To understand what BMWs were like 20-30 years ago and how they achieved their “ultimate driving” reputation you’d have to buy a good used one and drive the snot out of it. Or travel back in time.
Some might argue that the brand lost its way and the cars they make today are too soft, too big and too disconnected. But BMW’s story is not one about forgotten roots; it is one based on the evolution of consumer demands and the challenge of meeting them.
This reminds me of an artist I listened to in my younger days: Tiësto. For those who haven’t heard of him, Tiësto was known for his euphoric trance and trippy progressive house beats and was massively popular in the late 90s and 00s. Still considered one of the best DJs in the world, Tiësto’s continued popularity can be attributed to his evolution into the pop music scene, catering to a broader base and a new generation of listeners. Like BMW, Tiësto saw where the trends were going and adapted rather than continue to appeal only to an aging demographic.
Every once in while, though, great artists and great brands remind us why they are so revered. Tiësto recently released a single under his VER WEST alias that takes older listeners like me back to the past, where we can wax nostalgic on how great things were.
BMW also released a special version of one of the oldest cars they have in their lineup: the M2 CS. Building on the excellent M2 Competiton, the CS is the M2 cranked up to 11. It is the final song in the 2-Series lineup and a fitting good-bye to one of the last true links to BMW’s past.
Adding a CS badge to an M-car means even more power, less weight and limited numbers. With only 2200 scheduled for global production, it is very limited indeed. This, of course, means a healthy price increase of $25,000. Or roughly what it costs to buy a new compact crossover. Ouch.
For that you get a bunch of carbon fibre parts that include the rear diffuser, roof, mirror caps, rear spoiler, front splitter, and even the vented hood. On the inside you’ll find carbon fibre door pulls and a carbon fibre centre console but no armrest. Like the M3 and M4 CS, the carbon and missing armrests are to save weight but bigger brakes, standard adaptive dampers and a few other bits will add some of it back. BMW hasn’t published any official figures, but a big meal will likely offset any weight savings.
The bigger news is under the hood where the S55 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six is no longer detuned and sends the full 444 hp to the rear wheels. Torque remains unchanged at 406 lb-ft.
For the first time on a CS badged car, the standard transmission is a 6-speed manual and the 7-speed DCT is optional. By some miracle, my tester was equipped with the latter (thank you BMW Canada), and having three pedals in the footwell made this M2 the most exciting car I’ve driven all year.
Draped in Misano Blue metallic the only thing missing were the epic 19-inch matte gold wheels from the car shown at the last LA Autoshow where it was revealed.
I’ve been waiting to drive this car for a while, and considering how smitten I was with the “regular” M2 competition, I knew I was in for a good experience.
Expecting an even louder, stiffer and less insulated experience, the first thing I noticed on this special M2 was its refinement and compliant ride. The CS comes standard with the M adaptive suspension and when set to comfort mode, bumps are smoothed out and rough roads won’t make you cringe. “M1” and “M2” buttons on the steering wheel allow you to customize your drive modes and have it load up instantly but it’s easy to cycle through the different modes for the dampers, engine and steering with the buttons to the left of the gearshift.
The M2 CS, given its short wheelbase and compact proportions coupled to razor sharp steering, larger brakes and a perfect driving position is about as easy to drive as cars come. The 6-speed manual is computerized, so it rev matches downshifts, holds you on hills and makes it difficult to stall. Shift action is precise and light, with a bit of that trademark notchiness going into gear. You can turn auto rev matching off by deactivating traction control but you’d better know what you’re doing and not including an option to turn it off without defeating vital safety systems seems, well, silly.
Minor quip aside, the true joy of piloting an M2 CS comes when you approach a corner. Brake, downshift, turn in, and feel the perfectly balanced chassis respond instantly. With virtually no understeer and a tail that’s happy to step out on command, the M2 is a bag of giggles that will reward even the most ham-fisted of inputs, provided you keep the car in MDM traction mode where a dollop of fun is allowed before the computer steps in and stops you from putting it into the wall. If your skill level is higher and you turn all the nannies off, this is a genuinely quick car that feels even faster than the (last-generation) M3 and M4, and will keep 911 and Corvette owners staring nervously in their rear-view mirrors.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that the CS is worth all the money over the base M2 Competition. Much of what you’re paying for here is exclusivity. But I will tell you that the performance behind the wheel is undeniably excellent and that this is easily the most exciting M car you can buy today at any price. Equip it with a manual, like this one, and driving Nirvana will be yours.
