Archive for BMW Auto

Poll: Are you thinking of buying a Diesel?

After years of speculations and rumors, BMW has finally announced the introduction of a new diesel engine for the North American market. At a press event in Munich, the company confirmed that a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine will arrive on this side of the pond in the feature. The Munich-based automaker refrained to comment on what models will be powered by the highly-efficient diesel, but if our guesses are reasonably accurate then we should see a 320d or 325d in the future.

The N47 TwinPower oil burner produces 184 bhp and 380 Nm (280 lb ft) and currently powers the 320d model in Europe and is rated at 52 MPG.

Along with the four-cylinder diesel, BMW will also add a new 3.0 liter six-cylinder diesel unit to its fleet. The all-new engine will replace the unit found in the current X5 xDrive35d model and previously offered in the 335d Sedan. The engine is expected to output 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque between 1500-3000 rpm. We believe the powerful diesel will make its way into the 335d and X5 35d models.

Previous generation E90 335d was rated at 29 MPG, while the outgoing X5 xDrive35d diesel is rated at 19/26 mpg city/highway.

Currently Audi offers a four-cylinder diesel in their A3 TDI, while Mercedes-Benz may sell four-cylinder diesel engines in a handful of U.S.-spec cars in the near future. The Stuttgart-based automaker currently offers a 3.0 liter oil burner in their E350 BlueTec model.

With all of these being said, let’s have a look at the poll below and share with us your impressions in the comments box.

Are you thinking of buying a Diesel?

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View Results

 

Opposite Lock: Aural Innovation

It wasn’t long ago I was reveling in the rich, throaty sound of a vintage BMW boxer when a curious man approached from a Munich side street. “What a machine!” he exclaimed while marveling at the flowing shape of BMW’s R51-3 of ’51. A short conversation later and I was attempting to drag precious top-secret details out of him; turns out he was a sound engineer hired on contract to, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, design the synthesized sounds of future BMW electric vehicles.

He made me swear an oath on the roundel that I keep his identity safe and tucked away behind password, lock and key. It was clear from his demeanor around the topic that he was quite concerned about secrecy – I would say he was borderline paranoid that someone was listening to our conversation. But then, he is a sound expert.


[Photo credit: Shawn Molnar]

One common thread weaves through all of our hearts when it comes to driving enjoyment: the importance of engine sound. Our beloved technical editor, Hugo Becker, said it best when he described the sound of GM’s old 90′ V6 as “a dog farting in the wind.” That does pretty well sum it up.

If you think I’m off on another emotional rant about the dilution of BMW brand values, importance of rear wheel drive, or numb feedback from electric steering assist: you’re wrong. Those articles will follow in due time. Today’s topic is actually far more relevant than you may think, and for the following reasons: safety, sex appeal (that’s important, isn’t it?), and dollar signs.

According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, hybrid and electric cars are 37 percent more likely to hit pedestrians and 66 percent more likely to collide with cyclists than internal combustion engined cars. Those are staggering figures to anyone who skips their toots across the street – and particularly concerning to jaywalkers and those hard of hearing or vision impaired.

In response to the growing public safety threat of electric cars (can you imagine calling a Prius “threatening”?) governments the world over are responding by busily scribbling their pens on boardroom tables, hammering out new legislation that will ensure electric and hybrid cars make more noise. A minimum decibel level will be set, and manufacturers will have to meet these minimum noise requirements – but how they go about it is entirely up to them, and their creative sound engineers.

The next item of importance is sex appeal – and I don’t care how old or married you are (very married?), you can’t tell me this is irrelevant. Married folks need to keep their spouse interested too, and the right rumbly noise up the drive way could set the mood for your “Honey… I’m home!” moments. Next to visual appeal and ability to generate G force, sound is most likely to turn you and yours on.

In a fascinating study conducted by a University in the UK, scientists studied the effect engine sounds had on young female test subjects. A large group of young women were tested for base-line testosterone levels by way of a saliva swab, and this baseline was recorded for reference to how excited each subject would get after listening to the engine sounds from a variety of cars. Testosterone is a key sex hormone in both men and women, thus a spike in testosterone levels of the saliva denotes increased sexual excitability in the test subject.

