2019 BMW X5 Priced from $61,695

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The next-gen BMW X5 may not look much different than its predecessor, but its changes are more than skin deep. The midsize crossover sits on a new architecture, runs on updated engines, and receives a new off-road package. Prices have also increased, with the xDrive40i model starting at $61,695.

That’s up $1,200 from the previous V-6 model with all-wheel drive. The previous-generation entry-level 35i model packed a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. But the new xDrive40i gets 335 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque.

For more power, buyers can upgrade to the 50i xDrive, which starts at $76,745, up from $75,045. The model receives a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 456 hp, an increase from 445 hp, and the same 479 lb-ft of torque.

Standard features on the 2019 BMW X5 include two 12.3-inch digital displays, adaptive full LED headlamps, a panoramic glass sunroof, active blind spot detection, frontal collision warning with city collision mitigation, and the latest generation BMW iDrive operating system. Also available are laser lights, remote engine start, heated steering wheel and armrests, and heated and cooled cupholders. A new off-road package brings along an air suspension and mechanical rear locking differential.

Expect other versions of the X5 down the line. BMW is expected to introduce a four-cylinder engine, a diesel variant, and an M version. A plug-in hybrid model will arrive for the 2020 model year.

Here’s your first look at the next BMW X5

By Vijay Pattni - Top Gear

This isn’t the new, fourth-generation BMW X5 SUV. It is a prototype version of the new, fourth-generation BMW X5 SUV, which is set to be revealed later on this year.

And, as you can see, it likes to jump around. BMW has released a set of images showcasing the gruelling training regime its new SUV is undertaking to make sure it’s fighting fit. Yeah, we’re gonna need a montage.

Apparently, the next X5 will feature “new suspension and chassis systems” that allow the SUV to adapt to whatever terrain you throw at it, “be it snow, sand, rocks or gravel roads”. Should also work exceedingly well on that other terrain of ‘massively-potholed-and-congested-road-to-my-child’s-school’.

We’re told the new X5 has tested at BMW’s winter centre in Sweden, on gravel tracks in South Africa and in America’s deserts. It’s even been on a high-speed circuit in Talladega and at that Other Scary Racetrack in Germany. Name escapes us.

Those last couple of places give an insight into just how important pointiness is to the new BMW SUV. Indeed, BMW says adaptive M suspension and ‘integral active steering’ will be offered for the first time on the X5 with the new generation.

The very first X5 of course, kind of set a standard for how a big, heavy SUV can bend physics to its will, with many other carmakers following suit. These days everyone’s going on about sporting ability in their 4x4s.

Stay tuned for more…

BMW unveils the most powerful M5 super sedan ever

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By Benjamin Zhang - Business Insider

BMW's legendary M5 sports sedan just got even better. On Tuesday, the Bavarian automaker unveiled the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition Sedan.

With a 617 horsepower, 4.4-liter, turbocharged V8 under the hood, it's the most powerful M5 ever produced. According to BMW, the Competition Sedan can hit 60 mph in a brisk 3.1 seconds while the sprint to 124 mph from a standstill happens in just 10.8 seconds. The Bimmer will eventually reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. However, an optional M Driver's package can raise that top speed to 189 mph.

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The M5 puts its power to the pavement through an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission and a rear-wheel-biased intelligent all-wheel-drive.

The M5 Competition Sedan along with the recently introduced M2 Competition Coupe will form a new sub-segment of uber-hot performance machines within BMW's vaunted M division.

As a result, the M5 Competition Sedan gets 17 more horsepower from the 4.4-liter V8 and can do 60 mph in 0.1 seconds quicker than the standard M5.

In addition, the Competition Sedan receives a modified high-flow exhaust system, firmer engine mounts, lower ride height, redesigned anti-roll bar mounts, lightweight alloy wheels, and optional carbon ceramic brakes.

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The M5 Competition will also receive exclusive design features like black high-gloss finishes on the door handles and M5 badging. The interior gets new seat belts and floor mats with BMW M logos. There's also an M Competition graphic that pops up on the instrument cluster at startup.

The 2019 BMW M5 Competition Sedan enters production this July and will carry a starting price of $110,995. For comparison, the standard 2018 BMW M5 starts at $102, 600.

Dyno Test Shows the 2018 BMW M5 Is Way More Powerful Than Advertised

By Kyle Chermomcha - The Drive

The much-ballyhooed 2018 BMW M5 stormed onto the scene this year with a new all-wheel-drive powertrain, a Guinness World Record for the longest continuous drift, and a twin-turbo V-8 that hit 600 horsepower for the first time in the model's history—officially. But a recent dyno test shows that BMW may be seriously underrating its flagship super sedan.

The engine is an evolution of the V-8 from the old M5, and BMW's engineers fiddled with the fuel system, turbo setup, and several other key areas to boost the stated output to 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque at the crank, which is how automakers measure and market a car's horsepower. The number at the wheels will be anywhere from ten to twenty percent lower thanks to drivetrain loss; that is, the energy used up by spinning the transmission, driveshaft, and axles

Still, the company says the heavy, luxurious four-door is capable of rocketing from 0-60 mph in a mind-melding 3.2 seconds. And just as Car & Driver found an actual 0-60 time of around 2.8 seconds in its own testing, a racing parts business in Illinois called IND Distribution brought its stock F90 M5 to a dynamometer shop following the customary break-in period to see if BMW's factory numbers lined up with reality. It's not uncommon for higher-end manufacturers to underrate their cars—see the 780-horsepower McLaren 720S.In fact, BMW itself did it with the last-gen M5. So the question is, what's the real number here?

The test showed that the 2018 BMW M5 recorded 625 horsepower and 608 pound-feet of torque at the wheels in fifth gear and Sport Plus mode. On the low end, that means the all-important crank figure is more like 680 hp—and quite possibly flirting with 700. Hilariously, the car's "Efficient" eco mode only cut the output by 15 horsepower. These are truly mad times we live in, if you can afford the $103,595 ticket to ride.

BMW Deals Detroit A Blow With Exit From North American International Auto Show

By Doron Levin - Forbes

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, hit hard last month with the exit of Mercedes-Benz as an exhibitor, will lose BMW as well, the German automaker announced on Friday.

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In a prepared statement, BMW said “In order to communicate our ideas and plans regarding future mobility in the best way – and achieve the greatest possible visibility for our products, technologies and innovations –  we are constantly examining our trade-show and engagements, while also exploring alternative platforms and formats.”  BMW declined to elaborate on the withdrawal.

The decision will be a blow to the Detroit show’s sponsor, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, and to the city, which owns the Cobo Hall convention center where the show is held.

BMW’s strongest markets are on the coasts of the United States, especially the West Coast.  The exit of the top German automakers potentially give General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., the top U.S. automakers, a chance to become more dominant at the mid-winter gathering.

