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Posts Tagged ‘BMW’

The New BMW: A MINI with a Spit Shine?

September 3rd, 2014
Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

Just throw a BMW logo on it and call it good?

There are two kinds of people who buy BMWs:

  1. People who appreciate the dynamics of a true rear-wheel-drive performance machine.
  2. People who like the BMW logo.

As BMW embarks on a new era of vehicle production, it hopes it can please both types of people without alienating the first. Type 2 people really don’t care which wheels are propelling the car forward, while Type 1 people believe anything that’s front-wheel drive is undeserving of the BMW logo. After all, BMW owns MINI, so it can scratch that FWD itch, right?

For a while, BMW carefully walked the line while admitting some vague future plans for a FWD car, but now it seems the German automaker will pull out all the stops and bring at least 6 cars to market that are powered by the same wheels that steer.

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Fun and Fast Toyotas, Courtesy of BMW

January 3rd, 2014

Toyota-BMW-Sports-car-partnership-picture

No news is not really news.

Some media outlets and blogs are having fun with a variation of this headline: “BMW and Toyota finally agree on sports car platform amidst joint ventures.”

That sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Some might even say it’s enticing and worth clicking through to read the article and find out what platform they chose and what car might ride upon said platform.

It turns out, as of this writing, the information in that headline is all anyone really knows. Reading the article only restates the headline and the fact that the two companies have in fact agreed on a platform for some kind of new sports car.

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Concepts Astound at 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

August 20th, 2012

The one ugly concept in Monterey: Bentley EXP 9 F

While I can appreciate the classic cars shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it’s the new and concept vehicles that really get me going. (Though the stunning 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo that won Best in Show would look good parked in my shop!)

This year, the Concept Car Lawn at Pebble Beach served as an all-you-can-eat buffet of exotic beauty. If top-shelf modern metal moves you, then the manicured putting greens of Monterey was the place to be this weekend. It was surely the highest concentration of rare and one-of-a-kind supercars in all of California. Well, outside of Jay Leno’s garage, anyway.

Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Infiniti, Lamborghini, Lexus and SRT parked a plethora of  exotic and concept vehicles on the lawn. The BMW Zagato Roadster rubbed shoulders with the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, while the Lamborghini Urus concept lurked nearby. The Aston Martin Vanquish, though, may have been the best-looking of the bunch.

Keep reading for pictures!

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Your New BMW: Available By the Hour?

July 23rd, 2012

2012 BMW 328i Convertible

Luxury car dealers should rent cars.

Imagine the new revenue source for dealers if they had a fleet of popular vehicles available to rent by the hour, day or week. I’ve been thinking about this for the last two weeks or so as I’ve planned a 15th wedding anniversary celebration. Guys like me may not want to parade our wives around town in our ’94 Tercels on an anniversary night. Maybe the dumpy car is fine on a normal everyday trip to the Hobby Lobby, but when visiting a fancy restaurant on a special night, there’s a need for something more.

Some cities have exotic rentals, but that may be overkill on the budget. Wouldn’t it be great if guys like us could call up the local BMW or Porsche dealer and request a nice new 3 Series or Boxster to shuttle our brides for the evening?

At some BMW dealers, such a program is in the works.

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Cars Coming Soon: More M Performance from BMW

July 12th, 2012

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Don’t be fooled. That headline doesn’t mean more BMW M models are headed our way, just that more M performance cars will arrive on our shores in the next couple of years.

Confused?

You’re not alone. Cars like the BMW M3 and M5 have defined a generation of performance and have notched their share of racing successes. But more of that isn’t what’s in store. So what is? Cars with names like the M235i.

Keep reading to find out what that means.

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Cars Coming Soon: Gas Beats Diesel in New BMW 328i

February 2nd, 2012

BMW 328i

Does engineering know no limits?

The draw of diesel-powered cars, for many people, is the increased fuel economy they offer. In some cases, diesel cars compete with hybrids in terms of the number of miles a car can be driven on a single gallon of fuel.

Auto writers routinely sing the praises of oil-burning engines because we love the performance, reliability and fuel economy they offer. One of the best is the BMW 335d. If I had purchased a new car this morning, there’s a good chance it would have been the 335d. Today, though, I heard about a new BMW that might be even better. And it’s powered by… gasoline.

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Cars Coming Soon: BMW i8, as Seen in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”

December 29th, 2011

Mission Impossible, BMW i8

The new Mission Impossible movie isn’t so much an espionage spy thriller as it is a 1-hour-and-50-minute-long car advertisement. No fewer than four models in the BMW stable make an appearance in the film, with the lead role going to the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car. Tom Cruise may get his name in the lights, but BMW is the star.

The product placement has its purpose, of course. Marketing folks at BMW hope movie watchers will want to be like Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character and cruise around town in a Bimmer of their own.

And wouldn’t you know it, the very car Cruise drives in the movie is coming soon to a dealer near you, as the BMW i8.

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Cars We’ll Miss, and Some We Won’t, in 2012

December 23rd, 2011

BMW Active Hybrid X6

New years always promise to bring big changes. The year 2012 will be no different, with some changes sure to be good and some…not so much. One thing for sure, 2012 will arrive very soon, but some cars won’t live to see the end of it.

The Detroit Free Press put together a list of cars that will fade away during the course of the next year. Some of the cars will be sorely missed, while others should have crossed over to the great junkyard in the sky years ago.

Keep reading for a list of the cars that didn’t make the cut to exist past 2012.

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Safe Used Cars Under $5,000 (And One Under $2)

November 1st, 2011
Volvo 760

The safest car ever?

Remember the Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May had to find a cheap used car, put it through a series of tests and see which vehicle performed the best? One stunt in particular stands out above the rest, which went something like this:

The presenters had to crash their cars at 30mph into a wall. 10 points were lost if the presenter dies, 5 for each broken bone and 1 for each blood injury. The only injury was done to Jeremy, later revealed by Hammond with an X-ray, who broke his thumb. Jeremy had crashed at about 40mph because his speedometer was broken and he incorrectly guessed how fast 30 mph was.

Funny stuff, right?

Regardless of whether or not you see the humor in potential death, blood and broken bones, the issue of safety in used cars is an important topic. If safety is tops on your list when shopping for a used car, keep reading. Just don’t expect cheap safety to also include stellar MPG numbers or even top-notch reliability.

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Cars Coming Soon: 2012 BMW 3 Series (Including New M3!)

October 20th, 2011

Instead of waiting for the next major auto show like a good little carmaker, BMW has decided an independent reveal (on its Facebook page, no less) would be the best way to handle the introduction of the all-new 2012 3 Series.

Is the new car worthy of the spotlight-hogging attention ploy?

By all indications, absolutely.

The newest 3 Series receives new cabin technology and boasts a new engine option, but lacks a diesel version for U.S. consumption. Instead, BMW announced a hybrid version on the way. Man, I hate to see that…

Otherwise, the new 3 Series should be about as close to perfection as cars get these days. As often happens with model updates, the 3 Series gets larger, increasing length by 3.6 inches. At the same time, though, overall weight was brought down by 88 pounds to keep the traditional 50/50 weight distribution.

Keep reading for a quick look at the latest goodies and performance numbers of the 6th generation 3 Series.

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