GSR Autosport M4 Being Developed for 2015 Global Time Attack Series

GSR Autosport gives us the skinny on their Global Time Attack M4 prior to SEMA. The GSR Autosport Global Time Attack project car is being developed to run in the 2015 GTA Pro Am Series in Street Class. The overall concept is sort of a Jekyll &...

GSR Autosport gives us the skinny on their Global Time Attack M4 prior to SEMA. The GSR Autosport Global Time Attack project car is being developed to run in the 2015 GTA Pro Am Series in Street Class. The overall concept is sort of a Jekyll & Hyde thing where certain parts will be able to be swapped back and forth – between track duty and street duty – parts such as the front splitter, rear decklid/wing, roll bar, seats, wheels/tires, etc. GSR started this project with some baseline testing at Buttonwillow Racepark with basically a stock car – Toyo R888s, Pagid Yellow pads and GS610 brake fluid. As many you have discovered the stock setup has a lot of understeer so lap times were less than stellar – 2:00.5.

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Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

The outgoing Lexus IS F will be a future classic. I may sound silly in saying in light of the quirks I found in the car but the wonderful 5.0L V8 shoe-horned into nose of the second generation IS sedan proved to be a highly rewarding idea. Going back...

The outgoing Lexus IS F will be a future classic. I may sound silly in saying in light of the quirks I found in the car but the wonderful 5.0L V8 shoe-horned into nose of the second generation IS sedan proved to be a highly rewarding idea. Going back to my review of the Lexus IS F earlier this year, my biggest takeaway was that, if Lexus can learn from what the IS F got wrong and push development of what did, they would have a winner on their hands. Thankfully, the idea of what a performance Lexus can be has been redefined with the release of the 2015 Lexus RC F.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

The RC F, for Lexus, is their first foray back into sports coupes since the days of the Lexus SC. While Lexus has been out of this segment for over a decade now, the landscape has changed a little. The Germans still represent the strongest competition via the rear-wheel driven BMW M4, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and the all-wheel-drive S5. Arguably the M4 is the de facto track weapon of this segment with the Mercedes being more of an insane tire-killer, and the S5 rounding out as more subdued Gran Tourer. This is where things get interesting for the Lexus as trying to conquer the current stalwarts – it must be a jack of all trades.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

In the mid-2000’s, the IS F was launched as Lexus’ first attempt to thwart the Germans via a hotted up IS sport sedan. However, the offers came with mixed reviews beyond the powertrain. Effectively, the IS F, as an overall package, didn’t lend to the credibility that Lexus is desired as a manufacturer of performance cars. The RC F is a full reset of the F line, Lexus’ equivalent to BMW M-built cars, as a mean to re-establishing itself as a performance car. BMWBLOG was invited to the world class Monticello Motor Club in upstate New York to try out the all new Lexus 2015 RC F. Stepping from the glass lobby of the paddock into the morning sun, we were greeted by a flock of brightly colored Japanese coupes – all of which were quickly occupied by journalists thumping the start button igniting the thunderous V8 under the hood.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Performance After a quick introductory lap given by – of all things a Toyota 4Runner – we hit the circuit to wring out the sleek two door sports car. Romping on the throttle, I was rewarded with the throaty, deep pitch of the 467 hp V8. The revised V8 is a derivative of the outgoing IS F’s 5.0-liter V8 although with lighter valves,  revised crank and a resulting higher redline just a shade over 7,000 rpm. Lexus has managed to take a good thing and make it even better. When asked, exiting a corner the motor was more than capable to use all of its might to pull the coupe out of the corner and rocket it down the straight. Even more, as compared to the ISF’s rather dimwitted gearbox, left to its own devices the RC F’s new, smooth 8-speed automatic allowed me to hold gears up until the last rpm before kicking up to the next gear. A welcome addition and perfectly suited for dealing with the punchy  nature of the V8.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

