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!”
It is with dewey-eyed sentimentality that the autoblogosphere is treating the final example of the BMW M3. After nearly a quarter century as the world’s benchmark for performance coupes, the last E92 has rolled off the line.
A report in Automotive News Europe (courtesy of Bloomberg) highlights just how much growth potential there is for BMW in China. Karsten Engel, BMW’s top man in China told the outlet
“Strong growth in future will come from the smaller cities, and the strong growth will also come especially from the western region…There are 100 cities with more than a million inhabitants in China with no premium car dealers at all, so this shows the huge potential we’re having in this country,” he said in an interview in Beijing.
Put another way: in 1994, BMW sold 800 cars annually in China. Now, they sell about 900 per day.
Members of the media are still speculating why Audi’s R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer was sacked and replaced by Volkswagen’s engineering rock star Urlich Hackenberg. Today, the market delivered the reason: With BMW in the passing lane in China and America, global sales of the roundel brand keep rising faster than those of Audi and Mercedes. (Read More…)
With Mercedes cranking out AWD versions of their AMG products and Audi finally bringing their AWD “RS” products to America, it was only a matter of time before BMW have in and added some front-wheel motivation to their M5. Just kidding. BMW maintains that the M5 will forever retain RWD. This means the M5 will focus on dynamics and not acceleration. BMW’s answer to this deficiency since 2010 comes in the form of the X5M and X6M cousins.
230 horsepower and 3362 lbs doesn’t sound very impressive on paper. But that’s the last reason anyone buys a BMW 328i. I admit that in my numbers-obsessed adolescence, I was skeptical of the promise of a silky-smooth I6 and the intangible promise of perfect poise and balance. Why not just go straight for the 335i? And then I drove one.
Jack Baruth is no stranger to driving fast on public roads, and he’s not afraid to go public with his exploits. Over at Road & Track, our man JB reflects on some of his own mis-adventures while pondering the death of Giorgi Tvezadze, the Georgian fellow who became YouTube famous for his own dangerous driving stunts behind the wheel of a BMW E34 M5. As far as I’m concerned, a guy like this is better off dead. But Jack has a much more eloquent take on things, while managing to weave in references to Hume and DeNiro.
In the face of potential CO2 regulations that would mandate tough emissions regulations for new cars in the Eurozone, Germany is doing its best to shut them down completely. And the rest of the EU, along with some OEMs, are not happy about it.
It started innocently enough: Derek Kreindler posted the above photo on Facebook for nothing more than a few social media lulz. Which triggered a memory on my end of Al Gore’s Internet: of a cellular phone residing in the console of my Lincoln Mark VIII. Even worse, it reminded me of the way-cool hack to make it work in the digital age. The conversation went downhill from there, and the boss man suggested I blog all about it. Won’t you join me in the cellular madness? (Read More…)
Yes, we know that you’ve all been bombarded with endless stories about modular kits these last few days. While there is a camp of skeptics out there, the move towards modular architectures is happening, and it’s going to have an effect on the way that sports cars are made. My theory is below, feel free to disagree with it.
One of the things Doug and I wanted to do with this column is to highlight the regional differences in car choices – not just in condition and value but the overall selection. Any surprise that humid, sunny Atlanta has a dearth of Audis while snowy Canada is awash in them?
I know a guy who used to own a BMW 318ti. Like most 318 shoppers, he paid way too much because it had a roundel on the front. At some point he realized that 25-grand (in 1997) was an awful lot to have paid for an asthmatic 138-horsepower rattletrap and sold it. Likewise, the fog lifted at BMW and they refocused on volume models. Then came the 1 series, a fantastic little car that hasn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire. The Germans are a persistent people, so for 2013 they are fishing with fresh bait. Click through the jump as we look at the cheapest BMW in America, the 2013 BMW X1.