We watched the Stig race a 2009 BMW Z4 around the track on "Top Gear," but we didn't realize how truly good this car is until we did our own racing around Northern California in one. The model we had in for review was loaded with the twin turbo engine, making it the sDrive35i trim, twin-clutch gearbox, and M suspension, which has three modes. It's an expensive car, but as we crushed turn after turn, it seemed worth every penny. And that's not even going into the cabin tech, which BMW also liberally loaded into … Read more
Cash for Guzzlers--what a mess! Texting while driving is probably at the beginning of its end, the first car with handwriting recognition, and a ride in a really cool, affordable car you can't buy here!Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | RSS (audio) SHOW NOTES
After participating in a Digital Brand Think Tank in Munich a couple of weeks ago (a lively discussion with 20 marketing executives from Audi, BMW, Google, Continental, and other top-tier brands), I must admit that I’m a bit tired of having to evangelize (or even justify) the value of brands using social media. It is astonishing to me that companies still ask for evidence when the tweet is on the wall. The event showed that there is a new Digital Divide that cuts straight through the ranks of the marketing industry--some executives get the Social Web, some don’t. … Read more
It's taken many years, but we've finally gotten a few diesel cars to choose from in the U.S. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are all offering versions of their cars with diesel engines, and from what we've seen the fuel economy can be impressive. And unlike older diesel cars, these new models have good acceleration and no black soot spewing from the exhaust.
Top Gear reviews the new BMW Z4 and the Nissan 370Z, putting each car through the paces. Although the 10-minute video favors the Z4, the Nissan has a few surprises.
With falling gas prices dampening enthusiasm for alternative fuels, and poor economic conditions causing automakers to tighten their belts, plans for new diesel car launches in the U.S. have slowed. However, diesel engine cars still present a good option over gasoline-powered cars, generally getting much better fuel economy. Although automakers scaled back their plans, Bosch, which makes diesel engine components, still wants to change the perception of diesel cars in the U.S. so the public will be more receptive, and even demanding of this technology from automakers.
To that end, Bosch loaned us a 2007 BMW 123d, a car you can't currently get in the U.S., so we could see how it performed in comparison with gasoline cars. Combating the image of soot-spewing diesel trucks, Bosch adopted the slogan "good, clean fun" for its diesel technology, and the BMW 123d was a means to make sure we had some fun.
BMW started selling its 1-series car in the U.S. last year, as the 128 and 135, in coupe and convertible formats. While we found both cars to be very enjoyable, the 123d is a hatchback, a style that makes much more sense with the diminutive sports car. Increased rear headroom makes the cars rear seats more usable, although still tight, and the hatchback means you have substantially more cargo area. After driving the 123d, we really wish BMW would bring the 1-series hatchback to the U.S., with a diesel or gas engine. It didn't hurt that this 123d was also fitted with an M kit, meaning a sport-tuned suspension. … Read more
The BMW 1 Series, set to reach dealerships in 2011, was captured on video fueling up and speeding away. The footage was shot by Worldcarfans.com somewhere in Europe.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- If BMW's new 5-series Gran Turismo proves to be a hit, the company may kill its slow-moving 5-series station wagon in the United States.
The 5-series GT, a coupelike four-door crossover, will debut in the fourth quarter. The wagon's future will be decided in about a year, when a redesigned 5 series debuts, said Martin Birkmann, manager of product and price planning for BMW of North America.
BMW forecasts annual sales of 4,000 to 8,000 units for the 5-series GT. The company won't disclose pricing but says the vehicle will be … Read more
BMW must hate us. The new 7-series came in with so much tech, we had to work long days to evaluate it all. Of course, a long day spent driving the 750Li over and around mountains wasn't exactly a painful experience. But then there was the time spent trying out the navigation system with its traffic avoidance feature, or activating night vision and seeing how the pedestrian detection works, not to mention trying out the lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, parking system, side-view cameras, phone system, stereo, and the list goes on. Fortunately, this is a new update … Read more
Has the U.S. auto industry finally hit bottom? U.S. will get a new small SUV from BMW--and perhaps a new mini Miata. Plus, we take you for a ride in a really nice car that could be so much better.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES