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Old-School Trucks For Off-Road Adventures

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Some of the toughest off-road vehicles ever built are more than 30 years old. These old-school monsters were built for roaming the backcountry for months at a time. Many have conquered safaris with ease, chased down wild game for zoos, and attacked many a campsite with verve. They feature prominently in our escapist fantasies as we leave our work-a-day lives behind, even if it is just for a little while. Continue reading “Old-School Trucks For Off-Road Adventures” »

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A Quick Look At The 2017 Honda Ridgeline

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SUVs That Time Forgot

74DE293A-44CC-45FD-B61B-5DA54C014AEAThe SUV seems ubiquitous today. Every where you turn there is either an SUV or a minivan(MPV if you prefer). You can find a plethora of Fords, BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, and sundry other automakers, taking up row after row of spaces in any given parking structure. The brands we take for granted today are just the Darwinian version of the SUV. The strongest, most brand fit models have managed to survive the last two decades of constant change and upheaval within the public preference spectrum. What about those dinosaurs that time has forgotten or models that were to weak to survive? Why has one model managed to survive for decades while others have failed within three years? Continue reading “SUVs That Time Forgot” »

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A Quick Look At The 2016 BMW M4 GTS

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The 2016 BMW M4 GTS has a tonne of talking points to keep a writer abuzz article after article. About the third one in, most readers would be eyesore and sick of the topic, so we have to condense everything down to a single post and hit the highest of the highlights. So, what is that highlight? Water. Yes, two simple hydrogen molecules attached to a singe oxygen atom could quite well be the highlight of the M4 GTS. 

What's Water Got To Do With It?

Your body is nearly 60 percent water; most of the Earth's surface is covered in water; you drink it everyday(there is some water in your pint, so you're covered); so what is so special about water. The quick answer is the water injection system that BMW is using to cool the intake charge as it moves into the plenum of the S55 twin-turbo inline six that powers the M4 GTS. 

Is this a totally new concept? No, not even for production models. Oldsmobile attached a methyl-water injection system on the 1962–63 Oldsmobile Jetfire. The system failed on nearly every unit sold; not because the system was poorly designed, but because owners would forget to refill the reservoir tank with Oldsmobile's ''Turbo-Rocket'' fluid. Driver error caused a negative perception of the system, so it was scrapped.

How It Works78071C70-0ABE-4DFA-9AD9-1245A3B95C10

With turbocharged engines, a cooler stream of air in the intake results in more power. One challenge that engine designers face is that the short path running from the air filter, through the turbos, over the dual-cam cylinder head, then into the air-to-liquid intercooler, can cause air to reach temperatures in excess of 100°C, robbing power. Injecting water into the hot air can drop its temperature by an average of 25 degrees. Jurgen Poggel, head of engine development for M GmbH, has seen temperatures drop as low 49°C under extreme circumstances during testing. This cooler state stops engine knock, excessive detonation of fuel, and allows the turbos to produce additional boost: 21.6 psi compared to the 17.2 seen in the lower level M4. The overall effect that a driver will experience is a jump in horsepower to 493 bhp in the M4 GTS...49 extra ponies when you look at the M4 equipped with the Competition Package.

Just about any liquid can perform this bit of Harry Potter style magic. BMW could have used the same mixture that Oldsmobile tried in the Jetfire and achieved similar, if not better results. Most other mixtures would have increased the amount of noxious gases emitted by the GTS. In an age of tightening emissions controls, this is an overbearing consideration for all manufacturers. Water doesn't change emissions because there is nothing in distilled water than can combust.

The system does not draw water from thin air. There is a 4.9L tank hidden under the floor in the boot. Under average driving conditions, this tank will need to be filled every fourth or fifth top off. Since the water system is only active above 5,000 rpms, track conditions change the water consumption and will drain the system after a single tank of petrol. BMW had the forethought to prepare the M4 GTS for such eventualities as running out of water and the probability that the water could freeze during the winter. If the water reservoir runs dry, the engine automatically converts to the tuning seen in the 444 bhp M4's. To prevent freezing and corrosion, all water lines drain when the engine is shut off. The system will prime in a matter of seconds upon startup and will be ready long before a sane driver will be calling for 5,000 rpms. 

Anything Else Of Note?

ADBB8B08-61AB-4810-9F6D-FB8AE671DF6AOf course, there is. BMW does not build an M4 without extra fun things to play with and the GTS takes that in a track orientation. Carbon-fibre is everywhere. The GTS has a carbon-fiber bonnet, roof, strut brace, driveshaft, rear wing, front splitter, and rear bulkhead. Then there are the added weight savings from the carbon-ceramic brake rotors and extremely light interior trim taken from the i3. Everything down to the ultra-light carbon-fibre seats is designed to offset the weight added by the water injection system. Then there is the suspension set-up. The basic system used in every M4(struts in front, rigidly mounted rear subframe with multilink, and an electronically controlled limited-slip diff) remains, but the GTS adds three-way adjustable dampers with external reservoirs and adjustable perches for the springs. To handle the extra power, BMW uses Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, 265/35ZR-19 in the nose and 285/30ZR-20 on the trailing end. The result of all of these machinations is a 7:27.9 lap around Nurburgring Nordschleife. That is better than a Ferrari 458 Italia can manage, proving the M4 GTS's chops as a track-worthy car.

