Displaying items by tag: BMW

Tuesday, 21 February 2023 05:56

2026 BMW i8 M - First review

Even though the current i8 hasn't lived up to the sporting intentions BMW had for it, that apparently hasn't put the German luxury brand off of high-dollar hybrid sports cars. Development of the next i8—we're a fan of calling it the i8 M, considering it should represent a significant performance improvement over the current model—is underway, and BMW's Vision M Next concept from mid-2019 is proof. A massive increase in power, a longer all-electric driving range, updated styling, and a more capable chassis are all expected to separate the i8 M from the model it will ultimately replace.

What's New for 2026?

The i8 M—or whatever BMW decides to call its next-generation hybrid sports car—will be all-new for the 2026 model year. We expect to find out more as we get closer to the car's on-sale date, which is predicted to be sometime in 2025 as a 2026 model.

Without knowing how the i8 M will be equipped or what options may be available, it's hard to recommend a particular model. We expect the i8 M to be offered in both a fixed-roof coupe body style as well as a ragtop roadster, similar to the previous generation model's lineup.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The i8 M's plug-in hybrid powertrain is anticipated to follow the same basic setup as the current i8, which means an electric motor driving the front wheels and a mid-mounted gasoline engine and electric motor for the rear wheels. In lieu of the i8's turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine, BMW has said the new car will offer a turbocharged four-cylinder; the company also claims a total system output—gas and electric power combined—of 591 horsepower, which is far more than the i8's 369-hp output. This up-rated powertrain will help the i8 M compete with rivals such as the Lexus LC500h and the new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

The previous generation i8's 18-mile electric driving range was unimpressive to say the least. BMW has been mum on details such as battery size but said the electric driving range for the Vision M Next concept was a claimed 62 miles. That means either BMW's engineers found a way to squeeze a lot more miles out of the current car's 11.6-kWh battery pack or they found space for a much larger unit. It's almost certainly the latter. More information will be available regarding the i8 M's battery, range, and charging capability closer to the car's on-sale date.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA has not tested the i8 M or released estimates for its fuel consumption—which is not surprising since the car doesn't exist yet. In addition to improving the electric driving range, we're expecting the i8 M to offer slightly better fuel economy ratings than the current i8, despite an anticipated improvement in acceleration and driving performance. For more information about the i8 M's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Little is known about the i8 M's cabin so far, but we are hoping BMW addresses the i8's difficult ingress and egress by equipping the new car with front-hinged doors and a lower side sill to make the interior more easily accessible. Like the previous car, the i8 M will be BMW's playground for future styling and should feature unique materials, cutting-edge features, and eye-popping designs. Storage and cargo capacity will likely remain limited, but a front trunk (or "frunk") may make an appearance to provide additional luggage space.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A lot can change in the world of in-car infotainment between now and 2026, so details about what might be offered in the i8 M are anyone's guess. In the Vision M Next concept, BMW showed off a futuristic take on infotainment that the company calls the Boost Pod; it consists of several glass screens and a head-up display to provide the driver access to car-related information and onboard entertainment features.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Considering the i8 M is still a few years off, it's possible more advanced driver-assistance features will be featured, including perhaps a true autonomous driving system. Time will tell. Key safety features are likely to include:

Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

BMW's warranty coverage could change between now and 2024, but if everything holds steady in this area, expect the same warranty package that's available on today's lineup. A dedicated hybrid-components warranty is all but a certainty, and we're hoping BMW continues to offer a three-year complimentary maintenance plan for all new models.

Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
Hybrid components are covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles
Complimentary maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles


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Wednesday, 02 November 2022 04:01

BMW X7 review

For those that want the finest luxury that BMW has to offer in SUV form, then the X7 is the answer. It is of course packed with the latest technology and driver aids, yet at well over five metres long it also has the fundamental provision of space in abundance. Naturally, that puts it squarely in the sights of popular large SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover, but BMW’s recent form in this department has been excellent.

And sure enough, there’s lots to like about the X7 – even more so after its facelift in late 2022. The styling is still controversial, but the rest of the car exudes all the luxury and premium quality that you’d expect of a high-rise 7 Series. Three rows of seats make for a standard seven-seat configuration, while a six-seat variant is also on offer for those that want more space in the second row.

Meanwhile, engine choices have been updated for 2022 with the xDrive 40i getting performance and efficiency tweaks, while the range topping M50i xDrive is now badged M60i xDrive. In addition, the xDrive30d and M50d models have been rolled into one, badged xDrive40d. All variants get xDrive all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology as standard.

As for trim levels, there’s a choice of three on UK models, ranging from entry-level Excellence spec, through to M Sport and top-spec M50i xDrive. In truth, you’ll never be wanting for equipment regardless of which variant you get, with all versions getting luxuries such as a panoramic glass sunroof, adaptive LED headlights, air suspension and much more.

