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Just how good is the Civic Type R?

Honda Civic Type R

The all-new Honda Civic Type R had an extremely long development cycle. It’s now been launched and has to go about living up to the hype Honda has generated.

Here Steve Sutcliffe from Auto Express takes the Type R to the tight Llandow Circuit in Wales to see how it compared with the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy.

That’s all well and good, nobody would be surprised if the Type R was the quickest of that trio. But what if the Audi RS3 and BMW M3 are added to the list?

[Thanks to John for the tip]


BMW Australia heavily discounts M3/M4 LCI models


BMW Australia is now taking orders for M3 and M4 LCI (life-cycle impulse) models and has taken the knife to pricing, while adding additional standard features as well.

When originally launched down under list pricing for the F80 M3 was $156,900 and the F82 M4 was priced from $166,900. Those prices have now been reduced to $139,900 and $149,900 respectively. Meanwhile, the M4 convertible has also been discounted to $161,900.

Additional standard equipment includes items such as head-up display, adaptive LED headlights, internet connectivity, tyre pressure monitor, full leather merino upholstery and more.

Shawn Ticehurst, BMW Group Australia Head of Product and Market Planning, is very happy with this news.

“More value, more technology and more refinement. That is what we are delivering with this update to the BMW M3 and BMW M4,” Ticehurst said.

“The growth of the BMW M range has been a fantastic success story for our brand, particularly in 2015. And over the first seven months of this year, we have already surpassed our total sales result for 2014.”

We wonder how happy those buyers will be who paid an extra 15-large for lesser equipped M3s and M4s?

Funnily enough, the M3 and M4 are now priced just below the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 range.

The facelifted models will be on sale locally from October. There’s more detail below.


Would you buy a BMW M3 Touring?

BMW M3 Touring rendering by Theophilus Chin

Following word from Bad Frank van Meel that there will be no M3 Touring under a BMW M GmbH he leads, here’s a look at what we’re missing out on.

Thanks to master rendering guy Theophilus Chin we can see how seriously awesome an M3 Touring could be. Fast, practical, and über cool.

Bad Frank says there would be no demand for such a car. Bad Frank doesn’t know what day it is!

You would buy an M3 estate if you could, right? You would, wouldn’t you?!

[Source: Theophilus Chin]

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VIDEO: Three days of fun

Chris Harris on Cars, COTY 2014

Chris Harris and mates at Portimao with his favourite cars from 2014. There’s no agenda, no forced result to pick a winning car. It’s simply a recipe for fun. Enjoy!

[Thanks to Richard for the tip]

Accessories & Tech BMW Video

BMW M4: M Performance exhaust preview

BMW M4 with M Performance Exhaust

As good as BMW is at extracting performance from the engines it makes it is better at extracting money from its customers. So when you make yourself a new hero car, aka the F82 M4, it doesn’t make economic sense to put the best exhaust you have in your parts bin on the car at the factory.

No, it’s much better to ship the car with a crumby exhaust and then offer up a better one through your dealership network where customers have the privilege of paying you another several thousand dollars for the equipment that should have been on the car right from the start.

All that brings us to this amateur video footage of an M4 being driven by Chris Forsberg during a television commercial in the States. It was reportedly part of a new marketing campaign called M Initiation, which we will no doubt hear more about in good time.

Right now, though, you can hear the M4 with what is alleged to be BMW’s own aftermarket M Performance Exhaust system. Full technical details are yet to be confirmed and there’s talk the exhaust on this car may not match the final production parts. Speculation suggests the system will be made from titanium and be a full turbo-back with catalytic converters in the downpipes. Pricing is expected to be around the US$5000 region.

Whatever, it does sound pretty good.

[Source: Bimmerpost]

BMW Video

You can be my wingman any time

BMW F82 M4

Word has come our way confirming the first batch of Australian-delivered BMW M3s and M4s have just arrived by boat. If you’re one of those lucky few with your name on one of those cars we hope the wait until delivery day is not too painful.

We also hope your car’s journey was a little more sedate than this boat trip brought to us by BMW Canada.


Official BMW Australia M3/M4 pricing

2014 BMW M4 Coupe

In line with our exclusive information from mid-April BMW has finally released official pricing and specs for the new M3 and M4. You can read the press release after the break. Before you do, a reminder on the manufacturer’s list pricing:

  • BMW M3 Sedan: $156,900
  • BMW M4 Coupé: $166,900
BMW Video

VIDEO: How fast is the new BMW M3?

F80 M3 launch control

One of the first F80 M3s delivered in the world has ended up with a frequent buyer in Dubai. He’s had his car for a couple of weeks now and he’s been updating the world via the Bimmerpost forum. This video showing off the car’s lightning quick launch control feature took our fancy.

After you’ve watched the video we’re sure you’ll agree the answer to our question is: bloody fast! And while a 35°C day might be on the chilly side for Dubai, it’s still less than ideal conditions for a high performance turbo. Although the new M3 seemed to cope just fine.

