Tag Archives: BMW

Taking a spin in a BMW E86 Z4 M Coupe (it’s for sale!)

BMW Z4 M Coupe E86 1

A “special” car will keep your attention long after you’ve left it parked. It’s one thing to have a car you want to look back at as you walk away, but it’s a whole different level when you spend all day looking forward to your drive home. A car that has both the looks to make you turn around and the driving experience to keep you craving is a car that is truly remarkable, indeed.

“Special” is the single most important aspect of an enthusiast automobile, it’s what makes it much more than a mere transportation appliance. “Special” cars come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find one whether your budget is $10 grand or $10 million.

For a budget around $30 grand, an E86 BMW Z4 M Coupe is one of the most “special” sports cars you can buy. It has speed, style, and rarity. The Imola Red car you see here has just recently gone on the market for $33,500 with only 33,000 miles on the ticker.

I was offered a chance to take a spin in the car for this article, and how could I say no? I’ve been wanting to get behind the wheel of a Z4 M for quite some time now, and a more perfect example would be difficult to find. My impressions of the car are as follows…

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BMW X6 M Driven: The best and worst of BMW

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The big teal thing you see here is a BMW X6 M, and it’s everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong with BMW sitting on the same four wheels. Think of it as a BMW M5 with AWD and more ground clearance. Being an X6, and not an X5, it’s also a “Coupe SUV,” which I still find very odd.

On a totally subjective level, I’m not a fan of the BMW X6. I’d even say it’s the flagship of everything I don’t like about the modern BMW brand. They’ve been over-segmenting like crazy, trying to carve the market into thinner and thinner slices, and the X6 is largely where it began.

It all started when Mercedes made the CLS, a beautiful sedan with the sleek design and style of a coupe. BMW saw how well it was received, and decided to try and do the same thing, but with a big SUV. The problem is SUVs aren’t sleek by nature, so the sloped roofline makes the X6 look bulbous and awkward from most angles. With such a large chunky profile, I just think the full roofline of the X5 looks a lot better. People seem to like the X6 because it’s different, but different isn’t always a good thing.

So, in my eyes, BMW was shooting for style, and they missed by a mile. Why, then, would anyone buy an X6 over an X5? Apparently I just don’t “get it.”

In an effort to try and understand the X6, I figured I’d take a spin in the ultimate BMW X6 M. It’s everything the X6 can be with an extra serving of horsepower and handling. If there were any way to make me come around to the BMW X6, driving this beast would surely be it.

First, come along for the ride…

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That Time BMW Put a Le Mans-Winning V12 Into an X5 SUV

BMW X5 LM V12 Amelia 1

This is the BMW X5 LM. It’s a prototype from the era before the super-SUVs of today, powered by the same V12 that propelled the BMW V12 LMR to victory at Le Mans. That’s 700hp and 531ft/lbs under the hood that made this the first sub-8-minute SUV around the Nurburgring. And this was all in 2000, years before Porsche made the Cayenne Turbo and set the SUV world ablaze with performance. However, as it turned out, the V12 from a Le Mans racecar didn’t make a very good production engine, so BMW never produced the X5 LM. Woe is us, but at least the prototype still exists.

-Nick

Quick Spin: BMW G11 750i xDrive

BMW G11 750i 3This is not so much a car as it is a rolling spa. Sure, I had some time behind the wheel of this new BMW G11 750i, but what really stuck in my mind was the massage I got while riding around in the back seat. It was pouring rain, we were stuck in a traffic jam, and I wouldn’t have been anywhere else in the world if I could have. It’s an optional extra, but what’s an extra $7 grand for the pleasure of being able to have a heated, or cooled, massage everywhere you go? I could really go for one right now, as a matter of fact.

The new 750i may be a rolling spa, but it’s one that moves pretty good, too. BMW claims 445 hp and 480 ft/lbs of torque from its “Hot Vee” twin turbo V8, and that’s enough to propel your pampered ass from a snooze to a heart attack in just 4.3 seconds.

Really though, the G11 is the expected next step for the BMW 7 Series, nothing less, but nothing more either. It’s really nice, but they’ve all been nice over the years. It’s really fast, and handles well for a big limo, but again, same with every other 7 Series. The G11 is also full of lots of fancy, cutting edge technology, which is awesome today, but it will suck in ten years for the poor sap who buys this once-$120,000 luxo-barge for $13,988. Go try to use the nav on a late 90’s E38 7 Series, and you’ll see what I mean.

In fact, staggering depreciation is probably just as much of what makes a 7 Series a 7 Series as the car’s big comfort or big horsepower. Well-optioned, it’s not a bad value for what you get for $120,000 or so, but you can be damn sure you won’t be seeing much of that money back. Leasing may be a good idea here, people.

The G11 750i is among the nearly flawless lineup of current luxury cars. They’re all just really good, almost to a fault, if only for the fact that such uniform perfection lacks character. Objectively, this BMW 750i is good enough as a luxury cruiser to make me wonder why anyone would shell out triple the money for a Bentley or a Rolls. I mean, how much more comfortable could you possibly be?

But really it’s not about features, or the comfort, or any of that. It comes back to the car being good, really good, too good for its own good. The G11 is a lot like that guy at the party who just keeps talking, on and on, about his own accomplishments. He’s very impressive and all, but people just keep walking away, don’t they? That’s because endless perfection gets boring pretty quick, and it’s usually a lot more fun to hear people talk about their mistakes.

Nick Walker

MoM Score: BMW G11 750i xDrive
Primary Function: Luxury: 2
Secondary Functions: Performance(2) Practicality(2) MPG(2): 2
Visual Appeal: 1
Build Quality: 2
Value for Money: 1
Final Score: 8 /10

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New Perspectives: Looking back at my 2016

2016 has been many things great, and many things horrible for many people, but it sure as hell hasn’t been dull. I am no exception. A lot has happened to me this year, both relating to cars and this blog, as well as in my life in general.

