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BMW M4 GTS takes on Amelia Concourse’s finest

BMW’s M division knows how to put a fast car together, but even the experts there may be patting themselves on the back over the 2024 BMW M4 GTS. The latest creation from the famed tuners, the car billed as “the most agile, radical, and powerful M4 ever” was star of BMW’s show at Amelia Island Concours d”Elegance this weekend, managing to hold its own against a variety of classic exotica (including more than a few models from BMW’s own history books).

That’s primarily because the M4 GTS isn’t just a regular M4 with a bigger engine slotted in. Rather, the whole car has been reworked, with the goal of reducing curb weight, boosting power and – unexpectedly – even improving efficiency along the way.

The dramatic looks are courtesy of an aggressive body kit, with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) hood, roof, and adjustable front splitter. Aluminum shows up too, again for its reduced weight: altogether, BMW says the DIN curb weight is 3,329 pounds, a cut of around 200 pounds over the regular M4.

You notice it, too, just from opening the doors. Gone is the usual interior door trim, replaced with a spartan-but-lightweight panel with a fabric pull – in classic M Sport colors, naturally – rather than a hard handle.

Gone, too, is the rear bench seat, replaced with a simple glass-fiber reinforced plastic panel above which you see the Acid Orange of the roll cage that’s made from high-strength steel. It color-matches the trim on the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and Alcantara-wrapped dashbord; the latter also gets a perforated “GTS” logo.

As for the seats, they’re M Sports specials with cut-outs in the backrest to reduce mass, trimmed in black Merino leather with contrast stitching and Alcantara inserts. Safety fans will be pleased to see a fire extinguisher in there, too, though sadly BMW doesn’t finish it in M Sport colors.

Outside, the most striking elements are probably the Acid Orange wheels with their contrast polishing. Made of forged aluminum, they’re 19-inches on the front and 20-inches on the rear, with Sport Cup tires.

The brakes use carbon-ceramic ventilated discs, with 6-piston fixed calipers at the front and 4-piston at the rear.

BMW’s 3.0-liter M TwinPower inline 6-cylinder engine gets a working over too, good for up to 493 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque. Quoted top speed is 189.5 mph, with 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds; you can either slam through the 7-speed M Double-clutch transmission via the steering wheel paddles yourself, or leave the gearbox to its own devices.

The really interesting part of the engine isn’t even found under the hood, however. Open up the trunk and lift a hidden panel and you find a water injection system, fitted for the first time in an intercooled production car.

Basically, it injects a fine spray of water from a tank in the trunk into the intake manifold plenum chamber at around 10 bar. That evaporates, reducing the heat of the intake air in the process, and so the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber is also lower.

In turn, that cuts the chance of engine knock, allowing the 3.0-liter to run higher boost pressure and use earlier spark timing: power and torque get a kick up as a result, along with overall engine efficiency, and unlike many potency-improving technologies BMW claims this one actually cuts engine wear, rather than increasing it.

BMW says that, under regular driving conditions, you’ll need to top the water tank up once every five tanks of gas. If you’re pushing the M4 GTS on the track, though, expect to fill up at the same time as you fill the gas tank. Should you forget, or run out earlier than expected, the engine automatically operates as normal and you simply get a little less power.

Despite the pared-back interior, you still get a fair amount of technology. An 8.8-inch screen lives in the center stack, controlled with an iDrive knob, and there’s adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, navigation, Bluetooth, and – important since you really, really don’t want to scuff the orange spoiler lips – front and rear parking distance control.

BMW is offering four colors: Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Mineral Grey, or the matte-finish Frozen Grey of the Amelia Island car. No matter which you choose, you’re getting a car that completed the famed Nüburgring in 7:28 mintes.

That is, assuming you got in early. BMW is only making 700 of the M4 GTS and, despite a sticker price that kicks off from $134,200 in the US, every single one has been sold.

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Open Source Storage Takes On Raid

storage startup hopes to make a name for itself by basing its solutions almost entirely on open source technologies.

