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The Ultimate Driving Machine

"An overview of the BMW Range"


German engineering at its best. BMW have a 50/50 weight distribution philosophy to ensure that each car that leaves the production line has well balanced handling. Generally built for cruising on the autobahns most models have good performance and levels of comfort.

The addition of the M series badge indicates a thoroughbred well tuned and sorted car. Even old M series cars perform well against modern cars. The Alpina badge is reserved for the best of the best - ridiculous levels of performance and comfort. Sadly BMW are becoming very mainstream and are perceived by many as a status symbol which is certainly not the case of the base models and lower engine sizes 1.6 - 1.8 and were produced for small time managers and hairdressers.

BMW the ultimate driving machine? - definately with a few modifications!

When buying a BMW look for big engines, the M or Alpina Badge and you will not be disappointed. The cars are very heavy due to the nature of the interior comforts so putting the car on a diet will actually improve handling a lot.

The 330d is one of the best diesel engines currently available propelling a 3 series to 60 in 7.8 seconds! All cars are solid and would offer high levels of protection to the occupants in the event of a crash. The 1 series was BMW's stab at capturing the A3 and Golf markets and BMW have done a reasonable job. All models in the BMW range are Rear Wheel Drive and as a result have a tendency to over steer. Recent innovations include a completely customizable engine and gearbox set up which takes a bit of setting up but does mean that the car can be tuned to individual driver preference. The BMW grill and shape is distinctive so even debadging the car will not stop it looking like a BMW. Servicing can be expensive on most models especially if you go to the main dealer - but many independent specialists are springing up and are able to service the car to a high standard.  The 5 series introduced in 97 represents a major revision and is a real drivers car.

Tuning - the BMW engines are all very strong and tunable capable of handling much more power than is provided as standard although the M's are very highly tuned they do show the potential for improvement on the other models. Most cars are electronically speed limited - and I would rather see the power available throughout the gears than capped so fitting a low ratio gearbox will unleash some of this lost power but trade off some of the economy.

Induction kits and sports exhaust help with breathing and unleash a few ponies at the higher rev ranges. A great number of remap options are available and the Turbo Diesel models respond particularly well to a new ECU program offering lots more power and torque with a minimum loss of economy. Weight reduction can produce significant results providing you are willing to sacrifice ride 'comforts'.

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