Along with other European and Japanese automakers, BMW has increased its presence at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, reflecting rising consumer and media interest in technologies such as electrification and autonomous driving. This year, NAIAS altered its opening date to avoid conflict with CES, which meant it coincided with Martin Luther King Day.

While BMW and other automakers over the years have debuted new models and product innovations at auto shows such as that in Detroit, the industry increasingly is staging private media events in order to focus media attention and avoid sharing the spotlight with announcements from rival manufacturers.

“Mercedes-Benz participation at future auto shows and trade fairs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis,” said Daimler AG last month.  In recent years, manufacturers including Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover.

"I shouldn't even have to answer the question; of course, it was," Dieter Zetsche, Daimler CEO,  told Automotive News when asked whether leaving NAIAS was difficult.  Zetsche said Mercedes doesn’t have a vehicle debut that coincides with the Detroit show.

"And of course, the decisions was not primarily made by me, but finally, I had to follow the rationale."  Zetsche hinted that Mercedes could return the following year, depending on the automaker’s schedule for introducing new products.

Like NAIAS, the CES show is held in early January; both shows attract thousands of journalists from around the world, stimulating attendance.  Major auto shows held in Chicago, New York, Detroit and Los Angeles in recent years have struggled to maintain relevance to media, which covers the rise of personal mobility technology on a continuous basis rather than at exhibitions. But auto shows continue to attract large numbers of shoppers as well as a public interested in seeing and touching the industry’s latest models.

German police raid BMW in diesel emissions probe

By Charles Riley - CNN Money

German police raided BMW's headquarters in Munich on Tuesday as part of an investigation into suspected cheating on diesel emissions.

BMW (BMWYY) said in a statement that it was cooperating with authorities.

"The BMW Group takes the situation very seriously and has a significant interest in the circumstances being fully explained," the automaker said.

Prosecutors said that 100 police officers were involved in the raids, which also targeted a second BMW location in Austria. They said the investigation was continuing.

BMW has admitted updating about 11,400 vehicles -- 750d and M550d saloons -- with incorrect software that could have affected their emissions. It said it had immediately informed authorities about the error.

"The BMW Group continues to assume that the situation was caused by an incorrect allocation of the software and does not represent a deliberate attempt to manipulate exhaust emissions," it said in a statement.

The German car industry has been hard hit by emissions cheating.

BMW rival Volkswagen (VLKAY) admitted in 2015 it rigged engines to cheat on diesel emissions tests, and it has spent tens of billions of dollars to fix cars and resolve legal claims.

The scandal has prompted calls for tougher regulation of diesel cars, and hit sales in Europe.

Germany's top court recently paved the way for major cities to ban diesel vehicles, and other cities and countries are looking to do the same.

-- CNN's Nadine Schmidt contributed reporting.

BMW teases sleek new coupe for Geneva

It could be the 8 Series, or it could be the M8, or it could be something entirely different. For once, it's a mystery.

By: Andrew Krok - Road Show

Good teasers are ones where you're not quite sure what to expect. To that end, BMW deserves a gold star for one of its recent tweets.

BMW Group's Twitter account posted a new teaser this morning, promising that all will be revealed in about a week's time at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. We're not entirely sure what it is, but it appears to be a long, squat coupe that, at first glance, appears to be closer to a concept than a production model.

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This is where it gets confusing. BMW has not been shy about sending out camouflaged pictures of its upcoming 8 Series coupe, which will replace the 6 Series, so there's nothing really left to hide in that regard. Heck, BMW's already racing the M8 GTE, so it probably doesn't have to do with motorsports, either. It could be a concept previewing the production M8, but it doesn't seem angry enough for that.

Earlier this month, Motor1 reported that BMW M had a concept in store for Geneva, but it wouldn't be the M8 coupe. Motor1 believed that it might be the M8 Convertible, but I don't see any cuts along the roofline in this teaser, so it's probably not that.

Thus, we have a proper mystery on our hands. But don't fret, because it won't remain a mystery much longer -- Geneva's press days kick off on Tuesday, and we'll be on the ground bringing you every reveal as it happens. 

How six new cars will set the course BMW’s design language will follow

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By Ronan Glon - Digital Trends

The first thing people notice about a brand-new car is what it looks like. It’s big, it’s narrow, it’s ugly, it’s boring, it’s sharp, and so on.

Looks make the difference between love at first sight or hate at first sight.

We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover but it’s nearly impossible not to make a judgement when the veil comes off. Styling is as important as what’s under the sheet metal. This holds true even with the advent of new technologies, namely electrification and autonomy, because they present daring and unexpected ways for designers to shape cars.

We sat down with Adrian van Hooydonk, the BMW Group’s design boss, to get insight on how the company’s cars will evolve in the coming years. As it turns out, executives in the board room and stylists in the design studio have given this topic at least as much thought as we have.

Digital Trends: BMW’s styling has evolved considerably since the very first 3 Series arrived in the 1970s. What’s next?

  Adrian van Hooydonk - BMW Design Director

Adrian van Hooydonk - BMW Design Director

Adrian van Hooydonk: What we’re rolling out this year is going to be the next step in the BMW form language. We’re launching six new cars for the BMW brand starting with the X2. What you’ll see is the cars will still be very dynamic and elegant, we’ll still have the so-called shark nose in the front. In general, the form language will become cleaner with fewer lines. The lines that we will have will be sharper than before and more precise.

We’ll also clean things up quite a bit in the interior. You’ll see fewer switches, fewer buttons, and more digital cockpits coming from us this year. Like, I said, there will be six new cars. Some very important ones like the 8 Series, for example, and the new Z4. At the end of this year, you will have a good and complete overview of where we want to take the brand in the next generation.

Which styling cues do you always try to include when you start designing a car?

At BMW, there is actually no rule set in stone. Of course, we do have a very recognizable front end with the grille and the double round headlamps. We have a very recognizable window side graphic, and also very recognizable tail lamps.

“Even a three-year old can recognize a BMW in traffic…”

But within that, I think you see that we have developed quite a lot of variation and that’s what you’re going to see also this year as we open a new chapter in our form language. Each of the cars will be identifiable as a BMW through these elements but they will also differentiate from one another. You will be able to see in the rear-view mirror not only that it’s a BMW but also what model it is.

Even iconic elements, like the grille and the lamps. You’re going to see a lot of differentiation and interpretations of the theme from us this year.

You said you have no rules set in stone. Can you imagine a BMW without the twin-kidney grille?

No, I cannot. We looked at that, actually, when we started developing our electric range. In those vehicles, especially the i3, we don’t need the grille anymore to take air in like in our other products. So, we really looked at that, but in the end, you see the result still does have something that looks like a kidney-shaped grille because it simply makes our brand so recognizable. Even a three-year old can recognize a BMW in traffic, and there’s no amount of advertising you can do to get you that. We didn’t want to give it up.

