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The German automaker will focus next year on starting production for its i-Series according to a statement by Dr. BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer.
And Why They're Wrong
With an almost never ending list of myths and rumors, few vehicles are as misunderstood as the hybrid.
Almost every review or video posted on AutoGuide.com about a hybrid car has at least one reader comment about how the battery will deteriorate beyond repair, or that once you get a hybrid, you’re not a true driving enthusiast.
With so much misinformation about hybrid vehicles being spread around, we’ve decided to debunk six myths about gas-electric cars.
With sky-high gas prices on the horizon and increasingly strict emissions standards for car manufacturers to live up to, consumers are constantly looking for more options when it comes to fuel economy, and automakers are equally eager to deliver. For those reasons manufacturers are continuing to downsize engines. It was a tough sell for car buyers to accept four-cylinder engines instead of six-cylinders, but will they have an easier time accepting three-cylinder engines?
10. Cadillac ELR
Sports cars have often set the bar in new automotive technology and trends. Things like dual-clutch transmissions and forced induction engines were practically engineered for the sole purpose of taking a sports car to the absolute edge of excitement and danger.
At this year’s LEGO Kids Fest in Munich, the BMW Group teamed up with LEGO to build a life-sized replica of the BMW i8 Concept vehicle. The upcoming hybrid sports car will undoubtedly be one of BMW’s hottest featuring a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, giving it the capability of pushing out 400 hp with both systems working.
When it was initially unveiled, the BMW i8 made a splash. Its striking design and interesting drivetrain piqued interest, but after a detail drought people seem to have forgotten about the Bimmer concept in favor of more tangible fodder.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe that people won’t be instantly as hungry the second more information emerges. Most recently, former senior designer at BMW Design Works, Sonny Lim, tried his hand at rendering what the finished product might look like.
For those not in the know, the i8 is BMW’s most advanced car yet. It features a 170-hp electric motor which powers the front wheels. Powering the rear wheels is a 1.5 liter, three cylinder engine which produces 223 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.
With numbers like that, the i8 manages a 0-60 time in about 4.9 seconds, thanks to the cars relatively light weight. It’s also very quiet, something you can witness for yourself in the video.
With the car’s fuel-economic credentials, the i8 has an all electric range of 20 miles, before the three-cylinder range extender kicks in, which will apparently achieve something close to 78.5 mpg.
Check out the concept in action in the video below.
The plug-in hybrid will reportedly weigh in at 3,197 lbs with a 2+2 seating configuration and pop-up door design. Powering the i8 will be a 170-hp electric motor driving the front wheels, while a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder powers the rear wheels with 223-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Despite earlier rumors that a non-hybrid, M-variant of the i8 would be in production, ideas of a V8- or V10-powered i8 has been tossed out the window. That’s no real surprise as BMW really wishes to push the future of its technology with their i-model lineup.
And speaking of that technology, the new i8 can be front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive thanks to a clever black box. Fully charged, the BMW i8 can cover 20 miles in full-electric mode. 0-62 mph is in a mere 4.9 seconds when all 393-hp and 406 lb-ft of torque is in effect. The i8 will feature a four-speed transmission and in the European driving cycle it’s reporting 104.2-mpg.
As with most plug-in hybrids, recharge time depends on which voltage you are able to get. Standard charging time will be around six hours with high voltage allowing it to be done in less than an hour.
The German automaker anticipates the i8 to sell around 10,000 units a year and pricing will be over $130,000 (€100,000).
The production model of the BMW i8 is scheduled to make its official debut in 2014.
GALLERY: BMW i8 Spy Shots
[Source: CAR Magazine]
The BMW i8 is a highly anticipated release and this new set of spy photos shows off the door design we can expect on the German automaker’s hybrid sports car once it makes it to production.
Hinge placement seems to be the key difference between the i8′s doors and similar examples we’ve seen before. It looks as though the doors open upwards and twist, to make sure they are fully out of the way entering and exiting the vehicle.
The i8 will be powered by a 170 hp electric motor sourced from the entry-level i3, mated to a 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine producing 223 hp.
The i8 is supposed to be available come 2013. After seeing the doors already fully functioning, it seems likely that this hybrid sports car will be here soon. We’ll be sure to bring you details as they emerge.
GALLERY: BMW i8
Looking not all that far from a production model, BMW is out testing its plug-in hybrid sports car in the European arctic. These spy photos, show the camo-clad i8, the flagship of BMW’s upcoming lineup of fuel-efficient alternative energy models.
Using the 170 hp electric motor from the entry-level i3, the i8 adds a 3-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with 223 hp. With power going to the rear wheels BMW says the i8 will deliver a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds, with a 22 mile electric range and an overall 78 mpg rating.
It may seem like a distant reality, but BMW has announced the i8 will go on sale in two year’s time.
GALLERY: BMW i8 Spy Photos
With concepts like the F800 and F125 Style (shown) teasing us over the last few years, it appeared that Mercedes-Benz was indeed putting together an exotic, lightweight, fuel cell powered sedan.
