BMW 3 Series

2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

2016 BMW 320d ED Sport

Diesel has had a hard time catching on in the world. It’s not that it isn’t fantastically efficient, or doesn’t offer stellar performance potential. Ask Gale Banks or Wayne Gerdes (both world record holders in top speed and fuel economy) about diesel’s performance potential. But the simple fact is that frugal isn’t sexy, and sex sells cars. Cars sell on big, loud and stupid awesome as much as anything else — and BMW at least seems to be slowly adapting to that reality.

The 3 Series has long been a Bimmer staple, and diesel models have been favored by those who want BMW chassis dynamics but care more about fuel economy than straight-line performance. The last 320d certainly did provide some of the best of both worlds, but it still wasn’t quite enough to take advantage of the carbon taxation incentives offered in the civilized world. A of couple years ago, BMW upped its efficiency game with the 320 EfficientDynamics package, which used a combination of efficiency refinements to drop the 320d down a tax bracket.

But in spite of saving the average European driver a whopping $87 a month in taxes alone, the 320d ED failed to impress in the sex appeal department. No more, though. As with most of life’s problems, this one proved easy to solve with little more than the addition of a snazzy body kit.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW 3-Series Vs. Jaguar XE: Video

BMW 3-Series Vs. Jaguar XE: Video

The BMW 3 Series is, and has been for some time, the car that defines its segment. Every other car in this corner of the market is just competing with the 3 Series, and some cars are doing a better job of it than others. Since Jaguar has only just recently come out with a new 3 Series fighter, the 2017 Jaguar XE, Motor Trend’s Head 2 Head decided to take the roads of Basque Spain to compare them. And logically enough, the host takes out the BMW first, to give you an idea of what the Jag is up against.

He has a few complaints about the BMW. They seem a little nit-picky, and even admits in the case of the suspension that it’s probably a good setup for the people who actually own the car. But when he takes out the XE and starts talking about just how well sorted out it is, it starts to become clearer just how important those issues were with the 3 Series. In the end the Jaguar is the winner of the two, and that’s an amazing feat from the company that not long ago produced the X-Type.

It’s rare to see such a clear winner in a comparison like this, and it’s even more rare for that winner to be the newcomer. Much of this has to do with newly designed chassis and innovative suspension, as well as superior transmission programming. As the host will say, this leads to a feeling that the Jag is about 1,000 pounds lighter. But this point also highlights the whole problem with this review, it is completely subjective on every point. It has everything to do with the reviewers feelings, with nothing that’s really concrete. There’s a very good chance that a majority of drivers would agree with his assessment, but it’s unlikely that any viewers will feel confident enough to buy the Jaguar without at least taking a look at the BMW first.

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Chris Harris Reviews BMW 320d: Video

Chris Harris Reviews BMW 320d: Video

Considering how many supercars, hypercars and sometimes outright race cars Chris Harris features on this web show, this review of a thoroughly mainstream diesel BMW 3 Series almost seems strange. Of course, he’s only reviewing it because he was in one anyway on his way to the Nurburgring to drive an Aston Martin racer, so you needn’t worry that Harris’s YouTube channel is suddenly going to turn into a Consumer Reports clone. And truthfully, this is probably a very useful video for a lot of Americans to see. Diesel is something they’re pretty used to in Europe at this point, and although it wasn’t very popular in the U.S. for a long time, diesel car sales have been picking up over the last few years, and a lot of Americans are curious about how they compare to gasoline-powered cars.

Even though this review isn’t tailored toward Americans particularly, it is still a good source of information on all of the usual topics one expects when wondering if switching to diesel is a good idea. These mainly boil down to addressing how significant the differences in fuel economy and power are.

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BMW 3 Series Turns 40: Video

BMW 3 Series Turns 40: Video

Throughout its 40-year history and six generations, the BMW 3 Series has proven to be one of the most versatile cars ever built. After starting life as the successor to the legendary 2002, it has spawned countless body styles and powertrain variants, and it established the model hierarchy that defines how the German car industry still aligns itself today. It also spawned the M3; a car that proved you didn’t need something low-slung and expensive to find driving nirvana. In short, the 3 Series can be anything to anyone.

To celebrate its 40th year, BMW has released this short film documenting the experience of 3 Series owners from Las Vegas to Europe to Indonesia and examines the common threads that link all six generations. Sure, there have been some weird ones (looking at you E36 3 Series Compact), but all are immediately recognizable as a 3 Series, thanks to design queues like dual kidney grilles, quad headlights, three-box styling and the Hofmeister kink. Checkout the video and let us know which is your favorites 3 Series.

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2016 BMW 3 Series

2016 BMW 3 Series

Around for about three years, the current BMW 3 Series has just received its mid-cycle facelift. Not surprising, the new sedan remains true to its predecessor styling-wise, with only minor updates operated inside and out. As with most facelifts, this upgrade aims to keep the sedan fresh for a few more years against competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Cadillac ATS, and the Audi A4.

While enhancements are rather subtle on the outside, BMW opted to improve the interior as to exude a more premium feel, likely as a reply to the 2015 C-Class’ gorgeous cabin. As usual, the Germans are offering even more customization options and I’m not only talking about the expensive Individual goodies.

More important news comes from the drivetrain department, with two new powerplants ready to move the 3 Series around the world. An all-new six-cylinder will arrive Stateside to replace the 335i’s older unit, while a three-cylinder will act as the new entry-level unit. Unfortunately, the three-banger isn’t for U.S. consumption. The facelift also brought the much-anticipated plug-in hybrid model, but more on that in my review below.

Updated 05/07/2015: BMW unveiled the official details on the revised 3 Series.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2016 BMW 3 Series

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2015 BMW 3 Series M Sport Style Edge Edition

2015 BMW 3 Series M Sport Style Edge Edition

BMW loves releasing random special editions in Japan, and oftentimes they are limited to only mild body kits and a few extra standard features. Well, for 2015, BMW has just released this Japan-exclusive version of the 320i and 320d that it calls the M Sport Style Edge.

Like many Asian special-edition Bimmers, this model’s updates are limited in terms of exclusivity, as most of the updates are simply added standard features. Things like upgraded rims, a new aero kit, and upgraded interior trim are just a few examples of what makes this Bimmer special. However, the fact that BMW will offer only several hundred of these M Sport Style Edge models may be enough to make up for its slight price hike.

You can check out our full review of the standard 320i here

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 BMW 320 M Sport Style Edge.

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BMW 3 Series Facelift Could Be Revealed On May 7

BMW 3 Series Facelift Could Be Revealed On May 7

Around since late 2011, the sixth-generation 3 Series is due for a refresh in order to keep up with its compact competitors and the fresher Mercedes-Benz C-Class in particular. Spotted testing on public road on several occasions since 2014, the facelifted 3 Series, due to hit dealerships for the 2016 model year, is reportedly scheduled to break cover as soon as May 7th.

That’s the word from WorldCarFans, which quotes "a very reliable source" in claiming the updated 3 Series will be revealed at a special event in Munich, Germany. The publication goes on to say the happening will be attended by international auto journalists, which could mean a public reveal is to be expected "on the same day or shortly after."

Like with most BMW facelifts, the current 3 Series will receive a mild upgrade, consisting of slightly revised front and rear bumpers, a wider twin-kidney grille, and new adaptive LED headlamps. Inside, minor nips and tucks and few tech updates will keep the sedan fresh until the next generation arrives.

The drivetrain department, however, is were the more significant changes will happen. The company’s 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine is rumored to find its way into a new base model, while a plug-in hybrid combining the familiar 2.0-liter four-pot with an electric motor will help reduce the nameplate’s carbon-dioxide footprint.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW 3 Series.

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2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge Edition

2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge Edition

For the 2014 model year, BMW decided to take the beautiful 3 Series and ugly it up a bit by releasing the Gran Turismo version. The 3 Series GT is the definition of a niche vehicle, as it hovers in the no man’s land between a wagon and a compact SUV. For the 2015 model year, the U.S.-spec 3 Series GT saw limited changes, but the Japan-spec model earned a new, limited-production model dubbed the 320i Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge.

This special model doesn’t have anything overly wild and crazy to make it special. Instead, BMW focused on adding in a handful of premium features without jacking up the price too much. The issue is with such a narrow niche and plenty of traditional wagons to choose from that offer more features, more room and a lower price, it is arguable whether this limited-edition 320i GT makes any sense or not.

Continue reading my review of the 2015 BMW 320i Gran Turismo Luxury Lounge to learn more.

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I Tortured Cooper Winter Tires

I Tortured Cooper Winter Tires

I am testing a set of winter tires from Cooper Tire to see how much benefit a driver in the snow belt will receive, and so far I have learned a lot. With lots of ice, slush and just plain freezing temps on clear roads, I have discovered why winter tires are a smart purchase. That said, I really can’t give a full review of these tires unless I get a chance to test them in real heavy winter conditions. As it happens, Cooper was holding a winter-tire testing event in Canada, and our tires were on the list of included products.

I asked if I could follow the team up to Canada to give the tires a good flogging on ice and snow, and they were more than happy to oblige. As a bonus I got a chance to test out a new all-season tire that is supposed to be nearly as good as winter rubber in the snow, I was able to test a more performance-oriented SUV winter tire, and I even learned how to drift a BMW on ice. If you remember the mayhem that happened the last time I got to be a tire tester, well, it happened again. This time we killed a Jeep though, not a Corvette.

Continue reading to find out more about the Cooper Tire Winter Tire Testing Program

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2015 BMW 335i M Performance Edition

2015 BMW 335i M Performance Edition

The BMW 3 Series first set rubber on North American soil in 1977, as the replacement for the 2002, leaving the new model with some pretty large shoes to fill. In 2012, the 3 underwent its sixth generational overhaul, which also began the phasing out of the coupe and convertible 3 Series, that would later become the 4 Series. As we continue through the 2015 model year, the 3 Series continues strong, with its most powerful non-M version being the 335i. With its 300 ponies on tap, it’s no surprise that BMW Abu Dhabi saw it fit to customize a 2015 335i and post it on Facebook for all of us to drool over.

This one-off Bimmer features the M Sport Line appearance package and enough custom work to make seeing a duplicate unlikely. Fortunately, the Middle Eastern dealership didn’t stop after customizing the body, as it did a little wrench work under the hood, too.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 335i M Performance Edition.

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The BMW 3 Series to Lead the Brand's EV Revolution Between Now and 2022

The BMW 3 Series to Lead the Brand’s EV Revolution Between Now and 2022

It looks like BMW is in for some huge changes in the coming decade, as it is working hard to hit the extremely stringent expectations of the EU’s upcoming emissions restrictions. These restrictions will limit fleet average CO2 outputs to just 95g/km by 2021, putting Bimmer in a spot to innovate or get penalized. In true Bimmer fashion, the brand has chosen to innovate, and the upcoming 2016 BMW 3 Series eDrive is just scratching the surface of what the German brand has in store for its large car lineup (3 Series and up).

We all know that BMW will go plug-in hybrid on its larger cars, which is no mystery, but what about all that extra weight the batteries add to the car? Well, according to AutoCar, the German automaker is working on advanced material mixes and construction processes to help reduce weight. Things like glues, adhesives and rivets are replacing numerous spot welds. Additionally, BMW is looking to develop more aluminum, high-strength steel and carbon-fiber architecture.

Onto the hybrid system, BMW is working on building one that will be scalable from the 3 Series up to the V-12 Rolls Royce, dropping construction costs and spreading leftover costs among a number of models. This system will use a front-mounted engine that acts as a generator at peak efficiency 90 percent of the time. Behind the engine are three electric motors, one in a new, top-secret transmission and two in the rear axle. The engine will provide the power for the transmission-mounted motor and the two will combined to power the front wheels (90 percent by the motor and 10 percent by the engine at 50 mph). Of course, the rear motors will power the rear wheels, making literally every single BMW product above the 3 Series available with all-wheel drive – a pretty nice side effect to have from going green.

In addition to all of this high-tech electrification, the 2016 3 Series Plug-In will debut a 3D sat-nav system that aids the car in choosing the right mode depending on future conditions and free-wheel cruising up to 99 mph to reduce fuel consumption. Unfortunately, the upcoming 3er plug-in will not boast the advanced AWD hybrid system of the future, but it does feature a transmission-mounted electric motor similar to the one that will eventually spread across Bimmer’s range.

