BMW i3

BMW i3

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

It has become inevitable that electric-powered cars are the way of the future. We aren’t quite sure how electricity is going to be created to power these cars, but it has been almost universally accepted that batteries and motors are the way forward. Of course, people are lazy and they get concerned about things like charging times, plug variations and charging locations. BMW and Daimler have teamed up to hopefully make charging as easy and painless as possible with new wireless charging technology .

I won’t go too deep into the technology behind it, but think of it as a really large version of the wireless charging technology that some cellphones use. Basically, there is a large conductive coil installed into the bottom of the car that is attached to the batteries. If you park over the top of a second large conductive coil that is attached to a power source, the car batteries will begin charging. BMW has also managed to develop this system to be extremely fast and efficient. They say that this system can fully charge the new BMW i8 in less than two hours with the current prototype system.

Another benefit of this system is the ability to build it into any flat pavement. Entire mall parking lots or even highways could theoretically be wired with conduction coils, so your car would actually be charging as you went shopping or drove to work. If electric cars are the future, this is like warping into the age of the Jetsons.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new Inductive Charging System.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Mysterious marketing can be fun. It’s a way to pique peoples’ interests and keep them coming back for more. Leave people hanging and they will diligently follow you for answers. However, it can also lead to disappointment due to high expectations and low delivery. Which is exactly what happened in this case.

BMW released a teaser video showing a car, in first person, tearing through the streets with a nice engine note to go along with it. What it had shown led me, and probably others, to believe a new, hot-blooded sports car was on the way. Being that the only part of the car BMW had shown was the front wheel, I had assumed something front-wheel drive; maybe a 2 Series Active Tourer hot hatch or maybe something based on the new Mini . But what it turned out to be, if you haven’t watched the video, was an i3 being driven by a woman with her son in the back seat playing some sort of racing game on a PS Vita.

While this is kind of a clever commercial, and the i3 is a great car, the video was somewhat disappointing. BMW is primarily a sports car company, a damn good one at that, and the idea of a new sports car from its factory is an exciting one, so to find out it’s just a clever i3 commercial is a real bummer. Unfortunately Bimmer got our hopes up, but at least for a little while I got to dream up some wild car fantasies, and isn’t that what being a car enthusiast is all about?

Click past the jump to see the deceitful teaser video that got us all riled up

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW is continuing its plan to make the transition to electric vehicles as simple as possible. The i3 is already a huge step in the right direction, as it introduces a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chassis, aluminum sub frames and a small gasoline range extender all at a relatively low price. The main goal is to get people into electric vehicles by taking as much of the compromise out of the equation as possible. Well, BMW i BMW i s now going one step further with the introduction of the i DC Fast Chargers and the ChargeNow DC Fast Program. BMW developed the i DC Fast Charger with the help of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The i DC Fast Charger is a small (31-by-19-by-12 inches), 100-pound box that owners can mount to a wall that will charge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The i3’s Fast Charger will set you back to the tune of $6,548, which is cheap in comparison to most DC Fast Chargers. A standard charger will “fill up the tank” in about 6 to 8 hours. With that in mind the Fast Charger seems worth the premium, especially considering it’s a slick-looking, smallish unit that will fit nicely in most garages.

ChargeNow DC Fast is a program BMW has developed with the help of NRG eVgo, and will offer unlimited, no cost, 30-minute charging for i3 drivers in California until December 2015. This will help reduce range anxiety considerably on long trips through The Golden State. To access the ChargeNow DC Fast program, i3 owners must equip the DC Fast charger option, and sign up for a ChargeNow Card. Doing so will give owners access to all eVgo DC Fast chargers across California. Even at a price though, the ChargeNow program will help dramatically in the implementation of electric vehicles as primary cars for households. It still takes a bit longer than stopping at a gas station, but if placed properly, these ChargeNow stations can provide some resting time or even some sightseeing on long trips. This in tandem with the i DC Fast Charger in the home and the i3 becomes a very useful and eco-friendly option.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs.

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

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