Just like Tiësto’s new retro single, the M2 CS and the M2 Competition are reminders that even though BMW has shifted some of its focus away from ultimate driving, it hasn’t lost its way. Every so often they’ll release a new classic that will take you back to the glory days.
2021 BMW M2 CS
Body style: 2-door, 4 passenger compact sport coupé
Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.0-litre inline-6 twin-turbo; Power: 444 hp @6,250 r.p.m.; Torque: 406 lb-ft @2,350-5,500 r.p.m.
Transmission : 6-speed manual
Cargo capacity: 390 litres
Fuel economy : (Premium Gasoline in L/100 km) 13.4 city; 9.6 highway; 11.7 combined
Observed fuel economy: 13 L/100 km
Price: $97,750 (base); $99,595 (as-tested)
Website: BMW Canada
Samsung’s cheapest 5G Galaxy phones yet are launching this month
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- Samsung is launching five new phones in its Galaxy A series this month.
- Three of them will support 5G connectivity, and the most expensive phone is just $500.
- The cheapest phone of the five still has three cameras but lacks 5G and other features.
- See more buying advice on the Insider Reviews homepage.
Samsung may be best known for its high-end Galaxy S phones that rival the iPhone. But the tech giant is proving that it can appeal to cost-conscious customers with the launch of five new smartphones in the United States, the priciest of which only costs $500.
Samsung’s new lineup of budget phones, which debuted in other markets before coming to the US, are all launching this month. Some of them will be released as soon as this week, while the least expensive model will debut on April 29. The launch comes as competitors like Apple and Google have also been focusing on cheaper smartphones to boost sales.
Three of these new Samsung devices also support 5G, another sign that shoppers no longer have to pay a premium to get access to next-generation wireless networks. All five of the new phones also have the traditional headphone jack for wired listening and run on an octa-core processor.
Here’s a look at the new Samsung Galaxy A series phones that will be launching soon.
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
- Release date: April 9
- Price: $499.99
The Galaxy A52 5G is the most expensive smartphone of the bunch. It comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen and a quad-camera system that includes some of the same features as Samsung’s more expensive Galaxy S phones. These include Single Take, which creates several different photos or video clips with different effects with a single press of the shutter button.
Its screen can also boost its refresh rate up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and performance, a feature that has become common on pricier flagship phones but is rare on cheaper models. It’s also the only phone in this A-series lineup to include Samsung’s notch-free screen design.
Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
- Release date: April 8
- Price: $399.99
The less expensive Galaxy A42 5G has a slightly larger screen than the A52 5G, but scales back on certain features when it comes to the camera and screen refresh rate.
Still, it has a triple-lens camera with high-resolution sensors, and like its pricier sibling it also supports Single Take.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
Release date: April 9
The Galaxy A32 5G is Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone to date. It has a large 6.5-inch screen, but it’s made from an LCD panel instead of Super AMOLED. That means it will likely lack some of the contrast and boldness of Samsung’s other devices. But Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera considering this model has a quad-lens main camera, which is rare if not unheard of at that price.
Samsung Galaxy A12
Release date: April 9
Samsung’s Galaxy A12 doesn’t come with 5G support, but it still gives you a lot for the price. For less than $200, you’re getting a quad-lens camera and a large 6.5-inch LCD screen. But remember this phone only has 32GB of storage, so it’s best suited for those who don’t store a lot of photos and videos on their device.
Samsung Galaxy A02s
- Release date: April 29
- Price: $109.99
The Galaxy A02s is Samsung’s cheapest phone, offering a 6.5-inch LCD screen and three main cameras. It doesn’t have 5G support or as much computing power or camera prowess as Samsung’s other A-series phones, but that’s to be expected for a device at this price. This phone is truly for those who just need the basics and little else.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
Source:- Business Insider
Starving for more chips in a tech hungry world – Electronic Products & Technology
As the U.S. economy rebounds from its pandemic slump, a vital cog is in short supply: the computer chips that power a wide range of products that connect, transport and entertain us in a world increasingly dependent on technology.
The shortage has already been rippling through various markets since last summer. It has made it difficult for schools to buy enough laptops for students forced to learn from home, delayed the release of popular products such as the iPhone 12 and created mad scrambles to find the latest video game consoles such as the PlayStation 5.
