V6 Power: Lexus’ new RC 350 Coupe, and the V8 RC F

2014 Lexus RC 350 - F Sport (left), Sports Luxury (right) and Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport ambient lighting2014 Lexus RC 350 F Sport ambient lighting

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury interior2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury steering wheel

2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports Luxury rear seats folded2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury2014 Lexus RC 350 Luxury

 

Lexus has launched its all-new global coupe, the RC 350, the most emotive vehicle it has produced since the LFA supercar.
It is the latest vehicle to herald the reinvention of the Lexus brand ahead of its 25th anniversary.
As with other recent offerings from the marque, RC 350 takes Lexus in a new direction with its styling and drive experience, and is designed to engage with a younger audience.
RC 350 is not an adapted sedan; it has been designed as a coupe from the ground up.
It has an involving chassis to deliver driving pleasure, a high output drivetrain with smooth, responsive power delivery and a bold, show-stopping styling package.
2014 Lexus RC 350 Sports LuxuryRC 350 provides the segment with a new, compelling alternative.
Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said the introduction of the RC 350 was a necessary step in lifting the brand’s ability to stir emotions.
“The RC 350 is a very important vehicle for us – it provides a clear aspirational target and injects a stronger connection to the brand, combining with its strong quality and innovation hallmarks,” Mr Hanley said.
“Our LFA supercar from 2010 previously embodied Lexus’ passion and acted as an emotional drawcard, and it was one of the most important models we’ve ever produced. However, it was off limits to most buyers.
“This new vehicle brings a portion of LFA’s excitement to a more attainable market segment, and it will boost the brand’s appeal even further,” he said.
Lexus RC 350 follows Lexus’ ‘Y’ strategy across its three model offerings: starting with Luxury followed by two arms with F Sport and Sports Luxury.
It offers a high level of standard equipment, beginning with the $66,000* Luxury grade.
F Sport ups the ante with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system which incorporates Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Dynamic Rear Steering, as well as unique interior and exterior treatments.
Sports Luxury adds Adaptive Variable Suspension, its own 19-inch alloy design, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio, Shimamoku ornamentation, power front seats with driver memory and semi-aniline leather accented trim.
RC 350’s Lexus firsts include a significantly upgraded Blind Spot Monitor# which can detect vehicles within a range up to 60 metres.
It also introduces a unique paint application technique together with new custom colours – Infrared and Cobalt Mica (blue).

Uber Sexy Sébastien Loeb to guest drive openning round of WRC for launch of DS

Citroen World Rally team competing in the 2014 Monte Carlo Rally  gaycarboys

 

 

 

  • Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena to return to competitive action in a DS 3 WRC at the Rallye Monte-Carlo
  • One-off appearance will support the launch of DS as a premium brand
  • DS 3 WRC has one of the best competitive records of cars currently racing in the WRC with two world titles and 23 wins under its belt
  • Rallye Monte-Carlo to take place between 22 – 25 January 2015

Nine-time World Rally Champions and seven-time winners of the Rallye Monte-Carlo, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena are to return to competitive action in a DS 3 WRC at the Rallye Monte-Carlo, the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship.

The one-off appearance, at the most prestigious rally on the WRC calendar, will support the launch of Citroen’s premium DS marque.

The two DS 3 WRCs nominated to score points in the Manufacturers’ championship will be driven by Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle – already confirmed as a works crew for the full season – and a couple of familiar faces.

Leading specialists at a rally that they have won no fewer than seven times, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena will take on the challenge once again as they return to road racing more than a year after the end of their shared career.

Often unpredictable due to the weather conditions, Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide the Franco-Monegasque pair with the perfect opportunity to use their immense experience. Both modest and excited when talking about the challenge ahead, Seb and Daniel’s one-off return will undoubtedly thrill the many fans who had been hoping to see them compete together again at a rally.

Sebastian Loeb at the announcement of his guest drive of the DS 3 in next year’s Monte Carlo round of the World Rally Championship  gaycarboysFrom Sweden to Australia, and taking in the likes of Argentina, the WRC is undoubtedly the greatest challenge in modern-day motorsport due to the variety of road surfaces and weather conditions encountered. With two world titles and 23 wins under its belt, DS 3 WRC has one of the best competitive records of the cars currently racing in the WRC. The legendary Rallye Monte-Carlo (22-25 January) will once again kick off the season in the south-east of France.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE
Yves Bonnefont, CEO of the DS brand: “When I told them today that Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena would be driving at Rallye Monte-Carlo in a DS 3 WRC, the news was greeted with great enthusiasm! It is a great opportunity to support the launch of DS as a premium brand.”

Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal: “With seven wins here, Seb and Daniel are undeniably the event’s greatest specialists and I’m sure that they will be extremely competitive in a DS 3 WRC, which will have some significant technical upgrades.” Like our partners Total and Abu Dhabi, our teams are proud to be racing with them again at Monte-Carlo.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I didn’t hesitate for a second when I was offered the chance to compete at the opening round of the 2015 World Rally Championship in the DS 3 WRC. I think Daniel and I would agree that Monte-Carlo is one of our favourite events.

The beautiful roads, the fact of having to gamble when it comes to tyre choice and the party atmosphere that you get on the stages: we can’t wait to experience it all again! With the DS 3 WRC – “the little racer” as I nicknamed it when it was first released – I have a lot of good memories; I hope that the 2015 Rallye Monte-Carlo will provide yet another.

Obviously, it’s going to be a personal challenge for me, as I haven’t competed in a rally for over a year.

A few days from now, I’m going to take part in the Rallye du Var and that will give me the chance to reacquaint myself with the car. We have also managed to find a few available slots in my schedule so I can take part in testing.

I’m absolutely delighted about this opportunity to meet up with the big rallying family during the FIA WTCC off-season!”

LEXUS 2+2 ROADSTER CONCEPT CAPTURES THE LIGHT IN LA

2014 LA Auto Show Lexus LF C2 Concept GAYCARBOYS (1)2014 LA Auto Show Lexus LF C2 Concept GAYCARBOYS (2)

2014 LA Auto Show Lexus LF C2 Concept GAYCARBOYS (3)2014 LA Auto Show Lexus LF C2 Concept GAYCARBOYS (4)

Lexus has unveiled its LF-C2 concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The LF-C2 concept is a highly styled 2+2 layout, and was conceived as a pure and simple sports coupe.
As a roadster concept, LF-C2 does not have any kind of top covering the cabin.
The exterior styling of the LF-C2 was influenced by the way various surface shapes interact with different types of light.
LF-C2 also features Lexus’ recently adopted multi-layer paint process in golden yellow.
Exterior design
Designers created edges, planes and curvature that would allow the LF-C2 to exude a different character when seen from different angles and under different lighting conditions.
This objective when combined with Lexus’ layered paint process results in a striking interpretation of an open top luxury GT.
The brilliant, golden yellow is produced by a multi-layer paint process.
The first coat is a primer, followed by silver, a clear coat, then the yellow that reflects off the silver to give the brilliant lustre. A final top coat is then applied.
The front fascia of the LF-C2 is highlighted by a more experimental expression of Lexus’ signature spindle-shaped grille.
The concept’s grille features a refined braided mesh theme that displays Lexus’ high level of craftsmanship and changes its appearance when viewed from different angles and lighting conditions.
It sits between triangle-shaped LED headlights, a signature element of Lexus sports cars, and indicator lamps that initiate the character line of the LF-C2.
The character line sweeps through the car’s arrow-shaped body and ends at the abbreviated rear deck.
Vents in the front bumper send cool air to the brakes and help manage airflow through the body to help keep the front end stable at high speed.
The LF-C2’s profile shows a swooping line from the car’s front bumper fin to the steeply-angled A-pillar.
Small vents in the side sills direct air to the rear brakes and out the fin-like rear diffusers.
The rear end of the LF-C2 is highlighted by Lexus L-shaped taillight bulbs, an exhaust system with chrome-covered quad exhaust tips, and a new rear diffuser design.
The concept’s impactful stance is planted by five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels.
Interior design
LF-C2 treats its occupants to a luxurious and spacious cabin that matches the sporty exterior.
The exterior extends into the cabin as the centre console originates from the rear deck and runs down the length of the cabin all the way to the dashboard.
The dashboard design presents functional simplicity with an attractive-yet-straightforward instrument cluster, a central video monitor controlled by a remote touchpad on the centre console and a classically-styled analogue clock placed between the central air vents.
The thick leather-wrapped steering wheel implies that this is a driver’s car, as do the form-fitting seats.
White-and-grey leather surfaces are soft to the touch while LED lights that run along the length of the interior below the windows.
The inviting of the LF-C2 blends the open-air excitement that results from an eye-catching roadster blended with a heavy dose of Lexus luxury.
Chief designer perspective: Yasuo Kajino
“We’ve been instinctively drawn to and inspired by those things that capture the beauty of light.
“When you put something in the right light, people see it in a way they never have before.”
LF-C2 concept dimensions

