Archive for Brodie Foster

BMW Says it Has no Plans for M4 Gran Coupe, M3 Gran Turismo

Bmw-M4-Gran-Coupe2Those who expected BMW to build an M version of the 4-Series Gran Coupe will be disappointed to learn that the automaker doesn’t have plans for such a model. Despite having built the M6 Gran Coupe, the BMW M GmbH division will not build an M4 Gran Coupe any time soon.

“That is a negative. It was definitely considered, but there is no plan to build an M4 Gran Coupe,” BMW M GmbH’s sales boss Jörg Bartels wasquoted by Cars Guide. “Part of the reason is expected production volume, but also the 4-Series Gran Coupe is built in a different factory to both the 3-Series and 4 Series, so there is a lot of challenges there,” the executive added.

The F30 BMW 3-Series sedan and F80 M3 sedan are built in BMW’s Regensburg plant, while the F32 4-Series Coupe and F82 M4 Coupe are built in the Munich plant. The BMW 4-Series Coupe is produced at the Dingolfing factory.

According to Bartels, the numbers don’t add up for retooling a third German plant to assemble the M models’ series of bespoke drivetrain and structural elements, although the 4-Series Gran Coupe shares its wheelbase and platform with the 3-Series Sedan and 4-Series Coupe.

The BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo won’t get an M version either, but that comes as no surprise given that the larger 5-Series Gran Turismo never received an M variant either. This means that, at least for the foreseeable future, the mid-size BMW M family will be restricted to three models: M3 sedan, M4 Coupe and M4 Convertible.

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All-new BMW X6 revealed ahead of Moscow motor show debut


New version of BMW’s upmarket SUV will arrive in UK dealers in December, with prices starting at £51,150

The new BMW X6 has been revealed, with this second-generation model building on the upmarket coupé-like SUV that pioneered a new and lucrative market niche when it was launched in 2008.

Set to make its public debut at the Moscow motor show in August, the second-gen X6 is the latest in a long line of new BMW models revealed in recent months. It is due to go on sale in the UK in December, priced from £51,150.

Despite a slow start in the midst of a global financial downturn, the first-gen X6 has proved highly successful. BMW claims global sales of more than 250,000; that’s an annual average of more than 40,000 throughout its six-year production cycle.

The second-gen X6 has been comprehensively re-engineered in a joint development programme with the recently introduced third-gen X5, alongside which it will be produced at BMW’s US factory in South Carolina.

The styling of the new SUV has been progressed using an evolutionary approach that retains a similar silhouette to its predecessor’s but with even bolder detailing at the front and rear. The body of the new SUV receives a more structured look than its predecessor, with subtle nods to the smaller and cheaper X4.

The new X6 is slightly 
bigger than its predecessor, but not by as much as earlier disguised prototypes had suggested. At 4909mm in length, 1989mm in width and 1702mm in height, it is 34mm longer, 4mm wider and 12mm higher than the outgoing X6. The wheelbase has been reduced by 2mm, to 1933mm.

It hits the scales 10kg below that of the old model at 2065kg in its lightest xDrive30d guise, despite higher equipment levels.

Inside, the latest X6 receives a restyled dashboard, more heavily contoured seats and luxurious trims – much of which are shared with the X5. Load space has increased, but only modestly. At 580 litres, the new X6 offers 10 litres more luggage capacity underneath its cargo blind than its predecessor with its newly configured 40/20/40 rear seats in place.

BMW has revealed three launch engines for the new X6 – one petrol and two diesels. All engines are mated to a standard-fit eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system, which can be enhanced with a Dynamic Performance Control option that adds an electronically controlled torque vectoring function for added traction.

Crowning the line-up at the launch will be the xDrive50i, which runs a turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine. It produces 443bhp and 480lb ft of torque, up 42bhp and 37lb ft
compared with its predecessor. It can dispatch the 0-62mph sprint 0.6sec quicker than its forebear, at 4.8sec.

