- Post is under moderationCHRIS GRAHAM F30 335d xDRIVE #Shadow-Edition
CAR: #BMW-F30 335d #xDrive
TOTAL MILEAGE: 4,863
MILEAGE THIS MONTH: 1,073
MPG THIS MONTH: 49.4
COST THIS MONTH: Nil
/ #BMW-F30 / #BMW-335d-xDrive-F30 / #BMW-335d-xDrive-Shadow-Edition / #2018-BMW-335d-xDrive-Shadow-Edition / #2018-BMW-335d-xDrive-Shadow-Edition-F30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 / #BMW / #2018 / #BMW-335d-F30 / #BMW-335d / #2018-BMW-335d /
This month I’ve mostly been revelling in the results of Mark Farrell’s excellent new car detail, carried out on my 335d a few weeks ago. The way his expert attentions enhanced the clarity and depth of the superb Sunset Orange metallic paint finish, is a wonder to behold! Sadly, there simply wasn’t room to do the results he achieved justice in the article. Ideally, I’d have used the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs much larger in last month’s Valeting bay feature, but there was just so much technical information to be included that we ran out of page space.
Mark recommends washing the car every two weeks once it’s been treated with a ceramic coating, to maximise the life of that finish. So, it was with some trepidation that I tackled this recently. It was the first time that I’d had any direct, physical contact with the bodywork, having confined my cleaning activities to snow foam and jet wash up until then.
I was careful to give the whole car a thorough rinse with the jet wash before starting, then apply a thick layer of snow foam before using a soft cotton wash pad to agitate and lift away any dirt. I also had two buckets (one with a grit guard) for rinsing and re-wetting the wash pad as I worked. Finally, the vehicle was jet-washed again before being patted dry using a large, soft microfibre towel.
I’ve also been doing a little research into AdBlue, which is something that had more or less passed me by until getting this car. To be honest, I didn’t even realise the #BMW-335d-F30 was fitted with the system until I opened the fuel filler flap for the first time. AdBlue, which is a diesel exhaust fluid – not a fuel additive – is injected into the engine’s exhaust stream in small quantities, and triggers a chemical reaction that converts harmful nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water.
The fluid, which is a nontoxic solution made from very pure, synthesised urea (not pigs’ urine, as is popularly believed!) and de-ionised water, is gradually consumed as the engine runs. The level of the remaining fluid can be checked via iDrive, which will display the car’s range given what’s left in the tank, plus the amount of AdBlue needed to top-up the tank. In my case, the range is still showing >4,500 miles, and that there’s a 0.0-litre top-up requirement. The level is something worth keeping an eye on, though, as allowing it to run out will bump the engine into a limited power mode, and prevent it from being re-started when it’s next switched off. There are, of course, obvious dashboard warnings issued as AdBlue levels start to fall too low for comfort so, in practice, there’s no excuse for actually running out of the stuff.
According to the owner’s handbook, when the #AdBlue reserve indicator on the dashboard first shows, the tank should be replenished with at least five litres (1.3 gallons), which is likely to cost about £5. The handbook also points out that it’s important to use Adblue that meets the ISO 22241-1 standard.
Right: Sad though it may be, I’m still getting a great deal of pleasure from the depth and richness of the Sunset Orange metallic paint on my car.
AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid is now part of my life, for the first time.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #Best-ever-sales / #BMW-5-Series-G30 / #BMW-5-Series / #BMW / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-G12 / #BMW-7-Series-G11 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 / #2017
The BMW brand is celebrating an all-time sales high, both worldwide and in the UK. Globally the BMW brand achieved a new full-year sales record of 2,003,359, 5.2 percent up on 2015. The onward march of the X vehicles was certainly responsible for some of this growth with one in three #BMW vehicles now being equipped with four-wheel drive. With nearly 645,000 X models being sold worldwide this represented a year-on-year increase of 22.3 percent. Other notable growth drivers for the brand include the 2 Series (up 24.8 percent) and the #BMW-7-Series , which saw sales increase by 69.2 per cent to total 61,514.
