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Posts Tagged ‘bmw i8’

BMW Planning at Least Two More “i” Models, But What Then?

Other battery models may now go to mainstream BMW brand.

by on Oct.17, 2016

The i8 Spyder concept will likely undergo significant changes before the Roadster debuts in 2018.

BMW will launch two more models for its cutting-edge i brand over the next five years, starting with a 2018 roadster based on the next-generation i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. A version of the iNext concept vehicle will follow three years later.

That falls well short of the broad, electrified product line-up the maker had hinted was in the works only a few years ago, however. There are no signs of the i4 and i5 models that some sources once reported were in the works.

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Is BMW just keeping them under tight wraps? Have they been abandoned? Or has the maker simply shifted strategy, preferring to put more of its battery-based models – including pure electric and plug-in hybrids – into the mainstream BMW brand, rather than into the niche i marque?

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Grand Cherokee, i8, F-150 Nab Green Car Awards

Vehicles vanquish tough competition to take top honors.

by on Jan.22, 2015

BMW's i8 captured the Luxury Green Car of the Year for 2015 from the Green Car Journal.

The automotive award season continued today with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, BMW i8 and F-150 all taking home Green Car awards during at the Washington D.C. Auto Show.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel was named Green SUV of the Year and the i8, a plug-in hybrid sports car, was named Luxury Green Car. The F-150 captured the Green Car Technology award for its new design, including the use of aluminum that cut 700 pounds off the truck.

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“These are truly commendable vehicles representing the ‘best-of-the-best’ in so many ways,” said Ron Cogan, publisher of the Green Car Journal, in a statement. “The auto industry’s very early focus on small cars and efficiency-for-environment tradeoffs has evolved to now include a more dynamic field of ‘greener’ models in all vehicle classes.” (more…)

Tesla May Collaborate with BMW

Makers could share batteries, carbon-fiber components.

by on Nov.24, 2014

Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent TV appearance.

(This story has been revised to reflect comments by BMW.)

Battery-carmaker Tesla Motors has begun discussing a possible collaboration with Germany’s BMW AG, according to the U.S. company’s CEO Elon Musk.

The two makers are discussing the use of sharing batteries and the lightweight components that can help improve vehicle range. The news comes a month after Germany’s Daimler AG sold off its 4% stake in Tesla.

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“We are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations,” Musk said in an interview with the German news weekly Der Spiegel.

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Ford F-150, BMW i8 Capture Innovation Vehicle Awards

Motor Press Guild chooses vehicles from 13 finalists.

by on Nov.20, 2014

BMW's new i8 captured the Innovation Vehicle of the Year award for the over $30,000 category from the Motor Press Guild.

The Motor Press Guild stretched the parameters a bit, but the new 2015 Ford F-150 and BMW i8 walked off with its 2014 Innovation Vehicle of the Year (IVY) Awards in Los Angeles yesterday.

The F-150 captured the title for vehicles in the under $30,000 class – even though its average transaction price is expected to be closer to $40,000 – while the 2014 BMW i8 claimed the award for the $30,000 and over category.

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The two winners were from selected a group of 13 finalists assembled by a panel of judges. (more…)

BMW’s i8 Elevates Maker’s Image in Germany

Hybrid electric improves company’s cool factor.

by on Aug.21, 2014

BMW's new i8 is raising the company's profile among new car buyers in Germany.

BMW’s new i8 is a cutting edge vehicle using new technologies to make it the among the most impressive hybrid electrics on the road. However, few vehicles capture the public’s imagination without great advertising campaigns and, in Germany, the maker seems to be making an impact with the i8.

According to a study by Pulse, a German market research agency, 44% of German car buyers were aware of BMW’s i8 advertising campaign in Germany and that it reinforced the future competence and “coolness” of the BMW brand.

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That number rises to 58% when only BMW owners are polled. Additionally, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota drivers came in above the 44% mark, which indicates that the i8 campaign is BMW is impacting drivers of competing brands. (more…)

BMW Studies Options for an M Hybrid

But near-term focus is on downsized, turbocharged engines.

by on Jun.10, 2014

The 2015 BMW M3 gets a smaller, turbo engine.

Among the many products offered by a marque that bills itself “the ultimate driving machine,” it’s those branded with the vaunted “M” badge that best live up to that boast.