Among the initial pair of diesels being made available for the X6 is BMW’s widely used turbocharged 3.0-litre, in-line six-cylinder engine. It produces 254bhp and 413lb ft 
in the X6 xDrive30d. It’s good for 0-62mph in 6.7sec, combined economy of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 159g/km.

Rounding off the launch line-up is the X6 M50d, which receives the same tri-turbocharged 3.0-litre, six-cylinder diesel as its predecessor, with 376bhp and a stout 545lb ft of torque. It is now capable of 0-62mph in 5.2sec, BMW claims, and top speed is limited at 155mph.

In spring 2015, BMW plans to add successors to the xDrive35i and xDrive40d to the new X6 line-up.

BMW is already talking up the dynamic properties of the new X6, suggesting that it improves on the already impressive on-road traits of its predecessor. It is underpinned by a newly developed aluminium-intensive chassis that features a combination of double wishbones up front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. A reduction in unsprung masses is claimed by BMW to provide added agility and improved response.


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Mini VP McDowell To Retire

Mini VP McDowell To Retire

There has recently been a reshuffle in the organisation of senior staff in the design departments at BMW and Mini.

This reorganisation has spread over to North America where there will be significant changes with a view to improving relations with customers.

A new role has been created for Peter Miles, who will move from his Executive Vice President of Operations Role to become the Vice President of Sales Channel Development and Customer Relations.

This is a multifaceted role where key areas of interaction will be tightly managed with a view to better understanding the needs of potential and existing customers.

Jim McDowell, who has been the Vice President of Mini in the Americas, will retire. Having had great success during an award winning stint with BMW as the Vice President of Marketing since 1993, McDowell had been in charge of Mini Marketing, Sales and Aftersales in the US since 2005.

David Duncan has been promoted to Vice President of Mini of the Americas. He was previously in a role as the Regional Vice President for the Western Region. He has a wide range of expertise due to his involvement in various key areas for BMW and Mini.

Petter Witt has become the Regional Vice President of the Western Region, meaning he will be in charge of servicing and sales for BMW and Mini in that zone. His previous experience came as the Managing Director of BMW Sweden.

In a press release demonstrating these changes, BMW has made it clear that their focus is on ‘improving all phases of the customer journey from prospect to purchase and throughout the ownership life-cycle’ and went on to thank Jim McDowell ‘for his years of exemplary service to the BMW Group’.

Mini launches new F54 Clubman

Mini launches new F54 Clubman

Mini goes maxi with the launch of their new F54 Clubman, with this new 2015 model looking closer to Countryman size for added usability.

The new model should first hit the market in the first six months of 2015, offering a five door Mini with comfortable 2 + 3 seating. While it will still feature the iconic rear club doors, the single driver-side door will become two standard car doors thanks to both customer feedback and the desire for the added safety of having a B pillar on both sides.

Rear legroom will no longer be an issue in the F54 Clubman – even with the increased width that allows for a third seat in the back. Those who want a Mini but with greater boot space will be happy, as the length and width of the boot will be drastically increased, and there will be no issues with loading bulky or heavy items in as the hinging of the rear club doors will mean that the Mini F54 Clubman will feature significantly greater load angles. One big change at the rear, however, is that the rear lights will be integrated into the doors of the boot – and in terms of style and shape, will look very similar to those featured on the Paceman.

The design of the new F54 Clubman has already been signed off, with BMW now creating prototypes and conducting manufacturing assessments, ready for a probable launch before the second half of 2015.

BMW i3 vs ELR: battle of the EVs

BMW i3 vs ELR: battle of the EVs

One US writer for Autoblog got to spend time with both BMW’s i3 and Cadillac’s much more expensive ELR recently, and in a head-to-head test the results proved surprising.

The ELR combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 16.5kWh lithium ion battery that produces a healthy 295lb/ft of torque and makes the ELR effectively Cadillac’s halo model. It comes with a variety of modes to go from the most efficient set-up to the most sporting and it’s a genuine driver experience that goes some way to justifying its near $80,000 price tag in the US.

