BMW readying impressive track-focused M Power App

628x410xbmw m power app.jpg.pagespeed.ic .nMJ0G4iGyv BMW readying impressive track focused M Power App

There are a lot of questionable automotive apps that people put on their smartphones these days, but BMW has created what could be one of the most useful and integrated car apps ever. The new M Power App, which will be available this summer only for Apple iPhones, allows BMW owners a whole new way to record their performance on the street or on a track. During the launch of the recent BMW M6 Gran Coupe, BimmerPost was able to get a full demonstration of how this new app works.

Far more involved than the current M Power Meter, the M Power App records data from in-car sensors and acts as a telemetry tool to allow drivers to see how they did on a particular track. Aside from an overlay on a track map showing acceleration and braking applications as well as head-to-head comparisons, the app also shows a line graph of everything from brake and throttle inputs to g-force, fuel mileage and engine speed. A small visual on the screen also shows steering angle, and lap times and speeds can all be stored as well. The data can even be shared with others, whether for bragging rights or instruction purposes.

This app works on any newer BMW equipped with the BMW Apps option, but the phone must be tethered to the car and the data understandably cannot be viewed while driving. Scroll down for the video demonstration recorded recently at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

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2013 BMW R1200GS and HP4 duel at Circuito de Almeria

2013 BMW R1200GS and HP4 duel at Circuito de Almeria
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BMW X1 EV for Zinoro spotted

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BMW has teamed up with Chinese automaker Brilliance Automotive to create a joint venture in China, called Zinoro, and it appears that an all-electric version of the X1 crossover is to be the brand’s first model. Spotted testing in Munich, these spy shots show a more camouflaged version of the X1 EV that we saw back in April.

Comparing these latest spy shots, we can see that the Zinoro model will wear a completely unique front fascia that ditches BMW’s trademark grille, but few other changes seem to be taking place. Previous reports indicate that this Zinoro EV could go on sale in China early next year.

Related GalleryZinoro X1 EV: Spy Shots
x001 bmw zinoro x1 ev spy shots thumbnail.jpg.pagespeed.ic .q7upp3 ulr BMW X1 EV for Zinoro spottedx002 bmw zinoro x1 ev spy shots thumbnail.jpg.pagespeed.ic .Fg83AIqzAp BMW X1 EV for Zinoro spottedx005 bmw zinoro x1 ev spy shots thumbnail.jpg.pagespeed.ic .NrglNzQOAu BMW X1 EV for Zinoro spottedx006 bmw zinoro x1 ev spy shots thumbnail.jpg.pagespeed.ic .Fzk9 heKd8 BMW X1 EV for Zinoro spotted

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2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i

dinan s3 lead 628 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i
Steve Dinan has been enhancing BMW models since 1979. But don’t throw his company into the ring with the dozen or so other tuners who tweak, tinker and piggyback upgrades on the famed German marque. Dinan is a tuner, but it’s also an engineering firm that writes its own software, builds its own parts and then backs everything it does with a factory-grade warranty. That sort of fastidiousness comes at a price, but most of its customers – including the powerhouse of BMW Motorsport – rely on Dinan to help them come out on top.

In stock form, BMW’s 550i is a formidable four-door with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rated at 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. While those figures allow it to run with quick company (0-60 in 5.0 seconds, according to the automaker), Dinan puts the sedan’s kettle on full boil with its S3 package. Starting with the engine, the performance engineering firm bolts on larger turbochargers, air-to-water intercoolers, a trick strut tower brace cold air intake, a quad-pipe free flow exhaust and its own engine management software. Pump in some premium fuel, and the result is 542 horsepower and 587 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through the stock eight-speed automatic to a limited slip rear differential (Dinan will upgrade xDrive all-wheel drive models, too).

The Dinan S3 also features and extensive suspension upgrade that includes new front camber arms and low compliance rear control arms (engineered to reduce understeer and improve turn-in). The stock dampers are retained, but new bump stops are installed along with new springs. Overall, the car rides about a half-inch lower than stock to improve roll rate. To reduce unsprung weight, forged 20-inch HRE Performance wheels are fitted at all four corners (wearing Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires – 275/35ZR20 up front and 295/35ZR20 in the rear). Lastly, the company remaps the factory Electronic Damper Control (EDC) software with its own Dinan Shockware to work in conjunction with the new enhancements.

The base price of the 2013 BMW 550i is $62,625. Add another $38,773 for the full complement of Dinan upgrades on our test vehicle, and the BMW Performance carbon fiber body components. Expensive, but withhold your judgement until after you’ve stepped on the accelerator pedal.

