BMW I

  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Transmission:
    Six-Speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    357
  • MPG(Cty):
    28
  • Torque @ RPM:
    420
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

2015 BMW i8

BMW’s supercar, the M1, was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.

There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.

As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.

Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8

128 photos / 12 videos
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Exterior

When BMW first announced it’s plans to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics into production, a company source said: "there will be less of the synthetic glass and more solid structure added to the final design." How can this be translated? The i8 will be built on an aluminum chassis which houses the powertrain and the passenger cell. This cell consists of high-strength, but extremely lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Thanks to its use of CFRP and aluminum, the i8 will weight less than 3,285 pounds.

The car’s front will be defined by the now famous kidney grille and two large air intakes. The gull-wing doors will be replaced by standard ones and the rear will get a quad exhaust system.

We can see from the leaked image (above) that the i8 retains most of its overall look, and even carries over the scissor doors from the concept model. Gone is the huge door glass and the exaggerated blue highlight.

Exterior Dimensions

Length184.6 inches (4,689 mm)
Width76.5 inches (1,942 mm)
Height50.9 inches (1,293 mm)
Wheelbase110.2 inches (2,800 mm)
Curb Weight3,285 Pounds (1,490 KG)
Drag Coefficient0.26 Cd
Weight Distribution 50:50

TopSpeed Rendering and Spy Shots

Renderings are oftentimes guesswork, but our i8 rendering was pretty spot on — cue the horn tooting. the only places that we really missed were the blue outline on the grille, the charging port on the front fender and the blue highlight just below the door. Additionally, our positioning and shading on the hood-mounted heat extractor are a little off.

Interior

The BMW i8 offers room for four adults, thanks to its 2+2 seating layout. The partition between the passenger compartment and boot is made from two layers of chemically hardened glass that ensures excellent acoustic properties.

The seats and the instrument panel are trimmed in a special leather tanned with olive leaf extract, a method that offers the leather a particularly high-quality and natural look.

BMW designed the instrument panel and the center console using a "layering" principle. As standard feature, the i8 is offered with an iDrive operating system, a bespoke sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons.

The i8 is offered in a standard Neso trim level, with Carpo and Halo equipment lines offered as an option.

Drivetrain

The i8 features a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that delivers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Driving the front wheels make use of an electric motor that produces 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Combined, the entire driveline produces 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and runs this power through a six-speed automatic transmission connected to the gasoline engine and a two-stage transmission on the electric motor.

The i8 has a pair of drive modes: "D" and "Sport." In the "D" mode, the transmission shifts automatically and comfort takes precedence over performance. In "Sport" mode, the i8’s engine and transmission are optimized to deliver excellent performance. Additionally, the "Sport" mode maximizes the electric motor’s "boost" to the gasoline engine.

Another mode selector on the center console, dubbed the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver can choose between "Comfort" and "ECO PRO" mode. Comfort gives you the perfect balance between sport and economy, and is the base setting upon start up. With "ECO PRO" activated, the i8 becomes even more fuel efficient. "ECO PRO" programs the electronic accessories to minimize consumption.

With a full tank of gas, the i8 can travel up to 310 miles and jumps to up to 372 miles — a 20-percent jump — with "ECO PRO" mode activated. On electric only, the i8 can travel about 22 miles on a single charge and up to a maximum speed of about 75 mph. A full charge takes about 3-1/2 hours on a 120-volt household plug, or 1-1/2 hours on a 220-volt Level 2 charger. The i8 turns in an equivalent of 95 mg combined on the EU cycle.

The i8 is not all about efficiency either, as it hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds and sprints to a top speed of 155 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Gasoline EngineBMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-Liter Three-Cylinder
Electric MotorHybrid synchronous motor with power
Total Output362 horsepower
Total Torque420 Pound-Feet
TransmissionSix-Speed Automatic
Acceleration (0-60 mph)4.2 Sec., Est
Top Speed155 MPH
Fuel Economy (MPGe)95
Total Range310 Miles (372 Miles w/ ECO PRO)
Electric Range22 Miles

Price and Availability

BMW slapped the i8 with a starting price of $135,925, including destination and handling fees. It’ll hit showrooms in the spring of 2014 as a 2015 model year.

Pricing Details

Model MSRP
2015 BMW i8$135,925

Competition

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

Rumors point toward the SLC-Class debuting for the 2015 model year, making it a key competitor to the i8. Sure, the SLC-Class won’t have the same fuel economy as the i8, but its performance should be pretty similar. The SLC is rumored to feature a 500-horsepower v-8 powerplant, but it will be significantly heavier than the i8, so expect a 0-to-60 mph time somewhere in the high-3 to low-4-second range.

2014 Audi R8 V8 Coupe

The 2014 Audi R8 V8 Coupe is another likely non-hybrid competitor for the i8. It checks in with a 4.2-liter V-8 engine that pumps out 430 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque that helps jettison the Audi to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Sure, it’ll run close to the i8, but at just 11 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, the R8 is far less fuel efficient than the hybrid Bimmer.

Test Videos:




Conclusion

Finally, after all of this teasing and testing, we finally get to see the production version of the i8. BMW definitely did itself well too, as the production model does not stray too far from the initial concept. What’s even better is that its performance is right in line with what BMW originally promised us.

  • Leave it
    • No price tag yet, but we’re sure it’ll be expensive-

Update history

UPDATE 9/9/2013: The production version BMW i8 finally made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, so you can now see the real deal with no camouflage at all. Check the picture gallery to see the new pictures.

UPDATE 9/11/2013: BMW has revealed the i8’s base price in the U.S. of $135,925. It’ll hit showrooms in the spring of 2014.

Updated 12/26/2013: BMW unveiled a new video in which it explains the performance figures behind the new i8 hybrid supercar. Enjoy!

Updated 12/30/2013: Today is time for a new video featuring the new i8 hybrid supercar. This time BMW explains the design features of the new supercar.

Updated 02/07/2014: BMW is launching the new i8 supercar on the U.S. market with a very cool commercial that pays tribute to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. So, you got it: German supercar, launched on the American soil with Russian-inspired commercial!

Updated 05/27/2014: BMW unveiled a new video in which it explains how it optimized dynamics and efficiency for the new i8. Check it out in the "Videos"
tab.

Updated 07/03/2014: BMW announced today packages and options for the i8 hybrid supercar. Among others cool updates, BMW will offer three different worlds for the i8: Giga World priced at $2,000, Pure Impulse World priced at $10,800 and Terra World priced at $3,000.

Press Release

THE BMW I8 – NEW TAKE ON THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE™ POWERTRAIN, LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN AND DRIVING EXPERIENCE.

06/08/13

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 6, 2013… At a driving event at the BMW Group’s Miramas test track in France, the BMW i presented a prototype of its second production vehicle, the BMW i8. BMW i is synonymous with visionary mobility concepts and a new definition of premium quality that is strongly focused on sustainability. Following the world debut of the first production model, the BMW i3, the BMW Group’s next step will be to extend this revolutionary answer to the future challenges facing personal mobility to the sports car segment in the BMW i8. This plug-in hybrid model is the most progressive sports car of our time, extending the basic BMW i philosophy of sustainability to a new vehicle segment.

The BMW i8 fulfills the promise of The Ultimate Driving MachineTM in a revolutionary and mold-breaking form. This is reflected in a highly emotive design, dynamic sports car performance, and fuel efficiency and emissions figures worthy of a small car. Pairing an exceptionally lightweight, aerodynamically optimized body with cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology, a compact, turbocharged 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine and intelligent energy management, the BMW i8 marks the next stage in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy. Its revolutionary approach achieves an unprecedented balance between performance and fuel efficiency. Thanks to its carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell, the BMW i8 sets new standards for a plug-in hybrid vehicle in terms of low weight. It can operate solely on electric power, which means no tailpipe emissions, and offers the dynamic performance of a sports car, with an expected 0 – 60 mph sprint time under 4.5 seconds.

The BMW i8 was designed from the outset as a plug-in hybrid sports car, with the emphasis on agile performance and outstanding efficiency. Its characteristic BMW i LifeDrive architecture provides the best possible basis for lightweight design. Its main components are the aluminum Drive module, which incorporates the internal combustion engine and electric motor, the battery, the power electronics and the chassis components, along with structural and crash functions, and the Life module, which essentially comprises the 2+2-seater CFRP passenger cell. This architecture also gives the BMW i8 a very low center of gravity and a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio, both of which increase its agility.

The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid system is specific to this model. Developed and produced by the BMW Group, it marks the next step in the evolution of the Efficient Dynamics programme. A compact three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is combined with an electric drive system and a lithium-ion battery which can be recharged at a standard household power socket. The 231 hp (170 kW) gasoline engine sends its power to the rear wheels, while the 131 hp (96 kW) electric motor powers the front wheels. This configuration offers all-electric driving capability with a range of up to approx. 22 miles (35 kilometers) and a top speed of approximately 75 mph (120 km/h). With both drive systems engaged, it also offers road-hugging all-wheel-drive performance with powerful acceleration and dynamic torque vectoring during sporty cornering. The more powerful of the two powerplants drives the rear wheels. The hybrid system supplements this with power from the electric motor to deliver typical BMW driving pleasure combined with groundbreaking efficiency. Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 at model launch will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km, which equates to approximately 95 miles per US gallon, with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.

Optimal balance between performance and fuel economy: BMW i8 as an exciting evolution of the Efficient Dynamics strategy.

It is now more than a decade since the BMW Group launched its Efficient Dynamics vehicle development strategy, whose aim is to significantly improve both the performance and the efficiency of new BMW Group models. Efficient Dynamics combines evolutionary advances in existing technologies with the development of new and revolutionary drive concepts. Efficient Dynamics solutions include efficient lightweight design and aerodynamic concepts, high-performance drive systems based on TwinPower Turbo technology and BMW eDrive, and intelligent management of all energy flows within the vehicle. The new, revolutionary technology now being introduced on models from BMW i will subsequently find its way into the vehicles of the BMW Group’s core brands.

BMW i is also setting benchmarks in the quest for zero CO2 emissions in urban driving. The research and development work carried out since 2007 as part of project i has laid the foundations for revolutionary mobility solutions strongly influenced by environmental, economic and social change around the world. The BMW Group is pursuing an integrated approach, as embodied in the BMW i brand, which aims to achieve the necessary balance between individual needs and the global mobility requirements of the future. The BMW i focus is squarely on all-electric and plug-in hybrid mobility. Groundbreaking design, intelligent lightweight engineering, typical BMW driving pleasure coupled with zero tailpipe emissions, intelligent energy management and resource- and energy-saving production processes are all combined into an innovative premium-quality package.