BMW is moving towards autonomy. Does a car still need to look dynamic if it’s driving itself?

I think it should. The way we are approaching autonomous drive is that it will become a natural part of what our cars are able to do. In the next vehicle generation, you will see our cars becoming more intelligent and autonomous drive is just the highest form of that. They will one day be so intelligent that they’ll know the road and know what to do. They will only do so when the driver wants that.

In the foreseeable future, we will always offer a steering wheel and basically develop the car for people to enjoy driving it themselves. But we know full well that if you have an eight-hour drive, you don’t mind the car taking over for two or three hours because you can do other stuff. It will change the way the cars look, especially in the interior, but I don’t see any reason why a BMW shouldn’t look elegant or dynamic on the outside. Even when we think about shared mobility, we find that people do want to know what kind of car they’re going to use. They do care about looks.

Part of what stands out to the i3 are the natural materials BMW uses to build the interior. Will we see similar materials on upcoming i-badged models?

“We see [the i brand] as an incubator for all things new, not just electric mobility.”

With the i3, we pushed the border quite far in terms of energy efficiency in design and also sustainability in design. The materials you’re talking about are part of that. We wanted to know exactly how all these materials were made, how they can be recycled, and we wanted to really take new roads in how you portray luxury in the i3. Our leather is colored in a sustainable way. The door panels are made out of dried and pressed grass, which grows very fast. We came to these ideas by analyzing how cars are built today and by sometimes leaving two layers off. Of course, it took us a long time to develop everything and make it production-ready. It’s an aspect I like a lot, too.

It shows how the BMW group sees the i brand. We see it as an incubator for all things new, not just electric mobility.

One of the models you’re preparing to launch is the X7. Was it difficult to apply BMW’s design language to such a big vehicle?

No, that’s what we really like to do. Extending the range is less difficult than doing a successor because you can really add something new to the brand.

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When you do develop a successor, what’s the most challenging part of jumping from one generation to the next?

For us, doing a new car is always an opportunity to push for more modernity in the brand. BMW, of course, has a 100-year long history and tradition. If you go back you’ll see that, over time, the look and feel of the brand has changed quite a lot but the essence, what the brand stands for, has been kept. That’s our approach. And, then you see that during our history we changed the design on an almost decade-by-decade basis. Change has picked up speed now, I would say. At the moment we consider each new car a very good opportunity to modernize the brand and to add something new to it. The result will be a bigger spread in the model line-up in terms of look and appearance.

Broadly speaking, what will a 3 Series look like in 100 years?

We’ve asked ourselves that question. We feel that, for our customers, the next 100 years are going to be more interesting than the last 100 years. You source a certain authenticity from the past so people know what BMW stands for. Things like engineering and driving dynamics.

To answer your question: it’s hard to predict. When we thought about this question, we said “let’s try to think three vehicle generations out.” We came up with the Vision Next 100 concept. That was our idea of the 3 Series of the future. It’s a car that drives electrically, it’s highly aerodynamic, of course it can drive autonomously, the interior was completely clean. We didn’t have switches or even a computer screen; the whole windshield doubled as the screen. The steering wheel was still there, but it could fold back if you pushed the BMW logo. That’s our vision, where we think the BMW brand could go. The car is still elegant, sexy, and dynamic.

All-new BMW X3 blends utility, performance

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By Will Chamberlain - The Times

BMW makes a variety of vehicle classes for all types of utility and performance needs. Whether you’re looking for a sleek and stylish performance sedan or you want utility to take the family on a long road trip, BMW will provide a luxurious and refined vehicle. This week we take a look at the newly designed X3 SUV.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo 4-cylinder that is producing 248 horsepower and an impressive 258 pound-foot of torque that is felt immediately at 1,450 rpm. This means the moment you press the throttle, the X3 dives forward and pushes you into the seat for a firm ride up to 60 mph. I love the feel of a strong turbo engine, and this one is exceptionally smooth thanks to the two turbos helping the engine stay boosted. Not to mention the transmission is incredibly smooth with each shift, maintaining torque all the way to highway speed. You’ll never find yourself dissatisfied with the power this engine makes; I can only imagine what the 6-cylinder feels like.

Exterior styling is improved for this model year with some cosmetic additions, but the real improvements are lighting, wheels and aerodynamics. The X3 is able to close dampers and grill shutters to streamline the shape and allow air to pass over the shape effortlessly. This is especially apparent on highways when it’s windy. The X3 seems to cut through the air and not lose a ton of momentum. Up front are LED headlamps and fog lamps, and around back are the same finished off with dual exhaust tips.

Hop inside for a treat in itself. The typical BMW layout is predictable, but the new design incorporates some well-crafted interfaces and lots of cool tech. Wireless Apple CarPlay, for starters, allows you to use the system without having to be connected to the car with a cable. The rotary knob on the console is incredibly simple to use, and the screen layout is beautiful.

The driver’s instrument cluster is a 3D display with raised and set-in gauges to provide a wonderful show for the driver. There is a heads-up display, as well, but I’m not a huge fan of those in general. Rear seating isn’t too cramped for adults, and I was able to install car seats easily. The trunk area can accommodate a good number of items, including two hockey bags and some smaller items.

On road, the X3 is a pure driver’s SUV. Sure, it can handle extra luggage and has a slightly higher ride height, but the soul of BMW is always around the driving experience and performance. There is no mistake there, and I really enjoy how BMW drives. Throttle input is predictable, and the handling is precise. You can thrash the X3 down a country back road or quietly blast down a highway with no drama. Braking is also solid and capable.

No matter the situation, you can bet the X3 is prepared. I had the opportunity to drive the X3 in some snowy conditions, and it was completely capable. Hardly any wheel slip even when I was purposely heavy on the throttle. No car is good at cornering in icy weather, especially with all season tires, but the X3 does well if driven cautiously.

My overall impression was favorable because the X3 is comfortable, drives extremely well and can get you in places a normal sedan won’t.

The good and the bad

The Good — Wonderful character, good tech.

The Bad — Styling is polarizing, big price tag for a smaller SUV.

BMW claims 25 mpg average, and I was able to maintain 24 mpg during my road test. MSRP for the X3 equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo is $42,450. Adding a laundry list of options, including CarPlay, LED lighting and wireless charging, brought the bottom line to $57,620.

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Video: 2019 BMW 3 Series Spotted Testing in Pre-Production Clothes

By Garbriel Nica - BMW Blog

 The launch of the new G20 BMW 3 Series is getting closer, raising our pulses in anticipation and bringing some to the verge of apoplexy . . . .

The launch of the new G20 BMW 3 Series is getting closer, raising our pulses in anticipation and bringing some to the verge of apoplexy . . . .

