Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the BS. I also throw in some opinion, just because I can. This week, an usual amount of German car news… mostly from BMW:
The BMW 3 Series wagon is back, confirmed for US
Porsche gives us an early look at the 918 Spyder prototype
BMW 1 Series three-door hatchback plus the M135i
BMW 135is is here, still not as cool as the 1M
A Mini worth your time? John Cooper Works GP
2013 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon
We’re kicking off this week’s recap with some good news for fans of the wagon. BMW has announced the return of the long-roofed 3 Series, and yes, it’s gracing America with its presence starting next Spring.
Just like the BMW 3 Series sedan that’s just starting to make its way into the driveways of the guys who couldn’t afford the 5 Series, the 3 Series Sports Wagon will be offered in three distinct lines – Luxury, Modern, and Sport with an M-Sport package as optional equipment – to cater to the needs of three very different types of buyers. Each line has a different combination of interior appointments and exterior styling cues to provide a different look and feel for each car even though they’re all still technically the same underneath.
The Sports Wagon will only be offered as a 328i in America, but word is that Europeans will get to choose between a few diesel models as well. The 328i Sports Wagon we’ll be getting here uses a 2.0-liter turbo four with “240” horsepower (some dyno runs suggest more) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque sending power to the rear or eventually all four wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic gearbox.
Some of the benefits from having the wagon include the obvious increase in cargo space (which happens to be 10% better than the last one), more storage compartments than usual, seats that fold almost completely flat in the back, its undeniable good looks, and the optional panoramic glass roof. Of course, BMW tech like Blind Spot Detection, a full-color HUD that can display GPS information, and a rear camera with “Top View”. The power tailgate can even open itself if you stick your foot underneath the bumper and if you order Comfort Access.
The 2013 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will arrive in European showrooms later this year and in American showrooms Spring of 2013 at an undisclosed price.
First official look at the Porsche 918 Spyder prototypes
Porsche has revealed their first completed working prototypes of the upcoming 918 Spyder supercar along with some more official figures to keep us salivating. Basically what you see here is what Porsche is calling “the final touches” to the 918 Spyder.
Their camouflage isn’t designed to keep spy photographers and the internet guessing what the new headlights will look like or anything like that. In fact, the camo is designed to pay tribute to the historic Porsche 917 racing cars. And rarely do we know exactly what powertrain a car that’s a year away from production will have, but Porsche was nice enough to tell us about the 770 horsepower courtesy of its racing-sourced V8 and the two high-performance electric motors keeping it company a long time ago. Also, since it’s technically a hybrid, fuel consumption is as low as 3 liters per 100 kilometers, which is about 78 mpg according to the almighty Google.
So there you go. Porsche is doing their new halo car a bit differently, and as just another car guy on the internet who can’t wait to see the final product, I’m glad they’re not teasing the hell out of us to feed off our tears.
BMW 1 Series three-door hatchback
BMW released the first official images and specs of the new 1 Series three-door hatchback range destined for Europe and probably not America in this form. One of those three-door models will be making its way stateside, and it’s probably the best one you can get – the 320-horsepower M135i which Jeff talked a bit about earlier this week. I’m picking up where he left off by talking about the standard 1 Series hatches that most of us probably still couldn’t afford.
Like the 3 Series I talked about earlier, the new 1 Series has three variants of its own to choose from: Sport, Urban, and M-Sport. All those variants offer a unique blend of equipment and materials to cater to the needs of each individual buyer and offer a different alternative to the standard model. The interior is more spacious than the previous model thanks in part to the car’s slightly bigger size overall and the split-folding rear seats that can provide for 1,200 liters (or 42 cubic feet according to Google) of cargo space.
Four petrol and four diesel engines will be offered with power figures ranging from the 114i’s 102 horsepower to the 125d’s 218 horsepower. A 6-speed manual is standard but two 8-speed automatics are available. Power is sent to the rear wheels on all models, but the 120d and the M135i can be had with xDrive all-wheel-drive – a first for the 1 Series.
Typical BMW tech features are always available with options ranging from a newly designed iDrive system to web access and real time traffic information. No word yet on if it will be available in the US (don’t hold your breath), but European buyers will be able to pick one up later this year at an undisclosed price.
2013 BMW 135is
While Europe gets to mess around with their new 1 Series, Americans still have the old one to play with for the time being. BMW hopes to make the wait for the next one a bit more pleasant with a new performance version dubbed the 135is. It’s not as awesome as the 1 Series M Coupe, but I guess it’ll do.
Available as either a coupe or a convertible, the 135is features a twin-scroll turbocharged inline-6 with 320 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque, which is pretty much the exact same thing in the new M135i mentioned above. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. A sport suspension aims to keep that power under control and the BMW Performance exhaust system makes you that much closer to jail time.
An M-Sport appearance package goes hand-in-hand with the 18-inch sport wheels, black kidney grilles, and special badging to set it apart from the others in the high school parking lot (you know it’s true)(I love it anyway). The interior is topped off with black leather sport seats with blue stitching and stainless steal pedals.
The 2013 BMW 135is Coupe and Convertible will cost $44,145 and $48,845 respectively when they arrive in North American showrooms this fall.
Mini John Cooper Works GP
Mini has been in the news a lot lately and most of the time it’s because they’ve released some special edition model with some fancy paint and badges. This one, however, is a bit different and it might just be worth your time.
The Mini John Cooper Works GP is a Mini for true enthusiasts and lovers of speed as it has more power (they won’t tell us how much) and less weight thanks in part to the removal of the back seat. While we don’t have any power figures to report, we do know that it ran the old North Course at the ‘Ring in 8 minutes, 23 seconds, making it the fastest Mini ever produced. A model-specific race suspension that’s also adjustable surely has a role in that lap time, as well as the race-spec brakes and tires. That nifty aero package probably lowered the lap time by at least 30 seconds as well…
Just 2,000 examples will be built worldwide and a certain number will be heading to the US. Other than that, we have nothing else to report. We should know a bit more when it’s revealed at the Mini United event in France this weekend.
Source: MINI USA
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