In recent years, BMW has significantly expanded its line-up of M offerings, including the new M3 and M4 models that go on sale this month. But those two high performance products reveal an ongoing shift in strategy for the M brand-within-a-brand, a move away from big-block naturally aspirated engines, to more technically sophisticated powertrains that are downsized and turbocharged.

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BMW is by no means alone. There have been reports that General Motors may take a similar route with the next-generation Corvette. But in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, the chief engineer for BMW’s M line revealed the subsidiary is giving serious consideration to going a step further with hybrids and other battery-based powertrains.

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Ford Unveils Ultra-Light Fusion Sedan Concept

Prototype could influence future Fusion and other models.

by on Jun.04, 2014

Ford's Lightweight Concept could foretell changes to come in the maker's line-up.

When Ford’s new F-150 pickup comes to market later this year it will shed as much as 700 pounds, a move that is expected to yield significant improvements in both performance and fuel economy. And now, the automaker is hinting it has even more aggressive plans in mind for a future version of its popular midsize model, the Fusion.

The Detroit maker is showing off a new, super-light version of the sedan that makes use of aluminum and other materials to drop a full 800 pounds compared to the current Fusion. And though there are no immediate plans to put the prototype into production, it will influence future product development programs.

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Part of Ford’s so-called Blueprint for Sustainability, the project reflects a growing focus on lightweighting, the auto industry’s way of saying that vehicles have to go on a diet if manufacturers hope to meet the tough new fuel economy standards coming into effect in the U.S. over the next decade, as well as stiffer CO2 emissions rules in Europe. The good news for consumers is that by reducing weight a vehicle like the Fusion won’t necessarily have to be downsized to achieve significant improvements in mileage.

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BMW and Partner Will Triple Production of Carbon Fiber

Big plans for lightweight material.

by on May.09, 2014

BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is one of several models making extensive use of carbon fiber.

BMW and its partner SGL Automotive plan to triple their production of carbon fiber, a lightweight, but traditional expensive, material that many believe could be crucial to meeting future emissions and mileage mandates – and to making battery-electric vehicles, such as the BMW i3 and i8, more acceptable to consumers.

A number of automakers, including Toyota and General Motors, have been looking for ways to both lower the cost of, while also expanding production of, carbon fiber.

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But BMW has one of the most ambitious programs underway with SGL’s assistance, the partners operating plants in both Moses Lake, Washington and in Germany. The U.S. plant will now benefit from an additional investment of $200 million and is expected to become the world’s larger producer of carbon fiber reinforced plastics, or CFRP.

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China, Europe Lead BMW to Q1 Profitability

Maker seeks to remain atop the luxury vehicle hill.

by on May.06, 2014

BMW said its X family, including the X3, helped the Bavarian maker to a sales increase in the first quarter of this year.

BMW turned strong sales in China and a nice rebound in Europe into an 8.4% increase in profit before taxes in the first quarter of the year. The news is even better when going straight to the bottom line as the group’s net profit was up 11.4% on a year-over-year basis.

First-quarter sales in Europe rose 3.4% to 214,210 units from last year’s 207,243 units. Asia sales were up 21.8% to 158,582 units with China leading the charge with a 25.4% increase in deliveries to 108,143 units.

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Earnings rose to 1.46 billion euros ($2.03 billion) from 1.31 billion euros in the same quarter a year earlier. The figure was higher than the 1.35 billion euros consensus expectation among analysts surveyed by financial information provider FactSet, according to Reuters. (more…)

Driving the new BMW i8

Reinventing the sports car.

by on May.06, 2014

BMW's i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is expected to roll off the production line this summer with the first deliveries in Europe.

The BMW i8 may look more like a concept than a production car, but it really is street legal. BMW’s first plug-in hybrid sports car has just begun rolling down the maker’s assembly line in Leipzig, Germany, and will soon join the i3 city car as the foundation of an all-new, brand-within-a-brand of battery-based vehicles, collectively known as BMW i.

The appeal of the i8 is not just in it’s distinctive, carbon-fiber skin. Beneath that futuristic body, the i8 boasts game-changing technology that could revolutionize the sports car segment – a good reason for TheDetroitBureau.com to head off for some time behind the wheel before it officially goes on sale next month in Europe.

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One thing is certain, the i8 has to live up to some grand expectations. Sales of the plug-in sports car have already exceeded BMW’s original forecast, so the Bavarians have decided to ramp up production. Exactly how many will it sell? BMW isn’t saying for sure, though it’s expected this year’s production will run between 3,000 and 3,500 units. (more…)