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BMW

New, 2016 BMW X4 M40i Unveiled, Becomes Top Dog X4

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2016 BMW X4 M40i crossover

The 2016 BMW X4 M40i — the new top dog in the X4 lineup — has finally been revealed, and it’s everything you expected. Well, almost…

Intended to be the highest-spec model short of an M-car and replacing the X4 xDrive35i M-Sport, the X4 M40i is powered by the same 3.0L TwinPower Turbo engine as the xDrive35i and, unlike the 340i, isn’t available with the M3’s mighty twin-turbocharged mill — the one many enthusiasts expect. The performance-enhanced German crossover has 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft. (465 Nm) of torque to work with, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a rather impressive 4.9 seconds.

Other performance improvements over the standard X4 models include a sports suspension with stronger springs and stabilizers, a retuned xDrive system that provides rear wheel-drive characteristics, and a Performance Control upgrade that ensures “a neutral self-steering response” and reduced roll tendency.

The changes to the exterior are minimal and are mostly restricted to Ferric Gray metallic accents on the front end and side mirrors, unique 20-inch M wheels, and a sport exhaust system with “valve control” and Black Chrome tailpipes.

Inside, the X4 M40i is distinguished by an M leather wrapped steering wheel, sport seats, M gear shift lever, unique door sills and “X4 M40i” digital lettering on the instrument cluster.

North American sales of the BMW X4 M40i begin in February 4, 2016.

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BMW

Next BMW M3 Has RWD And 4WD Versions, Which Will You Choose?

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New, 2019 BMW 3 Series M Performance Parts

The M3 will take a page from the latest M5, but without losing grip of its roots.

When the sixth-generation BMW M3 and M4 hit the market, they will reportedly be offered with both rear-wheel and all-wheel driver versions.

The rear-wheel drive M3 / M4 — ‘M3 and M4 Pure’, as they are known internally — are intended for purists, while those looking for outright performance will certainly go for the all-wheel drive variants.

According to , the all-wheel drive M3 / M4 can only be had with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and will have a bit more power to work with since the manual transmission in the purist M3 / M4 can’t handle the same amount of torque. It will also be a bit different aesthetically, featuring a different front fascia and set of wheels.

BMW hasn’t announced when the next M3 and M4 will debut, but it will add three additional go-faster models to the lineup overtime, including a competition package.

So, which one will it be for you — the rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive M3 / M4? Let us know in the comments below, including your reason(s) why.

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BMW

BMW Creates Meteoric M850i Night Sky For Outer Space Geeks

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BMW M850i Night Sky Meteorite

The unique 8 Series features meteorite inlay and 3D-printed brake calipers.

BMW has revealed the M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky, a one-off take on the new M850i created by the company’s Individual Manufaktur team for astronomy fans.

The car features an outer space theme. Inside, hunks of meteoric rock adorn the center console, start/stop button, shift lever, iDrive controller and other surfaces, while Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites can be found on the center console’s trim finishers, brake discs, exterior mirror caps and the front splitters.

For the non-space geeks among us, Widmanstätten patterns are the result of iron-nickel crystals forming on meteors over the course of around 10 million years and cannot be reproduced on Earth.

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Special LED project constellations of stars on the center console and other interior surfaces.

Not content with the space theme, BMW created new lightweight brake calipers using generative design processes (3D printing). The pieces manage to be 30 percent lighter than the 8 Series’ usual calipers without negatively affecting necessary strength characteristics.

The one-off Night Sky edition is finished in San Marino Blue metallic paint over a black base coat. Its debut coincided with a meteor shower that took place overnight from January 3 – 4, resulting from the Earth briefly passing through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH, with fragments from the asteroid entering our planet’s atmosphere and burning up.

Some of these meteoric fragments were incorporated into the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky’s interior.

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BMW

BMW, Porsche’s Ultrafast EV Charger Adds 62 Miles In 3 Minutes

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BMW, Porsche Ultrafast EV Charger

It only takes 15 minutes for an electric vehicle’s batteries to be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity.

BMW and Porsche, along with several other partner companies, have made great progress developing an ultrafast EV charging system.

Their so-called FastCharge research program has resulted in a 450 kW prototype charging station that can add 62 miles (100 km) of range in just three minutes or nearly fully charge a mostly depleted battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.

While the ability to charge an electric car in just a few minutes will be a boon for EV owners, today’s electric vehicles aren’t able to charge at 450 kilowatts. Tesla’s vehicles, for instance, utilize a 400-volt battery configuration, but Porsche and Audi’s FastCharge tech can handle higher voltage levels of up to 920 volts, which experts believe will become the norm.

Their charging station is able to handle so much current and voltage thanks to actively cooled cables that use a circulating water-glycol solution to manage temperature. The electric vehicle must also be compatible and use intelligent charging strategy that not only precools the battery before charging begins, but also monitors cell temperature during the charging process.

Suffice it to say, the long, tedious hours that it used to take to charge an electric car are almost a thing of the past.

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