In the UK the BMW brand accounted for 182,593 sales, an increase of 9.0 percent compared to 2015 and over 15,000 vehicles more than its previous UK sales record in 2015. The #BMW-1-Series five-door was the brand’s biggest selling model closely followed by the #BMW-3-Series-Saloon , the #BMW-5-Series-Saloon and the new X1. #2016 also saw demand doubling for BMW’s electric and hybrid models with more than 9000 customers choosing an alternatively fuelled vehicle. The recently launched #BMW-330e-F30 iPerformance models have already become a popular choice with over 3500 vehicles sold in the UK last year.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderation/ #BMW-330d-M-Sport-Saloon / (F30) ( 2012 – 2015 ) / #BMW-330d-M-Sport-Saloon-F30 / #BMW-330d-F30 / #BMW-F30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 /
Fleet buyers can’t get enough of the ubiquitous 3 Series and the sheer volume of used examples now returned to the market means the pre-face-lifted F30 model is great value – mint examples of the feisty 330d M Sport start at just £13,000. And even fullywarrantied #BMW-Approved-Used examples can be bought from just £15,000. With 245hp and a whopping 413lb ft of torque, performance is rapid to say the least – yet combined economy is a miserly 45.6mpg. And with so many well-maintained examples to choose from you’re sure to find one in your favourite colour and spec.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationAdded Excitement
Straight out-of-the-box the F30 340i is a pretty sublime machine but does the addition of an M Performance power kit and exhaust turn a great car into an outstanding one? Words: Bob Harper Photography: Matt Richardson.
Aurally brilliant M Performance 340i #Saloon / #2016
It’s not very often that I step out of a new BMW and feel underwhelmed but exactly that happened this week. And it wasn’t a pared down to the bone entry-level special either, this was a fully kitted out top of the range 440i Coupé. Like most anomalies this should not be taken out of context.
I was attending a #BMW-UK multi-model launch where there were several different machines assembled for the motoring press to sample and the first car I grabbed the keys to was the new M240i Convertible. You can read my full thoughts on this machine next month, but I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say I thought it was sublime. Small enough to thread through the Wiltshire lanes, quick as mustard and, with the hood down, plenty of aural action as the exhaust popped and crackled away to itself. The 440i was equally rapid and it was wonderfully refined and while being a little larger it didn’t shrink around you quite as well as the 2 Series, it was its lack of exhaust note that I noticed more than anything else.
Now this is something that I’m sure BMW has done plenty of market research on and it may well be that the majority of its customers who order a 440i don’t want a rorty exhaust note for the majority of the time, but what if you wanted a better soundtrack every now and then? After all it’s part and parcel of a performance car and there’s no doubting the 440i has the performance – I’d just like it if it would shout about it a little bit more.
Which is where this 340i you can see here comes in. I picked it up from BMW’s HQ a couple of days after my 440i encounter and with that latter car’s talents (not) still ringing in my ears I knew within a few hundred yards that this 340i was going to address my concerns in spades. It didn’t give much away on a cold start up, but wanting the full beans and sharp throttle response right from the get-go I’d popped the Drive Performance Control switch into Sport and was delighted to hear a much meatier rumble from the exhaust than I’d been expecting. A quick blat up the back roads to reach the motorway had me grinning like a Cheshire cat and whizzing up and down the gearbox with the steering wheelmounted paddles for the sheer hell of it. The bottom line was that it sounded awesome.