But things have been getting even worse in recent weeks, particularly in the auto industry, where factories are shutting down because there aren’t enough chips to finish building vehicles that are starting to look like computers on wheels. The problem was recently compounded by a grounded container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, choking off chips headed from Asia to Europe.
These snags are likely to frustrate consumers who can’t find the vehicle they want and sometimes find themselves settling for a lower-end models without as many fancy electronic features. And it threatens to leave a big dent in the auto industry, which by some estimates stands to lose $60 billion in sales during the first half of his year.
“We have been hit by the perfect storm, and it’s not going away any time soon,” said Baird technology analyst Ted Mortonson, who said he has never seen such a serious shortage in nearly 30 years tracking the chip industry.
Is the pandemic to blame?
Sort of. The pandemic prompted chip factories to start shutting down early last year, particularly overseas, where the majority of the processors are made. By the time they started to reopen, they had a backlog of orders to fill.
That wouldn’t have been as daunting if chipmakers weren’t then swamped by unforeseen demand. For instance, no one entered 2020 expecting to see a spike in personal computer sales after nearly a decade of steady decline. But that’s what happened after government lockdowns forced millions of office workers to do their jobs from homes while students mostly attended their classes remotely.
Are other factors at work?
Yes. Both Sony and Microsoft were preparing to release highly anticipated next-generation video game consoles for their PlayStation and Xbox brands, respectively, that required more sophisticated chips than ever. To add to the demand, wireless network providers are clamouring for chips to power ultrafast “5G” services being built around the world.
President Donald Trump’s trade war with China probably didn’t help either. Some analysts believe the Trump administration’s blacklisting of Huawei Technologies prompted that major maker of smartphones to build a huge stockpile of chips as it braced for the crackdown.
Why is the Auto industry being hit so hard?
Stay-at-home orders drove a surge in consumer electronics sales, squeezing auto parts suppliers who use chips for computers that control gas pedals, transmissions and touch screens. Chip makers compounded the pressure by rejiggering factory lines to better serve the consumer-electronics market, which generates far more revenue for them than autos.
After eight weeks of pandemic-induced shutdown in the spring, automakers started reopening factories earlier than they had envisioned. But then they were hit with unexpected news: chip makers weren’t able to flip a switch quickly and make the types of processors needed for cars.
How are automakers dealing with the shortage?
They’ve cancelled shifts and temporarily closed factories. Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis), Volkswagen and Honda seem to have been hit the hardest. Others, most notably Toyota, aren’t being affected as dramatically. That is probably because Toyota was better prepared after learning how sudden, unexpected shocks can disrupt supply chains from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, said Bank of America Securities analyst Vivek Arya.
The harder hit automakers have diverted chips from slower-selling models to those in high demand, such as pickup trucks and large SUVs. Ford, GM and Stellantis have started building vehicles without some computers, putting them in storage with plans to retrofit them later.
GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales. Ford is bracing for a similar blow. Chip makers probably won’t fully catch up with auto-industry demand until July at the earliest.
How will this affect people who want to buy a new car?
Expect to pay more. Supplies of many models were tight even before the chip shortage because automakers were having trouble making up for production lost to the pandemic.
IHS Markit estimates that from January through March, the chip shortage reduced North American auto production by about 100,000 vehicles. In January of last year, before the pandemic, the U.S. auto industry had enough vehicles to supply 77 days of demand. By February of 2021 it was down almost 30% to 55 days.
Will other popular products be affected this year?
Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s biggest chipmakers, recently warned that its vast line-up of consumer electronics could be affected by the shortage. Without specifying which products might be affected, Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin told shareholders that a “serious imbalance” between the supply and demand for chips could hurt sales from April through June.
What’s going to prevent this from happening again?
There are no quick fixes, but chipmakers appear to be be gearing up to meet future challenges.
Intel, which for decades has dominated the market for PC chips, recently made waves by announcing plans to invest $20 billion in two new factories in Arizona. Even more significant, Intel revealed said it is starting a new division that will enter into contracts to make chips tailored for other firms in addition to its own processors. That’s a major departure for Intel, aligning it more closely with a model popularized by TaiwanSemiconductorManufacturing Co., or TSMC, which already had been building a plant in Arizona, too.
Compelled by the current shortage, TSMC also has committed to spending $100 billion during the next three years to expand its worldwide chip manufacturing capacity. About $28 billion of that investment will come this year to boost production at factories that have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand since the pandemic began, according to TSMC Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei.
