Sunday October 30th, 2011 18:00 Audi Release First Official Details of New A4

Audi has released the first official details of the latest version of the A4 saloon car. Set for release in February of next year, the new A4 has not been given a radical redesign, but it has been given a few stylistic and mechanical tweaks which should keep it competitive.

At the front of the car, changes include a tapered grille, sharper air-intakes and reshaped LED headlights. The new A4 model will feature twin-exhaust as standard across the range. The fact that the car is wider and lower than previous versions would suggest that their will be increased space inside the car.

All cars in the A4 range will have new engines, and these engines will come with stop-start, brake energy regeneration and electronic power steering as standard. Audi expects these features to reduce fuel consumption by around 10%, something that should entice buyers worried about the amount of money they are spending on fuel.

One of the versions of the A4 which should appeal to company car buyers is the 134bhp, 2.0-litre TDI. The saloon version is expected to have an emissions rate of just 112g/km of CO2.

Inside, the new version of the A4 will feature chrome and gloss inlays on the steering wheel and door panels, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel and a starter button that is brushed aluminium. It will also have a new MMI infotainment system.

Perhaps more importantly for families, the A4′s boot space remains at 480 litres – a level that is similar to the rival BMW 3 Series.

Although there is no official price for the new Audi A4 yet, expect it to be only marginally more expensive than the current A4. A February 2012 release for the car means that it will be going up against BMW’s new 3 Series, also released that month.

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Wednesday October 19th, 2011 20:08 BMW Prepares 3 Series for 2012 Release

BMW has revealed that its new 3 Series range will be displayed in public for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show in January. However, UK customers will have to wait another month before the cars actually go on sale.

The German car manufacturers are already claiming that its direct market rival to the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class is a better drive. BMW also claims that it is not only more comfortable and spacious than its market rivals, but is also lighter.

In addition to petrol and diesel models, BMW are offering full hybrid and four-wheel-drive models for the first time.

The entry-level 316d ES will cost upwards of £24,880, while the 335i will cost customers £35,525.

All engines in the 3 series will be turbocharged, and this will make for some pretty impressive performance statistics. The 328i, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine will go from 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds. The top of the range 335i, powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine, allowing it to run an impressive 302bhp. This power means that the 335i is capable of going from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 155mph.

Drivers looking to buy something more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly should perhaps look toward the 320d Efficient Dynamics. Powered by a 161bhp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, it manages 68.9mpg while emitting just 109g/km of CO2. This emissions rate means that it will be tax-free in the first year.

BMW expects to have eight versions of the 3 series on sale by March 2012 that have emissions under 120g/km of CO2. The ActiveHybrid 3 will be released towards the end of 2012. For now though, BMW enthusiasts should look towards the Detroit Motor Show for a closer look at the new 3 Series.

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Tuesday July 5th, 2011 23:04 BMW Reveal 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon

BMW has announced the release of its new 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon car. Described as setting “a new benchmark for efficiency and driving pleasure in its class,” BMW claim that the car is 10 per cent more fuel-efficient than any of its other rivals.

Certainly, the 520d ED posts impressive numbers when it comes to fuel economy and CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions stand at 119g/km, while the car’s fuel economy is a useful 62.8mpg. This efficiency means that the 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon will be subject to a company car benefit-in-kind taxation band of just 13 per cent. BMW will be hoping that this tempts company car drivers, as currently no other executive car sits in a tax band as low as this.

The efficiency savings have not affected the performance of the BMW, as its 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine is still capable of producing 184bhp with 380Nm of torque. The result of this is that the 520d ED races from 0-62mph in a nifty 8.2 seconds.

The inclusion of a longer final drive ratio will help drivers of the 520d ED to reduce engine revs at highway speeds. The BMW also comes with standard Auto Start-Stop, an Optimum Gearshift Indicator, Brake Energy Regeneration and Active Aerodynamics.

In addition to these standard features, the new 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon also comes with a new ECO-PRO Mode. The purpose of this mode is to promote economical and comfortable driving at low speeds, and it does this by making adjustments to the engine mapping, throttle sensitivity, automatic gearshift points, and the amount of power consumed by electrical ancillaries such as climate control and heated seats.

The BMW 520d ED Saloon goes on sale in the UK in September, and will cost prospective buyers £30,435.

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Friday June 24th, 2011 12:29 Toyota to export the British-built Avensis to Japan


Toyota has announced that it will begin exporting the British-built Avensis to Japan later this year. The news comes as a further boost to the UK motor industry after BMW and Nissan both recently pledged to put significant funds into their UK production facilities.

Currently, the Avensis is built exclusively at Toyota’s factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, and the third-generation version of the model already ships to 47 countries worldwide. Since production of the Avensis began in 1997, over 1.8 million Avensis vehicles have been built at Burnaston. As a result of Toyota’s decision, from July, an extra 750 Tourer estate models will be produced for export per month.

