BMW M holds another exclusive event for European journalists. At the Wachauring Racetrack in Austria, the entire M fleet was put through paces by the eager and adrenaline-loaded journalists. Along with the new BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible, M3 Coupe, M5, X5 M, X6 M, or the M135i, another unique M car made an appearance: the E30 M3, one of the most iconic cars ever built by BMW.
The event kicked off with a drifting competition on wet skidpad, followed by an xDrive demonstration where the heavy, yet powerful X5 M and X6 M showed the capabilities of the rear-drive-biased xDrive system.
Next the M folks gave the journalists a chance to experience a scenic drive aboard some of the best Grand Tourers on the market, the M6 Coupe and Convertible. The final step on this M journey were some hot laps around the track aboard all the M cars available.
Final conclusion? Some believe that the M3 is still king in the M family, a car made for those that enjoy pure, raw driving, and occasional tracking.
A few days before its official debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, BMW released a bunch of new pictures of the X4 Concept. As a smaller version of the X6, the X4 maintains the unique profile of the car and the same sort of bumper design, but the new head and taillight designs give it a unique character.
It’s hard to call this car a looker, but if the success of the X6 is any indication, people are going to love this one too. If anything, the X4 will be more affordable than the full-fat sport activity coupe. The X4 is still a few years away from launching into the market as a production model, and things can change until then. For the time being, enjoy the pictures in the gallery below:
Report: Next generation BMW X6 due in 2015 after the X4 arrives next year with “more aggressive” looks
BMW has been really aggressive with their barrage of models that seem to fill in niche markets that nobody ever new existed. The BMW X6 is sort of one of them and because it’s about six years after the original debuted, the time on its current generation has just about run out.
Check out our original post on the 2013 BMW X4 Concept.
Word is the next generation BMW X6 will arrive next year after the recently introduced X4 midsized crossover. It will feature much “more aggressive detailing” and individuality, according to an insider. But in reality, there’s probably a high chance it will take heavy inspiration from the X4.
After six years in the market, the Renault Laguna has reached that point where a replacement is due, but for the time being, the French carmaker has given the entire range (liftback, estate and coupe) a mini makeover and a splash of new technology features for 2013.
The important additions/changes are the EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the R-Link touchscreen infotainment unit and a slightly revised front-end design. Garnishing the pointy end of the latest Laguna and Laguna Estate are LED daytime running lights (the Coupé received them earlier), which as Renault states, “underpin the range’s modernity and dynamism, day and night.”
In the press release, the French automaker also says the Laguna Collection 2013, which is the revised model’s name, features “the best of automotive technology for maximum driving enjoyment”. It is amusing how they try to advertise the car’s dynamic abilities in a meaningful way, and it almost sounds like something you would see at the end of a cliché BMW ad…
If fuel-efficiency alone is your primary concern when looking for a car, then the 1.5-liter DCi Laguna hatchback (or the Coupé), mated to the new six-speed dual clutch automatic, returns a claimed 4.3 l/100km (54.7 mpg US / 65.7 mpg UK) and emits 113 g/km CO2. The 2.0-liter diesel can be had in three states of tune with 130PS (128HP), 150PS (148HP) as much as 175PS (172HP). However, only the most powerful 2.0-liter unit is offered with the EDC.
Inside the car, owners will be able to specify Renault’s seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, along with a Bose sound system which comes with “a centrally mounted loudspeaker,” which “reproduces rich, realistic bass frequencies throughout the cabin.”
In late 2014, BMW will launch the second generation BMW X6. The Sports Activity Coupe will follow the smaller X4 which comes to market early next year.
The new X6 will use the same platform as the upcoming F15 BMW X5. Design wise, the new X6 will follow the idea of the existing Sports Activity Coupe, a sporty SUV with coupe-like shapes and for the second generation, an even more aggressive design.
“We want to give our sporting models a more individual look, further separating them visually from the more practical models in our line-up,” an insider revealed for Autocar UK.
The new X6 will also be slightly longer to provide it with added rear legroom.
From a previous source we learned that length wise, the second-generation X6 will grow from 4877mm to about 4910mm which will add some extra interior space, a quirk that many found in the first generation. The is said to also have a longer wheelbase and wider tracks since its based on a shortened version of the new F15 X5 platform.
CarAdvice Magazine has achieved 20,000 active users in its first six issues, becoming the number one downloaded Australian motoring app for iPad, and has been featured in the recommended ‘new and noteworthy’ section of the Apple App Store.
The April issue, packed with content listed below, is free to download now at https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/caradvice-magazine/id552851300?mt=8
It includes an iPad-exclusive medium-car comparison test between the all-new Mazda 6 Sport sedan, the top selling Toyota Camry Atara SX, the class favourite Honda Accord Euro and the hugely improved Hyundai i40 Active.
We measure the mids for size, comparing their performance and fuel consumption, measuring their interiors and assessing comfort levels, and noting both their up-front and long term servicing costs, in the most comprehensive test of sub-$ 35,000 petrol automatic sedans. Don’t forget to view our videos of each of the cars, and the full photo gallery of the comparison.
The star of BMW’s booth at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show will no doubt be the Concept X4, a pre-production model that reveals how the brand’s second Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) will look like. As with the larger X6 model, BMW wanted to combine the high ground clearance and powerful aspect of an SUV with the dynamic lines and elegant roofline of a coupe.
How did BMW’s designers manage to combine these somewhat, contradicting requirements, we can see from the way the car looks. However, since this is a highly subjective exercise, let’s hear BMW’s Exterior Design boss, Domagoj Dukec, explain the way the Concept X4 took shape and what are its strengths and… strengths – remember, he works for BMW, so don’t expect to hear about the car’s weaknesses.
Nevertheless, as this is a democratic website, we are eager to hear your opinions on this matter as well. Do you think BMW managed to bring a breath of fresh air with the Concept X4 or is it simply a downsized X6 with slightly different details?
Remember that the X4 production model will look just like the concept (minus the flashy concept car bits) when it launches in early 2014.
By Dan Mihalascu