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Check out the Rolls-Royce Cullinan up close

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The Rolls-Royce Cullinan wrote history when it was unveiled. This is the first car from the British luxury maker that can be easily confused with an SUV. This is not an SUV though, as Rolls-Royce puts it, but a ‘high-riding’ vehicle. Yet, the Cullinan might not be exactly pretty by most definitions.

Some say this is the ugliest car they have on sale right now but I disagree. As usual, design is a very subjective and I just can’t imagine any other shape for the Cullinan. After all, the designers had to follow the rulebook and make sure this car can be identified as a Rolls-Royce from a mile away. To that end, there is a massive front fascia and also squareish proportions.

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I absolutely love the Cullinan and, even though Rolls-Royce says the Phantom is still the king of their line-up. I also had the chance to drive them both and while the Phantom is more comfortable and quieter, the Cullinan is not far behind. As a matter of fact, they are so close, the decision comes down to form factor. And the driving position is so commanding that it wins it for me.

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to be invited by Rolls-Royce to take one or two of their cars out for a spin. Luckily the Internet can compensate to some extent. That’s what the video below can do for you, as it shows the Cullinan in all its glory, in a POV style. Enjoy!


Buyers Guide: BMW 1 Series E82/E88 Coupe/Cabrio

The first generation BMW 1 Series arrived in 2004 and opened up a new segment for BMW. Apart from the 3-door and 5-door variants, it also spawned the unique E82 Coupe and E88 Convertible models. Today, these remain a one-off as they were eventually replaced by the 2 Series.

The design of the 1 Series pioneer models was conceived under the guidance of Christopher Chapman, during the infamous “Bangle Era” when new BMWs embraced a highly controversial styling philosophy.

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The BMW 135i Convertible and BMW 135i Coupe for the first time with BMW inline six cylinder gasoline engine combining TwinPower Turbo, High Precision Injection, Valvetronic and the new seven gear double clutch transmission with sports automatic (01/2010)

The BMW 1 Series Coupe and Convertible exhibited a highly dynamic silhouette, with typical RWD proportions and a lot of flame surfacing going on around. The stance of the E82 and E88 models was imposing even for a compact car, with aggressively styled headlights and a lot of intricate, sharp design cues.

The E82 1 Series: Building on a rich coupe heritage

The first-ever 1 Series Coupe (internally codenamed E82) was officially premiered at the IAA Frankfurt 2007. Due to its size and warm reception by the public, it is frequently considered to be a true successor of the classic E30 3 Series 2-door coupe of the ’80s era.

As BMW reiterated in the official press release for the E82 series, “The new BMW 1 Series Coupé concentrates on one feature in particular: pure driving pleasure.” The 2-door compact was a properly developed BMW, exuding a pure-bred sports character and boasting a dynamic powertrain.

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The 1 Series Coupe featured a distinct 2+2 seat architecture, with clearly defined body volumes and muscular proportions that highlighted the car’s natural elegance. Even though the E82 belonged to the compact class, the engine bay was generous enough to house a straight-six petrol engine.

The range-topping 135i Coupe included a standard M Aerodynamic package and was powered by a 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder petrol engine developing 225 kW / 306 PS (302 hp). The N54B30 powerplant, as it was codenamed, featured Twin Turbo technology and High Precision Injection.

The engine also received the coveted International Engine Of The Year 2007 award. It developed a peak torque of 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) and rendered the 135i Coupe a forceful acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds.

Other power versions included the highly efficient 123d Coupe and 120d Coupe versions. Both were equipped with the same N47D20 Variable Twin Turbo diesel engine in different output stages and featured extensive BMW EfficientDynamics measures. The 123d variant boasted a peak output of 155 kW / 204 PS (201 hp), whereas the more frugal 120d was rated at 130 kW / 177 PS (174 hp).

It gave birth to one of the best M cars ever made

BMW kept the 1 Series Coupe as classic as possible, as power was sent exclusively to the rear-axle wheels, with no xDrive choice available as an option. The E82 series also spawned the 1 Series M Coupe high-performance model (F82M), which was underpinned by a modified M chassis and featured an enhanced N54 engine.

