2012 BMW 3-Series – Officially Unveiled

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” »

BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ

October 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new BMW 1 Series is set to make waves in the New Zealand luxury compact market when it goes on sale from October 21.

BMW’s newest hatchback comes packing a new eight-speed automatic transmission as standard – the only model in the segment to do so. There are new engines with more power and improved efficiency figures and a fresh range of standard and optional features.

With pricing officially announced the 116i manual is the entry point and features an entirely new 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, it will start from $46,600. With the automatic transmission it’s priced at $49,700.

The 116i uses a new-generation turbo engine that accelerates the hatch from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds – compared to 9.4 seconds for the previous 118i.  Torque output is also up from 180Nm to 220Nm while carbon emissions are down from 174g/km to 132g/km. Continue reading “BMW announces 1-Series pricing and specs for NZ” »

2012 BMW 528i to receive turbo four-cylinder motor

October 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s current F10 5-Series model range has been a success for the German car maker. It’s received awards in various countries, including NZ and is known as one of the best luxury sedans on the market. Now in order to push it’s economy credentials further, BMW will drop two cylinders of the engine of its entry-model 528i.

For the 2012 model year the petrol-powered 528i will use BMW’s turbocharged N20 four-cylinder unit which will replace the current six-cylinder mill. Power will decrease from 190kW to 180Kw with the new engine but peak torque will be boosted from 310Nm to a healthy 350Nm.

The four-cylinder engine is new for the 5-Series but not new for BMW, it’s already seen duty in the X1 range and, more recently, the Z4 sDrive28i. It’s a highly capable unit and will take the 528i from standing to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds – down from 6.7 seconds on the current model. Continue reading “2012 BMW 528i to receive turbo four-cylinder motor” »

BMW unleashes 6-Series Coupe into NZ market

October 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW has released its new 6 Series Coupe in the NZ market with the sports-focused GT car slotting into the German car maker’s expanding model range.

Powering the BMW 650i is a 4.4-litre eight-cylinder engine which develops a maximum 300 kW and peak torque of 600 Nm.  It is partnered with an eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox as standard. Steering wheel paddles are included and M gearshift logic.

“The all-new BMW 6 Series Coupe is the perfect mix of performance and pleasure and over-delivers on all expectations,” said the Managing Director of BMW New Zealand, Mark Gilbert. The design of the Coupe epitomises BMW dynamism, as one only has to note the stance of the new model to understand its potential.  As anticipated, its all-round performance is exhilarating and the aural experience created by the optional M-Sport package featuring unique exhaust tuning has to be heard to be appreciated.

The new 6-Series has extra length and width over its predecessor and a 5-millimetre lower height to produce a low-slung and athletic design. Continue reading “BMW unleashes 6-Series Coupe into NZ market” »

BMW confirms production of X4

September 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Online reports are claiming that BMW has confirmed production plans to build an X4 crossover. The new entry into BMW’s SUV range will slot in between the X3 and X5 models.

The X4 will likely use the same platform as the current X3 and will be positioned like the X6 (pictured) is to the X5. Expect the X4 to have more raked-back sportier styling than the X3 and a coupe like roof line. In terms of powertrains the X4 will use the same four- and six-cylinder turbocharged options as the X3. A higher-output X4 M is also on the cards for future production.  Continue reading “BMW confirms production of X4” »

2012 BMW 1-Series arriving in NZ next month – from $46,600

September 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The all new 2012 BMW 1 Series is scheduled to go on sale in New Zealand on October 28. The second-generation 1-Series comes offering more fuel efficient engines, new features and a segment-first eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

The price of the 116i manual, featuring an entirely new 1.6 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, will start from $46,600 drive-away. The new base-model boasts the same power output of the previous entry model, the 118i, despite using 24 per cent less fuel (5.7 litres/100km).

The new-generation turbo engine accelerates the 116i from zero to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds – compared to 9.4 seconds for the previous 118i.  Torque output is also up from 180Nm to 220Nm while carbon emissions are down from 174g/km to 132g/km.

Standard kit on the 116i include a 6.5-inch free-standing flatscreen colour display, handsfree Bluetooth functionality including USB, MP3 compatible CD player, cruise control with brake function, auto Start/Stop function, keyless engine start, 6-speaker stereo system, iDrive controller, favourite buttons and freshly designed 16-inch alloy wheels. Continue reading “2012 BMW 1-Series arriving in NZ next month – from $46,600” »

BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The 2011 BMW 1-Series M Coupe is certainly special, a one-off offering from the M-division that has raised suspicion from purists and excitement from badge fans. But what exactly makes it so unique? Is it because by being based on BMW’s entry level 1-Series a new M-car is more affordable than ever before? Or is it because of the 1M’s turbocharged engine and M3-borrowed running gear? Or maybe because it will be built for just one model year with only 14 units making their way to NZ? Or does it just go totally hard? Car and SUV had a chance to pilot the new 1-Series M on a rapid-paced voyage of discovery for the answers.

It hasn’t been an easy birth for the 1M, some have labeled it a parts-bin car because of its extensively shared components with others saying it’s cheapening the M range with its budget 1 Series donor body. But neither of these accusations is accurate. True the 1M is the new lightweight of the M Division stable but it’s quick, feisty and can throw a heavy punch when provoked. Continue reading “BMW 1 Series M Coupe 2011 Review” »

BMW’s future i4 and i5 eco vehicles to fill out range

August 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s recently revealed i sub-brand is one of the most exciting and ambitious moves in the automotive world recently (read news) and will expand after the i3 and i8 go on sale in the next three years.

What’s next? Well the following models will be the i4 and i5 which are rumoured to be a smaller coupe and a family focused four-door sedan.

Both the i4 and i5 models will have a carbon fiber reinforced plastic “Life” bodye to keep weight down and use variations of the drivetrains powering the i3 and i8.

Apparently the i4 will use the same underpinnings as the i3, but will drop the rear doors and seats to become a two-seater with a lower roof, wider track and a increased dynamic ability. Power will likely come from a tweaked version of the  i3′s electric motor, with the same optional range-extending engine mounted out back. If the i4 is created in this way BMW will have a more affordable two-door option in its range. Don’t expect to see the i4 roaming streets for about five or six years. Continue reading “BMW’s future i4 and i5 eco vehicles to fill out range” »