When Apple released the first bits of information on the iOS in the Car system just yesterday, we saw a long list of premium automakers that have already signed up, like Mercedes and Jaguar. One that was not on the list that we figured was just hung up in the details was BMW. Well, a new report tells us that there was more to Bimmer not being on the list than meets the eye.
A BMW spokesperson said "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]." So, basically, the changes that BMW would have to make to crowbar in the new Apple system would be way too great to warrant installing the iOS in the Car system.
BMW and Apple have worked together in the past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bavarian automaker will not support the system for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Bimmer drivers, BMW’s interfaces are plenty advanced and have a decade-long track record, so there is no worrying about sticking with an outdated or non-functional system. Additionally, BMW will support Apples new Siri Eyes Free system.
We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple work its way into BMW sometime in the next five years, or so, but that may take some massaging of the iOS system to appease BMW. Another good reason for BMW breaking down is if iOS in the Car becomes a smash hit, then it would be doing its buyers a disservice by leaving it out.
Stay tuned for more details…
On the eve of a new 2014 Touareg launch from Volkswagen later this year, here is a look back at the model’s mechanical and style evolution during its 9-year run in the U.S. from 2004 through 2013 – between 2002 and 2004, it was available in other markets. No fewer than seven unique engines have powered this PL71-platform VW behemoth in production form. Even including its stable-mates the Porsche Cayenne or Audi Q7, no other SUV in the history of the automobile has packed more mechanical variations over a relatively short run.
From basic I-5 diesels to V-6s up to the monster V-10 TDI and W-12 gasoline engines and even a hybrid in the mix, the Touareg has been a true jack-of-all-trades and a phenomenal global success for the Volkswagen group. It is worth remembering that the platform development and manufacturing partnership between VW and Porsche had long been dead until this SUV project brought it back to life in 1999.
The first Porsche-VW baby of the new era was born a healthy, slightly pudgy infant with the Volkswagen Touareg. A name only a mother could pronounce, it is said as both “twa-reg” and/or “toar-reg.” If you don’t already know, the Toureg – the real ones, not the car – are a North African group of people that speak Berber.
Ostensibly a response to the success of the Mercedes-Benz ML series launched in 1998, the Touareg’s mission was to be all things to all buyers. The goal was complex: Range Rover comfort, BMW 5-series road-going abilities and G-Wagen strength when all paved roads turn to dirt.
Click past the jump to read about the evolution of the Volkswagen Touareg. Full story
The “Need for Speed” movie is scheduled to hit theaters next year and while that’s been getting more publicity in the past few days, it’s also worth pointing out that Electronic Arts is releasing the latest installment of the car racing video game franchise this year.
The game is called “Need for Speed: Rivals” and the latest trailer appears to suggest that the ’rivals’ approach is far more than just a title.
It’s already been established that with “NFS: Rivals”, gamers will be given the opportunity to either play the game as a the street racer or the cop, ensuring that they can experience the thrills of being the chaser or the runner, depending on what suits their style better.
What’s more, Need for Speed’s new trailer gives everyone a chance to understand both situations, complete with a voiceover dialogue from the protagonist and antagonist alike.
“Need for Speed: Rivals” is scheduled to hit shelves on November 19th, giving us enough time to absorb what we’re in store for so once we get a hold of the game later this year. Full story
BMW used the CSL name for the first time back in 1972 when it unveiled the 3.0CSL - a special version of the Six CS (E9) developed to race the European Touring Car Championship. In 2004, that named was used once again, but this time on a road-going M3 CSL (Coupé Sport Leichtbau).
The CSL version was about 240 pounds lighter than a regular M3, thanks to the use of many weight-saving technologies inspired by Formula 1 cars. The model also boasted 17 extra horses under the hood than a standard M3 and thanks to its front-engine, rear-drive layout and the SMG-II gearbox, it delivered the purest driving dynamics of any BMW of the time.
The M3 CSL was limited to only 1,400 units and was offered only in two exterior colors: Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic. The model never made it to the U.S. market and in the British market it was considered a very expensive car, as it was about £20,000 ($32,000 at the current exchange rates) more expensive than a standard M3.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M3 CSL. Full story
At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Audi unveiled the A3 Concept sedan, but the unveiling of the production version took longer than we expected. After we brought you a series of spy shots of the A3 prototypes, today the new A3 sedan made its world debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
The new A3 sedan retains much of the design elements we have seen in the concept version and adds numerous innovative features on the A-segment: signature Singleframe grille and available full-LED headlights.
The new Audi A3 sedan will go on sale on the U.S. market showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. European customers will be able to enjoy it starting this summer. In there the new A3 sedan will start at €25,000 - about $32,000 at the current exchange rates.
Updated 03/27/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Updated 06/12/2013: Audi unveiled a new video presenting the new A3 sedan in action on some public roads. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Audi A3 Sedan. Full story
The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.
Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST, there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.
This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai, with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.
So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013. Full story
Clean diesel models are just starting to make their ways into the North American market, and to everyone’s surprise, they do quite well. For example, in the first quarter of 2012, sales numbers were up 35 percent when compared to the same period of 2011 and things continue to improve.
From all diesel units sold in the USA last year, a total of 44 percent where the Jetta TDI, a pretty astounding result, considering this is about half of a market that offers about 25 clean diesel models, which experts say will double by 2017.
The first step into this direction was made at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show where Chevy unveiled the new Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel - not a big surprise considering Cruze is Chevrolet’s hottest-selling sedan.
The model will be put on sale at a starting price at $25,695, which is about $2,500 more than the Jetta TDI priced at $23,055.
UPDATE 6/12/2013: This review has been updated with the official drivetrain specifications. Surprisingly, they are significantly better than GM originally estimated.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. Full story
Porsche has been flirting with a return to the Le Mans series for quite some time now, and now we are finally getting the chance to see the automaker’s LMP1 sports prototype for the 2014 series. The new LMP1 racecar completed its first rollout on the Porsche test track in Weissach with Porsche works driver, Timo Bernhard, behind the wheel.
According to Porsche, this test was completed several weeks earlier than it had originally planned, which means the development of the LMP1 racer is evolving quite well. This test will be followed by a few more in the upcoming weeks.
With the LMP1 racer, Porsche will focus on "achieving the best possible efficiency without compromising performance." In fact, these are the main regulations starting 2014 racing season.
"I was involved in the development of the new car right from the outset," says Porsche works driver Timo Bernhard. "I’m very proud that I was the one to take our baby through its first paces today. Already now the car feels great. I look forward to testing the vehicle in the coming weeks and months with my friend and colleague Romain Dumas."
Click past the jump to read more about Porsche’s history at Le Mans. Full story
BMW unveiled the M3 CLS (Coupe Sport Lightweight) back in 2004 when only 1,400 units have been produced. Sadly, the M3 CLS was never released in the North American market and was offered only in two exterior colors: Silver Grey Metallic and Black Sapphire Metallic.
Now, BMW is preparing to celebrate the car’s 10th anniversary and it started with a very cool reunion in Munich, Germany. About 50 BMW M3 CSL owners from different parts of Europe came to this reunion and made a real spectacle of it. It’s pretty easy to get a good idea of what happened in there by watching this short video (above) released by BMW.
The M3 CSL was built using a forward-thinking intelligent lightweight technology that set the benchmark for the car construction of future models. Thanks to this construction, the M3 CLS was about 243 pounds lighter than a standard M3. With its 360-horsepower engine the M3 CSL could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, while top speed was limited to 155 mph.