Category: BMW

BMW X7 SUV hints to a full sized X5 big brother.

BMW X7

BMW X7 SUV

Ahead of the Frankfurt Motorshow later this month leaked images of  BMW’s X7 IPerformance SUV concept, have come to light giving some interesting perspective to their new 7-series based full sized SUV. Due to arrive in international markets next year, the X7 will likely be based on a version BMW’s CLAR modular platform that underpins the current 7 Series.

BMW X7

The Key indications to the X7 production model are the simplicity through which the design is carried through, which allow for ques, typical of BMW design language to be very clear and apparent yet in effect still feel new. The clever design of the vehicle doesn’t hide the fact that this is no small car and the overall size and dimensions will not be overly friendly to the concept of the Undercover parking lot or Parrell parking in the CBD.

Interior Design

The concept makes use of the typical extravagance that is the very notion of a ‘concept car’ interior, but the main points to understand is the level of simplicity and the high-quality materials to be used. The use of light and space are used to conceal the cavernous exterior proportions rather well. This is through the large panoramic roof and the use of clever mood- lights that help add light to the cabin and give it the same effect as looking up at the sky light on a summers evening – or in fact the ceiling of a 7 Series, from which the system was undoubtedly lifted.

BMW X7

Infotainment will be handled through a driver focused 12.3 Inch Screen that serves as an instrument cluster and a smaller one that the centre console. Rear seat entertainment includes an additional two screens likely optional fair but an effective addition gives the SUV’s Child hauling destiny.  The usual mix of high-quality woods and metals is used to make up the cabin but the largest and most interesting is the number of seats totalling 6, and in fact suggesting to the 7 that will likely be available on the production model.

BMW X7 Availability in South Africa

Early production models will hit international markets as early as 2018, with no confirmed dates as to when we will receive the X7, but we should get the bruiser at some point in 2018.

 

BMW M3 Competition Package: Worth the extra money?

BMW M3 Competition Pack

BMW M3 Competition Package Driven

When you’ve ruled a segment for decades, it’s hard to keep pushing the benchmark forward. BMW has been in this position for many generations now with the competition having closed the gap significantly. Remember the normally aspirated C63 AMG? Yes, the one that caused a fair bit of confusion for E92 M3 drivers. That was one stunning car, from its noise to its looks. It proved to be one hell of a rival for the M. Now we have the likes of the turbocharged Mercedes-AMG C63 and the infamous Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio Verde. The competition has done a great deal of catching up and some have even questioned if the M3 is still the benchmark. The facelifted M3 is a stunning piece of kit, the obvious choice for those who need some space and performance, packaged with aggressive styling and shiny 20-inch alloy wheels. That’s what tells passers-by that your M3 is a Competition Package, besides an M3 badge finished in black.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

Internally, the difference comes in the form of more power, 331 kW to be exact. 550 N.m is a boat-load on the chassis of the M3, so much so that the vehicle is in constant attack mode, looking for any excuse to light up the rear wheels. This particular example we drove was finished in Sakhir Orange paintwork and had an aggression to it that we’ve never experienced in an M3/M4, and we’ve driven many an M3. Despite the added power and louder exhausts, one’s got to ask the question, is the Competition Package worth the extra money? At R135 000 more than a standard M3, the reality is that with the Competition Package, the added power is not the only thing the vehicle gives you. The whole car feels somewhat different. Anyone who’s driven an M3 will tell you that you can’t drive that car in anger with a nonchalant attitude. Do that and you’ll end up on YouTube under the “BMW fails” title. The Competition Package is still as lethal, but somehow slightly more forgiving, probably due to the larger rubber fitted to it. These larger wheels offer more grip, making the car more controllable in modes such as MDM, which allows for slight slippage of the rear wheels.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

