Monday, March 31, 2014

SPOTTED: BMW 1M in green color

BMW 1M is without a doubt one of the most successful bimmers built in the last decade, if not longer. The “baby-M” was born from …

BMW 1M is without a doubt one of the most successful bimmers built in the last decade, if not longer. The “baby-M” was born from a “pirate project” inside the company when several engineers fitted a 135i Coupe with M3 parts and presented it to the former M boss, Kay Siegler. With a gem on his hands, Siegler went to the board and was told to build as many as possible in the short time frame left before the 1 Series Coupe production ceased.
6331 units were sold worldwide and the last four copies of the 340-hp compact M were provided with a special paint and body work in contrast to all previously-built 1Ms. The standard colors for the 1M were Valencia OrangeBlack Sapphire and Alpine White.
SPOTTED: BMW 1M in green color
In the U.S., as far as we know, all the 740 units sold were painted in either Valencia Orange, Alpine White or Black Sapphire colors.
The car spotted here also features blacked out wheels and a racing wing, to give the car an overall sportier look.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander SE S-AWC Long-Term Update 1
A Technology Hit and a Miss


"Safety first" has always been my motto, except that one time when I jumped off that steep hill into a shallow creek and that other time I took a solo hike into the Tennessee woods to look for a bear. I was 10. Big deal. Other than that I've consistently valued safety and self-preservation highly. Mitsubishi's recent ad campaign for the Outlander has focused on safety upgrades. The two most visible new features are the Forward Collision Mitigation System (FCM) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDW). One of them has integrated into my driving habits nicely, while the other grates on my nerves. Let's get the negative out of the way first and talk about lane departures and when they should be brought to my attention. Using a camera mounted near the rearview mirror, the vehicle is able to sense when I'm drifting and about to leave my lane. There are a whole host of variables that keep the system from mistaking a normal lane change for a runaway vehicle (speed, unclear markers, dirty windshield, etc.) and it's been really good about that. However, each morning, 5 minutes into my commute, I turn the system off. The twisty Arroyo Seco makes it nearly impossible to travel without the annoying beep. Aside from my twisty-road annoyance I do wonder about the usefulness of this system. Is it strictly for drowsy drivers who start to drift? Is it for those who are busy doing things other than driving, like texting? Is it technology being put in place now to facilitate automated cars later? So far my experience is that it's not helpful. If I could disable the function permanently I would, but alas, it turns on automatically every time the car is restarted.

  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Front Seats View
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Rear Seats Detail
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Ignition Button

I have yet to master driving the historic Arroyo Seco without setting off the lane departure warning beep. Game over.

While the LDW does little more than annoy me, the Forward Collision Mitigation System is an excellent feature that has saved me from slamming on the brakes more than once in the dreaded stop-go traffic that plagues L.A. The FCM uses radar to judge the distance and relative speed of a vehicle in front of you and beeps a warning (and flashes BRAKE on the Multi-Information Display ) when a collision appears likely given the Outlander's current speed. It gives me enough time to realize the traffic, which just started moving so nicely, is coming to an abrupt halt ahead of me. So far, the FCM's warnings have been enough to get my attention, but if the driver does not respond to the alerts, the system will gently apply the brake as a warning, and after that, if it deems a collision is unavoidable, apply full emergency braking.Yikes. Imagine that scenario. I hope imagining is all I'll have to do, as I don't want to find out first hand how well the engineers at Mitsubishi have designed this system. So far it is working just fine. Another safety feature I found myself using the other day was the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). While barreling down the 110 on my way to work I ran over some kind of object that I didn't see, but it sure made an unholy noise and thump. Directly after the impact I monitored the Information Display for what I expected to be the warning of a rapid loss of air pressure in the passenger front tire. The alert never came. I was relieved and wondered how much longer I would have worried if the vehicle wasn't being vigilant. Later, a visual inspection revealed no damage to the tire.

  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Rear End View Above
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Front Three Quarters In Motion
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Side View In Motion
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Wheels
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Rear Taillight
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Front Grille
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Speaker Detail
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Steering Wheel Detail
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Cargo Space Third Row Folded

Monday, March 3, 2014

BMW 328 Hommage, BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster

BMW Museum in Munich is hosting some exclusive BMW models and one-off concepts. Three of those unique cars are the BMW 328 Hommage, BMW Zagato …

BMW Museum in Munich is hosting some exclusive BMW models and one-off concepts. Three of those unique cars are the BMW 328 HommageBMW Zagato Coupe and Zagato Roadster.
To pay tribute to one of the most successful and best-looking car of the 1930s, BMW unveiled earlier in 2011 the 328 Hommage. The original BMW 328 celebrated its 75th birthday at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este by unveiling an anniversary model.
BMW 328 Hommage
BMW 328 Hommage, BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster   Photo Gallery
The expressive exterior design of the BMW 328 Hommage depicts the modern interpretation of a highly emotional and dynamic two-seater Roadster. As did its predecessor, the 328 Hommage uses BMW’s most powerful inline six-cylinder engine, continuing another longstanding BMW tradition.
With the new 328 Hommage, BMW also showcases some of the technology and materials that we will see in future production vehicles. The major parts of the exterior and interior of the BMW 328 Hommage are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), a lightweight material that was used in the series production of CFRP roofs and structural components for the BMW M6 as well as CFRP roofs for the BMW M3.
BMW Zagato Roadster
BMW 328 Hommage, BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster   Photo Gallery
The 2012 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance marked the world debut of BMW’s second collaboration with the Italian design house Zagato. Built in just six week’s worth of lavish handcraftsmanship, the BMW Zagato Roadster joined the Coupe one-off which debuted at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2012.
The BMW Zagato prodigy maintains the design characteristics of a roadster and builds atop the idea of the Z4. But this is more than just another roadster. “This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible, but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car which evokes a powerful driving experience,” says Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada, describing the design philosophy behind the BMW Zagato Roadster.
A low-set kidney grille, complete with intricate z-design grating, as well as focused twin circular headlights and a three-dimensional front apron shape the expressive face of the BMW Zagato Roadster.
BMW Zagato Coupe
BMW 328 Hommage, BMW Zagato Coupe and Roadster   Photo Gallery
Milanese coachbuilder Zagato teamed up with BMW to create another emotional coupe. This one-off model is the product of many hours of skilled hand-craftsmanship and breathes new life into the tradition of coachbuilding.
A very special highlight of the BMW Zagato Coupe is its paintwork. The exclusive exterior paint finish Rosso Vivace – an expressive shade of red – brings the surfaces and forms of the BMW Zagato CoupĂ© to life. Depending on how the light hits the body, the colour spectrum ranges from something close to black all the way to a brilliant red. This remarkable depth and radiance is possible thanks to sophisticated paint application technology.
Photo gallery