Post-facelift cars also get the same infotainment setup as the newest 7 Series and i7 models, meaning a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch curved central screen that runs BMW’s latest iDrive operating system. Predictably, it’s one of the best on the market even if it does take a little time to get used to the myriad features and functionality.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the BMW X7, including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it’s like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

BMW X7 boot space, practicality and safety

How much space is there?
That upright bodywork liberates a considerable amount of interior space, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel inclined to risk damaging the high-quality interior furnishings by turning it into a makeshift van.

All X7s have three rows of seats, just like the similarly sized Audi Q7, Land Rover Discovery and Mercedes-Benz GLS, but BMW offers the option of specifying two individual middle-row captain’s chairs instead of a bench with a trio seats to customers wanting a bit more comfort. With these captain’s chairs, which turns the X7 into a six-seater, you get a much wider range of adjustment and a pair of armrests to feel more like a seat found in the front of the car.

In either configuration, the middle-row seats are electrically adjustable making them exceptionally comfortable, but while having them move forwards out of the way to access the third-row seats is also electrically powered, they operate at such a pace that you’ll get wet on a rainy day waiting to climb aboard.

Passengers in row two can slide the bench back or forth by up to 14.5cm, as well as tilt the backrest, and foot-space is generous with an almost flat floor.

Climbing back to row three is a bit tight, but there’s generous room for fully grown adults once seated (as long as the middle is moved forwards slightly), with armrests, cupholders, heated seats and, optionally, air vents and a climate-control panel.

BMW X7 rear seats

Although the side windows are rather small for the rearmost row, it still feels airy thanks to an elevated view ahead and high roof, a separate glazed roof panel overhead, third-row-specific climate control buttons and ambient lighting strips just like the rest of the cabin.

There are Isofix child-seat anchors too, so you’re not forced to clip small kids into the middle row, which also makes accessing the third row harder.

The more opulent six-seat version is more comfortable and spacious for six, and the gap between the seats makes it easier to walk through to the back row – just.

Boot space and storage

The boot area is spacious, well-trimmed and peppered with electrically powered conveniences. The tailgate is horizontally split – both sections operate electrically – while the lower portion can be used as a seat, able to hold a combined weight of 150kg.

BMW X7 boot

As you would expect, the boot volume is limited (326 litres) when all seven seats are upright with enough space for a couple of squashy overnight bags, but with all rear seats folded, total capacity is a cavernous 2,120 litres. In five-seat mode, it offers 750 litres of space.

Should you need to load some heavy cargo into the boot, you can also lower the car by 40mm to help slide it in thanks to standard-fit air suspension.

If you’d like to use your X7 for towing, then there’s further good news: factory-fitted tow bars are available and all versions can haul up to 3.5 tonnes where trailers are fitted with brakes.

BMW X7 safety

The X7 hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP as yet, but the latest X5 has and received a five-star rating, so there’s little reason why the larger, more expensive X7 should fare any differently. A suite of airbags throughout the car should ensure the occupants are kept safe in the event of an accident, while a wide array of safety and driver assistance tech is available.

On post facelift models, the standard-fit front collision warning detects oncoming traffic when turning right, as well as pedestrians or cyclists when turning left. Included in the Driving Assistant Professional package and Lane Change Assistant, meanwhile, is Active Cruise Control, Steering and Lane Control Assistant plus Active Lane Change and Merging Assistant.

Also featuring on post facelift X7s is Manoeuvre Assistant. This can store individual manoeuvres that can then be replicated by the car when a pre-determined location is reached. So for example, if you need to navigate your X7 into a tight underground parking spot, the Manoeuvre Assistant can take over the accelerator, steering and gearshifts. From 2023, this will also be available from the BMW mobile app.

 BMW X7 interior, tech and comfort

BMW X7 interior

All-round quality in the X7 is superb – as you’d expect from an SUV that’s priced from over £80k. The large screens present a strong digital feel to the cabin, yet there’s still plenty of good old-fashioned luxury present in the choice of materials. Merino leather is lavished throughout the cabin, while fine wood and the ambient lighting bar add a real sense of exclusivity.

The centre console area is fairly minimalist, yet there’s still buttons for the infotainment system as well as the iDrive rotary controller. Sadly, physical climate control switches have been jettisoned yet the icons to change the temperature are ever-present on the central touchscreen.

Infotainment and tech
There’s a high-tech feel to the media system too. BMW’s latest 8.0 iDrive infotainment is standard, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 14.9-inch curved central screen on post facelift models. It’s operated via either a rotary controller, touchscreen, voice control or gestures (including twirling a finger to adjust volume), or a mixture of all of the above.

BMW X7 interior and infotainment

If it sounds confusing, it’s soon intuitive, with BMW’s iDrive system showing why it’s one of the best on the market at any price point. The graphics and menus look sharp, while the responsiveness and functionality is second-to-none.

Key to the luxury levels in the X7 are standard-fit comfort seats for the driver and passenger. Boasting fully electric adjustment of the seat position and head rest height, they are extremely supportive and make even the most arduous of journeys fly by. Heated seats are standard, while active seat ventilation and massage functionality is available as an option.

