BMW has been hard at work on the upcoming replacement to the dearly departed Z4 for a while now. While various heavily camoflauged prototypes have been spotted, the German auto giant has released a compelling sneak peek of the new two seater ahead of its eventual debut.
Released on the company’s Facebook page, the lone teaser image is obscured and darkened, but there are still a few details that peek out from beneath the covers. Sharper headlights as well as a more aggresive profile help it stand out from the decidedly more elegant predecessor it is replacing. This will be good news for BMW, which is hoping that the car can put up a more targeted resistance to the segment benchmark, the Porsche 718 Boxster.
The new Z will be underpinned by an all new rear drive platform that is being co-developed with Toyota engineers, and could also herald the revival of the Supra nameplate for a new generation of young Toyota buyers. Look for BMW’s turbocharged four and six cylinder engines to carryover in both models, but a Toyota designed hybrid system could make its way into the mix to increase fuel efficency if rumors on the subject turn out to be true.
BMW has a good thing going with its hot selling X3 SAV. Based on the equally successful 3 Series sedan, the X3 has proven to be a strong draw for young families during its production run. BMW aims to keep it that way with the revamped 2018 BMW X3.
The exterior styling retains elements of the current design that many buyers have come to love, but slightly increases the overall proportions. In fact, thanks to tweaks made to the vehicle packaging, BMW engineers were able to stretch the wheelbase 2.2 inches which helps open up more room in the X3’s interior.
Despite the rather discreet suit of clothes, BMW didn’t want the sport portion of the X3’s purpose blurred, and has added several dynamic touches to keep that from happening. This includes sharper full LED headlights, as well as a muscular hood that draws eyes to the all new 3D front grille which is the first time it has made an appearance on a “X” model. Rounding out the changes are tweaked tail lights, as well as a pair of exhaust tips.
A key feature that is a relative rarity in the broader crossover segment is its perfect 50:50 weight distribution, which works with the chassis to help make the X3 more honed and agile than before. The bulk of X3 buyers will most likely not take their vehicles off road, but for just the occasion, BMW has equipped the SAV with a dynamic stability control system that can adjust the power split between all the wheels to ensure maximum traction on all surfaces.
The interior of the 2018 X3 carries on the exterior’s theme of familiarity, but it has a few new tricks that help it stay relevant to buyers. This includes an all new three zone climate control system as well as individually adjustable angle for the 40:20:20 split/folding rear seats. Occupants can also remotely fold the seats from the trunk to boost cargo capacity to 62.7 cubic feet.
The X3 will arrive globally with a host of engine choices, but buyers in the U.S. will only have two models to choose from at launch, the xDrive30i and the performance tinged M40i. The xDrive30i replaces the old xDrive28i, and is motivated by a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which makes 248 horsepower (a gain of 8) and 258 lb-ft of torque with all the power being channeled to all four wheels through an eight speed automatic transmission. It’s also capable of making the sprint to 60 mph in six seconds before topping out at 130 mph. However for buyers that crave even more horsepower, the M40i should be enough to satiate their needs. The first M labeled X3 ever produced, it gets its grunt from the bigger 3.0 liter inline six that produces 355 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic also manages power, and launches the M40i to 60 mph in a brisk 4.6 seconds as well as a final top speed of 155 mph.
After the 2018 X3 makes its launch, the engine lineup will grow with the possible addition of a diesel model as well as an all electric version with the latter not arriving till 2020. As expected, the xLine design package is standard issue for all 2018 X3s, but buyers can opt for the “Luxury” package that brings several minor changes to the X3 including a shinier grille, revised interior upholstery, and two tone bumper trim finishers. An M Sport package brings up the rear, and offers a beefier look, as well as bigger 20-inch rims.
Like its predecessor, the 2018 X3 will be built in the United States at BMW’s Spartanburg facility where it will share the line with the X4, X5, X6, as well as the recently confirmed X7.
The BMW 8 Series Concept was not supposed to make its debut for another few hours, but thanks to a few leaked images, we get a compelling glimpse at whats in store for BMW’s flagship coupe.
While the quality of the images is not the sharpest, it does reveal that the posh coupe will adopt a relatively fresh design, with slender headlights and a bolder interpretation of the twin kidney grille accenting the front fascia. The bulging hood adds a hint of menance, with the lower front bumper featuring beefy cooling vents.
