BMW Talk is pretty much my own personal blog about… BMW’s! :)

V-12 engine’s future for the BMW 7-Series not certain for next gen flagship

December 6th, 2012 Posted in 7 Series, BMW | No Comments »

The BMW 7-Series has bee sporting a powerful V-12 in the last 25 years but its future under the hood of the flagship vehicle is no longer certain.

During a recent interview a BMW executive in Australia said that there is no guarantee that the next generation of 7-Series, set to roll out in 2016, will still carry the traditional V12 powerplant. The V12 tradition was started back in 1987. The bosses have not decided yet whether to keep or not the V12 engine. The planning for the next vehicle involves planning for the new generation’s emissions and other automotive technologies that should be introduced to the market.

2013-BMW-760LiThe V12 version represents 1 out of 6 sales of the top of the line car of the series. This spot is currently delegated to the 760Li. In Australia, for example, more consumers are opting for the more fuel efficient models like the 750i or the 750Li. They are less powerful, a lot cheaper, and more eco-friendly.

The 6.0L found under the hood of the 760Li generates 400kW and a torque of 750Nm and brings that car to 0 to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Its twin-turbo V8 sibling powering the 750i is 70kW and 100Nm less in terms of numbers but is not far behind at 4.8 seconds during the sprint.

The bigger V12 has a lot of efficiency issues and chugs a good amount of fuel. It consumes 12.9 liters for every 100 km.

The BMW 760Li is priced at $391,500. This makes it $93,700 more expensive than its 750Li cousin and about $110,400 more expensive than the 750i.

For purists, the V12 setup makes the flagship a very prestigious ride and surely there is still a customer base that would love to spend just to continue the heritage.

BMW Flashback: Looking back at the “The Hire” short films

October 11th, 2012 Posted in BMW | No Comments »

Back in 2001, German car manufacturer BMW had a very successful campaign they tagged as “The Hire”. This was a series of short films roughly about eight minutes long on average.

These short films were directed by John Frankeheimer, who already passed away, and the famed movie creator Ang Lee. The story revolves around the life of a driver who was tapped by different persons in each of the short film to bring or deliver important passengers in certain destinations using BMW cars.

The films maybe more than a decade old, but it is always nice to look back if you are a true blooded bimmer. And the entertainment factor of these movies have never faded a bit.

We have our own favorite but we would like to hear which is your best pick?

If you got some time to burn, be a bimmer this hour and watch all of the films. We have added all of the eight movies in the series for your pleasure. Check them out and comment below.

We've been BMW fans from way, way before we were writing this weblog, and we're openly supporting Motors.co.uk - the best car-site in the UK, and the site where I found my first BMW 320d back in 2001. If you're ever looking for a used BMW - make sure to pay them a visit, there's so many great deals on there, I'm sure you'll find something you'll fall in love with, oh and euh... Getting tires in Essex is not the same as getting Atlanta tires at 4am in the morning. English people tend to be sleeping at 4am! ;-)

The Importance of Motorcycle Breakdown Coverage

July 26th, 2012 Posted in BMW, Motorcycle | No Comments »

bmw-cockpitIf you ride a motorcycle you need to be prepared in case it breaks down. When this happens you are going to want to have access to road side assistance to come and help you. In order to get assistance you are going to need a motorcycle breakdown policy. Fortunately these are fairly easy to get.

The main reason that you need to have motorcycle breakdown coverage is that sometimes motorcycles do breakdown. When this happens you may find that you are in a difficult spot as motorcycles rarely breakdown in convenient locations. Most likely you will experience the breakdown on the side of a road that few people travel, probably at night, things just seem to work this way. When it does happen you are going to want to make sure that there is assistance available if you need it.

The main purpose of motorcycle breakdown cover is that if your bike breaks down somebody will come out and help you to get it to a repair shop. This means that they will either send a tow truck or a mechanic will come out and make basic repairs. If you have just a basic policy they will simply get you to the nearest repair shop, you will have to deal with the shop from there. A more comprehensive policy is one that provides national coverage, basically that means that they will tow your bike anywhere you want it to go within the country. This allows you to pick the repair shop that you will be dealing with or else to have the bike towed to your house.

