The new and highly anticipated 2008 BMW M3 embodies many qualities that made BMW's reputation. This rear-wheel-drive slugger leaves a little room to play with the handling, so expert drivers can learn to work with the car on track days, yet it works perfectly well in the daily commute, with many creature comforts, such as cutting-edge cabin tech and fine low-speed drivability. With its sizable trunk and usable rear seats, you could even make the argument that it is practical, as long as you ignore the fuel economy.
Plug-in hybrids are coming. General Motors, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Toyota are all coming out with gas-electric cars that can be charged from a socket.
The question now is can the grid handle it. The latest voice on the debate, Stan Hadley of the Cooling, Heating and Power Technologies Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, says it won't be easy. Hadley examined 182 scenarios on how plug-ins might be used in different regions in the U.S. between 2020 and 2030. Hadley assumed a 25 percent penetration of plug-ins by 2020.
In a worst case scenario, Hadley postulated … Read more
When driving a big sporty European sedan, such as the 2008 BMW 750i, we can't help but think we should be chasing James Bond through the Swiss Alps on some winding road while our compatriots lean out the windows and shoot at him. Of course, we know this scenario ends badly for us, with Bond pulling some kind of maneuver that will send us over a cliff with our car bursting into a ball of flame. But we can dream, can't we?
The 750i is a muscular, refined sport luxury car that sucks gas and could probably use … Read more
The Geneva auto show may be loaded with supercars, design concepts, and alternative-fuel vehicles, but it is also the launchpad for a host of new production models. This year's show saw a bunch of new models from Ford Motor Co., updates from Audi and Honda, and the return of an old favorite from VW. Check out our roundup of real-world models that debuted at the 2008 Geneva show.
BMW is the first car company to offer Web browsing as a factory option. Brian Cooley shows us how Connected iDrive works.
At the 2008 Geneva auto show, Brian Cooley takes a look at BMW's new Diesel Hybrid system on the X5: a clean-burning engine that still surprisingly packs a lot of punch.
There is a lot of talk of connected cars of late, but there are currently no OEM auto manufacturers that offer unrestricted Web access. BMW is planning to be the first to do so with an upgraded version of its ConnectedDrive system on show here in a BMW X6 the 2008 Geneva auto show. Like many other telematics systems, ConnectedDrive currently provide assistance and car services via a cellular GPRS connection, with some restricted access to the internet. Starting this year, the service will expand to offer drivers unrestricted browsing of the Web. The system on show in Geneva is … Read more
From a distance it looks just like a regular soccermom-mobile. But the car that BMW put center stage this morning at the Geneva auto show represents the German automaker's vision for fuel-efficient technologies over the next few years. The car is powered by a diesel-electric version of BMW's Adaptive Hybrid system, comprising a four-cylinder variable twin-turbo combustion engine mated to a 15 kilowatt electric motor driven by a lithium ion battery pack. BMW says that this is the first diesel engine in the world achieve an output greater than 100 horsepower per liter.
Also a first for a … Read more
As a fan of the predecessor to this current M3, the e46, I was skeptical about driving what some called a heavy, underpowered car that didn't quite live up to its ancestors' legacy. A few die-hard enthusiasts, amid cracking tired Bangle jokes that are oh-so-five-years-ago, called it the MPIG, bemoaning the addition of more sensors and high-tech gadgets that added weight and deterred DIYers. And I almost bought into it.
Sure, I'll never love the look of the car like I love the e46. But the new M3 is, for better or worse, one of those cars you … Read more
We've gathered photos from our Car Tech reviews of every major automaker's software interface. These interfaces are what you see on a car's LCD, and we've covered manufacturers from Mercedes-Benz to GM. Many of the interfaces are poorly designed, probably taken straight from the original equipment manufacturer who built the car's navigation system and stereo interface. For our comparison, we concentrated on music screens, as these show on-screen buttons and fonts. Take a look and tell us which company you think offers the best and worst interface.