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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Top 10 Track Specials Under $60,000
Driving is a mundane task for some people, but for others it’s a sport, and there’s no better proving ground than a track.
Automakers see that opportunity as well, and love to offer up cars that are designed specifically with track use in mind. Take a look at the latest offering from Subaru and Scion, the BRZ/FR-S twins. Both cars were designed with a priority on light-weight, and achieves an impressive weight balance. In true sporting fashion, it’s rear-wheel drive and can be had with a slick-shifting six-speed manual, or quick automatic with race-inspired paddle-shifters.
The FR-S isn’t the only car out there with racing in its veins. Here’s a list of factory-customized machines designed for time at the track.
Details are surfacing on the next-generation BMW M3, as we continue to wonder whether or not it’ll be offered with a manual transmission. It’s starting to appear that the sedan M3 model will be available with a dual-clutch transmission only, while the coupe M4 will probably see a manual option.
Ten Turbocharged Cars We Can't Wait to Get Our Hands On
Turbocharged vehicles are quickly becoming the answer to having a fuel-efficient vehicle, with exciting performance. They seem to all be geared towards the sensible enthusiast, offering sporty dynamics, while still getting solid fuel efficiency.
Here’s some of the upcoming turbo-charged vehicles you can expect in the next few years. We’ve got some spy-pictures, and concept designs, even though some details of these cars are still unknown.
Initially it was believed that the 2014 M3 would see a tri-turbo, straight-six engine, but now a BMW insider is claiming that a 3.0L, twin-turbo V6 is in the works. In a way it makes sense, considering BMW is outfitting its M5 and M6 models with 4.4L, twin-turbo V8 engine.
Either way, one thing is for sure: the next-generation M3 won’t be seeing a naturally aspirated powerplant which it has had for the past 26 years. Natural improvements on the next-generation M3 include lighter weight components, helping it shave a few more pounds, and a possibility of electric power steering. Transmission options should remain six-speed manual with an updated seven-speed dual-clutch option.
Rumor has it that for the first time, the new BMW M3 sedan will surface first with the coupe following afterwards.
[Source: Inside Line]
BMW‘s M cars are always anxiously awaited by fans thanks to the legacy of performance that is attached to the brand. It seems the newest M badge to adorn a BWM will be attached to the 3-series, and our spy photographers snapped some spy photos of the M3 testing somewhere in Sweden.
Not much is known about the newest M3, but rumors have been suggesting that it will be powered by a tri-turbo 3.3L straight six, rather than the last generations larger V8. The tri-turbo setup looks to eliminate turbo lag, improve fuel efficiency and provide smooth acceleration and even power at low RPMs as well as high revs.
The newest iteration of the M3 does not appear to have changed that much style wise, staying quite close to the normal 3-Series design. The power and performance however will be upgraded and provide a much different driving experience from the normal 3-Series, as is the standard for all BMW M cars.
GALLERY:BMW M3 Spy Photos
BMW enthusiasts in the United Kingdom will get to enjoy a Limited Edition 500 model of the current-generation M3 Coupe and Convertible.
Limited to 500 units, the special edition mostly features aesthetic accessories including dark-chrome details on the double kidney grille, side fender plates and a quad-tipped exhaust setup. Additionally, it comes with the popular BMW high-gloss Shadowline exterior trim and 19-inch glossy black wheels. Buyers may choose from Imola Red, Mineral White and Santorini Blue paint — coincidentally the three colors found in the U.K. flag.
BMW outfitted the M3 500 interior with Novillo leather and color-matched stitching to the exterior of the car. The interior trim will be piano black but will be further accented with a laser-cut dash plaque that designates “one of 500.”
The same 420-hp V8 powerplant mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed M DCT remains under the hood.
Surprisingly, the M3 500 is reasonably priced with the Coupe package starting at close to $88,900 (£55,690) while the convertible will cost about $95,400 (£59,785). While that’s difficult to compare to U.S. figures on a standard M3, the Limited Edition 500 is only about $1,600 (£1,000) more than the standard M3 coupe and convertible price.
The corkscrew at Laguna Seca is one of the most noticeable landmarks in the world to any automotive enthusiast. So BMW got clever with the famous turn with a new marketing video for its X5M, proving that it can even best its M3 counterpart on the track.
