Category: BMW

Thrash It, Otherwise It Will Kill You – BMW M3 E46 CSL


BMW M3 E46 CSL Driven

Exactly two generations ago in 2001, BMW’s department of performance and lunacy took to the lovely chassis that was the E46 3 Series. This action created what in BMW circles was, and to many still is, pretty much the quintessential M car and the ultimate M3. The broth was highly reminiscent of the recipe used to create the Power Puff girls, as the Professors of power slides and handling dynamics took the 2-door body shell exclusively and added the proverbial sugar, spice and everything nice, but as their “chemical X”, they used one of the best engines BMW has ever produced – the 3.2 litre S54, a powerful atmospheric straight-six that had a charismatically raspy engine note that crescendoed all the way to the 8000 rpm redline. The combination brought about a lightweight lavation, which sought after not only the souls of the competition, but to the corners into which it was propelled. It was the ultimate, and new the yardstick in performance motoring. This was the car that you compared other cars to. It was raw, analogue and undistilled – this was THE M-car; quick, sharp and incredibly adept at making you feel really fantastic, after showing far more expensive cars the LED taillights though a mountain pass. The feeling one gets from piloting an E46 M3 is hard to describe, it’s an incredible thing.  


Although, this proved not enough to cater to the fetish that is the M Division’s pursuit in the creation of the perfect M car. And after what can only be imagined as a heavy night of beer and bratwurst, in 2004 a harder, grippier version was spawned. This was the M3 CSL, a car that I have lusted over for exactly 13 years and wanted to drive since its conception, and finally, a gracious owner has allowed for this to happen.

Understanding that this is the ultimate M3 of the era and a total of only 65 were brought to South Africa, the CSL is still worth a fully loaded armoured security van and it’s not an easy task to get the keys to one of these now collectors pieces, and after 13 years, I would never pass up the opportunity. The exchange of my left kidney made it all possible but before the handing me the keys, the owner exclaimed ‘this car needs to be thrashed, otherwise it will kill you’, this brought a dark cloud on the experience and a sense of nervousness dawned the air.


Driving away and in pursuit of suitable driving roads, led to the almost immediate conclusion that the SMG automated manual was not great, and miles behind a modern box. The car tends to roll about on take-off like a learner driver that can’t balance the clutch and shifts are lurchy with the selection of gears resulting in a strange nodding action. The brake pedal in normal driving, again, was also a bit sloppy, with one really needing to stand on the peddle to get anything to happen, this I suspect was mainly due to the Hawk Track brake pads fitted to the car but they properly sucked at stopping the car in town. This culmination dropped confidence levels in the car a great deal and I was left with a rather gloomy outlook – could BMW possibly have ruined the E46 M3? Having broken away from the eternity that was stop/start traffic and taxis, an answer would soon be found. Looking at the delicious piece of tarmac ahead I turned the transmission all the way up, stabbed at the Traction Control button and set away like a mad man, determined and on a mission. The first corner approached incredibly quickly, the steering precision was translated instantly as I pitched the nose towards the apex of a corner. The rear snapped violently and sent me into a huge serpentine like tank slapper, the rear slithering about while fighting for traction. Confidence dropped to an all time low. I wanted nothing more to do with the CSL and was ready to retreat to my eco-box, where at least I was safe, I was actually scared of this thing.  Remembering the words of my now sensay, I recalled that this was no eco-box, this was no poncey parade at a fast car but rather true weapon. Confidence returned as I pushed faster, and harder the super sticky TOYO RA888R semi-slicks got hotter and with that grippier. The breaks sharper and more alert. The engine, furiously raging away, the transmission smoother and me braver. The drive became a cataclysm of point and shoot accuracy, the car hurling you into corners much faster than you would ever think possible, appearing to bend the laws of physics and pulling you out the other side after a battle with the grip and the 265 kW and 370 N m violently stabbing away at the rear tyres, it was all incredibly hard and part of the 110 kilo M-diet had included the aircon. I was drenched in sweat and almost paper white once the red mist had dispersed from my now numb body. All that I could think of was that I needed a cigarette, as one does after that much physical activity


The M3 CSL is not an easy car to drive, and even harder to drive fast. The car needs to have a lot of heat in the tyres and in the breaks for peak performance to beckon, but once you’ve braved the rough waters, you’re transported into this trance that is far beyond what I have ever experienced behind the wheel of a car. It feels like a racecar, and the bare exposed carbon fibre that is plastered everywhere does a good job of reminding you that this is no daily driver. The hardcore cut throat nature of the CSL makes it hard to rival, the sensations are insane, the noise in the cabin is cathartic and jumping out of this car every day after making it to your destination as quickly as you have made it a contender for the M-car of the century. Indeed a big claim but it’s far better to the outright purist than the standard car. Analog, light and always ready to give you a bloody nose it’s one of the best M-cars ever.


