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BMW drops 8 Series price of entry with six-pot 840i

BMW has announced specifications and pricing of new entry level 8 Series, the 840i, which will be available in both coupe and convertible body styles. The 840i is a grand touring sports car aimed to compete with the recently announced Porsche 992 911 Carrera and fastest Jaguar F-Type models.

Pricing for the 840i starts at $202,900 (driveaway pricing not yet available) for the coupe, and $217,900 (plus on-road costs) for the convertible, bringing the entry fee to BMW’s 8 series ownership down significantly from its big brother, the M850i xDrive (reviewed here), which starts at $272,900 ($291,500 driveaway).

BMW continues to grow the 8 Series range, with details also confirmed this week for the four-door 8 Series Gran Coupe, available in the same 40i and 50i drivetrains. At the other end of the range, the full-fat M8 coupe and convertible are slated to be revealed at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

The four-seat 8 Series is a grand touring sports car.

Unlike the original E31 generation 840i, there is no 4.4-litre V8 this time around. This second-generation 840i utilises a turbocharged in-line six. This is the same N55 engine found in BMWs other ‘40i’ variants where it offers smooth and solid performance.

Power is sent to the rear wheels alone via an eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Maximum outputs in the 840i are 250kW and 500Nm allowing the car to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in a respectable 5.0 seconds (or 5.3 for the convertible) – 1.3 seconds slower than the 850i xDrive’s 3.7 second dash.

Standard equipment is generous on the 840i. Included in the price are wireless phone charging, park-assist, digital dashboard, 10.25-inch touch-screen display with BMWs 7.0 OS, full leather interior, and heated/ventilated front seats. BMW’s active driver assists are all included as standard on the 840i, as are 20-inch alloy wheels.

Also available as a convertible, the 8 Series is an opulent Bavarian machine. (M850i pictured)

Those seeking a more supportive driving position can option M Sport seats, now a range-wide option for the 8 Series, for $2,600, and an M-sport package for $3,900 ($3,400 for the convertible) which includes bigger 395mm front brake rotors, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, rear spoiler, and M Sport seat belts.

We were impressed with the M850i xDrive when we drove it, so expect the 840i to be a good performer combining a slightly lighter six-cylinder engine and pure rear-drive dynamics The 840i will be available in Australia in September 2019.

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BMW X1 small SUV now more affordable

The four-strong 2019 BMW X1 small SUV range has come in for a major facelift, with massaged looks front and rear headlining the aesthetic changes. Two of the four available grades have seen their pricing reduced, while only the fastest petrol model has become dearer.

A larger grille sees the X1 aligned more closely with its X3, X5 and X7 siblings in the ‘wagon-bodied’ BMW SUV range, while the LED headlights switch to a hexagonal shape and the tail light graphics are updated.

New taillight graphics make it easy to spot an updated X1.

All four grades have been retained in the facelift, with a sole turbo Diesel engine offering a more frugal option for high-milers.

The entry level remains the turbo three-cylinder sDrive18i, which has fallen in price by $1,400 to $44,500 (plus on-road costs). Sharing the Mini’s turbo 1.5-litre three-cylinder, now making 103kW/220Nm. Standard specification includes wireless smartphone charging, an 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay, LED headlights, artificial leather seating, and low-speed AEB.

The interior remains largely the same as the pre-facelift version.

From there, it’s a $5,400 step into the diesel X1, called sDrive20d – this is a two-litre turbo unit producing 110kW/330Nm, with other specification mirroring that of the aforementioned sDrive18i.

Second from the top is the sDrive20i, which utilises a two-litre turbo petrol to make 141kW/280Nm. This grade falls in price by $2,400 to $48,500 before on-roads. Specification at the 20i level moves up to include a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, a head-up display, power tailgate, and upgraded lighting that bundles adaptive technology for the headlights and ‘X1’ puddle lamps.

The flagship X1 xDrive25i is the sole grade that sees its price increased, by $2,000 to $62,900 before on-road costs. This car makes 170kW/350Nm from its two-litre turbo. Additionally justifying the considerable $14,400 upgrade over the 20i is greater equipment in the shape of AWD, real leather seating with heating and electric adjustment up front, keyless entry and start, 19-inch wheels, and dual-zone climate control.

This is the upmarket xDrive25i grade – the sole X1 with AWD in Australia.

2019 BMW X1 facelift Australian pricing

X1 sDrive18i: $44,500

X1 sDrive18d: $49,900

X1 sDrive20i: $48,500

X1 xDrive25i: $62,900

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2019 BMW 330i Touring grey M Sport New BMW 330i wagon locked in for Australia

In a vote of confidence in station wagons, Bavarian automaker BMW has confirmed that the 3 Series Touring will make a return in new-generation ‘G21’ form. The 2019 BMW 330i Touring will arrive in Australia this October, with a one-engine strategy at launch and the prospect of additional engines joining the lineup later.

Powered by a turbocharged two-litre petrol four making 190kW/400Nm, the 330i is pretty quick, sprinting from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds – making it just one-tenth of a second slower than the new 330i sedan (reviewed by us here).

Like the sedan, the new 330i Touring will come with an M Sport package as standard, though those preferring a more traditional aesthetic can tick the Luxury Line box as a no-cost option. We’d be doing that, obviously.

2019 BMW 330i Touring green Luxury
The 3 Series Touring in Luxury Line trim, and an unusual shade of green…

Compared to the previous ‘F31’ shape, the new 3 Series wagon is 76mm longer, 16mm wider, and 8mm higher. Both the front and rear track are widened and the wheelbase is stretched by 41mm for an additional 11mm of rear legroom. Boot space is increased very marginally from 495L to 500L.

Weight savings have resulted in a 10kg reduction over the old 330i Touring, while rigidity is substantially increased by about 25%.

Within the BMW range, the 330i Touring will sit beneath the larger 5 Series Touring (reviewed here). and represents an alternative to the X3 SUV (reviewed here).

2019 BMW 330i Touring interior
The G21’s interior reflects that of the G20 sedan.

Priced at $73,900 (driveaway pricing TBA), the new shape 330i Touring represents a $3,700 reduction in pricing over the old shape despite the equipment spread becoming relatively more generous.

New infotainment inside comprises digital displays for both the driver’s instruments and the central touchscreen, which runs BMW’s iDrive 7 system and includes wireless Apple CarPlay. Wireless smartphone charging is also standard.

BMW’s mid-grade ‘Vernasca’ leather upholstery is standard for the seats, while upgraded merino leather will be optional.

2019 BMW 330i Touring boot space
500 litres – that’s a big boot.

M Sport cars include a beefier steering wheel rim, 19-inch light alloy wheels, M Sport brakes, adaptive dampers with an M tune, plus aluminium trim and black headlining inside the car.

By contrast, opting for the Luxury Line keeps the big M Sport brakes of the more athletic variant, but sees the headlining inside switched to a light tone and swaps in grey ash wood trim. Artificial leather is splashed on the dash. Aluminium roof rails are added up top and there’s a different style of 19-inch wheel.

Both variants grab the same sport seats, as well as a ten-speaker BMW-branded stereo, adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and start, plus BMW’s higher-end safety suite that bundles high-speed AEB, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and automated parking.

2019 BMW 330i Touring range
Consider this over an X3. You won’t regret it…
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