Meanwhile, ride comfort and refinement on the standard air suspension is deeply impressive. Cracks and lumps in the road are ironed out, while the amount of noise making its way into the cabin is surprisingly low given that you’re enclosed inside a 2.6-tonne SUV punching a hole in the air. Post-facelift cars are available with 23-inch alloy wheels and while we’re yet to sample them, the ride will likely still be serviceable – if not quite as imperious as versions with smaller alloys.

 BMW X7 running costs and reliability

Diesel engines 3.8 - 4.5 mppLow figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Fuel economy
Petrol engines 21.7 - 29.4 mpg
Diesel engines 31.0 - 36.7 mpg

BMW X7 front

A car the size of the X7 won’t be especially cheap to run in any form, but go for the least-expensive diesel and it shouldn’t be too bad. The xDrive40d claims between 32.8-36.7mpg under the latest WLTP testing regime that better replicates real-world fuel efficiency.

Beyond that model, the X7’s a thirsty beast, particularly if you like to exploit the engines’ power and torque. The entry level petrol – xDrive40i – claims 26.4-29.4mpg, while the high-performance M60i xDrive returns 21.9-23.3mpg.

Servicing and warranty
As with other BMWs, the X7 is available with a number of service plans including one where an upfront payment will cover at least the first four years’ worth of services. BMW also offers monthly service plans. In addition, the X7 comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty – with breakdown cover – as standard.

BMW has a fine reputation for building cars that are dependable – especially when it comes to the mechanical components such as engines and gearboxes – so there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern as the X7 makes use of engines that are already found in several other BMW models.

Where you might find a little bit of trouble is with the company’s latest infotainment system. While it’s slick in operation with endless facilities, we’ve found in other models it can be a little unresponsive at times, with hit-and-miss voice control and connectivity issues in some cases. If this is a problem, a software update should fix it as with any other car.

 BMW X7 engines, drive and performance

The BMW X7 is available with three engines in post-facelift form, ranging from the xDrive40d and 40i versions to the performance focused M60i xDrive variant. All come with 48v mild-hybrid capability, aiding efficiency and responses.

Starting with the xDrive 40i, it offers an impressive combination of 340hp, 5.8-second 0-62mph time and 26.6-29.4mpg. The six-cylinder turbocharged unit is smooth even at high revs, pulls keenly from low speeds and feels perfectly fast enough at full throttle. The purposeful but subdued exhaust note fits the bill, too.

If you can stomach the high running costs (it’s got a big car to haul around), it’s a very satisfying car to drive in this form. It feels eager without being too frantic, and beautifully smooth and refined in its power delivery, thanks in part to the slick eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s also quick to respond when you put your foot down or take manual control via the paddles.

You can also tweak how response the steering, throttle and gearbox is via the drive mode selector – standard on all models. There’s a choice of Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive, with an Individual mode available for the Sport mode.

If you want more power, then the M60i xDrive version should have you covered, delivering 530hp from its 4.4-litre V8 and accelerating from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds – hugely impressive figures for such a big car.

Aside from raw numbers, the powertrain is smooth and makes a satisfying noise under load. Torque is also prodigious, with 750Nm on tap meaning acceleration from low revs is almost as impressive as the 0-62mph sprint. We’d perhaps question if this engine is entirely necessary, but if you want the absolute ultimate performance and refinement in your X7 then this is it.

For those that want diesel, the xDrive40d is the only option and produces 352hp and 720Nm of torque (the latter almost as much as the M60i). That means 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds, as well as much more respectable fuel economy that should settle in the mid-thirties. We haven’t driven this variant yet, but sufficed to say it may well be the best compromise of the current engines on offer.

What’s it like to drive?

For the engineering team in charge of developing the X7, the primary challenge wasn’t simply to make it comfortable – that’s comparatively easy. Instead, the hard work comes in terms of making it feel like a BMW, and on that score, it delivers.

Of course, it’s not as agile as a 1 Series Sports Hatch or a 3 Series Saloon, but that the X7 is comparable with a 7 Series is remarkable given its sheer size and elevated ride height. Air suspension is fitted as standard, allowing for greater suppleness in ride quality and more adjustability between the drive modes of Eco Pro, Comfort (the default setting) and Sport. Those air springs also endow the X7 with greater off-road ability thanks to the system that allows for up to 80mm of adjustment.

With the standard steering, Sport mode feels suitably weighty, encouraging you to hustle the BMW along, but the car’s more nimble overall with the optional Integral Active Steering (four-wheel steering) package. You lose a little bit of feel and weighting through the steering wheel, but gain because the rear wheels have up to three degrees of steering input, too. This is especially noticeable at lower speeds, a you can turn the X7 in a much tighter area than you’d expect it to.

