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MonthJuly 2014

BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes-Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS – Greensboro, NC


BMW holds, from time to time, driving events featuring their products and competitors’ product for comparison. This year it is the Un4gettable Test Drive, featuring the BMW 4 series coupe. Coming along for the party were, amongst others, a Cadillac CTS and a Mercedes-Benz C350. All three of these sporting coupes are available in rear wheel drive or all wheel drive.

On paper there is enough equivalence to make the comparison of the three interesting. One caveat before beginning however, the Cadillac CTS is aimed more towards the 5 series, E-Class as a competitor, not towards the 4 or C-Class. The Cadillac has a longer wheelbase and is half a foot plus longer than either the C350 or 435i. But, importantly, pricing is similar for the three.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

Exterior Styling

While style is often a matter of personal taste, none of these coupes are without their charms. These three are aimed directly at the heart of the premium sports market and have to have a broad appeal. The companies’ design language has to be on its best behavior with these cars, though there is some leeway because they are the two-door variants of the more popular four door models. While they are expected to be cleanly styled, they can get away with some flourishes.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

All three coupes hit the target for sportiness and elegance. The Cadillac ‘Art and Science’ design language features sharp edges and daring shapes. The Mercedes-Benz C350 styling features a long flowing line that runs from the fenders, below the door handles, across the rear fender before it up ticks to the rear deck. It is typical understated elegance from Mercedes, a manufacturer that does not want its cars ever to feel ‘out of date’. And, of course, the BMW displays the traditional BMW styling hallmarks.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

There’s more to like than dislike on the three, though I can point to at least one feature on each I dislike. The front fender vent on the BMW is one, the ‘string of pearl’ LED DRL lamps on the C350 is another, and the slab sides of the Cadillac could stand some additional sculpting. But even with those quibbles – which some will disagree with – all three are handsome.


Coupes are inherently drivers’ cars and their interiors should reflect that orientation. Gauges and controls should be readily accessible by the driver. The driver, and front seat passenger’s, comfort – over the long haul – should trump styling silliness. And all three coupes deliver.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

All three coupes’ seats were of the ‘sit on’, not ‘sit in’ variety. Often seat bolstering is soft, which can be comfortable over short distances, but decent firm support is needed for comfort in a machine that will cover long distances and each coupe had good long distance seats. Leather surfaces were available for all three, however, choosing the leather seating option on the C350 precludes selecting the Sport Package.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

Instrumentation on the C350 and CTS subordinate the tachometer to a large central speedometer, whereas on the 435i the speedo and tach get equal billing. That could be because neither the Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz are available with a manual transmission.

The Mercedes-Benz and BMW have push button start, the Cadillac uses a rotating knob on the steering column – a keyless key if you will. The center IP stacks of all three contain a variety of buttons and knobs to control HVAC and audio, with the BMW concentrating on keeping controls higher on the dash than the other two coupes.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

Materials used to cover the surfaces of the dash and styling were all very good with the exception of the ‘plastic metal’ that covered the center stack of the Cadillac. It looked promising from afar but when it’s touched, there is no heat transfer which immediately identifies it as something it’s not. Wood (even a picture of wood), piano black, faux carbon fiber are alternatives, and almost anything would be better in the CTS than ‘plastic metal’.


Over a mixed loop of freeway and surface streets (including some pavement under construction) all three coupes showed they were biased towards performance, with the BMW having an optional set of suspension/transmission/steering settings. Steering on all three coupes was quick and direct and delivered useful feedback.

Each of the three coupes felt poised and that reflects all three’s use of ‘front engined-rear wheel drive’, balanced platforms. Cadillac uses the Alpha platform and like the BMW 4 series it features a near 50/50 weight distribution. The C350 is based on the W204 chassis and it too is well balanced.

The edge here is to the flexibility of the optional BMW ‘Sport +/Sport/Comfort/Eco’ settings. While both the Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz acquitted themselves well for all around handling, the optional BMW suspension settings give it just a bit more usability.


All three coupes were equipped with six cylinder engines, the BMW an inline six, while the Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz come with a V6 (60 degree V angle). All three engines produce similar horsepower, but the BMW has a decided advantage on torque. While the 435i has the smallest displacement, the 3.0L N55 is the only turbocharged engine of the group.

The three coupes had 8,7,and 6 speed automatic transmissions, with only the BMW available with a manual transmission option. The 435i 8 speed is the familiar ZF gearbox and can be placed in manual mode and shifted via the optional paddle shifters. Putting the 435i in Sport or Sport+ modes optimizes the shift quality of the transmission.

The 7-speed automatic in the C350 also had a Sport mode available and paddle shifters. Using sport mode in the C350 provided good crisp shifts. And while trundling around city streets, the Economy mode provided unobtrusive and frugal shifting. This is a good gearbox.