The women were first exposed to the sensual growling of a Ferrari V12. Testosterone levels jumped off the charts. Next, each subject was exposed to the ear-licking sound of a Lamborghini V12. Same effect. A number of other engines were sampled, eventually arriving at a wheezy Pinto inline 4. All subjects were found to have a significant drop in testosterone levels – below baseline! In other words: they were turned off.

Can an electric car sound sensual? Can it tickle the ears and please the tympanic membranes? I say yes, absolutely.

Electric motors spin to incredible speeds, and unleash a very exciting, powerful whirring noise in the process. Think jet-turbine winding up while sitting on the tarmac, ready for take-off. That high frequency whine builds higher and higher in pitch, and just when you think the engine couldn’t possibly spin faster, it spins up to an ear-piercing crescendo. Now imagine that aural experience, except this time you’re sitting at the wheel of your electric M car at a red light. The light turns green and you feel your heart race as you sink your foot deep into the throttle pedal, feeling the immediate toque build, and you listen to the turbine-like whine of the powerful electric motors propelling you faster, spinning faster and faster and faster until you need to jump on the brakes for another red light. This driving experience has already been made a reality by companies such as Tesla, but there is more to come from many other players in the electric car game.

My 2 cents on the sound engineering of electric cars would go something like this: embellish and embrace – don’t fake it. The inherent sound of electric motors is thrilling as is – don’t go to great lengths trying to make an electric car sound like a burbly V8. The result would be akin to a sow in a tutu: something just doesn’t quite fit right. With actual, real-time sounds picked up by mikes and amplified many times louder by speakers around the car, the authentic, satisfying electro-mechanical sounds of the motor can be enjoyed by driver, passenger and bystander alike. Make it loud enough and even gum-chewing, ear-bud wearing jaywalkers may take notice.

Take your date for a ride in your amplified high-horsepower electric M car and your night is bound to be full of sparks.

The dollar always has the final say. This truth has become evermore apparent as our beloved car makers travel through the decades. If you want to sell a plethora of electric and hybrid-electric cars, you’ll have to build them to high safety standards, and they’ll have to catch the eyes, ears, and hearts of buyers. I say, turn up the volume one more notch.

Our friends at Autoblog posted a great video by BMW arch-rival Audi, showing the electric R8 “E-Tron” sound development. We applaud Audi on their efforts so far as they are embracing an electric soundtrack and breaking free of the temptation to build electric cars that sound like the dinosaur guzzlers of yore. Check out the video by hitting the jump.

BMWBLOG Comparison Test: 2012 BMW M5 vs 2012 Cadillac CTS-V

Smoke lingers in the air, slowly drifting across the sun-set scene. But it’s not tire smoke – it’s billowing out of the BBQ, this time a classic Bratwurst VS Johnsonville Brats cook-off. American meat vs German sausage. Well, you get the idea.

A lot more is at stake here than automotive best-in-class. The pride of a nation and its car culture rests upon the type of titanic competition that we have at hand. This is not sports car vs sports car; it’s the best Germany can offer vs the best America can muster. And it’s been a long time coming.

Launched in 1985, the BMW M5 has continuously set the high water-mark for what a sports sedan could be, indeed, should be. Hand-built and employing a supercar engine of the times, it was the fastest sedan the world knew in its first iteration, and every successive generation has earned that title – until now.


Many automakers have gone to great lengths to determine just what is in the German’s special BBQ sauce. What makes the M5 so spicy, so delectable, so… fast? Mercedes came to the cook-off with their AMG massaged E class, and – while this year it has finally turned up with the right flavor – it previously missed the mark (stand-by for an E63 AMG VS M5 Comparo – we know the Merc is on the war path and has already won some over). Audi and others have had a stab at the M5, but fell short. In 2004, Cadillac launched their first serious assault on the M5 in the form of the CTS-V. It too fell short. Not enough flavor, and the build quality left many with indigestion.

“Launched in 1985, the BMW M5 has continuously set the high water-mark for what a sports sedan could be…”

In 2009 Cadillac tried again, and this time the ingredients were just right for a proper comparison. Based on the GM Sigma II platform, the CTS-V gained weight, but also became a much more sophisticated, upscale sedan. Gone are the wayward interior moldings, squeaks and all. Reach out to touch the CTS-V’s interior surfaces and your hand will be rewarded with satisfying tactile sensations from the likes of real metals, better quality leathers, and plastics. The entire mood and aura has changed.

