If you happen to own a non-M3 E46 3-Series, but want the look of the M3, Prior design has come up with an M3 styling kit that may suit you.
Starting up front, Prior Design eliminates the boring E46’s front bumper and replaces it with a unit that boasts a wide mouth and two side air intakes. The mouth’s outline is rather thin, keeping the drag to a minimum, and it is high enough off of the ground to avoid scraping.
For the sides of your awaiting 3-Series, Prior includes a set of side skirts that not only boast a very modern ankle line, but they also make your 3-Series look lower to the ground without any suspension modifications. Unfortunately, the side skirts just don’t quite fit in with the E46’s lines and stick out pretty badly.
Prior Design makes up for its sub-standard side skirts with a sweet backside addition to the 3-Series. This new rear bumper eliminates the econo-box-looking rear bumper that BMW slapped on the E46 3-Series and replaces it with a unit that features just the right amount of shape, a small diffuser, and cutouts for a dual exhaust setup. Our only issue here is what if the owner doesn’t have or want dual exhaust? Then he’s stuck with a goofy looking bumper.
Here’s the real test; does this kit make a regular 3-Series look like an M3? We have to be totally honest here; if you flew by at 80 mph with a nasty dual exhaust system rumbling behind you, we might mistake it for an M3. Sitting at a stop light, this kit is easily pegged as a poor knock off. The only component that somewhat resembles the M3 is the front bumper and even that is off track.
It’s a noble attempt by Prior and it would be okay as a regular body kit, sans the side skirts, but to call it an “M3 Styling” kit is a reach.
If you still want it, you can get the kit for €957 ($1,200 at current rates). We do suggest skipping the side skirts and finding another set that better suits the car, which will save you €199 ($250 at current rates).
Yesterday, Volkswagen announced that the seventh generation Golf will be unveiled on September 4th. In response to that announcement, the Golf’s biggest competitor, the Peugeot 308, has launched itself back onto the testing grounds for another round.
The next 308 was initially rumored to be called 301, but it looks like Peugeot has decided to keep the original name after all. The next 308 will be built on the same platform as the Citroen C4 and DS4, and has been promised to be both lighter and more agile than the current generation.
The Peugeot 308 will be offered with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, including some shared with Citroen and some borrowed from the new 208, as well as a diesel hybrid version offered for the first time. Peugeot’s new three-cylinder family engines will also find their way under the bonnet of the next 308.
As for its design language, expect to see a mixture of the 208 and the SR1 Concept car revealing a more elegant and compact body then the current 308. Its official debut will be made sometime in 2013.
Leaky pipes in the automotive industry are at it again, as a poster named “dutchboy” over at Temple of Vtec decided to leak some images of the only part of the redesigned Accord we have yet to see, the interior. Sure, the images look as if they were taken with a 1940s-era camera, or maybe just a 0.3 MP camera phone, scanned through a 400 DPI scanner, printed by a dot-matrix printer, scanned again by a 400 DPI printer, then finally uploaded after being compressed enough to make it through the user’s 28.8 Kb/second internet connection in less than a day and a half, but they’re still telling images.
From these images, we can see that the driver’s side of the Accord looks good. The clock-face gauges boast a large, center-mounted speedometer flanked by the tachometer on one side and the fuel and temperature gauges on the other. The steering wheel boasts a clean setup of buttons that don’t look too overwhelming. You also get the “Start/Stop” button, an “Econ” button, and what looks to be a TPMS reset button (tire mounters of the world will rejoice over this one).
The center stack, on the other hand, looks like a blind man with a touch screen and button obsession. It’s way overloaded with two screens – one for navigation and one for HondaLink – a series of climate-control buttons and a group of audio-control buttons.
Seriously, with two touch screens, why in the world would the Accord need that many audio and HVAC controls? Shouldn’t those all use the touch screen interface? Also, the middle two sections of the center stack are nicely styled, but they come down to meet a plain-Jane center console shape. It is definitely an awkward transition.
Hopefully, the graininess of this picture is hiding some transitioning piece between the center stack and center console, or Honda is still revising it. As it stands right now, that center part of the cabin is a real eyesore.
We’ll keep a look out for better images to surface on the interior and pass them on as we find them.
The new generation Volkswagen Golf VII was scheduled to do the debut strip tease at the end of September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, but it looks like the company has decided to offer a few details on the new Golf early. We’ve got a few snippets already, but Volkswagen is also planning on unveiling more on September 4th.
The first details on the Golf VII reveal that it will be built on the company’s MQB platform and will be about 220 lbs lighter than the current model. Volkswagen will also work on making the model more spacious, safer, and more comfortable.
Under the hood, Volkswagen will place a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, including a new 1.4 liter TSI with 140 HP and a new TDI with 105 HP. All engines will get a 23% reduction in fuel consumption.
Next to these updates, the new Golf VII will offer an impressive list of features, including a proactive occupant protection system, standard XDS electronic differential lock, ACC adaptive cruise control plus Front Assist and a City Emergency Braking function, among many others.
While the standard Golf R is still covered from head to tail in dizzying cammo, the Convertible version of the speedy hatchback is now stripped down to reveal its R logo goodies at the front and back. This just proves that the cammoed Golf we saw a few weeks back was indeed the "R" in GTI clothing.
