BMW

BMW cars

We’ve barely reached the halfway point of the year and it seems BMW’s newest addition to its M family has been in the headlines so much we’ve seen one incarnation of the sports car after another in various racing series all over the world. And just to drive home that point, BMW Abu Dhabi has released a new batch of photos of the M4 Coupe in the middle of a tire-smoking drifting session, all while sporting BMW’s official racing colors.

Those unmistakable BMW racing graphics look pretty sexy on the M4, don’t they?

Not a lot of BMW models can proudly wear those colors and make it look like they were born to be dressed in them. The M3 was usually the car getting the racing garb and for good reason. But with the arrival of the M4 Coupe and BMW’s decision to keep the M3 a sedan from here on out, it does look like the baton is finally getting passed to the newest member of the M family.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Coupe.

Source: BMW Facebook

After first showing us some Gran Turismo awesomeness late last year, BMW has finally pulled the covers of its latest concept vehicle, but one that will only be available in the world of Gran Turismo 6. This is the 2014 BMW Vision Gran Turismo Concept and as we had expected, it looks positively insane.

Remember when Mercedes became the first company to unveil its own Vision Gran Turismo Concept ? When it did, we all fell out of chairs, blown away by the insanity of Merc’s creation. But what it also did was set the bar really high for the rest of the car brands that were preparing their own concepts for Gran Turismo 6.

Admittedly, we had some trepidations on what other companies had up their sleeves. But with the arrival of BMW’s GT6 concept, all the doubts that crept up in our heads about what the car was going to look like quickly evaporated.

At first glance, you get the vibes of the M4 Coupe , albeit one that’s been rebuilt specifically for video game-racing purposes. But the best part about this concept is that unlike the Mercedes version, this one looks like its ready to be transformed into the real world.

Should that happen, trust us when we tell you: it’s going to be have a lot of people clamoring for a piece of it.

It’s been only a week since we had a preliminary look at the BMW M2 Coupe , which was caught testing for the very first time, and now we are able to ogle once again at its drop-top brother, thanks to our skilled spy photographers stationed in Germany.

This is not the first time they’ve caught the compact two-door on the road, but these new photos provide us with the best look yet at the brand-new 2 Series Convertible as the Germans have stripped it of almost all of its camouflage.

Part of the bumpers, the badges, and the edges of the headlamps and taillights are the only elements that are still covered, allowing us to enjoy all of its lines and curves. There’s nothing left to take us by surprise once the last strips of camouflage disappear, so there you go folks, the 2015 BMW 2 Series Cabriolet is basically unveiled!

We can’t help but notice that there are a few nips and tucks that make it look different than the vehicle we’ve rendered a while back, but most of the important cues were spot on, including the twin five-spoke wheels.

If you’re wondering about what engines will pop up under the hood, BMW will most certainly opt for a full transplant from the 2 Series Coupe , which means U.S. dealerships will have two versions on offer. The 228i that will be motivated by a 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and the brawnier M235i that will carry a 3.0-liter inline-six that generates 322 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The 2 Series Convertible will also get a diesel mill, but that won’t cross the pond to the United States.

The vehicle’s official launch won’t occur until fall 2014, while production is scheduled to commence in January 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Cabriolet.

Another Thursday afternoon means another TopSpeed.com Podcast . You can click play here for audio, or look after the jump for a FULL video podcast.

This week sees the return of Justin after his vacation, lots of cars with manual transmissions and a few automotive farewells.

Our weekly wheels for this week include the Honda Accord Touring from Justin and the Chevrolet Silverado High Country from Mark. I am a sad boy this week and have no new cars to talk about. Cue the sad trombone.

To make myself feel better, we cover a whole host of bad-ass car news. We start with the announcement of a manual transmission for the F-Type . We move to more fun cars with the Cayman GT4 spy shots , and the final edition of the Cadillac CTS-V . Cadillac gets some more love with the ELR-V and we finish with the BMW i8, the future of the M1 and round things out with a special edition Audi R8 .

We wrap up the show with a trio of questions from you, our wonderful listeners, and an Own, Drive, Burn made entirely of Corvettes.

We had one final viewer question, but it was a long one, so we decided to tackle it as a special "after-show bonus" so feel free to stick around after the closing music to catch that. We discuss what you should buy if you are sitting on $30k and want a performance car.

As always, you can catch us on iTunes ( we would love it if you rated and gave us a review), drop us an email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com, find us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or just hit up the comments. We read and respond to basically everything, so if you have feedback, let us know.

Click "play" to hear this week’s Podcast

See you next week-

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Honda Accord, Chevy Silverado

If you just heard a collective groan between your ears, chances are you’re part of the collective masses that just heard about BMW’s plan to offer less than 500 i8 sports cars in North America. We already knew from the start that BMW had no plans of mass-producing the i8, but just 500 earmarked for North America?

But no matter how disappointing that is, it probably won’t dissuade BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch from adding more models in the NA inventory in the near future. That could change if the hybrid supercar sells like hot pancakes, but for now, it’s only sending 500 to North America.

So what’s the rationale behind it? Willisch didn’t elaborate on that so we’re assuming that BMW wants to test the North
American market first on how it receives the i8 when it arrives. It might be ridiculous to imagine why a car so lauded as the i8 needs to "test a market" but remember, BMW is essentially venturing into uncharted territory with this model, developing it as a hybrid that promises the best in performance and efficiency.

On top of that, the i8 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Starting price is at $136,625, including shipping, so it’s not like people will just line up to buy the car when sales begin in August 2014.

Or maybe they will, which explains why it’s weird for BMW to limit the allotment of i8s to just 500 in North America.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may have been a disappointing appearance to most brand enthusiasts, due to its front-wheel-drive layout, but the Bavarian manufacturer hopes to score big with the compact MPV in both North America and Europe.

