Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BMW X3 gets thumbs up from Detroit News

I have to admit that not very often I come across articles that are praising the BMW X3. Always living in the shadow of its bigger, older brother, the X5, the BMW X3 has been one of the most controversial vehicles built by BMW in the last ten years.

From the beginning, the pessimistic did not give the X3 many chances of survival, many believed that a smaller SAV was simply a pointless option and some of the 3 or 5 series wagons could have filled that gap between a sedan and a Sports Activity Vehicle. Within my family members we own an X3 as well, so I can certainly say that I have tons of experience driving and manhandling the car. 

bmw-x3-2008

While the X5 seems the perfect and safe choice when it comes to an SAV in the BMW series, the X3 fits the role of an inexpensive - when compared to the X5 - but safe xDrive ride, with decent room space and a tall ride. The ride and driving experience is fair for this smaller SAV, of course, not close to the performance and handling of a 3 Series Sedan and even Wagon version, but the all-wheel drive system makes a difference and handles well on wet or snowy road,  keeping the rear in a tight line through turns. 

The 3.0 liter engine delivers enough power even for the most picky family member and it seems to be the safe choice when it comes to choosing the engine for the X3.  The 2008 version delivers 260 horsepower and 225-pound-feet torque. 

While all of the above satisfy my "bimmer taste", not so easy usually, the interior design of the X3 simply lacks character. Everything is very blend and luxury was definitely not the thing BMW had in mind. An area that I hope BMW will improve in their second generation BMW X3.

So, before I let you go, I will let you read the extremely positive and favorable review the X3 received from Scott Burgess with Detroit News.

In the car world, I break down many of mine — yes, there is more than one — by segment. Among trucks, midsize sedans, sporty coupes, there are vehicles that I just like more than others. Some are not always the best value and some might surprise you.

In the compact SUV group, I like the BMW X3 3.0si with xDrive most of all.

At least I thought I did, based on past experiences with this snazzy SUV. With its plush interior and its prim-and-proper road manners, what's not to like? But a lot of compact SUVs have hit the market since I last drove the X3 and I wasn't sure it would still top my list.

o, naturally, when BMW asked me to test drive the 2008 X3, I grabbed the keys and headed out to "run some errands."

Yep, it hasn't changed: I love this little all-wheel drive piece of German engineering.

It's a 3 Series sedan with more cargo space and a higher riding position.

The long nose, the distinctive grille and the lit ring around the headlights give away its pedigree. The dual kidney grille and a big 'ol air intake under the bumper add to its powerful look. Yes, this compact SUV was made for me.

 

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2010 BMW 5 Series bumper design leaked

One of our readers sent in a couple of days ago a photo of what it seems to be the front bumper of the next generation 2010 BMW 5 Series, codename F10. It took us a bit to analyze it against the spy photos we have seen in the past and with the help of some friends close to BMW, apparently we have a winner.

The bumper design is close if not identical to the production one that will be featured on the 2010 BMW 5 Series and despite the previous rumors that the 5er might sport a front-end inspired from the 7er, I can certainly tell you that this is not the case. One interesting observation is that the BMW roundel will sit on the bumper and not on the hood as it does now.

Does it ring a bell? Yes, similar to the new 2009 BMW Z4.

I, for one, am happy that the bumper is quite different from the new 7 Series, which I still believe that it has larger than normal "kidneys".

Hat tip to Tom!

BMW 5 Series F10 bumper

BMW 5 Series F10 bumper

 

 

2010 BMW 5 Series Spy Photo - Front Bumper

2010 BMW 5 Series Spy Photo - Front Bumper

 

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For sale: BMW Z4 V10 with 550 horsepower

Yup, those crazy BMW fans. I have said it before and I will say it again: the bimmer fans are nuts sometimes. And this BMW Z4 with a V10 engine outputting 550 horsepower just proves my theory….well in  a way….I went a bit overboard.

The regular 6 cylinder engine found in the BMW Z4 was replaced by the more powerful and larger V10 engine from the M5/M6 models, but with an increase of 43 ponies over the standard 507 horsepower.

bmw-z4-v10-engine

This monster Z4 is available for sale in Germany for the even more stupendous price of 97,900 euros or $138,000. No other information is available, but the rumors say that this is Hartge engine which has been used by the famous tuner in other BMWs as well.

If you ask me, the owner would DEFINITELY not get the asking price.

Thanks for the tip Sjoerd!

[Source: Autogespot via Autoblog.nl ]

More Photos

bmw-z4-v10-engine-2

bmw-z4-v10-engine-1

bmw-z4-v10-engine-3

bmw-z4-v10-engine-4

 

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Recognize these BMWs?

Since you're all here and reading our BMW related blog, I assume you're huge BMW fans and therefore, you know your bimmers. But since I don't take anything for granted, I decided to put you up to a little fun test.

I chose 10 models from the BMW's past and present line-up and since I didn't want to make it too easy for you, with some effort and Photoshop, I cut out the front-end of all these cars.

The idea is for you, the true BMW fans, to recognize the cars based on the headlights and in some cases, part of the front bumper. There is only one rule in this contest: you have to name the BMW model, the chassis codename and in some cases if we're looking at the facelift version or not.

Please drop your answer in the usual comments box below.

Thank you and let's have some fun!

bmw-1

bmw-2

Continued

bmw-3

bmw-4

bmw-5

bmw-7

bmw-8

bmw-10

bmw-9

bmw-6

 

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DStyle pimps out the previous generation BMW Z4

dstyle-z4

The german tuner DStyle wants to still keep the E85 BMW Z4 in our minds by coming out with one of the most aggressive aerokits I have seen to date. The kit is available for both the Coupe and Roadster versions and it contains an extensive package of upgrades.

Obviously the changes are pure cosmetic and every important body part has been replaced with the DStyle upgrades, starting with a new hood, modified doors, custom side mirrors and tailgate, bulked up fenders -50mm extra girts up front and 70mm at the rear. A beautiful set of 19 inch wheels were added to the Z4 as well along with a set of BMW Performance Breaks.

Overall, an impressive upgrade of the Z4 production model, but to me it screams more of a Batmobile. 

Pricing: not on the cheap side of course, around $12,500. Is it worth the upgrade? 

Gallery BMW Z4 DStyle

 

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