BMW M3 and M4 Design Study by Kith

Kith NYC has become a prominent player in the fashion industry with countless collaborations and its own clothing line and now it has teamed up with BMW for a design study on Kith’s founder Ronnie Fieg’s E30 M3 and the new M4 to bridge the past and present.

Ronnie Fieg’s E30 M3 was completely rebuilt by BMW Classic to ensure that the car completely matched the 1989 design specifications. From there, the M3 had a Kith spin put on it; Kith BMW emblems on the exterior of the car, a Kith Motorsport badge on the back whilst the interior has a Kith embossed monogram leather interior. Normally when looking at design collaborations between designers and car manufacturers the cars tend to lose their ethos, however the Kith M3 is very much respective to the original vehicle.

With the M4, Kith wanted to represent the evolution from the E30 M3 to the modern day M4. The same red on the M3, Cinnabar Red, which is no longer offered by BMW was used on the M4 whilst the other details were also translated, including the Kith Motorsport badge on the boot and the embossed Kith Monogram leather interior complete with illuminated Kith headrest badges.

First plug-in Hybrid SUV by BMW

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e. On location BMW Welt.-64466

Big SUVs have been the object of hate for many eco-warriors. Porsche, a once solely sports car manufacturer, report that as a brand it sells just as many Cayenne SUVs as it does all other models combined. It is no wonder the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce are jumping on the band wagon with reports of SUV models from both manufacturers.

However, eco-warriors can now rejoice in the fact that BMW has released a new X5 to compete with the Porsche Cayenne S e-hybrid.

With a reported combined fuel economy of up to 85mpg and emitting only 77g/km of CO2 this X5 is no normal SUV. The reason behind these numbers is that the X5 uses an electric motor in combination with the 242bhp 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e-64476

Combine that with the electric motor’s 112bhp and 250Nm and it will push this SUV to 62mph in 6.8 seconds and cruise up to a limited 130mph. An 8-speed steptronic gearbox has been added into the mix helping balance the power to the BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive system.

A new control joins the myriad of buttons on the centre console. The ‘eDrive’ button allows the driver to tailor the powertrain to their preferences with the options of all-electric drive up to 19 miles, ‘Auto’ allowing engine input after 44mph or during acceleration maneuvers and ‘Save’ which charges the battery and saves it for future use along the journey.

The boot capacity suffers only slightly thanks to the battery transformer, which is hidden under the compartment floor still able to swallow 1720 litres with the seats folded away.

One of the main areas that stop people from going down the electric route is the time taken to charge. BMW has thought about that and offers the new owner a varied choice of charging options as well as an app specifically built for BMW hybrid users to locate public charging bays and check the state of the car’s charge.

BMW 360 electric offers customers a complete charging package including supplying and installing a charging station known as I Wallbox, as well as ‘chargenow’ cards allowing the driver to charge at non-BMW charging ports.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e-64488

If you don’t feel cool showing off that you have gone green, don’t worry. The only ways a person will recognize your green credentials is by noticing the charging port on the Left –front wing, the trapezoidal tipped twin exhausts, eDrive logo on the rear.

The BMW X5 xDrive 40e goes on sale Autumn 2015 with full spec and prices announced later on.

So, eco-warriors, the next time you scowl at an SUV driver, remember their car may be less polluting than yours.

Who owns Land Rover?

In 1948, you could buy your very own Land Rover. If you wanted to visit the company, that’s where a problem arose. Land Rover as a company didn’t exist until 30 years after ‘HUE166’ the first Land Rover rolled off the production line. You were merely buying a rebadged Rover. Considered to be a product line of Rover, which was then purchased in 1967 by Leyland Motor Corporation. A year later Leyland was absorbed into the British Leyland Motor Corporation as part of the Rover-Triumph division.

Five years after the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970, British Leyland Motor Corporation were in financial turmoil causing the company to collapse and be nationalised. A report was issued by Sir Don Ryder under agreement of the Government of the United Kingdom known as the ‘Ryder Report’ where it was recommended that British Leyland treat Land Rover as a separate company forming part of their commercial vehicle group.

Land Rover’s one millionth vehicle rolled off the line in 1976 and two years later in 1978, Land Rover Limited was formed as a separate company from British Leyland. Since Land Rover’s inception in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, the Solihull plant was shared by Land Rover and its Rover counter parts. In 1980, this all changed. Rover stopped producing cars at the Solihull plant and it was left solely to Land Rover.

In this era, Land Rover started restructuring, bringing all of their elements of vehicle production under one roof and improving their products with the likes of the 90/110/127 being introduced to the market. British Leyland group became Rover Group plc in 1986 including Austin Rover Group, Freight Rover, Leyland Trucks and Land Rover Group.

