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BMW And Roadsters: The Unholy Combo That Never Went BMW's Way

BMW And Roadsters: The Unholy Combo That Never Went BMW’s Way

Despite some brilliant creations, BMW and roadsters are a cursed match that was never meant to be

BMW has a rich history when it comes to making skillfully engineered and highly technical automobiles, and its 106-year history is a testament to that. Even though most of its cars are classically handsome in a very German way, they do lack the flair that some of their Italian counterparts managed to bring to the table. In BMWs defense, it isn’t for the lack of trying, but unfortunately, there seems to be a curse that bars its flagship and flamboyant droptops from sales success.

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10 Best Manual BMWs Of All Time

10 Best Manual BMWs Of All Time

Here’s a curated list of the finest BMWs of all time, all featuring three pedals and a good ol’ stick shifter

BMWs are known as some of the purest driving machines that emphasize driving pleasure and engineering excellence over other things. However, in recent years, enthusiasts have been blaming BMW for diluting its core ethos in a bid to chase luxury and efficiency, but the biggest clincher for car enthusiasts has to be the fact that BMW has no manual transmission cars in its current portfolio, save for the M3 and M4. But, fear not, we have curated a list of the best manual transmission BMWs of all time to help you relish and even find your next truly analog Beemer.

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Track Battle: Can The Ultra-lightweight Caterham 360R Take On The BMW M3 xDrive Competition

Track Battle: Can The Ultra-lightweight Caterham 360R Take On The BMW M3 xDrive Competition

This hot-lap battle between a Caterham 360R and a BMW M3 Competition xDrive prove that numbers don’t tell the whole story

Power to weight ratio is an important tangible aspect of any car when it comes to performance. But where is the point in which big horsepower prevails over a better power-to-weight ratio? Auto Express has provided an answer to that, by pitting the ultra-lightweight Caterham 360R versus the tech-heavy BMW M3 xDrive Competition, in a race around a racetrack.

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This BMW Z8 With 16,000 Miles Sold For Over $220,000!

This BMW Z8 With 16,000 Miles Sold For Over $220,000!

The BMW Z8 is a stunning retro-inspired roadster and an appreciating classic. This 2001 example just fetched over $220,000

In case you are tired of seeing listings of expensive, low-mileage Japanese sports cars from the early 2000s, allow us to share with you about an expensive European sports car from the early 2000s. The BMW Z8 is one of the most unique-looking cars to come out of the Bavarian brand. With 2,543 units made, it’s not exactly a common sight on the road. Nowadays, the BMW Z8 is a desired collector’s car, which is why a 2001 model recently exchanged hands for $220,900.

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2020 BMW M850i Convertible - Driven

2020 BMW M850i Convertible - Driven

Fighting the competition in an all-new niche we didn’t know existed

The year was 2018, and it was time for BMW to have a Halo car outside of the aging i8, but BMW didn’t go for another EV or a high-powered supercar. Instead, after a 20-year hiatus, BMW decided that it was time to revive the 8 Series name, and that’s exactly what happened on June 15, 2018. The modern, sporty 2019 BMW 8 Series shot like an arrow straight to the heart of purists as BMW let out the roaring promise of crippling power in a sexy coupe silhouette – 523 horsepower in M850i form, to be specific. Since the return of the new 8 Series that hot day in the middle of June, the 8 Series lineup has expanded to include the 840i, M850i, M8, and the soon-to-launch Gran Coupe that should be offered in both M850i and M8 form.

Like most BMW fanboys, we started picking apart the new BMW 8 Series. We wondered: Is it worthy of the 8 Series name? Will it be worth the near-six-figure price? Can this large of a car really offer up the performance, handling, and luxury that not only have we come to expect from BMW but from something that wears the crown of a halo car? We’ve set out to find the truth on a number of occasions, and have even compared it on paper to the 6 Series, the Aston Martin DB11, and the Mercedes S-Class. It wasn’t until Summer of 2019 that we actually got to sit behind the wheel of the new 8 Series, though. But, when we did, we were graced with the honor of driving the M850i Convertible – a model that is said to blend 523 horsepower, world-class driving dynamics, and the best open-air feeling on the market.

The question now is, however, does the all-new 8 Series actually live up to the bold claims made by BMW? Well, we spent a whole week with the M850i Convertible, and this is our story. You might want to buckle up because things get interesting!!

