BMW: Next M3 Will Feature Inline-6 Power

May 22, 2012

BMW’s North American boss, Ludwig Willisch, has confirmed that the next M3 will ditch the current naturally-aspirated V8 in favour of the classic inline-6 configuration that has powered the M3 in past e36 and e46 chassis outings… Unlike past efforts though, this new inline-6 will undoubtedly feature 2, or possibly even 3, turbo chargers bolted on to harness (and of course, needlessly surpass) the extra grunt required in this day and age.

Rendering of the next M3

There were initial plans for a chopped/sliced/turbocharged V6 derivative of the current, free-breathing 4.0L V8 but those plans have now been set aside. All that’s left to squandor over now is just how much forced induction tech will be nailed onto the inline-6 to achieve the ever-ridiculous power-increase that is required to sell units… I mean, we’re seriously looking at 440-450 bhp… in an M3… that will probably tack-on more weight/bulk anyways (just like the latest, porky-pie M5).

The current (chunky) V8 M3 with the ‘Performance Pack’

It’s pretty safe to say that the M3 is entering into that shady area of motoring now where its massive power-output will soon become an un-accessible entity on normal roads, for normal drivers… As the true saying goes – More power, more weight, more grip = Less fun.

The naturally-aspirated (and mad fun) inline-6 e46 M3 CSL

Of course I’d be in the minority here, but I’d happily trade 3-400 kgs of shed weight from the next M3 (the current M3 is a porky-pants as well) and a gutsy, responsive, 375 bhp, naturally-aspirated inline-6 over some muted, tri-turbo variation dishing out more torque and power than 99% of the M3 drivers on the road can even handle or comprehend.

Not the most-favourite M3, but its naturally-aspirated inline-6 provided driving thrills to coincide with its chassis.

Sure, it’ll ‘go like hell’ but at what cost to the driving enthusiast who enjoys the reachable and exploitable nuances displayed by M3’s of yore… ?

I’d still take the original, 4-cyl. e30 M3 over them all…

Message to BMW re: the M3: We want lightweight FUN, not extra weight and massive power.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com

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Turbos in F1: Documentary Highlights Its Birth

March 26, 2012

A fascinating 2-part period-era documentary here from the 1980s focusing on the emerging computerized presence in F1. As the narrator aptly puts it – “Gone are the oily rags and the flat-capped amateurs… Here, computers, rubber, metalogy, synthetics, electronics and aerodynamics consume fortunes…”

Many have sustained that it was this exact movement/moment in F1 when the heavy focus on decimal-obsessed, precisional accuracy replaced the ‘fun’ aspect of racing… Few would argue that it definitely signalled the end of an era and the beginning of a new one that resides to this day though.

At nearly 2 hours in length (in 2 parts), it’s a bit of a long-haul, but I cannot stress how interesting this documentary is in exposing the newfound troubles, clashes and endless headaches that permeated throughout the sport in the ’80s when these technologies were new and fresh yet bewilderingly complicated for their creators…

Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault of 1977 - the first-ever (yet highly problematic) Turbo F1 car

Enjoy..!

-Blake J.
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Classic 70’s and 80’s BMW Motorsport: A Photo Album

February 28, 2012

The BMW Motorsport Division was a dominant force on racetracks worldwide in the 1970’s and 80’s. Both privateers and the BMW works teams taking chequered flags on a fairly regular basis. Here we present an assortment of mostly rare photos from that exciting era… Enjoy..!

The unstoppable 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ having a spit of flame on the overrun.

BMW E21 320 Turbo Group 5 being tended-to in a convenient manner while an M1 Procar sits off to the right and a 3.0 CSL hovers in behind… Nice black-sasquatch boots by the way

E30 M3 leaping its way across the chicane

M1 Procar driven by Hans Stuck

E24 635CSi just stepping out for a dab of oppo…

BMW M-mechanics sorting through their combined wizardry on the 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ lump.

The 2002 wide-body racer belching out some flames

Page from an old Alpina brochure showcasing the BMW 2002 and 3.0 CSL racing efforts – look at the dish on those wheels..!

