BMW i3 Generations:

2018 BMW i3

BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s Exterior High Resolution
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New tech and a performance-oriented model keeps things fresh

The BMW i3 was introduced in 2013 and was the company’s first zero emissions, mass-produced vehicle. Part of BMW’s then-new sub-brand, BMW i, which also includes the i8 sports car, the i3 was also the first volume production vehicle to feature carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). A five-door hatchback with a 125-kW electric motor, the i3 is available optionally with a range-extending, two-cylinder engine and a small fuel tank. The city car has had great success on the market, ranking third among EVs sold globally from 2014 to 2016. Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 examples in 2017, when the i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car. For 2018, BMW rolled out a significant upgrade that adds new styling features and a revised powertrain.

Received with great enthusiasm and praised for its premium appointments — in contrast to many small EVs being rather mundane in this regard — the i3 won several awards in its first year on the market. On the flipside, the German firm received its fair share of criticism for the car’s bumpy ride, high price, and limited practicality. Did BMW fix some of the EV’s issues with this mid-cycle facelift? Join me in the review below to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3.

 

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Best Electric Cars of 2018

Best Electric Cars of 2018

The battery battles are heating up, but who walks away the winner?

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular these days, and manufacturers are responding by pouring in the investment and releasing oodles of new models. As such, competition between EV’s is growing, and 2018 was no exception. But the question is, which of these machines is the “best”? To find out, we lined up the usual suspects up and looked at all the critical specs, including range-per-charge, battery capacity, charge times, interior space, interior tech, and more. Read on to see which EV came out on top!

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BMW Loves Diesel, so Don't Expect to see an All-Electric Lineup Anytime Soon

BMW Loves Diesel, so Don’t Expect to see an All-Electric Lineup Anytime Soon

It will use diesel in its car in the foreseeable future

BMW makes and sells many diesel engines in Europe and other parts of the world that are not North America, and it doesn’t plan on stopping anytime in the near future. This point was confirmed on the sidelines of the Paris motor show by a high-ranking company official who also believes that generally speaking “the discussion about electro-mobility is a little bit irrational” in the current context.

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BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive

BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive

That’s good, but it still looks like the i3 is going through an existential crisis

After all the mumbo jumbo surrounding the i3’s existence, the automaker has finally confirmed that the little electric hatchback will continue to live on. When the i4 was announced at the Paris Motor Show, it looked like a legit replacement for the i3; also because BMW did not address the i3. Now, however, BMW has confirmed that it has got future plans for the i3, according to The Drive.

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2019 BMW i3 120Ah

2019 BMW i3 120Ah

The little branded boy is here with a better stamina

BMW introduced the i3 in 2013 and literally invented the premium compact EV segment in the industry. Not to mention, it has been ruling ever since. However, the i3 has been facing some heat lately from other market players like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt. In my opinion, it’s got the best looks and interior, but was lagging behind in its core duty – long travel range. But it seems like BMW has worked on this and has introduced the 2019 model with 120Ah battery pack.

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10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars of All Time

10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars of All Time

From hatches to muscles, cars of all shapes and sizes are adopting green technology. Whether autonomous cars will become a reality or not is a different question; electric cars are the future. Even though the ‘EV’ cars were introduced barely a decade ago, the kind of transformation and innovations we’ve seen in the last couple of years makes the whole thing look like a yesteryear concept. In this article, we’ve listed out the ten most fuel-efficient vehicles.

But before that, let’s just put the basic questions to rest once-in-for-all: the difference between EV, Hybrid, and Plug-in Hybrid - an electric vehicle is the one that runs solely on electric power. You don’t have a combustion engine here whatsoever. A hybrid engine is the one where the car will charge its own batteries on the run with the gasoline engine. As for the plug-in hybrids, the car can be plugged into electricity points to charge the batteries. Now that we have clarified the obvious and bored you enough, let’s move on to the heart of the article.

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2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

There’s a matching BMW i3 to go with it

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

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Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden i3 or i8, anyone?

BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars - the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.

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BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

BMW Planning Different Sized Battery Cells, So Expect to Pony Up For Anything Above 280 Miles Per Charge

You could get up to 435 miles of range, though, so that’s cool

The BMW Group has big plans for its future all-electric lineup. A big part of those plans is the development of a number of battery packs with different amounts of power and range. The automaker’s goal is to create different battery packs that it can put in its future electric cars, at least depending on the segment those EVs will be slotted in. That means that, in addition to carrying different amounts of power, these batteries will also differ in size, depending on the size of the model that’s going to use them.

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BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won't Look Weird

BMW Will Use Different Battery Designs so Future Electric Cars Won’t Look Weird

This is good news considering the i3 wasn’t exactly pretty

There’s a lot we can say about the BMW i3, but the most obvious is that it, like myself, wasn’t graced by God in the beauty department. For me, you can thank less-than-favorable genes, but for the i3, it boiled down to BMW’s lack of experience with EVs at the time. The size and position of the batteries were far from ideal as were the general dimensions of the EV powertrain it developed for the i3. Luckily, that will be a thing of the past as BMW isn’t only focused on different capacity, but different shape of its future batteries as well. This is a move that will ensure models like the BMW i9, the iNext, and all electric and hybrid versions of its current models all look as sleek and sexy as their ancestors and ICE-toting counterparts.

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Rumor: The Mini Electric Concept Could Come to Life as the BMW i1

Rumor: The Mini Electric Concept Could Come to Life as the BMW i1

Will it replace the existing i3?

Having joined the electric car market with the i3 and i8 in 2013, BMW is now looking to expand its EV lineup with at least a couple more models. There have been rumors of i4 and i5 cars, an iX3 crossover, and even a production model based on the iNext concept. It’s difficult to predict which one will arrive first, but a new rumor claims that BMW is now considering the i1 nameplate.

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Is it the End of the Road for the BMW i3 and i8?

Is it the End of the Road for the BMW i3 and i8?

Word has it that there won’t be any successor for either model

The i3 and i8 kicked off the electrified range of cars for BMW in 2013. Not only did the cars succeed on the market, but they also offered a good share of the EV segment to BMW. However, the i3 and i8 might actually be phased out after the current generation. Read on to learn more.

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BMW's Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

BMW’s Electric Offensive Now Includes 80,000 New Public Charging Poles in China

These charging poles will service the German automaker’s first wave of all-electric cars

Every automaker has ambitions to get a bigger piece of the electric car market in China, and since the segment itself is on the cusp of a game-changing boom, that’s exactly what we’re seeing from a company like BMW. The German automaker is announcing a massive expansion to its charging network in China with plans to install more than 80,000 charging poles in over 100 Chinese cities. The company’s goal is to have these poles up-and-running when its fleet of new electric cars hit the market in the coming years.

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Daimler and BMW to Join Forces on the Mobility Front

Daimler and BMW to Join Forces on the Mobility Front

Two competitors facing the future hand in hand

We’ve seen automakers team up for a variety of reasons, including the sharing of platforms to streamline development and drive down costs. Now, BMW and Daimler are teaming up for a combined effort to create the latest mobility services for customers.

Continue reading for the full story.

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The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won't Return To Gas Only

The Majority Of BMW Customers That Went Hybrid Or Electric Won’t Return To Gas Only

The Bavarians look to get in on the EV revolution

As we all know, the EVs are coming, and they’re coming in a big way. BMW knows this, and is actively pushing a new string of hybrids and all-electrics in a variety of segments to fill demand. And, according to a recent Digital Trends interview with BMW’s chief of electric powertrains Stefan Juraschek, it’s looking like that’s never gonna change.

Continue reading for the full story.

