In the upper reaches of automotive performance, the hybrid sports car is becoming a real thing. Witness the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, and McLaren P1. Those examples seem like efforts to maintain the relevance of high-end performance in an oil-starved world.
But BMW may just be cracking the code with its i8.
Unlike the competition, which tend toward evolutionary changes built from existing models, BMW designed the i8 as a wholly new car, constructed from the ground on up to exemplify performance and minimal fossil fuel consumption. And deviating from the i3 model, its sibling in BMW's new … Read more
FRANKFURT -- The Frankfurt auto show was good news for automotive enthusiasts, as it played host to the debuts of three new coupes and a boodle of compact SUVs. The best cars in the world have been coupes, and for good reason. The format allows breathtaking design and sporty handling.
Compact SUVs, a new segment, are cool, too. They tend to be nimble, but offer utility and comfort. Judging from the show, premium brands are showing huge interest in compact SUVs.
So let's take a look at what is on offer in Frankfurt this year.
Our coverage of the 2013 Frankfurt auto show is just about wrapping up. Some of the highlights included the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder making a brilliant, record-breaking debut, BMW bringing back some serious sporty intentions with the 4 Series, and Nissan unveiling one of its newest concepts, a smartwatch. And while cars, both production and concept, were the obvious main attraction, nothing could prepare us for Smart's electric bicycle.
Join us on a video tour of some of the hottest sights from the show.
FRANKFURT -- The BMW 3 Series may not be gone, but it might be best forgotten. There's a new ultimate driving machine in town, and it's called the BMW 4 Series. This new even-numbered BMW series takes up the performance mantle formerly worn by the 3 Series.
BMW shifted its body styles around to accommodate the new model, canceling the coupe version of the 3 Series and dedicating it to the new 4. Later, a convertible version of the 4 Series will be available.
The 4 Series shows different proportions from the 3 Series, with a longer nose … Read more
Scotland is cold, windy, and where rain is made. It's also breathtakingly beautiful, offering vistas, hills, and sights that only a lucky few will get to truly appreciate.
Scotland is also going to vote as to whether it gets to be its own country in 2014. Some of its residents want to live in an entity separate from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and are making quite a fuss about it. If you saw Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year, you may have seen a largish man, resembling a cartoon, waving a Scottish flag in … Read more
With the launch of the i3, and its dedicated i brand, BMW has been making a lot of noise about electric cars lately. At next month's Frankfurt auto show, that noise will bleed over into its existing model line with a new plug-in hybrid based on the X5 SUV.
BMW points out that the car will represent the first time it has built a vehicle combining the xDrive all-wheel-drive and its eDrive gasoline-electric hybrid system.
As a plug-in hybrid, the X5 eDrive combines a four-cylinder engine with a 70-kilowatt electric motor, and includes a lithium ion battery pack under … Read more
I was advised not to have a heavy Saturday night. Sunday was going to be an intense start to some pretty hard-core training on one of the most demanding roads in the world. So, naturally, I found myself slumped in a seat on a flight to Frankfurt with a hangover that could slay a Silverback being stared at by a man in a suit.
Why was he staring at me? Clear look of a man in distress aside, I was concentrating as hard as I could on a PS Vita, and an adult playing video games in public is still … Read more
When you think of '70s supercars, you tend to think of Lamborghinis and Ferraris -- big, wedgy things that make a lovely noise and go very quickly indeed. You don't tend to think of BMW, do you?
I can't blame you for that. It's a brand that isn't really synonymous with supercars. Fast saloons, yes, but a supercar? Well, in the late '70s, BMW did indeed produce a supercar, the M1. Very few were made, and its development was fraught with delays, financial troubles, and moving goal posts.
It's such a shame that the M1 … Read more
I love the simplicity of a good roadster. There is a purity to the direct connection between driver and vehicle, with no extra seats, no gadgetry, and so few distractions from the singular purpose of driving quickly. The lack of a roof means that you're in the environment, not just driving through it, enhancing the connection with the road. Lots of people like cars, but what roadster fans are really in love with is driving.
The 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive35is is not so simple. It's packed to the gills with tech. It's not quite at a Mercedes-Benz … Read more