Driving Notes:

  • Without a doubt, the Dinan engine package is the most seamless aftermarket upgrade I have ever experienced. The impressive increase in power is velvety smooth and natural in its delivery, devoid of the negative characteristics (hiccups, peaks and flat spots) that are common to most other tuned vehicles. The 550i lacks launch control, so the twin-turbo S3 requires a delicate right foot, or the rear tires quickly liquefy. Drive it properly, with a light touch followed by heavy throttle a few feet off the line, and the sedan takes off like a missile – quickly embossing your spine into the leather seatback. The smooth ZF eight-speed shifts with authority, yet without any of the harshness normally found with a dual-clutch. Dinan doesn’t publish acceleration figures, but my tuned derrière dyno says it slices upwards of a second off BMW’s published 550i time to 60 mph… and it runs unrestricted to over 190 mph.
  • Dinan touts its S3 550i as “a more luxurious version of the M5” with softer shocks and active roll control that give its car the edge when it comes to ride quality. They aren’t fibbing, as the enhanced 5 Series provides a very comfortable ride when the EDC is set in Comfort, and sharp response when configured in Sport and Sport Plus. There is less understeer, thanks to the new camber and control arms, and nothing seemed to unsettle the chassis. The stock adaptive suspension worked seamlessly with the physical and software upgrades – the wide range of suspension settings was impressive.
  • If asked what I didn’t like about the augmented 5 Series, I’d have to mention the steering. Three years ago, when I reviewed the BMW 550i, I commended the steering’s accuracy but complained about its numbness and isolation. That said, Dinan doesn’t touch the electric steering, so don’t expect it to be improved. Again, this is more of a wish for improvement than a deal breaker.
  • Dinan’s superb S3 BMW 550i obviously competes nearly directly with the factory’s own flagship M5. In terms of power output, the Dinan feels every bit as burly as the 2013 M5 (keep in mind that BMW boosted performance of its M5 for the 2014 model year with the optional Competition Package), but its personality is softer and bit more tame – less high strung would be another good description. Both are excellent examples of the 5 Series. However, if asked which one I prefer, I’d select the hardened M5 for competitive track events but choose the polished Dinan as my daily driver. Where do you spend more of your time?
Related Gallery2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i
dinan s3 20 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 18 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 19 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 23 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 21 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 22 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 24 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550idinan s3 25 thumbnail 2013 Dinan S3 BMW 550i

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BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe and Concept 90 pics from Villa d’Este

bmw gran lusso coupe 628 BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe and Concept 90 pics from Villa dEste

bmw concept 90 250 BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe and Concept 90 pics from Villa dEsteRoyalty and the ultra-wealthy rubbed damp shoulders at this past weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como, but even the rain couldn’t extinguish the excitement generated by the millions of dollars of cars and bikes on display. Nowhere was this more true than with BMW, which marked the occasion with the reveal of two stunning concepts with six wheels between them – the shark-nosed Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe and the retrosexual Concept 90 motorcycle.

Conceived with Italian design house Pininfarina, the Gran Lusso Coupe is a power broker on 21-inch wheels. While we’re not completely sold on every element of its design, this twelve-cylinder two-door concept moves us more than the current 6 Series, and not just because it has four more cylinders underhood and 48,000-year-old kauri wood paneling inside. BMW is sadly mum on production hopes, but we’re not entirely optimistic – the company has graced us with a number of attractive concepts at Villa d’Este before, only to pack them away again without ever affording them a production future.

If one of these concepts has a better shot at finding its way into dealers, we have to believe it’s the Concept 90 under the BMW Motorrad umbrella. Designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BMW’s R 90 S, we think this Roland Sands Design air-cooled boxer would look fantastic on today’s streets, especially with the rising popularity of vintage motorcycles and cafe racers.

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2013 Nissan GT-R and 2013 Alpina B6 mix it up on track and street

628x340xalpina b6 vs gt r.jpg.pagespeed.ic .R7g vv TE1 2013 Nissan GT R and 2013 Alpina B6 mix it up on track and street

Here we have Autocar making an unforeseen comparison: the Nissan GT-R against the Alpina B6 at Brands Hatch and on public roads. Steve Sutcliffe clobbers the circuit in the 3,828-pound, all-wheel-drive sports car, then sees how well the 4,114-pound, rear-wheel drive grand tourer does against it.