The launch of the new G20 BMW 3 Series is getting closer, raising our pulses in anticipation and bringing some to the verge of apoplexy. Why so much fuss? Some of you might ask that and it’s completely normal to do so, but for an avid BMW fan, the reasons are rather obvious, as the 3 Series has been the best selling model in BMW’s stable for decades, since it was launched. Therefore, a lot is riding on the new chapter in its history book and the Bavarians know it.

The latest sighting of the G20 model happened earlier this year and the video below shows us a 3 Series model in pre-production guise, carefully covered by BMW’s old camouflage pattern. The car is bound to be unveiled late this year, and until then the engineers have to iron out every single potential complaint we might have when getting to drive the new model. Not only that but the competition these days is fiercer than ever and, with the rise of electric vehicles undeniable, the 3er has some pretty strong headwinds to deal with.

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Among the competition we need to name the usual Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, as well as newcomers like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE, both exceptional cars in terms of driving dynamics. Then there’s the Cadillac ATS as well, a car that was so highly praised when it came to the way it drives, that it surely prompted the people working on the new 3er to pay attention. As for the BMW, we’re pretty sure it will deliver in all the right areas.

According to our sources we’ll get a new M Performance model which will also be the only 6-cylinder choice for enthusiasts. The M340i will be using a B58 engine making close to 400 HP while the other 6-cylinder monster, the M340d will come with over 300 HP and diesel-specific level of torque. Other than that, expect 2-liter and 1.5-liter engines to populate the model range, while a plug-in hybrid model is not out of discussion. Some are also expecting an EV to be built under the 3 Series moniker but that’s not going to happen, at least at first.

BMW quietly reintroduces diesel-powered 5-Series to lineup

By Chris Chin - Digital Trends

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Even though the future of diesel-passenger vehicles in the United States became very uncertain again following Volkswagen’s recent “Dieselgate” conspiracy, with other automakers undergoing similar scrutiny for their lineup of oil burners, BMW remains adamnt. Fans of BMW’s fuel-efficient torque monsters will be delighted to hear that the carmaker will be reintroducing the 5-Series diesel to our shores, according to The Car Connection.

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Without much publicity, BMW reportedly told the outlet that the next new diesel model from the company will be the 2018 540d xDrive. Further substantiating the case, federal officials supposedly certified the model for sale in the U.S. this month.

The latest BMW 5-Series launched in 2017 and with the changeover, the diesel-powered variant endured a one-year hiatus. It will now join the base-level BMW 530i with its TwinPower gasoline turbocharged four, the 540i with its turbo gas inline-six, the M550i with its twin-turbo V8, the M5, and the plug-in-hybrid 530e.

When it hits showrooms, the 2018 BMW 540d xDrive is rated to return up to 26 mpg in the city, 36 mpg highway, and a combined rating of 30 mpg. It will also only be available in all-wheel drive, versus the outgoing car, which came with the choice of rear-wheel.

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The 2018 BMW 540d xDrive is apparently based mostly on the 530d sedan sold in Europe. That should mean that a turbocharged diesel 3.0-liter inline-six sits under the hood of the 540d, churning out around 265 horsepower and a whopping 457 pound-feet of twist. It’s essentially the same motor powering the BMW X5d xDrive crossover, though with a few modifications. Channeling the power to all four wheels is a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

The BMW 540d joins the X5d and the 328d as BMW’s only diesel options here in the U.S. It will sit above the gas-powered 540i and the hybridized 530e in the lineup. Its price should similarly reflect its position, with the 540d starting at $62,995 when it hits dealerships in February. For reference, the base rear-wheel-drive BMW 540i starts at $58,200.

Like other BMW 5-Series variants, the 540d will be separated into trim levels that determine the packaging and options: Premium, M Sport, and Executive.

BMW iNext concept coming this year

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran - Motor Authority

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BMW has dropped multiple hints over the past year about a new technological flagship code-named the iNext.

Due in 2021, the vehicle will be powered by batteries, feature a self-driving system robust enough to let you sleep behind the wheel at times, and be built at BMW's main plant in Dingolfing, Germany.

Speaking with Auto Express, a senior executive from BMW's i sub-brand, Alexander Kotouc, has revealed that a concept previewing the design and some of the technology will be revealed this year. Kotouc also revealed that the iNext will be roughly the same shape and size as an X5, in other words a mid-size SUV.

“I can promise you that this year you will see something and touch something,” Kotouc told the British magazine in a recent interview. “It’s groundbreaking; the iNext will be more of the shape and size of an X5.”

Kotouc added that the vehicle will be able to seat five and will have a totally different interior design to what we're used to. He also said the final design is close to being signed off. BMW’s Vision Next 100 concept from 2016 is thought to preview some of the iNext's design themes.

The iNext will be one of 12 electric cars that the BMW Group will launch by the end of 2025. The first of these will be an electric Mini Hardtop due in 2019. It will be followed by an iX3 in 2020, and then the iNext in 2021.

BMW’s CarPlay subscription plan is like charging for seatbelts

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By Zac Hall - 9to5 Mac

BMW has been the shining example of an automaker embracing Apple CarPlay until now. The German car maker was the first (and only) brand to offer Wireless CarPlay, but BMW reportedly plans to charge an annual subscription fee for access in the future.

To be clear, that’s ludicrous — and so is BMW’s reasoning…

BMW currently offers Wireless CarPlay as a one-time $300 upgrade which is pretty standard for infotainment packages, but The Verge reported yesterday that BMW says it plans to shift to an $80/year model.

CarPlay would be free for the first year, then start to cost more than the standard upfront charge after 4-5 years. That’s fine if you lease and only plan to drive the car for a few years, but CarPlay as an ongoing subscription makes little sense.

The feature is literally content projected from your iPhone to your car’s built-in screen but in a safer interface. It’s not like access to Sirius XM radio where you’re paying for content that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

The whole point of CarPlay is to offer drivers a safer way to access infotainment features like calling, messaging, navigation, and audio playback while in the car.

It would be insane (and illegal) to charge a subscription for other safety technology like seat belts in cars. I’m not suggesting automakers be forced to offer CarPlay, but I do think it’s bad business and I hope the market response proves that.

BMW is spinning the decision as a way to give drivers more choice…which doesn’t really mean anything.

Vendors regularly offer drivers their own infotainment systems plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without forcing customers to choose and subscribe. BMW placing support for phone-specific features behind a paywall is new territory for CarPlay and ill-advised.

CarPlay effectively limits distractions in the car by silencing unnecessary alerts like email while making messaging work with voice over Siri. BMW should be embracing that in the interest of protecting drivers and discouraging distracted driving, not discouraging drivers from discovering and continuing to use CarPlay with a goofy subscription fee.

