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Posts Tagged ‘BMW M’

BMW Studies Options for an M Hybrid

But near-term focus is on downsized, turbocharged engines.

by on Jun.10, 2014

The 2015 BMW M3 gets a smaller, turbo engine.

Among the many products offered by a marque that bills itself “the ultimate driving machine,” it’s those branded with the vaunted “M” badge that best live up to that boast.

In recent years, BMW has significantly expanded its line-up of M offerings, including the new M3 and M4 models that go on sale this month. But those two high performance products reveal an ongoing shift in strategy for the M brand-within-a-brand, a move away from big-block naturally aspirated engines, to more technically sophisticated powertrains that are downsized and turbocharged.

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BMW is by no means alone. There have been reports that General Motors may take a similar route with the next-generation Corvette. But in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, the chief engineer for BMW’s M line revealed the subsidiary is giving serious consideration to going a step further with hybrids and other battery-based powertrains.

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First Drive: 2015 BMW M235i

Performance with a youthful flair.

by on Jan.20, 2014

The new BMW M235i driving through Las Vegas.

It’s getting to be more and more of a challenge keeping up with the expanding line-up at BMW, but at least there’s a logic to the maker’s madness as it rolls out a modified nomenclature strategy that is far easier to follow than some of its competitors’ alphanumeric offerings.

The worldwide launch of the new 2-Series coupe comes as BMW shifts to even numbers for its 2-door models, whether coupes or convertibles, with sedans sticking with odd numbers.  The new 2-Series was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, which also staged the world debuts of the M3 and M4 models and the 4 Series Convertible.

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With the 2-Series BMW hopes to tap the interest of the Millennial generation, a cohort of young buyers who have so far been less than friendly to automobiles, many waiting much longer than in decades past to even get their driver’s licenses. The hope is that sporty and relatively affordable models like the new M235i might finally start drawing them into showrooms.

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BMW Launches New M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe

Lighter, more powerful, faster.

by on Dec.12, 2013

The new BMW 4-Series will soon get the M treatment.

BMW is giving us a sneak peek at two of its new M pocket rockets with the first official images of the new 2015 M3 and M4 models.

Set to make their formal debuts at next month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the two M cars will deliver more power and improved performance, BMW claims, even while they lose mass compared to the old M3 sedan and coupe models they’re meant to replace.

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It will mark the first-ever M4, in fact, following the Bavarian makers decision to split off the coupe and convertible models as part of a new naming strategy. Going forward, odd numbers, like the familiar 3-Series, will be reserved for sedans, with coupes and cabriolets getting even designations, ala the M4 and 4-Series.

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Nissan Aims to Transform Nismo into “Affordable Performance” Brand

Two new models debut in Chicago.

by on Feb.08, 2013

Nissan's global marketing chief Simon Sproule with the new Nissan 370Z Nismo.

Nissan plans to transform its long-time motorsport arm into an “affordable” performance brand, two new models wearing the Nismo badge making their debut at the Chicago Auto Show this week.

Originally launched in September 1984, its name a shorthand reference to Nissan Motorsport International Limited, Nismo was primarily focused on sports car racing, including Japan’s Formula 3 series.  Until now, only a handful of vehicles were built for road use, but that’s about to change, according to Nissan’s global marketing and communications chief Simon Sproule.

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The two offerings on display at Chicago’s McCormick Place include the Juke Nismo, a sporty version of Nissan’s little crossover, and an update of the 370Z Nismo, the 2-seat sports car until now being one of the few production Nissan models to get the Nismo treatment.  And there will be more to come, according to Sproule.

“This represents an exciting new growth opportunity for the Nissan brand,” he said during an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.

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Nissan Turning Nismo into Mainstream Performance Brand

by on Nov.29, 2012

The Nissan Juke Nismo concept reveals the red mirror caps likely to become a signature of the performance sub-brand.

Nissan plans to transform its Nismo subsidiary into a new, mainstream performance brand-within-a-brand, loosely modeled on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz sub-brand AMG, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Unlike some previous Japanese efforts to create sporty sub-brands, every model to wear the Nismo badge will get a measurable bump in performance, more sporty suspension tuning and distinctive exterior and interior design modifications, according to a senior Nissan executive.

The new operations will launch next year with the introduction of the new Nissan Juke Nismo. Other models will quickly follow. Meanwhile, Nissan will increase Nismo’s presence in various motorsports programs to enhance its visibility.

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“We saw an opportunity,” Nissan global marketing chief Simon Sproule explained during  an exclusive interview.  “No Japanese company has exploited its performance heritage successfully,” he added, including Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti.

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BMW Confirms M6 Gran Coupe – Shows First Images

Formal debut scheduled for Detroit.

by on Nov.12, 2012

Some Photoshop tweaking reveals a bit more detail than BMW intended with this first teaser of the M6 Gran Coupe.

