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BMW cars

BMW 3 Series Sedan

The global automotive market is still faltering, and even brands like Audi , Mercedes , and BMW are taking action to overcome the failing global economy. Part of this process of healing from the downturn is to lower production costs by producing cars closer to their anticipated homes.

Mercedes has already announced that it will manufacture its C-Class in it U.S. plant, starting in 2014. Audi has also let us know that it will be utilizing a plant in Mexico to manufacture certain models. According to reports, BMW’s most popular car, the 3-Series , may be heading from its typical production home over to North America.

Automotive News has released a report that shows BMW is considering moving some of the 3-Series’ production number south of the border, and no, we are not talking about moving it to Austria. We are talking about the 3-Series potentially hailing from Mexico, in the near future.

This report cites Mexico’s lower wages and free trade into the U.S., Canada, South America and some of Asia as its chief reasoning for the consideration. This would likely help boost profits by eliminating or lowering shipping costs, overall manufacturing costs, and even import fees. Don’t look for the 3-Series’ price to drop, though, as this is purely a cost-savings effort, not a price-lowering campaign.

If the project is given the go ahead, production should start ramping up slowly in Mexico in 2016 and increase over the years. We anticipate hearing a final decision on this topic early next year, so stay tuned to see if your “drei zwei fünf “ eventually becomes a “tres dos cinco“ in future years.


BMW’s M division has been long known for doing some pretty crazy things with its cars. We’ve ended up seeing most of their crazy experiments on the roadways in one form or another, but one experiment was so intense that it was axed before it ever saw the light of day. This program was to stuff a V-12 engine into the compact Z3 roadster, which saw production from 1996 through 2002.

This project was kept so tightly under wraps that apparently, BMW had forgotten all about it and just released images of this prototype on Monday. The V-12 stuffed between the Z3’s fenders is unknown for certain, but we can assume that it is the same plant that powered the much larger 750iL, which was a 5.4-liter that pumped out 325 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque.

While that’s a ton of power for such a little car, the 5.4-liter engine is far heavier than the 4- and 6-banger engines the Z3 came with. This likely caused some serious handling issues, causing M to scrap the ill-planned idea pretty quickly.

This failed project has now become public knowledge, as the images are plastered on BMW M’s Facebook page, though they don’t tell us exactly what their plans were for it.

Have a look for yourself and imagine how much fun this thing would be in a straight line. Then think about how scary it would be to have to attempt to take a sharp bend.

BMW i8

Despite previous rumors, BMW is continuing the development of their new i sub-brand. After the i3 was spied last week, our spy photographers have also been able to capture the i8 during hot weather testing in Southern Europe. This time, they have managed to get closer to the i8 and take a couple of shots of the car’s interior.

While the shots aren’t the best, it is easy to see that the production version will drop the concept ’s funky design and will adopt a more conventional layout with elements already seen in the 3-Series and the Z4 .

As for the engine, the production version will combine a 1.5 liter three-cylinder powering the front wheels with two electric motors at the rear for a total output of about 400 HP. The i8 will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the BMW i8 is all its cracked up to be and not a complete flop. We absolutely love this car, but some signs point to a near fail.

Back in 2004, BMW was launching one of the coolest M3 special editions ever: theM3 CSL (Coupé Sport Leichtbau). This model was limited to only 1,400 units, none of which made it over to the US market. Now, German tuner MR Car Design has transformed this very cool M3 CSL into an even cooler race car.

The package starts with replacing the doors and tailgates with new ones made of strong resistant carbon. It then continues with adding a very cool rear wing from a Porsche GT3 . The side and rear windows are made of Plexiglas - a measure done to further reduce the car’s original weight of 3,050 lb.

Under the hood, the original 3.2L engine was provided with modifications to the ECU and was then hooked up to a new exhaust system for a total of 391 HP, up from the standard 360 HP. In order to handle the extra 31 HP, the M3 CSL was equipped with a new brake system consisting of six pistons in the front and four in the back, as well as a new set of wheels.

