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The 2021 BMW M3 Competition goes for a ride in New York City


At the moment, there are very few new M3 and M4 models in the U.S., only a handful or two, making them quite rare. So seeing a Toronto Red BMW M3 Competition on the streets of New York must have been a wild sight. In this new photoshoot, we see exactly that.

BMW of Manhattan currently has such a car in its possession and has been wisely using it to get the attention of potential customers. We recently saw the very car get a wash and a detail from AMMO NYC, and it looks stellar once it was done. Prior to that, though, the M3 Competition was take to the streets for a photoshoot.

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Toronto Red is one of the very best colors the M Division has offered in some time. It’s a deep, bright red with a hint of metallic flake and it really pops. Sure, the M3’s grille is a bit of a bummer but the rest of the car, especially in this shade of red, is really quite good looking. One underappreciated aspect of the M3’s design is its switch to 4 Series headlights, rather than 3 Series headlights.

Being a Competition model, it gets black accents throughout the car, stunning black wheels and some subtle carbon fiber aero. However, the Competition model also brings more power and performance.

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Under the hood, the BMW M3 Competition makes 503 horsepower (510 PS) and 443 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6. That engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive. So it will be the quickest M3 of all time when it finally hits dealerships. If you’re okay with sacrificing a bit of speed for driver engagement, go for the standard model that comes with only 473 horsepower but also a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive.

Shortly after this photoshoot, this specific BMW M3 went off to AMMO for a bath and then went to a dealer unveiling, so that potential customers could see it up close.

[Photos: @bmwnyc and @Lmnppr_]

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Watch America’s First BMW M3 Competition Get a Bath


Now that the BMW M3 and M4 have been officially revealed, it’s time for them to start making their way to their markets, dealers and eventually customers. One of the stops along the way for any new car is the dealer reveal, in which dealerships will throw a bit of a party for their customers and show off the new car in the showroom. It gets customers excited about the car, educates them on it before it officially goes on sale and makes them feel a bit special. Prior to such an even for BMW of Manhattan, a BMW M3 Competition was given a bit of a spa day with AMMO NYC.

In this new video from AMMO, one of the very best detailers in New York, if not the very best, we get to see the first BMW M3 Competition in the U.S. get cleaned and prepped for its dealership unveiling.

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Photos: Fabian Kirchbauer for BMW AG

First up, AMMO just gave it a good wash with some foam soap and let it sit, soaking in the foam, for a few minutes. I don’t know about anyone else but I find watching cars get sprayed with foam immensely satisfying. I hope there’s not some deeper, creepy psychological meaning behind that…

Then, after its wash, it was polished to get rid of any minor imperfections in the paint. It’s always fascinating to see just how imperfect an absolutely brand new car can look. This specific M3 probably has five miles on it and it already has some “love marks”, as AMMO calls it.

After it’s polished and finished, it looks absolutely perfect. The Toronto Red paint looks stellar and is one of BMW M’s best colors in a long time. With a proper cleaning and polishing, it looks fantastic, especially with all of the contrasting black highlights, such as the wheels and emblems. Check it out.

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The first ever 2021 BMW M4 Competition in Fire Orange


The new 2021 BMW M4 Competition shines in the Fire Orange color, which was initially made famous by the BMW E92 M3 GTS. Back when the GTS was launched, the Fire Orange finish it came in made some mouths pop wide open as BMW wasn’t doing all these flashy colors back then. Since the GTS was a special model though, they went a bit wild. Since then, the Fire Orange was further used on many other BMWs, including the E92 M3 Lime Rock Edition which was sold in the US. Dubbed BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Coupe, the special M3 was limited to 200 units which sold out quickly despite the price tag of $70,100.

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The cool shade of orange looks great on the G82 M4 as well, giving the car a unique and powerful look. It also matches perfectly with the black accents of the Competition Package and blends in nicely with the large kidney grille. Throw in the carbon fiber bits as well, and this Fire Orange G82 M4 is an instant head turner. The images arrived to us courtesy of @haberkornphotography who is also responsible for the recent Java Green BMW M3.

Even though the BMW Individual color palette for the new M3 and M4 is quite extensive, the standard colors offer plenty of excitement as well. The non-metallic colors are Alpine White and Sao Paulo Yellow, while the metallic palette includes Isle of Man Green, Toronto Red, Sapphire Black, Skyscraper Grey, Portimao Blue and Brooklyn Grey. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The BMW Individual program is equally exciting with paintworks like the Frozen White, Frozen Brilliant White, Frozen Black, Frozen Dark Grey, Frozen Orange, Frozen Portimao, Dravit Grey,  Oxide Grey, Tanzanite Blue II, and much more. Another cool color for the new M3/M4 is San Marino Blue which was recently photographed in Europe. You can see more of these new colors in our M3 and M4 coverage.

