Spy Shots: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe caught without cladding

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Hatchback, BMW, Luxury

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: Spy Shots

Like it or not, the majority of BMW 3 Series variants are on their way out, and the 4 Series models are hotly embroiled in the testing needed to replace them. We’ve now driven the basic 4 Series, seen spy photographs of the 4 Series Convertible and both versions of the M4 and today we get a better-than-ever look at the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

And, mostly dependent on your personal disposition towards four-dour coupes, that look should be a pleasant thing. The long, swooping Gran Coupe may be roughly similar in size to the related 3 Series GT, but it has been sculpted with beauty in mind rather than crossover function. We expect that those details still hidden by the body cladding here, mostly front and rear, can be filled in by simply remembering what the standard 4 Series looks like and squinting your eyes a bit. Subtlety is thy name, BMW variants.

As for the mechanicals, well, we expect to have the very same greasy bits under the hood and beneath the car that are found in the 4 Series lineup, too.

Look for the 4 Series Gran Coupe to be revealed in earnest in 2014, and for the thing to arrive in showrooms soon after as a 2015 model.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe caught without cladding originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe caught without cladding

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Hatchback, BMW, Luxury

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe: Spy Shots

Like it or not, the majority of BMW 3 Series variants are on their way out, and the 4 Series models are hotly embroiled in the testing needed to replace them. We’ve now driven the basic 4 Series, seen spy photographs of the 4 Series Convertible and both versions of the M4 and today we get a better-than-ever look at the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

And, mostly dependent on your personal disposition towards four-dour coupes, that look should be a pleasant thing. The long, swooping Gran Coupe may be roughly similar in size to the related 3 Series GT, but it has been sculpted with beauty in mind rather than crossover function. We expect that those details still hidden by the body cladding here, mostly front and rear, can be filled in by simply remembering what the standard 4 Series looks like and squinting your eyes a bit. Subtlety is thy name, BMW variants.

As for the mechanicals, well, we expect to have the very same greasy bits under the hood and beneath the car that are found in the 4 Series lineup, too.

Look for the 4 Series Gran Coupe to be revealed in earnest in 2014, and for the thing to arrive in showrooms soon after as a 2015 model.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe caught without cladding originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Design/Style, Electric, Luxury

BMW i8 Profile Shot

The new BMW i8 plug-in electric supercar isn’t set to make its official debut until September 10, when it will glide onto the Frankfurt Motor Show stage amidst a sea of flash photography. Of course, that isn’t so true in today’s world, where debuts are always preceded (often carefully) by “leaks.”

Take this trio of images of the BMW i8 – there’s just enough of the exterior on display in the profile shot to draw attention, without showing important styling points that might be present on the front or back of the car. The same goes for the video attached below. The cabin shot is cool, but isn’t particularly earth-shattering when it comes to BMW interiors. As for the skeletal shot, we can see the 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine positioned between the rear axles, the battery pack found in what would be the transmission tunnel and the front-mounted electric motors.

We’ll have a full set of live images when the BMW i8 makes its debut in Frankfurt next week. Until then, have a look in the gallery and at the video below, and let us know what you think of BMW’s next big thing.

Continue reading BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Design/Style, Electric, Luxury

BMW i8 Profile Shot

The new BMW i8 plug-in electric supercar isn’t set to make its official debut until September 10, when it will glide onto the Frankfurt Motor Show stage amidst a sea of flash photography. Of course, that isn’t so true in today’s world, where debuts are always preceded (often carefully) by “leaks.”

Take this trio of images of the BMW i8 – there’s just enough of the exterior on display in the profile shot to draw attention, without showing important styling points that might be present on the front or back of the car. The same goes for the video attached below. The cabin shot is cool, but isn’t particularly earth-shattering when it comes to BMW interiors. As for the skeletal shot, we can see the 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine positioned between the rear axles, the battery pack found in what would be the transmission tunnel and the front-mounted electric motors.

We’ll have a full set of live images when the BMW i8 makes its debut in Frankfurt next week. Until then, have a look in the gallery and at the video below, and let us know what you think of BMW’s next big thing.

