Tag Archives: Ford Mustang

2022 BMW 240i xDrive Performance

Entry-level sports coupe’s performance a throwback …

If you wait long enough history often repeats itself, sometimes even for the better.

Example: BMW’s new 2 Series sport coupe. In ancient times, when Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter were our presidents, BMW was famous for its 2002 sport sedans. Cute (but boxy) sedans that could rip around corners with just enough power to be fun and handle like the 2-seat sports cars that were still being made at the time.

This new 2 Series coupe (OK it’s a coupe, not a sedan) is a throwback in that sense, as it’s not huge, it’s not a crossover, and it’s not an SUV with a monster V8 and bulging 22-inch tires.

No, the tested M240i xDrive rides on a modest 107.9-inch wheelbase and is just 179.4 inches long. That means it’s smaller, even with its miniscule rear seat, than Lexus gorgeous LC500 sports car. Plus, like the old BMW 2002 sedans it’s light and lively, and doesn’t require cashing out your IRA account to finance.

Let’s start at the bottom of this incredible performance market with the BMW 230i with a base sticker of about $38,000 including delivery. It’ll cost you $2,000 more for xDrive, BMW’s AWD system. So, for $40k you’ve got a sporty coupe that handles great, looks sporty and packs a strong 255-horse 2.0-liter turbo I4.

Move up to the 240i for about $10,000 more; the tested xDrive model lists at $49,545. I know that’s not cheap, but it is reasonable for a home run of a car with looks, power, handling, grip and ride.

The pertinent numbers?

This version packs a twin-turbo 3.0-liter I6 that creates 382 horsepower and an impressive 369 pound-feet of torque. Car and Driver says the 240i will do 0 to 60 in just 4.1 seconds, while the 230i takes 5.5 seconds. All that power, in both models, is channeled through a silky 8-speed automatic to deliver kick-ass acceleration that is as impressive as it is refined.

Power is muscle car strength and the handling feels racetrack ready. With the xDrive AWD system the traction is superb too, although remember that AWD adds weight to the coupe while the 230i without it might seem even more nimble. Side note, the 240i is about 350 pounds heavier than the 230i, even without the xDrive.

Watch Mark’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9nvc2uzhIo

Four driving modes allow the 240i’s pilot to ride in Comfort or pretend it’s race day by dialing in Sport mode, which of course firms the ride, handling and adjusts tranny shifts. Adaptive and Eco Pro also are available, but Comfort is just fine for both performance and city driving where you’ll be dodging street craters. Ride is downright civil in Comfort mode, even here in Midwest Lunar Land.

But there’s more than performance to recommend the 2 Series coupes, including looks. With a long hood and short tail this belies muscle car stance and profile, and, get this, the nose features small BMW kidney-shaped grilles that fit the car dimensionally. These are not the screaming monster nostrils some of its new larger sedans and coupes snort with. Perfect!

Add to that a spectacular paint scheme, a deep eggplant-like metallic purple that the BMW marketing crew labels Thundernight Metallic ($550 extra, but do it). Ah, to work on the paint color naming team!

Inside, the BMW is a nice mix of modern digital controls and normal analog buttons and such, all wrapped in typical black leather finery, this with blue stitching to brighten it just a touch. That costs $1,450 extra, and may even be worth it.

Add to that what designers call aluminum tetragon trim for $150. That defines the console and dash to give the 240i’s interior a jeweled look that is now seems as popular for interiors as a Starbucks is on every corner.

Comfort and convenience are on their front foot here too. Seats are heated as is the steering wheel, part of a $2,750 premium package. That also adds adaptive LED headlights, a head-up display and Live Cockpit Pro with navigation. LCP is a fancy digital instrument panel that displays not only a speedometer, but radio stations, cruise control and a live nav map, among other necessities.

The BMW seats also are exceptional in their support and adjustability including power adjustable side bolsters and an extendable lower seat cushion that’s helpful to drivers with long legs. A power lumbar support was added here too, costing $350 extra.

Rear seats are for show and insurance purposes, but trunk space is good for a sports coupe, easily accommodating golf clubs or several suitcases.

Other goodies inside include a 12.3-inch touchscreen that is reasonably easy to adjust and includes, get this, 8 actual buttons just below the screen to program in your favorite radio stations. Bravo. Oddly BMW continues offering its rotary dial on the console to search the info screen for various functions, but it’s a redundant system that isn’t needed.

A fine Harman Kardon surround sound system enlivens the audio scene, but of course adds $875 to the bottom line. Standard though is a wireless charger under the center stack and the steering wheel is a thick leather-wrapped M model, although a racier flat-bottom would seem more appropriate.

I’d also like to see cooled seats that would help take the edge off these black leather bun warmers in summer.

Safety features such as blind-spot warning and lane departure are mostly standard, but a driving assistance package adds smart cruise control, a drive recorder for when you head to the racetrack, active park distance control, and a parking assistant feature, plus a surround view camera with 3D feature. That’s $1,450 extra.

