BMW i3

BMW i3

  BMW's upcoming electric-powered hatchback, which features a 170-horsepower motor and a 7-second 0-60 time.

If you’re a BMW owner who is truly trying to reduce their impact on the world around them, the new i3 and i8 make great choices. These green cars promise BMW dynamics with a much friendlier CO2 output and impressive fuel economy.

Of course, what happens when your neighbor also buys a new BMW i8, and you are no longer the coolest eco-kid on the street? You snag one of these new solar carports from the minds at BMW DesignworksUSA.

Like everything that comes from the minds at DesignworksUSA, the carport is stunning to look at and features a unique styling aesthetic that is open, industrial and modern. In keeping with the theme of reducing the owner’s impact on the world around them, much of the structure is made from bamboo. As a quickly growing and dense wood, bamboo makes a great renewable building resource.

Did I mention that it looks awesome? Like a solar-powered cyber spider awesome?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 and the Solar Carport Concept.

The first wave of BMW i3 units have come ashore here in the United State, with the first few i3 sales going to some prominent figures within the green community. BMW i3 No. one was delivered to Boston resident Charles Rabie who is also a Tufts University professor of practice, electric vehicle proponent, and current owner of a BMW ActiveE.

The i3 represents BMW’s first all-electric vehicle intended for mass consumption. It utilizes a hybrid-synchronous electric motor that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque powering the rear wheels with a range up to 100 miles. Power is stored in a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery that can be recharged in 30 minutes when connected to a fast-charge station or roughly eight hours with a conventional home charger.

What’s more, a range-extender model is available with a 650 cc, two-cylinder gasoline engine. The little engine only produces 34 horsepower, but pushes the i3’s total range to 180 miles of everyday driving. The engine works well for doubling the i3’s range, but it also increases the car’s overall cost by some $4,000. Then again, on a car costing over $46,000, an additional $4k isn’t a bad price for the ability to drive twice as far.

Also atop the list of folks getting an early i3 is Ashlan Gorse Cousteau. She is a former E! Entertainment correspondent and the wife of Philippe Cousteau, who happens to be the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, the famous French explorer. It surely is a small world.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i3

If you’re the BMW i3 , you’re probably sweating over all the attention the BMW i8 is generating, and there’s good reason for that. The i8, after all, is like the stud athlete of the family, whereas the i3 is the the little brother struggling to come out of big bro’s shadow.

But don’t tell that to Lumma Design, the noted BMW tuner who loves the i3 equally. In fact, the new CLR i8 program developed for the i8 also has an i3 counterpart: the CLR i3 Concept.

Like the CLR i8, the CLR i3 also comes with a comprehensive body kit that’s become tantamount to an awesome makeover for the BMW i3. The new front lip spoiler adds a more aggressive appearance to the hatchback, whereas the new hood, which is made from carbon fiber from the looks of it, is the kind of high-end stamp you normally see supercars receive. Same goes for the carbon-fiber side skirts and the set of 22-inch alloy wheels.

The CLR i3 program also looks like it’s ripe to receive a performance upgrade. After all, you make this hatch look as good as it does, thanks to all those cosmetic and aerodynamic changes, without a matching performance tune.

We’re waiting for the complete program for the i3, Lumma Design. You got off to a great start with the aero mods; now’s the time to finish it off with a bang the BMW i3 deserves.

Click past the jump to read about the BMW i3

Source: Lumma Design
BMW i3

Merry Christmas TopSpeed readers. As you all know, the busiest person this time of the year is none other than Santa Claus himself.

The man is probably on his way back to the North Pole after his global voyage of spreading cheer and good tidings to children all over the world, so it’s probably not the best idea to go disturbing him and ask a copy of Gran Turismo 6 . We all know that Santa usually enlists the services of his trusted reindeer when he needs a lift, but after the long journey, they likely need a break.

Fortunately, we have a few suggestions on what cars Santa can use to get around while his reindeer take a well-deserved break.

After the jump are five cars that Santa would likely find useful to drive all around the North Pole, or maybe even to deliver next year’s gifts.