Linux and other open source technologies are found in a broad range of enterprise storage technologies, the full extent of which isn’t known because vendors don’t generally talk about their underlying platforms and analysts don’t track them. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Open Source Storage, on the other hand, is using its underlying technologies as a selling point for a trio of new RAID offerings.

The actual operating system used by Open Source Storage on the RAID solutions varies depending on the client, and the choice may extend beyond Linux. Eren Niazi, president, CEO and founder of Open Source Storage, explained that Fortune 100 clients typically use Solaris as their chosen OS.

On the enterprise Linux side, Niazi noted that some customers don’t like the price tag associated with traditional enterprise offerings, so Open Source Storage uses something called CentOS. CentOS is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux “clone” that is unaffiliated with Red Hat. CentOS uses the same basic source as Red Hat, but is supported via an open source community effort. Red Hat’s own community distribution, Fedora Core, is also a potential option for Open Source Storage customers.

Niazi noted that his firm provides OS benchmarks and customers choose based on their own needs. Custom options are also available. “If they ask us to recompile the kernels, we have a programming team that can reprogram things, create drivers and things like that as well,” Niazi said.

“All we’re doing is tailoring the software to meet customer needs,” said Niazi.”We don’t like to reinvent the wheel too much.”

Niazi said he ran into a lot of skepticism at first when he decided to launch a storage company based on open source technologies.

“When I started the company in 2001, a lot of people laughed,” Niazi said. “They said a lot of people have failed at what you are doing, you’re going to fail. We’ve now grown to millions and millions of sales.”

Although open source is the company’s core focus, that doesn’t mean Niazi will turn away a customer who wants to use Microsoft with the company’s solutions. “First, we’ll try and educate how open source will save money, but if not, we’ll still help him out,” he said.

Although Open Source Storage makes use of open source software, it’s not above patenting its own hardware technology. Niazi said the company will be launching a new patent-pending vertical patch panel that increases cooling and minimizes the required amount of cabling.

Patents have been generally looked down upon by the open source community as “non-open,” but Niazi doesn’t see any issue with patenting the new hardware product.

“The patch panel is a piece of sheet metal,” Niazi said. “It’s our design that can be used in any configuration. The only reason we patented it is we don’t want people to copy our patch panel design. But all of our hardware inside the system is open standards, the software is open standards. The only thing we’re patenting is a mechanical difference that will make us excel versus the competition.”

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2024 Bmw I4 First Drive

2024 BMW i4 First Drive

BMW enjoys a challenge. How else to explain the 2023 i4, the German automaker’s first attempt at an all-electric car that focuses on driving dynamics above all else. Don’t let the relatively standard-looking BMW four-door sedan form fool you, either: the i4 will also usher in the first all-electric BMW M car, the future of the automaker’s high-performance M division.

Officially christened the 2023 BMW i4 M50, it has two electric motors producing a combined 544 horsepower, and an estimated 323 miles of driving range from an 83.9 kWh high-voltage battery pack. They’re numbers that already land the i4 neatly in the center of the sports sedan segment.

With the dual motors unleashing 586 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels – for electric AWD – the i4 M50 takes just 3.9 seconds to sprint from zero to 60 mph. Sure, that’s four-tenths of a second slower than a gas-powered BMW M3 Competition but, with warm tires and a straight patch of road, I found out the i4 is just as quick as an M3 or M4. Despite BMW’s conservative official numbers, the i4 is actually capable of accelerating to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

It’s all the more impressive, given the i4 tips the scales at roughly 2,290 kg (5,058 pounds), just a sliver more than an M3 Competition xDrive. So yes, the all-electric i4 M50 is worthy of the legendary M badge, but is it as fun to drive as its gasoline-powered stablemates, as well as having more power than both the M3 and M4?

