Displaying items by tag: BMW

Friday, 19 February 2021 06:29

Tested: BMW M2 CS Hangs in There

A pricey special-edition M2 with a 444-hp heart reminds us of the BMWs of the past.

Taglines work. Take, for example, the incredible motivational power of a "Hang in There" cat poster or the decades that BMW marketed itself as The Ultimate Driving Machine. In those days, BMW's cars regularly delivered class-leading handling and fun. In 2006, the German brand dropped the tagline and began a slow move away from cars that sing and dance. But the company still has a few, such as the M2 CS, that are hanging in there, clinging to the branches of the old family tree.

The M2 CS is a limited-edition, high-powered version of the M2, which is itself the hot version of the 2-series coupe. We're talking the rear-wheel-drive 2-series, not the front-drive-based, four-door 2-series Gran Coupe abomination that placed last in a recent comparison test and is best thought of as an ultimate disappointment. Thankfully, the M2 CS has nothing in common with that car.

It does, however, share some parts with the outgoing Competition-spec M3 and M4, including the 444-hp version of the M division's twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. Despite being a healthy 39 horses up on the M2 Competition, the CS isn't any quicker than its sibling to relatively low-speed thresholds. Basically, it is limited in the run to 60 mph by the traction of its rear tires. But the CS pushes ahead after hitting 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and it passes through the quarter in 12.1 seconds at 120 mph, two-tenths of a second quicker and 4 mph faster than the stick-shift M2 Comp.

With its six-speed manual transmission, the CS pulls us in close. If you're lazy, it'll rev match on downshifts, and the shifter has the positive, if slightly rubbery, motion of BMWs past. Optional matte-gold wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track rubber are part of the CS makeover. A test-equipment snafu cost us our skidpad measurement, but by the seat-of-pants measurement this car has more grip than the 1.00 g we measured in an M2 Competition riding on Michelin Pilot Super Sports. We promise.

Highs: An angry car designed to make us smile, manual-transmission joy, BMW's best stuff.
Those grippy Cup 2 tires probably deserve some credit for removing a lot of numbness from the M2's steering. While you can't quite read the Braille of the pavement through the Alcantara-wrapped wheel, the steering feedback is livelier than we've seen in recent BMWs. Adaptive dampers, similar to those found on the previous-generation M3 and M4, are available for the first time on the M2 and offer three modes. The Comfort setting works brilliantly on canyon roads (and probably even on racetracks), stiffening the damping as needed. Notching up to the harsher settings fails to improve handling and makes the ride punishingly firm.

Carbon-ceramic brake rotors are an $8500 option and proved to be up to the abuse leveled at them during testing and on the road. In addition to fade resistance, an added benefit of the ceramic rotors is that they won't leave brake dust on the lovely gold wheels. Fearless prediction: When it comes to wheels, gold is the new black. The brake pedal is a little softer than we like when used casually, but work the brakes hard and there's nothing to complain about. Stopping from 70 mph took a short 145 feet, and hauling down from 100 mph required 301 feet.

An M2 CS on a mountain road is a happy place. There's a slight lag when you hit the accelerator on corner exit, as the turbochargers need a moment to spin up. To ensure sharp engine responses, old M cars were naturally aspirated and fitted with individual throttle bodies, but none of them made torque like modern turbocharged engines do. The CS produces 406 pound-feet of torque at a low 2350 rpm.

Lows: Some turbo lag, pushing six figures is pushing it.
Other parts shared with the old M3/M4 include the deeply bolstered front seats and the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. Rear-seat space is tight, and there are only two seatbelts back there, making this a four-seater. Carbon-fiber and more Alcantara trim dress up this aging interior, and much of the switchgear appears to be from BMWs of the past, but we're totally okay with that. The infotainment system features BMW's latest software, and Apple CarPlay is included.

A carbon-fiber hood and roof help the CS weigh 83 pounds less than the M2 Competition. Pushed to its lofty cornering limits, the CS acts even lighter and smaller than its 3489 pounds. Our main problem with this astonishingly good car is its $84,595 starting price. The letters CS cost more than SS 1LE, ZL1, ZL1 1LE, GT PPL2, and GT500. Those exotic Camaros and Mustangs offer more power and the same connected driving experience, but the M2 is smaller, lighter, and undeniably special in its own right. It's one of the last true BMWs. We just hope the engineers responsible have a particular cat poster in their offices.


