The Future of Small Rear Wheel Drive BMWs to be Decided Late This Year

With the economic pressures leading to unifying platforms and the ever increasing popularity of all wheel drive (misplaced in our minds) the iconic rear… The post The Future of Small Rear Wheel… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my...

With the economic pressures leading to unifying platforms and the ever increasing popularity of all wheel drive (misplaced in our minds) the iconic rear… The post The Future of Small Rear Wheel… [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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BMW Motorrad Sales Up 31% in June—Best Six Months in History

BMW Motorrad closed the first half of 2015 with a new six-month sales record. A total of 78,418 motorcycles and maxi scooters were supplied worldwide as of June 2015 (prev. yr.: 70,978 units). This represents an increase of 10.5% over the equivalent ...

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BMW Motorrad closed the first half of 2015 with a new six-month sales record. A total of 78,418 motorcycles and maxi scooters were supplied worldwide as of June 2015 (prev. yr.: 70,978 units). This represents an increase of 10.5% over the equivalent period in the previous year. BMW Motorrad also set a new record in […]

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United buys a BMW i8

Football star striker Wayne Rooney rolled into Manchester United’s Carrington training ground today in his new BMW i8 sports car. The plug-in hybrid car costs £105,000 in the UK and it’s an interesting choice for the star considering his...

Football star striker Wayne Rooney rolled into Manchester United’s Carrington training ground today in his new BMW i8 sports car. The plug-in hybrid car costs £105,000 in the UK and it’s an interesting choice for the star considering his colleagues rolled in with less environmentally-friendly cars, like the Audi RS7 or Range Rover. Rooney chose the Ionic Silver Metallic, one of the four colors offered by BMW. BMW i8 uses a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a turbocharged three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and BMW eDrive technology in the form of an electric drive system.

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The 1.5-liter combustion engine develops 170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels of the BMW i8, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric drive sends its power to the front wheels and allows an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Rooney is just one of the celebrities who has shown interest in the new, shiny i8; even former James Bond seems to be fond of the hybrid sportscar. Related: ALPINA should tune an i8 The article Wayne Rooney of Manchester United buys a BMW i8 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW/Toyota vs Tesla: Hydrogen vs Pure EV

Ever since the creation of the i Division, BMW has become Tesla’s main competitor. No other company is accelerating its alternative fuel program lately like BMW and Tesla. Until now, that is. Toyota seems to be getting into the mix, and it seems to...

Ever since the creation of the i Division, BMW has become Tesla’s main competitor. No other company is accelerating its alternative fuel program lately like BMW and Tesla. Until now, that is. Toyota seems to be getting into the mix, and it seems to be siding with BMW. BMW has long been a proponent of plug-in hybrid and hydrogen technology, rather than full on EVs. Tesla, and its eccentric owner, Elon Musk on the other hand have been fighting hard against such vehicles, claiming that pure EV is the only way to go. Well, Toyota seems to agree with BMW’s hydrogen ideas, as it has just developed the Mirai, the world’s longest range zero-emission vehicle, to put its money where its mouth is.

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The Mirai is an electric car, just like the Tesla Model S, but instead creates its electricity via hydrogen fuel-cells, which then power the battery. The Mirai also has an EPA-estimated 312 mile range on a single tank, compared to the Model S’ 270 miles of pure EV range. The main difference, however, is that the Mirai can be refilled with hydrogen in minutes and be back on its way, whereas the Model S needs a couple of hours to fully recharge. This hydrogen technology found in the Mirai is being utilized by both Toyota and BMW, as both companies believe that this is the way of the future “The Mirai is now poised to usher in a new era of efficient, hydrogen transportation,” said Jim Lenz, Toyota’s North American CEO. It’s not hard to see why Lenz, as well as the rest of Toyota and BMW, would feel that way. Hydrogen is very cheap, in comparison to gasoline, emits zero pollutants, can be refilled in minutes and is the most abundant element in the universe. So it seems as though hydrogen cars are the perfect answer to all of our problems.

