When it went on sale in the latter part of 2014, BMW’s i8 was something of a sensation, though the enthusiasm had as much to do with the car’s jarring design as its technology. I seem to recall Tom Cruise tooling around Dubai in one, possibly in one of the 87 Mission Impossible films.Boasting scissor type doors, a plug-in hybrid powertrain, a backseat you’d never want to find yourself in, and a sticker price well north of 100 grand, the i8’s time as a media darling wasn’t long-lived. Like a child’s new toy, interest quickly fell away.There’s two i8s arriving this spring; one a refreshed coupe, the other offering an al fresco motoring experience, sans backseat. Perhaps more importantly, there’s been an effort to fix a serious deficiency in the i8’s green halo: its incredibly limited electric range. Pricing, now released, shows a considerable markup for the drop-top. Can a double-duty lineup, beefed-up eco credentials, and an extra … [Read more...] about I Think i8 Can: Will a Refresh and Extra Range Give BMW’s Fading Eco Supercar a Boost?
We’ve had more BMWs featured on Rare Rides than any other marque. Aside from the BMW-powered Vixen motor home and the Alpina B7S, there was the Freeclimber, the mid-engine supercar flop called the M1, and the first experiment in the cabriolet Z category, the Z1.Let’s see what happens when BMW makes a car eight times better than the Z1.Some big names had their hands in the development of the Z8 you see before you. The design team was headed by Chris Bangle, and one Henrik Fisker drew up the exterior. There was a singular goal in mind at BMW: a follow-up tribute car to the rare, expensive, and beautiful 507 of the late 1950s. The 507 ended up a failure because it was so expensive (just 252 produced), and BMW was keen not to make the same mistake again.To this end, the Z8 wore a base price of $128,000. Though that’s not exactly cheap, there were a couple of reasons to justify those six figures. Underneath the Z8 lie a complicated aluminum space frame, and each car was … [Read more...] about Rare Rides: A BMW Z8 From 2001 Empties Your Wallet
Sportier drive due to wider tracks, a lower center of gravity, and the latest generation suspension.Standard Navigation Professional with 10.25-inch touchscreen display, iDrive Touch Controller, and real-time traffic and parking information.Segment leading 75 percent larger multicolor Head-Up display.Standard Active Guard – With Frontal Collison Warning, Automatic City Collision Mitigation and Braking including Daytime Pedestrian Detection, and Speed Limit Information.Standard Active Protection – Pre and post-crash safety systems which identify critical situations and act before, during, and after an incident.Standard xLine design with Sport Seats and 19-inch wheels.New Panoramic moonroof for increased rear passenger comfort.Now featuring 3-Zone Climate Control.Today, the second generation BMW X4 is making its debut as the BMW X4 M40i and the BMW X4 xDrive30i. The 2019 BMW X4 with sportier proportions, with wider tracks, the latest generation suspension settings, a lower … [Read more...] about 2019 BMW X4 M40d
Earlier this week, the driver of a 2003 BMW X5 called 911 to inform the operator that he was speeding and wouldn’t be able to stop. The motorist, one Joseph Cooper, explained to the operator “my gas pedal is stuck” as his SUV barreled down a Florida interstate at around 100 miles an hour. Officers were dispatched to the highly mobile scene on Monday at 1:00 p.m. and ultimately decided to halt Cooper’s progress using stop sticks.BMW is calling bullshit on his runaway vehicle claims, and we’re inclined to agree. There were loads of things the driver could have done to stop the vehicle but, based on portions of his call with 911, he was either unwilling or incapable of performing those tasks. According to ABC News, a BMW spokesperson categorized the scenario as “implausible,” adding that the company “would be happy to work with the Florida State Police to investigate the cause of this incident.”We wouldn’t be surprised … [Read more...] about Idiot BMW Driver Calls 911 to Tell Police He Can’t Stop Speeding
Thanks to automakers and their stable of marketing and PR folks, the English language is feeling used and abused these days. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rant about overused industry buzzwords like synergy and dynamism, the popularity of which show no signs of waning. You’ll be hearing those forward-thinking — and intentionally confusing — descriptors for years to come.Right until cooler, non-lame words like panache and gravitas come into vogue, this author hopes.Lately, and with increasing frequency, a new language is emerging on the automotive scene. High-minded, plummy, and completely shameless, this new language flings misleading titles at a certain product: utility vehicles, specifically those appealing to buyers known for good breeding, tennis, and summers at the cape.James Attwood, writing for Autocar, does a good job of exposing the offending automakers for the language charlatans they are. He notes — as we did — that Rolls-Royce, the … [Read more...] about When Is an SUV an SUV? When You’re Just a Little Too Pompous for Your Own Good
