Review: 2016 BMW 340i, the top of the 3 Series

revThe BMW 3 Series has long been the benchmark for the midsize luxury sedan market. Combining the best of German luxurious sports driving into one package, this has long been the sedan to beat. Although others are doing well, bringing some stiff competition, the 3 Series sees a few updates, especially to the top-end six-cylinder engine, that keep this Driving Machine out front.

Although external styling changes are minimal for the 2016 model year, the 3 Series sees several other updates that bring it up to par with current trends. The six-cylinder engine option, for example, has been beefed up a little, going from the 335i model designation to a 340i designation thanks to that extra bit of added muscle. LED automatic headlights are available and telematic remote updates for navigation are also offered. A few package changes round out the updates.

For the most part, the BMW 3 Series hasn’t needed a lot of change to keep it up to date since its generational debut four years ago. This is a sleek, well-styled sedan that exemplifies what BMW can do with a car. It’s the very

Tracing automotive bloodlines: Gizmag goes exploring at Dutton Garage

trachingThe pace of automotive development is so fast that it’s easy to forget that every generation has its own supercar heroes. The cream of today’s technologically advanced automotive crop would not exist without the supercars of the past – cars that took risks with crazy styling, innovative technology and a desire to go faster than anyone else had gone before. We recently spent an afternoon at Dutton Garage in Melbourne, Australia, slaking our supercar thirst and tracking down some of the cars that really moved the game on when they were first launched.

We’re pretty familiar with the brands that lead the way in automotive design today, but there are plenty of once renowned marques that have faded into history. Exhibit A is this Hispano-Suiza H6C “Short Chassis”. Built in 1924, it packs an 8.0-liter inline six that makes about 145 kW (195 hp) under its massive hood. These “Monzas” were designed to race in the Targa Florio and then be driven home.

Of course, the modern supercar is a different kind of beast. It’s no longer a pure racer with little consideration for road use,

Google Maps gives the Street View treatment to world’s largest model railroad

google-street-view-model-railway-5Remember when Google Street View only allowed you to explore streets? Since its launch in 2007, the service has been expanded to include things like coral reefs, hiking trails and the Amazon River. In its latest “off-road” adventure, however, Google Maps has thought smaller – it’s used miniaturized Street View cameras to visually map a model railroad.

The li’l railway in question is actually the world’s largest such exhibit, and it’s much more than just trains and tracks. Located in the city of Hamburg, Miniatur Wunderland spans 1,300 square meters (13,993 sq ft), recreating a number of European and American attractions at a scale of 1:87. It’s full of moving bits and pieces, along with 230,000 miniature inhabitants.

Previously, however, visitors had to view most of it from above, as if they were in an airplane. With the new Street View option, they’re now able to explore its various roads and parks as if they were right down in there.

Google partnered on the project with mapping tech company Ubilabs, which was responsible for designing the tiny camera vehicles.

Looking for a professional car dealer? Northumberland could be the answer

professional car dealerDo you worry that you might not find a car dealer that you can be sure only has your best interests in mind when they are selling you a vehicle? This can be something that affects a lot of people when they are hunting for a used car and can often make the whole experience. As long as you choose a dealership from a reliable area, though, then you should be more than satisfied.

Picking the right location is crucial when it comes to quality car dealers and if you are looking for somewhere that is Northumberland based, Alex Scott Guidepost Car Sales is just one of the many perfect places that will leave you happy with your choice. The North East of England is famed for its friendlypeople, which extends to those working in the car industry.

Why Northumberland is right for you

It’s understandable that you may be a little sceptical when it comes to believing that there might actually be somewhere, where used car sales people want to help and not just sell. But you can rest assured that the car

Honda cars – A Brand one can Trust by

Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., (HSCI) was established as a joint venture between Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Japan and Siel Limited, a Siddhartha Shriram Group company in December 1995. It was aimed to offer Honda car models and technologies to the Indian buyers. The company has manufacturing units in the Greater Noida, U.P. and in Tapukara, Rajasthan. HSCI’s first manufacturing unit was set up in Greater Noida in 1997. This plant has an annual capacity of 100,000 units which is spread across 150 acres of land.