The video starts out as your standard on-track video, with your good ‘ol bold text showing off that a vehicle packs a twin-turbo V8 with 555-hp and has a Torque Vectoring Rear Differential. That vehicle of course is the German automaker’s X5M. BMW then goes and showcases why the X5M is such a formidable vehicle on and off the track.
Check out the video after the break.
Those guys over at Autobild sure know how to have some fun. They decided to do grab every current BMW M model and pit them off against one another at Germany’s Sachsenring track in Bernsdorf.
The fastest time of the day from their shootout was BMW’s M3 GTS, equipped with semi-slicks with a time of 1:37.30 – but since we’re comparing apples to apples, the M3 CRT ran a time of 1:38.87 while the new M5 did it in 1:38.90. That’s a mere 0.03-seconds off the M3 CRT but it’s also worth mentioning that the new M5 was driven by Claudia Hürtgen, a German race car driver and one of Germany’s best known female racers, while the rest of the cars were driven by Autobild drivers.
The 1M Coupe ran a respectable 1:40.18, which was faster than the standard M3 Coupe DCT at 1:40.52. From there it was the M3 Sedan, M3 Convertible, X6 M, X5 M, and E60 M5 rounding off the list. To compare the two generations of M5, the E60 ran a 1:43.77, almost five seconds slower than its newer-generation counterpart.
Autobild also took the liberty to take Porsche‘s Panamera Turbo S and Mercedes-Benz‘s E63 AMG out to compare it to the new M5. The Panamera Turbo S ran a 1:38.13, trumping the new M5 by less than a second, while the E63 was quite behind with a 1:40.59.
Check out two Autobild videos of the new M5 after the break.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW M5
Men in the U.S. went big, brawny and sporty in 2011 – that is, when it came to the kind of vehicles they bought this past year.
According to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network (PIN) real-time transaction data, men leaned towards sports cars and pickup trucks in the first 11 months of 2011. In fact, out of the top 10 new-model vehicles that men bought or leased, six of them were large pickup trucks or vans. Topping the list of model pickups and vans were the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado. The data shows that these vehicles were purchased for commercial uses, not necessarily for dropping kids off at soccer practice.
Also in the top 10 models were three cool sports cars – BMW M3 , the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette. The M3 had highest number of male car buyers in the sports category, with most of these buyers falling into the 16- to 35-year-old demographic. The Porsche 911 was the second top pick, followed closely by the Corvette.
Also making the 2011 list is the GMC Sierra, the Audi A8/S8, the Ford Econoline and the Chevrolet Express. One of the new entries on the list this year is the Chevrolet Volt, although it didn’t crack the top 10.
[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]
BMW’s newest M3 sedan was caught testing, and the wide fenders were a dead giveaway for our photographers. Check out the pictures below.
We wish we had more info about powertrains and the like but your guess is as good as ours. In all likelihood, the big, high-revving V8 will take a bow in favor of a turbocharged inline six. We’ve heard crazy rumors of a tri-turbo I6 in the past, but we’ll probably see something like the 1M’s I6 make an appearance – that is, a massaged version of the N54 twin-turbo I6 used in the 335i, albeit with a lot of power. Lighter weight will also play a part, helping to reduce the need for big power numbers.
Gallery: BMW M3 Sedan
First it was the bi-turbo V6 patent that leaked, and now BMW has filed for a patent on their electric turbocharger, leading to new rumors for what will potentially power the next generation M3. Ever since BMW started regularly employing turbochargers on their factory powerplants, they’ve been seeking ways to efficiently address the issues of turbocharger lag vs power at higher RPM.
The potential answer to the very old dilemma of turbochargers may be hidden in BMW’s plans for an electric turbo that was recently sent into the German patent office. The goal is to have an electric turbocharger that utilizes a small electric motor to work in tandem with a larger, more conventional turbo. The electric motor will power the electric turbo’s turbine during the transition from idle to load, drastically reducing turbo lag. In addition, BMW claims that the electric turbo will increase fuel efficiency by helping keep the engine in its optimum operating range.
