December 3rd, 2012
The Los Angeles Auto Show marked the world debut of BMW’s all-new i3 Coupe Concept electric car, and the North American debut of the i8 Spyder convertible variant on the brand’s upcoming plug-in range-extending electric supercar. The two carbon-fiber-heavy vehicles from BMW’s new “i” division are confirmed for production, and you don’t have too much longer to wait.
The i3 Concept Coupe follows the debut of the four-door i3, showing off a more compact and sportier take on the upcoming EV. Powered by a BMW-designed electric motor with 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque, the coupe will be good for an electric range of around 100 miles. Unlike most other EVs, the i3 is also rear-wheel drive, and BMW promises the same thrilling performance we’ve come to expect.
As for the i8 Spyder, we’ll see an electric motor with 131 horsepower powering the front wheels, while a mid-mounted turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 223 horsepower sends power to the rear axle. Combined peak output in the concept is 354 horsepower and 405 lb-ft. of torque.
BMW promises an all-electric range of around 19 miles, with near-Prius-level fuel efficiency once the gas engine starts spinning. Acceleration and performance are said to match the BMW M3, which translates to hair over 4 seconds from 0-60 mph and what’s sure to be a supercar-level driving experience.
The i3 EV will hit U.S. showrooms some time in 2013, with the i8 range-extending electric sports car to follow in 2014. No word yet on pricing, but you can bet they won’t come cheap.
November 15th, 2012
Set to debut in late 2013 priced from around $40,000, the BMW 4-Series is an all-new model lineup from the Bavarians that will essentially replace the 2013 3-Series coupe and convertible.
Like Audi with its A4 sedan and A5 coupe, BMW will move the 4-Series a bit up-market in price and sportiness from the sublime new 3-Series sedan. The 2014 4-Series Sport is shown in these spy shots with nothing more than some fabric coverings. Notice the elongated hood and a front-end treatment different than the sedan. Sure to cause some puzzled glances are the boomerang-shaped side fender vents… a little weird. We’ll have to see what the car looks like as a whole.
The 428i and 435i coupes will debut late in 2013 using the same turbo four-cylinder and turbo inline-six engines as their sedan counterparts, with folding-hardtop convertible models likely out in time for Summer 2014. A hotted-up M4 version is confirmed, and may dethrone the M3 as our new favorite “Ultimate Driving Machine.”
November 9th, 2012
Today marks the opening day for Skyfall, the 23rd spy film in the highly-entertaining James Bond series. Initial reports are that it’s the best Bond fill of all-time and will shatter box-office records for the franchise.
James Bond movies are about non-stop secret agent action, beautiful women, and perhaps above all, jawdropping sports cars. From the classic Aston Martin DB5 (above) of the original Bond films – which makes its triumphant return in Skyfall, now in theaters – to modern marvel BMW and Aston sports cars and even the occasional big rig, 007 gives some of the world’s most desirable models a good thrashing.
Today we look back at the last 30 years or so of 007 films to show you the evolution of Bond’s rides over the years. Which one is your favorite? The BMW Z8 is nice, but give us the DB5 and we’ll drive away happy.
2008 Aston Martin DBS V12
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Price (2012 $): $265,846 Top Speed: 191 mph
An Aston Martin employee transporting one of the DBS V12 models to the set for filming at Lake Garda, Italy accidentally drove the priceless car into the lake. He survived, but was fined for reckless driving.
2006 Aston Martin DBS V12
Casino Royale (2006)
Price (2012 $): $300,000 Top Speed: 191 mph
The DBS barrel roll stunt in the film set a new Guinness World Record for “number of barrel rolls by a car assisted by a cannon,” with seven complete rolls at the hands of stunt driver Adam Kirley.
2002 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
Die Another Day (2002)
Price (2012 $): $300,000 Top Speed: 190 mph
Lucky Bond fans may be able to come by this slot car track set featuring 1:43-scale replicas of 007′s Vanquish and his nemesis Zao’s Jaguar XKR, plus a track to recreate the film’s thrilling ice chase scenes at home.
1999 BMW Z8
The World is Not Enough (1999)
Price (2012 $): $169,846 Top Speed: 155 mph
The ultra-rare Z8 concluded BMW’s three-picture James Bond product placement deal, but the cars used in filming were models and pre-production prototypes, as the exorbitantly priced Z8 was not quite ready for prime time.
