BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019

By Greg Migliore

We’re getting an up-close look today at the 2019 BMW i8 Spyder, which appears ready for production. We saw the open-air hybrid supercar in February testing in the snow, and today we’re seeing it cruising during warmer conditions, though the top is still up.

The Spyder will grow the i8 lineup beyond the scissor-door coupe. It looks like the open-air model will use a targa-style roof. Otherwise, it appears identical to the hardtop, with futuristic design punctuated by flashy wheels and piercing LED headlights. There’s also a Canadian flag and the word “Bruno,” likely for BMW factory driver Bruno Spengler, on the roof pillar. Maybe he’s helping out with the testing.

Continue reading BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019

BMW i8 Spyder on track for 2019 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 May 2017 09:35:00 EDT.

BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off

By Reese Counts

After months of rumors and speculation, BMW finally announced what we’ve all been expecting: the next M5 will have all-wheel drive. This is sure to raise the ire of purists who still lament the move away from six-cylinder power, but it was always going to be difficult to send the expected 600 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 to the rear wheels. Unfortunately, the announcement doesn’t have final power or performance specs, though we do know the car will go on sale later this year.

BMW promises the M5′s all-wheel drive system, suitably named M xDrive, will make the car the “most exciting and emotionally enthralling” M5 yet. That still remains to be seen, but it’s sure to be the most advanced and the most complicated M5 ever. To make it feel like an M car, the M xDrive system is set up to be rear-biased, only sending power forward when the rear loses traction. The goal was to deliver optimum traction while providing a similar driving experience to the current M5.

Continue reading BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off

BMW M5 finally getting all-wheel drive, can be switched off originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 May 2017 12:45:00 EDT.

The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000

By Joel Stocksdale

BMW has released pricing for its first ever M-badged 7 Series, the M760i xDrive. For the privilege of piloting the Bavarian automaker’s twin-turbocharged V12 flagship, you’ll have to fork over at least $154,795. Included in the price is a car that produces 601 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s more power than the Audi S8 and Mercedes S63 AMG, and it’s only bested by the S65 AMG, which starts at over $225,000.

Of course, the M760i comes equipped with sporty suspension, brakes, and steering that are all tuned to the M division’s specifications. It also features an 8-speed automatic and all wheel drive, which combined with launch control, can propel the M760i to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. All things considered, it seems like a great choice for a fast German luxury sedan. And it is, until you see the other fast 7 Series in BMW’s line-up.

The alternate car in question is called the Alpina B7. It’s a 7 Series with 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. It gets to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, features an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, and comes with sportier suspension and steering. Sound familiar? There are some differences, though. It has fewer cylinders, opting for a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 rather than the M760i’s 6.6-liter V12. It also costs less. The B7 is $16,800 cheaper than its M-badged brother. It also gets an exclusive Alpina body kit and wheels. Now, of course it will all be up to each buyers’ tastes as to which car is better; after all, some people have to have a V12. But there’s also something to be said for offering the same performance and a bit more flash for less money.

Continue reading The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000

The 2017 BMW M760i xDrive will cost you over $150,000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Nov 2016 15:20:00 EST.


BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities

By Noah Joseph

BMW is the latest automaker to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. So to mark the occasion, the Bavarian automaker is rolling out a special anniversary edition of its flagship 7 Series sedan.

Somewhat awkwardly labeled as the BMW Individual 7 Series THE NEXT 100 YEARS, the celebratory edition features a number of special touches to set it apart. The bodywork is painstakingly painted in a unique shade of Centennial Blue metallic, with two-tone 20-inch wheels and handcrafted emblems. The interior meanwhile is highlighted by off-white, fine-grain leather – quilted and trimmed with hand-woven piping – with matching Alcantara headliner and piano-black trim.

Of course there are the requisite special badges inside and out, and each sedan comes with a specially made Montblanc fountain pen. Only 100 examples will be made for distribution worldwide, with three different engineoptions depending on the market. The US market will only get five examples based on the recently revealedM760i xDrive performance model, complete with 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 driving 610 horsepower to all four wheels. As a special version of Munich’s top-of-the-line luxury sedan, pricing will surely fall within “if you have to ask” territory, so we’ll just wish BMW a happy birthday and rest assured that each of the hundred individually numbered examples will find a good home.

BMW M760i all dressed up for hundredth birthday festivities originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:05:00 EST.



BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp

By Chris Bruce

BMW appears to be approaching a big change in the way that it handles performance. First, the clutch pedal may be a goner from future M models, based on recent statements from the division’s boss, Frank van Meel. We also might not be seeing any significant increases in horsepower from some of these vehicles anytime soon.

“From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes. The DCT and auto ‘boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” van Meel said to Autocar. Although, he left the door open slightly to keeping them at least in the near future. “It’s difficult to say we’ll stick to the manual, but we still have a big fan community for manuals and we are not going to take away something the customer wants to have.”

Van Meel also suggested that the company is capping the output of M models at 600 horsepower. “We’re at the limit. If you go on adding more horsepower and torque, it’d probably be over the limits,” he said to Autocar.

That ceiling does leave some room to grow for future versions of the M3 and M4, which currently offer 425 hp. However, it means that the M5 and M6 with 560 hp are basically at the cap. The limited BMW M5 30th Anniversary Edition already packs 600 hp.

