Here are photos from the latest F31 3 series touring sighting. Are we possibly looking at the first indication of a 328i xDrive with manual transmission? When we previously interviewed BMW on which F30/F31 xDrive models would receive a manual transmission, all we were told was that there would be at least one xDrive model with manual transmission. So, *if* this particular F31 is a 328i xDrive model (the front suspension appears to sit a bit higher?), then it would appear that the 328i may be one of the xDrive models to receive a manual transmission option.
Now that the new M6 coupe/convertible and M5 have all debuted, our thoughts often turn to the next M3 – the F80. And although we’ve previously rendered the F80, here is our take on what the next generation M3 may resemble now that the M6 has been revealed. So far, the multitude of F80 M3 spy photos / videos we’ve posted have not been very telling in terms of the lower front bumper design, but we’ve used our imagination based on the new M6 and M5 to take a stab at what the F80 M3′s front fascia may resemble The prototypes have also yet to show what the fender gills will look like, so we’ve adapted a version somewhat similar to that seen on the new … CONTINUED
‘Insider’ Scott26 provides some rumors and ruminations on the plans and design for the upcoming BMW 2 Series coupe, convertible, and even a potential sedan.
Details are provided as to how the design of the 2 series will be similar and different than the F20 1 series hatchback on which it will be based. But the biggest info here is that BMW is currently considering a four-door 2 Series sedan-coupe to battle the upcoming Audi A3 sedan and Mercedes CLA. The BMW 2 Series sedan may take the form of a compact “Gran Coupe” which we’ve already seen the 6 series variant of and which is also expected as a 3/4-series. Read the full details/rumors inside.
Some interesting info comes out of a recent interview by Jens Meiners of Car and Driver with the BMW M President, Dr. Friedrich Nitschke.
In the interview, when asked about the M135i concept, Dr. Nitschke confirms that the production version will be virtually identical to the concept and powered by the N55 engine. It will also come with both manual and automatic transmission options, as well as an optional xDrive AWD. The manual and AWD options would have been popular with the North American market, but unfortunately Dr. Nitschke once again confirms that the F20 hatchback will not be making it to the U.S. (But, Dr. Nitschke has confirmed that a M135i coupe [or M235i coupe as it may be called] will be available in … CONTINUED
The camouflage on BMW prototypes usually comes off slowly like a strip tease as prototypes advance from one test stage to the next. But, this time we’ve spied some parts of the next generation 2014 BMW X5 (codename: F15) in exposed form much earlier than expected.
It looks like an automotive version of the Sci-Fi horror film Predator, but this post crash test X5 prototype actually reveals much – the headlight shape, hood lines, fenders, and the side body character line. Keep in mind that some of the lines and panels you see up front are distorted due to the crash test.
Judging by what’s seen here, the X5 retains its muscular shape and will not be much larger than the current E70 X5 (based on previous comparison … CONTINUED
Is an M Performance Z4 model coming? Yes, if BMW insider Scott26′s response to our M related interview at the 2012 NYIAS actually comes to fruition.
This is what he had to say on the matter: “The forthcoming Z4 Life Cycle Impulse will see the Z4 35iS absorbed into the BMW M Performance Automobiles line.”
North America will not be getting diesel M Performance models with the current generation of cars, so this rumored Z4 M35i model (or “Z4 sDriveM35i”) could possibly join the rumored X1 M35i xDrive as the first M Performance Automobiles to be available for the North American market. Both would feature the same 320hp version of the N55 3.0-liter inline 6 from the upcoming F20 M135i.
When is the Z4 LCI refresh due you may … CONTINUED
We had the chance to speak to BMW NA M Brand Manager Matt Russell and BMW M Marketing Director Thomas Schemera at the 2012 NYIAS about many things M. We covered some hot topics/models, including the M5, M6, M3 (current and future generation) and M Performance Automobiles.
M5 / M6
Can you tell us about the changes to the 2013 M5 from the 2012 M5? Why the wait for the 2013 model year for the US market?
It’s nothing major. It’s small things; it’s electronics underneath, little computer things. It’s definitely not customer-facing changes and not a great deal of functionality change.
How does the manual transmission affect the M5′s performance?
About 0.10 second 0-60mph difference (slower than DCT). We don’t have official EPA MPG estimates yet, but it’s not much. … CONTINUED
BMW’s highly anticipated i8 plugin electric hybrid sports car is not due until 2014 but CAR claims to already have the skinny on the production i8′s specs and performance data, as follows.
Powertrain / Drivetrain
The gullwinged production i8 is reported to weigh 1,450kg (3,196 pounds). Its 170hp electric motor drives the front wheels while a 223hp / 295lb-ft turbo 1.5L 3-cylinder engine powers the rear wheels. Combined hp and torque figures are 393hp / 406lb-ft torque, more horsepower than the concept’s 349 hp and the same torque figure.
Performance is said to be 4.9sec 0-62mph and a 156mph top speed.
With the ability to be front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, or all-wheel drive, as well as having torque vectoring, the i8′s transmission will be one impressive piece of … CONTINUED
We had the opportunity to sit down with the gracious Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, current BMW M GmbH President, at the 2012 Geneva Motorshow last week. We were primarily interested in discussing future M models and developments and here’s what we are able to report.
Is it safe to assume that will there will be a successor to the popular 1M coupe?
We sold more than 5000 units worldwide and we are thinking for a successor, but we haven’t made a decision yet.
We’ve seen next generation M3 sedan prototypes for a while now. What M3 variants can we expect for the next generation?
The M3 is an icon and it’s very important for us to make it a perfect fit for our customer. It has to be a … CONTINUED