Tags Posts tagged with "Upgrades"

Upgrades

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tech update The Advantages of Tech UpgradesThe new year signals the beginning of many new things. It is usually a time of reflection and insight. Many people use this as an opportunity improve different things in their lives. There are new year’s resolutions aimed at improving character or lifestyles as a whole. In that light, one of the best things you can do for your lifestyle in general is go through a comprehensive tech upgrade.

We have all been there, that moment you get a notification that your laptop, smartphone, or application is in need of a software upgrade. Software upgrades are a hassle, and we usually put them off for a bit. We get the first notification, the second, and maybe by the third we settle down to go ahead and download the new upgrade. But, once we do the actual upgrade the improvements are always well worth it. It’s a refreshing feeling, that leaves you working more efficiently and with improved abilities. That is the immediate, and long-term, benefit of technical upgrades–almost always your efficiency is improved and operations are smoother all around. This is technology we use every day, so the overall value gained from improved productivity is enormous.

Now, imagine not just a software upgrade but a comprehensive upgrade of technology? With these Groupon Coupons you can get great deals on new tech. When was the last time you purchased a new laptop, smartphone, or applications? Imagine the possibilities and increased efficiency from updating all of your technology. The benefits, not just immediate but in the long-run, will be well worth it. Technology is improving exponentially, so the improvements from your last version will be dramatic. Speed, efficiency, and accuracy is all gained through a new investment in your daily tech. Take a look through coupons, find valuable deals, and get on your way do a more productive new year.

Michael Peggs is the founder of content marketing agency and SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

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Filed under: Performance, BMW, Misc. Auto Shows, Motorcycle

1b0abmw s 1000 rr 055 1 2015 BMW S 1000 RR looks to retain sportbike supremacy

The BMW S 1000 RR is already a pretty potent member of the superbike ranks, but BMW is revealing a host of upgrades for this two-wheeled lightning bolt at the Intermot 2014 motorcycle show that should make it even faster.

The biggest additions to the latest 1000 RR are its new cylinder head, lighter valves and different intake cam to tweak even more power from the bike’s 1.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, and BMW now rates it at a claimed 196 horsepower (or 199 horses if you go with the European measurement, converted from 146 kilowatts), a boost over the first-gen’s 193 ponies, and 83 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed gearbox. Those adjustments would probably be enough to make the cycle a tick faster alone, but the Bavarian engineers also cut 8.82 pounds (4 kg) to bring the motorcycle’s weight with a full tank of fuel to a feather-light 450 pounds. Much of that diet comes from the redesigned exhaust that cuts about 6.6 pounds off the scales.

Cradling that tweaked engine is a redesigned, lighter frame with fully adjustable springs. The bike also comes standard with Race ABS, stability control, seven-step variable traction control and three riding modes. In terms of styling, all of these changes are communicated through an updated fairing with repositioned, though still asymmetric, headlights.

For buyers who want even more customization for their ride, BMW is happy to oblige. The company claims that the 1000 RR is the first model in the superbike class to offer optional cruise control. There’s also an available dynamic traction control system that senses the cycle’s lean angle and adjusts things accordingly. Those heading for the track can tick the box for Pro Riding mode that adds Slick and User settings, launch control and a programmable pitlane speed limiter. To shave a few more tenths off a lap, there’s the HP Gear Shift Assist Pro system that allows for clutchless gear changes. Scroll down to read BMW’s immense press release on the S 1000 RR for every detail you could ever want to know about this updated motorcycle.

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Filed under: Aftermarket, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury, Quick Spins

5bde2014 dinan s1 bmw m5 2014 Dinan S1 BMW M5

The last time the Dinan name graced the pages of BMW Top News, Michael Harley was waxing poetic about the S3-R BMW 1M Coupe, a car that still stands in his ranks as one of the best cars he’s ever driven. And that wasn’t just because it was, you know, amazing. It’s because as far as tuners go, Dinan produces some seriously well-executed products. Harley said of the 1M, for example, “It was so fully formed and well-rounded that it felt like BMW itself had made it.”

Eager to sample some of these wholly wonderful wares, I cleared a few hours in my Monterey Car Week schedule and booked a date with the S1 M5 you see here – the (current) daily driver of Mr. Steve Dinan, himself. But unlike the S3-R 1M the company tuned previously, the donor car in question here is vastly different and, if I’m honest, not as good. See, I adore the stock 1M in a way words cannot express, but the standard-issue M5… good as it is, there are indeed a few flaws.

But after driving the Dinan S1 M5 around the Monterey Peninsula, I can confirm two things. First, Harley’s conclusion that Dinan builds products that feel 100 percent BMW-spec is absolutely true. And second, Steve and the gang haven’t just created a tuned M5, they’ve built a better one.

