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Next-Gen BMW 7 Series Spotted with Old-School Design Elements

Nothing warms the cockles of our hearts like seeing BMW use old-school design elements on its newer cars. So many of the Bavarian brand’s modern cars have strayed from their design roots that we almost forgot what those were. However, it seems as if someone on BMW’s design team still remembers what a proper BMW looks like, as the upcoming next-generation 7 Series actually has some old-school design elements that make us smile, as evidenced by some new spy photos. (We don’t own the photos but see them here)

In these new spy photos, you can clearly see the next-gen BMW 7 Series wearing a heavy layer of camouflage, testing in the snow. What’s interesting about this new 7er, though, is the butt. The rear end of the 7 Series test mule bears a striking resemblance to the original E23 7 Series. Auto Evolution brought this to our attention and it seems absolutely correct. The more upright C-pillar and downward sloping trunk lid, which both combine to create a smooth, sloping transition from the roof to the taillights, are reminiscent of the original E23-generation car.

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E23 7 Series

Compare the new car’s C-pillar and trunk lid to the current car and you’ll see that the former is far more traditional than the latter. The current G11-generation 7 Series sports a lower roofline with a more aggressive C-pillar design, as well as a relatively flat trunk lit. You’ll also notice that the new car has a more traditional Hofmeister Kink than most modern BMWs, again harking back to the original E23.

What’s interesting is that the front end seems to be a bit of a mix, between old-school and new-school. There seems to be a hint of shark-nose at the front of the next-gen 7 Series, with the tip of the hood extending out past the face of the front bumper, which, though subtle, is reminiscent of the E23 and other BMWs of that era. It’s also a departure from the more upright grille of the current car. The headlights also seem to sit underneath the cantilever of the hood, another throwback design.

However, there are rumors that BMW could be giving the 7er a split-headlight design, which would be a drastic departure from any headlight design in the brand’s history. So there might be a mixture of new and old ideas, there.

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G11 7 Series

Admittedly, there is some cause for hesitation here. This 7 Series test mule seems as if it could have some fake body panels attached to it. While that might seem a bit too clandestine for a car manufacturer, BMW has used such trickery before. So we wouldn’t put it past the Bavarians to trick us with some fake panels. Though, we do hope BMW isn’t tricking us, as this test mule looks more interesting, just in profile, than the current car, which is far too vanilla. Hopefully BMW can use some retro elements with new technologies to make a great looking 7er. We can’t wait to find out.

[Source: Auto Evolution]


BMW M CEO allegedly drives a special Frozen Black BMW M4 G82

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We have some alleged photos of the very G82 BMW M4 driven by BMW M CEO Markus Flasch. From what we understand, this Frozen Black M4 you see here is Flasch’s own car and, honestly, it wouldn’t surprise us if it’s true. We know that Flasch is a fan of black cars, as he’s told us his preference for car colors before. So just knowing what we know about his, this G82 M4 looks very much like a car he’d own.

Another hint that it might really be his is that it bears the “Drift Happens” M Town sticker on its back bumper. As the CEO of BMW M, Markus Flasch is sort of the mayor of M Town, so he should rep one of its slogans on the back of his car. We also know that Flasch has a cheeky sense of humor, so it wouldn’t surprise us at all if he had such a sticker on the bumper of his car. It’s also parked in front of an M Town sign that reads “Where too much is just right”, further driving the point home.

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Frozen Black is an interesting color choice for this car as well. While black typically hides curves and body lines, the matte nature of Frozen Black seems to actually show them off quite well. So you can see the subtle curves in the car’s body. It also looks extremely aggressive, especially with the carbon fiber accents, such as the rear diffuser and rear spoiler. Notice also the fact that Flasch, if this is indeed his car, parked it as far forward as possible. Even he doesn’t want to look at the grille (we kid, Markus!).

If this is Flasch’s car, it’s a cool choice for someone who genuinely does have great taste in cars. He also is said to drive an E36 3 Series and we all know that only people with the best taste drive E36s


Check out the Rims for the BMW M3 and M4 in New Video

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BMW has always had a great portfolio of wheel designs. In fact, BMW is one of the very best wheel designers in history, with genuinely gorgeous wheel designs spanning decades. As of late some of its wheel designs have become a bit derivative but that doesn’t mean they aren’t handsome. For the new BMW M3 and M4, there are a few wheel designs on offer, from the standard wheel to the top-of-the-range M Performance wheels. In this new video, the designers of said wheels take you through a tour of them all and their details.

