BMW and Toyota Releasing Twin Exotic Cars

BMW and Toyota

Successful automakers BMW and Toyota are collaborating on a set of twin exotic cars, which will be confusingly related yet separate. One lovechild will be BMW and one Toyota, but they will share aspects of both brands including design and technology. 

BMW and Toyota opt to pair their resources for a set of exotic sports cars. What will they learn during this awesome experiment? Will brands begin to collaborate as well as compete?

The automotive industry is all about smoking the competition. For this reason, the unique union between typically competitive automakers Toyota and BMW has wheels spinning. The talks began back in 2011, where the companies began to strategize how to go about researching new technologies together. By the following year, they had already begun working on electric powertrains and alternative fuel cells, which they spent the next year tweaking. Now the dynamic duo is poised to release its own duo in the form of twin autos engineered for the future. read more

The 2015 BMW i8 Convertible?

BMW i8 Convertible

BMW first began taunting us with the stunningly futuristic i8 at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Now that production is slated to begin for the plug-in hybrid i8 sometime next year, they have begun to steer excitement toward a potential roadster version. Glorious.

Will there be a BMW i8 convertible? 

This is not the first time the i8 has been caught with its top off, mind you. There was a BMW i8 Spyder concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. Because the chatter and topless version is back, it appears that both the coupe and convertible will be a reality. This is purely speculation, of course, and guesses point to the BMW i8 convertible rolling out a year or two after the coupe. The coupe would serve to test the market conditions before the company would invest in producing the spyder. read more

Plug Into the BMW Concept X5 eDrive

BMW Concept X5

BMW continues to enhance its i line, with the recent unveil of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. The next generation of the X5 is still gorgeous and performance oriented, but has a newfound love for its environment. That is to say, it is a plug-in hybrid.

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive at a glance:

  • The plug-in hybrid powertrain features a 4-cylinder gas engine paired with a 95-horsepower electric motor. The electric motor was developed in-house. The system also packs a lithium-ion battery pack for extra range.
  • Automated transmission sends power to all four wheels
  • The 0-60 mile per hour mark is achieved in less than 7 seconds, not too bad for a hybrid. Hybrids tend to be heavier than their gas-sipping siblings, with extra lbs added by the electric motor and battery.
  • Gas powered counterparts can envy the Concept X5 eDrive’s impressive 61 mile per gallon stats.
  • Unlike some luxury hybrid models that seem to be released prematurely without attention to range, the X5 eDrive can hit a blistering 75 miles per hour for a 19 mile stretch on electric power alone. There are no regular speed range figures, but you can imagine they will be longer than most.
  • This concept features the BMW xDrive AWD system
  • A specialized hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant accesses the navigation system to determine routes that will optimize the range.
Driving and charging 
  • Three driving modes: Intelligent hybrid drive for efficiency, Pure electric mode for electric power only mode, and Safe battery mode to ensure the battery remains fully charged.
  • The BMW Concept X5 eDrive can be charged at a standard electrical outlet, with a wall charger or at a public charging station. These options should help to reduce range anxiety. We plug in our smartphones, ipads and computers constantly, are our vehicles next?

While the BMW X5 hybrid is certainly exciting, it was upstaged by its racier i8 sibling at the Frankfurt show. The BMW i8 production version is also a hybrid, but it is a sports car, slung low and turbocharged. It packs a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine and a 131 horsepower electric motor. It is coming to showrooms in the states by 2015. The X5 concept is currently referred to as a “study vehicle”, with no official plans for production. read more

BMW i8 Plugs Into Supercar Status

BMW i8

The BMW i8 has only been revealed in concept form so far, but the brand is being proactive in the type of reception it wants for the hybrid. Surprisingly, BMW will not be lining the hybrid up next to the likes of Tesla, but rather, challenging gas-guzzling supercars like Ferrari or Porsche. The idea is that the BMW i8 may attain 80 miles per gallon thanks to a hybrid powertrain, but that it is still as tough and desirable as a Ferrari and should be on par with those types of brands. 

BMW takes aim at Ferrari and other supercar brands with its hybrid i8 read more

The 2014 BMW i3 Electric Car Deliveries Begin

2014 BMW i3

BMW is poised to release its first-ever electric luxury car on July 29th, 2013. The long-awaited 2014 BMW i3 electric car will join its thirstier siblings and offer up something new for clients while opening up full throttle with a new niche for the BMW brand. While European deliveries for the i3 began in November, they are just starting stateside.

