Displaying items by tag: BMW

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.

https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2020-bmw-2-series-gran-coupe-long-term-update
Published in BMW
Tagged under
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 11:30

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

Specifications

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

PRICE
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

ENGINE
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

TRANSMISSION
6-speed manual

CHASSIS
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) ★

DIMENSIONS
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

C/D TEST RESULTS: NEW
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

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
Unscheduled Oil Additions: 0 qt

WARRANTY
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

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a38904698/2022-bmw-m3-reliability-maintenance/

Published in BMW
Tagged under
 

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.

Specs

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

https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/bmw/i4-ev/

Published in BMW
Monday, 10 January 2022 08:35

New BMW M2 without optional xDrive drive

According to some news, the second generation of BMW's M2 Coupe (marked G87) will go into production in December this year.

As things stand now, the new M2 Coupe will have a 3.0-liter six-cylinder twin-turbo engine, a standard manual or optional 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive only.

This means that the new M2 will not be available with the xDrive all-wheel drive option as mentioned in some rumors.

One of the reasons is weight. The new Series 2 is already heavier than a car of this size should be, so the BMW M didn’t want to add weight to the car.

Another reason is that the BMW M does not want the M2 to affect sales of the M4, and vice versa. If the M2 were offered with xDrive, it could be too similar to the M4 xDrive, which would then cause a cannibalization of sales, one way or another.

In addition, BMW wants the next-generation M2 to be the right car for the driver, without the burden of four-wheel drive.

Also, the new BMW M2 Coupe will have a more aggressive aero body package, optional carbon fiber roof, M wheels (19 and 20 inches), taillights with OLED graphics, sports exhaust system, sports suspension, electronically controlled M differential, stronger brakes, sports seats and sports steering wheel.

Production of the new M2 will take place at BMW’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico, along with the new Series 2 Coupe.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Sunday, 09 January 2022 16:28

BMW iX review (2021)

 PROS

  • State of the art purpose-built electric car from BMW
  • Impressive to drive with outstanding comfort and refinement
  • Eye-catching interior, packed with user-friendly technology

 CONS

  • Exterior design takes some getting used to
  • Not all of the driver assistance tech works flawlessly
  • Cheaper, more conventional BMW electric cars on the way
 

The BMW iX is a new purpose-built luxury electric car, and the flagship for BMW’s latest electric vehicle technology. It combines controversial exterior looks with a plush, ‘lounge-style’ interior and a seriously impressive driving experience – as well as offering a large number of modern safety and driving aids.

Rivals include the Audi E-Tron, Mercedes-Benz EQC and Tesla Model X.

Is the BMW iX any good?

If you’re in the market for a premium electric car and like to make a striking impression, BMW has definitely got you covered. Although you will also need to spend quite a lot of money. Two versions are available to buy now – iX xDrive40 and iX xDrive 50 – with an M-performance model badged xDrive M60 to follow in summer 2022.

At this stage, we’ve only driven the xDrive50 model, which commands an eye-watering £93,905 asking price in more basic Sport specification, rising to £96,905 for the fancier M Sport variant.

For that you get BMW Gen5 – fifth generation – electric motor and battery technology, and an ‘intelligent material mix’ structure that incorporates carbonfibre, aluminium and high-strength steel. For the xDrive 50, this results in the fairly spectacular combination of 523hp and 765Nm with a claimed WLTP driving range of 380 miles per charge.

BMW iX review (2021) profile view, driving
 

Living up to this promise, the iX is fast, comfortable, refined and outstandingly nimble for something that weighs over 2.5 tonnes and is similarly proportioned to a BMW X5 SUV. It also seems well able to deliver the on-paper driving range – though this will depend considerably on how much use you make of the available performance.

Other attention-grabbing features include a new generation of iDrive infotainment system (BMW Operating System 8) and a set of driver assistance features that include augmented-reality navigation, customisable digital and head-up displays, and adaptive brake recuperation that works superbly.

What about the way it looks?

BMW has never been a brand for building particularly beautiful cars, but there are some truly unusual angles and surfaces here. However, we would argue that it looks better in real life than it does in the pictures.

What’s more, not only is it unlikely to be mistaken for anything else – probably important for the kind of buyer who’s happy to drop nearly £100k on a BMW electric car – the design has been massaged to provide excellent aerodynamics.

This helps the iX drive faster and further, by allowing it to cut through the air more cleanly.

BMW iX review (2021) exterior view, grille
 

What’s it like inside?

The interior of the iX is just as unusual as the exterior – though not in such a controversial way. Here you’ll find the modern beauty of a contemporary luxury hotel room, rather than the edgy confrontation of modern art.