Continue reading BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

BMW i8 official images leak ahead of Frankfurt [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: BMW M4 spied in coupe and convertible form

Filed under: Spy Photos, Convertible, Coupe, Performance, BMW

BMW M4 coupe spy shots

BMW M4 Convertible spy shotsFrom the sound of it, we’ll have to wait until the Detroit Auto Show to see the production version of the BMW M4, but spy shots show the new hi-po BMW testing recently in both coupe and convertible form. Showing a lot more skin than recent spy shots, these M4 prototypes look very similar to the M4 Concept we saw at Pebble Beach.

Carryovers from the concept car include the funky mirrors, bulging hood and the slotted front fascia vents, but the rear fascia seems to be missing the added flair of the concept and, as expected, the carbon fiber front splitter and exhaust tips are also missing from these M4s. Like the current M3 Convertible, the drop-top version of the M4 will utilize a retractable hard top.

BMW M4 spied in coupe and convertible form originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 18:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: BMW X4 tunes up its crossover game in Germany

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, BMW, Luxury

BMW X4 spy shots

Except for the fancy wheels and the overly expressive fascias, the production version of the BMW X4 looks like it will carry over practically untouched from what we saw in the X4 Concept several months back. With the same fastback roofline as the concept, these spy shots show that the X4 is taking shape to be a baby version of the BMW X6.

Sharing the same platform as the X3, the lower and wider X4 will be positioned slightly more upmarket – as is the case with the X5 and X6. We hear that this could mean that the X4 will ditch the X3’s base engine to give an even sportier feel right out of the gate, but word has it that an M version will being showing up down the road as well.

BMW has already revealed what it plans to show off at the Frankfurt Motor Show (i3, 4 Series Coupe, next-gen X5, refreshed 5 Series, X5 Concept eDrive plug-in hybrid and Concept Active Tourer Outdoor), so barring any surprised we definitely won’t be seeing the X4 there. At this point, with as close to production as these images would have us believe, our best guess would be that we’ll see the X4’s official unveiling happen either at LA or Detroit.

BMW X4 tunes up its crossover game in Germany originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Performance, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Toys/Games, Racing, SRT

Vision Gran Turismo video

Much like a real conflict, the console wars being waged between Microsoft and Sony spill into a number of different battlefields and theaters. Home to some of the fiercest fighting is the racing genre, which sees Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series go head-to-head with Sony’s Gran Turismo series. While there’s been plenty of press about Forza, GT has just struck back with some news that we aren’t sure Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft can match.

When Gran Turismo 6 arrives on the Playstation 4 on December 6, it’s with the promise of a huge suite of free, downloadable content featuring some of the finest cars from manufacturers, design houses and brands from across the globe. The staggered release will see the free content distributed from 2013 to 2014, although it’s unclear just how many cars will be distributed in total or in each car pack.

Vision includes concepts from Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, SRT, and Volkswagen, along with vehicles from legendary design studios like Bertone, Italdesign Giugiaro, and Zagato. Following in the footsteps of previous GT games, global brands like Nike will take part as well. Conspicuous by absence are past GT partners Citroen and Red Bull, although we doubt that this is a comprehensive list. We’re expecting plenty of surprises when DLC starts arriving.

This news is a blow to the Forza series, which while impressive in its own right (and this author’s preferred title), has seemingly struggled to have the same degree of legitimacy and exclusivity inherent in the titles from Polyphony. Gran Turismo 6 is slated for a December 6 debut. Check back here for more info and a full write-up of the new game before then. Until then, scroll down for a trailer on Vision Gran Turismo and a complete press release from Polyphony.

Continue reading Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Coupe, Performance, BMW

BMW M4 Concept live at Monterey 2013 reveal

BMW took the wraps off its M4 Concept at Pebble Beach last weekend, and many speculated that the highly anticipated production version of the sleek new two-door sports coupe would debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. But a well-placed source tells Autoblog that the E92 M3’s successor won’t arrive in Southern California this November. Instead, the German automaker will wait until the Detroit Auto Show in January for its first official reveal.