Second manufacturing plant was set up in Tapukara which is spread over 600 acres with a production capacity of 60,000 units per annum. The company came up with a variety of products like Honda Jazz, Honda City, Honda Civic and Honda Accord which are produced at the Greater Noida facility. The CR-V is imported from Japan. Honda is always known for implementing advanced design and technology in its cars without compromising its durability, reliability and fuel-efficiency. Their globally accepted iconic models like the City, Civic and Accord have helped them to keep up their reputation in India too.  Also

Stop Changing Your Oil

Oil chemistry and engine technology have evolved tremendously in recent years, but you’d never know it from the quick-change behavior of American car owners. Driven by an outdated 3,000-mile oil change commandment, they are unnecessarily spending millions of dollars and spilling an ocean of contaminated waste oil.

The majority of automakers today call for oil changes at either 7,500 or 10,000 miles, and the interval can go as high as 15,000 miles in some cars. Yet this wasteful cycle continues largely because the automotive service industry, while fully aware of the technological advances, continues to preach the 3,000-mile gospel as a way to keep the service bays busy. As a result, even the most cautious owners are dumping their engine oil twice as often as their service manuals recommend.

After interviews with oil experts, mechanics and automakers, one thing is clear: The 3,000-mile oil change is a myth that should be laid to rest. Failing to heed the service interval in your owner’s manual wastes oil and money, while compounding the environmental impact of illicit waste-oil dumping.

Scared Into Needless Service
Part of the blame for this over-servicing lies in our insecurities about increasingly complicated engines that are all but inaccessible to the

How To Prep Your Car for Long Term Storage

There are a number of times when people need to store a vehicle for an extended period of time. Maybe you have a convertible that you love to drive in the summer, but winter is on the way. Or perhaps you’re going to leave town for a job or an extended vacation. Maybe you are in the military and are being deployed overseas.

Whatever the reason for your time away from the vehicle, you’ll need to put it in storage. If you simply let your vehicle sit on the street or in a garage for an extended period of time, you may return to a dead battery or — worse yet — a damaged engine, ruined tires and a rat’s nest under your hood.

Here are important steps to take before you store a vehicle. They will preserve the life of the engine and ensure that your car starts when you return to it.

Keep It Covered
A garage is the ideal place to store a vehicle. This will protect it from the elements and keep it at a temperature that’s relatively stable. If you don’t have a garage and you can find accommodation at a reasonable price, consider putting the car in

Should You Fill Your Car’s Tires With Nitrogen

A member of the Dodge Challenger owners’ forum was buying a new car from a dealer and noticed green valve-stem caps on all four tires. The salesman told him that the tires had been filled with nitrogen, which would keep the tire pressure and temperature more consistent and that it would prevent tire rot from the inside out. It wasn’t a free add-on, though. The “nitrogen upgrade” was a $69 item on the supplemental window sticker. Another forum member later posted that his dealer was charging $179 for this same “upgrade.”

Some dealerships and tire stores claim that filling your tires with nitrogen will save you money on gas while offering better performance than air. But a closer look reveals that nitrogen has few benefits and much higher costs. For starters, a typical nitrogen fill-up will cost you about $6 per tire.

Why Nitrogen?
The Get Nitrogen Institute Web site says that with nitrogen tire inflation, drivers will note improvements in a vehicle’s handling, fuel efficiency and tire life. All this is achieved through better tire-pressure retention, improved fuel economy and cooler-running tire temperatures, the institute says.

This sounds great in theory but let’s take a closer look at each of

Confessions of Car Detailers

A few months ago, a friend sent out a Facebook message on behalf of her son, who had started an auto detailing business. He was offering a grand opening special: $99 for a full interior and exterior job. Since my car is typically littered with the detritus of raising two little girls, I gave him a try.

