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During our US press launch drive of the 2012 3 Series (F30) we took the opportunity to meet with an E90POST member (SharkH8R) who is local to the Monterey area and owner of an E90 325i (on lowered suspension). We had the chance to photograph the F30 and E90 in various angles for a great comparison of the styling and visual differences.

Here is how F30′s physical dimension compares to a factory E90:

0.31 inches (8 mm) taller
3.66 inches … CONTINUED

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European Car reviews the new BMW M5 F10, which they call BMW’s twin turbo superhero. Their conclusion? The new M5 is every bit as tractable as the E60 M5 and its chassis and brakes are flat out superior. Unlike the E60 M5, the new M5 is more user friendly.

Video: BMW M5 Through the Years

02/05/2012 at 10:54 AM
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Take a visual journey through the BMW M5′s history. This video from BMW starts us from BMW M’s beginnings in motorsports and goes on to cycle through the various BMW M5s, from the E28 M5 to the current F10 M5.

BMW M5 Genealogy:

E28 M5 (1985–1988)
E34 M5 (1989–1995)
E39 M5 (1998–2003)
E60 M5 (2005–2010)
F10 M5 (2012 -)

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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 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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The results are in from Car and Driver’s sixth annual Lightning Lap Tests @ Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

BMWs tested in this year’s Lightning Lap include the 1M coupe, 335is, X5 M, and Z4 sDrive35is. How did each model fare? See inside.

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The Range Rover Evoque has been a darling of the automotive press since its introduction, culminating in it winning 2012 North American Truck of the Year. But, in a recent Consumer Reports test, the 2012 X3 slaughters the Evoque in a road test, 80 to 60 in the point total.

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German magazine Autozeitung has pitted the new BMW M5 (F10) against its bigger cousin. The F10 M5 is powered the S63Tu, an improved version of the BMW X6M’s S63 engine. Given the S63Tu’s enhancements over the S63 and the F10 M5′s lighter weight, the M5 winning in all categories and placing in 1st is certainly not surprising.

What is interesting however is to see more real world F10 M5 performance test results.

They were able to get the F10 M5 from 0-100km/h (62mph) in 4.2 seconds and from … CONTINUED

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The 1M coupe is put to the test against its closest and most potent rivals – the Cayman R, Audi TT RS, and Nissan 370Z. Which car comes up on top? See inside for results.

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This must have felt like Christmas for the folks at Autobild. Autobild knows what it takes to have a great story and has done a special edition on BMW M models, called “Fascination M.” In this special comparo, Autobild gives an overview of all current BMW M models as well as interesting insights into M GmbH. Most interestingly, Autobild pitted all (yes, all) currently available M models against each other on a German race track named Sachsenring.

The outcome? As you’d expect, the M3 CRT (it’s sold … CONTINUED

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Chris Harris of EVO pits two lightweight motorsports-geared BMW coupes against one another – the M3 GTS and 3.0 CSL

For those not familiar with the 3.0 CSL, it was created in 1972 when BMW needed a machine to make it competitive with Ford in the European Touring Car Championship. As the article points out, “L” stands for for leichtbau, or lightweight. The 3.0 CSL kicked off a line of impressive hardcore road legal BMWs geared for the track. The latest in the lineage is the E92 … CONTINUED