The 6-cylinder powerplant with M TwinPower Turbo developed 250 kW / 340 PS (335 hp) and a peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft). The 1 Series M Coupe accelerated from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. The power was sent to the back wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Furthermore, as part of BMW Group’s Project i, the 2-door 1 Series was also the basis of the BMW ActiveE prototype. The electric 1 Series Coupe appeared in 2012 and was used for mass trial testing program in the United States, China and Europe, boasting a total range of 151 kilometers (94 miles, as calculated by EPA).

In 2011, the E82 1 Series received the well-deserved LCI treatment, which included some subtle visual changes to the car’ exterior styling and some important updates in terms of powertrain and technology. The N54 unit powering the pre-LCI 135i Coupe was replaced by the newer N55 engine. In August 2013, production of the first-and-last ever 1 Series Coupe ceased, as the all-new 2 Series Coupe (F22) got unveiled.

The E88 1 Series: A breath of fresh air in the compact class

The 1 Series Convertible was officially premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008. Built on the same architecture as the F82, the car redefined the concept of open-air driving pleasure in the compact class.

The 1 Series Convertible was distinguished thanks to its refined exterior styling, which comprised the powerful, straight shoulder line, the muscular wheel arches and the overall balanced, svelte silhouette.

The F88 was also available with a striking and very rare BMW paintwork: the Tahiti Green metallic, which was one of the 2008 launch colors for the series.

Offered exclusively with rear-drive traction, the 1 Series Convertible was equipped with a classic soft-top, which was the ideal solutions that saved important kilograms and cargo space in the boot. Folding and unfolding operation took around 22 seconds and could be done at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

To further improve the level of safety, the body of the E88 1 Series had been significantly reinforced, which meant an additional 115 kg over the Coupe version in terms of kerb weight. Other solutions included the rollover protection with rollbars placed behind the rear headrests as well as crash-optimized front seat backrests and headrests.

The engine lineup comprised both diesel and petrol engine, with slight changes compared to the 1 Series Coupe. Thus, the Convertible came in the following versions:

  • 118i, with a 4-cylinder petrol unit rated at 105 kW / 143 PS equipped with High Precision Injection
  • 120d, with a turbocharged diesel engine making up 130 kW / 177 PS
  • 120i, with 125 kW / 170 PS
  • 125i, with a 6-cylinder, 3.0-liter petrol engine equipped with Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC, rated at 160 kW / 218 PS (composite magnesium/aluminum crankcase)
  • The range-topping 135i, with the 2,979 cc, I6 Twin Turbo petrol engine with High Precision Injection, boasting 225 kW / 306 PS

As you already know, no M variant was offered for the 1 Series Convertible. Like in the case of the E82 model, the E88 open-top also received the LCI refreshment in 2011, which meant a sharper styling, new infotainment technology (BMW CIC) and more efficient powertrains. The one-and-only 1 Series Convertible marched on until June 2013, when production officially ended.

Should I Buy One?

The BMW 1 Series, either in coupe or convertible form, is arguably one of the best driving cars of the last decade. It’s also shaping up to be a future classic, considering how rare they are on the road today. But not only because of that – the 1 Series is truly a gem today in an automotive world dominated by large and bloated cars.

Furthermore, the 1 Series was offered with an extensive range of engines, as well as the highly coveted manual transmission. But as most modern cars, it also has its faults – The most important one being the N54 engine. While the TwinTurbo 3.0 liter has great potential for tuning, and impressive power delivery across the entire rpm range, it also has some issues.

In the United States, some N54 engines experienced failures of the High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP), resulting a class action lawsuit, a voluntary recall and an extended warranty for the HPFP. After BMW settled a lawsuit, they recalled nearly 130,000 cars and replaced the HPFP in about 40,000 of them.

On top of this, the warranty period for the HPFP was increased to 10 years and 120,000 mi (190,000 km). The warranty period for the fuel injectors was also increased, to 10 years or 120,000 mi (190,000 km). Due to problems with rattling wastegates caused by premature bushing wear, BMW extended the warranty period for wastegate-related issues to 8 years or 82,000 mi (132,000 km).

But the N54-powered models are still a small subset of the 1 Series family, so there are plenty of other engine choices. We often told people that it’s probably best to choose a 2011+ model with N55 single-turbo TwinScroll engine.