While out-and-out power was a great means of allowing the Lexus to beat its chest, the party piece for the RC F is the optional torque-vectoring differential – a first for performance cars in terms of application on a rear-wheel drive car. The differential has two electronic locks to help regulate the application of power coming out of a turn. When set to Track mode, one of the TVD’s three different modes available at the push of a button to the driver, the differential allowed me to more quickly apply power exiting turn thereby making me a hair faster when pouring the big coupe onto the straight. One thing must be said, I quite enjoyed the fact that the traction control and differential combination felt far less intrusive than the outgoing IS F and even that of the BMW M4. My experience with the M4 at Road America proved that the traction control was more than willing to intervene if I dared request power from the turbocharged S55 before the car was perfectly straightened out.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Power, though, is nothing without control. To reign in the massive V8, Lexus equipped the RC F with pizza dish-sized Brembo 14.9 inch slotted rotor brakes with 13.5 inch rotors out back. The brake pedal feel is strong and the Brembos do an excellent job in scrubbing the speed as a flew past the pit lane and down into Turn 1. However, as strong as the brakes were, after a few hard laps the pedal feel would get a bit squishy – never failing but it was apparent that the RC F, as good as it is, cannot hide its girth. All told, the RCF is a shade above 4,000 lbs or about where the weight of the quattro-driven Audi RS5 clocks in. This heft certainly took its toll on the brakes, though, after a handful of hard charging laps.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Despite the heft of the car, overall, the performance does not disappoint. Thanks to the frankenstein chassis, composed of a reinforced Lexus GS nose, stiff IS Convertible midsection and IS rear; the over chassis feels taught and predictable when pushed through the hairpin on the back half of Monticello. Steering feel, while no doubt eletronic, uses Lexus’ EPS system with surprisingly good results. Haptic feedback through the wheel made placing the nose easy with play in the wheel tightening up as speeds and suspension settings are dialed to 11. As compared to its V6 counterpart, the RC350 F Sport, the V8 was somewhat less willing to change direction though I never encountered difficulties in placing the F where I wanted it. Styling

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

A car with a 0-60 time of only 4.4 seconds, massive Brembos and cutting edge handling tech like TVD cannot be wrapped in a dull package and the RCF makes a point of standing out against its German counterparts. The overall design of the RC can be likened to a combination of the latest IS sedan and the V10-powered LFA supercar. At the front, the now trademark spindle grille along with a pair of “swoosh” LED headlamps to accentuate the headlamps. Pushing past the long, rakish and vented nose, and the front haunches are flanked by massive vents ala the IS F before pushing down the frame to the widebody rear of the coupe.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Admittedly, I enjoy the aesthetic of the RC F as, slightly chubby from some angles, the flared nose and haunches lend to a very brawny, aggressive stance of the Lexus which marries well with the sports car personality of the car. Gone are the somewhat bloated lower valences of IS F and questionable stacked quad-exhaust replaced by far more chiseled air dams and staggered exhausts that look like more than an afterthought. Performance credentials are further reinforced with the high-waisted trunkline equipped a pop-up rear spoiler sitting atop sleek, flattened L-shape tail lamps.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

The styling, no doubt, will be a polarizing factor in the overall appeal of the RC F. That said, I found the styling to be a refreshing departure from the sometimes austere design cues from the Germans. I enjoy the fact that the appearance of the RC F is tying back into a sleeker, and more consistent design language with the “younger” Lexi like the IS along with a dab of LFA. The long, raked nose hiding the massive V8 lends to the RC F appearing fast even while idling at a stop light. In my eyes, this puts the RC F on par with the M4 in terms of performance coupes whereas the Audi RS5 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG are too muted to give a strong sense of performance. Is It For You? 