The biggest appeal of the M3 is its practicality, you can really use this car as a parent who loves thrills. It’s also comfortable in the right setting, namely “Comfort” which keeps everything normal. Oh, in terms of interior changes, the CP has slats in the front seats, giving the seats a different look and the opportunity for back seat passengers to tickle the driver with ease. (Yes, we know that’s weird). Some experimenting is essential to find the perfect balance between comfort and speed for everyday driving scenarios. We found that a throttle setting of “Sport” with “Comfort” dampers and “Comfort” steering was best for the daily commute. With that, we saved our M1 mode. M2, on the other hand, was a bit riskier, dampers were still “Comfort”, steering “Sport” and throttle set to “Sport Plus”. Lastly, we had the car in MDM mode, just to keep us feeling alive. Our gearbox settings were rarely in the most lethal “Level 3” setting as this was just ridiculous. In the most brutal gearbox mode, the car mimics the E60 M5 days, with its “shove you in the lower back” type of gear changes.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

As much as the standard M3 is a great car, the Competition Package is very special. The car feels more complete and looks better as those wheels fill the car out beautifully. Very little is wrong with the M3, but it has become an acquired taste for many. Gone are the days of the E92’s composure and that fact alone has put some off the car, as they might feel like it’s too much effort to exploit all the car’s power. For the brave, the M3 remains a massive thrill as its razor-sharp nature can be intoxicating. Our experience in the car was very enjoyable. We love the fact that you can be civilised when needed, but a complete hooligan when the opportunity arises.

BMW M3 Competiton Package Pricing in South Africa

At approximately R1.4 million with a few extras, it’s not cheap but boy is it a rewarding car to drive.

BMW 440i vs Audi S5 – Decisions decisions.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

BMW 440i vs Audi S5

Do you have a R1million to spend on a coupe? Are you torn between a BMW 440i or an Audi S5? Well, you’re in good hands, TheMotorist is here to help you decide…

If only things worked like that. You read an article online. You make your mind up and off you go into either an Audi or BMW dealership and you drive away as the sales team cheers you off. Firstly, sales people don’t cheer you off, by the time you’ve driven off they’re just super glad they don’t have to talk about discounts with you anymore. I digress. The truth is, if you’re going to spend R1 million, you kind of know what you want. Right? Also, we all have preferences – so if you’re an Audi guy, get the S5 and if you like Beemers, give them a ring. What we want to do in this article is objectively compare the two models and see what comes out on top. So first and foremost, the looks.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

Who’s the fairest of them all?  

The 4 Series is a hit in SA. Everywhere you go people are driving these things. The problem we have with the 4 Series is that besides the amount of exhausts you have and the badge in the rear, they all look the same. Obviously, you have different model lines to choose from, but we wish the 440i had something about it that says, “I’m a 440i, not a 420i!!!”. Don’t tell me the two large exhausts are the differentiator because non-car people won’t even notice that. The S5 at least has different outside trimmings compared to the standard S Line models, so you can notice a slight difference. Again, it’s not huge because Audi loves to keep things low-key but you do have four exhaust pipes on the S5. So there’s that. The interiors on both cars are top notch, but the S5 has nicer seats and the BMW has a nicer dashboard. The S5 does have Apple CarPlay so that’s a big win, but BMW’s infotainment system also works really well. Whatever you do in both cars, you always need to go for the higher spec sound system. Audi calls it 3D surround and BMW has Harman Kardon.

The engines:

The only reason why you’d be buying either an S5 or a 440i is because your co-worker has a lesser model and you want to show them who’s boss, no? Either that or you’re a petrol head and fancy yourself some speed. This is the trickiest part between choosing between these two cars because both have SUCH nice engines. The Audi sounds nicer since it’s a 3.0 V6, but BMW’s new in-line 3.0 6 cylinder “B58” is the Greek yogurt of the range, so pure and creamy. Both cars feel just as fast and understandably so as you get 240kW in the 440i and 260kW in the S5. The BMW may have less power, but you’d have to be mad woke to notice a real difference. Where the difference comes in, is the drivetrain setup.

Quattro VS RWD:

The age-old debate between 4WD and RWD is a long standing one. We all love a good “slidey” RWD car but ask yourself, when am I going to do big slides in my car? If drifting is a concern, then the 440i is the obvious choice. But answer me this, do you attend many track days? Do you have access to an airfield? Do you have an endless budget for tyres? If you answered no to two of those questions, then RWD vs 4WD shouldn’t be your concern. “But don’t Quattro’s understeer?” You may wonder. Anything understeers if you come into a corner too quickly. The fact is that both the S5 and the 440i handle beautifully on regular roads and twisty ones, the average person will enjoy both cars at speed.