BMW M3 E46 CSL Pricing In South Africa

A lot! Enough to get you a demo model M4. These days higher mileage CSL’s are still fetching around R800k, and that climbs all the way up to R1.2milion for lower mileage models.


BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

The number ‘7’ in the Bible represents perfection and wholeness. I’m sure when BMW first made the 7 Series 40 years ago, they took that into mind due to the fact that the 7 Series is what BMW calls perfection and have never faltered on that principle. Now fast forward 40 years ahead – BMW celebrates their iconic flagship car in making the BMW 7 Series 40 Year Edition and it is dripping with luxury, driving pleasure and innovation.

Let’s start with the innovation part. Over the years, BMW has assumed a pioneering role for technological innovations that ultimately enhance driving pleasure. To give a few examples: the first 12-cylinder engine in a German post war automobile (1987); the first integral navigation system in a European production car (1994); the premier of unrestricted internet usage inside a vehicle (2008) and more. With all these innovations, you would think BMW have a time machine and go back and forth in time stealing future designs to enhance the 7 Series.

“What does this car do differently then?” you might ask.

Well this 7 Series has laser light headlamps, which help increase the range of the headlamps to as far as 600 meters! In plain English, that is roughly 6 soccer fields put next to each other. Amazing!

The 40 Year Edition 7 Series will be available in South Africa exclusively as the M760Li xDrive derivative. It’s a car, then, for the ballers to climb in the back and recline and think about their millions and for the bodyguards to fight over who rides shotgun. 200 units have been made and South Africa is only receiving 5, the M aerodynamics package, high gloss Shadow Line and 20-inch light alloy wheels will come as standard.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

To top all of this exclusivity off, it only comes in two colors: Petrol Mica metallic and Frozen Silver metallic. With various color combinations on their Full Merino fine-grain leather trim offered, you can only expect that the seats are more comfortable than your bed at 6am on a cold winter’s Monday morning. The fascia finishes are crafted from the finest wood to bring the luxury level to its optimum.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 pricing in South Africa

Now, there are more options available but these will be released to the brave souls who can stomach the cost of this precious beast. Here in South Africa, the car will set you back some R3 085 900 and should be available in the fourth quarter of 2017.

We drive the updated BMW 4 Series

Updated BMW 4 Series Launch

Mpumalanga is known by many for a variety of reasons, it has vast greenness, a large canyon and is the home of the Kruger National Park. This location then, might seem like a strange location for a sports car launch, but what many people may not know is that Mpumalanga is also home to something else, great driving roads.

These great stretches of twisting and turning tarmac are fairly pivotal when testing a car built for sporty driving. I was excited, the thought of putting the updated BMW 4 Series through it’s paces for the day didn’t seem too shabby at all…

The updated BMW 4 Series doesn’t receive a major host of changes, rather small elements which come together in an all-round better package. This starts with the headlights, featuring a hexagonal design for the day time running lights which surround the LED beams. Rear lighting is also upgraded and is now an LED system, with both updates giving the BMW 4 Series a slightly sharper appeal. One will also find minor changes inside the cabin which spruce up the executive feel, helped along by three new upholstery colours and interior trim strips to choose from. The biggest change would be the optional navigation system which has the same interface as the BMW 5 and 7 Series’, large style control pads feature on the screen to control different elements, with each one receiving live updates and information.


Lined up outside Nelspruit airport were an array of BMW 4 Series in a variety of colours and engine specifications. The vast majority of the fleet were either 420i’s or 420d’s in Convertible, Coupé and GranCoupé form – as these are likely to be the most popular models. There was one 440i convertible glistening in the sunlight in the new Snapper Rocks Blue colour – an exclusive for the 4 Series range. My driving partner and I decided that we would not run for the 240 kW/450 N.m 440i, but we ended up with it anyway, so the roof went down, the neck heaters went on and off we went.

The first thing you will notice about the 440i compared to the other 4 series models is the noise, it purs on idle and growls under acceleration. It’s not mind blowing, and it certainly doesn’t compete with the Audi S5 in the volume department, but this doesn’t mean it’s not nice, because it is, especially when coupled with the sport auto gearbox with gives a delightful thump on the upwards gear change.