Length

4,715mm

185.6 inches

Width

1,840mm

72.4 inches

Height

1,385mm

54.5 inches

Battery Beemers Looking Sexy

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ABOVE: BMW I8 at predelivery I had to poke my nose in it

 

It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when collecting cars for evaluation reveals more than a slightly jaded writer bids for.

A Beemer is a Beemer right? No, not when it has a boot full of batteries. The new hybrid models show a new direction for the German posh-barge maker. Have a look at this for gorgeous. Mind you getting in and out requires the dexterity of a schoolboy, the wallet of an old boy and the driving ability of a wildboy.

The petrol and electric engines drive rear and front wheel individually.

Together the pair accelerates the BMW i8 from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds*. And this with an enormous saving in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as it uses just 2.1* l per 100 km and emits 49 g/km*.

Stay tuned for a test.

GCB

 

 

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ABOVE: M4

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ABOVE: a fleet of I3’s waiting for delivery

Fans mark Land Rover Discovery’s 25th Anniversary in new crowd-sourced Film

  • Land Rover celebrates 25 years of Discovery with crowd-sourced film featuring extraordinary owner adventures from all over the world
  • Film created using home video clips from 70 different owners across 24 countries featuring Land Rover Discovery vehicles undertaking incredible journeys in a variety of environments
  • Footage submitted from owners in over 36 countries, from day to day trips to work to epic treks across continents, all captured since the original launch of Land Rover’s versatile family SUV in 1989
  • The Discovery has been the vehicle of choice for some of the world’s most famous explorers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bear Grylls, Monty Halls and Ray Mears

Sydney, Australia 21 November 2014: A unique crowd-sourced film featuring home video clips of Land Rover Discovery owner adventures from all corners of the world has been released.

The heart-warming film, created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Land Rover Discovery, features footage of owners taking part in a variety of challenges both big and small, all captured over the last 25 years. Showcasing journeys including trekking 12,000km across Africa to those simply getting people to work in heavy snow, the film shows the Discovery assisting owners in a variety of challenging situations, including transporting them safely through blizzards and deep water, up and down mountains, over sand dunes and into the world’s most inaccessible places.

Owners from over 36 countries accepted the invite from Land Rover to submit home footage of their favourite Discovery moments. Over 1,000 clips totalling an estimated 100+ hours of footage and demonstrating the Discovery’s key qualities of strength, capability and versatility were submitted via social media and directly onto the www.landrover.com.au website. The final film includes 70 different Land Rover owners (and two dogs) from 24 countries around the world.

Dominic Chambers, Land Rover Marketing Communications Director said: “To celebrate 25 years of the Land Rover Discovery, we wanted to produce a film about the amazing journeys it has undertaken all over the world. When we started to look into it, we realised that the people who make Discovery what it is – our owners – had already made it. The story of Discovery was simply hidden in the thousands of clips shot about owner adventures all over the world. Discovery owners hold their vehicles dear to their heart and what better way to capture that passion and adventurous spirit than showcasing their own discoveries from the last 25 years.”

Land Rover owners are invited to continue to share their Discovery adventures via the Land Rover Australia Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/LandRoverAustralia

The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro

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The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro

  • Expertise in fuel cell technology – A7 Sportback h-tron quattro technology demonstrator ready for real-life traffic
  • Long range – more than 500 kilometres
  • Plug-in hybrid concept with electric quattro

Los Angeles, November 19, 2014 – It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 180 km/h. It covers over 500 kilometres on one tank of fuel and its exhaust emits nothing more than a few drops of water.