At motorway speeds, they turn in the same direction as the front wheels for increased stability, which BMW claims improves passenger comfort as there’s less lateral movement for passengers in the back along curves in the road.

When speeds are much lower, they point in the opposite direction to the fronts, making the X7 even more manoeuvrable. Combine this with BMW’s Active Roll Stabilisation that prevents the car leaning so much when cornering, and it feels impressively responsive.

Is the BMW X7 also capable off-road?
BMW doesn’t really talk up the X7’s all-terrain credentials, but the xOffroad package is optionally available with modes for sand, rocks, gravel and snow.

While virtually no X7 customers will take their cars off the beaten track, BMW’s engineers understand that for it to be seen as credible, it has to be able to go off-road for the few who want to.

The four-wheel drive package, air suspension and trick steering system, which help make the X7 so capable on tarmac, also allow it to impress off-road, aided and abetted by Hill Descent Control – think of it as a low-speed cruise control for all-terrain driving.

We’ve tried the car on a very challenging off-road course meandering up and down hills, through a tight and twisty wooded area, as well as some tricky terrain that’s normally traversed by Land Rover Defenders – including some parts of river and loose, rocky inclines. It would have been challenging to walk it, let alone drive it, yet the X7 proved more than its match.

Whether it’s more capable than the similarly-sized, but lower-priced Land Rover Discovery isn’t immediately clear, but even if it’s not quite as good, the fact that it’s a discussion point illustrates how able the BMW is.

BMW X7 verdict

Yes, with provisos. If you don’t need seven seats, then the Range Rover just edges the X7 in terms of opulence and prestige, but for fit and finish, more cutting edge technology and a sportier driving experience, the BMW shade’s Land Rover’s icon. Of its German-badged rivals, we’d take the X7 over the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS without hesitation – it’s simply more polished and, providing you can live with its looks, more desirable.

But there’s the rub. The BMW X7 polarises opinion on account of its sheer mass and bluff, glitzy front end, but there’s actually a lot to enjoy once you’re onboard. Quality is impressive, the vast array of technology available is easy to operate, there’s plenty of room and it doesn’t feel too intimidating on the road. Plus, there isn’t a bad engine available. There’s no doubt its mix of luxury, versatility and dynamic ability is unmatched by anything else in this segment at comparable money.

What we like
This is an undoubtedly huge car that’s crammed with tech, yet it’s still more enjoyable to drive than many smaller vehicles. That’s because BMW prides themselves on how sharp its cars are when you’re sitting behind the wheel and that really shows, here.

What we don’t like
The looks really won’t be to everyone’s taste. BMW has gone down a brave route with the styling of its cars and it’s not a stretch to say that some may be put off by the current

Source: parkers.co.uk

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BMW President Oliver Zipse believes that the hydrogen market is a few years behind electric power, but that it will soon become a major player in the fuel that powers cars.

The fact is that the Bavarian company has turned to electrification, that more and more vehicles with the "i" badge, but also that BMW has made a promise that half of the new cars of this brand will be electric by 2030, however, the president of this company believes that hydrogen will become the most desirable source of driving power for a car.

Oliver Zipse told reporters that the hydrogen market is a few years behind electricity, but will soon become a major player. "After the electric car, which has been around for about 10 years and is growing fast, the next trend will be hydrogen. "When it becomes more flexible, hydrogen will become the most modern fuel," Zipse said in an interview with Bloomberg.

BMW is one of the few manufacturers to develop a hydrogen-powered car in the 21st century, and recently announced the iX5, a hydrogen-powered X5 SUV that will go into production at the end of this year. In addition to the Bavarian company, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota also dealt with hydrogen as a fuel, and the Japanese couple officially offered fuel cell vehicles a few years ago.

However, as for BMW's hydrogen ambitions, they are not limited to the BMW brand and could extend to other brands within the BMW Group. The night before the unveiling of the new electric Rolls-Royce, the head of the British luxury marque, Torsten Muller-Otvos, said the idea of ​​a hydrogen-powered Rolls-Royce was "right on".
"Using hydrogen? Why not? I wouldn't rule that option out. There is a belief within the group that this may be the long-term future," said Muller-Otvos.

As Auto Klub reports, Oliver Zipse still thinks that there is no energy source so perfect that all others should be ignored. So electricity makes more sense in urban areas in developed countries where there is easy access to charging infrastructure, while hydrogen might be better in other situations.

"It's a dangerous thing to say that in the UK around 2030 or in the UK and Europe in 2035 there should be only one powertrain." For customers, for industry, for employment, for the climate, from any angle you look at it, it's a dangerous road," Zipse said in an interview with Bloomberg.

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BMW customers are still looking for manual transmissions on the forums.

Manual gearboxes are slowly giving way to automatics. They are more comfortable and faster for drivers, and today they are at such a level of development that they do not increase fuel consumption.

CarBuzz was at the BMW M Festival at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit in South Africa where he spoke with the head of the BMW M division, Frank van Mel. One of the key questions was how long will manual transmissions be available in BMW models?