Toyota’s decision to introduce the Avensis to the Japanese market came after an upturn in demand for European styling and engineering from Japanese customers. These customers will be offered cars that are powered by 2.0-litre petrol engines along with a CVT gearbox. This will allow the Avensis to produce a more fuel efficient and low emission performance.

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, welcomed Toyota’s decision and described it as an endorsement of British manufacturing skills and quality. He said: “Toyota exports 85 per cent of the car and engines it makes at its UK plants in Burnaston and Deeside. Today’s news that it will now export its Avensis model to Japan is a tribute to the skills of the workforce, the efficiency of the plants and the quality of its products.”

Toyota’s UK Managing Director, Katsunori Kojima added: “We are very proud that the Avensis has been selected for export to Japan. This is yet another vote of confidence for the factory and the high quality of our products.”

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Thursday June 16th, 2011 22:50 BMW Reveals the M5


BMW has revealed the first official images and details of the latest version of its best known super-saloon, the M5. Set to be unleashed on the public in November, the production version of the fifth M car is nearly identical to the Concept M5 that was revealed back in April.

One area where the new M5 does differ from the Concept M5 is the engine. Whereas the concept car was powered by a V10 engine, the new M5 is to be powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This engine produces 552bhp and an impressive 680Nm of torque, making it the most powerful production engine ever seen in a BMW. The installation of a seven-speed double clutch auto box will enable drivers to handle this increased horsepower and torque with ease.

It is not just power and torque that have been improved for the M5, as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have both been improved by 30%. Fuel consumption now stands at 28.5mpg with CO2 emissions at 232g/km. BMW say that stop-start and brake energy regeneration have played a part in this.

In terms of performance statistics, the BMW M5 certainly looks to be a very impressive model. The super-saloon can go from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds, while it takes 13 seconds to go from 0-124mph. The M5’s top speed is limited to 155mph, although buyers who opt for the ‘M Driver’s Package’ will see the limiter lifted to 190mph.

The M5 is fitted with electronically-controlled dampers, a stability control system, adjustable steering weight and an ‘M dynamic mode’. The interior of the car looks pretty luxurious, with sports seats, an M leather steering wheel and an M-specific instrument cluster. A head-up display also comes as standard, in addition to a 10.2 inch colour screen with iDrive control display.

Although there is no official price as of yet, the BMW M5 is expected to cost in the region of £73,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in November.

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Friday May 27th, 2011 14:17 BMW Unveils 75th Anniversary 328 Hommage


Last week, BMW unveiled its 328 Hommage concept car at the Villa d’Este Concours in Italy. Built to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the BMW 328 race car, the two-seater sports-car is specially crafted to mimic the ultra-lightweight design of the original.

The original 328 weighed only 780 kilograms, and in order to create a modern car just as lightweight, BMW have used carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to construct much of the BMW 328 Hommage‘s exterior and interior. BMW say that CFRP offers the best ratio between weight and stability, and is both lighter and more stable than aluminium.

Harking back to the era of the original 328, the Hommage features leather bonnet straps and distinctive two-part light alloy wheels. The two-seater sports car also tips its hat to its predecessor by employing a more traditional, vertically positioned kidney grille. With its split windscreen and its doorless nature, the BMW 328 Hommage leaves onlookers with no doubt as to where it takes its influences from.

“With the BMW 328 Hommage, we wish to pay homage to the passion and inventiveness of the fathers of the BMW 328. They created an icon, which is considered a milestone in the history of the automobile.” says Karl Bäumer, CEO of BMW Group Classic.

As of yet, BMW have not revealed any official specifications for the Hommage, although they have stated that it will include a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine.

Although it is unlikely to make production, the BMW 328 Hommage concept car certainly managed to impress judges at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, as it managed to win the title of “best of show” in the Concept Cars and Prototypes category there.

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Saturday March 26th, 2011 11:25 BMW’s i3 City Car on video

Watch the BMW i3 City Car on ice

BMW’s new i3 city car is a zero emissions electric vehicle set to be released in 2013. It was caught on video recently, and it is definitely a must see. The video shows the car’s rear wheel drive architecture and large but aerodynamic wheels handling snowy roads with surprising ease for such a compact and efficient design.

The i3 city car pushes the solid yet lightweight carbon fibre reinforced frame 0-60 in about 10 seconds, getting 100 miles per charge. The video was taken in Scandinavia, which is where BMW is filming for their “Born Electric” campaign. This sharp looking vehicle is just the beginning for BMW’s new “i” sub brand which will also be featuring the release of the i8 supercar. Not just smart when it comes to quality, handling, and emissions, the i firm is investing in mobile connectivity, with the hopes of radically transforming the way people utilise and interact with transportation by providing smart navigation and parking tools that assist with all aspects of an on the move lifestyle.

