Jul 2nd, 2015
MotoringFile broke the news of MINI’s plugin hybrid 18 months ago. Since then we’ve had a steady drip of news on the new drivetrain. Today we get a healthy dose of data in the form of an official preview. While this technically isn’t a MINI specific preview, this is identical to drivetrain that will be found in the MINI and thus entirely relevant. continued →
Jul 2nd, 2015
Among a slew of innovations announced this week at BMW’s Innovation Days press event, one stands out as perhaps the most awe inspiring of the bunch. The i8 based prototype (officially unnamed by BMW at this time) replaces the 1.5L MINI derived three-cylinder with a fuel stack. Energy is generated from hydrogen cryogenically stored and contained in a cylindrical tank low down in the center of the car. The stack provides electricity for the electric motor – the only emission being water. continued →
Jul 2nd, 2015
Originally shown in the high output BMW M4 this week at BMW’s Innovation Days, the company took the wraps off of a scaled down version destined for MINI’s three and four cylinder engines. The principle is relatively simple –cooler temperatures allow for higher output without sacrificing MPG. But the details are pretty interesting. The cooling effect triggered by direct water injection likewise imbues this unit with substantially increased performance and efficiency. Plus, fuel consumption is reduced when pushing the engine. The boost to efficiency is therefore significant – especially when the driver adopts a sportier style – and average fuel economy under everyday conditions benefits accordingly. Added to which, direct water injection reduces thermal stress on numerous engine components and minimizes emissions. continued →
Jan 14th, 2015
Everything that we know is about to change! That’s a bold statement, but given the scoop Autocar managed to grab from BMW’s Advanced Engineering Department, we are in for a wild ride regarding future BMW and MINI models. According to Autocar journalist Hilton Holloway, the BMW Group is on a quest to a radical engineering overhaul which will result in reinventing legacy cars into all-wheel-drive range-extender electric cars. To comply with EU fuel consumption regulations, future BMWs and Rolls-Royce will boast unprecedented EfficientDynamics technologies, including:
- Mix of steel, aluminum and composites for body construction
- Electric motors as primary drive source while combustion engines act as energy generators
- Advanced aerodynamics to reducing air and rolling resistance at speed to a minimum
- 3D connected navigation systems that anticipate traffic and road types
Although it will require some time before the Group can pack all these innovations into a single vehicle, we’re already witnessing the efforts of the Advanced Engineering Department with the successful i3, i8, and upcoming G11 7 series. continued →
Sep 16th, 2014
For those of you who listened to recent episodes of White Roof Radio, you probably heard that we are currently testing Automatic. This accessory acts as a smart driving assistant that communicates with a car’s on-board computer and uses a smartphone’s capabilities to provide insights and data points on how to improve your driving style. Additionally, Automatic partners with car manufacturers to have their platform integrated into infotainment systems. 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.
Aug 13th, 2012
According to sources inside MINI familiar with future product features, the US market will finally see an auto start/stop system for both manual and automatic transmissions. The first version of auto start/stop made a European debut in 2007 and since then MINI USA has been interested in adding the feature to US bound cars.
The reason for the delay is two fold; there’s been little incentive since the EPA doesn’t recognize such systems in an overall efficiency index and the bigger concern is that the system isn’t free. Again, according to those same sources it adds over $200 per car, thanks to the beefier starter motor, the added electronics and programming. MINI USA couldn’t absorb that cost and didn’t want to pass it on to the consumer. But as BMW has moved to add the technology to almost it’s entire fleet, that price is rapidly decreasing as volume of the system is increasing. Likewise things are changing in the US that make the technology more relevant to the way the EPA measures efficiency- there is an added benefit to automatic transmissions with the current EPA test procedure. This makes a much stronger argument for bringing the system stateside.