There are times when motorcycle breakdown cover will protect you even if you are not on the road. Some policies will include home repairs. This means that if you get on your bike to go for a ride and you can’t get it started you can call and have a mechanic come to your house and get your bike started. Obviously this type of service is going to cost more but it can be worth it if you are not the most mechanically inclined person in the world.

When you are buying motorcycle breakdown coverage you will need to decide if you want a policy that covers your bike or you. If you get a policy that covers the bike you will get roadside assistance no matter who is riding the bike. On the other hand if you have a personal policy you will be covered no matter which bike you are riding. Clearly you will need to decide how likely it is that somebody else will be riding your motorcycle and how likely it is that you will be riding different bikes when you are choosing a policy type. That being said a personal policy will cost substantially more.

Looking for new cars in the UK? Check out Charles Hurst, they have a great selection from a lot of brands! Keep in mind though - before you go ahead and purchase one, get solid car insurance quotes to make sure you have a full picture of what your new BMW will cost you!

BMW unwraps Lime Rock Park special Edition of the M3

July 10th, 2012 Posted in BMW, BMW M Cars | No Comments »

2013-bmw-m3-lime-rock-park-edition
The BMW M3 is preparing to make its way out while a new generation prepares to step in. The current model though has still some life in it and to prove this point, the Bavarian carmaker unveils a special edition that was specifically developed for its consumers in North America in tribute of the Lime Rock Park in the northwestern portion of Connecticut.

The race track is operated and owned by Skip Barber, and the special edition BMW M3 Lime Rock Park aims to honor its long-time relationship with the race track, race drivers, and the fans that attend the events throughout the years.

The Lime Rock Edition of the BMW M3 will come with several enhancements that has been selected based on the collaboration of the designers with Lime Rock Park and Skip Barber.

The special edition M3 is based on the 2013 model of the coupe and will come in a customized body finish in Fire Orange. The interior gets an all black trim and Napa leather treatment. The Competition Package for the BMW M3 is also installed plus other elements like an Alcantara steering wheel that is flat on the bottom, carbon fiber aerodynamics elements, and inconel-titanium muffler.

Each of the special edition M3 will be marked with a unique number plaque that can be found on the center console, a decal on the quarter window on the rear left side, and a certification to prove its authenticity. Only 200 units will be produced.

There will be no major changes to the drivetrain. The output of the four-liter V-8 is pegged at 414 horses and produces a torque of 295 lb-ft. The car manufacturer did not mention about any specific gearbox so most likely that this M3 will get the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox or a 6-speed manual transmission.

The M3 Lime Rock Park special edition can be in your garage starting at $70,995 plus destination charges. Delivery will start by September this year. With only 200 rolling out, we expect this M3 to go fast.

BMW gives go signal for i8 Production

April 23rd, 2012 Posted in BMW | No Comments »

bmw-i8-conceptThere was a loud buzz created by the BMW i8 when it first teased the eyes of the consumers last month. This time it is confirmed that the BMW will be releasing the hybrid by 2014.

The announcement of BMW just comes coincidental with the announcement of Ferrari that ti will debut the hybrid Enzo by 2013. The Italian made ride though will sport a bigger V12 engine paired with an electric motor than the upcoming BMW i8. And with all these green cars coming from the big names of the car world, we know that they are here to stay.

It might even just be a while before the segment of the supercars will be dominated by the super electric vehicles, and the hybrids we are hearing right now is a good indication that supercar manufacturers are heading towards that direction. The carmakers might also realize that their high performance vehicles like the Corvette, Mustang, or Camaro can take in hybrid trains without sacrificing performance.

The production version of the i8 will be almost identical as its concept sibling. It will have features like the pop-up doors and the works. The 1..3 petrol engine will have an output of 22 bhp with a torque of 221 lb-ft while the front wheels will have an electric motor that gives out 170 bhp. Imagine this setup with the i8 capable of being a purely electric car when it uses the front wheels, a RWD gas vehicle, or an AWD hybrid car. The engine will also be paired to a 4-speed gearbox.