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As you likely already know, BMW’s Individual program is one of the more extensive customization programs in the automotive world. BMW Individual offers seemingly countless color, interior and trim combinations, to allow you to make your Bimmer as truly unique as possible. Thankfully, the brand also has an online visualizer, so you can play with all of the available colors and options. You can play around with those options here.

But in the meantime, click below to see this Fire Orange G82 M4.

 

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BMW CEO Doubts Tesla’s Long-Term Growth as Industry Catches Up


Without question, Tesla has been on a roll over the past year or so, delivering more cars than it ever has and gaining an immense amount of financial success. Due to that, you’d imagine that automotive execs throughout the industry are afraid of Tesla’s recent success explosion. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse recently spoke at a tech conference and claimed that he doubted the Silicon Valley brand’s long-term success.

“It won’t be easy for Tesla to continue at that speed because the rest of the industry is moving ahead big time,” Zipse said.

Ardent Tesla fans and Elon Musk stans will laugh at such comments, claiming that Zipse is blind to the fact that Tesla is taking over. There admittedly is a whiff of pretention to think that Tesla won’t continue at its current pace, considering its success. That said, it’s not hard to see why Zipse might feel that way.

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At the moment, Tesla is one of the only EV manufacturers with battery ranges well over 200 miles. It’s also the biggest household name in electric vehicles. So anyone that wants a true everyday electric vehicle is going to think of Tesla first. However, the rest of the industry is, without a doubt, catching up. BMW has the iX on the way, with 300 miles of range, as well as the i4 with similar range. Audi just launched its stunning e-tron GT, Ford released the impressive Mustang Mach E and Jaguar just announced that it would go fully-EV by 2025. So the industry is close to matching Tesla’s capabilities.

Unfortunately for Tesla, once that happens, it could be game-over. Not only would legacy automakers have the same level of technology as Tesla but with far, far more capable manufacturing. Legacy automakers will be able to produce not only a far greater volume of EVs than Tesla, thus getting cars to customers on time (something Tesla has struggled with since its inception), but they will also be able to provide a wider variety of EVs.

Tesla currently only sells four models. By 2030, most automakers will have be able to at least match that, if not surpass it. That would provide customers with a wider range of EVs to choose from, more options, and much better dealer networks with vastly superior service departments.

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That’s not to say that Tesla can’t eventually match legacy automakers in those regards as well but, thus far, Elon Musk’s brand hasn’t been able to come close to doing so. So there’s no evidence that it will be able to do so anytime soon.

When legacy automakers do catch up in terms of technology, it will be significantly easier to buy an EV from one of them than from Tesla. Not only will it be easier but there will be far more choice and easier service and maintenance. So while BMW’s CEO might sound like the old curmudgeon, mocking the new upstart, he does have a point. Automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, GM and Ford have all been building cars for a combined hundreds of years longer than Tesla. So if those brands have the means to compete, they’re going to be damn-near impossible to beat.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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Low-Mileage F80 BMW M3 Competition Package for Sale at Hendricks BMW


Now that the G80 BMW M3 has been revealed, there’s likely to be a bit chuck of BMW’s enthusiast population that will buy pre-owned F80 M3s. The new car’s styling is controversial and has split the BMW fanbase into two segments; those that hate it and those that like it. The former faction of fans still want an M3 experience, just without the brash styling of the new car. So they’ll likely take a harder look at older, pre-owned models and this 2018 BMW M3 Competition Package could be perfect.

This specific 2018 M3 a near-perfect car for many BMW enthusiasts. Firstly, it’s equipped with the necessary Competition Package. For F80-duty, the CP was a must-have option, as it brought  improved rear diff behavior, less rubber in the chassis to provide better communication and, most importantly, flipping killer wheels. The Style 666M wheels were as devilishly good looking as they sounded when they were knew and they still look great today.

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On this car’s Sakhir Orange paint (the F80’s best color option), the wheels look spectacular. The black accents don’t hurt, either. When the F80 was new, it wasn’t considered a stunner but it’s growing more and more handsome every time we look at it. Maybe it’s the new G80’s controversial design that’s making the F80 age so well.

Inside, you’ll find a black interior with the coveted Competition Package seats. Its seats were so desirable that when it came time for BMW to make upgrade the M2 to the M2 Competition, guess which seats were chosen?

Another fun feature inside this BMW M3 CP is its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Typically, enthusiasts would prefer a manual (as would I) but the F80’s DCT is the last of its kind. Only the M2 Competition continues to use the seven-speed DCT, and it’s on its last legs. All other M cars now use an eight-speed torque-converter automatic and, while it works great, it’s just not as engaging as the old DCT used to be. So fans will appreciate that.

