Ultra rare opportunity to buy a BMW M1 art car

May 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With only 456 models ever produced the BMW M1 is an extremely rare machine and one that many collectors would love to have in their garage. If the standard M1 isn’t exclusive enough for you, thern there’s always the M1 Art Cars of which there are two. One was painted by Andy Warhol and is owned, like all other BMW art cars, by BMW itself. The other was painted by well-known artist Frank Stella back in 1979 and has just been put up for sale by the Guggenheim Museum.

While BMW commissioned many art cars since the program began 1975, this Stella M1 is the only one that was officially sanctioned by the factory for a private client. All the other art cars remain in the German automaker’s private stash. So this M1 becoming available represents an extremely rare opportunity for one buyer to own an original BMW art car. Continue reading “Ultra rare opportunity to buy a BMW M1 art car” »

BMW 535i Touring 2011 Review

May 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Picking the wagon body style over a sedan is a decision that could be made for a variety of different reasons. A big dog could be the cause; moving large equipment for a hobby could be another need for the extra space. The price of the more practical wagon body shape traditionally was paid in aesthetic appeal. But for anyone who believes that wagons are still the ugly siblings of sedans needs to take a look at the BMW 5-Series Touring. Car and SUV spent a week enchanted by its free flowing design and its executive cruiser meets family workhorse attitude.

While the recent popularity of SUVs and crossover vehicles has pushed low-slung wagons on to the endangered species list the 535i Touring shows real evolution of the body style. While we’ve had plenty of BMW’s current range for review at Car and SUV headquarters, no other model has generated as much interest and admiration as the 535i Touring. Our test machine was glamourised over the standard model by the optional M Sports package ($8,350). This upgrade sees a more aggressive body kit fitted, lower sports suspension and eye-catching 19-inch M-Light alloy wheels. If you want to give your BMW wagon some serious road presence the M Sports package is the way to go. Continue reading “BMW 535i Touring 2011 Review” »

Four-paw BMW M5 a strong possibility

May 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Rumours of a all-wheel-drive BMW M5 have been floating around for a few months now, but they have picked up steam with confirmation from an unnamed source within the company.

The move isn’t a huge shock, but it does go against the rear-driving ethos of the M Division. That said, if the M5 is going to continue to progress it needs to embrace new technology. BMW’s AWD system is highly competent and gives the X vehicles in the M range physics-defying handling. The dynamic all-wheel drive system will be a good fit in the M5.

BMW’s AWD system does still allow for some sideways shenanigans, with the added benefit of better performance in low-grip situations. A rear-drive set-up will likely remain an option for those purists that won’t have it any other way.

The production version of the 2012 BMW M5 is set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show stage in September, so expect to see more teasers and information before that time arrives.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the BMW X6 40d.

BMW X6 xDrive 40d 2011 Review

April 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There was a time when dance music was just dance music, it was electronic, it had a beat and it made you want to get up and get funky. But then like many things, genres and sub genres began dividing it up as the masses searched for what’s new and cool. Now we have house music, drum and bass, dub step and many others which all sound the same to ageing ears. This 21st century ‘genrefication’ has reached much further than dance music and infected the car world creating niche vehicles like the crossover and the mini van. BMW, never one to miss a trick, decided to create a sub genre all its own, coining the term ‘Sports Activity Coupe’ and populated it with a lone offering – the X6. When the X6 went on sale in 2008 critics claimed it was a niche too far and that there was no demand for such a machine. But the X6 came packing attitude, dynamic ability and didn’t need anyone’s approval to be what it is. For 2011, BMW have added a new six-cylinder diesel engine to top the X6 diesel range and named the model the xDrive 40d. Car and SUV had a chance to tune in and test drive the polarising X6 40d listening closely to the rhythm of its fresh beat. Continue reading “BMW X6 xDrive 40d 2011 Review” »

National In The Hot Seat

April 21st, 2011 by Tim Grimley

For those of you who have been holidaying on Mars for the last few weeks, there have been a lot of column inches devoted to the fact that Mr Key and his National friends at the beehive decided to treat the nation to a rather flash set of new BMWs.

This was a decision which clearly angered the proletariat, because there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from people furious that the government would be wafting around in the lap of luxury while the rest of us could no longer afford petrol. Or milk. However like all media storms, this one seemed to have taken its particular tea cup off the front pages and I suspected that it was never to be seen again.

But I’d reckoned without the tenacity of Labour’s Internal Affairs Spokesperson Chris Hipkins, who sprung up last week and launched a fresh tirade because one of our new fleet has been fitted with a $1000 heated seat upgrade to stop JK and his cronies getting chilly posteriors. Now this is news, because when it comes to the general election later in the year, this seemingly trivial matter highlights a much bigger issue that could cause people to seriously question where to place their vote.