As always, we put together an extensive photo gallery showcasing the beauty of these 1 Series models:




BMW 750Li in Royal Burgundy goes for a ride in Dracula’s Land

Who doesn’t want to go to Transylvania? Obviously, vampires aren’t real (or are they?) but the idea of going to Dracula’s home land is still kind of awesome, in a nerdy way. Also, it seems like there are a lot of great driving roads in the land of fang-toothed ne’er-do-wells. In fact, based on all of the photo shoots we see there, Romania seems like one of the world capitals of great driving roads. In this latest one, we get to see a Royal Burgundy BMW 750Li hitting some twisties.

The BMW 750Li isn’t exactly a driver’s car. In fact, it’s not even in the same ballpark as driver’s cars. However, it’s more capable than it looks and it sits its passengers in the lap of luxury. When you look at the breathtaking scenery around the car in these photos and video, you’ll understand why that’s important.

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Sitting inside the BMW 750Li, regardless of the seat, while winding up and down these roads must be lovely. You’re sat in a wonderfully luxurious cabin, the ride is supple, the seats are lovely and the cabin is quiet, while you gently snake through your gorgeous surroundings. It might not be thrilling but it’s probably wonderful.

It is fast, though. Thanks to its 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8, the BMW 750i makes a whopping 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. So straight-line acceleration is intense, as it’s capable of reaching 60 mph in just under four seconds. The V8 also sounds good, further amplifying the experience.

Royal Burgundy is also a great color. It’s special and interesting, all while staying subdued and sophisticated. It’s a shade that perfectly fits the 7 Series, especially the newly facelifted one with the new grille. It’s also just so much better than black, silver or white, in which almost every other 7 Series is painted.

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If you’re going to spend the money on a six-figure 7 Series, get a color like Royal Burgundy (I can’t tell you how many times I said “Ron Burgundy” in my head while writing this). And make sure you get the big V8 and drive it somewhere as cool as Transylvania.



Robert Downey Jr. Has a SpeedKore 1974 BMW 3.0 CS

Robert Downey Jr. isn’t well known as a car enthusiast however he does have a famous connection to one car — the Audi R8. More than a decade ago, the R8 made its silver-screen debut in Iron Man, with Downey. as the lead. He still has appreciation for the brand and the car today, having been such a part of his career for so long (also, how does one not love an R8?). Though it would seem that Audi isn’t the only German brand Downey appreciates, as he also owns a 1974 BMW 3.0 CS that’s been heavily modified by SpeedKore.

SpeedKore is an American tuning company that predominantly tunes American muscle cars, both old and new. Downey himself has a couple of SpeedKore-tuned muscle cars and his co-star, Chris Evans, has one as well. However, Downey’s ’74 BMW 3.0 CS is the tuning company’s first-ever European project and they seem to have done a helluva job with it.

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On the outside, the body is still mostly metal, which is unusual for a SpeedKore project, however there is still some carbon fiber sprinkled in. The front air dam, rocker moldings and rear bumper are made from the stuff. A couple of more interesting bits on the outside are the typically chrome trim on the shoulder line of the car and the rear lip spoiler, both of which have been replaced with wood and they actually look really good. It’s a grey-ish wood trim that also matches the interior trim.

It also gets yellow headlights and HRE C109 three-piece forged wheels, the latter of which are finished in gunmetal to contrast the brick red paintwork, the latter of which was Downey’s choice. Despite not typically working with European cars, SpeedKore seems to have done a fantastic job of keeping its stylish Euro looks while also tweaking it and making it seem unique.

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Inside, it’s even more special and unique. It gets a lovely new brown leather upholstery, with woven seat inserts and contrast stitching that seems to match the car’s exterior color. It gets new metal switch gear, aluminum pedals and that same hydro-dipped wood grain trim throughout the cabin, even on the Nardi steering wheel. Interestingly, SpeedKore completely remolded the dashboard to look stock but also to fit new gauges from Classic Instruments and a hidden touchscreen that seems to rise up from the dash.

There’s also a rear seat delete, which replaces the rear seats with a custom packing shelf, again a Downey request, for long grand-touring cruises. In the trunk lies a leather-wrapped YETI cooler as well.

