Tag: M Performance

2018 BMW X3 M40i Sport Activity Vehicle

2018 BMW X3 M40i Sport Activity Vehicle

Hauling the mail is an antique slang expression not so much in vogue anymore. Used to imply that an object, or even a person was capable of moving at a high rate of speed, it is a perfectly appropriate expression for the 2018 BMW X3 M40i Sport Activity Vehicle. Now into its third generation, this cargo-toting hot-rod manages to incorporate legendary BMW M technology and the ability to carry five passengers all day.

Refinement, inside and out.

2018 BMW X3 M40i
2018 BMW X3 M40i

With the 2018 version, BMW has taken the newly redesigned base X3 and dragged it through the M high-performance garden, if you will, and the results are impressive. Now longer and wider, it includes a new uprated powerplant that raises above the standard 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbocharged engine, Instead, our X3 M40i is powered by a 3.0-liter M-Performance TwinPower Turbocharged engine making 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. All that power makes its way to the X3’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system through a sporty eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our X3 M40i rides on the available Adaptive M Suspension that allows the user to select between Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings as far as engine mapping and shift points are concerned. Drive settings are available that range from Cushy to Ultra Firm. We chose the Sport setting that allowed us to cut a fast corner almost without any body roll. We dug the way the way the X3 went all throaty on us when we placed the setting in Sport or Sport+ for a throaty growl from the black-chrome tailpipe finishers coming out of the rear bumper.

A BMW without the full suite of dynamic driver assists would just not be the ultimate driving machine. Even if it did speak German with a southern accent thanks to having been built at BMW’s Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina. Not to disappoint, this X3 M40i was equipped with dynamic traction control, cornering brake control, dynamic brake control, dry braking function, brake fading compensation, hill descent control, dynamic damper control and dynamic stability control that is networked with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

Blue M-Sport brake calipers gave the X3 an extra aggressive appearance that was only improved by 20-inch Pirelli P-Zero performance tires on Orbit wheels.

2018 BMW X3 M40i
2018 BMW X3 M40i

Buyers will likely cross-shop the BMW X3 M40i against the Mercedes-Benz GLC, the Audi Q5 and Cadillac XT5 SUVs.

Interior Design.

The interior of the 2018 BMW X3 M40i features a driver-centric cockpit that is specifically canted towards the tillerman so that all controls are an easy reach from the driver. A new generation of iDrive is here (we’ve come to expect it with every succeeding generation), this time more intuitive than ever, with a finger scroll surface to spell out entries via a finger’s touch. A three-zone climate control feature offers individual climate controls for the driver, passenger and rear seat occupants.

Behind the wheel

With power there as soon as you need it, the 3.0-liter inline turbocharged six offered power that was bountiful and impressive at the same time. Obviously adept at blistering the tires, it managed to tick off 0-60 mph in 4.6-seconds, which BMW says is the fastest in the X3’s segment.

2018 BMW X3 M40i
2018 BMW X3 M40i

Deep Throated. While driving the M40i as intended, we found the auditory note from M-performance exhaust system to be more like a growl. And we weren’t bitchin’ either. Our only wish was that it could be on all the time, rather than just when the engine was pushed.

As we found in Sport mode, the BMW X3 M40i was a firm, but smooth operator. Just as we like it. But that’s the desired characteristic needed when exercising this sport activity vehicle. Torque vectoring through BMW’s Cornering Brake Control, helped shorten the turning radius, allowing for quicker entry and exits from the turns themselves.

The Wrap Up

The 2018 BMW X3 M40i is BMW hollering at the world that just because you need a family hauler doesn’t mean you need to look like a tool in a minivan. In this case, the team from Munich, by way of Spartanburg, will have you looking like the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

2018 BMW X3 M40i

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    6-cylinder inline

Displacement:                            3.0-liters

Power:                                          355 hp @ 5,500-6,500 rpm

Torque:                                        369 lb-ft @ 1,520-4,800 rpm

Fuel System:                              Gas Direct Injection

Fuel:                                            89 Octane

Acceleration:                            0-60mph in 4.6 seconds

Drive Type                                Rear Biased AWD

Gearbox:                                    8-speed M Performance Automatic Transmission

Tire Size:                                   20-inch Pirelli P-Zero

Unladen Weight:                     4,277-pounds

Length:                                      186.1-inches

Width:                                       74.7-inches

Height:                                      66-inches

Wheelbase:                               112.8-inches

Cargo Volume:                         62.7 cubic feet rear seat folded

28.7 cubic feet rear seat up

Fuel Economy:                       20 city / 27 highway / 23 combined

Cd:                                            0.33Cd

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”95″ gal_title=”2018 BMW X3 M40i”]


 

 

 

 

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

New ownership at Jaguar is not that new anymore. Tata (makers of Eight-O-Clock Coffee and others) came in and dropped the brand on its proverbial head and in the process, shook things up quite nicely, we’d say. One of their grandest achievements is the latest iteration of their flagship 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD. The ability to go topless has never been more appealing than in this personal two-seat neo-spectacular near-supercar. Sure it’s a mouthful, (with a few hyphens) but please work with us here.