Driving Notes

  • Power is definitely a huge part of the Dinan M5 story, but trust me, the numbers don’t tell the whole tale. Thanks to a carbon fiber cold air intake, free-flow exhaust system and the Dinantronics Performance Tuner that alters the car’s ECU, output has been boosted to 675 horsepower and 644 pound-feet of torque – increases of 115 hp and 144 lb-ft over the standard M5. That horsepower number is even a full 100 greater than the Competition Pack-equipped sedan.
  • The following statement should come as no shock, then: this thing is quick. And while Dinan doesn’t provide specific 0-60 numbers, my seat-of-the-pants feeling is that it’s somewhere in the high-three-second range – definitely quicker than the 4.1-second 0-60 sprint of the standard M5. It’s a fast beast, too – the top speed is electronically limited to 190 miles per hour.
  • This specific car was fitted with BMW’s seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch ‘box, firing off incredibly quick shifts via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. If you’re keen on rowing your own, the S1 kit is available for cars equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, as well.
  • Like I said, this M5 isn’t just about sheer oomph. Underneath that big, four-door body are a host of chassis upgrades, including negative camber front control arms, lightweight tubular anti-roll bars, and Dinan’s specially developed adjustable coilover system – something that actually gives the car a lowered, more aggressive stance while decreasing body roll.
  • The Dinan M5 is lighter, too – 4,300 pounds, versus the stock M5’s curb weight of 4,390. And that lighter feeling is immediately noticeable the first time you enter a corner. The lowered ride height and more robust suspension setup allow the car to stay flat as a pancake through curves, and minimizes instances of both understeer and oversteer when really pushing.
  • Of course, with a lowered ride height, one would normally expect a harsher ride quality, but that isn’t the case here. You could really drive this thing every single day without issue, and during the start and end of my drive route in downtown Monterey, bumps and blemishes were easily managed by the S1 M5. It’s still plenty comfortable, like a big BMW should be. But do note, that lower stance can prove problematic on steep driveways or sudden changes in road elevation (yes, I scraped it – sorry, again, Mr. Dinan).
  • Once out of Monterey and on roads more apt for spirited driving, I would run the M5 hot through a bend, and Steve riding shotgun would tell me the car could handle even more than I was willing to give it on public pavement. Of course, the incredibly sticky 285/30ZR20 Michelin Pilot SuperSport tires helped here, offering tremendous amounts of grip; I didn’t even come close to finding their limits.
  • The standard M5 steering is fine here, offering plenty of feedback through the leather-wrapped wheel, and it’s through the helm where you really sense the car’s more agile demeanor. Where a normal M5 can feel piggish and heavy in corners, the Dinan-tuned example feels way more nimble. BMW’s stock carbon ceramic brakes work wonders, too, halting all that force with ease.
  • A final bit of praise goes to the tuned exhaust, which gives the M5 more aural delight. Additionally, the revised underhood bits allow the overall engine sound to be improved (though the M5’s active sound enhancer is still doing its job, too), with pronounced turbo whine – you can certainly hear a big difference, even at low speed.
  • The cabin remains stock, as does the rest of the exterior. Dinan does offer upgrades like aluminum pedals, carbon mirror caps, carbon fiber rear spoiler, a decklid badge and a serial number plaque, too.

Of course, all of this comes at a cost – $13,487 on top of the $93,600 M5 donor car. But consider this: the M5’s Competition Package will set you back $7,300, so for the extra $6,187 of the Dinan S1 tune, you’re getting a full 100 more horsepower on top of the already increased output, a better suspension setup, and a car that’s seriously better to drive. Plus, all of Dinan’s work is backed up by the same four-year/50,000-mile warranty offered by BMW, and you’re getting something rather unique. Besides, I have to imagine that if you’re already willing to spend over $100,000 for an M5, a few extra thousand bucks isn’t going to break you (says the man in the much lower tax bracket, of course). Got an M6? The same S1 kit is available for that car, too.

I’ll revert back to Harley’s thoughts here, and say that the best part of the Dinan experience is how well-rounded the whole thing feels – the car doesn’t feel all tuner-y like, say, a Roush Mustang. With the Dinan S1, you’re not just getting a hotted-up M5 with bolt-on bits. You’re getting a bona-fide supersedan with better chops than BMW itself can provide.

2014 Dinan S1 BMW M5 originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Aftermarket, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury, Quick Spins

369edinan s3 lead 628 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i
Steve Dinan has been enhancing BMW models since 1979. But don’t throw his company into the ring with the dozen or so other tuners who tweak, tinker and piggyback upgrades on the famed German marque. Dinan is a tuner, but it’s also an engineering firm that writes its own software, builds its own parts and then backs everything it does with a factory-grade warranty. That sort of fastidiousness comes at a price, but most of its customers – including the powerhouse of BMW Motorsport – rely on Dinan to help them come out on top.

