October 27th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
The entry level model to BMW’s 3 series is surprising, mainly because if you’ve driven older base model 3s like the 318s from a few years ago you’d be expecting something kind of lacklustre and limp.
This obviously didn’t sit well with BMW. The base model is likely to be the best-seller, especially in Europe, where diesels are far more accepted, and you want to put your best precisely engineered Germanic foot forward.
BMW has cranked up Continue reading “BMW 320d 2012 Review” »
October 31st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The new sixth-generation BMW 3 Series is officially on its way, with news that manufacturing has begun at its Munich plant.
To prepare for the new model BMW invested around €500 million into the Munich facility and safeguarded the jobs of around 9,000 workers. A portion of the money went toward the purchase of a new press that can operate at speeds of up to 17 strokes per minute and process up to 600 tons of steel per day. That means the plant could process all the metal in the Eiffel Tower in just 12 days.
In terms of cars the plant will be able to roll out over 900 units per day once it’s fully functioning.
October 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
After many rumours and great anticipation BMW has revealed its all-new 2012 3-Series at an event in Munich. Codenamed F30 the new model is the sixth generation of BMW’s luxury sedan. Since 1975 the 3-Series has sold more than 12 million units and has become the benchmark in its segment. So the stakes are high for this new model.
In terms of size the new 3-Series has grown by 93mm in length and the wheelbase (50mm) and track (37mm-47mm) have also seen increases. The design remains familiar and similar to the outgoing model but with noticeable progressions. There’s a sharper and longer character line running from the front wheel guard through to the rear tail-light and there’s a higher, coupe-like rear deck with an upwards flick to the boot lid. Facial changes include a larger twin-kidney grille that meets the headlights for a more continuous appearance.
Inside the larger body allows for 15mm more legroom and 8mm more headroom for rear seat passengers. Cargo capacity in the boot is also increased but despite the larger body, numerous weight saving measures mean the new 3-Series is 40kg lighter (depending on version). Continue reading “2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled” »
October 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
With the Commonwealth Games in full swing it’s easy to waste away a few hours watching athletes from around the globe battle it out in their chosen sports. One of the more popular events is the gymnastics where buffed up competitors have tailored themselves mentally and physically to cope with the various disciplines. A mighty upper body for hanging from the rings, powerful legs for vaulting and a mix of grace and flexibility for the floor routine. But what’s most impressive is not the athlete’s ability to master a single area but to have absolute competence in all of them. Among the various athletes in the automotive world the BMW 3-Series would surely be the gymnast.
Known as a consummate all-rounder the 3-Series embodies athleticism, low-key style and progressive technology. Diesel power is a more recent move in the 3-Series repertoire but one that’s quickly being mastered, resulting in some of the finest performance-focused diesel vehicles built to date. Could BMW’s newest example continue this growing reputation for dynamic diesel delivery and further the 3-Series dynasty. Car and SUV hit the mats with the new 330d Coupe to mark its form and find out more.
So what’s special about the 330d?
Many things, but what’s first noticeable is the low-slung coupe sheetmetal. Like a zip-up sheep costume the coupe’s inconspicuous clean lines nicely conceal the wolf within. At the front BMW’s wide kidney grille sits prominently between excellent LED element headlights. A sharp crease line tracks along the sides below elegantly curved windows and a raked forward C-pillar. The rear proportions are just right with minimal overhang, a black diffuser and twin chrome exhaust tips hinting at performance intent. Our test vehicle was further upgraded with the M Sport body kit and nicely matched 19-inch double spoke alloys (17-inch is standard). Overall, the 330d Coupe has an understated elegance that may not appeal to the ostentatious, but will still illicit plenty of sideways glances at the lights.
Continue reading “BMW 330d Coupe 2010 Review” »
July 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Here in NZ when it rains it can really come down and that means that occasionally our roads get flooded. Perhaps it’s because we love our cars or maybe because we don’t want to look like dickheads but when faced with a cordoned off flooded road we always go around the long way. Well it turns out that not all of us take the safe approach and a video has just appeared on YouTube that shows one man making a bad call by attacking a flooded kiwi road in his fairly tidy BMW 3-Series, or what ‘was’ a tidy 3-Series.
He gets going well at first, but as the water’s current starts moving the BMW his plans are, well… sunk. The techno music is a little unnecessary, but the reactions of the rescue team are priceless. Moral of the story is – don’t try and be a hero out there folks.
Check out the video below. Continue reading “BMW driver takes on flooded NZ road (+video)” »
January 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
It’s been a week of leaked images for BMW, first the Mini Countryman was outed prematurely (read news) and now images of the new M-Sport package for the 3-Series are floating around.
The images of the M Sport package available on the 2011 BMW 3 Series coupe and convertible show similarities to the recent model refresh. Overall the changes are subtle, but effective. The lines on the front bumper follow the same form as on the current M Sport package, but are more angular and the lower opening appears slightly larger. Out back, the current vehicle’s single exhaust pipe at each corner gets switched to a dual pipe on the left side, and a new wheel design is fitted at each corner.
Interior upgrades should include the usual M-badged steering wheel and shifter, along with an anthracite headliner. All the details are due to be revealed soon, most likely at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
BMW 3 Series: It could save your life. Sometimes
December 19th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Beware of falling dirty laundry if you drive a convertible BMW