2014 Ford Fiesta ST – More Fun than a Scion FR-S?

FWD hot hatch takes on RWD sports coupe. ...

FWD hot hatch takes on RWD sports coupe.

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Toyota Introduces New Safety, Lighting Technologies

New features set to appear starting in 2015. ...

New features set to appear starting in 2015.

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Eight Things We Learned From Audi Chief Designer Marc Lichte in L.A.

Fittingly, the Prologue concept is just the beginning. ...

Fittingly, the Prologue concept is just the beginning.

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Chris Harris loves the M3. His full road and track test now available

Chris Harris is now out with his new (free to watch) youtube channel. Among videos that have been uploaded you can find a full review of the F80 M3. For those who subscirbed and paid for drive+, you have already seen it. For everyone else. Enjoy! ...

Chris Harris is now out with his new (free to watch) youtube channel. Among videos that have been uploaded you can find a full review of the F80 M3. For those who subscirbed and paid for drive+, you have already seen it. For everyone else. Enjoy!

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Can 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Topple BMW M3 and M4?

Beside the plethora of German models like the Audi RS4, Audi RS5, or the likes of Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, if we are starting to look past the traditional performance cars we’re starting to see lots of newcomers. And s...

Beside the plethora of German models like the Audi RS4, Audi RS5, or the likes of Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, if we are starting to look past the traditional performance cars we’re starting to see lots of newcomers. And some aspects of the high-performance car game have changed deeply, thanks to cars like the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V. Competing with the German manufacturers has been tough for the American premium brands, but Cadillac has had some drawing new owners to their performance models. They have succeed in doing this, thanks to cars like the Cadillac CTS-V and ATS. Now, with the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V, their aim is to shake things up for the BMW M3 and BMW M4 as well. Will they succeed?

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan

Revealed to the public at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Cadillac ATS-V is a force to be taken seriously. Coming to the market with a twin-turbocharged version of the V6 that comes in the current ATS, the same 3.6L puts out 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque – that is 30 horsepower and 39 pound-feet of torque more than the BMW M3 and M4’s turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine produces. It is backed by a six-speed manual – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and launch control – or a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shift.

2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe

“As the smallest and lightest V-Series ever, the ATS-V forges a great connection with the driver, with exceptional nimbleness and responsiveness,” said David Leone, Cadillac Executive Chief Engineer. “It’s adaptable to the driver’s preferences, with every selectable mode developed to deliver the best performance for all types of driving scenarios, including the track.” The sprint from 0-60mph (0-100km/h) should take less than four seconds. The top speed is said to be around 185mph. Both these figures put it right in the center of what both the M3 and M4 are capable of, putting the Cadillac ATS-V into contention with both when acceleration and top speed come to play.

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Cadillac claims that the standard ATS-V is the lightest car in its class. But at the same time, Cadillac is said to be behind in terms of brand awareness when it comes to high-performance automobiles. “In terms of genuine performance, the Cadillac upstarts at least equal and often out-do the cars from Munich,” says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book. “That being said, the public has not warmed to the new Cadillacs as much as General Motors execs had expected. One possible reason: American consumers, even fairly young (mid-40s) consumers, do not consider Cadillac a go-to brand for sporting vehicles.”

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Based on the current pricing of the ATS model, the new high-performance Caddy should be cheaper than both the BMW M3 and BMW M4 – in the range of $52,000 – 58,000 depending on trim levels. But is pricing and the extra power enough to compete successfully with the M3 and M4? We’ll find out more next Spring.

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The article Can 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Topple BMW M3 and M4? appeared first on BMW BLOG

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CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS – F80 BMW M3 – Full road and track test

UK journalist Chris Harris is back with another episode of his Youtube car series. This week, he goes behind the wheel of the new F80 BMW M3. In his typical style, Harris drifts the M3 both on the road and track, and tells us why this might be the on...

UK journalist Chris Harris is back with another episode of his Youtube car series. This week, he goes behind the wheel of the new F80 BMW M3. In his typical style, Harris drifts the M3 both on the road and track, and tells us why this might be the one of the best M cars. Clearly the most fun he’s having is on the Portimao track in Portugal where the F80 M3 feels at home. The challenging track features plenty of elevations and fast corners, a perfect setup for the highly tuned M3 chassis.

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And oh boy, does he burn some tires….. The article CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS – F80 BMW M3 – Full road and track test appeared first on BMW BLOG

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G11 BMW 7 Series to get a B&W Audio System

According to our sources, the next generation G11 BMW 7 Series will get a new audio system. The new high-fidelity system is designed by British maker Bowers & Wilkins. Currently BMW uses audio systems from Harman Kardon and Bang & Olufsen. Ma...

According to our sources, the next generation G11 BMW 7 Series will get a new audio system. The new high-fidelity system is designed by British maker Bowers & Wilkins. Currently BMW uses audio systems from Harman Kardon and Bang & Olufsen. Maserati and Jaguar are some of the car brands using the audio systems designed by the British company. Bowers & Wilkins also partnered with Volvo to develop an optional premium in-car audio system for the upcoming 2016 Volvo XC90. The full system is comprised of a 12-channel Harman 1,400 watts Class D amplifier serving a total of 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.

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For example, the Maserati Quattroporte uses a 15-speaker 1,280-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Even though we heard the B&W audio system is coming to the high-end 7 Series, we weren’t able to confirm at this time whether the new audio setup will replace the Harman Kardon or the B&O system. The 2016 BMW 7 Series will be unveiled next fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The article G11 BMW 7 Series to get a B&W Audio System appeared first on BMW BLOG

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All Season vs Snow Tire – BMW Winter Test

What’s better in the snow: all season tires or snow tires? The answer seems pretty clear but you maybe surprised by just how much better winter tires are on ice. The folks over at TFLCar are taking two rear-wheel drive BMWs to the Pepsi Center ...