Rumors have suggested that the already spied, next-generation M5 might stick with around 600 hp. It seems unlikely for BMW to completely give up competing against the Autobahn-burning sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Performance could still see a boost thanks to a reportedly lighter platform and optional all-wheel drive.

BMW says no more manuals, M cars capped at 600 hp originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:30:00 EST.


BMW doubles i8 production to meet demand

By Danny King

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BMW doubles i8 production to meet demand originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 Mar 2015 08:51:00 EST.

2016 BMW X5 M is big and bold, not beautiful

By Steven J. Ewing

2016 BMW X5 M

Awesome as it is, the BMW X5 M has never really been an attractive machine. Big and bulgy are the themes here, and that’s only more pronounced with the X5′s most recent refresh. But no matter, the X5 M has never been about looks – for this machine, it’s all about performance, and BMW’s hi-po crossover absolutely delivers in this regard.

Under the hood is the familiar 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8, though power has been boosted to 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque – healthy increases of 12 and 53, respectively, compared to the outgoing model. Hitting 60 miles per hour is said to take just four seconds, which is damn impressive considering this thing weighs well over 5,000 pounds.

But the X5 M has always been shockingly good to drive, with limits you’ll never reach except in the most hardcore track scenarios (which we’d really like to see, by the way). It’s not the prettiest thing ever, but that’s okay. It’s not exactly cheap, though, with prices starting at $99,650. Woof.

Continue reading 2016 BMW X5 M is big and bold, not beautiful

2016 BMW X5 M is big and bold, not beautiful originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:40:00 EST.


Car and Driver 10Best list cracked by Tesla Model S, BMW 3 Series left off

By Chris Bruce

Tesla Model S

Car and Driver 10Best LogoCar and Driver is keeping new blood pumping into its annual 10Best cars list with three new entries making it on for 2015 and a perennial favorite falling off. Among the biggest shocks this year is that the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are no longer named, despite years of some portion of that lineup earning a mention. In another surprise, the Tesla Model S (specifically in S 60 trim to fit under the $80,000 cost cap) makes it to the 2015 roster and is the only electrically motivated member of the group.

Despite the loss of the 3 Series, BMW isn’t entirely shut out this year, because the M235i gets its name on the list. Car and Driver argues that the little coupe feels like a welcome throwback to the E46 chassis M3 of the early 2000s. In addition to the Model S, the final newbie to the annual group is the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The inclusion of these new members knocks the Audi A6/A7 family and Ford Fiesta ST out from the 2014 rundown.

The other seven models carry over from last year, including the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Honda Accord, Mazda3, Mazda6, Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Volkswagen Golf/GTI.

The 2015 10Best cars list certainly seems to have something for everyone from the hot hatch fan to the family man and even the green car driver, thanks to the addition of the Tesla. Head over to Car and Driver to read its detailed explanations for each vehicle’s inclusion, but if you’ve got a difference of opinion or just really like the list, let us know in Comments.

Car and Driver 10Best list cracked by Tesla Model S, BMW 3 Series left off originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST.


More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year

By Jonathon Ramsey

BMW i8, front three-quarter view.

The BMW i8 recently won the Autoblog Technology of the Year award, and it’s going to get even better. In October, Automobile magazine reported that BMW’s i brand is working on an i8S that would be stiffer and more powerful, and celebrate the marque’s centenary in 2016. At the time, one of two power unit combinations was suggested, either one of them good for more than 500 horsepower.

Car magazine has added more info on the coupe said to be called Project M100, saying that in addition to being a birthday gift for BMW, it will also be a going-away statement to current chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is expected to retire in 2016 or 2017. It will also be so thoroughly reworked that there will be plenty of daylight between it and the standard i8: a more integrated carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a wider range of materials used in the build, a larger luggage bay due to the omission of rear seats, a more aggressive suspension supporting heartier brakes and wider tires, and – perhaps – a different aero and ground-effects package to be visually different and make the most of the alterations.

As for that power unit, Car says that the two options mentioned by Automobile are still under consideration, being either a 2.0-liter twin-turbo four-cylinder with 320 horsepower and a 204-hp electric motor, or a 3.0-liter straight six with 480 hp and a 109 hp. Either choice gets an integrated starter motor good for another 27 hp, and a total torque number of roughly 520 pound-feet, 100 additional lb-ft than the current car. Word is that it will be shown for the centenary in 2016 then go on sale by the end of 2017.

More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:00:00 EST.


2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850

By Chris Bruce

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible

For the most part, they look almost identical to their coupe versions, except that they now boast an electrically folding soft top.

BMW is dropping the top of the 2 Series in early 2015 in the US with convertible versions of the 228i and M235i. They’ll make their world debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year and will show their faces on this side of the pond at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Aesthetically, you’re getting exactly what you’d expect from the 2 Series Convertible both inside and out. They look almost identical to their coupe counterparts, except that they now boast an electrically folding soft top. When tucked away, it hides underneath a panel behind the rear seats for a very clean look, but it can pop out or close in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Additionally, the soundproofed and insulated roof is available in Black, Anthracite and Brown.

Powerplants are also shared with the coupes. That gives the 228i ‘vert a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. BMW claims that it can run to 60 in 5.7 seconds. In addition, there’s a model with xDrive all-wheel drive that’s even quicker at 5.6 seconds to 60. However, the company isn’t revealing fuel economy specs for either version yet.

Continue reading 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible will flip its lid for $38,850 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST.