Tuesday, July 15, 2008

'09 Model Changes Coming

Details are starting to emerge about the next 3-series. The big news are some changes to the iDrive and the additional option of the 7-speed dual clutch currently found on the new M3.

Some enhancements for iDrive include the following: "Infotainment has been bolstered significantly by the ConnectedDrive fused iDrive and 80 gigabyte hard drive. ConnectedDrive features BMW Online which – surprise, surprise – enables you to access e-mail, news and stock market updates whilst driving; could be a bit disconcerting in the current economic environment though."

But to me the best option is the dual clutch. This is some very cool technology and out shifts a traditional manual. "The heart of the new BMW transmission is the double clutch system that acts to smooth out gearshifts to the point that they are often only discernible by watching the rise and fall of engine rpm on the... tachometer." more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

335i a Better Choice than the New M3 Convertible

MSN UK Review: "The M3 coupé stunned, the saloon impressed - so what's left for the cabrio? Well, if nothing else chopping the roof off lets you hear more of the fabulous engine note. Which has to be a good thing. And we've got the first sight of the M division's new automated gearbox.

"Called M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT), this seven-speed unit ramps up BMW's already impressive head start in automated manual gearboxes. Indeed, with a cheeky jibe at Ferrari it even claims to have been first with the technology, SMG apparently beating the supercar builder's F1 gearbox by six months.

"The extra weight, softer chassis and body flex do diminish the M3's hardcore appeal though. And in that respect it's hard to ignore the fact the cheaper 335i's smooth, more flexible power delivery and only marginal performance handicap probably suit the convertible's character better than the M3's manic, race derived V8." more.

M3 Convertible "Compromised and confused"

Jeremy Clarkson, of Top Gear fame, has not been a fan of the new hard top convertibles from BMW (see his review of the 335i convertible last year) and he is consistent has he trashes the new M3 cabrio.

From Times Online: "I like the new M3. As a coupĂ©... The saloon version is even better. It doesn’t have a carbon fibre roof, which makes no difference at all, but it does have four doors and a bigger boot, which means your children can come too. And it’s a little bit cheaper.

"The new convertible version, however, has a problem. Taking the roof off, say, a Peugeot doesn’t really matter. Who cares if it’s all floppy as a result. It was never built to be the ultimate driving machine in the first place.

"The problem is that BMW’s M cars are built to be the last word in precision, handling, fun, grip and speed. And if you take the roof off, you are sacrificing torsional rigidity, which means you are sacrificing precision, handling, fun, grip and speed. You are therefore removing the whole point of the car. It’s much the same story with the Porsche 911." more.