Today must have been national test day for electric cars. Shortly after catching the R8 E-tron testing in the cold, our spy photographers caught a very interesting model testing. At a first look it appears you are looking at a standard BMW X1, but you are actually looking at an all-electric X1.
As you can see from the spy shots the prototype features no exhaust pipes and there are also some Hybrid stickers – an obvious attempt at subterfuge. Our spy photographers lurked around long enough to confirm that this is an EV, as when it finally took off, there was not a peep from a gasoline engine.
We are not too sure if this means that the company is developing an electric version of the X1 or if it is simply testing the technology for other models. Still, considering that BMW and Toyota have recently signed an agreement and that Toyota already offers an electric version of the RAV4, you shouldn’t be too surprised to see something similar from BMW.
Art cars have long had a history with BMW; after all, one of the most famous of these creatively designed models was made by Jeff Koons when he not only decked a BMW M3 GT2 in full artistic regalia but also proceeded to race it at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it eventually crashed.
Now new BMW Art Car, one for the BMW 3-Series, was unveiled recently. This one, though, doesn’t have ties to BMW; instead, it’s the work of a BMW dealership from the Czech Republic in collaboration with local artist, Andy Reiben. It’s quite psychedelic, if we do say so ourselves.
We all know that graphic designs on a car’s body are what make an art car. Forget about engine upgrades; these models are all about aesthetic enhancements and while some have failed in capturing our imaginations, others have succeeded in doing so.
And as far as details are concerned, the work done on this 3-Series, which has been re-christened as "Fluidum,” is pretty spectacular. The first order of business was to wrap the 3-Series in matte vinyl. From there, Reiben generously sprayed copious amounts of paint before finalizing the colorful details with a brush to go with a glow-in-the-dark treatment.
Pretty sweet art car, if you ask us, something Reiben should be very proud of. Heck, if this car ended up for sale, we might take a crack at purchasing it.
Or at least take lots of pictures with it.
Click past the jump to see a pair of BMW Art Cars that have graced our presence over the years.
Over the past 15 years, BMW has been the official safety car of Moto GP. The partnership has lasted that long and judging by the recent unveiling of the new safety car for the 2013 season, the bond between BMW and Moto GP are as strong as it’s ever been.
This year, the official safety car of the Moto GP season is a BMW M6 Gran Coupe. Sporting the traditional BMW safety car colors of white matched with strips of red, blue, and light blue, the 6-Series Gran Coupe Safety Car looks like it’s ready to lay down the safety standards for the 2013 season.
Considering that competitors will be on high-powered bikes, this 6-Series Gran Coupe also has a powertrain - a 4.4-liter V-8 twin-turbo engine - that can match wits with those two-wheeled rockets. That engine is good for 560 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, and mates to a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission. This provides the M6 Gran Coupe a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 4.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
The BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe Moto GP Safety Car is ready to hit the track when the season officially kicks off this weekend at the Grand Prix of Qatar.
BMW has built a lot of safety cars over the years. Check out a couple of other models that also served as Moto GP safety cars after the jump
BMW has been twiddling around with the BMW X4 since 2008 when the idea of a sportier version of the X3 was looking like a profitable venture. Back then, the German automaker was calling it a Sport Activity Sedan (SAS) and had thought they might be able to crank it out in 2010. Obviously that didn’t pan out, but plans for the X6’s smaller brother are still in the works, with a possible debut in 2013.
As you can see from the leaked prototype image provided above, the BMW X4 will get many of its exterior components from the X3, including the use of the X3’s platform. Rumors suggest that the future vehicle will be produced at the company’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, which would be fitting considering the passion we, as Americans, have for SUVs.
Do we need another sporty off-roader to cram into our parking spaces and guzzle up more gas? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that the future BMW X4 won’t zoom right out of dealerships when it finally goes on sale.
UPDATE 04/05/2013: BMW has officially lifted the veil from the X4 Concept to confirm that the leaked concept images are, in fact, a reality. Also released were three videos of the new X4 concept (above). BMW went rather deep into the design of the X4 Concept, but left any details regarding the drivetrain out. See the details after the jump and you can find the images in the gallery.
UPDATE 04/17/2013: BMW has dropped a set of new images for the X4 Concept car. Find them in the picture gallery!
BMW has earned a reputation for being one of the most socially in tune automakers out there. Time and time again, we’ve seen BMW involve its fans in some way. Whether its through promos, Twitter contests, or even the occasional social marketing endeavor, the German automaker knows how to tap into its fans and get their feedback.
It certainly looks like BMW is going on that route again with the release of a teaser sketch of a future BMW model on its Facebook page. The company didn’t release any specific details on what car this is, opting only to pose the question (in German): "Welcher BMW ist hier in einer frühen Design-Skizze zu sehen?"
Translated in English, the question means "Which BMW is seen here in an early design sketch?"
Obviously, speculation has run rampant on what model this is. Based on its looks, we’re venturing a guess that this could be the upcoming 4-Series GranCoupe. The dimensions appear to be there, including the low roofline and the front fascia is similar to what the renderings, sketches, and spy shots of the 4-Series.
Hopefully, BMW provides us with the answer to its own question sooner than later.