What we’ll really see in the next generation M3 is still up in the air, but it’s great to see that BMW is looking to push the envelope in improving turbocharger technology that has been around for decades.
[Source: F30 Post]
British racing driver Jackie Stewart called the Nurburgring Nordschleife (Northern loop) the “Green Hell,” and this past week, the track lived up to its nick name due to an eight car pile up that included a rented Chevrolet Corvette, a BMW M3 “Ring Taxi”, two rare Vauxhall VX220′s an E36, E30 and E92 BMW 3-series, an old Porsche 911.
The accident took place on a public lapping day at the “Bergwerk” section, where a construction company was doing some repair work, which is not a great idea especially when novices are out on the track. According to reports, four cars were racing as they approached the construction zone, which according to some was not clearly marked.
These four cars slammed on their brakes upon seeing the construction zone and the carnage ensued. This chain of accidents took out eight cars in total and sent one man to the hospital with serious injuries.
This accident caused around $200,000 worth of damage to cars and property. Usually all damages to the track are paid by those involved in the accidents, but there could be a strong case made against the track for its untimely construction on a open lapping day and then not marking the construction zone clearly. We reckon this story is far from over. We’ll keep you posted on this developing story.
[Source: GT Spirit]
Rumors are flying left and right on what BMW has in the works to power the next-generation M3/M4, with four potential engines being spoken of. These include a turbocharged 4.4L V8, turbocharged 4.0L V8, a 3.2L inline-6 with three turbochargers and now BMW has filed a patent for a uniquely-designed twin-turbo V6.
And while the schematic is probably a bit over-the-head to us laymen, BMW breaks it down in their patent application: “…the principle of this turbocharger layout invention (#1) in a 6-cylinder internal combustion engine in V configuration (#2) with a first cylinder bank (#2a) — pictured as 3 circles and labeled with Z — and a second cylinder bank (#2b) — also pictured as 3 circles labeled with Z.”
In other words, the exhaust gases of all six cylinders are routed into one turbocharger – which BMW has said could possibly be a twinscroll unit – and once the gases exit from the turbo, they can be routed either into the exhaust system or another turbo. So in the possibility that there would be another turbocharger involved, it would be a sequential twin turbo (think bi-turbo) setup and would also allow BMW to use different sized turbochargers.
Which of these four options will BMW choose for the next M3? Only time will tell.
BMW M3 owners looking to transform their ride to a GT-inspired race car lookalike can now turn to CLP Automotive’s Interceptor kit to accomplish the task. The full carbon fiber widebody conversion kit doesn’t come cheap though, priced at around $12,400. Your hard-earned dollars will get you a new front bumper, hood, fenders (with lower vents), side skirts, flared rear quarter panels, rear bumper and a rear spoiler.
Those looking to complete the entire transformation however, can shell out even more money to get a set of center-locking 19×9-inch (front) and 19×12-inch (rear) wheels – complete with conversion kit for the center lock – and Bilstein race suspension. To back it all up, CLP Automotive will also outfit your M3 with a G-Power supercharger kit, and Akrapovic titanium exhaust system, giving the M3 a new net horsepower of 600-hp. Inside, CLP also offers a roll cage and lightweight Recaro seats. The complete package (including the body kit) comes in at a little more than $96,500 but includes installation.
GALLERY: CLP Automotive BMW M3
GALLERY: BMW M3 GT Race Car
Sporty or luxurious? BMW or Porsche? Two of Germany’s finest production automobiles have been tuned by Vorsteiner to near perfection, contrasting the M3′s urge to be sporty with the Panamera’s desire to be luxurious. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Vorsteiner’s Candy Cane GTRS3 M3 or their Porsche Panamera V-PT, but enjoying them both in one photo shoot is a real treat.
It’s interesting how seeing both cars in the same frame makes you wonder which you’d rather have as a daily driver. The enticing and menacing widebody M3 or the more refined yet aggressive Panamera? Either way you look at it, Vorsteiner has two winners here and we could only imagine what it was like to spot the two of them prowling the streets of Los Angeles on their way to the photo shoot. Kudos to the tuning company out of California for finding a great way to add style, sophistication and performance without ruining the vehicle itself.