Though the lion’s share of the attention may be on the hotrod i4 M50, BMW will also have a less powerful – and more affordable – version, the 2023 i4 eDrive40. The base i4 has a single electric motor for rear-wheel drive, and “just” 340 horsepower. Still, with peak torque at 317 pound-feet, the less-potent i4 eDrive40 can still rush to 60 mph from a dead stop in 5.7 seconds, so it’s hardly slow by any measure.

On the outside, there’s more than a passing resemblance to the 4-Series Gran Coupe. The long hood, short overhangs, stretched wheelbase, and sloping roofline of the liftback hatch all have prior form in BMW’s design language, but they also help with aerodynamic slipperiness. Those blanked-out – and oversized – kidney grilles are a dead giveaway that you’re looking at something more than just a 4-Series Gran Coupe, however.

The i4’s interior isn’t a far cry from that of the 4-Series, either. As in the iX, the electric sedan isn’t short on displays: a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster sits alongside a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, while BMW promises its “intelligent personal assistant” may cut down the number of times you actually have to reach out and tap that.

There’s tri-zone automatic climate control with nanofiber filtering technology to purify the in-cabin air, frontal-collision warning, speed limit info, and lane departure warning as standard, while BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional is available. That taps three front cameras, five radar sensors, and 12 ultrasonic sensors to blend together the active cruise control and lane control assistant on the highway; those same sensors also power the lane departure warning, reversing assistant, surround-view camera, remote 3D view, and many more features.

I’ll be blunt, right now it doesn’t feel quite as sharp or lively as its gasoline-powered M3 and M4 brethren. Sure, it scoots just as fast in a straight line, and the immediate thrust will push you hard to your seat. The steering, though, falls short of quite the same degree of feel to “read” the road surface, for all its precision and immediacy. In short, the i4 M50 does plenty to justify its position in the M catalog, but it’s not quite ready to eclipse the rest yet.

One place it does edge ahead, surprisingly, is in practicality. That’s not what we’ve necessarily come to expect from performance cars, but features like the automatic liftgate and spacious loading bay – swallowing up 470 liters of luggage with the rear seats up, and up to 1,290 liters with the rear seats down – are welcome outliers in the sports sedan segment. The interior, meanwhile, offers decent accommodation for four adults, although taller individuals will find the hindquarters lacking in legroom and headroom.

The ride in Comfort mode is hard to fault, and the i4 whooshes quietly on the highway with only faint hints of tire roar and wind noise as you get up to speed. It’s the smooth, dependable experience we know from BMW, only without the engine noise. Depending on how you like your electric car, you’ll either be relieved or disappointed that the BMW i4 has no unusual quirks or “Easter eggs” lurking to surprise you. Instead, it has comfy yet well-bolstered seats, exceptional fit and finish, and the overall build quality you expect from an iconic German marque.

Rather than gimmicks, then, there’s just a welcome attention to sustainable engineering and construction. BMW’s fifth-gen eDrive units have a 93-percent efficiency factor without using rare-Earth minerals; the cobalt and lithium in the high-voltage batteries are sourced directly by BMW, before handing them over to battery cell suppliers, to better track the supply chain. The CLAR platform uses aluminum produced with power from solar energy plants. And, like in the iX, the i4 makes ample use of recycled and secondary raw materials: old fishing nets, FSC-certified wood, and cowhide tanned with olive leaf extracts all find their way into the cabin.

2024 Porsche 911 Gts First Drive

2024 Porsche 911 GTS First Drive – Choose Wisely

One GTS badge; two wildly different cars. The 2023 Porsche 911 GTS sees the return of what has quickly become a modern icon: three letters that signify a car all about delighting the person behind the wheel. Porsche, though, knows its market well, and for the 992-series GTS that means both flexibility and surprise.

Across from it, a crisp Chalk White 2023 911 Targa 4 GTS. It starts at $156,800 (plus destination), no small amount of that extra outlay going on Porsche’s trick mechanical roof. It bookends the GTS line-up, which also includes a 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet, at $149,500, a 911 Carrera 4 GTS, at $144,000, and a 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, at $156,800.