By the time the next-generation 3 Series Plug In arrives, which AutoCar is claiming will be around 2018 to 2022, look for the engine to run in Lambda 1 cycle 90 percent of the time for optimal fuel efficiency. Additional changes by 2022 should include reduced complexity of emission control systems for lowered cost; a simpler and cheaper transmission with fewer than three ranges; a jump in battery size thanks to the missing drive shaft; and a body that weighs about 100 kg (220 pounds) less due to advanced construction. Oh, and the addition of AWD across the range above the 3 Series; can’t forget that.

Needless to say, the 3 Series is at the forefront of BMW’s EV revolution, and we’re going to see it start to unfold with the upcoming plug-in model.

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2016 BMW Model Year Production Guide Includes M2 and 340i Among Others

2016 BMW Model Year Production Guide Includes M2 and 340i Among Others

BMW was pretty quiet at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but 2015 is going to be a busy year for the automaker. BimmerPost got a hold of BMW’s 2016 model year production guide, and in addition to a refreshed 2016 6 Series, which was revealed in Detroit, BMW will launch at least six other key models including the anticipated 2016 BMW M2 Coupe.

The first of the new models will be the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e eDrive plug-in hybrid, which will go into production in June. We’ve still not seen this vehicle in production trim, but BMW showed off the Concept eDrive last year pairing a twin-turbo four-cylinder to a plug-in hybrid system capable of delivering about 20 miles of all-electric driving. We saw that concept at the 2014 New York Auto Show, so our two best guesses for a production debut are either in New York or a month earlier during the Geneva Motor Show.

Following this plug-in X5, the refreshed 3 Series will be introduced in July, which is when BMW will introduce two new versions of the F30. The 2016 BMW 328e eDrive plug-in hybrid will go into production in November, but before that happens, the 3 Series sedan will get a new 3.0-liter engine and a new model called the 340i, which will start production in July to replace the 335i. Interestingly, the 335xi Series Gran Turismo will carry on with the current engine and designation as will the 435i models.

Around the same time as the updated 3 Series, the all-new 2016 BMW X1 will start rolling off the assembly line as the xDrive25i, and in November, BMW will start cranking out rear-drive sDrive25i versions. Another redesigned model is the sixth-generation G12 BMW 7 Series that starts production this summer. Finally, the long-awaited launch of the M2 will be one step closer to reality when the car is built starting this November.

Along with the new models, the guide also reveals that BMW is dropping the rear-drive 550i Gran Turismo from the lineup, but it will still offer the all-wheel-drive 550i GT and both versions of the 535i GT.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s 2016 production map.

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2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

The only premium compact wagon you can buy in the U.S.

BMW has updated it’s quintessential 3 Series line, and with it, the 3 Series Wagon. Included in this refresh are minor updates to the exterior and interior, lots of technology for convenience, safety, and economy, and a significantly revised suspension that promises an even higher level of sporting luxury. BMW says the 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon are the “heart” of the brand, accounting for roughly a quarter of its sales worldwide. That makes this latest revitalization essential to the automaker’s overarching strategy. That also means the new updates aren’t necessarily game changing, but rather seek to build on past success with an even broader appeal.

The German automaker introduced the 3 Series in 1975, but it took 11 years before a wagon version was offered, with the 3 Series Touring first making its appearance four years into the sedan’s second generation in 1986. Since then, BMW has offered a wagon body style with each successive 3 Series generation. How does BMW plan on keeping this mainstay fresh? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

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2016 BMW M340i M Performance

2016 BMW M340i M Performance

In 2015, BMW may be getting ready to improve its offering of sporty entry-level sedans with the inclusion of an M-Performance variant of the 3 Series reportedly named the M340i. Strangely-enough, the Bavarian automaker has so far avoided making a standalone M-Performance version of the 3 Series, despite the fact that its best-selling sedan in top trim was missing quite a few ponies in relationship with its two biggest competitors, the Audi A4/S4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Audi’s quattro GmbH has been building sporty sub-RS models for years and Mercedes-Benz announced that it will also introduce a sub-AMG sports brand starting with 2015, so those are the probably the reasons behind the unveiling of the M340i in 2015, after the 3 Series’ mid-cycle facelift is launched. The new sedan will become the new top-of-the-range variant of the non-M 3 Series lineup, and will be situated in terms of performance between the current 335i and the bonkers M3.

Despite not having any history in the BMW stable, the future M340i comes well prepared in terms of both brand pedigree and performance, so its establishment as an independent model in the lineup shouldn’t take too long in the minds of customers. Not to mention the fact that it will essentially be part of the ever-increasing M-Performance sub-brand, which is a stop-gap between regular BMWs and M-models.

Note: BMW 335i pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M340i M Performance.

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Spy Shots: Facelift BMW 3 Series Sedan Goes Out for a Spin

Spy Shots: Facelift BMW 3 Series Sedan Goes Out for a Spin

Introduced for the 2012 model year, the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series (F30) and its high-performance, M3 sibling are still turning heads. However, that didn’t stop the Germans from working on a mid-cycle refresh starting early 2014. With the first prototypes seen testing on public roads as early as August 2014, it seems the facelifted 2016 BMW 3 Series is inching closer to its production form as the year draws to an end. That’s the word coming from our trusty spy photographers, who just sent a batch of brand-new shots of the sedan our way. And there are plenty of new exterior details to gaze at.

Before we take a closer look at the new 3 Series, we’d like to remind you the sedan is being readied for a 2015 launch. We expect it to break cover at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March, alongside the Touring (station wagon) model, with the first units to roll off the assembly line in July. U.S. dealerships should get both models in the third quarter of 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the revised BMW 3 Series.

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2016 BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid

2016 BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid

Hybrids and plug-ins are becoming big business these days and even the generally performance-oriented big dogs are getting in on the action. BMW is one of them, and Munich’s vehicle of choice for a plug-in hybrid is the current-generation 3 Series. The sedan has been under development for more than a year now, with the first test vehicle being spotted on public roads in February 2014. As we step into the 2015 model year, the Germans are revealing the first details surrounding the 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid, thus confirming the iconic nameplate is becoming a bit more fuel efficient.

BMW is no stranger to hybrids — we have the i3 and the i8 as proof — but the 3 Series is the first already existing vehicle to go that route. To enable the four-door return improved fuel economy, BMW paired the proven twin-turbo, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with an electric motor based on the technology launched with the innovative i3 and i8. Details are still scarce as of November 2014, but it seems the 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid has what it takes to give its competitors a run for their money. Read on to find out what we know so far.

Updated 11/27/2014: BMW unveiled the first official details and images on the future 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid. Check the new details after the jump.

Click pas the jump for more info on the BMW 3 Plug-In Hybrid.

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Video: 2015 BMW M3 to be Featured in "Mission: Impossible 5"

Video: 2015 BMW M3 to be Featured in "Mission: Impossible 5"

So apparently, the "Mission: Impossible" movie franchise has already begun filming its fifth installment. I didn’t even know there was a fifth movie, not after that bomb of a fourth film whose only redeeming quality was seeing the BMW VisionEfficient Dynamics get some well-deserved camera time. But amateur video has popped up of "M:I 5" and once again, BMW is front and center.

This time around, it’s the new M3 Sedan that’s getting treated to a whole lot of stunt driving smack in the middle of the streets of Casablanca in Morocco. If you love the M3 Sedan, this is a painful video to watch, as it looks like the car’s getting hammered down a steep flight of steps.

On the flip side, appearing in a movie like "Mission: Impossible 5" is a great way for the M3 Sedan to get some mainstream publicity. The VisionEfficient Dynamics benefited from its time in front of the camera and now proudly calls itself the BMW i8.

Hopefully, the M3 Sedan doesn’t suffer the same fate as so many other “movie” cars have in the past. I still have weird nightmares about what Michael Bay did to all those exotics in the "Transformers" franchise.

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Texas, Tire Smoke and a Broken C7: My Day as a Tire Tester

Texas, Tire Smoke and a Broken C7: My Day as a Tire Tester

My eyes were tired, and the sun was unnaturally bright for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, but the warm Texas weather gave me satisfaction as I opened the balcony door. In just a few short hours I would be throwing cars around a racetrack as I began my one-day crash course on tire testing and comparisons.

I’ve been on worse assignments.

The event was put together and hosted by Cooper Tire. The American tire company, one of the last still operating in the US, has just released the new CS5 line of premium touring tires. With more than 2-million testing miles, and built as a replacement for the company’s best-selling tire ever, the CS5 is quite an ambitious project. Oh, Cooper is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as well. Somehow, I have been invited along with a selection of my colleagues to put this new tire through its paces.

The day would consist of laps around both dry and wet circuits to test the tires abilities, and Cooper had brought along some competition for us to compare against as well. Our weapons of choice included the new BMW 328i and some V6-powered Ford Mustangs.

I would learn a lot about tires, myself, and the breaking point of a C7 Corvette’s rear differential.

Read on to learn more about my day as a tire tester and find out how I did

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BMW Debating North American Production Line for the 3 Series

BMW Debating North American Production Line for the 3 Series

BMW is continuing to enjoy great success in the United States. But as growing sales and local prosperity always come with high demand, the Germans need to find ways to boost North American production, especially when it comes to their best-selling 3 Series sedan.

BMW already has a facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The plant assembles X5 and X6 SUVs and is about to have its production capacity increased by 50 percent when it welcomes a brand new vehicle, the larger X7.

Since squeezing 3 Series production in South Carolina is out of the question, BMW is planning on building a second factory in North America, Bloomberg reports, adding that the manufacturer has narrowed the list of locations within the United States and Mexico, with at least two sites south of the border still being considered.

There’s no indication as to where BMW might decide to assemble the 3 Series in North America, but Mexico sounds more likely due to a number financial considerations that also include less expensive workforce.

A timetable for this decision is not available at the time of this writing, but stay tuned to TopSpeed for further information.

Click past the jump to find out more about BMW plans to move 3 Series production to North America

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2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition

2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition

The BMW 3 Series is a global car that appeals to a global audience. Whether its in America, Europe, or in this particular case, South Africa, the 3 Series attracts attention wherever it goes. That’s why BMW South Africa has decided to expand its offering for the beloved 3 Series, giving potential customers a chance to score a special edition 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition.

The limited-edition model is essentially an aerodynamically enhanced 3 Series Sedan that comes with a load of new components to improve both the car’s styling and performance attributes. Maybe that’s the reason why BMW South Africa only has 500 of these bad-boys at its disposal.

Here’s the best part about the 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition. Compared to a standard 3 Series with the same options and separately fitted with the all the M Performance parts, BMW South Africa’s 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition will carry 43 percent of the content if you add all the components separately yourselves.

That says a lot about this special edition 3er that BMW South Africa is offering, and its content is offered all for a price of just R87,000 if it’s fitted at the dealership. That’s $8,175 based on current exchange rates, which is of course, added to the cost of the 3 Series

Click past the jump to read more about BMW 3 Series Sedan M Performance Edition.

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Hyundai Considers a New BMW 3 Series Competitor and Compact Crossover

We all know that Hyundai and Kia both have been making huge strides in both volume sales and luxury cars. The latter of the two have been compounded, thanks to the Equus and Genesis Sedan from Hyundai, and it looks the Korean automaker has set its sights on slightly higher-volume luxury models.

First on the docket is a new 3 Series/C-Class competitor; a small, luxurious and (relatively) affordable sedan. According to a report from Auto News, this compact, luxo-rig is codenamed the "RK" and it was softly confirmed when the CEO of Hyundai America said "I think it’s fair to say that within a couple of years there may be another premium nameplate."

Also mentioned was a subcompact crossover to compete with the Juke, Kia Soul and Encore. Hyundai’s CEO is a little concerned about entering too many segments, but is "intrigued" by the B-segment.

For now, there is nothing confirmed, but the 3 Series competitor looks to be a sure thing. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for more details.

Click past the jump to read about one of Hyundai’s current luxury car, the Genesis.

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Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid Goes For Another Testing Session

Our spy photographers have yet again captured the 3 Series Hybrid out in the wild – this time, with even less camo on. The recharging door just aft of the driver-side front tire is clearly visible. Even with the missing camo, the 3 still sports its “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the driver’s door; eliminating all doubt of this car’s future green intentions.

Like we said before, not much is know about the hybrid system that BMW is employing here, but our best guess is something similar to what the X5 eDrive was testing with: a turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a 95-horsepower electric motor and advanced Li-ion battery pack. In the X5 application, the combo was good for a 0 to 60 time of less than seven seconds. An all-electric range of roughly 20 miles and a reported average of 62 mph combined when both systems worked simultaneously.

The 3 Series Hybrid would likely outperform its SUV brethren, as its lighter weight and lower center of gravity would help it achieve better fuel consumption numbers and better times around a track.

