There’s no human on earth that’s driven the ALPINA B5 Touring and thought “it’s okay but it needs more power.” The B5 is a monster, with its 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, coming from its highly-tuned but BMW-sourced 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8. It’s every bit as fast as a BMW M5 in the real world, which means it’s fast enough to get from 0-60 mph in just over 3.0 seconds. Yet, even with all of that speed, the tuners at McChip-DKR felt that it needed a bit more power. So they tuned the ALPINA B5 to make a supercar-rivaling 720 horsepower.
According to McChip-DKR, this new Stage 1 tuned bumps power up to 720 horsepower and a whopping 664 lb-ft of torque. So it’s significantly punchier than the standard car and will likely make it M5 fast, which would be impressive considering its quite a bit heavier. Also, remember that this specific ALPINA B5 Touring is a wagon. Except it’s now a luxury family wagon with the same power output as a McLaren 720S. Actually, it has almost 100 lb-ft more torque than the McLaren. So there’s that.
What will be interesting to see is how driveable and usable the ALPINA B5 Touring is after the tune. One of the best aspects of the B5 is that it’s brutally fast but also incredibly refined and comfortable. Its engine is silky smooth and its road manners are impeccable. So it will be very impressive if all of that remains after the tune.
If the B5’s road manners are still intact after said tune, then the €1,851 ($2,261) it costs to tune it is an absolute bargain. Considering that the ALPINA B5 Touring is already a very expensive car, that added cost isn’t even noticeable but adds a ton of extra power. So if you’re in the market for an ALPINA B5 Touring, seriously considering getting this tune, so long as it maintains the car’s incredible smoothness.
The electric vehicle is obviously nothing new, with EVs becoming readily available to the masses over a decade ago. However, EVS are now starting to become mainstream enough that infrastructure and government regulation changes are necessary right now. Not in a couple of years but today. The reason for the need for immediate change, especially in our infrastructure, is that electric vehicles are powered and fueled very differently than internal combustion vehicles and we need to adapt to their needs.
What is by far the most important concern among EV buyers, both new and old, is range anxiety. Constantly doing the math in your head about how far you have left to go, how much battery the car says is remaining, how far to the nearest charge station and how long it’s going to take to charge is exhausting and, sometimes, scary. So we need to not only adapt our infrastructure to support EVs better but we ourselves also need to adapt and learn how to drive EVs, as well as what to prioritize when buying them.
When it comes to buying EVs, there are two variables that must be taken into consideration, potentially above all else; range and charge speed.
Range is simple; how far the car can drive on a full battery charge. At the moment, the golden number seems to be 300 miles. While there are cars that can do more (Both Tesla and Lucid have 400 mile cars) and cars that do far less (Audi e-tron, BMW i3), 300 seems to be the number with which customers start to let go of their range anxiety. Even at 200 miles, customers are still doing that math in their head as they drive and that’s not an enjoyable experience.
Charge speed is different but equally as obvious; it’s how fast the car can charge its batteries. However, there are different variables when it comes to rating the speed at which a car can actually charge.
First of which is its max charging speed, rated by the manufacturer. Charge speed is typically rated in kilowatts and most of the better EVs on the market are capable of 150 kW charging, which is quite good. Anything under 100 kW is now considered slow and anything over 150 kW is exceptionally fast. However, when it comes to anything over 150 kW, the availability of compatible charging stations becomes scarce. So the faster the charge speed the better but don’t expect to always be able to charge at the speed.
Next up is the sort of charger you can use. Sometimes you can find 150 kW fast chargers in the real world (most Tesla Supercharger stations have chargers rated at that speed or higher) and some home charging stations are rated at that speed. If you have access such chargers, great, but not all chargers are rated at 150 kW. So even if your car is, the charger you’re using might not be, thus requiring you to charge your car at a lower speed than it’s capable of, which will obviously take longer.
The last charge speed variable is the duration of max charge speed. This is possibly the most important aspect of charging a battery. Many new cars are rated at 150 kW charging but not many of them can charge at that speed for very long. For instance, certain Tesla models are rated at 250 kW charging, which is currently the fastest among production cars. However, it can only charge at 250 kW for a very short time, so charging at that speed doesn’t actually improve charge times all that much over a 150kW charger. This article from Car and Driver is a good example of that.