BMW 440i vs Audi S5

So, what’s the best then?

Again, both packages are very good indeed. The Audi wins when you’re sitting inside the car, but the BMW looks better on the outside. The Audi sounds better and has one hell of an engine, but the BMW’s engine is just as good. Money talks and this is where most decisions are made. The S5 will cost you R928 000 whereas the 440i will cost you R864 976. Both those prices don’t include options but an approximate difference of R60 000 between the two is interesting. If you’re financing, it’s not going to be a huge difference, either way you’re in for a big installment. What would we take home? I hate to say it but the BMW 440i is our top pick and before you scream “We knew it!”, the decision is based largely on the following: It’s all good and well to buy a new car but a time will come when you need to get rid of it. This is where the BMW wins because it’s biggest disadvantage is also its biggest advantage. There are many 4 Series models on the roads so you may lose out on the exclusivity you’ll have in the S5, but there is a bigger demand for the 4 Series in the used market. This means that when the time comes for you to trade in your 4 Series, you’ll get a better trade in value over an S5, purely because of the demand. For that reason, we’d drive away in the BMW. Besides that, both cars are a very good match for each other.

New BMW M5 officially revealed: Where to from here?

New BMW M5

New BMW M5 officially revealed

“Who needs a supercar when BMW’s new M5 and Mercedes AMG’s E63 are around?”

Let’s just begin with that 0-100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds. Like. Uhm. What? Basically, if you’re a speed chaser, you don’t need a supercar. With cars like the new M5 around, the only real reason you would want a supercar would be because you would like the aesthetics and attention that comes with a car such as that. That is understandable because for some, nothing beats being in a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. For those, however, who happen to have children and other dependants and a general lack of R6 million, these new age super saloons will do you just fine.

New BMW M5

Predictable looks:

Unlike the likes of the M4/M3, the look of an M5 has become quite predictable. Many renderings of the car look very similar to the finished product. BMW has always kept the design of the car understated, with slightly wider fenders and flares here and there and of course the signature four exhaust pipes we’ve seen on every M5 since the E39. Let’s not lie to ourselves though, the G90 M5 looks good. The 5 Series range in general looks great so it’s not mind blowing to see that the M5 has followed suit. Where the G90 really shines with regards to its design, however, is the interior. I mean, look at those seats. Mmm mm mm!

New BMW M5

The good stuff:

Besides the way it looks, the real reason we care so deeply about the M5 is because of its ability to hunt supercars, as well as the fact that it can probably kill you if you’re not nice to it. Anyone who drove the F10 will attest to its ability to humble even the most skilled, should you be brave enough to stand toe to toe with it with no assistance activated. The G90, though, may be the most controllable M5 yet.

New BMW M5

The reason why this will be the most forgiving M5 is because it has M xDrive fitted to it. This system is 4WD but allows for all the power to be sent to the rear wheels, depending on the mode you’re in. As a result, in 4WD mode you can confidently exploit all 441 kW & 750 Nm from its 4.4 litre Twin Turbo V8 and not run into a tree of sorts, as the rear slides uncontrollably and your hands are all over the place trying to remember how Chris Harris does it. We all knew that this next M5 was going to have a 4WD system because you simply can’t have so much power in a RWD car and tell an average driver to go and play. That does create a problem for those that want to enjoy some skids, or rather the idea of skidding around town, however. So, to keep everyone happy, the G90 can toggle between different modes. It’s funny how we read about this setup months ago from BMW, but Mercedes-AMG were the first to do it in the segment with their E63 S, which I’m sure grinds the people at BMW. Anyway, it doesn’t matter who did it first, what matters is who does it best. From what we hear about the E63 S, the system works amazingly, not interrupting in anyway. You can be sure that the G90 will do the same, though, as BMW loves a good drift.

Besides going sideways, the benefits of having a 4WD car are simple, more traction all the time. In real world conditions, nothing beats being able to put your power down and having confidence in your car, something these new super saloons will allow you to do.