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Summing up the Lexus RC F in one statement is difficult but I would have to go with jack-of-all-trades. I was  pleasantly surprised with the fun had in Lexus’ newest sport car. Compared to the benchmark of the segment, the BMW M4, it is a close call as an all-round performer. Admittedly, if I were to attend a track day, the M4 is going to be my weapon of choice in nearly every case. It is nimbler and more tactile, and has the party piece twin-scroll S55 straight-six with gobs of torque and, if you’re willing to pay for it, unbreakable ceramic brakes. Juxtaposed to that, the Lexus RC F lacks the sophisticated double-clutch gearbox and decades of racing pedigree but still manages to hold its own for a few laps. However, calling the ball game there means you would be seriously shortchanging the Lexus. While it lags a bit behind the BMW on track prowess, the RC F’s poise on the road coupled with the rev-centric V8 and relative luxury make for a great GT car. We’ll cover more on the road test portion of the RC F but priced from $62,400, anyone shopping for an M4 is doing themselves a disservice if they don’t take a serious look at the latest offering from Lexus.

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review

The article Driven: 2015 Lexus RC F Track Review appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Akrapovic Evo Exhaust for BMW M4 – Video Ad

Wes Howell creates for Akrapovic a promo for their Evo Exhaust system available for the new BMW M4 Coupe. The Akrvpovic Exhaust System is a completely new design and it will reduce the overall weight of the vehicle 3.3 kgs. The exhaust system adds 5....

Wes Howell creates for Akrapovic a promo for their Evo Exhaust system available for the new BMW M4 Coupe. The Akrvpovic Exhaust System is a completely new design and it will reduce the overall weight of the vehicle 3.3 kgs. The exhaust system adds 5.4kW at 4400RPM compared to the stock system. Torque is increased by 17.4 Nm at 2350RPM. It also weighs 3.3 kilograms less than the stock M4 exhaust. The Evolution performance exhaust system for the BMW consists of a single-central muffler with valves and bigger link pipe tubes with a middle muffler.

Akrapovic Evo Exhaust for BMW M4   Video Ad

With no second set of cats—(unlike the stock system), the whole system is designed to give the smoothest flow. Crafted entirely from titanium, the Evolution system has a unique sound to complement its substantial increase over a very wide rpm range. In-depth engineering has produced a sound completely different from the stock system, giving a deep and sporty sound – with no unwanted overtones or drone, and also a significant change to the sound with the valves in the open or closed positions. The Evolution system needs no re-programming of the ECU because it doesn’t trigger any warning lights. It also comes with tailpipes in titanium or carbon, and a handcrafted rear diffuser, all available as optional extras. Here is the promo video: Akrapovic Evo Exhaust Promo / Portfolio Video from Wes Howell on Vimeo. The article Akrapovic Evo Exhaust for BMW M4 – Video Ad appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Owner Appreciation Video of M235i With M Performance Parts

Owner’s appreciation video featuring his M235i with M Performance Parts. ...

Owner’s appreciation video featuring his M235i with M Performance Parts.

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Next-Generation Audi A4 Spied

Will be lighter, offer plug-in hybrid model. ...

Will be lighter, offer plug-in hybrid model.

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2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7 AWD Premium – Summer Update

Summer in L.A. ...

Summer in L.A.

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Brabus Tunes 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG to 394 hp

Engine tune cuts 0-62 mph time by 0.4 seconds. ...

Engine tune cuts 0-62 mph time by 0.4 seconds.

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Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

As a big fan of frozen paint, I certainly have an easy task at hand today. European Auto Source is responsible for yet another stunning build that features a Frozen Black BMW M6. The stunning coupe received an abundance of high quality aftermarket ad...