Available in a variety of configurations, the Jaguar F-Type has even helped to grease the skids for its newly arrived F-Pace SUV. But is it really all that? We spend a week in the F-Type R Convertible to find out.

Breathtaking.

That’s pretty much what it will do. Designed to take your breath away from 20-feet, and mold you to it once inside, the 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD is the al-fresco (topless) version of the F-Type that was introduced in 2013. A two-door, two-passenger sportscar, it is offered with several engine flavors. Our sampler featured a 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 engine built by a Jaguar team in a dedicated facility within Ford UK’s Bridgend Engine Plant. In this guise, it produces 550-horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque that is capable of motivating the all-wheel-drive F-Type to 186 miles per hour. Power is delivered to all four wheels, as sensors see fit, by a ZF-built eight-speed automatic transmission and Jaguar Instinctive All Wheel Drive.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

With its instinctive features, the system sends virtually 100-percent of the torque to the rear wheels for a typical sports/performance joint, in normal circumstances. Get in over your head (as determined by onboard sensors) and a center coupler can send up to 50-percent of the available torque forward to help control any possible over- or understeer that may swamp you. Like an insurance policy, it’s not always needed but good to know its there.

Also on board: Jaguar’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). As the company explains, it is capable of sensing rain, ice and snowy conditions on the road and provides full functionality of AWD to the F-Type. Conversely under dry, optimum conditions, it sends approximately 90-percent of the traction and torque to the rear wheels. The beauty of the system, according to company brass, is that it works seamlessly and still maintains the F-Type’s Jaguar DNA.

This Jaguar now comes in five flavors ranging from base F-Type, F-Type Premium, F-Type S, F-Type R and top flight F-Type SVR. The three former are equipped with supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engines, while the two latter are supercharged V8 powered.

While not necessarily in the same wheelhouse as a rear-engined supercar, the Jaguar F-Type could almost sit at the same table. As such, it will be cross-shopped with such legendary rides as the Acura NSX, the Audi R8, the Mercedes-Benz SL and Nissan GT-R.

A looker.

The 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible, in our mind’s eye, appears shorter than its E-Type predecessor. Still, it’s plenty slick without being over the top. While the Jaguar signature grille reappears, the power bulged hood now features revised ventilation to allow trapped underhood air an escape route to aid in front-end stability.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

Designed at the same time as the coupé, the convertible has taken advantage of engineering that allowed the car’s rigidity to be a part of the initial construction rather than be cut out of it the same time the roof has been lopped off. The result is a car that is nearly as rigid as its hard-topped brother. The sidelines draw rearward in an appealingly swoopy design that culminates in signature LED taillamps and an underbumper diffuser. Oh did we mention the chrome-tipped exhaust finishers? A console-mounted button opens an internal exhaust baffle that makes the engine go from a purring gurgle to a toxic roar.

Inside lines.

With precision tailoring, occupants of the cockpit wear the Jag’s interior like a fine Savile Row suit. Constantly in flux, the F-Type’s interior has seen improvements since its introduction in 2013. While the basic design remains as it did four years ago, it has undergone refinements including updated gauges and other accoutrements. While we are not particularly warmed to the ivory and black leather color scheme, we like the way the seats fit with their adjustable bolsters and lumbar support. We did hear some whining about a hard seating surface here or there, but generally more occupants liked the seating than not.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The F-Type now includes a standard 770-watt Meridian audio system with Sirius XM Satellite radio and Jaguar InControl Remote & Protect, and InControl Apps. With Remote & Protect, it’s possible for owners to check fuel level, door lock status, set the climate control temperature and even start the car remotely. InControl Protect automatically sends a call based on activation of a supplemental restraint trigger that alerts the emergency desk when a shunt has occurred.

Behind the wheel

The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is an eight-pot jewel of an engine that offers supercar performance at a not-too-outrageous price. Sporting an oil filler cap with the legend FOMOCO imprinted on it, the engine shows off some of the lingering remnants of the technology swap that did, and may still benefit the two automakers. The F-Type’s electric power-assisted steering offers, for the first time in Jaguar brand history, a more efficient, and in this case, better steering feel than found in any previous Jaguar.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The cabin remains relatively quiet while at speed, thanks to the multi-layer fabric roof, which features a mechanism that can raise and lower in under 20-seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. On the other hand, if the interior gets too quiet, an exhaust by-pass valve can be opened which makes for a throatier growl coming out of the chrome exhaust finishers located within the rear under bumper diffuser.