In terms of performance, the 440i is comfortably fast. It provides beautiful, linear power throughout the rev range and it feels very controllable. A big selling point for the 440i is that it can be driven easily and comfortably on the morning drive to work, but has enough in the tank to provide bucket loads of fun on the weekend – it’s definitely the middle ground if you’re looking to buy an M4, but your other half  says no.

As one would expect, the 440i has plenty of grip and gives confidence in the corners. The driver can really lean on the outer tyres when cornering without the worry of being spat out and sent tumbling down the side of a mountain pass. It’s not as sharp you might think though. Being the convertible model, it’s aimed more towards comfort than performance and does not receive the suspension upgrades that the Coupé and GranCoupé have.

After 200 km in the 440i, we swapped vehicles and jumped into a 420d Coupé for the remainder of our drive. Automatically, you may think that the 420d is the boring model in the range, aimed at the fuel economy enthusiast who drives miles everyday. While the latter may have some truth, it is certainly not a boring car to drive. It produces 140 kW and a mighty 400 N.m of torque which gives it some fantastic low down grunt. The power does fade after 4 000 rpm, but your aim isn’t to beat land speed records in this model, it’s to have a comfortable, quiet and economical vehicle in the guise of a sporty, stylish and tech savvy 4 Series. That being said, if you come across a twisty section of road, there is no doubt that you will have plenty of fun. As mentioned, the Coupé models have received suspension upgrades which give a sharper, more dynamic feel, especially across the front end.

Also sitting pretty at the launch was the updated BMW M4 in Competition Pack form. This model receives updates as well, with the adaptive full-LED headlights coming as standard, along with full LED lighting for the rear. Further to this, the BMW M4 also features the technology upgrades mentioned earlier, which are available across the range.


Although only minor changes, the updated BMW 4 Series range definitely offers a better all-round package in terms of style, comfort and performance. The 4 Series was a great car to begin with and bringing it up to date with the latest technologies was all the TLC it needed for now.

The 4 Series has a broad range with the 420d, 420i, 430i and 440i models all available, meaning that there is a good offering for a wide variety of people who may be interested.


Audi A5 – The updated Audi A5 launched earlier this year and offers a fantastic all-round package, as well as a great range of engines. It is definitely the more stealthy option, but does lose out a little on driving dynamics.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupé – Arguably, it may not compete when it comes to looks or style, but it does have driving comfort tucked firmly under its belt and years of Mercedes-Benz experience under the shell.

BMW 4 Series Pricing in South Africa

Coupé and GranCoupé 

420i – R604 794

420d – R639 300

430i – R692 992

M4 – R1 227 376


420i – R718 250

430i – R831 476

M4 – R 1 441 302


The New BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo Goes M Performance

BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo with M Performance Parts

BMW really know how to expand their range of vehicles, creating versions of versions of cars you really thought could not be made. The idea is to have a car suitable for every kind of person. This November, the new 6 series GranTurismo will be launched and of course, it would never be a complete BMW without a smattering of M Sport here and there, in particular, the suspension, exterior and cockpit, adding a somewhat sporty air to the 6 Series GT.

One step further, are BMW’s M performance parts which usually give a powerfully expressive appearance to their normal road going cars, making it look almost as special as the full-blown M car. The 6 Series GranTurismo’s M Performance package will consist of a new exhaust silencer system made from stainless steel, giving the new 6 GranTurismo an impressive sound track through the pipes. The exhaust system will be available for the petrol engine models. For now, BMW has only revealed two petrol models, namely the 630i and 640i.

The driving dynamics and visual appeal benefit from the new 21-inch light alloy wheels, manufactured using weight-saving methods. To bring this car to a halt, BMW has added a sport braking system. It has inner-vented, perforated lightweight brake discs with 4-piston fixed calipers made from aluminum, so that means that even when driven in an extremely dynamic fashion, it retains constant braking performance.

The famous kidney grille gets a high-gloss black finish to which fits in with the overall aesthetic, as well as the mirror caps which get a nice carbon fibre finish. On the inside, the steering wheel is a new performance sports steering wheel with alcantara grip areas, large thumb rests and a slightly flattened lower section, providing the steering feel and response that is needed. The wheel features paddle shifters, in conjunction with the 8-speed ZF Sports automatic transmission included in the package.

You can only imagine what the actual performance will feel like. Accompanied with such sporty enhancements, the car is destined to make you feel special. Prices have not been released yet, but the M Performance package will be available as soon as the car is released in November.

