Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters racing series, better known as DTM, pits the best touring cars from German brands against one another in high-speed, no-holds-barred road racing to crown the ultimate motorsport champion. For 2012, that champion is Bruno Spengler and his BMW M3 DTM car, carrying on a long tradition of motorsport wins for BMW’s M division. In a perfect trifecta, BMW also took home the car and manufacturer overall titles.
The M3 DTM car was totally redesigned for the 2012 season, sporting the same 4.0-liter V8 as the 2013 BMW M3 you can buy right now, but retuned to make 480 horsepower and sporting a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox with pneumatic paddle shifters. Spengler was neck-and-neck with Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett heading into the season finale race, then took the overall title after beating second-place Paffett by 2.2 seconds.
To commemorate the victorious 2012 season, BMW is offering a limited-production DTM Champion Edition M3 car, set to go on sale in February including a race day driver training package at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Here’s a video detailing the illustrious history of the BMW M3 in touring car racing, and plenty of on-track footage from the victorious 2012 season!
Are you planning to give the gift of a brand-new car this holiday season? Whether the vehicle is for a loved one, a new teen driver, or yourself, leasing makes the most financial sense in many scenarios. Here’s our top 5 picks for outstanding lease deals for the holidays, with affordable monthly payments and low drive-off costs.
These outstanding lease deals are national offers, but monthly and down payments may vary slightly by region. You still have time for some last minute shopping, as all 5 of these deals expire 1/2/2013.
This is an outstanding lease rate on VW’s award-winning Passat midsize. The Passat may not be quite as efficient as Altima and Accord, but it leads the pack in a general feeling of solid build quality. Trim level at this payment is the 2013 Passat 2.5S with Appearance Package and Automatic Transmission. 12,000 annual miles.
Honda’s Accord has been completely redesigned for the 2013 model year, bringing tidier proportions and higher-quality materials while maintaining interior and trunk space, plus up to 27 city/36 highway/30 combined mpg. Trim level at this payment is the 2013 Accord Sedan LX with CVT transmission. 12,000 annual miles.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is our top choice among larger five-passenger family SUVs for those that spend most of their drive time on pavement, but need to navigate some rough terrain now and again. Trim level at this payment is the 2013 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4×4 with Automatic Transmission. 10,000 annual miles.
The Cruze makes the perfect gift for new young drivers: it’s highly efficient, spacious, among the class’s safest vehicles and should stand the test of time. Trim level at this payment is the 2013 Cruze LS with Preferred Equipment Group and Automatic Transmission. 12,000 annual miles.
For not much more per month than your standard bread-and-butter family sedan, you can upgrade to the award-winning BMW 3-Series and all the luxury and driving excitement it brings. Trim level at this payment is the 2013 328i with Automatic Transmission, Premium Package and other extra equipment. 10,000 annual miles.
BMW has released the first official images and info on its 4-Series Coupe, set to go on sale in 2013 as a replacement for two-door 3-Series variants. The car pictured is officially titled the “BMW Concept 4-Series Coupe,” but reports say the production model will stay true to the concept.
If you buy a 328i, 335i or M3 coupe or convertible today, you’ll be getting a car based on an older-generation platform than the new 3-Series Sedan, which saw a full redesign last year. As is the case with the 5-Series and 6-Series, BMW has switched its naming structure to better differentiate two-door models with a more premium feel. The new 4-Series concept is longer, wider and lower than today’s two-door 3-Series, with a more streamlined look than the new sedan and plenty of details pulled from the larger 6-Series.
We’re quite fond of the new design overall, looking flowing yet purposeful with the absence of the many contrasting surfaces that make the new sedan a little frumpy from some angles. Up front are angry-eye full-LED headlamps, a much deeper front fascia than the sedan and a prominent cooling vent at each front fender. The rear end benefits from the new lower and wider proportions, with a tasteful ducktail rear spoiler and brushed metal-trimmed cutaway below the rear bumper.
If BMW keeps styling intact as the new 4-Series makes the transition from concept to production model, it looks like the Bavarians will have another winner. Power will come from the same turbocharged 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter gas engines as the sedan, and a new high-performance M4 variant is confirmed.
The Los Angeles Auto Show marked the world debut of BMW’s all-new i3 Coupe Concept electric car, and the North American debut of the i8 Spyder convertible variant on the brand’s upcoming plug-in range-extending electric supercar. The two carbon-fiber-heavy vehicles from BMW’s new “i” division are confirmed for production, and you don’t have too much longer to wait.
The i3 Concept Coupe follows the debut of the four-door i3, showing off a more compact and sportier take on the upcoming EV. Powered by a BMW-designed electric motor with 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque, the coupe will be good for an electric range of around 100 miles. Unlike most other EVs, the i3 is also rear-wheel drive, and BMW promises the same thrilling performance we’ve come to expect.
As for the i8 Spyder, we’ll see an electric motor with 131 horsepower powering the front wheels, while a mid-mounted turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 223 horsepower sends power to the rear axle. Combined peak output in the concept is 354 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque.
BMW promises an all-electric range of around 19 miles, with near-Prius-level fuel efficiency once the gas engine starts spinning. Acceleration and performance are said to match the BMW M3, which translates to hair over 4 seconds from 0-60 mph and what’s sure to be a supercar-level driving experience.
The i3 EV will hit U.S. showrooms some time in 2013, with the i8 range-extending electric sports car to follow in 2014. No word yet on pricing, but you can bet they won’t come cheap.
Set to debut in late 2013 priced from around $40,000, the BMW 4-Series is an all-new model lineup from the Bavarians that will essentially replace the 2013 3-Series coupe and convertible.
Like Audi with its A4 sedan and A5 coupe, BMW will move the 4-Series a bit up-market in price and sportiness from the sublime new 3-Series sedan. The 2014 4-Series Sport is shown in these spy shots with nothing more than some fabric coverings. Notice the elongated hood and a front-end treatment different than the sedan. Sure to cause some puzzled glances are the boomerang-shaped side fender vents… a little weird. We’ll have to see what the car looks like as a whole.
The 428i and 435i coupes will debut late in 2013 using the same turbo four-cylinder and turbo inline-six engines as their sedan counterparts, with folding-hardtop convertible models likely out in time for Summer 2014. A hotted-up M4 version is confirmed, and may dethrone the M3 as our new favorite “Ultimate Driving Machine.”