Will The Automatic Transmission Stigma Fade?

At the moment, there are more performance cars on the road shifting through automatic transmissions than ever before. There was a time when the automatic transmission looked at in the same way Crocs are today, with ridicule and malaise. Up until abou...

At the moment, there are more performance cars on the road shifting through automatic transmissions than ever before. There was a time when the automatic transmission looked at in the same way Crocs are today, with ridicule and malaise. Up until about five or six years ago, the automatic transmission was despised by enthusiasts. It was the sissy transmission, and if you didn’t have three pedals in your car, you were indeed a sissy. According to many enthusiasts that is. And most performance cars weren’t even available with a slushbox trans, as it would hinder performance, take a toll on economy and generally knock the reputation of the car. However, in today’s world, most performance cars come standard with automatic transmissions or lack a manual altogether.

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There isn’t a single Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati currently on sale with a row-your-own gearbox. Audi has ditched it in the new R8, Porsche canned it in its, normally manual-only, 911 GT3 and GT3 RS and even Alfa Romeo’s stripped out purist’s car, the 4C, only has two pedals. So what is happening to the enthusiast’s transmission of choice? Technology and sales, obviously. Auto ‘boxes are far faster and more efficient than their manual brethren nowadays and, more importantly, the mass majority of people don’t want them anymore. Hell, 90 percent of drivers on the road don’t know how to drive a manual transmission. So, essentially, it’s a dead technology, with only a few purists desiring its row-your-own charms. So has the automatic transmission been rid of its dandy-like stigma? I think it has, and the sales of performance cars with them seems to have proved it.

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Sure, there are a few car enthusiasts who won’t so much as sit behind the driver’s seat unless there are three pedals underfoot. But by and large, most enthusiasts have grown to respect, and in some cases even like, the automatic gearbox. It’s no doubt that manual overrides and paddle shifters have helped alleviate some of the hatred. But even the enthusiasts who like auto ‘boxes, myself included, will admit that there is something special about rowing gears yourself. The connectivity between man and machine strengthens when you can feel each gear click click by in the palm of your hand. So while the stigma of the automatic trans has mostly been eradicated, I think the desire for manual transmission has actually grown. It’s become novelty. Even people who’d prefer an automatic will find themselves yearning for a clutch pedal and gear lever because of the antiquity of if. It’s become the new vinyl record– a new, technically better, alternative has arrived, but many still prefer the old way. Related: BMW, please keep the manuals! So are automatic transmissions still loathed by enthusiasts? No, most of us can appreciate the technology and added benefits and understand that cars are a whole package, not just a gearbox with wheels. However, the love for the manual transmission has grown even stronger and, as they die out, will become more highly sought after than ever. The automatic transmission is getting better and is becoming a suitable replacement, but like most hipsters in Brooklyn would say, it always sounds better on vinyl. The article Will The Automatic Transmission Stigma Fade? appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Girl in high heels gives this guy the ride of his life

A girl wearing high heels gave a guy the ride of his life on the famous Nurburgring track. Unfortunately, the hot lap ended with the guy throwing up on the side of the track. The lady was not only wearing high heels and a skirt, but also driving the ...

A girl wearing high heels gave a guy the ride of his life on the famous Nurburgring track. Unfortunately, the hot lap ended with the guy throwing up on the side of the track. The lady was not only wearing high heels and a skirt, but also driving the super fun and track-friendly E92 M3. At some point, she was forced to pull on the side of the track to let the guy…do his thing. In the background you can hear the spectators “cheering”, making for an even funnier scene. The M3 seems belongs to Big Garage, a company that offers cars for rental to track at Nurburgring.

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Bottom line is that tracking is not everyone, yet getting car sick can happen to anyone, depending on the circumstance, so while we feel for the guy, we just can’t wipe that smirk off our faces. The article Girl in high heels gives this guy the ride of his life appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept in racing colors

Renowned rendering artist Jon Sibal is back again with an exciting project: the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage featured in the racing livery. When it was unveiled last week, the 3.0 CSL Hommage caught some fire not only because of its controversial front-end de...

Renowned rendering artist Jon Sibal is back again with an exciting project: the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage featured in the racing livery. When it was unveiled last week, the 3.0 CSL Hommage caught some fire not only because of its controversial front-end design, but also for the use of the bright yellow paint job. Sibal decided to give the CSL Hommage the beautiful paint job seen on all the classic BMW racing cars, along with a new set of wheels and darkened headlights. Just by changing its livery, the 3.0 CSL Hommage seems more attractive and resembles a proper race car. The muscular front end and upright grille are reminiscent to the original CSL and its muscular racing design. The size and protrusion of the massive kidney grilles nod to the power underneath the muscular hood. The way the fenders roll over and continue into the hood remind us of the fender flares on the original CSL.