I thought he did a decent job — until my husband pointed out what should have been obvious: He didn’t take out my daughter’s booster seat, so the seat section under it (and the floor under that) didn’t get clean. Despite the fact that he’d vacuumed the interior, the remnants of after-school snacks and playdates still were hanging around.

I don’t think the detailer was trying to take advantage of me. He was simply inexperienced, or maybe just in a hurry. But I am certainly not alone in my displeasure. A quick Google search for local auto detailers turned up just as many complaints as accolades. After all, with more than 176,500 people in the car-wash and detailing industry, a business that racks up $8 billion annually, according to an October 2013 IBISWorld report, there have to be a few who aren’t up

Faraday Future First Car Will be No Tesla Killer

Faraday Future made a huge splash last year when it emerged out of nowhere promising to spend $1 billion on a U.S. factory before it had even showed off a car. It was one of the most hyped companies before this year’s CES show, but hype quickly turned into bafflement and disappointment when it unveiled a supercar that was little more than vaporware.

The FFZERO1 race car concept was intended as a demonstration of how much Faraday could do with its new modular platform, on which it would build a variety of self-driving cars, but it turns out that the car was simply a static model. Its platform didn’t exist yet. Things haven’t looked up since, according to a damning new report from the Guardian.

According to the Guardian report, Faraday Future’s finances are in serious doubt, and former executives didn’t have very nice things to say about Faraday’s eventual first car.

“It’s not really a Tesla killer,” said one former executive. “It’ll be much heavier, longer and bulkier than a Tesla but really sculpted and beautiful.” The Guardian also reports this car will cost

Controlling GM’s electrified herd

As General Motors proliferates electrified powertrain applications among its brands, it is also rapidly commonizing those systems as much as possible. Witness the 2016 Chevrolet Volt and Malibu Hybrid; both systems were developed in parallel and share key design, engineering and certain component elements. And the 2017 Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid’s sophisticated propulsion system marries aspects of the latest Volt and those of GM’s earlier 2-Mode hybrid system. At the recent 2016 SAE Hybrid & EV Symposium in California, Automotive Engineering talked with Tim Grewe, GM’s Director of General Electrification, about the role of controls in the electrified vehicle space.

It seems that going forward it’s the controls, not hardware, that will separate a Volt from a Bolt from a CT6—and a Cadillac PHEV from a Mercedes or Audi.

Controls are fundamental to vehicle high performance and efficiency. And it’s truly multidisciplinary, getting engineers who normally don’t work together trading off the optimizations. If you take a classic control theory that’s engine-centric and just about BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption), that might not be so good because the motor control is less efficient in those operating points. You’ve got to tie them all together.

We’ve got about

Software Updates for Car For a Better Driving Experience

From being more mechanical to surprisingly intellectual is what defines now-a-days cars that are all ready to embrace the trending software updates. Cars that get software updates not only shrink gap between your car and dealer but stands on the front line to provide improved safety, fortified performance and reduced driver’s distraction while driving. While these many benefits are amazing each and every car lover, an evident advantage of getting those benefits without gearing up wheels is what buzzing in the automotive industry – Yeah, there is no need to travel under the roof of a dealership every time a new update got pop out – It is easy to get updates released from the manufacturer straight away on car with the help of a Wi-Fi connection.

Despite every car tends to hurl off the point being old with the help of sophisticated software updates, only cars from some leading manufacturers like Tesla, Ford, Toyota are simplifying the customer needs and grabbing newness through innovative software updates.

Tesla Motors, one of the world’s popular car brands renowned for producing electric cars is committed to offer a series of software updates for its acclaimed Model S in

Ferrari releases teaser of the updated FF

Ferrari has released the first teaser images of the facelifted FF.