So without further ado, these are the five cars we’d suggest Santa get behind the wheel of so he can give his reindeer a nice tropical break in the Caribbean.

Click past the jump to check out the list!

BMW i3

Everybody has gotten to see the 2015 BMW i3 in all of its glory either in person or here at TopSpeed, but few have actually gotten behind the wheel of this peppy little electric hatchback. That’ll all come to an end when the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off, as BMW will offer test drives of its electric hatchback at CES, starting Tuesday, January 7th at 10:00 a.m. at Silver Lot 3.

In addition to giving prospective buyers the chance to get behind the wheel of the i3, BMW will also reveal official details on its highly automated driving project. Very few details are currently available, but we suspect this will be linked in with the i3 in some manner, maybe a partially automated version of the new model to show off what BMW has in place so far.

Automated driving is the next big step in the automotive world, as Google and GM are already each in the thick of testing their respective automated driving systems. To date, the closest you can come to automated driving is the lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control found on higher end cars. Future driving automation will likely eliminate all human input, with exception to emergency situations where a human has to override a faulty system.

We’ll keep a close eye on what Bimmer is rolling out at CES, and we’ll update you as soon as the details are available.

Click past the jump to see a video of a legally blind man "driving" Google’s automated Prius and to see the full test drive schedule for the i3

Whenever the end of the year is upon us, we all spend enough time to take a break from all the holiday shopping to reflect on the year that was.

The same holds true in the automotive industry, except that instead of merely reminiscing, there are those that are in positions to hand out what they deem are the best cars of the year. Last week, 48 journalists from North America voted on the North American Car and Truck of the Year, whittling down the list to three finalists in each category with the winners being announced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show this coming January.

Well, Europe has its equivalent in the aptly named "Car of the Year jury." It consists of 58 members from 22 countries in Europe with representation depending on a specific country’s market size and its "importance in car manufacturing."

A subjective criteria, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

What’s important is that the list of contenders for the prestigious award has been narrowed down to seven finalists, all of which have as much chance as the other to succeed the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf . The winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, giving the "Car of the Year" jury enough time to exhaust every analytical measure possible before making a decision on which car to vote for.

Good luck to all the finalists!

Click past the jump to read about the seven finalists for the Car of the Year award

Posted on by Tushar  
BMW i8

BMW has been on the forefront of research and development of Eco-friendly mobility for the future. The company has invested heavily in cleaner, more efficient propulsion technologies. The recently launched ’i’ sub-brand has been the result of years of development in order to provide futuristic, efficient and Eco-friendly products at affordable costs.

The "electric car " as we know it, has been evolving at a rapid pace, and with advancement in battery technology and "wonder materials," like carbon-fiber, we could be on the brink of a steady switch to electric mobility. BMW is convinced that electric cars are the future of motoring and will concentrate their efforts in this direction.

Board member of development at BMW , Herbert Diess, was speaking to Autocar on this subject. Electrification, according to him, is imminent and fueling the growth of the electric car would be newer, more stringent emission regulations. The automotive sector is among the most regulated businesses today, and government policies would play a major role in deciding the future course of the automotive scene. Europe would be the epicenter for this as has been the case since medieval times

Having said that, there has been no change in the BMW philosophy of "sheer driving pleasure." Until recently, electric cars’ lack of appeal and character, along with a high asking price, had kept the common public away from the idea of owning one. The performance-crazy half of the populous have seen the potential of the electric car and have slowly began to accept the idea.

The BMW i8 is an example of a performance-oriented electric car concept. It combines numerous futuristic technologies into a highly desirable and unique automobile with BMW driving DNA. Same is the case with the BMW i3 , albeit on the other side of the spectrum.

European emission regulations call for reducing carbon and particulates to 95 g/km and meeting these standards would call for more electric-drive technologies. Stricter regulations would mean Europeans would most likely be the first to see these technologies in daily use. Already, modern BMW cars feature a combination of hybrid drive and conventional engines. A point will be reached when further reduction in CO2 emission would be difficult. This would eventually require us to shift to 100 percent electric drive.