The side profile features a prominent crease, and the elegant roofline flows seamlessly into the lip of the rear mounted spoiler. The concept also eschews door handles, though we suspect those items will ultinately reappear in the production car for safety and cost reasons. Big wheel arches house large multi-spoke alloy wheels, and yellow brake calipers nicely contrast the blue body.
The rear fascia doubles down on its high tech theme, and features wide tailights that incorporate slick L-shaped graphics as well as a rear bumper that features prominent side vents, as well as trapazoid shaped exhaust tips.
Look for BMW to formally introduce the 8 Series Concept later today at the Concorso d’Eleganza Ville Este before launching the production version next year. Look for the interior to also make its debut later today, and showcase its high levels of opulence and technology.
Following on the heels of BMW’s quiet axing of the 6-Series coupe, the German car maker revealed that it is breathing new life into its long dormant 8-Series moniker in a bid to renew its push into the large luxury coupe market.
For those unfamiliar with the 8-Series, it originally appeared in 1989, and was designed to cater to big coupe buyers looking for a distinctive alternative to the 6-Series. However, its glitchy electronics, as well as the global recession in the 1990s, caused sales to plummet before it was mercifully pulled from the U.S. in 1997, and from Europe in 1999.
BMW accompanied this announcement with a lone teaser image that showcases a sleek side profile, as well as wide rear hips and a raked roofline. These traits are promising, especially since the 8-Series is expected to renew its focus on style and flair. Look for the new model to embrace plenty of cues from the Gran Lusso concept which made its apperance back in 2013, and wowed audiences with its stunning good looks.
BMW claims that the concept in the teaser image is a design study, but expect minimal changes when it makes the transistion to production, and arrive on dealer lots in 2018. A higher price tag will also be part of the package given its status as a flagship offering.
Look for the 7-Series to play a key role in the car’s devlopment, with much of its technology and even its V12 engine making the jump into the bigger 8-Series. The model could also spawn Gran Coupe and M8 versions, though plans for these models are mere rumors at this point.
With the confirmation of the 8- Series, the Mercedes S-Class coupe will have a new rival in its niche segment, and it could very well become a three way fight if seperate rumors of an Audi A9 are indeed true.
With all the buzz surrounding the Bentley Bentayga SUV, it is easy to forget that Rolls Royce also has an SUV entry in the works. Information has been pretty tight lipped, but the British luxury brand has revealed new details about the upcoming model as well as a pair of teaser images.
These images are the first time that its Project Cullinan SUV has been seen in its final production body. While Rolls Royce engineers did their best to hide things with loads of swirly camoflauge, key details still make themselves apparent. The front fascia falls in line with typical Rolls Royce cues, and is centered around the bold slatted grille as well as its elegantly styled hood.
Meanwhile the rear fascia adopts a formal wagon profile, but the camoflauge hides key styling elements, so we’ll have to wait until its formal unveiling to issue our verdict. The mirrors are also textbook Rolls, and borrow their basic inspiration from the Phantom and Ghost sedans.
Performance hardware is still a mystery, but Rolls Royce did reveal that Project Cullinan will begin cold weather testing in the Arctic Circle sometime after Christmas before flying to the Middle East (its key market) for hot weather testing late next year. We suspect that it will initially debut with a twelve cylinder engine before adding a V8 later in its production run. Like the Bentayga, an automatic will be the sole transmission choice avalible.
With this current testing schedule, Project Cullinan could make its formal debut either at the end of next year, or the beginning of the following year. When it does, it will compete with not only the forementioned Bentayga, but also the upcoming Lamborghini Uruus and the Aston Martin DBX.
Following a recent leak that exposed it in the flesh, BMW has formally unveiled the 2018 BMW 5 Series sedan which is expected to land in BMW showrooms in February and represent the 7th iteration of the company’s iconic full size sport sedan.
While the 2018 5 Series is technically an all new model, at least in theory. It is actually more of an evolutionary update for the car versus an outright revolutionary redesign. This is apparent when one looks at the basic shape which features standard Adaptive LED headlights as well as shorter front and rear overhangs. Thankfully the car still retains the traditional BMW cues that we have come to expect from the brand including the circular headlights, as well as the twin kidney front grilles.