The regular 2 Series Active Tourer, which is powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, inline-three unit rated at 136 horsepower, will be followed by an M Sport version with a plug-in hybrid model to arrive shortly after.

Unlike its gasoline-exclusive counterparts, which will require an xDrive option to get all four wheels moving, the plug-in hybrid will feature an all-wheel-drive setup by default. Although BMW has yet to reveal any details, the same three-cylinder engine is likely to be in charge of the front axle, while an electric motor will be added to take care of the rear wheels.

Total output is expected to sit around the 200-horsepower mark, with 136 horsepower coming from the conventional mill and the rest provided by the silent, battery-powered motor. As for mileage, the Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid should return at least 50 mpg when using both units, though it won’t be able to travel more than around 20 miles in EV mode.

Styling-wise, the hybrid version won’t be any different than the gasoline Active Hybrid, with only a few badges to highlight its greener nature. The MPV has already been spotted testing in Germany so we might see it in production form by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid.

This is it, BMW . Years of research, testing, and development has culminated in the upcoming release of the new BMW i8 . With the arrival of BMW’s first plug-in hybrid supercar drawing closer and closer, the German automaker has launched a global campaign to showcase the history of the i8, from its genesis as a concept vehicle all the way to its arrival in dealerships in August 2014. The campaign began on May 9th and will run the gamut of media platforms, ranging from TV spots and print ads, all of which tell the story of a car that has, in so many ways, become synonymous with BMW technology.

The unquestioned star of this campaign is the i8, putting the focus on the hybrid supercar ’s design, performance, and innovation. If anything, BMW is pulling out all the stops with this media blitz, enlisting Gus Van Sant, the man behind Oscar-winning films such as “Good Will Hunting," “Milk” and “My Private Idaho," to direct the three TV spots, namely "Genesis," "Powerful Idea," and "Attitude".

Complementing the TV spots will be a series of seven print ads that highlight the i8’s attributes as a real car for the ages. Like Van Sant’s work on the TV spots, these print ads carry the cache of being photographed by renowned photographer Uwe Düttmann.

If there was any question as to how important the BMW i8 is to the Bavarian automaker, the fact that the company is going to this length to promote the hybrid supercar tells you that the i8 could very well be one of those iconic cars that defines this BMW generation.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

A successor to the Lexus LF-A has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and while it remains unclear on when the supercar will be launched, Japanese magazine Best Car continues to stress that Lexus will have some help in building the successor to the LF-A. That help, apparently, will come from BMW . This rumor has been brewing for some time now, but if you really think about it, it’s hard to make any sense of it because Lexus and BMW BMW aren’t exactly bosom buddies. Sure, there’s a healthy amount of respect for the other brand, but at their core, the two consider the other as rivals.

Why would BMW help Lexus develop the new LF-A when it could compete directly with the i8 ? It just doesn’t make sense considering the lengths Lexus has taken in the past year to line up car after car to compete against German brands like BMW.

Maybe Best Car knows something that none of us do, which could explain why the magazine appears to be insisting that a BMW-Lexus collaboration is in the works. But call us skeptical on this rumor because we just don’t see the sense behind it.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 - BMW’s current supercar.

BMW has been fitting its M3 cars with inline-six and V-8 engines exclusively for about 22 years now, but that might change in the future, as the Germans are considering a four-cylinder unit for its high-performance sedan .

Speaking to Motoring at the launch of the brand-new M3 and M4 in Portugal, BMW M chief of product management Carsten Pries said we "could see a future M3 powered by a four-cylinder engine" if the company rolls out "a car with less mass."

Although Pries refrained from giving away more details, such a move is likely to take place when the next-generation M3 and M4 arrive. That’s at least six years from now and it means there’s plenty of time for a new four-pot to be developed or for a wholly different strategy to spawn out of Munich.

But if the first scenario comes to fruition, it will be somewhat similar to what BMW did with the all-new M3 and M4. It will reduce the weight of the car and add a smaller unit that will deliver performance figures close to those churned by the current inline-six, but with improved fuel economy.

“Performance can be boosted with more power, but if we are to address issues like emissions and consumption [in the future], we have to look more at weight. We decided in this generation to address the [upward] weight spiral,” Pries added.

Of course, squeezing more than 400 horsepower out of a four-cylinder will give BMW engineers some pains, but the target isn’t impossible to achieve. With Mercedes-Benz and AMG having already managed to get 360 horsepower out of the A45 AMG , it’s hard to believe the Munich crew won’t be able to take it up a notch.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M3.

Source: Motoring

The M1 is one of the most iconic cars ever produced by BMW , and it was the model responsible for the M Division that creates all the cars we love today, like the M5 and the venerable M3 .

Fans of the Roundel brand have been clamoring for BMW to revive this epic nameplate and take on competitors like the Audi R8 and Mercedes SLS AMG for years now, but there has been little movement.

Rather, what we got was a new hybrid car that looks like an M1 called the i8 . While the i8 is an incredible piece of engineering, it is not a fire-breathing M car. But what if it could be?

At the recent launch of the M3 and M4 , CarAdvice asked M Division boss Friedrich Nitschke about the potential for this new car to spawn an M car. His response is encouraging.

When it comes to moving the advanced powertrain and lightweight carbon-fiber technology over to an M car, Nitschke said its a matter "capacity not a question of know-how." Basically, it would not be hard to move anything over, they just need approval from the higher ups in BMW. As it stands, the M Division is ready to make one, if the BMW board will green light the project.

Would you guys like to see a revived M1 in all its mid-engined glory?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M1.

Source: CarAdvice

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