BMW’s i3 is a whole new approach. It’s smaller, and the body is produced from a carbon fibre reinforced plastic shell stretched over an aluminium frame. Its 170-hp, 184-lb/ft. motor is powered by a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and there’s an optional range extender for those that need to make longer journeys and are worried how far the batteries will take them.

The end result was a tricky one. The Cadillac is clearly the better driver’s car, but the i3′s price tag, $42,275, swings the balance in its favour. So BMW’s pricing policy is what marks it apart for now, but favourable reviews of the i3 should mean it becomes a regular in the city in coming years as it skirts Congestion Charging, and there are a number of tax incentives for the public to adopt EVs like this one.

New Mini design released by BMW.

In mid-November, BMW unveiled some exciting car news: the details of the company’s brand new Mini, which will first be available in spring 2014. With changes to the exterior, interior, dimensions and features, Mini have certainly put a lot of work into the improvements.

Three models – the Cooper , Cooper S and Cooper D – will be available at launch, all three with new engines and a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox available. The Mini is now no longer as mini, with an extra 10cm in length, 4cm in width and 7mm in height when compared with the existing model. Outside, it keeps a lot of the features of the older models, but with more sculpting of the side panels, a side window line that is more tapered and a wider tailgate. Buyers will also be able to choose from five additional paint colours, and will be able to add roof rails as an optional feature for the first time.

New Mini

CO2 emissions have dropped and fuel efficiency has improved for all three models, and the boot space has increased by over 30%, making these cars more practical. Inside, expect new circular dials located behind the steering wheel, with higher spec models featuring “controller” devices to control the entertainment and satnav systems, located on the central console.

There are also plenty of new features available, such as a rear view parking camera and self-parking functionality, while rumour has it that BMW will also be releasing a new five door version and a new, longer estate version of the Mini that will replace the Clubman. Big changes all round from the German manufacturer.


Big Motoring World Pioneers State-of-the-Art Service Centre Offering 24/7 Care

Big Motoring World, the UK’s leading used BMW specialist, has opened a brand-new service centre in Snodland to pioneer a new age in affordable car servicing and customer experience. The state-of-the-art service and MOT test centre will bring down the cost of prestige car servicing by around sixty percent when compared to a main dealer, but without losing any of the quality.

big motoring world snodland

The prestige car dealership’s all-new workshop will be open round-the-clock to offer motorists 24/7 car servicing and MOTs to boost customer experience and rival any car servicing around the UK. The ultra-modern garage, located in Snodland, will feature eleven ramps to increase performance and productivity; as well as offering drastically slashed prices that will match any main dealer’s level of service and be far more cost-effective.

Peter Waddell, Managing Director of Big Motoring World, believes that the stand-alone service centre highlights their “commitment to listening to what customers want and implementing it”.

big motoring world collection

“I’m pleased with the steady growth of the group, and most importantly, the vital feedbacks we’re receiving from our customers; that which is propelling the progressive changes within the Big Motoring World Group,” he continued.

Aaron Parks, General Manager of Big Motoring World, admitted the team “can’t wait to get the service up and running”, saying: “We are always looking for ways to make motoring cheaper and more professional for local motorists and those coming from further a field. That’s why we worked around-the-clock to finish our new service centre; not only to improve every customer’s experience, but slash the cost of having a car serviced or get an MOT.”

The BMW i3 may get an early production boost

Having invested around £1.7 billion in the development of the BMW i3, the research and development team at BMW must have been waiting with baited breath to see what the response from the general public would be like.

As it turns out, they needn’t have worried. Interest in the vehicle has significantly exceeded expectations and as a result, BMW may have to increase the level of production of the i3 very soon.

BMW_i3BMW has already taken a large number of reservations and if this level of interest holds, the German car giants are likely to have to expand their operation regarding the production of the i3 in order to meet public demand.