The car rides on Bilstein shocks and gets Brembo brakes, six-piston up front and four-piston out back. So it should also ride and stop as well as a modern sports car.

Powering Iron Man’s own BMW 3.0 CS is a 3.5 liter straight-six from an E34 BMW M5. SpeedKore doesn’t give specifics, so we don’t know if it’s been modified or how much power it makes but a stock E34 M5 made around 311 horsepower (later model Euro cars had more but North American cars were stuck with the 311 horses). That might not sound like a ton but it’s almost double the original 3.0 CS’ power output, so it’s probably seriously quick. Admittedly, the four-speed automatic is a bit of a bummer but if Iron Man just wants to cruise, let the man cruise.

From the photos, it seems like this might have actually been an ALPINA car, prior to its custom build, as it has an ALPINA plaque and build number on under the hood, near the strut tower.

We’ve never seen a BMW 3.0 CS like this before and it looks fantastic. SpeedKore has done an excellent job of keeping its Euro-styling while also making it look unique. RDJ seems to have good taste, as well.


BMW celebrates the 25th anniversary of the iconic Z3

The BMW Z3 has been an emblematic model for BMW ever since its launch in 1995, which best synthesized the essence of a modern, thorough-bred roadster. The Bavarian two-seat open-top is now celebrating the 25th anniversary. With the Z3, the BMW established the Z family on a firm basis. Premiered in June 1995, the roadster was the successor of the Z1 roadster, produced in a limited run between 1989 and 1991. The letter “Z” stands for “Zukunft”, which in German means “future”.

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The design of an icon in a modern, compact interpretation

Building on the rich heritage of its BMW 507 roadster predecessor, the Z3 is a complete cult car today as it embodied the seductive silhouette of the 1950s ancestor into a timeless, dynamic and highly attractive design philosophy. The design of the Z3 was penned by artist Joji Nagashima (who also designed the E39 5 Series and, later, the E90 3 Series) and follows the characteristic traits of the classic BMW roadster: the long bonnet, short overhangs and a driving position moved towards the rear, almost on top of the rear axle.

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The most recognizable, iconic design features were the E39-inspired headlight graphics, the decently sized kidney and the side air gills and side-mounted BMW roundel reinterpreted from the classic 507.

The Z3 was assembled at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the South Carolina, US, starting with September 1995, making it the first BMW model to be fully produced outside Europe. Developed on the E36 3 Series platform, the Z3 was available in two body styles: the E36/7 Roadster (from Sep’95) and the E36/8 Coupe (from Sep’98).

In a world lacking SUVs and other potentially attractive high-riding vehicles, it is no wonder that the Z3 was a real success for BMW, with close to 300,000 units assembled in South Carolina (297,087, to be precise).

In November 1995, the Z3 Roadster was starred in the “Golden Eye” movie of the famous James Bond series. In the US, the special, limited Z3 James Bond Edition was released on the occasion, with just 20 units planned. Eventually, given the increased demand, the production of the edition model was extended to 100 examples. Today, the Z3 driven by Pierce Brosnan 25 years ago resides in the BMW Museum in Munich.

In terms of engines, the lineup for the Z3 included 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder petrol-fed choices. The entry-level 1.8-litre variant developed 115 hp (M43B18) – the Z3 1.8i, followed by a 1.9-liter Z3 with 143 hp (M43B19) – the Z3 1.9i. And yes, as you see, the naming structure made sense and was articulated with the cylinder displacement.

In April 1997, the M52B28 2.8-liter I6 engine with 193 hp was added to the Z3 lineup – the Z3 2.8i. At the same time, BMW also introduced the M Roadster version, which boasted a 3.2-liter, 6-cylinder powerplant with 321 hp (S50B32), also in use on the E36 M3. The M version differed substantially from the standard Z3 in the sense that it featured new front and rear bumpers, quad exhausts, Style 40 wheels, a limited slip differential (LSD) and high-performance brakes.

When the facelift came in 1999, the Z3 got a revised styling and some new engines as follows: the 4-cylinder M43B19 with 117 hp – Z3 1.9i, the 6-cylinder M52B20 with 150 hp – Z3 2.0i, and the 6-cylinder M52B22 with 170 hp – Z3 2.2i.