The interior of the 2018 5 Series is also familiar to owners of the current car, but BMW engineers have given the new 5 Series several technological updates to make it stand out in its crowded segment. For instance, the car now features the same gesture control system that made its debut in the flagship 7 Series while the updated iDrive system benefits from an all new 10.25 inch infotainment screen that comes bundled with an iDrive 6.0 touchpad controller. Comfort also approaches 7 Series territory thanks to the new front seats that incorporate massage functions along with standard seat heat.
When the 2018 5 Series arrives in dealer lots, the festivities will be led by the 530i which features a turbocharged four cylinder good for 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims that these figures are enough to make the car sprint to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.
The 540i will serve as the flagship 5 Series model at launch with performance coming from a turbocharged six cylinder engine that’s good for 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Naturally this helps lower the 0 to 60 time to 4.7 seconds and should please buyers looking for more fun out of their purchase. This will also allow the 540i to be on par with rivals such as the Jaguar XF, Audi A6, and the Cadillac CTS. Both models can be equipped with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system and a separate M Sport package. This particular package includes an aerodynamic package, Shadowline exterior trim, a lowered M suspension, and stylish 19-inch wheels. Both engines will be paired with an eight speed automatic transmission that borrows the same navigation assisted shift technology used in the 7 Series as well as the Rolls Royce Ghost.
BMW claims that this latest 5 Series will have sharper handling than its predecessors, and this is mainly due to a revised suspension package as well as lightweight materials that help the car shed 137 pounds of excess flab from its flanks. In addition an optional rear steering system can be equipped to both rear and all wheel drive models which should prove to be especially handy in tight cornering as well as twisty roads.
The 2018 5 Series was also designed to surround its occupants with safety and on that front comes equipped with an extensive suite of safety features. These include active cruise control with stop and go, active lane departure warning, and semi-automated steering. BMW claims that the bulk of these systems will work at speeds between 0-130 mph. This new suite of features allows the 5 Series to outshine many of its rivals, and highlights the recent advancements BMW has made in safety technology over the past several years.
Like most luxury cars, BMW’s all new 5 Series comes with an integrated navigation system, however the 5 Series does have one unique trump card up its sleeve that many of its rivals don’t have. BMW representatives claim that the system is capable of learning your driving habits. This means that if you diverge from a route that was suggested by the system, it can adapt and suggest the new route as its default choice the next time the same destination is selected. It adds a human element to the system, and could be a benchmark that many competitors will eventually add to their systems over the next few years.
Look for BMW to unveil pricing as well as final fuel economy figures closer to its 2017 introduction, with its debut taking place at a future auto show.
With a replacement model currently being developed in a collaboration with Toyota, it’s no secret that the current generation Z4’s days in the BMW lineup are numbered. However a new report suggests that production could end as early as next month.
That’s according to a new report that was revealed by the BMW fan site BMW Blog which tentatively hints at this scheduled departure. If it is indeed true, the Z4’s abrupt exit would leave BMW with a sizable gap in its lineup due to its successor not being ready for full scale production.
The replacement (dubbed the Z5) is being developed in a collaboration with Toyota, and is expected to also share its platform with the reborn Toyota Supra. Prior reports claim that the Z5 will be much more focused on sporty dynamics than the current generation Z4, and put a renewed emphasis on targeting performance minded enthusiasts. BMW and Toyota have so far been tight-lipped on the finer aspects of this car, but spy photos revealed that the car will ditch the current model’s bulky hard top in lieu of a more traditional and lighter soft top. Look for this soft too to also reduce costs of maintenence for owners.
Despite the high level of secrecy surrounding the Z5, eager buyers will not have to wait very long to find out more information, with the car slated to make its auto show debut in the near future, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show. As for the Supra, look for that model to make its debut later with the Toyota badged version appearing exclusively as a coupe. When it appears, it will share the stage on dealer lots with the budget minded 86 sport coupe, and give the Japanese carmaker a formidable one two punch in the sporty coupe segment.
BMW has had a reputation for blurring the lines between vehicle segments in recent years. This is especially apparent with its Gran Turismo badged line of vehicles, and while the 5-Series Gran Turismo has been a sales flop, its smaller cousin the 3-Series GT has had some sales success. BMW has chosen to further enhance its success with the unveiling of the 2017 3-Series Gran Turismo.
The exterior styling of the Gran Turismo does not change much from the standard 3-Series sedan, and observers will undoubtedly miss some of the minor changes BMW has made. New front and rear bumpers help add some excitement to the design, while all new LED headlights enhance night time visibility. The rear fascia is largely unchanged, but a new graphic design for the LED taillights does help freshen things up.