"Unfortunately, the manual transmission is not so widespread anymore. It is more important in certain segments, namely the M2 and M3 models, as well as the M4. We continue to offer manual transmissions for those cars and those versions will be sold until the end of this decade," he said. van Mel.

Timo Resch, vice president of customer, brand and sales for BMW M, added that the company is monitoring the activities of customers who are petitioning online and voting, mostly asking for BMW to keep the manual transmission.

Resch said the engineers asked why anyone would need a manual transmission when automatics are faster, but then the marketing department simply told them: the fans demanded it.

In M models, the manual gearbox is still "living", but in other, more conventional models, it is increasingly giving way to automatics.

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Sunday, 02 October 2022 04:24

2023 BMW M4 CSL Is Not for the Faint of Heart

This ultimate M car is BMW's answer to the Porsche 911 GT3 and the upcoming Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance.

At an indicated 274 km/h (170 mph) on the Autobahn A94 Munich-Passau in the 2023 BMW M4 CSL, we muster the last crumbs of courage and stretch out the right foot all the way. Guess what happens? The thing downshifts into seventh. At a ludicrous 5800 rpm, a token 1400 rpm below the redline—ignoring the danger to the driver's ancient heart. At 300 km/h sharp (186 mph), it upshifts into eighth again, still accelerating, but now with the digital speed readout increasing by 1 km/h at a time. (It’s 5:30 a.m., and there's no traffic in sight, so the relative risk is at its lowest.) Theoretically, this ultimate M car is capped at 191 mph. But what looked at first like a barely noticeable kink up ahead in the freeway suddenly felt like A Very Serious Corner. "Never lift"? T-shirts rarely tell the true story, but the rearview mirror always does. And it showed the driver grinning from ear to ear.

The M4 CSL is BMW's answer to the Porsche 911 GT3 and the upcoming Mercedes-AMG C63 S E-Performance. Like the hardest-core 911s, this BMW is strictly rear-wheel drive, and it shows, especially in the wet with Michelin Cup 2 R tires, which should only be legal in sunshine states, not in Bavaria. Compared to this beast, every other M4 is a kitten. For a start, the CSL is a claimed 190 pounds lighter than the base model. You can feel the weight savings, and you can also hear it. Stripped of its back seat, the rear compartment has mutated into a giant boom box. Some 24 pounds of removed sound-deadening material exacerbate the acoustic assault, with the carbon-fiber roof capping the resonance chamber, and the titanium exhaust designed to raise goosebumps. A whopping 53 pounds were saved by replacing the standard seats with carbon-fiber screw-clamps billed as sports buckets. Upping the pain coefficient of the seats is the lowered and stiffened suspension.

The first 20 miles are an I-hate-this-car experience. The 275/35ZR-19 and 285/30ZR-20 tires wriggle along like a quartet of eels. The dampers in Sport Plus are devoted wholly to shock, not absorption. The steering is initially too light to be trusted. And every blip of the throttle strikes your nervous system like lightning. You never relax in the M4 CSL, but the initial angst eventually does recede as curiosity replaces it, followed by the first bouts of let's call it confidence. In Sport, with tire temperatures at last where they should be, we finally dare to dive into the car's deep talent pool and snorkel for all the revelations it harbors. Like more cornering grip than a gallon of Loctite and more poise than such a zero-tolerance setup should be allowed to muster.

The CSL engine is the ultimate variation of the M division’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six. Its output is boosted from the base model's 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet to 543 horsepower and 479 pound-feet. That's the good news. The bad news is the money thing. At a starting price of $140,895, one could buy two base M4s for the cost of a CSL with a few options. And BMW has closed the order books even before the first of the 1000 limited-edition models was delivered to a customer. Scarcity alone should make the striped-and-winged lightweight special an instant blue-chip investment—but is it? Although the CSL is exceptionally involving and outright faster than its siblings by some margin, our estimated zero-to-60 time of 3.3 seconds is eclipsed by the comparatively inconspicuous M4 Competition xDrive, which may be down 40 horsepower but has the same torque and hits 60 in 2.8 seconds, all for about $60K less.

After just over 200 miles, we had to pit for fuel. The mileage? An OPEC-friendly 12 mpg. But what the hell? It finally stopped raining, and the winding route back to Munich promised a familiar Garden of Eden dotted with twisties and free of radar traps. Time to forget the tame preset M1 program and dial in the devil's own M2 composition instead. The preferred algorithm looked like this: engine in Sport Plus, gearbox in the S3 quick-shift setting, chassis in Comfort (compliance is control), DSC in MDM (M Dynamic Mode), steering and brakes in Sport.