Relating to Mind Over Motor, I’ve gotten to drive some fabulous cars this year, everything from the Alfa Romeo 4C, to the BMW i8, to some others I haven’t shared yet. The car shows we went to this year were superb as well, and I was able to capture some truly stunning machines on camera. In terms of car events, 2016 has been nothing short of incredible.

Somehow, though, I have found myself struggling with this blog a little this year. It’s not from lack of content, but more from me wanting to take it in a new direction. My life has changed a lot since starting this blog back in college, and it needs to grow as I grow in life. So I’m looking for that next step to take with Mind Over Motor, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t figured it out quite yet. But bear with me because I do still love doing this, and stopping isn’t on the menu.

Life has been changing a lot for me this year. On the positive, I’ve moved in with my girlfriend, Gab, and things are going great. It’s been a big change, and there was some anxiety in the process, but it’s definitely been a positive thing for both of us. We’re building a life together, and its very exciting!

Also of major note, I landed a new job last spring. It’s in the automotive field, for a company that I’ve admired for a long time, and it puts my car knowledge to good use every single day. I finally feel like my days are filled with a purposeful career, rather than just a whatever job.

Both of these major life changes have been great for me in so many ways, but naturally, they’ve also meant I have less time to really focus on Mind Over Motor… at least with the approach I have been using since the beginning. That’s why I feel it’s time to implement some adaptive changes in 2017.

In my own car situation, I bought two Miatas this year. The first was Al’s 1993 Miata, which I sold after a enjoying it for a few months. The second was Ace, my 2014 Miata Club Edition. I also experienced my first accident this year. 4 days after buying Ace, some lady decided to turn left when she shouldn’t have, and we were both very lucky to have been okay. Ace wasn’t totaled, and after about a month of repairs, I had him back in my driveway. This summer and fall, I took many wonderful trips in Ace, enjoying every bit of sunshine I could. The peak was our trip up to Lime Rock during Labor Day weekend, top down the entire way up and back. Much fun has been had, and there’s a lot more to come.

As for my daily driver, I’ve still got my 2012 Volkswagen CC, which continues to swoon me while getting 30 MPG cruising at high speed. It’s one hell of a daily commuter, but it’s also up for an expensive 80,000 mile DSG service, so I’m not looking forward to that.

Now for an update on my beloved 2004 Subaru WRX STI. It’s firmly a third car at this point, and with 130,000 fun miles on it, you can imagine how it may need some work. Right now it needs an alternator, the steering rack needs to be replaced, and there’s a couple of leaks I need to check out. I’m also not sure about at least one of the wheel bearings. It’s a blast to drive, but it’s being driven less and less. I still adore the car, but a lot of me is considering selling it sometime this year. I’ve promised myself I won’t make that decision until I’ve taken it for another fun drive, though. It’s easy to want to get rid of a car you haven’t driven in a few months, but I know for my own closure that I’d have to feel the same way after that drive for selling it to really feel right. I have a plan if I decide to keep it, but I do admit it’d surely make things easier to let it go. So we’ll see…

Lastly, on a personal level, 2016 saw the passing of both of my grandmothers, just a few weeks apart from one another. I’ve been very fortunate not to have lost anyone that close to me in the first 26 years of my life (other than my dog, Peaches, RIP baby girl), but the 27th saw the odds begin to add up. It’s okay, I’m generally someone who’s at peace with the impermanence of life, but it’s mostly hard seeing those around me have such a difficult time. In the end of the day though, it’s natural, and nothing lasts forever. That’s why we all must make it a point to take the time to enjoy life in the here and now, even when we are so focused on the future. In my accident, if I had been hit a little further back, right in my driver side door, I very well could have been killed. I realize, looking back, that I wouldn’t have even known what had happened. I would’ve been at the pearly gates, confused.

I think, more than anything, 2016 has given me a lot of new perspectives on life. Overall, it’s been a pretty positive year for me. It’s been a rough road in many ways, but I feel like I’m going in a great direction. I’m ready for what 2017 has to offer.

And would you look at that! I made it through the whole 2016 recap without even mentioning the circus we called an election…

-Nick Walker

The Elusive BMW E46 M3 GTR at Amelia Island

BMW E46 M3 GTR Amelia Island 6

To most people, this looks like any other early 2000’s BMW M3 (if they even know what an M3 is), but for BMW enthusiasts, it’s actually one of the Holy Grails. This isn’t just an E46 BMW M3 with a body kit, this is an M3 GTR homologation road cars. It’s one of ten that were slated to be built, one just six that actually were built, and one of only three of those that still survive. All three M3 GTRs are owned by the BMW Group collection, and I don’t believe any of the GTRs ever made their way into private hands.

Unfortunately, the three remaining M3 GTRs seldom make it out in the world, so it was a rare treat to see this one at Amelia Island. Even when I was at the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany they didn’t have any of the GTRs on display at the time. This was my first time seeing an E46 M3 GTR in person, and I don’t expect to see one again anytime soon.

 

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My Drive in a BMW i8: A Concept Car for the Street

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I’ve been itching to get my hands on a BMW i8 ever since I first saw it, and the chance finally came. As a car blogger working to grow my following, it’s still a very special occasion when someone is willing to throw me the keys to a six-figure set of wheels. As you might expect, it’s awesome to get to live the dream, even if it’s only for a little bit.

The BMW i8 is a total show-stopper. More of a UFO than a car, people go crazy when they see it out on the street. Most of them won’t even know what it is, but they will know that it’s something very, very special.

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