First up is the standard wheel. It’s the design you’ve already seen several times on test mules and in press photos and it’s a handsome enough wheel with a deep, concave center hub. It looks sporty and comes in either two finishes; two-tone silver and black and a matte grey.

Next is a wheel design that seems a bit familiar because it’s a new take on the Style 666 M wheel that came on the BMW M4 Competition Package. That older wheel was absolutely gorgeous and while this new wheel is similar, it’s not quite as nice. Still, it looks good and is also extremely lightweight.

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Lastly are the new M Performance wheels. There are two on offer and they’re essentially the same wheel, just with different finishes. The wheel itself has holes in the sides of the spokes, as well as the “V” from where those spokes branch off the hub. That reduces material weight, helping to reduce unsprung mass, while also making them look cool. The standard wheel is black but the optional finish adds Sao Paolo accents to the holes in the wheels, giving them an irradiated bumble bee look.

While these wheels aren’t as iconic as the throwing star wheels seen on ’90s M cars or the stunning M parallels from the early ’00s, they’re still nice designs that compliment the new BMW M3 and M4 well. If you’re an M3/M4 customer, which wheel design are you choosing?


Audi e-tron GT Will be an All-Electric GT Car to Take on the BMW i4

Today we saw some video of the BMW i4 getting a bit sideways on a test track. It was an exciting and interesting video that proved that the brand’s first electric performance car can handle the way a proper BMW should. However, the main design brief for the i4 isn’t to be a proper performance machine. Instead, it’s designed to be a sort of sporty GT car, something that’s as comfortable as it is quick. With that said, there’s actually another Bavarian that’s on its way that fits that same design brief — the Audi e-tron GT.

Both the BMW i4 and Audi e-tron GT have surprisingly similar formulas. They’re both sleek looking, four-door, all-electric performance GTs with all-wheel drive and over 500 horsepower. And they’re both going to make their debut this year.

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The Audi e-tron GT is going to debut first, with a launch date of February 9, while the BMW i4 is going to debut later on this year, probably Q4 2021. Still, both cars will be here in 2021 and both cars will compete with one another, at least in some form.

Admittedly, the Audi will likely be more expensive than the BMW i4 and potentially a bit bigger as well. The e-tron GT is built on the same chassis as the Porsche Taycan, which is about 5 Series-size. So, since the i4 will be a bit smaller than a 5 Series — being built on the 4 Series chassis — the Bimmer will be a bit smaller. Additionally, the e-tron GT is likely to start at or around $100,000 and the top-end BMW i4 — with its 530 horsepower — should cost a bit more than an M3, from what we understand. So it wouldn’t surprise us if the Audi was a bit more money.

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Dynamic photo

However, despite those potential size and price discrepancies, the two cars are likely to compete against each other well. Their power, ranges, usability and design briefs are almost identical and they both come from the same state in the same country.

We have no way of claiming which one will be better to drive, as we’ve obviously driven neither. That said, the Audi e-tron GT shares quite a bit of its mechanical bits with the absolutely outstanding Porsche Taycan, while the BMW i4 will mostly be based on the BMW M440i. So with that in mind, the e-tron GT certainly has a bit of an advantage.

The Audi should also have a design advantage. We haven’t seen the full BMW i4 just yet but spy photos, renders and its own siblings have essentially given us a good picture of what its final design will look like. While the Audi e-tron GT has been all but fully revealed, as its new camouflaged photos show off its finalized design and its camo barely leaves anything for the imagination. From those photos, the e-tron GT is a stone cold stunner. The BMW i4 is good looking too but its grille is still too controversial to truly be considered beautiful. Only time will tell.

So how will the two cars actually compete when they both finally hit the road? There’s obviously no way to tell at the moment but, judging from the specs, designs and design briefs, it seems like it’s going to be a blast to find out which one is best.


Paul Walker’s BMW M1 up for grabs on BaT

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The BMW M1 already holds a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. It’s the closest thing BMW ever made to a supercar and that comes with certain expectations. And, of course, price tags. The fact that very few of them were ever made and that even fewer are still running makes them that much more desirable. When you attach a superstar’s name to one things get out of hand, especially if that someone is the late Paul Walker.

The man wasn’t just a silver screen icon, he was actually a petrolhead in real-life. Playing an avid racer on the big screen was basically his life but unlike other actors, he also did that in his private life. Upon his untimely death in 2013, the world learned that he was one of the biggest car collectors in the world. And it looks like he was a big fan of Bavarian machines as well, BMWs in particular.

