Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Latest issue of UK publication CAR Magazine features the 2014 BMW M3 on their cover. The British folks claim that this is the real deal but knowing their track record, we’re almost certain these are just some really well executed renderings based on tips from insiders, spy photos and….common sense.
With the 3 Series GT launch scheduled for Geneva Show, we’re wondering if the Bavarians will try to steal the show with the new M3 or simply let the Gran Turismo draw all the attention at their stand. Regardless, the F80 M3 will make its debut in the fall at Frankfurt, but it remains to be seen if in a concept or production ready form.
The renderings below show the F80 M3 having its front-end heavily influenced by the new M6, with two large air intakes, air curtains and extremely aggressive, road-focused look.
When coming to market in 2014, the F80 BMW M3 will be powered by an inline-six engine. The engine of choice is a newly developed unit that is said to be rated at around 450 . The new M3 is expected to be slightly faster than the current E90 generation thanks to a lower weight.
The engine is mated to a double-clutch transmission 7-speed transmission, but we expect to see a for U.S. customers.
More on the M3 in the upcoming weeks!
Monday, January 21, 2013
BMW i seals global partnership deal for customer-friendly electric mobility
BMW i continues to forge ahead with its strategy for customer-friendly electric mobility, which has now led to it striking a far-reaching partnership with Schneider Electric and the electric mobility service provider The Mobility House (TMH).
The partnership agreement includes checking the electrical installation in customers’ homes, supplying and assembling the wallbox charging point, as well as maintenance and other services. This will allow future owners of a BMW i3 or BMW i8 to hook up their safely and quickly recharge it while at home or in the office.
The partnership arrangements help fulfil the overriding objective of providing customer-friendly and charging facilities by the time the BMW i3 is launched that will allow for recharging in the comfort of the customer’s own garage. The BMW i3 will be the first electric vehicle on the market to be purpose-designed as such from the outset, and is slated for launch in late 2013.
As Alexander Efthimiou, Head of Product Management for Electric Powertrain Modular Systems and After-Sales, is keen to explain: “With BMW i, we are adopting an all-embracing approach to electric mobility, meaning that we will be offering more than just the purchase of the BMW i3. Over the course of the numerous pilot tests we staged worldwide with electric , we listened to our customers very carefully, and will be able to offer them a ‘360° Electric’ concept as soon as the i3 is launched, comprising solutions that cater to all the requirements of future electric motorists. We see the professional installation of the wallbox for charging the BMW i3 and i8 as one of the key factors for the successful marketing of electric vehicles. We are delighted to have Schneider Electric and The Mobility House, the two most internationally experienced partners in the field of electric mobility, on board to help implement our strategy.”
“This alliance will see Schneider Electric offering BMW customers an efficient, customer-friendly and lasting infrastructure for charging,” says Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President, Partner Business at Schneider Electric. “BMW and Schneider Electric share the same vision for electric mobility, and we are certain that our collaboration together points the way ahead for the future.”
Thomas Raffeiner, CEO and founder of The Mobility House, is similarly convinced: “BMW i is turning electric mobility into a serious alternative for customers around the world. The systematic pursuit of an all-embracing approach when it comes to electric mobility will provide some much-needed stimulus in Germany and beyond, and will further increase the technology’s acceptance. With BMW as our partner, we are implementing this objective in the various markets and offering the customer a one-stop shop for tailor-made electric mobility solutions.”
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
U.S Debut – BMW 320i
The 1 series is not the entry into the BMW brand in North America. Rather, it is a niche vehicle, not unlike the Z4, meant to bring in a segment of the enthusiast market that wasn’t serviced by the rest of the lineup.
The entry into the BMW brand in the US has always been the 3 series, and as the 3 series has grown in size, power and features, it’s affordability has declined. BMW has recognized this and has introduced the 320i (let’s think of it as the successor to the 318i). This is the car that a younger buyer can stretch the budget to get. It will deliver the essence of the Ultimate Driving Machine at a price that makes sense.
So what do you give up when you decide on a 320i as opposed to a 328i? Well, a bit of horsepower. The 320i makes do with 180 HP using a turbo and gasoline direct injection. You don’t however have to make do with a four speed automatic, it comes with the same offered in other BMWs.You don’t have to give up the wonderful driving dynamics that are the hallmark of BMW.
One feature that will attract buyers is the frugality that the 320i will deliver – it will offer and also, thanks to EfficientDynamics also very low emissions. And the 320i offers, as standard, the ability to take advantage of LTE mobile internet.
There is a new generation of buyers attracted to premium automobiles and the BMW 320i will offer them an opportunity to enjoy the essence of BMW’s driving experience. BMW hopes that they’ll go on and reward the brand with future purchases. Who knows, the 20 something 320i buyer, may become a 50 something 7er buyer. At least that’s the hope.
Base price comes in at $32,500 and of course that climbs as soon as you start checking boxes on the order sheet for options. It will also be available with xDrive. One very near competitor, the Mercedes-Benz C250 has a base price of $35,350 offering a 201 HP 1.8L mated to a seven speed automatic gearbox driving the rear wheels (like the 320i). Audi offers it’s A4 with a 2.0L turbo engine but couples it with a CVT in a front wheel drive configuration.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
Spied: 2014 BMW i8
Next year BMW will introduce their first hybrid sportscar but in the meantime testing of several prototypes continue in Europe.
Dubbed BMW i8, the sporty two-door model uses two different drive systems – an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is not a secondary power source, but rather an equal partner of the internal 1.5 liter three cylinder petrol engine. The engine is mounted at the rear and drives via a dual-clutch gearbox.
The car’s minimized weight, low center of gravity and finely judged balance, coupled with a combined system output of up to 354 horsepower.
A 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time comes under five seconds, with a combined fuel consumption in the European test cycle of less than 3 liters/100 km (78 MPG) and average real fuel consumption of between five and seven liters (33 – 47 MPG).
Design wise, the BMW i8 makes use of the layering technique that allows BMW designer to fluently combine different exterior parts, giving the car an equally futuristic and dynamic look. (Here is our interview with the designs of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept).
BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk says “layered surfacing” creates a more cohesive and harmonious appearance while also optimizing air flow. Complementing the i8′s futuristic exterior design with its “bird wings doors,” the interior of the car has a flowing instrument panel and unique seating arrangement.
BMW i8 will go to market in 2014 and we anticipate a base price point around $160,000.