Bombing up the slip road and onto the motorway cruising speed was reached in a matter of seconds and once sitting at a steady 75-80mph the exhaust was relatively subdued, just making its presence felt every time you went onto the throttle to pick up speed. No longer having the need for the Sport mode I dropped the car back into its Comfort setting and lo and behold the 340i returned to being a whisper quiet cruiser. By the time I’d reached the office I was coming round to thinking this really was my ideal car. Quiet and refined when needed but with a boisterous side to its nature when wanted. And I should just mention that after 50 miles on the motorway the OBC was registering 42mpg – impressive stuff for a 300+hp petrol sport saloon. So how is this alchemy possible? While it may look to all intents and purposes like a bog standard 340i this machine has been treated to BMW’s M Performance ‘Power and Sound Kit’ that’s available for the 340i (Saloon and Touring) as well as the 440i in Coupé, Convertible and Gran Coupé guises. Power is up from the standard car’s 326hp to 360hp while torque swells to 369lb ft – a gain of 37lb ft (although for manual models the torque peak is lower at 354lb ft to protect the gearbox from damage). The power part of the kit involves a software upgrade, while as I’ve already discovered the sound part of the equation is a silencer system that comes with either chrome or carbon tailpipe finishers. The uplift in outputs is enough for #BMW to quote a performance gain of 0.2 seconds for the 0-62mph sprint, dipping the 340i Saloon’s time to 4.9 seconds when equipped with the excellent eight-speed auto ‘box.
BMW reckons that even in Comfort and Eco-Pro modes you’ll experience a ‘sporty sound, significantly sportier and more emotional than the standard system’, but I must admit that for the most part when in Comfort mode the car was as quiet as other 340i’s I’ve experienced. Flicking the switch to access Sport though brings an absolute sea change which BMW describes as a ‘maximum emotional sound, very sporty, very loud’, and this time it’s really hit the nail on the head. At lower revs you’ll experience a deeper, bassier note which increases in volume and timbre as you fire up the rev range, and it has to be said that this new B58 ‘six as found under the 340i’s bonnet loves to rev.
Whipping up and down the road for photography was an absolute delight – sometimes driving back and forth for the camera becomes a real chore, but on this occasion I was rather disappointed when my snapper signalled that he’d got enough shots in the bag. Not only do you get significantly more noise when accelerating but backing off the throttle elicits some wonderful pops and crackles that send tingles up your spine. To me, this is what the car should be like from the factory, as in standard form there just isn’t enough noise to get excited about.
Quality modifications aren’t cheap but at £2650 the M Performance Sound and Power kit isn’t too bad for the delight it brings. That price includes VAT, but not fitting, or the tailpipe trims which will set you back another £103 (each for the chrome) or £207 (each for the carbon version), but for around the £3k mark you’ll be seriously enhancing your car. Personally I’d certainly add this to my list of must-have options if I were buying – it really is that good, and brings out the sport in this most excellent of sporting saloons.
A quick blat up the back roads to reach the motorway had me grinning like a Cheshire cat
TECHNICAL DATA: #BMW-M-Performance / #BMW-340i / #BMW-340i-M-Performance / #BMW-340i-M-Performance-F30 / #BMW-340i-F30 / #BMW-F30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 / #BMW-F30/2
ENGINE: Straight-six, 24-valve
MAX POWER: 360hp @ 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE: 369lb ft @ 1520-4800rpm
0-62MPH: 4.9 seconds
TOP SPEED: 155mph
PRICE (OTR): See text
Figures quoted are for eight-speed automatic as tested.
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Behind the Wheel We get to grips with the F30 330i and this one’s had the full AC Schnitzer treatment. BMW’s 330i is no longer powered by a six-cylinder engine but can a selection of AC Schnitzer goodies put the pizzazz back in the sports saloon? Words: Bob Harper. Photography: Dave Smith.
It seems hardly possible that it’s getting on for a year since we first drove the face-lifted 3 Series back in the November 2015 issue and it’s perhaps even more of a surprise that we’ve yet to sample the car in its new 330i form. The 328i was dropped in favour of the 330i with the four-cylinder turbocharged engine, changing from the 328i’s N20 to the 330i’s new modular #B48 unit. This saw power rise from 245hp to 252hp in the 330i – not bad for a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that also develops nigh-on 260lb ft of torque too. Sadly the soulful straight-six soundtrack is no longer part of the 330i’s make-up and it is worth mentioning that the car’s still 20hp down on what the last of the E90 330i’s developed.
Economy and emissions have both improved with the F30 330i when compared to the six-cylinder in the E90 330i – with the newer car promising to go eight miles further on each gallon of unleaded while promising to emit 22g/km CO² less while it’s doing it. Performance figures are virtually identical so I guess you’ll just have to make up your own minds whether the improved economy and emissions makes up for the loss of the straight-six.