With all these pictures surfacing, it’s highly likely that BMW will bring a hybrid model to its wildly popular 3 Series lineup. Only time will tell, however. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for all the latest spy photos and info as it becomes available.

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2014 BMW 3 Series Exclusive Sport

2014 BMW 3 Series Exclusive Sport

The Japanese market received another BMW special edition: this time based on the 3 Series and called "Exclusive Sport." The new model will be limited to only 320 units, and BMW will put on sale in late January 2014. Prices will start from ¥5,490,000 — about $52,000 at the current exchange rates.

The new 3 Series Exclusive Sport features design elements seen on the BMW M Sport models, including an updated exterior look and a high-quality interior equipped with tons of innovative driver assistance systems. The 3 Series Exclusive Sport can be ordered in only two colors: White and Carbon Black.

For the exterior, the updates are limited, and they only include 19-inch M light-alloy wheels and side window frames in a satin aluminum finish. Most of the Exclusive Sport updates are found on the inside, where BMW focused on making the 3 Series sportier and more luxurious.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 3 Series Exclusive Sport.

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2011 Video: MotorTrend Follows GSR Autosport's BMW Build for SEMA

2011 Video: MotorTrend Follows GSR Autosport’s BMW Build for SEMA

In the latest episode of The Downshift, MotorTrend follows the guys at GSR Autosport and Formula Drift champion Mike Essa as they tune a BMW 335i with loads of go-fast parts for a big reveal and give-away at the 2013 SEMA show next week.

Concentrating mostly on the suspension and brakes, GSR Autosport added Bilstein’s new IRC suspension, which uses the latest technology and can be controlled via a smartphone. The suspension continually adapts to changing conditions, using a g-load sensor in an onboard computer, along with the g-load sensor within the smartphone. Other suspension parts were swapped out with upgraded BMW M components for greater handling.

The BMW’s engine was treated to a few additional horsepower, thanks to a cold-air intake and larger intercooler, while the stock 335i brakes were tossed in favor of huge Brembo calibers and cross-drilled rotors.

“This isn’t just a track day car,” says Michael Essa. “This is a car you can go to the track with and drive everyday.” With the adjustable suspension, the driver can put it into sport, track, street, or comfort modes depending on the situation.

The lucky winner of the raffle, David Smit, will be driving home the GSR Autosport/Bilstein BMW 335i after the companies show it off at this year’s SEMA auto show.

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Car Babe Photographer Showcase: ItzKirb

Car Babe Photographer Showcase: ItzKirb

Imagine the scenario: The sun is shining somewhere exotic, and you have keys to a Ferrari or perhaps a GT-R and Carrera GT to choose from.

The cars are already on the building’s roof with the models. Time to put on that multi-pocket camera vest, and get to work on this dream job.

The cars sit near the heli pad and have never looked hotter. The babe in the passenger seat is not half bad either.

Talented photographers really get all the perks sometimes. They not only get to spend hours with some of the most beautiful women in the world, but they collaborate closely and have these model’s undivided attention as everyone on set tries to make great art.

Of course, a wardrobe change or five is part of every photo shoot. But some guys really do have it all behind the Nikon lens. Not just supermodels, but supercars too.

All of the best exotics in the world seem to be in the ItzKirb portfolio.

ItzKirb Photography, is one of those very talented and lucky individuals behind the camera. His talent is clear to see, and he loves two model subjects more than anything: cars and ladies.

Put the two together, and the recipe is sure to spark a thrill. One that is safe enough for work, at least.

Feast your eyes on all of ItzKirb’s beauties after the jump.

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Top-Ten Best Performance Sedans

Top-Ten Best Performance Sedans

What is the appeal of a really hardcore performance sedan? There are a dozen valid reasons, and most car guys will not need much persuading to get on-board. Killer pace starts from the new Panamera Turbo’s projected 3.2-second blastoff to 60 mph.

The ingredients for the recipe are deceptively simple: big power all over the rev dial, rear-drive bias strongly preferred, and a manual box unless the automatic is absolutely state of the art.

The last and least important part? Those rear doors. Buyers of the hottest full-size performance sedans typically do not mind a tiny back seat. After all, the best possible passengers back there will probably be adoring ladies in thousand-dollar outfits.

So, megalux atmosphere back there is more important than true comfort and versatility. After all, you cannot take three beautiful and giggling best friends for a windows-down, radio-up spin in the hills without a swanky coupe-like sedan.

Even better is a stomping acceleration soundtrack and real panache outside the hottest bars and restaurants. No longer just Euro exclusives: all the cars on this list can be bought or ordered right here in the U.S. for 2013 or 2014.

Representatives from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Jaguar, Audi and Cadillac are also proudly represented in this market for $50,000-plus super sedans.

Click past the jump for the current Top Ten Best Performance Sedans, with a few in there you might not have expected.

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2006 - 2011 BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport

2006 - 2011 BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport

A dyno, a laptop and a dream: the BBM Motorsport upgrade for the E91 generation of BMW 3 Series brings an extra 251 pound-feet of torque with a simple induction, exhaust and ECU re-flash. Yep, this 330d has 635 pound-feet of torque to go with its appealing red foil wrap and 19-inch BBS alloys.

BBM Motorsport’s impressive project really shows the scope of tasteful performance modifications to this generation of BMW 3 Series wagons. From looking like it probably has melted candy in the leather seats, to now looking at home making sparks on the Nordschleife and racing RS6 Avants on the autobahn until the tires or nerves call it quits.

This revamp is pretty cost effective as well, with BBM offering component sales for guys who might only be able to afford one upgrade at a time. The LED lights and matte wrap might be eye-catching, but the real gold comes from 30 minutes of ‘hotsynching’ to the BMW’s OBDII port.

A more effective ECU re-flash is hard to recall, but as we all know, tuners are not quite OEM in their durability and long-term reliability testing. Does the BBM kit push the limits of this excellent BMW turbo-diesel engine too high?

Despite sounding like a tractor or school bus to American ears, there is actually much more soulful inline-six bellow from the BBM upgrades. Bellows are the last thing you hear before your head meets the seat when the torque comes in a knockout punch.

Click past the jump for the full image gallery and details on the BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport’s performance and style upgrades.

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2014 BMW 328d

2014 BMW 328d

BMW expanded its U.S. 3-Series lineup with the addition of a new, diesel-powered version. This model, called the 328d, made its world debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27th and hits showrooms in the fall of 2013.

The new 328d sedan is joined by the 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. As with all the other models in the 3 Series lineup, buyers can order the new 328d in Luxury, Sport and Modern Lines, or with the M Sport package.

The 328d comes fitted with a four-cylinder diesel engine and buyers can opt for either rear-wheel drive or BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW reports that once the EPA gets around to testing the 328d that it will deliver about 45 mpg. Beyond the diesel engine and a few badges, everything else is shared with the rest of the 3 Series lineup.

Updated 08/01/2013: BMW announced prices for the 2014 328d that will go on sale later this fall at a base price of $38,600.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 328d.

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2012 - 2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan

2012 - 2014 BMW 3 Series Sedan

It’s not very often that a smaller vehicle is a company’s flagship, but we don’t care what BMW might tell you about the 7 Series, the 3 Series is the automaker’s top dog. Its styling has always worked and never been vulgar like some other models in the BMW lineup. Additionally, it’s won more awards from the automotive press than the Los Angeles Lakers have NBA titles.

Believe it or not, the 3 Series has been around since 1975, but it really came into its own in 1992, when it won the first of 19 straight "Car and Driver 10 Best" awards. In 2006, it won the "World Car of the Year" and also the What Car? "Car of the Year" awards. Under the hood, the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six won the "International Engine of the Year Award" for 2007.

To keep up with this impressive tradition, the sixth generation 3 Series unveiled at BMW’s plant in Munich has been built as a revolution and not as an evolution. The new model sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting prowess, elegance, and comfort, and has grown significantly in size compared to its predecessor.

Update 06/28/2013: This review has been updated to include the 2013 model year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 3 Series.

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2014 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2014 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

At the end of 2011, BMW unveiled the new generation 3 Series in sedan version, but left the station wagon out in the cold after that. Now, after we capturing the car during its testing a few times, BMW has finally dropped the official details on the new 3 Series Sports Wagon.

As expected, the station wagon version will feature the same design language as the sedan model, albeit with an extended rear for better cargo room.

Unfortunately, BMW wasn’t so generous in offering models for the Sports Wagon. In fact, there is only one model available – 328i xDrive – but there are plenty of optional packages to spruce it up a bit. BMW will offer Sport Line, Luxury Line, and Modern Line equipment packages, as well as an optional M Sport package which will be available at launch.

UPDATE 05/10/2013: This review has been updated with all of the 2014 model year details.

Hit the jump to read more about the new 3 Series Sports Wagon.

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2013 BMW 3 Series by Vorsteiner

2013 BMW 3 Series by Vorsteiner

spark plug in place.
No one should be surprised to hear that ever since the new-generation BMW 3 Series hit the market, it received lots of tuning kits from tuning firms around the Globe. Today it’s time for Vorsteiner to reveal the first details on its upgrade program for the new 3 Series sedan.

As no surprise, Vorsteiner started by adding a body kit that not only makes the car look better, but it also improves the aerodynamic features of the sedan. The new kit includes a new front lip spoiler, a rear diffuser and a trunk-mounted spoiler. There is also a new, stainless steel sports exhaust system, which is a clear indication that we will also see some engine upgrades in the future.

The 3er sits on a set of "Flow Forged" alloy wheels, sized 19 or 20 inches and offered in various colors: matte black, textured black, gunmetal, brushed aluminum and more.

The new Vorsteiner kit will be released this summer.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 3-Series by Vorsteiner.

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2013 BMW 3-Series by Leib Engineering

2013 BMW 3-Series by Leib Engineering

Earlier this year, Leib Engineering unveiled the GT 500 tuning kit, which was based on the E92 BMW M3. Now it’s time for its little brother - the 325i - to receive similar treatment. Though the new GT 300 kit is not as impressive as the GT 500, it still transforms the 325i into a more aggressive and more powerful sports coupe.

Most of the upgrades were made under the hood where the tuner focused on obtaining more power. To increase the power, the tuner took a standard 218-horsepower six-cylinder engine and modified the intake manifold and the engine software. Leib Engineering replaced the car’s standard exhaust system with a new one from Supersprint, a 330i performance rear silencer and valve control.

With these upgrades, the 325i delivers an additional 77 horsepower, plus another 15 horsepower that can be obtained by pushing a button on the M-multifunction steering. All put together, you get a final output of 310 horsepower, which makes it even more powerful than the top 3 Series: the 335i.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 3-Series by Leib Engineering.

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2013 BMW 335i M Performance Edition

2013 BMW 335i M Performance Edition

BMW Canada has announced the launch of the 335i M Performance Edition. This version can be ordered in either a rear-wheel-drive or xDrive format and includes an array of M Performance components designed to enhance the styling and performance attributes of the 335i.

The 335i M Performance Edition receives a new M Performance Power Kit and M Performance Exhaust that increases the engine’s output to 326 horsepower and 332 pound-feet torque. As a result, the sedan will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds – 0.5 seconds faster than the standard 335i.

BMW is also offering a full M Performance aerodynamics kit, including: black kidney grille; front and rear diffuser; side skirts; and 20-inch alloy wheels. The model can be ordered in four exterior colors: Laguna Seca Blue, Valencia Orange, Black Sapphire and Glacier Silver. For the interior, BMW offers either a Coral Red leather or Black leather trim combined with an exclusive Piano Black BMW Individual trim.

The 335i M Performance Edition is priced at $63,300 (rear-wheel-drive version) and $65,900 (xDrive version). The model will be produced in July and August of 2013 but all orders must be received no later than May 17, 2013.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard BMW 335i.

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2014 BMW 3-Series GT

2014 BMW 3-Series GT

The 5-Series GT is one of the most unsuccessful models BMW has ever offered. However, the company is bound and determined to get the GT formula right and has now expanding this option to new generation 3-Series.

The difference between the unsuccessful 5-Series GT and the new 3-Series GT is that the latter will drop the twin-door hatch design in favor of a normal one piece hatch. It will also be 7.87 inches longer than the standard model and offer the added bonus of more headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area very trouble-free. This formula may very well make the car a bit more successful than the 5-Series GT.

The official debut will be made next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

UPDATE 04/05/2013: BMW has just released an all-new product presentation video of the upcoming 3 Series GT. You can see the video above.

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2013 BMW 3-Series "Fluidum" Art Car by Andy Reiben

2013 BMW 3-Series "Fluidum" Art Car by Andy Reiben

Art cars have long had a history with BMW; after all, one of the most famous of these creatively designed models was made by Jeff Koons when he not only decked a BMW M3 GT2 in full artistic regalia but also proceeded to race it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it eventually crashed.