Show Drift: BMW Breaks Two Guinness World Records Drifting the New M5 [Video]

By Greg Fink - Car and Driver

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Just because the 2018 BMW M5 comes with standard all-wheel drive doesn’t mean it can’t engage in some tail-out antics. Thanks to its 2WD mode, the latest M5 is capable of channeling its 600-hp twin-turbocharged V-8’s 553 lb-ft of torque solely to the rear wheels. 

We presume it was in this mode that BMW driving instructor Johan Schwartz drifted a 2018 M5 around the skidpad at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, for 232.5 miles. The distance earned Schwartz and the new M5 a place in the Guinness World Records for the record of “greatest distance vehicle drift in eight hours.” Schwartz’s drift also bettered a recent record attempt for “longest continuous vehicle drift” set by Jesse Adams of South Africa, who drifted 102.5 miles in a Toyota GT86 last year.

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The world record for drifting strikes us as a somewhat dubious accomplishment in the grand scheme of automotive achievements, but we have to tip our hats to the ingenuity BMW employed in its quest to guarantee that Schwartz wouldn’t need to stop for fuel during his record-breaking eight-hour drift. The German automaker worked with the North Carolina vehicle fabricator Detroit Speed to craft a custom refueling system modeled after the kind that fighter jets use, which can be topped off in flight.

Although fighter jets manage to do this deed without human intervention, Detroit Speed’s Matt Butts served as an intermediary between the 2018 M5 driven by Schwartz and a previous-generation M5 fuel car driven by Matt Mullins, chief driving instructor at the BMW Performance Center. Five separate times, Mullins drifted parallel to Schwartz while Butts, held in place by a safety tether, emerged from the rear window to refuel the 2018 M5 in mid-drift.

While a record-breaking eight-hour drift should have been enough of a success for BMW to call it a day, the German automaker wasn’t ready to pop champagne just yet. After Schwartz’s solo drift, Schwartz and Mullins drifted side by side for 49.3 miles over the course of an hour, earning BMW and its two drivers the record for the “longest twin-vehicle drift (water assisted).”

BMW Gears Up to Sell Half a Million Electric Cars by 2019

By Tracy Brynes - The Street

BMW is mass-producing electric cars and hopes you'll be driving one very soon. So watch this video and find out when you'll be able to buy yours.

BMW AG (BMWYY)  started mass-producing electric cars in September and plans to have at least 12 fully electric models by 2025. And some of those cars will have a range of more than 430 miles, which could prove to be big competition for Tesla Motor's (TM - Get Report)   clean energy dominance.

Of course, the old-school combustion engines will continue to be produced and sold as they transition to electric. But be sure to watch the video above to learn more about BMW's electric car plans.

For more on BMW's recent earnings release.  And make sure to read this column about its $153,000 luxury car.

Read More

BMW will reveal a new SUV at the 2018 Detroit auto show — and it looks impressive

By Matthew DeBoard - Business Insider

 The new BMW X2. BMW   The X2 is BMW's latest crossover SUV.    It slots between the X1 and the X3.    Pricing wasn't announced, but the vehicle will make its official debut at the 2018 Detroit auto show and go on sale in the US in the spring.

The new BMW X2. BMW

The X2 is BMW's latest crossover SUV.

It slots between the X1 and the X3.

Pricing wasn't announced, but the vehicle will make its official debut at the 2018 Detroit auto show and go on sale in the US in the spring.

Luxury SUVs are a booming business these days, and BMW doesn't want to be left out of a single segment.

The X1, X3, and X5 are already familiar to consumers, and the X6 is there for fans of oddball rides. A big X7 should be arriving in coming years. But for now, BMW is meeting the needs of SUV fans who want something that's larger than an X1, smaller than an X3, and sportier than both.

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The X2 was first shown as a concept at the 2017 Detroit auto show; a year later, the real deal will hit the show floor in January 2018 and go on sales shortly next spring. Pricing wasn't yet announced, but the X1 starts at about $34,000, and the X3 starts at $42,500, so the X2 should land somewhere in between.

"The first-ever  BMW  X2 has a distinctive exterior design that combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of a  BMW  X model," BMW said in a statement.

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The crossover will have a 228-horsepower, twin-turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW claimed a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds.

"The BMW X2 represents an expression of modern and extrovert vehicle dynamics," Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, said in a statement, adding that the "standalone vehicle concept brings a new, fresh and exciting facet of the BMW to the compact segment."

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The X2 joins the sporty M2 sedan in BMW's lineup, and an available M Sport upgrade gives overall performance a boost.

With the new SUV, BMW is trying to deliver the best of both worlds: SUV versatility and fun-to-drive character. That's proven by the X2's coupé styling, which looks more X6 than X3 or X5, capitalizing on an overall trend in the luxury crossover SUV segment.

The First-Ever 2019 BMW i8 Roadster and new 2019 BMW i8 Coupe

  • The BMW i8 Roadster: two-seater with full electric convertible top that opens in under 16 seconds.
  • Optimized BMW eDrive technology: more power– total output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp), a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range.
  • The BMW i8 Roadster: emotion-stirring design promises an intense driving experience and unadulterated freedom.
  • New exterior colors E-Copper and Donnington Grey.
  • New Tera World Copper with E-Copper upholstery.
  • Carbon Fiber Interior Trim.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 29 2017… Today, the allure of sustainable driving is poised to enter another new dimension as BMW introduced the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster matching BMW eDrive technology with the Ultimate Driving Machine. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster takes the BMW i8’s combination of locally emission-free mobility, high-caliber performance and adds the top-down driving experience. The Roadster offers a whole new sensation of freedom, opening the door to virtually silent driving with zero CO2 emissions and bringing an extra edge of purity to open-air driving. An optimized BMW eDrive technology means more power – total output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp), a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range, the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (preliminary) in purely electric driving. With hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor driving the front wheels, acceleration 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.2/4.4 seconds (preliminary) Coupe and Roadster respectively with both reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Following the world premiere of the first-ever 2019 BMW i8 Roadster at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2017, sales will commence in spring 2018. Simultaneously, the new 2019 BMW i8 Coupe will also be available at certified BMW centers with both models offering LifeDrive vehicle architecture designed for BMW i cars. Price to be announced closer to market launch.

Vehicle concept and driving experience.
The BMW i8 has performed the role of sports car of the future with extraordinary success since 2014. The progressively designed 2+2-seater doubles up as an eye-catching object of desire and a technological pioneer. Indeed, the BMW i8 has been the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car since it first hit the roads in 2014 and has collected an array of awards in recognition of its visionary design and trailblazing vehicle concept. The BMW i8’s plug-in hybrid drive system has won the International Engine of the Year Award three years in succession (2015 – 2017) and paved the way for the constantly expanding number of plug-in hybrid models from the BMW and MINI brands.