It was a bold idea for BMW to try and create a game changing electric car from scratch. Other companies have taken the safer route by basing their electric cars on existing models. It seems that the investment has begun to pay off as people are getting very enthusiastic about the carefully crafted, environmentally friendly addition to the BMW fleet.

One of the key issues that members of the general public have consistently voiced since the inception of the first electric cars is the limitation on the driving distance of battery operated vehicles.
BMW_i3_1Whilst it is fair to mention that there is a range extending version of the BMW i3 available which enables you to take on petrol for longer journeys, people’s biggest issue with full electric vehicles has been the concern that the distance you can travel might not be enough.

In this case however, it doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the masses of people registering an interest in the i3 before it has even been released.

Perhaps this change is simply down to the fact that people have been waiting for a top quality car manufacturer to commit to building a full electric car from scratch. There is something not particularly reassuring about companies simply fitting an electric engine into a conventional fuel based model chassis.

This may even be a tipping point for electric vehicles as trust in the concept is obviously increasing.

If BMW continue to see great levels of interest in the i3 after it is released, it will encourage other car manufacturers to start taking their own full electric car projects more seriously.

Why you should wait for a used BMW X5 – not buy a new one

The name BMW is synonymous with quality: people always take a good hard look at a BMW when they see one on the street, and many long to own one of their own.

It’s no surprise then that the new BMW X5 has drawn a lot of interest from all over the globe, from the man on the street but also from various media organisations. It’s easy to see why – high levels of performance both on and off road, combined with supreme levels of comfort for both driver and passengers, mean this is a car anyone would want sitting on their driveway.

Having said that, though, buying a new car is often considered silly. Value is only going to go one way and, if you wait a year, you’ll be able to pick up a nearly-new one for a fair discount. That’s exactly the case with the X5. For a brand new BMW X5 you’ll be paying a minimum of £42,590 – which is a substantial amount of money to the vast majority of people.9196

Wait for one to appear on the used car forecourts, though, and you could pay significantly less. What will you lose from buying second hand? Not a lot, in reality: the dealership will refresh the interior so you’ll still drive away with that ‘new’ car smell and feel, while you’ll likely obtain a warranty as well.

What’s more, before you drive away the car will have undergone thorough checking – so it will be ‘nearly new’ in every possible sense. These days, cars age very quickly, so buying a new car is, more often than not, a mistake – sooner rather than later the car will be officially old, and the value will deteriorate rapidly.

BMWs in general are well known for their longevity. Save your money, and wait a while, and you could own a BMW X5 for the rest of your life, that is almost new when you buy it.

BMW X4 2014 price & release date

The concept model for the new BMW X4 was first unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show in April, and seeing as the final production model is expected to be very similar it shouldn’t take too long for BMW to expose the completed masterpiece.

BMW X4 2014

From the images released, the BMW X4 appears to be a sportier version of the X3, just as the X6 is a sportier version of the X5, with larger wheels and a firmer suspension. The X4 is also similar to the X6 in that it has a sloping roof-line and an upturned boot lid. With the success of the X6 over the X5 it’s no wonder that BMW has chosen to revamp the X3 in the same way.

Although the interior of this new car is yet to be revealed it can be estimated that the layout will be almost identical to the X3 as would be expected for BMW to minimise development costs. Also, with the development of the sloping roof, it appears that headroom in the rear will be lacking.

No details have been provided about the engines yet either, but as with the interior, it is likely to be similar to that of the X3. BMW have confirmed that the X4 will come with the xDrive four-wheel-drive system found on its predecessors but they have not mentioned whether a rear-wheel-drive version will be available.

The BMW X4 is certain to make a well-anticipated appearance at the Detroit Motor Show in January, where an official 2014 release date is also likely to be announced. The price of the car is yet to be publicised too, but estimations are ranging from £30,000 – £35,000 in the United Kingdom. The car will be built alongside the X3, X5 and X6 at the Spartanburg Plant in South Carolina, USA.