After A Quarter-Million X6 Sales, Munich Goes Back To The Well
BMW has been in the line-blurring business of late, with the original X5 "Sports Activity Vehicle" muddling the line between SUVs and sport sedans in 1999, the 5 Series Gran Turismo challenging what our definition of "Gran Turismo" means in 2009, and pretty, low-roofed four-doors like the 6 Series Gran Coupe and the fresh new 4 Series Gran Coupe broadening the meaning of the word "coupe."
Say Hello To The 198-MPH Cure For The Common M6 Gran Coupe
Alpina has been lovingly modifying BMWs for half a century, but as we learned during a tour of the company's HQ in Buchloe, Germany, Alpina has been in the wine distribution business for nearly as long. The company has an estimated million bottles on reserve in two warehouses and a beautiful wine cellar/tasting room on property in western Bavaria, just yards from where its 1,500 hand-crafted automobiles per year are produced.
BMW's all-new M3 Sedan is dynamically nearly identical to its two-door M4 Coupe sibling: a stopwatch reveals that both are sub-four-second cars to 60 miles per hour, a racetrack proves that the mechanical twins are equally as adept on a road course and a full afternoon of driving on public roads demonstrates that each possesses talented everyday adaptability.
Launched out of the seat by a huge, unexpected dip in the road, yet still held largely in place by the smooth webbing of my safety belt, I clench my teeth waiting to come back to earth. A tenth of a second later, the M4 Coupe touches down and my body is slammed into the leather seat cushion. All of the air is forced out of my lungs upon landing, but the BMW's chassis, suspension and steering appear unfazed. Pleasantly surprised, I mash the accelerator to the floor in giddy pursuit of the car in
"The Ultimate Driving Machine" has been BMW's tagline for nearly 40 years. Launched in the 1970s, the marketing campaign was a stroke of genius by ad firm Ammirati & Puris, as the phrase helped differentiate the imported Bavarian cars from their fellow European rivals by subtly pointing out that Mercedes-Benz and Audi were offering luxury models, while BMW was selling sporty and youthful driving dynamics. The campaign worked – some would argue that stands among the most effective ad ca
There's a running joke among auto writers that the perfect car would be a diesel-powered, rear-drive wagon with manual transmission and no power accessories whatsoever. It would only be available in brown and would somehow be as fun to drive as a Mazda MX-5 Miata. Makes total sense, right?
I absolutely love to travel, but man, do I hate flying. Not the act of flying itself, but air travel in general – slogging through the airport, dealing with security, fighting with delays, only to finally be crammed like cattle into a too-small airplane seat where you're offered $8 sandwiches that are half-frozen. (Okay, it's not always that bad, but still.)
Here it is, the fifth generation of BMW's 3 Series Convertible – only this one begins with a "4," having been rechristened as a droptop version of the new 4 Series Coupe. With thirty years of work on this same recipe and having gotten it so right for much of that time, the Munich compact premium convertible has been a WYSIWYG affair for decades: once you saw its sedan paradigm, you knew what it was going to look like in roofless two-door form, and what you saw is exactly what you got.
We know a number of BMW owners who reside in the Munich brand's core demographic – upper-five- and six-figure professionals who like to keep their automotive brand credentials as highly respected among their peers as their alma maters or the letters after their names. Before heading to Las Vegas to drive the new M235i, we asked four of those owners, "What did you think of the E30 3 Series?" Although phrased differently, every one of them had the same answer: "What's that?"
When BMW switched its entry level 3 Series, the 328i, from a naturally aspirated, 3.0-liter six-cylinder to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, we weren't entirely sure what to think. Sure, from a pure numbers perspective, the new 2.0-liter cooked the old 3.0's goose, delivering more torque at far more accessible engine speeds while boosting horsepower and fuel economy.
One of the many perks of this job is, not surprisingly, the cars. It's relatively easy to snag the keys to a vehicle for a special occasion, whether that be for a road trip, tailgating or helping a friend move. And while sometimes the tailgating might happen with a Ford F-150 instead of a Range Rover and the road trip might be in a minivan rather than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, occasionally the stars align and a special vehicle arrives for an equally special time.
We can only imagine the challenges BMW is going to have explaining the i3 electric vehicle to the world. It's got a new powertain (all-electric, with optional range extender), a new production method (carbon fiber reinforced plastic!), a new brand (the 'i' line) and a new vehicle type (it's a city car). Despite everything that's different, BMW is still trying to talk about the i3 as if it fits in with the rest of the company's vehicles. But it doesn't. Not really. And that's going to make the ma