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From the front end, a continuous horizontal line runs the sides of the car. In profile, this line is seen across the entire length of the long wheelbase, giving the car a long, low and sleek look. While the low hood and roofline, combined with the massive 21” wheels give the CSL Hommage a very low looking stance. All in all, BMW’s 3.0 CSL Hommage is a stunning achievement in design. The article BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept in racing colors appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Watches & Cars: Tudor Grantour Flyback

There’s just something about watches that pairs with cars like cookies and milk. Maybe it’s the mechanical precision of both or the craftsmanship, but either way, watches and cars are a wonderful pair. It’s why most car collectors also have a f...

There’s just something about watches that pairs with cars like cookies and milk. Maybe it’s the mechanical precision of both or the craftsmanship, but either way, watches and cars are a wonderful pair. It’s why most car collectors also have a fine watch collection. If someone is passionate about one of the two, chances are, they’re passionate about both. This is doubly true for automotive inspired watches. Of that variant, there are literally hundreds. The motoring-inspired watch has been around since the the first automobile, probably. Some of these watches, that draw parallels between horology and motorsport, do so in a tacky fashion while others do so tastefully. Some come from companies with no business discussing motorsport (Chanel J12 Superleggera), others have real history and pedigree in the automotive world (Tag Heuer Monaco, Rolex Daytona). The watch we’re going to talk about today is of the latter variant.

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In 2013, Tudor was named the official “Timing Partner” of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Tudor has been partnering with different motorsport affiliates for years now and this partnership with FIA is just another feather in Tudor’s cap. So when buying a motorsport-inspired watch from Tudor, you know that you’re getting something with real pedigree, a real connection to the world of motorsports. For a car and enthusiast, that’s as good as it gets.

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The Tudor Grantour Chrono Flyback is the latest in motorsport-inspired watches from the famed Swiss brand. The Grantour Chrono Flyback is a 42mm chronograph with a Flyback function. What the Flyback function does, is allow for the chronograph to be reset by the push of one button. On a normal chronograph, when the the chrono is started, it must be stopped and reset before starting off again. So, from start to finish, the process takes three button pushes. With the Flyback function, it takes one to start, but then one to reset each and every time. This is incredibly helpful for when, say, timing laps around Circuit Of The Americas. Both chrono buttons can be locked, with a quarter turn of each, to insure to no accidental pushes.

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The Grantour Chrono Flyback features self-winding, 28,80 bph movement with a 46 hour power reserve. It is available with a stainless steel bracelet, with either a white or black face, a small or large perforated leather strap and even in a stainless steel/18k gold combination. The Flyback can look excellent while being worn on a racetrack, at a suit and tie event or even just messing around in the backyard. It’s a true everyday watch with respectable motorsport pedigree and an actual racing function. Prices vary between $3,000 – $5,000, which isn’t bad for the level of quality, fit and finish and pedigree that comes with a Tudor watch. The article Watches & Cars: Tudor Grantour Flyback appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Our latest 2016 BMW M2 prototype video from Nurburgring testing

Our latest sighting of the BMW M2 (F87) prototype testing on the Nurburgring. If you haven’t been following our M2 info (@ http://www.bimmerpost.com/m2), here’s a quick rundown of the info we know (not yet confirmed by BMW): N55 engi...

Our latest sighting of the BMW M2 (F87) prototype testing on the Nurburgring. If you haven’t been following our M2 info (@ http://www.bimmerpost.com/m2), here’s a quick rundown of the info we know (not yet confirmed by BMW): N55 engine producing 370 PS (DIN) (= 365 hp) and 465Nm torque (= 343 lb-ft), featuring “over boost” of +35Nm (25 lb-ft), in low to mid range RPM Prototypes have been tested with both manual and DCT transmissions Launching in 4 colors: Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Long Beach Blue, Mineral Grey Launching with 1 interior: BLACK with BLUE accent stitching Confirmed start of production in November 2015

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BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Production Renderings

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is the latest concept unveiled by the Bavarians. The CSL Hommage joins the likes of M1 Hommage or the 328 Roadster Hommage, and just like those glorious design studies, it won’t make to the production lines. But that has...