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DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks

DHL Sources BMW i3 Battery Modules For Electric Delivery Trucks

Ditching internal combustion to go the last mile on electrons

Vehicular electrification is expanding in a big way, going from eco-conscious mpg bubbles, to luxury sedans, to super sports cars, and now, to the world of freight transportation as well. As such, delivery giant DHL hopes to add a dash of EV efficiency to its expansive fleet of vans and trucks, and BMW will provide the parts necessary with components sourced from the i3.

Continue reading for the full story.

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BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

BMW Trademarks i1 Through i9 in Preparation for its EV Onslaught

The rights to these names add to large list of names

BMW has now trademarked all names from i1 to i9, adding it to a list that also includes iX1 through iX9 – signifying that German brand is about to unleash a furious lineup of electric vehicles to combat those from rivals like Mercedes which will be boasting its EQ brand in the coming years. Along with these new trademarks, new reports from BMWBlog imply that the entire BMW range could, indeed see full electrification. This new strategy, it seems, will see BMW present as many as 25 electrified vehicles, at least 12 of which will be all-electric within the next decade, or 2025 to be more specific.

Chairman of the Board for BMW, Harald Kruger, has confirmed that BMW does own the rights to all 18 names. “Our i story enters the next round. Going forward, all electrified BMW models will be under the BMW i brand. And I can tell you one more thing: We have not only secured the naming rights for BMW i – from i1 to i9. We also hold the rights for BMW X – from iX1 to iX9,” Kruger told press member at a sneak preview of upcoming BMW products.

Furthermore, you can expect to see an all-electric Mini hitting the market in 2019, which will ultimately be followed by a battery-powered version of the BMW X3 in 2020. Just one year after that in 2021, the new iNEXT should come in 2021. There will also, with near certainty be an i5 added to the mix somewhere in the next 5 years as well. The all-electric future is here folks. We might as well, sit down, buckle up, and make the best of it.

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BMW recalls all the i3 models ever sold in the United States

BMW recalls all the i3 models ever sold in the United States

It’s still safe to drive them

BMW is recalling all the i3 EVs sold in the U.S., both electric and range-extended models, following results from a crash test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). The German automaker is also stopping i3 sales until it can fix the issue. The small electric car failed a front rigid barrier crash with a five-foot-tall, 110-pound female in the driver’s who is not wearing a seatbelt. According to the NHTSA, this situation produces a marginally higher risk of neck injury. The recall affects all i3 cars sold in the United States from model years 2014 through 2018, which covers the entire production run for the U.S. market.

The recall will commence in January when all owners will receive a letter to take their cars to dealerships for a fix. BMW says that customers can continue driving their i3s until then, claiming that the car remains safe when the driver wears a seat belt. "While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results," BMW said in a statement. "Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results. A remedy is forthcoming."

Granted, the recall doesn’t seem like a big deal safety-wise (you are wearing a seat belt, right?), but it didn’t happen too often for an entire nameplate to be affected and called back. It will be interesting to see what kind of fix will BMW find for a safety issue like this one.

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2020 BMW i3 M

2020 BMW i3 M

Adding some sport to Bimmer’s electric cube

BMW launched the i3 electric errand-runner in 2014, and recently introduced a new iteration called the i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest “s” version is sportier than the standard model, gaining more power and extra handling capabilities, which got us thinking – where would this sort of evolution eventually lead? Would (could?) BMW turn the i3 into a bona-fide sports machine, rather than just an eco model with 15 extra ponies and a lower stance? If so, what would something like that look like? To answer those questions, we gazed into our crystal call, drew up a rendering, and did a little speculation. The end result is this – the BMW i3 M, a true motorsport performance box with specs to back the badge. Try 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds and tail-happy handling dynamics, all with that i-branded eco friendliness when you’re ready to dial back the aggression.

So yeah, it’s just a rendering for now, but why not? After all, BMW is no stranger to the world of high-speed hybrids – just look at the i8, the success of which most likely prompted further discussion on the topic amongst BMW’s top brass. Add in copious rumors that such a thing is indeed under development, plus the fact that actually producing this thing wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the brand, and we’d say odds are split 50/50 yay to nay. Read on for our speculative take.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 M.

