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BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe reborn for 2021 with 503 horsepower

The BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe have been reborn for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

Up to 503 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. On those numbers alone, it's easy to see how the new, sixth-generation 2020 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe will be choice for spirited drivers. The natural successors of the E30 M3 will arrive in markets worldwide in the spring.

BMW will sell the cars in four variants: the RWD, manual transmission M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe and the RWD, automatic transmission M3 Competition Sedan and M4 Competition Coupe.

The M3 and M4 are getting a 48-horsepower upgrade for the 2021 model year. Competition models get a 59-horsepower and 73 pound-feet of torque upgrade over previous Competition package-equipped cars.

2021 BMW M3

Photo courtesy of BMW

The M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds courtesy of its 473-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that achieves 406 pound-feet of torque. It has a top speed of 155 or 180 mph depending on whether or not the M Driver's Package is selected. These cars are delivered with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. Rev matching technology is available.

Competition models are tuned to produce 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It takes just 3.8 seconds for those models to get to 60 mph from a standstill. The rear-wheel drive models feature an Active M differential that is connected to the Dynamic Stability Control System, as is the M xDrive system. The M xDrive system will offer the drive a choice of three modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport, and 2WD.

Both models redline at 7,2000 rpm.

The new M3 and M4 offer numerous cooling considerations for the powertrain including water and oil cooling systems that are designed to stand up to the high temperatures of track use. The models also have large front intakes to increase airflow.

2021 BMW M4 Coupe M3 Sedan

Photo courtesy of BMW

At the rear of the M3 and M4 are chrome twin exhaust tips. Competition models get black chrome twin exhaust tips. BMW has tuned the cars' exhaust. Selecting the Sport or Sport+ drive mode turns up the intensity of the exhaust sound. An M Sound button allows the driver to reduce engine note when desired and works in any drive mode.

Each model comes standard with a standard Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers. The M integrated braking system offers two driver-selected settings for brake pedal feel. The M Traction Control system, part of the available M Drive Professional, introduces a integrated wheel slip limitation function of the Dynamic Stability Control system that can be adjusted through 10 stages based on the driver's preferences. The Adaptive M suspension features Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes.

The M3 and M4 have additional bracing to make them more rigid. Their front track has been widened, which is designed to improve stability on- and off-track.

Speed-sensitive steering assistance with a variable steering ratio combines to create the standard M Servotronic steering technology. Comfort and Sport settings give the driver basic control over the system.

2021 BMW M4 Coupe

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has freshly developed M Compound brakes on the 2021 editions. They feature front six-piston fixed-caliper brakes with 380 mm discs and rear single-piston floating-calipers with 370 mm disks. The calipers are painted in blue metallic but may be ordered in black or red; all with the M logo.

The optional M Carbon ceramic brakes deliver even stronger braking power with greater fade resistance, enhanced thermal stability and extremely high resistance to wear. Their gold painted calipers are complemented by front 400 mm discs and rear 380 mm disks.

Drivers can choose from Comfort or Sport braking modes, and utilize a variety of new and additional braking technologies to assist with on-track prowess.

Each M3 and M4 rides on forged M light-alloy wheels. They are 18-inches in the front and 19-inches in the rear. Non-runflat performance tires sized 275/40ZR18 front and 285/35ZR19 rear complete the standard package. The Competition models feature forged M light-alloy 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels 275/35ZR19 and 285/30ZR20 non-runflat performance tires

2021 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe

The two cars feature black exterior accents that help set them apart from their more traditional counterparts.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The M3 and M4 are additionally differentiated from the traditional 3- and 4 Series by their exclusive exterior paint colors, forged M light-alloy wheels, a carbon fiber roof, and the optional M Carbon exterior package. There are also flared fenders, high-gloss black accents, and a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof.

BMW is making a M Carbon exterior package available it features inlays for the front air intakes, a rear diffuser, exterior mirror caps and a rear spoiler made of the same materials as the roof.

A Extended Shadowline trim gives the model dark finish for the exterior mirrors, rear spoiler, and tailpipes.