The BMW i8 has shown the way and future BMW models would be fitted with entry-level electrification. Plug-in hybrids and hybrids would soon become the norm dictated by emission regulations. Full electrification would be the ultimate goal as we try reduce our carbon footprints down to acceptable levels with respect to the global environment.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW-i

Source: Autocar
Posted on by Simona  

It looks like BMW hit the jackpot with its new lineup of electric and hybrid vehicles. While we weren’t very sure about the success of the i3 — its looks being the main cause of concern — it appears that BMW has already received a total of 10,000 orders for it, with the first units already being delivered to customers in Germany last week.

Along with the i3, the new i8 supercar is also a great hit, but that’s no surprise here. While BMW did not reveal just how many units will be delivered in its first year of production, it did announce that all i8 units are sold out. So, if you planned to buy an i8, you will now have to wait another two years.

On the U.S. market, both models will go on sale in 2014, with the i3 starting at $42,275 and the i8 checking in at $135,925.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Source: Reuters
Posted on by Tushar  
BMW i3

The biggest highlight of this year’s Frankfurt motor show has to be the BMW i range, including the production i8 hybrid-electric sports car. If you look at the BMW i range, the Bavarians have taken a giant leap when it comes to putting together sustainable-energy motoring.

Until now, the Toyota Prius has managed to stand the test of time, although of late, sales have been slow despite it being Hollywood certified. Unlike the Prius, the BMW i BMW i 3 is an all-electric hatchback, which means prospective owners would have to live with the anxiety of running out of juice at the wrong time. Hence, critics would choose to disregard the i3 much like any other purely electric automobile.

Now, the U.S. market will see the BMW i3 go on sale in the latter half of 2014, but it hits showrooms next month on the other side of the Atlantic. That said, BMW is taking advance orders for the car, and you will be surprised to know, much like BMW themselves, that more folks are showing interest in the i3 than initially thought.

BMW Europe already has 8,000 pre-orders for the BMW i3, which is way beyond what the company had expected. In fact, BMW is now pondering a further increase in investment to boost production if demand for the car persists. This was confirmed by BMW’s chief financial officer during a press conference.

Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive electric mobility? Well, it is difficult to confirm but the BMW i range has certainly caught the attention of the people. BMW has made huge investments into this project, as some estimates claim that BMW has pumped as much as $2.7 billion into the i range. Even with this massive investment, BMW is set to make a profit on each car sold.

The morale is certainly high at BMW and riding on the success, the company has already trademarked i1 through i9. Quite obviously, the i1 would be the smallest of the i-range and the most affordable. We suspect that the i9 may be a higher-performance version of the i8 , although BMW does not wish to make an M Performance version of the i8.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i3

Posted on by TB +  
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Concept

Frankfurt ’s legendary auto show is winding down this week, with fewer than expected debuts and almost none of the surprise guests that many were hoping to see from Porsche , Audi, Bentley, Volvo , BMW and Ford .

There are at least a half-dozen Volkswagen Group projects that the auto world is eagerly anticipating, but it seems the continuing grey clouds in the forecast is delaying projects left and right. Not only is there not as much cash to invest in so many simultaneous projects, the market climate is all wrong to launch most of these models in the usual ’as soon as possible’ fashion.

The Lamborghini Cabrera was a no-show, as was the Bentley Falcon, Porsche Macan, Audi Q7 and many others. The new XC90 was nowhere to be found on the Volvo stand, while the promised flood of VW crossovers seems to have slowed to a drip.

Even so, there were still plenty of spotlights and smoke machines for the cars that did make their grand entrance.

The BMW i3 and i8, the Renault Initiale Paris, the Audi Nanuk and Sport Quattro , the Jaguar Crossover Concept and the S-Class Coupe all brought some serious glamor to the stage. Fiat’s 500L Living was also hiding awkwardly in the corner, while the Volvo Concept Coupe finally brings some new blood to the snooze-fest Swedish lineup.

The best and worst are all in this list, but you will have to click past the jump to see which were the heroes, and which were the zeroes.


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