The BMW iX3 Joins the EV Ranks with 286 Miles of Range
While the whole world has been busy gossiping about the all-new Ford Bronco, BMW has quietly launched its second electric model, the iX3. Based on the third-gen X3, the model was first previewed at the 2018 Beijing Motor. Two years later, the automaker has launched the production version of its electric SUV that isn’t a whole lot different from the concept. With a single-motor setup and a 285-mile range, can the iX3 stand out, or will it be lost in the mix?
2020 BMW iX3
Like most automakers out there, BMW announced plans to add a large number of electrified models, but while some companies are already offering a handful of EVs and hybrids, BMW doesn’t have much to offer beyond the i3 electric hatchback and the i8 hybrid sports car. But that’s about to change soon, as BMW developed a new-generation eDrive platform that will underpin a number of vehicles in the future. The new drivetrain made its debut in the iX3 Concept, which previews a production model based on the familiar X3 crossover.
Showcased at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, the iX3 is a mildly revised X3 on the outside. This is a sign that BMW wants its electric lineup to be familiar to company enthusiasts and it’s a hint that upcoming EVs will share design cues with the conventional Bimmers instead of getting their own unique styling, like the i3. Specs and performance details are slim as of this writing, but BMW promises an innovative drivetrain layout, an output of at least 270 horsepower, and mileage of at least 400 km (249 miles). A prototype of the production model was already spotted in the wild, so it may be unveiled early next year. Let’s find out more in the speculative review below.
Update 2/28/2020: The BMW iX3 prototype has been spotted doing some cold-weather testing with little camo. Does this mean that a debut is imminent.
10 Best Vehicle and Technology Innovations of 2018
BMW Confirms the i3 Will Continue to Survive
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.
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
Make Way for the i4 - the Fifth Electric Vehicle in BMW’s Stable
BMW is adding yet another all-electric car to its portfolio – the i4. BMW Chairman Harald Krüger has announced at the ongoing Paris Motor Show that the i4 will be launched in 2021. The i4 becomes the fifth vehicle in the lineup, which already includes the BMW i3, 2019 MINI Electric, 2020 iX3, and the iNext.
2019 BMW i3 120Ah
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.
Top 10 Most Blasphemous Models To Turn Into An EV
The world of EVs is ever growing, and as we near a time when there will be no gas to fill our tanks, we realized some of the world’s best-sounding and glorious engines will have to be ditched in favor of electric power. Think of an electric Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, or Lamborghini... does it sound good? Or rather, does it make any sound at all?
With the advent of electrification in the business of car building, you see every major manufacturer scramble to put together a lineup of eco-friendly electric vehicles as a statement of their forward-thinking plans and their bias towards the future of mobility. It all looked foolish almost 20 years ago when Honda introduced the original hybrid Insight, which was shortly followed by Toyota’s Prius, but today, this seems to be the trend that will sell. For some, it might be a marketing ploy to appease a new section of the market, but you can’t dismiss the trend altogether.
Audi just took the wraps off its first fully-electric car, the E-Tron. Mercedes was doing the same just a few weeks ago with its EQC, and just about any manufacturer you can think of has a mid- to long-term plan for at least hybrid, if not electric. For instance, Aston-Martin is looking forward to the year 2030, by which time the British manufacturer’s stable should be made up exclusively of electric cars. Ferrari, well-known for their devotion to making their cars sound perfect, is planning a 60 percent hybridization of its lineup in just four year’s time. You can imagine a Ferrari EV isn’t that far off in the future, then.
All this got us thinking - which cars would you never want to see without a growling V-8, or maybe a high-revving V-12 under the hood? Which car’s move from gas to electric sounds like blasphemy to you? We know there is a Mustang-inspired sports utility vehicle coming from Ford in 2020, and the pony car itself might go electric in the future, so how does that make you feel?
Read on to learn about our top 10 cars that would be blasphemous to turn into EVs.
2018 BMW iNext Concept
As each of the major automakers vie for technological supremacy, the space between blue-sky concept cars and their production-based realities is starting to blur. The latest to step into this space is the BMW iNext, an autonomous, battery-powered SUV that comes stuffed with the Bavarian’s latest and greatest ideas for the next generation.
“The iNext project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all its brands are set to benefit,” said BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Harald Krüger. That means that over the next several years, this thing will provide the guidance for not just BMW’s line, but the Mini line as well, both of which are promised to offer “in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services,” according to BMW. Indeed, now that BMW has been doing the EV thing for more than a decade at this point, it’s about time the company stepped up its game. Read on to see how.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW iNext Concept.