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2019 BMW i8 Roadster Driven

2019 BMW i8 Roadster Driven

The reasonably powered supercar

The BMW i8 Roadster is the car you want to have if you want to make more statements at once. If you want to look wealthy, unusual, and with an eye towards our future, you should park an i8 in your driveway. The 2+2 sports car still looks fresh six years into its production cycle and, as much as we love the glassed roof of the coupe, this roadster version is the one to have during the summer months. We took one for a spin to see if BMW has lost the lead in the hybrid sports car segment or if the i8 is still the king of the crop.

Now, the first thing you must know about the i8 Roadster is the concession it pushes you to make: due to the fact that you no longer have a fixed roof over your head and, instead, you have to make do with a soft top, there are o back seats. The place where the back seats used to be is eaten up by the two-piece, electrified roof when it’s folded away from view. On the other hand, you do get just as much oomph as in the case of the Coupe, namely 369 horsepower combined that translate to a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Also, the roofless i8 was the first to come with the 11.6 kWh battery pack that feeds the single synchronous electric motor on the front axle and the one that sits on the back axle, near the engine.

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BMW Teases Z4 Before Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Debut

BMW Teases Z4 Before Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Debut

The wait is almost over!

After years of rumors, spy shots, and leaks, it looks as though the full public release for the new BMW Z4 is just a few weeks out. The German brand is teasing the debut of an “all-new BMW production car” slated to drop cover during Monterey Car Week, and by all accounts, it’s looking like the hotly anticipated two-seater performance roadster will steal the spotlight.

Continue reading for the full story.

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A BMW 507 Brought in More Than $5 Million at the 2018 Goodwood Auction!

A BMW 507 Brought in More Than $5 Million at the 2018 Goodwood Auction!

It doesn’t get any sexier than the BMW 507 Roadster

A 1957 BMW 507 Roadster sold for more than $5 million at the recent Bonham auction at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The final price not only doubled the car’s pre-auction estimate — it was expected to fetch around $2.5 million — it also blew past the highest price ever paid for a BMW 507 by more than $2 million.

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1998 - 2002 BMW M Coupe

1998 - 2002 BMW M Coupe

Weird that goes fast

It’s been called the “clown shoe” on more than one occasion. Personally, I think it looks like a Dutch clog, but that’s just me. Whatever you want to call it, the BMW M Coupe is undeniably unique, and the individuality runs much deeper than simple aesthetics. From a numbers standpoint, it’s one of the lowest production BMWs ever made. Philosophically, the M Coupe was built by engineers for people who want to go fast, completely removed from the velocity-killing forces of branding and marketing. Rather, the approach taken here was more backyard-special than high-gloss advertisement – low weight, high horsepower, lots of rubber, and let the public think whatever it wants.

While at times unbridled and unforgiving, the M Coupe is still whip-smart, with handling that takes finesse and patience to master. A true enthusiast’s vehicle, Car and Driver called it “nerd chic,” while U.S. owners gather every year to share their passion at an event called Dorkfest. Let’s just say appeal is limited, at best.

While rarity and explicit weirdness have pushed the M Coupe into obscurity, car lovers of every stripe would do well to regard it as the fast, unhinged shooting-brake challenge that was never truly answered.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1998 – 2002 BMW M Coupe.

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Join us for our first-ever LIVE TopSpeed Podcast!

Join us for our first-ever LIVE TopSpeed Podcast!

***We will start this party at approximately 0945 US EASTERN TIME***

Ladies and Gentleman, you are invited to join us for a special early-week TopSpeed Podcast. The best part? It is totally live. Feel free to click the play button on the YouTube video to hang out with us; you can even chat and comment live to give us feedback and ask us questions.

I know the show is a few days early, but I have a special announcement to make. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it involves lots of horsepower and an epic road trip. You have to watch to see what the announcement is.

Beyond the special announcement, we are going to talk about Justin’s drive of the new 4-Series, the new McLaren P13 GT and the future of solar powered roads.

Mark is also going to regale us with tales of his time with the Chrysler Town & Country, and then we plan on discussing the changed coming to the 2015 Nissan Frontier and then we plan on covering the crazy Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept.

We may have another piece of news or two, and of course we will have viewer questions, and a round of Own, Drive, Burn.

Click that play button and hang out!

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Video: History of BMW Roadsters

Video: History of BMW Roadsters

BMW’s illustrious history began during World War I when the now-successful luxury car-builder developed fighter aircraft-engine. At the end of the WWI it switched to developing motorcycles, then in 1929, BMW bought its way into the car industry when it purchased the Dixi Car factory and started developing automobiles — some of its best were elegant roadsters.