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Pops' Rants: Here's Why the Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Sucks Big Time

Pops’ Rants: Here’s Why the Mercedes-AMG Hypercar Sucks Big Time

217 mph is so yesterday!

Phew, it’s Friday again. The weekend is just around the corner and summer is officially over. Well, the heat will still be around for a while, but at least the temperature is going down, and we’re getting rain on a regular basis. If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that I hate heat. And summer. And fancy concept cars that scream "I won’t make it into production, haha!" Just like the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo. Seriously now, what’s the deal with all these cookie concept cars that look like they came from the future only to get stuck in the past, with no production model in showrooms? Aren’t you getting tired of that? It’s like automakers have some sort of target to reach. Just imagine some CEO rushing into a meeting to yell "okay folks, it’s 2017, and by 2022 we need to build five fancy concept cars. Don’t worry, we won’t put them into production, but they have to look futuristic and feature fancy gadgets."

I swear that this is exactly how the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept was born. And Mercedes even had the nerve to give it an "EQ" badge to make us believe we will be able to buy one in the future. No, we won’t! I mean, we will be able to buy a better Smart EV at some point, but it won’t like this concept. It won’t be fully autonomous, it won’t have the fancy, lounge seat, and it won’t be able to read your mind. It will be just another cramped, overrated ForTwo with enough luggage room for a head of cabbage, three carrots, and half a cucumber. At least you can make a salad once you’re back from the market...

Continue reading for the full story.

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We Need More EV Performance Cars

We Need More EV Performance Cars

Uniting green lovers and petrol heads under the banner of speed

In case you missed it, BMW just released details on the updated 2018 i3, and the big headline isn’t the tweaked exterior styling or new interior color schemes. For any reader of this website, the most important part of the refresh is the addition of the i3s, a slightly sportier iteration of the all-electric eco-box bearing a little more power (up 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque compared to the regular i3’s 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque) as well as a lowered, stiffer suspension, and more aesthetic aggression. While not exactly a game changer, it’s a good sign of things to come. You see, the world needs more EV performance, and even the greenest of EV revolutionaries should be pushing for more battery-powered speed machines.

“Why’s that?” you might ask. “I thought it was all about efficiency and hypermiling and responsible commuting with that crowd.” While all these things are indeed important in the EV community, a focus on speed brings with it all kinds of benefits. For starters, faster EVs naturally lead to further battery development. If you’re constantly on the go pedal, you’re gonna be draining the battery mighty quick, which means there’s further incentive to stuff more range into every pack. This is doubly so in something like an EV racing series, which is a natural progression when you’ve got tons of popular performance cars out on the road. Indeed, it’s something we’re already seeing with the Tesla Model S, which has thus far challenged the gas-burning competition at the drag strip and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and even gained its own racing series with Electric GT. The point is this – racing is good for the breed, no matter the end goal.

Furthermore, new EV performance cars also help to expand the segment, drawing in new customers and challenging preconceptions of what an EV “should” be. Just look at what Tesla did with the Model S. Now there’s proof EV’s can be quick, sexy, and luxurious, and additional performance EV’s would bring in even more of the traditional gearhead audience.

As they say, winning is winning, even if it’s by way of electrons rather than dino juice. We need more EV performance cars.

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2018 BMW i3

2018 BMW i3

New tech and a performance-oriented model keeps things fresh

The BMW i3 was introduced in 2013 and was the company’s first zero emissions, mass-produced vehicle. Part of BMW’s then-new sub-brand, BMW i, which also includes the i8 sports car, the i3 was also the first volume production vehicle to feature carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). A five-door hatchback with a 125-kW electric motor, the i3 is available optionally with a range-extending, two-cylinder engine and a small fuel tank. The city car has had great success on the market, ranking third among EVs sold globally from 2014 to 2016. Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 examples in 2017, when the i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car. For 2018, BMW rolled out a significant upgrade that adds new styling features and a revised powertrain.