The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage is the latest concept unveiled by the Bavarians. The CSL Hommage joins the likes of M1 Hommage or the 328 Roadster Hommage, and just like those glorious design studies, it won’t make to the production lines. But that hasn’t stopped rendering artists from around the world imagining what the production version might look like. Tobias Hornof is one of them and his latest work highlights the design changes needed for the CSL Hommage to make it to your garage. The two renderings attached use the concept as a starting point and slowly removes some of its controversial elements, like the overly aggressive and oversized kidney grille. The iconic grille gets toned down and while it’s still massive, it fits better within the front fascia.

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Next, the hood loses the functional air vents while not changing the beautiful creases of the hood. The exhaust tips on the side of the car have been removed and since they don’t appear in the rear, we can assume the rendering artist imagined this as being a fully electric racing car. In the back, the layering design of the spoiler and taillights is being substituted with a classic racing wing and elongated taillights that stretch across the rear and quarter panels. As with all concept cars, the side mirrors are the first thing to go away and in this case, they are replaced by “conventional” mirrors with turn signal indicators built-in.

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With just a few changes, the 3.0 CSL Hommage doesn’t too far from a production-ready car and without a doubt, it would find a place in many homes, especially here in the U.S.     The article BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Production Renderings appeared first on BMW BLOG

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2016 BMW M2 F87 Testing Again on the Nurburgring

The upcoming 2016 BMW M2 F87 goes back on the track for a new session of hot laps. This time around, two F87 M2 prototypes can be seen at Nurburgring racing each other and delighting us with the exhaust sound coming from the six-cylinder engine under...

The upcoming 2016 BMW M2 F87 goes back on the track for a new session of hot laps. This time around, two F87 M2 prototypes can be seen at Nurburgring racing each other and delighting us with the exhaust sound coming from the six-cylinder engine under the hood. The M2 uses an updated N55 engine with 365 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque with 25 lb-ft of torque available as overboost. While the updated N55 is based on the same engine found in the M235i, our source says it will have some components from the new S55 unit. Yet the engine code will still be labeled as N55. The engine will feature an overboost function just like the 1M, good for 25 lb-ft of torque. Many of the components are imported from the M3/M4, starting with the oil pump in the engine and continuing with the mechanical lock differential, suspensions and brakes.

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The launch color palette will be limited. Our sources couldn’t say how many and what colors will be added in the future, but at the launch, the M2 customers will get to pick from four paint jobs: Long Beach Blue, Alpine White, Mineral Grey and Black Sapphire. BMW M2 enters production in November with first units being delivered in early 2016. The article 2016 BMW M2 F87 Testing Again on the Nurburgring appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2015: Winners

An impressive parade of all the cars and motorcycles entered in competition and the announcement of this year’s prize winners provided a dazzling Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como with a fitting climax late on Sunday afternoon in front of t...

An impressive parade of all the cars and motorcycles entered in competition and the announcement of this year’s prize winners provided a dazzling Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como with a fitting climax late on Sunday afternoon in front of thousands of spectators. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este had once again underlined its stand-out status on the exclusive event calendar for historic cars and motorcycles. All eyes were trained on the line-up of precious classic machines and striking concept cars over the two days of the Concorso. Under a pleasantly warm sun, the event’s “Seventies Style – the Jet Set is back” banner spanned a host of special exhibitions and highlight features, creating a fitting stage for a weekend that will live long in the memory.

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As ever, the best was left until last. The jury of experts provided the event with its crowning moment as the Trofeo BMW Group for “Best of Show” was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider from 1932. The Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este prize decided by public referendum was won by a Ferrari 166M Barchetta from 1950. And in the Concept Cars and Prototypes competition the Bentley Exp 10 Speed Six coupé was presented with the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award. The Concorso di Motociclette beauty contest for classic motorcycles was held for the fifth time this year, and a Münch-4 TTS-E from 1973 took the honours with victory in the Trofeo BMW Group for motorcycles.