In stock form, BMW’s 550i is a formidable four-door with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rated at 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. While those figures allow it to run with quick company (0-60 in 5.0 seconds, according to the automaker), Dinan puts the sedan’s kettle on full boil with its S3 package. Starting with the engine, the performance engineering firm bolts on larger turbochargers, air-to-water intercoolers, a trick strut tower brace cold air intake, a quad-pipe free flow exhaust and its own engine management software. Pump in some premium fuel, and the result is 542 horsepower and 587 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through the stock eight-speed automatic to a limited slip rear differential (Dinan will upgrade xDrive all-wheel drive models, too).

The Dinan S3 also features and extensive suspension upgrade that includes new front camber arms and low compliance rear control arms (engineered to reduce understeer and improve turn-in). The stock dampers are retained, but new bump stops are installed along with new springs. Overall, the car rides about a half-inch lower than stock to improve roll rate. To reduce unsprung weight, forged 20-inch HRE Performance wheels are fitted at all four corners (wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires – 275/35ZR20 up front and 295/35ZR20 in the rear). Lastly, the company remaps the factory Electronic Damper Control (EDC) software with its own Dinan Shockware to work in conjunction with the new enhancements.

The base price of the 2013 BMW 550i is $62,625. Add another $38,773 for the full complement of Dinan upgrades on our test vehicle, and the BMW Performance carbon fiber body components. Expensive, but withhold your judgement until after you’ve stepped on the accelerator pedal.

Driving Notes:

  • Without a doubt, the Dinan engine package is the most seamless aftermarket upgrade I have ever experienced. The impressive increase in power is velvety smooth and natural in its delivery, devoid of the negative characteristics (hiccups, peaks and flat spots) that are common to most other tuned vehicles. The 550i lacks launch control, so the twin-turbo S3 requires a delicate right foot, or the rear tires quickly liquefy. Drive it properly, with a light touch followed by heavy throttle a few feet off the line, and the sedan takes off like a missile – quickly embossing your spine into the leather seatback. The smooth ZF eight-speed shifts with authority, yet without any of the harshness normally found with a dual-clutch. Dinan doesn’t publish acceleration figures, but my tuned derrière dyno says it slices upwards of a second off BMW’s published 550i time to 60 mph… and it runs unrestricted to over 190 mph.
  • Dinan touts its S3 550i as “a more luxurious version of the M5” with softer shocks and active roll control that give its car the edge when it comes to ride quality. They aren’t fibbing, as the enhanced 5 Series provides a very comfortable ride when the EDC is set in Comfort, and sharp response when configured in Sport and Sport Plus. There is less understeer, thanks to the new camber and control arms, and nothing seemed to unsettle the chassis. The stock adaptive suspension worked seamlessly with the physical and software upgrades – the wide range of suspension settings was impressive.
  • If asked what I didn’t like about the augmented 5 Series, I’d have to mention the steering. Three years ago, when I reviewed the BMW 550i, I commended the steering’s accuracy but complained about its numbness and isolation. That said, Dinan doesn’t touch the electric steering, so don’t expect it to be improved. Again, this is more of a wish for improvement than a deal breaker.
  • Dinan’s superb S3 BMW 550i obviously competes nearly directly with the factory’s own flagship M5. In terms of power output, the Dinan feels every bit as burly as the 2013 M5 (keep in mind that BMW boosted performance of its M5 for the 2014 model year with the optional Competition Package), but its personality is softer and bit more tame – less high strung would be another good description. Both are excellent examples of the 5 Series. However, if asked which one I prefer, I’d select the hardened M5 for competitive track events but choose the polished Dinan as my daily driver. Where do you spend more of your time?

2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 30 May 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury

8b0f03 2013 bmw m5 6mt fd BMW readying competition pack for M5, M6

According to Car and Driver, citing a report in BMW Blog, BMW will be offering performance upgrades – likely called the Competition package – for its M5 and M6 models (including the convertible and Gran Coupe versions of the M6). Both cars will continue to be offered with the normal 560-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engines, but this new performance pack is expected to add an additional 15 hp to the mix.

No need to worry, however – the upgrades won’t simply be limited to a small boost in power. These M5 and M6 models will reportedly get new wheels, black exhaust tips, a more direct steering ratio and reworked suspension geometry which will provide better overall handling. Top speed is said to remain governed at 190 miles per hour, but that these extra improvements will shave one-tenth of a second off the cars’ 0-60 times.

No pricing information has been revealed as of this writing, though we imagine it’ll likely come at a substantial cost over the current starting prices of the M5 and M6 ($90,200 and $108,350, respectively).

BMW readying competition pack for M5, M6 originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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