What’s better in the snow: all season tires or snow tires? The answer seems pretty clear but you maybe surprised by just how much better winter tires are on ice. The folks over at TFLCar are taking two rear-wheel drive BMWs to the Pepsi Center in Denver to test the two cars on the ice rink. The goal of the test is to see which car still go the fastest and which one will stop the shortest. The rubber used is an unnamed all-season tires and the Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires.

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With most people driving on all-seasons, the test aims to show how important a proper winter tire can be, even if you have an all-wheel drive system. Before we jump into the informative video, here is also our take on BMW and winter tires. The article All Season vs Snow Tire – BMW Winter Test appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Exclusive Interview with BMW i USA on i3/i8 updates and infrastructure

At the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, BMWBLOG sat down with Jacob Harb, Department Head BMW i USA, and Jose Guerrero, Head of Product BMW i USA. The interview focused on the BMW i3 sales and production changes for 2015, as well as topics like the infras...

At the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, BMWBLOG sat down with Jacob Harb, Department Head BMW i USA, and Jose Guerrero, Head of Product BMW i USA. The interview focused on the BMW i3 sales and production changes for 2015, as well as topics like the infrastructure in the US. BMW i3 3-Day Extended Test Drive “Driving is believing” is a key component for the marketing success of the BMW i3. Harb says that the program has been very valuable for the brand and it will continue in 2015.  “We’ve had almost 8,000 test drive leads from the i3 extended drive over a period of two months,” says Harb. “It has been all received all the way around with mainstream press picking up those stories as well.”

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2015 Model Year Changes For The BMW i3 Harb says the company is making steps in 2015 to improve the i3 customer convenience and infrastructure. Guerrero confirmed to us that the BMW i8 will get the Comfort Access, a delay caused by the tricky door design. The i3 changes are: Satellite Radion included in the 100% profile DC Fast Charging is part of the 100% profile Seat heaters in the 100% profile “We are now confident enough that in 2015 we will have the right infrastructure for DC Fast Charging, so it makes to include it standard in the MY2015,” says Harb. March 2015 will bring a software update with the state of charge gage and the charge after 100% lock or unlock. But the safety reasons, the unlock feature will not be available through BMW i Remote App. You can only unlock the car if you call BMW Assist. “In the U.S., it’s a safety and legal issue, and we took an extra step by having to call BMW Assist to verify who you are”, says Dave Buchko, BMW USA spokesman. Configurable Keyfob When asked about a configurable keyfob like European customers get, Harb and Guerrero say that feedback has been received at the HQ in North America and timelines have been accelerated to trying to be as nimble as they can to address things while making it all retroactive too. BMW says that general configurability is an important topic for BMW and without getting into specifics, Harb and Guerrero say this is something they are currently looking into it. Flex Mobility Program  175 dealers which also participate in the i3 extended drive are offering the Flex Mobility Program. Customers have the option to get a 328i or 328d model, either rear-wheel drive or xDrive, or an X3 28i or 28d model. Heated Steering Wheel, Sunroof Initially BMW i says that the leaving off the heated steering wheel was a decision based on the energy efficiency. The steering wheel would certainly require extra energy to run and the compromise was made. But, Harb adds that he is listening to feedback and if there is plenty of that coming back to the brand, the option could go back through decision making process. My co-interviewer Tom Moloughney pushed further by indicating how the heated steering wheel might turn out to be an energy saver for the i3. The warmed-up wheel could potentially lead to the inside cabin temperature being adjusted downwards by the driver. The sunroof apparently was left off also due to weight savings and BMW has not indicated if the option even has a chance to make it in future iterations. Lane Departure Warning uses different camera systems and BMW didn’t think there was enough demand for it out there and Active Cruise Control is believed to have been a better choice to include in the car. “If there is enough demand out there for it, let us know,” says Harb. 75% Battery State Of Health Most of the BMW i3 drivers are confused about their driving range and there is currently a misconception that the battery state of health has dropped which further reduces the driving range. So after a year, for example, how could a customer find out what their battery capacity is? “We’re looking at things  like the range algorithm,  maybe too conservative, so we’re thinking about that overall”, says Harb. “State of health is also a number read-out and we are able to see that, but we haven’t thought about the process to handing out that to the customer.” Guerrero says the diagnostic software can print that out but based on this feedback, the i folks say that looking into a formalized process will be on the agenda. Guerrero adds that the battery has been certified for 15 years due to an existing law in Europe. Roll Out For More Quick Charging Stations  BMW i says 2015 is the infrastructure year and the 2015 Detroit Auto Show is the venue chosen to communicate some of the exciting things coming up. “We have some really good plans, incredible collaboration and the industry has matured significantly more than when the i3 was engineered,” says Harb. “You will be pleasantly surprised.” Agile Approach  BMW i says that thanks to customers’ feedback, the electric division has managed to improve their process of delivering updates and features to the cars. Taking a more agile approach and involving early adopters, it gave the engineers enough data to be able to speed up the deployment process. BMW i believes this is a huge gain for them and they are able to increase the customer satisfaction faster. 2015 Detroit Auto Show While BMW i folks were upfront with many of the things we asked, they reserved some surprised for 2015 Detroit Auto Show where we will supposedly learn more about the product updates and infrastructure strategy in the U.S. The article Exclusive Interview with BMW i USA on i3/i8 updates and infrastructure appeared first on BMW BLOG

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2014-2015 Mazda 6 TPMS Recall Affects Nearly 100,000 Cars

Tire pressure monitoring system might not warn when air is low. ...

Tire pressure monitoring system might not warn when air is low.

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