B3 S BI Turbo BMW By Alpina

B3 S BI Turbo BMW By Alpina

[ad#Google Adsense]Alpina has been making exclusive vehicles built around high-end luxury and astounding performance since 1983.  For the past 40 years they've been building their cars on the BMW platform, then tweaking to their own specs.  Often times this tweaking involves adding a potent turbo and other performance minded parts, not to mention increasing luxury to a level rivaling any Rolls Royce.  Well, they have done it again with the latest release of the B3 S Bi Turbo.

The B3 S BI Turbo has been built around the BMW 3 Series, marrying Bi-Turbo technology with the light weight and relatively small 3 Series chassis.  Originally released in 2008, the newly released 2010 version sports more torque, more performance, and less of the stuff car makers have come to hate, CO2 emissions.  It's an update in outright performance and efficiency to achieve the green status so many elites crave in society today.

With the latest installment of the B3 S Bi-Turbo capable of pumping out 400 horsepower and 397 ft lbs of torque, it gives the driver reason to rev the engine to a smooth 7,000 RPM.  It's high revving capable, but not necessary, because at 1,300 RPM there is already almost 300 horsepower already on tap.

What's most impressive with the 2010 B3 S is it's ability to out perform previous versions, yet still maintain 29.4 miles per gallon efficiency.  Furthermore the B3 Turbo has lowered their CO2 emissions, although it'd take a liberal scientist to figure out by how much.  According to the latest EU test of the B3, it's total CO2 emissions check in at 224-225 g/km (I haven't the slightest idea what this means).

Lastly, the B3 S Bi Turbo comes in 4 distinct model variations, including Saloon, Touring, Coupe, and Convertible.  The Saloon and Touring trims are option upgrade options that are applied to either a Coupe of Convertible model.  All are luxury personified, with exterior featuring functional performance modifications.  Even the front chin spoiler is functional, if one should choose to push all 400 horses through the switch-tronic rear-wheel or all-wheel drive transmission.

Inside the already luxurious BMW 3 Series has been upgraded, featuring custom seat and panel trim.  Plenty of custom embroidery and emblems adorn the panels and seats, making it obvious at first glance that this is no ordinary BMW.  The leather feels rich and the gas pedal feels powerful and it's been specially built in small numbers for those who are both.

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Car Interior Paint

So you've decided that you need some car interior paint, but you just aren't sure what would be best.  Guess what, there are more options than good choices and the cost skyrockets if you consider having to repaint a screw up, chipping, cracking, etc..  This article will help you make the best decisions on buying car interior paint and what questions you need to answer before you tape off.

Not all paint is created equal and in my own experiences the most expensive was not always the best.  I spent a lot of time a  few years ago buyin used plastic interior pieces, like door panels and center consoles, painted them, and then resold them on eBay.  The paints which are advertised as being good for plastic, just didn't seem to work properly on the interior car parts.

Krylon was a name that stands out, which was more expensive than typical paint, and was supposed to bond with the plastic parts.  Well, all it ever ended up doing was clogging when spraying and the paint that did make it to the part actually ended up bubbling something fierce.  It was extremely difficult to lay down an even spray of Krylon, so I abandoned that as an interior paint option.

Duplicolor brand paint was the type that I ended up sticking with.  After careful prep of the item, which included a rubbing alcohol bath after a detailed cleaning, I simply laid a couple coats down of the Duplicolor interior paint.  On most items this seemed to do the job and I only added a few steps if the item was going to be exposed to wear and tear.

On items like the door handles, where they would constantly be under use, I'd add a few steps to ensure that the color lasted.  I would do the regular prep work, with cleaning, then rubbing alcohol wipe down.  Then I would use a fine grit sand paper to rough up the smooth plastic surfaces.  Afterward I would rub the item down with rubbing alcohol again, let it dry, and then add a gray or primer coat of Duplicolor paint.  In my experience either one, primer or dark gray, seemed to work really well.

By painting a few interior pieces, you can add a lot of character to the inside of your car.  A few accents the color of the outside of your car can add a nice show quality appearance.  Just make sure and take your time, if you rush at all, it will show and you'll just have to start all over again with sanding.

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Difference Between Turbo and Supercharger

Those looking for big power gains usually turn to some sort of power adder, either a Turbo Charger or a Super Charger. There are some big differences between operation, benefits, and setbacks depending on which setup you choose. Both utilize what's called forced induction to help increase the amount of air mass entering the engine, thus creating more horsepower. How each power adder increases the amount of air mass is where the differences begin and I hope to simplify the differences in this article.

Difference Between Looks

First, a turbo charger looks different than a typical roots style super charger. Furthermore, they are located in different places on the engine.

Turbo Charger

Turbo Charger



Difference Between Source of Power

To create forced induction, an accessory like a turbo charger or supercharger requires a power source.  The turbo charger relies on exhaust to power the turbine, which forces air into the engine.  A roots style supercharger will rely on an accessory belt, which spins the turbine and forces air into the engine.  This is why typically going with a turbo over a supercharger is more expensive, because the setup to pull exhaust and pipe back into the turbo is a more expensive installation and requires more parts.