This really only pertains to one automaker but it’s still worth noting. While all EVs can use most chargers, and the Electrify America network is getting quite large, Telsas are the only EVs that can use Tesla’s Supercharging network. Due to the Supercharger network’s far greater availability, ease of use and high-speed chargers, it seems that Tesla has a massive advantage over the competition, which should factor heavily in your EV buying decision.
How to Choose Your EV
When choosing your EV, you have to figure out what you prioritize more; outright range or charge speed. For example, let’s say you commute relatively far for work but your job has a charging station you can use while you’re there. Outright range is likely more important because you have to drive far but you also have all day to charge. Or maybe you don’t have a far commute but are in your car often, throughout the day. The ability to charge quickly each and every time you stop might be more important than the actual distance you can drive in one shot.
The Audi e-tron is a good example of the latter. It doesn’t have a ton of range, with only 200-ish miles of range in the real world. However, it can charge at 150 kW from about 10-percent SOC (state of charge) to about 70-percent. So that’s a huge bandwith of 150 kW charging, thus decreasing the time it takes to actually charge the vehicle.
While the Hyundai Kona EV is a good example of the former. It has more range than the e-tron, at 258 miles, but only charges at 75 kW. So it can go about 50 miles further, give or take real world factors, but charges slower.
Obviously those two cars aren’t going to be cross-shopped, as they’re priced in two completely different categories. But they prove that there’s a decision to be made about overall range, charge speed, the duration of that charge speed, the availability of chargers in your area and what sort of chargers they are.
So, to summarize it all, if you’re looking for an electric car, don’t just look at its overall range as an indicator of how good of an EV it’s going to be or what your experience is going to be like. There are other factors involved that can actually be even more important. In the end, figuring our which is more important really comes down to your specific situation and they all need to be considered before making a purchase.
BMW gets a lot of guff these days. Mostly for slapping irradiated beaver teeth on its cars but also for losing some of the BMW handling magic that fans have come to love over the decades. However, there’s no denying the fact that BMW knows how to make brutally fast machines. In fact, few brands on earth an make cars as fast as BMW does. Two of BMW’s current machines ended up making Motor Trend’s fastest cars of 2020 list; the BMW M8 Competition Coupe and, surprisingly, the BMW X6 M Competition.
It’s not hard to see why the BMW M8 Competition Coupe made the list. It’s violent 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 makes 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Sure, the M8 is massive and heavy but it still rips from 0-60 mph in a MT-tested 3.3 seconds. Some testers have hit 60 mph faster in the M8 but even at 3.3 seconds, it’s one of the very fastest cars MT tested in 2020. Considering the sorts of cars MT tests on a regular basis, BMW should be proud.
Perhaps even more impressive is the other BMW that made the list. The BMW X6 M Competition is an enormous SUV that has no business being on a performance list. However, the X6 M, with its M8-shared 617 horsepower 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8, is able to nail 60 mph in 3.3 seconds as well. So it manages to tie the M8 Competition to 60 mph, making it almost as fast as cars like the Audi RS6 Avant and Porsche 911 Carrera 4S.
BMW might not make the pure, lightweight, delicate sports cars that it used to but it certainly makes some of the very fastest cars in the world. Some of them are fast enough to take your breath away. What’s even more shocking about this list from Motor Trend is that it even leaves off BMW’s fastest car — the BMW M5 Competition, which has hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
BMW has never made a lightweight, more hardcore version of the M5. While the M3 has had several hardcore versions over its many years and seven generations of existence, the BMW M5 has not had anything of the sort. So the upcoming BMW M5 CS is going to be a first and while it might seem like an odd recipe at first, it’s a surprisingly tantalizing one.
When the BMW M5 CS hits the road, it’s going to be the most powerful M5 of all time, while also being the lightest version of this current F90 generation. The M5 CS will use the same 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 as the standard M5, only it’s been massaged to 626 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, though the latter figure is unchanged from the normal M5. In addition to its added power, the BMW M5 CS also gets a hefty weight reduction, to the tune of 154 lbs (70 kg). That’s the same as throwing me out of the car.