British Aerospace purchased Rover Group plc in 1988, when the group was being privatised for a fee of £150 million. When the deal was audited, it was found that the Rover Group was seriously undervalued. Ford were brought in to value the company and it was given a serious valuation of £800 million. A year later, the Land Rover Discovery was launched and proved to be a great success in the market.

BMW, went ahead and purchased Rover from British Aerospace within ten days of opening negotiations in 1994. Under BMW, Land Rover released the second generation Range Rover, Discovery and also brought out a new product known as the Freelander.

After owning Rover for six years, BMW started incurring immense losses. This led the company to start selling off the Rover group. The Rover plant was sold for as little as £10. BMW sold off Land Rover to Ford for £1.8 billion in 2000 and decided to keep the ‘Mini’ brand to reinvent it. This was the first time Rover and Land Rover were not sold as a unit.

Under Ford’s ownership, The third generation of Range Rover and Discovery were released among the new Range Rover Sport. Jaguar cars had been under Ford’s ownership since 1989. In 2005, the Rover brand collapsed and rights to the name were bought by Ford and the two brands were re-united. When Rover was reunited with Land Rover, Jaguar was brought into the same line. The Rover brand was bought after BMW tried to sell the Rover name to SIAC, Shanghai Automotive Corp, a Chinese automaker for fear of lowering the Land Rover brand.

Seven years on and a global recession hitting hard, Ford had to do its utmost to stay afloat. Funding by the government was not enough and announced that it will sell Land Rover and Jaguar to a suitable buyer. A number of Indian companies and global financial sponsors showed interest in purchasing the brands. A year into negotiations and Tata Motors purchase both Jaguar and Land Rover brands for £1.5 billion in 2008. Ford still had to make a massive $600 million payout to Tata for shortfalls in pension plans.

Jaguar Land Rover was created as a company after the purchase by Tata. Both companies have been doing immensely well, Land Rover hired 1500 more staff in 2011 to help produce their new product, The Evoque. Millions have been invested into the company for manufacturing. Since the Tata take over, it has breathed new life into Land Rover with release of the Evoque in 2011, the fourth generation Range Rover, second generation Range Rover Sport and the fourth generation Discovery. The company is turning a profit since 2010 and doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon.

References:

BBC News | BUSINESS | Ford pays �1.8bn for Land Rover. 2013. BBC News | BUSINESS | Ford pays �1.8bn for Land Rover. [ONLINE] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/681170.stm. [Accessed 02 November 2013].

BBC NEWS | Business | Rover brand name passes to Ford. 2013. BBC NEWS | Business | Rover brand name passes to Ford. [ONLINE] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5358590.stm. [Accessed 30 October 2013].

History : Ryder Report – AROnline. 2013. History : Ryder Report – AROnline. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/facts-and-figures/history/history-ryder-report/. [Accessed 01 November 2013].

Land Rover Celebrates 65 Years Of Technology And Innovation With Defender LXV Special Edition. 2013. Land Rover Celebrates 65 Years Of Technology And Innovation With Defender LXV Special Edition. [ONLINE] Available at: http://newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com/en-in/land-rover/news/2013/04/65-years-of-land-rover/?t=sixty%20years%20and%20four%20million&ct=NewsArticles&rs=5&fr=1&allCounts=False&locus=2. [Accessed 25 October 2013].

Surprise! Ford buys Rover name from BMW – Autoblog. 2013. Surprise! Ford buys Rover name from BMW – Autoblog. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.autoblog.com/2006/09/18/surprise-ford-buys-rover-name-from-bmw/. [Accessed 02 November 2013].

Takeovers and Mergers – one that went badly wrong (BMW and Rover). 2013. Takeovers and Mergers – one that went badly wrong (BMW and Rover). [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.tutor2u.net/blog/index.php/business-studies/comments/buss4-mergers-acquisiitons-one-that-went-wrong.-bmw-and-rover. [Accessed 02 November 2013].

Tata Buys Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford – Car News – Car and Driver. 2013. Tata Buys Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford – Car News – Car and Driver. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.caranddriver.com/news/tata-buys-jaguar-and-land-rover-from-ford-car-news. [Accessed 02 November 2013].

The whole story – Chapter 7 : Life under British Aerospace – AROnline. 2013. The whole story – Chapter 7 : Life under British Aerospace – AROnline. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/facts-and-figures/history/the-whole-story/the-whole-story-–-chapter-7-life-under-british-aerospace/. [Accessed 30 October 2013].

Evolution of the M3 to the new M4

Details have been released on the new BMW M3 and M4 range. The new models will be released with a six-speed manual gear box as standard. A seven speed dual clutch box will be available as a cost option. BMW have also decided to ditch the 4.0L V8 engine for a 3.0L twin-turbo charged six cylinder engine officially churning out 424bhp with rumours of over 369lb/ft of torque. This is officially the first twin-turbo engine to be inserted into a production M3 even though we have seen turbo-charging along some of the other M cars. It is also one of the smallest engines fitted into an M3 since the original E30.

