In-Car Tech

All 2021 model year BMWs will come with a free year of SiriusXM All-Access

BMW infotainment systems recently received a major upgrade.

Photo courtesy of BMW

All 2021 model year BMW automobiles will come standard with a free one-year SiriusXM All-Access subscription. The move is part of a larger deal that extends the relationship between BMW and SiriusXM through 2026.

The news comes just weeks after BMW divulged that a long list of its 2021 models will come with SiriusXM with 360L, an audio platform that combines satellite and streaming content delivery into the existing SiriusXM platform. SiriusXM with 360L made its debut in the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 and after a year of exclusivity is moving into more vehicles throughout the market space.

BMW SiriusXM with 360LBMW will offer SiriusXM with 360L in its 2021 model year vehicles. This is what it looks like on-screen.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW delivers their customers a premium experience every time out on the road. We're very proud that SiriusXM has been a popular feature of that in-vehicle experience dating back to the earliest days of satellite radio in 2002," said Rodney Pickett, SVP, Automotive Partnerships, for SiriusXM. "Today we are truly excited that our relationship continues to grow, as we announce that SiriusXM will be standard on all BMW Group vehicles, ensuring all of their customers can enjoy our premium programming content for many years to come."

Earlier this year, BMW announced five big updates to its infotainment system. You can find out more about that here.

BMW vehicles with SiriusXM with 360L will be able to receive software updates allowing customers to have accesss to the latest features without having to visit a dealership. The latest offering, Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, will be part of a future software update. With Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, drivers can create their own ad-free music stations based on the artist they are listening to, then give songs a thumbs up or thumbs down within the SiriusXM service, or even skip songs, to create their own personal channel that plays more of what they want.

BMW has offered SiriusXM in its vehicles since 2002. It is now standard across the BMW lineup.

"In-vehicle technology and entertainment have become as important to BMW drivers as the performance and handling of their new automobiles." said Monika D. Reimel, Head of BMW Aftersales Business Development. "BMW was one of the first manufacturers to offer SiriusXM in our automobiles and today we are excited to not only include SiriusXM as a standard feature in all of our 2021 models but also combine it with one of the longest initial subscription periods in the industry. This new agreement with SiriusXM offers immediate benefits to our enthusiastic customers."

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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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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