We probably shouldn’t get too hung up on this though – BMW’s not likely to suddenly go back to naturally aspirated sixes anytime soon so we should make the best of what we’ve got. Our first chance to drive a 330i actually came on one of our recent visits to AC Schnitzer in Aachen and the M Sport 330i Saloon kitted out with a selection of the tuning firm’s accessories certainly looks the part. It’s always interesting to sample machinery destined for markets other than the UK as one does get to appreciate quite how highly spec’d our cars are over here. Thus while this looks to all intents and purposes like a UK-spec M Sport, one discovers as soon as one opens the door that the interior’s actually refreshingly different. In the UK a 330i M Sport would come equipped with leather as standard and once we’ve spent the day driving this machine we would much rather have this cloth and Alcantara setup offered in the UK. For some reason leather is equated with luxury or prestige in the UK, but let’s face it, it tends to be cold in the winter, too hot in the summer and a bit slippery when pressing on – the cloth/Alcantara setup is far superior.
Still, it’s not really the BMW options we’ve come to study, rather the Schnitzer upgrades and if we start with the external modifications we have a set of rather nice carbon front spoiler elements and mirror caps finished in the same material, while at the rear there’s a small spoiler at the top of the rear screen and a rather shapely item adorning the top of the bootlid.
The wheels set the car off nicely and on this car we have a set of 8.5x-20-inch AC1 on the driver’s side and a set of Type VIIIs in similar dimensions on the passenger side… although now I’ve looked at the pictures it appears we only shot the driver’s side of this car, so apologies for that! Those wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sports measuring 225/35 up front and 255/30 at the rear and they really do fill the arches rather well. I’m a little concerned that this might be an inch or two too big for the 3 Series to ride acceptably but we’ll come on to that in a minute…
Elsewhere on the car its performance intent can be gleaned from the exhausts which are considerably beefier than the standard machine and on this ACS3 Schnitzer has opted for a twin-exit setup which always looks more performance-orientated than when you have a pair of pipes exiting through the rear valance at the same side. We’re also hoping that the Schnitzer exhaust will release a more strident note than the ones we’ve encountered so far on BMW’s latest fourcylinder petrol turbos, as their soundtrack does tend to let them down in standard form. Pop the bonnet and you’re treated to one of Schnitzer’s trademark ‘Engine Optics’ packages which basically involves painting the plastic engine cover to inject some pizzazz into what are very dull swathes of black plastic in modern BMWs. Last, but by no means least, this machine is packing a development engine performance upgrade for the B48 2.0-litre that promises around 300hp and 310lb ft of torque – gains of 48 and 52 respectively, although those numbers are, as yet, not set in stone.
Out on the road, though, the ACS3 3.0i does prove to be an eager performer, exhibiting the sort of pace you’d expect from a 300hp saloon, offering up a big dose of torque lower down the rev range but like some of BMW’s smaller turbocharged petrol units there’s not a huge amount to be gained from really extending it as its best work is already done by the time you reach 6000rpm. As a performance upgrade it’s pretty effective, taking the 330i almost up to 340i levels of power and torque for less than the price difference between the two cars, assuming the Schnitzer upgrade comes in at a similar price point to its offerings for other models. You obviously don’t get the straight-six soundtrack, or some of the 340i’s additional equipment, but it is still worth bearing in mind.
We were worried that those 20-inch alloys might be an inch or so too large for the car but we shouldn’t have worried – Schnitzer generally knows its onions when it comes to suspension setups and this car features the company’s ‘Sports’ suspension system which features new springs and dampers. Schnitzer reckons it goes a long way to eliminating the ‘vertical chop’ associated with BMW damping on fast bumpy corners yet also offers a compliant ride and having spent some time behind the wheel of its 330i we have to agree. While the majority of roads we encounter are better than those in the UK the section of road we end up using for the panning photography is worse than most of our B-roads and is little better than a dirt track with a crumbling surface and the 330i simply soaks it all up. Big potholes will still upset it, but on the whole I’d say it rides as well as, if not better than, a standard 3 Series on 18s with the M Sport suspension. It feels nicely planted when cornering too, with enough feedback to make it entertaining which is all you could wish for from a sports saloon.