With such a different range of engines and styles varying throughout the history of BMW M3s, lets reminisce about the older models before diving into what is now the new M3 and M4 (the only difference between the two is largely the amount of doors).

E30 M3
The original M3, which was a hit among the BMW M enthusiasts was fitted with a 16-valve 2.3L normally aspirated four-cylinder engine  producing around 192 bhp coupled with a 5 speed manual gearbox, when the E30 M3 debuted, and subsequent special-edition “Evolution” models produced up to 238 bhp (in the 2.5L M3 Sport Evolution).  Cosmetically, the M3 was extremely different to the standard 3 series, with flared arches, large rear wing and that front apron. With nearly 18,000 of these models sold worldwide, they have become quite a rarity to find on the classifieds. I found a tidy looking M3 Evo, 1988  model for just over £21,000, check it out here. The car which is over 25 years old, has aged well and is in still high demand.

Spec Sheet

Engine: 2.3L 16V straight four-cylinder

Power Output: 192/238 bhp

Torque: 177 lb/ft

0-62mph: 6.5sec

bmw-e30-m3

E36 M3
As the grandfather E30 is now becoming a rarer commodity, people are sifting through the classifieds for a potential classic M3. The E36 carried a 3.0L straight six cylinder naturally aspirated engine pushing 286bhp to the rear wheels with 320 lb/ft of torque, giving the car just under 100bhp more than the older car. This was the first M3 to be fitted with a straight six and later on it was increased from a 3.0L to a 3.2L increasing the bhp to 316. Cosmetically, this car is the most inconspicuous, one which can easily get lost among executive saloons.

Spec Sheet

Engine: 3.0L Straight six cylinder 

Power Output: 286bhp

Torque: 320lb/ft

0-62mph: 5.5sec

With over 70,000 produced, it is much easier to find one to suit your tastes. Here is one in Daytona Violet, ad can be found here.

bmw-e36-m3

E46 M3

Once BMW M settled with the idea of using six cylinders in an M3, they built an all new straight-six 3.2L which was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine the company had ever built and fitted to their productions vehicles. The car produced 338bhp with 269 lb/ft of torque at the rear wheels. BMW M had found the balance with performance and usability with this model. When the car was originally released in 2000, The car was offered with a six-speed-manual and an SMG (sequential manual gearbox) which all though freed up some leg room around the clutch pedal area, did not get rid of the clutch in its entirety.

Spec Sheet

Engine: 3.2L straight six cylinder

Power Output: 338bhp

Torque: 269 lb/ft

0-62mph: 5.2sec

Here is a clean example of a stunning E46 in silver, with under 50,000 miles. Why not take a look here and see if you can resist?  

bmw-e46-m3E90/2 M3

This specific M3 was given a change when it came to powertrain, by substituting the 3.0L straight-six for a 4.0L V8 engine coupled to the company’s new M-DCT (double-clutch) gearbox allowing 414bhp and 295lb/ft of torque to shred the rear rubber. With this specific M3, the car was produced as a coupe and a 5-door saloon. With that, BMW M had decided to split the two, and call the five-door version the M3 and turn the coupe into a new line known as the M4. However this idea was scrapped in order to keep the M3 brand alive.

Spec Sheet

Engine: 4.0L V8

Power Output: 414bhp

Torque: 295 lb/ft

0-62mph: 4.8 secs

Here is an E92 with full extras and only 13,800 miles on the clock. Original ad can be found here.

bmw-e90-m3

F80/82 M3/4

BMW’s M division claiming an overall weight of “just under 1500kg” for the new M4 coupé, which uses selected carbon fibre reinforced plastic panels and bracing components as part of a weight-saving initiative allowing the car to save about 80kg of weight from the current E92, the new two door promises to boast a power-to-weight ratio better than the discontinued fourth-generation M3 coupé’s 262bhp per tonne. For the saloon version (M3), this will be the first time, that the carbon-fibre reinforced plastic roof will be readily available to try to keep the weight down as it was previously only available for the coupe version.

There are no official power to weight figures as yet, but it is rumoured that it will be in the region of 284bhp-per-tonne.  Along with that BMW M have claimed that the new model will be greener too with CO2 emissions dropping to 200g/km from the E92’s 263g/km. Prices have not been released as of yet, however it is rumoured that it will be in the range of £60,000.

Albert Biermann, Vice President of Engineering at BMW M said to expect a similar performance increase as from E46 to E92, which managed 5.2 and 4.8 to 62mph respectively.

