If you thought the BMW X6 was a huge risk by the popular luxury German automaker, wait until you see what else they have in the works. According to AutoCar, BMW is moving ahead with plans to produce what is known as the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) or a "5-Series GT."
The BMW PAS, which insiders say is "modern grand tourer with a luxury cabin and interior flexibility," will be priced somewhere between the BMW 5-Series sedan and wagon and the 7-Series. It will be pitched at drivers who want an SUV but are not looking for a full-scale sports-utility.
So is this just a smaller X6? Those who have already been up-close-and-personal with the PAS describe the car as a "tall 7-series hatchback than a low-rise X6," reports AutoCar. Inside the car is said to offer rear leg-room that of a long-wheelbase 7-Series.
Engine lineup is not yet known but expect to find the 3.0L twin-turbo 6-cylinder as well as the 3.0L turbodiesel under the hood.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
There is no such thing as too much horsepower - or is there? The current 2008 model BMW Z4 M makes a total of 330-hp. The recently unveiled 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i makes a total of 306-hp and while BMW has yet to reveal details on the 2009 BMW Z4 M we expect it to be quite a bit more powerful than the current 330-hp version or the new 2009 Z4 sDrive35i.
However if you're one of those that may not be content even if BMW ends up dropping 400 horses in the 2009 BMW Z4 M, there is something very unique waiting for you if you're willing to spend 97,900 Euros ($138,727 USD).
A use Hartge tuned BMW Z4 M that is powered by the M5 and M6's 5.0L V10 engine is on sale at mobile.de. But this V10 doesn't make just 507-hp - Hartge has tuned the engine further to extract a total of 551-hp.
You can check out the listing at mobile.de.
Hartge BMW Z4 551-hp 5.0L V10:
Review: 2009 Euro Wagon Shootout: BMW 535xi Wagon, Mercedes E350 Wagon, Volvo XC70 T6, Volkswagen Passat 2.0T Wagon
Station wagons, or "estates" as they are known across the pond, occupy that strange place in the auto market between SUVs, minivans and sedans. On the surface, wagons promise the holy grail of cargo schlepping and fuel sipping. But they're not as sexy as a sedan, not as practical as a modern crossover and they can't haul as much crap as a minivan. In the new world "station wagon" brings up PTSD style flashbacks of 1970s Country Squire wagons with a roof-rack and eight kids in the back on the way to summer camp, 8-track blazing, and your dad at the helm wishing he had a terrier and a 240Z instead. Thankfully, this is not your dad's Oldsmobile Customer Cruiser. For this comparo we've selected the BMW 535xi Wagon, Mercedes E350 Wagon, Volvo XC70 T6 and the Volkswagen Passat 2.0T Wagon.
Hartge's V10-powered BMW Z4
Technology is making it easier to see in the dark and the so called "night vision" systems from BMW and other manufacturers have created some positive buzz in the past few years. The camera found in the BMW Night Vision System is developed by FLIR, a company that specializes in thermal imaging. (Disclaimer: FLIR is a proud sponsor of BMWBlog). Innovative infrared technology was made available in a BMW for the first time in 2005, when the BMW 7 Series was the first model to receive this latest gadget.
As of January 2006, the BMW 5 and 6 Series were listing the Night Vision System as an option in their catalogue. The BMW Night Vision System was initially sold for $2,200, but it wasn't available on all the 7 Series models for example.
Many buyers were not and might still not be aware that the Night Vision System can be retrofited in their BMWs. FLIR, used to make commercial nightvision systems for law enforcement, marine, and airborne vehicle, but with their PathfindIR camera they stepped into the automotive world. This is their first infrared nightvision adaptable for any car, although they have demoed the system on BMW vehicles at the CES this year. The Pathfinder allows you to see clearly in total darkness, further than with headlamps alone, through light fog, smoke, and dust. Pathfinder uses the same technology currently used by the U.S. Government for night vision.
Many companies in the U.S are working together with FLIR on providing aftermarket BMW retrofitting. Some of the most respectable and known for their quality work are Nav TV Corporation, based out of Boca Raton FL, and Bimmernav from Austin TX. If you're one of those people that are not tech savvy or good with tools, these companies will install, test and train you on how to use the system. The average price for the BMW Night Vision Thermal Camera Kit is $3,499.
So, if there is no authorized dealer trained by FLIR in your area or if you have experience with car audio/video installation, FLIR provides some great instructions and videos on how to setup, test and troubleshoot the PathfindIR camera.
The camera above gets mounted in a grill, and the AV output hooks into any LCD or the BMW Navigation computer monitor. The threaded slots for easy mounting, standard video output and 12V power all make the PathFindIR an easy to install aftermarket product.
The downloadable files below will give you more detailed instructions and information on the Night Vision System developed by FLIR.
Recently, I have seen many older BMW models with an aftermarket install of the FLIR camera, including an E39 M5 and X5, so it's doable and I certainly find the Night Vision System being more useful that many other expensive BMW options or packages.
P.S If any of you has a Night Vision System retrofit on your bimmer, please leave a comment telling us your opinion.
With sadness it is our duty to report that one of BMW's best engine in the last 16 years has come to the end of its life. Codenamed S54B32, the 3.2 liter straight six cylinder engine "died" when the last E85 Z4 rolled out of the production lane this past summer. The S54B32 also powered one of the most popular M cars in the BMW's history: the E46 M3.
The S54B32 evolved from the S52B32 engine which powered the E36 M3 in the 90's. It outputs 343 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. The engine was shared among the Z3 and Z4 M Roadsters and Coupe and it was one of the most admired engines by the BMW fans.
To quote the friends at Jalopnik, "The reasons for its popularity are two-fold: its specific power output exceeds 100 HP/liter without the aid of forced induction and its torque curve is fat, smooth and gap-free across the rev range. The S54B32 revs quickly, makes power everywhere, sounds like nothing else on the planet, responds instantly and, most importantly, is really, really fast."
If you followed our article and analysis on the International Engine of the Year awards, you might have noticed that 3.2 liter straight six naturally aspirated engine won the award in 2001, the same year it was introduced as a new engine in the BMW line-up. For the next five years, it won the award for the Best Engine in the 3 liter to 4 liter category, an impressive run.
The new BMW Z4 will bring a new line-up of six straight engines, from the 2.5 liter 204 horsepower and 3.0 liter 258 horsepower to the 306 horsepower twin-turbo 3.0 liter engine. Many bimmer fans are nostalgic and are having a hard time adopting the new turbo engines in favor of the naturally aspirated ones, but according to BMW, this is the proper step in the right direction.
[Source: Jalopnik ]