The aluminum Drive module combines the powertrain, high-voltage battery, suspension, crash system and structural functions, while the Life module takes the form of a passenger cell made out of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster also benefits from a light-weight construction, complete with low center of gravity and even weight distribution. The aerodynamically optimized exterior – with model-specific gullwing doors and a soft-top roof that also displays great visual lightness – is a fine exponent of the signature BMW i design language. The result is a two-seater boasting a distinctive and elegantly silhouette, and delivering an immediate promise of instantaneous power ready to be unleashed.

The BMW i8 Roadster: two-seater with electrically operated soft-top roof and additional on-board storage space.
Passengers inside the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster can either enjoy the open sky or a high-quality, all-season fabric soft-top with additional soundproofing. The electrically operated convertible top, opens and closes in less than 16 seconds and while the vehicle is in motion at up to 31 mph.

The BMW i8 Roadster is alone among its rivals in offering owners a fabric soft-top which stows away into a perpendicular position in the rear when opened and therefore takes up very little space. The three segments of the roof fold vertically in a ‘Z’. Additional storage space between the roof box and the seats for the driver and front passenger is around 3.5 ft3 (preliminary figure). In combination with the storage area in the rear, which can accommodate 4.7 ft3 cargo, the rear compartment helps to ensure the open-top version of the plug-in hybrid sports car is also as well equipped as possible for everyday use.

Opening the roof raises the rear window automatically by around 1.9 inches into a comfort position. By raising the rear window, the air flow is guided towards the rear, reducing wind turbulence optimizing the passenger’s experience. The driver can adjust the height of the rear window at the touch of a button to control the impact of the inflowing air as desired.

Intelligent lightweight design and innovative production technology also play a key role in the construction of the soft-top. For example, aluminum elements connecting the roof mechanism with the body of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are produced in a new 3D printing process. This manufacturing method for aluminum components breaks new ground in the automotive industry and allows the topologically optimized bracings to be produced in a geometric form, which would not be possible using conventional casting techniques and ensures an optimal balance between component rigidity and weight.

Optimized BMW eDrive technology: more power, increased range; electric driving experience raised another notch.
Rigorously developed BMW eDrive technology powers both the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe. The number of driving situations where the electric motor is solely responsible for powering the car has been significantly increased. By contrast, the combustion engine is only brought into play when accelerating hard, and is switched off again far more frequently with a measured driving style. The optimized operating strategy of the intelligent energy management highlights the future-focused character of the new BMW i8 Coupe and ensures that drivers of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster can enjoy silent open-top driving with zero local emissions.

Underpinning this new level of locally emission-free electric mobility is the updated version of the lithium-ion battery developed for the BMW i8. The high-voltage unit is located centrally in the car’s underbody and its cell capacity is up from 20 to 34 Ah and gross energy capacity from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours (kWh, net energy capacity: 9.4 kWh). Plus, the cell configuration allows a 12 hp increase in peak output to 141 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, lacing quick sprints on pure-electric power with an even sharper streak of dynamism.

The electric range of the i8 has also been increased. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (preliminary) in purely electric driving. And that broadens the reach of all-electric mobility well beyond the city limits.

Design.
The BMW i8 is the world’s first sports car to be developed from the outset primarily under the banner of sustainability. Groundbreaking lightweight design, systematic improvement of aerodynamics and advanced plug?in hybrid technology. The framework for the concept’s implementation was provided by the brand new LifeDrive vehicle architecture for BMW i models, whose horizontally split structure comprising an aluminum chassis and a CFRP passenger cell offers an exceptional degree of design freedom. The visionary styling of the BMW i8 Coupe therefore succeeds in expressing not just the car’s dynamic performance credentials, but also its outstanding efficiency. A string of prestigious accolades, including the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Award, testify to the design’s quality and allure. And the BMW i8 Roadster translates the unmistakable BMW i design language to another vehicle concept, fusing the dynamic proportions of the i8 with signature roadster features to give it a character all of its own.

Their proportions, lines and surface design mark out the BMW i8 Coupe and the BMW i8 Roadster as belonging to a new breed of sports car. A flat hood, visible aerodynamics measures, short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large track widths and an elongated roofline create an aura of dynamism, lightness and efficiency. On an individual level, meanwhile, the BMW i8 Coupe stands out as an extremely sporty 2+2-seater, while the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster exudes the freedom of open-top motoring for two.

The BMW i8 Roadster: emotion-stirring design promises an intense driving experience and unadulterated freedom.
The design of the BMW i8 Roadster is awash with individual highlights that radiate elegance. The soft-top roof has a visual lightness to go with its low physical weight and serves as a defining element of the silhouette in reinforcing the road-hugging impression made by the car’s low center of gravity. The body’s dynamic wedge shape can also be best appreciated when viewing the two-seater in profile.

When opened, the BMW i8 Roadster’s broad roof retracts fully into the rear end, lending greater emphasis still to the car’s low-slung silhouette. The CFRP passenger cell’s robust structure means the soft-top could be designed with generous width and so create an amply sized window to the sky. The rear window extends into a comfort position as the roof folds away and can serve as a draught stop in any setting.

The B-pillars of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are emblazoned with beautifully made model-specific badges bearing the inscription “Roadster”. A similar logo can be found on the tail of the sporty two-seater.

New exterior paint finishes, exclusive light-alloy wheels.
The design cues common to both the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster include the gullwing doors that open forwards and upwards as well as optimized aerodynamics. The low hood, BMW kidney grille, air flap control system, Air Curtains in the front apron, flat underbody, contoured side skirts, “stream flow” lines of the car’s flanks, and air ducts between the rear lights and roof frame allow the air to be guided effectively. The flow of cooling air at the front of each model has now been re-routed. Instead of rushing out through the outlet in the hood, the air escapes at the sides of the car near the wheel arches and into the underbody. This ensures a pleasant cabin temperature is maintained at all times, especially when travelling in the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster with the roof down.

E-Copper metallic and Donington Grey metallic have been added to the choice of exterior paint finishes available for the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster. Both are combined with accents in Frozen Grey metallic.

The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster is equipped as standard with exclusive 20-inch BMW i light-alloy wheels in Radial-spoke style bicolor design with mixed-size tires (Jet Black design optional). Intelligent lightweight design also make an impact here, with each wheel weighing around 2.2 pounds less than the lightest wheels previously available for the BMW i8. In addition to the standard 20-inch light-alloy wheels, customers can choose from another four light-alloy wheel variants with the same dimensions.

The BMW i8 Coupe also includes a model-specific design feature indicating its identity: “Coupe” badging on its B-pillars.