The A7 Sportback h-tron quattro, which Audi is unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show, uses a powerful, sporty electric drive with a fuel cell as its energy source that operates in combination with a hybrid battery and an additional electric motor in the rear. The overall electrical system power of 170 kW is transferred to the road via all four wheels. This drivetrain configuration makes the emission-free Audi A7 Sportback a true quattro, and a new direction for fuel cell cars.

“The A7 Sportback h-tron quattro is a genuine Audi – sporty and efficient. Conceived as an e-quattro, its two electric motors drive all four wheels,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi.

“The h-tron concept car shows that we have mastered fuel cell technology. We are in a position to launch the production process as soon as the market and infrastructure are ready.”

The “h” in the name h-tron denotes the chemical element hydrogen. In visual terms the technology demonstrators that Audi has brought along to the Los Angeles Auto Show basically resemble the production models. As the label with the h-tron signet reveals, this concept car now takes its place alongside the other Audi models with alternative drive principles, the e-tron and g-tron. Externally, there is no other evidence of the fuel cell that converts hydrogen into electrical power on board the vehicle.

The fuel cell
The crucial differences are beneath the bonnet of the A7 Sportback: the fuel cell in the Audi technology demonstrator is installed at the front, mirroring the conventional A7 Sportback with combustion engine. Because the exhaust system only has to handle water vapour, it is made of weight-saving plastic.

The fuel cell itself comprises over 300 individual cells that together form a stack. The core of each of these individual cells is a polymer membrane. There is a platinum-based catalyst on both sides of the membrane.

This is how the fuel cell works: Hydrogen is supplied to the anode, where it is broken down into protons and electrons. The protons migrate through the membrane to the cathode, where they react with the oxygen present in air to form water vapour. Meanwhile, outside the stack the electrons supply the electrical power – depending on load point, the individual cell voltage is 0.6 to 0.8 volts.

The entire fuel cell operates in the voltage range of 230 to 360 volts. The main auxiliary assemblies include a turbocharger that forces the air into the cells, the so-called recirculation fan – it returns unused hydrogen to the anode, thus increasing efficiency, and a coolant pump. These components have a high-voltage electric drive and are powered by the fuel cell. There is a separate cooling circuit for the essential cooling of the fuel cell. A heat exchanger and a thermoelectric, self-regulating auxiliary heating element maintain comfortable cabin temperatures.

The fuel cell, which operates across a temperature range of 80 degrees Celsius, places higher demands on the vehicle cooling than an equivalent combustion engine but achieves superior efficiency of as high as 60 percent – almost double that of a conventional combustion engine. Its cold-starting performance is guaranteed down to -28 degrees Celsius.

Plug-in hybrid
A special feature of the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro is its plug-in hybrid concept – this represents a logical

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evolution from the Audi A2 H2 and Q5 HFC test cars. It has a lithium-ion battery on board that can be recharged from the power socket by lead; with an 8.8 kWh energy capacity, it has been adopted from the A3 Sportback e-tron. It is located beneath the boot area and has a separate cooling circuit for thermal management.

This high-performance battery makes the ideal partner to the fuel cell. It can store energy recovered from brake applications and supply considerable power for full-load boosting. This paves the way for impressive acceleration, making the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro truly live up to quattro standards. Both the front and rear axles have no mechanical connections for the transmission of power. In the event of slip, the torque for both driven axles can be controlled electronically and adjusted continuously.

On battery power, the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro covers as much as 50 kilometres. The battery in the rear of the plug-in hybrid can be recharged by lead. Depending on the voltage and current rating, a full recharge takes between two hours (industrial power socket/360 volts) and four hours (domestic power socket at 230 volts).

The battery operates at a different voltage level to the fuel cell. For that reason, there is a DC converter (DC/AC) between the two components. This tri-port converter is located behind the stack. In many operating statuses it equalises the voltage, enabling the electric motors to operate at their maximum efficiency of 95 percent.

The power electronics in the front and rear of the vehicle convert the direct current from the fuel cell and battery into alternating current for the electric motors to drive the front and rear axles separately.

The two electric motors, which are cooled by a low-temperature circuit together with the voltage converters, are permanently excited synchronous machines. Each of them has an output of 85 kW, or even 114 kW if the voltage is temporarily raised. The peak torque is 270 Nm per electric motor.

