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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    2016 #BMW-M3-F80 and #BMW-M4-F82-Competition-Package / #BMW-M3-F80-Competition-Package / #2016 / #BMW-M4 / #BMW-M3 / #Competition-Package / #BMW / #M-DCT / #BMW-M4-F82


    If you’d like your M3 or M4 to be a little more feisty BMW has the answer with its new Competition Package

    BMW’s policy of bringing out a more performance-orientated version of its M cars via a Competition Package has certainly been successful and with the E92 generation of M3 there was a high uptake of the option once it became available. It’s obviously hoping the same will be true for the latest turbocharged M cars as from this spring you will be able to add the Competition pack to the M3 Saloon and both the M4 Coupé and Convertible.

    There’s plenty on offer too, with the Competition pack promising performance, style and handling enhancements. Power is up to 450hp (a gain of 19hp) and while torque remains the same at 406lb ft, performance is up for all models, with the manual-equipped machines reaching 62mph from rest 0.1 seconds faster. With the optional M DCT transmission, both the M3 and M4 can now knock off the benchmark sprint in four seconds. While the latest M car has been developing a reputation for struggling to put its power down in slippery conditions, BMW will be hoping that its chassis revisions for the Competition pack goes some way to allaying those reservations. The pack includes Adaptive M suspension, which has been extensively tuned and enhanced and features new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, along with reconfigured driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+). The standard Active M differential on the rear axle and DSC Dynamic Stability Control have also been configured to match the upgraded dynamics. Furthermore, the Competition pack gains a set of GTS style alloys, though thankfully without the orange ‘highlights’. BMW says these are ‘forged, machine-polished and weight- and rigidity-optimised’. The alloys measure 20-inches in diameter and have mixed tyres – 265/30 R20 and 285/30 R20 front and rear respectively.

    Ensuring it sounds as well as it goes is a new M Sports exhaust with black chrome tailpipes which promises a better soundtrack which BMW says will bring ‘added emotional resonance to the driving experience’ and has a ‘distinctive burble on overrun’. Externally you’ll also be able to spot the Competition pack cars by their extended BMW Individual highgloss Shadow Line exterior trim which adorns the side window trims, window recess finishers, exterior mirror frames and bases, kidney grille, side gills and the model badge on the tail.

    Internally the Competition pack includes special lightweight M sports seats that BMW says combine perfect support under extremely hard driving with exceptional comfort on long journeys. The last touch are the seatbelts with woven-in BMW M stripes which are a nice touch.

    The Competition Package costs £3000 and can be ordered now for spring deliveries.
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  •   Louise Woodhams reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    FAST CLUB #2015

    We get behind the wheel of the face-lifted M135i and M6 Convertible and also have a go in the X6 M. We drive the face-lifted M135i and M6 Cab plus the X6 M for good measure because… well, why wouldn’t you? Words: Elizabeth de Latour/ Photos: #BMW

    2015 #BMW-M135i-F21 / #BMW-M135i / #BMW-F21

    Say what you will about the second generation 1 Series’ fishy/froggy face (I like it, but then again I’ve got one) but you can’t argue with the fact that it has been a roaring sales success and, more importantly, introduced the world to the M135i – arguably one of the greatest performance bargains of all time and one of the hottest of hot hatches. Now the time has come for the F2x 1 Series’ LCI (Life Cycle Impulse), BMW’s term for a midlife face-lift, and the end result is a car that is a little easier on the eye and will likely be even more popular.

    There’s a more attractive front end with slightly more conventionally-styled headlights though we’re of the opinion that the rear revisions aren’t quite as successful but the overall effect is a success and it’s a good-looking hatch. The interior revisions are minor, with a boost in standard spec (all cars now get climate control, for example) and swish new monochrome graphics for the heating controls. As far as face-lift packages go, it’s a success.