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which is best for you?

A BMW M4 for everybody: Which of the many variants is best for you?


Times have changed in the BMW M stable. Previously, when it came to the M3, things were simple, if you wanted one of these cars, you had three choices – a coupe, a sedan and a convertible. After a few years, there was a facelift and everybody carried on with their lives. Now however, if you want a sedan, you can get still get an M3 but if you want a coupe, this is where things have become rather confusing. It all started with the BMW M4, a deliciously good looking car that feels and sounds like a wild animal with bronchitis. Yes, the M4 is very good and those who don’t like it are strange. In the years since its launch, we’ve been presented with the standard car, a Competiton Package, a GTS, a DTM Champion Edition and launching locally later this year, a CS variant. As much as we like all things M4, the question does come to one’s mind, “are there too many variants of this car?”

Before you say anything, we know both the GTS and the DTM Champion Edition are cars that are technically unavailable because BMW has sold them all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t buy them though, you just need to have more money than brains to purchase one of these at the prices that used car dealers are asking for them. Since we at TheMotorist have driven every variant of this car, bar the upcoming CS, we’re going to give a breakdown of each car, should your mind be frazzled as to which one to get…


Standard M4

This is the car that started it all. It somewhat paid homage to the E46 M3 with its Austin Yellow paintwork that looked very similar to the Phoenix Yellow we loved to hate. This car was the first M car in the M3/M4 lineage to feature turbocharging. What a difference it made in performance noise because as fast as it was, it didn’t sing the way the E90/E92 did. Soon, people got over that and focused on the fact that they had 317 kW/550 N.m at their disposal. The M4, however, was unlike the E92 in terms of power delivery.

The previous model allowed you to take chances due to its power band climaxing at higher revs, whereas the F82 gave you everything down low. As a result, you had a razor sharp chassis with an engine that was ready to bite if you didn’t give it the respect it deserves. The “on edge” persona the new BMW M4 has, has caused people to love and respect the car. Put simply, the standard car is enough vehicle for most and can tend to be too much car for the inexperienced.

BMW M4 Engine


BMW M4 Competition Package

The “Comp Pack” is essentially the same car as the standard M4, with more power and better-looking wheels. By the time this car was released, the GTS is a car we had come to know. The CP has a wheel design similar to that of the GTS but in a single colour, unlike the GTS which has gold bits on the wheel design. Most importantly, the 331 kW the CP delivers may be a cause for concern for those who had perhaps not gotten used to the standard M’s snappy nature. Surprisingly, driving the CP wasn’t as scary as one imagined. Yes, the added power means you can further irritate Porsche’s but, the larger wheels seem to have lessened the “I’m just going to over-steer now” antics we expected. In fact, the CP’s setup gives you more confidence to explore the performance of the M4 as it feels slightly more sure-footed. This is our personal favourite of the lot.

BMW M4 Competition Package



The “matte grey monster”. Firstly as a 5ft 7 inch person, one feels like an infant in a GTS because the racing bucket seats are at the lowest setting possible. Yes looking at the car may have given you goosebumps or caused you to cringe as feelings on its aesthetics were either hot or cold. Sitting in it, however, was a different experience altogether. The gold roll cage behind you for starters means you can only have one friend drive with you. The seats only go forwards and backwards and the doors open by way of a length of “string” with M colours on it. The car has been stripped to be lighter but thankfully you still have a radio in it. This car does a good job at disappearing into the sunset as it features 368 kW/600 N.m. The way it does that is impressive, but dynamically it’s a different story to a standard M4 or even the CP. The added aero and steering setup makes for a very fast front end so turn in is quicker than expected. Front end grip is also great, but that rear end will light up faster than a chain-smoker in an open area.

The wild nature of the standard M4 is further amplified in this car, which makes it exciting but scary to manhandle. Water injection featured on this car and other performance tweaks make this the wildest M4 you can get. Again, as much as you can’t buy one of these new anymore, there are a few available selling for around R3 million, making this the M4 you want if you have money to burn.BMW M4 GTS

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition

The M4 DTM Champion Edition is the M4 you want if the matte and gold combination is not for you. In essence, this car and the GTS are identical in terms of power, with the only difference being the added aero. The DTM features a smaller rear wing and does without the front splitter you get in the M4 GTS. Handling differences are negligible between the two, with only the most highly skilled of drivers able to specifically pinpoint major differences. All in all, the white paintwork with BMW M colours on the body look better than the GTS’s “out there” design in our opinion. In terms of pricing, the DTM is in the same bracket as the GTS, although fewer examples of these came into South Africa, meaning that you should pay slightly more if you really want one.

BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition



The upcoming M4 CS is another limited edition model aimed to fit in between the Competition Package and the GTS. It will feature around 340 kW/600 N.m, slightly less than the GTS and slightly more than the CP. Unlike the GTS which is a car meant for the track, the CS is aimed at the road, with a non-adjustable rear splitter and rear seats, allowing for your little ones to join in on the fun. So this variant is for the buyer who wants the most performance you can get out of an M4, whilst still retaining certain creature comforts like four seats.


All in all, we have to admit that BMW has given us many M4’s to choose from. These choices are good but they do border on being too much. Nothing can take anything away from a standard M4 and its credentials. Bang for buck, we feel the M4 Competition Package offers the most value for money. The CS will probably be great but that extra power and exclusivity will come at a price. The DTM and GTS are for collectors who can’t stand to not have those special editions parked in their garage. For that customer, money is no object, then again anyone who can afford an M4 not exactly on a tight budget.  



Driving My Hero: BMW M5 (E34)

BMW M5 (E34)

BMW M5 (E34) Driven Review

We’ve all heard the addage “Never drive your hero” and while for some it may prove to be a bit difficult to drive Angelina Jolie or Richie McCaw, tracking down a 930 Turbo or F430 isn’t as much of a task for us motoring folk as one might think. For me, it’s not a specific vehicle but rather a specific model-range from the brand everybody loves to hate, BMW.

The BMW M5 has always appealed to me more than any other vehicle, and I can’t quite explain why…

Perhaps it’s because each model has been either on par with, or faster than its contemporary Porsche 911, or the fact that you can scare/entertain a whole family, in complete comfort. 

Each model has offered something different to its predecessor but one thing has remained constant – it has always been the benchmark in its class. Unsurprising, though, considering that it is the original super saloon. Having driven the E28, E39 and E60 generation M5’s, I like to think that I’m well versed in the realm of the M5, however, nothing could have quite prepared me for the E34 M5…

Undoubtedly the most understated M5 ever, the E34 showed the world that you need neither a Bentley to be cool nor a Ferrari to win traffic light drag races. Not that I’d ever do anything as irresponsible as that… Looking very much like a standard 5 Series, the only clues that allude to what lurks beneath the bonnet were a few M badges here and there and the ‘M Turbine-II’ wheels which channelled cool air towards the brakes to cool them, and that was about it…

Introduced in 1989, the E34 M5 made use of the S38 3.6-litre straight 6 which was loosely related to the famous M88 from the BMW M1. Featuring six individual throttle bodies, intake trumpets fed by a cast aluminium intake plenum and a variable-length inlet manifold, it churned out 232 kW and 360 N.m. While 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds doesn’t feel as brisk as those numbers might suggest, 3rd and 4th gear acceleration is still hugely impressive, especially for a vehicle of its vintage.

BMW M5 (E34)It was clever too – at lower rpm’s, a valve in the intake plenum opened to create maximum torque and avoid air intake restriction. Once the flow reached a certain velocity, the need would then shift towards more power and so the butterfly would close, causing air to flow straight into the engine, thus minimising turbulence. Above 4 000 rpm, it would then open again, creating maximum torque. You can actually hear a change in the tone of the induction noise as the valve opens and closes and in my opinion, the only BMW with a better induction noise is the E46 M3 CSL.

The E34, however, isn’t all about speed, it’s so much more than that. Compared to newer BMW’s, it’s a bit of a dog to drive with its heavy steering and stiff pedals, but it feels so direct and nimble, especially for a car which weighs nearly 2 tonnes. Turn-in is direct and the MacPherson struts up front and semi-trailing arms with self-levelling springs in the rear provide a firm yet forgiving ride. Interestingly, the E34 M5 also featured adjustable rear toe-in for those who fancied a bit of track fun in their M5’s.

Having yearned after the E34 M5 for as long as I can remember, sitting behind the wheel of one proved to be a surreal experience. I kept having to remind myself of what I was driving with passers-by completely oblivious – only those in the know are privy to what is in front of them.

BMW M5 (E34)

History lesson over, here’s the bottom line. If someone tells you to never drive your hero, slap them, kick them, poke them in the eye. Having driven one of mine, I have ticked another car off my vehicular bucket list. To think that if I’d listened to everyone, I would not have shed a tear while experiencing one of BMW’s best.