The 6-speed automatic on the CTS was, however, decidedly non-sporting. Shifts were agonizingly slow compared to the 435i or C350. It’s as if a request for a downshift was a suggestion to the gearbox and not a demand. There has been some talk of Cadillac going to an 8 speed automatic, and it cannot happen too soon. The gearbox is the CTS’s Achilles’ heel.


It should come as no surprise, seeing as how biased I am towards manual transmissions, that the BMW 435i would be my first choice, but it comes – when optioned as tested – at a fairly steep price.

The Mercedes-Benz C350 surprised me, this is a car I could see owning, it was both sufficiently sporting and comfortable – a nice cocoon of an interior to coddle the driver and passenger as the miles fly by; a good car.

The Cadillac is another proposition however. Until Cadillac addresses the shift quality of the CTS’s gearbox, and decides to put something other than ‘plastic metal’ on the center stack, I wouldn’t consider it.

BMWBLOG Test Drive: BMW 435i Coupe vs. Mercedes Benz C350 vs. Cadillac CTS

So, there was a 750i available, and being a sucker for big sedans, I asked if I could have a go in it. Sure, was the response and off I went. Odd, there are M sill plates on the 750i.

The big sedan’s cabin was superbly luxurious. The leather, wood, and metal oozing elegance. The seating was perfect and the controls were all where you expect them to be in a BMW (there is a real continuity from model to model in BMW interiors, even if furnishings and material quality differs). However, the speedo and tach are replaced with what might best be called video game gauges. They were off-putting to me and as you go through the ‘Sport+/Sport/Comfort/Comfort+/Eco’ modes the gauges change colors and markings.

But once underway the big BMW impresses. It feels like the proverbial bank vault – a solidity that big German sedans exude. And then there was an opening on the freeway that the twin turbo V8 could exploit and off the 750i went. What great acceleration (and a wonderful V8 snarl for a soundtrack to accompany it). Civilized – but nevertheless capable of much mischief.

What got my attention, when back on surface streets, was the ‘Comfort+’ setting. There was a bit of surface street construction, pavement misaligned by height and other bumps and dips, that Comfort+ soaked up without hesitation. Comfort+ is there for passenger comfort, and often, in cars as big as the 7, it’s the back seat that is important. The 750i has a decent back seat – but it was not as spacious as I’d like in a big sedan, which would naturally lead to the L version. Could they build be an M750iL? Please. (Of course they can, order a 750Li with the M sport option!) The 750i is a blast to drive, just what you expect from BMW – maker of driver’s cars.

source: bmwblog

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BMW M4 vs Porsche 911 Carrera – Greensboro, NC

2014-porsche-911-carrera-and-2015-bmw-m4-coupe-photo-605786-s-1280x782-750x500The BMW M3 coupe has morphed into the new M4, and with its closest rivals from Audi and Mercedes now very long in the tooth, EVO went seeking a rival from further up the food chain.

Can the M4 do itself proud on Anglesey circuit against a proper sports car, the Porsche 911 Carrera?

BMW Greensboro, NC

The “base model,” known as the 911 Carrera, is fitted with a 3.4-liter flat-six that produces 350 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 287 lb-ft of torque at 5,600 rpm. Output is sent to the rear wheels via either a seven-speed manual or the PDK seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The new M3 and M4 use a 3.0 liter turbocharged engine that produces 425 HP and 560 Nm (413 lb-ft) of torque. The car2015 BMW M4 vs. 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera Test Drive weighs under 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs). From 0-100 km/h (0-62), the 2014 BMW M4 runs in 4.1 seconds with DCT while the M3 runs the same distance in 4.3 seconds, with the same transmission.

source: bmwblog

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BMW Recall: Multiple BMW 2012-2014 Year Models Recalled For Possible Brake Failure

UPDATE: Yesterday, (July 16, 2014) it was announced that this recall has expanded to all 3 Series cars manufactured between May 1999 and August 2006, not just in the regions originally mentioned below.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and BMW N.A. will be issuing a limited regional recall of select BMW e46 3 Series vehicles due to defective frontal airbags in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Which BMW models are affected by the recall?

BMW e46 3 Series model year 2001-2005 325i, 325xi and 330xi, and 2001-2006 325Ci and 330Ci, currently registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with Takata-brand airbag inflators.

What causes the defective frontal airbags?

The frontal airbags made by Takata contain a faulty propellant and can deploy irregularly, and/or rupture with metal fragments striking occupants. Some reports speculate that the airbag failure may be linked to high humidity areas/regions.

Are there any known accidents attributed to the defect?

This is a large recall spanning across several automakers: Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Chrysler and Ford, over several months. Currently, there are eight reports of airbags exploding and two associated deaths, none of which were BMW vehicles.

What do I do if my car is one of those affected?

BMW will be notifying all owners affected by the recall in August 2014. The frontal airbags will be inspected and replaced, free of charge.

If your BMW is part of this recall and you have not been notified, call your local, independent BMW repair shop to schedule an appointment to have your BMW checked and serviced for the defect.

