Report: BMW dishes on ‘lightweight’ 2014 M4

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, BMW

BMW’s M cars are not what we’d call featherweights. Sure, the big, bruising twin-turbocharged V8s deliver a lot of power, but the fact of the matter is that more weight often equates to less fun.

Which is why we’re so excited over a recent sit-down the blokes at Top Gear had with BMW’s product manager for small and medium cars, Matt Collins. The chat led to talk of the M3 Coupe replacing M4. Collins confirmed that, yes, the new M4 would be turbocharged. The new engine will also be a six-cylinder, which should make purists happy.

“What we’d like is more focus on lightweight engineering.” -Matt Collins

But what really peaked our interest was the talk of weight savings for the M4. Collins told Top Gear, “What we’d like is more focus on lightweight engineering.” It gets better, TG also reports Collins as saying, “The philosophy will be around delivering performance through improved use of materials – lightweight alloys, lots of carbon fibre etc – rather than simply trying to make the engine more powerful to move the same kind of car, or scaling it back too far so that it loses its M3 roots.” This left us smiling.

Citing the experience gleaned from the i3 and i8 projects, including the use of carbon fiber, lead to talk of a lightweight, hardcore M4 – a car that could, perhaps, wear the letters C, S and L on the back. Collins followed the party line, though, stating in the interview, “There are no plans at the moment to build a lightweight CSL version of the M4, but there weren’t any plans to do the last-generation CSL either. We have to see what the customers think, and if there’s potential for an even more lightweight version, we’ll do it.”

As for availability, Collins indicated that BMW’s past schedule of bringing out an M variant about 18 months after the debut of a 3 Series Coupe, should hold up for the 4 Series and M4. If that timing is true, we can hope to see a production M4 at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

BMW dishes on ‘lightweight’ 2014 M4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar Lightweight E-Type introduced to Southern California traffic

Filed under: Etc., Jaguar

jaguar lightweight e-type accident

A staple vehicle at Irvine, California’s Cars and Coffee, this Jaguar Lightweight E-Type was heading north on Interstate 5 when it was involved in an accident. Cited in the article as a “1968 Jaguar,” this car is either a Lightweight E-Type replica or the article has the year wrong. Regardless, it’s a beautiful machine, and you can see it in its pre-smashed state on The Car Lounge.

Witnesses report that the Jag lost a rear wheel, which led to a chain reaction accident involving a Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris and a semi-truck. Drivers and passengers in the Civic and Yaris were taken to UCI Medical Center, while the driver of the Jaguar and the big rig were unhurt. Well… the driver of this Jaguar wasn’t physically hurt.

Jaguar Lightweight E-Type introduced to Southern California traffic originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW bringing lightweight M3 sedan to Nurburgring M Festival

Filed under: Concept Cars, Sedan, Performance, BMW

Lightweight BMW M3 Sedan

Lightweight BMW M3 Sedan – Click above for high-res image gallery

In addition to officially debuting the M3 pickup here in Munich, BMW trotted out a lightweight version of the M3 sedan before its debut at the M Festival at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race later this year.

BMW is mum on the exact details on this stripped-out sedan, only saying that it’s designed to slot in between the standard model and the race-ready GTS coupe. Output should remain close to the standard 420 horsepower, but the brakes, suspension and exhaust will be tweaked for maximum performance. There’s no word on how many pounds the M division stripped from the sedan, but we should have all the details when the big ‘Ring race happens this June.

Gallery: Lightweight BMW M3 Sedan

BMW bringing lightweight M3 sedan to Nurburgring M Festival originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 05:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Mazda

Mazda MX-5 GT Race Car

Mazda MX-5 GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has been trumpeting its “gram strategy” to cut weight on all of its products, and the best example of how this philosophy works is in the new MX-5 GT race car. The roadster, which will compete in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship this year, weighs just 1,874 pounds while packing nearly twice the punch of the standard MX-5.

The heavily modified MX-5 engine produces 275 horsepower – enough juice to propel the light-weight roadster to 60 miles per hour in a scant three seconds flat. The race-ready Mazda can also crest 160 mph while looking damn fine with its new Spirited Green paint job.

In order to cut several hundred pounds off the base MX-5, the Jota Sport racing team removed interior components, revised other interior fittings and dipped the car’s shell in acid. The doors, like many interior components, are made of carbon fiber and the windows are made of polycarbonate. The racing team also lowered the engine height, adjusted the suspension and added a six-speed paddle shift transmission to aid with handling.

