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Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Imagine this, you’re driving down a twisty, winding road, in a convertible BMW with the top down, wind in your hair and in your ears, and the sound of…nothing because you’re driving a hybrid. Sounds pretty awful, right? Well don’t worry because BMW isn’t making a hybrid convertible, at least until the i8 goes topless. BMW has officially stated that six, inline cylinders will drive the upcoming Z4 replacement. This is good news. The Bavarians have always made wonderful I-6 engines; with smooth, buttery powerbands and lovely, growling exhaust notes.

The engine in question, code named B58, will be a 3.0-liter, turbocharged I-6 that will put out around 335 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Combine that with an estimated curb weight of around 3,084 pounds, and you’ve got one hell of a convertible sports car. Rumor also has it that this car will be developed together with Toyota and its upcoming Supra replacement. Based on the success of the Toyobaru twins and all of the success BMW’s had developing sports cars, I cannot see this car being anything other than fantastic.

This is a whole new line of engines from BMW. It’s in the same “Efficient Dynamics” engine family that its newly released, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder and 2.0-liter. four-cylinder engines are from. This engine is also rumored to debut in the upcoming 7 Series replacement, and should trickle down into the 3 Series and 5 Series cars shortly after. It’s also good to see Bimmer sticking with six-cylinder engines. Many automakers have been ditching sixes for turbo-fed fours, and while the turbo fours pack quite a punch, they lack in emotion and excitement compared to sixes. So while the Z4 might eventually get the familiar 2.0-liter turbo four as well, it’s refreshing to see BMW also offer an I-6.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Z4 successor.

Source: Motoring
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW M3s have always been about high-revving, naturally aspirated engine and lightweight, nimble handling. In fact, that was the case for all M cars until the M5 came along with a twin-turbocharged V-8, which then made its way into the M6 as well. The E92 generation M3 was the last M car to have a free-breathing engine. The new one, chassis code F80, gets forced induction — much to the dismay of many M car fans. With the help of two turbochargers, the new, 3.0-liter inline-six makes 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. That’s a considerable bump over the 295 pound-feet of the previous M3 and it comes on 2,050 RPM sooner. This makes the new M3 much more of a weapon than the E92, which needed to be revved to eternity to really get going. And this shows, as the F80 gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds where as the old E92 took 4.1.

Chris Harris seems to think, despite what all of the haters say, that this new M3 is best of the breed. And he should know, being that he used to own an E92 M3 and currently owns an original E30 Sports Evolution M3. Harris say the engine, despite drawing such criticism for its blown-nature, is a masterpiece. It doesn’t sound all that great but it works wonderfully.

The chassis balance, as always with M3s, is fantastic and the gearbox is epic. One place where the new M3 might still draw criticism though, is the steering. It’s electric and many people, including Harris himself, think that it feels a bit artificial, but it’s incredibly accurate and is nicely weighted. Chris seems to think that this new M3 moves the game dramatically forward over the previous generation. If a man who drives some of the most hardcore sports cars out there says that, then I’m going to listen.

Chris Harris makes lovely videos because they help people like me, who don’t always get to drive some of these awesome sports cars, really get a feel for what they’re like. He really beats on the M3 in this video and shows what it can do, drifting through turns on a circuit and bombing a twisty, mountain road. In doing so, we can really get an idea of just how good the new M3 is. It may not be as pure as an E30, but it’s damn close, and that’s good enough for me.

The upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC has been spotted doing hot laps around the famed Nürburgring wearing its swirly camouflage. Mercedes engineers appear to be pushing the BMW X6 -fighter pretty hard around the track, as those low-profile tires scream in protest around every turn. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Mercedes testing the fastback SUV , but it is the first time seeing it perform on the track.

While we don’t have official word of what lies under the MLC’s hood, but the engine powering this example let off plenty of cracks and snarls at it accelerated away. This may very well be an AMG model, though we suspect the bodywork for AMG-specific MLCs would be more aggressive. It does seem to keep up with the Porsche Cayenne at the video’s one-minute mark.

Mercedes will likely have the MLC production ready for the 2016 model year. Since it’s a direct competitor to the BMW X6, we can expect it to carry a price tag of $60,000 to $70,000 depending upon trim levels.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any more developing spy shots and news regarding the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC.

