One of our readers, Noble713, commenting on a news items about the BMW i3, asked if TTAC could provide more coverage on BMW’s carbon fiber productions methods. The i3 EV, and upcoming i8, are built upon CFRP structures. Weight is the enemy of electric vehicles. The more weight you can take out of the actual structure of the car, the more battery cells you can carry for more power and better range, hence BMW turning to carbon fiber. It turns out that BMW has released a series of videos (bilingual, wait for the English) on that very topic. Their CFRP production uses materials made by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture between the BMW and SGL groups and the effort spans the globe. SGL has expertise in carbon fiber and in 2011 BMW took a 15% stake in the company. (Read More…)
With demand for its i3 EV surpassing BMW’s expectations, the company’s chief financial officer, Friedrich Eichiner, said that the company is considering increasing production of the electric car. Though retail deliveries will not start until next month, over 8,000 orders have been booked so far. Originally, BMW hoped to sell about 10,000 i3s in 2014, but if demand stays high, the company “will adjust capacity according to demand,” Eichiner said at an Amsterdam press conference yesterday. “If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more.” (Read More…)
September was a great month for Subaru, with the brand up 15 percent. Ford, Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW also posted solid gains. General Motors,Hyundai/Kia, Toyota, Nissan and Honda saw declines, as the SAAR dipped to 15.3 million units amid decreased consumer and business confidence. Table below the jump.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class sales shot up 44% in August 2013, a 2008-unit gain. This improvement followed up on July’s 10% year-over-year improvement, which put an end to four consecutive months of decline for the now-recently facelifted E-Class, Mercedes-Benz’s core midsize model.
Photos of the BMW i8 have appeared to emerge online prior to the hybrid sports car’s debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Designer Chris Bangle, who was strongly identified with BMW’s brand image and some controversial styling decisions before leaving the company four years ago to open up an independent design studio, says that today’s car designers are doing the same things over and over again, something he calls “mannerism”. In and interview with Automotive News Europe, Bangle said, “There is a real need for a change and that’s just not happening.”
Designers talk about innovation, but don’t really innovate, Bangle opined. “Even concept cars today simply anticipate the next production model coming down the line. Is this innovation? No. And at the end of the day this is what’s preventing car design from moving into a new era.”
TTAC commentator zamoti writes:
I have successfully nursed along my aging Maxima without replacing the transmission, but now sans muffler, balding tires and growing rust, I feel it may finally be time to part ways. Though it is fun to offer my fellow motorists a dose of the sound and the fury of the delightful 3.0 VQ, I have decided that it is time to grow up and select a more dignified form of transportation. Plus my wife calls me a hillbilly. (Read More…)
You’ve always suspected that BMWs don’t respect pedestrian safety. Now there’s a survey that confirms what you already believed, making you feel very warm and fuzzy inside.
I was recently greeted with the warm, orange glow of a check engine light on my 2002 BMW 530iA with 93,000 miles. I took the car to AutoZone and had the code read. It’s a P0741, which indicates a failing torque converter. This is apparently a common issue on E39s with the ZF 5 speed automatic, as the seals in the torque converters tend to deteriorate. (Read More…)
This past June, my wife took possession of her 2013 BMW X1. Last month I drove it for the first time.
Its official, I am a now a luddite.
This troubles me, because I have always been comfortable with technology, but the gadgets on this car are maddening.
Back in April, we reported on relatively high incentives for the Cadillac ATS, which were discovered in the midst of some fact-checking on a blatant puff piece on the brand by Bloomberg. Months later, none other than Automotive News has caught on, with their own story about the baby Cadillac’s high pricing and the resulting incentives being offered.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection’s rejection of BMW’s application to expand one of their factories is generating concern that global automaker will find it harder to win approval for their own Chinese projects.
At simultaneous events in London, Beijing and New York City, BMW publicly unveiled a new 3. It’s not the latest version of it’s segment defining 3 Series luxury sports sedan, though, it’s the i3, the first electric car from the Bavarian automaker. Comparing the auto industry to the rapid changes in century old telephone industry brought about by the cellphone, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said from New York, “The car industry has waited well over a century for its own revolution. Today the wait is over. What the mobile phone did for communication, electric mobility will do for individual mobility.” The i3 is intended to address two issues close to today’s consumers, particularly young consumers about to reach peak earning years, sustainability and connectivity. Reithofer predicted, “We are at the starting-blocks of a new era — the era of sustainable mobility.” He promised that the i3 and other EVs will will do for individual mobility what the mobile phone has done for personal communication. BMW has trademarked i0 through i9, and it is expected that eventually BMW will sell a full line of electrically powered cars. The i8 sports car, concepts of which have been shown in both coupe and roadster formats, will go on sale late next year. (Read More…)
Please welcome Ryan Patrick Murphy to TTAC. A college professor and automotive enthusiast, he’s owned two E28 BMWs, a couple of M3s, and an old 911. Lately, he has been nursing a Land Rover Discovery back to health with the aid of a local junkyard. His first contribution is a tribute to those low-eyed, Tilley-hat-wearing, steering-wheel-jerking parking-lot rats known as autocrossers — JB (SCCA autocrosser since 2002!)
I’ve been participating in a form of motorsport called autocross for about three and a half years now. It is in some ways an odd and unfamiliar sport to the general public. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of describing it, and I’ve noticed that avid enthusiasts are very particular about the language they use when explaining it to others. Let’s imagine a hypothetical conversation:
Her: “So what do you do for fun?”
Me: “I race old BMWs.”
Me: (casually) “Yep”
Her: “Tell me about it!”