            Gas mileage is acceptable for a high-horse sport coupe, rated at 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway by the EPA. I got 26.4 mpg in about an even mix of city and highway driving. But, and it’s a big but, the BMW prefers premium (91 octane) fuel. Ouch!

            Final numbers?

            This one listed at $49,545, which seems on target for this market, but it skyrockets once all the options are added, hitting $56,845. Considering this is the entry-level 2 Series that seems a bit much. In fact, the lower cost 230i seems the bigger bargain at roughly $40,000, including xDrive.

            If you desire power, handling and looks the 230i or 240i hit on all cylinders though. Consider too the venerable Ford Mustang, and even the soon to depart Chevy Camaro. On the import side the new Nissan Z will give the BMW a run for its money and the Lexus IS sedan sort of fits in this category too.

FAST STATS: 2022 BMW M240i xDrive

Hits: Sporty looks, cool color, great power, excellent handling and grip with AWD. Ride good in Comfort mode. Heated seats and wheel, wireless charger, easy touchscreen, super seats with adjustable side bolsters. 4 drive modes, 8 pre-set radio buttons, sporty interior with blue seat/console stitching, good trunk space.

Misses: Prefers premium fuel, no flat-bottom wheel, needs cooled seats, gets pricey with so many add-ons. 

Spiffy wheels and blue brake calipers!

Made in: Mexico

Engine: 3.0-liter twin turbo I6, 382 hp/369 torque

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Weight: 3,871 lbs.

Wheelbase: 107.9 in.

Length: 179.4 in.

Cargo: 10.0 cu.ft.

MPG: 23/32

MPG: 26.4 (tested)

Base Price: $49,545 (includes delivery)

Invoice: $46,645

Options:

Thundernight (purple) metallic paint, $550

Black leather seats w/blue stitching, $1,450

Driving assistance pkg. (active cruise control, parking assistant plus, drive recorder, active park distance control, surround view w/3D) $1,450

Premium pkg. (heated steering wheel, heated front seats, adaptive LED lights, head-up display, Live Cockpit Pro w/nav), $2,750

Aluminum tetragon trim, $150

Lumbar support, $350

Harman Kardon surround sound, $875

Various deletes, -$275

Test vehicle: $56,845

Sources: BMW, www.kbb.com

Photos: Mark Savage

Car Spotting: An under appreciated Mustang

A Mustang fully loaded

Most of us think of the performance-based Mustangs targeted towards the youth market yet there was one that took a different direction, the upscale Grande. Produced from 1969 to 1973 it was only available as a hardtop. It had tons of options, 45 to be exact, which was a lot at the time and included “Comfortweave” hopsack upholstery, extra-thick carpet on the floorboards, two-tone narrow stripes, faux woodgrain dashboard, padded interior side panels, racing-style mirrors, chrome rocker panel moldings, and wire-style wheel covers.

Mustang Grande I spotted this summer while working at Ironwood Golf Course

Ford also gave drivers the option to order any Mustang engine for the Grande, even including the 428 Cobra Jet V8. This option drove up the price significantly, especially combined with the more elegant Grande package. That said, any surviving Grandes with miscellaneous engines have become very collectible, and only 62 Grandes were built with a 428 Cobra Jet in 1969. Hagery lists an average price for all four years of production at around $12,000 with almost $30,000 for a Concours level example making it a very affordable collectible like this one.

An excellent example. Bodywork looked great

My car spots appear every Friday here on SavageOnWheels.com. Be sure to check back and keep your phone out and ready to snap that next great spot. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Lights at night

How good are you at car spotting?

I grew up with a kid in my neighborhood who could tell you what kind of car had just driven by listening to the engine. Yup, he was good. I love doing this, especially when the new cars come out. But when I was driving during the evening rush here in Milwaukee I tried identifying cars by just their tail lights. Relax, we were stopped most of the time. I grabbed ten images of 2018-19 vehicles’ tail lights. See how good you are. To make it tougher, I photoshopped out any logos if they were in the shot. If you choose the wrong answer it will appear red while the right one turns green. Good Luck. BTW, using Google Image Search is cheating and participants will be flogged. Also, right-clicking on the image will not give you the correct answer. I couldn’t make it that easy.

Continue reading Lights at night

Trans Am racing on a budget

I was into Trans Am racing almost from the start

Laguna Seca poster hanging next to my slot car track

Being raised in a car family how couldn’t I be? I wasn’t there at the start on March 25, 1966 when the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) kicked it off at Sebring International Raceway but picked it up a couple of years later when American Motors started racing Javelins against the Mustangs, Cameros, Challengers, and Barracudas. There were some great racers like A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Peter Reveson, George Follmer, Swede Savage (no relation to Mark), and Mark Donohue. Since AMC was backing Donohue I got to see and meet him a couple of times when he raced at Road America. Fun times! And then it all sort of went away. Continue reading Trans Am racing on a budget

2017 Ford Focus RS

Ford’s Focus RS is a scorching hot rod …2017 Ford Focus RS

Simply put, Ford’s Focus RS is a street-legal race car.

Not many of those out there, and most that are require you to sell your house in order to make a down payment on said speedster.