Ever since the F-Type debuted, it has received rave reviews, but there has been one sore spot among traditionalists. This issue is that it is only available with a eight-speed auto transmission, and traditionalists want the opportunity to row their own gears. I, for one, want the fastest shift times possible, and the eight-speed automatic is likely faster than any manual ever could be shifted, but some people just like that analog feeling.

Well, for those of you who have been craving for a manual in the F-Type , it looks as if Jag is working on making your dreams a reality. Today, the spy shooters from Touriclips managed to film an F-Type lapping the Nurburgring. But there is something a little different about its shift pattern. That’s right, this is the obvious sound of a test driver manually rowing a shifter through the gears as he laps the Green Hell

This can only mean that Jaguar is at the very least toying with the idea of offering a manual gearbox, but with it already doing hot laps around the `Ring, it is likely well past the "toying" phase. Jaguar is likely readying the transmission for release in the next few months, and simply testing out its durability on the famed raceway. This new transmission will be among a series of upcoming updates that will also include an all-wheel-drive option .

We’ll keep you updated on this development and pass along any new information as soon as we can.

The thought of having a brand-new Ford Focus RS has kept us exciting for nearly a year now. Although the Blue Oval brand has yet to make an official statement, details about the hot hatch and spy shots with several test mules kept pouring in. Excitement has reached a new level, as a prototype vehicle was just spotted taking laps around the Nurburgring track, hinting that the Focus RS is inching closer to production.

While it reveals very little details as to what design enhancements the RS will sport, the video brings important data surrounding the beefed-up hatch back. The vehicle’s way of dealing with the track’s turns is a clear indication that Ford is sticking to front-wheel-drive. Despite numerous reports that the RS could go AWD, it seems Ford is not yet willing to take the big step, most likely due to financial concerns.

The second thing we learn from the footage is that the upcoming Focus RS will sound downright gorgeous. If you’re a rally fan, than this hatch will keep your ears satisfied. The powertrain Ford has prepared for the RS is still a mystery, but most clues lead to a 2.3-liter EcoBoost. The unit is the same four-banger offered in the 2015 Mustang , but with more power set to reach the wheels. We expect the Focus RS to boast around 330 ponies, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford push things up to 350 horses. Whatever the output, the Focus RS boasts the soundtrack of a race car .

Expected to arrive for the 2016 model year, the Focus RS will stand out from the pack with its reshaped bumpers, a roof spoiler, new wheels and a host of chassis updates, including bigger brakes. Although Ford is not known to post Nurburgring times, keep an eye out for a new Nurburgring record for front-wheel-drive cars.

Chris Harris spends time in some pretty flashy cars in the name of his profession, yet he still finds time to take his own cars out for a drive. The difference between normal journalists’ rides and Harris’ is that he actually owns a flashy car. His pick is the beautiful Ferrari FF .

The FF is powered by a 6.2-liter, direct-injected V-12 making a massive 660 horsepower and 503 pound-feet of torque that’s mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and delivers power to all four wheels. The combination of power, quick shifting, and all-wheel drive means the FF hits 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

While those stats are impressive, none of that seems to matter to Harris as he’s blasting down winding European roads. For him, it’s all about the culmination of all the FF’s parts; the feel, the sound, and the experience. The FF turns what would normally be a boring drive home into an event. “Everything about it makes you feel special,” he says. “It makes you feel not just one cut above the AMGs and the Ms, but three cuts above. And I love that.”

As the passing countryside melts behind the FF, Harris continues by saying, “The FF really makes the driver feel special at all speeds — and that’s the thing that’s surprised me in my five months and six thousand miles so far in this car."

After ending his rave of the FF’s interior accoutrements, he finishes by saying, “It just brightens my day. And what price do you put on that? … about $2400* a month, actually.”

We find his humor rather entertaining.

*Harris actually quotes 1500 pounds a month.

We already know everything there is to know about the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. We’ve also seen this utterly powerful muscle car perform in plenty of video footage, including a spectacular 10.8-second quarter-mile run, a lap around the Portland International Raceway, and an comprehensive review by automotive connoisseur Jay Leno . What we haven’t seen yet is the Hellcat put its 707 horsepower to good use on the dyno.