Of course, none of you are reading this article to hear how the interior build quality of the Cadillac compares to the BMW. The Germans are still a ways ahead in terms of fit and finish and use of quality materials, so if you’re looking for the better limo, buy the BMW. The heart of this comparison lies between the two cars’ performance, and equally important, how they feel to drive. Let’s get to it.

Walking up to the Cadillac, the car’s mysteriously alien yet organic lines are pleasing to the eye. Looks are subjective so I won’t delve in too deep here – but I must admit I am smitten by the Cadillac’s handsome looks. Every line intercepts the next just-right, creating a whole that’s greater than the sum of its individual lines and shapes. Even more important – the hood bulge, gaping wheel fenders and quad-exhaust are visual cues of the car’s immense 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque. Sitting idle, this car has a presence about it as you approach. You can’t help but feel a little bit excited to get inside and wiggle your toes over the pedals. In that respect, it is not so different from the M5.

Cadillac has nailed the seats – they are fantastic, holding you just right, such that you can dial in driver inputs with precision whilst fighting the G-force this car will create. As mentioned above, the interior of this car feels great – finally up to par with competition in the premium sport-luxury class. Is it best in class? Not by a long shot – but it gets the job done and leaves you saying, “yeah, that was $63,215 USD well spent” (as opposed to the previous car’s typical “great chassis… but what the *&%# did they do to the dash?” remark).

Fire up the 6.2 liter V8 and your ears will be tickled by a wonderful, sonorous hum. The American V8 is a soundfeast, unleashing glorious battle soundtracks as you get deeper into the throttle. It’s probably one of the best parts of this car – the way it sounds as it goes about its business.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2013 BMW M5 with Manual Transmission

M5 Manual. Those words go together like a few other familiar duets: horse and carriage, peas and pod, red and Ferrari, liar and lawyer. They just look right, somehow, beside each other. The first three generations of M5 were available with nothing buthand selected gears; the latest is rarely delivered with such homage to tradition. Times and tastes, it seems, have moved on.

We flew to California to determine what makes for the best M5: semi-auto or hand selected gear change. Our verdict may lift eyebrows.

It all felt so familiar, slipping in behind the wheel of BMW’s M5. Several months had passed since our exploits on Spanish roads and raceway, but the nostalgia had not burned off. Indeed, the M5 is a very special car – one that grows on you and slips an arm around your shoulder. It befriends you and says, “we can have some fun together,” but you notice one eyebrow slightly lifted and a mischievous tone. Did I mention it’s a decidedly sexy voice? Yes, the M5 is that kind of friend.

 

It was up to its old tricks once I got behind the wheel in the parking lot at Laguna Seca raceway. The same sexy voice, the same exotic persona. I’m not complaining. I first drove the manual M5 on the street, but let’s skip to the track and come back to the pedestrian bits later.

Walking up to the M5, you are always cognizant of its size. It really does cast a huge shadow – now larger in dimension than several previous generation 7 series sedans. Once behind the wheel, the car feels a bit smaller, but looking out over the hood and through your mirrors, it still feels large. Press the start button with your left foot deep in the clutch and the engine fires up, settling to a semi-audible hum. The stick slots into first gear with a pleasantly notchy yet well-oiled resistance, and we’re off up pit lane.

Of course, the handling and dynamics are identical between the manual and dual-clutch equipped cars (dual clutch transmission or “DCT” for short), save for slightly longer shift times and very modest weight savings, of course. So I’ll dwell on the difference in feeling and persona rather than outright performance, which we’ve comprehensively considered in our race track review from Ascari race circuit in Spain.

 

The DCT equipped M5 shrinks around you the moment you unleash it, shrinking further and further around you as you continue to lap, until it seems you’re in the cockpit of an M3. The manual M5 takes this illusion to David Copperfield levels. Focus on your line, dial in more throttle, more brakes, more apex speed, and soon you’ll feel like you’re piloting a 1M. The extra driver involvement brings back the old-time romance, the gentleman’s racer, the gratification of nailing a fast lap with all four limbs in play.

This is not to say that the DCT equipped M5 is not romantic – it still dances with you through corners, but the manual M5 puts on some Frank Sinatra and pours a glass of champagne.