With the uncovered goodness that are these spy shots, we can see that the front bumper of the Golf R will have LED daydriving lights, bigger brakes and wheels, more marked side sills, and a small spoiler on the trunk. The rounded GTI exhaust pipes have also been removed to reveal the bigger oval-shaped pipes that will be used for the Golf R.
Power for the 2013 Volkswagen Golf Convertible R will come from a revised version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder found in the current model. This engine produces 256 HP in the US version and 270 HP in the European model. That engine will be mated to a DSG or a 6-speed transmission, which will push power to all four wheels.
Following in the footsteps of the new, standard Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf R Convertible, the standard Golf R model has recently taken its first trip to the testing grounds somewhere in Europe. In full public view, the Golf R is finally treating our spy photographers to a few details on it future rendition.
The exterior of the new Golf R was caught wearing a larger, lower grille opening at the front , as well as an intercooler and a radar sensor for adaptive cruise. The side of the vehicle gives us a view of the "R" wheels, low-profile tires, and bigger brakes. At the back, the Golf R is sporting four exhaust tips, which is two more than the setup in the current Golf R. Underneath all of those changes, the future Golf R will be sitting on Volkswagen’s MQB chassis (also found on the future Audi A3) which will make the hatchback about 150 lbs lighter than the current model.
In terms of power, the 2014 Volkswagen Golf R will be powered by a revised version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder found in the current model. This engine produces 256 HP in the US version and 270 HP in the European model. That engine will be mated to a DSG or a 6-speed transmission, which will push power to all four wheels.
Expect to see the new Volkswagen Golf R launched sometime in 2013.
Updated 09/11/2012: Today we have a very cool rendering for you for the upcoming Volkswagen Golf R. we hope you’ll like it!
In our weekly scrounge to try and dig up an interesting photo for you folks, we came across something rather interesting that we had forgotten all about. In 1995, GM decided it was time to overhaul the Cavalier and axe the Sunbird altogether. With the exit of the Sunbird came the introduction of the “sportier” Pontiac Sunfire – ah, GM’s creative naming department struck gold there. What we tend to forget is that the Sunfire project started in the early-1990s and was far different than the end result.
To think that the crappy Sunfire was actually a hot concept car with true sports car appearance and likely matching performance numbers seems preposterous, but it’s true. From this photo, you can see just what GM was working on and, on the outside, it was a stunner. Now, inside was a different story. You can see the huge, clunky 1990s GM buttons on the center of the steering wheel and a plethora of these eyesores on the center console too.
One of the advertising gimmicks on this flier, which was distributed at car shows, was the remote-control CD player. This was for those people that just did not have the energy to move their arm the foot or so, needed to touch the CD player’s buttons. What innovative thinkers GM was in the 1990s, right?
Anywho, we need to thank Flickr user Hugo90 for the laughs we got from this blast from the past. Make sure to check out his entire photo stream here, as he has tons of awesome pictures and fliers from various car shows.
For those that love the BMW 328i, but just feel like it is lacking a little something in the styling area, you are not alone. BMW modifiers extraordinaire, iND, have pieced together a beautiful package to help make any 328i look a little more stylish, and sound better too.
Up front you’re getting gloss-black-painted grilles, which help break up the monotony of the 328i’s front end. Adding a little extra style is a urethane front bumper lip from 3D Design. This lip features secure mounting hardware and simple instructions, making for a clean and factory-looking mount.
The 328i’s center of gravity is dropped slightly, using a set of H&R springs. Unfortunately, the amount of drop and the resulting spring rate is not given. Just the drop alone is bound to help increase the 3-Series’ nimbleness. Also helping in the twisties is a set of four pewter 19-inch BBS CH-R wheels, measuring in at 19 x 9.5 inches.
Helping bring the 328i to a stop, iND added in a set of M Performance brakes. This kit includes slotted and drilled rotors, 4-piston front calipers, and 2-piston rear calipers.
In the land of engine performance, iND did very little to the 328i’s performance numbers. The only addition on this entire modification is the installation of an Eisenmann exhaust system. There is no mention on how many ponies this adds, but we assume it will add about 5 to 8 horsepower, which brings its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine up to about 245 to 248 horsepower. Other than the exhaust system, the remainder of the mechanics remain untouched.
Overall, we think that iND did a good job taking a sharp car and making it a little but more stylish. They certainly did not overdo it in this case.
The Honda Accord has remained unchanged, pretty much, for the last five model years. We’re not saying that the current Accord is not a looker, but it has become a little bit aged. Early in 2012, Honda revealed the new Accord Concept and showed us a more aggressively styled vehicle with sharp body lines and an all-around sexy appearance.
When we see concept cars we always take them with a grain of salt, as they rarely, if ever, end up looking the same in production. For that reason, we held our tongue and made sure that you knew that was only a concept car being shown.
Now, however, Honda has released images of the production version of the Accord Coupe, and we are set to trickle some of this information to you. The official information for the 2013 Accord is still limited, so we are only going to focus on the officially released items and sprinkle in a little speculation on parts that Honda hasn’t yet made official.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe. Full story
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.