So here, for “just” $36,995, Ford will put a scorching hot rod, drifter, rally car in your driveway, enticing neighbors, especially young males, to drool. It’ll also increase your heart rate, something on the order of being a real race driver.

The backstory on the German-made RS is that it, or similar Foci, have been sold in Europe for years and U.S. lead-footers have been itching for it, begging for it, praying for it to hit our shores. Now it has. I don’t know how many will be sold, but the Subaru Impreza WRX now has serious competition. In fact, folks considering a Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger may want to consider saving some dough and going this route for serious performance.

What does that performance consist of?2017 Ford Focus RS

In a nutshell this fast Focus, complete with a big deal rear spoiler, pumps 350 horsepower out of its tiny 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine along with a matching torque rating. It’s said to do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. By comparison, a Mustang GT can do it in 4.4 seconds. That’s pretty close and this handles better! Continue reading 2017 Ford Focus RS

I’m a gear head and propeller head

The biggest roar of engines you will ever hear!

eaa airventure 2016, eaa, oshkosh wi, airplanes, jets, And one of the few places you will hear them is where I was this week, AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh, WI. I’m sure I’m not alone where I say that I get excited hearing a car like a new Corvette jump on the throttle as it comes out of a turn. Well take that feeling and multiply it by, let’s say 10! And if you think a Hellcat Charger at 700 hp is a lot, multiply that by about four and you have the horsepower of many of the engines in the warbirds up here, even more for the jets. In case you’re not familiar with the event it is the largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world, held every year in Oshkosh, and hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). The event, which began on July 24th and runs through July 31st, spans the entire spectrum of aviation. It attracts 10,000 airplanes and more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from all over the world. If you haven’t I would highly encourage you to come to this event just once. It is a hoot. Continue reading I’m a gear head and propeller head

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1969 Dodge Charger 500

1/24-scale 1969 Dodge Charger a nice value …AW24005_1969DodgeCharger_1stPrepro-1

Originally I was not a big Dodge Charger or American Motors Marlin fan. Both were too radical in their fastback designs for me. I preferred the Plymouth Baracuda and Ford’s Mustang 2+2.

But by 1968 the second generation Charger looked racier to me and in 1969 Dodge launched the Charger 500 to help it better compete in NASCAR with the likes of Ford’s Torino Talladega and Mercury Cyclone models. The 500 was a limited edition, of (you guessed it) 500, which allowed it to meet NASCAR production standards, back in the day when the racers really were stock cars, or based on them. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1969 Dodge Charger 500

2015 Ford Mustang I4 Premium

New Mustang flat out gorgeous, ride improvesmustang left

Fifty years in and Mustang is still behaving like a teenager with his first set of wheels and looking as sexy as ever.

The previous sizzling Mustang design was so reminiscent of the 1960s icon that some felt Ford had taken a step back, just to glom on to sales from us Baby Boomers. So what? But the 2015 model keeps Mustang’s styling heritage, a long hood, fastback styling a pony on the grille and tri-bar taillights. Wisely it also kept Mustang’s long-popular profile.

But indeed Mustang looks leaner and sleeker now from the front, a bit more youthful with its smoother sides. In back I like the way its tri-bar lights lean forward, but its rump has been broadened visually with accentuated wheel flares, shades of J Lo! The bet is the overall effect will still appeal to Boomers, but will increasingly lure younger buyers. Works with the Kardashians!

mustang1Looks may go a long way to broaden interest in the Mustang. The car is gorgeous, but its refinement also makes it less rough around the edges and that will help too. The big upgrade starts with a fully independent rear suspension, something racers and enthusiasts have been calling for to replace its older live rear axle. While Ford had gone a long way to perfect the live-axle’s ride, this is better. Continue reading 2015 Ford Mustang I4 Premium

Chasing a future classic car

Name the most iconic Mustang

gone in 60 seconds, eleanor, eleanor mustang, collector cars, famous mustangs, iconic ford mustangs, ford mustang
Photo: Yahoo

I can think of a couple, the first one introduced in 1964 1/2, 1965 Shelby GT350, 1968 Shelby GT 500KR (I love the convertible!), and for sure soon to be a future icon is Eleanor from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. One of three of the original Eleanor Mustang hero cars is heading to auction at Mecum’s Austin 2014 auction, December 12th and 13th. What will it go for? If this is any indication, in May of last year, another Eleanore sold for $1M at a Mecum auction. A Million Bucks!!!!!! I could sell all my stuff and still wouldn’t be close. This car is beyond cool. Check out more on the car.

 

Soon to be Classic Cars: Rare Shelbys

A garage sale like no other

Shelby cars, shelby prototypes, shelby mustangs
Shelby America

It seems things got a little tight at Shelby America so they decided to do a bit of house cleaning. Not your regular office stuff, these are rare prototypes. 11 Shelby concept cars and prototypes are up for grabs. Shelby says it would rather see them in the hands of enthusiasts than sitting in storage. I’m down with that. Several of the cars are of course Mustangs, including the 2011 Super Snake with a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 that chucks out 750 hp! You’ll need to have deep pockets to score one of these with most going in six figures. Start drooling.