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Thursday, 28 January 2021 07:50

Manhart BMW X5 M with 823HP

German Manhart now offers the owners of the BMW X5 M Competition a new tuning program.

Manhart’s package to modify the BMW X5 M Competition primarily implies that the 4.4-liter V8 TwinPower Turbo engine is boosted from 625hp and 750 Nm to 823hp and 1080 Nm of torque.

The Manhart package also includes carbon fiber elements, a stainless steel sports exhaust system, a set of new 22-inch wheels, stronger brakes, modified suspension (the car is 30 mm lower), as well as gold details, Manhart emblems and a refined interior. alcantara, carbon fiber elements).

Manhart does not state data on acceleration to 100 km / h, so here is a reminder that the serial X5 M Competiton needs 3.8 seconds for that.

The same package will be offered for the BMW X6 M Comeptition.

Published in Blog/News
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 12:28

Smartphones will soon replace car keys

Although it is not news that the car is unlocked with a mobile phone, although only from close range, there is now a new technology on Wednesday that will allow us to do it remotely, as we normally do with keys.

Among the many things that smartphones have "suffocated" or at least pushed into the background, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS devices and bank cards, we will soon add another to this list that we use every day - car keys .

Although mobile phone unlock technology is already in use, it is NFC-based, which means you have to lean the phone against the vehicle, but thanks to another technology (UWB), cars will unlock phones remotely, as they do now we work with keys.

BMW iX, Photo: Promo

New models of Apple phones come with this technology, so BMW recently announced that UWB will use it on its new iX series electric vehicles.

The principle on which UWB works is best described on Wired, calling it "bluetooth on steroids", while Apple calls it internal GPS.

It is a short-range radio technology that will enable not only wireless communication with other devices, for example. unlocking the car door remotely, but also finding other devices nearby, similar to how devices like Tile's popular locators do.

Apple is not the only mobile company whose phones have UWB support - Samsung recently announced the Galaxy S21 series, which also implements this technology, and even before that, Xiaomi in the Mi10 series.

BMW iX, Photo: Promo

It seems like this is just the beginning because, according to information from the mobile industry, more and more companies are planning to introduce a phone with UWB support. So this year we can expect new Xiaomi phones with UWB support, but such devices are also being prepared by Oppo, Vivo and other companies, which means that many phones of the future will be able to replace car keys.

Of course, in addition to mobile manufacturers, UWB should also be accepted by car manufacturers. BMW has already confirmed this, and Samsung has announced that it is also cooperating with Audi, Ford and Genesis, so it is not difficult to assume that in the (near or distant) future, support for digital keys could become an industry standard.

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Another Bavarian brand is currently working on several purely electric models that will debut in the next 10 years. However, the ambitions of the producers from Ingolstadt are much bigger. According to the head of the company, Marcus Disman, Audi plans to become purely "electric" in the next 20 years.

In fact, it is a time frame that is conceived as necessary to complete the transition, write Vrele Gume. According to Disman, Audi is currently setting a deadline for the phasing out of current models with internal combustion engines. The cars in question will either become purely electric or will be euthanized.

By the end of 2021, the Ingolstadt brand will have six purely electric models on offer, along with 12 plug-in hybrids. However, that is just the beginning. Audi wants to have twenty electric cars on sale by 2025, and if it succeeds in achieving that, it could become a manufacturer like Tesla sooner rather than later.

However, it should not be forgotten that Ingolstadt announced that they will continue to develop internal combustion engines, in an attempt to make them as efficient as possible. So, regardless of the fact that Audi will start phasing out the SUS engine, petrol engines will still have their place in the portfolio. "Plug-in" hybrids are likely to serve as long-distance models, giving customers who frequently travel hundreds of miles "from the train" the opportunity to own usable vehicles. Those who are not outspoken "long-distance runners" will be able to rely on electric cars. At the moment, there are only four different electric models of Audi on offer, with two being actually model variants. The Audi e-tron, e-tron Sportback, e-tron S and e-tron Sportback S are currently the only ones of their kind in the Ingolstadt range. However, by the end of the year, the Audi e-tron GT and Audi Q4 e-tron will enter the scene, with probably a couple of new "plug-in" hybrids.

