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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.
The first-ever season of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship is less than two months away.
With the recent debut of the Z4 GTE race car, a replacement for the M3 GT in the American Le Mans Series, BMW is now showcasing the new model in a stunning video.
10. Volvo C30 - 2,827 Units Sold
After checking out the top 10 best selling vehicles of last year, it’s now time to take a look at the worst performers on dealerships lots.
It isn’t a huge surprise to see the Volvo C30 on the list at 10th place, considering the Swedish automaker decided to give the vehicle the axe at the end of 2012. The Volvo C30 was on the market for six years in North America and sold only 26,000 units.
For the 2012 Z4 Roadster, BMW will be offering enthusiasts a new and exclusive interior package called Canyon Brown available for both the standard and M Sport versions. And speaking of the M Sport version, the BMW Z4 with the M Sport package is looking fantastic, giving the Z4 a much more aggressive look to go with its already sporty body.
The Canyon Brown interior package will replace the Ivory White Leather package and includes sports seats featuring an exclusive Merino leather upholstery option in an elegant Canyon Brown shade with contrasting stitching. The upper dashboard is also done in Canyon Brown Oregon leather with similar contrasting stitching.
To break up the brown in the interior, classy black Nappa leather is also seen in the roadster. The front lateral and center armrests, center of passenger-side dashboard and door handle area are all in black leather. Also only available with the Canyon Brown interior package is BMW’s Fineline Anthracite wood trim. Those interested in the Canyon Brown interior can get it matched with any of the standard Z4 exterior paint shades, but there is one exclusive to the interior package – a Mineral White Metallic.
Pricing for the interior starts at $1,650 for the sDrive35is, $2,050 for sDrive35i and $2,300 for the sDrive28i models.
As for the M Sport package, BMW not only will outfit the Z4 with its stylish body kit but will offer an adaptive M suspension, M sports steering wheel, an anthracite headliner, increased top speed limiter and 18-inch performance tire upgrades. The M Package with the Canyon Brown package starts at $5,050 for the sDrive35i model and $5,350 for the sDrive28i.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW Z4 Canyon Brown Interior and M Sport
BMW is getting ready to launch a more affordable sports car for 2014 called the Z2. The Z4 was a fabulous roadster however it has moved upmarket and BMW is hoping to produce a simpler successor to the original Z3.
It has been reported that BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer is not exactly a fan of the Z2 but, the board understands the brand cannot surrender this segment to be monopolized by the Mazda Mx-5.
Plans are leading us to believe that the Z2 will be a soft-top roadster and it is unlikely to be front-wheel drive. It is still up in the air as to whether the new roadster will be RWD or AWD.
Plans to launch a front wheel drive UKL1 platform for future BMWs and Minis was met by significant public outcry, convincing BMW to utilize a 4wd system if production commences affecting the Z2 as well.
There would be both positive and negative aspects of using an all-wheel drive system. Benefits include better traction as well as a broader appeal to consumers. On the other hand, weight, space and cost are all affected by the awd possibility.
Three different turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engines would be used producing between 170- 272-h There may also be a 2.0-liter turbodiesel alternative in works, producing 184-hp or 204-hp.
Those with a little less than half a million lying around and looking to compete in some GT3-class racing can now get their hands on BMW’s Z4 GT3 race car. After its successful victory in Dubai’s 24 Hours race, BMW did some more testing and aerodynamic tweaking prior to allowing customers to order their own 2011 GT3 competitor race car.
While most of the Z4 retains its overall stock body and shape, the curves have clearly been enhanced with a much wider stance along with a plethora of aerodynamic tweaks for the track. Under the hood, the standard Z4 powerplant has been tossed aside for the more potent M3′s V8. A six-speed paddle-shifted sequential transmission is mated to the 4.4-liter V8.
