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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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2020 Ford Mustang Turbo High Performance orange Turbo-four Ford Mustang updated, renamed High Performance

Ford has announced some key details of the 2020 Mustang High Performance 2.3L which is slated to offer a sportier drive than the current Ecoboost but retain its fuel-sipping abilities. 

The 2020 Ford Mustang High Performance, as the turbo four will now be known, receives a revised 2.3-litre turbocharged four cylinder that produces 236kW/448Nm, a 12kW and 7Nm increase over the current Ecoboost model thanks to a larger 63mm turbocharger. Ford is claiming a flatter power and torque curve, with 90 percent of the maximum torque being produced between 2,500-5,300rpm, and power holding stronger to the 6,500rpm redline.

2020 Ford Mustang Turbo High Performance interior
The interior also features High Performance badging ahead of the passenger seat.

The high performance engine puts power down better due to a shorter final drive and revised gear ratios that should make the High Performance easier to keep on the boil. The High Performance Mustang can (thankfully) still be optioned with a six speed manual in the fastback body, though the convertible is only available with the 10-speed torque-converter auto. 

To suit the new High Performance nomenclature, the 2020 model has received suspension revisions which include thicker front and rear anti roll bars, and a new suspension tune with optional magnetic dampers. To complement the suspension tweaks Ford have specified the Mustang with sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres which should give an additional handling edge.

The High Performance isn’t all about going fast, though. Ford have increased the capacity for customisation, with new ‘heritage’ colours and more generous standard equipment. With “bold colour choices” available, the ‘Twister Orange’ hero colour pictured is certainly striking. Borrowing the Mustang GT’s grille and splitter along with unique bonnet vents makes this four cylinder more aggressive looking than ever.

2020 Ford Mustang Turbo High Performance orange
Quad tailpipes and the lack of a GT badge…how you’ll pick a High Performance ‘Stang.

The High Performance has several updates inside, with a 12.4-inch digital dashboard, and 8.0-inch in-dash colour display with Apple Carplay and Android Auto as standard. An analogue boost pressure gauge is present, and the standard leather sports seats can be optioned to Recaros for additional lateral support.

The 2020 High Performance comes standard with AEB, lane keep assist, lane departure warning and active cruise control as standard. Ford is offering a capped-price servicing program for the new High Performance Mustang, at a maximum price of $299 per logbook service for the first four years or 60,000km. 

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but we can expect the High Performance to start somewhere above the outgoing Ecoboost models, in the vicinity of $51,000 for the fastback, and $61,000 for the convertible. The High Performance will be landing in Australia in February 2020 and should offer a compelling combination of handling capability and everyday use.

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2020 Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet and coupe New Porsche 911 Carrera is more powerful, more expensive

Porsche have this week revealed the incoming ‘base model’ of the 992-generation 911 sports car. Initially revealed in mid-specification Carrera S form in 2018, specifications for the entry-level Carrera have now been revealed. The new 911 Carrera makes 283kW/450Nm from its three-litre twin turbo flat six, sending the car from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds as standard and as low as 4.0 seconds if the Sport Chrono pack is optioned.

The 992 Carrera is available in both coupe and cabriolet body shapes. The new body has grown around 20mm longer to 4,519mm, and 40mm wider to 1,852mm, while the kerb weight has increased to 1,580kg for the coupe and 1,650kg for the cabriolet. 

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet white
Retro-style badging features on the tail.

To compensate for the extra weight, power figures are up by 11kW over the previous 991.2 generation. The Carrera and Carrera S share the same three-litre capacity, with the power difference being the result of smaller turbos of the Carrera which produce more immediate torque lower in the rev range making the Carrera a more usable proposition for daily use. In getting the power to the ground the 992 Carrera uses an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission only, with no manual currently available (although we expect Porsche to announce one in the near future). Official fuel consumption figures are 9.0L/100km for the coupe, and 9.2L/100km for the cabriolet.

The Carrera sits on a set of staggered forged alloy wheels with 235/40/19s up front, and 295/35/20s on the rear axle. No official word from Porsche on how the suspension settings differ from the S, although we can expect a more supple calibration. Braking on the Carrera is taken care of by four-piston calipers front and rear, with 330mm discs all round.

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera gauges
The instrumentation combines analogue and digital elements.

The Carrera comes standard in Australia with AEB, park assist, lane keep assist, cruise control, and Porsche’s Wet Mode which is new for the 992. Wet Mode is a Porsche proprietary system that actively detects damp surfaces and automatically adjusts the PSM intervention to intervene sooner and with a gentler touch than it would usually.

The 992 generation Carrera certainly looks like a Porsche should. The classic wide rear end is now shared across the whole 992 range, there is no ‘narrow body’ as found in previous generations. The return to proper circular front headlights look great, the shape has translated well to the cabriolet too. We’re sure the Carrera will look even better in the metal where its width and presence will really be apparent. As you can expect from Porsche, the Carrera is not short on customisation, there are plenty of standard colours and wheels styles on offer – and the comprehensive options list that you can really go crazy with. We really hope that the gold wheels as pictured are going to be available too. 

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera red coupe
All 992 911s feature a wide-body form.

The interior remains the same as the Carrera S, a classy design with digital gauges, a 10.9 inch touchscreen for multimedia and plenty of colourful choices of leather and highlights to choose from. 

The 992 Carrera coupe will start at $229,500 in Australia (driveaway pricing not yet confirmed) – an increase of $6,050 on the old shape – and if you’re after open air motoring the cabriolet will set you back an additional $21,500, at $251,000 (driveaway pricing not yet confirmed). Dealers are taking orders now, with the Carrera arriving on our roads in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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