New BMW M5

All in all, the G90 M5 is the fastest production BMW to date. The question is, where to from here? Are we really going to have a sub 3 second super saloon sometime in the future? Maybe even in the G90 generation, especially since BMW loves their special editions. Who knows? All we know is that we live in a crazy, power-hungry time. What matters most is not the figures but rather how the car will make you feel behind the wheel. There’s something very satisfying about a large car that can handle in a way that defies physics and keeps you entertained at the same time. The real fight between this car and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S is not which is the fastest, but rather what’s the most entertaining. Time will tell…

New BMW M5

BMW M5 Pricing in South Africa

The M5 will be available in South Africa during the first quarter of 2018 with a approximate price of R1.8M. The BMW M5 First Edition, featuring a unique Frozen Dark Red Metalic Paintwork will also be available in very limited quantities in SA, with only 400 being produced worldwide. The cost of the First Edition is approximately  R300k on top of the standard model.

Images of the BMW X2 in jungle styled camouflage!

BMW X2

BMW X2

It seems to becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to expand their ranges, developing new models for relatively new segments. We have seen this  with the big German three, especially in the SUV Segment. Mercedes-Benz now have a GLA,GLC, GLE and GLS available, with the first three also available in Coupe form. Audi are following a similar approach with the Q2 through to the Q8. Which leaves us with BMW, currently sporting the X1,X3,X4,X5 and X6, with that range soon expanding with the upcoming BMW X2.

BMW X2

The BMW X2 is a Sports Utility Coupe and it currently in the production and development stage, even so,  it promises to bring a enjoyable but practical experience and is dubbed as an Urban Jungle vehicle kind of vehicle, aimed at young, extroverted and active people.  Last year BMW showed us concept images of the X2 and now they have given us a chance to see what the X2 will really look like, if you can look through the urban como that is.

BMW X2

From what we can see, the X2 looks great and is quite unique when compared to the rest of the BMW Range. It has a very sporty and active feel and will definitely appeal to a younger audience.  We look forward to the world premiere of this car and will keep you updated with the latest news and images.

BMW X2

BMW X2

Thrash It, Otherwise It Will Kill You – BMW M3 E46 CSL

BMW M3 E46 CSL

BMW M3 E46 CSL Driven

Exactly two generations ago in 2001, BMW’s department of performance and lunacy took to the lovely chassis that was the E46 3 Series. This action created what in BMW circles was, and to many still is, pretty much the quintessential M car and the ultimate M3. The broth was highly reminiscent of the recipe used to create the Power Puff girls, as the Professors of power slides and handling dynamics took the 2-door body shell exclusively and added the proverbial sugar, spice and everything nice, but as their “chemical X”, they used one of the best engines BMW has ever produced – the 3.2 litre S54, a powerful atmospheric straight-six that had a charismatically raspy engine note that crescendoed all the way to the 8000 rpm redline. The combination brought about a lightweight lavation, which sought after not only the souls of the competition, but to the corners into which it was propelled. It was the ultimate, and new the yardstick in performance motoring. This was the car that you compared other cars to. It was raw, analogue and undistilled – this was THE M-car; quick, sharp and incredibly adept at making you feel really fantastic, after showing far more expensive cars the LED taillights though a mountain pass. The feeling one gets from piloting an E46 M3 is hard to describe, it’s an incredible thing.  

BMW M3 E46 CSL

Although, this proved not enough to cater to the fetish that is the M Division’s pursuit in the creation of the perfect M car. And after what can only be imagined as a heavy night of beer and bratwurst, in 2004 a harder, grippier version was spawned. This was the M3 CSL, a car that I have lusted over for exactly 13 years and wanted to drive since its conception, and finally, a gracious owner has allowed for this to happen.

Understanding that this is the ultimate M3 of the era and a total of only 65 were brought to South Africa, the CSL is still worth a fully loaded armoured security van and it’s not an easy task to get the keys to one of these now collectors pieces, and after 13 years, I would never pass up the opportunity. The exchange of my left kidney made it all possible but before the handing me the keys, the owner exclaimed ‘this car needs to be thrashed, otherwise it will kill you’, this brought a dark cloud on the experience and a sense of nervousness dawned the air.