Innovative interior design in a range of new looks.
The progressive style of the BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster also shines through clearly in their interior design. Standard specification for both models includes a sports steering wheel and multifunctional instrument display, plus Giga interior trim comprising full-leather upholstery in Ivory White for the Coupe and Ivory White/Black for the Roadster. Giga interior trim can alternatively be specified in dark Amido for both models and there is also the option of Halo interior trim featuring cloth/leather upholstery in a Carum/Dalbergia color scheme.

New to the portfolio for the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and new BMW i8 Coupe is Tera World Copper interior trim, a high-end option featuring cloth/leather upholstery in an Amido/E-Copper color scheme.

Powertrain, chassis and body.
With its intoxicating blend of advanced BMW eDrive technology, BMW TwinPower Turbo technology internal combustion engine, sophisticated chassis technology, hybrid-specific all-wheel drive and rigorously applied lightweight design measures, the BMW i8 has come to epitomize the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine. Since its market debut in 2014, it has established itself as the world’s highest-selling plug?in hybrid sports car. It succeeds in melding sports car performance qualities with the sort of fuel economy and emissions usually associated with compact models. The LifeDrive architecture, meanwhile, ensures a perfect distribution of weight.

The new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are powered by a drive duo in the form of a hybrid synchronous electric motor and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology 1,499 cc 3-cylinder gasoline engine (228 hp and 236 lb-ft). The engine’s power is channeled to the rear wheels through a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, while the electric motor propels the front wheels via a two-speed automatic gearbox. The end result is a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system that glues the car to the road.

A refined high-voltage battery and an electric motor with more power.
The constant process of development has enhanced the performance capabilities offered by BMW’s eDrive technology. The energy capacity of the latest version of the model-specific lithium-ion battery is far greater, battery cell capacity having increased from 20 to 34 ampere hours (Ah) and gross energy capacity from 7.1 to 11.6 kilowatt hours (kWh, net energy capacity: 9.4 kWh). This advance is rooted primarily in advances made to the battery cell technology, which in turn stem from the BMW Group’s ever-increasing expertise in the field of electrical energy storage.

These extra energy reserves have made it possible to raise the electric motor’s peak output by 12 hp to 141 hp. In typical electric motor fashion, it generates its maximum torque of 184 lb-ft from standstill, which means it is ideally equipped to deliver razor-sharp responses to the slightest movement of the accelerator. The electric motor developed by the BMW Group also stands out with its consistent power delivery up to very high revs.

The battery cells’ higher capacity means that the proportion of all-electric driving can be increased substantially, even in hybrid mode. With the default driving mode engaged, both the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster are capable of pulling away and reaching speeds of up to 65 mph purely on the electric motor’s power, making it possible to drive with zero local emissions. And if the eDrive button is pressed, the all-electric threshold of both models is increased to 75 mph.

The new high-voltage battery benefits the electric range of the two plug-in hybrid sports cars too. The first-ever BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles in purely electric driving, almost 30 percent more than before (preliminary figures).

Three-cylinder gasoline engine with improved sound and lower emissions.
The i8’s combustion engine has also undergone further optimization to ready it for the new Coupe and Roadster. The turbocharged three-cylinder unit featuring direct injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing extracts a maximum output of 228 hp from its displacement of just 1.5 liters, plus peak torque of 236 lb-ft. It is pleasantly refined and generates a distinctive soundtrack that now has an even sportier note when its power reserves are called upon.

The system output produced by the electric motor and gasoline engine acting in unison has increased to 369 hp in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster. The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds (preliminary), while the first ever BMW i8 Roadster accelerates in 4.4 seconds (preliminary). Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Combined fuel economy in everyday driving, both models return fuel economy and emissions figures that undercut those for conventionally powered sports cars with similar outputs by around 50 per cent, yielding approximately 70 MPGe (preliminary figures).

Maximized driving pleasure with intelligent energy management and hybrid-specific all-wheel drive.
In hybrid mode, the electric motor provides a power boost to assist the engine when vigorous acceleration is required. The electric motor is also able to recuperate energy and feed it to the high-voltage battery on the overrun and under braking. The gasoline engine’s high-voltage starter-generator can similarly generate additional reserves of electricity, thereby ensuring that sufficient energy is on tap at all times for the electric drive system in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster.

This blend of dynamism and efficiency is further honed by the intelligent energy management’s proactive function. When the navigation system’s route guidance function is activated, the energy management ensures the electric motor is employed as extensively and as wisely as possible from an efficiency point of view. The system analyses the route in full and prompts the powertrain management to run on purely electric power, particularly over low-speed sections of the journey.

BMW i8 Roadster with model-specific chassis and body features.
The high-end chassis technology in the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster is based on a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle, whose aluminum components have been engineered for optimum weight and rigidity using specific design techniques and production processes. Also standard on both models is Dynamic Damper Control. The bespoke tuning of the suspension and damping systems, the specially configured steering characteristics, a firmer roll stabilization set-up and precise tweaks of the DSC parameters together ensure the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster boasts all of the plug-in hybrid sports car’s hallmark handling and performance qualities.

The approach of making systematic use of lightweight design measures has been meticulously adapted to the specific requirements of the Roadster model. The open-top two-seater comes with newly designed frameless gullwing doors made from CFRP with an aluminum outer shell, while the windscreen frame is made entirely from CFRP. This ultra-strong high-tech material is ideally equipped to provide exceptional rigidity, maximizing the car’s occupant protection in case of a roll-over situation. CFRP is also used to manufacture the side skirts with their extra-large cross-section. The skirts are a contributory factor in the body’s stiffness, as are the additional panels in the rear suspension and the specially designed struts for the front and rear axle. Thanks to the high-strength CFRP body, the chassis and body elements specific to the BMW i8 Roadster result in an extremely small weight gain when compared to other open-top models. The unladen weight of the new BMW i8 Roadster stands at 3,513 pounds, just 132 pounds more in approximate terms than that of the new BMW i8 Coupe (preliminary figures).

Controls, equipment, BMW Connected, ConnectedDrive and 360° ELECTRIC.
Both the display and control concept and the equipment of the new BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster serve to enhance their exhilarating sports car feel and the intense hybrid driving experience. As well as its multifunction buttons, the leather sports steering wheel also comes with shift paddles for changing gear manually, while the standard heated seats for the driver and front passenger are electrically adjustable.

Driving Dynamics Control switch and eDrive button provide five driving modes.
Drivers will find an eDrive button in the center console alongside the Driving Experience Control switch to allow them to adapt not just the vehicle’s set-up but also the drive system’s operating strategy. This provides a total of five driving modes to choose from: hybrid drive with COMFORT, SPORT or ECO PRO settings and all-electric driving in COMFORT or ECO PRO mode. If the eDrive button is pressed in either COMFORT mode – which strikes an even balance between sporty and efficient characteristics – or ECO PRO mode (designed for particularly fuel-efficient driving), power is provided by the electric motor alone up to a speed of 75 mph. The combustion engine will only cut in automatically if the battery’s energy reserves are nearly fully depleted or the driver summons full power via kickdown.