Received with great enthusiasm and praised for its premium appointments — in contrast to many small EVs being rather mundane in this regard — the i3 won several awards in its first year on the market. On the flipside, the German firm received its fair share of criticism for the car’s bumpy ride, high price, and limited practicality. Did BMW fix some of the EV’s issues with this mid-cycle facelift? Join me in the review below to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3.

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BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s

BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s

This time around, the German EV gets a little sportier

BMW just dropped details on the revamped i3 ahead of its official debut in September. Updates include a new look and a wider stance, breaking a bit from the upright boxy look used before. Full LED headlights keep the road lit, while Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic were added to the exterior paint options. Inside is the iDrive 6 infotainment platform, while Giga Brown Natural Leather and Carum Spice Grey Cloth can be had for the upholstery. A full suite of safety systems keeps it appropriately techy.

Underneath is a lithium-ion battery and electric motor, which together produce as much as 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque through a single-speed transmission. The sprint from 0-to-60 mph takes 7.2 seconds, with top speed clocked at 93 mph. If you’re looking for more go, the new i3s might fit the bill. Outside, the styling gets a bit more aggressive, with 20-inch wheels and a lower, stiffer suspension. More importantly, the s gets additional electric ponies – up to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque total. Flat out, the i3s can hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 mph. Like the regular i3, the i3s can also come equipped with a two-cylinder range extender if desired, adding almost 90 miles thanks to gasoline. Look for the i3 and i3s to debut in the metal at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Expect exact pricing and further details at that time.

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Second-Generation BMW i3 Still In The Cards

Second-Generation BMW i3 Still In The Cards

It’s still a long ways away, but poor sales haven’t dampened BMW’s confidence in the model

Say what you will about the BMW i3’s lack of sales success – a little over 60,000 units have been delivered since the car wine on sale at the end of 2013 – but BMW is reportedly not willing to throw in the white towel on the model just yet. Sure, it’s probably wishing that it would’ve resonated more to its customer base, there are indications that a second-generation model for the i3 is likely still in the cars.

Speaking with Automotive News, the i3’s project manager, Heinrich Schwackhoefer, expressed confidence in the likelihood of seeing a next-generation model. Schwackhoefer didn’t expound on his apparent confidence in the model’s status within BMW, but even if he did, it’s unlikely that BMW will have made a decision on the car considering that the incumbent model is still just three years into its life cycle. If anything, a next-generation model wouldn’t be due until sometime in 2019 or 2020 and by then, there could be a completely different narrative surrounding the i3 itself.

In the meantime, BMW is still working hard at giving the i3 the updates it needs to remain relevant in the market. In fact, the German automaker even rolled out a significant update for the model earlier this year. The update includes, among other things, a higher-density battery that BMW co-developed with Samsung and comes with a 33kWh-capacity – an increase from the 22kW batteries of the old models – that has an EPA-certified range of 114 miles on a single charge. That adds an extra 33 miles on the range of the previous battery. Whether that’s enough to boost the sales of the i3 is another matter entirely, but fans of the model can rest easy, at least for the time being.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 BMW i3 94 AH

2017 BMW i3 94 AH

More range for Bimmer’s compact all-electric transportation bubble

Originally launched in late 2013, the BMW i3 has stood tall amongst the competition thanks to its premium European packaging and high-end technology. However, standards in the segment are on the rise, especially when it comes to affordability and range per charge. To address this, the Bavarians are introducing a new model series for the i3 called the 94 Ah, which offers an upgraded battery, and consequently, more miles between plug-in sessions. To complement the extra range, the new model also gets a fresh exterior color and a few added features for the interior.

Of course, the biggest news is the 94 Ah’s improved lithium-ion battery, which gets 50 percent higher capacity compared to the regular model, and according to “independent BMW testing cycles,” up to 114 miles of emission-free driving with each full charge.

