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2021 BMW M3 Sedan in Chalk, exhaust sound included

BMW M invited us last week for a preview of the upcoming BMW M5 CS. The location? The exciting BMW M Studio in Garching where the M wizards often hide some of their most unique models. And they have certainly not disappointed us. On display there was a 2021 BMW M3 Sedan featuring the Chalk color. This paintwork was made famous by Porsche who describes the Chalk color “as light grey throwback to 1950s and early 1960s colors like Pearl Grey and Heron Grey.”

The G80 M3 was paired with black wheels and a Merino fine-grain full leather in Yas Marina Blue/Black with accents in Yellow. While the blue looks great, we would love to see a red-based interior paired with Chalk. Of course, customers with deep pockets might be able to customize their interior with the help of the BMW Individual catalog.

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We already know that BMW M has a reputation for offering excellent color options for its cars. Iconic colors like Laguna Seca Blue, Dakar Yellow and Techno Violet are all burnt into the memories of BMW purists. However, in recent years, M car colors have become a bit predictable, especially in cars like the M5 and M8. However, with this new BMW M3 (and M4), it seems as if the folks in Garching have returned to form, as the new G80 has one of the best color palettes of any M car in history.

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For starters, two of BMW’s now-signature Frozen colors are offered from the factory, without having to special order them or choose a special model. You can get a base-model M3 with either Frozen Portimao Blue or Frozen Brilliant White, right from the standard order sheet. Some enthusiasts bemoan BMW’s Frozen colors, as they’re a bit more finnicky and require more maintenance, but it’s nice to have the option.

Read Also: 2021 BMW M3 / M4 colors: Portimao Frozen Blue, Frozen Orange, Black Sapphire, Brooklyn Grey

Then there are the more interesting tame colors, such as Oxide Grey, which is grey but has a bit of champagne to its hue that really makes it unique. There’s also Toronto Red which is a pretty standard red but it’s metallic and has a nice pop to it.

This is the standard color palette as highlighted by BMW’s Online Configurator (they might vary by market):

  • Non-metallic: Alpine White, Sao Paulo Yellow (new addition)
  • Metallic: Isle of Man Green (new), Toronto Red (new), Sapphire Black, Skyscraper Grey, Portimao Blue, Brooklyn Grey

Whey they go on sale in Summer 2021, the new BMW M3 and M4 will have a slightly higher price than the F80/F82 generation. The 2021 BMW M3 Sedan has an MSRP of $69,900, nearly $2,500 more than the F80 M3 Sedan. The 2021 BMW M4 starts at $71,800 compared to the $69,150 price on the F82 M4. Of course, BMW offers a Competition model for both variants. The 2021 BMW M3 Competition is priced at $72,800 while the M4 Competition sells for $74,700. All these variants send their power to the rear-wheels only.

Click below to see more photos of the G80 M3 in Chalk and also a video of the exhaust sound and revs:


Spy photos of the upcoming 2022 BMW M440i Gran Coupe

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The only 4 Series left to be unveiled is the four-door variant — the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Fans of the previous-gen car will be happy to hear that it will be getting a successor based on the new G22 4 Series, which should make the new one more capable, more premium and more enjoyable to drive. It will also be gaining an M Performance version, to match its two-door sibling, the BMW M440i Gran Coupe, which has just been seen testing in the wild.

In these photos, we can clearly see that this 4 Series Gran Coupe is the M440i version, due to its trapezoidal exhausts and more aggressive wheels. There’s also a subtle lip spoiler and vents in the camouflage for the front air intakes, so we know this is going to look a bit more aggressive than the standard 4 Series Gran Coupe. And, of course, it will have the massive new kidney grille.

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When the BMW M440i Gran Coupe debuts, it will have the same engine as the M440i Coupe; a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six with 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. That engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. It should be every bit as quick as the M440i Coupe, which is a seriously quick car.

Where the Gran Coupe will differ from its Coupe sibling is in its practicality. The 4 Series Coupe has a decent back seat for its size but the Gran Coupe has two extra doors, a much more usable back seat and even a liftback tailgate. We’re not sure if this new model will have the liftback tailgate of its predecessor but we’re assuming/hoping so. If it does, it will make the BMW M440i Gran Coupe the pick of the bunch, as it will offer the most practicality while also providing that small GT car experience.