Search for a local, independent BMW Greensboro NC shop with BMW mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the cost

Epic Audi R8 Celebrates its German Roots- Greensboro, NC

World Cup Frenzy: Epic Audi R8 Celebrates its German Roots

Throughout the last month, the World Cup has taken most of us through a rollercoaster of emotion. As an event that only comes around once every four years, the World Cup not only highlights how universal the love for soccer is around the world, it also exuberates a great amount of native pride as citizens blaringly cheer on their beloved national teams. This time around, the World Cup took place in the naturally gorgeous Rio, Brazil where the luscious green scenery and crystal clear beaches played as the ideal backdrop for the world’s premier sporting event.

Despite playing in their home country, Brazil unfortunately was not immune to the blitzkrieg that was Germany. Taking home their first World Cup since 2002, Germany played an epic season, and there’s really no better way to celebrate such a killer win than with a killer car. Point proven: This Audi R8 V10 adorned with a German-inspired wrap is pure car porn.

In all fairness, the Audi R8 is already a head-turning beast even in its most basic state. Featured in a shiny, deep coat of matte black paint, this Audi R8 is adorned with a prevalent stripe down the center of the car that parallels the German flag to denote the country’s epic win at the World Cup. The bold red and yellow stripes carry through the sloping roofline of the car, highlighting the naturally sexy silhouette quite nicely.

Carrying on with its tribute to Deutschland, this R8 is outfitted with bold, yet tasteful side skirts that parallel the color scheme found on the colored flag. As it sites on a different plane than the two lines that are implanted on the top of the car, the side skirts insure that viewers get a heavy dose of German pride, no matter what angle you’re viewing this beautiful beast in.

Other than the bold aesthetic enhancements, this Audi R8 stays pretty basic. While basic might not sound all that exciting, its hefty V10 engine implanted under its aggressive hood outputs a respectable 525 horsepower. Borrowed from its Lamborghini cousin, the V10 that propels the R8 has continually proven to be the ideal balance between fun and functionality- two attributes that make the R8 so justifiable.

It’s really been no secret that Germans make phenomenal cars. From Porsche to Mercedes-Benz, Germans have consistently set the benchmark on what a phenomenal ride should be. On top of their revolutionary developments in beer and impressive offering of sausages, dominating the globe in soccer seemed to just be the cherry on top for Germany.

Source: carverse


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Repair automobiles and light trucks that run on gasoline, electricity, or alternative fuels, such as ethanol 
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Jaguar near Greensboro, NC

Jaguar Land Rover New Engines- Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, NC

Jaguar near Greensboro, NC

Ingenium. Sounds like an over-the-counter laxative, is actually Jaguar-Land Rover’s shiny new family of lightweight, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, details of which have been revealed today.

Due to debut in next year’s 3-Series-rivalling Jag XE (above), Ingenium engines will thereafter be rolled out right across the JLR range.

But what is Ingenium, exactly? Well, like BMW’s ‘B-Series’ engines found in the new Mini, i3 and i8, every Ingenium block will share the same bore, stroke, cylinder spacing and 500cc cylinder capacity.

All shall be based around an aluminium block, saving some 80kg on JLR’s current generation of four-cylinder engines, and all will get direct injection, stop-start and variable valve timing.

The first engine off the line will be the 2.0-litre diesel, dubbed AJ200D, in the XE. No word on power outputs yet, but Jaguar has already said the most frugal XE will emit under 100g/km of CO2. Such efficiency will be aided by massively reduced friction compared to JLR’s current four-cylinder diesel, thanks to clever, slippery technologies that make Top Gear’s face hurt rather.

But there’ll be much, much more to follow. The modular 500cc cylinder capacity, says JLR, gives Ingenium ‘the flexibility around which smaller or larger engines can quickly be developed’. Which means the architecture can be scaled up or down – a three-cylinder 1.5-litre seems a probability, and we’re told even a 3.0-litre straight six is possible, too. All Ingenium engines will be capable of incorporating hybrid technology.

Jaguar says Ingenium engines have already undergone more than 72,000 hours on the dyno, and over two million miles of real-world testing.

Ingenium engines will be built at JLR’s shiny new Engine Manufacturing Centre near Wolverhampton, and will share nothing with the firm’s existing engines.

“We were able to design Ingenium this way because we had the rare opportunity to start the project with a clean sheet of paper,” says Ron Lee, JLR’s director of powertrain engineering. “We weren’t locked into any of the usual restrictions that force engineering compromises.”

JLR plans to built 450,000 Ingenium engines annually. That’s a serious number: last year, the firm shifted 425,000 cars globally.

(((source: topgear)))

Who let the dogs out? ///M Monday! Hones

Who let the dogs out? ///M Monday! Honestly, we don’t know why there’s a dog sitting on the hood of this M1. But it certainly looks happy. Do you have any pets who enjoy cars or car rides? #bmw_greensboro #bmw_repair_greensboro_nc #bmw_cars_greensboro #bmw_dealers_greensboro #bmw_service_greensboro_nc

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