The performance of the i8 is far from a Prius. This beast is fast. The 0 to 60 mph zoom will take less than 5 seconds. The top speed is expected to be at 159 mph. More specs about this 393 HP combined setup can be expected as the launch comes near.

The i8 can go for 20 miles in just pure electric mode which is close to the range of the Volt of Chevrolet at 30 miles max. The number is quite good for a performance vehicle. Crunching the numbers, the i8 can go for 94 miles on a gallon of fuel which will be almost double than what Prius can do.

The downside of this story though is that there will be no M version for the i8. Another problem is that the price tag may go as high as $132, 600. Luckily the prices for second hand BMW cars on Gumtree is usually a lot lower for people wanting to go for the second hand option. Then it should be a waiting game. The numbers are for max and without the electric motors, you will only depend on the 1.3L engine, and surely that cannot give you the sub 5-second rush to 60mph.

BMW announces pricing of 2012 ActiveHybrid 5

January 16th, 2012 Posted in BMW, BMW ActiveHybrid | No Comments »

2012-BMW-ActiveHybrid-5-PriceDuring the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, BMW announced the official tag price of the 2012 ActiveHybrid 5. The MSRP starts at $61,845 which includes an $895 charges for handling and destination.

The ActiveHybrid 5 will be $8500 more expensive than the BMW 535i counterpart from which it was based. It is also $100 more expensive than the more potent M35h hybrid with the touring packages by Infiniti. Lexus has not yet announced its pricing for the GS450h but it might not go more than the 2011 version sold for $59,825.

BMW has never been an inexpensive brand plus you can expect several pricey options that will be offered for the ActiveHybrid 5 similar to the choices consumers have for the other sedans of the BMW 5-Series. The pricing for these options though has not been released yet but you can expect the tag prices for the ActiveHybrid 5 to go beyond $70K when they are fully loaded.

This green Bimmer can go as fast as 37 miles per hour or cruise on 22 mph for a stretch of 2.5 miles using just its pure electric drive. The manufacturer though has not given us the figures yet for the fuel economy of the car so we cannot do the math yet if it is really a a good buy as a hybrid.

If consumers will just think of saving money though, compared to other BMW 5-series units, the 528i might be a better buy. Consider the turbocharged 240 horsepower engine plus a sticker price which is lower by $14K than the ActiveHybrid, and a fuel mileage of 34 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg during city driving.

We are pretty sure though that there will be green car lovers that will be taking the ActiveHybrid 5 with all their hearts (and bank account) this Spring when it hits showrooms. It will roll out around the same time the GS450h of Lexus will go on sale. And expect the competition to be more exciting as the A6 hybrid of Audi and the E400 hybrid of Mercedes-Benz enter the picture before the end of 2012. It might get pretty crowded in this segment.

BMW shuts door on building a rival of the Audi R8

January 2nd, 2012 Posted in BMW | No Comments »

BMW has been stepping forward and back since they released the concept car M1 Hommage thinking of launching a supercar which can meet head on the R8 of Audi.

It has been quite frustrating for BMW aficionados not knowing if they will really do it or not and everyone has been waiting for a concrete answer from the German car manufacturer. It seems now we know.

During a recent interview with the press, the M-Division production manager of BMW in North America finally gives us the answer. BMW will not be building an Audi R8 rival. Sad but true.

According to the BMW executive, the management discussed all the possibilities but they felt that there is no need for a high-end and exclusive supercar. The brand wants to stick to their idea of a supercar and BMW believes they come as their executive cars with great supercar performance which is the essence of their M-Cars.

BMW also believes that the current M3 can compete with the Audi R8 even though it lacks the looks of a supercar. BMW is confident that the powerplant of the M3 can match the V8 of the Audi R8 and even its acceleration, braking, and lateral G’s.

We might not be able to disagree with that but there is really nothing supercar like with how the BMW M3 looks. There is a big difference with how the car feels like a supercar and how a supercar should swoon you off your feet for its looks.

How about waiting for 2014 for that BMW i8?