[Source: Photos @leon_strth]


Even Mr. AMG Bought a BMW M2 CS

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Without question, the most fun Bavarian product on sale is the BMW M2 CS. While you can get 80-percent of the fun from an M2 Competition, the CS is the pinnacle of what the M Division can currently do. In fact, the M2 CS is so good that it’s even convinced (along with some encouragement from Chris Harris) an avid AMG owner to buy one.

In this new video from Remove Before Race, we see Mr. AMG buy a BMW M2 CS. That’s an odd sounding sentence, as an AMG fan should despise any BMW M product. However, Raz Rehan (Mr. AMG) is a proper car enthusiast and can enjoy cars from any brand. So after some thought, he decided to buy himself an M2 CS and this video shows why.

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Raz’s reasoning for buying the BMW M2 CS was its exclusivity. Even though it’s quite a bit more expensive than an M2 Comp, it’s actually going to hold its value far better and it might even appreciate in value. So after a few years of ownership, it’s almost a certainty that when he sells it, he’ll have lost less money than if he did the same with an M2 Competition. So, in a way, it’s actually cheaper to buy the M2 CS.

Plus, it’s a fabulous driver’s car. The BMW M2 CS is the sharpest, most engaging driver’s car to come from Bavaria since the 1 Series M, so it’s no surprise that it’s able to convince a massive AMG fan to buy one. Plus, now he has the choice of driving either an M2 CS or an AMG C63 S Coupe (among other cars) for fun. They’re two wildly different cars but offer distinct flavors that will likely keep Raz entertained for many years to come. To say we’re jealous would be a gross understatement.


BMW Digital Key Plus announced, will be available on BMW iX

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BMW was one of the first manufacturers in the world to offer its customers the possibility of using their smartphones as a key fob. Back when the first version of the BMW Digital Key came out, only certain Android phones could make use of it and the whole thing was a conundrum. Technology evolved in the meantime and so did the tech behind the Digital Key which is now about to become Digital Key Plus.

This is a new tech announced by BMW last week at the virtual 2021 Consumer Electronics Show. As you probably already learned, the BMW Digital Key became available on iPhones in 2019. Now, BMW is upping the ante a bit more, eliminating the most annoying thing about turning your phone into a key fob: having to press it against the door handle. The new BMW Digital Key Plus allows you to keep your phone in your pocket or bag and still open the car.

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Up until now, as revolutionary as it may have been, the BMW Digital Key required usage of the NFC on your phone in order to work. Therefore, you had to pull out your phone and touch the driver’s door handle in order to lock or unlock the car. That made things a bit inconvenient. Now, the new system uses Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology to do that. This is a feature that has been recently introduced on the U1 chip of the iPhone.

This is a short-range, high-bandwidth digital radio technology that is characterized by an exceptionally precise localization with the greatest possible security. UWB’s precision also ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible. According to the Bavarians, Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB, providing a global standard for the automotive industry which is great news for all car makers out there.


Can the E39 BMW M5 be Improved with a Supercharger?

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The E39 BMW M5 is one of the most legendary BMWs of all time and most enthusiasts would agree that it’s near-perfect as a sport sedan. However, can it actually be made better with a supercharger? In this new video from JayEmm, we take a look at a supercharged E39 M5 with a whopping 550 horsepower, to see if it’s actually more fun.

From the outside, this particular E39 BMW M5 looks pretty ordinary. Especially considering the fact that the E39 M5 barely looks any different from a standard E39 5 Series to begin with. However, thanks to the supercharger under its hood, the M5 in this video is seriously quick. Its BC Racing coilovers also improve handling and make it look better but it’s a subtle difference. The coilovers make it a bit firm but they adjustable, so that can be remedied.

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What’s interesting about this car is that the idea of supercharging and lowering an E39 BMW M5 can seem a bit sketchy. It’s such a finely tuned machine that changing it that drastically runs the risk of ruining it. However, it doesn’t seem to be ruined. In fact, it actually seems quite good. The supercharger makes additional power throughout the rev range, so it doesn’t upset the engine’s natural power curve, it just makes it more potent. While the coilovers don’t ruin the compliant ride, allowing it to still be a proper M5.

