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First Look: BMW i8 Concept Spyder

Getting a charge out of battery power.

by on Apr.02, 2012

The BMW i8 plug-in sports car goes topless.

Who says battery cars have to be dull and boring?  BMW is determined to prove that electric propulsion can charge up buyers as it prepares to roll out its all-new sub-brand, BMW i.

The maker has already confirmed plans to stock the new marque’s showrooms with two models: the i3 battery-electric city car and the i8 plug-in hybrid. As TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported, we can anticipate several more models to follow – possibly including one based on the open-air prototype, the i8 Concept Spyder.

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Significantly, the maker refers to it as “the third BMW i model,” which would suggest that it will soon drop the “concept” designation and roll out a production version.

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First Look: Redesigned 2012 BMW 3-Series

Maker claims new model larger yet lighter, more fuel-efficient.

by on Oct.14, 2011

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is both larger and lighter.

BMW has pulled the covers off its next-generation 3-Series line-up, revealing a new compact line-up that it says is bigger – yet lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The new model features a revised front end that is more in line with its larger lines, including the BMW 5- and 7-Series models.

While final fuel economy numbers haven’t been released, the Bavarian maker anticipates they will be notably better than with comparable models in the outgoing 3-Series line-up – even though the 2012 versions should also deliver better performance.

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The 2012 3-Series body grows about 3.7 inches in length, with the wheelbase stretched just under 2 inches.  The front track is 1.5 inches wider, the rear 1.85 inches.  BMW claims that will be particularly obvious to rear-seat passengers, though the trunk is also more capacious.  The average model will be about 88 pounds lighter than the old 2011 3-Series versions.

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First Look: Next-gen BMW M5

“I’ve never taken the corners like that before.”

by on Aug.17, 2011

BMW's new M5 will make an impressive 560 horsepower out of its new V8.

BMW offered a quick peek at the next-generation M5 sedan, a rocket on wheels that it plans to bring to market next year.

While journalists weren’t given a chance to drive the prototype briefly revealed during a presentation at the Laguna Seca Raceway, near Monterey, California, BMW officials offered up some critical information on what M-fans can expect.

It has not yet been determined whether the new muscle car will be designated a 2012 or 2013, but model-years aside, it will feature a new 4.4-liter V-8 using dual twin-scroll turbos designed to both eliminate initial turbo lag and maximize performance once those boosters “spool up.”

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That translates into 560 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, the next-generation BMW M5 expected to launch from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds.  Notably, while horsepower will be up 10% and torque increased 20% from the prior-generation BMW M5, the upcoming model is expected to deliver as much as a 30% improvement in fuel economy due to the introduction of a variety of advanced technologies.

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First look: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

A Pyrat raises the flag.

by on Dec.09, 2010

Finally, an undisguised version of the 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe, once codenamed Pyrat.

Here it comes. Finally.  The 2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe is arguably the industry’s worst-kept secret.  But now we can finally release the details and reveal the first pictures of the smallest M-performance model ever from the Bavarians.

It’s hard to recall when the first words began to leak out of Munich suggesting the 1 M was under development – BMW opting for the awkward nomenclature to avoid any confusion with the legendary M1 supercar, designed by Giugiaro and developed by Lamborghini, whose very name has been retired.

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Early in the year a disguised 1-Series – then known by the codename Pyrat — with distinctive trim suggesting it was not your ordinary coupe was spotted exercising at Germany’s Nürburgring.  Then, in August, during the 25th anniversary celebration of the M3, at the Ascari Race resort, in Spain, an even less camouflaged version was rolled out and we were given our first ride.

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First Look: BMW X3 M Sport

Paris preview for performance version of all-new Sport-Activity Vehicle.

by on Sep.29, 2010

An all-new BMW X3 will debut alongside a performance M Sport model at the Paris Motor Show.

Though it won’t make its official debut until the Paris Motor Show’s press preview, later this week, the world has already gotten a pretty good glimpse at the second-generation X3 Sport-Activity Vehicle.

Tauter, more aggressive and more refined, it will appear in several versions at the 2010 Mondial de l’Automobile, including a performance-oriented X3 M Sport, shown here.

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Developed by the Bavarian maker’s vaunted M division, the X3 M Sport gets a number of modifications, BMW says, to its “chassis, aerodynamics, exterior and interior components (which) allow for further optimization of the exceptional dynamics of the new BMW X3 as well as lending them a visually striking look.”

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BMW Revealing Next-Gen 6-Series in Paris

Thinly disguised “concept” coupe among unveilings scheduled for debut at 2010 Mondial de l'Automobile.

by on Sep.21, 2010

An all-new version of the BMW 6-Series debuts in concept form at the Paris Motor Show.

Call it a “show car,” if you wish, but the BMW Concept 6 Series Coupe making its debut at the Mondial de l’Automobile, next week, is little more than a thinly-disguised version of the next-generation BMW 6-Series, the maker’s premium 2+2 seater.

The genesis of the show car will be readily apparent to anyone who makes it to the 2010 Paris Motor Show, at least if these advanced-release pics are any indication.  The sheet metal is a little more elegant and subtle than the prior model, which went out of production earlier this month.  Four character lines give the new coupe shape and dimension.

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There’s also less of the so-called “Bangle-butt,” the high rear deck nicknamed for former BMW design chief Chris Bangle, who introduced the wind-cheating shape on the 7-Series a decade ago.  The overall look, with the addition of 20-inch wheels, is sporty and aggressive.  While the tail is vaguely reminiscent of the 5-Series GT, the concept is decidedly coupe- rather than crossover-like.

The thinly-disguised 6-Series coupe should soon reach production.

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