The six-speed manual is precise and pleasantly notchy through all six cogs, the shift throw feels good, and the ratios feel about right – each of them making the most of the M5′s massive power. Clutch resistance is light to my taste, particularly in a car of such sporting intentions – but when turning in quick laps, you quickly forget about such tactile tastes and get on with the job using what you’ve got. It works, and well.

Of significant importance: the pedals are placed perfectly for heel-and-toe downshifts – you can heel-and-toe all day long without spraining a hip. Special mention goes to BMW’s standard floor-hinged throttle pedal – it makes quick work of a throttle blip with great ergonomics.

A funny thing happened exiting Laguna Seca’s final turn: I threw the car in and caught the slide, drifting to the exit – but after redlining second gear and grabbing third, I found myself with the tail back in line. I missed the simple drift-extending ease of a DCT upshift mid-slide, hence the manual M5 proved itself a little less of a hooligan – at least when it comes to drifting exercises.

Also missed was the stunted “burp” between shifts that exits the exhausts while making full-throttle upshifts in the DCT M5. This sound certainly adds to the occasion, as does the lightening quick shift – if a bit delayed from input to completion. The DCT shifts very quickly, but not in sync with the paddle shifter. We applaud Porsche for getting it right with their PDK transmission: even the push-pull button actuation (which we strongly dislike) delivers instantaneous shifts where the M5 has some time lag. Yet again, I’ll illustrate it this way: when grabbing another gear in the M5, my fingers are back off the paddle before the shift begins. In the Porsche, as the paddle clunks into its depressed position, you feel the shift taking place.

Lap after lap, the M5 felt great, planted, fast. It felt natural to be rowing its gears, and what I traded in driftability, cool noises, and faster shifts, I gained in driver involvement and feel. I suppose, in a ‘fun-factor’, it’s a wash.

 

That brings us to our first moments in the manual M5 on the roads around Laguna Seca. I was off on a mission to determine how the manual M5 feels during normal driving. Having a manual, it immediately occurs that the M5 should feel extremely sporty, and it doesn’t. Setting off from a standstill, the very light clutch resistance feels at odds with the car – my notion is this: if you’re going to give it a manual, go all the way and give it a satisfying, stiff clutch. Yes, the downtown executive sort will whine that it makes their leg sore in stop and go traffic. But guess what: none of those buyers will order their M5 with a manual in the first place. I suspect a greater percentage of manual M5s will see track time and extreme back-road blasts than their DCT equipped brothers, therefore I suspect that most manual M5 buyers will agree that the clutch resistance could have been turned up a few notches.

That said, the gearbox feels great and the ratios are also well spaced for the road. Pulling the DCT paddles around town feels absolutely silly and redundant, hence you leave the DCT in automatic mode the vast majority of the time. This quiets down the M5 because the 4.4 liter’s titanic 500 lb-ft of torque comes on around 1,500 rpm, not far above idle, allowing the 7-speed to short-shift and mute the M5′s sound. If you want the engine to be audible, you’ve got to pull several downshifts just to hear the engine rev up. But doing this around town with the windows down makes you a total wanker searching for attention, looking at who’s looking at you. It all feels rather awkward and contrived.

The manual, on the other hand, has no such egotistical dilemmas attached. Like in any manual, you shift when it feels right to shift, and you predominately make that judgment based on sound. Hence, you tend to drive the car a bit more, even around town, because you’re always revving a little higher through each gear. In some way, it makes for a more exciting car. Yes, your fuel economy suffers, but if you are concerned about fuel economy whilst driving an M5, you have clearly made a poor purchase decision. Find yourself an M550d and learn how to draft.

Like on the racetrack, the manual M5 feels exciting and engaged while carving up back roads. But when the fun is over and it’s time for simple transportation, the manual M5 feels awfully out of sorts. After switching the steering feel, suspension damping and throttle response to their comfort settings, the supple luxury, quiet interior and soft ride felt at odds with the manual gear change. No matter how gently and smoothly I rolled on the throttle and released the clutch, I could never match the near-imperceptible, automatic-like shift change of the DCT.

Editorial: Ruminations On the V6

A curious thing is the V6 – it’s either half an engine or three quarters of an engine. It isn’t as smooth as an in-line six, and it requires more individual parts. Based on its V angle it can sound as coarse as a cob at higher RPMs or sound nigh on perfect given individual exhausts for each bank.