That’s not to say it will appeal to everyone. The slice of curving screen across the dashboard – actually two screens combined – is much as we’re coming to expect from EV interior design, while the latest iDrive software gives you comprehensive control in a reasonably instinctive manner. But the big, quilted seats are dramatic, the abrupt transition between surfaces and materials even more so, and the use of faceted crystal for some of the controls bordering on the gauche. The hexagonal steering wheel isn’t as odd to use as you might think, though.

Once again, this all helps the iX stand out against its rivals. It’s also very roomy inside, with lots of head and leg room front and rear. While there is a large battery pack under your feet, the floor doesn’t feel unnecessarily high.

BMW iX review (2021) interior view
 

What’s it like to drive?

BMW has a reputation to uphold for exceptional driving dynamics as we move further and further into the age of electric cars, and the iX certainly isn’t going to do that reputation any damage.

Built around BMW’s first bespoke electric vehicle platform since the i3 city car, it has a very stiff bodyshell, which is then further reinforced by the large battery pack bolted to the underside. Being so stiff is a real benefit to every area of the car, as it allows the suspension to work more effectively.

The battery pack is heavy. In the xDrive50 model it contains an enormous 111.5kWh of electricity storage and weighs around 650kg. Because this weight is concentrated so low in the chassis, it not only gives the iX lots of extra strength, it also lowers the centre of gravity – which is further good news for stability when driving round corners.

Adding another touch of luxury class, the iX uses variable air suspension rather than steel springs.

BMW iX review (2021) exterior view, cornering

Combine all of the above, and you get a large car that manages to pull off the magic trick of riding bumpy surfaces brilliantly – despite 21-inch alloy wheels as standard – while also cornering with agility and precision on the twistiest of mountain roads. It leans a bit when really pressing on, but this only seems to highlight the depths of talent to the chassis tuning, allowing you to enjoy the process of handling it more.

Grip, meanwhile, isn’t an issue. The iX has two electric motors – one on each axle, making this the first BMW with electric all-wheel drive – and new control components mean that power can be measured out between them with exceptional speed. If one end of the car loses traction, the other compensates so swiftly the process is practically imperceptible.

Outright performance is mighty. The benchmark 0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds, but more significantly, BMW has engineered the electric motors to maintain their maximum power and torque at higher rpm. Overtaking punch is really impressive and the xDrive will hit and maintain its electronically limited 124mph top speed with ease (on derestricted autobahns in Germany).

What many owners will perhaps appreciate more, however, is the refinement. This is a very quiet car inside, even when travelling very quickly. BMW has taken the trouble to commission Oscar-winning movie composer Hans Zimmer to provide an electronic soundtrack that syncs beautifully with the way the car is being driven – but with this switched off, something that’s easily done via the infotainment system, the iX just whispers its way through the air.

What driver aids are available?

The iX is available with more driver assistance systems than BMW has ever offered before. Many of these will be familiar from other modern vehicles, but of particular interest are the elements that best show off the way the iX is properly aware of its surroundings.

For instance, it will monitor traffic lights to prompt you when they turn green. The head-up display will warn you if there are ‘dangerous’ bends ahead. The sat-nav can overlay direction information on a camera feed from the front of the car.

Our favourite example, however, is the ‘adaptive’ brake recuperation. This uses navigation and sensor data to vary the amount of braking effect you get from the motors whenever you release the accelerator – which sounds unnerving and complicated yet works remarkably intuitively. It will even allow the iX to coast at high speeds if that’s most efficient.

BMW iX review (2021) interior view, transmission selector

Engage the full B-mode, and you can drive almost exclusively without touching the brake pedal, as the motors will do the braking for you in all but extreme circumstances. And in exemplary fashion.

Better still, because of another integrated control unit balancing the effort between motor and traditional friction braking, when you do use the brake pedal, the feel and performance remains consistent at all times. Something that few other electric vehicles manage to pull off.

How long does it take to charge?

With 195kW fast-charging capability, the xDrive50 can be topped up with 93 miles of additional range in 10 minutes – or go from 10% to 80% in 35 minutes.

But this relies on very fast and comparatively expensive DC public chargers – the vast capacity of the battery pack means that you’ll need to allow 16 hours for 100% on a single-phase 7kW AC wallbox of the type most commonly found at UK homes and offices.

What different models and trims are available?

The iX is currently available in two versions: the xDrive40 priced from £69,905 and the xDrive50 priced from £93,905.

