BMW

BMW cars

The Formula E Championship kicked off in spectacular style over the weekend, featuring a last-lap crash between the race leaders Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld that gift-wrapped the historic win to Lucas di Grassi. That’s what everybody’s talking about and rightfully so. But the inaugural Formula E race also saw the BMW i8 take center stage as the series’ official safety car.

Isn’t it fitting that a championship among electric-powered race cars would have a low-emission, hybrid sports car like the i8 serving as its safety car?

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car, as it’s officially known, was joined by its little brother, the BMW i3 , which also performed duties as the series’ official medical car and extraction car. Might as well keep it in the family!

True to form, the i8 Safety Car ended up taking part in a busy and action-packed race, none more dramatic than the hellacious crash in the last lap of the race. While jockeying for the lead, Prost’s Renault made contact with Heidfeld’s Venturi, sending the latter into the barricades in one of the most spectacular crashes we’ve seen this year. Fortunately, both Prost and Venturi escaped the accident in relatively unscathed.

At the very least, it gave us a good preview of how exciting the new FIA Formula E Championship can be. The BMW i8 Safety Car already knows that after only one race manning the track.

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

BMW ’s modern history with compact cars began in 1993 with the liftback version of the 3 Series . Discontinued in 2000, the compact Bimmer returned for the 2005 model year as the 1 Series . Four different body styles were built until 2013, when BMW decided to invent a new moniker for the two-door coupe and convertible . The coupe became the 2 Series , while the three-door and five-door hatchbacks continued as the 1 Series. The second-gen hatchbacks were launched in 2011 and a refreshed model is expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show . Meanwhile, BMW is working to expand the 1 Series lineup to include a sedan, giving it yet another way to compete against its long-time German rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi .

Created to go against the A3 Sedan and the CLA four-door coupe, the 1 Series Sedan has become more than just an idea as of September 2014. Scheduled to break cover sometime in 2016, the four-door is already being tested on the company’s new UKL platform. This detail is of great importance, as BMW is switching to front-wheel-drive, a configuration Audi and Mercedes have already embraced for the A3 and the CLA, respectively.

Updated 09/11/2014: We have prepared a new rendering for you showing the future 1 Series Sedan. It features the latest BMW design language, that includes the updated headlamp style that run into the grill. Check it out after the jump.

BMW announced its new 2 Series convertible, including the M235i and this 228i, in September 2014. While the M235i will be the choice of most enthusiasts and weekend track rats, the standard 228i and the 228i xDrive will be the ones found at Whole Foods and Macy’s, and will constitute the bulk of 2 Series sales. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the BMW’s latest drop top checks all the right boxes for topless automotive fun.

A high-strung, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger and is backed by an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual. The quick-shifting flappy paddle helps the 228i hit 60 mph in a surprising 5.7 seconds. What’s more, the 228i’s chassis share many of its designs and parts with the 228i coupe, giving it some street cred right out of the box.

The 228i xDrive brings an extra level of usability to the 2 Series Convertible’s lineup. With a normal torque split favoring the rear axle, the xDrive 2 has plenty of sport still in its chassis. However, when the weather turns rough, all four wheels grip the road. The xDrive system even makes itself useful in the dry, helping the 228i xDrive knock a tenth of a second off the 228i’s 0 to 60 mph time.

While the now-dead 1 Series may have been the first drop-top contender in the premium sub-compact segment, the new 228i and 228i xDrive take the legacy into the future. If 1 Series 130,000 units sold worldwide is any indication of the 2 Series Convertible’s potential success, BMW’s latest convertible will have no trouble finding homes.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2-Series Convertible.

Like most high-performance vehicles, the BMW M3 was the perfect platform for a dozen special-edition models throughout its history. Who can forget about the E36-based GTR and the E46-based CSL , or even the Cecotto and Ravaglia editions of the first-generation M3? Then there’s the GTS, arguably one of the best-performing M3’s in history. Launched for the 2010 model year and built in only 250 units, the GTS was a more powerful and lighter version of the E92 M3 . The coupe was powered by a 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 444 horsepower and weighed 300 pounds less than the standard M3. These specs made it incredibly fast in the 0-to-60-mph sprint, which took only 4.2 seconds, and quite popular with collectors. All 250 units sold immediately, despite a sticker of €115,000 ($149,000 as of 09/11/2014). The E92 GTS remained the sole GTS built to date, but it seems the Germans have a new iteration underway, this time around based on the M4 .

That’s the word from our skilled photographers, who spotted what appears to be a track-prepped version of the M4 set to carry the GTS moniker. And although BMW has done its best to parade it as a MotoGP Safety Car , we have reasons to believe this coupe is more than just a pace setter.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.

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.