    Of course, the M135i is all about going fast and BMW has seen fit to up the power… by 6hp. That does at least bring it in line with the M235i at 326hp and ensures you won’t be at a disadvantage owning an M135i come pub power figure bragging time. Unsurprisingly, an additional 6hp has made no difference to the car’s performance, that is to say that it still feels absolutely ballistic out on the road. We’ve never experienced a car that is so easy to drive quickly and without even trying. At one point during a B-road blast I was casually wondering about what to have for dinner that evening whilst chucking the M135i through the corners with careless abandon. That’s not to say that you feel detached from the driving experience, far from it, the M135 is an engaging and communicative steer but there’s so little drama to proceedings you really do just get in and drive it really, really fast. Turn off the traction control and you can have all the drama you want, the E-diff making a fine fist of emulating a mechanical LSD and you can get the tail out with no effort or lay down some fat 11s if the mood takes you. It sounds awesome, too, ignoring the fact that the speakers do play a part in channelling the engine noise to the occupants, but experienced from the outside, away from the electronic audio frivolity, it still sounds rude and as fruity as you’d want and hope it would.

    If it was my money, auto takes preference over manual (more gears, better fuel economy, faster), especially as the shifts are so quick and crisp it makes you wonder what the point of M DCT is. And while the standard suspension is good, EDC is better, allowing you to go harder or softer and it feels like less of a compromise and makes the car more capable. If you want a small, fast, practical do-it-all hot hatch, aim your £30k at the M135 and pull the trigger, you won’t regret it.

    DATA FILE
    ENGINE: 3.0-litre straight-six #N55B30 / #N55
    TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual, optional eight-speed Sport Auto #ZF8HP
    WEIGHT (EU): 1505kg (1520)
    MAX POWER: 326hp @ 5800-6000rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 332lb ft @ 1300-4500rpm
    0-62MPH: 5.1 (4.9)
    TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
    EMISSIONS (CO²): 188g/km (175)
    FUEL ECONOMY (MPG): 35.3 (37.7)
    PRICE (OTR): £31,325 (five-door £33,345)
    DATA FILE
    Figures in brackets are for Sport Auto

    2015 #BMW-M6-Convertible / #BMW-M6-Convertible-F12 / #BMW-F12 / #BMW-M6
    Would we buy an M6 Convertible? If we were in the market for a big, fast, comfortable drop-top, the answer would be a resounding yes because the M6 delivers everything you might want from a car like this. For its LCI treatment, BMW has dumped a whole lot more standard equipment into the big Six (over £10kworth in fact) and cleaned up the already elegant lines for a bit more aggression and road presence. It’s a delicate beauty treatment but when you’re starting with what is arguably a pretty good-looking car in the first place, you’d have to have fists made from ham to mess it up.

    Under the bonnet it’s business as usual, which is a slightly rude way of saying it’s still got a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 (remember when something like that was just a schoolboy’s dream and now it’s an everyday reality?) making 560hp and 502lb ft of torque. That means 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph but lots more if you take the limiter off. A big capacity V8 plus twin-turbos means that torque peak is spread thickly across most of the rev range, like butter on freshly sliced bread. It’s equally delicious, unless you have a gluten allergy, but at least that won’t affect your enjoyment of the S63 V8 and it’s a monster of a motor. Prod the throttle at pretty much any revs, any speed and the M6 surges forward on a wave of torque and that means it’s very easy to go very fast indeed without noticing and that means you could get in a lot of trouble very quickly. It makes driving a much more relaxing experience, having so much performance on tap, as there’s pretty much no situation that you can’t drive your way out of. If you get stuck behind slower traffic you don’t have to wait for an overtaking opportunity, it happens almost without you realising it; you think ‘I could probably overtake this car if I… oh, I’ve already done it’. On rough and damp surfaces traction is at a premium but for the most part it manages to put down its power pretty well and you can deploy a healthy dose of throttle without too much concern.