The range-topping versions of the Z3 were the 3.0-liter model with 231 hp (M52B30) – Z3 3.0i, and, of course, the M Roadster which received a new 6-cylinder high-performance engine (S54B32) and a power upgrade up to 325 hp. From 2000 to 2002, another version with a 6-cylinder petrol engine was also offered: the Z3 2.5i with 184 hp (M54B25).

The legendary Z3 Coupe

The 2-door, 2-seater Z3 was clearly a special appearance within the range. Introduced in the summer of 1998, with production kicking off at the dawn of autumn that year in South Carolina, the E36/8 Z3 is a true symbol of exclusivity in all aspects. For instance, the Z3 Coupe is a rare bird, having been assembled in just under 18,000 units, which makes it very special and unique, but as well a real gem for collectors.

The design of the Z3 Coupe was inspired by the classic BMW 328 Touring Coupe and exuded dynamism in its most puristic form. The tail lights of the Coupe model were also distinct from those found on the Z3 Roadster, sporting the famous “L” shape. To highlight its superior status, the Z3 Coupe was offered exclusively with 6-cylinder petrol engines only. The 2.8i version was good 193 hp, the 3.0i came with 231 hp and the M Coupe boasted 321 hp and, after LCI, 325 hp.

Special Z3 editions created by BMW

In 1999, BMW started the long-term, successful partnership with MotoGP rights owner Dorna Sports. During the 1998 and 1999 seasons of the competition, the Z3 M Coupe served the duty as Safety Car. The one-off Z3 Coupe Millennium Edition was specifically produced by BMW at the request of a German automotive publication, to be offered as prize for a lucky reader participating in the New Year’s lot.

The long bonnet of the compact roadster proved instrumental when BMW launched the Z3 M V12 prototype, as it offered plenty of room to accommodate the giant, 326-hp 12-cylinder engine in a longitudinal arrangement.

BMW Individual also got its hands on the Z3 Roadster and created several limited edition models with some unique color combos: Sport Edition, British Traditional, Dakkar and Kyalami. Of all, the Sport Edition was the most sought after, as it offered 17-inch alloys with Style 42 or Style 78 design, a 15 mm-reduced ground clearance, auto-locking rear diff, sport seats and M details.

The last Z3 model in history was produced on June 28th, 2002 and, as a sign of honor for the great success, this example is now exhibited in the plant’s museum at Spartanburg. The subsequent generation shift meant a incremental change in nomenclature, as the Z3 was replaced by the first Z4 – the E85 generation of 2002.



BMW M8 Competition vs Jaguar F-Type R drag race

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When considering GT choices, a couple of names instantly pop up, especially if you’re into true luxury models. Some of them even have the ‘GT’ acronym in their name, like the Bentley Continental GT, whereas others might not be as straightforward but still have the same feeling on the road. One of them is the BMW M8 Competition while another possible choice could be the Jaguar F-Type R.

The Jaguar received a facelift late last year and the first models are being delivered to customers right now. Since that’s the case, videos of the new car are popping up all over the Internet. This week we saw the BMW M2 CS take on the F-Type in a test held by the guys from LoveCars. In that video we weren’t dealing with the top of the range Jag though, the F-Type R. In order to compensate, we’re bringing you another video, of a different fashion.

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Posted below you’ll see a drag race between the F-Type R and the BMW M8 Competition. It’s a bit of an uneven match though, as you’re probably thinking right now. The BMW has been seen hanging with proper supercars and hitting way above its ‘weight limit’. It also has the edge on the F-Type R when it comes to power output. The BMW has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood making 625 HP and 750 Nm of torque.

The Jaguar, on the other hand, has a 5-liter supercharged V8 which is tuned to make 575 HP and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque. It’s also all-wheel drive and uses a similar 8-speed ZF gearbox but it is rated to do 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds, a tad shy of the BMW. The video below though shows a totally different result, with the gap between the two being… massive, as the Brits would put it.


New spy shots and digital rendering

Sporting a completely revamped visual identity, the third generation of the BMW X1 is expected to bow late next year as a 2022 model. The story of the Bavarian compact Sports Activity Vehicle began in 2009, when the E84 model series was premiered. Back then, the X1 was underpinned by the same RWD chassis as the E91 3 Series Touring, given the identical wheelbase.