So if you’re looking to modify an E39 BMW M5, this video might give you a good template to follow. It’s setup in such a way that it accentuates the car’s natural attributes while improving on its shortcomings. The M5 didn’t have any shortcomings in its own day but we’ve all become accustomed to more power and improved capabilities over time. So modding an E39 M5 this way allows it to feel a bit more current, in terms of power and performance, while also still feeling like a proper BMW M5.


Is the BMW 128ti Better Than the M135i?

When the BMW 128ti first debuted, we immediately thought that BMW might be onto something. The new front-wheel drive 1 Series hatchback is a capable and technically impressive car in all variants but it’s always been a bit boring and a bit too safe, to the point that Audi A3s are more interesting to drive. Especially the BMW M135i which, despite being quick, felt far too digital and numb. So when BMW decided to strip the M135i back, get rid of that pesky xDrive system and fit sharper, model-specific steering, suspension and differential tuning, we were instantly intrigued.

In this new video Joe Achilles drives the all-new, lighter, simpler BMW 128ti to see if it’s actually better than its more powerful, faster, grippier M135i sibling.

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On paper, it seems like the BMW 128ti would be worse. It’s only front-wheel drive (heresy to BMW enthusiasts), sports an automatic gearbox and makes less power than the M135i, packing just 261 horsepower versus 302 horsepower. However, the 128ti is lighter, has purer steering, better tuned suspension and a simpler, more engaging attitude. We assumed it’d be better to drive but after seeing this new video, we’re confident it’s the best driving 1 Series there is at the moment.

Achilles seems to have some genuine fun in this new video. On certain stretches of road, he even claims that he doesn’t think he could safely go quicker in his much more powerful BMW M2 Competition. So while it’s only front-wheel drive, the BMW 128ti is a fun little hatchback and can put a smile on your face on any twisty road. In fact, it can do so more than the more powerful M135i, as the 128ti is less safe and it does less for you. It’s a bit shocking to see BMW develop a front-wheel drive hot-hatch but it seems that BMW has done just that.


2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review dubs it a driver’s car

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It looks like Rolls-Royce’s efforts for the new Ghost are paying off. The British company said, before the new car came out, that it was building it according to the demands coming in from the customers. The Goodwood specialists simply asked them how they are using it and what they wanted for the new generation. Apparently, more and more of them are driving themselves so that means, the Ghost had to evolve.

The first generation was built more like an exercise in what is possible using the parts bin. It was built atop the same platform as the 7 Series and its main goal was to offer a relaxed, refined ride more than anything else. With the new generation, the engineers wanted to create a better handling car overall, as per the customers’ requests. To that end, they decided to use the same Architecture of Luxury that is used on the other models in the current range, but with a couple of changes.

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The suspension has a new setup meant to offer a more than compliant ride over any kind of surface as well as a capable (as much as a 2.5-ton car can) ride when the person behind the wheel wants it. Furthermore, the engine was upgraded as well, the Ghost getting the 6.75-liter V12 from its Phantom bigger brother, along with all the specs, unchanged. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise but the fact that the new model comes with all-wheel drive was.

That said, this configuration allows it to reach 60 mph from standstill in 4.6 seconds which is incredible for a car of this size. But the Ghost isn’t impressive just in a straight line though, as the review below points out. It can also hold its own in the bends, without breaking a sweat. Of course, you do have to keep in mind the weight factor all the time as you simply can’t ignore it. Even so, this is a remarkable feat.


BMW G42 2 Series Spotted out doing winter testing

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This year will bring the departure of the current BMW 2 Series range as we know it. The real 2 Series, of course, not the Gran Coupe variety. The new G42 model is under development and will enter production in Q3 this year. Therefore, testing is under full speed right since the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing winter, cold weather conditions are perfect for some in-depth tests. (We don’t own the photos, but they can be seen here)

That’s why BMW is now pushing hard, trying to make the most of the snow and lower temperatures we have on our hands right now. The upcoming BMW 2 Series was spotted doing the usual rounds, heavily camouflaged unfortunately. We can’t really make out anything of its design but we already know that it will keep its classic Coupe-lines. Unfortunately for fans of open-air cruising, the Convertible will reportedly be retired, as sales of the current range weren’t doing too good.

On the technical side of things, the G42 2 Series will be built atop the CLAR architecture and keep its rear-wheel drive setup. It will come with a selection of 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter petrol and diesel engines. The choice will vary from market to market and, at the moment, there’s no mention of a potential electric of PHEV model. However, we’re looking at a planned production span of 7 years, so we shouldn’t be surprised in case such electrified versions come out in the future.