We’ve covered the stats of the xDrive50 in detail above. The xDrive40 produces 326hp and 630Nm of torque, does 0-62mph in 6.1sec, and has the same 124mph top speed; WLTP driving range is 257 miles.

Both versions are available in Sport and M Sport trim levels.

Standard equipment highlights for the iX Sport include an 18-speaker harmon/kardon hi-fi system, 21-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, four-zone climate control and a substantial number of driver assistance systems.

The upgrade to iX M Sport – which costs an extra £3,000 – adds a styling package, bigger brakes, dark headlight glass and anthracite roof lining.

A car like this never has a short options list, and among the add-ons for the standard models are massaging front seats, heated steering wheel and other cabin surfaces, Bowers and Wilkins hi-fi upgrade, ‘Skylounge’ panoramic roof, Laserlight headlights, and an interior camera that can be used for security and fun.

High-performance BMW iX M60 on sale in summer 2022 

In summer 2022 an M-performance model called the iX xDrive M60 joins the range. Power output for this is now confirmed at a staggering 619hp combined with a huge 1,100Nm peak torque, delivering 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

BMW iX M60, front view, grey

Maximum claimed WLTP driving range is equally impressive at 357 miles per charge, though it needs to impress, given pricing starts at £111,905.

For the money you also get bespoke BMW M suspension tuning, 22-inch alloy wheels, soft-close doors, powerful BMW Laserlights instead of regular LED headlights, and a technology suite that includes an interior camera, Bowers & Wilkins hi-fi, massaging front seats, heated everything, and BMW Parking Assistant Professional.

What else should I know?

The built-in connectivity means BMW will offer new features and allow customers to pay for upgrades to their iX via over-the-air updates. Among the things coming this way are an automated parking system that allows the car to learn and self-drive certain short-distance manoeuvres, which you’ll then be able to control from outside the car using your phone.

A heated element in the front grille area ensures all of the cameras and sensors built into the nose will still work when it’s snowing. BMW has put a lot of thought into this car.

BMW iX review (2021) rear view
 
Should you buy one?

If you want a stand-out, high-price, high-quality electric car, close to the cutting edge of the current state of battery electric vehicle technology then the BMW iX could well be for you. The look of the thing is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows, but as a statement-maker that may be exactly what you’re looking for anyway.

Regardless, the interior is inviting, and the impressive blend of performance and serenity achieved by the driving experience means that even the most doubtful potential customer should at least take an iX for a test drive.

What we like

We can think of few other cars that are capable of providing such comprehensive ride comfort in combination with such cornering athleticism. The iX is at once a limousine and a creditable substitute for a sportscar – all while producing zero emissions in motion, thanks to its electric drive system.

That electric drive not only gives awesome performance, but also does things an ordinary combustion car can’t – most notably the adaptive recuperation that practically makes the brake pedal a thing of the past. Traction is mega as well, thanks to the twin-motor setup.

The technology used throughout – from the materials it’s built from to the latest iDrive – matches the iX’s price tag, while the refinement and the luxury interior put some proper icing on what is a pretty fancy automotive cake.

What we don’t like

Looks are subjective, so we’ll pass over that.

More of a concern is that not all of the driver assistance systems work consistently. With everything switched on, the iX can theoretically accelerate up to speed limits automatically as well as slow down for hazards and ‘assist’ through turns (though this relies on you touching the steering wheel – it is not a fully autonomous car). However, we found many of these facilities unreliable in action, and certainly would caution against relying on them too heavily.

Beyond this, most of the issues with the iX are the same you’ll face with any electric car – the classic being the way charging it up takes longer than filling a fuel tank. But as we all know there are means of coping with these things, and it’s getting easier and easier to live with an EV all the time.

(https://www.parkers.co.uk/bmw/ix/review/)

Published in BMW

The largest consumer electronics fair in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), will be held from January 5 to 8 next year in Las Vegas.

In addition to presenting their new electric SUV model iX M60, BMW leaders also announced the presentation of technology that will change the exterior color of the vehicle by pressing a switch in the cabin, reports Jutarnji.hr.

In a brief statement, BMW said it would 'make the first demonstration at CES of technology that changes the exterior color of a vehicle by pressing a switch'.

For now, the Bavarians are not revealing what exactly it is about and how they intend to harmonize the change of body colors with the law, but they announce that it is not about shades but about a complete change of car color.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under

 

The reveal of the all-new, eighth generation of the BMW 5-Series is scheduled for 2023, but sightings of camouflaged prototypes of the premium sedan combined with reports from insider sources have painted a pretty clear picture of what to expect. Additionally, a speculative rendering from Magnus.Concepts based on the prototypes give us a glimpse of what the upcoming 5er could look like.