LifeDrive architecture with an aluminum chassis for the powertrain and a CFRP passenger cell: for more excitement, lower weight and optimized drag.
The LifeDrive architecture specially developed for BMW i vehicles offers the ideal platform for turning the tide of spiraling weight while at the same time achieving distinctive styling exclusive to BMW i. With a length of 184.6 inches (4,689 mm), a width of 76.5 inches (1,942 mm) and a height of 50.9 inches (1,293 mm), the BMW i8 has the proportions of a sports car. Its dynamic personality is also stressed by a long bonnet, conspicuous aerodynamic features, an elongated roofline, short overhangs and a long wheelbase of 110.2 inches (2,800 mm). Characteristic BMW i form language wraps up this groundbreaking combination of sporty performance and efficiency in a charismatic 2+2-seater design.

The BMW i8 combines a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.26 with outstanding aerodynamic balance. The finely honed air flow around all parts of the vehicle body makes for an excellent lift/drag ratio, resulting in superb driving dynamics and stability.

Intelligent lightweight design – from the overall concept down to the smallest detail.

With its combination of the aluminum Drive module and the CFRP passenger cell (Life module), the BMW i8 is also an excellent example of intelligent lightweight design – one of the guiding principles of the Efficient Dynamics strategy. Use of the lightweight high-tech material CFRP, which also offers excellent crash performance, brings weight savings of 50 percent over steel and around 30 percent over aluminum, with equivalent or improved strength. These savings offset the additional weight of the electric motor and the high-voltage battery, giving the BMW i8 a curb weight of less than 3,285 lbs (1,490 kilograms). The LifeDrive architecture also brings benefits in terms of weight distribution. The battery pack is situated low down in the middle of the vehicle, resulting in a low and central center of gravity, which improves safety. No other current model of a BMW Group brand has such a low center of gravity.

The front-rear axle load distribution maximizes agility with a near-perfect 50:50 axle load ratio. The compact electric motor, together with the transmission and power electronics, are situated in close proximity to the electrically powered front axle. The turbocharged gasoline engine, which is located together with its transmission in the rear of the BMW i8, likewise sends its power to the road via the shortest possible route, i.e. through the rear wheels. As a finishing touch to this excellent weight distribution, the lithium-ion battery pack is centrally located in the vehicle, slightly forward of the mid-point. In terms of crash safety, this is an ideal location for the battery, which is integrated in an aluminum housing.

The doors comprise a CFRP inner structure and an aluminum outer skin. This reduces the weight of the door by 50 percent compared with a conventional design. The high-quality, naturally tanned leather of the seats highlights the “next premium”, sustainable philosophy of BMW i. The magnesium instrument panel support saves weight on two fronts – firstly through intelligent design, leading to around 30 percent weight savings compared, for example, with the BMW 6 Series. In addition, the high structural rigidity provides a strengthening effect which allows the number of components to be reduced, thereby lowering weight by a further 10 percent. Innovative foam plastic technology used in the air conditioning ducts brings 60 percent weight savings over conventional components, while also improving acoustics thanks to its sound-absorbing properties.

The fact that the power electronics and electric motor are directly connected reduces the amount of wiring required, while partial use of aluminum wiring brings further weight reductions. Lightweight design is also a feature of the BMW i8’s chassis systems – including the wheels, where the standard-fitted 20-inch forged aluminum wheels combine aerodynamic design with weight savings. The rigorous application of the lightweight design strategy even extends to aluminum screws and bolts, which are around 45 percent lighter than corresponding steel components, with the same strength and functionality.

The BMW i8 is also the world’s first volume-produced vehicle to be equipped with chemically hardened glass. This innovative technology, to date used mainly in Smartphone manufacturing, results in very high strength. The partition between the passenger compartment and boot of the BMW i8 consists of two layers of chemically hardened glass, each of which is just 0.7 millimeters thick, with acoustic sheeting sandwiched between. In addition to excellent acoustic properties, a further advantage of this solution is weight savings of around 50 percent compared with conventional laminated glass.

For maximum driving pleasure and efficiency: BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor developed by the BMW Group.

The plug-in hybrid system of the BMW i8, which comprises a BMW TwinPower Turbo engine combined with BMW eDrive technology, offers the best of both worlds: excellent potential for improved efficiency and exciting, sporty driving characteristics. The BMW Group has developed not only the internal combustion engine and electric motor in-house but also the power electronics and the battery. This ensures that all these components offer high product and quality standards, based on the outstanding capabilities of the BMW Group in the field of powertrain research and development.

The revolutionary character of the BMW i8 is emphasized by a further innovation: the use of a new internal combustion engine which is making its debut in this model. The BMW i8 is the first BMW production model to be powered by a three-cylinder gasoline engine. This highly turbocharged unit is equipped with latest-generation BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. It is exceptionally compact and develops maximum power of 231 hp (170 kW). The resulting specific output of 154 hp (113 kW) per liter of displacement is on a par with high-performance sports car engines and is the highest of any engine produced by the BMW Group.

The new three-cylinder engine derives its typical characteristics from the BMW inline six-cylinder engines, to which it is closely related and which are noted for their eager power delivery, revving ability and refinement. The three-cylinder’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a high-performance turbocharging system and direct gasoline injection with high-precision injectors positioned between the valves, along with VALVETRONIC throttle-less load control, which improves efficiency and response thanks to seamlessly variable valve lift control. Like a six-cylinder engine, the three-cylinder unit is free of first and second order inertial forces. The low roll torque, a typical feature of a three-cylinder design, is further reduced by a balancer shaft, while a multi-stage damper integrated in the automatic transmission ensures very smooth and refined running at low rpm. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and low internal friction improve both fuel consumption and torque characteristics. Accelerator response is sharp and the three-cylinder unit quickly reaches its maximum torque of 236 lb-ft (320 Nm).

The BMW i8’s second power source is a hybrid synchronous electric motor specially developed and produced by the BMW Group for BMW i. The electric motor develops maximum power of 131 hp (96 kW) and produces its maximum torque of around 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) from standstill. Typical of an electric motor, responsive power is instantly available when starting and this continues into the higher load ranges. The linear power delivery, which extends right up to the high end of the rpm range, is down to a special motor design principle exclusive to BMW i. BMW eDrive technology refines and improves on the principle of the permanently excited synchronous motor via a special arrangement and size of the torque-producing components. This results in a self-magnetising effect normally confined to reluctance motors. This additional excitation ensures that the electromechanical field generated when current is applied remains stable even at high rpm.

As well as providing a power boost to assist the gasoline engine during acceleration, the electric motor can also power the vehicle by itself. Top speed is approximately 75 mph (120 km/h). The BMW i8 has a maximum driving range in this emission-free, virtually soundless, all-electric mode of up to 22 miles (35 kilometers). The motor derives its energy from the lithium-ion battery which is centrally mounted underneath the floor of the vehicle. The model-specific version of the high-voltage battery was developed and produced by the BMW Group. It has a liquid cooling system and can be recharged at a conventional household power socket, at a BMW i Wallbox or at a public charging station. In the US a full recharge takes approximately 3½ hours from a conventional 120 volt, 12 amp household circuit or approximately 1½ hours from a 220 volt Level 2 charger.

The BMW i8’s vehicle concept and powertrain control system mark it out as a progressive, revolutionary sports car. The BMW i8 always achieves the optimal balance between performance and efficiency, whatever the driving situation. When power demands allow, the high-voltage battery is recharged by the electric motor. The high-voltage starter-generator, responsible for starting the engine, can also be used as a generator to charge the battery, the necessary power being provided by the BMW TwinPower Turbo engine. The battery can also be recharged via the electric motor during overrun. These various processes help to prevent depletion of the BMW i8’s battery in order to maintain the electric drive power. The all-electric driving range is sufficient to cover most urban driving requirements. Out of town, the BMW i8 offers impressively sporty performance which is also very efficient thanks to the power-boosting support for the gasoline engine from the electric motor. With such versatility, the BMW i8 belongs to a new generation of sports cars which unites exciting performance with cutting-edge efficiency – to enhance both driving pleasure and sustainability.

Driving Experience Control and eDrive button: a choice of efficiency and performance characteristics – at the touch of a button.

The rear wheels of the BMW i8 are driven by the gasoline engine via a six-speed automatic transmission. The front wheels are driven by the electric motor via an integrated two-stage automatic transmission. Combined maximum power and torque of 362 hp (266 kW) and 420 lb-ft (570 Nm) meters respectively provide all-wheel-drive performance which is as dynamic as it is efficient. The BMW i8’s intelligent powertrain control system ensures perfect coordination of both power sources. The variable power-sharing between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor makes the driver aware of the sporty temperament of the BMW i8 at all times, while at the same time maximizing the energy efficiency of the overall system. Utilizing both power sources, the 0 – 60 mph acceleration time is expected to be less than 4.5 seconds. Linear acceleration is maintained even at higher speeds since the interplay between the two power sources efficiently absorbs any power flow interruptions when shifting gears. The BMW i8 has an electronically controlled top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h), which can be reached and maintained when the vehicle operates solely on the gasoline engine. Variable front-rear power splitting in line with changing driving conditions makes for excitingly dynamic cornering. On entering the corner, the power split is biased towards the rear wheels to improve turning precision. For more vigorous acceleration out of the corner, the powertrain controller returns to the default split as soon as the steering angle becomes smaller again. The BMW i8 also offers the driver unusual scope to adjust the drive and suspension settings of the vehicle in order to adapt the driving experience to his or her individual preferences. As well as the electronic gear selector for the automatic transmission, the driver can also use the Driving Experience Control switch – a familiar feature of the latest BMW models – or, exclusively to the BMW i8, the eDrive button.

Using the gear selector, the driver can either select position D for automated gear selection or can switch to SPORT mode. SPORT mode offers manual gear selection and at the same time switches to very sporty drive and suspension settings. In SPORT mode, the engine and electric motor deliver extra-sharp performance, accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also activates maximum energy recuperation during overrun and braking: for this, the electric motor’s generator function, which recharges the battery using kinetic energy, switches to a more powerful setting. At the same time, gear change times are shortened and an extra-sporty setting is selected for the standard-fitted Dynamic Damper Control. Also in this mode, the programmable instrument cluster supplies further driving-related information in addition to the rev counter display.

The Driving Experience Control switch on the center console offers a choice of two settings. On starting, COMFORT mode is activated, which offers a balance between sporty performance and fuel efficiency, with unrestricted access to all convenience functions. Alternatively, at the touch of a button, ECO PRO mode can be engaged, which, on the BMW i8 as on other models, supports an efficiency-optimised driving style. The powertrain controller coordinates the cooperation between the gasoline engine and the electric motor for maximum fuel economy. On deceleration, the intelligent energy management system automatically decides, in line with the driving situation and vehicle status, whether to recuperate braking energy or to coast with the powertrain disengaged. At the same time, ECO PRO mode also programs electrical convenience functions such as the air conditioning, seat heating and heated mirrors to operate at minimum power consumption – but without compromising safety. The maximum driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is over 310 miles (500 km) in COMFORT mode. In ECO PRO mode, this can be increased by up to 20 percent. The BMW i8’s ECO PRO mode can also be used during all-electric operation. The vehicle is then powered solely by the electric motor. Only if the battery charge drops below a given level, or under sudden intense throttle application such as kickdown, is the internal combustion engine automatically activated. The driving mode selected at a given moment is indicated to the driver on the programmable instrument cluster by a distinctive color and by a different, mode-specific set of driving information. The three-dimensional appearance of the display adds to the futuristic look and feel of the vehicle as a whole.

