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04/17/2012    5:00 PM
COMMENTS: 43

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

04/06/2012    2:18 PM
COMMENTS: 146

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

04/05/2012    1:40 PM
COMMENTS: 40

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

03/23/2012    3:36 PM
COMMENTS: 95

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

03/12/2012    5:45 PM
COMMENTS: 125

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

03/06/2012    3:15 PM
COMMENTS: 112

We bring some news directly from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. We had an opportunity to chat with BMW M President Dr. Friedrich Nitschke earlier today at the show and contrary to earlier reports from BMW insider SCOTT26, Dr. Nitschke ruled out M versions of the current X3 or Z4 for the current generation.

When asked about a possible Z4M, Dr. Nitschke said: “In the current generation we won’t bring a Z4M, but for the successor we’re thinking about it.” Dr. Nitschke went on to say in regards to the X3M: “Also, with the current X3, we won’t bring an M version, but with the successor generation we’ll see.”

The F11 M5 Touring was also ruled out. Again, coming directly from Dr. Nitschke: “with the current M5 we … CONTINUED

03/02/2012    3:30 PM
COMMENTS: 244

Two days ago we brought you spy photos of the 2013 BMW F80 M3 sedan being cold weather tested in Sweden. We’ve now put together some live video footage of the F80 M3 making its rounds on BMW’s winter test track.

02/29/2012    11:00 AM
COMMENTS: 244

It’s been a while since the last F80 M3 spy photos, but we’ve now spotted the next generation F80 BMW M3 Sedan undergoing winter testing in Sweden. Compared to the previous spyshots, the F80 prototype has lost a bit of camouflage – mostly at the rear which now shows the tail lights in their full glory. The car’s appearance is low, wide, and impressive with massive fender flares. The M3′s kidney grilles are also very obviously styled in a sleeker/sportier shape than the F30 3 series sedan.

We also spot 4 piston fixed caliper brakes at the front and 2 piston fixed piston calipers at the rear axle, mated to the M trademark slotted drilled brake discs. BMW M’s newly developed active rear differential will likely make … CONTINUED

01/29/2012    7:00 PM
COMMENTS: 45

What we know about BMW’s aggressive push into the electric car market (via their dedicated BMW i brand) is that it is essentially a two pronged approach. Cover the exotic sports car market with the BMW i8, to effectively show that an electric car can be a desirable super-car and at the same time produce a compact and efficient city car with the BMW i3.

While both of these cars will do alot to put electric cars into the mindset of car buyers and enthusiasts, the real car market is the mainstream people mover: the family sedan. Autobild.de is reporting that somewhere around year 2015, BMW plans to introduce the BMW i5, a fully electric mid-size people mover that will take a more cross-over shape of the … CONTINUED