BMW M3 E46 CSL

Driving away and in pursuit of suitable driving roads, led to the almost immediate conclusion that the SMG automated manual was not great, and miles behind a modern box. The car tends to roll about on take-off like a learner driver that can’t balance the clutch and shifts are lurchy with the selection of gears resulting in a strange nodding action. The brake pedal in normal driving, again, was also a bit sloppy, with one really needing to stand on the peddle to get anything to happen, this I suspect was mainly due to the Hawk Track brake pads fitted to the car but they properly sucked at stopping the car in town. This culmination dropped confidence levels in the car a great deal and I was left with a rather gloomy outlook – could BMW possibly have ruined the E46 M3? Having broken away from the eternity that was stop/start traffic and taxis, an answer would soon be found. Looking at the delicious piece of tarmac ahead I turned the transmission all the way up, stabbed at the Traction Control button and set away like a mad man, determined and on a mission. The first corner approached incredibly quickly, the steering precision was translated instantly as I pitched the nose towards the apex of a corner. The rear snapped violently and sent me into a huge serpentine like tank slapper, the rear slithering about while fighting for traction. Confidence dropped to an all time low. I wanted nothing more to do with the CSL and was ready to retreat to my eco-box, where at least I was safe, I was actually scared of this thing.  Remembering the words of my now sensay, I recalled that this was no eco-box, this was no poncey parade at a fast car but rather true weapon. Confidence returned as I pushed faster, and harder the super sticky TOYO RA888R semi-slicks got hotter and with that grippier. The breaks sharper and more alert. The engine, furiously raging away, the transmission smoother and me braver. The drive became a cataclysm of point and shoot accuracy, the car hurling you into corners much faster than you would ever think possible, appearing to bend the laws of physics and pulling you out the other side after a battle with the grip and the 265 kW and 370 N m violently stabbing away at the rear tyres, it was all incredibly hard and part of the 110 kilo M-diet had included the aircon. I was drenched in sweat and almost paper white once the red mist had dispersed from my now numb body. All that I could think of was that I needed a cigarette, as one does after that much physical activity

BMW M3 E46 CSL

The M3 CSL is not an easy car to drive, and even harder to drive fast. The car needs to have a lot of heat in the tyres and in the breaks for peak performance to beckon, but once you’ve braved the rough waters, you’re transported into this trance that is far beyond what I have ever experienced behind the wheel of a car. It feels like a racecar, and the bare exposed carbon fibre that is plastered everywhere does a good job of reminding you that this is no daily driver. The hardcore cut throat nature of the CSL makes it hard to rival, the sensations are insane, the noise in the cabin is cathartic and jumping out of this car every day after making it to your destination as quickly as you have made it a contender for the M-car of the century. Indeed a big claim but it’s far better to the outright purist than the standard car. Analog, light and always ready to give you a bloody nose it’s one of the best M-cars ever.

BMW M3 E46 CSL

BMW M3 E46 CSL Pricing In South Africa

A lot! Enough to get you a demo model M4. These days higher mileage CSL’s are still fetching around R800k, and that climbs all the way up to R1.2milion for lower mileage models.

 

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

The number ‘7’ in the Bible represents perfection and wholeness. I’m sure when BMW first made the 7 Series 40 years ago, they took that into mind due to the fact that the 7 Series is what BMW calls perfection and have never faltered on that principle. Now fast forward 40 years ahead – BMW celebrates their iconic flagship car in making the BMW 7 Series 40 Year Edition and it is dripping with luxury, driving pleasure and innovation.

Let’s start with the innovation part. Over the years, BMW has assumed a pioneering role for technological innovations that ultimately enhance driving pleasure. To give a few examples: the first 12-cylinder engine in a German post war automobile (1987); the first integral navigation system in a European production car (1994); the premier of unrestricted internet usage inside a vehicle (2008) and more. With all these innovations, you would think BMW have a time machine and go back and forth in time stealing future designs to enhance the 7 Series.

“What does this car do differently then?” you might ask.

Well this 7 Series has laser light headlamps, which help increase the range of the headlamps to as far as 600 meters! In plain English, that is roughly 6 soccer fields put next to each other. Amazing!