The current 5-Series was unveiled in 2016 and received a facelift in 2020, so it is natural for a clean-sheet design to follow in 2023. The new generation will be based on the CLAR platform and, true to the “Power of Choice” strategy of the Bavarian automaker, will be offered in petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric variants, with the latter expected to adopt the i5 moniker.

Plug-in hybrid prototypes of the 5-Series were spied testing on the roads of Munich, revealing a dynamic silhouette with traditional three-box proportions. The body is more sculpted compared to the current model while retaining the famous Hofmeister kink that notoriously disappeared from the 4-Series. At the front, there is a pair of aggressive headlights and a slightly larger kidney grille. At the back, we have a more coupe-style roofline and thinner taillights likely connected by an LED strip.

Inside, we expect to see the Curved Display already found on the iX combining a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with a 14.9-inch infotainment system. It will run the new BMW Operating System 8 with advanced connectivity features and all the latest ADAS offering semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

The engine range will feature updated versions of the current four- and six-cylinder units with mild-hybrid technology for improved efficiency. The plug-in hybrid variants will combine the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with one or two electric motors, producing up to 500 hp (373 kW / 507 PS). Finally, the first electrified full-blown M car that is set to replace the M5 will reportedly use a plug-in hybrid combining the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with electric motors, allowing for outputs close to 750 hp (559 kW / 760 PS) and supercar-rivaling acceleration figures.

As for the fully-electric BMW i5, it will be distinguished by other variants from the different grille, blue accents on the intakes, aerodynamic wheel designs, and the omission of the exhaust pipes. The base spec is more likely to be RWD with a single electric motor at the rear axle producing around 300 hp (224 kW / 304 PS) and a 70 kWh battery pack borrowed from the iX SUV. The more powerful xDrive50 could have two electric motors (one on every axle) producing more than 500 hp (373 kW / 507 PS), in combination with a larger 100 kWh battery offering 600 km (373 miles) of WLTP range. There are also reports of an M-rivaling i5 with up to 800 hp (597 kW / 811 PS), but we’d take that one with the proverbial grain of salt.

The fully electric sedan will be a direct competitor to the Mercedes-Benz EQE that was unveiled recently in Munich, the upcoming Audi A6 e-tron, and the next-generation Tesla Model S.

While BMW hasn’t confirmed it yet, a 5-Series Touring is likely to follow the four-door sedan offering more cargo room and extra practicality. We will have more information on the details as we inch closer to the 2023 release date of the 5-Series, which will most definitely be the last one to get ICE-powered variants before BMW’s range becomes 100 percent electric.

(https://www.carscoops.com/2021/09/here-is-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-2024-bmw-5-series/)

Published in BMW
Tagged under
Friday, 22 October 2021 08:32

Well-groomed BMW M135i

The Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 are already on the market, Mercedes-AMG is preparing an improved A35, and BMW is responding with a few changes to its compact powerful hatchback.

The Series 1 has unfortunately not yet undergone full M treatment, but the closest to it is certainly the M135i xDrive which comes with a series of mechanical improvements three years after the appearance of the “original” model.

It should be emphasized that this is not a redesign, ie Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) in BMW's vocabulary, but a subtle evolution of the most powerful version of the Series 1. Recalibrated springs and shock absorbers improve the car's behavior on the road, especially in corners. Engineers also adjusted the rear and control levers on the rear axle, and the front axle got a new hydraulic carrier. The slope is increased in order to better absorb the forces created by passing through the curves.

The M135i xDrive retained a limited-slip mechanical differential integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the same remained the four-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine, which develops 302hp and 450Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four 18-inch wheels, and a 19-inch set is optionally available.

BMW has changed the artificial sound of the engine that is emitted into the cabin via speakers. However, enthusiasts do not want it at all.

The Bavarian company now offers Individual colors for the standard Series 1, so it makes sense that the M135i xDrive also benefited by expanding the palette. In the photos, the car is painted in Sao Paulo yellow, and others are available, such as Frozen Pure gray and Frozen orange.

 

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Wednesday, 13 October 2021 08:23

BMW i4 hatchback review

"BMW's first all-electric compact executive model has arrived to challenge the Tesla Model 3" 

Pros

  • Classy interior
  • Great handling
  • 300-plus mile range

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No front boot
  • Confusing infotainment

The BMW i4 is a vital new model for the brand because it represents the first all-electric model intended to win over buyers of its core BMW 3 Series and BMW 4 Series models. Not only that but it also locks horns with the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, and gives BMW a headstart on Mercedes in the compact executive electric car class.