BMW unwraps sixth gen 3 Series, brand emphasizes its vital role to keep lead in luxury segment

October 24th, 2011 Posted in 3 series, BMW | No Comments »

2012-bmw-3-series-brownJust recently, BMW unveiled the new 3 Series sedan after the long wait of the car loving public. The event was a success which even involved a live coverage thru social media sites like Facebook. All the noise and extravaganza was fitting for the new BMW 3 Series which accounts for 1 of every 3 vehicles that goes out of their showrooms.

The role of the BMW 3 Series in helping the luxury band keep up or overtake competitions like Mercedes-Benz and Audi is undeniable. The 3 Series has been the all time best selling model of the car manufacturer with global sales hitting 12 million units. In the United States for example, this vehicle accounts for 40% of BMW’s sales. The 3 Series is an entry-luxury kind of vehicle which if kept in tip top quality may lead potential buyers to other car models of BMW.

The redesigned 3 Series will reach U.S. consumers by February next year and it will be a perfect timing. This year, the current 3 Series has sold 66,593 units which is 44% better than the C-Class of Mercedes-Benz which is its closest rival in the market. The facelift of the BMW 3 Series comes a year earlier compared to the C-Class of Mercedes and the A4 of Audi.

Like how the BMW 3 Series models of the past, the sixth generation of this fine line of vehicles will set standards in its segment and rewrite rules as the options for personalization of the vehicles are given to the buyers.

There is nothing surprising about the new 3 Series but BMW does not have to do anything but keep its cash cow current and fresh for its loyal and potential owners. It will roll out in Modern Line, Luxury Line, and Sport Line trims and the expected M Sport Package to follow.

BMW looking into rolling out diesel 3-Series in the U.S.

October 20th, 2011 Posted in 3 series | No Comments »

German carmaker BMW recently shared that it is planning to introduce a BMW 3-seriies running on  diesel in the United States taking note of the progress of diesel infrastructures and negative baggage it brings in the U.S. and other markets.

The numbers of BMX X5 are quite impressive in the United States and it accounts for about 30% to 50% of BMWs sales. The US market is still amazed at how the modern diesel performs. A BMW executive also shared  that diesel technology plays a big role on how diesel engined vehicles will do in the market and how the BMW lineup will meet the new fuel efficiency standards.

Although the introduction of BMW diesel vehicles is a big possibility, the car manufacturer dismisses plans to  bring in the new 3-Series Touring that is responsible for half of the sales of 3-Series in Europe.  The figures of BMW forecasts that they will only be able to roll out 1,000 units per year in the United States making it unfeasible for the model.  The X5 is still very successful in the U.S. and a major change in the market’s behavior is needed for the Touring to click.

BMW also explained that the attitude of consumers toward engine cylinders and engine capacity must change. The numbers are less becoming relevant and the real issue is providing the performance that the end user wants.  The names of BMW models will serve as the guide of buyers of how the vehicle performs instead of indicating only the vehicle’s capacity.  The new BWM 335i, for example, has a 3.0 liter turbo while the 328i has a turbo engine with 2.0L displacement.

NHTSA to investigate rollaway issue in 120,000 units of BMW 7-series 2002-2008 sedans

August 21st, 2011 Posted in 7 Series, BMW | No Comments »

About 120,000 units of BMW 7-Series 2002-2008 model sedans are undergoing thorough investigations by the U.S. safety regulators of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to a consumer complaint about a roll-away incident that happened after exiting and parking a 2006MY BMW 7-Series sedan.

The particular BMW unit in the said complaint has the brand’s Comfort Access electronic access as well as an electronic gearbox shifter. The transmission selector can be found on the steering column. According to the complaint filed by the consumer at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the shifter robotically sets the car in the Park Mode in various conditions. One of these conditions is when the driver has pressed the ignition button to turn off the car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the luxury brand also sent the agency similar roll-away incidents among other BMW 7-Series models from the years 2002-2008 that have the same features.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a statement saying that they haven’t pinpointed a cause for the rollaway incidents yet and that a Preliminary Evaluation of the said vehicles has been made to study the scope, cause, and frequency of the reported rollaway incidents.

While this rollaway incident is an alarming issue, no injury reports have been made yet. The Feds are studying the car model’s electronic transmission shifter to find out that of this rollaway issue and address the problem at hand as soon as possible.