Set to debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este next month, the updated model will feature a new front fascia with a revised grille and restyled headlights.  The teaser images also suggest the car will have new taillights and restyled air intakes.  There have also been rumors about a carbon fiber roof and active aerodynamic components.

The interior is largely expected to carryover but there should be an updated infotainment system as well as the usual trim and upholstery changes.

The current model is powered by a 6.3-liter V12 engine that develops 651 horsepower and 504 pound-feet of torque. That’s nothing to sneeze at but the facelifted model could have an upgraded engine that develops up to 690 hp.  The engine will likely be connected to a new eight-speed transmission and a revised four-wheel drive system.

There have also been rumors about a new entry-level variant with a biturbo V8 engine sourced from the 488 GTB.  We’re taking those rumors with a grain of salt but the engine produces 660 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.

TEASED! Ferrari Cuts The Lights Out On The Newly Updated FF — Will Debut On February 15

In recent months we’ve been tracking

Latest Michelin Pilot tire has racing pedigree

A new Michelin tire is an all-season street grabber with technical attributes derived from endurance racing.

“This latest addition to the Michelin Pilot family transfers the best of high-performance racing technology and innovation into a street tire made for the diverse weather of North America,” Scott Clark, Chief Operating Officer for passenger cars and light trucks at Michelin North America, said during the tire’s world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The new Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season (A/S) 3+ uses substantial amounts of silica in the tread compound, a chemical portrait derived from wet endurance race tire technology used in Le Mans competition.

“It’s because we see the track, truly, as a laboratory,” said Clark. “Conditions are exacting and sometimes excruciating, and the feedback is immediate. We test, race, learn, and then repeat the process. Because the research and development cycle is shorter, innovation occurs faster.”

Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner appreciates Michelin’s track-to-street technology transfer mantra.

“Michelin embeds an engineer with our team for every test, every race, every practice, and all of that information is then fed directly

Tractor Heaven: 240 acre private park showcases vintage engines, tractors and the fine art of digging a really big hole

Labor saving devices are nothing new, but they rarely inspire the kind of dedicated stewardship that antique engines do. This week in Fort Meade, Florida, the 1500 members of the Florida Flywheelers Antique Engine Club opened the gates of their unique 240-acre clubhouse to give the public a first hand look at the fruits of this devotion. If you harbor a secret wish to operate a tractor, bulldozer or backhoe, these are your people.

With a mission to “preserve the past for the future” they have built numerous display buildings, a running vintage steam powered sawmill (check out the video below), a tractor pull track and a large construction field where members can pull levers and push dirt with vintage cranes, backhoes and bulldozers. There’s a huge swap meet area too but don’t be disappointed if your money isn’t good here. At least half the “vendors” are proudly showing off restored tractors and century old hit-and-miss engines, a particular favorite of this crowd because of its tough reliability and unique sound. Hit-and-miss engines are four stroke combustion engines noted for its distinctive sound of a loud pop on the hit stroke followed by numerous woosh, woosh, woosh strokes until the speed

Hyundai reveals details on IONIQ Hybrid ahead of Detroit

The choice of electric, plug-in, or hybrid powertrains will be the first thing setting the IONIQ apart from others on the market. The first version of the platform to be offered will be a dedicated hybrid model, for which Hyundai has released full information. It is expected that information on the plug-in and electric options will be released closer to or during the show in Detroit.

The hybrid IONIQ will use a 1.6-liter Kappa GDi engine with 40 percent thermal efficiency. This engine was developed exclusively to power hybrid vehicles and mates to a permanent magnetic electric motor. The engine produces 105 ps (103.5 hp, 77 kW) and the motor produces an additional 43.5 ps (43 hp, 35 kW).

