BMW M8 GTE gets ready for its upcoming Daytona debut

After the BMW M6 GTLM’s mixed bag of results, the Bavarians are now onto their next car, the brand-new BMW M8 GTE. It’s a racing car that fans have incredible interest in, even BMW fans that don’t follow its motorsport campaigns. That’s because the M8 GTE and the BMW M8 road car are mechanically quite similar, so the race car gives us insight into what the road car will be like. Which is why all eyes are going to be on Daytona this week, as the M8 GTE is about to make its racing debut there, during the Rolex 24 Hours.

According to BMW, the Z4 GTLM and M6 GTLM were based off their GT3 versions, “the BMW M8 GTE was designed and built specifically as a GTE specification racing car in conjunction with its upcoming BMW 8 Series road car counterpart, making for the minimum number of compromises and maximum performance.”

The BMW M8 GTE is powered by a modified variant of the S63 twin-turbocharged V8. Now, it displaces only 4.0 liters and makes a flat 500 hp, as that’s regulation. That engine sends power through a Ricardo six-speed sequential manual gearbox.  We’re not entirely sure what engine the road car will use, as we previously thought it would use the same modified S63B44T4 as the F90 BMW M5. But the M8 GTE uses a modified S63 engine of only 4.0 liters and that “The cylinder block and cylinder head are taken from the production engine”, as per BMW. So we’ll have to wait and see what engine powers the road car.

This new M8 GTE is an exciting car, though. Not only is it an all-new endurance racer for BMW but it will come with a new team as well. The No. 25 BMW M8 GTE will be shared by Bill Auberlen (USA), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Connor De Phillippi (USA). As for the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE, that will be driven by John Edwards (USA) and Jesse Krohn (FIN) for the season, with Nick Catsburg (NED) and Augusto Farfus (BRA) supporting at Daytona. The team will once again be led by Bobby Rahal.

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CoffeeShop “Five Hearts” Storyboards

I am trying to get out all of my Valentine designs before the end of the month so you have time to use them! This one is a set of three professional 16×20 storyboards with heart cutouts.

These storyboards are layered psd files so you can add your images using clipping masks (tutorial and free action). You can also add digital paper to the hearts and change the background and frame colors. You can even add a pretty digital paper to the background, like this set I posted yesterday!

I want to thank Jill Wellington (Etsy ShopFacebook, Blog, YouTube Videos, Pixabay) for allowing me to use her beautiful images in the storyboard example above.

If you want to grab my favorite valentine’s designs in one download you can get them right now in my “Year of Holidays” pack that is a gift with purchase of any of my download packs.

Download the CoffeeShop “Five Heart” Storyboard Set!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

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Alfa Romeo 6C could possibly be in the works

In my personal opinion, the Alfa Romeo Giulia is the most dangerous car for the BMW 3 Series. Not the Mercedes C-Class, nor the Jaguar XE or Audi A4. All of those are great cars but it’s the Alfa Romeo Giulia that really shows the flaws in the 3 Series’ handling and dynamics. Also, its seductive good looks and Italian charm make it far more interesting than the 3er. Now, though, it seems as if the Italians might be coming after the BMW M4 as well, as we’re hearing whispers of a possible Alfa Romeo 6C being in the works.

The Alfa Romeo 6C is a historic nameplate, one that gives the Aflisti the fizz. Traditionally, the 6C has always been a long-ish, sporty coupe with six-cylinder engines, hence the 6C name. If Alfa Romeo makes another 6C, and we follow that same pattern, it will likely be something to compete with the likes of the BMW M4, Jaguar F-Type and maybe even the Porsche 911. In terms of size and performance, at least.

While classic Alfa 6Cs had straight-six engines, this one would almost certainly get the brand’s 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the same one used in the Giulia Quadrifoglio. If that’s the case, it should make 505 hp, which bests the current BMW M4, Audi RS5 Coupe and Porsche 911 Carrera. So it will be fast, probably faster than even its Giulia counterpart, which is already capable of 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.

This possible Alfa Romeo 6C will almost certainly be built on the same rear-wheel drive architecture as the Giulia, only with some more lightweight bits. So it could possibly get a carbon fiber roof and some added aerodynamics. Hopefully, it looks as good as we imagine a long coupe with the Giulia’s design language will look. If that’s the case, the BMW M4 should worry about the upcoming 6C more than any other competitor, as well.

[Source: Autocar]

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Video: BMW M140i vs BMW M240i – Which to Get?

BMW is currently on a roll with its M Performance models, showing that when applied just right, the M Performance program can be just as rewarding to some people as full-blown M cars. That’s where the M240i and M140i jump in.

Of course, if you live anywhere but in the US, unfortunately, because BMW decided to keep the 1 Series away from the North American continent for some reason. Therefore, customers in the US are deprived of the joy of owning the only rear-wheel drive hatchback on the market today, let alone the sole model on sale with a straight six engine under the hood. Having tested the M140i a number of times so far, I can tell you that the 340 HP B58 engine under its hood provides a great combo along with the short wheelbase of the hatch.