Some will undoubtedly cry foul, as the first i3 offered up to 123 miles in Eco Pro + mode. So where’s the difference? The 94 Ah’s range was determined in “everyday conditions,” which means Comfort driving mode with the climate control activated, suggesting much more range is possible if you max/min all the settings and drive like a hyper miler (the previous model returned only 81 miles in Comfort mode).

Exactly how many miles is possible when the 94 Ah is pushed to the limit is not yet known, but for now, read on to see how BMW is keeping pace in the world of EVs.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW i3 94 AH.

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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’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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Ideal Cars To Use This Christmas

Ideal Cars To Use This Christmas

The Christmas season is now in full swing and, as many of you can attest, the roads have been pretty jam-packed the past few days. It’s a tricky situation to navigate, and while we are celebrating Christmas today, it’s reasonable to expect that the roads are going to be just as bad over the next few days. Obviously, many of us are in different positions. Some have yet to complete their holiday shopping. Some probably have yet to start. There are also those who celebrated Christmas away from home and are planning to go back to their own addresses. Then there’s the always unpredictable mood of Mother Nature.

All these things could add up to a debilitating late holiday rush. So if any of you find yourselves in the aforementioned positions, be advised that we’ve picked out some cars that would work best in certain conditions.

Not everyone will be fortunate enough to have the specific kind of car they’re going to need should, for example, they get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. But in the event that they do find themselves with the right car, at the right place, and at the right time, they should be able to navigate cleanly around the expected rush of the coming days.
These are the ideal cars you might need for certain situations. Good luck on your travels and happy holidays to all of you!

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition

2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition

First unveiled in 2013 as a production model, the BMW i3 has been steadily holding down the fort for BMW as the automaker’s resident urban electric car. In the two years that it’s been around, the i3 has kept pace with the Nissan Leaf in their particular market. Judging by the sales momentum BMW’s urban electric ride is enjoying at the moment, there’s reason for optimism within BMW that the i3 will continue to grow as a model.

Here in the U.S., BMW North America is giving customers a chance to take home a limited edition i3 that’s exclusively available in this region. Limited to just 50 units, the i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition comes with a unique exterior and interior that puts to light some new options that BMW will eventually offer to prospective owners of the i3. The most unique feature of the electric hatchback is a new paint finish that’s actually making its debut on this particular model. It also has a handful of interior upgrades and a suspension update that’s also a first for the i3.

The i3 Sport Shadow Edition is, for all intents and purposes, a flashy take on the urban electric car that U.S. customers can finally claim as their own. It’s a refreshing change considering that most special editions to come out of BMW in recent years have been earmarked for other markets, namely Europe and Japan. The U.S. finally gets its turn.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition.

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LAPD Adds BMW i3 To Its Fleet

LAPD Adds BMW i3 To Its Fleet

BMW has officially loaned an all-electric 2015 BMW i3 to the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD version of the i3 is painted with the standard black and white colors and even has a roof-mounted light bar. The LAPD will be testing the i3 for the next 12 months and has access to the entire network of i-centers for routine maintenance and repairs. The LAPD’s i3 will be used in routine patrols and will be displayed at various events throughout the city over the next year. BMW feels that its lightweight construction and agility will make the i3 perfect for navigating the streets of L.A.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3.

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BMW i3 Transformed Into Mobile ATM

BMW i3 Transformed Into Mobile ATM

The old adage, “a dollar saved is a dollar earned” speaks to the intrinsic necessity of streamlining transactions in a commercial operation. And while efficiency is important in business, it’s a pretty big deal in the automotive world as well. To help offer its customers a bit more efficiency, Poland’s Idea Bank is combining the two by outfitting a fleet of BMW i3 electric vehicles as mobile ATMs, allowing small businesses to call upon the cars for either deposits or withdrawals anytime, anywhere.

So far, the bank has four i3s prepped for service, one of which is already in use. According to BMW Blog, 80 percent of respondents in an unspecified survey deliver money to their respective banks in person, with cash transactions still being quite common throughout Europe.