High-quality chassis technology, DSC and Dynamic Damper Control as standard.

The high-end chassis and suspension technology of the BMW i8 is based on a double-track control arm front axle and a five-link rear axle, whose aluminum components and geometry are specially configured for intelligent weight savings. The electromechanical power steering offers easy manoeuvring in town and typical sports car-style high-speed steering precision. Also standard is Dynamic Damper Control: the electronically operated dampers change their characteristics according to the selected driving mode to deliver the desired vehicle dynamics. The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) stability system includes the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist, Brake Standby, Start-Off Assistant, Fading Compensation and the Brake Drying function. The push button-activated Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) system raises the DSC thresholds, allowing some controlled drive wheel slippage for easier start-off on snow or loose ground, or for extra-dynamic cornering.

The extraordinary BMW i8 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and arrive in BMW showrooms in 2014.

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Press release
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BMW To Invest In New Autonomous Tech Project

BMW To Invest In New Autonomous Tech Project

The focus comes at the cost of EV development
BMW To Invest In New Autonomous Tech Project

As the arms race for fully autonomous driving technology continues, BMW has decided to shift the focus of its “i” sub-brand from electrified drivetrains, to driverless cars. Automotive News reports that BMW board member Klaus Froehlich recently outlined the Bavarian automaker’s intentions to develop the tech as part of something he called “Project i Next,” and it’s rumored that 2021 is the target date for the debut of a fully autonomous BMW flagship model.

In addition to self-driving tech, the new flagship will also boast an advanced all-electric drivetrain. Since its introduction in 2011, BMW’s i division has focused primarily on the creation of plug-in propulsion systems, including those found in the hybrid i8 sports car and all-electric i3 hatchback. However, following the lackluster sales performance of the i3 (only 25,000 units sold last year, compared to nearly 400,000 preorders for the Tesla Model 3), it appears as though BMW will instead refocus its i division to work primarily on autonomous technology. 

Despite the change in emphasis, its expected i division will still have a hand in the development of new electrified drive systems, including a longer-range i3 due out by the end of the year, plus a sportier i3 rumored to be revealed by 2018. 

The news comes on the heels of the departure of four high-profile executives from the forward-thinking sub-brand. 

Continue reading to learn more about the story.

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BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements

BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements

German automaker’s i division to get a spate of new models, including the mysterious iNEXT
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements
BMW Going All-In On Electric Mobility And Technological Advancements

BMW’s 100th anniversary is turning into more than just a celebration for the Bavarian automaker. It’s also become the setting for BMW’s look into the future of its business. That much was made emphatically clear when the German automaker opened the book on a new business strategy that will focus on electric vehicles, automated driving, and revolutionary software and technology services. BMW CEO Harald Kruger dubbed it Strategy One Next, a play off of former CEO Norbert Reithofer’s Strategy One plan that was unveiled back in 2007.

One of the most pertinent points of this strategy relates to the future of the company’s all-electric i division. With the success of the i3 and i8 models, BMW is doubling down on the division by announcing plans to launch an updated version of the i3 within the year. The new model will come with a more powerful battery and improved drivetrain technology to improve its battery capacity by more than 50 percent. Likewise, an open-top roadster version of the i8 has been penciled in for 2018, thereby confirming one of BMW’s worst kept secrets of the past few years. But the real highlight of BMW’s announcement surrounding its i division is its plan to develop a third model for the all-electric family. It’s not going to be an i5 or an i7 because BMW has come to call it iNEXT. Not a lot of details have been given surrounding iNEXT, but the company did say that it will come with an all-new electric powertrain to go with new lightweight materials, an autonomous driving mode, and improved Internet mobility. Don’t expect to see the iNEXT in the near future because BMW doesn’t plan to launch it for the next five years.

Until then, expect BMW to focus a lot of its attention on other aspects of its long-winding business strategy, one of which is a multi-track powertrain developmental approach. The goal is to develop a number of different powertrain options, all of which are geared towards the future of the industry. Lithium-ion batteries are already being used by the i3 and the i8, but BMW isn’t just stopping there. Lithium-air batteries are also on the table, as are high-density solid state technology and hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction

2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction

2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction
2016 BMW i Vision Future Interaction

There’s a problem with the world’s most advanced, tech-heavy luxury cars – too much stuff. Any high-end passenger vehicle worth its leather upholstery is expected to come bearing a feature list longer than a Tolstoy novel, which usually means too much stuff to even keep track of, let alone control. The solution? More gadgets! To streamline the user experience, BMW envisions the implementation of gesture tracking, voice recognition, and fully autonomous driving modes, all of which are on display with the i Vision Future Interaction concept recently unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016.

At first glance, this thing looks like a door-free take on the i8 Concept Spyder we saw back in 2012 in Beijing. That particular vehicle came with unique exterior styling, a slightly truncated wheelbase, and an 8.8-inch display screen mounted in the cabin, plus a variety of bells and whistles carried forward to the “normal” i8 road car (prodigious use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum, for example). The Vision Future adds to this with a “networked cockpit” that supposedly represents the “user interface of the future,” as well as that all-important fully autonomous driving mode option.

Where is BMW heading when it comes to design and technology? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i Vision Future Interaction.

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BMW Poised To Add 9 Series And I6 Models To Lineup By 2020

BMW Poised To Add 9 Series And I6 Models To Lineup By 2020

BMW Poised To Add 9 Series And I6 Models To Lineup By 2020

BMW’s growing lineup figures to get a little more crowded as the German automaker seeps into new markets with models that are expected to make their debut in the coming years. Two, in particular, are looking like game changers when they make their respective debut in 2020.

According to Automobile Mag, BMW is expected to launch a premium four-door luxury coupe that will be slotted above the 7 Series. Given BMW’s history with the 8 Series, it does make sense for the this new model to get that nomenclature, but the German automaker is preparing this model to be an all-new entry, hence the likely route of naming it the 9 Series. That’s not the official name yet, and it may still evolve into something else, but there are signs that point to the car being a four-door, four-passenger coupe that will based on the LWB version of the 7 series. It will also assume the flagship model role for BMW, taking it away from the 7er. For now, the 9 Series is anticipated to receive a handful of engine options, including a twin-turbo V-8 and a six-cylinder, plug-in hybrid. A V-12 could also be in the cards, in the event the 9 Series gets an M9 variant, and just as important, an all-electric variant depending on how far sister company Rolls-Royce is with its all-electric platform.

The other interesting model that’s scheduled to hit dealerships is the BMW i6. At this point, no mention has been made of the i6, since most of the attention has been on i5 and the i7 sedans. But apparently, the i6 will also be joining the i family in 2020. No mention was made on what type of car it’s going to be, although the early description on the model points to a “modern yet practical package that’s roughly the size of a 3 Series sedan”. The i6 will also be built on a new “flat-floor” component and will prominently feature anywhere from two to four electric motors. A new lithium-polymer battery pack could also be in play, although that’s contingent on how far development on that front goes. Should it become available by 2020, the battery pack is being described as having three times the energy capacity as the existing units and will cut production expenses by half.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2018 BMW i7

2018 BMW i7

2018 BMW i7
2018 BMW i7
2018 BMW i7
2018 BMW i7

BMW’s ‘i’ division is beginning to make some headway in the electric car segment. The i3 and the i8 were the first two cars to enter this niche and now, it’s looking more and more likely that the next i-badged vehicle to come out of Munich will be a sedan. The car in question still has no name, but most people believe that it’s either going to be the i5 or the i7. For or the purpose of this space, let’s call it the i7. More importantly, the vehicle is being prepared to take on the current standard-bearer of the electric sedan segment: the Tesla Model S.

Not much is known at this point about the i7 except for a few details that have been divulged by Car Magazine. According to the British magazine, the i7 is being prepared for a 2018 launch to coincide with the arrival of the next-generation 5 Series. You’re probably wondering why the two cars are connected? Well, as it turns out, the i7 will use BMW’s new Cluster Architecture (CLAS), a modular platform that will underpin all BMW models from the 3 Series to the 7 Series.

The other interesting tidbit about the i7 is its engine composition. Just like the i8, the i7 isn’t going to be a pure electric vehicle like the Model S. Instead, BMW’s working on a pair of electric motors that will be joined by a gas engine, allowing the sedan to run on either all-electric or all-gas compositions.

Other than these two nuggets of information, BMW’s keeping a close lid on the development of the sedan so as always, stay tuned for more.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i7.

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2015 BMW i8

2015 BMW i8

2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8
2015 BMW i8

BMW’s supercar, the M1, was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.

There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.

As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.

Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8

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More Powerful BMW i8 Will Be Unveiled Next Year

More Powerful BMW i8 Will Be Unveiled Next Year

More Powerful BMW i8 Will Be Unveiled Next Year

BMW will celebrate a century of doing business next year, and to mark the triple-digit milestone, the automaker is rumored to be working on a beefed-up version of its i8 hybrid sports car. It’s believed the new i8 will bring with it more power, a quicker 0-to-60 time, a more hardcore interior, and a new exterior look.

The speculation stems from a recent post made by the British publication AutoExpress, which cites an unidentified company insider. The rumors also echo those coming from a report made late last year by the U.K.-based publication CAR. 

While the i8’s stiff, lightweight composite chassis and hybrid drivetrain is supposedly capable of handling a buff of up to 300 extra horsepower, the new i8’s power increase wouldn’t be that extreme. Bimmer’s engineers will most likely replace the current twin-turbo, three-cylinder gas engine, which produces 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, with a more potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit. The new ICE would chuck out over 300 horsepower, which would boost total output (when combined with the electric motor) to roughly 450 horsepower. 

A sub-four-second 0-to-60 time is the target acceleration spec, as compared to the current vehicle’s 4.2 seconds to 60. While the larger four-banger engine will add heft, BMW will most likely preserve the car’s current curb weight of 3,285 pounds by using unpainted carbon fiber body panels and a stripped-out interior that eliminates the ’barely there anyway’ rear seats. 

Finally, the new i8 will probably boast a revamped exterior, with a wider and lower body, more aggressive aero and ground effects, and bigger wheels and brakes.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Third BMW i model Should Arrive After 2020

Third BMW i model Should Arrive After 2020

Third BMW i model Should Arrive After 2020

BMW released its first two electrified "i" cars within a year of each other, with the i3 hatchback and the i8 sports car, but it looks like there is going to be a bit of wait before others will join the lineup. According to a report from Automotive News, Klaus Froehlich, head of BMW Group research and development, said that a third BMW i car is currently in the “brainstorm” phase of development and would debut after 2020.

Froehlich provided no additional information about the future plug-in model, but he did say that it would not be based on the BMW X5. Additionally, he stated that, like the i3 and i8, all future i models will have their own styling and performance while maintaining the sub brand’s green, low-emission mantra. This essentially means that BMW will continue to offer a separation between plug-in versions of its conventional vehicles – like the recently announced X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid – and the more distinctive cars under the BMW i lineup.