Our info says the 2 Series range will include models like the 220i, 220d, 230i, 230i and M240i models, to which you can easily add the xDrive versions. The best news is that we’re in line for a BMW M2 successor which will most likely use a de-tuned version of the S58 engine on the new M3 and M4 models. It will be very interesting to see how the new M2 compares to the popularity the original had.

[Source: Top Image @anchaya.media on Instagram | Motor1]


BMW wants higher margins, doubles down on electric vehicles

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BMW Chief Financial Officer Nicolas Peter is looking forward to a strong first quarter in 2021 despite the obvious pandemic-related issues. In a statement issued this week, Peter says that BMW is looking to also increase their operating margins from 8 to 10 percent. The company will publish its 2021 margin target in March. At the same time, BMW will increase its share in the BMW Brilliance joint venture in China, from 50 to 75 percent in 2022. Car sales in China saw a boost in 2020 – for all premium automakers – and BMW is targeting there a 2 to 3 percent margin.

To achieve most of these targets, BMW is doubling down on electrified vehicles. In the next few years, the Bavarians will convert some of their diesel and petrol-powered models to electric and/or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The move will allow BMW to meet the ever changing emission targets in the China and Europe. In 2020, BMW’s global sales of electrified vehicles increased by 31.8 percent compared to a year before.

Peter makes another interesting point for Reuters. When asked about its competitors in the EV space, Peter says that not only Tesla is on his radar, but also Chinese companies like NIO. The BMW CFO mentions Chinese consumers who are more inclined to purchase a car due to its better digital experience. So that customer base is their focus also in Munich.

BMWis also looking to improve their margins by improving the economics of battery pack and cells. And by also removing the complexity in production – reducing engine variants and options for different vehicles.



Audi Wants to Phase Out Internal Combustion by 2040 — Could BMW Follow?

Audi has made no secret of its ambitious plans for an electrified future. It’s currently working on several new all-electric models that will all debut within the current decade. However, the four-ringed brand’s plans may have become even more ambitious, as Audi CEO Markus Duesmann recently told Wirtschafts Woche that the brand plans of going entirely electric within the next twenty years.

While that’s not a hard twenty-year out for internal combustion, 2040 is sort of the desired timeline date for such a transition. According to Duesmann, Audi is currently developing a transition timeline to phase out current existing internal combustion engine models. Those models would then either become fully electric or be killed off altogether.

By the end of 2021, Audi will have six all-electric vehicles and twelve plug-in hybrid models on sale, eighteen electrified vehicles in total. But that’s just the beginning. Audi wants to have twenty all-electric models on sale by 2025 and, if it can do that, it could become an all-electric brand sooner than later.

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Although, Audi has already said that it’s going to continue its development of internal combustion engines, in an attempt to make them as efficient as possible. Even as Audi starts to phase out internal combustion, gasoline-powered engines will still have a place in the lineup. Plug-in hybrids will likely act as long-distance models in the lineup, allowing customers that frequently drive hundreds of miles at a time a more usable vehicle. While the rest of Audi’s customers can choose from one of its EVs.

At the moment, there are only four different Audi EVs to choose from and two of them are just model variants. The Audi e-tron, e-tron Sportback, e-tron S and e-tron Sportback S are currently the only four EVs in the brand’s lineup. However, by the end of the year, we’ll see the Audi e-tron GT and the Audi Q4 e-tron, both of which will be entirely electric. We’ll also likely see several new plug-ins debut this year.

So with all of that in mind, Audi’s goal of becoming entirely electric within the next twenty years actually doesn’t seem that far-fetched. But will other automakers follow suit?

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BMW also has ambitious plans to electrify more of its models, though, it does seem a bit late to the party. The BMW iX is BMW’s first true from-the-ground-up electric car since the i3 and it’s not even on sale yet. While both Audi e-tron models on sale are built on existing platforms, they aren’t just electrified versions of existing models, like the BMW iX3. Same goes for the Mercedes-Benz EQC. However, we do know that BMW has more EVs planned for the near future, including the i4, an electrified 7 Series, an iX1 and potentially even a fully-electric M5. So BMW wants to phase out internal combustion as well but it might just have a bit later of a deadline.

[Source: Quattrodaily]