BMW’s trademark ‘kidney grille’ has been around since 1933 when it was introduced on the BMW 303, which was coincidentally also the first BMW automobile to use a straight-six engine. Since then it has become a hallmark of the company, featuring on almost every single model since, ranging from their SUVs to their sports cars and everything inbetween.
But what if BMW decided to ditch the kidneys in favor of a single frame grille? For starters it would certainly get BMW fanboys all of a flutter. The recent update to the numerical naming system was enough of a shock for some. But would they look better or worse for the change?
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Students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research have just unveiled their BMW X3-based Deep Orange 4 pickup concept. The vehicle was created with the direct input and support of BMW, who are particularly interested in the way the concept was engineered to allow for a small-scale production run with the minimum of expense.
Rich Morris, vice president of assembly, BMW Manufacturing said of the Deep Orange 4 concept: “The ability to integrate more low-volume models without incurring capital- intensive retooling costs and efficiency losses will be key to success in the future as we strive to respond to changes in market needs faster and with more flexibility.”
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The BMW enhancement experts at Alpina are all done with their latest project, a comprehensive makeover for the BMW 4 Series Coupe and Convertible. The Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo raises the performance level of the 4-Series while also providing more comfort.
Based on the BMW 435i, the Apina B4 Bi-Turbo is powered by an upgraded version of BMW’s 3.0 litre straight-six engine. Fitted with twin-turbochargers, an upgraded cooling system, a forged steel crankshaft and a less restrictive quad-outlet exhaust with an acoustic valve, the engine now produces 410 horsepower and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque. With this, the Coupe version of the B4 B-Turbo is able to hit 62 mph from a standing start in just 4.2 seconds, while the heavier convertible takes a fraction longer at 4.5 seconds. Cars fitted with the optional BMW X-Drive AWD system accomplish the sprint in an impressive 4.0 seconds.
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There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the possibility BMW will soon introduce a smaller, cheaper roadster to fit in under the Z4. The rumored timetable for the new vehicle would involve a conceptual introduction sometime in 2016, followed by a production model a year later.
To keep costs down, and also make sure the new BMW Z2 didn’t cannibalize sales of the popular RWD Z4 roadster, BMW are said to be developing the car as a FWD model. It would make sense then that the car would share some components with BMW’s only other front-drive vehicle, the 2-Series Active Tourer. BMW could also quite easily look to MINI for a suitable platform for the new roadster. Either way, it’s the front wheels that will be providing the traction.
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Gran Turismo 6, the latest in the arguably greatest racing game series ever, has just got a little bit better thanks to BMW. The company famous for building the ultimate driving machines has just unveiled the BMW Vision Gran Turismo, a virtual race car which can be driven in the game.
The BMW Vision Gran Turismo follows on from the Mercedes-Benz Vision Gran Turismo which was added to the game last year. Mercedes then went to the trouble of building a life-size model of the car, it’s unclear yet whether BMW will follow suit.
The BMW Vision Gran Turismo was inspired by BMW touring cars from the 1970s, and judging by that massive rear wing, the BMW CSL “Batmobile” is was one of the primary influences. Looking at the headlight design and the overall proportions, the basis for the racing concept looks to be the BMW 2-Series Coupe instead of the larger 4-Series. The paint work in traditional BMW M colors is designed to highlight the airflow around the vehicle.
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BMW chose the 2014 Beijing Auto Show to unveil their latest concept vehicle. Called the BMW Vision Future Luxury, the concept is a super luxurious, technologically advanced vehicle designed to provide a hint at what future flagship cars from the company might look like. Hint: The next 7-Series.
The BMW Vision Future Luxury concept is long, wide and surprisingly low-slung. It certainly has a presence about it. And in a good way. Not like the fugly current 7-Series. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of exterior design. Interestingly BMW say the shape of the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept was ultimately decided the old-school way, with clay models, not computers.
Up front the BMW Vision Future Luxury has of course the trademark BMW kidney grilles. However these have been enlarged significantly, while at the same time the headlights have shrunk down to little slit-like eyes.
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With the splitting of BMW’s sedan and coupe models into two separately named vehicles, the 2 Series coupe finds itself without a full M model. There is the 2 Series M-Sport model with its 240 horsepower twin turbocharged 3.0 litre straight six. It’s good, but it’s not a full-on hardcore M car. It’s not an M2.
But what if BMW did decide the 2-Series was worthy of an M2 model. What might it look like? Theophilus Chin thinks the BMW M2 would look like this.
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The all-new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe were revealed late last year. And now it’s the turn of the M4 convertible to step into the spotlight. There’s not much to say really. It’s virtually identical to the M4 coupe except the chassis is a less rigid, the load space is smaller and its got a fold-away roof.
Powering the BMW M4 Convertible is the same 3.0 litre in-line six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine used in the M3 and M4 coupe. This engine produces 431 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, or an optional seven-speed M Double Clutch transmission. Fitted with the seven-speed transmission, the BMW M4 convertible can hit 62 mph (100 kmh) in just 4.4 seconds. The top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph.
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The BMW CS Vintage Concept is a beautiful, retro-inspired concept car created by David Obendorfer, a designer working at Officina Italiana Design. Officina Italiana Design is a design studio who count Riva yachts as one of their clients. The BMW CS Vintage Concept is based on the current BMW 6-Series platform. Yet despite its modern underpinnings, the inspiration for its styling comes from the Giovanni Michelotti designed 1968 BMW E9 Series (including the 3.0CSL) and its predecessor, the 1965 BMW 2000 CS. That influence can be found in most aspects of the car’s design, but it’s especially noticable up front.
The BMW CS Vintage Concept has a classy, understated look about it. Obendorfer says of his creation: “The style, despite numerous citations from the past, is substantially contemporaneous with updated proportions and with modern details, many of which are inspired by nautical styling solutions.”
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Hamann has just finished developing a wide body aerodynamic kit for the BMW M6. Called the MIRROR GC package, the kit includes a new front bumper spoiler with larger air intakes, new hood, new side skirts, wider front and rear wheel arches, a new rear bumper and the rear wing. Overall the Hamann MIRROR GC package adds 1.6 inches (40 mm) in width to the M6.
Lightweight 21-inch forged alloy wheels and a set of lowering springs complete the exterior modifications.
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