This car and those released by the i sub brand are something to keep an eye on. Aside from the i3 city car being a well designed automobile worth looking into by itself, it seems that electric cars like this one will be paving the way for a smarter future on the pavement for the auto industry as a whole.

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Sunday March 20th, 2011 14:09 BMW Unveils new 6 Series Coupe

BMW 6 Series coupe

BMW unveiled the new BMW 6-series coupe which will come in two models, the 640i and the 650i. These are the 2012 models and are going to hit the market following the release of the 6 series convertible. There was no 2011 model, so updates are from the 2010 model.

The 640i comes equipped with a twin turbocharged 3.0 litre while the 650i comes with a 4.4 litre twin turbo V8 engine. The 640i is capable of reaching 62 mph in 5.4 seconds and tops out at 155 mph. It boasts a fuel efficiency of 36.7 miles per gallon. In the 650i, 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds with a fuel efficiency of 27.2 miles per gallon.

Standard features on both cars include an 8 speed sports auto gearbox, electric power steering, and brake energy regeneration. Both models have driving aids including brake control, stability control and traction control all designed to contribute to a safer driving experience.

Instrument dials are angled toward the driver reminiscent of the old BMW cars. Numerous options are available to make this car exactly what you want. Bang & Olufsen surround sound, DVD changer, TV module, and USB interface are just some of the extras available in these models.

Extra highlights of the car include adaptive LED lights, a rear view camera, night vision and the latest edition of the head up display by BMW. The BMW 6-series coupe is now 39mm wider, 75 mm longer, and 5 mm lower than the previous edition which contributes to an overall sportier look.

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Tuesday March 8th, 2011 13:48 New Rocketman Mini is “mini”

BMW Mini RocketmanAt the Geneva Auto show, car manufacturer BMW made its debut with the new Rocketman mini concept car. The new BMW mini returns to its roots by embracing a smaller size and awesome style. The car returns to the three door hatchback of the original model while adding a new twist of carbon-fiber doors that are double hinged. The double hinge allows doors to pivot out and away from the body, allowing easy access to all internal areas of the car. Overall length of the car comes in at less than 135 inches truly making the Rocketman a true mini.

Despite the small size of this car, the BMW mini manages to have room for up to four adults in the innovative three plus one seating. By adjusting seats in the front row, adequate room for three adults plus one for “short trips” can be made. Flexibility plays a key row in design of this concept car. In addition to flexible seating, rear storage can be altered depending on needs. The tailgate is two pieces, including a pull out drawer that can be pulled away from the body depending on storage needs.
The roof surface contains optic fibres that can illuminate to recreate the Union Jack flag or when turned off provide stark contrast to the grey body with the white finish. The interior of the car centres around classic features like the over sized centre dial but brings in new features like a removable console. The removable console can be brought inside and programmed before journeys. The Rocketman concept shows mini does not have to sacrifice fun.


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Thursday November 18th, 2010 10:52 BMW Invests in the Future of EV

BMW Megacity Vehicle
BMW plans to invest €400m in large scale production of electric vehicles
Earlier this year, BMW introduced their all-electric MegaCity Vehicle or MCV, which will be available in 2013.

You may think that BMW is slow to follow the trend of announcing a production-ready all-electric car. And you would be somewhat correct. There has been a global field test since mid-2009 of 600 MINI E’s. The MINI E is BMW’s quick response to the demand for electric vehicles by modifying a MINI Cooper into an all-electric car, using lithium-ion batteries. The trial is still ongoing with the possibility of MINI E drivers leasing the cars for an extended period. BMW hopes to learn a great deal about electric cars and the viability of the concept in day-to-day use.

To that end and BMW’s future in electric cars, the auto maker has announced a €400m investment in its Leipzig, Germany, factory which will become the production hub for its future EV model lineup.

BMW contends that electric vehicles should be purpose-built and better suited to buyers needs. Just replacing a cars gasoline engine with an electric motor and batteries isn’t sufficient. BMW hopes the MegaCity Vehicle will become a sub-brand within the brand lineup.

“With this innovative vehicle, designed from the ground up, we will be creating new benchmarks for electric mobility from 2013 on. Our Megacity Vehicle will be significantly lighter than conventional cars and, in terms of sustainability, will set a new standard across the entire value-added chain,” said Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

The additional investment in EV production will help BMW break some molds regarding vehicle production. Electric cars are inherently heavy due to the combination of batteries and electric motor or motors. BMW hopes to break new ground in vehicle production by using new, light weight materials, such as carbon fibre-reinforced plastic or CFRP.

“This vehicle will radically alter the motor industry as we know it. The BMW Group is currently the only company that will be launching a volume-production vehicle on the market that features carbon fibre-reinforced material,” Reithofer said.

We should know in the next few years if BMW’s investment in the future pays off.

Guest post by Andy Mrozinski,

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