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This car only has 9,253 miles on the odometer, making it nearly factory-fresh. So anyone that’s looking to get a slice of old-school M3, this 2018 BMW M3 Competition Package could be perfect for you.

[Source: Hendricks BMW]

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BMW M4 Criticism Has Been Brutal — Design Team Presses On


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To say that the criticism of BMW’s latest M3 and M4 has been harsh would be a gross understatement. The vast majority of journalists, enthusiasts and average customers have been critical of the new M4’s face and BMW has heard it. All of it. In fact, execs at BMW would even go as far as to call it “brutal”. Despite that, though, BMW isn’t wavering. The design is staying.

“If you want to create something that stands out, it must be distinguished and it has to be different,” BMW Head of Design Domagoj Dukec told Autocar. That same sentiment was echoed by BMW Group’s vice president of design, Adrian van Hooydonk. “If you want to reach some customers, you have to stand out. It’s not our goal to please everyone in the world, but you have to please your customers.”

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BMW fully acknowledges that the design is controversial but it seems that the brand is going to have to wait until these cars have been on the road for awhile, giving customers a chance to either buy them or not, before it makes any changes. Which is a tempered, responsible approach and most likely the right one. Plus, BMW claims that its focus groups, along with many of its customers, have already given high praise for the new M3 and M4. If it’s already getting praise, why change it, right?

Though, if the M3 and M4 don’t sell well, it will be interesting to see how long BMW keeps this current design language. We’re genuinely interested in how this is all going to turn out because our comments section has been filled with both sides of the argument; fans that say they’ll switch to another brand because of the grilles and others that either like the grille or don’t dislike it enough to not buy the car. This will be one of the more interesting topics surrounding BMW for the next few years, so you can bet that we’ll be keeping an eye one it.

[Source: Autocar]

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BMW M3 and M4 Chassis Dynamics detailed


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BMW is continuing its video series detailing every aspect about the upcoming M3 and M4 models. To that end we have finally reached the episode where we get a better look at how the chassis dynamics were set up. This is paramount because if you can leave the controversial design aside, most enthusiasts will be interested in how these cars behave on the road.

The video below features Oliver, who has been part of the team in charge of developing the driving dynamics of the new M3 and M4. According to him, when they set off to create this car, a simple set of goals was laid out. BMW M wanted to raise the front axle grip, reduce the dynamic wheel load fluctuation and an increase in driving precision in general. Opening the hood you’ll instantly notice the added struts in the engine bay, meant to stiffen up the front end.

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Unlike any other cars though, you’ll notice that the approach is a bit different. The forces coming in through the strut dome are split in between three different directions. The front end also has a special suspension design, made mostly of aluminum. According to Oliver, the new elasto-kinematics on the front axle were designed to offer better steering feedback, a better surface feedback and extremely high camber and camber stiffness. By raising the front axle grip the cars can carry more speed through corners without understeer, which is pivotal to cars like an M3 and M4.

The new cars also have a stiffening shear plate underneath, connecting the front of the front axle subframe to the rocker panels. These shear plates will direct the force exerted on the front axle towards other stiff parts of the car, like the side sills. All that power is then sent to the rear axle via an underfloor strut, making the whole car act almost as a single unit.

This is quite impressive work, to be honest, and it seems like the new M3 and M4 have the engineering in them to make the competition sweat bullets right now. We’ll have to wait and see how all of this translates into the real-life driving experience.

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Lexus IS500 Brings V8 Power to the 3 Series Segment


Lexus is one of the last automakers to still hang on to naturally-aspirated V8s. We’re grateful. I spent a week with the LC500 Convertible a few months back and its V8 noise led me to claim that it had the best sounding V8 on the market, a claim I stand by to this day. So the fact that Toyota’s luxury arm is going to be stuffing a similar V8 into the engine bay of a 3 Series-sized Lexus IS500 is very exciting.

The 5.0 liter free-breathing V8 that will power the Lexus IS500 will make 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, giving it M3-levels of power. However, since the IS500 won’t be a proper Lexus “F” performance car, it’s likely going to have pricing more similar to that of the BMW M340i, which would give the Lexus a large power advantage. Though, it won’t have the performance to take the M340i down, as Lexus is claiming a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. We’ve seen the M340i break into the three-second range. The Lexus will likely be quicker than claimed, though, so we’ll see.

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As always, the IS500 will use an eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive and a limited-slip diff at the rear. Those are all things you can get in the BMW M340i as well, but the Bimmer also comes with optional all-wheel drive, whereas the Lexus does not.