There was a time when only a select group of BMW models wore the vaunted M badge.  But with plenty of buyers ready to fork over tens of thousands of dollars more for the added power and prestige it was little more than a matter of time before we expected to see the new 6-Series Gran Coupe get the upgrade – as BMW North America CEO Ludwig Willisch all but confirmed in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year.

The wait is almost over. The latest M-Series model will officially make its debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January. And with an assortment of spy shots leaking out, BMW has decided to release a teaser image of its own of the M6 Gran Coupe.

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The pics leave plenty to the imagination, as does the corporate press release.  BMW wants to ensure it can draw the media hordes to its booth at Cobo Center in barely two months time. But among the things we have discovered is that the M6 Gran Coupe will deliver a full 560 horsepower, or 115 more than the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 found in the 2013 BMW 650i Gran Coupe.

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BMW Has Big(ger) Plans for its High-Performance M Brand

Maker also hopes to see extensive use of fuel-saving carbon fiber technology.

by on May.24, 2012

Expect an M version of the new BMW Gran Coupe, the maker's U.S. CEO tells TheDetroitBureau.com.

Even as it gets set to launch sales of its new M6 model, BMW is looking at ways to further expand its  high-performance brand-within-a-brand, a senior executive told TheDetroitBureau.com.

Once limited to a handful of limited-production offerings, BMW now offers M versions of more than half of its line-up – with several key omissions, including the flagship 7-Series, but that may soon change, noted Ludwig Willisch, CEO of the maker’s North American sales subsidiary.

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Willisch said he also expects the maker to eventually make extensive use of strong and lightweight carbon fiber, perhaps even in such models as BMW’s best-seller, the 3-Series.

The German executive was in Santa Barbara for the first U.S. media drive of BMW’s new M6 and Gran Coupe models.  The latter is a 4-door version of the maker’s classic coupe, the 6-Series – and intended to go up against the likes of the Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS.

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Polestar Helps Volvo Muscle Up

Better performance without mileage sacrifice.

by on Mar.19, 2012

Volvo's collaboration with Polestar is rapidly expanding.

When you think Volvo you almost certainly think safety.  But the Swedish maker also would like to get potential buyers to associate the brand with performance.

Mercedes-Benz has AMG and BMW has its M-Class and now Volvo is challenging its German rivals with cars enhanced by Polestar.

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Polestar has collaborated with Volvo since 1996. Since 2009 Polestar has developed performance optimization software for Volvo cars. Polestar and Volvo is now boosting the visibility of its partnership with Polestar. The initiative isn’t anywhere near as lavish or expensive as the AMG and or M-Class but it does offer Volvo fans looking for added performance some genuine punch — without the typical mileage penalty.

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The Polestar performance software packages are now available on the 2012 XC60 R-Design, S60 and XC70 fitted with a T6 engine for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,495 when installed at the dealer. The T6 Polestar software package adds 25 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque, bringing the three car lines to 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft.

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BMW Muscles Up with New M6

Maker offering both coupe and convertible models.

by on Mar.07, 2012

BMW tech chief Klaus Draeger reveals the new M6 (l) and Grand Coupe

There was a time when BMW’s vaunted M products were in short supply, European performance fans sometimes having to wait a year or more for one of the exclusive models as they came and went from production.

Not anymore.  While individual products might have brief gaps between  model changeovers the overall M line-up is growing fast – even faster if you include the new M Performance line-up, such as the maker’s new M550d triple-turbo diesel-powered rocket ship that is on display at the Geneva Motor Show.

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The formal introduction of that brand-within-a-brand was one of several big announcements at Geneva’s PALExpo Convention Center this week, but the big news was clearly the unveiling of the next-generation BMW M6.

Based on the 6-Series Cabriolet that came to market early last year, and the Coupe that followed soon after, it is the most-powerful two-door BMW has ever offered, with its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 making 560 horsepower – a full 20 hp more than the same engine currently churns out under the hood of the BMW M5.

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First Look: 2012 BMW M6

Most powerful M model ever.

by on Feb.13, 2012

 

BMW will launch the new M6 Convertible first.

The BMW M6 is back after a two-year absence, with the performance version of the German convertible scheduled to reach U.S. showrooms in June, just in time for open air weather.

The BMW M6 Convertible will bear a 2012 designation, the M6 Coupe will be badged a 2013 model, however, when it lands in the States late this coming Summer.  Both models, the maker claims, will deliver track-level performance while setting “new benchmarks in dialing driving comfort…and fuel efficiency.”

 

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The third-generation M6 models – which go into production a quarter-century after the original – will share the most powerful engine ever fitting into a production model from BMW M GmbH and will introduce an innovative Active M Differential to optimize rear axle power transfer.  But while the new engine will bump up horsepower by 10% over the prior M6 V-10, and torque by 30%, fuel economy is also expected to improve by 30%,

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