It might lack the sonorous straight-six of pervious generations but we reckon the 330i is still a pretty decent piece of kit, especially with a few choice Schnitzer upgrades. The exhaust does go someway to eliciting a better soundtrack from the four-cylinder, although it’s never going to sound as sweet as a sixpot, but the performance on offer does go someway towards making up for the lack of aural excitement. It doesn’t sound bad, just never all that inspiring.
Overall, though, another job well done by the chaps at AC Schnitzer. The car has enough exterior changes to help it stand out from the crowd and the wheels and suspension combine very well to make it an entertaining companion.
AC Schnitzer UK
Tel: 01485 542000
AC Schnitzer Germany
Tel: +49 (0)241 56 88 130
TECHNICAL DATA #2016 / #AC-Schnitzer-ACS3-3.0i / #AC-Schnitzer-ACS3 / #AC-Schnitzer-ACS3-3.0i-F30 / #AC-Schnitzer-ACS3-F30 / #AC-Schnitzer-F30 / #BMW-F30 / #BMW-F30-AC-Schnitzer / #BMW-330i / #BMW-330i-F30 / #BMW-330i-AC-Schnitzer / #BMW-330i-AC-Schnitzer-F30 / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 / #BMW /
ENGINE: Four-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged
MAX POWER: 300hp*
MAX TORQUE: 310lb ft*
ENGINE: AC Schnitzer Performance Upgrade – £TBC; AC Schnitzer engine optics – £359.88
EXHAUST: AC Schnitzer silencer with ‘Racing Evo’ tailpipes left and right – £1588.44
SUSPENSION: AC Schnitzer Sports suspension – £1233.48
WHEELS AND TYRES: AC Schnitzer AC1, 8.5x20-inch with 225/35 (front) and 255/30 (rear) tyres – £3255.83
AERODYNAMICS: AC Schnitzer front spoiler elements (carbon) – £888.50; AC Schnitzer mirror covers (carbon) – £430.79; AC Schnitzer rear roof spoiler – £242.73; AC Schnitzer spoiler – £326.42
INTERIOR: AC Schnitzer aluminium pedal set – £155.67; AC Schnitzer aluminium foot rest – £149.82; AC Schnitzer key holder – £79.88; AC Schnitzer floor mats – £181.03
* In development, price and final figures TBC. All prices are for parts only but include VAT. For further information please contact AC Schnitzer UK.
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- Post is under moderationBehind the Wheel.
The 330e promises a game-changing drivetrain but does it live up to its potential?
We’re used to the model designation of a 3 Series having nothing to do with the engine size, but what exactly is a 330e? It’s worth a closer look, that’s for sure… Words: Shane O’ Donoghue Pics: Max Earey.
Remember the good old days, when a 330 was powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and a tweet was a noise a bird made? Well, they’re seemingly gone forever. The 330d may still use a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine but the 330i uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit and now there’s the 330e. That little ‘e’ stands for electrification, but fear not: this isn’t the world’s first all-electric 3 Series. It is, in fact, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), but we agree with whoever took the decision not to stick a ‘330phev’ badge on the boot…
In fact, the boot badge is one of the only ways you’ll distinguish the hybrid from its 3 Series siblings. That and the vaguely ugly extra ‘fuel flap’ found on the left-front wing behind the wheel (it’s less obvious if you go for a darker paint colour). The 330e has exhaust pipes after all, and it can even be had in SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport specifications to completely fool the neighbours. In short, this is not a hybrid for those that want to tell the world they’re driving a hybrid. That, we approve of.
