• Super Cars

    All-New BMW M4 Convertible Gets Awesome Official Video

    It’s… beautiful. With that song and those shots, they’re definitely pushing for the “manly” market. Even if soft-tops don’t always lend themselves to that.

    The new BMW Convertible M4 looks set to make a mark, especially with this kind of introductory video, (so what if it’s kind of corny?).

    The roof can be lowered in 20 seconds, reaching speeds of 8mph itself. Crikey. It also comes with a lovely “Air Collar”, to keep your neck nice and toasty when the roof is down. Perfect.

    The engine is of course, what matters. It’s still beasty, boasting a twin-turbo-charged, 3.0 litre straight-six; the same found in the M4 Coupe and M3 Saloon. This produces 431bhp, and 406lb of torque.

    Have a gander at some of the images below, alongside the video. Get pumped.

    m41 m42 m42 m43 m44

     

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  • Latest Release/ Reviews

    The Continental: BMW Doubts Modernism, Benz Sending Non-Corleone Vito to U.S., AMG on a Roll

    Each week, CarandDrivers German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.

    2015 BMW 435i Gran Coupe

    BMW’s F30 3-series architecture is one of the industry’s most fertile, with the latest body variation, the 4-series Gran Coupe, coming to market in just two years. (The F30 platform sits beneath the 3-series sedan, Gran Turismo, and wagon, and a version also underpins the 4-series coupe and convertible.) The four-door Gran Coupe is quite a bit more expensive than a 3-series sedan and not as practical as the 3-series Gran Turismo, but it is probably the most beautiful variation of the platform next to the 4-series coupe. The hatchback shape with its short, stubby deck reminds me of the premium hatches of the 1980s, such as the Merkur Scorpio and the Saab 9000.

    While it might seem like BMW is chasing every conceivable niche, and even inventing new ones (X6, anyone?), it unfortunately won’t be chasing the small, high-performance four-door-coupe genre. An M4 Gran Coupe isn’t in the cards, BMW sources tell me, because that particular niche is just too small. There will be the M3 sedan, the M4 coupe, and the M4 cabriolet—and that’s it.


     

    BMW 4-series Modern Line

    In other BMW news, the automaker might drop the “Modern Line” equipment level from its portfolio soon. Sold in Europe as an alternative to the base model, as well as the somewhat conservative “Luxury Line” and sporty “Sport Line,” the “Modern” trim aims to create a wellness-type environment with soft, monochromatic colors schemes and unusual (modern!) materials. (A 4-series cockpit thus equipped is pictured above.) I am told that most customers dislike the look, especially the light-colored steering wheel and the three-dimensional “Fineline Pure” wood trim. Personally, I disagree with them, and I applaud BMW’s courage to try out new color and trim designs. If I were in the market for a new 3-series, mine would be a manual-transmission 335i with the “Modern Line” package.

    The new Mercedes-Benz V-class

    The V-class. Its sister model, the Vito, will come to the U.S.

    Vito for America, No Qoros for Europe—Yet

    It is not clear yet whether Mercedes-Benz will bring its new V-class family van to the U.S. market. The passenger van would fill a niche long ago inhabited by the Volkswagen Eurovan. But I got confirmation from the company that the V-class’s commercial-van sister model, the Vito, will be sent stateside. It’ll be powered by Benz’s ubiquitous 2.1-liter, OM651 turbodiesel, and even though the Vito hasn’t been unveiled yet, it likely won’t look much different from the V-class.

    Qoros 3 hatchback

    We had thought that the Qoros 3 hatchback was designed mainly for Europe.

    The Chinese auto revolution in Europe will be delayed. Qoros, the offspring of a joint venture by Chery and an Israeli corporation, was supposed to be launched in key European markets by 2015. Now the brand’s vice chairman Volker Steinwascher, a former VW executive, says that it is “not clear when we will come to Europe,” adding, “Europe is not attractive right now.” Steinwascher was speaking at the CAR Symposium in Bochum, which is organized by Professor Ferdinand Dudenhöffer and is regarded as one of the big events on the automotive calendar in Germany.

    Opel Astra OPC Extreme

    This will be the fastest street-legal Astra ever.

    Some Geneva Auto Show News

    News about the upcoming Geneva auto show’s big debuts is beginning to trickle in. Here’s a photo of the upcoming Opel Astra OPC Extreme (written in all caps by Opel). According to Opel, this OPC will be the fastest street-legal Astra ever, and a low-volume production run is promised, as well. There are few details, but this racy picture is more than enough to whet our appetite. So . . . how about that Buick version?

    An electric luxury car from Liechtenstein

     

    Meanwhile, Liechtenstein-based nanoFLOWCELL AG has announced a concept car called the Quant for Geneva. It is running and driving prototype of a fully electric, S-class–sized four-door sedan, and will be used to help evaluate energy flow and charging and regeneration strategies in electric cars. I, for one, am mostly curious about the styling—just look at that teaser shot above. Also, this is the first car to come out of Liechtenstein in a very long time; anyone remember the Jehle Saphier? We’ll wait while you Google that one.