Despite certain NVH conspicuities, the CSL drivetrain epitomizes absolute seamlessness. Hard acceleration brutality beams you through time and space, accompanied by a howling, growling, barely filtered soundtrack. The initially explosive, then increasingly progressive forward thrust has its antidote in the simply stupefying carbon-ceramic brakes. There's no doubt about it: This car makes your eyes pop out in one take only to flatten the earlobes in the next. It quite simply redefines the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Source: caranddriver.com

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Friday, 30 September 2022 05:25

An even more powerful BMW XM with 748 HP is coming

BMW has released the first photo of the exclusive Label Red version of the new XM model.

Label Red will make the XM the most powerful hybrid crossover on the market. As the nameplate says, the car will be recognizable by its matte black paint and plenty of red accents that aren't available on the standard BMW XM variant.

BMW has also equipped the XM Label Red with distinctive wheels that combine gloss black spokes with bright red accents.

A photo of the interior is not yet available, but the German manufacturer says that the red and black color combination extends to the interior, along with specific decorative details.

Although BMW has not released all the technical details of the Label Red version, it has been confirmed that the drive system will be improved compared to the regular model, which has 653 hp (480 kW) and 800 Nm.

Thus, this exclusive will have a hybrid drive that produces as much as 748 HP (550 kW) and 997 Nm of maximum torque. Accordingly, better performance compared to the standard version and its 0-100 km/h acceleration of 4.3 s are expected.

The BMW XM Label Red will premiere in 2023, when we will have more information about this car.

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The Bavarian company is no longer wasting time camouflaging the upgraded X6 M during pre-production testing. Of course, they hid the appearance of the front part a bit, but almost the entire rest of the vehicle was now photographed without camouflage during the last evaluations at the Nürburgring.

Obviously, the biggest changes will be at the front of the car, which BMW continues to successfully hide, and expect a new bumper, lights, radiator grille, as well as parts of the engine cover.

It is likely that the main item of this redesign will be new, thinner headlights and a slightly redesigned radiator grille. Below them, there is a bumper that will have lower openings and be much narrower compared to the current model.

As for the appearance of the rear, it is expected that BMW will stay true to the current solution, and that there will not be many changes at the rear. The prototype spotted at the Nürburgring has an identical rear end to the current generation, so the company from Munich did not bother with camouflage. However, it would not be difficult for BMW to install new taillights with similar dimensions but a different design.

Spy photographers were unable to capture the interior, but it appears to be camouflaged as well. This could mean that the new BMW X6 will get the latest iDrive 8 software with a curved screen, a solution we've already seen on the electric iX model. Other changes in the cabin are expected, but still minimal.

As far as the power unit of the BMW X6 M is concerned, no changes are expected. This means that this performance SUV will still be powered by a 4.4-liter engine with 625 hp in the Competition edition. The official premiere of the redesigned BMW X6 is expected soon, but the date is still unknown.

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Hard driving, aggressive tire wear, and a new set of non-OEM run-flats—the text came in from our test fleet manager, Erick Ayapana, describing the need to source new tires for the 228i xDrive because the current ones were worn beyond safe use. I told him I had recently driven the vehicle and hadn't seen any sort of excessive tire wear. He replied with a few photos of metal cords poking through the edges of rubber, which quickly squashed any debate.

 Some inquiring staff members revealed that an enthusiastic colleague in our photography department had worked on sharpening his driving skills while returning from a photo assignment in the mountains near Lake Isabella, California, and quickly found the end of the tread life on the OEM Bridgestone Turanzas. Although the tires wore out much sooner than anticipated, we thought replacing them would be a straightforward exercise. We were wrong. Pandemic-induced tire shortages are now commonplace across the globe, and the Turanzas were unavailable from every site we searched. Therefore, we dialed up Tire Rack for professional guidance and asked them to suggest a suitable alternative.

 The rep at Tire Rack suggested a tire from Bridgestone's Driveguard series. This series offers the benefit of pressure loss protection in case of a puncture for vehicles that didn't come with OEM run-flats when sold new. And although the 228i xDrive didn't come with run-flats, the supply shortage in its OEM tire meant switching to a Driveguard was a solid choice.


With the new tires mounted, we took the 228i xDrive to our test track to see if the new rubber gained us any advantage. Indeed, with the new Driveguards installed, we shaved 0.5 second off the 228i xDrive's figure-eight lap time, although we saw 5 feet added to the vehicle's 60-0 braking distance. Some give and take there, but overall they seem like a fine replacement for the unavailable OEM rubber. If there's more to tell, we'll let you know in a future update.

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Tuesday, 01 February 2022 10:30

Our 2022 BMW M3 Is the Perfect Spec


We take this omission seriously. Plus, internet points matter less to us than driving satisfaction, so our long-term M3 has a mere 473 horsepower, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. So far, we think it's the right one to live with for the next 40,000 miles.

Say what you will about the M3's novelty-sized snout, we think the optional Isle of Man Green Metallic paint ($550) makes up for it. Paired with the M Shadowline black inlay in the front headlights ($300) and 18-inch wheels, the exterior has the kind of presence that elicits compliments from folks in parking lots.

