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09/15/2013    3:45 PM
COMMENTS: 74

Are there any M versions of i cars in the pipeline? No, according to Cypselus von Frakenberg, BMW Group head of technology communications. Speaking at the Frankfurt IAA show, Mr. Frankenberg says that not only was there zero input from M engineers in the development of the i8, but there will be no M version in the future. In his words:

“It is separate – M and i,” he begins. “It’s two different sub-brands, but there will be no ‘M’ i-car in the future.

“These [M] are the high performance cars with combustion engines, and on the other side you have the ‘i’ cars with electric drive. They won’t come together.

“I don’t think that it would make sense to mix these two sub-brands in one car. We … CONTINUED

09/09/2013    12:15 PM
COMMENTS: 60

Last year, Mr. Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO of BMW of North America, confirmed to us an inline 6 cylinder engine for the upcoming M3/M4, and we showed you spy photos of the engine. Despite these confirmations, stubborn rumors pop up periodically regarding a potential V6 configuration for the upcoming s55 engine.

If you needed any further convincing, now hear it from the BMW NA CEO himself (again). Speaking at an event that we are currently attending for the launch of the new X5 and 4 Series, Mr. Willisch references an inline engine for the M4 (and hence, M3), confirming he’s really happy that “it is going to be a car that has the cylinders in one line.” How would Mr. Willisch know? He was formerly … CONTINUED

09/09/2013    8:00 AM
COMMENTS: 63

These are the first photos of what may be the next generation 2016 BMW X1 SAV.

09/03/2013    12:15 PM
COMMENTS: 239

Now that the 4 Series Coupe has been revealed and the Convertible nears its debut, the next model in the lineup – the 4 Series Gran Coupe (F36), has re-emerged in testing, after a nearly 6 month hiatus since our last spotting. It has re-emerged with Eric Bana doing the testing and with less camouflage than ever – shedding the heavy camouflage from its front and rear (that’s not really Eric Bana).

What’s revealed is what was expected – a Gran Coupe styled 4 Series which effectively shares the same exterior styling as the Coupe, but with an elongated roofline and an extra pair of doors. The interior will also be shared with the other 4 Series models [previous spy pics].

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will … CONTINUED

08/21/2013    3:55 PM
COMMENTS: 220

You’ve heard recent M4/M3 prototypes blasting around the Nurburgring [M4 vid] [M3 vid], now have a listen at how they sound around town.

MANUAL TRANSMISSION OR NOT?

As for today’s rumor out of Autoblog that there will be no manual transmission option for the M4, we submit contrary evidence in the form of: photos, videos, and VIN (options) information. The photos clearly show an early F80 M3 prototype with a 6 speed manual, the videos show what appears to be manual prototype M3 and M4 (judging by the shift and RPM patterns), and the VIN information shows prototypes with and without a DCT option.

F80 M3 prototype showing 6 speed manual transmission:

The following are the prototype VIN information that we’ve previously posted. As you can see, the … CONTINUED

08/20/2013    12:45 PM
COMMENTS: 53

As you’ve seen, we spent the latter half of last week at the Pebble Beach Automotive Week in Monterey, California, which is an annual week-long banquet of events for automobile enthusiasts and connoisseurs who converge on the Monterey area. While the collection of automotive hardware (everything from some of the most expensive classics to the latest model exotics) spotted around the Monterey peninsula was the largest and most impressive gathering we’ve ever witnessed, the highlight of the trip for us was having the first look at the BMW M4 Coupe Concept, which BMW unveiled at several events throughout the weekend. The following is a brief timeline, our personal reaction to the M4 Concept and some interesting notes on the M3/M4.

BMW Villa in Pebble Beach – … CONTINUED

08/14/2013    11:15 AM
COMMENTS: 79

The first FWD BMW will soon make its appearance in the form of the 1 Series GT and its design is now revealed in this set of patent images. Until now, the 1 Series GT has been previewed in the form of the Concept Active Tourer.

The 1 Series GT, together with the upcoming FWD BMW lineup and MINIs, will all ride on BMW’s UKL front wheel drive platform. How many FWD BMWs should we expect?

According to a report from late last year, up to 12 BMW and Mini cars were already approved for the UKL platform as of last year. These already-approved models will account for 40 percent of the group’s unit sales of cars to be underpinned by the platform, or variations of it, … CONTINUED

07/30/2013    5:00 PM
COMMENTS: 76

These F80 M3 prototype car specs from VIN checks undertaken a few months back [see original story on s55 engine specs] reveal a potential new exclusive BMW M color coming for the upcoming M3 and M4.

One of the M3 prototypes was spec’d in Yas Marina Blue (named after the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, and where BMW recently held its M6 M Power Experience for customers). However, as we’ve yet to spot any M3 or M4 prototypes wearing a new blue color, we don’t yet know if it would be a light, medium or dark blue.

The M3 prototype in Yas Marina Blue was spec’d with a Silverstone II interior. The M3 VINs also revealed that a Sakhir Orange leather … CONTINUED

07/23/2013    8:15 PM
COMMENTS: 82

We know that BMW and Toyota have teamed up on a joint sports car project, but what we don’t know is exactly what models this collaboration will spawn for BMW and Toyota.

For Toyota, many speculate that this collaboration will result in the next coming of the Toyota Supra.

As for BMW, it seems that the decision is still up in the air. Members of BMW’s product team recently spoke with Drive and revealed that they are working on “four, five or six” different possible models for the joint project.

They added: “There is no decision on which direction we will go.” “It could be a mid-engined supercar or a traditional front-engined sports car. We don