Wednesday, April 24, 2013

BMW X6 Review

Review: BMW X6
What we have here is the updated version of BMW’s oddball SUV. First off, BMW doesn’t call it an SUV, preferring instead Sports Activity Coupe. And what’s new here? The kidney grille has gone back to the drawing board and returned looking a bit different. The fog lamps have been repositioned and the tail-lights are now LED. The X6 sits 10mm lower than the earlier model, reducing ground clearance to 212mm. The rest of the design stays identical to what it replaces.

Inside, too, it hasn’t seen too many changes apart from the choice of colours that you get for the leather upholstery, and the raised sports seats. There’s oodles of space in the front row but not at the rear. There’s no problem with leg- and shoulder room, but the sloping roofline robs you of headroom. If you’re taller than the average Indian, chances are good that your head will hit the roof.

In the features department, you get everything that you’d expect from a Rs 1 crore BMW. Like the iDrive multimedia system, head-up display, individual climate control on all four seats, rear seat entertainment system with DVD player and screen, the works.

The new X6 has also seen some changes that are more than skin deep. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo diesel mill is a masterpiece. It now churns out 301bhp and 600Nm compared to the earlier 235bhp. This is what diesel engines of the future will be – great-sounding, strong low-end, punchy mid-range and an equally strong top-end. And thanks to those two blowers, there’s no hint of lag throughout the range. The same engine does duty in the 6 series, but there, it develops 309bhp and 630Nm.

The engine is coupled to an eight-speed auto ’box. The shifts are seamless and the tranny does the downshifts willingly, especially in S mode. Power is transmitted to all four wheels efficiently, ensuring you don’t lose traction even on the tightest of bends. The screen will even show you the amount of torque being sent to the wheels.

For its size, the X6 40d is pretty agile off the mark. If you keep your right foot planted, it can hit 100kph in 6.18 seconds. This engine is not only about power, it’s decently fuel-efficient as well. Out on the highway, the engine will cruise lazily to return a healthy 10.5kpl. In the city, it’ll go 6.7km for every litre of diesel. On open road, it’ll cruise effortlessly at 180kph – you start feeling the stress on the engine only past 200kph.

Another engine option in the X6 is a petrol-powered 4.4-litre V8 that develops 402 horses and 600Nm of torque (the same torque output as on the X6 40d). The V8 sounds great, even better than the in-line six-cylinder diesel that we have here. The petrol 50i is capable of pushing the X6 to a ton from standstill in a claimed 5.4 seconds. Although the petrol is quicker, as is to be expected, the fuel-efficiency of the petrol naturally doesn’t come close to that of the diesel.

Having said all this, the X6 is good only on the road. Apart from the tall stance, it doesn’t have a low-range gearbox or ride-height control or diff locks, which come handy when you decide to go off-road.

The X6 stays true to BMW’s reputation for steering feel. The wheel is just the right size and feels nice to grip. And it weighs up exactly the way you’d expect it to, delivering healthy feedback around corners. The paddle shifts are ergonomically placed behind the wheel and let you shift easily even when driving a bit enthusiastically.

Despite the height, the X6 is confident with high-speed cornering and doesn’t easily lose composure. There is a bit of roll, but acceptable by SUV standards. Under panic braking, the X6 will come to a complete halt from 80kph in just 24 metres, putting some far lighter sedans to shame.

The X6’s ride quality feels unsettled and scarred tarmac travels all the way up your spine. But this settles down well with an increase in speed. Still, even then, the X6 will not be the most comfortable car for a long-distance trip.

With its look-at-me styling and huge proportions coupled to a highly capable engine, the package doesn’t come cheap – it’s a whopping Rs 1.10 crore (on-road, Mumbai, without optional extras). But opting for even a few of the extras, such as the Active Seat package, head-up display and adaptive LED lights, will send the price upwards by nearly Rs 10 lakh.

The X6 will be your choice of machinery if you love attention on the road. It’s a great driver’s car with good steering feel, tall stance and fine dynamics. But if someone else takes the wheel and you ride in the back, the X6 will disappoint tremendously.

The numbers
6cyl, 2993cc, diesel, 301bhp, 600Nm, 8A, AWD, 0-100kph – 6.18sec, 30-50kph – 1.72sec, 50-70kph – 2.12sec, 80-0kph – 24.39m, 2.74sec, 8.6kpl, Rs 1.10 crore (on-road, Mumbai)

The verdict
This mild refresh should put the X6 back in the limelight. Good driving dynamics but low on space and comfort.

Agasti Kaulgi


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept

2012 Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept
The new concept also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Renault’s iconic Alpine A110 Berlinette and serves as a link to the automaker’s motorsports prowess, particularly in racing the Megane Trophy and supplying race-winning engines for a number of Formula 1 teams.

Renault is now set to showcase the concept in front of a public audience for the first time, announcing today that it will be on show at the upcoming 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The automaker has also teased that a surprise announcement will be made, and should cause quite the stir.