A classic photo from the era – 3.0 CSL flying at the Nurburgring

The 2002 cocking a leg up on the push from the bend

The E24 6-series having a sideways glance towards the corner

M1 Procar advertising one of the oddest-ever combinations of sponsors – Bosch, BBS, Penthouse and Pooh Jeans… The perks must have been outstanding..!

Oh y’know… just a regular Autobahn commute on a Monday morning

Alpina-liveried 3.0 CSL…

The JPS (John Players Special) sponsored E24 635CSi…

Not really a competition-based photo, but who could turn down an Alpina-smothered 2002 on lock…

The 3.0 CSL ‘Batmobile’ attacking a bend…

Another one of the E24 635CSi…

E30 M3 braking late for the corner…

E21 320 Turbo Group-5 car clearing some tarmac.

More leaping shenanigans… Not exactly a ‘motorsport’ photo but a classic 2002 pic nontheless

Going slightly off track here again – the T100 F2 car of 1967

The E9 3.0 CSL ‘Art car’ being chased by a Martini-liveried Porsche 911

The M-cars of the 80’s – E30 M3, E28 M5 and the E24 M6

Again, not exactly motorsport-related… but who doesn’t enjoy a sideways M1

In conclusion, how could I NOT include the competition-spec BMW Microcar…!?

-Blake J.
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MINI: 10-Model Lineup by 2020

January 19, 2012

Mini has announced that the brand will encompass a 10-model portfolio by the year 2020. Specific details are, as predicted, a bit sketchy at this point in time but Mini boss, Dr. Kay Segler, did shed some light on the fact that the next-gen 2014 Mini hatch will be based on/around the new front-wheel-drive BMW Group platform.

Hopefully the Mini brand will utilise this ambitious new brand-stretching outlook by offering the public something smaller, rather than something bigger… which seems to be the general direction of its products at this point – How about just a mini-er… Mini…? (ie: Mini Rocketman concept from last year)

So lets run this down now: a coupe, a convertible, a hatchback, a roadster, the Clubman, the Countryman, the Countryman coupe (Paceman, coming in 2013) and then an additional 3 new models… Hmm… Genius marketing or an overzealous stretching of brand ideals… ?

-Blake J.
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BMW ///M-Diesels: Frugal Mass For The Performance Poser

January 16, 2012

It was not too long ago that I lightly bemused with a BMW upper-management employee type at one of our city’s annual Auto Shows over how the used-to-be-motorsport-derived ///M Division had now been (seemingly) handed over to the brand’s Marketing Division, full-stop. He admittedly hinted that ///M has indeed ‘expanded’ its overall outlook and that, yes, the X6M and X5M were designed and marketed towards ‘a certain type of landscape navigator’. But when I (somewhat jokingly) asked how far this open throwing about of M-badges will go (seeing as how it was/has already damaged the ///M brand from a driver’s/petrolhead’s point of view) if the Marketing heads keep having their way with the family silver, it was at that exact moment when he freakishly morphed himself back into Company Robot Mode and started spouting off the familiar company-line commercial BS about ‘joy’ and ‘excitement’ and ‘no limits’ and other such robotic drivel…

After he was done, I half-laughingly said, “So, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised then to see M-Diesels on the roads one day… eh.. ? Hardy har har…? ?”, as I chuckled, smiled, shook his hand and walked away… He just shrugged his shoulders and smirked.

That shrug and smirk made me feel uneasy back then for a reason… It’s official now folks: BMW ///M is now doing tri-turbo Diesels. Granted, this Diesel nonsense has been widely known/threatened for a few months now, what with ominous paper printouts and ‘mysterious’ BMW ads with chunky X6’s being hauled around in a ‘sportingly economical’ way, whatever that is…

...Because all X6 SUV owners readily pound the racetrack... mm, hmm.