The first appearance of the V6 configuration is probably the Delahaye design from 1911 mentioned in Jan Norbye’s book, “The Complete Handbook of Automotive Power Trains”. The V6 then reappears in a 1950 Lancia Aurelia. But it became a popular engine configuration with the advent of mainstream front wheel drive vehicles and the need to minimize engine length in transverse applications.


Of course the V6 most Americans are familiar with is the Buick 3800 – derived initially from the 3.5L V8 (which became a Rover staple – and there is your BMW connection). It was known as the Fireball V6 and grew in size and applications soon thereafter. At the end of it’s life, over 25 million units were built and they had infested everything (with the exception of Cadillac) in GM’s lineup. Often a member of Ward’s Best Engine lists it was a workhorse. It’s biggest drawback was the uninspiring nature of its exhaust note. Something akin to mechanical flatulence, it was a victim of its pedigree – its derivation from a V8 and subsequent 90 degree V angle.

The 60 degree V6, on the other hand has an even firing order and can be derived from a V12. Ferrari did that with the 246 Dino, a car that many still lust after. Alfa Romeo built a number of very fine 60 degree V6 engines, and Ford had a really nice small 2.5L V6 in the 1990s known as a Duratec. What’s interesting to note is that in most cases V6 engines are synonymous with transverse engine placement.

The question for BMW is what do they stand to gain by introducing a V6 in the next M3. For one thing there is less of a nose heavy weight penalty for a V6 than an in-line six. You give up the smoothness of the in-line 6 in either 60 or 90 degree V implementations. And you create additional work for audio engineers with a 90 degree V.

A 60 degree V6 can be derived from the existing V12. Because of the narrow V angle it would probably use a turbo on each bank with conventional exhaust. It would be smoother sounding than the 90 degree V6, but would have two hot zones in the engine compartment.

A 90 degree V6 makes some sense if you want to use a twin scroll turbo. It would be placed in the V and take exhaust from either bank of cylinders much like the current M V8s. It’s drawbacks are the need for a crankshaft with offset journals (to even the firing impulses) and of
course the less than pleasing sound emitted.

Frankly – BMW has taken pains over the years to emphasize the long hood that speaks of an in-line six and rear wheel drive. I believe there are only two mainstream auto manufacturers of in-line six engines left, BMW and Volvo (I don’t want to count the massive in-line six marine diesels still being built). I do not know why BMW would want to introduce a V6 – it would be a bespoke engine for the M3 initially, if the rumors are accurate. If it’s a 90 degree V6 it will require more development time to get it ‘just right’. And the primary purpose of a V6, extending the power options for FWD cars into C and D class ranges, is outside the scope of where BMW wants to take FWD cars from what I understand.

So why introduce what will be an exceptionally controversial power train into the very heart of the M brand? Are they daft or are they just stirring the pot and enjoying the ranting and ravings on the intertubes. Stay tuned, we’ll find out for sure eventually.

BMW Vehicle

bmw

image by Chuecy

BMW Vehicle –

Bayerische Motoren Werke .. or Bavarian Motor Works, is a manufacturing company that makes motorcycles, OEM BMW Rims , & engines for cars. It’s located in Germany & was founded in the year of 1916; which is not too long ago compared to other luxury brands. BMW even owns & manufactures the Mini brand, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Cars. BMW makes motorcycles under BMW Motorrad & Husqvarna brands – I know they’re weird names, but you have to remember that they are in Germany. BMW’s & Factory Original BMW Wheels are widely known for their luxury & the great way that they perform.

After the first World War, which was World War I .. if you didn’t know, BMW was mandated to stop manufacturing engines for planes by the rules of the Versailles Armistice Treaty.

Because of this unexpected halt that they had to obey, the BMW company switched to making motorcycles in 1923 once the restrictions of the treaty were slowly starting to be lifted. After making motorcycles, they began to make cars & Original BMW Rims in 1928 & 1929.

The little blue, white, circular logo is supposed to illustrate or represent the movement of a propeller, to show that the white blades are cutting through the beautiful blue sky. I can honestly say that I had no idea; my Mom has a BMW with Factory BMW Rims & I had no idea what it meant. I just thought they liked those colors & it was the ones that looked best with the car – oh well.