Now new BMW Art Car, one for the BMW 3-Series, was unveiled recently. This one, though, doesn’t have ties to BMW; instead, it’s the work of a BMW dealership from the Czech Republic in collaboration with local artist, Andy Reiben. It’s quite psychedelic, if we do say so ourselves.

We all know that graphic designs on a car’s body are what make an art car. Forget about engine upgrades; these models are all about aesthetic enhancements and while some have failed in capturing our imaginations, others have succeeded in doing so.

And as far as details are concerned, the work done on this 3-Series, which has been re-christened as "Fluidum,” is pretty spectacular. The first order of business was to wrap the 3-Series in matte vinyl. From there, Reiben generously sprayed copious amounts of paint before finalizing the colorful details with a brush to go with a glow-in-the-dark treatment.

Pretty sweet art car, if you ask us, something Reiben should be very proud of. Heck, if this car ended up for sale, we might take a crack at purchasing it.

Or at least take lots of pictures with it.

Click past the jump to see a pair of BMW Art Cars that have graced our presence over the years.

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2013 BMW 335i Sedan M Performance Power Kit

If you own a 2012 or later BMW 335i Sedan and 335i xDrive Sedan and want a little more from the M Performance line than just the existing aesthetic, suspension and exhaust additions, BMW has an announcement for you. It is releasing an all-new Power Kit to accompany the existing line of M Performance accessories and give the 335i Sedan a much deserved boost in power.

Under the hood, both versions of the 335i push out a stout 300 horsepower from the factory and this M Performance Power Kit bumps it to 320 ponies. In terms of torque, if you have an automatic-transmission-equipped 335i you can expect a boost from 300 pound-feet of torque to 332 pound-feet and a manual-transmission-equipped model jumps to 317 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the power boost, you also get a remapped accelerator pedal configuration to increase throttle response.

The output bump is thanks to advanced software upgrades, a new ECU, a high-capacity air-intake system, an M Performance engine cover and rocker panel decals. This all helps drop the 335’s 0-to-60 mph time by 0.2 seconds and the 50 to 75 mph time by 0.5 seconds for each model. This puts the 335i at 5.2 seconds to 60 mph with a manual transmission and 4.9 seconds with an automatic transmission, while the 335i xDrive drops to 4.9 seconds with a manual transmission and 4.6 seconds with an automatic transmission.

The kit is available immediately and starts out at $1,100 over the base model’s MSRP. Additionally, this will not affect the 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that BMW offers on the 335i.If you choose to add the package on post-sale, you get a 2-year/unlimited-miles warranty on the components included with the kit.

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2013 BMW 335i B36 by MS Design

2013 BMW 335i B36 by MS Design

With MS Design celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Austrian tuning company has prepared a pretty fabulous program for the BMW 3-Series, called the B36.

They describe the program as “Usain Bolt in a designer suit.” Hyperbole notwithstanding, the program did do a good job combining dynamic and elegant styling with an extra bump in performance and power.

Outside, the B36 program features an aerodynamic package that includes new front and rear aprons, side skirts, fender flares, and a rear spoiler lip. Taken together, the new components do a good job highlighting the 3-Series’ curves, and further complemented by a set of 20-inch light-alloy wheels.

Moving to the interior, MS Design opted for a high-quality Ultra Suede interior, dressing up the front seats, rear seat, side panels and the center armrest in some pretty classy albeit dust-collecting suede finish.

Finally, the extra boost in power MS Design gave to the 3-Series allowed the sports car to improve its output from 306 horsepower to 360 horsepower. According to the tuner, the B36 program will be available later this year just in time for its 30th anniversary.

The program looks like a stand out. Our only question is: does it come with a cake and a party hat?

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BMW 3-Series GT Images may Have Leaked

BMW 3-Series GT Images may Have Leaked

The GT version of the new BMW 3-Series has been caught testing many times, but each time the car was heavily camouflaged. Today, however, an image has surfaced on the internet and it appears to reveal the real 3-Series GT.

The 3-Series GT version will be about 15 inches longer than the standard model, meaning it will offer increased interior and cargo room. Unlike the 5-Series GT, the new 3-Series GT will drop the twin-door-hatch design in favor of a normal one-piece hatch.

Under the hood, the 3-Series GT will be offered with the same engine lineup as the sedan version, meaning customers will have to choose between four engines - two gasoline engines and two diesel engines- with power ranging from 163 horsepower to 306 horsepower.

If the image posted on a French forum turns out to be real, we should expect the official details in the upcoming days. Of course, this might also be just a Photoshop’d image…

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BMW Launches M Limited Edition Models in Australia

BMW Launches M Limited Edition Models in Australia

The Land Down Under is fixing to get an infusion of M awesomeness after BMW’s Australian division launched a series of limited-run M Sport models as part of the company’s "Festival of M".

That’s really great, made even more so by the fact that the M Sport lineup will feature a number of models, each coming with their own unique modifications. The biggest of the bunch is the X5 M Sport Limited Edition and BMW Australia decked with a bevy of new components. The M Sport body kit is obviously fitted into the SUV, as was a chrome M Sport tailpipe finisher, bi-xenon headlights and a set of 20-inch M double spoke alloy wheels. Looking at the photo of the SUV, though, there doesn’t appear to much of a difference from the standard model.

Meanwhile, the interior is dressed up too, at least to a certain extent. There’s the M leather-wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles and electric seats. Other components include a Navigation Professional package, an automatic tailgate, a rearview camera, voice control and anti-dazzle exterior mirrors. This one isn’t exactly our cup of tea, at least compared to what the other M Sport limited edition models.

The next two are the 5-Series and Z4, both of which will receive an M Sport package that includes an M Sport suspension, a new aero kit, a leather steering wheel, a set of bespoke 18-inch alloys, blue leather-piped velour floor mats, chrome-plated "Limited Edition" door sill finishers, an anthracite headliner for the coupe, and blue-stitched upholstery. Now this is more like it. The mixture of aesthetic and aero upgrades is definitely right in our wheelhouse. If you can get aftermarket performance upgrades on that Z4, then you really have something there.

Finally, the 1-Series and 3-Series Coupe and Convertible have received M Sport Plus packages, comprising of an aluminum glacier silver interior trim with glossy-black kidney grilles. The 3er, in particular, also has new sport seats, black exterior mirror caps, and stainless steel foot pedals.

If given a choice, we’re definitely rolling with the Z4 M Limited Edition. Its program is comprehensive enough without being too tacky.

Check out the price list of all M Limited Edition models after the jump.

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2013 BMW 320i Sedan

2013 BMW 320i Sedan

BMW has added a new entry-level model to its 3-Series lineup and it has debuted it at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. That’s right, the 320i returns yet again…

The new 320i brings back the tradition of Bimmer using the engine size in the model numerals, as the new entry-level model boasts a 2.0-liter four-banger. With BMW now excelling with advanced twin-scroll turbocharger technology, we expect this model to be a top performer in its class – both in speed and efficiency. The 320i will sit just below the current base model, the 328i, meaning we expect it to come in well below that models $36,850 base price.

As is typical for BMW, it can’t just offer up one base model and leave it at that, so it is also offering up a 320i xDrive model, which will feature BMW’s famed all-wheel-drive system. We also anticipate a slew of optional features and packages to come along for the ride, making the entry-level 3-Series even more desirable.

The real test is whether the 320i can stick around this time or if it will disappear yet again.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW 320i Sedan.

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2013 BMW 3-Series Touring with M-Sport Package by AC Schnitzer

2013 BMW 3-Series Touring with M-Sport Package by AC Schnitzer

BMWs will be well represented at the 2012 Essen Motor Show, at least in part due to the new programs German tuner AC Schnitzer will be presenting in Europe’s annual aftermarket auto show.

In addition to the M135i, AC Schnitzer has also built a package for the BMW 3-Series Touring with M Sport package. If you recall, the German tuner already releaseda program for the 3-Series Touring about a month ago. This time, though, the popular and sport package has been added into the mix.

Aesthetic and aerodynamic modifications are part of the program, as AC fitted the 3-Series Touring with a revised front bumper, new roof spoiler and rear skirts. The tuning company also added a spring kit with 25 mm (0.98-inch) lowering and a sports muffler with chromed tailpipe trims. Depending on the model 3-Series Touring, the tailpipes can be fitted in either the left or right side. Finishing up the exterior modifications, AC Schnitzer fitted the 3-Series Touring with wheels ranging from 18 to 20 inches, all of which are available in a number of finishes.

Moving onto the engine, AC Schnitzer is offering engine improvements across the whole range of 3-Series Touring trims, starting with the 330d, which increases to 309 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the 318d receives its own power upgrades, up from 143 horsepower to 171 ponies. The 320d got its power bump too, hitting 218 horsepower from its standard 184. Finally the supercharged 328i and the 335i both get significant upticks in output, hitting 360 horsepower from their standard 294.

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2013 BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring

2013 BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring

Everyone in the U.S. is busy soaking up the 2012 SEMA Show, but in Europe, they have started preparations for the Essen Motor Show. At the 2012 Essen Motor Show., BMW will be unveiling a very cool 3-Series Touring equipped with BMW M Performance accessories. The model will go on sale in April 2013.

This new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel engine with its output bumped to 200 horsepower — up from the standard 184 horsepower. BMW also adds in a new M Performance suspension with a particularly sporty setup and a new M Performance brake system. This Bimmer sits on 20-inch light alloy wheels in a double-spoke design and painted in Ferric Grey.

On the inside, it boasts a sports steering wheel with Race Display, stainless-steel pedals, interior strips in Alcantara and carbon, and numerous other interior components finished in carbon.

More details on the new BMW M Performance 3-Series Touring will be unveiled during its debut and we’ll pass them on as we receive them.

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US Market Will Get Six New BMW Diesel Models

US Market Will Get Six New BMW Diesel Models

Diesel models are quite a hit in Europe, but in the U.S. market, they have only just begun to gain momentum because people are still learning about them. Despite the relative novelty, it looks like BMW is preparing a diesel invasion in the U.S. market with no less than six new diesel models set to debut by 2014.

Back in June 2012, it was reported that BMW was planning to offer a diesel 7-Series to its U.S. customers, but apparently this won’t be the only model. Next to it, we will also get a 3-Series sedan in the first half of 2013 and a station wagon in the second half. A 5-Series diesel will arrive in the third quarter of 2013 and the X5d at the end of 2013. The 7-Series will be the first diesel to arrive in the first half of 2014 and it will be followed by a X3d.

In terms of powerplants, the 3-Series will likely use the new 130-horsepower, 3-cylinder diesel engine, while the rest of BMW’s diesel lineup will get a six-cylinder diesel engine.

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2013 BMW 335i by H&R Springs

2013 BMW 335i by H&R Springs

You won’t see as many European cars on the SEMA show floor as their American counterparts, but that doesn’t mean that the cupboard is dry as far as Euro representation is concerned. One German model that’s making the trip to Vegas is the BMW 335i and it’s doing so by way of H&R Springs.

H&R Springs have really perfected the craft of building programs that may not look fancy from the outside, but completely overwhelm the rider once he straps on and goes for a ride in one of them.

That’s what they managed to accomplish with their set-up of this BMW 335i. There’s nothing on the outside that makes you think somebody did work on it, but once you get inside and feel the improved handling dynamics of the car, you’ll be convinced that this car was provided with an upgrade.

That’s the beauty of H&R Springs. They’re not about the style; they’re about the substance.

Find out more about H&R Springs’ program for the BMW 335i after the jump

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Spy Shots: 2013 BMW 3-Series GT Lifts its Wheels During Testing

BMW is trying to come back from it 5-Series GT disappointment by offering a GT of its most popular model: the 3-Series. The 3-Series GT is the third model in the 3-er lineup and is taking its turn on the Nurburgring, providing a spectacular show of lifting its wheel during the famous Karussell turn.

BMW has seemingly learned from the 5-Series GT’s less than stellar sales by adopting a sleeker design for the new 3-er GT. The model will be built on the LWB platform from the Chinese version of the 3-series sedan and will therefore offer more interior room for the rear passengers. The new 3-Series GT will drop the twin-door hatch design in favor of a normal one piece hatch. It will also be 15 inches longer than the standard model and offer the added bonus of more headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area trouble-free.

The engine and transmission line-up will be shared with the standard 3-Series, meaning that customers will have a choice between four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging from 163 HP to 306 HP. It is rumored that BMW will also offered a range of smaller engines, but we do not expect to see an M version for it.

