Who would have thought that in the mid-Fifties BMW would have unveiled something as voluptuously beautiful as the 507? The company had a fine pre–World War II heritage that culminated in the crisp 328, but it did not resume car manufacturing until 1952, with the curvy, but slightly plump, six-cylinder 501 sedan.
Early manifestations of many ideas in the Vision Next 100 are already on the road in the BMW i3. Its electric drive gives acceptably lively performance for urban or motorway driving, and a range of about 100 miles (for the basic, pure-EV version rather than the version with a range-extender combustion engine, which is able … [Read more…]
As entry-level motoring goes, the BMW 1-Series isn’t the least bit shabby — au contraire, it’s rather dashing. It replaced the 3-Series in the aspirational ‘become-a-BMW-driver-you-lucky-person’ role back in 2004, allowing that popular line to ascend one rung up BMW’s lengthy model ladder. The first offering was the E87, a five-door hatchback on its own … [Read more…]
Pick a letter — say M — and put it together with a number — say 5 — and what have you got? Lovers of performance cars know the answer, for the BMW M5 has been burning rubber since it was introduced in 1985. This souped-up special is made by BMW Motorsport and has shadowed … [Read more…]
What’s the difference between SAV and SUV? Obvious! The Sports Activity Vehicle is a big passenger car that can go off road with some authority when necessary, whilst a Sports Utility Vehicle is a big passenger car that can go off road with some authority when necessary. The reason BMW was so keen to claim … [Read more…]
The BMW M3 is the most successful example ever of racing homologation creating an internationally-acclaimed road car. Its genealogy is straightforward. The M3 is a high performance version of the BMW 3-series compact, based on the E30; but its racing engine has a broad pedigree in BMW motorsport. The engine’s basic block layout derives from … [Read more…]
The glaring eccentricities of the BMW Z1 are a wonderful testament to the confidence of the company. For the Z1 was conceived with no rationale other than to test new ideas which might later prove to be valuable. A two-seater compact roadster at first seems to limit opportunities for research, but the Z1 merely miniaturized … [Read more…]
The first BMW 6 series appeared in the mid-1970s to replace the 2800 CS, 3.0 CS and 3.0 CSi coupes. The new E24 chassis was introduced in 1976 and that first 6 series would remain in business until the late 1980s. The clean, crisp styling by Paul Bracq was certainly up to the job, remaining … [Read more…]