No. 992
April 17, 2019

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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(Mercedes-Benz images)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: The Mercedes- Benz EQC will be the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be launched globally under the EQ brand. Mercedes-Benz PR minions say: "With its seamless, clear design, it is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury." This is what I say: The Mercedes-Benz EQC's lackluster design and uninspired look doesn't represent 'Progressive Luxury,' it represents a Design staff phoning it in. The interior is decent, but the rest of the car is just visual blah-blah-blah. Mercedes PR minions weren't through, because they went on to say, "With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes." Wow, the 'Mercedes-Benz of electric vehicles,' I'm glad they didn't spend too long coming up with that. At any rate, the EQC has two electric motors - at the front and rear axles - with a combined output of 402HP. The preliminary estimated electric range is around 200 miles, which is not breakthrough by any means. The EQC will go on sale in the U.S. in 2020. This is the start of a "new Mobility era" at Daimler? Really? Move it along, there's nothing to see here. -PMD

(BMW images)
BMW has introduced a hot rod version of its X2 Sports Activity Coupe: the 2019 X2 M35i. Featuring a 2.0-Liter, TwinPower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine - the first M Performance 4-cylinder engine - and also the most powerful production 4-cylinder from BMW yet, 
the 2019 X2 M35i has a maximum power output of 302HP @ 5,000 – 6,250 rpm and maximum torque of 332 lb-ft. @ 1,750 – 4,500 rpm. BMW M made some serious tweaks to this machine. The crankshaft has been reinforced and features larger main bearings; it has new pistons with slightly reduced compression ratio (9.5:1 vs 10.2:1) to allow for a larger turbocharger and increased boost; the intake airflow tract has been improved for higher flow; and the cooling system has been upgraded. The 2019 BMW X2 M35i comes standard with xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and an 8-speed sport automatic transmission including Launch Control. A front axle BMW M Sport Differential makes its debut and features Torsen-based limited slip capabilities with up to a 39% lock-up. The new M Sport differential is integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission, which features steering wheel shift paddles, M Performance specific tuning, additional transmission cooling and updated gear ratios. Steering and suspension have been upgraded as well. The M Sport's steering features a quicker ratio; the M Sport suspension has stiffer spring and damper rates as well as a 10 mm lower ride height. The rear axle carrier and lateral control arms have been redesigned to improve driving dynamics. And an adaptive damper suspension offering two different manually selectable modes is available as an option. The BMW X2 M35i is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Yes, it has a lot of other stuff but here's all you need to know: Production for the U.S. starts in November, so expect it at dealers after the first of the year.


Let me be right up front about the BMW M760i xDrive Sedan: it is a 206.6" long, 74.9" wide, 58.2", 5,128-lb. monster. I wouldn't call it sleek, necessarily, but it is definitely imposing in its matte "Frozen Gray Metallic" finish. (I have to say that the whole matte finish look had a shelf life of, oh, about five minutes. Now it looks dated and just... unfinished. I am not a fan of it, at all.) This particular test car had the stunning "Tartufo" Full Merino leather, however, which isimply stunning. It's actually hard to write comments about a machine like this. After all, I didn't have to come up with the price of entry for my week with it, I just had to put gas in it. Lots of gas. So, suspending reality for a moment; if you had the dough-re-mi for a car like this, is this the machine you'd tell your Admin to send a check to the dealer for, so they could deliver it to the office? After all, forgetting the sports car options available, as far as big, heavy, expensive machines go you could get into a AMG GLE S 63 Coupe or AMG S 63 sedan, or a full-zoot Panamera Turbo, or a Range Rover SVAutobiography, etc. But even if price didn't matter, is this what you'd choose? I can tell you that trundling around the local landscape with this beast is a giant waste; it's no more suited to the urban slog than doing Saturday errands in a Escalade ESV is. Now, getting out on the open road and engaging the sport setting on the gearbox is a different story altogether. BMW says the M760i xDrive goes 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and I don't doubt that figure for a moment, because the beast flat-out gets it when you put your foot into that magnificent V12. And I do mean magnificent. In fact, it transforms itself into another automotive being completely, so if you have to have that component in your street car but you like big then this machine should be on your list. Yes, it's just jam-packed with technological overkill, which is now obligatory in expensive cars these days, but I guess if you wanted to go all minimalist in your daily driver you wouldn't give this car a second look anyway. When I get these test cars I don't explore the technology available because I am just not into it, I am more interested in the machine itself and the way it drives. I experienced the Active Cruise Control, however, and that was more than enough for me. I found it to be terribly annoying and the antithesis to alert, engaged driving. If you're a mediocre driver who finds the whole act of driving boring, then maybe this feature would be a godsend; but if you give a shit about driving I guarantee this active cruise control would piss you off in about a minute. Regular old cruise control is fine, thank you very much. Is this the car I would lust after if I could afford one? No. But I appreciate the engineering effort that went into it, especially when you put it in sport and drive it as a high-performance sedan. -PMD
2018 BMW M760i xDrive Sedan: $181,075 ($156,700 Base Price; Frozen Gray Metallic, $5200; Tartufo Full Merino Leather, $4000; 6.6-liter, BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo 
48-valve V12 engine with variable valve control (Double-VANOS and Valvetronic) and high-precision direct injection; 601HP@5500 rpm and 590 lbs-ft of torque; M Sport exhaust system with Cerium Gray twin tailpipe embellishers; 8-speed STEPTRONIC transmission; Driving Dynamics Control with ECO PRO, ADAPTIVE, COMFORT, COMFORT+, SPORT and SPORT+ modes; 4-wheel, ventilated, anti-lock disc brakes with ABS; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, Brake Stand-by features with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC); xDrive all-wheel-drive system; 20" M Style 760M wheels (20" X 8" front, 20" X 10" rear); Icon Adaptive full LED headlights; Cerium gray accent features; M rear spoiler; Power-folding heated side mirrors; 20-way power Multi Contour front seats with 4-way lumbar support and front seat memory; Nappa leather front and rear heated and ventilated seats, Harman Kardon Surround Sound Audio System with HD radio; SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 1-year all access subscription; iDrive 5.0 system with touchscreen, touchpad controller and seven programmable memory buttons; BMW Navigation system with 10.2" high-resolution screen, Voice command system, and Advanced Real Time Traffic information; Gesture control; Full-color head-up display; Comfort Access keyless entry and soft-close automatic doors; Panoramic moonroof; Park Distance Control, front and rear; Surround View Camera; Active Driving Assistant and Active Parking Assistant; Driving Assistance Plus Package - Active Driving Assistance Plus, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant - $1700; Luxury Rear Seating Package - Heated seats and armrests with rear massaging seats - $1800; Piano Finish Black Trim, $1080; Ambient Air Package, $350; Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof, $900; Adaptive Full LED lights, $550; Rear Seat Entertainment, $2700; Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, $3400; Destination charge, $995; Gas Guzzler Tax, $1700)

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