Turns out, based on past demand, Porsche expects the Targa to be the best-selling version. On paper, you can understand why: the flexibility of a convertible, the refinement of a (partial) hardtop, and the reassurance of all-wheel drive. True, it rides a little higher than the GTS coupe – which is 10mm lower – and most people will spec the PDK transmission rather than a manual, but that’s no big deal. Right?

Wrong.

I started out the day in the Targa, and sure enough the 911’s reputation as the sports car you can use as a daily driver was in full and clear effect. It’s tough to argue with the conclusion that Porsche makes the definitive two-door, regardless of the roof type. And frankly, I’m already a big fan of the 911 Targa and its blend of engagement and comfort.

After the big GTS billing, though, I couldn’t help feeling a little… underwhelmed. The 911 Targa 4 GTS is exceptionally competent, and – with 0-60 mph arriving in 3.3 seconds with the PDK and the Sport Chrono package – fast; it’ll do 190 mph and the transmission is equally smooth and swift. From behind the wheel, though, it was pleasing, just not quite the visceral encounter Porsche had promised.

Much like the experience of putting on a new set of glasses with an updated prescription, however, it took climbing into the 2023 911 Carrera GTS coupe to see what I’d been missing.

If you wear glasses, you’ll know the feeling. Suddenly everything is crisper, sharper; you wouldn’t have necessarily said that your old view of the world was bad, but in comparison it’s night and day. The same goes for the GTS.

Porsche’s sublime seven-speed manual transmission is key to that. Most of the time, I’ll confess, the hype around rowing your own gears can feel a little forced. We’re far from the days where automatics were lumpen and laggardly: at this point they can shift faster than us mere humans ever could, and often more intelligently, too. Deciding to opt for the third pedal, then, needs to be a conscious choice, and one based on it actually improving the overall experience in some way.

Here is fine evidence of that theory. With its short throw and perfect weighting, the 911 GTS’s manual snicks and slots beautifully. It takes, admittedly, a little familiarization: the ratios are close, and it’s easy to get lazy and then find you’ve accidentally tried to upshift from second to fifth when you were aiming for third. Even so, it’s a gearbox that makes you want to improve each time.

It’s part of an overall package that, by tiny measures that combine to something inescapably meaningful, elevates the GTS coupe. Porsche doesn’t overwhelm you with drive modes, or throw the electronics in your face. Sure, there are stability systems and traction control and everything else you’d expect from a modern day sports car there, but it’s entirely possible to look between all that and feel that sense of engagement so many people seem to find lacking in the 911’s counterparts.

The GTS is fast, but it’s not outlandishly fast. That’s a good thing: stupid levels of power ends up, perversely, being a limitation. There are only so many places you can stretch the legs of your 600+ horsepower supercar, and that’s rarely – morally or legally – on a public road.

473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque are perfectly fine here, as is the sound from the twin-turbo flat six-cylinder through the GTS sports exhaust. 0-60 mph in the manual takes 3.9 seconds, the 911 positively dawdling compared to the PDK and its 3.2 second run. Nonetheless, straight line speed absolutely isn’t what this car is about.

Brakes borrowed from the 911 Turbo do an excellent job of hauling the GTS to a halt without feeling grabby or, for that matter, showing any real signs of fade.

The 911’s cabin helps there, though depending on your body shape you might have to compromise on “perfect” spec. The $5,900 Lightweight Design Package swaps the comfortable regular sports seats for carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) buckets, in addition to switching the side and rear glass to lightweight panes, and ditching the diminutive rear accommodation. Perhaps my arms and legs just aren’t up to the Germanic ideal, but the bucket seats – which slide back and forth, but can’t be adjusted for backrest tilt – proved a little less flexible than I’d have liked.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty of Porsche’s Race-Tex material, a grippy suede-type fabric, and some tasteful (and, at $4k, expensive) matte carbon fiber trim. The latest PCM 6.0 infotainment system – with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – is standard, too, with exceptionally crisp and fast graphics. As for the $1,600 Bose audio system, well, the sports exhaust tends to dominate.

