Tag Archive for 'BMW'

Tesla in talks with BMW about batteries, charging collaborations

Filed under: Europe, BMW, Tesla, Electric, Technology

Tesla Motor's New EV unveiled

With Toyota and Daimler no longer holding Tesla shares, the electric vehicle company might be looking for a new partner – possibly a Bavarian one. In a new interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he has had talks with BMW execs about future collaboration.

We are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations,” Musk said in the interview, according to Reuters. However, a Tesla spokesperson has tempered things by saying no formal agreements are in place at the moment.

In the same interview, Musk reportedly praised BMW’s use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in its i sub-brand offerings, and said he would like to have a battery factory in Germany in the next five or six years.

The possibility of technological cooperation between Tesla and BMW has been a hot topic this year. In June, Musk reportedly met with BMW execs, and the two companies were also rumored to have met with Nissan to discuss charging technology. When Daimler sold off its shares, there was talk of it opening the way for possible collaboration between the two automakers, as well.

Tesla in talks with BMW about batteries, charging collaborations originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next BMW 7 Series interior spotted

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, BMW, Luxury

BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 SeriesThe next BMW 7 Series looks to be leading a rather dramatic change of the company’s interior styling, judging by this new series of spy photos.

In the trio of shots, we can see that the next 7 Series will replace the high-quality plastic buttons of the brand’s iDrive, HVAC and secondary audio controls with some very, very pretty aluminum pieces. We can also see what looks like haptic touch controls for some of the HVAC systems. While the 7 Series interior has never been bad, it’s lagged notably behind the Audi A8 and new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This brightwork should be taken as a good sign, then, that BMW is preparing to take the fight to its countrymen. Aside from the handsome new switchgear, the large, wide nav screen looks like a pop-up unit, while it appears to be running a new version of the company’s infotainment system.

These spy photos also give us our most detailed look at the 7 Series’ new laser headlights. According to our spies, these will be an optional extra, while LED headlights will be standard. The high-output lights will flank a wider pair of kidney grilles that our spies claim will give the 7 a sportier look. Changes in back are still camouflaged, although our shooters claim the new lamps will be more angular than the current car’s.

Expect the next 7 Series to make its debut in the second half of 2015, which could indicate a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Next BMW 7 Series interior spotted originally appeared on BMW Top News on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Car and Driver 10Best list cracked by Tesla Model S, BMW 3 Series left off

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Sedan, Performance, Etc., Hatchback, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Porsche, Volkswagen, Tesla

Tesla Model S

Car and Driver 10Best LogoCar and Driver is keeping new blood pumping into its annual 10Best cars list with three new entries making it on for 2015 and a perennial favorite falling off. Among the biggest shocks this year is that the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are no longer named, despite years of some portion of that lineup earning a mention. In another surprise, the Tesla Model S (specifically in S 60 trim to fit under the $80,000 cost cap) makes it to the 2015 roster and is the only electrically motivated member of the group.

Despite the loss of the 3 Series, BMW isn’t entirely shut out this year, because the M235i gets its name on the list. Car and Driver argues that the little coupe feels like a welcome throwback to the E46 chassis M3 of the early 2000s. In addition to the Model S, the final newbie to the annual group is the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The inclusion of these new members knocks the Audi A6/A7 family and Ford Fiesta ST out from the 2014 rundown.

The other seven models carry over from last year, including the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Honda Accord, Mazda3, Mazda6, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Volkswagen Golf/GTI.

The 2015 10Best cars list certainly seems to have something for everyone from the hot hatch fan to the family man and even the green car driver, thanks to the addition of the Tesla. Head over to Car and Driver to read its detailed explanations for each vehicle’s inclusion, but if you’ve got a difference of opinion or just really like the list, let us know in Comments.

Car and Driver 10Best list cracked by Tesla Model S, BMW 3 Series left off originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford, GM still doing new business with Takata amidst airbag crisis

Filed under: Safety, BMW, Ford, GM, Earnings/Financials, Technology

Germany Japan Automotive Supplier

Lengthy vehicle development times make it difficult for automakers to cut and run from the supplier.

You might expect automakers to be fleeing any connection with beleaguered supplier Takata in the wake of the company’s exploding airbag inflator crisis. After all, with a Senate hearing, pending lawsuit, plummeting stock value and demand for a national recall, the tier-one supplier isn’t at its strongest right now. However, years of cooperation mean that automakers are standing by Takata, and necessity may be playing a role, as well.