While Froehlich wouldn’t say what sort of vehicle this future model would be, recent rumors seem to point at a more traditional, sedan-based vehicle possibly even wearing the i5 or i7 name.

Continue reading to learn more about BMW’s future third i model.

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2018 BMW i5

2018 BMW i5

2018 BMW i5
2018 BMW i5
2018 BMW i5
2018 BMW i5
2018 BMW i5
2018 BMW i5

Electric and hybrid cars continue making their way across every manufacturer’s lineup as restrictions on emissions become stricter each and every year. BMW has already jumped on this bandwagon with the introduction of the 2015 i8 and 2015 i3. According to a new report from CAR Magazine, however, the Bavarian automaker is set to unveil a more traditional, three-box i model that it will call the i5 or the i7.

Rumored to arrive in 2018 and rival the immensely successful Model S, the i5/i7 will roll in boasting a gasoline powerplant and a pair of electric motors. Though it seems like a valiant effort, can a range-extended EV like the i5/i7 really challenge the Tesla Model S for alternative-fuel supremacy?

Click past the jump to read my full preview of the i5/i7 to find out.

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BMW's Tesla Model S Competitor Will Be Called i5 or i7

BMW’s Tesla Model S Competitor Will Be Called i5 or i7

BMW's Tesla Model S Competitor Will Be Called i5 or i7

BMW has established a firm footing in the EV market with the recent introduction of the i8 and i3, but it could be on the verge of creating a more-conventional, higher-volume i-series EV based on the next-generation BMW 5 Series sedan. CAR Magazine is reporting that BMW is developing the new sedan – possibly called the i5 or the i7 – to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model S, and it could be previewed as a concept this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

A production version of this plug-in car is expected to come in 2018, and it will likely use a more powerful version of the EV drive system currently in the i8. This would start with a larger-displacement gasoline engine acting as a generator, while the electric drive system could see a motor at each axle versus the i8’s front-axle-only setup. The article states that this car could very easily have a total system output of 544 horsepower along with an all-electric driving range of 80 miles.

While that range is far less than what the Model S currently offers, the range-extending engine would give the BMW the ability to drive longer distances and use gas for quick fill-ups rather than having to hunt for an EV charging station. As far as the styling is concerned, that’s still unknown, but the article does show a very interesting, i-inspired rendering.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s future plug-in hybrid model.

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Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"

Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"

Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"
Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"
Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"
Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"
Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"
Super Bowl XLIX: BMW Reveals "Newfangled Idea"

With the Super Bowl Sunday just a few days away, a number of carmakers decided to jump on the commercial-running bandwagon, with BMW returning from a four-year hiatus in a pretty big way and showing its amusing "Newfangled Idea" spot. The 60-second commercial was made to market the BMW i3 and will air during the first quarter of NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1.

Featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel in their first-ever commercial together, the spot is actually split in half, with the first part showing a segment from 1994 of the two TV presenters trying to explain what the Internet actually is. Fast-forward 21 years to 2015, Katie Couric and Bryant Gumpel are shown driving in an all-electric BMW i3, whose level of technology and the way it is manufactured seems to confuse the two in a similar way. "In 1994, people had not yet grasped what the internet was, which is similar to how electric mobility is viewed today," said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. "Electric mobility is at a tipping point. We are on the verge of something great and we hope that with this spot, we can educate audiences about the BMW i3 and e-mobility in a fun and engaging way."

With the deflate-gate-marred New England Patriots battling the Seattle Seahawks and millions of Americans watching, Super Bowl Sunday will obviously be a pretty good time for BMW to showcase the i3 to a larger audience. The 2015 BMW i3 starts at $42,400 MSRP, is powered by an electric motor with 170 horsepower, and offers an EPA-rated range of up to 81 miles per charge,.

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

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BMW Will Return to the Super Bowl With the i3

BMW Will Return to the Super Bowl With the i3

BMW Will Return to the Super Bowl With the i3

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average price of a commercial for this year’s Super Bowl is estimated to be between $4.4 million to $4.5 million per 30 seconds. BMW just announced that it has purchased a 60-second spot for the Big Game, but before you think that this $9 million investment is for the 2015 M4 or another performance model, the automaker just announced that its latest campaign will focus solely on the electric/range-extended plug-in city car, the 2015 BMW i3.

BMW’s fuel-sipping hatchback has been on sale for a little while now, but such a high-visibility ad will surely get a larger set of eyes to check out the i3. Watching the Super Bowl has become just as much about the commercials (if not more) than the actual game itself these days.

The details behind the commercial are being kept a secret for now, but Trudy Hardy, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America was quoted in an official press release as saying “big ideas like the BMW i3 take a little getting used to” to hint at the possible theme for the ad. The commercial will air during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIX, which takes place on Feb. 1, 2015.

This commercial will mark BMW’s return to Super Bowl advertising for the first time in four years when it took out two spots for the then-new X3 and the diesel-powered 335d in Super Bowl XLV.

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

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Supercar Buyers Guide After the Detroit Auto Show

Supercar Buyers Guide After the Detroit Auto Show

Supercar Buyers Guide After the Detroit Auto Show

If the 2015 North American International Auto Show is a litmus test for the future of the automotive industry, sports car enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to. This year’s Detroit show had an eclectic mix of introductions ranging from high-efficiency green cars to pickup trucks, but most surprising was the large number of high-horsepower performance cars.

Regardless of what type of performance you like, the Detroit Auto Show had it. There were high-powered sedans like the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and 2016 Lexus GS F, there are more practical vehicles like Mercedes GLE63 AMG S Coupe and Ford F-150 Raptor and traditional sports coupes like the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R also had their time to shine. Stealing the spotlight, though, was the debut of two awe-inspiring supercars: the 2017 Ford GT and the production version (finally) of the Acura NSX

While both of these cars showcase the future that awaits supercar enthusiasts, they both do so in slightly different manners. The Ford GT, which will enter production next year in time to run in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, is all about racing with an aero-tuned body and the “most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever,” with initial estimates rating this mid-mounted, twin-turbo V-6 at more than 600 horsepower. The 2016 Acura NSX is more of a high-tech beast with a mid-engine, twin-turbo V-6 producing "north of 550 horsepower," which is paired to a three-motor electric drive system resulting in the latest version of Acura’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. Of course, we still have to wait for pricing on both of these new offerings, but it seems like the NSX will start in the $150,000 range while the GT will likely be a bit higher.

The birth of the hypercar may have already changed how we, as enthusiasts, look at sports cars (including the high-end supercars), but for now, we take a look at how the newest breed of supercars — those that have debuted over the last year — stack up against the Ford GT and Acura NSX.

Click past the jump to read more about how recently introduced supercars compare to the new Ford GT and Acura NSX.

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BMW i8 Battles BMW M4 on the Track: Video

BMW i8 Battles BMW M4 on the Track: Video

BMW i8 Battles BMW M4 on the Track: Video

As we all bear witness to the current shift away from gasoline engines, we end up with some truly blockbuster matchups. No longer is it just carbs vs. fuel injection, rear-wheel drive vs. front-wheel drive, displacement vs. boost, or manuals vs. automatics. Now we have rivalries that pit internal combustion in its entirety against and the very future of automotive power. Cue the explosions and thunder storm. We don’t even have to use cars from different manufacturers. Case in point: the M4 vs. the i8.

Despite drastically different approaches to performance, the stats on these machines are actually nearly parallel: both take a little less than 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, both weigh about 3,450 pounds, and both can attain a top speed of 155 mph.

Yes, the power and torque figures are completely skewed, and the drive layouts are thoroughly dissimilar, but that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s the old school against the new school, analog against digital. The petroleum will run out eventually, but today is not that day. Who will win this battle?

Autocar set out to find the answer using a race track and two capable drivers. The result is what you’d expect in some ways, but a complete surprise in others. As the future wrestles away the present from the past, we expect many more battles like this to come.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 and M4.

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BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES

BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES

BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES
BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES
BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES
BMW Unveils "i Home Charging Services" at CES

BMW is intent on showing the world its green-technology chops with a variety of new tech. The company is reportedly making new investments into hydrogen power for the future, and presently, we have the i3 electric and i8 hybrid already patrolling the roadways. But these cars take a regular fill-up at the outlet to run, which can get expensive. If you’re sucking juice off the grid during peak hours, all that money you save at the pump can appear with a vengeance on your utilities bill.

BMW wants to fix that. With a debut at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, the Bavarians plan to reveal i Home Charging Services, which combines “vehicle charging with the household electrical system and online-based data systems” to selectively choose the cheapest electricity available, cutting back on power costs. The automated system uses home-generated solar when available, or off-peak rates from the grid if solar isn’t an option. BMW claims the system could potentially save up to $800 a year for customers in the US.

BMW will also be at CES to uncover a concept product wherein batteries from its i vehicles are repurposed for at-home energy storage, which should help increase efficiency even further. Think of it as hybridizing your house.

The new system aims “to optimize charging costs and – if customers have a home solar generating system – to make possible use of home-generated solar power,” BMW states in a press release. “The fact that the system is integrated with home energy management systems also makes it possible to achieve the best possible balance between household electricity consumption and power used for charging the electric vehicle, thereby helping customers to achieve further cost savings and to make even more efficient use of solar energy.”

BMW hopes to make the new system available to customers as early as next year.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new "i Home Charging Services."

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BMW i8 and BMW M4 Brotherly Battle in a Drag Race: Video

BMW i8 and BMW M4 Brotherly Battle in a Drag Race: Video

BMW i8 and BMW M4 Brotherly Battle in a Drag Race: Video

With a model lineup that is constantly increasing, it is actually not that hard to find two seemingly-different BMW models that have very similar performance. Out of the many combinations available, the Germans from AutoBild decided to choose the BMW M4 and the i8 plug-in hybrid and let them decide which one is faster in a straight line. Their approach can be many things except for scientific, especially since the actual distance of the race is not shown, but it is all in good fun.

In left corner we have a 2015 BMW M4 of the slower variety, since it is equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. Powered by a twin-turbocharged, three-liter, inline-six with 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, the M3 Coupe replacement should hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds if the conditions are perfect. In the right corner we have an entirely different animal in the form of a 2015 BMW i8. Powered by a turbocharged, 1.5-liter inline-three that is paired with an electric motor, making for a total of 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the i8 should go from naught to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds according to official specifications.

So, on paper we have two very different yet very much alike BMW models, making for a somewhat clear motive out of AutoBild’s choice in the matter. In the real world though, shifting gears in a manual BMW M4 is not an exact science, nor is trying to keep up with an i8 that has all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission with launch control. In other words, even if the official numbers were somewhat in the M4’s favor, it would need perfect conditions and a very good driver to get the best out of the model.

