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first drive


Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Recalls, Safety, BMW, Luxury

8036bmw i8 BMW i8 recalled over possible fuel leak

Some 223 examples of the 2014 BMW i8, built between May 16, 2014 and September 16, 2014, are being recalled over a potential fuel leak. A bolt used to secure a ground cable from the chassis structure to the fuel tank could have been welded improperly; if so, gas might leak from the tank.

The recall began in November, so if any of you owner types aren’t aware by now, you can take your i8 to the dealer for replacement of the fuel tank if necessary. A bulletin from the National Highway Transportation Administration below has more details.


Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, BMW, Luxury

41efbmw i8s More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year

The BMW i8 recently won the BMW Top News Technology of the Year award, and it’s going to get even better. In October, Automobile magazine reported that BMW’s i brand is working on an i8S that would be stiffer and more powerful, and celebrate the marque’s centenary in 2016. At the time, one of two power unit combinations was suggested, either one of them good for more than 500 horsepower.

Car magazine has added more info on the coupe said to be called Project M100, saying that in addition to being a birthday gift for BMW, it will also be a going-away statement to current chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is expected to retire in 2016 or 2017. It will also be so thoroughly reworked that there will be plenty of daylight between it and the standard i8: a more integrated carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a wider range of materials used in the build, a larger luggage bay due to the omission of rear seats, a more aggressive suspension supporting heartier brakes and wider tires, and – perhaps – a different aero and ground-effects package to be visually different and make the most of the alterations.

As for that power unit, Car says that the two options mentioned by Automobile are still under consideration, being either a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder with 320 horsepower and a 204-hp electric motor, or a 3.0-liter straight six with 480 hp and a 109 hp. Either choice gets an integrated starter motor good for another 27 hp, and a total torque number of roughly 520 pound-feet, 100 additional lb-ft than the current car. Word is that it will be shown for the centenary in 2016 then go on sale by the end of 2017.

More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year originally appeared on BMW Top News on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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

ac432015 bmw i8 fd 2015 BMW i8: BMW Top News Technology of the Year finalist

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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Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, BMW, Technology

b6ff01 2014 bmw i3 fd 1 BMW i5 could get Toyota sourced hydrogen power

It’s starting to feel like the automotive landscape is right on the cusp of a boom in hydrogen-fueled vehicles. After all, the Toyota FCV is nearly ready, Volkswagen is readying a fuel cell concept for this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show and Hyundai already sells its Tucson Fuel Cell. The next big name to add to that list might be ‚ÄčBMW, as the company’s co-development deal with Toyota starts to bear fruit.

According to Autocar, BMW may use a version of the fuel cell system from the Toyota FCV in the future i5. As part of its eco-oriented i sub-brand, the i5 is expected to be a stretched version of the i3 (pictured above) with extra rear legroom and cargo space. It’s unclear at the moment whether a battery-powered pure electric powertrain will also be available. If accurate, then the rumor could give the Bavarian brand a counterattack against Mercedes-Benz‘ planned fuel cell vehicle in 2017.

BMW and Toyota first signed the memorandum of understanding to co-develop fuel cells, lightweight technology and a sports car back in 2012, and they made the arrangement official in late 2013. So far, few details on the progress of the work have been disclosed, but the performance model has been rumored to use a front-engine, all-wheel drive layout with supercapacitors.

BMW i5 could get Toyota-sourced hydrogen power originally appeared on BMW Top News on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Motorsports, Government/Legal, Crossover, BMW, Luxury

d681u turn banner What you missed on 10.13.14

First Drive: 2015 BMW X61f9b2015 bmw x6 fd What you missed on 10.13.14

The sweptback roofline with an SUV footprint has befuddled some observers and bewitched some buyers, ever since BMW added its X6 Sports Activity Coupe to the lineup. For the 2015 model year, the X6 enters a new generation of technology, luxurious insides and power, though it’s hard to tell from the sheet metal. Drive along with us as we take our first steer of the bi-polar BMW, here.