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This listing on Bring a Trailer claims that the BMW M1 on sale here has been part of his collection, shared with Roger Rodas. Apart from the fact that this was part of the AE Performance collection, this 1980 BMW M1 AHG is also in mint condition, with only 4,000 miles on the clock. This means it’s worth a lot of money on its own, leaving the star factor aside. Prices for BMW M1 models have been on the rise anyway and, at the time of writing, the listing was up to $350,000 already.

The  car was well maintained and taken care of and still, according to the ad, it won’t pass the California emissions test. Therefore, it can’t be sold to an in-state private buyer so you might keep that in mind if you’re from the Sunshine State. Other than that, this could very well become a very expensive collector’s item.

[Images: BMW Classic]


Check out the upcoming BMW i4 on a test loop

It may seem unbelievable but we’re still waiting for the BMW i4 to go on sale, over three years after the first concept previewing it was unveiled, in the shape of the BMW i Vision Dynamics. Last year we got another take, with the BMW i4 Concept preview and here we are, nearly one year later, still waiting for the i4 to come out. It looks like we’re entering the final stretch though, as BMW is starting to push its huge marketing machine to get us ready for the unveil.

Earlier today, the Bavarians published a video showcasing the BMW i4 on a test loop, with project manager David Alfredo Ferrufino Camacho behind the wheel. Since the i4 is expected to become the first electric M car ever made, there’s a lot riding on it. Sure, it won’t be a full-on M model, rather an M Performance one, but still, the fact that it will wear the famous tri-color badge at the back means a lot.

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For now, we don’t have the exact figures and specs of the car but what we do know is that the most powerful model will have up to 530 horsepower, bringing it in line with the M3 models in the range. Furthermore, the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint should take about four seconds, which isn’t bad at all. The car will also come with the new ARB traction control system which is faster than DSC and with model-specific suspension which will be key to keeping the weight in check. Make no mistake, this will be a heavy car. The question is: how heavy?

According to BMW, the first ever electric Gran Coupe will be aiming to mix the performance side of things with comfort, so that people get a car for every occasion. “The BMW i4 conveys the feeling of being light and agile yet also solid and authoritative,” says project manager David Alfredo Ferrufino Camacho. “With its superior directional reliability and high level of cornering stability, it seems to literally attach itself to the road. All electric vehicles are capable of fast straight-line acceleration. But that’s not enough for us at BMW.”

The car is supposed to reach markets worldwide later this year and there’s a lot riding on it. The EV market is expanding fast and more and more manufacturers are offering all-electric models as demand is seemingly going up. BMW themselves noticed an increase of over 30 percent for electrified cars last year but the growth could’ve been higher provided more models were on sale.


Is the BMW M2 CS the True Toyota Supra Succesor? — Jason Cammisa on Icons

When BMW **cough** Toyota first debuted the new Supra, a lot of enthusiasts were upset with its lack of Toyota-ness. The Supra is essentially just a reskinned BMW Z4 and while it’s still a good sports car, it’s not truly special. Considering just how beloved the new Supra’s predecessor is — the Mk4 Supra — this new car disappointed a vast majority of car enthusiasts. However, there actually is a car on the road that might be a better successor to the iconic Mk4 and it also comes from Bavaria — the BMW M2 CS.

In the inaugural episode of Jason Cammisa on the Icons, we get to take a look at the Mk4 Supra, the new Supra, the BMW Z4 and the BMW M2 CS, all to determine the proper successor to the classic Supra. Ironically, Cammisa claims it to be the latter.

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The new Toyota Supra is a BMW Z4 under its skin, although it somehow drives slightly better. Toyota has done a good job tuning the package that BMW provided, giving the Supra better steering, suspension and handling. Still, though, one can’t shake the feeling that the Supra is essentially a BMW Z4 with a better looking body. According to Cammisa, the car that more closely resembles the Japanese classic is the BMW M2 CS.

That sounds odd, and it’s intentionally a bit cheeky, but if you think about it it sort of makes sense. What’s the recipe for the Mk4 Supra? Twin-turbocharged straight-six, manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, 2+2 seating in a two-door sedan body and manic handling that can be both hilarious and frightening. That very same recipe is shared by the BMW M2 CS and, ironically, it also comes from the brand that helped revive the Supra name.

This episode is the first of is series and it’s absolutely worth a watch, even if only for the fantastic driving and beautiful camera work. Check it out.