In addition to the surprise announcement and the presentation of the Alpine A110-50 Concept, Renault will roll out the classic Type K-fitted with the automaker’s first four-cylinder engine, which won the Paris-Vienna race in 1902. Other vehicles will include the Viva Grand Sport from 1935, plus the current Clio and Megane RS models.

Joining these classics will be the RS01 and RE40 Formula 1 cars, the rally-winning R5 Maxi Turbo, Alpine A443 and the current Megane Trophy race car. The array of vehicles will be driven by Renault chief Carlos Tavares as well as current brand ambassador and F1 legend Alain Prost.

The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed kicks off on June 28 on the grounds of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England.
Source: MotorAuthority

2013 Infiniti FX and EX to Boast New V-6 Engines

The Infiniti FX and EX crossover models have been staples in Infiniti’s lineup since 2003 and 2008, respectively. In each year, both models came standard with Nissan’s aging, yet still effective, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, despite the fact the Nissan all but replaced the 3.5-liter with the newer and more powerful 3.7-liter V-6. There’s really no rhyme or reason for the crossover siblings to still use the old 3.5-liter engine and Infiniti is finally realizing it.
As of the 2013 model year, both the FX and EX models will boast the now seasoned 3.7-liter V-6 engine that sees use in multiple Nissan and Infiniti models. This boosts the FX and EX to 325 horsepower, which is a 22-horsepower boost and 28-horsepower boost, respectively. This also brings about a slight name change, as the base FX now becomes the FX37 and the base EX becomes the EX37, replacing the FX35 and EX35.
Infiniti is also adding a few more goodies to the 2013 FX37. These upgrades include a moving object detector on the crossover’s Around View monitor, two new exterior colors (Iridium Blue and Moonlight White), and a new Graphite interior color combination.
The two new models are expected to debut this summer, with the FX37 arriving in showrooms in July 2012 and the EX37 bowing in around August 2012. If any more details on these new models pop up, we’ll update you, but for now it looks like new engines and a few new colors are the only changes to look out for.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Battle of the adventure tourers: Ducati vs BMW vs KTM vs Triumph

The Ducati Multistrada 1200 takes on the KTM 990 SMT, BMW R1200GS and Triumph Tiger 1050
Ducati Multistrada 1200BMW R1200GSKTM 990 SMTTriumph Tiger 1050

BMW F800R Video and Photos

We'll Meet Again is Markus Hofmann's short film featuring the BMW F800R...

Friday, April 30, 2010

The new BMW M3 Coupe with Competition Package

2010 BMW M3 Coupe with Competition Package
BMW has introduced a Competition Package for its class-leading BMW M3 Coupé to enhance the model’s unparalleled driving dynamics. The package will go on sale 20 March, 2010.

The new Competition Package comprises a revised Electronic Damper Control with a new Sport setting which, when coupled with the 10mm lower suspension, improves the standard car’s already dynamic handling.  A Dynamic Stability Control Plus system with subtly less electronic intervention than before allows for a more enthusiastic driving style. Exclusively designed 19-inch light alloy wheels, inspired by the popular E46 M3 CSL, complete the package.

The Competition Package is priced at £3,315 in addition to the standard BMW M3 Coupé’s £52,730 OTR price.

At the same time Auto Start-Stop technology comes as standard to all versions of BMW’s M3. The Coupé, Convertible and Saloon already feature Brake Energy Regeneration, lightweight engineering principles and on-demand use of ancillary systems to enhance all round efficiency. The introduction of Auto Start-Stop, on both manual and M DCT transmission-equipped cars, represents the first time a BMW model with more than four-cylinders and a transmission other than a six-speed manual has featured the technology. No other high performance car currently comes with this capability.

The benefits of Auto Start-Stop for all BMW M3 models results in significant reductions in CO2 emissions and an improvement in fuel consumption from the EU5 compliant powerplant. The table below outlines the full details:

Model CO2 emissions (g/km) non Auto Start-Stop CO2 emissions (g/km) with Auto Start-Stop Combined mpg non Auto
Combined mpg with Auto
BMW M3 Coupé 285 263 23.7 25.2
BMW M3 Convertible 293 269 23.0 24.6
BMW M3 Saloon 285 263 23.7 25.2
Figures quoted are for M DCT-equipped cars.
All BMW M3 models equipped with the system go on sale 20 March, 2010.

BMW Concept Gran Coupé debuts in Beijing
With an exclusive Design Night on the evening of the first press day at Auto China in Beijing (April 23rd to May 2nd 2010), BMW provides an in-depth insight into its design philosophy and development strategy. The program of the BMW Design Night is modular in structure and presents extensive background information on the premium automobile manufacturer’s innovative design culture. In addition to highlighting the long versions of the BMW 5 Series developed specially for the Chinese market, the main focus is on an elegant 4-door vehicle with striking dynamic proportions: the BMW Concept Gran Coupé.

