New Model News

2021 BMW M5 gets expected upgrades, all for the better

BMW has refreshed the X5 and X5 Competition for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has refreshed the M5 sedan for the 2021 model year. The updates all fall into the "expected" category with fresh front and rear styling, more infotainment options, improved performance options, and changes to the paint job lineup.

The German automaker will continue to offer the car in M5 and M5 Competition variants.

The front of the sedans now features an enlarged version of the company's signature kidney grille. BMW has surrounded the grille with a single piece of chrome, which is horizontally flanked by larger air intakes. The headlights are slimmer.

2021 BMW X5 CompetitionThe grille on the model is new, as are the headlights.Photo courtesy of BMW

At the rear, M-specific quad exhaust pipes sit under a restyled rear bumper and diffuser. Like the headlights, the taillights now feature an L-shapes design.

The M5 Competition comes with a black finish for the BMW kidney grille surround, the front fender side-gill mesh inserts, the exterior mirror caps, the rear trunk spoiler, name badges and rear bumper inserts. The tips of the Competition model's M Sport exhaust system are finished in black chrome.

BMW will offer new Brands Hatch Grey and Motegi Red Metallic paint jobs. BMW Individual paint colors now include Tanzanite Blue II metallic, Aventurine Red II metallic, and the matte finish Frozen Bluestone metallic.

The 2021 M5 continues to be powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It can get to 62 mph from a standstill in 3.2 seconds.

2021 BMW X5 CompetitionThe rear of the car includes a new taillight design.Photo courtesy of BMW

The 2021 M5 Competition has the same engine, but tuned to 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It is a tenth of a second faster to 62 mph. This model also gets a new Track drive mode.

Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A single M mode button replaces the previous individual buttons for the engine, chassis, suspension, steering and xDrive system.

The M5 Competition has also gotten new equipment to aid in its daily driver duties like speeding down the highway and going over speed bumps. It has new shock absorbers and a fully recalibrated damper control system. The standard compound brake calipers will now be available in a black or red finish.

That model also gets the option of full Marino leather in black and Midrand beige with Alcantara inserts for upholstery.

2021 BMW X5 CompetitionThe car now has a 12.3-inch infotainment screen.Photo courtesy of BMW

The cars both have a 12.3-inch driver information display and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen now. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and navigation are standard.

BMW has priced the M5 to start at $103,500 and the M5 Competition to start at $111,100. Pricing does not include the $995 destination charge.

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The Supra finally gets a manual transmission for 2023.

Toyota

After an almost nonstop chorus of enthusiasts and journalists asking for a manual transmission in the new Supra, Toyota has gone and done it. The car will get an available six-speed manual transmission that will be available on both variants of the GR Supra 3.0, plus a limited-edition model on the U.S. market next year.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTToyota had to modify the car's interior for the new gearbox. Toyota

The A91-MT Edition Supra will be limited to 500 units, and gets two exterior colors with an exclusive Cognac leather interior. All 2023 Supras come with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 382 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Toyota says the six-speed manual has been specially tuned to work with the car's engine, and notes that it modified an existing transmission housing to come up with the design. The gearbox's final drive ratio is shortened to improve response and take-off.

Toyota had to modify the car's interior to accommodate a gearshift lever, so the iDrive controller and other buttons had to be relocated. The automaker says that it focused on the feeling of shifting, from the weight of the knob to the ergonomics and location of the component.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTThe limited-edition A91-MT trim gets an exclusive cognac leather interior.Toyota

A Supra with a manual gearbox is reason to celebrate, but availability is limited to the top Supra 3.0. The "base" Supra 2.0 won't get the transmission. Toyota says pricing and other information will be available later this year.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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