More important that just its weight reduction is where its weight has been reduced. New lightweight wheels, along with carbon fiber bucket seats help to lower the center of gravity and the former even help to reduce unsprung mass. When fitted with ultra-sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires — 285 and 275-section tires, back and front respectively — the BMW M5 CS should feel considerably sharper than the current, standard car.
What will be interesting to see is whether or not the M5 CS ditches a lot of the standard M5’s comfort and luxury features. If the BMW M2 CS is anything to go by, there’s a chance it could be rather spartan, as M5s go, inside. There could be a center console delete, a large reduction in sound-deadening material and even a carbon fiber cover for the transmission tunnel. If that’s the case, there’s a chance the BMW M5 CS is a far less comfortable and luxurious machine.
Which is what makes the M5 CS such an oddity. The entire purpose behind building a BMW M5 is to create a luxury sedan that’s also shockingly fast and fun to drive but that’s also comfortable and usable everyday. So there’s a luxury line that BMW might eventually cross in its venture to make the M5 CS as sharp and capable as it can be. If it does cross that line, will the BMW M5 CS actually become a but pointless? If you want the sharpest, most engaging BMW you can buy, you get an M2 CS, even if the M5 CS exists. So why lose out on the luxury of an M5, which is sort of the whole point of the vehicle, to get the sharpest version?
Obviously, it’s also possible that BMW is able to create some magic and walk that line between making the M5 CS too hardcore and just hardcore enough. To be fair, BMW M did do that masterfully with the M2 CS, so there’s precedent there. However, the M5 is a trickier proposition, given its inherent luxurious nature.
With that said, if BMW can nail that balance, between everyday comfort and genuine hardcore precision, the BMW M5 CS could be one of the most intriguing and tantalizing cars in the brand’s lineup. We obviously can’t wait to find out.
This new generation of BMW M3 is on the way. With it comes a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six with over 500 horsepower, based on BMW’s best engine in ages, the B58. However, after hearing its exhaust, despite how good it sounds, we’re still left yearning for the good old days. For instance, this video of an E90 BMW M3 with an Eisenmann exhaust reminds us of why it’s the best sounding M3 of all time and how far even the best sounding M3s have fallen since.
Now, you might not think that’s a fair comparison, due to the E90 M3’s aftermarket, upgraded exhaust. However, it’s not exactly the volume of the exhaust that makes the E90 so good but the very nature of its engine. Powering the E90 BMW M3 is a 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that makes the most sensational of noises. It is, without question, one of the best sounding BMW engines of all time. Sure, the engine has its reliability concerns but, honestly, when it sounds like that, who cares?
With an Eisenmann exhaust, it sounds even better, free of any sort of emissions restrictions that ruin its sound. What’s so lovely about the exhaust note in this video is that it’s entirely devoid of pops and bangs. All of the automotive flatulence you hear from modern cars is entirely inauthentic. Yes, it’s really happening but those pops and bangs are made to happen, thanks to the automaker tuning the engine and exhaust to make them happen. So while they’re real, they’re dishonest and have grown tiresome with most enthusiasts.
The E90 BMW M3 in this video has none of that; it’s just pure, unfiltered V8 song and it’s glorious. The best part is that there’s also beauty in the noise that comes from under the hood. Pop the hood and listen to the V8’s induction noise and you’re met with a growl that’s equally as pleasing as the one that comes from its exhaust. As good as modern BMW engines sound, listen to their intake noise and they sound like vacuum cleaners; all whooshing and the sucking of air.
Modern BMW engines are great, don’t get me wrong. The B58 is sensational, as is its S58 counterpart found in the X3 M and upcoming M3/M4. The 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 family is also quite wonderful. However, none of those engines have anything on the S65 from the E90 BMW M3. It was a little window in time when such an engine was possible and we’ve missed it ever since. It was, and still is, the best sounding M3 engine of them all.
As BMWBLOG’s resident cheapskate, it’s my job to find the best values in BMW’s lineup. Which is why I’m always looking to see whether or not a certain BMW is worth its price. Typically, I’m quick to dismiss cars that are more expensive, in favor or cheaper cars with similar performance. However, this time, I’m actually going to suggest spending a few thousand dollars more on the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid over the less-expensive BMW 330i.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the BMW 330i and it’s a fabulous car. It’s fun to drive, comfortable, has a premium interior and is more than quick enough for 90-percent of the population. However, for only $3,300 more, you can buy yourself the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid, which comes with more power, better efficiency and an electric driving mode, and land yourself a hefty federal tax credit in the process.
