Although we've seen a trend toward small cars at the Paris Motor Show from traditional economy car companies, entrants from BMW and Audi signify that the trend is important enough to interest these premium car companies. BMW showed off the X1 small SUV concept, while Audi came to the show with its A1 city car concept. Mini also enters a new small car at the show, but its concept is actually bigger that its current model line-up, showing Mini has nowhere to go but up.
Following on the recent announcement by Mercedes-Benz of its mild hybrid sedan with lithium ion batteries, BMW announced its own mild hybrid sedan with lithium ion batteries.
Although it may sound like cutthroat competition, it's more conspiracy, as Daimler and BMW co-developed their hybrid components. And where Mercedes-Benz announced a production car, BMW is still at the concept stage with its Concept 7-series ActiveHybrid. But in keeping with its sport aspirations, the BMW shows no compromise in power, using a twin-turbo V-8 assisted by the mild hybrid system. The twin-turbo V-8 delivers 407 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, … Read more
Texting is more dangerous than drunken driving, Mercedes rolls out a hybrid, BMW puts Google search in the dash, and we drive the Porsche Cayenne GTS.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES
BMW has been telling us that the iDrive interface will be upgraded soon. It's even given us a peak at the next generation of vehicles. It looks like BMW owners will be getting a double dose of new cabin tech as BMW has just announced that the BMW Assist feature will be upgraded with a search feature to be powered by search engine giant Google.
In actuality, the Bavarian automaker has also been teasing us with information about its partnership with Google since the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show, but only recently announced final details of a production implementation.
After … Read more
Autocar.co.uk reports that BMW has confirmed--in a statement by CEO Norbert Reithofer--that it is developing a tiny city car in response to increasing demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Reithofer states that the vehicle will be drastically different from any of BMW's current offerings and that it will be motivated by either of two powerplants: a small, efficient internal-combustion engine or an all-electric drivetrain with a range of 200 miles. The electric drivetrain will be created to meet California's requirement that all major automakers offer a zero-emissions vehicle by 2012.
Finer details are still up in the … Read more
It must be SEMA Show time again, because we're seeing the beginnings of an aftermarket accessory flood. Some of these products are useful, some aren't. AC Schnitzer, purveyor of aftermarket accessories, has just released a new LCD shift knob for manually shifted BMWs and Minis that we think falls into the latter category.
The red illuminated LCD screen on the top of the new shift knob displays the gear the vehicle is in up to sixth. The only connection to the vehicle are the wires for 12V power, so the LCD shift knob uses an accelerometer to determine … Read more
We reviewed the BMW M3 Coupe with a manual transmission and the full load of cabin tech back in April, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to test out another one, this time the 2008 BMW M3 Convertible with the new double-clutch transmission. Although our convertible M3 lacked the cabin tech options, not even having the programmable M button on the steering wheel, it still proved a remarkable car to drive with all the performance capabilities of the loaded version. And we didn't think it possible to improve on the M3's performance, but the double-clutch transmission … Read more
Except for its price, the 2008 BMW 128i Convertible may be the least BMW-like car from the automaker. Oh, it does have all the cutting-edge tech found in BMW's other models, including a pop-up LCD that is surprisingly immune to glare. But where its turbo-charged brother, the 135i, feels glued to the road, the 128i Convertible's wheels seem to stretch away from the car in the corners. And where the 135i leaps forward with smooth and hard acceleration, the 128i Convertible's power delivery feels uneven.