When you look at the asking price of an M4 GTS you may just mess your trousers. The tag is more than double that of a base model M4. That price point was arrived at because all of the upgrades are expensive. Add to that a limited run of just 700 units worldwide and you can see how BMW arrived at its asking price with full expectations of selling out quickly!

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The Most Powerful Cars You Can Buy For Less Than $28,000

Measuring power is easy. You have two numbers that are generally accepted by most drivers: brake horsepower and torque. Which is most important is a matter of personal opinion. Here at Be Forward, we have a decided bias toward torque, but brake horsepower is the standard most widely accepted around the world. Unfortunately for the average buyer, big pony numbers usually come with a high price tag. On the bright side, there are several autos out there that offer more than adequate bhp numbers and manage to keep the price tag under L28,000. Here are several with a high output number and a fairly low ticket price.image Continue reading “The Most Powerful Cars You Can Buy For Less Than $28,000” »

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Automotive Firsts: A History Lesson For Automobile Enthusiasts

So, how do you define being ''first''? Once you define first, you must clarify which country you are talking about. Next, how do you satisfy everyone? Being first to bring an innovation to the automotive market can be a double-edged sword. It is a great marketing tool so long as it works conveniently for buyers. If it doesn't, or worse yet doesn't work well at all, an automaker can take years to recover its reputation. Also, being first can mean being the first to take an innovation mainstream.image

One such ''first'' is the hybrid car. Many consider the Toyota Prius to be not only the first, but most popular hybrid. In truth, hybrid cars were first introduced in 1896, with several versions offered by 1910. Toyota was "first" to offer a modern hybrid drive system...in Japan. The Honda Insight featured the first modern system in many other markets, confusing the issue. Continue reading “Automotive Firsts: A History Lesson For Automobile Enthusiasts” »

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Pininfarina's That Do Not Wear The Prancing Horse

On November 2, 1893 one of the most iconic automotive designers the world will ever know was born. Battista ''Pinin'' Farina went on to found what is arguable the most influential coachbuilding company to ever grace an automobile with its genius in 1930. Carrozzeria Pininfarina began its close association with Ferrari in 1952 and has lent its body and soul to more Ferraris than can be imagined.

Pininfarina's association with Ferrari is so cemented in the mindset of the world that few realize the coachbuilder has ever worked with any other automaker. Fortunately for the automotive and car enthusiast worlds, Pinin and his son Sergio lent their imaginations to other brands over the decades. It is those select few cars that we would like to explore today.

Cisitalia 202GT

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Top Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Summer

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Summer is nearly upon us. To many that means trips to the beach, visits with family, and last minute outings of all sorts. Summer driving adds up to a lot of driving under extreme conditions that can include heat, dust, on top of stop-and-go traffic jams. Each one of these will take an extreme toll on your vehicle. If you do not take the proper precautions, your vehicle is going to let you down, usually at the most inopportune moment. Luckily, by performing some periodic maintenance and taking a few other precautions, you can lessen the chance of a breakdown or minimize the impact of one.     Continue reading “Top Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Summer” »

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Where To Buy A V12

Where To Buy A V12

There is just something sexy about a 12-cylinder engine. It isn't that a twelve banger equates to more power than any other engine; it just makes a statement. It's like a middle finger to the fuel economy maniacs in the world. It says: ''I make ridiculous money and I don't care what you think.'' It also tells the world that you work hard, play hard, and drive fast. Overall, the slowest V12 is sexier than the fastest twin-turbo four popper anyone can produce...and sounds much better going by! Given the fanatical way that the auto world is turning to the lightest possible engines, the 12 is a dying breed. So, where can you still find a car powered by one? Let's have a look, shall we?image-5 Continue reading “Where To Buy A V12” »

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2017 Cars That Everyone Is Waiting For

Let's start today's post with an age-old conundrum...what is the best part about being a man? Is it sports? Bourbon and cigars? The rush of adrenaline from pushing a sports car to its limits? All of those things make being a man much more satisfying, but perhaps the best thing about manhood is the ability to delay one's gratification. Well, when it comes to cars anyway. Leave a smooth bourbon and a well wrapped Cubano laying around and I will have it lit and sipped before you can return to the room. Now that the thirst is upon me, let's move into some cars that have been in the manufacturers brewing pot for a while, but are about to come to fruition for the enjoyment of us all. Cheers, mate!

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