The concept study on display symbolises the outstanding design expertise of BMW. The BMW Concept Gran Coupé concentrates the fundamental values of the brand. Its body design authentically captures a sense of superior dynamic performance and high-quality elegance. The shaping style, which follows a coherent pattern down to the last detail, convincingly visualises BMW’s philosophy as an automobile manufacturer. As with the Concept CS 2007, BMW once again sets new benchmarks in the design of 4-door coupes with a distinctive sporty character.

Based on a powerful tradition in this segment, the BMW Concept Gran Coupé carries the essence of brand values and the genes of BMW design into the future. The concept shows the classic features of all BMW coupes: the long wheelbase, the vaulted bonnet with forward-pointing lines, the set-back greenhouse, the flat silhouette, the coupe-style roof line and the short front overhang reflect the dynamic potential of the vehicle. The surface structures and the fact that the design quality is geared towards perfection illustrate the aspiration of the brand BMW to build 4-door high-performance coupes with the sportiest proportions and the most elegant design.

In the BMW Concept Gran Coupé, BMW presents the vision of a 4-door vehicle which combines the exclusivity of a Gran Turismo with the fascination of a high-performance sports car. The design of the concept study underscores the expertise of the brand BMW in the development of vehicles with a distinctive sporty character which offer space for more than two occupants. This reflects the particular quality of the BMW Group design philosophy, which consists in precisely and authentically translating the specific values of product substance into an aesthetically convincing shaping style. The design process is set through with a passion for aesthetic appeal and dynamic performance, precision and perfection. This is how the uncompromising premium aspiration of a BMW Group product, the unmistakable style of the brand BMW and the precisely defined character of each model are given concrete form.

The body design of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé expresses sporty flair in its ultimate form. The 4-door vehicle clearly signals the very highest level of dynamic performance with its extremely elegant, flat and coupe-like proportions. Stretching the entire length of the vehicle and therefore measuring almost 5 metres, flowing lines dominate the design, giving rise to outstanding aerodynamic levels, just as the low centre of gravity reflects an agile driving response.

The front section is defined by the BMW kidney grille characteristic of the brand - an icon of body design which is not just central but also a dominating element of front design. The kidney grille of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé has a flat appearance, with an asymmetrical side view which emphasises the close attention to detail. The central section with the kidney grille is formally separated from other BMW icons such as the headlights and air inlets. The clarity of the LED front lights highlights the vehicle’s precision and premium aspirations. The air inlet runs back an extremely long way into the side section, making the front section appear particularly wide. All elements of the front section appear to merge to form a single, elegantly curved movement.

The sporty, flat silhouette provides an impressive body height of just under 1.40 metres. This makes the BMW Concept Gran Coupé up to 100 millimetres flatter than the BMW 5 Series or the BMW 7 Series Sedan. The roof line tapers off gently into the rear, thereby elongating the vehicle's proportions. The forward-tilted shark nose visually extends the bonnet and creates characteristic BMW proportions with its forward-pointing dynamism. This stretched character is also highlighted by the side lines, where there is a deliberate avoidance of the typical sill line. The flat proportions make the window graphics appear extremely narrow and dynamic at the same time. Another BMW design icon, the Hofmeister kink, is especially strikingly formed - additionally emphasising the exclusive character of the vehicle. The frameless doors give the BMW Concept Gran Coupé a modern character since the glass surfaces appear to merge seamlessly without being interrupted by columns.

At the rear, only design elements such as the lights and tailpipe trim appear to be visible at first sight. The entire rear section appears slimmer and lighter at the centre, though still exuding power and dynamic performance since the volume is reinforced towards the sides. The L-shaped light banks feature a slight, almost subtle curve and the entire design of the lines and surfaces highlights the vehicle’s elegant overall appearance. The third brake light, positioned in the rear window, is also fitted with LED technology. It takes up the kink in the roof and illuminates the entire width of the rear window. The powerfully flared wheel arches above the rear axle highlight the particularly sporty character of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé.

Another highly sporty and also elegant feature is the rim concept in which the individual spokes extend deep into the centre of the rim towards the hub, giving the rim a striking three-dimensional quality. The spokes themselves are not solid but relief-milled, giving them a visual lightness.

The sculptural shaping style characteristic of the entire body design of the BMW Concept Gran Coupé permits a unique interaction between concave and convex surfaces. It also enables the light to be selectively reflected and channelled. Thus the exterior mirrors integrated in the window shaft appear very light, blending harmoniously into the side view since their shape assimilates the entire line styling. The BMW Concept Gran Coupé is a further development of the classic design of a notchback sedan in which the individual body sections merge harmoniously into a flat, elongated and at the same time dynamic overall image. The effect of this 4-door vehicle derives not just from specific highlights but from its overall appearance, which authentically reflects its character. The car’s dynamic potential is embodied in its proportions and lines, signalling power but also elegance and forward thrust.

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