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BMW’s M3 celebrates 30 years as a performance icon



All images courtesy of BMW AG.

“Race car for the street” is an oft-overused phrase, frequently applied to the likes of garden-variety sports and GT cars alike. But, sometimes, when a manufacturer must homologate a car by building it in quantity to make it legal for a racing series, you really can get a race car for the street.

The BMW E30 M3, made from 1986 through 1991, fulfilled that role quite nicely for the Munich manufacturer. And in the process of turning its small sedan into a fire-breathing, track and rally course-eating machine, it also found homes for them with more than 17,000 enthusiasts worldwide. This spring marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of this legendary machine.





BMW’s potent 2.3-liter, 200-hp S14 engine

By the mid-1980s, BMW had already firmly established its [...]


Two Porsche Carrera GTs also on offer at the World’s Largest Collector-Car Auction, Jan. 15-24

It’s not every day that you can buy a Daytona 24 Hour-Winning Porsche 962 that master endurance-racer Derek Bell drove to his final 24-Hour victory, but the opportunity will arise at Mecum Kissimmee 2016, this January 15-24. Billed as the world’s largest collector-car and Road Art auction, Mecum Kissimmee offers approximately 3,000 vehicles and more than 1,000 items of memorabilia and signs for sale each year.

One of the headline vehicles at Mecum Kissimmee 2016 is the 1989 Porsche 962(Lot S98) chassis number 962-108. When the Jim BusbyKissimmee 2016 Racing 962 arrived at Daytona in 1989 in its now-famous Miller High Life livery, prognosticators had mostly written off the Porsches as no longer competitive, although the marque had won the previous-year’s IMSA championship. But the Busby crew had on its side one of the best endurance drivers of all time, [...]

img-2Global sales of BMW Group’s core brand rose faster in June than at Audi and Mercedes-Benz as demand from China and the United States helped the premium carmaker to extend a lead over the two rivals in the first six months of the year.

Sales at the brand were up 9 percent last month to 153,075, the group said today, compared with growth of 5 percent to 140,300 and 8 percent to 131,609 at Audi and Mercedes respectively.

Six-month sales at BMW brand rose 8 percent to 804,000 cars, expanding the lead over runner-up Audi to 24,000 from 11,000 after five months. Half-year sales at Audi and Mercedes rose 6 percent each to 780,500 and 694,000 respectively.

“BMW has stronger momentum than Audi and Mercedes, that won’t change in the second half,” said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. “Design [...]

img-3Tesla Motors Inc., the world’s best-performing automotive stock this year, will join the Nasdaq-100 Index next week, filling the spot vacated by Oracle Corp., which is moving to the New York Stock Exchange.

The electric-car maker will be added to the gauge, which tracks the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, before the start of trading on July 15, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said in a statement Monday. Oracle, which last month said it will join the NYSE, is the biggest company to jump between the competing exchanges.

Shares of Tesla, the carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, have more than tripled this year as the popularity of its new Model S sedan helped the company turn its first quarterly profit. Gaining entry to benchmarks tracked by investors is attractive to public companies because it provides a guaranteed shareholder base.


img-4The Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, the top-selling mid-size and compact cars in the U.S., face risks of reduced production as inventories of the models rise, an RBC Capital Markets report said.

Toyota’s Camry exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 15 days supply in June and Honda carried about 25 days more Civics than usual, Joseph Spak, a New York-based analyst for RBC, said in today’s report. Camry and Civic were the only models identified as at risk for reduced output among 16 of the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. market. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all added U.S. market share in the first six months of 2013, the first time that all three gained first-half share in 20 years. Models such as GM’s Chevrolet Cruze compact and Ford’s Fusion [...]

Fiat exercises option to buy additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

Purchase brings closer a merger of the two automakers

img-5Fiat today exercised an option to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent.

The move is part of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s step-by-step purchases intended to lead to full control of Chrysler and the creation of a merged company that would be able to compete better with industry leaders Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Fiat has been exercising options since mid-2012 to buy holdings of about 3.3 percent from the VEBA, a medical-benefits trust for the U.S. carmaker’s retirees.

Including today’s purchase, Fiat has exercised three of its six-monthly options, increasing its stake to 68.49 percent.

Fiat has said it wants full control of Chrysler, which would give it access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models.

Chrysler has become Fiat’s most reliable profit generator as the Italian company struggles to end losses in Europe [...]

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