News Roundup: BMW M3 CS, Polestar 2 updates, More

This week, Audi builds a pickup while BMW makes the M3 even faster. Plus Mercedes-Benz prices its midsize electric sedan and Polestar updates its own. Lastly, Consumer Reports ranks advanced driver assistance systems

By Evan Williams Wheels.ca

Jan 30, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated 10 months ago

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BMW M3 CS Limited special

BMW just announced the M3 CS. A lighter and more powerful M3, it offers 543 hp from its 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six and comes with an eight-speed automatic. CS stands for Competition Sport, and that helps explain why it has 40 hp more than the M3 Competition. The car gets new engine mounts, sharper chassis and steering settings, and the AWD system has a rear-drive mode with extra oil for the center diff to make sure it is up to track use. A new grille that looks like the M4 CSL's makes the car stand out, along with yellow running lights. More carbon fibre body panels, M Carbon seats, and a titanium muffler all help to trim 75 lbs from the car. BMW says it will be built in "limited numbers," starting in March. Canadian pricing starts from $148,000.

Activesphere concept

Audi Activesphere

Audi revealed a concept that was part SUV and part pickup truck. It's a new look for the company, called the Activesphere concept. The fourth in Audi's line of "Sphere" concepts, this one has what the company called an "active back" cargo area. The rear glass slides forward and a bulkhead moves up behind the rear seats to create an open and plastic-lined pickup truck bed. The vehicle was also a showcase for advanced VR and gesture control tech. Using special goggles, driver and passenger could reach out and turn virtual controls for audio, climate, and other functions instead of having actual buttons. Designed to anticipate autonomous driving, this allows Audi to make a much cleaner cabin when the wheel and pedals are retracted.

More range and power for Polestar 2

Polestar 2 updates

Polestar is giving the Polestar 2 EV a big update for 2024, including giving it more range and moving the single-motor model from front-drive to rear-drive. A new nose hides more sensors and the company says it "reflects the high-tech nature" of the company's cars. Two new generation motors and inverters boost efficiency and performance. The new single-motor car makes 299 hp up from 231 and 361 lb-ft up from 243. Along with a slightly larger battery (up from 78 to 82 kWh), range grows 50 km to an estimated 483 km. Dual-motor cars keep the same 78 kW battery but get 421 hp and 546 lb-ft up from 408 and 467. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Mercedes EQE pricing

Mercedes-Benz EQE

Mercedes-Benz announced pricing for the 2023 EQE electric sedan. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan will start from $85,600 in Canada for the 288 hp EQE 350 4Matic, with a $95,000 402 hp EQE 500 4Matic coming and a $121,500 617 hp AMG model. The first two will arrive next month, the AMG a bit later. Range for the new models is an estimated 418 km for both EQE 350 and EQE 500, and 362 km for the AMG.

Ranking driver assistance systems

Bluecruise ranking

Consumer Reports has just announced its latest rankings of advanced driver assistance systems. Ford's BlueCruise hands-off system took the top spot this year, while Tesla's Autopilot slid down the rankings. The tests measured capability and performance, ease of use, how they kept the driver engaged, handled unresponsive drivers, and made it clear when the system was safe to use. GM's Super Cruise came second with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Toyota's latest finishing out the top 5. Why was Tesla's system seventh? "After all this time, Autopilot still doesn’t allow collaborative steering and doesn’t have an effective driver monitoring system. While other automakers have evolved their ACC and LCA systems, Tesla has simply fallen behind," said CR.




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