Section: BMW i
Jul 24th, 2014
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 →
Feb 23rd, 2014
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.
Dec 2nd, 2013
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.
Jul 31st, 2013
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.
Jul 29th, 2013
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.
Jul 23rd, 2013
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 →
Dec 11th, 2012
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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