After BMW made their first aircraft & it was successful because of its high-altitude performance, they started making engines for World War II aircrafts.

When 1959 rolled in, the automotive division in the BMW company started having financial troubles. After it did enough damage, the shareholders had a meeting to decide whether they were going to work with it & through it or just give up on it. As you can obviously tell, they decided to just work through it & just try to cash in on the, at the time, economic car boom that was enjoyed by so many manufacturers & people. They eventually bought the right to make & sell the Italian Iso Isetta. After this was done, it helped the company get back on their feet & gave them what they needed to move forward & make their cars & Factory Original BMW Wheels .

In 1992, BMW came up on a large wager in California; it was based on industrial design studio DesignworksUSA – which they just so happen to fully acquire in the year of 1995. The year before that, 1994, BMW had bought the Rover Group & owned it for six years. The Rover Group included the Rover, Land Rover, & even the MG brands. By 2000, they weren’t doing so well so BMW decided to sell the brands to Phoenix Consortium, they eventually formed MG Rover. At this time, BMW still had the rights to manufacture the new MINI model, which was launched in the year of 2001.

In February of last year (2009), the chief designer – Chris Bangle – stated that he was leaving BMW after being on the design team for seventeen years. He was replaced by a man named Adrian van Hooydonk, who was initially, Bangle’s right hand man. Bangle was widely known for all of the radical designs he had produced with BMW including the 7-Series & even the 2002 BMW Z4 with Factory Original 2002 BMW Z4 Rims . Let’s just hope that this new guy is doing a great job like Chris Bangle

Moscow Auto Show Gains Status

Moscow Auto Show Gains Status

August 31, 2012 by John Rettie

Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette

Have international auto shows had their day?

There are many industry pundits who feel major auto shows have lost their luster in mature markets. It’s true that the formerly important major shows in countries like the UK, Italy and Japan have downsized or even disappeared. Manufacturers are looking for more cost effective ways to reach potential customers, such as local ride and drive events that are growing in popularity.

Mazda6
Mazda6

Still,  in countries, such as China India and Russia, where the new car markets are rapidly expanding, major auto shows are growing in importance. That’s partly why Mazda chose to give the striking new Mazda6 its global premiere at the 2012 Moscow International Automobile Salon this week. Another factor in the decision being that Mazda is opening a new plant in Russia, just as its only one in the U.S. Closes its doors.

Land Rover LR2
Land Rover LR2

Moscow was also where the new Land Rover LR2 (still known elsewhere as the Freelander 2) got it’s first public showing, as did the Bentley Continental GT and the freshened Audi R8.

Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT

Lada, a brand I suspect many think died when communism died, is still the market leader in Russia. However it’s now partially owned by Renault and its lineup of cars is being upgraded. Check out the X-Ray concept Lada unveiled – it could have come from a design studio anywhere in the world.

Lada X-Ray Concept
Lada X-Ray Concept

The all-new Kia Quoris (know as the K9 in its home market) got one of its first showings outside of Korea. At first blush Kia’s flagship rear-drive sedan sure looks like a Jaguar. Speaking of Jaguar – it premièred the new AWD version of the XF in Moscow.

Kia Quoris
Kia Quoris

Luxury marques, which often skip auto shows in the U.S., were very much in evidence in Moscow. Which leads to a question — do you still find auto shows exciting or are they not as important anymore, especially since so many exotic cars are missing?

Jaguar AWD Drivetrain
Jaguar AWD Drivetrain

The List: 31 SUVs with Third-Row Seats

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Edmunds.com offers a Live Advice service that allows you to chat online with specialists who can help you find answers to your most burning questions. You can access the service by clicking on the “Live Chat” link at the top right corner of the Edmunds main page. You can also reach our specialists via Twitter.

Our specialists are a pretty knowledgeable team of ladies and gents. Whether you’re a shopper looking for general buying advice or an enthusiast in search of data that’s considerably more arcane, you can rest assured that this crew will do their utmost to leave you informed and satisfied.

Dennis Rayfield is one of our Live Advice specialists, and he finds that one thing people are always asking about is third-row seating. 

In response to this, he decided to put together a list of SUVs available with this feature. Dennis’s list is included here, for all those in the market for an SUV with a little something extra in back.