Now details have emerged that this vehicle, dubbed the Mercedes E Superlight, which will incorporate ideas from both those concepts is headed for production, due for a release sometime in late 2015. The E Superlight aims to take on Audi’s e-Tron and BMW’s upcoming i8 but will be more advanced than either, employing a very stiff and light carbon fiber structure (allowing for pillarless doors, the rears hinged in coach fashion) and possibly a drivetrain and suspension assembly that’s fully integrated into said structure.
In terms of propulsion, the E Superlight is expected to bow with a 150 horsepower fuel cell, driving the rear wheels in conjunction with a 50 hp electric motor, though conventional gas/diesel engines and possibly a plug-in Hybrid derivative are expected to follow suit.
Mercedes has set fairly ambitous production targets for the E Superlight, aiming to reach series production of some 20,000 units by 2017. However, despite extensive company research and development in fuel cell technology, it will likely be a struggle to achieve that goal, since consumer acceptance and lack of progress on infrastructure development remain two major challenges for fuel cell vehicles.
That said, even a gas or diesel powered E Superlight would make for one interesting and perhaps revolutionary intermediate luxury sedan, a car that could perhaps prove a real game changer in the segment.
[Source: Car Magazine]
BMW is turning to Brilliance Jinbei Automobile, an already-established Chinese partner, to work their way around new legislation aimed at promoting Chinese cars.
Ian Robertson, director of sales and marketing for BMW told Automotive News Europe said the new brand, which will exist solely to sell electric vehicles in China, will only use limited BMW technology. That decision is in contrast to the i3 and i8 cars BMW plans to release in other markets, including the North America and Europe.
This isn’t the first time BMW and Brilliance have worked together to market a vehicle in China. Last April we reported a story on a 5-series plug-in hybrid meant for Chinese markets that the companies worked together on.
With the launch of BMW‘s next-generation i-models, the German car manufacturer is also looking for new ways to sell its lineup of green machines. Tim Abbott, BMW’s UK Managing Director, has expressed an interest in more flexible test drive times, a mobile sales force for the i-models, and turning to the Internet for online sales.
Abbott spoke about how test drives could become more flexible, with catering to customers at odd hours of the day and taking the vehicle to them for a test drive. But more importantly is BMW’s hope to turn online for future car sales for the BMW brand. “That could even stretch to selling cars online, with the back up of our existing dealers of course. eBay manages it, so why can’t manufacturers sell cars online too?” Abbott said.
Lastly, BMW is also looking into changing the usual three-year buying cycle around, possibly offering customers the ability to swap out their electric vehicles for a more flexible sedan (5-Series for example) when the customer wants to take a long trip. Essentially a system of car swapping could be possible with just a 12-hour notice.
Will BMW successfully spearhead the change of convention dealerships and having to deal with a physical salesperson to purchase a car? We sure hope so, everything else can be bought online these days.
GALLERY: BMW i3 and i8
This may look like a BMW 7-Series sedan with some oddball rims, but our spy photographers report that the vehicle in question is actually a prototype for a new BMW i sedan, based on a couple key points.
For starters, there are apparently electric motors mounted in the wheel hubs, which would suggest a new kind of electric propulsion system previously unseen on a BMW. Furthermore, the front and rear fenders look like they’ve been radically altered to fit the vehicle, which further suggests some alien technology lurking underneath the sheetmetal.
If we had to guess, we’d say that BMW is preparing something to bring the fight to the Tesla Model S and Fisker Karma, but there’s very little information to go on at this time.
GALLERY: BMW i Large Sedan
Star of the upcoming movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Paula Patton, was on hand in helping introduce the North American debut of BMW’s i3 and i8 Concepts. Neither of these concepts are new to us, having seen them in detail at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s understandable with the i8 playing a major role in the upcoming movie why BMW would give it center stage at the LA Auto Show.
Both the i3 and i8 Concepts are derived from BMW’s LifeDrive Vehicle Architecture incorporating a Life Module with a carbon fiber passenger compartment. The i8 features a 170-hp electric drive motor in the front while a 220-hp three-cylinder gas motor powers the rear. With a 50/50 weight distribution, BMW continued to boast that the i8 can have an estimated 78-mpg, delivering the performance of an M3 with the interior space of a 6-Series. BMW also reiterated that they will have a production model ready to show to the world by 2014.
The smaller i3 features a 170-hp electric drive engine with 184 lb-ft of torque and promises up to a 100-mile range that can be doubled with a range extender. A full charge of the i3 can be had in just four hours on a 220-volt charger, while an 80-percent charge can be obtained in just a single hour with a high speed charger. BMW announced that they plan to have a production vehicle based on the i3 Concept by the end of 2013.
Also making its North American premiere was BMW’s M5, though we’ve probably seen more than enough of it already. Worth noting was that BMW brought one out in a matte silver metallic finish and it sounded great rolling out to the show floor.