The Mazda MX-5 GT race car sees its first action on Saturday at a three-hour endurance race at Silverstone. See the lightweight MX-5 for yourself in the gallery below. Trust us, you’re going to want one.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Race Car

Mazda MX-5 Race Car

[Source: Mazda]

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Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Audi developing super lightweight R8 codenamed NF

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Audi, Rumormill

2014 Audi R8 NF

Audi R8 NF prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi has hinted that it’s in the process of developing an ultra-lightweight version of the R8 codenamed NF. Revealed during a technology demonstration at its lightweight materials facility in Germany, the NF is tipped to debut around 2014.

While there are no photos of the car available, Motor Trend reports that Audi showed off an R8 V10 that had several body panels replaced with carbon fiber units that may well be related to the NF’s development. When the NF breaks cover, it is expected to sport a carbon-fiber passenger compartment, with a full cf bulkhead between the occupants and the engine compartment.

Apparently, the NF will incorporate not only its own technology, but pieces from the R8 Spyder, limited-edition R8GT and E-Tron concept. Audi said the prototype at the demonstration was 20 percent lighter than the current aluminum-bodied R8, yet it maintains its structural integrity and crash worthiness. To prove their point, Audi engineers showed off a crash-tested R8 that sported cf roof rails.

Gallery: 2014 Audi R8 NF concept

Audi R8 NF side distanceAudi R8 NF Carbon fiber drop testAudi R8 NF InteriorAudi R8 NF

[Source: Motor Trend | Images: Audi]

Report: Audi developing super lightweight R8 codenamed NF originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find of the Day: 1995 BMW M3 CSL Lightweight is ultra rare, ultra tasty

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Auctions, BMW, Racing

1995 BMW M3 CSL Lightweight

1995 BMW M3 CLS Lightweight – Click above for high-res image gallery

We know we already ran an eBay Find of the Day, but since you couldn’t actually drive that one, we thought it only fair to bring you another. File this one under “D” for “Don’t see that every day.” For a Buy It Now price of $49,000, you can lay your loving mitts on a genuine 1995 BMW M3 CSL Lightweight. According to the seller, the vehicle has never been raced or abused, and the photos make the factory-built racer look like a slice of cherry pie. There are a scant 36,619 miles on the clock, and the ad makes it clear that this particular example needs nothing but a driver behind the wheel. A driver with a flush bank account, that is.

If you’re wondering why we’ve gone all drooling ape over this car, you should probably know that this is one of the rarer M3 models out there. The seller notes that there were just 100 of these particular racers imported to the States, each with weight-adding bits like the spare tire sent to the dumpster in an attempt to keep weight as low as possible. Reports vary as to exactly how many pounds BMW managed to shed from the standard car, but estimates say that the models hit the scales at around 200-300 lbs less than their regular counterparts. Throw in even stiff springs and a host of go-fast parts that were user-installable for a little extra track dominance and you’ve got the beast you see above.

Did we mention this sucker is street legal? Head over to eBay Motors for a closer look. Thanks for the tip, Sid!

Gallery: 1995 BMW M3 CSL Lightweight

[Source: eBay Motors]

eBay Find of the Day: 1995 BMW M3 CSL Lightweight is ultra rare, ultra tasty originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Oct 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda sets lightweight target of 2,200 pounds for next-gen MX-5

Filed under: Performance, Mazda

Mazda MX-5 Miata – Click above for high-res image gallery

The original Mazda MX-5 made its U.S. debut in 1989, and back then, the Miata was a lithe little roadster that immediately drew praise for its superior handling and a fun-to-drive nature. Each generation that followed packed on more pounds and additional amenities, slightly blunting the car’s appeal as a simple roadster at an affordable price. But the next MX-5 – due to arrive in 2012 – Mazda has set a target weight of 2,200 pounds and returning it to its former glory.

At just over a ton, the next-gen MX-5 will tip the scales slightly more than the original 1989 model, but it will still retain its 50/50 weight distribution that makes the roadster a wonderfully balanced machine. To keep weight in check, Mazda will employ one of its newly-developed, SKY-G gasoline engines which the company claims will boost efficiency by 15 percent while also increasing power over previous engine designs. Mazda predicts that its next-gen MX-5 could touch 50 miles per gallon, a remarkable achievement for the quintessential roadster.

Gallery: Review: 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Photos copyright (C)2009 Chris Paukert / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Autocar]

Mazda sets lightweight target of 2,200 pounds for next-gen MX-5 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Aug 2010 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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