BMW Z4 needs a worthy successor

The new Audi TT is creating quite a buzz, lately. Most of this excitement is due to the TT’s new and innovative interior. But aside from its interior, the TT is said to drive very well, too. Of course, like all Audis, the steering is a bit vague, b...

The new Audi TT is creating quite a buzz, lately. Most of this excitement is due to the TT’s new and innovative interior. But aside from its interior, the TT is said to drive very well, too. Of course, like all Audis, the steering is a bit vague, but aside from that the TT is said to be quite the handler. It’s about time too as the TT has always been a bit too dainty. It always kind of seemed like a diva, looked good but never wanting to get its hands dirty. However, this new one is the other way around. From the outside it doesn’t look anything special, but on the inside and underneath the skin, it actually is quite good. Which leads me to my point. The upcoming BMW Z4 or Z5, whichever name BMW chooses, HAS to be good.

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Rendering BMW Z5 The current Z4 is getting a bit too long in the tooth. It is really starting to show its age, especially as the competition grows. Mercedes and Porsche both have had newer cars in the Z4’s segment for a few years now, with the SLK Class and Boxter, respectively, and now Audi does as well. The Z4 will be the last to the party, but at least it will have more time to benchmark its competition. We’ve heard before that Toyota might be aiding BMW in this replacement, but the extent of that aid is still a bit hazy. However, the Z4 should be designed alongside a Toyota Supra successor, which creates a compelling case for the Z4. With all of this time going by and all of BMW’s competitors creating newer cars, BMW needs to get this right. It can’t come out with some half-baked Z4 that isn’t up to the astronomically high standards set by the Boxter and TT, or BMW will be crucified. The interesting thing about the segment the Z4 lives in, is the variety of cars. The SLK Class is a small, sporty GT car, the Boxter is an all-out sports roadster and the TT is a high-tech, fashion coupe. All are good in their own way and have their own different strengths. The SLK is probably the most comfortable and livable of the three, while the Boxter is definitely the most fun to drive and the TT is the newest and by far the most modern. So where will the Z4 fit in?

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Will BMW decide to make a back-to-basics, convertible sports car like the Boxter, or will they go the Audi way and make something that handles well enough but has enough gadgets and tech to make the Millenium Falcon blush? Maybe BMW tries to go after the SLK and makes a sporty GT car. Maybe BMW will go a completely different route and go for some kind of hybrid technology and make a baby-i8 of sorts. I’m not really sure where they will go, and the added Toyota dynamic just muddies the waters for me. I can tell you which direction I want BMW to take the Z4 — Porsche Boxter route. My love for overly sporty BMWs isn’t a secret and I’m sure I’m not alone. Making sporty convertibles is something BMW does very, very well. One could almost say the Bavarians are the best at it. Something to take on the Boxter would be excellent, but I’m trying to limit my enthusiasm and to be blown away by whatever Z4 replacement puts out there. In the end, regardless of the direction taken, the upcoming Z4 replacement has to be good and it needs a halo roadster. I wouldn’t mind this one either…

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Or this one…

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The article BMW Z4 needs a worthy successor appeared first on BMW BLOG

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The Rumored BMW i5 Could Be The Start of The Future

Recently, fellow BMWBLOG writer, Hugo Becker, wrote about the six most important cars he’s ever driven. One of these cars was the BMW i3 and I couldn’t agree more. I too, was speechless when I first drove the i3. Its performance, range and unpara...

Recently, fellow BMWBLOG writer, Hugo Becker, wrote about the six most important cars he’s ever driven. One of these cars was the BMW i3 and I couldn’t agree more. I too, was speechless when I first drove the i3. Its performance, range and unparalleled innovation blew me away. There’s no doubt in my mind that the i3, thanks largely to BMW’s innovative use of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), is the most important car of my generation. The only downfall with the i3, if you can even call it that, is the range. At an estimated 81 miles per charge, the i3 is perfectly acceptable for non-commuters, but a few i3 detractors will compare its range to the Tesla Model S’ estimated range of up to 265 miles, with its 85 kWh motor.