2022 bmw m3
Inside, the Silverstone and Black Leather ($2550) and Individual Aluminum trim ($1080) add a pleasing contrast. We also opted for the $1550 Executive Package that bundles the necessary heated steering wheel and head-up display with the power trunk and the debatable gesture control. The latter allows you to do things like change the volume by spinning your finger in front of the touchscreen—it was one of the first features we disabled.

The $900 M Drive Professional option includes a track mode setting, 10-stage traction control (yes, 10), a feature that scores your drifts, and lap-timer functionality that works via an app on your phone. All in, our M3 came to $77,825.

2022 bmw m3
The M3's break-in process asked us to keep the engine speed varied, but not to exceed 5500 rpm or 106 mph for the first 1200 miles. After that, it was time for a complimentary service visit for an inspection and new rear differential fluid, fresh engine oil, and an oil filter replacement.

Between that service and the 3100-mile mark, the owner's manual advised, "Engine and road speed can gradually be increased to a constant speed of 137 mph," but to "use the maximum speed of 155 mph only briefly, for instance when passing." Check.

2022 bmw m3
Despite these draconian restrictions, we've found plenty to enjoy in our M3. The engine feels powerful, with a brawny midrange that's satisfying to explore on freeway onramps. During testing, our M3 reached 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and vanquished the quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds at 117 mph. That's right on the heels of our test results for the standard M4, which is slightly lighter, and roughly half a second slower than the automatic-only M3 Competition.

The manual's short gearing means the engine spins at around 3000 rpm in sixth at freeway speeds, which has made some staffers wonder if there was a seventh gear. On the other hand, most passing maneuvers don't require a downshift—even those at less than 155 mph.

2022 bmw m3
The steering received a few complaints for being overly sensitive and hyperactive at low speeds. Fortunately, it gets better as you go faster. The Continental SportContact 6 tires wrapped around our M3's 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels produced 1.02 g on our skidpad and a 70-to-zero-mph braking distance of 160 feet. That skidpad result is just behind the figure for the standard M4, which wore Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. We'll have to wait to draw comparisons between braking performances, as it was 26 degrees when we tested our M3.

The falling temperatures necessitated a set of winter wheels and tires. Alas, we were unable to find a set in the aftermarket, so we went directly through BMW. The winter package included four 19-inch wheels and a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 tires for a hefty $3710.


2022 bmw m3

Considering the car's power, rear-wheel drive, and sensitive steering, the package has fared well. We've enjoyed the driving satisfaction that is inherent in the M3 name—especially one with a manual transmission. The automatic-only Competition may be quicker, but we're happy with our choice so far. We'll see how the luster lasts over the course of 40,000 miles.

Months in Fleet: 4 months Current Mileage: 3332 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 19 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.6 gal Observed Fuel Range: 290 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0


2022 BMW M3
Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Base/As Tested: $70,895/$77,825
Options: Silverstone and Black Leather interior, $2550; Executive package (power tailgate, gesture control, head-up display, heated steering wheel), $1550

twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 183 in3, 2993 cm3
Power: 473 hp @ 6250 rpm
Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 2650 rpm

6-speed manual

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.0-in vented, cross-drilled disc/14.6-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Continental SportContact 6
F: 275/40ZR-19 (103Y) ★
R: 285/35ZR-19 (103Y) ★

Wheelbase: 112.5 in
Length: 189.1 in
Width: 74.3 in
Height: 56.4 in
Passenger Volume: 98 ft3
Trunk Volume: 13 ft3
Curb Weight: 3789 lb

60 mph: 3.9 sec
100 mph: 9.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.2 sec @ 117 mph
130 mph: 15.4 sec
150 mph: 22.3 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 7.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 156 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 318 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.02 g

Observed: 19 mpg
Unscheduled Oil Additions: 0 qt

4 years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper
4 years/50,000 miles powertrain
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection
4 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance
3 years/36,000 miles scheduled maintenance


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It's been a long time coming, but BMW has now finally begun kicking the combustion engines out of the core of its model range. While this new i4 might not quite be the electric 3-series some of you are probably crying out for, being based on the same body-in-white as the 4-series Gran Coupe means you get a similar degree of passenger practicality alongside a swoopier roofline and a hatchback tailgate.

What's more, BMW has come in swinging with a two-pronged attack. Do you want properly good range or do you want potent performance? The i4, in its two current specifications, can provide either. There's the eDrive40 (pictured in white), with one motor and rear-wheel drive, developing 335bhp and a claimed range of 367 miles. Or there's the mighty M50 (pictured in grey), a 537bhp twin-motor all-wheel drive machine that also happens to be the first ever all-electric M-car.

i4 40 front static

Does the i4 use the same technology as the iX?

The i4 does without the fancy part-carbon construction of the iX, but takes full advantage of all the same Gen5 BMW electric drive tech.

This means clever electromagnet motors and the latest, high-density batteries, working together with highly integrated control systems that cover everything from the way the electric power is deployed across both axles (regarding the all-wheel drive i4 M50) to the manner the car is brought to a stop, using a seamless combination of recuperation and friction braking.