Most similar in proportions to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the i4 gets four doors and a hatchback but still looks low and sporty. In M Sport and M50 guise, it's also fairly muscular, with jutting bumpers, deep side skirts and a rear bumper diffuser in place of tailpipes.

 

At launch, there's eDrive40 and M50 versions that rival the Model 3 Long Range and Performance models respectively. The first gets a single 335bhp motor and rear-wheel drive, along with an 81kWh battery. It has a range of up to 367 miles and gets from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. The high-performance M50 is the first electric BMW to get attention from BMW’s M division and gets another electric motor for the front wheels, for 537bhp. This reduces range to 316 miles but also cuts 0-62mph to 3.9 seconds.

 
There's also the small matter of the i4's chassis, which could be one of the main selling points for buyers. Despite the car’s weight, a low centre of gravity, wide axles and BMW's suspension engineering means it certainly handles incisively, making it one of the best electric cars for enthusiast drivers we've tried so far. The steering isn't bristling with feel but has excellent precision and a natural weight to it.

While the basic interior design is similar to the 3 and 4 Series, there's also a big upgrade for the infotainment setup, which now runs the latest iDrive 8 software. There's a new seamless curved display for the instruments and infotainment, along with advances like a 5G connection, augmented reality navigation and an improved voice assistant.

Quality is good, with plenty of upmarket materials, and the i4 is very refined, which helps on long drives. Rear space isn't quite on a par with the 4 Series Gran Coupe because the battery eats into the footwell but the i4's boot is only 10 litres smaller.

The BMW i4 is a long-awaited arrival and demonstrates what’s required to fend off arrivals from relative newcomers to the market like Tesla. The car offers great handling, superb refinement and an impressive interior combined with a competitive range and plenty of performance. 

MPG, running costs & CO2

 The BMW i4 can top 300 miles and offers fast 200kW public charging

BMW is clearly taking aim at the Tesla Model 3 and the manufacturer's 81kWh battery and fifth-generation eDrive electric motors deliver the goods - on paper at least. The rear-wheel drive eDrive40 can manage an impressive range of up to 367 miles, compared with 360 miles for the Model 3 Long Range. 

 
With an extra motor and a lot more power, the i4 M50 sees this drop to 316 miles, which is still an impressive figure. We began our test drive with 90% charge, giving an indicated range of 232 miles. After 91 miles of mixed driving, the battery dropped to 44% with 112 miles remaining. 
 

Find a rapid 200kW DC charger and the battery can be replenished from 10-80% in 31 minutes. A home wallbox takes around 13 hours to charge the battery from empty to 100%. A home charging cable, public charging cable and BMW Charging Card for use on the public network are included with the car. The latter includes free charging for the first 12 months.

Engines, drive & performance

 BMW has spent countless hours ensuring the i4 lives up to the brand’s reputation for sharp handling

A lot is expected of the i4 because not only is it the manufacturer's most focused electric car to date but it's essentially a battery-powered version of its legendary 3 and 4 Series models. As a result, BMW clearly knew the car had to be good to drive.

 
Despite the car’s weight (over two tonnes), the weight distribution is 50:50 and the i4's battery has given it a very low centre of gravity. The axles have been widened compared with the 3 Series too. The result is that the i4 instantly feels lighter than anticipated, staying flat in corners and feeling well balanced.

The steering is a key ingredient, as it's both precise and natural enough to allow the driver to accurately place the car and build confidence in the i4. It isn't especially communicative, however, so it can be tricky to judge exactly how much grip there is at the front tyres.

So far, we've driven the M50, with 537bhp thanks to front and rear electric motors. It's enough thrust to get the i4 from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, and under full power the M50 hunkers down on its wheels and shoots forwards with startling pace. With no mechanical limited-slip differential, the car can start to lose its composure if you accelerate too aggressively out of a slow corner, so it responds better to a more relaxed approach.

While the M50 will give a BMW M4 a run for its money, at least in a straight line, most buyers will be more than satisfied with the eDrive40 model. With a single motor and rear-wheel drive, it has 335bhp and gets from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.      

Interior & comfort

 Solid and classy with an impressive but slightly busy infotainment system

The air suspension fitted in the M50 provides a smooth ride in its Comfort setting and refinement is excellent. Near-silent electric motors and an impressive lack of wind and tyre noise make the i4 a very relaxing car, even at motorway speeds.