Sutcliffe says there are quite a few similarities between the two cars, but that’s really only on the spec sheet. The Nissan’s got two turbos attached to its 3.8-liter V6, 542 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The Alpina’s got two turbos attached to its 4.4-liter V8, 532 hp and 528 lb-ft. But one’s brief is to be a monster on the track, the other on the boulevard, and if there’s anything the video demonstrates, it’s each car’s focus.

The results are lopsided, and so is the way the winner was chosen. Sutcliffe’s still fun to watch, though, and you’ll find him in action in the video below.

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BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé bows at Villa d’Este

BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé.

Cernobbio, 24 May 2013. BMW and Pininfarina are two of the most tradition-swathed names in the motoring world. Each is a byword for cutting-edge technology, style, dynamics and aesthetics. With the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, the two time-honoured companies are unveiling the outcome of their first collaboration at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé is a one-off and represents the exclusive interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina. Working in close consultation, the two design teams have created a new automotive persona brimming with character and ready to join the high-end luxury class – typically BMW while sporting the distinctive signature of Pininfarina.

With the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, the BMW Design team took up exclusive design aspects such as luxury and elegance and fed them into a creative exchange with long-established specialist car designer and manufacturer Pininfarina. In this elaborately created one-off, the renowned companies BMW Group and Pininfarina joined forces to bring an idea to fruition: “The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity,” notes Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design. “The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept.”

“The result of this cooperative venture is far greater than the sum of its parts,” says Fabio Filippini, Head of Design at Pininfarina. “When two such tradition-rich and experienced brands join forces to turn a vision into reality, something utterly new and exciting emerges. From start to finish, this project was defined by a mutual respect for the identity of the other company.”

Consummate elegance.
The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé adds a new dimension to the BMW claim to exclusivity. This painstakingly created one-off captivates the viewer at first glance. Liberal surface areas and taut contours are the distinguishing elements of an elegant car body. Typical BMW proportions – a long wheelbase, stretched bonnet and set-back greenhouse – imbue the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with imposing dynamics even when stationary. At the same time the car exudes balance and harmony: BMW values such as technology, dynamics and precision are complemented by the skilled craftsmanship of Pininfarina to create a very special holistic experience. “The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé has an extraordinary impact. It expresses hallmark BMW values such as luxury and sheer presence in a highly elegant form,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “I admire the reductive clarity and precision in Pininfarina’s design. Their expectations for the end result have been just as high as ours, and their understanding of design perfectly complements the BMW design DNA for a vehicle of this kind.”

Dynamic presence – the front view.
With its broad, wheel-focused stance, the front of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé radiates sheer presence and dynamics. The hallmark double-kidney grille and the road-focused headlights with their suggested twin circular look reveal at a glance the family bond with BMW. At the same time the distinctive Pininfarina elements have been interpreted with Italian finesse to lend the front end a special flair.

The trademark BMW kidney grille forms the central element of the front-end design, and all surfaces and lines take their bearings from it. It symbolically points to the engine at the heart of the vehicle, its size reflecting the power of the V12 unit nestling behind it. The “kidneys” are angled towards the road, citing the typical BMW “shark nose” and lending the front end an even more dynamic look, particularly when seen from the side. Viewed up close it discloses highly accomplished detail work: the front part of the bipartite kidney grille is made of matt-sheen aluminium, while behind it an identically shaped part in high-gloss black adds visual depth and makes for an exciting contrast of materials.

Above the kidney grille the bonnet stretches across the front of the car, its subtle contours appearing to emanate from the BMW emblem and lending the bonnet a dynamic elegance. The flat headlights underline the road-focused look associated with a BMW and round off the “face” of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Their dynamic contours are in perfect harmony with the classic BMW twin circular look in an interpretation that leaves them open at the top. The use of LED technology creates a technically premium impression while adding a striking depth to the headlights.
The eye-catchingly sporty front apron concludes the front end of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé as it dips towards the road. The flat, one-piece air intake accentuates the breadth of the front, an impression reinforced by chrome trim that adds a classy touch. The air intake is larger at the wheels and draws attention to the car’s wide, sporty track. Just above the road surface, discreet Pininfarina lettering points to the contributing partner from Italy, like a signature on a work of art.

Elegant sculpture – the side view.
The designers at BMW and Pininfarina set particular store by creating the right proportions. The car’s surfaces display the elaborate form language of BMW while being sculpted with a clarity that is hallmark Pininfarina. Within a powerfully present silhouette, convex taperings on the side add a dynamic elegance and give the body a tautly athletic shape.