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Musk, however, has been an avid opponent of such technology, even going as far as to call hydrogen “so bullshit”. He does have some valid arguments against hydrogen. Hydrogen fuel cells, at the moment, are very expensive to create and so is creating the compressed hydrogen. Electricity is also easier to harness, as it can come from solar power, wind power or from the grid. But by far the biggest argument against hydrogen fuel-cell cars is the infrastructure. At the moment, hydrogen fill-up stations are as few and far between as electric ones, probably even more so, actually. So if you have a hydrogen-powered car, you can refill in minutes so long as you can find a station. So range anxiety is still an issue.

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However, in hydrogen’s defense, EV charge stations aren’t exactly everywhere, either. It’s not as if they’re as common as a Starbucks. The infrastructure can be created, but that can be said for hydrogen as well. The only issue with complaining about the lack of infrastructure for hydrogen refill stations is that even if EV charge stations become extremely common, they will still take far longer to get you back on the road. A hydrogen refill station works much like a current gas station, so it seems like the infrastructure for hydrogen would be easier to create. EV charge stations need to be placed extremely specifically so as to allow for coordinated charging over long journeys. They also need to be placed near strip malls or attractions, so drivers have something to do while they wait. Related: BMW i8 with Hydrogen Fuel Cell Both technologies have their pros and cons. BMW and Toyota both feel that pure EVs are the final solution, but acknowledge their technological shortcomings are too great at the moment and that hydrogen fuel-cells are the right intermediate answer. Tesla feels that spending time and money on developing such technology and infrastructure, only to tear them both down again for pure EVs, is a waste. It’s easy to see why each company is doing what they’re doing, but we don’t know who is right. What we do know is that the new Toyota Mirai will give us a much better look into hydrogen fuel-cell technology and how effective it is at replacing gasoline in our day to day lives. The article BMW/Toyota vs Tesla: Hydrogen vs Pure EV appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

An Alpine White BMW E92 335i was at European Auto Source for a suspension update, giving the last generation 3 Series Coupe better handling and a sportier stance. The tuning shop installed a set of height adjustable coilovers from ST Suspensions. For...

An Alpine White BMW E92 335i was at European Auto Source for a suspension update, giving the last generation 3 Series Coupe better handling and a sportier stance. The tuning shop installed a set of height adjustable coilovers from ST Suspensions. For those looking to lower their car, these coilovers are a step above normal lowering springs. The Speedtech Coilover System, which are manufactured by KW, boast excellent all around performance, providing a balance between performance, looks, and comfort. After the install, the car proudly flaunted its new, aggressive stance.

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Full showcase of this build can be found in the photoshoot added below

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension UpdateAlpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update

The article Alpine White BMW E92 335i Gets A Suspension Update appeared first on BMW BLOG

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Top 10 Plug-In Electric Cars In US

Plug-in electric car sales in the US are approaching 350,000 units. At the end of June the number was over 345,000. Year 2015 is the worst ever in terms of growth. In June, the sales drop hit a record high of 16% over 2014. The overall market shrank ...

Plug-in electric car sales in the US are approaching 350,000 units. At the end of June the number was over 345,000. Year 2015 is the worst ever in terms of growth. In June, the sales drop hit a record high of 16% over 2014. The overall market shrank by over 3% in the first half of the year. New models on the market and a rush of Tesla Model Ssales (up over 50%) didn’t make up for the drop of LEAF, Volt and Plug-In Prius. The second half of the year has the potential to rebuild, but that all depends on the 2016 Volt rollout, Model X and and an improved offering from Nissan. As of today, average market share of electric cars is at about 0.64%.

Top 10 Plug-In Electric Cars In US – Sales-2

There are over 20 pure electric or plug-in hybrid cars on the market. Here are Top 10 models (in terms of total sales), since December 2010:

Top 10 Plug-In Electric Cars In US – Sales-4

Some of the EVs, available from the beginning, have had a clear advantage in the above graphs over the newcomers. Let’s now check which models are selling the best so far this year:

Top 10 Plug-In Electric Cars In US – Sales-5

[Source: InsideEVs] The article Top 10 Plug-In Electric Cars In US appeared first on BMW BLOG

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ChargePoint Home Charger Pricing: $499 To $749

ChargePoint has just released pricing information for its residential CharegPoint Home EVSE. Pricing starts at $499 and goes up to $749, depending on configuration. “ChargePoint Home delivers the same seamless charging experience ChargePoint users ...