Difference Between Turbo Horsepower

The additional horsepower that is created by a power added engine will also fluctuate depending on which accessory you choose.  A Turbo charger has the capability of providing higher power gains, but only at higher RPMs.  That's because it relies on exhaust to spool up it's turbine, which requires more time, thus power on the lower RPMs are not as high as a supercharger can provide.  Also, even at higher RPMs a Turbo Charger will provide spikes in power, where a supercharger will provide a more even distribution of power over the entire RPM band.

The drop in power at lower RPM's is frequently called Turbo Lag.  This is the name given to the time it takes to bring a turbo up to speed and actually start producing horsepower gains above a normally aspirated engine.  This is most noticable changing from idle to throttle response time.

Warning About Power Adders

Even though a turbo charger or supercharger can be more expensive, they provide the greatest horsepower per dollar spent.  But, just because you can buy a Turbo or Supercharger does not mean you should, because most engines require a lot of prep work before being able to utilize any power adder.  A Turbo or Supercharger adds a lot of strain to an engine, so replacing internal parts of an engine is highly recommended to support the large increase and boost of horsepower.  Furthermore, even after a turbo or SC is installed it's important to make sure your car is properly tuned before going WOT(wide open throttle).  If you don't take the proper steps, installing a power adder may just blow your OEM engine apart.

This has been the first in a series of articles on explaining entry level questions to automotive enthusiasts.  There are plenty of other differences in turbos and other power adder sources, but this article just attempts to scratch the surface and explain the basic questions someone may have.

Next What's The Difference Article: HID vs Halogen Lights

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Does Your Car Need A Spoiler?

Modifying your ride is more than a hobby for the dedicated enthusiast; it's a passion, an obsession even. With so many different types of modifications on the market, it can be difficult to know what you should modify first. While engine modification is a definite requirement for most tuners, body modifications are just as important. So, where do you start with body modifications?

Both body kits and spoilers are a great place to start. While many body kits come with spoilers (some do not), purchasing a spoiler separately can be a more cost-effective way to begin a modification. What types of spoilers can you find? There are hundreds of different styles, from huge wing spoilers to more subtle spoilers that simply add a lip to your trunk lid. However, the types of spoilers available will vary by the year, make and model of your car (you can find a wide list of body kits and spoilers at AndysAutoSport.com).

Choosing accessories that are made for your specific vehicle is a much better option that choosing a "universal" accessory. This applies to spoilers as well as anything else. Universal fits tend to leave much to be desired. They often have loose fits, sloppy looks and require extra modification in the form of cutting, drilling and securing. A spoiler or other accessory made to fit your vehicle will minimize the amount of work needed.

Regardless of make and model, you'll be confronted with several choices when it comes time to purchase your spoiler.

  • Aluminum – Aluminum spoilers definitely stand out from the crowd. They are usually tall, though many models have a height adjustment mechanism. These are ideal for a techie look, or those interested in a futuristic style, as well as a lightweight solution.

  • Carbon Fiber – Few materials compare to carbon fiber in terms of strength, durability and weight. This material is ideal for spoiler creation and can lend a unique look to your car. Carbon fiber lends a race-inspired look to any ride.

  • Paintable Spoilers – These usually come unfinished, and allow you to paint the spoiler the same color as your car. This is an ideal option for owners who want to maintain a consistent style and color throughout their vehicle.

A spoiler also offers a way to reduce friction as your car drives, saving you fuel (as long as you drive normally), as well as providing additional down force for the rear of the car.

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Most Tunable Cars Today

[ad#Google Adsense]Car tuning is the best way to make your ride reflect your personal style and interests. However, some cars are more "tunable" than others are. What are the easiest cars to tune? What are the most popular cars on the market to turn into street rods? While that answer will be dictated in large part by your geographic area, as well as your interests and influences, the resounding answer for most of America is simple. Small cars, with 4-cylinder engines are the most popular thing to tune. These are what are known as pocket rockets.

What is a pocket rocket, you ask? The standard definition is a normally aspirated car with a 4-cylinder engine. In addition, these are usually small cars, compacts or subcompacts. Here are a few examples of this type of car:

  • Honda Civic

  • Honda Civic SI

  • VW Golf

  • VW Rabbit

  • VW Golf GTI

  • Dodge Neon

  • Dodge Caliber (which replaced the Neon)

There are, of course, many other types of cars. Hatchbacks tend to be extremely popular for this category. In fact, almost any small, lightweight car will work. The one caveat is that the car cannot have turbo or a supercharger installed, either before or after the modification.

What sets these cars apart and makes them pocket rockets? A series of simple modifications is all that is needed. The addition of a cold air intake and aftermarket ignition components is the start. In addition, a sport tuned suspension, an aftermarket exhaust system and performance wheels (note that these are not necessarily extremely large) are usually added.

Chip tuning a pocket rocket is the best way to maximize power and performance. Many of these vehicles are OBD I, which means that simply installing a new chip is all that is required. OBD II vehicles will need to have the ECU flashed in order to install new fuel maps and engine management software.

Chip tuning an OBD II car will require the services of a specialized shop. They will have the equipment necessary to reprogram the ECU; however, most of these shops do not provide the software or fuel maps required. That is left to the tuner. Thankfully, many companies online offer quality fuel maps for a wide range of vehicles.

Tuning your car can be an excellent way to get the ride of your dreams (you can visit AndysAutoSport.com for all the performance accessories that you will need).

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