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BMW Will Display Intelligent Laser Lights and OLED Technology at CES

BMW Will Display Intelligent Laser Lights and OLED Technology at CES

BMW Will Display Intelligent Laser Lights and OLED Technology at CES

What does BMW have to do with TVs, Cell Phones and Wireless Weight Scales? They are all going to be trying to wow the thousands of people gathered in Las Vegas next week for CES. CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, and it is a yearly convention where companies from all over the world gather to show off their latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. Over the last few years more and more automakers have used the show to demonstrate new and interesting technology that was going to make its way to customer cars in a few years. This year BMW is charging into CES with a new concept car that is focused on demonstrating new and exciting lighting technology that uses lasers and OLEDs.

BMW’s first production laser headlight system called Laserlight debuted on the futuristic i8 hybrid sports car. At CES, BMW will demonstrate the newest iteration of Laserlight that uses various sensors, cameras and driver assistance systems to create a headlight that has twice the range of conventional headlights — up to 600 meters (1,968.5 feet). To put that distance into a more recognizable form, that is a distance of more than one-third of a mile.

BMW is also looking into incorporating OLED technology. OLED is an acronym for organic light emitting diode, and it is similar to LED technology, but it has some distinct advantages in terms of brightness, color clarity, heat production, energy usage and size. The 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept used this technology in the tail lights. While LEDs are a “point” light source, meaning the all the light comes from a single point, OLEDs emanate a uniform light across the entirety of their surface. The elements themselves are extremely thin at just 1.4 mm thick. OLED technology has been in use in several cellphone displays for a few years now, but BMW wants to use this new and exciting technology in cars.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s intelligent laser lights.

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BMW's Hydrogen Car Will Soon Begin Testing

BMW’s Hydrogen Car Will Soon Begin Testing

BMW's Hydrogen Car Will Soon Begin Testing

As the search for an alternative to fossil fuels continues, BMW is making moves toward a hydrogen-powered vehicle, according to British publication AutoCar.

Speaking with BMW’s sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson, AutoCar released a report recently outlining the German automaker’s intention to develop a fuel-cell car for release in the near future: “We’ve said we’ll continue to invest in hydrogen and that will result in a small number of production test vehicles being made to prove the technology works,” said Robertson. “The real issues lie not around what we can do, though, but whether the infrastructure can be built up to supply hydrogen in the marketplace cost-effectively.”

According to the report, fuel-cell stack packaging and hydrogen storage, both major hurdles for the fuel cell-powered vehicle, have made significant advances in the past few years. Flying under the “i” Series designation, of which the i3 electric and i8 hybrid are both part, BMW looks to be developing an i5 hydrogen-powered car that would use a slightly altered version of the powertrain found in Toyota’s FCV.

However, Robertson also hinted that advanced electricity storage technology, such as lithium air and solid-state batteries, could “see charging time and range worries disappear,” giving the EV a significant boost in the marketplace. “At some point in the future the technologies will switch over. When the crossover comes and the focus becomes electricity, the rate of learning will accelerate even faster,” Robertson said. “Relatively, that time is not far away.”

Note: BMW i3 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s future hydrogen car.

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BMW Plans Tesla Model S Competitor in 2018

BMW Plans Tesla Model S Competitor in 2018

BMW Plans Tesla Model S Competitor in 2018

Event though cars with full-electric drivetrains have yet to become an actual sales threat to most of their competitors with internal-combustion engines, no matter what segment they are in, it is a safe bet that we aren’t very far from that type of situation. This is probably why more and more traditional car manufacturers have started to increase their amount of peeking at brands like Tesla, whose entire model lineup has always been composed of electric vehicles.

BMW, for example, is no stranger to electric cars, and 2014 was the year when not one but two distinct electric models from the Bavarian lineup started reaching dealerships around the world — the BMW i3 and i8.

Both of them are part of the so-called "i" sub-brand, and it appears that in a few years they may get another brother in the form of a direct competitor for Tesla’s Model S.

According to Automobile Mag’s corespondent and known insider Georg Kacher, BMW’s upcoming third member of the "i" family will be based on the long-wheelbase version of the 5 Series, which is currently only built for China.

Despite being heralded as a Tesla Model S competitor, the BMW i5 or i7, as it will likely be called, will apparently be a plug-in hybrid model and not a full-electric one, while also having a much less radical design compared to the current i3 and i8.

Set to be launched sometime in 2018, it is safe to say that it will use the platform of the upcoming 5 Series LWB, with the extra space between the two axles to benefit rear-seat passengers and accommodate the batteries.

You shouldn’t confuse it with a "regular" plug-in hybrid though, as in order to adhere to the "i" prefix, the model will actually use a similar formula with today’s BMW i8 or the Chevrolet Volt, if you like. In other words, the internal combustion engine will only charge the batteries, with the propulsion being made fully electric, therefore earning the "electric car with a range extender" moniker.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s future electric car.

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BMW i8 Recalled for Fire Risk

BMW i8 Recalled for Fire Risk

BMW i8 Recalled for Fire Risk

It seems 2015 BMW i8 owners will be getting a recall notice in the mail regarding an issue with their new gasoline-electric sports car. The potential problem lies with a bolt that holds the fuel tank to the i8’s chassis not doing its job.

Car & Driver reports the BMW recall notice says. “A bolt used to attach and secure the vehicle’s fuel tank to the vehicle chassis may not have properly welded during manufacturing. An inadequate weld of the bolt to the fuel tank could cause a fuel leak. In the presence of an ignition source, a fuel leak could cause a vehicle fire.”

The recall will affect more than half of i8s, which BMW says is exactly 223 cars. From the beginning of sales through November 2014, BMW has only moved 397 i8s in the U.S. The cars affected were built between May 16th and September 16th, 2014.

Owners are encouraged to have their cars inspected by BMW for the loose bolt and have any repairs made. Like all recalls, the repairs are made free of charge for the customer.

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

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Video: BMW i8 Vs BMW M1

Video: BMW i8 Vs BMW M1

Video: BMW i8 Vs BMW M1

Although BMW had a hard time selling it in its era, the M1 turned out to be one of the company’s most sought-after classic cars. And even though it was legendary for being BMW’s only production, mid-engine sports car, the M1 has yet to receive an official successor. As far as most enthusiasts are concerned, however, the brand-new i8 is the perfect modern-day M1. It has sports car proportions, aggressive styling, and although it features a hybrid drivetrain, the gasoline engine is mounted behind the seats.

Although I’m not particularly excited about calling the i8 the spiritual successor to the M1, I must confess I’ve always wanted to see the two in a head-to-head comparison. If you’re like me, than this is your lucky day, as the folks over at Auto Express brought the two sports cars together for a track battle. Sure, the M1 and the i8 were launched 35 years apart, sharing only the BMW badge and a mid-engine layout. While the M1 was developed as a homologation special for racing and became a revered classic only decades later, the i8 is BMW’s way of showcasing its latest technologies and advanced hybrid drivetrain.

And that’s exactly what makes this video a captivating comparison, one in which the old meets the new and the race-bred classic encounters the vehicle that represents BMW’s future.

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Video: BMW i8 Owner Talks About His Car

Video: BMW i8 Owner Talks About His Car

Video: BMW i8 Owner Talks About His Car

The love story between man and car takes many different shapes and variations. In the case of Scott Hughes, his fascination with BMW began in 1968 when the BMW 2002 arrived. Since then, he has become an avid Bimmer enthusiast, almost to the point of being an actual authority on the carmaker’s history. Needless to say, when BMW launched the i8, Hughes wasn’t denied the opportunity to own the model.

That purchase follows a long line of iconic BMW models he has in his collection. But the i8 spoke to him in ways no other BMW has since, well, the 2002.

As the first i8 owner in South Carolina, Hughes appreciates the real value of BMW’s hybrid sports car in ways not a lot of people can. While most people will obsess about the styling, technology, and driving experience of the hybrid i8, Hughes will compare it to a car like the 2002 or the 1980 BMW M1, all while describing the i8 as a car that takes the pristine performance heritage of its predecessors and brings to a level no other BMW has attained in its long and illustrious history.

Scott Hughes knows what he’s talking about because he’s the embodiment of a BMW lifer. There’s something to be said for a man who has spent a chunk of his life devoted to a brand like BMW. It’s not just that he has a wealth of experience to back up his talk, it’s because his words come from a place where passion and sincerity can only be cultivated over time.

It’s a place of love, admiration, and respect born out of years of devotion to the brand. This is Scott Hughes’ love story with BMW and the company’s latest crown jewel, the i8.

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BMW i8's 18-Month Waiting List Could Force Production Increase

BMW i8’s 18-Month Waiting List Could Force Production Increase

BMW i8's 18-Month Waiting List Could Force Production Increase

BMW has had no problem selling the i8. In fact, the plug-in hybrid sports car is selling so well that the German automaker is considering increasing production just to meet the car’s high demand. BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson told Automotive News Europe at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show that the company is looking at ways to increase production of the i8 because demand for the car in some markets have gone through the roof.

According to Robertson, a reasonable waiting time for customers who order a premium model should be six months. But with the i8, it’s 18 months, which means that if you order one today, you might not get your car until May 2016. It’s a problem, but it is a good problem to have and BMW certainly has the resources to accommodate the demand for the i8 if it chose to do so.

The company initially planned to build the i8 as a low-volume sports car limited to annual sales in the low thousands. But now that people are seemingly tripping over themselves to secure a model, the company could recalibrate its expectations for the i8. Robertson didn’t expound on whether BMW will increase output of the car, but if the i8’s popularity and demand continue to soar, the only course of action to take might be to give the people what they want; at least to a certain extent.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8.

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BMW Considers a Hydrogen i5

BMW Considers a Hydrogen i5

BMW Considers a Hydrogen i5

In the search for a solution to the world’s energy problems, few things have the same potential as hydrogen. It’s the most abundant element in the universe, and the only products created by a hydrogen fuel cell are electricity and pure water. Basically, a hydrogen fuel cell utilizes a chemical reaction to combine oxygen with hydrogen, yielding a release of energy. This process is not only clean, it’s also incredibly efficient, with figures up to 80 percent for a fuel cell compared to the 30 percent of a conventional car engine.

With the possibilities exhibited by this super-efficient, ultra-clean technology, it’s no surprise that both Toyota and Honda have already announced their intentions for producing hydrogen-powered vehicles. Now, according to UK publication AutoCar, BMW is considering it as well.

In a joint venture with Toyota, BMW appears to be gearing up to offer a hydrogen-electric version of its i-series, possibly dubbed the i5, using a revamped powerplant found in the Toyota FCV. With the i3 and i8 hybrids already out and rolling, a hydrogen-powered i5 would round out the i-series lineup quite nicely.

While storage of hydrogen fuel is both cumbersome and dangerous, it’s a platform that shows great promise in terms of integration with existing infrastructure. Electric vehicles need long periods of time to recharge their battery packs, while inductive charging technology would require a major overhaul to roadways and parking lots. It should also be mentioned that EVs are only as clean as their source of electricity, which means that the natural gas and coal that powers the U.S. grid makes these presumably green vehicles slightly less eco-friendly than one might assume.