[Source: Bimmerpost | Thanks to Robbo for the tip]


BMW Australia settles on M3/M4 pricing

2014 BMW M3 Sedan


BMW Australia has internally confirmed its pricing for the new M3 and M4, which follows from the pricing and specification info we brought you a couple of weeks ago. An official press release is expected later this month.

M3 Sedan6-cylinder 2979cc317/5504.1s8.3M double clutch$156,900
M4 Coupé6-cylinder 2979cc317/5504.1s8.3M double clutch$166,900

*The prices shown above include GST and LCT. They are manufacturer’s recommended list prices (MRLP) only and exclude dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges.

A summary of selected standard and optional equipment, with pricing, can be seen after the break. It’s nice to see a 6-speed manual is available as a no cost option.


BMW Australia expected to price M3 from $160,000

BMW M3/M4 Australian pricing estimate


Australian pricing details for the new BMW M3 and M4 have found their way to us. According to the material we have these are “indicative prices” only:

  • BMW M3 Sedan: $160,000 (estimated)
  • BMW M4 Coupé: $170,000 (estimated)

Those estimated figures include GST and LCT and will be finalised towards the end of the month. Build allocations for the Australia-bound F80 M3 and F82 M4 will commence with May 2014 production.

Here’s a selected list of optional equipment, including GST and LCT:

  • 19″ M light alloy wheels double-spoke 437 M, Black – $500
  • M Carbon ceramic brakes – $15,000
  • Adaptive LED headlights – $2,360
  • 6-speed manual transmission – No cost option

Further details are available after the break.

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2014 Geneva Motor Show in pictures – part 1

2014 Geneva Motor Show

Like us you probably haven’t had a chance to duck over to Europe to check out the Geneva Motor Show. So here’s the first of a two part series bringing you a selection of the cars on show. Here we start with Alfa Romeo and go through to Lexus.


2014 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe revealed

2014 BMW M3 Sedan

BMW has now come good with info on its new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. We’re entering the fifth generation of this iconic model, but it’s the first in the “M4” era and also the first time the M3 has featured a turbocharged engine, although returning to a straight six configuration.

For the purposes of ease let’s just refer to the two models collectively as the M3, which is now around 80kg lighter than the outgoing V8 model. The standard 6-speed manual gearbox sheds 12kg and includes automatic throttle blipping for downshifts. While the 7-speed DCT, now 40% lighter, features a “Smokey Burnout” feature. No, that’s not a joke:

The Smokey Burnout function allows the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds.

Sending power to the rear wheels is still a key feature of the M3 and BMW has helped control the car’s 317kW by including an Active M Differential. The system ties in with DSC to ensure wheel spin is reduced. In addition, the M Dynamic Mode allows a degree of hooliganism before DSC intervenes to restore order.

The drive for lower fuel consumption sees electromechanical steering make an appearance on the M3 and it features three settings: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. These settings are also complemented with the optional Adaptive M suspension.

BMW says the tailor-made engine provides “smooth and efficient power delivery, very sharp response and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.” Thanks largely to the design of its mono-scroll turbochargers, direct injection and BMW’s well developed Double-VANOS continuously variable camshaft timing.

Weight reduction has been aided by both the Sedan and Coupe having a carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof. A CFRP strut brace in the engine bay not only increases rigidity but also saves 1.5kg compared with the old M3.

Trivia buffs will take note in the fact that production will be split across two facilities. The M4 Coupe will be built at the company’s headquarters in Munich, while the M3 Sedan will be built 120kms to the north at Plant Regensburg.

Before you sink your teeth into the detailed info below, here’s the key stats:

2014 F80 M3 / F82 M4 key stats

  • Engine: 2979cc six cylinder with two mono-scroll turbochargers
  • Power: 317kW (431hp) @ 5500–7300rpm
  • Torque: 550Nm @ 1800–5500rpm
  • Weight (unladen): 1520kg sedan; 1497kg coupé (add 40kg for DCT)
  • Brakes (front): Four-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes / inner-vented, perforated
  • Brakes (rear): Twin-piston fixed-calliper disc brakes / inner-vented, perforated
  • Tyres: 255/40 ZR18 95Y (front); 275/40 ZR18 99Y (rear)
  • Wheels: 9.0J x 18 light-alloy (front); 10.0J x 18 light-alloy (rear)
  • 0-100km/h: 4.3s (manual); 4.1s (DCT)
  • 0-1000m: 22.2s (manual); 219.s (DCT)
  • Top speed: 250km/h (limited)
  • Fuel consumption (combined): 8.8l/100km (manual); 8.3l/100km (DCT)
  • CO2 emissions: 204g/km (manual); 194g/km (DCT)
  • Emission rating: EU6

UPDATE: BMW Australia tells us the M3/M4 is due to arrive early in Q3 next year. List pricing yet to be confirmed, but appears anyone fearing a journey beyond a $200K list price can rest easy.