 
The interior layout won't look too unfamiliar to 3 Series and 4 Series owners, and it has the same excellent build quality, with brushed metal finishes, leather and carbon fibre trim in our test car. The big change is the infotainment setup, which features a sweeping display combining a 12.3-inch instrument panel and 14.9-inch media screen, floating above the dash. 

These are powered by the brand's latest iDrive 8 software, with new tech including 5G connectivity, augmented reality sat-nav and an Intelligent Personal Assistant. Its graphics are very sharp and lots of processing power means it responds quickly but we found the array of sub-menus tricky to navigate while driving.

The eDrive40 is offered in Sport and M Sport trims, with the entry-level version getting 18-inch aerodynamic wheels, black exterior trim and folding door mirrors. Inside, BMW's Live Cockpit Professional is standard, along with climate control and heated front seats. M Sport adds a sports steering wheel, a more aggressive body kit, aluminium interior trim and Alcantara Sensatec upholstery. The range-topping M50 has 19-inch alloy wheels, black leather upholstery, electrically adjusting and memory seats, privacy glass, wireless phone charging and a head-up display.

Practicality & boot space

 Plenty of space for most situations but lacks a front storage compart

The i4 is around the same size as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe but its all-electric nature does mean there are some differences inside. Front passengers can get nice and low, giving the car a sporty feel, but the floor-mounted battery means there isn't as much footwell space for rear passengers. Knee room still isn't too bad for taller passengers but they may find it uncomfortable for long trips. 

Boot capacity impresses, with 470 litres of volume that's just 10 litres down on the 4 Series Gran Coupe. The Polestar 2 has a smaller 405-litre boot but unlike the i4 it also has a 35-litre 'frunk' under the bonnet. Both the i4 and the Polestar 2 have a hatchback opening, making it easier to load bulky items than the boot lid of the Tesla Model 3.

Reliability & safety

 BMW has a history of EV manufacturing and a great safety record

While BMW might not be such an obvious player in the electric car market, it has been building EVs and hybrid models for quite a number of years, including the BMW i3 which launched in 2013. The fact its eDrive electric technology is now its fifth generation should prove reassuring for buyers and we expect the car to prove extremely robust. BMW may even be hoping its EVs will give its reputation a boost, as it currently sits in 21st place out of 29 manufacturers in our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.

The i4 is available with around 40 driver assistance features to make it safer and easier to drive and park. It's fitted with a reversing camera and Parking Assistant as standard, while the optional Driving Assistant Professional adds adaptive cruise control that can stop and start the car in heavy traffic. It can also help steer the car in its lane, reduce the likelihood of side and rear collisions and help prevent accidental speeding.

(https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/bmw/i4)

Published in BMW

BMW’s newest SUV previews our and its electric future.

BMW is serious about going green. Forget about concept cars; starting in 2025 all BMWs will ride on what's for now called the Neue Klasse platform, a single electric vehicle architecture to rule them all. Board member and development CTO Frank Weber called the Neue Klasse "new new" and went on to describe it as "the most radical departure BMW has ever done." Until that time, the Bavarian automotive giant is launching all sorts of EVs on various other platforms, including the i4, an electric 5 Series presumably named i5, an i7, as well as a small SUV that will most likely be called the iX1. BMW already sells an electric X3 named—you guessed it—iX3, but not here in the U.S. However, the brand's most ambitious EV to date is the new iX. I just spent a day in the X5-sized electric SUV, specifically the U.S.-bound AWD 2022 iX xDrive50. How is it? Keep reading. 

From a platform point of view, the iX rides on a highly modified version of BMW's CLAR platform. CLAR underpins the majority of BMW's lineup, including the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 Series, as well as the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 SUVs. The Z4 and Toyota Supra, too. Perhaps a better way of explaining the iX's architecture is to say that it rides on a new high-strength steel, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, and aluminum spaceframe platform, but one that relies heavily on CLAR componentry. Like suspension pieces, for instance. This allows the iX to be built alongside its gasoline-powered siblings at BMW's massive Dingolfing factory. As for the competition, there hardly is any. Both archrivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz have yet to build electric midsize SUVs. Jaguar does have the slow selling I-Pace, though its short range knocks it from most people's short lists. The Cadillac Lyriq will be a worthy opponent once it shows up in a year or so. That leaves the nearly $100K Tesla Model X, which makes the $84,195 iX seem like a solid deal.

What Makes The IX?

Powering the xDrive50 are two motors, one per axle, that combined spin out 516 horsepower and 564 lb-ft of torque. Stout numbers, no doubt, though come January, the even more powerful iX M60 bows with over 600 horsepower. Those 516 ponies puts the iX just below the output the current X5 M50i gets from its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, though the gas-powered X5 makes slightly less torque (553 lb-ft). BMW wants to show consumers there's no performance hit for choosing an EV, at least on paper. We haven't tested or weighed the iX yet, though the EV is much heavier. BMW is quoting an EU-specified curb weight of nearly 5,700 pounds.