Well, that ends now, as the folks over at K&N Air Filters hosted Motor Trend and the Challenger Hellcat SRT they were testing for a dyno run. Making things more interesting aside from the that awesome supercharged, HEMI V-8 sound, the California-based manufacturer also released the output numbers the Hellcat cranked out on the dyno. So if you were wondering how much of the 707 ponies and 650 pound-feet reach the rear wheels, the answer is 635 horsepower and 591 pound-feet. Not bad at all. At the crank, the Hellcat churned 722 horses and 672 pound-feet, an impressive figure as well.

But that’s not all. The video becomes a bit more captivating toward the end, when the camera focuses on the car’s instrument cluster. The footage shows the Hellcat accelerating through all the gears before redlining into its eighth cog at no less than 202 mph. That’s two mph less than what the Charger SRT Hellcat can deliver, but enticing nonetheless. Hit the play button above for yet another awesome Hellcat video.

Hyundai is taking a big-screen blockbuster approach in its next advertisement for the all-new 2015 Genesis sedan. The short, nine-minute film takes an unusual approach to vehicle advertising in making the story more about the people within the storyline, while the Genesis plays a less major role.

The luxury sedan still gets its moments in the spotlight in several scenes, including the use of its proximity key and automatic truck release, along with some intense driving scenes.

The short film is directed and produced by a new generation of filmmakers, the 20-something millennials who embrace new technologies and ways of doing the impossible through computer animation. Though the graphics get a little cheesy at times, the overall film showcases the Genesis pretty well. It’s reminiscent of what BMW did more than a decade ago with its short series of films showcasing several of its vehicles.

Hyundai’s theatrical plot circles around a man and his sick wife and a mysterious doctor who is running some unorthodox testing. As it turns out, the husband must use his 2015 Hyundai Genesis to save the girl and defeat the evildoers without being taken out first.

Turns out the Genesis makes a pretty good get-away car.

Click past the jump to watch the short film and a behind-the-scenes look at "The Genesis" short film

The SLS AMG has three of its wheels in the grave, but don’t feel sad, as its replacement is set to hit the show circuit in September 2014. That’s right, the AMG GT will hit the worldwide circuit of drooling enthusiasts, affluent buyers and spec-gobbling journalists in just about a month. But no debut is ever complete with a whole slew of teaser images and videos leading up to it, right? Well, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are happy to satisfy that requirement with yet another new teaser video.

This video is a little rougher than some of the others we’ve seen on the AMG GT, but for good reason. The video features key members of Mercedes and AMG, so we have to forgive them for not speaking English and Mercedes for using rather movie-trailer-like voiceovers to translate their feelings into English.

The movie trailer feeling doesn’t draw away from the awesomeness of the AMG GT in this video, as we get a few snippets of that new, 4.0-liter V-8 pumping away. Plus, we get to learn some of the cooler little facts about the upcoming sports car .

Keep your browser at TopSpeed.com to keep up to speed with all the latest updates on the AMG GT.

Jaguar Land Rover has been really working on its in-car technologies these days. Remember all the fancy self-learning software inside those Land Rovers in this video? Well, Jaguar is showcasing its own set of dashboard wizardry in the upcoming 2016 Jaguar XE with this swanky video.

With the help of animated parts exploding outward for detailed views, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director, Mike Bell, takes us on a tour of what we can expect from the upcoming luxury car .

The Jaguar XE will be the first of many Jaguars featuring the automaker’s "InControl Touch Infotainment system" that integrates many advanced features through an eight-inch touch screen in the dash and Jaguar’s new Plain Speech Voice Control system. The infotainment software will seamlessly connect with both Apple and Android devices for in-car integration of certain applications. An in-car Wi-Fi hotspot allows multiple devices to access high-speed Internet.

Also present is an optional laser-projected heads-up display system that shows information over the entire width of the windshield including driving directions, vehicle information, and even road sign recognition. Of course a premium audio system will be featured; this one coming from Meridian.

Protecting all this valuable technology and the entire Jaguar XE will be the InControl Protect and InControl Secure systems with the former allowing for SOS emergency and Jaguar Assistance calls to be placed without the need for a cell phone in the car while the latter allows authorities to track the vehicle should it become stolen.

Overall it seems Jaguar Land Rover is working hard on becoming the leader of in-car technology and smart phone integration. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on this gadgetry when it debuts in late 2015.


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