Finishing off the look is a very cool dark blue color foil combined with racing strips in Bright Blue Metallic and Cherry Red.

The price for this updated BMW M3 CLS by MR Car Design is 130,000 euros - about $160,000 at the current exchange rates - but we think it’s totally worth it!

BMW 3 Series Sedan

There are some pretty shady repossession companies in the world and “reality” shows like Lizard Lick Towing and Operation Repo dramatize some of the shady actions. Well, apparently in South Africa, they take repossessing a car to a whole new level.

A customer took his brand new BMW 320d to a dealership due to defective air conditioning. The dealer never fixed the car to the customer’s liking, so the customer left the 320d at the dealership until either the issue was fixed or he was issued a replacement car. In the meantime, BMW gave him a loaner 325.

There was some kind of misunderstanding between the customer and BMW about how long he was allowed to use the loaner car for, as BMW had tried multiple times to recover said loaner. Well, this last time, BMW sent Netstar to his house armed with guns and a helicopter hovering overhead and allegedly forced the customer to turn over the keys.

After turning over the keys, the customer got a court order forcing the BMW dealer to give him back the loaner car and both sides will have to present their case in front of the High Court within 30 days for a final judgment. The customer claims that BMW said that he could keep the loaner car until the situation is resolved, but the BMW dealer is claiming that the case may take up to three years and they would never loan a car for that long.

In all, this is a messy situation for the dealership and BMW as a whole. We think it might be time for BMW’s corporate offices to step in and just handle this situation and give the customer a new car with correctly operating A/C. It’ll be a small price to pay to keep negative press from spreading too far.

Source: IOL Motoring
BMW i3

The upcoming BMW i sub-brand has had a few bumps in the road along its way to production, but despite rumors of the project’s termination, BMW is still working towards their goal with at least a couple of the originally planned models. In these spy shots, we can see the new prototypes of the i3 , which have been caught hot weather testing in Southern Europe after previously being spotted in the snow.

The future BMW i3 features the same roof line and window in the C-pillar as seen on the i3 Concept and on previous test models. The i3 will also get suicide doors like the ones on the Clubman and will be built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 550-660 lbs. This architecture consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules: the Drive module which integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions, and the Life module which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP.

The production i3 will use a powerful 170 HP electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph. The model is rumored to be priced at about $55K.


Romeo Ferraris dabbles a lot in Fiats, and the occasional Ferrari , like the 599 GTO . All of these vehicles, admittedly, are Italian vehicles, but the Italian tuning company also likes to tinker around with German machines and their latest example is proof of that. This, dear folks, is Romeo Ferraris’ new program for the 2012 BMW M5.

The program doesn’t carry a whole lot of aesthetic modifications, but what it does have is a series of performance enhancements that provide increased output for the already mighty sports car. Thanks to a variety of ECU re-programming, Romeo Ferraris achieved what can only be described as significant upticks in power without having to do a whole lot except some tweaks here and there. The first stage, aptly called Phase 1, involves no modifications apart from rewiring the M5’s computer. For that task alone, Romeo Ferraris managed to increase the output for the car’s 4.4-liter V8 engine to 635 horsepower and 546 lb/ft of torque, a 75-horsepower and 46 lb/ft of torque bump from the standard 560 horsepower and 500 lb/ft of torque output.

Not content with Phase 1? No problem. Romeo Ferraris has Phase 2 to fill your thirst for more power. This program comes with its own ECU reprogramming, as well as a new titanium exhaust system that comes with a downpipe without pre-catalyst, a catalyst metal center with 200 cells, and end tips that have been finished in titanium. All told, Phase 2 nets the M5 with 657 horsepower and 582 lb/ft of torque.

BMW i8

We use the Interwebz for all sorts of really cool things. We can shop for groceries, buy Christmas presents, watch movies, stalk people on Facebook, etc. There has always been one thing that we could not do, though, and that is buy a car. Sure, you can add features and order a car until you’re blue in the face, but ultimately, you are still stuck with whatever the dealer has available – or can make a profit on.