And indeed, if your idea of hybrid power is entrenched in the driving experience of older generations of the Toyota Prius, you’ll be in for a bit of a surprise in the 330e. This is, remember, the company that brought us the sublime BMW i8 sports car, which is itself a plug-in hybrid. Under the bonnet of the 330e, regardless of trim level, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. To the back of that is bolted a slick eight-speed automatic transmission with normal and Sport modes of operation (plus paddle-shifts as standard across the line-up). Within the casing of that gearbox is a compact electric motor-generator that adds 88hp to the engine’s output and produces 184lb ft of torque from a standstill. This takes its juice from a large lithium ion battery pack located at the rear of the car (robbing the boot of 110 litres, one of the few down sides), which can be charged in three hours by plugging it into the mains (or if you use a high-speed electric car charger, in just over two hours). The engine itself can top it up as well, depending on the driving mode selected, though obviously that uses fuel so it’s not the most efficient way to do things. Now the important numbers: the 330e has up to 252hp when the petrol engine and electric motor work together, plus 310lb ft of torque; the emissions rating is as low as 44g/km (depending on specification, but it’s never higher than 49g/km) for no annual motor tax bill; the official fuel economy figure is as high as 148.7mpg; and it will do 0-62mph in a hot hatch-baiting 6.1 seconds.
It’s worth rereading those and then taking your time to compare the numbers produced by the top-selling 320d EfficientDynamics Sport fitted with the Sport automatic transmission: 163hp, 295lb ft of torque, 99 to 109g/km, 68.9 to 74.3mpg and 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds. That car costs £32,860 on-the-road, in comparison to £34,235 for the 330e Sport, which is a significant difference, even if the hybrid is much faster and, theoretically at least, more efficient. However, the 330e has an ace up its sleeve for company buyers and that’s a very low Benefit in Kind (BIK) rating of seven per cent. The 320d ED is better in that regard than any other diesel 3 Series, but at 20 per cent it makes the purchase price difference all but irrelevant.
If you’ve read anything on hybrids, you’ll realise that one of those figures needs qualifying, and that’s the fuel economy. All the car makers have to put their vehicles through a standardised test procedure and quote the results from that, but it’s no longer fit for purpose so should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Comparing the 320d to the 330e emphasises the test’s uselessness to the public. Taken at face value, you’d expect the petrol-electric hybrid 330e to use less than half the fuel of the conventionally diesel 320d and, if you drove in a manner that replicated the so-called ‘combined cycle’ test then it would indeed be that way. However, the battery in the 330e would have to be charged up from an external source beforehand while the overall test length would have to be short, on a flat road, with no wind or use of the air conditioning. We’ve driven considerably further in both the 330e and the 320d and once out on the open road at a cruise, the 320d returns economy much closer to its official figure than the 330e can hope to. Indeed, on a long motorway journey, a diesel 3 Series will always be more economical.
The 330e fights back by being far quieter, it has decent electric-only running capability and actually works really well around town. If most of your driving isn’t on a free-flowing motorway and you can regularly charge-up the battery pack then the 330e may cost no more to run. We’d suggest you do the sums, as it’s a considerably more satisfying car to drive. Along with the more refined powertrain, it’s much faster at all times, effortlessly so. And if you’re in the mood for a B-road blast, slot it into Sport mode and all the systems respond with pleasing sharpness, helping it live up to that 330e badge on the boot, regardless of what that actually stands for these days.
Bar the badging, the additional ‘fuel flap’, and some of the dash displays, the 330e looks like every other 3 Series.
TECHNICAL DATA #2016 / #BMW-F30 / #BMW-330e-Sport / #BMW-330e-Sport-F30 / #BMW-330e-F30 / #BMW / #BMW-3-Series / #BMW-3-Series-F30 / #BMW-330e
DRIVETRAIN: 1998cc turbocharged in-line-four-cylinder petrol with synchronous electric motor, eight-speed #Steptronic auto, rear-wheel drive
MAX POWER: Petrol: 184hp @ 5000-6500rpm; Electric: 88hp @ 2500rpm; Combined: 252hp
MAX TORQUE: Petrol: 214lb ft @ 1350-4250rpm; Electric: 184lb ft @ 0-2500rpm; Combined: 310lb ft
0-62MPH: 6.1 seconds
TOP SPEED: 140mph
WEIGHT (EU): 1735kg
PRICE 2016 UK: From £31,735 (including £2500 Government plug-in car grant)Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.