ChargePoint has just released pricing information for its residential CharegPoint Home EVSE. Pricing starts at $499 and goes up to $749, depending on configuration. “ChargePoint Home delivers the same seamless charging experience ChargePoint users have come to count on at work and around town – and now it’s conveniently available in a driver’s own garage,” said ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano. “A Wi-Fi enabled, networked, EV charging station gives drivers freedom by allowing them to remotely start, schedule and set reminders for charging, all through their mobile app.”

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ChargePoint Home’s price varies based on power level, installation type and cord length. The station is available as a 32 amp station that can deliver a maximum of 25 miles of Range Per Hour (RPH), or a 16 amp station that can deliver a maximum of 12 RPH. Cords are available in 12, 18, and 25 feet. The station can be installed either indoors or outdoors, is available in a plug or hardwired version, and has a universal J1772™ connector that is compatible with all EVs on the road today. ChargePoint Home is integrated with a driver’s ChargePoint account so they can see residential, public and workplace charging via their mobile app. Drivers can also view their energy usage and how many miles they’ve added during a charging session depending on their car. Plus ChargePoint Home works with Nest so drivers can save on energy costs. Sales of ChargePoint Home will begin this Summer on Amazon.com. The article ChargePoint Home Charger Pricing: $499 To $749 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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June 2015 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales

The real start of plug-in vehicle sales in the United States each year have always been a fair-weather thing. Prior to heading into the first month of summer, sales jumped last month to an estimated 11,540 vehicles in May from about 9,000 the month p...

The real start of plug-in vehicle sales in the United States each year have always been a fair-weather thing. Prior to heading into the first month of summer, sales jumped last month to an estimated 11,540 vehicles in May from about 9,000 the month prior. Which begged the question, “Can June top May?” As it turns out, even with the strongest showing of Tesla Motors in 2015, it could not. An estimated 10,365 sales meant June fell about 10% short of the mark, and 16% lower than a year ago. Even the result was not so great, the industry was already looking past this month’s results (and the summer in general) due to the fact that the next generation cars – starting with the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, are on the horizon for this fall, as well as many new premium offerings, and an expected longer range Nissan LEAF (using the current generation’s platform).

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Also of interest this month: GM showed off 55 pre-production Chevrolet Bolt mules, indicating they were already well within achieving the targeted 200+ mile range rating, and heading into production next year. This article first appeared on InsideEVs Chevrolet Volt:

2011 Chevrolet Volt

In June, 1,225 Volts were sold, which wasn’t a totally unexpected amount as 2015 inventory dwindles. Previously in May we learned to never underestimate the power of strong incentives to sales. During the month, GM crested the 4-digit mark for the first time in 2015 – and by quite a large margin, as 1,619 Volts were moved. We now are in a ‘no-man’s land’ of sorts as the last first generation Volt rolled off the line in May, and the first 2016 Volt won’t be arriving until around September (in limited numbers – full rollout out is expected by December). Assuming that GM will do what it has to sell off the majority of remaining old-style Volt inventory before the new edition arrives, how many Volts will be sold over the next 4-5 months are so becomes simple math. Heading into July about 6,000 Volts have been produced and remain unsold; meaning we expect a normalized rate of about ~1,200-1,500 going forward. Last year (2014) 18,805 cars were been sold – which was down 18.6% from 2013 when GM moved 20,702 Volts. This means that the Volt is the first electric vehicle to post two consecutive years of falling sales in America. Nissan LEAF:

Nissan-Leaf

While sales were still off by about 12% from a year ago, Nissan managed to sell more than 2,000 LEAFs during the month for only the second time in 2015, with 2,074 moved. Last month, the LEAF become only the 2nd car to pass the 2,000-unit sold/per month mark in the industry this year with 2,104 cars sold. Through the first 6 months of the year, the LEAF is still off by 22.9% with 9,816 cars sold in 2015, versus 12,735 through May in 2014. Somewhat slower sales in the earlier months of the year meant that LEAF inventory had been slightly overbuilt and easily crested the 5,000 unit mark in early May, however stronger sales has reduced that total number by about 500 units entering July. While many plug-in cars month-to-month outlook is fairly easy to call, the Nissan LEAF forecast waters are fairly muddy. June’s sales result represents the last month that the $5,000 rebate is available on the LEAF in Georgia (the program expired June 30th on all BEVs), which has historically accounted for as much as 25% of sales in any given month. The absence of this program will cause downward sales pressure on the model. However, bumping short term demand is the fact Nissan has now started to more aggressively discount the EV, which is also expected to get a range bump this fall on the 2016 LEAF SV and SL trim levels, that features 30 kWh of total power, an improvement of 25% – meaning a theoretical range north of 100 miles. The bad news is that the 2016 LEAF isn’t expected to arrive until around October. So what will sales be like from July to September for the best selling plug-in for America? Really, who knows? BMW i3:

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After posting a terrible month for sale in April with just 406 copies sold (near an all-time low), the BMW i3 bounced back nicely in May with 818 sold. Unfortunately, June went the other way again, with just 551 sold, bringing the year to date total to 4,456. In 2014, BMW sold 6,092 i3s, good for the 7th best overall spot for plug-in sales in America…not bad considering it was only available for 7 full months in the US. Given the wild swings of late in BMW i3 sales its hard to tell is the current inventory level of about ~1,700 cars over the past 2 months is appropriate to demand, too much, or too shallow. BMW i8:

BMW-i8-Protonic-Blue-Wimmer-Fotografie-27

Almost setting a new high again this month for the year was the i8.  During June 137 were sold. Truthfully, “consistency” is the now the word for BMW i8 sales, as  117 moved in May, and 138 in April – or perhaps the word should be “allocation-restrained”? All great results so far in 2015, as it only takes about 20 days for a car landed in the US to find a home.  We don’t expected to see what the normalized demand is in the US for the i8 until the company can better produce the car. The high mark for the i8 was set at 204 plug-in sports cars sold in October of 2014. 555 i8s were sold in total in 2014…out of the approximate 555 that were shipped from BMW’s Leipzig assembly plant. Tesla Model S:

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Tesla does not give out exact monthly sales (apparently because the public can’t handle the concept of regional allocations and delivery lead times)… so we never know for sure what the monthly numbers total up to until Tesla’s quarterly updates add clarity, but we do our best to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening. To come to an estimated monthly, number, we don’t simply take the quarterly estimate given by Tesla and divide it by 3 and hope it all works out…it just doesn’t work like that in the real world. We simply report from the data we accumulate ourselves, the first hand accounts available from the factory and from the community itself when available – and the number is what it is. So far that has worked out pretty well, with no quarter being off by more than 300 units versus information Tesla has reported publicly, and for the full year results last year we came within 100 units with our net estimate of 17,300. That being said, we only estimate this number because Tesla does not, and to not put a number on Model S sales would be to paint an even more inaccurate overall picture of EV sales. Despite our fairly accurate track record, we are not analysts, portfolio managers and we do not own any positions in Tesla the company. If you look ahead to Tesla’s production schedule guidance given to Model S customers for this summer, there seems to be a huge void for production/deliveries in July and August.  Why?  Think Model X.  We expect the Model X online configurator to come online in a couple weeks, and production not too much later…although that is really jejune to this Model S sales report. What is important is that Tesla delivered a lot of Model S sedans in North America in June before what appears to be an extended lull beginning in the second half of July while the company focuses on getting the Model X production online. Truth be told we aren’t sure what to make of sales outside of the US.  Either Tesla is ignoring the international market for the United States, or the demand just isn’t there. That being said, we figure Tesla sold a substantial 2,800 copies of the Model S in North America for June.  Bringing the quarterly total here to about 6,900 units.  Heading into April, Tesla put sales guidance of 10,000 to 11,000 EVs sold overall for the 2nd quarter. As best we can calculate from registrations, no more than 2,100 plug-in sedans at best were sold in Europe through April and May; but from what we can tell the company did a rare “Euro-push” in the last couple days of June to easily beat previous efforts and topple the low end of its guidance target.  On top of these sales of course is the numbers from Asia, unfortunately those reports have been fairly unreliable; we do however feel they are fairly insignificant in Q2 – perhaps between 500 and 1,000 units. We aren’t really in the predicting business, but if we were, we think Tesla edged out guidance in Q2 easily by more than a few hundred units. Update:  Tesla has indeed pre-announced sales for the Model S for Q2, and what do you know?  They beat the guidance by a couple hundred units – 11,507. The article June 2015 Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales appeared first on BMW BLOG