As a final word of advice, I would only suggest not driving your hero if it’s something naf like a Chevrolet Senator or a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. 

The BMW 1M Coupe – Sheer Driving Pleasure personified.

BMW 1M Coupe

The BMW 1M Coupe Driven

BMW 1M Coupe

The Year was 2011 and the M-division boffins with the assistance of their rather expansive parts bin, saw it fit to introduce the most bonkers 1 Series ever, the BMW 1M Coupe. Now keen enthusiasts will note the backwards name, primarily due to the existence of the M1. The M1 was the 1970’s, Lamborghini and BMW collaborative effort at a supercar. It was Genesis and the daddy of the M-car movement.

Although they may not share this sacred name nor function as this is no homologation special, the 1M is more than fitting a candidate to behold the M badge. This entry into ‘Fast BMW’ history books is arguably one of the best yet – a disarray of old M3’s, in the form of a 6-speed manual and Rear end from the E90. A breathed on version of the again defunct N54 Twin-turbo engine and a rather boy-racer wide body kit, courtesy of the 55mm added to the track and a set of huge 19-inch wheels on super sticky rubber that filled the arches. Finished in Alpine White, Black or the rather bright “Sunburst Orange”, It sounded like the modern equivalent of the 2004 BMW M3 CSL – a lightweight, mega fast, mega fun car for attacking mountain passes. Much like the CSL, the 1M came in very limited numbers with only 64 reaching our sunny Republic, but more to the point, it took the then standard benchmark drivers cars and blow them out the water, with a package that left the likes of the Porsche Cayman R with a bloody nose – all with room for the monthly shop and small humans in the back.

BMW 1M Coupe


Part of the 1M’s charisma is the significant focus on the basic formula for M car trickery. A sizable engine with numbers to match – 3.0-litres packing 250 kW and 450 N.m, 500 N.m on over-boost. Coupled with a lightweight short wheel base, rear wheel drive, 6-forward ratios, 3 pedals were figures of 4.1 seconds to 100 km/h and 250km/h. Not to mention the 50:50 weight distribution and the trick M Dynamic differential.

Driving the 1M Coupe

The leisurely beginnings to my drive began with the city- stop start traffic and the drooling faces of the many that understand the rarity of the little motor. The car is very compliant and handles our rough roads rather well, dare I say the ride is good. So too is the in-town fuel consumption, managing to sip an indicated 9.0 l/100 when behaving. The cabin is a comfortable place that’s well-appointed and has many of the amenities you’d expect from a luxury car but the only feature that soon grew of importance was the ‘M’ button on the Alcantara steering wheel.

BMW 1M Coupe

This transports you directly into the world of M car power games. The traction control is backed off to allow for some fun and the ride firmed up. The car is immense, and within the first corner it became abundantly clear that this was a seriously quick car, the shove is relentless and the acceleration suggests to a lot more than 250 kW, it’s properly rapid and this rapidness is not something that is lost in the corners with the initial entry into them being direct and precise and a clear understanding of the front wheels being communicated. The car feels so light and neutral no understeer nor oversteer, just pick a line and it pulls you through. The car is extremely confidence inspiring and has a strong sense of surety. The frankly insane corning speed is rather hard to understand, as this car seems to bend the laws of physics. The short wheelbase and big power do mean when you push a bit too hard, the rear can catch you out but it’s very predictable and can be caught rather easily. The fun aspect is huge it’s upsettingly quick, so quick that even the bright green, 2 wheeled playmates I had developed struggled to shake the BMW 1M through the corners. This thing is epic! The MDM rear diff is really rather good and will lock up the rear wheels for huge slides and the cornering balance and smooth power lets you pin the rear end out there like a vestigial limb.

BMW 1M Coupe

The 1M is challenging, sharp and very demanding of the driver, it’s also one of the best cars I’ve ever driven and possibly the hardest to review as it’s so engaging one forgets about consumerism and takes on the façade of a Bruno Spengler wrestling it around a track, it’s rather brilliant! Easily the best driver’s car, and a car that would get you into a lot of trouble. A thought that came over me when I realised how far I had driven away from the city and how quickly I had covered that distance


BMW 1M Price in South Africa

Pricing these days still around R800 000, it still demands a R300k premium over the original asking price, for a 6-year-old car, nut as they are few and far between and one of the best cars ever to birthed by the M-division if you have a spare R800k, buy two!