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As good as the Tesla’s range is, it requires massive battery packs which, not only add more weight (which seems redundant to do to an electric car) but take longer to charge and cost significantly more money. The aforementioned Tesla costs $82,570, before federal tax credits, to start. That’s compared to the i3’s $42,400 to start before tax incentives. Yes the Tesla costs more, but it can go much further than the i3 and range seems to be the biggest fear amongst customers unsure of making the switch to electric. And while the Tesla does cost almost double what the i3 does to start, it has more than double the range. So, as fantastic as the i3 is, BMW must continue to improve and the next logical step seems to be an i5. As time passes and more i3s and i8s get pumped out of their factories, BMW will continue to learn about the uses of CFRP and lightweight materials in general. This, in time, will make development of lightweight, CFRP intensive cars cheaper, faster and ultimately lighter. A lighter construction means BMW can create a bigger, more powerful, faster, more luxurious car with a much farther range. A BMW i5.

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Rendering A BMW i5 would take the Tesla Model S head on at its own game. The real edge an i5 would have over the Tesla, granted it uses a CFRP body structure, would be weight. The Model S still uses a conventional car chassis with big, massive, hulking batteries underneath. An i5 would be significantly lighter, allowing it to have bigger batteries and motor(s) than the i3 yet have a range and performance similar to the Model S. Range and speed aren’t the only area where the weight savings would help though. A lighter car will handle better as well having a more comfortable ride. An i5 would feel more nimble and light on its feet, as opposed to the Tesla which, while still a very good handling car, can feel as if the tires are going to break free from the wheels when cornering hard. The i5 could also have normal tires as opposed to the almost bicycle sized tires on the i3. Larger tires would increase performance and ride comfort which could give i5 drivers the more conventional feel they’re used to. Making an i5 could also introduce current BMW customers to a new style of driving. At the moment, many current BMW drivers aren’t willing to switch from the conventional BMW they’re used to (3 Series and 5 Series customers) to something foreign and different like the i3. If priced and sized similarly to the standard 5er, and if it were to have a range nearing the Tesla’s, the i5 could easily be an alternative to current 5 Series customers. An i5 would be a fantastic jumping off point for BMW to recruit new and old customers over to electric motoring. The i3, as fantastic as it is, is a bit too different and lacks enough range to convert the masses from their gasoline cars. The i3 was a great introduction to the new technology. It showcases what is possible with the use of CFRP. And its quirky and refreshing style cause optimism for the future of the i Division. But I think the future must start with the i5. . The article The Rumored BMW i5 Could Be The Start of The Future appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Thoughts On A BMW 760Li Rolls-Royce Edition

Nico DeMattia asked a question recently as to whether or not BMW should produce a ‘Rolls-Royce’ branded 7 series. This was in regards to the announcement by Daimler that they are producing the Mercedes-Maybach S600. As my father would say...

Nico DeMattia asked a question recently as to whether or not BMW should produce a ‘Rolls-Royce’ branded 7 series. This was in regards to the announcement by Daimler that they are producing the Mercedes-Maybach S600. As my father would say, the short answer is no. The reasoning behind that answer follows. Wilhelm Maybach was associated with Daimler at the turn of the 20th century. He had a falling out with Daimler and he and his son, Karl, moved on to producing Zeppelin engines starting 1909 (dba Maybach-Motorenbau GmbH). The Versailles treaty, which went into effect in summer of 1919, ruled out further aircraft development so Maybach turned to the manufacture of luxury automobiles under that eponymous brand.

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Maybach’s company survived through World War II only to be purchased in 1960 by Daimler-Benz (who had been on a bit of an acquisition spree prior to this, picking up Auto Union in 1958 – only to spit it out later – and coming oh so close to absorbing BMW late in 1959). After being absorbed by Daimler-Benz the Maybach name was applied only to special W108 and W116 models – those models with the Maybach label being almost completely hand built. Then in 2002 Daimler decided to reintroduce the standalone Maybach label. This was done in the hopes that the good will of the Maybach name could be used to harvest profits in the same way that VW was doing so with Bentley and BMW with Rolls-Royce (though in 2002 BMW had yet to provide a customer with a new Phantom – that would happen at almost the stroke of midnight 1 Jan 2003). Daimler’s flirtation with a separate Maybach brand ended in 2013. And now they are re-introducing the concept of Maybach special models with a version of the S600.