BMW’s X4 is a little bit of an odd duck. Basically the budget version of the X6, the fastback crossover similarly ditches practicality for attitude. For 2019, the compact luxury crossover is getting an opportunity to hold that posture by gaining two more powerful engines and shedding a few pounds as it swaps to the brand’s new CLAR platform.Fitting, considering the X4 resembles a sedan that abuses steroids more than it does a traditional sport utility vehicle. However, it maintains a face that’s extremely similar to the X3 SUV while exhibiting more car-like attributes everywhere else. Now, about those engines…For 2019, the brash “sport activity vehicle” will arrive on North American shores under two guises: the xDrive30i and M40i. The former model makes use of a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, not dissimilar from the unit crammed beneath the hood of the current xDrive28i trim. But it tacks on a few ponies for a grand total of 248 … [Read more...] about 2019 BMW X4: Better, Faster, Stronger? More Expensive
The new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupé were launched in India today. The new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupé are available at BMW dealerships across India as completely built-up units (CBU) from today onwards. for added sportiness and enhanced dynamics, both high-performance cars will be available with Competition Package as standard.The design elements of the new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupé are M bonnet Powerdome, new hexagonal Adaptive LED headlights are a beacon of innovative design. The carbon roof’s striking roofline emphasizes the M design’s dynamic contours. The diffuser and the new L-shaped rear lights with full-LED technology.The Competition Package for the new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupé is topped off by extended BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line exterior trim. The high-gloss Black finish has been applied to the side window trim, window recess finishers, exterior mirror frames, BMW kidney grille, the side … [Read more...] about 2018 BMW M3 and M4 Coupe Launched In India – Super Sedans!
Automotive soothsayers have foreseen the coming Armageddon, where private car ownership vanishes and we’re all ferried around in robotic taxis or rental vehicles, and manufacturers have taken their divinations to heart. Either that, or the opportunity to diversity already successful companies is too tempting a prospect to pass up. As such, we’ve seen “mobility” become the new industry buzzword — used as a fill-in for electric vehicles, autonomous development, and ride-sharing/hailing programs.Hoping to expand its own mobility services, Daimler has announced an openness to seek broader alliances just days after BMW Group bought out its rental car partner, Sixt, from their joint car-sharing program DriveNow. That sets the stage for a peculiar partnership, as the two German automakers have a long, competitive history with each other — one which sometimes results in passive-aggressive behavior.That’s not to suggest the two automotive … [Read more...] about Daimler Might Expand Its ‘Mobility Services’ Through an Unlikely German Ally
We’ve been on a bit of a continental streak lately here at Rare Rides. First, the Cadillac Allanté showed us American engineering with Italian design. Then, the Gordon-Keeble coupe from 1965 mixed British creativity and funding with Italian and American components.Today we’ve got a different trifecta: A Japanese design, rebodied by the Italians, then powered by a German engine. Open up some shampanya, and let’s learn about the Freeclimber.This box on wheels with a BMW badge at the front (and signature quad-headlamp arrangement) started out in life as a Daihatsu Rugger, which you might know (in short wheelbase format) as the Rocky — the short-lived Daihatsu North America sales experiment in the late 1980s and early 1990s.The Rugger debuted in 1984, with its first generation running through the 1992 model year. Intended as a spartan off-road vehicle, standard equipment was light and engines were small. Starting out with an inline-four of under 2.0 … [Read more...] about Rare Rides: The 1991 BMW Bertone Freeclimber, or BMW’s First Actual SUV
We know the State of California loves electric cars, but the Los Angeles Police Department may have mixed emotions. Back in June of 2016, the LAPD awarded BMW with a contract to provide 100 battery-powered i3 hatchbacks as part of a plan to enhance its public image. At the time, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the press, “We should be thinking green in everything we do,” adding that the electric BMWs would “also save money and resources.”Fast forward to 2018 and the contract is beginning to look like a good way to waste millions of dollars. The LAPD agreed to lease the vehicles, effectively doubling its electrified fleet, for three years. The logic was that the gas savings would offset the $1.4 million it would cost the police force to apprehend them from BMW. While that sounds wonderful, there is a problem — the LAPD isn’t driving them. An investigative report from CBS Los Angeles kept track of the vehicles and accessed the … [Read more...] about LAPD’s Multi-million Dollar Electric Fleet Allegedly Goes Unused and Unloved