However, the Lexus IS500 will have something the M340i does not — boatloads of character. Those who haven’t used Lexus’ atmospheric V8 simply do not understand just how joyful it is to drive. During my LC500 drive, I couldn’t have cared less about performance figures or if any cars around me were faster. My car made the better noise by far and had an engine that was far more enjoyable to use, so I was having more fun. I can’t even imagine what that engine will be like in a small sedan.

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I haven’t drive the new Lexus IS yet, to see how it stacks up against the 3 Series but I’m going to have to rectify that now. The IS500 is going to pack an absolutely stellar engine and we applaud Lexus for using it yet again. We thought the LC500 would be the engine’s last dance but apparently the Japanese luxury brand isn’t done with it yet and every car enthusiasts should be excited about that.

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BMW iX to double electric production in 2021 at Plant Dingolfing


BMW’s second fully electric crossover, and the most technical advanced one, the iX, will start production this year at the Plant Dingolfing in Germany. According to plant manager Christoph Schröder in an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk, the production of electrified vehicles in Dingolfing will reach more than 40,000 units. This number includes both electric cars and plug-in hybrids and accounts for over 10 percent of the total production.

Plant Dingolfing is BMW Group’s largest vehicle production site in Europe. Around 285,000 vehicles roll off the line every year. The plant currently builds 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 Series, as well as components for BMW’s electric vehicles and car bodies for Rolls-Royce. There are 18,000 employees and nearly 1,000 apprentices.

The new iX is the pillar of BMW’s new electric plans which calls for 12 fully electric vehicles by 2023. Ahead of the iX, we will get the i4 Gran Coupe which aims to take on the successful Tesla Model 3. BMW i5 and i7 electric cars will also arrive in 2022-2023.

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Rather than a carbon fiber monocoque, like the i3 and all new McLarens, the BMW iX will sport a mix of a carbon fiber cage of sorts and an aluminum space frame. So it’s not as special as the i3 but it’s more special than anything else in BMW’s lineup. It also means that, despite its massive 100 kWh battery pack, it’s relatively lightweight.

Thanks to that new architecture, the BMW iX has quite a few advantages over BMW’s other EVs and hybrids. Its wheelbase is 2.5 cm longer than a BMW X5s, while also having the same length. So it has more interior space and is more stable at speed, without having any larger exterior dimensions. It’s also stiffer than a traditional BMW chassis, due to its extensive use of carbon fiber. Additionally, because its chassis has been built from the ground up solely for EV use, it can fit a proper battery back.

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There are a few different trim levels for the iX currently in the works. Our sources say that the entry-level and mid-tier models will be the ones that go into production first. While the top-level model, potentially an M Performance model, won’t begin production until about Spring 2022. The BMW iX that you’re likely expecting, the one that BMW gave specs out for during its initial reveal, is the mid-tier model.

That iX will debut with around 500 horsepower from two electric motors and a 100 kWh battery pack. According to preliminary figures, that BMW iX should top out at around 300 miles of range, estimated. That would put it right in line with cars like the Tesla Model X and allow it to be highly competitive in the segment.

We don’t have any specs about the potentially M-tuned BMW iX but it’s said to potentially pack around 600 horsepower and we’re hearing whispers of the name “iX M50”. We know that BMW is capable of such power, as its Power BEV concept a couple of years back put out around 700 horsepower.

[Source: BimmerToday]

 

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Was the First-Gen BMW X5 M as Good as We Remember?


High-performance SUVs are pretty ubiquitous in today’s modern automotive landscape. It seems as if every brand has at least some sort of go-fast crossover or SUV. However, that wasn’t always the case and, to be honest, it’s a newer trend than it might seem. The first true high-performance SUVs came about in the late ’00s and the E70 BMW X5 M was among the first, making it quite revolutionary. However, was it as good then as we think it was now?

In this new retro-review from Car and Driver, we get to take a look at an older four-way comparison test between the aforementioned X5, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. So was the original BMW X5 M good enough to take on its rivals even back then?

Apparently, yes it was. We won’t ruin the ranking for you, as it’s always great to go back and read these articles, but BMW X5 M really impressed back in 2012, when the test was conducted.

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Standard E70 X5 Interior

While the Porsche Cayenne Turbo was deemed to be sharper, with superior steering and agility, the X5 M was sportier than every other car in the test. It also received high marks for most of its interior, its powerful 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 made 555 horsepower and it delivered performance like a proper sports car. It wasn’t perfect, of course, as tis ride was a bit too harsh and its shifter (remember those ones?!) was obnoxious t use.

Shockingly, praise also went to its six-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Typically, automatics from that era are maligned for feeling dimwitted and slow compared to modern cars. However, C&D actually claimed it to near telepathic, which really surprised us.

If you want to get into an E70 BMW X5 M, just double check its mechanics and reliability before making the purchase. However, if you think the X5 M is right for you, you likely won’t regret it.