BMW has finally unveiled the long-awaited 4 Series Coupe. The car was previewed late last year in concept form, and it looks like BMW have stayed fairly true to the original concept. The most noticeable changes being a slight redesign of the lower grilled and driving lights.
The decision to rename the long-standing 3 Series coupe the 4 Series is not one without controversy. It can take manufacturers decades to build up the respect and appreciation of buyers who instantly recognise a certain model and its heritage. However from a purely logical point of view it does make sense that the 4 Series Coupe is now in line with the larger 6 Series and 8 Series Coupes, and upcoming smaller 2 Series Coupe. In our little poll, 63 percent of you though it was a good idea to rename the 3 Series Coupe. While 37 percent thought it just confused things.
But anyway. It’s here. And from launch (in the US) it will be offered as both a 428i model and as a 435i model. The 428i is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder, while the 435i is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder. Both will be available with a standard 8-speed sport automatic or six-speed manual transmission, and both will be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or with BMW’s optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
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In Classic or Contemporary, a new series for diseno-art, we’ll be show you two similar priced cars of the same make and model which are on sale today. Except whereas one is relatively modern, new and shiny, the other will have been driving around for the last couple of decades slowly gathering character. It’s up to you to decide which you’d have in your driveway.
To start the series I’m going to go for one of the world’s most easily recognised cars, the trusty 3 Series. It’s been around since 1975, and gone through six generations generations. However the formula hasn’t changed since the start, and to be honest – apart from the last couple of versions – the styling has remained pretty faithful to the original too. Including the sensible profile, twin round headlights, and of course, the ‘Hoffmeister kink’.
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It’s not often you get a concept car and a history lesson all in one. But the BMW Rapp concept designed by Dejan Hristov manages to provide both.
The roots of this concept are founded in the fact that BMW will officially celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2017. However the man who provided the foundations of the company, German engineer Karl Friedrich Rapp, actually started his business in 1913 – under the name Rapp Motorenwerken GmbH. It quickly expanded, employing 370 workers by 1915. However he wasn’t in the business of making cars, instead Rapp Motorenwerken GmbH made aircraft engines used by the German army during the First World War. In 1917 Rapp stepped down as managing director of the company he founded. Almost immediately it was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, or BMW for short.
Taking this little snippet of history into account. Hristov has – rightly in my opinion – decided that 2013 should also be a celebrated year for BMW. Because without Karl Rapp and his initial company, BMW would never have come into existence. It seems BMW’s current bosses have decided to forget the man who made all their careers possible.
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Recumbent motorcycles aren’t anything new. But they are still a pretty rare sight on the world’s roads. The Suprine Exodus from the American manufacturer Suprine Machinery, Inc. probably isn’t going to change that fact. But it will offer riders another option if they’re looking for something a little different.
The Suprine Exodus is built around a 1,200 cc BMW transverse flat 4-cylinder engine. The frame is formed from steel, with aluminium, magnesium and titanium components. And while you may think it looks like it’s unfinished and in need of some bodywork, Suprine like it that way, leaving all the mechanical components and detailed engineering on display.
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As promised, BMW unveiled the result of their collaboration at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este this weekend. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé is a one-off concept which represents what Pininfarina think a luxurious BMW coupe should be.
In developing the car, BMW and Pininfarina’s design teams worked together, making sure that the character of BMW wasn’t overridden by Pininfarina’s design touches, whilst also ensuring that the car had plenty of Italian style. “The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity,” notes Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design. “The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept.”
The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe has a rather understated and grown-up appearance. It’s not shouty or brash. Even if it is sitting on 21-inch wheels. The bodywork is neat and uncluttered. It seems that Pininfarina’s input has made for a car that is sharper, cleaner and less fussy than some of BMW’s recent models. The styling is in fact so restrained, that other than the discreet little air outlets just behind the front wheels, there’s very little to suggest there’s a stonking great V12 under the hood.
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This year, as you’ve probably noticed from all the teasers, rumors, spy shots and leaks, the most important release for Mercedes-Benz was the new S-Class. It was so important that Mercedes chose to reveal it with a big bang at the Airbus A380 delivery center.
But this article isn’t really about the new model, instead it explores the German luxury triumvirate, revealing its impact on the automotive industry as a whole, and briefly touching on a particularly interesting and innovative segment. Continue reading ‘Teutonic Wars: Luxury Arms Race’ »
For their latest concept car, BMW have teamed up with perhaps Italy’s most celebrated design studio, Pininfarina. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is a one-off creation which will make its world debut at the 2013 Concours d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.
The car is a follow-up to the BMW Zagato Coupe concept which was shown at the same venue last year. Same German brand, different Italian designers. And whereas the Zagato Coupe was based on the Z4 Coupe, the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe looks to be built around the 6 Series Coupe.
However the fact the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is powered by a V12 engine means that many people will make the obvious connection with the gone-but-not-forgotten mighty 8 Series. A car which in my opinion is long overdue for revival.
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A couple of weeks ahead of its global debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, BMW has published details on their latest pre-production concept. Called the X4, the concept is a preview of a new Sports Activity Coupe which will sit somewhere inbetween the X3 and X6 in the company’s diverse lineup.
Based on the compact platform of the X3, the X4 shares the same sloping coupe-like roofline of larger X6. The more sporting character of the BMW X4 Concept is enhanced by its dynamic lines as well as its proportions. With a body length of 183 inches (4,648mm), a width of 75 inches (1,915mm) and a height of 64 inches (1,622mm) the exterior dimensions are almost identical to that of the X3. Basically the X4 is fractionally wider and slightly lower. The wheelbase of 110 inches (2,810mm) is unchanged.
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Despite the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo being a bit of a sales flop, and the fact it is one of the ugliest luxury cars out there, BMW decided to carry on with their plan to develop a weird, hunchback shaped version of the 3 Series too. And here it is. The 2014 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. It’s longer, taller, fatter and infinitely more unattractive than the 3 Series Sport Wagon (estate). But it’s not just fractionally larger, it’s much larger at 7.9 inches (200mm) longer overall, 3.2 inches (81mm) taller, and with a 4.3 inch (109mm) longer wheelbase. That increase in size has, rather obviously, led to more headroom, legroom and additional cargo space.
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You might think this absurd creation is the work of some fanatically over zealous BMW fanboy. But actually it comes courtesy of BMW themselves! It’s just a photoshop mock up, and is more of a marketing ploy than anything else, but were you really expecting them to make this thing? It’s got 42 wheels and 19 engines for Christ’s sake!
The project actually began as the dreams of a four year-old boy, Eli. He told his uncle exactly what sort of car he wanted, and then his obliging uncle took the project to the next level by contacting the automotive site Jalopnik. Jalopnik then put the word out, asking CAD jockeys and Photoshop aficionados with spare time on their hands to come up with something which fulfilled Eli’s brief.
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