The entire Diesel project has been unimaginitively dubbed ‘BMW Performance Automobiles’ (seriously) and will make its grand unveiling at the Geneva Show in March of this year. On tap to roll out will be the 5-series derived M550d xDrive followed by the much-maligned X6 M50d SUV of which both will feature 4-wheel drive and BMWs new 381hp, 546lb ft tri-turbo diesel engine. Combined fuel consumption for the 5-series variant is a quoted 44.8 mpg, but as we all know, those figures are never real-world figures.

The X6M - the answer to a question that no one asked.

Seeing as how these two new ‘Performance Automobile’ leviathans will weigh in excess of 2000 kg, it simply baffles the brain as to who, exactly, these cars are aimed at… Obviously, the none-too-bright and (as BMWs Marketing Division is well aware of) those that fit nicely within the ‘There’s one born every minute’ frame… and die-hard one-arm-stretched-out-over-the-wheel posers… of which there are many of in this confusing world.

The man helping to put the ///M into Marketing

Or, as M Division boss Dr. Friedrich Nitschke plummets – “We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don’t want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars.” Riiiiiight…. thanks robot.

Well done BMW ///M – cha-ching..!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Mini: Making A Van – Finally..!

January 3, 2012

When glancing back at all of the Mini derivatives and show/concept cars that have cropped up over the last 8 years or so, it seems almost ludicrous that a Mini Cargo Van hasn’t entered into the list of appetite-whetting possibilities until now. Yet it seems that, finally, ze Germans have decided that now is that time…

The Mini has been here before...

The scene will be the Geneva Show in March and German Automotive sources (helps if you know a smidge of German) are predicting a 2-seater Clubman with the rear seats and other assorted gubbins taken out with the rear side-windows replaced, appropriately, with sheet metal.

...and it worked brilliantly back then.

It goes without saying that this Mini Cargo will be aimed at the hip commercial vehicle sector and to those that might want a new slice of the old – as the above pictures show, this isn’t the first time the Mini has been down this road. Should be interesting, nontheless… just as long as they refrain from chucking 19″ wheels on it and making it ‘sporty’.

$20 says they will.

Next up for Mini – the Mini pick-up…! (C’mon, you know you want one…)

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Spied: The 2015 BMW i8

December 29, 2011

It’s nearing the end of the year, so I’m going to hypothetically ’empty my pockets’ here and declare that I find this ‘i8’ hybrid creation from BMW completely and absolutely hideous – always have. Right from its initial unveiling back in 2009 as a styling/futuristic exercise dubbed ‘Vision Efficient Dynamics’ to the latest ‘i’ sub-brand (do we really need more ‘i’ in our marketed lives..?), it has always managed to make me wretch and squirm… and I’m not alone.

Really now... this excites..?

It’s just one of those things I suppose – sometimes certain objects just don’t sit right within your world. As an automotive indicator-of-things-to-come, I’d rather sit through the entire Murder She Wrote DVD library… with nothing but applesauce and spam to ingest over its entire duration… than ingest this.

There. Got that out of the way… now we can move on!

So what we have here for you is both a series of i8 spy-shots and an advertisement for both Brenda Priddy & Company and Car and Driver, it would seem. Gone are the silly see-thru doors from the prototype in aid of proper side-impact protection, yet they still appear to have a swan-door opening procedure about them. Everything else appears to have been smoothed/melted over and (obviously) toned down to ‘production-ready’ levels of accessibility.

To quote Car and Driver who first unveiled these pics  – “Tucked behind the front end is the electric half of the i8’s plug-in hybrid powertrain; it will be fed juice by a long, lithium-polymer battery pack located in what would normally be the transmission tunnel. Together, they should be able to propel the i8 some 20 miles in zero-emissions mode”.

Scheduled for 2015, BMW will at least (hopefully) have some time to sort out that layered-cake roofline, pudgy rear-end and the complete lack of any 3/4 rear-view whatsoever… or not. Nowadays, everyone loves *beeping* back-up sensors splashed across the backside of their cars anyways… Oh, and I’ve saved my final rant for last – STOP CALLING THIS A SUPERCAR…!! IT’S A QUESTIONABLY-STYLED HYBRID COUPE HATCHBACK WITH FLASHY SWAN DOORS..!!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


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