Note that this list includes the Ford Flex. While the Flex isn’t technically an SUV, we thought it was worth including, since it’s often cross-shopped against some of the models included in this list.

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1. Acura MDX

 

 

 

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2. Audi Q7

 

 

 
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3. Buick Enclave

 

 

 
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4. Cadillac Escalade

 

 

 
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5. Chevrolet Suburban

 

 

 
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6. Chevrolet Tahoe

 

 

 
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7. Chevrolet Traverse

 

 

 
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8. Dodge Durango

 

 

 
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9. Ford Expedition

 

 

 
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10. Ford Explorer

 

 

 

 

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11. Ford Flex

 

 

 
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12. GMC Acadia

 

 

 
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13. GMC Yukon

 

 

 
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14. Honda Pilot

 

 

 
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15. Hyundai Veracruz

 

 

 
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16. Infiniti JX

 

 

 
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17. Infiniti QX

 

 

 
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18. Kia Sorento

 

 

 
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19. Lexus GX 460

 

 

 
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20. Lexus LX 570

 

 

 
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21. Lincoln Navigator

 

 

 
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22. Mazda CX-9

 

 

 
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23. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

 

 

 
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24. Mitsubishi Outlander

 

 

 
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25. Nissan Armada

 

 

 
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26. Nissan Pathfinder

 

 

 
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27. Subaru Tribeca

 

 

 
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28. Toyota Highlander

 

 

 

 

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29. Toyota Land Cruiser

 

 

 
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30. Toyota Sequoia

 

 

 
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31. Volvo XC90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another E90 BMW 335i… Equipped with CTS FMIC Kit

Today we had a super clean E90 in for a CTS BMW 135/335 FMIC kit install.  As you can see it’s relatively stealthy hiding behind the Mtech front bumper.  A quick drive around the block and the gains measured by the “but dyno” are obvious.  Power is up due to the lower charge temperatures resulting in a fun ride especially paired with a JB4, Cobb AccessPort, Vishnu etc…  Below you can see a few more pics of the kit as the install progressed…

BMW E90 335 N54 with CTS FMIC kit – you can see how thick this intercooler is compared to stock:

A quick shot of the monstrous CTS FMIC kit sitting behind the Mtech front bumper:

The stainless steel hard pipe that is now included with all new CTS BMW 135/335 FMIC kits.  This pipe is 2.5″ in diameter made from smooth, high quality stainless steel.  The pipe pictured just below the radiator hose here replaces the restrictive stock piping to connect your new FMIC to “the BOV” pipe:

A quick shot of the FMIC mounted looking from under the car towards the front of the car.  The intercooler core is extremely thick measuring in at 20″ long, 6″ tall and 7″ thick, bar and plate, high density, this will cool whatever you can throw at it.

 

BMW Group Reports Record Sales In July

 
 
 
 

BMW Group Reports Record Sales In July

Economics students and economy geeks, rejoice! We will make this a monthly occurrence and try to bring you the sales figures for the most well known manufacturers of automobiles out there, thus giving you a glimpse in to the world market in terms of car sales and revenue.

Something I feel should of been done long ago and started long ago! We shall kick it off by BMW Group record sales in July, further increasing their profits and numbers of vehicles sold. Here is what their official press release says:

“After achieving record sales in the first half of 2012, the BMW Group reported its best-ever sales result for July. With a total of 135,537 (prev. yr. 129,102) BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles delivered worldwide last month, the company increased its sales by 5.0% compared to the previous year. It was also the first time in the company’s history that over one million vehicles had been delivered in the first seven months. From January to July the number of deliveries climbed 7.6% to 1,036,088 vehicles (prev. yr. 962,493).

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing BMW, said in Munich on Tuesday: “The BMW Group continued on its successful course in July and we are confident that we will continue to make solid gains throughout the second half of the year. Our new vehicles have been very well-received – the luxurious BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé has had an excellent start – and we are confident that the new BMW 7 Series and X1 which are launched this month will provide for further success.”