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BMW could do something similar with the long wheelbase 12 cylinder 7 series, but why would they want to? Currently a 7er can be run through the BMW Individual process to create a degree of customization that while not as comprehensive as Rolls-Royce, is never-the-less, quite good. Adding a ‘high end’ Rolls-Royce branding may do more harm to Rolls-Royce than good to BMW 7er sales. And since BMW is earning a healthy profit from the Rolls-Royce offerings there is little reason to go ‘down market’ with the brand name into the BMW line. But could BMW extract additional profits from a 7er by having some other co-branded name associated with it. They have done a Steinway edition after all.

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And that got me to thinking about what brand to hook onto the big 7er, the 760Li, and what came to mind was issuing a model utilizing the name of a famous coachbuilder. Park Ward and Mulliner came immediately to mind, and since Rolls-Royce had purchased them many moons ago they may still be available. Well that bubble was burst almost immediately when I remembered how BMW ended up with the stewardship of the Rolls-Royce brand. When VW thought they had purchased Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and the factory at Crewe, they found out that they had the rights to produce the Spirit of Ecstasy and the specific trademarked radiator shell (grille) but not the rights to the Rolls-Royce name itself. Those rights were held by Rolls-Royce PLC, the manufacturer of aircraft engines, and not by Vickers PLC, the firm from whom VW bought the rest of the package. Rolls-Royce PLC licensed the name and logo to BMW, and eventually BMW negotiated to purchase the Rolls-Royce artifacts held by VW. What BMW didn’t get were rights to the names of the coach builders Rolls-Royce had in house. Bentley has a Mulliner edition and I’m sure that the Park Ward name will be kept by VW also. Unfortunately for BMW, the great German coach builders from the 20th century are unknown to most – and unpronounceable by others. So BMW could come out with a ‘special’ 7, but, unlike Daimler, they already have a top end brand in Rolls-Royce which they don’t need to dilute by applying it to a gussied up BMW 7. And if they did find a brand name with the cachet and recognition to apply to a special 7 I’d look outside the automotive arena for it – say something like a ‘Hermes’ edition, oh wait, Hyundai already did that.   The article Thoughts On A BMW 760Li Rolls-Royce Edition appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Photo Comparison: 2015 Audi R8 vs. BMW i8

In a few days, the new 2015 Audi R8 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show and first photos are already available on the Internet. We take this opportunity to create a direct photo comparison with the BMW i8, two models fundamentally different at their ...

In a few days, the new 2015 Audi R8 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show and first photos are already available on the Internet. We take this opportunity to create a direct photo comparison with the BMW i8, two models fundamentally different at their core but often compared to each other. Like its predecessor, the new Audi R8 supercar uses a high-revving V10 engine with 540 or even 610 hp. The two variants use an advanced standard quattro all-wheel drive, while an electric Audi R8 e-tron is also built with a rear-wheel drive. Thanks to a dramatically improved lithium-ion battery, the Ingolstadt-based automaker promises for the new Audi R8 e-tron a pure electric range of 450 kilometers (280 miles). One can charge the battery, with a capacity of 92 kWh, in less than two hours.

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The 610-hp Audi R8 V10 offers significantly better performance than its predecessor: only 3.2 seconds for the super athlete to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h, up to 330 km / h. Sitting between the V10 R8 and the e-tron is the BMW i8 with its plug-in hybrid drive. The 231-hp three-cylinder gasoline engine is mated with an electric motor at the front axle for a combined 362 hp and a fuel consumption of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers.

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If the current rumors turn true, BMW could offer a more worth competitor to the R8 in 2016. The BMW i8S is rumored to not only look more supercar, but also to produce more horsepower. Take a look at the photo gallery below and let us know which car you like best.

