BMW released details and photos of its new 3-series, purportedly a mid-cycle face-lift. However, we found some impressive changes and new options. BMW will offer a twin-turbo diesel version available in all 50 states. The dashboard electronics get updated with a new iDrive interface, and the navigation system gets a hard drive, with space left over for music storage.
Even after driving the 2008 BMW X6 for a week, we're still not sure what to make of it. BMW's marketing campaign calls it the coupe's evil twin, but with the 3-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder in our xDrive35i model, it doesn't feel particularly diabolical. It seems more like the coupe's fatter twin, although it might refer to itself as merely big-boned. But it does handle like a BMW, which is to say, excellently, and certainly doesn't look like an SUV, so you don't have to live with that stigma. The front seats are … Read more
Spurred by tough environmental rules and high fuel prices, European automakers and suppliers have launched a bevy of electric-vehicle programs.
-- Daimler said it will bring an electric version of its Smart minicar to market in 2010. The company also is considering electric versions of Mercedes-Benz A- and B-class cars.
-- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, in partnership with Mitsubishi, said it aims to produce electric models in two years.
-- Renault plans to sell electric cars in Denmark by 2011. The French company is working with its Nissan affiliate and the Japanese battery manufacturer NEC.
-- Bosch, the world's largest auto … Read more
If you had any doubts about an upcoming era of electric cars, put them aside. BMW announced it is testing electric powertrains in the Mini Cooper. Over the next year and a half, BMW will use a fleet of several hundred Minis to experiment with electric drive systems and, according to the press release, "determine the alternative drive of the future." If any company can do it, it's BMW. There are no current details about what motors and types of batteries BMW will use, but the company promises details by the end of the year.
The turbo has always been taboo for BMW's high-performance M models. But that may change.
Although BMW has preferred high-revolution, naturally aspirated engines, the next M5, due in 2011, is expected to get a twin-turbo V-8 instead of a naturally aspirated V-10, insiders say.
Variations of the twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 that powers the X6 premium crossover have been tested with good results, an insider said.
A source also said the company has had "good experience with the performance characteristics" of the X6 base engine, a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder biturbo. It comes "very close to a … Read more
For years, BMW has heard complaints from automotive editors and enthusiasts about its iDrive control system, the interface for accessing infotainment and car functions in BMW models. But with the introduction of the new 7-series, iDrive gets a radical transformation. We don't have too much to go on, mostly a picture of the new main screen for iDrive, in German, no less, and some details from the news release. The controller for iDrive remains the same, a big knob with joystick functionality. BMW adds to that hardware a set of dedicated buttons for immediate access to the radio, CD, … Read more
It's all the goodies from the Crave blog. Natali Del Conte joins Brian Tong to talk about what they still Crave with the iPhone 3G, Sony's Rolly dancing MP3 player, a BMW concept car made of fabric, and a robot you can make out with!
If you've seen the latest Knight Rider series recently, you may have noticed that K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand) embraces a type of nano technology that lets its outer shell change colors and temporarily morph into other car forms. How cool is that? If BMW has its way, that part of the reel world would be made real.
The carmaker's GINA Light Visionary Model, a two-seater concept car, wears a flexible, virtually seamless skin made of a textile fabric and stretched over a metal wire structure enforced with carbon fiber. This gives the owner the … Read more
To celebrate the conclusion of Kanye West's "Glow in the Dark" tour featuring Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna, and N.E.R.D., watch manufacturer Nooka will produce a very limited glow in the dark version of their popular Zub watch. When we say "very limited," we mean it--only 15 pieces were made and most of them will find their home with Kanye himself, so abandon all hope of picking up one of these unique watches. Nice to look at though, right?The Zub is one of Nooka's many timepieces to use linear and graphic figures … Read more
Two sketches of the next Rolls-Royce model, code-named RR4, were released today, showing a car with a meaty body and squashed cab. Of the new car, chief designer Ian Cameron said "The RR4 has a more informal presence than the Phantom models with a greater emphasis on driving. In design terms this is expressed through its slightly smaller dimensions and more organic form, yet with powerful, purposeful proportions." From the sketches, it looks as if the RR4 will be a four-door sedan with a less blocky grille than the current Phantom model, but will still sport the Spirit … Read more