To start, the gasoline-only BMW 330i costs $41,250, before taxes and destination fees. While the BMW 330e starts at $44,550, before the same fees. However, if you get the hybrid model, you also get a federal tax credit of $5,836, according to FuelEconomy.gov. So that would actually make the 330e cheaper than its dino-juice-exclusive 330i sibling. Not only will it be cheaper in the long run, it will also save you money on fuel, as it’s the more efficient car.
Powering the BMW 330e is a de-tuned version of the 2.0 liter B48 engine found in the 330i. So the engine itself makes less power, 181 horsepower to be exact. However, it also gets some help from an electric motor, which bumps the total output to 288 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That’s not too much more than the 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of the 330i but it’s enough to keep the 0-60 mph times the same, despite the added weight increase of the hybrid 330e.
While the 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds isn’t an improvement, the fact that it’s no slower, despite being heavier, is nice to know. Plus, the BMW 330e has other advantages over the 330i. For instance, the hybrid model gets an EPA-rated 75 MPGe for the rear-wheel drive model and 67 MPGe for the xDrive model. The BMW 330i maxes out at 36 MPG on the highway, according to the EPA. So, clearly, the hybrid model is far more efficient.
Another straw in the hybrid 330e’s cap is its all-electric mode. Being a PHEV, the BMW 330e can drive under pure electric power for up to 22 miles, at speeds up to 87 mph. While that might not seem impressive in a world of 400-mile Teslas, those 22 miles are just enough to make short trips without burning a drop of gasoline. For instance, if your commute to work is only 15-20 miles, you can charge your car at night, have enough juice to make it to work, hopefully charge your car at work and make it home on electric power alone. Then rinse and repeat. Or, if you just need to make a quick trip to the store, do so in electric mode and save yourself some fuel. It’s not a ton of electric range but it’s enough to save some precious and expensive gasoline, while also emitting as few harmful carbon dioxides as possible.
Is there a disadvantage to the BMW 330e? Of course, nothing is without fault. There’s no denying that the 330e is heavier than its traditional sibling. That weight increase is going to cause adverse effects to its handling dynamics and capabilities. Are those effects going to be drastic? No. Will they be noticeable to the enthusiast? Possibly. Are those effects enough to outweigh its advantages? Not likely.
When you factor in the fact that the BMW 330e is more powerful, more high-tech, just as fast, more fuel efficient, comes with an EV mode and is even cheaper after federal tax credits, the BMW 330e seems like a no-brainer choice over the 330i. Unless you really don’t want a hybrid, for whatever reason, I just don’t see the point in going for its traditional gasoline counterpart.
Like many car enthusiasts, I enjoy watching YouTube clips from Jay Leno’s Garage, as they often get into the nitty-gritty of cars I’ll likely never see in person in my lifetime. Upon seeing the thumbnail of his new video, at first glance, I thought I saw a BMW 503 or 504 from the 1950s. However, it wasn’t a BMW. Instead it was a Bristol 403, which is a car I wasn’t initially familiar with. So I did a quick Google search, only to find that much of the Bristol 403 was actually based on BMWs of the era and even used a BMW engine. So I clicked on the video to find out more and was able to learn about the fascinating story of the BMW-powered Bristol 403.
During WWII, Bristol made aircraft for the British military. After the war, though, there wasn’t a need for those aircraft anymore, so Bristol needed to stop making them. However, thanks to war reparations, the British government was able to essentially take what it wanted from Germany and allowed Bristol to take plans from a BMW factory in Munich. Along with those plans, Bristol also hired BMW chief engineer Dr. Fritz Feidler.
Once Bristol had its BMW bits in its possession, it got to work developing its first automobile, the Bristol 400. It was build on the BMW 328 (Top Photo) chassis and used a 2.0 liter inline-six BMW engine of the era. Its body work was also based on the BMW 327 but was heavily modified to be more aerodynamic and far prettier, though it still kept BMW’s trademark kidney grille. The engine was also modified, given a new cylinder head and a new and clever pushrod valve train. With each new model generation, the Bristol gained more power and a new name, until it reached the Bristol 403 with three Solex carburetors and 100 horsepower.