The first roadster to roll out of Bimmer’s factory was the 315/1, which was based on the 315 saloon. From here, things evolved to the 328, which was one of the most successful roadster ever developed by BM and won the Mille Miglia in many times and the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After the WWII, BMW was in great trouble and it needed a car to rescue it, and BMW thought that car was the 507. It was indeed a great car, with one of the most gorgeous design languages in the era and a powerful engine under the hood. However, because of its high price — $10,500 — the 507 was almost responsible for putting the BMW into bankruptcy. Only 252 units were ever developed, despite BMW’s 5,000-units-per-year projection.

Next BMW started to develop the Z series, with the Z1 being the first model. What is very cool about the Z1 is that the doors drop down into the door sills so you can drive it with no doors. Next we had the Z3, Z8 and the current Z4. The black sheep of the family was the Z3, which never really looked or felt like a BMW.

Check out the video (above) to get a closer look at Bimmer’s history of roadsters.

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Auto Club Revolution Puts Your Digital Butt in the New BMW Z4 sDrive35is First

Auto Club Revolution Puts Your Digital Butt in the New BMW Z4 sDrive35is First

BMW has promised us the revised 2014 (2013 in the Euro market) BMW Z4 and its most anticipated version, the sDrive35is, sometime in the spring of 2013. Well, spring has officially sprung and we have yet to hear a peep from BMW regarding this revised model.

Fortunately, the folks over at Eutechnyx, the company that bring us the free online racing game “Auto Club Revolution,” have developed a special relationship with Bimmer and have permission to sneak the digi-version of the Z4 sDrive35is into the game a little early. Preorders for the car started today (April 11th) and it will set you back about 356 VPR on the game, which translates out to roughly $3.50 if you buy the credits. The Z4 is set to be released on the game on April 24th.

What’s more, the first 200 buyers to preorder it will get access to the car on the 17th, giving them a full week of drop-top-racing fun before everyone else. Now is the time to buy too, as “Auto Club Revolution” is having a flash sale through the 16th, which gets you up to 50 percent off of all the available cars.

If you’re not too sure if the Z4 is for you, you can see it in action in the above trailer.

You can download the game to your PC here. If you already have the game, you can preorder you digital Z4 sDrive35is here.

Click past the jump to read the full press release and more on the 2014 Z4

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Next BMW Z4 May be Built on Toyota GT86 Platform

Next BMW Z4 May be Built on Toyota GT86 Platform

BMW and Toyota recently signed an agreement that will bring the two companies new fuel-efficient technologies and at least two new sports cars: a new-generation Z4 sports car for Bimmer and a new-generation Supra for its Japanese partner in crime.

Rumors suggest that both the new Z4 and thenew Supra will be built on the same platform as the GT86 sports coupe. If these rumors turn out to be true, it will mean that the next Z4 will be a much more dynamic handling car than the current generation – not that the current generation is a slouch.

It has been also rumored that BMW is preparing a new V-6 hybrid system that will deliver about 400 horsepower, which is pretty big boost over the current 335 horsepower delivered by the most powerful Z4 version: the sDrive35is.

The new generation BMW Z4 is set to be unveiled in late 2015 as a 2016 model, so we will find out in a few years.

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2017 BMW Z2 Roadster

2017 BMW Z2 Roadster

Rumors of a smaller roadster known as the BMW Z2, which aims to capture the spirit of the departed BMW Z3, have been swirling for several years, but nothing ever happened. Well, Autocar has resurrected the rumors and we now have a little bit of unconfirmed information on this potential model. It looks like it is the real deal, but you’ll have to be the judge.

While the Z4 is slowly transitioning into a GT car, the rumored Z2 will be an open-top, entry-level roadster that gives the opportunity for roadster fans to buy one without shelling a small fortune, an aspect that made the Mazda MX-5 Miata legendary.

While BMW is bound to call this car a "Z3 successor," the omission of RWD alone isn’t deserving of that description. Let’s see what BMW has in store for us in this exciting project they may undertake.

Updated 5/12/2014: Car and Driver has brought to our attention that despite a lack of information, the FWD BMW Z2 is very much still alive and projected to hit the market in late 2016. Prices will range from around $30,000 for the base model to as high as $50k for the M variant.

Click past the jump to read more on the Z2 Roadster.

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