2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

BMW

BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo Engine Six-Cylinder Diesel - (N57S)

BMW M Performance is adding four new models to its product range, all powered by a new triple-turbocharger, piezo direct injection, three liter diesel motor that looks to be a contender for the engine of the year already - 280 kW, 740 Nm, instantaneous response, very economical, low emissions. The BMW M550d xDrive, BMW M550d xDrive Touring, BMW X5 M50d and BMW X6 M50d models will be seen at the Geneva Motor Show in March with availability just a few weeks later. The numbers are remarkable,  Read More

Designed by DesignworksUSA, the Thermaltake Level 10 M Mouse flaunts its inner componentry

Design consultancy and BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA has been collaborating on projects with PC case and components manufacturer Thermaltake on various projects, such as the Level 10 concept PC, since 2009. Now the two have teamed up again with Thermaltake asking DesignworksUSA to develop a series of design concepts for its upcoming range of Level 10 gaming accessories that will be created for its e-sports division. The first product out of the blocks is the Level 10 M Mouse that gamers will be able to get their palms on later this year.  Read More

Peterhansel and his MINI ALL4 Racing

New names dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI being the most obvious with a 1-2, but also Iveco broke the Eastern Block stranglehold on the truck section. Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won his tenth Dakar (six on motorcycles, four in cars) ahead of MINI teammate Nani Roma (a prior motorcycle winner). MINI's new owner BMW must be delighted to add the world's toughest race to its illustrious heritage, even if that MINI looks a tad bigger than your average Countryman.  Read More

Lazareth's Wazuma V8F features a 3.0L Ferrari V8 engine, a handlebar-controlled BMW gearbo...

In my part of the world, quad bikes (or ATVs) are everywhere. They're great for dropping in and out of the fields to check the vines, as well as hitting the road or dirt track for a bit of well-earned fun. Although there are quite powerful examples, for the most part quads are unlikely to generate the same kind of drool as, say, a Ducati superbike. That's certainly not true of Lazareth's Wazuma V8F - which is built around a 250 horsepower Ferrari 3 liter V8 engine, features a BMW gearbox and sports customized Brembo braking and Momo rims. As you've probably already worked out, though, this unique beast of a quad doesn't come cheap.  Read More

Daimler will supply a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, a second generation smart fortwo elect...

Inductive charging devices are already making their way into the home as a cable-free option to keep the batteries of everything from mice and keyboards to mobile phones and toothbrushes juiced up. The increasing availability of practical electric vehicles has also seen the technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" project.  Read More

Aprilia's SRV850

The scooter and motorcycle are morphing into a new class of two-wheeled machine, with the power, acceleration, braking and roadholding of the motorcycle, and carrying capacity, weather protection, comfort, safety and ease-of-use of the scooter. The SRV 850 is Aprilia's performance version of the Gilera GP800, which was already the world's fastest and most powerful scooter. It is now a red-blooded Italian V-twin sports bike with a CVT (no gears) and the acceleration to smoke a Bugatti Veyron at legal speeds. With Honda's Integra due to be unveiled in Tokyo, and new entries from BMW, the superscooter class is burgeoning in response to the need for this new class of super commuter.  Read More

If you are planning to purchase a car in the near future, you'd be well served by checking...

It's a well known fact that simply driving a new car away from the dealership is one of the most horrifically expensive things you'll ever do. ALG measures automotive residual values in the American marketplace - that is, the value of a car when you sell it, three years after purchase. Depreciation of the value of a car is often the largest part of the cost of ownership, and hence a good performance in ALG's Annual Residual Value Awards is a strong indication of how much that brand will cost to drive, and for the average man in the street, the current retained-value king is Subaru. Fuji Heavy Industries Subaru brand has now won the award three years running, with Lexus regaining top spot amongst luxury brands. The report suggests that German and American manufacturers are a long way behind Japanese (11 of the 21 awards) manufacturers in this critical but often overlooked aspect of real car ownership costs.  Read More

BMW S 1000 RR - revised model due 2012

We were mightily impressed by BMW's S1000RR superbike the first time round, now the German manufacturer has announced the S1000RR mark II. Power and maximum torque figures remain at 142 kW (193 hp) and 112 Nm on the revised superbike with the mostly subtle changes centered on improving response, power delivery and handling. The torque curve, throttle response and suspension have all been tweaked along with the (very effective) ABS and Dynamic Traction Control systems. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear-end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics and a new range of colors.  Read More

Kleenspeed's 160 mph EV-X11

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...  Read More

BMW S1000RR - an astonishing achievement

Like it or not, most motorcycle brands have a reputation for attracting a certain type of rider. In the case of the BMW rider, the stereotype has a definite touch of the "sensible grandpa" about it ... at least, that's how things worked until recently. For the last five or so years, the German manufacturer has been releasing a bunch of bikes that can actually deliver seriously good fun - albeit in a sensible kind of way. But there's nothing sensible about the bomb they dropped in 2010 with the release of the S1000RR. In our latest video road test, Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan cash in their pension checks and climb aboard the formidable BMW superbike.  Read More

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