2019 BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance
The BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance is the latest iteration of the company’s midsize luxury SUV. Introduced for the 2019 model year, it replaces the xDrive40e based on the previous-generation (F15) crossover.
On top of the new exterior design and interior features that come with each new generation, the xDrive45e iPerformance also boasts major changes under the hood. Not only did BMW replaced the old four-cylinder with an inline-six mill, but the hybrid drivetrain is also more powerful and delivers superior performance. The X5 also emits less CO2 than before and runs more miles on electric power alone. But more about that, as well as on how it compares with its rivals, in the review below.
2018 BMW 530e iPerformance
The 5 Series is Bimmer’s mid-size product, offered in a sedan, wagon, and fastback body style. Available since 1972, a total of seven generations have made their appearance over the years, with the current model making its introduction in October of 2016. This latest model sees an expansion into the Bavarian’s iPerformance lineup as the fourth such model to gain the designation. Seeking a balance between performance fun and a little efficiency as well, the 530e iPerformance gets all the same good stuff as the regular 5 Series, including the latest interior technology, snappy good looks, and a decent amount of performance, but adds a solid dose of hybrid efficiency and torque on top.
BMW says it’s doubling down on its electrified and hybrid offerings going forward, so it makes a lot of sense to see this relatively mild electrification for the 5 Series. We think it’s a smart move, as it manages to retain what we like about the 5 Series without diminishing anything in the process. It bodes well for future hybridized Bimmers, and sets a clear path forward as the Bavarians move to bring big batteries across its lineup.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 530e iPerformance.
BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter
In 2011, BMW made a big step toward an electrified future with the BMW i sub-brand. Two years later, thei3 city was unveiled, followed by the i8 sports car in 2014. Ever since the i3 arrived in showrooms there’s been talk about BMW planning to expand the i family with a sedan that would go against the Tesla Model S. Come 2017 and BMW finally confirmed those plans with the i Vision Dynamics. Launched at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, it’s the company’s first all-electric sedan and likely previews a production model that should be unveiled by the end of 2018.
Part of the brand’s "Number One > Next" strategy, which should see 25 vehicles with electrified drive systems — include 12 all-electric model — arrive by 2025, the i Vision Dynamics is a "four-door gran coupe" that showcases how BMW sees future EV mobility "between the i3 and the i8." In short, this concept car previews a sedan that’s much larger than the i3, but slots below the i8 in terms of performance. Sounds like the German firm is working on a four-door EV that could compete with the popular Tesla Model S.
Continue reading for the full story.
BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s
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.
Highs & Lows: 2017 BMW i8
The BMW i8 isn’t new, but it’s my first time behind the wheel. Luckily, I got more than some quick test-drive around the block, I spent a week getting to know BMW’s spaceship for the streets. Like anything with a split personality, the i8 falls under that old saying, “jack of all trades; master of none.” Some call it a supercar. Others call it a dolled up BMW i3 with an overly complicated design and a hybrid powertrain that sips fuel but guzzles expendable monthly income with hefty payments. Yeah, the i8 has some interesting attributes, and that’s what I’m here to explore.
My tester is a 2017 model with only 1,800 or so miles on the odometer. It’s coated in “Sophisto Grey with BMW i Blue” and fitted with the mid-grade and $2,000 Giga World trim package. Only one option is present: the Laserlight headlights, which cost a hefty $6,300. The $995 destination fee is the only other added cost. Still, that pushes the $143,400 i8 past a $153,000 purchase price. Needless to say, the i8 ain’t cheap. But neither is its technology. BMW somehow squeezes 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque from a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and a pair of electric motors. The chassis is made of lightweight aluminum and the body shell is constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. It has two transmissions, AWD, and a combined EPA rating of 76 MPGe. Still, the i8 isn’t perfect. Living with it for a week has uncovered some notable annoyances that a potential i8 owner should definitely know exist.
Continue reading for the highs and low of the BMW i8.
German manufacturers Volkswagen and BMW joined forces with the California-based ChargePoint Inc. to expand the electric-vehicle infrastructure throughout the U.S., and this blitzkrieg has borne fruit in the form of two new major EV charging networks within two of the most heavily traveled corridors on the East and West coast.
The Express Charging Corridors Initiative announced on the 13th of September, 2016, the addition of 95 new public charging stations meant to support EV travel from Portland, Oregon to San Diego, California, out West and from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., down East. These are DC, fast-charge stations set at 50-mile increments along the main highway with additional stations on the branches that feed traffic to the local places-to-be-and-see, so suddenly EV touring is a thing.
Continue reading for more information on the new charging stations.