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 07
 Why so heavy? Batteries. Until something better comes along, electric cars, trucks, and SUVs will be using lithium-ion batteries, and, like bricks, they're heavy. At 105 kWh of usable capacity, the bmw ix has a fairly large battery, too. To give you some perspective, the Tesla Model S and X both have 100-kWh packs, whereas the Lucid Air uses a 113-kWh battery pack. In terms of range, before I set off with a 96 percent state of charge, the iX was telling me I had 351 miles (565 km) to go. That's a predictive range, based on several factors, such as driver (or, in my case, previous driver) behavior. BMW claims 380 miles of range on the EU cycle, and that will probably drop to around 300 miles on the EPA cycle. One thing that will upset existing EV fans more than new converts: There is no frunk. None at all. Seems like a mistake.

That Face

How about that grille? That's the new face of BMW. Hate it? Well, every human on Instagram seems to agree with you. That said—and yes, I'm obviously old, soft, blind, and on BMW's payroll—in person I thought the iX's face looked, dare I say it, good? There was something about the massive kidney grilles and the narrow, robot-like eyes that just worked. Almost like a second-generation Cylon from the Battlestar Galactica reboot. It's miles better than the grille on the new M3/M4, at any rate. Back to Instagram, the big question seemed to be, if there's no engine, why is there a grille at all? Aside from branding, the twin grilles (which are covered in self-healing skin) are cleverly stuffed with sensors, including two types of radar. As for the rest of the exterior, the hard side is nearly generic save for the floating roof. From the rear, the taillights look too skinny, and the body-colored bumper makes the iX's butt look fat.

Inside The IX

The iX's interior is an exercise in minimalism, at least for BMW. A massive, curved touchscreen dominates the cabin. In days past, BMW has angled the controls toward the driver. In an homage to days of yore, the screen (that contains the controls) bends toward the driver. The number of buttons has been reduced by 50 percent, what BMW considers the bare minimum. That said, if you look down at the lovely piece of wood that surrounds the iDrive knob, you'll see 12 buttons, not counting the controller itself (which does click down and in the X and Y axis) but including the volume wheel. The buttons that remain are logical, and there's a calmness and spaciousness to the interior that's new for the brand. However, there's also a sparseness that just doesn't scream premium luxury to me. And at nearly $85K to start, it ought to.

Technically speaking, the iX is stacked. The latest and eighth iteration of iDrive is more powerful than ever. I know this because I sat through at least three iDrive workshops while I was in Munich. Three! Just know that if you say, "Hey BMW, take a selfie," the iX takes a picture of you. No, really. However, the selfie camera is there as a security feature. Did you leave your wallet or purse on the front seat? Just open your phone and have a look. Speaking of wild tech, meet Maneuver Assistant. Long story short, Maneuver Assistant records how you park the iX—say, in a tricky spot in your garage—like a macro. The iX will then repeat the maneuver whenever you tell it to. Said maneuver can be up to 200 meters long. The iX can store up to 10 such maneuvers. Here's the coolest part: The maneuvers can then be transferred from profile to profile. Meaning you could record the move and then transfer it to your spouse/your kid's profile. That's dang nifty, no?

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 27

But How's It Drive?

First impression: Driving around Bavaria's gorgeous Berchtesgaden region that puts the verdant in verde, one is reminded why going green is so monumentally important. I want your kids to see what I just saw. Ahem. Pointed down the mountain with the iX xDrive50 in efficient mode, simply lifting off the throttle allows the iX to coast. The sensation is wonderful, as if the machine is suddenly free. I guess there's enough brake regen to hold the speed, but it feels like you're sailing. I know some EV enthusiasts (they exist, trust me) love huge levels of regen and one-pedal driving and all that, but I prefer to freefall. The iX is remarkably quiet, bordering on perhaps a bit too quiet. The BMW Group's other spaceframe products, Rolls-Royces, are in fact too quiet. What does too quiet mean? You can hear your own heart beating. The iX comes close.

