July 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
In a program that started 40 years, BMW has collaborated with world famous artists to create 17 art cars with each being a historic work of art. The cars are highly valuable but aren’t just for show, many of them have been raced, from Alexander Calder’s 3.0 CSL through to the latest M3 GT2 painted by Jeff Koons (pictured).
While some of the cars have gone on display in museums and exhibitions around the world, seeing all 17 cars at once is very rare. To mark the 40th anniversary of the art car program BMW has put the entire collection online through an impressive new website. On the site each car gets its own exhibit and film that outlines its creation, all laid out in a high-tech virtual museum. Continue reading “BMW opens virtual tour of its Art Car program (+video)” »
July 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
BMW’s M3 is always going to be an uncompromising sports machine, that’s something which will never change, but exactly how it achieves its performance has changed over the years. What started out with an inline-four was up-sized into a straight-six for two generations before a V8 was stuffed into the current model. It’s no surprise that there is much speculation about the next-generation M3 with it expected to return to a straight-six format but that won’t mean a decrease in power.
If recent rumours are to be believed, the upcoming M3 will come packing a triple-turbo straight-six powerplant. The rare arrangement may include two traditional turbochargers powered off exhaust gases but also a third electric turbocharger. Total power output would increase to around 335kW compared to the current V8 model’s 308kW. There will also be more carbon fibre used to keep weight down, much like the M3 CRT (pictured). Continue reading “Next-gen BMW M3 may receive triple turbo power” »
July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The new M5 has officially been unveiled and while it’s undoubtedly more modern and progressive than its predecessor, many enthusiasts are going to miss the V10 charm of the older model.
German tuners Edo Competition are celebrating the outgoing M5 with one final hurrah and have created a special M5 Touring for the occasion. Called the M5 Dark Edition, this wagon is modified with a specially tuned version of the 5.0-liter V10. It’s been upgraded with a recalibrated ECU, high-flow air filters and catalytic converters and a new high-performance exhaust system.
Total output has been boosted from 373kW and 521 Nm to a beastly 413kW and 560 Nm. The sinister M5 Dark Edition can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds (0.5 seconds faster than the standard model) and the 100km/h -200km/h acceleration in under 10 seconds. The pesky limiter has been removed so this M5 Touring can reach a terrifying top speed of 305km/h.
Cosmetically there’s a new aero kit including a front lip with additional lights, a rear diffuser to house the bespoke exhaust tips and a roof wing. Packing out the guards are 20-inch alloy wheels painted in black with a sliver rim and wrapped in thin Dunlop tyres. Continue reading “Edo Competition tunes BMW M5 Touring ‘Dark Edition’” »
June 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
BMW’s striking Vision EfficientDynamics car, is coming to New Zealand for a special one-off appearance and will be put on display at the Auckland Museum from Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17.
The high-tech machine will be part of next week’s Australian Motor Show and will pop in to NZ after, so it’s a great chance to see a groundbreaking concept car for free.
“The BMW VisionED represents the future of BMW mobility and unlike other concept cars, which often never see the light of day, the BMW VisionED is confirmed to go into production in 2013 and will be known as the BMW i8,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand, Mark Gilbert.
“This ground-breaking model is a showcase of BMW technology and provides strong indications of drivetrain technology and the level of connectivity all future BMW models will feature.” Continue reading “BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept going on show in NZ” »
June 25th, 2011 by Tim Grimley
During my weekly forage at the big yellow comestibles shop I decided to splash out on a bit of a retro indulgence that – as far as my reasonably limited memory can remember – has never actually made it into the shopping trolley since my ownership was transferred to the current Mrs Grimley.
A bar of soap.
Before the more hygiene fixated amongst you abandon Car & SUV forever in protest at my lack of personal cleanliness, rest assured that on a day-to-day basis I am nothing short of pine fresh. Thanks largely to the input of the female inhabitant of Grimley Towers, at any one time our shower room has enough examples of foamy grooming products to turn the Tasman Sea into a bubble bath; but until now we have always shunned the humble soap cake.