    The only thing that really hampers the driving experience is the size of the M6 because it is most definitely a big car; wide and long, it feels like it takes up a lot of space on the road. On A-roads it’s fine but funnel it onto a B-road and it feels big and a bit out of its comfort zone. The ride is also pretty harsh and we also noticed what seemed like some scuttle shake over rough surfaces, a slight shimmy through the dash and steering wheel. But aside from this there’s little to moan about here, really, and it remains a hugely impressive car. Yes, it is expensive but it’s priced in line with its rivals, and is actually cheaper than a good few of them, so that’s a moot point really. If you happen to have £100k burning a hole in your pocket and an overwhelming desire for a fast convertible, we can’t imagine you’d be disappointed with the M6.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 #S63B44 / #S63
    TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed #M-DCT
    WEIGHT (EU): 1925kg
    MAX POWER: 560hp @ 6000-7000rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 502lb ft @ 1500-5750rpm
    0-62MPH: 4.3 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
    EMISSIONS (CO²): 239g/km
    FUEL ECONOMY (MPG): 27.4
    PRICE (OTR): £97,300

    2015 #BMW-X6-MF16 / #BMW-X6M / #BMW-X6 / #BMW-F16

    If you like cars that make you laugh out loud then the X6 M is the car for you. It may go against everything that M once stood for (a 4WD auto 4x4 with an M badge?!) and it may get plenty of environmentalist sorts raging, but that cannot take away from the fact that it’s actually a massively impressive machine. The X6 M looks big on the outside and feels big on the inside but the most surprising thing about it is that it’s actually surprisingly easy to pilot with confidence, despite taking up most of most of the roads you’ll find yourself driving down. The elevated driving position offers a good view of your surroundings and the massive mirrors give you a good idea of whereabouts you are in the road, making the X6 M quite easy to place.

    The most amusing aspect of the whole driving experience is that it drives nothing like how you might expect. It doesn’t feel heavy – it is most definitely a heavy car at 2340kg – but it doesn’t feel like it’s carting around anywhere near that sort of mass. The fact that it’s so powerful is a massive help, obviously, and while the M5 and M6 have to make do with 560hp in standard form, the X6 (and X5) M models now boast 575hp, 20hp up on what they started with when first launched, which means it feels absolutely ballistic. 0-62mph comes up in a scarcely believable 4.2 seconds, which puts it quite literally a fraction behind the DCTequipped M3 and M4, seriously impressive when you consider that it weighs over 700kg more. The drive-by-wire throttle is amusingly light, which means that it feels even faster than you expect, especially compared to the M6, whose pedal requires a lot more effort to get it moving, and it’s very easy to pile on the speed without even trying. The steering is light and while it’s not the last word in communication and feel, it’s fine and allows you to drive briskly with confidence, while the brakes are suitably powerful though after a brisk drive involving few hard stops the pedal travel increased and braking required a little more commitment, though that’s not too surprising considering they’re trying to cope with over two tonnes of rampaging X6. But, overall, it’s a surprisingly positive experience behind the wheel.

    The X6 M definitely won’t appeal to everyone but we can appreciate why it’s so popular and those that love it are truly enamoured. It’s not for us, even if our numbers came up, but we doubt you’ll find another car that makes you giggle quite like the X6 M.

    DATA FILE

    ENGINE: 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 S63B44
    TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed M DCT
    WEIGHT (EU): 2340kg
    MAX POWER: 575hp @ 6000-6500rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 553lb ft @ 2200-5000rpm
    0-62MPH: 4.2 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 155mph (limited)
    EMISSIONS (CO²): 258g/km
    FUEL ECONOMY (MPG): 25.4
    PRICE (OTR): £93,080
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  •   Matt Robinson reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    More all-wheel drive. #BMW M cars on the way #2015 . The debut of the BMW X5 #F15 / X6 M #F16 at the LA Auto Show #2014 could herald the arrival of a new era of all-wheel drive M cars as Shane O’ Donoghue explains.