That’s a reminder to choose your options wisely. With Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, rear axle steering, ceramic composite brakes, fancier headlamps, lane-keep assistance, and various other niceties, this $137k 911 Carrera GTS rose to $178,440 including destination. With its similar heaping of extras, the Targa was even higher: $193,960 all-in.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual Question Answers Faq

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Quick Specs

Display Size: 5 Inch with, 1280 x 720 HD resolution

Processor: 1.5 GHz Snapdragon 615 Octa Core

RAM: 2 GB

Software Version: Android 5.0 Lollipop based Xperia UI

Primary Camera: 13 MP AF camera with LED flash

Secondary Camera: 5 MP

Internal Storage: 16 GB

External Storage: 32 GB

Battery: 2400 mAh battery, Non removable

Connectivity: 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth, NFC, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio

Others: Dual SIM – Yes , USB OTG – No

Answer –  No, Sony hasn’t mentioned Gorilla Glass 3 layer on top, but the phone comes with a scratch resistant layer.

Question – How long can Xperia M4 Aqua survive under water?

Question – How is the Display of Xperia M4 Aqua?

Answer –  The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua has a 5 Inch 720p HD display which isn’t as mesmerizing as good quality full HD and HD display panels we are used to gorging at in the mid range. Viewing angles and colors appear good, though not the best. You can also use the display at minimum brightness throughout your day without any issue, which also means minimum rightness levels aren’t very low. On the whole, the display won’t dazzle you, but it is still a good quality display, which looks better at low and medium brightness.

Question – How is the Design and Build Quality?

Question –  Is there provision for Capacitive navigation keys?

Answer – No, there are no capacitive keys. Xperia M4 Aqua has onscreen navigation keys.

Question – Is there any heating issue?

Question – What comes inside the Box?

Answer –  wall charger, USB cable Documentation, USB Cable

Question – What size SIM card is supported? How is the call quality?

Question – Does it have LED notification light?

Answer – Yes, LED notification light is there.

Question – How much is Free Storage?

Question – Does it support USB OTG?

Answer – No, USB OTG is not supported

Question – How much is free RAM on first boot?

Question – How is the Camera Quality?

Answer –  Sony Xperia M4 Aqua scored 31203 on Antutu and 59.3 fps on Nenamarks 2. Day to day performance is smooth. UI transitions didn’t feel blazing fast in our initial testing, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker in anyway.

Question – How is the device software?

Answer – Software is Android Lollipop based Xperia UI. T

Answer – You can see the full list in the  image below.

Question – How is GPS Locking?

Answer – GPS locking is good for both indoors and outdoors.

Question – How loud is Loudspeaker?

Question – Can Xperia M4 Aqua play Full HD 1080p Videos?

Answer – Yes, the handset can play Full HD 1080p and HD 720p videos.

Question – How is the battery backup?

Answer –  Battery backup has been good so far. Since everything is visible and in facts looks good on lower brightness levels, we could easily cross one day mark in our initial testing, with moderate usage. Sony claims you can go up to 2 days on single charge, which might be possible with elementary usage. we will update this section after we have spent more time with the device. Antutu Battery test score is 9024, which is pretty good.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua India Unboxing, Quick Review, Expected India Price, Camera and Features

Conclusion

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua can’t match the prowess of, say, OnePlus one and what other lesser known brands are offering for the same budget, but overall, it is a good device. If you are looking forward to buy only a well known brand, Xperia M4 is a viable option well suited for basic and moderate users.

2024 Bmw 540I Xdrive Review: Benchmark In Balance

2024 BMW 540i xDrive Review: Benchmark in Balance

It feels strange saying it about a $72,000 luxury car, but it’s oddly easy to overlook this 2023 BMW 540i xDrive. On the one hand, it’s not an M5, or even an almost-M5 like the M550i; at the same time, neither is it a clever plug-in hybrid like the 545e. Instead it’s about as close to a “standard” BMW 5 Series as you can get these days.