At the same time the reduced, precise contours stretch the vehicle and underline its exclusivity with a contemporary touch. The high shoulder line extends almost horizontally along the entire side of the car, imbuing the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with stature and presence. Above it the long roof line flows elegantly into the rear to define the short tail end. Below the shoulder line, a striking countersweep to the roof line emanates from the Air Breather behind the front wheel. Ascending towards the rear, it lends the back section of the car a light and dynamic appearance. All the lines have been designed with keen sensitivity: as they trace their course they become stronger or weaker and, through the changing play of light and shadow, show off the surrounding surfaces to their best effect.

Numerous details accentuate the elegance of the side view. The matt-sheen embellishment behind the front wheel adds a stylish accent as it integrates the side indicator. Another signature BMW detail is the Hofmeister kink – the eye-catching forward bend in the window graphic that is perfectly integrated into the surrounding play of lines. Behind it the V12 logo indicates the powerful engine within the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Pininfarina lettering in the side panel points to the definitive role played by the Italian design company in creating this vehicle, with the Pininfarina logo above it indicating that the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé was also built by Pininfarina.

The exclusively designed 21-inch wheels perfectly augment the sporty, elegant statement made by the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Five trios of graceful yet powerfully sculpted spokes display a strong visual depth through the application of matt-sheen aluminium, black and black chrome. As such the wheel design blends an elegant multi-spoke style with the sportiness of five-spoke rims.

Sophisticated stance – the rear view.
The elongated side profile leads to a slender and elegant tail end. Striking horizontal elements imbue the entire rear end with a very broad, flat impression. At the same time, the generous surface design of the rear lends it a powerful presence. Between the surfaces, precise contours and horizontal lines break up the rear aspect, resulting in a clever interplay of light and shadow that partitions the entire design and brings it alive. An eye-catching detail is the transition from the roof to the rear lid: two elaborately shaped struts extend the roof pillar towards the rear, ensuring an elegantly fluid transition of the roof line into the tail section.

Extending from the sides, the tail lights embrace the rear end in a single sweeping gesture that brings the side and rear together visually. The tail lights reveal elaborately detailed workmanship and lend the BMW L-shape a slender, almost filigree interpretation. They are set – jewel-like – within high-grade trim in matt-sheen aluminium. A particular highlight is their open design, allowing air to flow through them.

A contemporary take on classical values – the interior.
The interior of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé takes up the accomplished fusion of modern elegance and authoritative dynamics as displayed by the exterior. Here the melding of sportiness, exclusivity and comfort makes for a unique interior experience. The fluid underlying geometry of the interior design by BMW takes on an individual character courtesy of the Pininfarina touch. With a special colour concept, choice materials and geometrical details in the doors, centre console and dashboard binnacle, Pininfarina lends further emphasis to signature BMW elements such as the driver focus and layering principle, while accentuating the sporty character of the interior with a fine instinct for cutting-edge and elegant details alike.

The four-seater luxury coupé rolls out an exclusive ambience to welcome driver and passengers. The front and rear seats from the Pininfarina drawing board embrace all occupants with sporty side supports while providing the highest levels of comfort. From the driver’s seat, a sideward glance will initially reveal the hallmark BMW driver focus: all driving-related functions and controls are slightly angled towards the driver to be within optimal ergonomic reach. The horizontal alignment of the surfaces and lines of the dashboard create an expansive sense of space. The doors take up the flow of lines and invest them with greater dynamics as they follow their course, while the door handles cite the incisive shape of the tail lights as well as the side-panel embellishments as they bring these styling cues into the interior. The rear of the cabin likewise boasts spacious design, with legroom in the back seats of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé almost on a par with that of a large luxury sedan.

Select materials and top-quality craftsmanship.
The exclusive colour and material concept is one of the stand-out features of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé and eloquently reflects its unique character. Extensive handcraftsmanship further enhances the interior ambience. Finest leather and kauri wood aged more than 48,000 years lend the cabin of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé a special aura. The high-grade leather from the Foglizzo leather factory – in black and a light shade of Tobacco Brown – creates a warm, exclusive ambience. Metal highlights in black chrome set a technical counterpoint to the extensive application of natural materials.