The electric motors’ housings incorporate planetary gear trains with a single transmission ratio of 7.6:1. A mechanical parking lock and a differential function round off the system.

The appeal of e-quattro
Driving in the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro offers the full appeal of electric drive in conjunction with the new e-quattro. The silent propulsion is fully available from the off, and the fuel cell reaches its maximum output within one second at full load – a more dynamic response than a combustion engine because the entire drive system involves only a few mechanical components.

With 540 Nm of propulsive power at its disposal the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro, which tips the scales at only around 1,950 kilograms, races from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. Its top speed is 180 km/h – a top figure for its field of competitors. The e-quattro concept requires precise coordination of the electric motors – the technology demonstrator offers a sporty, stable and high-traction drive that is comparable to a production car with mechanical quattro drive.

A power meter – in the place of the revolution counter in the instrument cluster – informs the driver of the momentary power flow. The outer sections show the fuel level in the hydrogen tank and the level of battery charge. Graphics on the MMI monitor visualize the energy flow. When the driver presses the EV button, the technology demonstrator drives solely on battery power.

Switching from automatic transmission mode D to S increases the level of energy recovery when braking, so that the battery is charged up effectively during sporty driving. Brake applications, too, are almost always accomplished fully electrically: the electric motors then act as alternators and convert the car’s kinetic energy into electrical energy that is stored in the battery. The four disc brakes only become involved if more forceful or emergency braking is required.

The tank flap is in the right side section of the five-door coupé, concealing a filler connector for the hydrogen. Fully refueling with H2 takes around three minutes, roughly as the same as a conventional automobile. The tanks communicate with the refueling system by infrared interface and equalize the pressure and temperature levels.

Zero emissions
The four hydrogen tanks of the Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro are located beneath the base of the trunk, in front of the rear axle, in the centre tunnel. An outer skin made from carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) encases the inner aluminium shell. The tanks can store around five kilograms of hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bar – enough to drive over 500 kilometres. According to the NEDC cycle, fuel consumption is roughly one kilogram of hydrogen per 100 kilometres – an amount with an energy content equivalent to 3.7 litres of gasoline.

It is already the case that the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro always travels with zero local emissions. By using the renewable fuel hydrogen, it can also be used globally as a zero emissions vehicle: since 2013 Audi has been operating a pilot plant in which renewable wind power is used to produce hydrogen by electrolysis. At present, this hydrogen is still used in an additional production process to obtain synthetic methane (Audi e-gas). A future move to feed this hydrogen into a hydrogen supply and filling station network would make it available for refueling fuel-cell vehicles. This is a sound option for sustainable mobility with no emissions.

BMW X3 28i and X1 20i: Soft Roaders for the Gravelled Drive Brigade

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We normally drive a car for a full week, but offered a chance for a spin in a couple of updated BMW SUVs we thought a couple of mini-reviews would be in order. That is, mini-reviews of BMWs not mini reviews of Minis. Hope that’s as clear as mud.

First, the updated X3 28i. Remember when 28i meant 2.8litre injected engine? So do I. Once upon a time you could tell what was under the bonnet of the BMW in front of you by what was written on its bum. Nowadays, smart BMW and Mercedes Benz buyers have the model badges removed so you don’t know whether they’ve paid a lot, or a real lot, for their car.

Here are a few quick facts:

X3 xDrive20i $60,900 135kw/270Nm, 7.5L/100k, 8.6 secs 0-100, 2.0 turbo petrol
X3 xDrive20d $64,400 140kw/400Nm 5.2L/100k, 8.1 secs 0-100 2.0 turbo diesel
X3 xDrive28i $73,400 180kw/350Nm 7.5L/100k, 6.7 secs 0-100, 2.0 turbo petrol
X3 xDrive30d $77,400 190kw/560Nm 6.0L/100k, 6.2 secs 0-100, 3.0 turbo diesel

A quick spin on the freeway revealed a comfy competent SUV, which also proved to be light and nippy in the CBD crawl. That is a very important attribute for a BMW buyer. Like most SUVs there will be no off-roading involved, so 4WD not needed. The idea is to have lots of space, not to break fingernails. Some X models have BMW Xdrive which is an AWD system so gravel drives and grassy banks will be a doddle. Actually the grassy banks would probably need to be dry or there may be broken nails. Off roading breaks nails, or at least so I’m reliably informed.