An all-new 3.0-liter inline-six with twin turbochargers is expected under the hood, and it should provide about the same horsepower as the current 4.0-liter V8 (rated at 414 horsepower), but with much more torque that arrives lower on the tachometer. The lightweight engine is said to have an impressively high redline, which is unusual for a turbocharged engine.

Unfortunately, Save the Manuals members aren’t going to like this next bit of news. After four generations of three-pedal M3 models, our source says the upcoming F82 M4 will arrive with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) as standard equipment – with no manual option – just like the latest iteration of the track-ready Porsche GT3 (few have complained about the automaker’s PDK after driving the latest sports car from Stuttgart). In exchange for some moans, groans and gripes from enthusiasts, BMW’s DCT mounted aft of the M4’s inline-six will provide quicker acceleration and improved fuel economy.

BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists

Filed under: Government/Legal, Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, BMW, Volkswagen, Ferrari, South America

Rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), enter a small town near Miranda, Colombia, Wednesday, April 17, 1996. A column of the same rebel group ambushed a military convoy Monday killing 31 soldiers and wounding 18 outside the town of Puerres, located 350 miles southwest of Bogota. The FARC are the largest and oldest guerrilla group in Colombia. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Bloomberg Markets is reporting that BMW, Volkswagen and Ferrari have been using tungsten ore sourced from Colombia’s FARC rebel terrorists. The extensive story focuses on Colombia’s illegal mining trade and calls into question the provenance of the rare ore that is used not only in crankshaft parts production, but is also found in the world’s computing and telecommunications industry for use in screens.

The ore is mined by the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army), and exported to Pennsylvania, where it is refined. The refined ore is then sent over to Austria, where a company called Plansee turns it into a finished product. Now, it’s important to note that we aren’t talking about the world’s supply of tungsten here. In 2012, Plansee’s American refinery purchased 93.2 metric tons of tungsten, valued at $1.8 million. That’s peanuts, with the entire Colombian tungsten mining industry producing just one percent of the world’s supplies.

That doesn’t make indirectly supporting FARC any more acceptable, though. BMW, VW and Ferrari are all committed to not accepting mineral supplies from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also in the grips of a guerrilla insurrection funded, in part, by illegal mining. The same commitment would figure to extend to Colombian mining, but as BMW points out, it’s difficult for a multi-national manufacturer to know where every item in its supply chain comes from. A company spokesperson says as much, telling Bloomberg, “These few grams out of the billions of tons of raw materials passing through the BMW supply chain are of no practical relevance.”

This response is perhaps somewhat blasé, but BMW, Ferrari and Volkswagen aren’t directly negotiating with the FARC rebels, and we’d be stunned if the three manufacturers were even aware of where the tungsten was coming from. By the time it arrives in their respective factories, it’s traveled from Colombia, to Pennsylvania to Austria, making for a rather difficult web of countries and networks to track. Even so, with Bloomberg drawing a spotlight on the activities, we’re assuming a few phone calls are going to be made.

Bloomberg: BMW, Ferrari, VW cars use tungsten mined by terrorists originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: BMW i8 will be first production car to use Gorilla Glass

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Technology, BMW

BMW i8 will be the first car to use Gorilla Glass.

What do smartphones and the BMW i8 have in common? Glass. Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, that is. The i8 will be the first production car to use the chemically hardened material, which is more durable, lighter and provides more sound deadening than conventional laminated automotive glass. We thought it would be a natural replacement for windshields, but, according to Autoweek, BMW said it will be used for the rear window for sound deadening purposes. The Gorilla Glass will still be laminated, with two 0.7mm thick layers of it sandwiching an acoustic sheet, reports Autoevolution.

BMW reportedly claims the i8 will weigh less than 3,285 pounds, and to offset the heavy hybrid powertrain to reach that goal the automaker has implemented lightweight materials normally not found in mass-production automobiles. With a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque used for both the (relatively) pedestrian i3 and the upscale i8, it’s not surprising BMW was also the first to jump onto Gorilla Glass, especially given the timing of a report that a high-end automaker would introduce it within the year.

Be sure to check out our First Drive review of the i8 to see if BMW’s newest sports car is living up to the hype.

BMW i8 will be first production car to use Gorilla Glass originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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