The E84 remains the only X1 generation equipped with the rear-wheel drive architecture, as the second generation that premiered in 2016 was developed on the UKL (“Unter Klasse” standing for Lower Class) platform. The current F48 model is in for replacement late next year, when a new X1 generation is set to kick in.

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The future X1 will make use of the latest FAAR front-driven chassis that already underpins the F40 1 Series and F44 2 Series. As seen from the latest spy photos, the compact SAV is planned to grow significantly in size compared to the F48. As we don’t own the spy shots, you can see them here.

From what we can see so far (although looks can be deceiving sometimes), the new X1 will receive a more rugged styling and bolder exterior proportions. The front fascia appears imposing and self-assured, defined by the aggressive headlights and the huge, upright kidneys, which cleverly denotes the membership to the X family.

The vertical slats appear double (though, it may be an illusion). The upper lid of the radiator grille is thicker as well, marking a comeback for the kidney type that was once used on the E63/E64 6 Series of the Bangle era. Futhermore, the front air vent is generously sized. The wheel arches and the silhouette gain further presence thanks to their decisively rectangular styling, which inspires power and confidence. The next X1 will also receive brand new exterior mirrors and possibly integrated door handles.

Related: Video: 2020 BMW X1 Review goes over all the changes

The side window line is sweeping upwards towards the C-pillar, following the path dictated by the body’s character line and the muscular rear shoulders. Of course, the Hofmeister kink will suffer a reinterpretation from the classic shape. Developed horizontally and featuring a revised “L” shape, the tail lights are mostly positioned at the mid of the rear area height.

Besides the ICE and plug-in hybrid choices, from 2023 BMW will also launch the new iX1 electric version based on the forthcoming X1 generation. The British publication AutoExpress has digitally rendered the iX1 and you can see it here.

As earlier reported, the pure-electric X1 could come initially in FWD configuration, with the xDrive model expected to follow later. Although an early artist impression, the iX1 imagined by Autocar features the typical BMW i styling that debuted on the new iX3. Whereas the kidney grille will likely be more generous, the kidney frame is pretty accurate.

As the new X1 will be bigger and comparable to the E83 X3, for example, the cabin space will be drastically improved. The dashboard of the future X1 will be defined by two digital screens for the instrument cluster and central control. The new infotainment interface will be based on an enhanced version of the BMW OS 7.0 and will likely be reserved for the new compact models. As also seen in some of the latest scoops with the 2022 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

The overall architecture will get simplified as many physical switches and knobs will disappear, as the operation concept will rely on more intuitive touch and gesture control, as well as a natural interaction with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

It remains to be seen if BMW wants to get rid of the stylish electronic gear shifter, but as evidence pointed out in the case of the future compact MPV, the 2022 X1 is likely in to receive just a small toggle-switch selector, similar to Volkswagen Golf or Porsche 911.

[Top Rendering: Kolesa.ru]



Frozen Blue G82 M4 spotted testing one last time before unveil

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The new BMW G80 M3 and G82 M4 are going to be unveiled next month, as promised by BMW and just before we get to see them in all their glory, the latter model was spotted doing some more testing on the Nurburgring. This time, we can clearly see this is a production-ready prototype, wearing everything you’ll see on the car once it arrives on a street near you. That includes the color which, for now, is a bit of a mystery.

We can all see that it’s some sort of Frozen Blue shade, but BMW has been coy about the details so far. We’ve learned a while back that the G80 M3 will be launched wearing a color dubbed ‘Isle of Man Green’ while the launch color for the G82 M4 is Sao Paolo Yellow.

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Nonetheless, this Frozen Blue paint looks great and it could give the controversial car a bit of an edge. I’m saying ‘controversial’ because by now we all know – and have to make peace with the fact that – the huge kidney grille up front will be used on the production version. Whether you like it or not doesn’t really matter, BMW is soldiering on with it and we’ll just have to wait for the car with no camo on to make up our minds about it.

