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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Sep 19 2012, 4:46 PM

Recently, BMW announced its collaboration with Local Motors with the Urban Driving Experience Challenge, and now the German automaker has announced its involvement with the UR:BAN research initiative.

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 |  Aug 16 2011, 4:30 PM

The third generation Smart fortwo is on its way, hitting dealers in the spring of 2012. The electric Smart car will roll off the production line in Hamback, France and will be available in more than thirty markets worldwide when released.

The third generation smart fortwo electric drive features a fifty-five kW magneto-electric motor, churning out 130 lb-ft of torque. The fortwo will accelerate from 0-62 mph in less than thirteen seconds, and have a top speed of more than 120 km/h. The 17.6 kWh battery allows the car to travel more than 140 kilometers before needing a recharge.

“The smart fortwo has exceeded itself. It has always been a pioneer of urban mobility and with the new electric drive it is once again setting standards with even more driving fun and environmental compatibility,” says Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart. “With the new generation the frequently cited “electric era” has finally arrived.”

The third- gen Smart car will feature a larger radiator grille featuring the electric drive logo, stylish LED lights below the headlights, wider door sills and several modifications to the rear of the vehicle. Smart has also teamed up with iPhone to create a drive app. Important features include making phone calls via hands-free system, your own extensive music collection, internet radio and a navigation system.

 |  Jul 29 2011, 12:17 PM

BMW has developed two new hybrid vehicles that the German automaker says  have redefined the understanding of personal mobility with a focus on sustainability.

The i3 concept,  previously know as the Megacity,  is an all-electric car that focuses squarely on the mobility challenges in urban areas. The i8 hybrid concept is a “forward-looking, intelligent, and innovative” sports car with both an electric drive system and a fuel efficient combustion engine. The i3 is built for four passengers, and BMW’s LifeDrive architecture conjures up a feeling of space inside the car more generous then even the latest conversion vehicles can offer. The i3 features wide-opening opposing “coach” doors, and trunk capacity of around 200 liters. The electric motor is over the rear axle and can produce 170-hp with 184 lb-ft of torque. The i3 can achieve a 0-62 mph time of just under eight seconds. The i3 can achieve what BMW calls an “everday” driving range of between 130 and 160km on a single charge, with a standard charge taking six hours, although with the right equipment, an 80 percent charge can be done in one hour.

The four seater i8 concept “embodies the vision of a sustainable contemporary sports car brought to life” according to BMW. The plug-in hybrid system combines the modified electric drive system from the i3 fitted over the front axle and a high performance three cylinder engine at the rear. The engine can produce 220-hp and 221 lb-ft of torque delivering a 0-62 mph time of just under five seconds. The i8 delivers 94 mpg or three liters per 100 kilometers. The i8 can also run purely on electric power, with a driving range of 35 kilometers (20 miles) and the battery can be fully recharged in two hours at a standard power socket.

GALLERY: BMW i3 and i8

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