lunes, 25 de febrero de 2013

Car and Driver Comparo: 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i vs. 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T, 2013 Range Rover Evoque

One of our favorite BMW SAVs is the entry-level in the U.S. family of X3 vehicles, the xDrive28i.
In 2011, BMW announced that will replace the inline-six in the 28i model with the new N20 2.0 liter turbocharged unit that delivers similar power with less fuel consumption. The 2013 xDrive28i returns 28 mpg highway/21 city and an EPA combined rating of 24 mpg compared with 19/26/21 from the xDrive35i.
In its class of midsize premium Sports Activity Vehicles, BMW X3 28i competes against similar offerings from Audi, Q5 2.0T and even with the new Range Rover Evoque.
2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i vs. 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T, 2013 Range Rover Evoque
U.S. magazine Car and Driver took the time to compare these three vehicle. The X3, loaded with five option packages costing more than $1000 each, came in at $52,345; the Evoque was at the high end of the scale with a $56,795, while the Audi Q5 had the lowest list price in the test at $45,120.
But which one takes the win?
Let’s have a look at an excerpt from their review:
The thing is, that’s really the only thing that drives us nuts about the X3 with the 2.0T. Like the comparo-winning328i with which it shares its “TwinPower Turbo” engine, the X3 wins here because of its broad portfolio of talents. It is neither as staid as the Audi nor as juvenile as the Range Rover. Do not take this to mean that the second-generation X3 is a middle-ground Milquetoast. It doesn’t slalom as quickly as the Evoque, but it is ultimately the most rewarding to drive. We witnessed this on our evaluation loop, where the BMW’s suspension, steering, and throttle responded in the most predictable and progressive fashion.
The X3 delivers a controlled and comfortable ride that gives it the feel of a well-tuned premium sedan. It feels, in short, like a 328i. It’s just as quiet inside as the Q5, and the noises that do penetrate the cabin are more pleasant, including a nicely judged engine/exhaust trill.
The BMW’s engine is the best of the bunch, too. It produces as much horsepower as the Evoque and morepeak torque (delivered at a lower engine speed) than the ­others. The X3 is the quickest to 60 mph at 6.2 seconds and is the only one of these three that can break 15.0 seconds through the quarter-mile. This is true even though, at 4194 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than the Audi and the Rover. Over 300 miles, the BMW also managed 23 mpg, 1 mpg better than the Evoque and 1 less than the Audi.

lunes, 11 de febrero de 2013

See What 3 Decades of Tuning BMW’s Has Taught A Top Tuner

Active Autowerke, world-renowned BMW specialty shop, has unleashed 32 years of experience making Bavarian barn-burners onto an unsuspecting 2011 BMW M3 coupe. Built to showcase the durability, technological innovation, and absolute power of Active Autowerke’s products, this E92 has caught fire on Facebook and Instagram, and is a rolling testament to what a stock M3 can turn into, given a little coercion, and a lot of extra horsepower.
Dubbed “Blitzkrieg” by its Facebook followers, the first thing that an observer’s attention is drawn to, is the exterior. A full vehicle wrap, inspired by the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL Art Car designed by Frank Stella adorns the body panels, creating a grid pattern that also hides outlines of gears, pistons, and the supercharger system at the heart of the engine bay. Carbon fiber pieces, such as the Auto Carbon rear diffuser, and BMW Motorsport front splitters and rear deck spoiler are subtle upgrades to the stock profile. Finally, custom 20 inch forged wheels fill the gaps on all four corners.
“We built this car as a flagship vehicle to demonstrate the best that we have to offer our customers,” said Rob Hugh, Director of Sales at Active Autowerke.
“Even though it is making over 700 horsepower, it has been driven up and down the state of Florida, to shows, track events, and on cruises, and has performed flawlessly. Our fans expect our products to handle any and all abuse they might throw at it, on or off the race track.” Explained Hugh.
Motivating Blitzkrieg is a prototype Generation 7 Level 3 Active Autowerke intercooled supercharger kit, full Active Autowerke Signature Exhaust, and Meth-Injection system. Prototype Active Autowerke 12-Piston calipers cap the big brake kit, full race-spec suspension from JRZ, and a set of Nitto Invo tires do their best to reign in the madness, which starts nearly from idle.
According to Hugh, “We have had trouble in the past getting it to hook correctly on our in-house dyno due to how much torque is immediately available.”
Final numbers have not been released yet, as final testing is still being conducted. One interesting torture test took place late in 2012, when Blitzkrieg was put through its paces by professional drifter, Chelsea Denofa. For one clear Saturday afternoon, Denofa flogged the M3 front, back, and of course sideways, to help prove the kit’s durability. Hour after hour, rev-bounce after rev-bounce, the car did whatever was asked of it, and perhaps with an endless supply of tires, would have kept asking for more.