Both versions of the i4 have the same size battery pack at 83.9kWh (or 80.7kWh net) – smaller than the iX – with the eDrive40 claiming up to 367 miles, or 316 miles on a charge for the M50. During our tests with both versions – the best range prediction we saw was around 320 miles on the eDrive40 and 280 miles with the M50.

i4 interior

But the i4's also circa-300kg lighter than the iX, can be charged at up to 205kW DC – giving you an 80% boost in as little as 31 minutes (though good luck finding a charger quite that juicy in the UK) – and has slightly more power and torque. You'll also note the same dual-screen BMW Curved Display setup as the iX inside – with the same BMW Operating System 8 iDrive infotainment, augmented nav and situational awareness.

Best of all, the i4 is considerably cheaper than the iX. And though that still means handing over at least £52k for an eDrive40 or £64k for the M50, even that represents at least a significant saving over the iX thus far. Given a lot of the technology is the same, the i4 justifies itself somewhat even before you press the start button.

And when you do press the start button?

Regardless of which i4 you pick, it's a potent machine. Just because the eDrive40 only has one e-motor doesn't mean it plays a poorly second fiddle to the M50 here. While we're wowed by the immense performance on offer of the M-badged version, the eDrive40 is still pretty sprightly – keeping toe-to-toe with a stock Tesla Model 3.

i4 m50 rear tracking

And though the i4 M50 is more powerful than an M4 – and certainly more muscular, with a stonking 586lb ft available instantly – it's also around 300kg heavier than it. So, while it easily matches the (503bhp, 479lb ft) M4 Competition's 3.9sec 0-62mph time, visually and dynamically it's more of an M Performance model than a full-blown M3 replacement.

So, what's the i4 like to drive?

Generally? It's comprehensively impressive, and quite the all-rounder. Both are potent – regardless of setting, stab the accelerator and the i4 reacts with the kind of instant thrust that makes you think of computer games. There's a Hans Zimmer-developed sountrack to accompany it in Comfort and Sport mode (some of the CAR team like it, other's don't – you can turn it off if you're that way inclined).

i4 40 side pan

Interestingly, you don't get the full 537bhp and 586lb ft all the time in the M50 version – default output is a mere 476hp and 538lb ft, with the full whack only unlocked using the Sport Boost function that features as an add-on to the regular Sport Mode. When you do stamp on the throttle here, the M50's nose points at the sky. But BMW claims it's simply due to the sheer amount of torque the M50 is deploying with such little fanfare – and equally nothing to do with the back of the car being equipped with air springs instead of the conventional steel coils that are still used at the front.

It's quite unusual to see that combination on a performance car – more typically rear air is use for self-levelling on fancy estates. Together with the VDC, however, it gives the i4 M50 really superb level of comfort, even if you insist on travelling everywhere in Sport. BMW's nailed the ride quality here – treading the fine balance between cossetting comfort and sharp body control.


Push hard in both versions of the i4 and different personality traits shine through. We'd argue the eDrive40 is the more 'fun' car here, despite being less powerful; it's rear-drive only, remember, so it exhibits those most classic of BMW traits – playfulness at the limit and a tail end that can be egged on to pivot just a little beyond your steering angle. It's quite the hoot.

The M50, meanwhile is a little blunter in its delivery. Traction is still otherwise immense, and you can still make it dance as long as you're not being utterly ham-fisted with the steering, but it does err on the side of understeer if you drive hard into corners. And, if you floor it on a corner exit, the traction control is the king of buzzkill, flashing at you from the instruments while what feels like almost all of the power being snatched out of your hands. Or right foot, we suppose.

BMW i4 electric car: verdict

In most respects, the i4 is just as much of a cutting-edge electric car experience as the iX, wrapped up in much less controversial and conventional packaging.

It's a car that you warm to as time goes on, rather than instantly enjoy. And, if you were expecting a full-fat M car in the M50 version, it just ain't it – too rounded, polite and understeery for that honour. If we had to choose, we'd go for the eDrive40 version – the range is longer, it feels about 80 per cent as quick as the M50, is more playful and is abour £10k cheaper.

But regardless of which one you do end up with, there are still so many trad BMW traits in here: alert steering, impressive ride and handling balance, a clean, well-built and user-friendly interior and plenty of power being just some of them. While a Tesla Model 3 is an on-trend show-stopper, the i4 proves BMW knows what it's doing when it comes to electric cars.


Price when new: £63,905
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 80.7kWh battery (net), twin e-motors, 476hp (537bhp on boost), 538lb ft (586lb ft on boost)
Transmission: Single-speed transmission, all-wheel drive
Performance: 3.9sec 0-62mph, 140mph (limited), 318-mile range (WLTP), 0g/km CO2
Weight / material: 2215kg/aluminium and steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4783/1852/1448


Published in BMW
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