The significant drop in cammo for the BMW 3-Series GT leads us to believe that the launch will be here sooner rather than later, so stay tuned!

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2013 BMW 3-Series Touring by AC Schnitzer

2013 BMW 3-Series Touring by AC Schnitzer

After providing an extensive tuning package for the 3-Series sedan, AC Schnitzer has moved on to its station wagon sibling to provide similar upgrades. Their new package for the BMW 3-Series Touring improves upon the exterior and interior look of the vehicle, as well as its power output.

The exterior upgrades include a new front spoiler, a chrome front grille, a rear roof spoiler, and a rear skirt. There is also a wide variety of wheels to choose from, ranging from 18" to 20" and different designs and colors. The interior combines aluminum elements with a very cool Black Line package.

The full line of engines for the 3-Series Touring was updated, providing an increase minimum of 28 HP. The 318d now delivers 171 HP, up from 143 HP; the 320d produces 218 HP, up from 184 HP; the 328i delivers 294 HP, up from 245; and the 335i pushes 360 HP, up from 306 HP. These updates were achieved with the addition of a sports rear silencer and a new exhaust system. There is also a new suspension spring kit combined with a lower suspension to bring the car closer to the ground by 25 mm.

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BMW to show M Performance Accessories at the Paris Motor Show

BMW to show M Performance Accessories at the Paris Motor Show

BMW will be trooping to the 2012 Paris Motor Show with a presentation of their new add-on toys that are part of the M Performance Accessories. Comprised mostly of aesthetic and power kits, the accessories cover a whole range of BMW models, including the 1-Series hatch, the 3-Series Touring, and models that feature the automaker’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine.

The accessories kit comprises of various new components, including carbon finished exterior mirror caps, a choice of new wheels, diffuser inserts for the rear apron, and side sill foliations. The 1-Series 3-door hatchback and 3-Series Touring models also get a slew of new goodies in the suspension, drive, and aerodynamics departments.

As far as performance upgrades are concerned, the M Performance Accessories come with plenty of options for the 120d, the 320d, and the 520d. Likewise, the automaker’s aforementioned 2.0-liter diesel engine also gets a power upgrade from the standard 181 horsepower and 197 lb/ft of torque all the way up to 197 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque.

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1999 - 2005 BMW E46 3 Series by Prior Design

1999 - 2005 BMW E46 3 Series by Prior Design

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).

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Spy Shots: BMW 3-Series GT Drops Flaws from the 5-Series GT

It looks like BMW hasn’t learned anything from the very unsuccessful 5-Series GT, as they are applying the same treatment to the 3-Series. The upcoming 3-Series GT has been caught testing again, this time wearing less camouflage than ever - the biggest sign that its official debut is getting closer. Rumors say that it will be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.

The upcoming 3-Series GT will drop the 5-Series GT’s twin-door hatch design and will adopt a normal one piece hatch in its place. This will make it about 15 inches longer than the standard 3-Series, but will also improve the interior headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area very trouble-free. This formula may ensure that the 3-Series GT a bit more successful than the 5-Series GT.

As for the engine line-up, expect to see the same options found in the standard 3-Series models. This means there will be a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging from 184 HP in the base diesel version up to 306 HP in the 335i version.

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2013 BMW 3-Series B3 Bi-Turbo by Alpina

2013 BMW 3-Series B3 Bi-Turbo by Alpina

With the launch of the new BMW 3-Series, a slew of tuning variations inevitably followed. Not ones to be left out of the tuning game, Alpina, BMW’s close-knit performance automaker, is preparing the future Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo based off the 335i Saloon. This new model was recently spotted in Southern Europe doing some hot weather testing, revealing some if its new garbs.

The B3 saloon isn’t getting a whole new makeover because, well, if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it. That being said, it will feature a new lip spoiler, modifications to the lower section of the front bumper, a small boot spoiler, bespoke alloy wheel designs, and a new quad exhaust system. Power will come from a revised version of the current model’s twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six engine that will push out a total of 400 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque instead of the current 360 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. This is much more in line with the power output we had originally anticipated with the current generation, but never received.

With the B3’s vigorous torque ability from 1,500 rpm onwards to 7,000 rpm, a diesel variant may also be in the works, but won’t be available until at least late 2013. Touring, Coupe, and Convertible version will also follow in the next couple of years. All models will be offered with RWD as standard, while most of them will also have an AWD option.

According to AutoCar, the new Alpina B3 Bi-Turbo will be launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March, but other sources are stating that we may see it even earlier than that, at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.

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New IIHS Crash Test Has Luxury Automakers Flunking

New IIHS Crash Test Has Luxury Automakers Flunking

The old term “They sure don’t build ’em like they used to” should always be followed up with a “Good,” because modern cars perform better in crash tests than any of the land yachts of the 1970s. Yeah, these cars may be smaller and lighter than those of yesteryear, but advancements in crumple zones and energy transfer over the decades has made them into very protective shells that crumple into piles of tin for the sake of protecting their passengers.

Unfortunately, all of this technology is not without its flaws, which the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is now pointing out. The IIHS has developed a new test to mimic the cause of nearly a quarter of all front-end collision deaths, which is called the “small overlap” test. This is when only a small portion of the front bumper impacts another vehicle or an object.

You may be surprised to hear about who’s failing this important new test. Among those tested to receive the IIHS’ worst rating, “Poor,” was the Mercedes Benz C-Class, Lexus IS and ES, and the Audi A4. Receiving a score of “Marginal,” which is just above poor, is the Acura TSX, BMW 3-Series, Lincoln MKZ, and Volkswagen CC.

Click past the jump for the rest of the results, as well as an obnoxious statement by one top automaker in regards to the testing process.

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2012 BMW 328i by iND

2012 BMW 328i by iND

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.

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BMW Mulling Over Building the 3-Series in Mexico

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.

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BMW Sends an Armed Repo Team and Helicopter to Get Back a Loaner Car, but Ultimately Fails

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.

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BMW Bringing OnDemand to the U.S.

The Europeans get all of the cool stuff first, as BMW allows them to rent various BMWs, including M-Series models, hourly, daily, or weekly, as opposed to shelling out the $40,000+ required to buy one. Well, after successfully testing in the Euro market, BMW is finally bringing this system, called OnDemand, to the U.S.

Initially, the U.S. Launch will be isolated to only one dealership, BMW of Manhattan, and to one model, the 328i. BMW of Manhattan will offer up a total of 100 328is for people to rent to impress their boss, friends, or date. This system is also great for fleet companies deciding if BMW is right for them or prospective retain customers looking to take an extended test drive prior to lumping down thousands of dollars. It is pretty safe to assume that given this is the initial launch is in Manhattan, booking a rental 328i won’t be as simple as booking a Taurus from your local Avis dealer.

Given this is all successful, we will see the available lineup slowly expand. Some of the models to be added to the available rentals include the new 7-Series, X5, X6, M3, and even the M5. According to the report, however, to get premium rides, like the M3 and M5, the renter has to go through a more rigorous qualification process.

Pricing for renting the initial 328i will not be known until about August, but you can rest assured that it will not be a $20 per day rental and we bet insurance is not optional. We’ll update you once pricing is released on this new system.

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2013 BMW 3-Series M-Sport

2013 BMW 3-Series M-Sport

Paired up with the new generation 3-Series is BMW’s new M Sport package, which can now be viewed in its entirety with a cool configurator. This new configurator gives prospective buyers a chance to play with the options available for the new 3-Series M Sport.

The new M Sport package includes new 18-inch light-alloy wheels available as standard or 19" available as an option, an M Sport suspension, and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim that gives the car that typical M look. The car’s dynamic character is further emphasized by an optional exclusive M paint shade and optional M Sport brakes with contrasting blue paint finish. The theme continues inside the car with sports seats boasting distinctive cloth/Alcantara upholstery, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Shortshifter (in models with manual gearbox), M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, and the new M leather steering wheel.

The new BMW 3-Series M Sport package will add another $3,200 to your 3-Series price.

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Video: History of the BMW 3-Series

Video: History of the BMW 3-Series

The 3-Series is one of the best sold models in BMW’s history. The first model arrived onto the market in 1975 and since then, a total of six generations have been offered. You can imagine that discussing all of the models offered during this 37 year long history can be pretty difficult.

However, BMW has found a way to detail this long history in a three minutes long video. The video discusses every new model offered since 1975, and goes into how each generation has its own characteristics while maintaining the 3-Series roots. The BMW 3 Series sedan is the latest representative of a long history.

The sixth generation arrived as a 2012 model year and now we are all waiting for the new M3 sports version set to arrive as a 2014 model. Until then, enjoy this very cool video.

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2012 BMW 3-Series by Kelleners Sport

2012 BMW 3-Series by Kelleners Sport

Kelleners Sport’s recent run of tuning programs continues with the unveiling of their latest work for the BMW 3-Series Saloon.

In line with its reputation as one of the finest BMW tuners in the world, the German tuning company gave the 3-Series Saloon a comprehensive tuning program that includes an aero kit, interior enhancements, and performance modifications.

The aero package includes a number of new components for the 3-Series, including a new front spoiler, a boot lid spoiler, and skirt extensions on the rear bumper. From there, Kelleners fitted the car with a new set of either 19" or 20" Titanium Grey ’Hamburg’ alloy wheels and added an adjustable coil over kit that can lower the car’s height by 60 mm.

Inside, there’s plenty of leather used in the interior of the car, including Nappa and ostrich - yes, ostrich! - as well as a choice of over 60 colors, plenty of wood and carbon fiber trim, velour mats, and aluminum pedals.

Finally, Kelleners Sport built a performance program for the wide range of gas and diesel variants of the 3-Series Saloon. The 320d’s output was increased from 184 horsepower and 280 lb/ft of torque to 218 horsepower and 321 lb/ft of torque. As for the 328i, output for that was increased from 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque to an impressive 290 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque.

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2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3

BMW’s plans to drop the X6 Active Hybrid from their lineup by no means belittles their intentions to move forward with a greener line. Following in the footsteps of the ActiveHybrid7 and ActiveHybrid5 will be a hybrid version for the next generation 3-Series

We first caught site of the ActiveHybrid3 as a prototype running some laps around the Nürburgring and although there was nothing on the body of the vehicle that could distinguish it from a standard petrol model, this particular tester had the obligatory hybrid stickers on the side and rear. Hybrid stickers are a must during testing because if the car happened to get into an accident, the police and medical crew need to be aware of the dangers of electric power.

The future ActiveHybrid3 is scheduled to launch one year after the standard 3-Series, which would be sometime in the autumn of 2012.

UPDATE 07/09/2012: BMW has officially announced today that the new ActiveHybrid 3 will arrive in US showrooms this fall at an MSRP of $50,195 including destination and handling. Check out the picture gallery for some new images and a video presenting the car’s exterior design.

Hit the jump to read more on the BMW ActiveHybrid3.

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Report: 2014 BMW M3 to feature 3.2-liter V-6 and eletric power steering

It’s very rare that information about an upcoming sports car is as jumbled up as is the information regarding the new 2014 BMW M3 said to debut sometime next year.

First off, reports first flew stating that the new M3 would feature a revolutionary, tri-turbocharged V-6 engine delivering in excess of 450HP. Then, reports claimed that the tri-turbo option had been dropped and replaced with a twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 engine, before President of BMW North America, Mr. Ludwig Willisch confirmed that an inline-six engine would be utilized. However, he failed to mention how many turbos the car would carry.

The latest news from GTspirit now suggests that a 3.2-liter V6 engine will be used in the upcoming 2014 BMW M3, which should be good for 450HP in base spec or upwards of 480HP when specced out with the inevitable performance package.

In addition to this latest news regarding the new M3’s power plant, reports have also surfaced suggesting that the car may come standard with electric power steering, following in the footsteps of the recently launched Porsche 991 911.

The new Porsche 911 has already been criticized for its electric power steering over more conventional hydraulic systems, but BMW obviously believes that electric power steering is the way of the future.

The only thing we can hope for in regards to this is that if these reports turn out to be true, then BMW better do a bloody-good job of developing this system.

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Video: Chris Harris' Cheap-O Rally Car

Video: Chris Harris’ Cheap-O Rally Car

Chris Harris is at it again, only this time he has snagged up a rather shoddy looking and running Land Rover, borrowed a clunky trailer with egg shells for tires, bought a £4,000 ($6,225) E30 BMW 325i “Rally car” (that’s at least what the dude that sold it to him called it), and attempted to try and get the rally car to a local track to test it.