The 40 Year Edition 7 Series will be available in South Africa exclusively as the M760Li xDrive derivative. It’s a car, then, for the ballers to climb in the back and recline and think about their millions and for the bodyguards to fight over who rides shotgun. 200 units have been made and South Africa is only receiving 5, the M aerodynamics package, high gloss Shadow Line and 20-inch light alloy wheels will come as standard.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

To top all of this exclusivity off, it only comes in two colors: Petrol Mica metallic and Frozen Silver metallic. With various color combinations on their Full Merino fine-grain leather trim offered, you can only expect that the seats are more comfortable than your bed at 6am on a cold winter’s Monday morning. The fascia finishes are crafted from the finest wood to bring the luxury level to its optimum.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 pricing in South Africa

Now, there are more options available but these will be released to the brave souls who can stomach the cost of this precious beast. Here in South Africa, the car will set you back some R3 085 900 and should be available in the fourth quarter of 2017.

We drive the updated BMW 4 Series

Updated BMW 4 Series Launch

Mpumalanga is known by many for a variety of reasons, it has vast greenness, a large canyon and is the home of the Kruger National Park. This location then, might seem like a strange location for a sports car launch, but what many people may not know is that Mpumalanga is also home to something else, great driving roads.

These great stretches of twisting and turning tarmac are fairly pivotal when testing a car built for sporty driving. I was excited, the thought of putting the updated BMW 4 Series through it’s paces for the day didn’t seem too shabby at all…

The updated BMW 4 Series doesn’t receive a major host of changes, rather small elements which come together in an all-round better package. This starts with the headlights, featuring a hexagonal design for the day time running lights which surround the LED beams. Rear lighting is also upgraded and is now an LED system, with both updates giving the BMW 4 Series a slightly sharper appeal. One will also find minor changes inside the cabin which spruce up the executive feel, helped along by three new upholstery colours and interior trim strips to choose from. The biggest change would be the optional navigation system which has the same interface as the BMW 5 and 7 Series’, large style control pads feature on the screen to control different elements, with each one receiving live updates and information.

Driving

Lined up outside Nelspruit airport were an array of BMW 4 Series in a variety of colours and engine specifications. The vast majority of the fleet were either 420i’s or 420d’s in Convertible, Coupé and GranCoupé form – as these are likely to be the most popular models. There was one 440i convertible glistening in the sunlight in the new Snapper Rocks Blue colour – an exclusive for the 4 Series range. My driving partner and I decided that we would not run for the 240 kW/450 N.m 440i, but we ended up with it anyway, so the roof went down, the neck heaters went on and off we went.

The first thing you will notice about the 440i compared to the other 4 series models is the noise, it purs on idle and growls under acceleration. It’s not mind blowing, and it certainly doesn’t compete with the Audi S5 in the volume department, but this doesn’t mean it’s not nice, because it is, especially when coupled with the sport auto gearbox with gives a delightful thump on the upwards gear change.

In terms of performance, the 440i is comfortably fast. It provides beautiful, linear power throughout the rev range and it feels very controllable. A big selling point for the 440i is that it can be driven easily and comfortably on the morning drive to work, but has enough in the tank to provide bucket loads of fun on the weekend – it’s definitely the middle ground if you’re looking to buy an M4, but your other half  says no.

As one would expect, the 440i has plenty of grip and gives confidence in the corners. The driver can really lean on the outer tyres when cornering without the worry of being spat out and sent tumbling down the side of a mountain pass. It’s not as sharp you might think though. Being the convertible model, it’s aimed more towards comfort than performance and does not receive the suspension upgrades that the Coupé and GranCoupé have.

After 200 km in the 440i, we swapped vehicles and jumped into a 420d Coupé for the remainder of our drive. Automatically, you may think that the 420d is the boring model in the range, aimed at the fuel economy enthusiast who drives miles everyday. While the latter may have some truth, it is certainly not a boring car to drive. It produces 140 kW and a mighty 400 N.m of torque which gives it some fantastic low down grunt. The power does fade after 4 000 rpm, but your aim isn’t to beat land speed records in this model, it’s to have a comfortable, quiet and economical vehicle in the guise of a sporty, stylish and tech savvy 4 Series. That being said, if you come across a twisty section of road, there is no doubt that you will have plenty of fun. As mentioned, the Coupé models have received suspension upgrades which give a sharper, more dynamic feel, especially across the front end.

Also sitting pretty at the launch was the updated BMW M4 in Competition Pack form. This model receives updates as well, with the adaptive full-LED headlights coming as standard, along with full LED lighting for the rear. Further to this, the BMW M4 also features the technology upgrades mentioned earlier, which are available across the range.