Click past the jump to read more about the 4-Series
BMW is going to expand its U.S. 3-Series lineup with the addition of a new, diesel-powered version. This model, called the 328d, made its world debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27th and will be put on sale this fall. Prices will be announced closer to its market launch.
The new 328d sedan will be joined by the 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. As with all the other models in the lineup, the new 328d can be ordered in Luxury, Sport and Modern Lines, or with the M Sport package.
The 328d will be offered with a four-cylinder diesel engine and can be ordered with either rear wheel drive or xDrive configurations. BMW reported it will deliver a fuel economy of about 45 mpg. Everything else will be shared with the other models in the 3-Series lineup, except of course the 328d badge at the rear that reminds you this is a diesel version.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 328d.
Most of Europe is waiting for the first days of spring; so, many automakers are taking advantages of the last days of winter to get in some cold-weather testing. BMW for example, has taken out the Gran Coupe version of the upcoming 4-Series for some winter testing in the cold regions of Sweden.
The new 4-Series is aiming squarely at the Audi A5 and S5, so BMW is building a whole range of models for its new 4-Series family. Following the Coupe and Convertible models, the company will also prepare a sportier looking four-door model - aka the 4 series Gran Coupe.
The model will be offered with the same engines as the coupe version, meaning there will be a choice of four engines - two gasoline-powered units and two diesel units - with the most powerful version being the 435i with an output of 306 horsepower.
With its unorthodox body style, the new 4-Series Gran Coupe will turn its sights to the A5 Sportback and we expect to see an M4 Gran Coupe as well at some point.
German tuner Leib Engineering wants to get noticed and it sure did so in a huge way with a scintillating program for the BMW M3.
Comprised of a full-on body kit to go with an impressive performance upgrade, this M3 is ready to be a beast on the road and do so while looking extremely stunning. In order to accomplish this look, engineers over at Leib dressed up the M3 in an Alpine White finish that’s complemented by a high-grade carbon-fiber body kit that includes carbon flaps under the front spoiler, carbon side-view mirrors, and a carbon tear-off edge.
Inside, Leib made good use of fine Alcantara in touching up the car’s cabin. The material itself can be found all over the interior, including in the BMW Performance seats and the steering wheel.
Under the hood of the M3 lies an engine that’s been extensively modified to give the sports coupe some serious fury. Leib worked on the engine-control software to achieve its desired results, which was to give the M3 improved performance numbers to the tune of 470 horsepower, a significant improvement from the standard M3’s 420-horsepower output.
Aiding in the realization of such an eye-popping upgrade is the installation of a new high-grade steel in-house valve exhaust system that features a 100-cell HJS catalyzer, an X-pipe with middle silencers and an end muffler with vacuum-controlled Pierburg valves.
Having that kind of impressive upgrade isn’t enough without giving the M3 the kind of braking power deserving of a car with 470 ponies on tap. So, Leib went ahead and installed a Brembo GT braking system, with red six-piston fixed saddles on the front axle. The improved braking capabilities should provide the M3 enough stopping power that, in turn, can be handled by the set of 19-inch BMW M220 forged-alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup semi-slick tires.
If you own a 2012 or later BMW 335i Sedan and 335i xDrive Sedan and want a little more from the M Performance line than just the existing aesthetic, suspension and exhaust additions, BMW has an announcement for you. It is releasing an all-new Power Kit to accompany the existing line of M Performance accessories and give the 335i Sedan a much deserved boost in power.
Under the hood, both versions of the 335i push out a stout 300 horsepower from the factory and this M Performance Power Kit bumps it to 320 ponies. In terms of torque, if you have an automatic-transmission-equipped 335i you can expect a boost from 300 pound-feet of torque to 332 pound-feet and a manual-transmission-equipped model jumps to 317 pound-feet of torque. In addition to the power boost, you also get a remapped accelerator pedal configuration to increase throttle response.
The output bump is thanks to advanced software upgrades, a new ECU, a high-capacity air-intake system, an M Performance engine cover and rocker panel decals. This all helps drop the 335’s 0-to-60 mph time by 0.2 seconds and the 50 to 75 mph time by 0.5 seconds for each model. This puts the 335i at 5.2 seconds to 60 mph with a manual transmission and 4.9 seconds with an automatic transmission, while the 335i xDrive drops to 4.9 seconds with a manual transmission and 4.6 seconds with an automatic transmission.
The kit is available immediately and starts out at $1,100 over the base model’s MSRP. Additionally, this will not affect the 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that BMW offers on the 335i.If you choose to add the package on post-sale, you get a 2-year/unlimited-miles warranty on the components included with the kit.
The third-generation BMW 6-Series was unveiled back in 2011 and for the 2014 model year BMW has announced a series of updates. The biggest one will be of course the addition of the new Frozen Brilliant White Edition, but next to it BMW is also offering a series of updates, mainly on the car’s technology features.
The 640i Gran Coupe will now be offered with BMW’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system, and the navigation system will now be offered with a revised design and honed operating system. Other updates include redesigned navigation displays, new special functions for the interactive map and new functions for the split screen in the central information display. The navigation system will now be offered with a full speech-recognition function and optimized voice-control system.
No changes have been made under the hood, so customers will have to choose between the usual 3-liter six-cylinder and the 4.4-liter V-8 engine.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 6-Series.