About 39 percent of Takata’s business comes from airbags, and seatbelts make up another significant chunk of the operation too, says Bloomberg. The long-term relationships and lengthy vehicle development times make it difficult for automakers to cut and run from the supplier. “Takata has so much product breadth that I don’t really see that they could just disappear,” said AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan to Bloomberg.

For example, Takata helped develop the unique front center airbag with General Motors in models like the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave. Outside of safety tech, it is also a partner with Ford on the adaptive steering system available on the upcoming 2015 Edge.

These long-lasting partnerships make change difficult now that there’s a problem. According to Reuters, automakers claim it would take a year or longer to set up with a different supplier for replacement airbag inflators. Switching to a completely different part for the repairs might not be a viable option either, because of the engineering time needed.

BMW is taking action, though. According to Reuters, the Bavarian brand is working with the supplier to move inflator production from Monclova, Mexico, to a Takata factory in Freiburg, Germany. The Mexican plant may be the source of some of the faulty parts.

Ford, GM still doing new business with Takata amidst airbag crisis originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 BMW i8: BMW Top News Technology of the Year finalist

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Electric, Luxury, Design/Style, Technology

2015 BMW i8 - front three-quarter view

Traditionally, nominations for the BMW Top News Technology of the Year award are earned for specific developments – a new-think powertrain, a uniquely developed material, a groundbreaking smartphone app, or what have you. In the case of BMW’s marvelous i8, it so bristles with novel applied sciences and fresh features that we broke with tradition and nominated the entire car.

We just couldn’t help ourselves. Oh, we could’ve focused on the i8’s carbon-fiber monocoque, or its well-resolved plug-in-hybrid powertrain that incorporates a tiny 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, or its seamless through-the-road all-wheel drive. This is a car that will even have frickin’ laser beams for headlights – at least it will for our friends in Europe (and it will in the US, should our legislators ever catch up).

It may sound odd to suggest that a six-figure sports car is a good value, but there’s an argument to be made. The i8 isn’t just a bit of street theater that stops traffic better than any Lamborghini or Ferrari. It also has performance that’s comparable to far more conventional automobiles like Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4 (a car that isn’t that much less expensive when similarly equipped), yet it offers whisper-quiet, gas-free electric commuting, too.

The BMW Top News team tested the i8 exhaustively this fall, from dynamics testing on Northern Michigan’s undulating Tunnel of Trees route to assessing ride quality and fuel economy during long interstate slogs, to poring over all of its menu-driven features and various drive modes. It’s the real deal, and it looks, sounds, and drives like the future.

In the end, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to nominate a single aspect of BMW’s exotic yet surprisingly livable sports coupe – it had to be the whole package. Can you blame us?

2015 BMW i8: BMW Top News Technology of the Year finalist originally appeared on BMW Top News on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2016 X6 M brings the power at LA show

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Performance, SUV, Crossover, BMW, Luxury

2016 BMW X6 M

BMW tore the cover off the second generation 2016 X6 M Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

BMW tuned the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to push out 567 horsepower, up from the last model’s 555 hp. Torque also leaps to 553 pound feet, compared with the previous output of 500 lb-ft. The V8 is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which swaps in for the old six-speed. This potent powertrain allows the crossover to hit 60 miles per hour in about four seconds.

The X6, which features slightly more dramatic styling and an angled rear roofline, debuted alongside the more conventionally styled 2016 BMW X5 M at the LA show.

Crossover and performance buyers alike will enjoy the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which allows 100 percent of the power to be distributed to the front or rear axles. The M treatment is evident in the exterior design, which features flared wheel arches, 21-inch wheels, prominent air intakes in front and quad exhaust pipes in rear. The X6 M starts at $103,050 when it arrives in dealers next year.

2016 BMW X5 M is big and bold, not beautiful

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Performance, Crossover, BMW, Luxury

2016 BMW X5 M

Awesome as it is, the BMW X5 M has never really been an attractive machine. Big and bulgy are the themes here, and that’s only more pronounced with the X5’s most recent refresh. But no matter, the X5 M has never been about looks – for this machine, it’s all about performance, and BMW’s hi-po crossover absolutely delivers in this regard.

Under the hood is the familiar 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8, though power has been boosted to 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque – healthy increases of 12 and 53, respectively, compared to the outgoing model. Hitting 60 miles per hour is said to take just four seconds, which is damn impressive considering this thing weighs well over 5,000 pounds.

But the X5 M has always been shockingly good to drive, with limits you’ll never reach except in the most hardcore track scenarios (which we’d really like to see, by the way). It’s not the prettiest thing ever, but that’s okay. It’s not exactly cheap, though, with prices starting at $99,650. Woof.