    The writing is on the wall for more four-wheel drive BMW M cars. At last month’s LA Auto Show the 575hp, twin-turbocharged, V8-engined X5 M and X6 M twins made their world debut and a BMW M insider told BMW Car that it’s likely we’ll see more cars from the M division that put their power to all four wheels. First to hit the market could be the X4 M in 2016, and a four-wheel drive version of the next generation BMW M5 is also under consideration. The BMW M4/M3’s twinturbocharged straight-six cylinder petrol engine seems a logical powerplant for the #X4 M, though it’s unlikely BMW M will give the SAV more than the 431hp of the Coupé, Convertible and Saloon. As the #M-DCT dual-clutch gearbox is not currently fitted to any all-wheel drive car it’s expected that the X4 M would use the conventional automatic transmission found in the new X5/X6 M. It’s unlikely that a manual gearbox would be offered, though the X4 M will use BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system and could employ a similar torque vectoring technique to the larger X models.

    A unique design with more aggressive air inlets and colour-coded wheel arches should differentiate the X4 M from the current range topper, the X4 xDrive35i, along with the characteristic quad-exhaust system. Inside, M touches are likely to extend to unique instrumentation, alloy paddle shifters and figurehugging leather-trimmed sports seats.

    Though BMW won’t confirm the X4 M’s existence, the success of high-performance compact SUVs such as Porsche’s new Macan suggests that the X4 M will become a reality. Of less certainty is the use of all-wheel drive in the core M range. Insiders suggest there’s strong resistance to changing the rear-drive setup of the M3/M4, even though the 3 Series and 4 Series are both available with four-wheel drive. However, it seems that the M5’s future could indeed include an all-wheel drive model, to compete better with the Audi RS 6 and 4Matic four-wheel drive versions of the latest AMG-developed #Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The latter car is also available in reardrive guise, but there has been a dramatic bias in sales towards the four-wheel drive model in the M5’s key markets, including North America. If this does happen, BMW is adamant that the M5 will retain its rear-drive feel and only send power to the front wheels when required.
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  • #2016 M rumours – #BMW-M2
    As always, the internet is awash with rumours about the future M cars and the stories currently doing the rounds revolve around the M2, the M4 GTS and a potential high performance version of the i8. Working in chronological order we know that an M2 will be coming out and are expecting a machine very much in the mould of the 1 Series M Coupé which will mean a skilful amalgamation of regular production components and those found on the M3 and M4. We’re not expecting a version of the M3/M4 engine under the bonnet though, instead the car will use a tweaked version of the #M235i ’s unit with an expected output of around 370hp.

    Many chassis parts will be taken from the M3 and M4 while we’re expecting the body to be a moderately sanitised version of the one fitted to the #BMW M235i Racing. There is plenty of discussion over the car’s gearbox though and one theory is that it will, like the 1M, only be available with a manual ‘box to avoid #M2 sales impinging on those of the M3 and M4 which are almost exclusively being ordered with the #M-DCT transmission. M4 test mules have recently been seen circulating the Nordschleife wearing BMW Safety Car logos but this minimal disguise has failed to stop us from concluding that these are actually M4 GTS test cars. When we were on the launch of the new #M4 , BMW M’s Albert Biermann more or less confirmed that there would be a replacement in the pipeline for the much-loved #E92 #M3 GTS, but this time we’re hoping the car will have a slightly less stratospheric price and be built in greater numbers.

    The last rumour concerns BMW’s plans for its centenary in 2016 with many commentators reckoning that a high performance version of the #BMW-i8 might be in the offing. Rumours range from a #M5 V8-powered version to one equipped with the M4’s twin-turbo straight-six. Either would be a tantalising prospect but we reckon if this supercar does ever appear it will still utilise the i8’s hybrid drivetrain although it’s possible the three-cylinder unit will be replaced by a more powerful four-cylinder unit and be coupled to a higher output electric motor. Time will tell…
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