Related: 2021 BMW M3 and M4 fleet spotted in Las Vegas

As for the technical side of things, you already know what’s waiting under the hood: a 3-liter straight six S58 mill, with 480 or 510 PS, all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive configurations and either an 8-speed automatic or a manual gearbox. All things considered, even with a new design, the M3 and M4 will definitely appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts and will have the numbers and performance to get your adrenaline kicks on the regular.


Los Angeles Police Department is Selling its Fleet of BMW i3 BEVs

Back in 2015, BMW lent the Los Angeles Police Department some BMW i3 squad cars, in an attempt to win a bid with the Department to supply i3s. BMW ended up winning that contract and ended up supplying the LAPD with one hundred i3s each year, for three years, from 2016-2019. Now, though, those very i3s are currently up for sale.

The dealership which provided the cars, New Century BMW, is now selling all of them as CPO models. Almost all of them have low miles, under 20,000 miles, and they’re all the same spec. All LAPD BMW i3 BEVs are in the Deka World trim, with the standard 19″ wheels and the older 22 kWh battery pack, despite newer models having been given bigger battery packs. So they only have about 81 miles of max range, at least when new.

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If you want a used BMW i3, it might be difficult to pass up this offer. Despite the fact that they’re all base-spec cars that aren’t exactly stylish, though they do come in the desirable “Panda” color scheme. To offset the lack of choice, they are all quite cheap. All LAPD BMW i3 models can be had for under $20,000, which is a steal for a carbon fiber-tubbed BMW EV that retailed for almost $50,000 when new.

Admittedly, the BMW i3 BEV that was contracted to the LAPD is seriously outdated by now. It’s not just the battery tech that’s old but also its interior and cabin tech. It also shows just how poorly EVs age. While traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars can actually get better with age and become more desirable, electric tech just seems dated. Still, if you’re looking for cheap, all-electric transportation, one of these BMW i3s could actually be a great idea.

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Plus, they have the benefit of being greener than any new EV you can buy. For starters, the i3 was one of the most greenly-made vehicles in history, as the plant that built the carbon fiber structure was powered by wind and almost all of its materials were recycled. On top of that, these cars are old, so the manufacturing damage to the environment is already done and you’re not increasing auto manufacturing. If you want to go green, it’s hard to pass up on a used BMW i3.

Considering the prices and the mileage, these LAPD BMW i3 models could be great buys for anyone looking to get into a cheap EV or maybe even start an EV project car. Check ’em out at New Century BMW.

[Source: Inside EVs]


That Strange BMW 8 Series Test Mule Wasn’t a Mid-Engine Prototype

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A few days ago, a strange looking BMW 8 Series test mule was spotted doing some testing on the road and it seemed to have had a mid-mounted engine. It seemed mid-engine due to its closed-off front grille, rear window vents and odd rear window covering. That test mule confused so many enthusiasts and journalists alike, as it just seemed like it shouldn’t exist. Turns out, that’s because it doesn’t.

The seemingly mid-engine 8 Series test mule isn’t actually a mid-engine 8 Series after all. After German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reached out to BMW for comment, they learned that the test mule was design to test several different components. In fact, despite its looks, BMW claimed that it isn’t even mid-engine.

BMW was mum on the details, as it wouldn’t divulge what sort of parts it was testing with this mule but we have an idea. Being that BMW clearly had cooling going to the rear, it seems possible that the brand was testing out a new hybrid powertrain for the upcoming BMW X8 M45e. We know the X8 is on the way and we know there will be a hybrid version of it, combining a twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor. So it’s possible that the X8’s future hybrid powertrain was actually powering that 8 Series test mule.

BMW X8 image 750x422
BMW X8 M Render

There’s also the possibility that BMW is looking into retro-fitting that same hybrid setup into other cars. Reason I say that is because why would BMW test an SUV’s massive powertrain in a two-door coupe? If the X8 isn’t developed yet, why not use an X7 or and X6, something big enough to similar enough in shape to comfortably handle the weight and size of the hybrid powertrain? So maybe BMW was using the 8 Series because it might be getting its own performance hybrid setup. This is purely speculation, of course, but it’s interesting.

We don’t know what this test mule was testing but now we know what it wasn’t. It wasn’t a mid-engine supercar of any kind.

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]