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Report: BMW and Lexus Joining Forces for a New Supercar

Report: BMW and Lexus Joining Forces for a New Supercar

A successor to the Lexus LF-A has been in the pipeline for quite some time now and while it remains unclear on when the supercar will be launched, Japanese magazine Best Car continues to stress that Lexus will have some help in building the successor to the LF-A. That help, apparently, will come from BMW. This rumor has been brewing for some time now, but if you really think about it, it’s hard to make any sense of it because Lexus and BMW aren’t exactly bosom buddies. Sure, there’s a healthy amount of respect for the other brand, but at their core, the two consider the other as rivals.

Why would BMW help Lexus develop the new LF-A when it could compete directly with the i8? It just doesn’t make sense considering the lengths Lexus has taken in the past year to line up car after car to compete against German brands like BMW.

Maybe Best Car knows something that none of us do, which could explain why the magazine appears to be insisting that a BMW-Lexus collaboration is in the works. But call us skeptical on this rumor because we just don’t see the sense behind it.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 - BMW’s current supercar.

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 BMW Performance Division's Boss Says That the New M1 will get i8 Technology, if Green Lighted

BMW Performance Division’s Boss Says That the New M1 will get i8 Technology, if Green Lighted

The M1 is one of the most iconic cars ever produced by BMW, and it was the model responsible for the M Division that creates all the cars we love today, like the M5 and the venerable M3.

Fans of the Roundel brand have been clamoring for BMW to revive this epic nameplate and take on competitors like the Audi R8 and Mercedes SLS AMG for years now, but there has been little movement.

Rather, what we got was a new hybrid car that looks like an M1 called the i8. While the i8 is an incredible piece of engineering, it is not a fire-breathing M car. But what if it could be?

At the recent launch of the M3 and M4, CarAdvice asked M Division boss Friedrich Nitschke about the potential for this new car to spawn an M car. His response is encouraging.

When it comes to moving the advanced powertrain and lightweight carbon-fiber technology over to an M car, Nitschke said its a matter "capacity not a question of know-how." Basically, it would not be hard to move anything over, they just need approval from the higher ups in BMW. As it stands, the M Division is ready to make one, if the BMW board will green light the project.

Would you guys like to see a revived M1 in all its mid-engined glory?

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M1.

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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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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 and Toyota Working on a Joint-Venture Supercar

Almost two years ago, BMW and Toyota started talking about a possible partnership and once the papers were signed, they announced the new collaboration will bring a new sports car and new hybrid technologies for both companies.

Now, new details on this collaboration have surfaced online and they only bring good news. Apparently, Toyota’s supercar will be something similar to the previous Lexus LF-A supercar, but with a hybrid powertrain.

This new supercar will explore terrains never hit by the LF-A, like a hybridized V-8 engine. Even though Toyota was the first maker to offer hybrid cars in its lineup, it never had the courage to develop a hybrid hyper-car. However, things are about to change.

Sources suggest that the company is already testing the i8’s carbon-fiber frame, meaning that the two new supercars could also borrow elements from the i8. One thing is for sure though: Toyota will be the one coming with the hybrid technology since it already developed high-performance hybrid powertrains for the V-8-powered Lexus LS 600h. BMW is also offering a very successful 4.4-liter, V-8 engine in its lineup, and a hybrid system from Toyota will only make it even more fuel efficient.

Everything else on these two new supercars is pure speculation, and there are still tons of question that need to be answered, but for sure more details will follow in the upcoming months, so stay tuned!

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i8 - the model that could inspire the new Toyota-BMW supercar.

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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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Video: Lucky Journalists get a First-Hand Look at a BMW i8 Test Session

Video: Lucky Journalists get a First-Hand Look at a BMW i8 Test Session

A few days ago, BMW unveiled the first official details on the upcoming i8 supercar and after that, the company invited some journalists to its test track in Miramas, France for a testing session. This video presents the filmed first test drive of the i8 sports car and offers a closer look of the plug-in hybrid sports car.

The BMW i8 is powered by 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 is an electric motor that produces 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The Bimmer i8 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds and goes up to a top speed of 155 mph.

The production version BMW i8 will be unveiled in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. On the U.S. market the model will be offered as a 2015 model year.

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Video: Supercars on Trailer in Thailand go up in Flames

Video: Supercars on Trailer in Thailand go up in Flames

When it comes to cars, nothing breaks our hearts more than seeing a supercar go up in flames. So, imagine the depression in the room when we watched this video.

A trailer full of exotics - four of them, actually - all turned into scrap metal after a fire in a BMW eventually led to all four cars getting completely engulfed in a fiery blaze. According to news reports in Thailand, the cars were an unidentified BMW, a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Ferrari F430 and a Bentley Continental.

The cars were being towed on a trailer with the driver saying he was transferring them from a showroom in Bangkok to a gas station in the Si Sa Ket province on the Thai-Cambodia border, where an "unknown person" would be there to pick them up. Sounds like a shady transaction, huh?

But all that changed when all four exotics caught fire, not only destroying some fine supercars but also costing a total of 100 million baht, which is about $3.3 million based on current exchange rates.

This isn’t the first time a supercar has unexpectedly gone up in flames. Click past the jump to see previous occasions where an exotic met a rather untimely and fiery demise.

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1979 BMW M1 Art Car will be Displayed at Saratoga Automobile Museum

1979 BMW M1 Art Car will be Displayed at Saratoga Automobile Museum

If you have no plans for the weekend, we might have an idea for you; the "BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine"exhibition will open this weekend and will feature some of the coolest BMW models out there. Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1 Art Car will be the center piece of the exhibition and next to it you will also see the BMW 3.0 CSL that won the Daytona 24 Hour race in 1976, plus tons of other road cars, motorcycles and race cars.

Andy Warhol was the first to paint the entire car himself, as previous BMW Art Car artists prepared a draft version on a scaled-down model and then moved that on the real car by assistants to the painter.

"This exhibition at the Saratoga Automotive Museum will provide visitors a great look at BMW’s long heritage and provide a sense of how the company has evolved to become the leading premium automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in the world," said Ludwig Willisch – President and CEO of BMW of North America. "It will also show just how integral motorsports has been throughout the company’s history."

Don’t worry, if you don’t have the time to go this weekend, the exhibition, will run until November 3, 2013.

Click past the jump to read more about Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW M1 Art Car.

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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: The BMW i8 Hits Nürburgring for the First Time

We know that all of you are bored of all these BMW i8 spy shots and want to see the production version, but today we bring you another set of images. These ones certainly carry some importance, as they reveal the BMW i8 testing at the Nürburgring race track for the very first time.

As usual, the prototype caught testing is heavily camouflaged and reveals pretty much nothing, but most of you already know how and what the new i8 will bring to the market.

For those of you who still need a refresher, we remind you that the production version of the i8 has been previewed in many times, starting with the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and up to thei8 Concept Spyder unveiled back in 2012.

The production version of the i8 will combine a three-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor for a total output of about 400 horsepower. Rumors suggest the supercar will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph.

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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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