Given all the above, the goal of the "four rings" brand to become purely electric in the next 20 years is not so unattainable. Will other premium manufacturers follow this matrix?

BMW also has ambitious plans when it comes to electrifying its models, although it seems that the latter has arrived "at the party". The BMW iX is the first true electric car from the Bavarian manufacturer since the i3, and it is not yet officially on sale. Although Audi’s e-tron models on the market rest on existing platforms, they are not just electrified versions of existing models, as is the case with the BMW iX3. The same can be said for the Mercedes-Benz EQC. Of course, Munich also plans to fill the electric offer in the near future, including the i4, the electrified series 7, the iX1 and possibly even the electric M5. BMW also wants to phase out internal combustion engines, although the deadline for achieving that process could be slightly longer than Audi's.

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Thursday, 14 January 2021 08:30

Sales of the BMW Group in 2020

The BMW Group also published sales data during 2020. The data show that the placement of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands last year amounted to 2,324,809 vehicles, which is a decrease of 8.4 percent compared to 2019.

BMW itself sold 2,028,659 cars (minus 7.2 percent), MINI ended the year with sales of 292,394 vehicles (minus 15.8 percent), and Rolls-Royce sold 3,756 luxury cars with sales down 26 , 4 percent).

In terms of sales by region, the BMW Group sold 912,621 vehicles (minus 15.7 percent) in Europe, 984,515 (plus 6.1 percent) in Asia, and 306,870 vehicles (minus 18.0 percent) in the United States. In Asia, the largest sales were, of course, in China, where the BMW Group found 777,379 customers (sales growth was 7.4 percent).

The statement also points out that the BMW M sold 144,218 cars in 2020 (plus 5.9 percent compared to 2019), and that sales of electric and plug-in hybrid models (BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric) amounted to 192,646 units (plus 31.8 percent).

Finally, the fact that BMW Motorrad sold 169,272 motorcycles last year (minus 3.4 percent).


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Thursday, 05 November 2020 12:30

BMW iX3 SUV review

"The BMW iX3 is an electric variant of the popular X3 with a 285-mile range"

While BMW wowed the world with its i3 electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid coupe, the all-electric BMW iX3 SUV is altogether a more staid proposition. This time round BMW is taking a similar approach to Peugeot and Hyundai by serving up an electric version of a car it already sells, namely the BMW X3.

There's been a deliberate decision not to go radical with the design, with BMW instead opting to add aerodynamic wheels, blue trim accents and a smoothed-off grille. There are also a new set of bumpers and side skirts, all tested to ensure they are slippery enough to help maximise the driving range. This is really just an X3 for buyers who want an electric powertrain.

Best electric SUVs

Under the car's floor is an 80kWh battery that sends its power to a rear-mounted 282bhp electric motor. This is a departure from rivals like the Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC, which all have two motors, four wheel drive and quite a bit more power. While it isn't as fast as them, the iX3's 285-mile range is competitive, beating both its German rivals and just slightly behind the I-Pace. The Jag’ struggles to hit its official figure in real-world driving anyway.

It can also be charged quickly, obtaining speeds of up to 150kW at the latest rapid-charging stations. Of its closest rivals, only the e-tron can match this, with the others topping out at around 100kW, and it means the iX3 battery can be replenished to 80% in a speedy 34 minutes. Thanks to this capability, making one stop on a long journey should be ample to get drivers to their destination with range to spare.

Like the exterior, the inside of the iX3 is very much a mild variation on the X3, with some flashes of blue trim to show this is the electric version. It shares the same 10.25-inch iDrive infotainment display perched above the dashboard and a 12.3-inch digital instrument screen. Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro trims serve up plenty of equipment, with features like a head-up display, a Harman Kardon stereo and wireless phone charging in the top trim.