“Entrepreneurs who personally deliver their income to the bank or a stationary CDM waste both their time and money. Our service aims at lifting that weight off their shoulders,” said Dominik Fajbusiewicz, Idea Bank board member.

Customers can use the Idea Bank Money Collection app to call up the i3 ATM with their desired time and location of service, then use its GPS systems to observe the car’s position on a map.

If the service is a success, Idea Bank will expand the program to include multiple cities.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 mobile ATM.

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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

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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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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10 Best Cars of 2014

10 Best Cars of 2014

With 2014 coming to an end in just a couple of weeks, we figure now is as good a time as any to reflect on the outgoing year and check out the best new cars of the past 12 months. Times of reflection on the past — or in this case, the very near past — are always food for thought, as they provide a more objective angle of approach toward a certain subject.

As the automotive industry is obviously a global entity, we decided to pick 10 of the best new cars that were launched in 2014 all over the globe, based on the impact that each has had in its segment, respectively.

Considering the name and overall editorial direction of TopSped.com, one may expect the following list to be filled to the brim with supercars, sports cars and hypercars, but that would not be very constructive, would it now?

Click past the jump to the 10 most important new vehicles of 2014 from our perspective, and in no specific order.

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BMW Prepares Inductive Charging System

BMW Prepares Inductive Charging System

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

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

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

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

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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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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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BMW DesignworksUSA Presents a Solar Carport Concept

BMW DesignworksUSA Presents a Solar Carport Concept

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

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

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

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

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

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BMW Delivers First All-Electric i3 in United States

BMW Delivers First All-Electric i3 in United States

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

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

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

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

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i3

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2015 LUMMA CLR I3 Concept

2015 LUMMA CLR I3 Concept

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

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

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

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

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

Click past the jump to read about the BMW i3

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Five Sleigh Alternatives For Santa

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

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

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

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

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

Click past the jump to check out the list!

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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

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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European "Car of the Year" Finalists Announced

European "Car of the Year" Finalists Announced

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck to all the finalists!

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

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BMW to Focus on Electric Mobility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click past the jump to read more about BMW-i

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BMW Electric Cars a Hit, as the i8 Sells Out and 10K i3 Orders Roll In

BMW Electric Cars a Hit, as the i8 Sells Out and 10K i3 Orders Roll In

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

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

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

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

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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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The Best (and Worst) of the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BMW Not too Keen on Mixing i and M Models

BMW Not too Keen on Mixing i and M Models

In what could amount to be disappointing news for BMW fans, the German automaker has confirmed that there will be no cross-breeding between its M performance division and the newly launched i-brand.

All the rumors were effectively put to bed at the recent unveiling of the i8 hybrid supercar after BMW Group’s head of technology communications Cypselus von Frakenberg told CarAdvice at the Frankfurt Auto Show that the i8 and i3 will not have an M version now or in the future.

“It is separate – M and i,” von Frakenberg said. “It’s two different sub-brands, but there will be no ‘M’ i-car in the future. One of the biggest stumbling blocks on building an M version of an i-car is the completely different engines both cars use on respective models. The M models come with combustion engines while the i-cars run on electric drive. It would be a difficult proposition to pull off and one that BMW believes isn’t necessary given how the company appears set on promoting the "i" line as a separate brand that will complement the M division and the core BMW line.

von Frakenberg’s sentiments was echoed by another BMW exec — Carsten Pries, head of product management for the M Division — who said that both sub-brands have different strategic focuses and that combining them into one model could compromise what both are trying to establish individually.

“BMW ‘i’ obviously has a different strategic focus, very much targeting into the area of sustainability,” Pries said, before adding, “It’s two different operations, there’s no fluctuation from BMW M to BMW i or any big transfers going the other way."

So, it looks like our speculation on a possible i3 M will remain just speculation, for now. This could still change in the future, as we have become rather accustomed to automakers changing their minds and the drop of a hat.

Click past the jump to read about the newly-launched BMW i8

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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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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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