The current-generation BMW 7 Series is on its last legs before the next-generation model arrives in 2015. We all know what that means, right? Final Edition time, baby! True to form, BMW went that route in introducing the 7 Series Individual Final Edition. I’d be doing splits and cartwheels right now if not for the fact that the model is only available in France.

I’m not going to be pretend that I’m not a little jealous about that fact because I am. But that’s life.

The 7 Series Individual Final Edition is exactly what you’d expect from a special-edition model. BMW took great lengths to make it as unique as possible, putting in a variety of exclusive additions from BMW Individual. Both the exterior and the interior of the car received doses of BMW Individual, although the whole package seems a little muted compared to all the 4 Series and M4 models that received the same tender love and affection from BMW Individual.

Don’t get me wrong. The 7 Series Individual Final Edition still looks fantastic., but for what it’s been billed as — it’s a send-off edition, for all intents and purpose — I expected a little bit more panache.

The current-generation BMW 7 Series is powered by a host of engine options, none bigger than the 6.0-liter V-12 on the top-of-the-line 760i. This engine produces 544 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, allowing the 760i to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds to go with electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW 7 Series Individual Final Edition.

The BMW 1 Series M has been regarded as one of the best pieces of performance machinery to come from the halls of BMW for decades, but sadly it was limited to a very short run of cars and it was only sold as a coupe . Now that BMW has moved its two-door models to the new naming scheme, it seems that we are at least getting a topless model that approaches the same fun and tossability as the 1M Coupe with the freshly announced 2015 M235i Convertible.

It shares many similarities with the new M235i Coupe , but with much more headroom and sunshine. It also marks the first convertible version of an M Performance model. With a turbocharged, straight-six engine, a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, it has all the proper bits to make for a truly memorable driving machine.

Like all machines that roll from the BMW factory, the M235i Convertible also promises to offer a sublime blend of handling ability and ride comfort. What else makes this machine different from a regular 2-Series ? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Convertible.

BMW introduced the 6 Series (E24) in 1976 as a successor to the E9 (New Six) coupes. Powered by as many as 215 ponies in its range-topping trim, the 6 Series was far from being slow, but a true-blue high-performance model would arrive for the 1984 model year. Motivated by the same 3.5-liter, inline-six fitted in the M1, the first-gen M6 cranked out 282 horsepower and came with a top speed of 158 mph. When BMW discontinued the 6 Series in 1989, the M6 disappeared too. The M6 performance coupe would return for the 2006 model year, two years after BMW resurrected the 6 Series. A redesigned, third-generation model was launched for 2013, this time hiding a 4.4-liter, V-8 engine under its long hood. Rated at 560 horsepower, the N63 mill made the new M6 one of the most desirable coupes on the market. As we’re moving closer to 2015, the Germans are readying a mid-cycle refresh for the M6, which will hit dealer lots for the 2016 model year.

The M6 facelift is pretty much in line with each and every update BMW has launched in 2014. Revised front and rear fascias, a slightly updated interior, and maybe a tweaked engine are to be expected from the Bavarian GT for 2016. Just enough to keep it fresh before a brand-new model arrives in 2018.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M6.

There’s been a lot of talk about the next-generation BMW 1 Series moving to front-wheel drive, but we have yet to see the current model in its facelifted guise out in the open. We’ve already seen camouflaged versions of both the 1 Series hatch and the M135i , but those weren’t too telling. The exterior modifications are not much of a mystery, but there’s a brand-new piece to the 1 Series puzzle that will require some extra patience as we await the official details.

We’re talking about the 1 Series Sedan , which won’t arrive as part of the upcoming facelift, but as the very first 1 Series to ride on the company’s UKL platform and feature front-wheel drive. While such a configuration will ruin the 1 Series for some BMW enthusiasts, it will enable the sedan to compete against the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3 Sedan , two vehicles offered with front-wheel drive as standard. Read on to find out what we know so far about the 1 Series Sedan.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series Sedan

It is not even a tiny bit of a secret that I love my Volkswagen Golf . I love its combination of good looks, practicality, and sporty driving characteristics, but how does it compare against something from BMW ? In this episode of Chris Harris on Cars for /DRIVE, Chris takes a look at the latest and greatest seventh-generation Golf R , and he compares it to the new darling from BMW, the M235i .

In usual Chris Harris fashion, there is a bit of wit, a bit of history, and just a dash of sideways. Strangely though, he doesn’t really come to a solid conclusion about which one is best. He just gives us what he sees as the pros and the cons, and leaves it at that.

Seeing as he never came to a full conclusion, I leave it up to you to make your choice. Hit up those comments and tell us which car you think is the better of the two. I’ll be back a bit later to congratulate everyone who I think is right, as well as chide all those who have yet to see the light and truth in this automotive universe.

Now hit play, watch the two cars do their magic, and get to commenting. I am waiting.


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