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THE SETUP

Where: Monterey, California – January 30-31, 2012

What: F30 US Press Launch. First Test Drives of 2012 335i and F30 6 speed

How: 2 days with F30 3 Series, including a half day on the Laguna Seca track.

Background: I’ve owned an E90 325i (auto) and current car is E90 M3 (6-speed MT).

THE DRIVE

335i (With 6 Speed Manual):

The all new 2012 335i sedan is powered by the N55 single turbo twin-scroll turbo inline-6 cylinder engine (with direct injection and valvetronic), in the same form as the outgoing 2011 … CONTINUED

Official BMW New Vehicle Press Release
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We’ve posted the videos showing the external sounds of the F30 328i vs. 335i, now have a look at some internal driving footage showing the action and sounds of the 328i and 335i during acceleration and downshifts.

The 328i model shown is a Sportline model with 8 speed automatic and Sport Auto option with paddle shifters, driven in Sport+ mode. The 335i model is a Sportline model with 6 speed manual, driven in Sport+ mode.

The factory quoted 0-60 mph times for the 2012 328i are … CONTINUED

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Six new commercials have been released by BMW for the 2012 F30 3 Series sedan. The ads use humor to showcase some of the F30′s technologies – heated steering wheel, email voice dictation, handless automatic trunk opening, memory seats, side view cameras, and keyless entry.

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We’ve compiled a video showing how the sounds of the 2012 328i (with N20 engine) and 2012 335i (with N55 engine) compare. Below are some clips showing the F30 328i and 335i at speed and WOT on the Laguna Seca track’s back straight section, as well as engine and exhaust sounds throughout the rev range.

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So, how do you properly test the performance of the new 2012 3 series F30 sedan? You take it out on a race track like Laguna Seca, as we did earlier this week.

But, if you really want to see the true limits of the F30′s performance, you hand it over to the professionals. BMW ALMS driver Bill Auberlen and ALMS+DTM driver Joey Hand were in attendance at Laguna Seca raceway to give us (and our members/readers) a wild ride around the track in both the F30 … CONTINUED

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As you’ve seen from our recent coverage, we were just in Monterey, California for the US press launch of the 2012 3 Series sedan (F30). We were given an opportunity to test all F30 lines (sport, luxury, modern), in both 328i and 335i, on the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as well as the breathtaking roads of the Monterey area, including Big Sur. We’ve already shared with you some photos and videos, but we promise more materials, as well as a review.

This video was shot … CONTINUED

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From the US press launch and the first drives of the F30 335i (with N55 engine), here’s a video we’ve made showing how the F30 335i engine and exhaust sounds, as well as the shift action and throws on the 6 speed manual transmission.

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KKS has released its performance exhaust system for the 2012 BMW M5 (F10). The 3″ axle-back system raises the open valve sound of the M5 exhaust from 93db to 108db.

Video and first photos of the exhaust system as well as the first F10 M5 fitted with whiteline lights.

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A new automotive interest web series called DRIVE has been launched and the first episode features a track and race very familiar to BMW enthusiasts – the fabled Nurburgring and its 24 Hour race. Plenty of BMW and other racing eye candy inside.

BMW took second place at the most recent 24 Hour Nurburgring race back in June 2011 and BMW uses the track extensively to develop and test its new models, the prototype versions of which are often spotted by our spy photographers.

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The Rolex 24 Hour Race at Daytona kicks off beginning tomorrow afternoon and Turner Motorsports will be competing with its Prep 2 GT class E92 M3 coupes.

Piloting the two M3s is an all star cast of professional motorsport drivers Dirk Mueller, Joerg Mueller, Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, Billy Johnson, Paul Dalla Lana, Michael Marsal and Boris Said.

This will be the Turner team’s third run for a Rolex watch in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

US TV Schedule:

Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona, live coverage on SPEED TV
* 2:30 … CONTINUED

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Watch and listen as a short throttle test within a dealership produces some impressive sounds from the 2012 M5 (F10). Listen to those pops on deceleration!

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We’ve uploaded more hi-resolution wallpaper images of the X6 and X6M LCI (facelift), as well as some videos.

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2012 BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus Jr. takes a group of ragdolls (aka passengers) around in the F10 M5 as he demonstrates both the new M5′s power and handling, as well as his professional racing skills. Check out the video inside.

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Munich. With its BMW M Performance Automobiles, BMW M GmbH is adding four newly developed models to its product range. These cars come with a significant boost in performance and hallmark M precision in the interplay of the powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics – coupled with unrestricted everyday utility and high levels of efficiency. The BMW M550d xDrive, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d models will have their world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (8 – 18 March 2012). The … CONTINUED

Official BMW New Vehicle Press Release
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Since its recent European market introduction, many a M5 fan has been waiting to see the tuning potential of the new F10 M5 and its beefy 560hp bi-turbo S63Tu engine. The first F10 M5 ECU tune has now been released, by the German tuning company, PP-Performance.

They were recently able to crack the factory ECU and their Stage 1 tune added:

Gains: +60hp and +70Nm (51lb-ft) torque
New total output: 620 HP / 750Nm (553lb-ft) torque

The price for the stage 1 tune has been set at 3,499 € (euros). … CONTINUED

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The new BMW 6 Series Coupe is equipped with a special Bang & Olufsen high-end Surround Sound system. Watch the developement, production, and implementation of this sound system in the 6 series.

More details on the 6 series Bang & Olufsen sound system:

Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System delivers an unparalleled audio experience.

When it comes to delivering audio pleasure of the highest order, the Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System designed especially for the new BMW 650i Coupe hits all the right notes. Jointly developed … CONTINUED

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We’ve now spied the 2014 BMW X5 (F15) on video in the first live motion look at the next X5, due at the end of 2013 as a 2014 model. This prototype is spotted in Northern Sweden undergoing cold temperature / winter weather testing. It can be seen purposely inducing slides and drifts, perhaps to test and develop the traction control and xDrive system.

Preliminary info indicates that the hood sits flush with the larger/wider grilles. The headlights are supposed to be trapezoidal shaped and … CONTINUED

BMW Spyshot
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Sometimes it’s mad fun (and great sounding) to rip off some revs in your BMW in enclosed spaces such as tunnels or underground garage. So how would the 560hp F10 M5 MotoGP Safety Car with its Akrapovic exhaust system sound in the BMW Welt? As you can see in the video inside, pretty damn awesome!