Overview

Although only minor changes, the updated BMW 4 Series range definitely offers a better all-round package in terms of style, comfort and performance. The 4 Series was a great car to begin with and bringing it up to date with the latest technologies was all the TLC it needed for now.

The 4 Series has a broad range with the 420d, 420i, 430i and 440i models all available, meaning that there is a good offering for a wide variety of people who may be interested.

Alternatives

Audi A5 – The updated Audi A5 launched earlier this year and offers a fantastic all-round package, as well as a great range of engines. It is definitely the more stealthy option, but does lose out a little on driving dynamics.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupé – Arguably, it may not compete when it comes to looks or style, but it does have driving comfort tucked firmly under its belt and years of Mercedes-Benz experience under the shell.

BMW 4 Series Pricing in South Africa

Coupé and GranCoupé 

420i – R604 794

420d – R639 300

430i – R692 992

M4 – R1 227 376

Convertible

420i – R718 250

430i – R831 476

M4 – R 1 441 302

 

The New BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Goes M Performance

BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo with M Performance Parts

BMW really know how to expand their range of vehicles, creating versions of versions of cars you really thought could not be made. The idea is to have a car suitable for every kind of person. This November, the new 6 series GranTurismo will be launched and of course, it would never be a complete BMW without a smattering of M Sport here and there, in particular, the suspension, exterior and cockpit, adding a somewhat sporty air to the 6 Series GT.

One step further, are BMW’s M performance parts which usually give a powerfully expressive appearance to their normal road going cars, making it look almost as special as the full-blown M car. The 6 Series GranTurismo’s M Performance package will consist of a new exhaust silencer system made from stainless steel, giving the new 6 GranTurismo an impressive sound track through the pipes. The exhaust system will be available for the petrol engine models. For now, BMW has only revealed two petrol models, namely the 630i and 640i.

The driving dynamics and visual appeal benefit from the new 21-inch light alloy wheels, manufactured using weight-saving methods. To bring this car to a halt, BMW has added a sport braking system. It has inner-vented, perforated lightweight brake discs with 4-piston fixed calipers made from aluminum, so that means that even when driven in an extremely dynamic fashion, it retains constant braking performance.

The famous kidney grille gets a high-gloss black finish to which fits in with the overall aesthetic, as well as the mirror caps which get a nice carbon fibre finish. On the inside, the steering wheel is a new performance sports steering wheel with alcantara grip areas, large thumb rests and a slightly flattened lower section, providing the steering feel and response that is needed. The wheel features paddle shifters, in conjunction with the 8-speed ZF Sports automatic transmission included in the package.

You can only imagine what the actual performance will feel like. Accompanied with such sporty enhancements, the car is destined to make you feel special. Prices have not been released yet, but the M Performance package will be available as soon as the car is released in November.

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which is best for you?

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which of the many variants is best for you?

BMW M4 GTS INTERIOR

Times have changed in the BMW M stable. Previously, when it came to the M3, things were simple, if you wanted one of these cars, you had three choices – a coupe, a sedan and a convertible. After a few years, there was a facelift and everybody carried on with their lives. Now however, if you want a sedan, you can get still get an M3 but if you want a coupe, this is where things have become rather confusing. It all started with the BMW M4, a deliciously good looking car that feels and sounds like a wild animal with bronchitis. Yes, the M4 is very good and those who don’t like it are strange. In the years since its launch, we’ve been presented with the standard car, a Competiton Package, a GTS, a DTM Champion Edition and launching locally later this year, a CS variant. As much as we like all things M4, the question does come to one’s mind, “are there too many variants of this car?”

Before you say anything, we know both the GTS and the DTM Champion Edition are cars that are technically unavailable because BMW has sold them all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy them though, you just need to have more money than brains to purchase one of these at the prices that used car dealers are asking for them. Since we at TheMotorist have driven every variant of this car, bar the upcoming CS, we’re going to give a breakdown of each car, should your mind be frazzled as to which one to get…

 

Standard M4

This is the car that started it all. It somewhat paid homage to the E46 M3 with its Austin Yellow paintwork that looked very similar to the Phoenix Yellow we loved to hate. This car was the first M car in the M3/M4 lineage to feature turbocharging. What a difference it made in performance noise because as fast as it was, it didn’t sing the way the E90/E92 did. Soon, people got over that and focused on the fact that they had 317 kW/550 N.m at their disposal. The M4, however, was unlike the E92 in terms of power delivery.

