UPDATE: According to commenter krhodes1 and Facebook commenter Michael Smith, the 228i manual (order code 162A) is still available and there is a bug in the configurator. Which reminds me, you should like The Truth About Cars on Facebook.
Jalopnik is reporting that a number of BMW models — namely the 228i, 328i, and 428i — have lost their manual options for 2016. BMW’s online configurator for the 2016 model year shows the cars as automatic-only options, effectively making the manual transmission a premium option by forcing manual-loving customers into higher trims.
Does this mean the end of the manual transmission as we know it? Probably not. (Yet.)
TheDetroitBureau’s Paul Eisenstein has a fine piece of reporting that the next-generation of BMW’s iconic M3 will have a hybrid, plug-in powertrain — a first for the performance sub-brand. Eisenstein says internal sources provided the information.
According to the report, the rear wheels would be driven by the gasoline engine, which could be the M3’s current boosted six — or even perhaps an ultra-potent four. Up front, one or two electric motors could power the forward wheels. Eisenstein’s story points out that by using tandem electric motors, the M3 would have baked-in torque vectoring that engineers could exploit for handling performance.
If the report is true, that E36 M3 you passed up on Craigslist eight years ago will soon be worth eleventy billion dollars. Read More >
14 city/19 highway/16 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
16.8 mpg combined, 60 percent highway, 40 percent asshat (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: Driver Assistance Plus – $1,900; Executive Package – $4,500; Enhanced Bluetooth and smartphone – $500.
$103,050 w/ $950 destination charge
As Tested Price:
$109,950 w/ $950 destination charge
For most people who find themselves burdened with the choice between fast and big: Salud, you’ve made it somewhere. For the small number of people who scoff at those physical encumbrances: pay your taxes, please. You’re using the road more than the rest of us.
Imagine, if you can, a Venn diagram of two relatively equal circles representing a traditional buyer’s decision between two cars that, everything else being equal, represent the physical problem of mass and its direct effect on velocity. Two unrelated sets of realities — speed and size — very rarely converge in the physical world, unless those sets are colored Castrol red, Bavarian blue and of course, purple, I guess.
I’m making this point because the BMW X6 M seems, well, kind of pointless. On paper, the big SUV doesn’t scream that it wants to be taken off road (and dent those 21-inch wheels?!) nor does it seem like it wants to go that fast. After all, 5,185 pounds is large enough to have its own weather system.
Finally, BMW got my letter that the folding hardtop in its 4 Series convertible didn’t leave enough room for my tour bag and
comically gigantic TaylorMade R15s, so they’re ditching the whole thing, German site Bimmertoday is reporting (via Road and Track and Automobile).
The convertible hard top can weigh roughly 500 pounds, Automobile reports. Cutting back to a soft top could shed some of that weight and spare space in the the trunk.
In addition to the battery-powered (or is it a hybrid?) i3 and i8 cars, BMW may build an electrified X3-sized crossover, 5-series sedan and perhaps a larger Tesla Model X-sized SUV in its “i” car range, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.
The speculation comes from BMW chief Harald Krueger who said there was room in the “i” range for something else.
“Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” Harald Krueger said in an interview with the German newspaper F.A.S.
Precisely four numbers are between 3 and 8. Let’s speculate! Read More >
If the fight to save manuals is going to continue for much longer, it had better make gains in one of its historically important battlegrounds.
Only around 1 in 4 new BMW M3 models have a manual transmission, according to the manufacturer. That’s a steep drop from the reported 53 percent of buyers who opted to row their own in the last-generation M3 sedan — and the news for the manual M4 doesn’t get much better.
Acura and BMW are heading to Monterey Automotive Week with vehicular examples old and new.
Both automakers will show vehicles at several events during the week, including The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Gordan McCall’s Motorworks Revival, and Carmel-By-The-Sea.
In light of Bark M.’s post on the possible propensity of Fiesta STs rolling over while autocrossing, and TTAC’s tradition of commenting when autojournos manage to wreck press cars (disclaimer: I once brushed a Fiat Abarth’s wheel against a curb), we bring you this report from Wrecked Exotics. A so far unidentified journalist taking an early production BMW i8 for a test drive near Mexico City managed to roll the gas-electric hybrid supercar, leaving it bottoms up. Read More >
“I was pulling into a parking lot and I stopped so I could back into a spot. I had a friend of mine in the passenger seat. I backed into the spot, and was in a stopped position. I was in neutral (the vehicle is a manual 5 speed). My friend got out of the car, I had my door open as well. As my friend got out of the passenger side and was closing the door both airbags deployed.”
Not exactly what you’d expect, right?