Khanye Ngwenya

Junior Writer



Part 1: Which Luxury BMW do you choose? BMW 750Li vs 760Li

BMW 750Li Review

BMW 750Li Vs BMW 760Li: Part One

BMW 750Li Review

As much as I’m a Sci-fi fan, I’m scared as to what the future hold for us. I mean really, cars that drive themselves – something straight out of iRobot the movie. See, I’m one person that REALLY enjoys driving. To the shops, down to Cape Town, driving for me offers a great deal, one that cannot be replaced by a mere machine. Enter the most recent of BMWSA’s test cars to grace TheMotorist’s driveway – the BMW 750Li .

From the onset, this car makes no apologies for what it is. It’s a car that you are meant to be driven in, not a car that you drive yourself. From its extra length, growing from 5 098 mm to 5 238 mm, that’s like a rugby field when it comes to vehicle dimensions. What it means in real life is that you have more room for everything, it’s like being in your lounger, at home! Head, shoulders knees and toes to little foot stools, the Germans from Bavaria have thought of everything in this car. What I did enjoy, which fortunately isn’t unique to the Li version, is the rear active bench, with the massage function. Hmm, this robotic future suddenly doesn’t seem bad at all…

BMW 750Li Review

To do a real-life test, Francisco and myself decided to flip for it and as usual, the clan of the firstborns won and I had a chauffeur for the day. We started from my home, where the left rear seat was going to be my home for the day. I immediately set the front passenger’s seat forward, turned the massage function to full body as you can have various massage options and “Jeeves” headed towards Sandton Traffic. The test vehicle we had was adorned with the optional M Sport exhaust and that unmistakable V8 hum made for a decent sound track in the ” I can sip MOËT champagne from here drive like a gentlemen” rear seat. Power is from the familiar 4,4-litre V8, with the twin turbos shoehorned in the V8 to form that hot V. Numbers seem to be from a modern sports car at 330 kW and 600 N.m which means that 0 – 100 km/h is dispatched with in 4.7 seconds but to be honest, that doesn’t really mean much from the rear. Speaking about the rear…

From the spoilt brat chair, BMW designed the car to be as the front, so you are not limited in terms of functions that you have at the rear. What takes your breath away is the small tablet with the optional professional rear entertainment. From here, you can adjust the seats, temperature, set navigation bearings, preset the vehicles air conditioning and even choose which lighting profile you’d like, all from OUTSIDE the vehicle as this is mobile. To put this to the test, “Jeeves” and I stopped at the main shopping center and went about our business. 15 minutes before returning to the vehicle, we had all variables set and upon arriving at the vehicle, that was parked in the sun mind you, the BMW 750Li was as pleasant as an international airport lounge. The one bug bear that I can think of is that the rear screens are not touch sensitive as intuitively, you end up touching the screen thinking it will react like the one that in the next postal code, in front. I’m sure this will be sorted out when it comes to the facelift in a couple of years’ time. 

BMW 750Li Review

In terms of specification level, BMW made sure that we had a hard time giving this car back, as with all the spec, never mind price, you end up wanting to pull another OR Tambo heist so that you don’t have to give the vehicle back. Amongst the other items, the Bang and Olufsen sound system would be an item not to forget in this car as from classical to trap music from Atlanta USA, the sound came out as crisp or as bass-y as you wanted. I decided to sample what the car would be like to drive from the front having driven the swb vehicle before – it didn’t feel that much different. Driving the car does make you take on a different personality though as you go from Champagne sipper to Race car driver as that aforementioned V8 arrogantly looks at you and says,” are you going to let that small rental take that gap?” The technology does help park the extra-long 7er from its 360 cameras to letting the car do 90% of the work, the car could be and everyday car, should you have R2,4 million burning around that investment account.

BMW 750Li Review

So, what is the verdict, would I relinquish the honour of driving this beast every day and leave my life in someone else’s hands? The answer is no. I’m too young and selfish for that. If you are 55 and head a corporation then yes, get a “Jeeves” and the BMW 750Li but if this is what the future has in store and with a robot driving me, then we are in for a treat! For now, give me a normal wheelbase BMW 750i and DO NOT forget that sound system!


BMW takes the M240i to the next level with the Performance edition.

BMW M240i Performance edition

BMW M240I Performance Edition

BMW’s introduction of the M240i to replace the already properly good M235i resulted in rather strange squeaks of elation from the BMW fanboys that popularised it. Boasting a brand new B58 motor with rather serious power figures, to the tune of 250kw and 500nm being pumped to the rear wheels.  Mated to a slick 8-speed auto, 0-100 is dispatched in 4.6 seconds and glue the back of your head to the seat as it draws you closer to the horizon until you hit the limiter at 250km/h.

This was combined with the light weight chassis that oozes the proper M car dynamics, much like its more expensive relatives and the straight line clout to keep a list of thoroughbreds humble.  The M240i is an incredible package, with enough driving prowess to make it a worthy of the M badging that litters the cabin and exterior. All of this and a soundtrack that sounds like the smashed dreams of the fallen GTI’s in its wake – It’s damn good.

BMW M240I Performance Edition

In the quest for individualisation, BMW has introduced the Performance edition of the favoured couple. The limited run vehicle will feature an Alpine White paint job with matte black accents, namely the front kidney grill and front spoiler. A set of 19inch Bicolour Orbit Grey wheels with diamond polished sides will replace the 18’s of the standard model. The enhanced aerodynamic front splitter, air guides and rear diffuser are made entirely of carbon fibre and add to the sporty nature. The use of carbon fibre also extends to the door mirrors and the exhaust tail pieces which feature ‘M’ motifs.

BMW M240I Performance Edition

750 Performance editions will leave the Leipzig plant in Germany with availability from July of 2017. Much like the option of Xdrive all-wheel drive, the Performance edition is exclusive to the international market and sadly won’t be reaching our sunny shores, but with the standard models offering a range of M performance bolt on parts as accessories from dealers, the grin on your face will help you forget all about the performance edition and will happily go about setting your pants on fire.

BMW M240I Performance Edition

Khanye Ngwenya



Is the BMW 8 Series Concept the best looking BMW ever?

BMW 8 Series Concept

BMW 8 Series and M8 Concept

Any BMW collection worth its weight in myrrh has to consist of at least one 8 Series, in whichever shape or form. 840Ci’s are of course the more common one’s while 850CSi’s are just about as rare as a ham sandwich at a Jewish wedding. Regardless of derivative, though, the 8 Series is as timeless as ever and is heralded by many as one of the greatest BMW’s ever built, nearly thirty years on.

Designed using CAD, as well as being the first car to feature CAN bus – now an industry standard – the BMW 8 Series was somewhat of a technical masterpiece. It was also BMW’s first car to make use of a multi-link rear axle and the first road car to offer a V12 mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 8 Series was the cream of the BMW crop and their flagship model, ad obviously we have been waiting with bated breath since its production ceased in 1999 for a successor…

Few things could have prepared the world, then, for the unveiling of the BMW 8 Series Concept, first shown to the public at the Oscars of the car world, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Sure we were teased with the silver squiggle in the dark you see below, but that squiggle didn’t allude to the fact that this car is properly beautiful. While this isn’t the finished product, one can expect the production version to look very similar with this now ushering in a new era in BMW’s design language.

No word yet on motors but we do know that it shares its chassis architecture with both the G30 5 Series and G11 7 Series which means it can be fitted with anything from a 2.0-litre 4-pot to a 6.6-litre V12, delicious. We also know that 825, 830, 835, 845 and 850 have all been trademarked by BMW, so kudos to you if you can figure out how those numbers correlate to displacement. Clue: they don’t.

Aimed square at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, BMW have done a good job in avoiding what Mercedes-Benz did – make a 2-door S-Class. They could have easily made a 2-door 7 Series but instead, what we have been presented with is an automotive icon, reborn.

Production is set to start soon, so brace yourselves for the most beautiful and expensive BMW, ever.
Now watch this video and feel the goosebumps.

But wait, there’s more! Is the prospect of a big BMW Coupé not enough for you? Are you rearing to get your wallowy, fat aunt into those running shoes that she probably be wearing at all? Well then the upcoming BMW M8 is just what you need! This is exciting stuff as there has never been a production M8. Initially, BMW intended on putting the E31 M8 into production as a Ferrari competitor. Unfortunately, this was a project which never made its way into showrooms. They made one and it sported 410 kW from its modified S70 V12, a version of the M70 V12 that had been bored out from 5.0-litres to 5.6-litres.

Fast forward a decade and a bit and the M8 is back and nearly ready for production!

Likely to have more than 450 kW from the very same S63 4.4-litre unit found in the new M5, it’s set to be the fastest ever BMW road car. It doesn’t sound half bad either, with BMW clearly listening to fans who have bemoaned the current M Range’s raspy exhaust notes. Uprated brakes and suspension are obvious additions, as well as slicker aero all-round the car. Are you excited, because goodness gracious are we!