GALLERY: Vorsteiner BMW M3 Candy Cane GTRS3 and Panamera V-PT
[Source: GT Spirit]
BMW has taken the cover off its jaw-dropping M3 DTM Concept Car, giving us a taste of what will hit the track in the upcoming 2012 DTM season. Even though the German automaker has announced that the looks of the car will most likely change considerably leading up to its first race, we hope they retain the general idea: an amazing badass race car.
BMW’s return to the DTM racing season will be with a CFRP monococque chassis with steel roll cage, a 6-speed sequential gearbox mated to a V8 engine with approximately 480-bhp.
Between 1987-1992, BMW’s M3 had over 150 podium finishes in the series and had no less than 40 wins. Confirmed drivers for BMW’s 2012 DTM season include Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus, both of which have impressive resumes in touring car and GT racing.
Three teams will be driving on BMW’s behalf next season: BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG. All three teams are working with BMW to fine-tune the M3 DTM race car along with their partners and sponsors which include Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Deutsche Post AG, Castrol Edge, H&R, SONAX, ZF Sachs and Sympatex.
The M3 DTM Concept Car is currently on display at BMW Welt as part of the DTM event in the Olympic Stadium.
GALLERY: BMW M3 DTM Concept Car
With the 2012 M5 now revealed in all its turbocharged glory, the auto tabloids have switched focus to the next-generation M3.
While the V8 has long been rumored as dead, the latest reports indicated BMW will switch back to a straight-six engine, opting instead for turbochargers to make up the difference for the decreased displacement. In fact, the next-gen M3 mill will drop almost a quarter of its size, down to 3.3-liters. The straight-six will then be blessed with not one, not two, but three turbochargers – one of which will be electrically powered. Rumors of this same setup on an X3 M model have surfaced before and if true, let’s hope the engineers in Munich have advanced electric turbos beyond the eBay kind.
Martino Auto Concepts in Glen Cove, New York, started out by specializing in repairing accident vehicles and are only one of eight facilities in North America to feature a Celette fixture bench and a Carbench Octopus. This allows Martino Auto Concepts (MAC for short) to become a factory approved BMW repair facility while having the capabilities of reconstructing some of the world’s finest exotics including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches. So naturally with all their talent and expertise, they decided to branch off to customizing high-end vehicles, and MAC Auto Couture was born in 2008.
To show off what their customizing division can do, MAC Auto Couture teamed up with BMW tuner Active Autowerke to build two completely killer BMW M3s with their own themes and personalities. Both feature Active Autowerke’s Stage II supercharger kits and custom paint jobs by MAC Auto Couture. From there, the rest of their accessories contrast one another to show off two complementary builds.
On the one side is a Matte Reventon-colored BMW M3 with a race-inspired theme, featuring an AE Performance roll cage and Stoptech’s Trophy big brake kit. Both of those components have been painted a flashy Ithaca Verde (the actual color of the other M3) which contrast the matte, dark exterior of the car. For aesthetics, Vorsteiner came into play with a GTS3 front bumper with carbon kevlar front splitters, a vented race hood with double sided carbon kevlar vents, a carbon kevlar rear diffuser and a carbon kevlar boot lid. Suspension comes from KW’s Clubsport coilovers while this M3 sports a 20-inch staggered set of ADV1 5.0 Trackspec wheels. STRI gauges along with Recaro’s Profi XL seats round off the race-styled look.
The other M3, featuring the Ithaca Verde exterior paint, features an all steel widebody conversion to the quarter panels, giving it an even bolder look. The roof is a full dry carbon fiber piece which is accompanied with Vorsteiner’s dry carbon front spoiler, rear diffuser and bootlid. The moldings and mirror bases have been painted matte black to contrast the bright green exterior while 20-inch D2 Forged CV2 wheels can be found on all four corners.
While the interior of this M3 also features a custom Ithaca Verde roll cage, this M3 received a much more luxurious interior treatment with reupholstered panels featuring green stitching. In the trunk is a custom JL Audio stereo installation, giving it a more complete in car electronics package.
We applaud MAC Auto Couture’s work on the pair of M3s, which really shows off how great a car can look when you pay attention to the details.