The interior on the other hand has seen a more comprehensive update, and benefits from an all new interface for the navigation system. This is aimed at improving usability, and eliminates some of the frustration associated with the current layout. More chrome trim has also been added, and buyers can now choose from a larger selection of options. These include new upholstry choices, a wider array of wood trim, as well as several new color schemes. Cargo capacity remains unchanged at 56.5 cubic feet.
Currently U.S. buyers can only choose from either the 328i model or the range topping 335i variant. This all changes for 2017 with the forementioned models being replaced by the 330i and the 340i. The 330i comes equipped with the familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which makes 248 horsepower in GT spec, meanwhile the 340i adds a bit more sport to the equation thanks to its 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six that also sees duty in the 340i sedan. Good for 320 horsepower, this should please buyers that want more confidence in conquering rough weather conditions, or want to add an element of surprise to their stoplight sprints.
Look for both variants to continue offering U.S. buyers a standard eight speed automatic transmission as well as standard all-wheel drive to help it compete better against European and Asian rivals.
The updated 3-Series GT is expected to go on sale in Europe this summer. It is currently unknown when it will make its U.S. debut, but expect it to arrive later this year, with pricing being close to the 2016 model and its $43,995 base price.
The BMW 7-Series has always been known as the flagship of the BMW model lineup. Boasting an impressive range of standard equipment and amenities, its no wonder why it has been a hit with luxury car buyers. It is also known for its fair share of innovations and the Bavarian car company has unveiled the latest in this category revealing that the 2017 7-Series now has the world’s most powerful diesel engine.
Making its debut in the 750d xDrive and the 750Ld xDrive models, the new 3.0 liter inline six cylinder engine is based on the company’s current family of engines, and arrives with several key updates that help it stand out from other diesel offerings. For instance, its TwinPower turbo technology now incorporates multi-stage turbocharging and four strategically placed turbochargers that are linked to a common-rail fuel injection system. These updates as well as other revisions to the engine, allow the potent diesel to produce 400 horsepower, and 560 lb-ft of torque. These figures allow the 750d xDrive to make the sprint to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds with the 750Ld xDrive clocking in at a slightly slower 4.7 seconds.
All of this power is routed to either the rear or all four wheels through an eight speed Steptronic automatic transmission that has been slightly tweaked to help it make better use of the massive pool of torque that is wielded by the diesel. However, all of this power has not blurred the engine’s true purpose as a fuel sipping engine with the car achieving an impressive 49.6 mpg while slashing emissions by 11%. This impressive mileage figure is also enhanced by its all carbon fiber body which allows the 7-Series to make full use of this new found fuel economy while also improving performance at the same time.
BMW did not formally confirm whether the new engine will make the voyage across the pond to our shores. But with emissions regulations tightening all over the globe, chances are good that this engine will eventually be offered in other markets to help the brand comply with its mandated fuel efficiency target.
Confirming earlier rumors, BMW has revealed that it will add a new model to replace the current generation M235i sedan with the unveiling of the 2017 BMW M240i.
Known as the M240i, the new model benefits from an engine transplant that pitches the M235i’s engine and shoehorns the same 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six that powers the 340i as well as other BMWs. In this case, the engine makes 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. While it’s five horsepower less than the 340i, it makes up for it by making 15 more horsepower than the old model. Buyers can choose from either the standard six speed manual transmission or an optional eight speed ZF built automatic transmission.
Rear wheel drive is standard fare but can be swapped out for all wheel drive which should please buyers in snowier climates. The all-wheel drive system also helps in acceleration with the car capable of making the sprint to 60 mph in a swift 4.2 seconds. This is a 0.2 seconds improvement over the M235i, and the convertible is no slouch either with that model accomplishing the same feat in 4.4 seconds. With the M240i serving as a very visual attention grabber, it’s comforting to know that BMW has not forgotten about the entry level 2 models. The 228i for example becomes the 230i for 2017 and comes equipped with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that produces 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. BMW has not released formal performance figures, but look for them to be on par with rivals.
The 2017 BMW M240i and 230i are slated to go on sale across the U.S. with pricing expected to be released closer to its formal launch. As for the hatchback variant, it is also receiving the new engine and will be known as the M140i. However, like the current model, it will most likely not make the trek to our shores which might disappoint hot hatch fans that wanted a focused Golf R competitor on American roads.