One area where the bmw ix struggles is that it doesn't sound or feel particularly premium. I know I'm sitting on leather, but the interior has been simplified so much that I feel like I'm in a device, as opposed to a luxury vehicle. I would love to see the (eventual, I hope) Alpina version of the iX, one that's generously slathered in leather. The xDrive50 is slick and high-tech, but there's a Tesla-like sparseness that doesn't connect with me. Plus, the spot that's normally a drivetrain tunnel is simply empty space. Like in a cargo van. Now, maybe that was the design team's intention? Maybe they said, "Look, Tesla is dominating the EV space, and we need to be more like it." If that's the case, then BMW really has succeeded in going minimum. Some customers might even dig it. Call it the Tesla Syndrome. But for my large hunk of cash, I'd like some more wood, metal, and leather. To me, the Tesla aesthetic doesn't work here.

As for driving on curvy, fun Bavarian roads, it's fine. The iX drives at least as well as the Tesla Model X, and now that I'm thinking about it, quite similarly. That impression makes sense as both weigh about the same, have said weight located in the same spots, and make about the same power. To be clear, I'm talking about the last Model X I drove back in 2016 when the 90D version of the electric three-row SUV produced 518 horsepower from its two motors. For 2022 you now choose between 670 Long Range or 1,020 ponies in the Plaid. Like the equally heavy Tesla, the iX is betrayed by physics. This might be part of why this EV SUV doesn't necessarily feel premium. There's a minivan quality that's hard to get past. I'm not feeling the ultimate driving machine. I'm not feeling BMW as a brand in the way it tackles a road. It's quite like how I felt about the i3. Interesting car, interesting concept, but doesn't feel the way a BMW should feel when I close my eyes. The iX just feels like… an electric thing. That said, the noise the motors make (or is that coming from the speakers?) is quite cool.

Let's Talk Range

As far as range goes, I left the hotel at 96 percent charge, and 20 kilometers later the battery was still at 96 percent. I had been in Eco Pro mode most of the time and was pointing downhill. But still, that's impressive. Six km later, the battery was still reading 96 percent. Wanting to burn a little juice, I switched out of the efficient mode and into Comfort. In 4 km, it was still showing 96 percent. I was starting to think the computer was broken. Also, the range was telling me I didn't have to charge for 565 km (351 miles) and that I would arrive at my first destination in 28 km with 89 percent of the battery left. When I started, the computer said I'd make it with 88 percent remaining. The computer therefore doesn't account for downhill driving or elevation changes in the range estimates, so keep that in mind as I'm sure the opposite would be true going uphill. I made it to the first stop having consumed just 1 percent of the battery's juice. Not bad. As mentioned, the iX will probably be rated right around 300 miles of range in the U.S. Based on my driving experience, I predict BMW is going to have a Porsche Taycan situation on its hands, where the EPA rated the Turbo S version at 192 miles of range, but it's actually capable of over 250.

2022 BMW ix xDrive50 16

After my first stop, it was time for some freeway. Let me be the first to say that the bmw ix whips ass on the autobahn. This is a seriously quick EV, especially accelerating from about 75 mph to 105 mph. Let me be the billionth person to say, God bless unrestricted sections of autobahn. I took the iX up to its top speed of 124 mph (200 kph) just to check things out, and you can feel the computer shutting down the fun right when you nudge past 120 mph. However, I set the cruise at 170 kph (about 106 mph) and had a couple of realizations. The first is that moving this quickly in absolute silence (I had it in Eco Pro mode) is quite cool. There's hardly any wind noise—it's like being in a private jet. Second, the iX is aerodynamic enough (0.25 claimed Cd) that even well into the triple digits the range isn't affected too negatively. I travelled 30 km (about 19 miles) at 170 kph and used only 4 percent of the battery. Moreover, the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist work as well as anything, save for Cadillac's impossibly good Supercruise. Once you're moving in a high-speed, straight line, the iX drives great.

Conclusion

The 2022 bmw ix previews many things coming down the automotive pike. Not only is it a glimpse into BMW's sustainable, electric, carbon-neutral future, but this type of machine—an electric carlike SUV-sized people mover—will become the dominant mode of first-world personal transportation within the decade. As a signpost pointing toward the future, I feel confident concluding that we're in good shape vis-à-vis the driving world to come. But as a BMW? I'm struggling here. For whatever reason, I want and expect all BMWs to drive better than other machines, or at least most other machines. This is probably an unreasonable expectation, but dammit, all BMWs used to have an X factor. I can still remember driving an ex's E39 540i two decades ago. The relationship went nowhere, but I got a memory that will last a lifetime. As for the all-new bmw ix when it arrives in Q1 of 2022, we Americans will have a fast, powerful, efficient, tech-laden yet minimalist SUV in a segment with few serious competitors. I just wish the iX were a bit more memorable.

(https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2022-bmw-ix-xdrive50-first-drive-review/)

Published in BMW
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