As a big fan of frozen paint, I certainly have an easy task at hand today. European Auto Source is responsible for yet another stunning build that features a Frozen Black BMW M6. The stunning coupe received an abundance of high quality aftermarket additions perfecting the visual and performance appeal of this vehicle. But the center piece of this project is a complete Akrapovic Titanium Evolution Exhaust System. Light, well made and sounding great. These are the traits one can use to describe this often used aftermarket performance upgrade. And you wouldn’t be wrong about either. The Evolution exhaust system made of Akrapovic proprietary titanium consists of newly developed dual-outlet mufflers with exhaust valves, flow-optimized pipes, and a unique cast titanium X-shaped part with resonators.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Improving the sound coming out of the quad exhaust pipes is only part of the equation here. It weighs 10.5 kilograms or 23.15 lbs lighter than the stock system, for example. It also provides a healthy increase in power. Owners will receive around 7.4kW more compared to the stock system, while the torque is increased 17.0Nm. Yes, price tag can be shocking, but I believe it’s well worth it.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Moving on to the exterior mods. The most prominent addition are the BBS FI wheels. We have seen these wheel being the BMW fan favorites, despite the high price. The BBS wheels bring great improvements in weight reduction, performance and visual aspects as well. A complete set of BBS FI wheels for a this BMW M6 costs $7,995.00. But if you are looking at the fact these are some of the lightest wheels around, providing excellent structural strength – the option is worth it. The BBS FI is a one-piece forged aluminum wheel designed and produced in the Motorsports department. As the flagship wheel in the BBS line-up, the FI is ultra-light, ultra strong and does a great job of showing off the aftermarket brakes. And with the ceramic brakes option on this M6, they looks simply gorgeous!

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

In order to proper fit the car’s looks, the M6 Coupe had to be lowered. This was accomplished thanks to the KW Suspension Variante 3 Coilovers. This system provides a lot of upsides, like the independently adjustable damping technology – rebound and compression damping, a complete “inox-line” stainless steel technology, individual height adjustment, German TUV- tested adjustment parameters, high-quality components for long life, comprehensive documentation for ease of use, infinitely adjustable rebound damping, a 14- level adjustable compression damping and a unique, independently functioning damping power adjustment.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

To complete the wheel and suspension combination, another performance part was installed. The Macht Schnell competition stud conversion kit and wheel spacers (20mm Rear) provide the pinpoint adjustment and improved looks.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Finally the long list of visual mods ends with the Arkym AeroSport carbon fiber front lip spoiler, carbon fiber rear diffuser, carbon fiber side skirts and carbon fiber trunk spoiler,  iND painted front reflectors, iND painted side marker gills and iND painted trunk badge as well. From the BMW M Performance Parts catalog, the M6 Coupe gets the BMW Performance gloss black kidney grilles added.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

For the full showcase of what has been done, check the gallery below.

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels

The article Frozen Black BMW M6 Gets New Wheels appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Driving the Jaguar XF Wagon in the U.K.

Another family-luxury car we can’t buy in the States. ...

Another family-luxury car we can’t buy in the States.

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F31 European Delivery Honeymoon

A BIMMERPOST member shares his European Delivery and Honeymoon trip with us. By Chowbow: Wanted to share our European Delivery / Honeymoon experience for my wife’s F31 – we’ve seen many threads on here and thought we’d share ...

A BIMMERPOST member shares his European Delivery and Honeymoon trip with us. By Chowbow: Wanted to share our European Delivery / Honeymoon experience for my wife’s F31 – we’ve seen many threads on here and thought we’d share ours too. Some background and comparison info: we currently have an E36, E46, and E90, and this would be our first Euro Delivery. As the E46 is getting pretty high up in mileage and my wife wanted something new, we went shopping. We had planned to go to Europe for our honeymoon in October this year, so we killed 2 birds with 1 stone. She had her heart set on the 228i but after test driving everything, she ended up deciding on the 328i wagon. It’s more practical, fast enough for her, and she really likes the look of the wagon, as do I. We decided the 328i wagon would be a purchase meant to last 10+ years and chose options that we thought would best suit us for a long time. She insisted on having heated seats and the rearview camera. So we got the M-sport, M-sport brakes (more on this later), xenon lights, rear camera, and heated seats. We did not get Premium because of leather – it doesn’t wear well unless you take spectacular care of it, and I don’t think she will. We also skipped Tech / navigation, as it will look shitty and outdated in a few years. A smartphone just works so much better.

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