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[Photos: Bimmertoday] The article Photo Comparison: 2015 Audi R8 vs. BMW i8 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW 3 Series vs. 4 Series sales in Germany

In the fall of 2013, BMW separated their 3 Series sedan, coupe and convertibles by creating a new family of cars: the 4 Series. The newly formed lineup now hosts the coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe models, while the 3 Series retains the sedan and t...

In the fall of 2013, BMW separated their 3 Series sedan, coupe and convertibles by creating a new family of cars: the 4 Series. The newly formed lineup now hosts the coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe models, while the 3 Series retains the sedan and touring variants. A long wheelbase sedan (F35) sold in China is also part of the 3 Series pack. Since the 4 Series Convertible and 4 Series Gran Coupe only launched in Spring 2014, the sales figures are a bit skewed at the moment, but nonetheless interesting to see. In 2015, the German market accounted for 473,366 3 Series sales, while the 4 Series sold to 110,838 customers. Within their respective series, the BMW 3 Series Sedan’s sales are 270,549 while the BMW 4 Series Coupe has 58,430 units sold last year. Despite a short lifecycle, the F36 4 Series Gran Coupe accounted for 4 percent of overall 3 and 4 Series sales, and 21 percent of sales within the 4 Series family. This value is almost twice as high in the period July to December.

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The cabriolet accounts for 27 percent while the coupe sales clocks in at 53 percent. Although the 3 and 4 Series represent a total of seven body styles, about half of the customers chose the BMW F30 3 Series sedan. Niche models for BMW are starting to slowly pay off and we might see future spin-offs in other series as well. [Source: Bimmertoday] The article BMW 3 Series vs. 4 Series sales in Germany appeared first on BMW BLOG

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One-millionth BMW 3 Series Sedan produced at BMW South Africa’s Rosslyn Plant

The one-millionth vehicle, a BMW 3 Series Sedan, rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s South African manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, earlier today. The production anniversary was celebrated during a visit by member of the Management Board...

The one-millionth vehicle, a BMW 3 Series Sedan, rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s South African manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, earlier today. The production anniversary was celebrated during a visit by member of the Management Board of BMW AG responsible for production, Harald Krüger. “Globalization has been an inherent part of our corporate strategy for more than four decades. Established in 1973, plant Rosslyn was BMW Group’s first foreign plant and represents a cornerstone of our global production network with presently 30 sites in 14 countries. To this day, the South African production site remains a vivid example of a successful market entry through local production,” said Krüger on the occasion of the anniversary.

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BMW cars made in South Africa are also successful on the international stage. Since its inception, and before the establishment of a dedicated international automobile industry, BMW South Africa has exported cars. In 2014, BMW 3 Series Sedan exports from Plant Rosslyn increased by over 17% which clearly solidified BMW South Africa’s position as the country’s leading exporter of premium vehicles. BMW South Africa directly and indirectly employs over 43,000 people: more than 3,700 associates at the plant and at the national sales organisation, as well as over 3,700 dealership staff and some 36,000 first-tier supplier employees. In 2014, the more than 2,900 workers at the Rosslyn plant built 68,771 BMW 3 Series Sedans for the local and export markets.

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The article One-millionth BMW 3 Series Sedan produced at BMW South Africa’s Rosslyn Plant appeared first on BMW BLOG

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MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo – Official Photos

MINI now officially introduces the Vision Gran Turismo virtual race car for the Playstation Gran Turismo 6 game. The Vision GT is based on the upcoming MINI Clubman model and comes with virtual 395 hp and brings the power to the road thanks to the Al...

