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.
The Lotus Exige S has landed in Australia, offering supercar-rivaling performance from $ 119,990.
Combining a weight of 1176kg with a 258kW/400Nm supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine – sourced from the Lotus Evora and replacing the former 163kW/215Nm supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder unit – the Lotus Exige S claims 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds via its six-speed manual transmission.
With a top speed of 274km/h, the only cars to come close the Lotus Exige S for similar money are the BMW M3 Pure Edition at $ 125,000 (dearer and slower), the Audi S4 at $ 119,900 (cheaper just but a full second slower), the Audi TT RS Plus at $ 139,400 (just off the pace at 4.1 seconds but far more expensive) and the BMW Z4 sDrive35is at $ 120,000 – the latter being nearer the mark with its 4.8-second dash coming from its 250kW/450Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder powerplant.
With Lotus less focused on straight-line sprint figures and more on going through corners, the Exige S comes with an adjustable Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) system that allows drivers to switch between three driving modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off. An additional Race Pack option is available, adding a fourth ‘Race’ mode to the system as well as launch control, more circuit biased suspension settings and an exhaust bypass valve override switch.
Two of the most recognized sport models to come out from BMW’s factory in the past quarter century are the 8-Series, built from 1989 to 1999, and the Henrik Fisker-designed Z8 roadster, offered from 1999 to 2003.
These two cars stimulated a design thesis from Christophe Jourd’hui, a graduate in transportation design management at the International School of Design (IDS) in Valenciennes, France, for a new BMW sports car named the MZ8.
“This car commemorates the 40 years of Motorsport department,” says Jourd’hui. “I decide to work on a spyder in honor of the Z8 and 8 series.”
The French designer doesn’t offer much in the way of details about the MZ8 that features a removable hardtop and a return to a more aggressive looking shark-style nose and an interesting re-interpretation of BMW’s double-kidney grilles. From the pictures, it seems that, unlike the 8-Series and Z8 that came with a front-mounted engine, the MZ8 sports a mid-engine layout.
After you take a closer look at the images and the available video, tell us what you think about the design in the comments.
A production ready BMW 4 Series was spied at the Schiphol airpot in Amsterdam. It remains unknown where the 4 Series is heading but some people are already speculating that the car is heading to the Shanghai Auto Show.
The 4 Series Coupe spied here sports very light camouflage and it’s already revealing some of the design we’re all expecting to see, especially since the concept unveiled in Detroit is said to be about 90 percent identical to the final version.
As seen here also the new 4 Series has a long sleek hood, a more steeply raked front windshield, lower front end, wider kidney grills and enlarged air intake just above the ground which all combine to give the coupe a very aggressive appearance. Even the headlights appear to be pushed more to the edge of the front end than compared to the 3 Series.
Though the new 4 Series wheelbase is 50 mm longer than the outgoing E92 3 Series Coupe, it has the same 110.6” wheelbase as the existing F30 3 Series sedan. Its overall length, 182.7 inches, is just a hair longer the the F30 sedan by 0.2”. The new 4 Series overall height is 53.6 inches. This is lower than the existing 3 Series sedan by 2.7” and the outgoing 3 Series coupe by .63”. The new 4 Series also sports a wider front and rear track. So expect the M3 to have enhanced bodywork to make up for the narrower track. The M4 will still be one of the most aggressive M cars ever built.
BMW Motorsport has passed another important milestone on the way to the start of the 2013 DTM season: On Saturday the BMW Welt in Munich (DE), located next to the company’s headquarters, was the stage for the spectacular launch of all eight BMW M3 DTM cars the reigning champions are going to contest the 2013 season with in the popular touring car series.
Usually, the “Premiere” in the BMW Welt is reserved for those BMW customers who have come to take delivery of their cars. But, some four weeks prior to the season opener, the BMW DTM drivers, Bruno Spengler (CA), Dirk Werner (DE), Augusto Farfus (BR), Joey Hand (US), Martin Tomczyk (DE), Andy Priaulx (GB), Marco Wittmann (DE) and Timo Glock (DE), along with their racing cars, took centre stage in the handover ceremony.
First of all Prince Leopold “Poldi” of Bavaria (DE) drove the classic first-generation BMW M3 DTM racing car onto the delivery area and, a short time later, BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt and test and development driver Maxime Martin (BE) followed with this year’s BMW M3 DTM Safety-Car. Afterwards, the door of the elevator that usually takes the brand-new BMW production cars to the “Premiere” area for delivery to their new owners opened eight times – and eight times the drivers behind the wheels of their spectacular BMW M3 DTMs thrilled the 13,000 visitors in the BMW Welt by driving onto the stage in racy style. Due to the huge interest in the event, the launch was also transmitted live to TV screens in the basement of Bavaria’s most visited attraction.
A comparison test between the BMW M135i, Volkswagen Golf R, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and Subaru WRX STI might seem like a war between Germany and Japan, but it isn’t. Nor is it a showdown between rear- and all-wheel drive. Simply, the aim is to find the best sports car available for under $ 70,000, the near-perfect price-point for those looking beyond mere hot hatches but who can’t stretch to six-figure performance.
But the catalyst for the comparison is, of course, the arrival of the BMW M135i, which on paper boasts more power and torque than its established rivals for about the same money.
Last year, the 1 Series M coupe brought M3 performance for $ 50K less, sneaking under $ 100K by a few gorillas. Now, the M135i, despite getting a single turbo six-cylinder compared with the 1M’s twin-turbo version, boasts the same torque (450Nm) as the limited-run coupe, and near-identical performance for $ 68,400 – a further $ 40K saving. Actually, the supplied eight-speed automatic version costs $ 72,400, but slashes the 0-100km/h time by 0.2 seconds compared with the six-speed manual, ducking under five seconds by a tenth. At least the BMW badge isn’t an optional extra.
The Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution have owned this territory for near enough to two decades. Ever since Colin McRae and Tommi Makkinen took the wheel of their rally-spec namesakes in the 1990s, and the Playstation brought couch surfers a taste of their glory, the two have been cemented as icons of the late twentieth century.
BMW M will start its 15th season as “Official Car of MotoGP” this weekend in Qatar, with the M6 Gran Coupe to spearhead the fleet of MotoGP safety cars. BMW provides the official safety cars in MotoGP since 1999.
The MotoGP Qatar Grand Prix will be the first public outing of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, following its world premiere at the Detroit Motor Show in January. The standard car is powered by a V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that generates 560 horsepower. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.2 seconds.
BMW says the safety car version of the M6 Gran Coupe has been specially modified for its use as a pace car out on the racetrack, but doesn’t offer additional details. BMW’s fleet of official MotoGP cars for the 2013 season includes five BMW M and M Performance models.
Besides the M6 Gran Coupe, the M6 Coupe and the M5 will also be in action as safety cars, while the safety officer will take to the track in an M3 Coupe. BMW also offers two M550d xDrive Tourings as medical cars, with BMW Motorrad to provide two new HP4s as safety bikes.
Like in previous years, BMW will award an M car to the rider with the best overall qualifying record at the end of the season. The BMW M Award has been presented since 2003, with the most recent winners being Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden. To mark the tenth anniversary of the award, BMW will present the best qualifier this season with a special M car, which will be announced in May.