The BMW iX3 is spacious, quiet and has a good range, but it's a shame it doesn't feel anywhere near as special as the i3 and i8. Instead, it ushers in an era when electric BMWs will be a more mass-market part of the line-up.

By adding an EV option to its popular X3 range, BMW boasts that customers can now choose between four different powertrains for its mid-size SUV. It adds to the existing petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid range, giving low to medium-mileage drivers the chance to shun traditional fossil fuels altogether.


The iX3 has an 80kWh battery beneath its floor, allowing it to cover up to 285 miles on a charge. That's competitive with the 298-mile range of the Jaguar I-Pace, and betters the 237 and 256-mile range of the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC respectively.

Like the e-tron, the iX3 also supports rapid 150kW charging at compatible public locations, topping the battery up to 80% in just 34 minutes. The Mercedes and Jaguar can be topped up at around 100kW, so take longer to recharge.

As with any electric vehicle, the iX3 has the potential to significantly reduce running costs for the owner, and we particularly enjoyed one new feature for its energy recuperation system. Like most new EVs, the braking effect of the electric motor can be set to low, medium or high, and with practice it's possible to drive the iX3 in traffic with almost no use of the brakes. However, BMW has also added an ‘Adaptive’ setting, which automatically adjusts the recuperation to match the car ahead, a bit like adaptive cruise control for braking alone. It works well, carefully adjusting the regenerative effect to match cars in front, even when they modulate their deceleration.

Thanks to its zero emissions, the iX3 qualifies for free car tax and 0% BiK for company-car drivers in 2020/21.

Insurance groups
The insurance band for the iX3 hasn't been announced yet but it's likely to be fairly high. We say this because its rivals are all costly to insure, with the I-Pace in group 49 out of 50 and the Audi e-tron in the very top group. However, the iX3 is the least powerful of the group, so could be a few groups lower.

BMW sells all its cars with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, which is on a par with Mercedes and slightly more generous than Audi (with a 60,000-mile cap). Tesla models come with a four-year or 50,000-mile warranty. It's likely the BMW iX3 will have a longer warranty covering its battery (many rivals offer eight years of cover), but details of this have yet to be announced.

BMW models are fitted with an array of sensors to determine when servicing is required, so there isn't a strict routine to stick to. Typically, services won't be more than two years or 20,000 miles apart, and isn't the cheapest. BMW does offer servicing packages though, making it possible to spread the cost over monthly payments.

Unlike its rivals, the iX3 gets a single electric motor powering the rear wheels. This means it isn't as quick as the dual-motor Jaguar I-Pace in a straight line, but it still gets a sporty setup in typical BMW fashion.

In fact, it would have been better if BMW had made the suspension softer because in its pursuit of agile, fun handling, ride comfort has been compromised. Even in the softest Comfort mode, the iX3 fidgets and seems to find bumps in the road that look inconsequential from behind the wheel.

This chassis setup and the low-slung battery does at least mean the iX3 corners with little body lean, while the steering is fast to respond, if lacking in feel. Sport mode makes the steering heavier but also renders the suspension too bouncy, so we quickly turned it off.

BMW iX3 electric motor

The iX3 is powered by a single 282bhp electric motor at the rear axle, giving it a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds. This should be plenty quick enough for most SUV (and EV) buyers, but it's some way off rivals. The Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC all feature front and rear motors, providing more power and four-wheel drive.

The iX3 accelerates very quietly, with just a distant whine from its electric motor. If you prefer, you can also choose a louder sound thanks to 'balanced' and 'sporty' settings. The iX3 glides away from a standstill smoothly, with instant pulling power doing a good job of disguising its 2,185kg weight.

Interior & comfort

Unlike the daring BMW i3 and i8 models that set out BMW's stall as a designer of forward-thinking green models, the iX3 is a much more conventional model that's also available with electric propulsion. This will make sense for many customers, while others may view it as a bit of a disappointment.

If you've sat in a BMW X3, there's very little change here apart from some blue flashes of colour for the BMW badge and gearlever. The steering wheel with silver buttons is new, while a 10.25-inch infotainment display and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is carried over, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Materials are of a high quality and the infotainment software is amongst the best in the business, but there aren't any novel features like trim made from recycled bottles or cork, as seen in many environmentally conscious models.