Spec Sheet

Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged straight-six

Power Output: 424 bhp

Torque:  rumoured over 369lb/ft

0-62mph: N/A

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For the love of driving gadgets

Gadgets have always made life easier, no matter what type of gadget it is. When man had a problem that he could not solve, another man created a machine that would solve it very easily.

These gadgets have found their way into our driving lives making them easier….. but after sitting down and pondering… are these gadgets making our lives easier or are they simply making us lazier?

ABS, airbags and something as simple as seat belts were all gadgets of yesteryear but now have become a standard feature in all cars.

will that happen with some of the other gadgets?

Parking sensors….. these seemingly harmless dots strategically placed on our car bumpers seem to be creeping into that standard list of gadgets. Before they were only a luxury available to large cars like the mighty Range Rover. In that car you needed all the help you could get to make sure you don’t scuff the wheels or damage the car behind you. For that reason I can agree with having parking sensors on big, hard to park cars, but come on, on a Toyota Aygo? That is just being plain lazy! when I head down to the High Street, I on occasion sit and watch people park their cars. 90% of people do not know how to park a car. (slightly exaggerated to give effect but you get my point). people are being too reliant on these sensors. There is no need to look in the mirrors, oh no that’s why we have parking sensors. But there is the flaw…. parking sensors don’t pick up bollards.

Parking Sensors
Parking Sensors

In the new Range Rover Evoque, there is a new extra which allows the driver to peek out at junctions without having to push his bonnet to far out. These cameras are a godsend. Instead of having to creep out into the main road to see if any cars are coming, just peek at the screen on the dash and make your decision accordingly. Just make sure they are clean otherwise they are clearly pointless.

Range Rover Evoque Surround Camera System
Range Rover Evoque Surround Camera System

Something else that is a great idea for the driver looking for parking in a busy area, but then ruined by going that little bit extra. BMW have an extra available on their new 1 series known as the Park Assist which will assess parking spaces for you when travelling under 20 mph. That is very cool and could come in very handy when the driver still has not gotten used to the dimensions of the car. But this is where it goes over the top. The car will then park itself, whereby the driver will only need to feather the throttle and the brake to ease it in. Doesn’t that defeat the point of learning how to parallel park?

Park Assist by BMW
Park Assist by BMW

I Love gadgets in cars, I am one of those geeks who will sit in a car before driving off testing out all the buttons and seeing what features are available, but some of them are just not needed.

 

Which would you go for?

Now I made a deal with my friends that as soon as I reached 500 views on my blog I would do something special.

this post will be something a little longer than usual. These are the cars I think are designed for you guys.its a shame that most of them will never make it to production but to dream……

For Drinu this is for you:

Ferrari 340 Competizione 

This car was built to pay homage to the 1950’s Ferrari 340 Mexico. Normally a Ferrari not actually built by Ferrari would not even get a second glance but im sure this piece of muscle will have you drooling for hours. They take a Ferrari 456 GT keeping its 5.4L V12 and the old school clunky manual gearbox while gaining new aerodynamics, suspension, brakes, an interior that recalls the 340 Mexico.

Sorry to say but the price looks like it is a one-off.

 

For BB this is for you:

BMW M1 Hommage 

The M1 is a stealthy looking car, which was originally built-in contention with Lamborghini which was the only mid engined BMW to be built for the masses. And the Hommage edition takes all the magic of the original and gives it a more imposing sinister face. I am not sure what engine the Hommage uses but it would be nice if they took the original 3.5L straight six and tuned it a little bit to give it some more power to go with its added beauty.

For Nigel Z:

You seem to love the massive beasts from what you have owned so i think you will like this very much.

The Marauder 

This beast looks good on a war field. It’s an armored vehicle which can cruise at 120km/hr with an engine that has only 300bhp, but that’s not the number you should be looking at….. it has 1100 NM of torque meaning it can pull the sun closer to earth. Ok maybe not that strong, but can any of the other cars handle mines and can allow the additions of light and middle weight weapons along with missile launchers.

For my Cousin Dan:

The Eagle Speedster

The E-type in my eyes has always been one of the most if not the most beautiful looking cars in the world. Now they have updated it slightly to bring it to the 21st century.

It is fitted with Eagle’s 4.7L engine with their 5 speed manual gearbox. it looks sleeker, body has been pushed slightly closer to the ground giving it a more muscular feel and look. little details that make the car special, the hand brake and iPod connector have been hidden away to keep the flowing lines.

And lastly for Bon:

The Tata Nano 

A cheap car for a guy who goes through a car every year or so. Bon save your money and buy a couple of these. It’s rear engined 2 cylinder engine with 35bhp which has less power than my washing machine.

No need to worry about wasting a lot of petrol, no air con, no electric windows, only one wiper and no power steering.

and it all costs £1700