Hot seats could help NZ into the driving seat

 

Labour, it seems, is happy to employ a complete idiot as Internal Affairs Spokesperson.

Only a gibbering buffoon would think that these cars are being bought for the benefit of the government. Sure, the majority of their mileage may come from ferrying our politicians about, but the primary task is to provide a cosseting and upmarket travel experience when foreign dignitaries come to town.

And it’s very important to realise that these people are not Kiwis. They will not look at second rate hospitality and think that we are good fellas for doing a bit of prudent belt-tightening. These are people at the top of their tree for either economic, business or political reasons and they want to be treated as such. They want their hotels to come with five stars, their dinner to be cooked by a celebrity chef and on frosty mornings they want to know that their buttocks will be kept at an agreeably toasty temperature on long journeys. Show them a suitably sumptuous time and they – along with their monstrously fat wallets – will keep coming back. Treat them like a middle management pleb whose company is on an economy drive and don’t be surprised if the next jaunt stops at Sydney. Continue reading “National In The Hot Seat” »

BMW 535d M-Sport 2011 Review

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Pound for pound BMW 535d is certainly a tough act to beat. For its many highlights one factor stands above the rest, its balance between huge amounts of torque while maintaining frugal fuel economy. A sleek, purposeful design and a lush, luxurious cabin are the cream on the top. But the ability to offer stimulating sports performance while sipping away on just 6.1 litres of diesel for every 100km travelled, that’s what makes the 535d the most progressive model in BMW’s 5-Series range. Car and SUV has been a fan of BMW’s diesel offerings since driving the impressive 335d and was interested to see how the same powerhouse motor worked in the larger 5-Series body.

Like its little brother, the 535d is built with some serious performance DNA. Under the long bonnet lays BMW’s latest 3.0-litre diesel engine, it’s an ultra-modern mill in a traditional in-line 6-cylinder configuration. While its power output of 220kW sounds only mildly exciting it’s the all alloy engine’s 600Nm torque figure that tells the true tale of the tape. Acceleration is effortless and with maximum torque available from 1750rpm, instant and absolute grunt is always waiting beneath the driver’s right foot. Continue reading “BMW 535d M-Sport 2011 Review” »

Chicks dig BMW 5-Series and Citroen DS3 – it’s official

April 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Many men spend time wondering what exactly is the best car to own if you want to impress the ladies. A Kermit green Series 2 Mazda RX-7 may have done the trick twenty five years ago, but in 2011 women are more impressed by style, economy and practicality. So if you want to win some points pick up your date in a BMW 5-Series or a Citroen DS3.

Because us men were never going to uncover these important results ourselves a crack team of woman motoring writers from around the globe recently held the annual Women’s World Car of the Year for 2011. The voting finished so close that the supreme award produced a dead heat between the BMW 5 Series and the Citroen DS3. So gents, if you’re on a budget go for French style in the DS3, if your cashed-up, then spring for the current 5-Series BMW and don’t cheapen out of the leather trim.

Category winners and runners up in the competition included:

Family Car Winner  – Volvo S60
Runner up – Kia Sportage

Sports Car Winner – Aston Martin Rapide
Runner up – Audi TT

Luxury Car Winner - BMW 5 Series
Runner up – Jaguar XJ

Economical Car Winner - Citroen DS3
Runner up – Mini One Diesel Continue reading “Chicks dig BMW 5-Series and Citroen DS3 – it’s official” »

BMW officially reveals production ready 2012 M5 concept

April 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Following a series of leaked photos from a press event in Germany, BMW has officially released details of its much anticipated M5 sports sedan. Due for its world premiere at the Auto Shanghai 2011 in China later this month, official images and details have just become known.

Apparently, the Concept M5 is around 99 percent production ready, so the production model should look almost identical to the vehicle in the official images.

In terms of power the fifth generation of the M5 has a new twin-turbocharged V8 engine waiting under the bonnet. BMW has confirmed that the engine is a development of its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 which outputs 414kW and 680Nm of peak torque, but in M5 guide it will be tweaked to deliver more power. For now, the German company is staying tight-lipped on exact performance numbers.

What BMW has said is that compared to the fourth generation of the M5’s  V10 power unit, the freshly developed V8 turbo has a significantly increased output level. The upcoming M-car also has greater fuel economy and lower emissions than its predecessor. Continue reading “BMW officially reveals production ready 2012 M5 concept” »