Getting to the rally track turned out to be a task in itself, as it began with the cooling fan on his shoddy old 3.9-liter V-8-powered Land Rover crapping out and him repairing it in a not-so-correct-way that ended up causing it to pop fuses like crazy. Add on top of that the fact that this now hot-wired fan was constantly killing the battery and you have quite a situation.

On top of the crappy tow car, there is the fact that he borrowed a trailer from a friend that has tires that are magnets for punctures and replacements are not available at any tire shop. After popping and shredding two of the four tires on this trailer, Harris and his crew manage to get the £4,000 Bimmer to the track and beat the living hell out of it. The Bimmer took it well until Chris pushed it a little too far and spun it out coming out of a turn. Fortunately, the car was fine and the rallying continued. You can see it all of this in the above video.

The rally racing is only half of the fun of the video, as the trip getting there had plenty of interesting twists. To boot, the trailer from hell gave Chris and the boys another surprise on the way back home… Ah, the joys of budget racing!

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BMW i8’s Three-Cylinder to be Built in the U.K., Could it Spawn a New 3-Series Engine?

We already know that BMW has officially approved the manufacture of its much anticipated hybrid sports car, the i8 and we are well aware that the gasoline engine behind it is a 1.3-liter three-banger that pops out a sweet 223 horsepower. When combined with the electric motor on the front wheels, the i8 hits a healthy 354 ponies.

BMW has just revealed yet another detail on its upcoming i8, and that is that the thee-pot gas burner that powers it will hail from Jolly Ol’ England… Hams Hall factory in Birmingham, to be precise. Head of engine development at BMW, Peter Nefischer, mentioned before that the boosted three-cylinder could find its way into the 3-Series in the future and the fact that this engine is being built in the same factory that manufactures the 3-Series engine could add some validity to this possible downsizing of the 3-Series.

With the 328i already coming stock with a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter, there is no reason that an extended fuel range model boasting this 223-horsepower, 1.3-liter engine cannot become a possibility. Granted, it likely wouldn’t have quite the drivability of the 2.0-liter, but the extended fuel range would help traveling business people a great deal, while still having a little pep in its step. In addition, those 223 ponies still far exceed the paltry 201 ponies pumped out by the Mercedes-Benz C250.

We can say with some certainty that a three-cylinder 3-Series variant will definitely happen, it’s just a matter of when it happens and how BMW tunes the engine to retain the comfortable feel that the 3-Series is notorious for. We’ll update you if any other news pointing toward a three-banger 3-Series pops up.

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2012 BMW 335i Coupe BT92 by Alpha-N Performance

2012 BMW 335i Coupe BT92 by Alpha-N Performance

A standard BMW 335i Coupe delivers a total of 300 HP and a BMW M3 Coupe pushes out 420 HP. That’s a pretty big difference between the two, but with the proper tuning package, that difference can be dwindled down to less than nothing. Alpha-N Performance has managed to make the 335i even more powerful than the M3 delivering an impressive 450 HP, while also being 550 lbs lighter than the standard model!

Starting with the exterior, the tuner added a pretty impressive kit with ultra-light material carbon components. It includes a new front bumper and an equally adjustable spoiler, a big rear diffuser, a new trunk lid with protrusive spoiler lip, and a huge, adjustable rear wing. The car sits on a new set of 19" wheels combined with a MAC high-performance braking system.

The same skills were used to tweak the interior, as Alpha-N Performance installed Recaro Pole Position carbon seats with full belt safety harness, a steel cage, and a performance steering wheel. Everything else in the car was ripped out to ensure weight optimization.

Aside from that, the tuner’s main focus was the 335i Coupe’s 3.0 liter six-inline engine. The extra 150 HP was achieved through an Alpha-N engine kit that includes bigger turbo chargers, adaptation of engine electronics, a completely new exhaust system, and an enlarged air-to-air intercooler. The last touch was provided through a reprogrammed ECU.

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BMW issues recall for 2012 3-Series due to faulty head restraints

With Ferrari recently issuing separate recalls for both the 458 Italia and California, we are saddened to bring you more news about another well-known firm issuing recalls on one of its newest models, and it’s none other than the folks over at BMW.

In a press release issued on April 19, 2012, BMW outlines that 7,600 units of the 2012 3-series are being recalled as “they have front seat head restraints that exceed the downward movement limit of 25mm in the highest position” outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fortunately, this recall will only impact North American vehicles rather than cars being impacted across the globe.

Cars affected were produced between October 18, 2011 and March 18, 2012 and BMW will notify all owners who have cars produced in that time period, and of course all repairs will be conducted free of charge.

BMW only discovered this fault in late April while the 2012 3-series has been in production for well over 6 months and the German brand could have saved itself a lot of trouble by thoroughly checking over all prototypes before entering any world markets.

Nevertheless, recalls seem to be a part of the automotive industry and they just go to show how restrictions vary from country to country and they also show just how difficult it is to enter a variety of markets, something Pagani knows all too well.

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Is the BMW 320d the best car ever produced? Richard Hammond thinks so

BMW has always been obsessed with producing the ‘ultimate driving machine,’ and no, those machines don’t just come in the form of M-series vehicles. Nope, BMW strives to deliver perfection in every single car made by the German giant, and if Richard Hammond is to be believed, they may have just created the best car ever with the recently launched BMW 320d coupe.

On paper, a claim like that may sound unfounded considering there are cars literally 10 times the price of the 320d on the market, and surely they’re better? But, that’s not the point. The point is whether a car is or isn’t the complete package, and Hammond truly believes the 320d is that exact package. He praises the styling, the handing, the rear leg room, the price and has great difficulty naming even one flaw.

In the end, the respected journo simply states that the red stripe running across the dashboard in the Sport trim variant is the only downside of what else is a perfect car.

It’s very interesting to note that the 320d in question is actually the base version in the diesel range, yet it seems to be the best. It may only come fitted with a four-cylinder diesel engine producing 184 HP at 4,000 rpm, but it does deliver 280 lb-ft of torque and as we know from experience, the best thing about diesel’s is the seemingly never endless torque they deliver.

Follow the link to find the original review on the Mirror.

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2013 BMW 3-Series LWB

2013 BMW 3-Series LWB

The BMW 3-Series may be the German automaker’s resident mid-sized vehicle, but don’t tell that to the Chinese market.

In what can be attributed to the Chinese’s penchant for limousines, BMW has acquiesced that demand by unveiling the new 3-Series LWB that will be exclusively sold to the Chinese market.

The vehicle, which will make it’s debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, features a longer wheelbase than the standard 3-Series. The extra 4.3" in length should bode well for all those high-rolling Chinese that prefer to ride in style with a chauffeur in tow.

On top of that, the 3-Series LWB comes in a number of trim models, including the 320Li, the 328Li, and the top-of-the-line 335Li. Powertrain options for the respective models include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 320Li that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, the 328Li gets a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque, while the top-end 335Li gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that develops 302 horsepower.

More details are expected to be revealed regarding the 3-Series LWB when the 2012 Beijing Auto Show arrives. For now, digest these photos and wonder how you can get this ride into your garage.

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2012 BMW SA 335i Race Car by ADF Motorsport

2012 BMW SA 335i Race Car by ADF Motorsport

At its core, the language of motorsport racing knows no boundaries. Anywhere you go, it’s all predicated on the same premise of being faster than your competition.

But one thing that changes depending on the circumstances are the cars that compete in such races. Over in South Africa, there’s a series called the SA Production Car Championship. One of the teams competing in the series is ADF Motorsport and recently, they, together with partner BMW South Africa, unveiled the prized steed that will be racing under their banner for the 2012 season.

The car, an F30 BMW 335i, is making history of sorts as the very first F30 3-Series racing car in the world, making it noteworthy on a lot of levels.

Developed by ADF Motorsport in collaboration with BMW SA, the F30 335i was given plenty of modifications to adhere to series regulations. In order to keep the car in its intended weight of just over 1,360 kg, ADF opted to replace plenty of the built-in parts on the car with carbon fiber taken from BMW’s new M Performance aftermarket options. Likewise, a new Akrapovic exhaust system was also installed with the car also getting 370mm M Performance front disc brakes, a new set of 18" BBS rims, and an N55 TwinPower turbocharged engine.

As far as the powertrain is concerned, SA Production Car regulations prohibited ADF Motorsport from giving the car any performance enhancements. Nevertheless, the addition of a modified engine management system, a new turbocharger, and the new Akrapovic exhaust system gives the F30 335i enough power - 402 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque - to be competitive in the racing series.

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2012 Geneva Motor Show: The Tuner Cars

2012 Geneva Motor Show: The Tuner Cars

One of our favorite parts of any auto show is seeing what the aftermarket industry has done to some of the finest vehicles in the world. At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, we were completely floored by all the programs being displayed.

Whether it was the Lamborghini Aventador, the McLaren MP4-12C, or even a model like the BMW 3-Series, the tuning world was definitely well-represented in Geneva.

The list below highlights some of the most impressive programs we saw. Some came from some of the best tuners in the world and some came from some surprising tuners. Nevertheless, it all amounted to some pretty impressive sights. You can check out the list of vehicles that were given tuning programs and let us know which of these works you consider your favorites.

Check out the list of tuner cars from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show after the jump.

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2012 BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer

2012 BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer

AC Schnitzer is one of the first tuners to offer an upgrade package for the new generation BMW 3-Series. Their kit, named ACS3 2.8 Turbo, is set to make its world debut next week at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but until then the tuner has decided to offer us a few new details on the model.

Based on the BMW 328i, the new ACS3 2.8 will take the brand-new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and tuned it to deliver a total of 295 HP and a peak torque of 302 lb-ft, up from the standard 245 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. This boost in power is accompanied by a sports rear silencer with two chromed "Racing" tailpipes in a right/left combination.

For the exterior, the tuner has added a front spoiler, chromed front grille, rear roof spoiler, rear spoiler, and rear skirt extension, complemented by designer stripes. The car will be offered with 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels combined with a suspension spring kit. For the interior, AC Schnitzer is offering a "Black Line" aluminum cover for the BMW "i-Drive" system controller, a "Black Line" aluminum handbrake handle, an aluminum pedal set, foot rests, and velour floor mats.

Sales for the BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer will begin in the summer of 2012.

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2012 BMW 3-Series by AC Schnitzer

2012 BMW 3-Series by AC Schnitzer

German tuning firm AC Schnitzer has always been a regular attendee at the Geneva Motor Show and this year is no different.

Ahead of its Geneva debut, AC Schnitzer is giving us a sneak peek of their new program for the new BMW 3-Series. The comprehensive program consists of new aerodynamic components, interior improvements, suspension solutions, and performance modifications, all of which adds up to a pretty intense project.

Among the equipment that’s expected to be part of AC Schnitzer’s aero program include a new front spoiler, rear roof spoiler, and rear spoiler. There’s also a new sports rear silencer with chromed "Racing" tail-trim, a new spring kit, a rear skit with matching rear skirt protection foil, and a new set of 18", 19" or 20" wheels.

Inside, refreshed 3-Series will carry a new three-spoke sports airbag steering wheel, an illuminated leather gear knob with a digital shift display, aluminum handbrake handles, an aluminum cover "Black Line" for i-Drive System controller, aluminum pedal sets and foot rest, velours floor mats.

AC Schnitzer has also recently announced that the program will carry performance upgrades for the new 3-Series and its various trims. Already developed are for the 318d and 320d models, which will net 171 and 218 horsepower, respectively. Meanwhile, programs for the 328i and the 335i are still in development with output expected to hit 294 horsepower and 360 horsepower, respectively.

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2012 BMW 3-Series with BMW M Performance Parts

2012 BMW 3-Series with BMW M Performance Parts

BMW’s latest M Performance Parts division has been launched on the market a few weeks ago when we saw the new M550d xDrive, the X5 M50d and the X6 M50d. Of course all these three models will be among the new vehicles BMW will display in Geneva. But next the them, the M Performance Parts will also be expanded to models like the 3-Series.

For the 3-Series BMW is offering a M Performance Power Kit for the 320d version. This will increase the engine’s output to a total of 200 HP (up from 184 HP) and a peak torque of 309 lbs-ft. All these changes have improved the car’s 0 to 60 mph sprint time by about 1.0 seconds. In order to handle the extra power the car has been equipped with a new sports suspensions system with a particularly large-scale yet weight-optimized BMW M Performance brake system that features aluminum fixed calipers at both front and rear. The car will now sit on a new set of 20" M light alloy wheels in V-spoke design.