We’ll see if hydrogen is the key we’ve been waiting for, but in the meantime, the hunt for tomorrow’s car continues.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s future fuel cell plans.

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Video: Motor Trend's 2014 Best Driver's Car

Video: Motor Trend’s 2014 Best Driver’s Car

Video: Motor Trend's 2014 Best Driver's Car

Motor Trend has released a video chronicling their search for the best driver’s car of 2014. It’s an epic, hour-long odyssey to find the ultimate ride in a stacked field of top performers, and it’s filled to the brim with gorgeous footage of the latest and greatest sports cars at the limit. Contenders for this year’s title include: the Alfa Romeo 4C, the BMW i8, the BMW M4, the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the Ford Fiesta ST, the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, the Nissan GT-R Nismo, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the Subaru WRX STI, and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The review is broken into two parts, as each car is put through its paces on twisty bits of California Highway 198 and flung down the corkscrew at the world-famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Hosted by Motor Trend’s Carlos Lago and touring car champion Randy Pobst, the finer points of driving each on the road and track is thoroughly dissected and examined. This isn’t a numbers game; winners and losers are determined by traits like ride stability, steering feel, power delivery, balance, and driver engagement. It’s really all about that ultimate intangible for a car: how it makes the driver feel behind the wheel.

Did Motor Trend nail it? Miss the mark? Which car do you think deserves the win? We want to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Click past the jump to see a list of the participants.

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2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey

2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey

2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey
2015 BMW i8 Sophisto Grey

I’m beginning to wonder if BMW’s Abu Dhabi dealership has too much time on its hands. In the past week, the dealership has unveiled three personalized BMW vehicles. First we saw the stunning BMW M235i. That was followed by the equally alluring BMW M3 with M Performance Parts. Now, it has a BMW i8, or to be more specific, the i8 Sophisto Grey.

This i8 gets its name from its Sophisto Grey paint finish, which is one of four color finishes BMW developed exclusively for the i8. Fans of the i8 clearly have a level of affinity for this particular shade, largely because it’s been dubbed the “Batman i8." If only it came with Batman’s utility belt and the Batwing, but I guess this will do for now.

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

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BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live

BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live

BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live
BMW i8 Configurator Goes Live

It’s been a little more than a year since BMW unveiled the production version of the i8 sports car at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the hybrid vehicle is finally ready to meet its U.S. customers. But before you sign that check and hand it over to BMW, make sure you check out the brand-new i8 configurator the Germans fired up. It comes with everything you need to know about trim levels, standard and optional equipment, as well as precise information about how much each extra feature costs. You can have it built just the way you like it before placing that order.

If the i8 is a tad too expensive for you or you just don’t find it useful, it’s a good way to spend some time with Munich’s brand-new, state-of-the-art vehicle. If time is not on your side these days, stick around for the full details on the car’s trims and exterior and interior choices.

Before we proceed any further, we’ll remind you that the i8 comes with only one powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor. That might not seem like much for a sports car, but rest assured, the combo delivers 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline mill sends 231 ponies and 236 pound-feet to the rear wheels, while the electric power unit delivers 131 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque to the front axle.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8.

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Video: BMW i8 On-Board Video at Hockenheim

Video: BMW i8 On-Board Video at Hockenheim

Video: BMW i8 On-Board Video at Hockenheim

Read the BMW i8’s specs all day long and it’s still hard to believe the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, hybrid-powered 2+2 coupe is capable of doing the things a proper sports car can do. Sure it’s turbocharged, but its still a three-cylinder! Remember the Geo Metro? Yeah, it was thee-banger and sported all of 55 horsepower. That’s what comes to mind when I hear three-cylinder.

But never mind all that. BMW’s sorcery and electrification coax a combined 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to spin all four wheels. With a curb weight of 3,360 pounds, the i8 magically rockets to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.

This Prius killer is a competent handler, too. Its carbon-fiber center section is reinforced with aluminum while substructures at each end hold up the suspension, engine, and steering mechanisms. Bridgestone Potenza tires sized in 215/45R20 and 245/40R 20 do the road holding.

This video evidence is still hard to believe, though all the stats (besides cylinder count and displacement) say otherwise. BMW has sure done its homework, and I look forward to what else is coming down the pipeline from the new i Division.

As the power density of engines grow and smaller displacements become the norm, my existing notions of three-cylinder power need adjustment.

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Video: Here's Proof That the BMW i8 is a True Sports Car

Video: Here’s Proof That the BMW i8 is a True Sports Car

Video: Here's Proof That the BMW i8 is a True Sports Car

The BMW Qualcomm i8 Safety Car had its moment in the spotlight during the inaugural Formula E Championship race in Beijing over the weekend. But outside of what we all saw, do we honestly know a whole lot about the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car that makes it different from other i8s?

The obvious answer would be to point to all of its safety equipment, which is critical to its function as the series’ official safety car. But what we didn’t know was whether the i8 was up-to-task in a serious racing environment, even if it comes in the form of electric-powered race cars.

All our questions were answered in the lead-up to the race when Qualcomm’s Edward Van Boheemen and Pat Kusbel were invited to drive around the racetrack on-board the i8 Safety car driven by Nelson Piquet Jr.

During the entire ride, the two Qualcomm engineers were asked to explain how they brought Qualcomm’s inventions into cars. It seemed like a fairly easy question for Van Boheemen and Kusbel given their backgrounds. But what both didn’t expect was Picquet Jr. treating the i8 Qualcomm Safety Car like a real racer, blasting it around the track while the two aimlessly tried to answer the questions posed to them.

It’s hilarious to watch these engineers attempt to get their points across while the i8 flings them all around.

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Video: BMW i8 Vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S

Video: BMW i8 Vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S

Video: BMW i8 Vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S

The BMW i8 is the first sports car to come from Munich in a very long time. But is the hybrid a true sports car? According to its output and performance figures, as well as its 3,200-pound curb weight, it is. It’s actually lighter than the Porsche 911, the benchmark of all sports cars, but how does this German machine stack against its Stuttgart-built rival in a straight line? Well, that’s what the folks over at Evo wanted to find out by pitting the i8 and the 911 Carrera S against each other on an airfield.

As we’ve previously mentioned, the i8 weighs in at around 3,200 pounds and benefits from 357 hybrid horses and 420 pound-feet of torque, which travel to all four wheels. The Porsche, on the other hand, sits better on the horsepower front with 430 ponies, but it has deficiency of 100 pound-feet of torque when compared to the Bimmer. It’s also slightly heavier and has a rear-wheel-drive configuration. Sounds like a close call, and indeed it is. The winner is only 0.3 seconds faster in the quarter-mile and 0.8 seconds quicker in the standing-kilometer run.

We won’t spoil the outcome, so you just head above and hit the play button for a full-throttle, straight-line comparison.

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"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000

"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000

"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000
"Display Only" BMW i8 Being Sold on eBay, Current Bid at $18,000

It is no secret that car enthusiasts often buy strange things just because they are related to their favorite cars. I, for one, went through my phases of buying old ignition keys, hubcaps and emblems in my younger years, and I know many of my gearhead friends went through equally weird buying phases. This item, however, seems excessive even to me.

Up for sale on eBay today is a BMW i8, and the bid is currently at only $19,100, but the reserve is not yet met as of 8/26/2014. Sounds like this may be the bargain of the century, right? Well, you may want to chill out a bit and put your itchy bidding finger away. This is merely a display-only shell of the i8 that a dealership bought from Bimmer to show off on its showroom floor. Yeah, talk about a buzz kill, right?

According to the seller, this shell is made from fiberglass and measures about 15.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet tall, which is almost the exact size of the actual i8 — only the height is off by about a foot from the real deal, but that could be a typo in the ad. There is no engine, no transmission, no interior, the doors do not open and it rolls on casters.

I could think of about 1,000 other things I could spend $19,000 on, but some people may find this display car as the perfect addition to their auto collection. If you happen to be one of those people, you had better hurry, as the bidding ends on August 29th, 2014 at 11:32 PDT.

And if you are about to bid on this, you may want to contact me first, as I have a bridge to sell that you may be interested in...

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8

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One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction

One-Off BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction

One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction
One-Off BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition Fetches $825,000 at Pebble Beach Auction

The unique i8 hybrid sports car German automaker BMW built for the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance fetched $825,000 during Gooding & Company’s annual Pebble Beach auction. Sold ahead of the official vehicle U.S. sale date for about six time the sticker — set at $135,700 — the i8 Concours d’Elegance has set a record that’s likely to stick around for a few years.

Proceeds of the i8’s sale will go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which raises funds for Monterey County youth. The foundation is known for awarding grants for arts, athletics, environmental sciences, educational organizations and community programs.

The winning bidder takes home a one-of-a-kind BMW i8 finished in a bespoke, Individual exterior color, and fitted with custom upholstery and trim accents. More importantly, he gets to drive the hybrid sports car long before it reaches North American dealerships.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’ Elegance Edition

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BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK

BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK

BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK
BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK
BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK
BMW i8 Sold Out In The UK

The BMW i8 has become a sales hit in the UK. Actually, it’s become more than a hit if you consider reports that it’s already sold out and that there’s already a 10-month waiting list to get your hands on the hybrid sports car. British newspaper Telegraph is reporting that the demand for the i8 has become so incredible that customers are even willing to pay "any price" for the display car in BMW’s i showroom on Park Lane in London.

It’s a dramatic turn of fortune for BMW, which initially expressed fears that the i8 wouldn’t command the same amount of attention as it had hoped. It was a gamble to build it in the very beginning, especially when the German automaker made it clear that the i8 would only feature a rather petite, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, combining to produce a total output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

But even the £95,000 ($135,925 here in the U.S. as of 8/12/2014) price tag of the i8 couldn’t dissuade buyers from putting in deposits for the car as early as 2012, even before BMW announced that production for the hybrid would ensue. BMW Park Lane sales manager even told the Telegraph that the i8 has become the "biggest conquest car I’ve known as a BMW salesman."

Something tells me that BMW enjoyed hearing those words. At least more so now that the decision and subsequent risk it took in producing the i8 is turning out to be a stroke of genius at this point.

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

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2015 Video: Chris Harris Reviews the BMW i8

2015 Video: Chris Harris Reviews the BMW i8

2015 Video: Chris Harris Reviews the BMW i8

If you aren’t familiar, Chris Harris is one of the better journalists out there. He’s made a name for himself by getting into arguments with Ferrari — and more importantly — destroying tires (or tyres since he’s English). The one thing that’s always great about a Chris Harris video review, is how well he can diagnose a car. He’s been in the game a long time and has driven everything from ancient, decrepit Citroen 2CV’s to hypercars like the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari. This makes him very diverse, and able to enjoy many different types of car, he doesn’t limit himself to old muscle cars with manual gearboxes or modern high-tech sports cars with all the newest of gadgets. He simply enjoys cars for what they are, he’s a proper gearhead (or petrolhead because again...English). So when he put out this video driving the i8, I payed attention.