Markets:
In the first seven months of the year, the BMW Group made strong gains in Asia, with sales climbing by 25.0% to 274,058 vehicles (prev. yr. 219,204). In the month under review, sales increased by 20.8% to 36,128 vehicles (prev. yr. 29,950). Several key markets in Asia experienced strong double digit growth last month including Japan (3,909/ +13.8%), Korea (3,164/ +27.8%) and China. Mainland China accounted for 23,092 deliveries in July, an increase of 22.5% over the same month in the previous year (18,858). Year-to-date, 182,048 BMW and MINI vehicles have been sold in Mainland China (prev. yr. 140,472) which reflects an increase of 29.6%. The new BMW 3 Series Long Wheelbase and the BMW X1 are expected to provide for further robust growth in China in the second half of the year.

In Europe, sales of BMW Group vehicles remained stable in July with 60,855 units delivered (prev. yr. 62,350/ -2.4%). In the first seven months, BMW Group sales remained at last year’s level, with a total of 497,932 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 499,749/ -0.4%). The new BMW 3 Series Touring, which accounts for two thirds of BMW 3 Series registrations in the German home market, is expected to bring further momentum to European markets with its launch in September.

BMW Group sales in the Americas grew by +3.4% in July, with 33,076 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 31,975). In the first seven months, 227,696 vehicles were delivered to customers in the Americas, which reflects an increase of +8.0% on the previous year (210,876). The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported July sales of 27,152 vehicles, an increase of 4.0% from the 26,120 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, the BMW Group is up 9.5% on sales of 185,715 in the first seven months of 2012 compared to 169,641 in the same period in 2011.The arrival of the new BMW 3 Series with xDrive, as well as the BMW X1 in September are expected to provide for stronger momentum in the U.S. in the second half of the year.

The BMW Group achieved robust double-digit growth in many of its markets, including: Russia (2,989/ +16.8%); Middle East (1,598/ +31.3%) and South Africa (2,500/ +18.9%).

BMW:
Worldwide sales of BMW brand vehicles climbed to 113,253 units (prev. yr. 108,728/ +4.2%) in the month under review. A total of 860,327 BMW brand vehicles (prev. yr. 798,612) have been delivered to customers worldwide since the start of the year – an increase of +7.7%. One of the growth drivers in the first seven months was the BMW 1 Series 5-door Hatch with 103,160 units sold, an increase of 56.9% over the same period last year (prev. yr. 65,728) The 3-door version of the BMW 1 Series Hatch, offered for the first time with xDrive, will be available as of next month.

Sales of the BMW 3 Series Sedan climbed +12.6% from January to the end of July, with 155,809 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 138.326). Demand for the BMW X3 continued to be strong, with sales climbing 33.4% to 84,394 vehicles year-to-date (prev. yr. 63,283). Sales of the BMW 5 Series Sedan also remained strong in the first seven months with 160,912 units delivered (prev. yr. 147,508/ +9.1%) The BMW 6 Series reaffirmed its position as segment leader with 12,435 vehicles sold year-to-date (prev. yr. 4,098/ +203.4%). Sales were boosted by the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé which was delivered to 1,462 customers since its launch in June.

MINI:
MINI reported its best July ever, with worldwide sales climbing 9.6% to 22,083 vehicles in the month under review (prev. yr 20,154). In its largest market, the U.S., MINI achieved strong growth with sales of 5,855 cars, an increase of 24.3 percent from the 4,711 sold in July 2011. MINI also reported dynamic growth in many Asian markets last month, including Mainland China, where sales climbed by +31.6% to 1,392 vehicles (prev. yr. 1,058). The MINI Countryman continued to perform well, with sales increasing in July by 15.5% to 7,718 vehicles (prev. yr. 6,684). Year-to-date, MINI sales are up +7.3% to 173,960 units compared to 162,069 in the first seven months of 2011.

Motorcycles: From January up to and including July 2012, BMW Motorrad supplied 69,329 (prev. yr: 71,634 units / -3.2%) motorcycles and maxi scooters to its customers. Of this figure, 10,140 (prev. yr: 11,054 units / -8.3%) vehicles fell within the month of July. For Husqvarna Motorcycles, the number of factory supplies as of July was 5,729 vehicles (prev. yr: 4,394 units / +30.4%). In July, 494 vehicles (prev. yr: 864 units / -42.8%) were supplied to the Husqvarna dealer network.”

As in most cases BMW is once again proving their strong followers base, with their customers staying loyal to the brand at the time when they are purchasing new vehicles. We can’t say we disagree with the love for the Bavarian manufacturer as well