As for the aerodynamic parts BMW is offering a rear spoiler, rear fins, carbon exterior mirror caps, a radiator grille in high-gloss black, diffuser inserts for the rear apron and side sill foliations with M Performance inscription. For the interior you will get BMW M Performance steering wheel with Race Display, interior strips in Alcantara/carbon, BMW M Performance stainless steel pedals.

UPDATE 04/15/12: If you were curious as to how BMW developed the overall program for the 3-Series with M Performance Parts, worry no more. The Bavarian automaker has released a video detailing the development of the entire customization work, which you can watch by clicking on the photo above.

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BMW considers three-cylinder engine for the 3-Series

In an interview with WhatCar, BMW’s Head of Engine Development, Peter Nefischer has confirmed that the company is preparing a three-cylinder engine for the 3-Series sedan to be completed in the next couple of years. Currently, three-cylinder engines are only used for small cars like the Volkswagen Up! and Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost, but the new fuel emission regulation may force many automakers to adopt the same strategy.

"Downsizing will go further, with smaller, more powerful engines," he said. He states that the reason behind going smaller is that they have reached their limit in terms of technology on their standard internal combustion engines. These smaller engines would then be combined with turbochargers to give them the required power for a car as large as the 3 Series.

BMW is currently preparing a three-cylinder engine for the i8 hybrid supercar, but don’t expect to see that same engine applied to the 3-Series because the 3-Series won’t be combined with an electric motor.

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Super Bowl Ad: BMW can help you out with annoying in-laws

This year’s Super Bowl has been replete with auto commercials, and that’s a good thing because we’re not running out of things to talk about.

One of the most underrated ads we saw comes from BMW. We say its underrated because it doesn’t get the hoopla of Chrysler or the comedic shots of Hyundai, but it does drive home a pretty funny point in the 30-seconds it aired.

Of all the features that come with the new BMW 3-Series, one thing that should be of great use to drivers is the ability of BMW’s Connected Drive to read emails. Whether it’s for work or as a way to get away from the house when your mother-in-law is dropping by, being able read emails on your car is a luxury everybody should have.

Yeah, even if it means getting an earful from your wife as you subtly drive away from your house.

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2011 BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition

2011 BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition

As is typical with any new generation debut, the older model always gets one final hoorah before calling it quits. Now that the new generation 3-Series has shown its face, BMW will be unveiling a special Carbon Sport Edition for that last bit of cash. The new special edition BMW 3-Series will only be offered in the six-cylinder engine model with only 150 units to speak of.

The new BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition will only be offered in Sapphire and Azurite Black Metallic paints and will be distinguished by an M Sport package, different BMW M Accessories, and a new set of 19" alloy wheels. It will also be offered with standard xenon lights, automatic climate control, a professional navigation system, leather seats, and an M sports steering wheel with shift paddles. Each unit will get a Harman Kardon hi-fi system.

The BMW 3-Series Carbon Sport Edition is now on sale and prices for the top model - the 335i Carbon Sport Edition - start from 61,995 euros or about $85,385 at the current exchange rates.

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Spy Shots: The future BMW 4-Series Coupe finally reveals itself

In order to grab Audi by the rings, BMW is expanding the number of variants for its already popular models, including the recently launched 3-Series. The newly minted sedan is getting its very own coupe version, but rumor has it that this new model will be dubbed the 4-Series and was recently captured by our spy photographers.

There’s not much to know about the 4-Series just yet, but it looks as though it will be a smaller version of the 6-Series with a design language inspired by the 3-Series with a sportier character. The vehicle will be a few inches longer than the sedan version and will feature a more aggressive front end with the new-style exposed, three-dimensional BMW double kidney grille and a larger rear window.

Under the hood, BMW will place a choice of four engines - two petrol and two diesel - including the new 245bhp 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol and the more powerful 435i engine with an output of 306 HP. As with all the other BMW models, all-wheel-drive xDrive versions will be available as well.

When the new BMW 4-Series goes on sale in 2013, it will be looking to take over the Audi A5 Sportback’s piece of the market.

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2005 - 2011 BMW 3-Series by Prior Design

2005 - 2011 BMW 3-Series by Prior Design

Compared to the BMW M3, the new 3-Series is a little, shall we say, vanilla on the design aspect. But even if you share the same sentiments on the latter, German tuning company Prior Design has come up with a new aerodynamic wide body kit that can add some sizzle to the 3-Series’ design, turning it into something that has a little ’M’ flavor to it.

The kit was designed for the 3-Series E90 and it includes various body kit parts, including a new bonnet, a redesigned and aggressive front bumper, new front fenders, aggressive side skirts, a new rear apron, a redesigned trunk, and an integrated rear spoiler. Another addition to Prior Design’s body kit are the new side mirrors, which have been designed to replicate those found on the M3.

The end game for the 3-Series E90 is a car that comes with an aggressive wide body kit that puts a lot more flair and panache into the otherwise mundane vehicle. No improvements were done on the powertrain, but if you combine this widebody kit to the number of engine options for the 3-Series, including the powerful 4.0-liter V8 that produces 414 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque, then you’ll have a 3-Series that can now look as good as its power suggests.

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2012 BMW 3-Series M Sports Package

2012 BMW 3-Series M Sports Package

Along with the unveiling of the new BMW 3-Series comes the new 3-Series M-Sport package, available starting in Summer 2012. The new package will further accentuate the sportiness and dynamism of the 3-Series while allowing potential customers to fully customize it to their liking.

The BMW 3-Series M Sport package includes a new M Sport suspension that drops the ride height by 10mm/0.4 in., 18 or 19-inch M alloy wheels, special body parts, chrome tailpipes, and exclusive exterior paintwork.

For the interior, the M Sport package gets distinctive cloth/Alcantara sports seats, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Shortshifter (in models with a manual gearbox), M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, and the new M leather steering wheel. The M-Sport package will also allow the driver to use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics between more comfortable or sportier settings.

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2013 BMW 3-Series Touring

2013 BMW 3-Series Touring

The sixth generation BMW 3-Series (F30) is getting closer to its official debut and, as a result, the prototypes we’ve caught testing have started to lose some of their camouflage. The new 3-Series Touring is expected to make its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show with sales on the US market following shortly thereafter.

The full line of 3-Series Touring models will include sedan, station wagon, coupe, convertible,and M3 versions. The new generation won’t just be bringing a new design language, but it will also host a new family of aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines ranging from 135 to 245 HP.

The exterior design of the new 3-Series Touring will bring a fresher appearance with a front end inspired by the latest 5- and 7-Series models, plus the company’s latest kidney grille. The interior will offer more luxury and will lose the center hump that houses the current model’s optional navigation system.

As for the engine line-up, depending on the market, expect to see a full line of both diesel and petrol engines, with the addition of a new generation of modular, four-cylinder engines. These new engines will be able to deliver between 140 HP to 230 HP, with a 2.0 engine going up to 300 HP. Whether or not BMW has opted to drop the six-cylinder engines in favor of the new four cylinders is a question still left unanswered. Fuel economy is still the name of the game for most automakers, so this is a good possibility. In fact, the next 3-Series will also be coming in a hybrid version that will add two electric motors for a 20% improvement in fuel consumption.

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Rendering: 2012 BMW 3-Series

BMW is still keeping a tad bit mum when it comes to the new version of their smaller sedan, but automotive enthusiasts are not going to let something like that stop the flow of information. Our latest rendering of the 2012 BMW 3-Series takes the elements revealed from the most recent spy shots to unveil the BMW 3-Series in it full and naked glory.

Ever since the 3-Series began production back in 1975, BMW has done very little to mess with its overall design. Each generation has brought out some tweaks here and there, but nothing too drastic. The BMW F30 3-Series will be no different. The sedan takes some of the same design cues from the new 5-Series, and possibly the new 7-Series. There have been numerous reports that the new 3-Series will be longer than the current version by around an inch and a half, but it will have considerably shorter overhangs.

As for the engine, the 2012 BMW 3-Series will feature BMW’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with an output of 240-horsepower and at least one inline six option. The diesel lineup will consist of turbocharged four-cylinder and six-cylinder variants and a hybrid model will also come into play sometime later.

After the sedan makes it debut - more than likely at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show - BMW will then bring out convertible, coupe, M3, wagon, and Gran Turismo variants.

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2012 BMW London Performance Editions

2012 BMW London Performance Editions

In order to celebrate BMW’s sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Game, the company has unveiled the London Performance special editions based on the 3-Series and 1-Series models. The Performance Edition models will add £1,500 ($2,400 at the current exchange rates) for the 1-Series model and £500 ($800 at the current exchange rates) for the 3-Series version.

The 1 Series Performance Edition will add M aerodynamic body styling, dark chrome 18" M light alloy wheels, High-gloss Shadowline exterior trim, a dark chrome exhaust tailpipe, and dark line rear lights. The interior will get sport seats with Royal Blue stitching, an M Sport multi-function leather steering wheel and gearshift leaver, floor mats with Royal Blue piping, and London 2012 exterior badges. The car’s sporty look is further enhanced by an M Sport Suspension.

The 3-Series Performance Edition will receive an M aerodynamic body kit, an M sport multi-function leather steering wheel, sport seats, floor mats with blue piping, 18" light alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust finisher, and London 2012 exterior badges.

Both Performance Edition models will be offered in four colors: Alpine White, Titanium Silver, Bluewater, and Black Sapphire.

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2011 BMW 335i Performance Edition

2011 BMW 335i Performance Edition

Following the quick sell of the M3 Frozen Black Edition comes a new special edition that will be used to bring the M3 production to a climatic close. The new BMW 335i Performance Edition (standard pictured) will feature a boost in power and some distinguishing characteristics.

Details on the new model are still scarce at this point, but during the July BMWNA Sales Roundtable Broadcast, BMW announced that the 335i Performance will get an additional 20 HP and another 32 lb-ft of torque to add to the standard model’s 300 HP and 300 lbs-ft. With this increase, the sprint from 0-60 mph can be made 0.2 seconds faster. Not a huge difference, but apparently enough to make a special edition out of it. Folks using the Beamer as a daily driver need not be impressed.

In addition to the mild power increase, the new model will also be equipped with black kidney grilles (stock ones in the trunk) and a "Performance Edition" badge. Potential customers will need to know that the new package can only be combined with the 335i models carrying the Sport/M-Sport package (must have increased top speed code 840).

Other than that, there’s nothing else to write home about at this time. The new BMW 335i Performance Edition will be available on August production 335i sedans with an additional $550 price tag. More details should be revealed closer to the production date.

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2011 BMW 328 Hommage

2011 BMW 328 Hommage

Back in the ’30s BMW unveiled the 328 - the most successful and best-looking sports car at that time. The car’s success was due to its impressive design parameters: systematic lightweight construction, aerodynamic lines, optimum engine types, and outstanding suspension technology. Now, as a celebration of the car’s 75th anniversary, BMW will unveiled the 328 Hommage at this year’s Mille Miglia. This model modernizes the principles and the character of the vehicle from back then and offers a possible interpretation of how the designers of that time, Fritz Fiedler and Rudolf Schleicher, might have built the BMW 328 if they had the use of our current technology.

"With the BMW 328 Hommage, we wish to pay homage to the passion and inventiveness of the fathers of the BMW 328", explains Karl Bäumer, CEO of BMW Group Classic. "They created an icon, which is consid-ered a milestone in the history of the automobile."

UPDATE 05/23/2011: BMW revealed the first details on the 328 Hommage earlier this weekend and now it’s time to see the concept in action at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. At that same event, the concept won the title of "best of show" in the "Concept Cars and Prototypes" category. Hit the jump for the video.

UPDATE 05/31/2011: BMW has revealed a rather cool video of the 328 Hommage that captures the brand new concept car in action. The movie was filmed around BMW Design.

UPDATE 06/06/2011: BMW has unveiled a new cool video in which it compared the new 328 Hommage concept to the model that inspired it: the classic 328. A must see for anyone out there!

Hit the jump to read more about the BMW 328 Hommage.

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2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

The Geneva Motor Show is now in the rear-view mirror, which means that the spotlight has now turned to the New York Auto Show this coming April, and if there’s one thing that we can all look forward to in New York, it’s that it will be the site of the 2011 World Car of the Year awards.

All in all, 39 vehicles were included in the initial entry list comprising of new cars from all over the world. From these 39 cars, the list was whittled down to ten finalists with the top three contenders from these 10 cars receiving the final nominations for the 2011 World Car of the Year title.

The cars that are subject for nomination are selected and voted on by an international jury panel consisting of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each member of the panel has been appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the merits of their experience, credibility, and influence within the auto industry in their respective countries and, to an extent, in the region.