    Audi Sport Quattro concept

     

    At this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, Audi unveiled a prototype laser headlight system on the hot Sport Quattro concept car. So is laser light the next big thing after halogen, HID, and full LED headlights? In a word, no. Engineers tell me that laser light won’t be able to emit the wide carpet of light needed for low-beam applications. But it will be an excellent addition to today’s LEDs and HIDs, as it provides an extremely powerful high-beam functionality. And it sounds cool to say your car has “laser light,” doesn’t it?

    AMG Driving Academy, Winter Sporting Basic, A 45 AMG, 2013

     

    Congrats, AMG

    AMG has just celebrated its most successful year ever, having sold 32,200 AMG-badged cars globally. The compact and relatively affordable A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG models undoubtedly will further boost this figure, and the brutish G63 AMG SUV continues to sell in record numbers. Congratulations are in order to AMG chief Tobias Moers, and to his predecessors Volker Mornhinweg and Ola Källenius, who helped to put the current program on track to success.

     

    Still buddies? Dieter Zetsche and Andreas Renschler.

    Meanwhile, corporate Daimler drama is unfolding around the sudden departure of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle chief Andreas Renschler. The executive is rumored to be headed to the Volkswagen Group, where he could take charge of that outfit’s commercial vehicle group once former Scania chief Leif Östling retires. However, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche reportedly has said that Renschler won’t be working for a competitor “in the foreseeable future.” Let’s see how this one will unfold . . .



    The Doberhuahua, left, and Mercedes-Benz’s CLA on the right.

    One final remark on this year’s Super Bowl commercials, which my colleagues have covered ad nauseam: Is it just me, or did Audi model its mildly terrifying Doberhuahua creature after the Mercedes-Benz CLA-class?

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  • Latest Release

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Video Preview (VIDEO)

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Video Preview (VIDEO)

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Video Preview (VIDEO)
    BMW’s new 2015 M3 and M4 have been some of the most talked about cars for the past several years, and now they’ve finally landed, having made their respective debuts this week at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. For those still in the dark, the M4 is essentially the replacement for the outgoing M3 Coupe. It’s picked up a 4 in its moniker as it’s based on the latest 4-Series model. The M3, meanwhile, is now available exclusively as a sedan.

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Video Preview (VIDEO)

    Apart from one being a coupe and the other a sedan, the two cars are much the same. Both will come with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine delivering 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. That’s only a slight increase in power over the outgoing M3’s 414-horsepower naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V-8, but it is a significant leap in torque considering the old V-8 was delivering only around 295 pound-feet.

    The gains are apparent when you look at the quoted acceleration figures. With either the standard six-speed manual or optional seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch, you’re looking at 0-60 mph times of 4.0 seconds or less for either the M3 or M4. And BMW is typically quite conservative with its acceleration figures. Top speed of either car has been electronically limited to 155 mph.

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Video Preview (VIDEO)

    Performance in the cars is also improved significantly by weight savings. BMW says on comparably equipped models, the M3/M4 save about 176 pounds over the previous-generation M3 sedan and M3 Coupe. Most of the savings come from the use of lightweight materials for certain components, including aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic.

    Both cars hit showrooms later this year, as 2015 models. We’ll be driving them closer to the sales launch, at which point we’ll be able to bring you our impressions as well as the all-important pricing information.
    For more from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, head straight to our dedicated hub.

    via: Motor Authority

    See more from High Gear Media:

    – Cadillac Explains Why It Dropped The Laurel Wreaths From Its Logo
    – 2015 Ford F-150 Video Preview: 2014 Detroit Auto Show
    – Five Big Myths About Green Cars And Gas Mileage, Debunked
    – Which Is Greener: Flying Or Driving To Your Destination?
    – 2015 Ford Mustang Video: 2014 Detroit Auto Show

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  • News

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Revealed In Leaked Images!

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Revealed In Leaked Images

    2015 BMW M3 And M4 Revealed In Leaked ImagesImages of BMW’s brand new M cars, the M3 Saloon and M4 Coupe hit the web ahead of the official reveal.

    Yesterday BMW dropped a totally unrevealing teaser video of its new M models, the M3 saloon and M4 coupe. This annoyed us, because the new M3 and M4 have been coming for the past five months. There were ‘concept’ cars, technical details released and hundreds of spy images and videos. And while  BMW still haven’t revealed any official details, we can now at least stare at the pair without any swirly car camouflage hiding their lines. And as far as things to stare at go, the new M cars are not bad at all, are they?

    The M3 is the cooler car in our opinion, its behind is just – for want of a better word – bangin’. The rear wheel arches are so wide and awesome, the quad exhaust pipes are racy, the carbon roof is exquisite and the front end is chiselled and nice. And in this light blue hue, it looks pretty much perfect. We likey.

    The M4 coupe is no Ugly Betty, but compared to the M3 Saloon it looks a bit…predictable. There is of course a very good reason for that, because it looks exactly the same as the M4 Concept that BMW showed a few months ago. It’s even the same colour. OK, the exhausts are a slightly different shape to those of the concept and it hasn’t got a carbon splitter at the front, but if you placed the two cars next to each other you’d swear they were identical.

    As for what’s beneath the metal, both cars use a 3.0liter twin turbo straight six engine producing around 430hp, which is hooked up to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox (or six-speed manual) sending drive to the rear wheels. Power is distributed across the rear axle via a clever active ‘M’ differential – this aids stability and driftability.

    Apparently the official details will come out on Thursday so stay tuned for more juicy M3 and M4 news.


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