The guys from Car Advice however do have a point. Since the two have the same specs and basically the same performance under the sheet metal, how would you even know which one to choose? To me, the choice is simple, as the Hatch comes with better practicality than the Coupe and is also cheaper by quite a lot, if you happen to live in Australia. In the land down under, the M240i is AUD17,000 more expensive, while in Germany, for example, the difference is a lot smaller, at a couple thousand Euros.

In the end, it’s down to personal choice. The M240i does offer decent room in the back, even though getting in is considerably harder than in the 1 Series. On the other hand, while there’s more room in the back of the M140i, the boot is smaller than on the M240i, leaving those looking for practicality to wonder what to get. Well, the guys from Car Advice do make some pretty good points and, if you’re on the fence about it, you should check out what they have to say.

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BMW M4 GT4 Debuts in North America at Daytona on January 26

After teasing us time after time, BMW is bringing out its brand new M4 GT4 for the first time in North America, as the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona kicks off. The January 26th BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona will provide the opening act for the 56th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend as privateer and professional racers from all over the world begin another season of sports car racing in North America.

The four-hour race is the opening round of the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. For a seventh consecutive year as title sponsor, BMW of North America, LLC will support the race with BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt giving the start command as Grand Marshal, Frank van Meel, President, BMW M GmbH will wave the green flag to start the race and the pace car duties will be performed by the all-new 2018 BMW M5.

In past events, fans at the Speedway have been among the first to see such BMWs as the then upcoming 1M Coupe, and M235i Coupe pace the race. The new BMW M4 GT4 will debut in the GS class at the race in the capable hands of BMW privateer teams. Entries from Classic BMW Motorsports and BimmerWorld Racing are expected. BimmerWorld is also planning to race the lone BMW ST class entry with their well sorted BMW 328i.

“BMW of North America’s title sponsorship of the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona is one of the hallmarks of our customer racing program in the USA,” stated BMW of North America Motorsport manager Victor Leleu. “We are proud to wave the green flag on the first professional sports car race in North America and are excited for the debut US race for our new M4 GT4.” The four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona takes the green flag at 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 26th and will be broadcast Feb. 10th at 8:00 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

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2001 BMW Z8 to Go on Auction in Paris, Starting at €180.000

Prices for various older BMWs are going through the roof as the Bavarian models are experiencing a sort of rise in desirability, depending on their shape and cult classic status. The BMW E30 M3 is the best example in this regard, followed by the BMW Z8 really close behind. The two are a quite different from the get go, being separated by almost a decade of technical evolution, the latter being a truly rare appearance on the street.

Only 5,703 units were ever made, with the Z8 being the most expensive BMW one could get brand new back in the day. Penned by the legendary Henrik Fisker, the car had a bold design back in the late 1990s and showed what could come to life when designers had the courage to go in management meetings with bold proposals. Inside and out, the Z8 was and still is regarded as one of the most beautiful models ever to come out of Munich.

But that’s just half the story as under the hood hid the same engine used on the legendary E39 M5, the S62 4.9-liter V8 that came with 400 HP and a glorious sound. The model we’re looking at today, going up on auction at RM Sotheby’s event set to take place in Paris on February 7, with just 28,500 km (17,700 miles) on the odometer. It apparently had only one owner and it also comes with the hardtop for it, alongside the standard textile, retractable roof.

Needless to say that at 28,500 km, the car is in pristine condition. Furthermore, according to RM Sotheby, the owner so far was a former BMW Works driver but, understandably, we don’t get a name too. Either way, the car is estimated to get between €180.000 – €240.000 ($220,000 – $294,000) and it would be a bargain, considering how high prices are expected to go in the future.






















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MINI Doesn’t Rely on Refreshed Models for Jump in Sales

MINI chose the NAIAS 2018 show to unveil its latest offerings for the US market as the LCI hatch along with the convertible went up on the stage, bringing a touch of British style to the whole venue. However, according to Thomas Felbermair, vice president of Mini Region Americas said in a recent interview that the company isn’t expecting a dramatic rise in sales over the course of 2018, just because of the facelift.

“We don’t expect growth in the small-car segment,” Thomas Felbermair, vice president of Mini Region Americas, told Automotive News, implying that the current high demand for crossovers and SUVs is to blame for the slow sales of the British brand. The success the Clubman and the Countryman models are recording these days clearly shows that even MINI buyers are focusing on new segments, wanting the same MINI quirkiness and style on bigger, taller cars.

As for the facelifts themselves, they do bring new headlights and taillights to the table along with technical updates. The most important update under the sheet metal is the introduction of a new 7-speed DCT gearbox instead of the old 6-speed automatics. These are supposed to improve fuel consumption figures as well as the pedal responsiveness and the agile character on the road. As for models fitted with the ALL4 all-wheel drive system, they will continue using the Aisin-sourced 8-speed gearbox.

Wireless charging is also offered now in the new MINIs. A storage compartment integrated in the center armrest enables wireless charging of mobile phones which offer this capability. For the first time, the F56 and F57 MINIs offer a logo projection feature. When the vehicle is opened and closed, the new MINI logo is projected onto the ground in front of the driver’s side door from a light source in the exterior mirror and can be seen there for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open.

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