Eligibility for the World Car award is important in determining which cars can be nominated for the awards. This year, all candidates for the awards must become available for sale on at least two continents from January 1, 2010 to May 30, 2011.

Apart from the World Car of the Year title, other awards that will be announced at the New York Auto Show include the World Performance Car of the Year, the World Green Car of the Year, and the World Car Design of the Year.

Check out all the nominated cars for each of the categories after the jump.

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2011 BMW 3-Series M-Sport MC Edition by Arkym

2011 BMW 3-Series M-Sport MC Edition by Arkym

Arkym has heard our cries and have brought forth yet another tuning kit for the BMW 3-series that doesn’t have us choking on last night’s dinner as did their AeroRace One. Fit for any 2010+ BMW 335is LCI, the M-Sport MC Edition package is just the right amount of sporty appeal without the head-scratching mods that appeared on that other model.

Typically when we come across a beautiful rendition of a car, we assume that the idea behind it was thought up by a man, since the auto industry is chock full of testosterone. This car, however, was the brain child of Maureen Chen, a woman who wanted to stand in front of her own car and not stand to the side of someone else’s ride in a scantily clad bikini.

Arkym’s press release sums it up the best stating: "And thus what was coincidentally manifested from this perfectly timed request was the Arkym E92 3-Series M-Sport MC Edition, 3-piece AeroSport kit for the 2010+ BMW 335is LCIs. A good relationship between individuals in the same automotive scene, man or woman, is absolutely key no matter where they come from as neighbors in our world. Given the opportunity for us at Arkym to explore the 335is lineup with Maureen Chen provided us with refreshing insight on how her personality and professionalism in wanting to be a part of her own project translates directly toward the look and feel of her car: sporty, classy, “avant garde”, and not afraid to bite."

No exact details were given on the different components added to the BMW E92 3-Series, but we’re staying on top of this one and bringing those details as soon as we have them. Until then, check out the gallery to see what happens when a woman decides that average just isn’t enough.

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BMW 335i gets a meaner sound with an Akrapovic exhaust

BMW 335i gets a meaner sound with an Akrapovic exhaust

We’re already come across some pretty impressive exhaust systems by Akrapovic, first for the Ferrari 458 Italia and the second one for the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X. Today it’s time for round three with the BMW 335ireceiving the same updates. The Evolution exhaust system, which is made entirely of titanium or stainless steel, gives the BMW 335i more power and weighs less, offering an even better on-road performance.

The new exhaust system adds an extra 12 HP (at 5.980 rpm) and 16 Nm of torque (at 2.910 rpm). It weighs only 14 kilograms and is made entirely from titanium or stainless steel, making it sound very sporty and reflecting the formidable nature of the powerful six-pot engine.

The tuner is also offering a Slip-On exhaust system that only adds of 7 HP (at 5.950 rpm) and 8 Nm of torque (at 3.560 rpm). The range between 2,500 rpm and 3,000 rpm and at 3,500 rpm was also improved.

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Rendering: 2012 BMW 3-Series Coupe

Rendering: 2012 BMW 3-Series Coupe

BMW’s 3-Series has made its way into the hearts of all Beamer lovers, but this next version is sure to please just about anyone who craves a luxury vehicle with insurmountable excellence. And if you don’t believe us, check out this rendering provided by designer, Andrei Avarvarii.

The 2012 BMW 3-Series Coupe is said to be longer than the current version by around an inch and a half, but it will have considerably shorter overhangs. Its design elements will be borrowed from brethren such as the next-generation X3, the new 5-Series, and the new 7-Series.

Power for the 3-Series should come from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and, quite possibly, an inline six-cylinder as well. A hybrid and a diesel version may also be up for grabs when the time is right. What we can be absolutely sure of is that the next 2012 BMW 3-Series will feature Vision Efficient Dynamics technology.

All we have to say is that theMercedes C-Class, the Audi A4, and the Cadillac CTS better watch their step; this BMW 3-Series is packing some serious punch.

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Next generation BMW 3-Series comes with Connect Drive

Next generation BMW 3-Series comes with Connect Drive

As you know, BMW prepares to launch the new generation 3-Series sometime in 2012. And today we have more details on the future car thanks to the British magazine Autocar. The news today is that the future 3-Series will be offered with a new Connect Drive system that will help the car "to react ‘intelligently’ with local road conditions to allow both greater fuel efficiency as well as improving safety for both drivers and pedestrians." Same system will also be used in the next 6-Series.

The new Connect Drive system offers "info coming into the vehicle" and "info from the vehicle". The first ones come from external sensors, from car-to-car communication and other technologies like these and then are downloaded in the car. The system will then combine them with information being generated by the car itself, including the vehicle status, and 3D information and makes decisions about the way the car operates. The new system will also help improving fuel consumption by 15%.

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Video: Music for Your BMW Courtesy of AC Schnitzer

Video: Music for Your BMW Courtesy of AC Schnitzer

When it comes to the business of aftermarket BMW bits, AC Schnitzer are the people you speak to. Not only because their quality and fitment is superb, but also because they’re the only BMW approved tuning company – meaning your bulletproof BMW Motorplan remains intact. They offer a host of aesthetic and performance parts for almost every BMW, amongst the favorites being their performance exhaust systems. Not only do they sound much sportier than the factory items, but they also help free up a few horses and Newton-meters to your chosen ride. In this feature you can listen to not only the tuned versions, but also their factory counterparts for an all-round aural experience. Be prepared to fork out some cash though – one of these babies doesn’t come cheap! Cars include: BMW 550i (F10), BMW Z4 sDrive35is, different versions of the 650 BHP BMW X6M Falcon by AC Schnitzer, BMW 135i and 335i, and the BMW E92 M3.

Check out the videos after the jump and don’t forget to turn up the volume!

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Video: BMW’s "Story of 3" commercial

We haven’t seen or heard a whole lot of BMW’s “Story of Joy” in a while, but it doesn’t mean that BMW is done releasing those cool “Joy” commercials, which highlight the joy and happiness of owning – and driving - a BMW.

The central subject of the new “Joy” commercial is the 34-year history of the 3-Series and the pleasure and happiness of owning one. Not that owners of the 3-Series need any more affirmation of driving around town with a 3-Series, but it does paint a very poignant picture of the age-old belief that BMW is the ultimate expression of how a sports car should be and that the 3-Series is, as evidenced by the universal love for the car, the epitome of what BMW strives to be: a company that gives its customers a feeling of joy and happiness.

Check out the video and watch another one of BMW’s amazing “Joy” commercials.

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2010 BMW 335i by MR Car

2010 BMW 335i by MR Car

In its standard version, the BMW 335i develops a total of 306 HP. That should be enough for some, but for others - like a seasoned tuner - power can always be boosted to a higher number. MR Car Design, for example, has played with the output of the 3-Series so that it could compete against its own BMW M3!

Thanks to a new exhaust system (850 Euro), an XXL intercooler (899 Euro), and an optimized engine software (849 Euro), the engine will now deliver a total of 406 HP and 530 Nm of torque. Quite impressive for a 335i, and not far from the 420 HP of the M3. The package also includes a new KW coilover suspension that improves the handling.

The car sits on a new set 20 inch Breyton Spirit alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, 235/30-20 and 285/25-20.

Realistically, we don’t see anyone actually pinning these two together, but it’s nice to see that the souped up 3-Series could hold its own against its speedier brethren, the BMW M3. The increase in horsepower will obvious give the 3-Series improved performance numbers, but the tuner has failed to divulge what these new numbers are. That being said, we expect big things from this enhancement.

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Superchips upgrades BMW's 3.0D engine for various models

Superchips upgrades BMW’s 3.0D engine for various models

British tuner, Superchips, has decided that diesel engines can be just as much fun as their petrol counterparts, so they decided to do a little reconfiguring for BMW’s 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that powers models like the BMW 3-Series, 5-Series, 7-Series, X5, and X6.

Superchips was able to increase the power of the diesel engine by 44hp at 4183 rpm and 90 Nm of torque at just 2222 rpm. This brings the total output to 313hp and 627Nm of torque. In order to accomplish this task, Superchips had to perform a remap of the engine while taking into consideration the "careful optimization of fueling and turbo boost settings". According to Superchips, this reconfiguration allows for a sharper throttle response, a keener, more urgent engine, a harder pull throughout the rev range.

The BMW 3.0 D ECU remap is priced at £445.00 and comes with a 12 month/30,000 mile supplementary vehicle warranty.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: BMW Performance 2010 Promo

With the announcement of Infiniti’s new performance line and the debut of their2 M-based models coming up at the Pebble Beach Concours, it probably wasn’t a bad idea for BMW to release a video about their Performance line. There’s always room for a little refresher when competition is brewing.

BMW’s Performance line is available for models like the 1-Series, the 3-Series, the X5, and the X6. It includes hand-crafted carbon components, a lightweight sports silencer, front bumper, side-sills, and an insert for the rear bumper; all in a special design and body color. The Performance line also includes a rear spoiler, rear fins in matte black, and a front grid finished in high-gloss black paint. Finishing off the line are a set of 21" light-alloy wheels.

For models like the BMW M3, the Performance Package includes a lowered suspension that brings the chassis 10 mm closer to the asphalt and stiffens things up with a newly developed set of electronically adjustable dampers as well as an all new set of lightweight mesh alloys measuring 19 inches in diameter. These alloys help dress up the new M3’s appearance along with the functional aero package.

Want to see more on BMW’s Performance line? Check out the video for yourself!

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2010 BMW 3-series Dynamic Edition

2010 BMW 3-series Dynamic Edition

South Africa’s BMW Roslyn plant will officially launch a new, limited edition version of the much fabled BMW 3-Series sedan. This edition will be called the "Dynamic Edition’ and will be available only in the four-cylinder 320i petrol and 320d turbo diesel and the turbocharged straight-six 335i sedans. The ceiling for these models will be set at 300 vehicles.

The ‘Dynamic Edition’ models combine elements from the M-Sport package as well as some from the BMW Performance program such as a carbon fiber front air dam splitter, side mirror add-on’s, and a rear spoiler. It will come in Alpine White, Blue Water Metallic, and Space Grey Metallic exterior paint finishes with royal blue piping in the floor mats. The seats will come with Blue Shadow cloth and alcantara upholstery with royal blue stitching. The Dynamic package will also see engine software upgrades to improve performance for the limited edition sedan. The package is rounded off with dark chrome 18-inch alloy wheels and dark chrome tail pipes.

Hit the jump for the press release.

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1972 BMW 3.0 CSi

1972 BMW 3.0 CSi

Today BMW delivered a completely restored 1972 BMW 3.0 CSi to its owner. This occasion marked the very first full restoration completed by the BMW Classic Customer Workshop and the first time BMW Welt has delivered a classic vehicle, as opposed to a brand new one, to a customer.

The owner had a specific request for his CSi. He wanted BMW to convert the four-speed manual gearbox to an automatic, something that had previously been done only with two prototypes of the BMW 3.0 CSi. It was fitted with an automatic transmission from a BMW 2.8 CS. Other than the gearbox conversion, the experts at the BMW Classic Center had to repair a lot of body damage done to the vehicle as well as iron out technical and electronic defects. The process for this vehicle restoration took months of research and hard work, but it all paid off once the car was delivered to its owner in perfect condition. Perfect condition being the only one acceptable by the customer.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: BMW driver loses his cool on trailing MazdaSpeed3

Video: BMW driver loses his cool on trailing MazdaSpeed3

Some drivers are just plain assholes. No other way to describe it than that. And if you wanted any proof as to how these people exhibit their displeasure on just about anything that they deem as threatening to their ride, watch this video of a BMW 335i whose owner can’t stand the heat of a nice little trail ride from a MazdaSpeed3.

We don’t know what led to the uncalled-for outburst by the jerk in the BMW, but we’re guessing that he can’t stomach the fact that the high-powered Mazda could keep up with his precious ride.

Good thing that the driver of the Mazda kept his cool during the whole ordeal because a hot-tempered fellow with a penchant for road rage would have probably taken the Mazda and rammed it into the BMW. Don’t think it’s far-fetched. We’ve seen it happen before.

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Video: BMW releases new 3-Series commercial

Video: BMW releases new 3-Series commercial

Being called the best-selling BMW line is not something that should be taken lightly. There’s a certain amount of prestige and honor that goes with it and BMW is doing its part in releasing a commercial dedicated solely to this model: the BMW 3-Series.

The first 3-Series made waves back in 1975 and since then, has spawned, five generations and about five different body styles with the latest incarnation coming in the form of the facelifted 2011 3-Series Coupe and Convertible.

Check out the video to see the history of the BMW 3-Series in 30 seconds.

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