Not only do these engines feature the very latest in technology, but they’re also extremely fuel efficient. The 116d gets a  estimated 65.6 mph combined, significantly better than a Toyota Prius which gets 50 mph under the same conditions.

BMW 116i: Courtesy BMW North America

Although the new 1-series is loaded with Star Trek-like technology under the hood it’s not limited to just that area of the vehicle. The fuel-efficient engine can be mated to an optional eight-speed automatic transmission. It also has an Automatic Start/Stop function in both manual and automatic transmissions and ECO PRO mode which is activated using the driving experience switch.

To round out the new 1-series BMW has changed the dimensions to allow for more comfort and sportier styling.  The body has been expanded by 85 millimetres, wheelbase is 30 mm longer,  front track is 51 mm wider and rear track 72 mm wider. The interior height is unchanged, but the width has been expanded by 17 mm to give it a more spacious appearance. The result of all of these changes is 21 mm more rear legroom and a luggage compartment expanded from 11 to 23 cubic feet.

BMW did not opt to bring diesel or entry-level versions of the first generation 1-series to the U.S. It is still unclear whether or not BMW will change its marketing strategy and bring these new fun and fuel efficient BMW’s to the U.S. market. Hopefully they do, because 65 mpg, a manual transmission and turbocharged engine sound like the essence of getting the most bang for your buck.

© 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

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

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