Red light cameras down, speed camera use up4c03471009841 What you missed on 10.13.14

The last few decades have seen drivers across the globe face the realities of remote traffic policing. While both red light cameras and the speed-calculating kind are still less prevalent in some areas of the US than in Europe, their use cannot be denied. Yet, the most recent reports seem to indicate that one version of this electronic constabulary is more successful than the other, and is looking at a positive growth trend in years to come. Speeders beware.

F1 Race Recap: 2014 Russian Grand Prix7ff1rgp01 What you missed on 10.13.14

As is the case with so many tilts in the Formula One universe, the winner in this year’s Russian Grand Prix was almost immediately obvious. Good thing for fans of the sport then that the second-place finisher was a tremendous surprise, and there was plenty of action in the middle of the pack. Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched the race by now, why are you reading this?

Top Stories

What you missed on 10.13.14 originally appeared on BMW Top News on Mon, 13 Oct 2014 19:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Ferrari

f88712 2015 ford s f 150 fd 1 Weekly Recap: Aluminum spurs controversy for Ford, Chrysler

Automakers are increasingly turning to aluminum as a way to cut weight and improve fuel economy.

Aluminum was a flammable topic this week, and its use in the 2015 Ford F-150 and potential use in the future Jeep Wrangler ignited controversy.

In both cases, it came down to money.

Ford stock took a brief hit on Wednesday when Morgan Stanley cut its price target from $16 to $14 a share, though it soon recovered later in the day. The reason? In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley said the aluminum-bodied F-150 could be a challenge to make and launches into an ultra-competitive market against entrenched products from Chevrolet, GMC and Chrysler. All of this could eat into Ford’s short- and mid-term profits, the brokerage firm said.

A Ford spokesperson said the company generally doesn’t comment on analyst reports, adding that it’s working “to deliver profitable growth for all of Ford’s stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne suggested at the Paris Motor Show that the redesigned Jeep Wrangler – which is likely still years away – could shift to an aluminum body in a bid to cut weight and improve fuel economy. That could mean relocating the Wrangler to a different factory, as retrofitting its longtime home in Toledo, OH, could prove too expensive.


Filed under: Hybrid, Safety, Technology, Hatchback, BMW, Electric

5fe101 2014 bmw i3 fd 1 BMW looking to fix i3 acceleration problem uncovered by Consumer Reports

The BMW i3 has been hailed in some quarters as the future of electric mobility, what with its innovative carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body and commitment to sustainable materials wherever possible. The modernist little hatch is even available with a 650cc two-cylinder gas engine with 34 horsepower to act as a range-extender for those who want it. However, that optional engine might have a drawback – at least for the moment.

Consumer Reports brought the problem to light when one of its drivers was behind the wheel of an i3 using the range-extender. When the driver attempted to pass another vehicle on a rolling, two-lane road, the BMW suddenly had no power to accelerate – a scary situation. CR started examining the car and found something pretty shocking: After driving at a constant speed for a while without any regenerative braking in range-extended mode, acceleration to 60 miles per hour plummeted from about 9 seconds normally to a staggering 27 to 40 seconds in their testing.

A BMW spokesperson told CR that it knows about the problem and has a fix coming next spring that also works on current models. The upgrade includes a state of charge indicator, a warning about loss of power and uses the car’s navigation to boost the battery before driving on rolling terrain. It is not clear if the severe power deficiency will also eventually result in a recall.

The issue is bad news for the i3 that is already proving quite popular, with a reported six-month waiting list to get one. However, the range-extended model already had a small hiccup in the US when BMW had to hold them at port until the EPA certified the fuel economy for the variant. It was eventually rated at 117 mpge with an estimated total range of 150 miles – 72 miles on electric power and another 78 miles with the range-extender running.

BMW looking to fix i3 acceleration problem uncovered by Consumer Reports originally appeared on BMW Top News on Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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