And President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to improve U.S. infrastructure includes an estimated $50 billion to help make the the country less reliant on chips made overseas. The U.S. share of the worldwide chip manufacturing market has declined from 37% in 1990 to 12% today, according toSemiconductorIndustry Association, a trade group.
But chips won’t start coming out of any new factories built as part of the spending splurge for two to three years. And even as existing factories ramp up and expand to meet current demand, some analysts wonder if there might be a glut of processors a year from now.
Krisher reported from Detroit.
2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class gets updated styling – Yahoo Canada Shine On
Eat This, Not That!
Despite being synonymous with movie theater snacks, popcorn isn’t in the same league as treats like candy and soda—at least when it comes to nutrition. Popcorn can actually be good for you.”Popcorn can be an excellent, nutrient-rich snack food depending on how it is prepared. Popcorn is a whole grain, which is a little-known fact, and therefore an excellent source of fiber and polyphenols, which help fight free radical damage in the body,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.Although this light and airy snack is high in fiber and low in calories, like Best mentioned, popcorn can easily be made into an unhealthy bite if made improperly. To make sure you can actually reap the benefits of popcorn, you have to make sure you don’t prepare it in the unhealthiest way possible: covered in butter and salt.Why too much butter and salt is the unhealthiest way to prepare popcorn”A common way people may be preparing popcorn that detracts from its health benefits is adding a lot of butter on top,” says Kylie Ivanir, MS, RD, a registered dietitian with Within Nutrition.While being incredibly delicious, butter isn’t going to do your body any favors when it’s poured over popcorn; in fact, it may even encourage fat gain.”Butter is high in saturated fat which, when combined with carbohydrates, creates a ‘sweet fat.’ This highly palatable combination can result in over-consumption, interfering with the body’s ability to regulate appetite and leading to enhanced cravings. This combination of carbohydrates and saturated fat can also put the body in fat-storing mode,” says Ivanir. (Related: 20 Foods Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals.)Just one tablespoon of butter is 100 calories and has 7 grams of saturated fat. And if you’re using a store-bought popcorn topping like Orville Redenbacher’s Popping&Topping Buttery Flavored Oil, you’ll only be consuming 2 grams of saturated fat but 120 calories for every serving.While making your own buttery popcorn at home gives you a little more wiggle room with calories per serving, the same can’t be said with microwave popcorn. Some butter-flavored microwave popcorn bags have 180 calories per serving when the same bag of butter-free popcorn is just 80 calories. So opting for lightly seasoned popcorn over buttered will save you 100 calories per serving.You can make matters even worse if you add some sugar to your recipe to make kettle corn.”Popcorn is easily turned unhealthy with the addition of oil, butter, and white sugar [when making kettle corn]. What was a high fiber, filling snack packed with vitamins and antioxidants is now laden with pro-inflammatory fat calories and white sugar,” says registered dietitian Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, Owner of Full Plate Nutrition and Media Spokesperson for the NY State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve even seen the addition of corn syrup and maple syrup, which instantly makes this considered dessert,” says Gentile.How to prepare popcorn in a healthy wayJust because popcorn is commonly prepared in an unhealthy way doesn’t mean it’s difficult to find and eat a better-for-you version.”You can make popcorn at home flavorful and delicious with some simple tweaks,” says Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and Co-Founder of Culina Health.For flavorful, healthy popcorn, you have to start with a solid base, and that involves popping your own:”One of the best ways to make popcorn is to air pop the kernels on the stove, rather than buying pre-packaged microwavable popcorn, which may contain added oils, salt, or artificial flavoring. The lining of microwave bags may also contain harmful chemicals,” says Ivanir. (Related: The #1 Reason Why You Shouldn’t Eat Microwave Popcorn.)Once you make your air-popped corn, it’s time to season it sans butter.”Popping your own popcorn on the stove allows you to control the toppings. People can add fun toppings to their popcorn for a kick, such as cinnamon for some sweetness or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor,” says Ivanir.Rissetto recommends using 1 tablespoon of olive oil (which is loaded with healthy fats) for 1 cup of kernels and adding seasonings like parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, and even tabasco.”To preserve popcorn’s health benefits, I recommend adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little sea salt or adding nutritional yeast, which has a cheesy, savory flavor,” says Gentile. For more ideas, don’t miss This One Trick Will Make Your Popcorn Taste Better.For more healthy eating news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
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