The race car is now available for ordering from BMW Motorsport Distribution at $454,500 or so.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: 2011 BMW Z4 GT3
There wouldn’t be much of a Geneva Motor Show if AC Schnitzer didn’t have a thing or two up its sleeves to announce. For this year’s show, we now know they’ll at least be debuting a new ACS 5 Sport S and 99d vehicles, based on the BMW 550i and Z4 respectively. With both priced at the same amount, approximately $205,785, it probably comes down to if you want a nice sports car or a sedan.
Not exactly falling in the category of cheap, let’s take a look at what you get for your money from AC Schnitzer. The ACS5 Sport S, based on the BMW 550i, has its performance enhanced to 540-hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. A limited slip differential upgrade also comes with the engine modifications. No more details are given on the ACS5 Sport S, but clearly AC Schnitzer will also outfit the vehicle’s exterior with its traditional body kit, trunk and roof spoiler, suspension modifications and a set of fashionable AC Schnitzer fashionable wheels.
The same probably goes with the 99d, based off of BMW’s Z4. For its performance, AC Schnitzer sent the unconventional route and based it off of BMW’s 320d Efficient Dynamics Edition powerplant. The result is 190-hp with 310 ft-lbs of torque. The aesthetics feature much flashier graphics than the 5-Series counterpart does and we’re better ACS has an announcement to make about having your sports car and being green.
Set to debut in Geneva, we’ll be on hand to bring you more on these cars with show coverage starting March 1st.
GALLERY: AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S and 99d
BMW of Japan has released yet another limited edition vehicle, this time taking the E89 Z4 and adding a silver top, dubbing it the Silver Top Edition Z4. (How creative). The two-tone vehicle sports a Black Sapphire body exterior while the folding hardtop and mirrors have been finished in Titanium Silver.
Standard for the interior is BMW’s awesome Coral Red Kansas interior, which can also be seen on various other BMW models. The convertible is powered with BMW’s 2.5L Z4 sDrive23i powerplant, paired up with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Performance figures are 201-hp with 184 ft-lbs of torque – far less than any Z4 we get.
Pricing is around $68,830 (5,590,000 yen) and is set to be released by April 2012 – which is a far ways out. We’re going to guess Japanese enthusiasts that want to bite off the limited edition BMW can easily do so with a paint job.
GALLERY: BMW Z4 Silver Top Edition
[Source: Jon Sibal]
Things have gotten very interesting in Japan now that many tuners are expanding the term JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) to encompass European vehicles. Japanese tuner 3D Design specializes in tuning BMWs and has made quite the splash in its young American presence. The company is already quite popular with the newer model E90 and E92 crowd, many of whom probably grew up modifying Hondas and Acuras. Taking the simple JDM philosophy and applying it to German vehicles, 3D Design has manufactured lip add-ons that are appreciated for their simplicity and Japanese origin.
New to 3D Design’s catalog is their front lip, rear diffuser and rear lip spoiler for the newly facelifted BMW Z4 E89. Unlike what we’re used to seeing, this isn’t a full out body kit and doesn’t even have matching side skirts. 3D Design’s package are simple add-ons to the OE front bumper, requiring little body work – just paint and install. Their fitment is near flawless and their products are one of the highest quality pieces we’ve ever set our eyes on.
As you can tell by the photos, 3D’s kit really beautifies the natural lines of the Z4 without going crazy. The rear lip add-on spoiler is subtle, and they even thought one step ahead by offering a third brake light cover that raises the housing so it’s still visible over the rear deck spoiler. The rear diffuser is made from fine 1×1 twill carbon fiber providing room for a quad tip exhaust setup.
Even though we’re huge fans of a black on black setup, we’re hoping photos surface of a 3D Design decked out Z4 in a different shade so we can really see the details in the kit. For now these will have to do!
[Source: Jon Sibal]
GALLERY: 3D Design BMW Z4 E89
To be unveiled at North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit
After a lengthy and successful run, the first generation Z4 will bow out this winter to make way for a new and improved model for 2009. Completely redesigned the new Z4 will be available with two engines and several transmission choices.