The i8 is a technological powerhouse, using technologies and techniques not available on anything in its price range. It has a mid-mounted, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine, making 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 129-horsepower electric motor to make a combined power out put of 362 ponies. The benefit of electric power is the instantaneous torque, and when combined with the turbo three-banger, the i8 produces a whopping 420 pound-feet of it. All this is sent through a variation of the six-speed auto in the new Mini Cooper (the engine is also carried over from the Mini), and delivered to all four wheels.

The chassis of the i8 is a monocoque tub made from CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), so it’s incredibly light for a hybrid with big heavy batteries. The i8 weighs only 3,378 pounds. This makes it heavier than both the Corvette Stingray (3,298 pounds) and the Porsche 911 Carrera (3,042 pounds), but since the chassis is made out of CFRP and the batteries are laid out down the spine of the car, it feels much lighter and more nimble than it’s weight would suggest. This is also aided by the fact that it has that 420 pound-feet of torque from almost the second you touch the accelerator. In the video Chris explains how it doesn’t feel as pure and organic as a 911 but it’s close, and with all of the new technologies, it brings new exciting elements to the table.

Then there’s the look of the thing. To these eyes it’s the most interesting looking car on the road today, if not the most beautiful. This gives the Jag F-Type a run for it’s money. It’s not beautiful in the classic sense, but it is stunning in a modern art sort of way. It looks like the future, and it sort of is. Sports cars need to become fuel efficient nowadays and the new i Division cars are paving the way for that green future. I’m not a fan of electric cars but this one has me intrigued and it intrigues Chris as well. Real gearheads can appreciate when something is new and innovative, when it pushes the ball forward, and that’s exactly what you see here in the i8 and exactly what Chris talks about while driving it. Watch the video, it won’t disappoint.

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Video: BMW's “Revolution On The Street” Commercial

Video: BMW’s “Revolution On The Street” Commercial

Video: BMW's “Revolution On The Street” Commercial

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

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Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9

Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9

Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9
Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9
Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9
Report: BMW Will Celebrate its Centenary with the Arrival of the i5 and i9

BMW is only two short years away from celebrating its 100th year in business, and speculation around how the German automaker will celebrate is starting to grow. One heavily speculated party place is within the BMW i division. A conversation between BMW’s senior spokesman Kai Lichte and Motoring.com.au shed just a little more light on the upcoming situation. Plans for a more powerful version of the i8, the i9, are rumored to already be in the works. Also on the table is the i5, an all-new i vehicle loosely described as a stretched i3. Lichte’s answer to Motoring’s query is somewhat vague. “in two years’ time, maybe we will have some surprises for our anniversary,” he says. “There are a lot of discussions and a lot of ideas for this special occasion.”

Since the i9 is based on the current i8, it’s likely it will see production first. The i9 will basically swap out the i8’s inline three-cylinder for a more potent 3.0-liter, turbocharged, inline six-cylinder, elevating it to near-supercar levels of performance. It would also serve as a modern-day interpretation of the iconic BMW M1 of the late 1970s.

The i5, on the other hand, will likely need more development time. It’s said the i5 will probably hit production in 2017, a year after BMW’s actual birthday. Perhaps the i9 will be BMW’s physical present to itself while the announcement of the i5 will continue the birthday hype into the future.

However at this point, BMW is still trying to figure out how to increase i-branded production at its new plant in Leipzig, Germany. "When we decide on more i models, then we would need more production capacity and … the next two years I think we have (are) limited to the current production line," Lichte concluded.

Note: BMW i8 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i5 and i9.

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BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs

BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs

BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs
BMW Announces i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs

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 is 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.

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2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition

2015 BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition

2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition
2015 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition

The new BMW i8 is the brand’s most innovative and technologically advanced model yet. This plug-in hybrid combines efficiency with sports car performance, futuristic looks, and plenty of BMW luxury. Perhaps the first thing to catch consumers’ minds is the raw technology behind this design. This plug-in hybrid setup combines a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder, gas engine with two electric motors for motivation. In July 2014, BMW announced that it will auction off a special Concours d’Elegance Edition i8 to build upon the excitement about the model.

Things get a little tricky when adding the i8’s powertrain together. A six-speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels, while an electric motor powers the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. An additional, smaller electric motor provides additional power to the rear wheels but mostly acts as a generator to top off the battery.

Confused yet? The bottom line is that this all works in harmony to create 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-to-60 time of only 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. A BMW-like 50/50 weight distribution ensures amazing balance and handling.

While all of this is enough to get excited about, BMW wants to take luxury and customization a step further with a special Concours d’Elegance Edition to be introduced and auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in August 2014.

Updated 08/18/2014: The i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition sold at auction for a whopping $825,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition.

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2016 BMW i9

2016 BMW i9

2016 BMW i9

Note: Current BMW i8 pictured here.

There’s been a lot of talk about BMW’s plan to expand the i range beyond the current i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. A larger i5 to slot above the i3, for instance, has been in the rumor mill since last year. More recently though, certain reports are talking about an i9, essentially a plug-in hybrid supercar, placed atop the brand-new i8. The new vehicle will arrive in 2016, German outlet Auto Motor and Sport reports, just in time to celebrate BMW’s 100th anniversary.

Reportedly developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic M1 built between 1978 and 1981, the i9 will be a beefed-up version of the i8 with a more aggressive design and a more potent hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, the i9 will benefit from the same 50:50 weight distribution as the i8, while extensive use of carbon-fiber and aluminum will help keep weight in the 3,300-pound area in spite of its larger gasoline engine and electric motor.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW i9.

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BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8

BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8

BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8
BMW Launches Global Campaign for the New i8

This is it, BMW. Years of research, testing, and development has culminated in the upcoming release of the new BMW i8. With the arrival of BMW’s first plug-in hybrid supercar drawing closer and closer, the German automaker has launched a global campaign to showcase the history of the i8, from its genesis as a concept vehicle all the way to its arrival in dealerships in August 2014. The campaign began on May 9th and will run the gamut of media platforms, ranging from TV spots and print ads, all of which tell the story of a car that has, in so many ways, become synonymous with BMW technology.

The unquestioned star of this campaign is the i8, putting the focus on the hybrid supercar’s design, performance, and innovation. If anything, BMW is pulling out all the stops with this media blitz, enlisting Gus Van Sant, the man behind Oscar-winning films such as “Good Will Hunting," “Milk” and “My Private Idaho," to direct the three TV spots, namely "Genesis," "Powerful Idea," and "Attitude".

Complementing the TV spots will be a series of seven print ads that highlight the i8’s attributes as a real car for the ages. Like Van Sant’s work on the TV spots, these print ads carry the cache of being photographed by renowned photographer Uwe Düttmann.

If there was any question as to how important the BMW i8 is to the Bavarian automaker, the fact that the company is going to this length to promote the hybrid supercar tells you that the i8 could very well be one of those iconic cars that defines this BMW generation.

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

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Video: BMW i8 Breaks Down During Nurburgring Testing

Video: BMW i8 Breaks Down During Nurburgring Testing

Video: BMW i8 Breaks Down During Nurburgring Testing

The BMW i8, by all accounts, is a pretty incredible ride. It looks sexy as hell; it’s got an advanced powertrain; and the technology used on the hybrid sports car is arguably second-to-none. All that being said, even the i8 is entitled to a bad day or two, and as this video painfully shows, one of those bad days reared its ugly head during a recent testing session at the Nurburgring.

At the start, the i8 looks to have been running smoothly, effortlessly stretching its legs while weaving around one of the world’s most famous race tracks. But during one run down a straight, the i8 slows down and drives into a patch of grass on the side.

We don’t know exactly what happened to the i8, but it doesn’t look like it was part of the testing script. Maybe it lost power, or there were some mechanical glitches in that weave of wiring inside the car. But something happened to the i8 because cars like this one don’t slow down on the side of the road for anything.

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2015 LUMMA CLR I8 Concept

2015 LUMMA CLR I8 Concept

2015 LUMMA CLR I8 Concept

Any car that gets the kind of attention that the BMW i8 has received is going to be on the radar of a lot of aftermarket companies. It’s not so much a question on if a tuner will build a program for it as it is when somebody will be the first to do it.

Well, it looks like Lumma Design already has the leg up over the competition.

The German tuning firm is jumping in on the i8 phenomenon with a preview of what it plans to do with BMW’s all-new electric sports car.

Nothing is final as of yet, but the preliminary announcement from Lumma has the i8 receiving a host of high-tech carbon components, including a new front spoiler, new side skirts and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser tacked on to it.

In addition, the aptly named CLR I8 program also gets a fancy set of new wheels and the most distinguishable modification of them all, tailor-made stickers — yes, stickers — that change the blue accents on the standard i8 into a shade of green that, quite frankly, looks a lot better than the standard blue hue. And if anything, it goes with the eco-friendliness of the electric hybrid. Just sayin’...

No performance upgrades have been announced, but rest assured we’re going to expect significantly more than the 362-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque output of the standard i8.

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BMW to Outline its Highly Automated Driving Plans and Offering i3 Test Drives at CES

BMW to Outline its Highly Automated Driving Plans and Offering i3 Test Drives at CES

BMW to Outline its Highly Automated Driving Plans and Offering i3 Test Drives at CES

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

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In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own

In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own

In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own
In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own
In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own
In The Spotlight: The BMW i8 Keyfob is on a Level All its Own

We all knew from the time BMW introduced the production i8 that it was going to be one of those cars that redefine the way we appreciate our loves. it’s that revolutionary, and not just by way of all the high-tech goodies it comes with.

But since we’re heading down that road, this is as good a time as any to shine the spotlight on one of the most innovative things about the i8. And no, we’re not talking about those laser lights that will be a first for a production vehicle. We’re talking about the keyfob, an otherwise unglamorous — yet extremely useful — piece of equipment used on a lot of cars these days.

We all know what keyfobs tend to look like: small, clunky and largely rectangular in shape that serve the sole purpose of having built-in authentication mechanisms, but this one’s unlike anything you’ve seen from a gadget like this.

Ordinarily, key fobs don’t do much in the way of cutting edge design. But the i8 keyfob is different in so many levels, it’s hard too imagine not getting caught up on what it can do.

It can start the BMW i8, that’s for sure. It can also serve to contain lock/unlock buttons, a trunk opener, and sometimes, its own alarm. But the i8’s keyfob’s function doesn’t just end there. It also contains a high-resolution display screen that’s similar to what you can see on a lot of instrument clusters these days. This screen houses some pretty useful information, especially for a hybrid sports car like the i8.

Based on the photo of the i8 keyfob, you can see the range of the sports car before recharging and re-fueling, pretty important information that will allow you to not overcharge your sports car too much. Look closer and you’ll also notice that all-important information on when the car was last charged and whether or not the key fob itself is connected to the i8. On those important capabilities alone, you can already surmise just how revolutionary this keyfob is. Or, as those familiar with those Japanese toys: a Tamagochi, it is not.