That BMW-sourced engine was paired with a four-speed manual gearbox and powered its rear wheels. It also makes an incredible noise, even today, thanks to its improvements. Even though it only has 100 horsepower, it has plenty of pull to keep up with modern traffic.
It’s a fascinating car that wasn’t made for very long and was extremely expensive, so very few were actually sold. Thankfully, Jay Leno has one and provides this video for us all to nerd out on.
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BMW Malaysia launches a limited edition of the popular 5 Series sedan. The BMW 530i M Sport Dark Shadow is a limited run edition and is designed with a blacked-out look. The Dark Shadow Edition features the exclusive Carbon Black color paired with the Shadow Line package. Include in this package is a black window trim, high-gloss black kidney grille and 20-inch M Performance alloy wheels – model 669M – finished in Orbit Grey.
Inside, the BMW 530i M Sport Dark Shadow Edition was fitted with black Dakota leather trim which also gets blue stitching. There is also an option for a Cognac leather trim. As you’d expect, there are no changes under the hood though. The 530i is powered by the B48 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 252 hp from 5,200 to 6,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,450 and 4,800 rpm. All that power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic.
The model will be officially launched on BMW Shop Online from the 4th of January where customers can place bookings for this particular mode. There are only 36 units available. The total cost of this 530i M Sport Shadow Edition is RM392,800. That’s around $97,000 when converted to U.S. dollars. The Shadow Line trim and M Performance wheel set are worth RM37,000 when specified separately, according to BMW Malaysia.
Car companies have recently invested in numerous tech that is meant to make our lives easier. From Gesture Control, to the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, the Bavarians have put in extra effort to make sure they stay on top of their game. Some features are more useful than others, and that’s expected. The Gesture Control has been a very controversial one, for example.
However, they show that the Germans are interested in offering their customers the best experience, but they do need to be brought to your attention more often than not, otherwise they’d just get overlooked. The video below does exactly that and it borrows from some of Timo Glock’s fame to get across to as many viewers as possible. The BMW Works driver stepped in front of the camera, to show us what we might be missing out on.
Starting things off, he introduces the BMW Digital Key, which allows you to open and drive the car, using your smartphone as a key fob. The best part about it is that you can also offer other people access to your car by simply using your phone. The new My BMW App includes a lot of cool features too, from various info about the car to various functions you can control remotely. Once inside, you can use the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant for various purposes.
The video makes it seem like it works flawlessly but from personal experience I can tell you that it’s not always that seamless. At the same time, I’ve always used it in English and Timo is using it in German, which might make a rather big difference. Nevertheless, the whole video is a tour de force of what the systems on board modern BMWs can do. Check it out!
There have been a lot of spy photos of the upcoming BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe surfacing as of late. Most of them have been of the standard car, based off of the 4 Series Coupe. However, some new spy photos show off the all-electric version of the car, the i4. But not just any version of the i4, potentially the performance version — the BMW i4 M50. (We don’t own the spy photos but you can see them here)
In these new photos, we see a test mule prototype of what very well may be the upcoming BMW i4 M50, the performance version that will get tuned by the M Division. At first glance, it might look like a standard BMW i4 but a closer look will reveal that it’s actually an M-ified version.
The biggest giveaway are the side mirrors. They’re clearly from the M Division parts bin, as they’re the same side mirrors that you’ll find on the new BMW M3 and M4. Since BMW only uses such mirrors on proper M cars and not M Performance cars, it’s likely that this is the i4 M50. Admittedly, that’s very confusing, since the car will wear an “M50” badge, which is typically a sign of an M Performance car and not a proper M car.
You can also see subtle fender flares tacked onto the body work, indicating that this car is going to have a wider wheel-track than the standard i4. This test mule doesn’t seem to quite fill its fenders out, so maybe that’s a bit presumptuous, but the little flares are present nevertheless.
When the BMW i4 M50 finally debuts, it will have a dual-motor setup with around 450-460 horsepower and an overboost function that will temporarily bring power up to about 500-530 horsepower. That’s about the same power level as its closest competitor, the Tesla Model 3 Performance but we’ll see if the BMW can perform like its Silicon Valley rival.