The Bangle Edge has been rounded and tamed, and generally the looks less polarising. Chris Bangle’s “Polarising” looks have gradually be watered down over the last decade. “Polarising” is journo parlance for “it’s not terribly pretty but someone out there will probably like it”. Previous X models were sharp and angled and generally hacked about. You either loved the look or you didn’t, and therein lay the problem. The current X3 appeals to a much wider demographic. It’s true that there is generally more disposable money in a gay household but looks and badge are equally important.

The classy cabin is tasty. It is elegant and soothing in that Teutonic kind of way. It isn’t cosy as such, but is very comfortable and cosseting. Some have said the cockpit feel has gone but I won’t have a bit of it. The instruments wrap round the driver with everything being in easy reach, but more on that later. The leather feels soft and supple, with stitching that wouldn’t dare put a foot out of place.

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The switch gear continues that quality feel. There is a resistance to the knobs as you give them a twist, and if you fork out a few extra shillings on the 28i over the lower models, the fancier infotainment system can be had. It has a larger screen and more options in the menus. The sound is superb, and at last Bluetooth streaming is standard. Sadly two addled old motoring writers were unable to get the system to co-operate. It requires a deft hand, and time spent trawling through the user guide.

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The Heads-Up display is a must- have, but by far my favourite gadget was the I-Drive toggle. Once merely a big metal knob, is now more like a mouse with a scratch pad on top. In functions like the Satnav, the inputs BMW X3 2014 gaycarboys (9)can be made by using a finger to scribe letters and numbers instead of dialling then confirming. A right-handed finds it off using the left hand to write even the most basic letters but you no doubt get used to it and it is reasonably forgiving.

However it wasn’t all beer and skittles when it came to something as simple as tuning the radio. The FM stations were tuned to Melbourne which did us little good in Sydney. Between the two of us we were unable to work it out how to tune it, even with the user guide. Defeated and utterly useless, we retreated to stare soporifically into our lattes somewhat stupefied by hours spent trying to get classic ABC.

The drive is what you would expect from BMW. In normal mode the steering is very light, perhaps a smidgen too light. None the less you turn the wheel and the car follows without hesitation or complaint. The optional sports suspension is one that is worth having.

BMW’s current engines are a stunning surprise. They are frugal yet nippy and our 28i felt more like the old 2.8 straight six. The twin scroll turbo means the lag is gone so a small engine can act like a big one. Remember putting your foot down and being able to make a cuppa before the car takes off like a scalded cat? Twin scroll is like two turbos in one and has the ability to boost from lowdown in the rev range. It also means the fuel figures are more 21st century than 19th!

On city roads, the ride feels sophisticated and compliant thanks to the sports suspension option. I should add that our test car was loaded to the gunnels with options, $15,700 worth to be exact. That’s the price of a cheap and cheerful Kia. With that considerable investment comes considerable advantage.

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Like all BMW (and Mini) models, the options list is extensive and the prices considerable. You’d ad many shekels should you want: sunroof, traffic satnav add-on, radar cruise control, Head Up Display or automated parking to name but a few. The full options list is 4 pages long, so much of the really cool stuff is an option at cost. There are packs of bundled options which save considerably on the individual prices but I’m not sure that some of the inclusions suit most buyers. I’ve always wondered why the really desirable attributes cost so much considering auto parking can be found standard on a Commodore. Bluetooth streaming has only just been added to the “standard inclusions” list but has been standard on Hyundais for many years.

I’ve not mentioned much about the X1, but to me, there was little difference between them. They look similar but the X1 is slightly smaller and slightly cheaper.

Would I buy one? No. Let me explain:

Option 1

I love X3 a lot but with this level of option the X3 28i would be about $95,000 on the road give or take. For that price I’d probably buy the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT V8 for 85k, or the Diesel Summit 6 cylinder for $75,000-ish. For that price you get a bigger car with full 4 wheel drive. Or, I’d get the Ranger Rover Evoque, just because.

Option 2 (and by far, the more likely option)

I’d buy a 1, 2, 3 or 4 series BMW with whatever door/roof combo I could get if I didn’t absolutely have to have a big wagon.