The engine has a split design for the block and head to optimize cooling and fuel is delivered through a 200-bar high pressure fuel injector. Power for the motor is provided by a lithium-ion polymer battery, which is recharged from the engine and regenerative braking. The engine and motor turn a dual clutch transmission designed for the hybrid as a variant of the dual clutch found in the all-new Hyundai Tucson. This new transmission has a power efficiency of 95.7 percent

The body of

Lincoln reimagines American luxury with new Continental

Lincoln has been through some tough times in recent years, but this year’s Detroit Auto Show provided some strong evidence to suggest Ford’s luxury arm is well and truly alive. The new Continental takes a unique path by ignoring Nurburgring lap times and pulling out of the technology arms race kickstarted by Mercedes and BMW. Instead, Lincoln has presented the quintessential modern American luxury car.

Central to the Continental experience is the idea of “quiet luxury”. While that might sound like a Grade-A piece of marketing spin, early impressions are that they’ve lived up to that motto.

Opening the door reveals some of the most comfortable seats we’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting in. With 30-way adjustment, including individual motion for your left and right thigh, they can be tweaked to fit almost any body shape perfectly. What’s more, the Bridge of Weir leather on the seats has been chosen because its quality rivals that of high-end furniture, and the wood running down the middle of the dashboard is real, not the horrendous high-gloss plastic prevalent in the last Continental.

They might not have 30-way seats, but rear passengers have been looked after as well. Their seats recline, and backseat drivers have

Bentley sounds off at CES with Continental “Monster by Mulliner”

While its VW Group siblings are busy working with electrical architecture, new infotainment and autonomous technologies, Bentley is keeping things simple at CES. It’s partnered up with the audio specialists at Monster to unveil the Monster at Mulliner, a Continental GT V8 S with a monstrous sound system and custom look – car tech done old school.

If you ask us, the Bentley Continental GT – any Bentley really – is a car that never needs gimmicks like customized body kits or big, booming sound systems. But Bentley didn’t ask us, and since the young sports and music “movers and shakers” it’s trying to appeal to with the Monster concept tend to have way more money than we do, the Monster by Mulliner lives.

Not that it’s such a bad thing – the Monster-inspired red-accented Onyx black body looks tasteful enough, and the add-on body components aren’t overwhelming. Assuming that the upgraded audio system isn’t used to bass-blast fine art off household walls, the car might even feel at home in quiet, old-money neighborhoods

That audio system is a 3,400-watt design with 16 speakers personally tuned by “Head Monster” (that is, CEO) Noel Lee. This custom system isn’t currently available in any production

Chrysler tries to make minivans cool again, with the Pacifica

Modern families might be crazy about their high-riding SUVs, but for a long time the minivan ruled supreme in the world of practical family hauling. Chrysler is hoping its new Pacifica is able to kickstart a retro revolution, where practicality and family-first features trump the schoolyard kudos carried by the four-wheel drive monsters that currently rule the road.

Chrysler might be hailing the Pacifica as the first cool minivan, but there’s no hiding the fact this is a car for people who have procreated in big numbers. Thanks to active noise cancellation and a brand-new platform designed to cut down on harsh noise and vibrations, the Pacifica should offer up a far more refined experience than classic minivan owners are familiar with.


It should also handle better than your average family bus. The new car’s platform means it’s 68 kg (150 lb) lighter than Chrysler’s last minivan, and engineers are claiming it’s almost twice as stiff. As well as making things more interesting from behind the wheel, that makes a huge difference in an accident – and with up to seven kids on board, that’s something Pacifica buyers are likely to be happy with.

Of course, there’s no way Chrysler is going to

Infiniti stops teasing, and releases Q60 at NAIAS

After teasing a production concept of a new Q60 sports coupe at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti has come forward with the production version at this year’s show. The new Q60 features a new look, an all-new V6 engine, and a global design. As promised with last year’s unveil, the newly redesigned Infiniti Q60 is lower and wider than previous generations. This follows Infiniti’s promise of more performance for the sleek coupe. General design language of the Q60 remains similar to the Infiniti line, following the strong lines of the Q50 sedan.