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BMW Canada M European Tour 2015 mega gallery

6 Days, 6 Countries from Munich to Monaco. That sums up the BMW Canada M European Delivery Tour 2015 program. All the M3 and M4 delivered Individual Launch Editions and as such, fully equipped with every M3/4 option available including Individual Pa...

6 Days, 6 Countries from Munich to Monaco. That sums up the BMW Canada M European Delivery Tour 2015 program. All the M3 and M4 delivered Individual Launch Editions and as such, fully equipped with every M3/4 option available including Individual Paint, Individual Full Leather Merino Interiors, CCB’s and a complete suite of Carbon Fiber M-Performance and M-Performance exhaust. Check out the 100′s of photos inside!

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BMW E30 333i: South African M3

The E30 M3. BMW’s most iconic sports car. There’s not much I can say about it that you don’t already know, but I’m going to anyway. The E30 M3 was built as a production car for homologation purposes so BMW could go racing with it. Basically, ...

The E30 M3. BMW’s most iconic sports car. There’s not much I can say about it that you don’t already know, but I’m going to anyway. The E30 M3 was built as a production car for homologation purposes so BMW could go racing with it. Basically, BMW put a high-revving gem of a four-cylinder into its smallest saloon car, lightened it up, gave it some cool aero bits and went racing. But the E30 M3 was only produced for certain markets, as it wasn’t originally meant to be a high-volume production car. So even though it became a massive success and was considered at the time to be one of the best driving cars in the world, many markets didn’t have the opportunity to try it out. South Africa was one of those markets. So BMW built them something else.

BMW E30 333i

Welcome the BMW 333i, or Triple Three. Basically, the 333i was a standard E30 325i with a 3,210 cc (3.2 liter) engine, from 733i, 533i and 633CSi, stuffed under its hood. The car was built with some help from Alpina, in Buchloe, Germany, so naturally it had some extra performance tweaks as well. A close-ratio five-speed manual gearbox, limited-slip differential and Alpina dual ventilated front disc brakes were also fitted. They also came with 16” Alpina wheels wearing 195/50/R16 Pirellis. ABS was an optional extra. Another interesting option was the air conditioning, which would eliminate the power steering option when had, as the massive engine wouldn’t allow the space for both systems. So you either sweat from the South African heat but had easy steering, or worked hard at the steering wheel and stayed nice and cool.

@Drive-My.com

@Drive-My.com That big I6 engine gave the 333i 194 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. That’s not bad considering the era and size of the car. Performance figures weren’t too shabby for the era, being able to hit 60mph in 7.4 seconds and do the standing kilometer in 27.7 seconds. It wasn’t the performer that the E30 M3 was, but it was the closest thing anyone could get in South Africa at the time and was a big upgrade from the 325i.

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The BMW 333i is still a rare thing, though, even in South Africa. Only 210 were built with 204 being sold to the public. These are miniscule numbers, so the event of seeing an E30 333i in South Africa is almost as rare as seeing an E30 M3. That rarity almost makes the 333i more desirable to some enthusiasts, as E30 M3’s are so universally well known. But driving around in a 333i shows the world that you have a true gem, something with genuinely special performance capabilities as well as extreme rarity. The BMW E30 333i may not be as good of a car as the E30 M3, but it’s definitely just as special.   The article BMW E30 333i: South African M3 appeared first on BMW BLOG

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