The first versions of iX3 will be called Premier Edition and Premier Edition Pro, with four exterior colours offered, along with two choices of exterior trim colour: aluminium or gloss black. Standard kit includes wireless smartphone charging, heated front seats and Driving Assistant Professional.

Premier Edition Pro is distinguished by large 20-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels, along with a powered tailgate, adaptive suspension and a panoramic sunroof. It also boasts a plethora of tech like a head-up display, Harmon Kardon stereo, gesture recognition and a BMW IconicSounds Electric soundtrack developed with famous composer Hans Zimmer.

If there are concerns the iX3 is compromised compared with the regular model, fear not. It's virtually as usable for a family of five as the petrol or diesel car, and the boot is actually larger than the one in the plug-in hybrid BMW X3.

BMW X3 interior space & storage

There's plenty of space for adults in the front and back of the iX3 to stretch out, with the battery placed out of the way beneath the car's floor. In reality, most won't need the extra space found in the larger BMW X5 but there's no option of a third row of seats to make the iX3 into a seven seater.

Boot space
The iX3 has a 510-litre boot, which is 40 litres smaller than the petrol and diesel BMW X3 offer. In reality, most will be hard pressed to tell the difference, and surprisingly this is 60 litres more than the plug-in hybrid version of the X3 offers. The electric motor and transmission featured here is actually more compact than in the PHEV, so takes up less space.

Source: carbuyer.co.uk

Published in BMW
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Tuesday, 27 October 2020 06:05

2021 BMW M440i xDrive Noses Away From Its Roots

The M440i xDrive's spectacular inline-six can't quite make up for the rest of the car.

Traditionalists will say the new 4-series maintains only a passing resemblance to a BMW, like an unlicensed rendering in a video game. They'll also note the attention-snaring vertically oriented grille. But what's most disappointing is that it's not as good to drive as we'd expect a sporty BMW coupe to be.

The 4's redesign catches it up to the current G20-generation 3-series. Although the two cars share a 112.2-inch wheelbase, the coupe is an inch or two longer, wider, and lower and has a wider rear track. That growth brings a larger rear seat that's tolerable for average-size adults. In profile, the 4 looks almost like a scaled-down 8-series, yet unlike the 8, it doesn't look quite so much like a Ford Mustang.

The update adds to the 4's curb weight. It's now basically a two-ton car in the top M440i xDrive trim, with our test car placing a substantial 53.8 percent of that mass on its front wheels. Even with 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires (18s with all-seasons are standard), it managed only 0.91 g of skidpad grip, and understeer dominates. We've recorded more stick from the newest 3-series and even some family sedans, although our car did stop from 70 mph in a short 149 feet.

The M440i's variable-ratio steering is short on tactility and has an almost rubbery buildup of force as you turn off-center. The rack's rather quick ratio only amplifies its artificial feel. Factor in the compliant ride from the adaptive dampers and the 4 has veered into grand-touring territory. It'll still happily hustle down a challenging road, but the experience isn't as satisfying as it used to be.

The M440i xDrive is still quick—3.8 seconds to 60 mph—thanks to the 382 horsepower from BMW's awesome turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. A new 48-volt motor-generator adds some pounds yet contributes up to 11 horses to assist the engine before the turbo wakes up. Lag is nicely mitigated as proven by the fleet 4.6-second time in our launch-free five-to-60-mph test. Sadly, a manual is no longer offered, but ZF's ubiquitous eight-speed automatic swaps gears as sweetly as ever.

This being our first turn with the new 4, we're hoping other versions offer a closer connection. Our hope is the four-cylinder 430i model, which comes standard with non-variable steering and passive dampers, will carry the BMW dynamics torch of yore. It is currently the only 4-series available with rear-wheel drive, though a rear-drive six-cylinder model will be added later.

The fiery performance of the latest M3 and M4, both of which adopt similar vertical grilles, should help us acclimate to the controversial design. But the softer character of the M440i xDrive makes it tough to overlook the 4's new face.

Source: caranddriver.com

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