The new Q60’s front fascia is dominated by a wide grille flanked by thin, peering headlamps, below which a trapezoidal intake opens. Tight wheel wells inside which large wheels (19-inch standard, 20-inch available in some markets) and thin-profile tires promise performance and precision handling. Hood lines are simple bulges between which the rounded hood flows. Those bulges accentuate the front fenders, whose definition line flows along the doors to the wide rear fenders. The coupe’s roofline is fastback to the rear.

Hints from the old Q60 can be seen in this new design, with the accented brake cooling vents behind the front fender, the curving rear window glass swoop,

Vincents dominate 2016 Las Vegas Motorcycle auctions: Detailed report

It’s hard to interpret the results of this year’s Las Vegas auctions. A look back to our preview last week will show that most of the bikes with really high estimates failed to sell, yet an analysis of the top 50 bikes to sell during the three day event shows many world record prices for models and marques, high sell-through rates and gross numbers larger than ever.

Vincent motorcycles dominated January’s Las Vegas Motorcycle auctions this year, with seven of the top ten most expensive bikes of the two auctions, and a new world record for any Vincent motorcycle of US$434,000 going to a Chinese Red Vincent White Shadow 1000cc V-twin

At the top end of the marketplace, there seems to have been an expectation from sellers that was not met by buyers, and as reserves were set above what the market was prepared to pay, the “zone of potential agreement” between buyers and sellers at the top end has evaporated almost entirely.

The mid-range in the market, though, grew in Las Vegas with seventies motorcycles in particular selling for record numbers.

We’re preparing a market analysis at present, so here’s a list of the links and a brief synopsis of the top 50

Kia unveils hulking Telluride SUV concept in Detroit

Kia might not be known for making big, brash SUVs, but that’s exactly what it’s delivered at NAIAS 2016. The hybrid-electric all-wheel-drive Telluride concept looks kind of like a Bentley EXP 9 F crossed with a Chevy Suburban, and is significantly longer, wider and taller than the current Sorento SUV. Plus, it appears to actually “care” about its passengers.

The Telluride features three­-row seven­-passenger seating, and is built on a modified Sorento chassis with a wheelbase stretched by 11.9 inches (302 mm) to a total of 121.3 inches (3,081 mm). Front and second-row seating takes the form of black leather captain’s seats, while the third row is a bench seat. The second-row seats fold back almost flat, and have fold-away footrests.

Seating is accessed via traditional front-hinged front doors, and rear-hinged back doors.

The captain’s seats all have sensors embedded in the seat backs, which capture a passenger’s “vital health information.” Data from those sensors is displayed on screens in the interior door panels. Should it should be determined that a passenger has low energy levels, an LED panel in the roof above them is activated, providing energy-boosting light therapy – it’s known as the Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system.

Second-row passengers also have

In pictures: The 2016 Detroit Auto Show

It might be cold outside in Detroit, but the world’s car manufacturers have shaken it off to put on a sizzling display at this year’s North American International Auto Show. As the pressure on manufacturers to meet strict emissions deadlines tightens, the number of hybrids and electric cars on display has grown. But that doesn’t mean it was all eco-cars; from heavy-duty trucks, slinky sports coupes and minivans, there was something on the floor for everyone.

Buick is making a habit of wowing the Detroit Auto Show with its concepts. Last year it was the big Avenir and this year it’s the Avista, a slinky sports coupe that seems totally at odds with what you’d traditionally expect of a Buick. Based on the Chevrolet Camaro’s platform, the Avista gets its power from a twin-turbo V6 engine producing 298 kW (400 hp). But this concept is less about the engine and more about the way it looks. With lines that flow uninterrupted from the front to the rear of the car, and Buick’s wing-shape detailing integrated neatly into the lights, the Avista has classic sports car proportions with a clean, modern look.

From one slinky sports car to another, Acura had a tough