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Section: BMW i

BimmerFile Review: The BMW i8

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Reviews Jul 24th, 2014 18 Comments

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Editors note: Normally we don’t bring you BMW news from our sister site, BimmerFile. However the new BMW i8 represents the best of the BMW Group’s technology in one awe-inspiring vehicle. Vast utilization of carbon fiber, intelligent power management and beautiful design make the i8 one of the most important cars released this year and perhaps even this decade. Perhaps even more salient, at the heart of the i8’s drivetrain is MINI’s 1.5L three-cylinder engine (coupled with the familiar Asin 6 speed auto) delivering an astounding 230 hp. We think the application of that power train, along with the usage of carbon fiber (BMW is the first automaker to begin using CF for mass production) make this a particularly interesting car for MINI fans.

With the key fob in my hand, I raised the door and properly maneuvered over the carbon sill and into the low seat of the BMW i8. I glance at the controls, check the mirrors and press of the start button to begin a test drive I’ve been waiting seemingly forever for.

The first thing you notice is nothing. But the lack of noise is punctuated by a glowing display that has confirmed the i8’s readiness. Pulling back the lever and slotting it into the D the i8 responds with an electric idle that belies what this car hides beneath. continued →

BMW to Introduce Carbon Fiber Components to Reduce Weight

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Efficiency, Technology Feb 23rd, 2014 8 Comments

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It’s been well known that BMW was dabbling in carbon fiber wheels and that we’d eventually see them on cars such as the i8. What we didn’t know was when we’d see them across the model range. Auto Express had a chance to speak with a few folks at BMW who shed light on the companies plans.

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MotoringFile Review: the All Electric BMW i3

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Reviews Dec 2nd, 2013 16 Comments

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So there was this 135is — dirty in the wrong ways, with all the signs that it hadn’t been taken care of in a proper fashion. Yet there it was, carving up and through the four lane road we were on just west of LA. As I remarked to myself about his lack of respect for the car and inability to apex correctly, I realized I had the perfect tool to teach him a lesson: the BMW i3. While fully electric, the i3 is undeniably quick – especially in the 0-30 range, and despite its upright nature, will corner smartly with a surprising amount of feedback through the steering and the suspension.

I pulled up next to him. I could feel his eye widen as the glow of Solar orange reflected on his once Alpine White 1-Series. The light turned green and I was, gone never to be seen again.

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Hands-On First Impressions of BMW’s New i3

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i Jul 31st, 2013 20 Comments

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This week BMW not only took the wraps off of a car but brand and a strategy. Creating something sustainable that performs up to all expectations is a very tall order. But given our time with the i3 today we have to admit things look very promising.

Without question the BMW i3 takes some getting used to. It’s a new shape, new controls and new touch-points. There’s grass (actually pressed hemp) in the door and dash, leather tanned with environmentally friendly oils and seat backs made out of recycled bottles. Yet the first impression (especially once you step inside) is one of the future. As in this is it. Finally we have a concept car that we can buy.

It makes the BMW Active E electric test car look 20 years old rather than two. Everything has been re-thought if not re-imagined. Granted that doesn’t mean everything is different. But nothing on the i3 hasn’t at least been thought about from a new angle.

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World Premier: The BMW i3

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News Jul 29th, 2013 33 Comments

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It isn’t every day that BMW launches a new brand. In fact the last time it happened was in 2001 when MINI was created. And it could be argued that this is even more revolutionary than that. The new all-electric BMW i3 is a landmark in BMW’s mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker. The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand, and is the first carbon fiber base purpose built electric car meant for the mass market. For BMW it’s a new era for mobility. For MINI fans it’s something to take note of.

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The BMW i3 & The Future of Motoring

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Opinion Jul 23rd, 2013 27 Comments

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BMW’s foray into electric vehicles began in the early ’70s. Since then, the company has dabbled in electric powered vehicles in proof-of-concept form for motor shows and even internal engineering studies. However it wasn’t until the formation of the “Megacity” program, MINI E trial and ultimately BMWi that things got serious. With the learnings of the MINI E and the BMW Active E, BMWi is now ready to launch its first product – the BMW i3

The i3 will arrive in showrooms early next spring with base price of $41,350. However with the US $7500 tax credit the adjusted price will be a surprisingly affordable $34,725 (destination included). Moderately equipped the i3 will go out the door for $40,000 and in turn BMW hopes will usher in the start of an electric mobility revolution. To us that could be one of the best values in all of the automotive world not just because of the price. In our eyes, what makes the i3 so interesting is the packaging, platform technology and of course how it will likely perform as real world, premium transportation.

Why should MINI owners care? Let’s talk about some of the formulas the i3 follows, both new and fundamentally old. continued →


40 Years of Electric Mobility at the BMW Group

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News Dec 11th, 2012 1 Comment

Official Release: When the first production version of the BMW i3 rolls off the assembly line in Leipzig in late 2013, it will mark the provisional culmination of 40 years of development work at BMW. It all began at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where the BMW starting line-up included two electrically powered test vehicles. The converted BMW 1602 models served as a means of transport for the members of the organising committee, and were also deployed as support and camera cars in various long-distance events. However, there could be no questioning that lead batteries weighing 350 kilograms and with a range of around 60 kilometres (37 miles) were hardly ideal for a production car. BMW therefore launched a series of research and development projects with the aim of bringing an improved and, above all, more efficient technology for electric drive systems onto the road. continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
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'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
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Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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