And it only took a single application of my new purchase to tell me why. Thanks to clever people in laboratories and the selfless suffering of their guinea pigs (which probably are guinea pigs) the usual lotions and potions involved in my cleansing rituals are capable of disguising the 31 years of neglect that my flesh has been subjected to. A concoction of plant extracts and technical whizzery leave me emerging from every shower feeling like the victim of a drive-by moisturising.
Clean Up Your Act BMW
Soap does not do this. One quick wash was enough to leave me convinced that my skin had somehow been removed and replaced with some two sizes smaller and twenty years older. Every doorframe became a Krypton Factor-esque challenge as I was sure the slightest brush of my newly abrasive forearm would have been enough to remove the paint. I felt tight and weather beaten, but most importantly of all I felt properly clean.
Now, despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m not stupid. I know that scientific evolution ensures the shower gels of today are light years ahead of a classic block of Lifebuoy and will keep me looking less terrible for longer, but it doesn’t really matter. Despite the fact it is old fashioned, I love the single minded purposefulness of soap; you get clean and that’s your lot. Want to be smooth too? Buy some moisturiser. By only going about one task, the end result just seems to be that bit more focussed and pleasing.
And that’s why I’m beginning to fall out of love with Mini. Continue reading “Mini Coupe Gets Me In A Lather” »
June 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The first video of the 2012 BMW F10 M5 getting given some stick on the track has just been released by the German manufacturer.
The video features a fully undisguised example being pushed through some turns on a racetrack somewhere in Europe. There are also some shots taken inside the cabin which gives a real sense of the speed this sports sedan is capable of and the soundtrack of the V8 engine is reason enough to check out the clip.
Performance figures are impressive from the F10 M5’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo motor with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h (124mph) in 13.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you’re hell bent on going even faster the optional M Driver’s package raises top speed to 305km/h. Continue reading “First video released of 2012 BMW M5 driven in anger” »
June 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
With leaked photos doing the rounds online, BMW has decided to drop the official images and details on its fifth generation 2012 M5.
The much-anticipated super saloon comes packing BMW’s a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine behind its double kidney grille. It shares this powerplant with the X5M and X6M high performance SUVs and the V8 replaces the previous M5’s exotic 5.0-litre V10 unit. The new high-revving engine packs a heavyweight punch with power output of 415kW and peak torque of 680Nm. This marks a huge 30kW and 150Nm increase over its predecessor. Fuel consumption has also been improved with a quoted figure of 9.9l/100km combined.
Transferring power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission linked up to an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential. A manual transmission is expected to be added at a later date.
Performance figures are impressive with the new M5 sprinting to 100km/h in 4.4 seconds, 0-200km/h (124mph) in 13.0 seconds and a limited top speed of 250km/h. If you have to go even faster the optional M Driver’s package raises top speed to 305km/h. Continue reading “BMW reveals official details and images of 2012 M5” »
June 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Being the fastest of the bunch is seldom a bad thing, extra speed usually equals extra kudos. This fact hasn’t been wasted on the BMW Group which recently set about building the world’s fastest Mini.
Called the Eagle concept car, this mean Mini was pieced together by specialist BMW tuner AC Schnitzer. To prove its ability and take its place as the Asafa Powell of Minis, the concept was taken to the Hockenheim circuit where it turned in a cracking lap time of 1:13.34. To put things into perspective a standard issue Ferrari California achieves a time of 1:13.5 and a Porsche 911 Turbo 1:14.6 – so the Mini was very rapid indeed.
The Eagle is based on the standard John Coooper Works platform and uses a modded version of its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Power output is fairly modest at 194kW but the vehicle’s weight has been further reduced by 80kg. Other tweaks include height adjustable racing suspension and sharp 18-inch alloys with sport tyres. Continue reading “AC Schnitzer builds Eagle concept – world’s fastest Mini (+video)” »