All the wood elements in the cabin are sourced from a single piece of kauri wood selected by the Italian timber experts of Riva 1920 exclusively for the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Kauri wood has a unique grain and shifts in colour from gold to red to brown, depending on the incidence of light and angle of view. Simply polished and oiled, it exudes a particular warmth and naturalness in league with the exclusive leather surfaces of the interior. Native to New Zealand, kauri wood is among the rarest timbers in the world. Its special character derives from the fact that the toppled kauri trees have been preserved in swamps for millennia and can be processed like fresh timber after being retrieved from the fossil swampland.

The roof liner of finest Italian virgin wool features the striking “Principe di Galles” pattern. This grey plaid strikes a bold contrast to the traditional materials used for the doors and dashboard. The brown leather seats also pick up on the pattern in their all-round piping. Allowing extra light into the interior is an oblong aperture in the roof liner which is additionally illuminated by white LEDs. In the footwell areas, a soft deep-pile carpet in dark grey adds to a subtle sense of wellbeing. Another interior detail are the freestanding B-pillars, whose elegant design when viewed from the outside creates a homogeneous glazed area and frameless doors that appear very light.

Pininfarina.
Pininfarina ranks as one of the most time-honoured names in automotive design. What began in the 1930s as a “carrozzeria” building one-offs and limited editions, alongside the visual refinement of high-end automotive technology, has today become one of Italy’s leading design companies. Its operating spectrum stretches far beyond automobiles to include product and industrial design. Through numerous collaborations with a wide range of carmakers, Pininfarina has established itself as a style-defining partner. Simplicity and harmony in look and feel, perfect proportions and innovative functionality are the hallmarks and underlying concept of each and every Pininfarina design.

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BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé bows at Villa d’Este
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A Review of the BMW X5 Pick-Up Truck

Imagine yourself driving down a bustling highway, complete with winding roads and debris pelting the vehicle throughout. While other vehicles might have started to slow down to carefully round corners and avoid succumbing to the debris on the highway, the BMW X5 keeps moving along without hesitation.

Though this might be more of an extreme circumstance, it should help prove what kind of power the BMW X5 can utilize despite the fact that it is a very large and heavy vehicle. The advertisements might not display this vehicle as one that is designed to traverse mountainous ranges or fording rivers, but it has that kind of construction and equipment built within; after all, what else could one expect from BMW?

Indeed, when it comes to having enough space for hauling the entire family, the BMW X5 may not necessarily make the best option. To provide an example, BMW produces the X3, which is only a little bit smaller and does not handle adult backseat passengers well. In addition, there are other competitors within this segment that offer more space. However, those looking for the overall value definitely do not want to pass up the chance to get a 2013 BMW X5 vehicle.

Performance

The 2013 BMW X5 comes in three trims: the xDrive35i, the xDrive50i, and the xDrive35d.

Underneath the hood of the xDrive35i models is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine capable of delivering 300 pound-feet of torque and just as many horses. Adding the M Sport package increases the output to 330 pound-feet of torque and 315 horses. This engine and the 50i both come with all-wheel drive as standard and eight-speed automatic transmission as the standard transmission. In addition, this model is capable of going to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 6.4 seconds. The estimated fuel economy is 16 miles per gallon in the city, 23 miles per gallon on the highway and 19 miles per gallon when combined.

Underneath the hood of the xDrive50i is a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine capable of delivering a massive 450 pound-feet of torque and 400 horses while approaching 60 miles per hour in the span of 5.3 seconds. Equipping this model with the M Sport package increases the respective values to 480 pound-feet and 440 horses. The estimated fuel economy is 14/20/16.

Finally, underneath the hood of the xDrive35d is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine capable of delivering 425 pound-feet of torque and 265 horses coupled with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic as standard. Capable of reaching 60 in 7.2 seconds, the estimated fuel economy for this model is 16 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 miles per gallon when combined.

On the Road

When it comes to midsize luxury crossovers, the 2013 BMW X5 is certainly among the best all around. Regardless of whether you need to traverse long highways or want to go off the road and climb the mountainous ranges, the X5 is a true champion. There may be some other competitors that provide more off-road abilities, but the X5 still shines better thanks to the legendary handling that BMW has come to be known for.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that the steering can be a little heavy when it comes to driving at very low speeds. However, it does work well in most other cases. In addition, the optional active steering is also well designed for a heavy vehicle like the X5, eliminating any minor issues with the steering.

Byline

Trey Mitchell is a freelance writer based in the greater metro area of Chicago. Trey focuses his writing on car gadgetry, car reviews, car maintenance & repair, and various other car-related topics. Those interested in auto-related careers should consider cdl jobs.

Image credit goes to M 93.