It is in SPORT mode that the intelligently controlled interaction between electric motor and combustion engine can be experienced at its most intense. Both power units deliver extra-sharp performance, accelerator response is faster and the power boost from the electric motor is maximized. And to keep the battery topped up, SPORT mode also activates maximum energy recuperation on the overrun and under braking. The intelligent energy management’s mode of operation can be visualized by calling up the energy flow graphic in the Control Display via the iDrive menu.

The instrument cluster takes the form of a fully digital multifunctional instrument display, which shows the car’s speed and driving status information in a format and color scheme selected to suit the driving mode engaged. Traditional, orange-colored circular dials appear in SPORT mode, in COMFORT mode, a blue “power meter” display keeps the driver up to speed on what the electric motor is up to, and ECO PRO mode supplements this with an efficiency gauge.

Navigation system Professional and Driving Assistant as standard.
The Navigation system Professional, also included as standard, is controlled using the latest iDrive 6.0 operating system, comprising both a Touch Controller on the center console and an 8.8-inch freestanding touch screen Control Display. The main menu is now presented on the screen in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode. The standard audio system features a 12 speaker 360 W Harman Kardon HiFi system with HD tuner for digital radio reception.

When it comes to driver assistance systems, the BMW i8 Coupe and BMW i8 Roadster are both equipped as standard with a model-specific BMW Head-Up Display. When the driver is shifting gears manually in SPORT mode, this switches to a sport display that adds an rpm readout, gear indicator and Optimum Shift Indicator. Also included as standard are a cruise control system with braking function as well as the Driving Assistant Package including Surround View. This system comprises Frontal Collision warning with City Collision Mitigation Daytime Pedestrian Protection Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear, Automatic Highbeams, Speed Limit Info and Cross Traffic Alert and Side and Top View Cameras.

BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive: sustainable mobility as an integral part of digital lifestyles.
The enthralling driving experience offered by a plug-in hybrid sports car is enriched by the digital services offered by BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive. Intelligent connectivity between vehicle, driver and the outside world paves the way for remarkably efficient mobility, increases comfort, expands the infotainment offering and helps with individual mobility planning.

BMW Connected is a personal mobility assistant that interfaces the vehicle with the customer’s selected touchpoints, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, via the flexible Open Mobility Cloud platform. This turns the personal mobility assistant into a seamlessly integrated component of the driver’s digital life, available anytime and anywhere. The new BMW i8 Coupe and first ever BMW i8 Roadster also benefit from the latest BMW Connected and BMW Connected+ digital services. These include intelligent route planning, complete with refueling stops at a charging station or filling station (Send my Routes to Car), sharing of the current trip status by text message and live link (Share Live Trip Status), personalized display of the relevant in-vehicle information (BMW Onboard), seamless transfer of route guidance to a smartphone or smartwatch once the car has been parked (Navigate Door-to-Door) and linking of contact details and addresses so they can be imported directly into the navigation system (My Destinations).

ConnectedDrive Services are also included as standard, providing access to functions such as Real Time Traffic Information and On-Street Parking Information, as well as the Concierge Services. The standard built-in SIM card also allows drivers of the first-ever BMW i8 Roadster to use Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic locating and accident severity detection. With the new BMW Teleservice Accident Assistance, the vehicle now also detects low-speed collisions below the threshold for airbag deployment. The driver receives a message in the iDrive display offering to contact the BMW Accident Assistance service directly. A push of a button is all it takes to obtain professional support from the BMW Accident Assistance team, who can also put the customer in touch with a BMW Service Partner if necessary. ConnectedDrive Services are also required to access additional services such as Online Entertainment and unlimited internet access, as well as to integrate various apps.

360° ELECTRIC: new charging cable, BMW i Charging Station.
360° ELECTRIC is a range of products and services that help make electric mobility a convenient, everyday experience. The functionality of the standard charging cable supplied with the first ever BMW i8 Coupe and first-ever BMW i8 Roadster has been optimized and includes a temperature sensor. Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Charging Station which can supply 7.2 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery and can fully charge it in under 3 hours. Drivers with a registered ChargeNow card have unrestricted access to the world’s largest network of public charging station

BMW Original Accessory: BMW TurboCord™ EV Charger.
Now available as a BMW Original Accessory the BMW TurboCord™ Electric Vehicle Charger can be purchased at certified BMW Centers for $499 MSRP. This premium charging solution provides BMW i and BMW iPerformance drivers with the ultimate charging experience – flexible dual-voltage (120 V / 240 V) capability and nearly three-times faster charging – all in the smallest, lightest UL-listed portable charger available. The BMW TurboCord™ EV Charger components have been specifically engineered by BMW to meet BMW Group standards and requirements, featuring a convenient 20 ft charging cord, and provides two chargers in one. Level 1 charging is readily available when plugged into any 120 V outlet and it also allows customers to charge up-to at 3.6 kW, nearly three-times faster than the standard occasional use cable (OUC) when used with a 240 V outlet (NEMA 6-20). Also integrated are such state-of-the-art safety features as unit and plug temperature monitoring, automatic shut-off and a rugged, waterproof, submersible enclosure (NEMA 6P) that enables users to safely and reliably charge indoor and outdoor.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; Design works, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 344 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwusa.com.

Journalist note: Information about BMW and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com

2017 BMW i8 review

By: Emme Hall - CNET

THE GOOD Incredible design both inside and out and a top-notch navigation system. The electric motors make all the mid-range torque you could possibly want.

THE BAD It's relatively slow off the line and there aren't many driver's aids to speak of. Oh, and it's pretty spendy, too.

THE BOTTOM LINE The BMW i8 is a mostly engaging ride from a unique hybrid powertrain, but those looking for flat-out speed should stick to old-fashioned petrol.

BMW to bring Alexa to its cars starting in 2018

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Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will be your cockpit companion in future BMWs: The automaker will offer Alexa in select cars starting in 2018, Amazon announced today at a special event revealing a host of product news at its Seattle HQ.

The vehicle integration will begin in the middle of next year, the companies revealed, and will provide access to Alexa skills and voice-based capabilities right from the infotainment system. This isn’t the first time Alexa has shown up in vehicles, as Ford demonstrated a test version of its Sync platform with Alexa functionality baked in at CES last January.

BMW also previously teamed up with Amazon to release Alexa skills for the BMW Connected app, that let vehicle owners do things like check how much fuel there is in their cars from their Echo devices at home.

The new partnership with BMW means that its vehicles will also include far-field microphones throughout the vehicle, which will make voice interaction easy, and it’ll display visual output using the car’s in-vehicle display information and navigation display.