Tag Archives: BMW

I’ve Bought A Xedos 6 And It Was About Tree Fiddy

By Tim Smith


Today’s alphanumeric communication is brought to you by That Sense Of The New That The New Year Brings, or TSOTNTTNYB, for short.

About a month ago, I bought, with some cash (not all of it mine), a Mazda Xedos 6. I’m still unsure as to whether it was a complete mistake, but more on that later, first, the news:

For a bit of the year, about a three month bit, I was driving around a BMW Z4. Now, if I type Z4, but keep my finger on the shift key it spells Z$. My goodness pop-pickers, it was just all of that. Badger me, and I may just do a post about it.

That concludes the news, now back to the program.

‘So?’ say, you, ‘what about this Xedos?’ And also, ‘when are you gonna give me that 20 quid?’

Well, I’m not sure about that last bit, probably next week, as for the car, it’s got some miles on the clock, which, I have to say, I think are probably irrelevant, it’s a loverly dark blue (at least some of it is), and it has what should be a creamy smooth V6 connected to what should be an equally silky 5-speed manual ‘box.


Looks good from afar…


Upon start up, it taps a little bit in a ‘I’m a hideously complicated non-interference engine, so this clicking could be something deep inside of me and probably expens… oh, it’s okay, I’ve stopped now’ way.

Also, it idles somewhere around the 300rpm range, unless the heater is on.


But, I’m afraid, it’s far from nice.


But, all of the electrics work, it has a sunroof, and it has a sunroof.

Did I mention it has a sunroof?


There’s also this.


Cosmetically it is, well, bad. Like beaten with walls and bollards bad. Here’s the thing, though, it cost me £350. And the sunroof works! And it’s electric! The sunroof, that is.


And this, among the rest…


Clearly, there is a big list of bits and pieces to be done, which, if you come find me next week, I’ll let you know all about.

Until then, I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.









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BMW Do Some Gran Turismo, May Have Revealed The M4 DTM Car

By Tim Smith

Karin Habib, Director of BMW design, states at the beginning of this little ditty of marketing and gaming that;

‘The first time I heard about the idea for us to design a car for GT6 I actually didn’t quite believe it, but at the same time I thought it was a pretty amazing opportunity for us.’

Wait, you didn’t quite believe it? Really? Really, really? Really, really, really?

A surprised man.

A surprised man.

Anyway, given the chance to do this type of project you could be forgiven for thinking that the designers might go a bit crazy; a nuclear power plant, or hubless wheels or some crazy glue sniffing aero package.


What we get is better and worse, all at the same time.

Hullo, there. Are you the M4 DTM?

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Filed under Recycled PR

BMW’s Future’s Past.


By Tim Smith

Arthur Charles Clarke did not come up with the idea of the geo-stationary orbit. But then, Columbus was not the first European to set foot in the America’s.

Other people choose what we remember about the world, and they are not always right, but then, Mr Clarke did lend much to fuel our collective imagination.

BMW did not invent the first usable electric car, but they may have successfully broken the collective arched backs of the sceptical.

The new advert is (whisper it) beautiful in part, frustrating as a whole. The musical ident at the end is tacked on and ruins the flow of the images set before, but, we do get to bask in Clarke’s voice. He sounds like a broadcast from another time, perhaps another dimension…

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17/02/2014 · 19:30

You And Yours Is Still Skeptical About Electric Cars


By Tim Smith

As I’ve said before, to pay the bills, I work for a restaurant. It’s a nice one. Most of our customers are nice middle England types. You know, Doctors, Accountants, those sorts.

Being ‘just’ a waiter I do occasionally get treated like a naughty dog. It is this same tone of voice that I sometimes hear, that You And Yours (BBC Radio Four’s consumer news programme) uses when they talk about electric cars.

Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 15.51.31

Here’s a link to a programme from roughly six months ago (the item starts at about 1:18) where they effectively tell local councils off for spending money on charge points where ‘some of them haven’t been touched in a year.’


Here’s another link (scroll to 5:41) to their almost incredulous feature (broadcast today) on the growing popularity of electric cars. Highlights include the use of the word ‘trendiness’ and an unerring tone of disapproval.


BMW i3, I still love you.


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Filed under Wednesday View

Monday Long Termer: 27/01/14


By Nathan Green

Forced induction diesel engines- frugal, efficient and torquey. The combination of crisp, cool winter air providing a dense charge and a brand new turbocharger force feeding it into the engine means even the relatively small capacity 1.3 CDTI engine in the Corsa can actually provide enough grunt to rouse an occasional smile.

It’s certainly not quick and the chassis isn’t great but this is not a car designed to go fast or excel through the twisties. It was designed to be cheap, reliable and comfortable to drive daily. Unfortunately, the fact that it is cheap means it is inevitably flawed and therefore achieves neither of the latter two points with much style or conviction.


The car needing a replacement turbocharger at 52,000 miles is testament to the poor reliability. I honestly think car manufacturers are willing to compromise on the quality of the components they use when making “cheap” cars. Some people believe they engineer certain parts only well enough to last their warranty period. All I know is Vauxhall’s dealer network would collapse overnight if they lost their income from non-warranty repairs and routine services. The same applies to every other car manufacturer. Trust me, their after sales provisions bag them millions of pounds each year. 700 odd quid of that has just been provided by my employer. Rather them than me!


So, it’s flawed. So what? Aren’t most things flawed in some way? I certainly am. I bet you are too, if you’re honest. The point is, there’s no shame in being flawed because perfection isn’t what we’re really after. If everything was perfect, there’d be nothing to moan about. We’d be bored. And mute. We must accept that most things are flawed. For example I have always wanted a manual BMW E46 M3 in Estoril blue. In fact it’s my affordable dream car. Now, I already know it will be flawed in some way, but the next time I have £10,000 going spare, I’ll buy one because I want to look at it on my driveway and drive it hard, purely for enjoyment. I will enjoy it. I’ll enjoy it very much. However, I will still use the Corsa as my daily driver because covering 15,000 miles a year in the 3.2 litre BMW would cost around £4000 a year in fuel alone.

There’s the flaw- the fun comes at a price. The Corsa costs me less than £30 a week in diesel and I am free from all the other financial burdens associated with car ownership. This little car may just save me enough money to bring an M3 within my reach in just a couple of years time. It is financially facilitating ownership of my dream car and, like all cars, it inspires a sense of any place, any time freedom. I like it already, flaws included.

Total Mileage: 289

Fuel Cost: £30

Repair Costs: Zero

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It Will Be Mine, Oh Yes. It Will Be Mine

Way back when, when e39’s were new, when I was still riding motorbikes come rain or shine, I would see anything less than a 535i as light-weight. I used to say things like,

‘If I’m gonna have a 3-series it’s gotta be either a 330d or an M3.’

That would be it, no argument, no compromise. Today, as I write this, a poor and slightly desperate man, impoverished from five years of studenting and waitering and now staring down the barrel of getting a proper job (selling my soul)  or writing (this plus a thousand other Things That Won’t Make Me Any Money) for a bit and hanging on, you find me trawling through the ads and the contacts looking for a bargain, but interesting car.

Now, as before mentioned these two things are not hard to come by. It’s just, well, I would like to sell said car on at the end of all of this, and I would like like at least a modicum of reliability.

I was contemplating making a rash decision, then something almost Answer-To-Prayer happened.

I feel I should take a tone of the anecdotal now:

I’m walking home after a lunch shift, up the road and round the ‘edge, step onto the slightly new aphalt that the neighbours complained about and there she is. An M-Sport body kitted e39.




I walk past, give a sideways glance, and find my keys in my pocket (not the front pocket, that’s got ‘oles) and who should come walkin’ out the door, but ‘ol Colin from up the stairs.

‘Like the new motor?’, ‘e says.

‘Yea, wasn’t sure who’s it was, thought you had a visitor’ I says to ‘im.

‘Well, it was meant to be my son’s. His girlfriends father wanted to sell it to him for £500..

Fuck me, I thought.

‘I’ll give you £500 next month, mate. Honestly.’


‘Really. What is it a 530? I’m already walking over.

‘I think so.’ Colin looks a little harrassed, but I press on. He offers to show me ’round  later. He leaves. I go up the stairs to the flat, open the windows, shut the shutters and watch Iain Banks’ last interview. Sad stuff; did you know he had almost finished writing a novel about a character dying of cancer BEFORE he was diagnosed? Then I twiddle the mouse, find some forum stuff about the e39… Colin promised an hour, I can’t help it, I Just Want To Have It Now. I read for a bit and get lost in the first chapter of the Pale King, then the door speaks knocking.

I’m out the door following Colin down the two curl’s of stairs pulling my shoes on. We get outside and ‘e ‘ands me the keys. How many miles, HOW MANY MILES?

Shit the bed: 217,000.


That’s very nearly to the moon, or an ocean away from ten times around this muddy, spinning ball.


It has a Full Bavarian Motor Works history. It’s had one (ONE!) owner from new and holy, moly it looks good. I feel a little like I should have a chest rug or something, but this thing is cool.

I push the hedge it’s backed up against away…


It’s a 525i. Not terrible news, just slightly under engined. Still, a car of this state is not for throwing around. It is for cool.

And that’s where we are.

Colin says he might keep it for a month. In the mean time, I’m waiting…

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