1997 BMW 750iL
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Price (2012 $): $128,908 Top Speed: 128 mph
Filming the famous remote-controlled BMW chase sequence in Tomorrow Never Dies required a BMW 750iL without a driver, an effect achieved by relocating the steering wheel behind the rear seat with a camera system for the stunt driver.
1995 BMW Z3 Roadster
Price (2012 $): $55,440 Top Speed: 121 mph
GoldenEye released just before BMW’s Z3 Roadster hit showrooms, with a special “Z3 007 Edition” offered to BMW customers to celebrate one of the most successful film product placements in history. The 007 Edition sold out in just 1 day.
1986 Kenworth W900-B
License to Kill (1989)
Price (2012 $): Unknown Top Speed: 85 mph
In License to Kill’s climactic tanker chase scene, 16 different Kenworth tanker trucks were used in filming with a variety of modifications. Long before the days of CG rendering, the segments where the truck pops wheelies and tilts on one side while in motion were all stunt driving and no camera tricks.
1985 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
The Living Daylights (1987)
Price (2012 $): $355,757 Top Speed: 170 mph
The V8 Vantage Volante used in the film’s opening sequences belonged to Aston Martin Lagonda’s then-chairman Victor Gauntlett. “Britain’s first supercar” was fitted with bulletproof windows, heat-seeking missiles and of course, a self-destruct system.
1985 Renault 11 Taxi
A View to Kill (1983)
Price (2012 $): $22,128 Top Speed: 103 mph
In what has to be one of Bond’s greatest chase sequences ever, this humble Renault taxi is crashed, thrashed and cut in half by pursuers, but Bond still drives onward on the front two wheels.
1980 Range Rover Convertible
Price (2012 $):$53,015 Top Speed: 96 mph
This rare covertible Rover is used in the film’s opening sequence, driven by “Bond girl” Maud Adams pulling what appears to be a horse trailer. The two part ways when Bond uncouples the trailer, which actually contains a jet plane for a daring escape!
November 8th, 2012
It won’t quite fit under the tree, but a brand-new BMW will make this holiday season one to remember forever. BMW now offers Holiday Bonus Cash ranging from $500 to $3,500 toward financing or a lease on most 2013 models. Returning BMW customers can also take advantage of $750 Loyalty Cash. You must finance or lease through BMW Financial Services to take advantage of these special offers, which are stackable with current 3.9% long-term APR financing on most models.
These generous offers, the best we’ve seen on new BMW models all year, are good now through Jan. 2, 2012.
2013 BMW 328i Sedan
-$1,000 Holiday APR/Lease Customer Cash + $750 APR/Lease Loyalty Cash
-3.9% APR for up to 60 months
-Lease for $339/Month for 39 Months with $3,814 due at signing (Holiday/Loyalty savings included in monthly payment.)
2013 BMW 535i Gran Turismo
-$2,000 Holiday APR/Lease Customer Cash + $750 APR/Lease Loyalty Cash
-3.9% APR for up to 60 months
-Lease for $589/Month for 39 Months with $4,314 due at signing (Holiday/Loyalty savings included in monthly payment.)
2013 BMW 650i Coupe
-$3,500 Holiday APR/Lease Customer Cash + $750 APR/Lease Loyalty Cash
-3.9% APR for up to 60 months
-Lease for $899/Month for 36 Months with $6,624 due at signing (Holiday/Loyalty savings included in monthly payment.)
October 25th, 2012
The passionate BMW tuners at G-Power can now add one more “world’s fastest” title to their books with the G-Power G1 Hurricane, an extreme take on the BMW 1-Series M Coupe. Borrowing the 2013 BMW M3‘s sweet 4.0-liter V8 then supercharging it all the way to 600 horsepower and 427 lb-ft. of torque, G-Power’s latest can bolt from 0 to 125 mph in 12.7 seconds and hit more than 205 mph, making it the fastest 1-Series around.
Much more than a standard 1-Series strapped to an engine, the G1 Hurricane sees carbon-ceramic brakes from Mov’it that cut unsprung mass in half, plus a KW-designed adjustable coilover suspension and 20-inch wheels wrapped with 255/30ZR-20 front and 295/25ZR-20 Michilin Pilot Super Sport tires. An unpainted carbon fiber hood and trunk lid further help with weight reduction, and good looks.
G-Power will build “up to 30″ examples of the G1 Hurricane at a price of… they don’t say. Far too much for our humble journalist salaries.