From drag races to roominess comparison, the Mazda3 came out ahead of the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series in a diesel-hatchback comparison.
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I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before.
Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I’m not the only one taking stock of the year that’s we’re almost shut of.
Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I’ve driven over the preceding 12 months.
Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I’ve done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I’ve been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures.
Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before. The results are, well, they’re a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they’ll affect how I approach this gig in 2015.
Since BMW reintroduced the 6 Series line back in 2003, the big two-door has happily sat as the brand’s de facto grand tourer. That will allegedly change come 2017, as Car is reporting that Munich will put its coupe on a diet with the so-called G15 generation, allowing the 6 to go after the likes of Porsche.
All three of the current 6’s body styles will be carried over for 2017, with the base 640i Coupe trimming over 500 pounds of body fat, to around 3,450 pounds. Even the droptop is getting some lipo, dropping from 4,255 to around 3,750 pounds. It’s unclear how much the Gran Coupe will be lightened, as it will be the only member of the 6 Series family that’s growing in size. BMW will stretch the wheelbase of its fullsize, four-door coupe, which should make it decidedly more sedan like.
The weight savings come thanks to a new modular architecture that promises a “more advanced material mix.” That means carbon fiber, high-strength steel and aluminum elements, and even some titanium and magnesium bits.
Along with xDrive all-wheel drive, Car is promising new six- and eight-cylinder engines, with the 640i’s 3.0-liter, turbocharged gas engine producing 347 horsepower while the diesel mill turns out 333. The 4.4-liter V8 of the 650i will deliver 476 ponies, while the range-topping M6’s twin-turbo V8 will reach the magical 600-hp figure.
Of course, we can expect to hear more about the next 6 in the coming months and years. In the meantime, though, let us know what you think of Car‘s positing below, in Comments.
To the casual observer, there’s a sort of schism in the world of fuel sipping. The Japanese, Koreans and Americans have embraced electrification by way of hybrid powertrains, while our German friends lean towards diesel technology. BMW is actively pushing to change that impression, as it’s announced that it will take a break from niche-busting MPVs and lifted, four-door coupes to produce plug-in hybrid versions of some of its “core-brand” models.
This charge will be led by a 3 Series eDrive, whose innards are shown above, with BMW fitting a version of its turbocharged four-cylinder and an electric motor to its popular sedan. This, it should be noted, is quite a departure from the ActiveHybrid 3, which relies on a thirstier 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder. More specific details, such as the total system output, the electric range of the plug-in system or the amount of time it will take to charge, aren’t yet available. BMW has, however, said the eDrive 3’s systems are “directly based” on those used in the i3 and i8, and that includes larger components, like the lithium-ion battery and electric motor.
“All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models,” said BMW board member Herbert Diess. “When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution.”
BMW will unveil a prototype of the 3 Series eDrive in Miramas, France, although it’s not clear when either it, or the X5 eDrive the company mentioned in its attached press release, will arrive to market.
Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Hybrid, Sedan, Performance, SUV, Truck, Technology, Crossover, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Toyota, Electric, Diesel, Luxury, Ram
Greetings from (cold and rainy) Petoskey, MI, where many BMW Top News editors are testing 14 different cars and trucks that make up the finalists for this year’s Technology of the Year Award. Our tech choices run the gamut from complete vehicles (BMW i3, i8) to engines, connectivity features, convenience niceties, safety systems, performance data functions and more. And it helps that many of these technologies are housed in some pretty hilariously fun vehicles.
Have a look below to see the full roster of what made the cut this year, and stay tuned as we crown a winner during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show festivities in just a few weeks.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the model’s fuel filter heater, which warms up the diesel fuel at low outside temperatures, can experience an electrical overload condition that may cause it to become permanently activated. This means the fuel filter heater could remain activated even when the ignition is off, which could lead to a dead battery. It could also lead to overheating, possibly resulting in a fire.
This recall is expected to begin later this month. Scroll down for the official information from NHTSA.
Rumors are swirling that Alpina, the tuning house that specializes in all things BMW, will followup its Geneva debut of the B3 Bi-Turbo with an oil-burning variant slated for debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The news comes from Auto Zeitung, which reports that the second-generation D3 will be based off the Europe-only 335d.
This is a departure from the last D3, which had the four-cylinder turbo-diesel from the BMW 123d in a 3 Series body. The new model is expected to use a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six, which will generate 350 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That should scoot it to 62 miles per hour in under five seconds (likely while towing a tree stump). Both rear- and all-wheel drive should be available on the D3, and we imagine the thrill of this much power channeled through just the two rear wheels to be akin to skydiving sans parachute.
For our European friends that want an Alpina D3, but don’t need more torque than any American full-size pickup, there may be plans to offer a four-cylinder variant that still delivers Alpina performance without a compromise in economy. We’ll have more on the Alpina D3 when it debuts at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.