The previous model allowed you to take chances due to its power band climaxing at higher revs, whereas the F82 gave you everything down low. As a result, you had a razor sharp chassis with an engine that was ready to bite if you didn’t give it the respect it deserves. The “on edge” persona the new BMW M4 has, has caused people to love and respect the car. Put simply, the standard car is enough vehicle for most and can tend to be too much car for the inexperienced.

BMW M4 Engine

 

BMW M4 Competition Package

The “Comp Pack” is essentially the same car as the standard M4, with more power and better-looking wheels. By the time this car was released, the GTS is a car we had come to know. The CP has a wheel design similar to that of the GTS but in a single colour, unlike the GTS which has gold bits on the wheel design. Most importantly, the 331 kW the CP delivers may be a cause for concern for those who had perhaps not gotten used to the standard M’s snappy nature. Surprisingly, driving the CP wasn’t as scary as one imagined. Yes, the added power means you can further irritate Porsche’s but, the larger wheels seem to have lessened the “I’m just going to over-steer now” antics we expected. In fact, the CP’s setup gives you more confidence to explore the performance of the M4 as it feels slightly more sure-footed. This is our personal favourite of the lot.

BMW M4 Competition Package

 

BMW M4 GTS

The “matte grey monster”. Firstly as a 5ft 7 inch person, one feels like an infant in a GTS because the racing bucket seats are at the lowest setting possible. Yes looking at the car may have given you goosebumps or caused you to cringe as feelings on its aesthetics were either hot or cold. Sitting in it, however, was a different experience altogether. The gold roll cage behind you for starters means you can only have one friend drive with you. The seats only go forwards and backwards and the doors open by way of a length of “string” with M colours on it. The car has been stripped to be lighter but thankfully you still have a radio in it. This car does a good job at disappearing into the sunset as it features 368 kW/600 N.m. The way it does that is impressive, but dynamically it’s a different story to a standard M4 or even the CP. The added aero and steering setup makes for a very fast front end so turn in is quicker than expected. Front end grip is also great, but that rear end will light up faster than a chain-smoker in an open area.

The wild nature of the standard M4 is further amplified in this car, which makes it exciting but scary to manhandle. Water injection featured on this car and other performance tweaks make this the wildest M4 you can get. Again, as much as you can’t buy one of these new anymore, there are a few available selling for around R3 million, making this the M4 you want if you have money to burn.BMW M4 GTS

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

The M4 DTM Champion Edition is the M4 you want if the matte and gold combination is not for you. In essence, this car and the GTS are identical in terms of power, with the only difference being the added aero. The DTM features a smaller rear wing and does without the front splitter you get in the M4 GTS. Handling differences are negligible between the two, with only the most highly skilled of drivers able to specifically pinpoint major differences. All in all, the white paintwork with BMW M colours on the body look better than the GTS’s “out there” design in our opinion. In terms of pricing, the DTM is in the same bracket as the GTS, although fewer examples of these came into South Africa, meaning that you should pay slightly more if you really want one.

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

 

BMW M4 CS

The upcoming M4 CS is another limited edition model aimed to fit in between the Competition Package and the GTS. It will feature around 340 kW/600 N.m, slightly less than the GTS and slightly more than the CP. Unlike the GTS which is a car meant for the track, the CS is aimed at the road, with a non-adjustable rear splitter and rear seats, allowing for your little ones to join in on the fun. So this variant is for the buyer who wants the most performance you can get out of an M4, whilst still retaining certain creature comforts like four seats.

BMW M4

All in all, we have to admit that BMW has given us many M4’s to choose from. These choices are good but they do border on being too much. Nothing can take anything away from a standard M4 and its credentials. Bang for buck, we feel the M4 Competition Package offers the most value for money. The CS will probably be great but that extra power and exclusivity will come at a price. The DTM and GTS are for collectors who can’t stand to not have those special editions parked in their garage. For that customer, money is no object, then again anyone who can afford an M4 not exactly on a tight budget.