The 2014 BMW i3 at a glance:

  • 70-100 mile electric-only power range
  • There will also be a range-extended version made available with a twin-cylinder gas engine derived from a motorcycle. This will offer backup comfort for those with range anxiety.
  • For those still too nervous to commit to an electric or hybrid vehicle, there is still the BMW Loaner Program, follow link for full details.
  • Rear wheel drive
  • The electric-only version packs 168 ponies
  • 22 kWh lithium-ion battery can be recharged at home or on the go.
  • Rolling brake energy recuperation
  • The 0-60 jump time is 7.6 seconds. It is clearly not a track car, but intended for greener commutes to the office…so long as that office is less than 100 miles away roundtrip. Remember, buyers can always charge the car during the workday before the commute home.

The range-extended version of the BMW i3 may be the best option. For just a couple of thousand dollars more, BMW will pack on the small motor mentioned above, creating a hybrid version. The engine is a two-cylinder 600cc supplied by BMW Motorrad, their luxury motorcycle division. The price for the hybrid option could have been dramatically higher, but BMW is smart enough to know that it is challenging enough to get consumers to buy electric and hybrid vehicles at this juncture. It will take a few more years before buyers feel confident in buying new forms of vehicles, likely when they begin to see more recharging stations and people they know driving them. read more

BMW Displaying Mixed Emotions on iOS in the Car

iOS in the Car

When Apple’s iPod emerged a decade ago, luxury carmaker BMW was among the first to integrate it into its cars. The tech-savvy and forward thinking carmaker is taking things a bit slower when it comes to Apple’s “iOS in the Car” offerings. Rumors are flying that BMW is done with the forbidden fruit, but the truth remains anyone’s best guess at this point.

 Siri’s presence strengthens with ‘iOS in the Car’

BMW responded to the rumors by claiming to be in close contact with Apple and releasing the following statement: “BMW is investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car, but since a final decision had not been made, it was not a part of Apple’s announcement.” read more

BMW Destroys Guinness World Drift Record!

Guinness World Drift Record

BMW has stolen the Guinness World Drift Record with an unbelievable 51-mile drifting session at the BMW Performance Center near Greenville, South Carolina.

Check out the highlight videos below:

Watch the BMW lap the wet track

Apparently it is not against Guinness regulations to position sprinklers onto the track for this event. For some reason, the Bugatti Veyron Fastest Production Car issue comes to mind! Will BMW be stripped of this title in a few years after enough people point out the water issue? It did take years for Bugatti to be stripped of its title–after it was highlighted repeatedly that the actual production Veyron was limited to a speed lower than the record. The rules state that the “Fastest Production Car” must be able to hit top speed in production form. read more

BMW i3 EV Shows More of its Electrified Body

BMW i3 EV

BMW has been taking off more and more camouflage, revealing previously unseen parts of the elusive new plug-in i3 EV. This marks the next level version of the hybrid formerly known as the ‘Mega City Vehicle’ (MCV). The BMW i3 EV is a hatchback and should be emerging from obscurity to full production form quite soon—possibly by the end of the year.

BMW i3 EV continues to shed camouflage in a sort of slow striptease

The BMW i line is geared toward an environmental and urban approach at the luxury car. The i sub brand is smaller, futuristic, and capable of transporting urban dwellers to work on little to no traditional fuel. The future of BMW is about versatility and longevity—an enduring machine that not only stands the test of time, but evolves into increasingly enticing forms. read more

BMW Loaner Program Poised to Reduce Range Anxiety

BMW is taking a proactive approach to reducing range anxiety for buyers of its i models with a new loaner program. The BMW loaner program will provide all buyers of its i3 electric car with a free gasoline loaner car for those longer trips. While the company is confident that the i3 will give drivers what they seek for 90 percent of their trips, they also know that an annual road trip could sway purchases. A company propelled forward by creativity, this is reminiscent of the BMW online marketing endeavors for the i-brand. read more

BMW Ultimate Drive App: Facebook for Cars?

BMW Ultimate Drive App

BMW is driven to please customers and improve the experience of getting around with their new ‘Ultimate Drive’ application. The BMW Ultimate Drive app proclaims to help drivers “Discover the best roads to drive”, which sounds appealing. This would also be ideal to download when renting a BMW from your friends at Imagine Lifestyles, as you could see what routes the locals love!

According to the website, the BMW Ultimate Drive app comes from the makers of the Ultimate Driving Machine. Apparently, they have not enjoyed one of our Ultimate Driving Experiences in a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Ultimately, we love BMW and just used that opportunity to shamelessly plug our event. Moving along, the BMW app offers drivers the opportunity to connect with each other and share the best roads and routes to take, all over the world. read more