But it doesn’t just end there; the i8 keyfob also has a handful of buttons that can be customized specifically to the needs of the owner. It really is tantamount to a mini smartphone with its own re-programmable functions.

For the price it commands — a replacement key fob will cost at least $1,000 — you’d be wise to keep this small yet incredibly sophisticated piece of technology as close to you as possible.

That, in a nutshell, is how best to describe the BMW i8 key fob: small yet incredibly sophisticated...and really, really expensive.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 BMW i8

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Video: BMW Showcases its Laser Lights Technology

Video: BMW Showcases its Laser Lights Technology

Video: BMW Showcases its Laser Lights Technology

The constant race for innovation comes in its truest form in the auto industry with companies spending millions of dollars in pursuit of that one breakthrough that can redefine the business.

To its credit, BMW may have come to that road with its laser light technology.

Different from the popular LED lights that have become prevalent in the industry, laser lights are being propped as the next evolution in lighting technology, with promises of being safer and more efficient than their LED counterparts.
BMW is tapping into this new technology, which they will use for the first time on the 2015 i8 hybrid sports car, an appropriate choice if there ever was one because of the i8’s own place as its own technologically savant piece.

So why are laser lights safer and more efficient than LEDs? For starters — and this is going to a new level of geekdom, so strap on and try to keep up — laser lights are safer in a sense that they are more focused on what their shining on, which in this case is the road. What this does is reduce the strain caused to oncoming cars, reducing the possibility of angry drivers flipping you the bird as you pass them.

Light strength is another distinct advantage for laser lights, something BMW alludes to in the video above. Compared to light range of standard LEDs, an LED high beam equipped with laser lights is capable of extending that range to an incredible 600 meters (1,970 feet). By comparison, an LED low beam only has a 100-meter (328 feet) range with the high beam at 300 meters (985 feet). Significant stuff right there.

As far as efficiency is concerned, laser lights draw so little energy that they automatically reduce a car’s energy consumption. Laser lights also have smaller lighting diodes, 100 times smaller than the cells used in LEDs, giving BMW designers more flexibility and leeway in designing their lights setup, specifically the ones you’ll find on the i8.

Unfortunately, laser lights don’t come standard on the i8; instead, BMW is offering them as an option for the high-beam mode on the hybrid sports car.

Still and all, its a technology that we’re going to see and hear about in the coming years. That’s what happens when you’re dealing with something that has the potential to be a technological evolution.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i8

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Report: BMW i8 Spyder Approved for Production and Arrives in 2015

Report: BMW i8 Spyder Approved for Production and Arrives in 2015

Report: BMW i8 Spyder Approved for Production and Arrives in 2015

Back in 2012, BMW unveiled the i8 Spyder Concept car, which wasn’t a big surprise considering that the coupe concept appeared ripe for a removable top.

Now, that the i8 Coupe is ready to hit showrooms, potential buyers are waiting for a production version of the i8 Spyder to also hit the market.

A recent report from Bimmerpost suggests that BMW officials have approved the i8 Spyder for production, and that we should see it sometime in late 2015. The same report also suggests that BMW has already unveiled a production-ready model to insiders sometime last Friday. This production model featured a Solar Orange exterior paint — identical to what we’ve seen on the i3 — combined with blue highlights.

Of course the i8 Spyder will share the engine and the technical features with its coupe sibling. The exterior will remain nearly identical to the concept version, but with with the production styling aspects of the i8 Coupe.

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

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BMW i3 EV Garners 8,000 Pre-Orders in Europe

BMW i3 EV Garners 8,000 Pre-Orders in Europe

BMW i3 EV Garners 8,000 Pre-Orders in Europe

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 i3 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

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2016 BMW i3 M

2016 BMW i3 M

2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M
2016 BMW i3 M

The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.

The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.

This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.

Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3. So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?

With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8.

This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.

Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.

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Video: BMW i8 to be unveiled on September 10

Video: BMW i8 to be unveiled on September 10

Video: BMW i8 to be unveiled on September 10

The production version BMW i8 will be finally making its world debut next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show and, to prepare the event, BMW unveiled a pretty cool teaser video to offer us a first glimpse at the second "i" member, after the production version i3.

According to BMW, the new "i" brand "is synonymous with visionary mobility concepts and a new definition of premium quality that is strongly focused on sustainability." And, as we can see from this teaser video, the next i8 is no exception from this definition. It will be powered by a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 362horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. As a result, the i8 will go from 0 to 60 mph less than 4.5 seconds and up to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

The production version BMW i8 will be unveiled on September 10, 2013, so stay tuned!

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2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3
2015 BMW i3

After numerous i3 concepts, lots of testing sessions and numerous teaser images, BMW finally unveiled the new i3 electric car in its production form. The model is the first from BMW’s i sub-brand and opens a new era for electro mobility at BMW. Like everyone else, we are excited to see the i3, but the real prize is the still-in-development i8.

The i3 was built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 250 to 300 kg (551 to 661 pounds). The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis. Working in conjunction with the Drive module is the Life module, which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP. These aspects of car building will lead the way to a whole new process for building cars. A process that will be simpler, more flexible, and use less energy.

Updated 09/17/2015: LAPD just added one BMW i3 to its fleet. The car was a loan from BMW and will be used as a test car for twelve months.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i3.

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No M Version for the BMW i8

No M Version for the BMW i8

No M Version for the BMW i8

Early last year it was rumored that BMW could offer an M version for its i8 hybrid supercar. It was supposed to drop the hybrid powertrain in favor of a conventional V-8 powerplant with an output of about 600 horsepower. Sounded pretty great, right?

Now - one year later - it appears that BMW has dropped the idea of developing such a model. While no other explanation has been offered, it looks like the M8 is "no longer part of the program." We do not understand why this decision was made, considering the i8 platform can easily accept front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive alternatives.

So, while we are hoping that the company will change its mind in the future, we’ll just have to wait for the i8. It will arrive sometime later this year and comes with a driving range of about 20 miles in near-silent, zero-emission mode. This figure, combined with a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 4.9 seconds, and the top speed of 156 mph makes it the ideal car for both city and track.

Click past the jump to read more about the rumored BMW M8 supercar.

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Spy Shots: BMW i3 Continues to Strip

Spy Shots: BMW i3 Continues to Strip

Spy Shots: BMW i3 Continues to Strip

Yesterday, BMW was caught testing what appeared to be an electric version of the X1, and today our spy photographers have caught the upcoming i3 out for a testing session.

As you can see, the prototype continues to strip and we now can see the roofline and the lower parts of the front bumper. In these spy shots you can also see the lines of the classic BMW kidney grille and the window line in the rear doors.

Also, when looking from the side, it appears that the future i3 will lack the Hofmeister kink that was introduced back in 1961 and has been on almost every BMW since then.

The car will use a powerful 170-horsepower electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph. Rumors suggest it will be priced at about $55,000 at the current exchange rates.

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BMW to Add 10 All-New Models by the End of 2014

BMW to Add 10 All-New Models by the End of 2014

BMW to Add 10 All-New Models by the End of 2014

It looks like BMW has big plans for the next two years: 11 new models will be launched in 2013 and by the end of 2014, 25 new models will be added to the range, with 10 of them being completely new. BMW said nothing else about these new models, but we do know it will include models like the i3 and the i8, the new 2-Series and 4-Series and their M derivatives.

In the same press release, BMW announced the production version i3 will be make its world debut in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and will be put on sale by the end of the year.

Even though no one has actually seen it in production form, BMW has already received "several hundred advanced orders" for the i3. The model has been designed to run with zero emissions in an urban environment. It has an approximate range of 150 km (93 miles) and will be 250 (551 pounds) to 350 kilograms (771 pounds) lighter than a conventional electric car.

Hit the jump to read full details on the press release.

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Video: EVO Takes a Ride in the BMW i8

Video: EVO Takes a Ride in the BMW i8

Video: EVO Takes a Ride in the BMW i8

As far as we know, this is the first time an automotive magazine has gotten the chance to review the upcoming BMW i8 hybrid supercar. Evo Magazine’s Harry Metcalfe was invited by BMW to test the upcoming i8 while it was testing in the cold. Of course, he wasn’t allowed to reveal anything on the car’s exterior or interior, but he did provide quite an impressive amount of technical details on the upcoming i8.

The production-version i8 will combine a three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor for a total output of about 400 horsepower. The engine will mate to a new dual-clutch transmission and will sprint the supercar from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. The i8 will also boast a top speed of 155 mph.

Watch the video to see what Harry Metcalfe has to say about BMW’s first hybrid supercar.

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Spy Shots: BMW i3 drops even more cammo

Spy Shots: BMW i3 drops even more cammo

Spy Shots: BMW i3 drops even more cammo

Our spy photographers have caught the upcoming BMW i3 out for another testing session. For the first time, the prototypes are now fitted with the real headlights and taillights, and also got the front design elements we are going to see in the production version. If you are going to take a closer look, you will also notice that a lot of fake panels have been removed so that we now can see more of the car’s real lines and shapes.

The model has been previewed many times, with the most recent concept version being unveiled earlier this year at the Paris Auto Show. It will be powered by a powerful 170 horsepower electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph.

The new BMW i3 will go on sale sometime in 2013 at an estimated priced of $55k.

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Spy shots: BMW i8 goes for another session of testings

Spy shots: BMW i8 goes for another session of testings

Spy shots: BMW i8 goes for another session of testings

The upcoming BMW i8 has been caught testing one more time. This time around, the prototype has dropped more of its camouflage and reveals some never-before-seen details. For example, for the first time we can see the typical BMW Hoffmeister kink at the rear side window as well as the real side skirts that now match the i8 Concept car. Other changes include the new position of the door handles, the new sportier looking side mirrors and more visible kidney grilles.

The BMW i8 will be powered by a 1.5-liter in-line thee-cylinder engine combined with two electric motors with an output of 95 horsepower each. The engine will mate to a new double-clutch transmission and will sprint the future supercar from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. The i8 will also boast a top speed of 155 mph.

The BMW i8 is well set to debut sometime in 2013 with sales to begin shortly after at an estimated price tag of $250,000.

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2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe

2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe

2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe
2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe

A few months ago it was rumored that BMW’s i sub-brand was facing some difficulties. Apparently, things must have smoothed out a little, as at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show BMW will expand its "i" lineup with the addition of a all-new i3 Coupe Concept. To no one’s surprise, this new concept will feature the same carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) body as the previously announced concepts and under the hood you will find an electric motor with some pretty stout numbers.

The new i3 Concept Coupe sit atop the same platform as the standard i3, but it adds a gracefully flowing roofline and a fresh interpretation of the BMW i "stream flow" design. Exterior updates include a modified front fascia, restyled doors and new side skirts and for the rear new tailgate and a revised bumper.

So, is this new coupe version of the i3 worth all of the hype that will certainly surround it, or is this just another gimmick to drive up interest in the i sub-brand?

UPDATE 12/13/12: BMW has released a new driving video of the i3 Concept Coupe as it takes to the streets in what looks like downtown LA. Click on the photo above to check out the vid!

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe and find out.

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