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Posts Tagged ‘BMW 3-Series’

Genesis NY Concept Set to Become 3rd Sedan in New Luxury Brand’s Line-up

3-Series fighter will also spawn new SUV, sports coupe.

by on Mar.23, 2016

The Hyundai New York Concept will morph into a 3-Series fighter by early 2018 or sooner.

(c) 2016

When Hyundai rolled out its distinctive Vision-G Concept vehicle last summer it signaled changes afoot, something the Korean carmaker confirmed a few months later by announcing plans to spin off the all-new Genesis luxury division.

So, what to make of the equally eye-catching Genesis New York Concept making its debut, appropriately enough, in the Big Apple this week? Plenty. As has learned from the proverbial “well-placed sources,” the new show car will morph into a production vehicle set to hit market sometime late in 2017 or early 2018.

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The production version, known internally as the IK, and set to be badged the Genesis G70, will be what one source described as “our (BMW) 3-Series fighter.” More importantly, the underlying platform will serve as the basis of at least two additional Hyundai models, including a compact crossover and a new sports coupe.


First Drive: 2015 BMW M3 and M4

by on Sep.04, 2014

The 2015 BMW M3 opts for a smaller, twin turbocharged engine that makes it part race car, part daily driver.

I never believed it would happen. Me, Mr. Mercedes and Audi, in love with a BMW. It’s not that I don’t like Bimmers, I think my aversion to them started when yuppies discovered the brand and started calling the Bimmer a “Beamer.”

The reality of it all is that BMW has and does build cars that are just as happy on the racetrack as they are on the street. And that’s even at the so-called “base” level. Consider the 3 Series, in production since model year 1977. It’s the quintessential performance sedan, coupe or convertible – just take your pick of body styles. It’s benchmarked by nearly every carmaker that wants to build a performance sedan. Add the vaunted “M” trim to the car, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide butt kicker.

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For 2015, I’m adding BMW to my “favorite brands” list, journalistic integrity tossed into the wind like a seagull cresting Niagara Falls. I’d already fallen in love with what I think is the best sports sedan on the market, the 640i Gran Coupe, and then BMW added two more to my wish list with the introduction of the 2015 M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. (more…)

BMW Jumps on Luxury Bandwagon Going to Mexico

Bavarian maker investing $1 billion in new plant in San Luis Potosi.

by on Jul.04, 2014

Harald Krueger, BMW board member for production, and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, after the announcement of BMW's new plant.

When it comes to making vehicles in North America, BMW is moving south, not to South Carolina, but south of the Rio Grande. The automaker plans to build a $1 billion plant in Mexico that would begin producing an unknown vehicle by 2019.

BMW’s facility in San Luis Potosi, a city in central Mexico, is expected to employ 1,500 workers and build 150,000 vehicles annually. The company did not announce what vehicle it will build there, but a government official there suggested the 3-Series. General Motors also has a plant in San Luis Potosi.

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While some suggest the move to Mexico helps BMW escape the higher wages of building the vehicles in Germany, officials suggest a simpler reason. (more…)

BMW Builds Buzz with New 4-Series Convertible

Bigger 3-Series replacement retains flavor of predecessor.

by on Nov.20, 2013

BMW's new 4-Series convertible is a larger version of the outgoing 3-Series model.

The 4-Series Convertible from BMW makes a much-anticipated debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show as BMW continues to expand its latest model line with new models.

The 4-Series is the next BMW vehicle going through the German maker’s new naming convention – first adopted with the 6-Series – in which premium two-door and cabriolet models adopt an even number model name and sedans take an odd number.

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The all-new BMW 4-Series Convertible is coming to America with a longer wheelbase, wider track and lower ride height than the previous-generation BMW 3-Series Convertible that has been the soft top in the BMW line. Its lower suspension also brings down the car’s center of gravity for better driving dynamics. (more…)

BMW Announces Second Recall in a Week

Over 600,000 vehicles impacted.

by on Feb.18, 2013

BMW's X5 is one of four different models recalled in recent days due to a series of safety-related problems.

It hasn’t been a good week for BMW – or its customers.

Just days after recalling more than 30,000 of its big X5 crossovers for potential brake problems, the Bavarian maker has announced a second safety-related service action, this time because a battery cable connector can fail and cause engines to stall.

The latest problem impacts about 570,000 vehicles sold in North America, 504,000 in the U.S. and the rest in Canada.  It covers various 3-Series models sold during the 2007 through 2011 model-years, as well as 2008 through 2012 1-Series coupes and convertibles and 2009 through 2011 Z4 roadsters.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a fuse box terminal can degrade over time, breaking the electrical connection with the trunk-mounted battery. If that happens the cars may suddenly lose power and stall.  BMW itself reports one minor crash resulting from the problem.


BMW Reveals 3-Series GT Hatchback

Carving out more white space.

by on Feb.07, 2013

BMW stretches the 3-Series with the addition of the new 3-Series Gran Turismo.

The BMW 3-Series has long been the industry benchmark for sporty compact sedans. But what to do if you’re looking for a little more practicality but don’t want to settle for an SUV or crossover?