The ZF eight-speed Sportshift automatic transmission really threw down when asked to, with sure shifts and no hunting for a proper gear. While it operates in a seamless manner in automatic mode, working the paddle shift levers clearly appeals to a driver’s emotional side. Downshifting while heading into a tight right-hander saw rev-matching do its thing to impart a feeling of oneness with the car. It was almost as if you thought about what your next move behind the wheel would be, and the F-Type would execute it for you. Flick the switch into Dynamic mode and it instantly causes a pushback into the seats. Running on bumpy roads did soak up most of the road imperfections but some of them still made their way through the harder than average seat cushioning.

Conclusion

Between the sound, performance and looks, the Jaguar F-Type R-Spec Convertible is firing on all cylinders. Along with others under the Jaguar/Land Rover (JLR) concern, it’s clear to see that Jaguar has a range of contenders in the stable.

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

Story and Photos by Mark Elias

Base MSRP: $108,250         As tested: $109,245.

Includes: Destination fee, $995.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                         Supercharged V8

Displacement:                                  5.0-liter

Power:                                               550 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Torque:                                              502 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

Fuel System:                                    Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                  Gasoline

Acceleration:                                   0-60mph in 3.9 seconds

Top Speed                                        186 mph (limited)

Drive Type                                       AWD

Gearbox:                                          ZF eight-speed automatic with “Quickshift”

Tire Size:                                         255/35R20 front/255/30R20 rear

Unladen Weight:                           3,847-pounds

Length:                                            176.0-inches

Width:                                             75.7-inches

Height:                                            51.7-inches

Wheelbase:                                    103.2-inches

Cargo Volume:                              7.3-cubic feet (trunk only)

Cd:                                                   0.37 Cd

City:                                                15

Highway:                                        23

Combined:                                     18

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”35″ gal_title=”Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD”]

 

Oligarch for a day in the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Oligarch for a day in the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Being the halo car means nothing is spared. Or, at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. With the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive, the company has pulled from all disciplines and departments to provide a top line offering that can go head to head with all the other halos in the business.

 Subtly understated with its matte-black finish, the M760i makes a quick U-turn from that subtlety in exchange for a little bling on the D-pillar. Spelling out V-12 means it’s the biggest engine on offer. It’s also somewhat prophetic that BMWDesignworks chose to place the V12 designation directly above the fuel filler cap. That alpha-numeric lets all others, including your business manager, know you’re a big spender.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Cruising in the new Borscht Belt.

We are cruising on East Hallandale Beach Boulevard-the new Borscht Belt. Forget the Catskills in upstate New York. This borscht is Russian, owing to the influx of residents from the former Soviet Union. Nightclubs keep up the tradition of over the top food and entertainment, coupled with copious amounts of vodka. With thuggish looking bodyguard types chainsmoking outside, there must be an oligarch or three in our midst as the parking lot is littered with a Phantom Roller, a couple of Bentleys, a Merc and more. Save a spot for our murdered out 2017 BMW M760i xDrive, which would not look out of place, whether you are Millionaire Russian Playboy, or not.

The M760i is one of the new “bridge the gap” series of BMW vehicles that are classified as M-Performance models rather than an actual M7. That’s why BMW sells the Alpina B7 hot rod instead. But M-Performance doesn’t mean it’s a slouch. The 760i features the brand’s first M Performance TwinPower Turbo 12-cylinder engine, which actually slots in as a 6.6-liter V12. Single scroll turbochargers sit on either side of the cylinders to help it produce 601 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 590 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm. Zero to 60 mph ticks off in just 3.7-seconds and is electronically capped at 155 mph. But why, damn it? That’s like being chemically castrated.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

That power is sent through a ZF 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission for dynamic and sure shifting through the range. Launch control is included but really, do you seriously plan on going to a track day in this car? Paddle shift levers let you place the gearbox in manual mode where it will hold the gears until you actually shift it. Just be prepared for it to bang up against the rev-limiter if you forget, once the stoplight turns green. The xDrive system features a rear wheel bias that enthusiasts demand, and is coupled with the anticipatory chassis control and active comfort drive with road preview, that allows the M760i to utilize all its talents to minimize body roll while maximizing comfort tuning. Oh did we mention it gives great throat? When driven in anger, the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive bellows out a guttural moan that will cause the hair on your neck to stand right up.

Former Trump pen-pal, Vlad Putin, your chariot awaits.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

As tested: $154,795.

Destination fee, $995.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                            V-12

Displacement:                                    6.6-liter

Power:                                                 601 hp

Torque:                                               590 lb-ft

Fuel System:                                      Petrol Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                    Premium

Acceleration:                                     0-60mph in 3.7 seconds

Drive Type                                         xDrive All-wheel-drive

Gearbox:                                            8-speed Shiftronic Automatic

Tire Size:                                           20-inch

 

City:

Highway:                                          Are you serious?

Combined:

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”19″ gal_title=”2017 BMW M760i xDrive”]