MINI now officially introduces the Vision Gran Turismo virtual race car for the Playstation Gran Turismo 6 game. The Vision GT is based on the upcoming MINI Clubman model and comes with virtual 395 hp and brings the power to the road thanks to the All4 all-wheel drive system. The sprint from 0 to 100 comes in 3.5 seconds and the maximum rush the pixels can push on the screen is 290 km / h. The combination of LED headlamps, 22-inch wheels and Cyber ​​Silver color will probably be not available in the foreseeable future series cars. The muscular body carries the MINI design cues, sans the dual vented hood and carbon fiber additions which are unlikely to see production on the next Clubman, expected in September 2015. To stay true to its racing genes, the virtual Clubman also comes with a lower roofline and a racing rear wing that helps with downforce. An aggressive bumper with diffuser gives the Vision GT a mean look.

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See the full press release below.

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The article MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo – Official Photos appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW F30 3 Series Becomes More Elegant With Vorsteiner Parts

Vorsteiner has been upping their investments in the aftermarket business and are delivering new products every month. The recently revamped and refreshed wheel line is now complemented with brand new aero parts for BMW cars. They have released a phot...

Vorsteiner has been upping their investments in the aftermarket business and are delivering new products every month. The recently revamped and refreshed wheel line is now complemented with brand new aero parts for BMW cars. They have released a photoshoot showcasing the updated FlowForged wheels, together with a brand new carbon fiber aero program, all made for the BMW F30 3 Series. These lightweight wheels, fitted specifically for the BMW F30 3 Series, are finished in a Carbon Graphite color and they come in a staggered 20×8.5 front and 20×10 rear sizes. The wheels are an affordable lightweight solution that emphasizes sporty and aggressive design features.  The California-based shop also installed a carbon fiber front aero spoiler, a rear carbon fiber lip and a blacked out kidney grille. The aero parts are complemented by a vinyl wrap in the BMW Motorsport colors applied to the front fascia.

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

The BMW F30 328d comes with a fuel efficient diesel engine, providing the 3 Series Sedan with enough performance for its daily driving requirements. The fuel efficient 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo Diesel churns out 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm. From 0 to 62mph (0-100km/h), the 328d needs about 7.4 seconds. Not the fastest of the bunch, but a perfect business sedan for many owners that want to keep their fuel bill at a minimum.  

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

For additional images of this build, please take a look at the photoshoot below.

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

Vorsteiner BMW F30 on V-FF 103 Wheels

The article BMW F30 3 Series Becomes More Elegant With Vorsteiner Parts appeared first on BMW BLOG

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One-millionth BMW 3 Series Sedan produced at BMW South African Rosslyn Plant

The one-millionth vehicle, a BMW 3 Series Sedan, rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s South African manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, earlier today. The production anniversary was celebrated during a visit by member of the Management ...

The one-millionth vehicle, a BMW 3 Series Sedan, rolled off the assembly line at BMW’s South African manufacturing plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria, earlier today. The production anniversary was celebrated during a visit by member of the Management Board of BMW AG responsible for production, Harald Krüger. “Globalization has been an inherent part of our corporate strategy for more than four decades. Established in 1973, plant Rosslyn was BMW Group’s first foreign plant and represents a cornerstone of our global production network with presently 30 sites in 14 countries. To this day, the South African production site remains a vivid example of a successful market entry through local production,” said Krüger on the occasion of the anniversary. BMW cars made in South Africa are also successful on the international stage. Since its inception, and before the establishment of a dedicated international automobile industry, BMW South Africa has exported cars. In 2014, BMW 3 Series Sedan exports from Plant Rosslyn increased by over 17% which clearly solidified BMW South Africa’s position as the country’s leading exporter of premium vehicles. BMW South Africa directly and indirectly employs over 43,000 people: more than 3,700 associates at the plant and at the national sales organisation, as well as over 3,700 dealership staff and some 36,000 first-tier supplier employees. In 2014, the more than 2,900 workers at the Rosslyn plant built 68,771 BMW 3 Series Sedans for the local and export markets.

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BMW M4 Iconic Light Concept at BMW Welt

The BMW M4 Iconic Light Concept is now available for public viewing at the BMW Welt. We bring you the first pics and videos from the display. ...

The BMW M4 Iconic Light Concept is now available for public viewing at the BMW Welt. We bring you the first pics and videos from the display.

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