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Knowledgeable visitors from around the world shower the cars and bikes with applause The parkland and green spaces of the Villa d’Este luxury hotel and adjacent Villa Erba once again provided the perfect backdrop for this illustrious and long-established event centred around historic cars and motorcycles. Visitors from around the world greeted the parades of competition models with waves of applause in recognition of the elegance and aesthetic beauty of the rare classic machines and the extravagance of the prototypes and concept cars.   Special exhibitions celebrate seventies style The various special exhibitions and “Seventies Style” motto for the event helped to conjure a richly evocative ambience. For example, the “90 years of the Rolls-Royce Phantom” anniversary was celebrated with a special category of competition, while the 1970s theme was reflected in both a special exhibition focusing on the 40th birthday of the BMW 3 Series and a line-up of BMW Art Cars. The first four examples of this one-of-a-kind project, in which the worlds of art and cars collide in eye-catching fashion, took their places alongside the latest member of the now 17-strong collection. Back in 1975 Alexander Calder painted a BMW racing car for the first time. Following in its tyre tracks later that decade were works of art on wheels by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In 2010 Jeff Koons created the latest addition to the BMW Art Cars Collection. All five BMW Art Cars on display in Cernobbio have lined up in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race.   Creating a bridge between past, present and future The history of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este began in 1929, when a beauty contest for cars took place at this very spot for the first time. This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza was the eleventh edition of this exclusive get-together to be co-hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel. Now, as ever, Lake Como welcomes a field of exceptionally valuable and rare historic cars and motorcycles to its shores, but nowadays the event also bridges the past, the present and the future of automotive aesthetics. This role is clearly expressed in the visionary designs of the prototypes and concept cars on show – and reinforced every year by new BMW concept studies presented out of competition.   World premiere for two BMW concept studies This year the BMW Group presented two head-turning concept studies at the Concorso d’Eleganza. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represented a formidable statement on the part of the BMW Design team as it paid tribute to the BMW 3.0 CSL – a timeless classic and iconic BMW coupé from the 1970s. “Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage, but also how important the past can be in determining our future,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Group Design. “The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represents a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. With intelligent lightweight construction and modern materials, the Hommage brings the character of that earlier model into the 21st century, showing it in a new and exciting guise,” he adds, summarising the approach the design team took with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage.   Since the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is also committed to showcasing beauty on two wheels, BMW Motorrad likewise unveiled a world premiere at the event. Under the motto “The Spirit of the Open Road” the BMW Motorrad Design team revealed the BMW Motorrad Concept 101. Elegant, exclusive, extrovert and riding a wave of unbridled power, it represents a totally new take on the touring bike concept. This high-performance, emotionally rich and ultra-exclusive six-cylinder machine turns every ride into a very special experience. The article Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2015: Winners appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW celebrates 40 years of BMW Art Cars

Lichtenstein. Warhol. Koons. Stella. Calder. Rauschenberg. Holzer. Elíasson. Since a BMW 3.0 CSL painted by Alexander Calder lined up for the Le Mans 24-hour race exactly 40 years ago, the BMW Art Car Collection has fascinated both art and design en...

Lichtenstein. Warhol. Koons. Stella. Calder. Rauschenberg. Holzer. Elíasson. Since a BMW 3.0 CSL painted by Alexander Calder lined up for the Le Mans 24-hour race exactly 40 years ago, the BMW Art Car Collection has fascinated both art and design enthusiasts as well as car and technology fans all around the world. Ever since the invention of the motor car, artists have drawn inspiration from the thrill of speed, from the phenomenon of mobility and from racing cars as examples of modern sculpture. Since 1975, BMW Art Cars have been a central feature of this story. The idea behind the BMW Art Cars was the brainchild of French racing driver and art enthusiast Hervé Poulain: 40 years ago, Poulain asked artist friend Alexander Calder to apply his creative talents to his race car. Together with Jochen Neerpasch, then BMW Motorsport Director, the first BMW Art Car was born – and it became an instant crowd’s favorite on the race track. Since then, new additions to the BMW Art Car Collection have been made over the years at irregular intervals, with unique works of art from artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney and Jeff Koons.

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“The BMW Art Cars provide an exciting landmark at the interface where cars, technology, design, art and motor sport meet,” reflects Maximilian Schöberl, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, BMW Group. “The 40-year history of our ‘rolling sculptures’ is as unique as the artists who created them. The BMW Art Cars are an essential element and core characteristic of our global cultural engagement.”

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The anniversary celebrations got under way with exhibitions in Hong Kong, at the Centre Pompidou, the BMW Museum and the Concorso d’Eleganza at Lake Como, where the first four BMW Art Cars by Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, plus the M3 GT2 created by Jeff Koons, were all on display. Further presentations are set to follow later in 2015 in New York, Miami and Shanghai. The article BMW celebrates 40 years of BMW Art Cars appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Official launch film for 2016 3 Series LCI model

Official BMW launchfilm for the 2016 3 Series LCI facelift model. ...

Official BMW launchfilm for the 2016 3 Series LCI facelift model.

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