So you’re one of the lucky few to have ordered a brand-new BMW M5 and you can’t wait to take delivery. Or you’re interested in attaching your name to the next available M5—we’re told that the first few months’ worth of M5s are spoken for—and want to see what all the fuss is about before signing away $ 90K or so. Or you just want the chance to drive BMW’s latest M-branded luxury Frankenstein. The BMW Performance Driving School has the means to scratch you where you itch, regardless of which scenario applies.
If you’re willing to part with $ 1450—regardless of whether you’ve bought an M5, this course is no deal-sweetener—and can get yourself to Spartanburg, South Carolina, BMW will put you behind the wheel of a 560-hp M5 with the intention of you pushing it as far as physics will allow. We sampled the One-Day M School with the same intention. A fleet of brand-new M5s, M3 coupes, and even a handful of 1-series M coupes serves as weaponry in a variety of drills designed to make students feel more comfortable at the limit. (Worth noting if you’re interested in piloting a 1-series M: This model will be phased out of the school’s fleet and replaced by the new M6 in the near future.)
The One-Day M School is the entry-level performance-driving program. It’s rewarding and a good place to get comfortable on a racetrack; if you fancy yourself a weekend warrior, however, you may find it a bit remedial. A two-day school runs $ 3595—for that you get a second day of track time, two nights’ meals and accommodations, and some BMW Performance Driving School goodies. At the top of the M driving programs is the Advanced M School, which is held at various road courses throughout the U.S., with prices starting at $ 4600.
Our day at M School started out with a classroom instructional going over the physics of how a car behaves under braking, acceleration, and in corners. More specifically: how to stay out of trouble, how to fix whatever trouble you might’ve gotten yourself into, and how to string it all together.
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Most people don’t know how to drive, or even park. Not you, of course, but all those other idiots on the road. They slow you down on the freeway, alternately stabbing the brakes and accelerator, causing a chain-reaction slowdown behind them. Or they back up traffic while cautiously inching into a parking spot, with little regard for those around them. But help is available, with more on the way. While serious motorists decry the creep of technology that takes control from the driver, they should instead thank car companies for making what’s easy for some of us – like maintaining speed with the flow of traffic and quickly pulling into a parking spot – foolproof for more people.
And Ford is making it more affordable for the masses. The automaker has announced two new driver assistance technologies: Traffic Jam Assist and the addition of perpendicular parking to its Active Park Assist system. Ford says it’s developing Traffic Jam Assist for the “mid-term” and the perpendicular parking feature for the “near-term.”
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Besides the upcoming production version of the Urus SUV, Lamborghini is apparently planning a four-door version of the Aventador.
Click here for more news on the Lamborghini Aventador.
A convertible version of the Lamborghini Aventador is scheduled to debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show in January. That will later be followed by the Aventador GT Concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The Aventador GT Concept will sit on an extended wheelbase and will feature short rear suicide doors.
All that great ‘Aventadorness’ will be topped off with the Aventador SuperVeloce (SV), which will produce 750-hp from its 6.5 liter V12 engine.
Worldwide leader in automotive safety, Autoliv, has announced it is developing an alcohol breath sensor to operate automatically when a driver gets into a vehicle.
The Swedish company who specialise in both seat belts and airbags, with links to Australia, made the announcement at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Monte Carlo.
Automotive News reports that Autoliv chief executive officer Jan Carlson said the company was already testing the new device that will supersede current breathalysers that require drivers to blow into a tube to deactivate a vehicle’s immobiliser. “It should be seamless. You should not notice the car has an alcohol detection device in it,” Carlson said.
While the final device is still an expected five years away Carlson predicts a significant uptake saying, “Everyone will be interested in it, particularly if it is affordable.”
“If you look at the numbers, 30 percent of all fatalities are coming from driving under the influence. When you talk to parents with teenage daughters and sons they would love to have this device in the vehicle.”
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SRT announced earlier this year that it would be auctioning off the first production model of the 2013 Viper GTS and so the vehicle was recently auctioned at Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County auction.
Aside from the Viper GTS itself, adding to the appeal of the auction for wealthy and philanthropic bidders was that proceeds from it would be donated to the Austin Hatcher Foundation that helps families deal with the trauma and tragedy associated with children suffering from pediatric cancer.
During the auction, bidding for the Viper passed the six figure mark quickly to $ 250, 0000. Once reached, an SRT Track Experience and a trip to this year’s Petit Le Mans were included for the winning bidder. However, the Viper’s 640 horsepower V10 and carbon fibre bodywork was sold for the final price of $ 300, 000.
Source: Auto Blog
The Clubvan is hailed at the ”world’s first premium compact delivery van.” This five-door, two-passenger model is built on the same platform as the MINI Clubman. Cargo can be accessed either through the wide-opening split rear door or the right-side Clubdoor, also derived from the Clubman.
The utility area features 12V power sockets and six tie-down loops. Maximum payload capacity is 500 kilograms.
Across the pond, three engines will be available including 98-hp and 122-hp variants of the 1.6L four-cylinder gasoline engine as well as a 112-hp turbodiesel. Only the 122-hp gas engine will make it to America, mind you. Expect 0-100km/h accelerations in 9.8 seconds, a top speed of 201 km/h, and a fuel consumption average of 5.5L/100km.
Pricing remains unspecified.
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Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius hybrid, expected in around 2015, has a tough act to follow.
Still among the most economical vehicles on the market, the third-generation Prius has taken the internal combustion engine to new levels of efficiency–and the new Prius will have to beat it.
To ensure the next-gen Prius is worthy of the badge, Toyota is aiming to make improvements in tire rolling resistance, aerodynamics, and weight savings.
According to Inside Line, sources at Toyota have revealed the company is in talks with tire manufacturers to work on an ultra-low rolling resistance tire for the next Prius, helping it slip along the road even more easily than the current model.
Weight savings will play a key part too, though the company has apparently scrapped the idea of an aluminum body due to high investment costs. Instead, Toyota is likely to make more efficient use of high-strength steel and reduce the thickness of non-structural areas to save weight. However, aluminum may still be used for the hood–just as it is on the 2012 Toyota Prius V.
Toyota will also improve the aerodynamics, possibly taking a lead from the FT-Bh concept shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.