The maker is working up what it thinks will be the answer: the new 3-Series Gran Turismo, a downsized version of its current 5-Series GT. A concept version will make its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, alongside the Bavarian marque’s new M6 Gran Coupe and its Concept Active Tourer.

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With the 3-Series Gran Turismo Concept, what you see is very, very close to what you’ll soon be able to get. The more practical take on the 3-Series is about eight inches longer than the latest-generation wagon, with four inches more added to the wheelbase, and it stands about three inches higher.


First Drive: 2013 Cadillac ATS

Let the buzz start here.

by on Jul.24, 2012

The 2013 Cadillac ATS is the brand's first compact sedan in a quarter century.

For all too many potential buyers the idea of a compact Cadillac brings to mind the last attempt by the U.S. maker to tackle the likes of the vaunted BMW 3-Series. Caddy’s dreadful Cimarron almost single-handedly brought the General Motors flagship brand to its knees, helping shatter its long-standing image as the “Standard of the World.”

It’s no surprise Cadillac officials spent nearly three decades dithering about whether to return to the compact market – a decision finally forced upon the brand by global sales trends.  As has reported, GM has given Caddy the go-ahead to produce an all-new flagship meant to tackle the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.  But the real sales growth is at the other end of the market – especially if Cadillac finally hopes to generate some real volume outside the U.S.

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So, the 2013 Cadillac ATS could become one of the most important products in the Detroit luxury brand’s history – as critical to Caddy’s long-term success as the finned wonders the maker rolled out a half-century ago.

That said, simply entering the compact luxury market is no guarantee of success.  The Caddy ATS will have to face off with not only the latest-generation BMW 3-Series but equally tough European alternatives such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 – never mind the new Acura ILX, the redesigned Lexus ES and the upcoming replacement for the Infiniti G.

Putting the 2013 ATS through its paces at Atlanta Motorsports Park.


Tesla Readying Additional Products – Including Battery 3-Series Challenger

A pickup may also be in the plans.

by on Jul.18, 2012

While the Tesla Roadster - shown here - is now out of production, the maker is targeting a slightly larger 3-Series competitior for its third line.

With its new Model S now in production, Tesla Motors is working up an assortment of additional products, according to the maker’s design chief, including a battery-powered challenger to the compact luxury segment’s powerhouse BMW 3-Series.

The start-up battery car maker is also working on products and powertrains for its alliance partners Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.

But the 3-Series competitor could put Tesla into the luxury segment mainstream while demonstrating that battery power doesn’t have to live inside a narrow – and high-priced niche.

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The new Model S sedan will be followed next year by the launch of a crossover sharing the same platform and dubbed the Model X.  Meanwhile, Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen told the British magazine AutoCar that the smaller BMW fighter could reach market by as early as 2015.

“The third model will continue to drive down the price point as fast as possible,” said von Holzhausen, who also told the publication it could come in at around $30,000.


Caddy Considering ATS Coupe, V-Series Variants – and more.

Catching up to the imports.

by on Jun.27, 2012

Cadillac is looking at a variety of additional ATS variants for the near future, including a V-Series and possibly an ATS Coupe.


With the upcoming launch of the Cadillac ATS the once-dominant luxury brand hopes to begin the difficult task of rebuilding its once-lofty reputation and challenging such import stalwarts as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The ATS is not only the first compact Caddy model line in three decades but the marque’s first product to offer a four-cylinder engine – two, in fact – since the dreaded Cimarron, a vehicle whose mere mention evoked reflexively painful winces during a preview of the new ATS this week.

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Specifically aimed at the luxury compact benchmark, the ATS will debut in sedan form with a choice of three powertrain packages.  But numerous Cadillac insiders revealed to that this is likely just the beginning.  An array of additional ATS variants likely will follow.  Among those under serious consideration are an ATS Coupe and the seemingly requisite V-Series version.


BMW Hits Record for Q1; Porsche

Makers sidestep crisis in Europe.

by on May.04, 2012

New products, like the M6 and 6-Series Grand Coupe, shown here at their Geneva debut, are driving record sales and earnings.

Despite the worsening economic crisis in Europe there was good news for two of the Continent’s most exclusive automotive manufacturers – BMW, in particular posting all-time record earnings for the first quarter.

Porsche, meanwhile, saw its own operating profit for the January to March quarter surge “only” 18% — that driven by strong demand for the Cayenne SUV despite near-record fuel prices in the key U.S. market and other parts of the world.

It was difficult to find anything that didn’t work out well for BMW during the first quarter – after the maker captured the luxury sales crown both in the U.S. and on the worldwide market in 2011. The first-quarter net profit was up 18% compared to year-earlier figures, to 1.34 billion euros, while pre-tax earnings were up 22%, to 2.08 billion euros.  The maker’s EBIT, or Earnings Before Interest and Taxes, rose 19%, to 2.13 billion. And revenues jumped 14%, to 18.29 billion euros.

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“We have recorded the best first-quarter figures ever — for sales volume, revenues and earnings — in the BMW Group’s corporate history,” said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW’s management board, in a statement from the maker’s Munich headquarters.