The interior of the car has typical M details including red accents for the M buttons on the M leather steering wheel and the start/stop button on the center console. A anthracite-colored headliner and Aluminum Tetragon trim are standard. Carbon fiber accents feature throughout the cabin, including on the paddle shifters.

There are newly developed heated M sport seats with fine-grain Merino leather trim up front. M Carbon bucket seats are available and feature multi-point restraints.

2021 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe

Both models wear BMW's new grille.

Photo courtesy of BMW

At the center of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch digital cockpit sits in front of the driver. The infotainment system includes cloud-based navigation and the ability to interact with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly. There are M-specific displays for the instrument cluster and optional head-up display.

The new M3 and M4 are equipped with automatic post-crash braking, fatigue and focus alert, lane departure warning, speed limit information, active blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear collision preparation as standard.

The 2021 M3 and M4 go on sale in March. MSRP pricing is $69,900 for the M3 Sedan, $72,800 for the M3 Competition Sedan, $71,800 for the M4 Coupe and $74,700 for the M4 Competition Coupe. There is an additional $995 destination fee on each vehicle.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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Honda is working with Verizon on self-driving cars technology.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The Mcity campus was designed to be a proving ground for new technologies. Honda and Verizon are utilizing it as such as they partner to explore how Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) can be used to ensure quick and reliable communication between road infrastructure, vehicles, and pedestrians.

The 5G technology leverages cloud technology to deliver lower latency, a large amount of bandwidth, and improved communication. This communication includes the way that vehicles interact with ther cars, traffic lights, pedestrians and emergency vehicles to improve threat detection and avoid accidents when seconds matter most. That's where the "V2" in acronyms like "V2V" (vehicle-to-vehicle) and "V2X" (vehicle- to-everything).

Honda and Verizon Test How 5G Enhances Safety for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles www.youtube.com

Honda has been working since 2017 to develop a technology that will help to create a collision-free society. The technology, called Safe Swarm, uses V2X communication to enable vehicles to communicate with other road users and share key information such as location, speed, and vehicle sensor data.

There are some obstacles, not the least of which is the need to outfit each vehicle with onboard artificial intelligence capabilities. The use of 5G helps move the AI capabilities from the vehicle to the MEC, reducing the need for AI onboard each vehicle.

"The ability to move computing power to the edge of our 5G network is an essential building block for autonomous and connected vehicles, helping cars to communicate with each other in near real-time and with sensors and cameras installed in streets and traffic lights," said Sanyogita Shamsunder, vice president of Technology Development and 5G Labs at Verizon. "When you consider that roughly 42,000 people were killed in car accidents last year and 94% of accidents are caused by human error, our new technologies including 5G and MEC can help drivers 'see' things before the human eye can register and react helping to prevent collisions and save lives."

Three safety scenarios have been explored as part of the testing:

  • Pedestrian Scenario - A pedestrian is crossing a street at an intersection. An approaching driver cannot see the pedestrian due to a building obstructing the view. Smart cameras mounted in the intersection relay information to MEC using the 5G network. Verizon's MEC and V2X software platforms detect the pedestrian and vehicle and determine the precise location of road users assisted by Verizon's Hyper Precise Location services. A visual warning message is then sent alerting the driver of the potential danger.
  • Emergency Vehicle Warning Scenari - A driver cannot see an approaching emergency vehicle and cannot hear its siren due to the high volume of in-vehicle audio. Verizon's MEC and V2X software receive a safety message from the emergency vehicle and send a warning message to nearby vehicles. The driver receives a visual warning.
  • Red Light Runner Scenario - A vehicle fails to stop at a red light. Using data from the smart cameras, MEC and V2X software detect the vehicle and send a red-light-runner visual warning message to other vehicles approaching the intersection.

You can watch the video of Honda and Verizon's Mcity tests at http://honda.us/5GResearch.

Honda isn't the only company exploring what 5G communication can offer. Pirelli has installed the tech in its tires and BMW recently updated its My BMW app to make it compatible with the new technology. Audi is working on similar technology out on the road in Virginia and Georgia.

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