Even then, this is “standard” by degrees. A sprinkling of M-badged parts from BMW’s tuning division suggest whoever spec’d out this particular car couldn’t quite resist the lure of some customization, though the Alpine White result is still on the sober side.

It’s a handsome sedan, and fairly restrained by BMW standards. No vast grille, or exaggerated creases; it’s about as understated as the automaker’s line-up gets. Park it next to some of the luxury upstarts aiming to take a bite out of BMW’s market share and you’d be forgiven for having your head turned by the Genesis G80 or Cadillac CT5.

The 540i is, in contrast, quietly confident in its own prestige, and you can’t really begrudge it that. BMW’s recipe here is straightforward, though like the best cooking it relies on premium ingredients for a pleasing end-result. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 gas engine taps a little 48v mild-hybrid action for some sparkle, with 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque proving to be ample if not eyebrow-razing.

An eight-speed transmission is standard too, and BMW says you’ll see 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That’s properly quick, and really it’s only the even-quicker existence of the M550i and raucous M5 that make the 540i seem a little more mainstream.

The same goes for driving dynamics. In Comfort or Adaptive mode, the 540i wafts and glides like German royalty. The standard AWD car starts at $61,750 (plus destination) but $3,200 gets you adaptive dampers and active roll bars, and the result is a supple ride that luxe newbies could still learn from. There’s no wallow or marshmallow squishiness to it, just a compliance that reminds you how adept the 5 Series always has been as a long-distance cruiser.

Where Sport mode on an M5 then threatens to immolate your underwear, though, on the 540i it’s a little more tempered. What sensibly dialed-in roll remained in the corners is squashed; the suspension stiffens, though still not to teeth-shaking levels. Focused but not frenetic, even if you notch the shifter over to S mode and have the gearbox hold its ratios a little longer.

It all suits the 5 Series nicely, even if we all know that the sedan can handle plenty more if your wallet is so accommodating. The mild hybrid system lends its 11 horses to fill in any lingering gaps during gearshifts or while the turbo is spooling up, and then allows the 540i to shut off the gas engine preemptively as you slow. Usually I’m no fan of start/stop systems, but then usually they’re jerky, agricultural things; BMW’s, in contrast, is beautifully surreptitious.

The same could be said for the cabin. Saved, by price and positioning, from the typical lashings of carbon fiber and spangles, the 540i plays it safe with more mainstream luxury. The leather seats are fulsome thrones, you get a 12.3-inch digital cluster and a matching 12.3-inch center touchscreen, and BMW doesn’t stint on buttons for whose who prefer to reach out and toggle their settings that way.

The infotainment system is crisp, swift, and generally pleasing; it’s only when you need to dip into the deeper menus for things like mobile device setup that it starts to get a little confusing. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, along with a 4G LTE modem with WiFi hotspot. The $1,850 Premium Package adds a head-up display and wireless phone charging.

Somewhere the 540i doesn’t deviate from every other BMW is in the array of options – and the way they help inflate your sticker price. With nicer Nappa leather, the M Sport design package, and all the various other extras, my review car was sliding past $72k.

For safety, forward collision warnings, blind spot alerts, automatic emergency braking, and auto high-beams are standard. Throw in the $1,700 Driving Assistance Plus package, meanwhile, and you get adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance along with Extended Traffic Jam Assist. That lets the 540i handle low-speed congestion without your hands on the wheel, using a driver-attention monitor built into the gauges to make sure you’re still watching the road. It’s neat, but since it only works when you’re crawling along in traffic it’s not as useful as, say, GM’s Super Cruise.

As for those in the back, there’s decent space there for adults, while the 14 cu-ft trunk is also practical. The EPA says you’ll see 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined, and they’re easily achieved.

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