Month: November 2019

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The new BMW 1 Series has recently been introduced across several European markets. Among those was the picturesque Czech Republic, where the latest press photos are coming from. For the Czech premiere of the new F40 generation, BMW chose two specially configured models. The first is the 120d xDrive version, featured here in a lovely M Sport package. The model is painted in the BMW Individual Storm Bay metallic color, while the sports tire are fitted on a set of 18″ M design allow wheels in bicolor appearance (code 816).

Inside, the 120d xDrive M Sport displays a dual Trigon cloth/Alcantara Black leather upholstery and the two M sports seats at the front. The car is also equipped with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional digital infotainment system.

Power for the 120d xDrive version comes from B47D20 diesel engine with an inline-four cylinder architecture. The peak output reaches 140 kW / 190 PS (187 hp) and is sent exclusively to all four wheels via the 8-speed sports automatic gearbox.

The second star of the Czech market launch is the range-topping M135i xDrive hot hatch. The model is specced in the striking Misano Blue paint finish, reserved solely for the M Sport and M Performance Bimmers, as the tradition show it.

The M135i xDrive in the press photos is fitted with an astonishing set of alloy wheels: the 19-inch M design double-spoke wheels with bicolor finish (code 552). Inside, the individualization and equipment are virtually identical to the ones on the companion 120d xDrive.

The performance version of the new 1 Series is powered by an enhanced B48 4-cylinder engine, which develops 225 kW / 306 PS (302 hp). The traction system is exclusively xDrive and the power and torque are transmitted to both axles thanks to the 8-speed sports automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The same engine also powers the X2 M35i, the all new M235i xDrive Gran Coupe and, recently, the new MINI John Cooper Works GP.

The new BMW 1 Series shines in all its beauty and glory when correctly specced, like the press models used for Czech Republic launch event. So, what do you think, was the move to a front-wheel drive beneficial?

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Saturday announced a tentative agreement for a four-year labor contract, a boost for the automaker as it works to merge with France’s Groupe PSA. Italian-American Fiat Chrysler and PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen, last month announced a planned $50 billion merger to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker. The tentative agreement with Fiat Chrysler, which is subject to ratification by the union members, follows c

Continue reading Fiat Chrysler and the UAW reach tentative labor deal

Fiat Chrysler and the UAW reach tentative labor deal originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Nov 2019 16:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Back when I drove the BMW X3 M Competition a couple of months back, I was genuinely blown away with how much I liked it. I went into driving it with the assumption that it’d just be a fast X3. But it’s so much more than that. In fact, I even went on to say that it’s so good it negates the need for BMW to make an M3 Touring. However, could it, a two-ton SUV, actually be better than the all-new BMW M8 Coupe, a 600 hp rocket-coupe? According to Car Throttle, the answer is a surprising yes

According to this new review from CT, the BMW X3 M Competition is actually more entertaining to drive on the road than the M8. Because I haven’t driven the M8 Coupe on the road (only on track), I can’t agree wholeheartedly with that claim. However, I can say that it doesn’t surprise me much to hear.

That’s because the BMW X3 M Competition is a psychotic animal of a thing. It’s not perfect by any means but its imperfections almost add to its charm and character. For instance, its ride is bone-rattling and makes even mild bumps in the road feel like sink-holes. However, that crazy harsh ride almost adds a sort of brutish charm to it. Every time you hit a bump and feel as if your spleen was ruptured, you’re reminded that you’re driving something a bit crazy.

Then there’s the fact that it’s one of the most raucous BMW M cars in ages. Its steering is sharp, its engine delivers devastating performance and it’s surprisingly loud.

Where as the BMW M8 is actually sort of the opposite. Sure, it’s even faster than the X3 M but it goes about it in such a refined manner that it’s almost boring. Its twin-turbo V8 silky smooth that can barely feel it, even when pushing it hard. It’s almost too easy to drive quickly (although, it’s also so fast it can get you into trouble quickly if you’re not careful). And there’s not as much drama in the M8, because it’s just so competent, so capable, that unless you’re pushing it at highly illegal speeds, it’s just not that thrilling. Or at least that’s the argument Car Throttle makes and it’s one I understand completely.

While I won’t go right ahead and claim the BMW X3 M to be better than the M8 until I’ve driven the latter for a week on the road. However, I can understand the argument made by Car Throttle and do find it very interesting.

[Source: Car Throttle]

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By the end of this year, the BMW Group will have to hatchbacks that shake up the status quo; the BMW M135i and the MINI Cooper SE. The former is a front-wheel drive-based hot-hatch, something BMW has never made before, and the latter is an all-electric hatch that’s mostly different from what MINI has made before (the original MINI E was more of a test-bed for future electric performance, rather than a full-on production vehicle). However, it’s actually the MINI that I think will be the more fun, more exciting car.

The all-new BMW M135i xDrive is an interesting car because it is front-wheel drive-based but its xDrive all-wheel drive system can send power to the rear wheels when needed. So it’s a grippy little hot-hatch with a very healthy 302 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. While I personally haven’t driven the M135i, because it isn’t sold in America, I have driven its mechanical twin, the M235i Gran Coupe. Surprisingly, I actually thought it was quite fun to drive and didn’t run to grab my pitchfork. It’s a car I liked quite a bit, actually. So I’m not one of those front-drive BMW haters.

Yet, despite that, I think the MINI Cooper SE is going to be the better buy and the car to get more excited about. That might sound a bit crazy, especially when you look at the specs (MINI only makes 181 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque). But hear me out.

While the BMW M135i is quick, and more fun to drive than many enthusiasts might expect, it’s only fun under the sort of circumstances that are illegal on the road. It surprises when you’re pushing it too hard for public use. However, the MINI Cooper SE will be fun and lively at normal speeds and even around-town speeds. That’s because of its electric torque and nippy handling. MINIs have always been fun to drive and, having driven the new generation of front-drive BMWs, are more fun than their Bavarian counterparts. So add electric torque and instantaneous response and you get a car that’s not only efficient but very fun.

There’s also the way both cars look. While the M135i has a bit of a pig-face and could just as well be a Hyundai hot hatch, the MINI Cooper SE is distinctly a MINI and has some very cool touches, such as its unique, EV-looking wheels.

On top of the way they look, the MINI Cooper SE is also the future. But it’s not just the future because it’s an electric car that lacks an internal combustion engine. It’s the future beacuase it’s an electric hot-hatch. It’s the sort of car enthusiasts are going to be buying in a decade. Because of that, owning the electric MINI will feel like being part of a movement, rather than just buying yet another fast hatchback.

The BMW M135i is a better car than most enthusiasts think it is. But I personally think the MINI Cooper SE is going to be the affordable hatch to get from the BMW Group. It’s not going to light your hair on fire, performance-wise, but — as with all great MINIs — that won’t matter. Instead, it’s going to be a fun, happy little hatchback that’s going to be more enjoyable to own than BMW’s own hot hatch.

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