Well, BMW is looking to change your car buying experience altogether with a new system that will allow you to actually buy cars online, according to Bloomberg. BMW will start this system with its i-Series , which has been whittled down to just the i8 and i3 , in an attempt to offset high production costs.

This will, of course, start off as just an experiment and grow from there. BMW also has to get a little fancy with how it pulls this off in the U.S., as most states forbid manufacturers from selling directly to buyers (strange law). This will likely include the introduction of third-party sales sites that handle the selling and financing of the vehicles for a much lesser rate than paying a sales person commission.

One other hurdle is how to handle the test drive part, but Tesla has already shown us how to do that: set up a few small retail shops that have a few examples of each model and pay the employees a salary just to take prospective buyers on test drives. Then again, we have doubts about Tesla’s commission-less sales actually working out, but it is a possibility, especially with the end sales occurring online.

Just think... No more greedy F&I guy with his 3-inch-thick gold chain and massive gold rings trying to sell you some outlandish service package that really doesn’t cover anything or costs more than servicing the car normally. What a wonderful concept!

Source: Bloomberg

The last time Manhart Racing worked on a BMW 1-Series M Coupe , they made a program that was impressive. But this time, these guys are really dropping the gloves with the unveiling of their new MH1 S-Biturbo equipped with the Stage 3 tuning program.

Before jumping into the meat and bones of the package, the German tuner didn’t fail in giving the 1-Series M Coupe a nice aerodynamic kit that includes a host of new components, including a hand-made carbon front splitter, a carbon hood with air vents and snap closures, carbon fiber mirror caps, a new rear diffuser, and a new trunk with a ducktail spoiler. Inside, Manhart added MHR Performance bucket seats dressed in Alcantara with matching orange stitching, a new LCD display, a new instrument cluster, and a new speedometer. Finally, Manhart fitted a new coil over suspension system and a new set of 20" AC Schnitzer Type 5 Forged wheels wrapped in Continental-Sport Contact 5 tires.

Now, it’s the engine’s turn. Powered by a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo inline-six cylinder engine, Manhart Racing fitted their Stage 3 tuning program to go with a new sports exhaust system with downpipes and stainless steel Mufflers, and a carbon fiber airbox with carbon piping. On top of that, the tuner also added larger intercoolers, oil coolers, and radiators to the engine, resulting in an increased output of 465 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque.

For a nice little sports coupe, packing 465 horsepower is quite a treat, isn’t it?

UPDATE 09/27/12: Manhart Racing has released a new batch of photos for their scintillating 1-Series M Coupe program the MH1-S Bi-Turbo. Check out photos of the completed program in the gallery below!

BMW is preparing to unveil the new generation M3 - or M4 if we’re talking about the coupe and the convertible - but we still have to wait about a year to enjoy it! Until then, German tuner Alpha-N Performance will be focusing on the current M3 by preparing a very cool tuning package which not only makes the sports coupe look better, but also adds an extra 30 HP.

To attain the extra power, the tuner has chosen the classic optimization for the 4.0 V8 engine’s software, the construction of a carbon air-box system for the improved respiration of the eight-cylinder driving gear, and a titanic sports exhaust system from the specialists over at Akrapovic. The result is an impressive 450 HP!

For the exterior portion of the package, the tuner has added a carbon fiber front spoiler in the racing version with a brake ventilation shaft, a carbon rear diffuser, and an impressive carbon rear wing which facilitates optimized aerodynamics. There is also a new set of 19" Superforgiata wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires in 265/35R19. The only modification for the interior includes the addition of new exclusive Recaro Pro Racer Hans seats.

These modifications alone add up to a decent enough tuning package, but Alpha-N has promised that they will not be stopping there. The next stage of the package will include a roll cage, a set of carbon doors, a carbon engine hood, a carbon rear cover and a MAC fully carbonated air-box system. This will be all the M3 needs to transform into the perfect race car! Stay tuned!


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