Remember when hybrids were humble little cars, like the hunchback Prius? Well, hybridization has certainly jumped the shark when ponderous BMW 7 Series arrives in our garage with an electric motor buried in its power train. Yes, it is a technically marvelous machine, but does it really accomplish anything truly desirable? Or is this, as they say, a "halo product"? Brian Cooley takes you for a drive to check the tech.
BMW established its 7-series as a tech powerhouse, so adding a hybrid system is like sprinkling a little extra crazy on top of Charlie Sheen. The 7-series already features a strong array of driver assistance features, such as a night vision system, a navigation system with lush topographic maps, and an audio system that produces superb sound and includes onboard music storage on the car's hard drive.
But with the ActiveHybrid 7, BMW also demonstrates that it can do a gas electric hybrid powertrain. Although the car gets the best fuel economy of the 7-series model line, it is hardly a fuel sipper. Rather, the hybrid powertrain makes it the second most powerful of BMW's 7-series models, right below the V-12 760i. More power and better fuel economy? That seems like a worthwhile addition.
Welcome to CNET Roadside Assistance, the show were the Car Tech guys take some time to respond to your queries and highlight your comments. This week, Nissan and Mazda's performance cars go head-to-head, a BMW driver wants help steering clear of iDrive, and LOL cars are back.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 005
This BMW concept starts to stretch credulity with its changing colors and other silliness. But another part of the Connected Drive platform is very real and very enticing. Brian Cooley shows us another reason why BMW tops surveys when consumers are asked about connected cars.
Ever since the relaunch of BMW's big coupe, the 2003 6 series, fans of the brand had to cover their eyes when walking around the rear of the car. It lacked the sharklike style of the original 6 series, produced from the late '70s all the way through the '80s.
But the 2012 650i, just revealed in new photos from BMW, shows a car with a deemphasized trunk lip, not an exact return to the original style, but a much less offensive design. With its gracefully sloping rear roofline, you can actually say that this car looks good.
Given … Read more
BMW has announced the release of the BMW Connected app, which lets drivers use their iPhones to bring Internet applications such as Twitter, Facebook, and Internet radio stations into their vehicles. The new app works for all BMW vehicles produced after March, according to a BMW spokesperson. BMW previously launched app support in its Mini brand, with the MINI Connected app, which displays popular social media apps on the car's head unit and gives driving efficiency reports.
The BMW Connected app acts as a gateway that enables the car to replicate a specified set of iPhone app features on … Read more
The Geneva auto show is filled with signs that the industry turnaround under way in North America has reached Europe.
Automakers are bouncing back from the downturn of the past two years with a number of production vehicles and concepts in Geneva.
Volkswagen Group, helped by its new subsidiary Italdesign Giugiaro, will unveil an array of concept cars to show the industry it has the design depth, as well as the production capability and the financial strength, to topple Toyota as the world's No. 1 automaker.
BMW will debut the Vision ConnectedDrive, a futuristic roadster concept that shows how … Read more
For Geneva next week, we'll see a fat Ferrari, a faster Jaguar, and an electric Phantom. Meanwhile, Priuses, Prium, or Prii? And we find out there is an 'i' in BMW.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 205 SHOW NOTES
Get ready for a new kind of BMW. The German carmaker announced that it will develop a new line of fuel-efficient vehicles under the "i" sub-brand. BMW i will manufacture and market the yet-to-be-unveiled electric Megacity Vehicle, which will officially be called the i3. The i8, which is the Vision EfficientDynamics plug-in that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show, will also be produced by BMW i.
These future cars appear to be on opposite ends of the electric spectrum, with the i3 being a small commuter vehicle intended for densely populated cities and the i8 being something … Read more
Today in hot, fresh, buzzy news, don't panic: Libya can fire guns at protesters from helicopters, but it can't turn off all your bit.ly links. Phew, right? Also, even though the Motorola Xoom might not have Flash the day it comes out of the box, it'll have it within two weeks, so that's also a calm-down story. Plus, Amazon launches its Prime streaming service, Microsoft offers a Kinect SDK, and Apple might give a tiny little window of opportunity to Android tablets. Plus: save Chrome's URL bar! --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more