More Spy Photos of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Surface

The next-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer seems like it could be a bit more interesting than we originally thought. Despite being a front-wheel drive minivan, the next-gen 2 Series AT is shaping up to be a car that could actually be a bit less dull. New spy photos have shown the 2 Series AT with a new, sportier design that (dare I say it?) actually looks… good. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

Well, it looks about as good as a small minivan can look. Rather than looking like a lame-duck people mover, the second-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer looks more like a big hot-hatchback. In fact, with camouflage on, it almost looks like a big Ford Focus RS at a quick glance. BMW fans might cringe at that comparison but a Focus RS is more interesting than the last-gen 2AT, so that’s actually a compliment.

Up front, it gets rather massive new grilles, though they are smaller and less absurd than those of the new 4 Series. It also gets new, sharper looking headlights, a slick roof spoiler and even subtly flared rear wheel arches. When it actually hits the road, it’s absolutely possible that it’s about as interesting to drive as a Yugo simulator but at least it will look interesting enough.

Boring as it may be, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a great car for its customers. It’s not designed to be fun but to be a premium, comfortable and practical people mover. In that endeavor, the BMW 2AT has always been quite successful, which is why it’s sold so well. So with better looks and an improved driving experience, even if it’s still boring for enthusiasts, the next-gen 2 Series AT will likely be a very successful car for the Bavarian brand, especially if it can electrify the little minivan.

[Source: Top Image @wilcoblok on Instagram | Motor Authority]


New photos of the 2021 BMW M4 in Sapphire Black Metallic

If there is one color that suits best the new BMW M3 and M4, then it has to be the Sapphire Black Metallic. The dark color matches well with the aggressive styling of the new M brothers and we can see that paintwork being the first choice for many customers. The photo gallery below hails from Greece and Croatia where two local BMW dealerships got their hands on the 2021 BMW M4 in Sapphire Black.

The color palette for the new 2021 BMW M3 and M4 is quite diversified. Long gone are the boring colors, instead, the design team in Munich decided to give us a wide range of paint options. From non-metallic to metallic and matte options, there is likely a color for every M owner out there.

  • 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

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The BMW Individual program also plays an important role in the marketing effort of the new M cars. A customer could order paint jobs 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. Some of those are part of the standard color palette, while others can be ordered from the BMW Individual catalog.

As you can see below, the Sapphire Black also blends well with the massive kidney grille. So if you’re looking for a more subdued look , then dark colors might be the way to go. If you look from the side and rear, you will also notice how well the black accentuates the design lines. The rear bumper and diffuser also blend in well with the exhaust system, while the trunk lip is subtle, but visually effective.

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The new BMW M3 and M4 will go on sale this Summer and 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. An all-wheel drive version of the M3 and M4 will arrive in late 2021, and naturally, at a higher price point.

[Photos: @Nikola_cro1 | @pgek87 | @bimma_world]


BMW M4 Convertible Testing with its Siblings

The BMW M4 Coupe has been out for some time now and its design has been debated and criticized almost endlessly ever since. However, the still unrevealed  M4 Convertible has just been seen doing some winter testing and it might take some of the new grille design’s edge off. (We don’t own the photos but they can be seen here)

In these photos, we see the upcoming BMW M4 Convertible testing in the snow, along with its M4 Coupe sibling. Obviously, the top is up because it was, ya know, snowing. Although, the idea of driving a drop-top M4 in the snow, with the top down, actually sort of seems like fun.

What’s interesting about these photos is that the BMW M4 Convertible actually seems to take the edge off of its controversial kidney grille design. Due to its convertible design and fabric roof, there’s something else for your eyes to focus on, so they don’t stare too much at the new grille, which is about as polarizing a design as BMW has ever had. But the drop-top nature of the M4 actually gives it a bit more flare.

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Another interesting bit is that the M4 Convertible still looks good with the top up. BMW, to its credit, has designed a lovely car from the nose back. Forget the grille for a moment and both the 4 Series and M4 are actually very good looking cars. With the convertible top up, though, the silhouette isn’t ruined like it can be on so many other convertibles. In fact, it looks rather pretty, like a luxury GT car. Just one with swollen fender flares and 500 horsepower…

Credit BMW’s use of a fabric soft-top, which is far more regal looking than a folding hard-top. As nice as it is to drive a hard-top convertible in the winter, versus a rag-top, the former just never look quite right with the roof in place. Hard-top ‘verts look like coupes gone wrong when their roofs are up. Whereas soft-tops look more elegant.

We’re actually excited to drive the new BMW M4 Convertible, even if convertibles aren’t exactly cool to many enthusiasts. The idea of sliding a 500-plus horsepower M4 around with the top down sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully, we’ll get to do that this year.

[Source: Motor1]