2015 BMW M4 gets smaller, more powerful engine

DETROIT -- Sport driving enthusiasts long revered the M3 as a high-performance, somewhat affordable car for road and track. Those enthusiasts will have to get used to saying M4 instead, the new name for the previous M3 coupe.

Beyond a simple name change, however, the M4 and its M3 sedan sibling are wholly new cars, featuring down-sized yet more powerful engines along with new body and performance components. Although the M4 and M3 share performance components, serious drivers will be more interested in the coupe for its sleek styling.

The design of the new M4 is not radically different from … Read more

At CES 2014, the cars drive you

LAS VEGAS -- At last year's CES, the topic of driverless cars came up from Audi and Lexus, but it was largely talk. Just one year later, we are seeing real-world demonstrations of the technology. New platforms for app integration in cars were also on display, as was an exciting new trend, letting drivers get information and control some car functions with a smartwatch.

Audi and BMW, along with automotive suppliers Bosch and Valeo, demonstrated some driverless car technologies. Rather than a fully enabled autonomous vehicle that can drive across town by itself, these demonstrations focused on next-generation features … Read more

With i3 electric car, BMW wants you to consider public transit

LAS VEGAS -- Trains, buses, and automobiles; you can use them all to get to a destination, and BMW shows you how with the intermodal navigation feature of its My Remote app for the i3 electric car.

At CES 2014, BMW explained how the system shows multiple transit options when plotting how to get to a destination. An i3 owner could enter a destination, and the app will figure out routes combining driving, walking, and public transit. For example, you could select a route that has you driving to a train station, taking a train to another city, then walking … Read more

BMW hits the performance limits with its driverless car

LAS VEGAS -- When you think about autonomous cars, it is often in reference to the sensor technology making the car aware of objects and other vehicles around it. Here at CES 2014, BMW showed off another technology key to making autonomous cars a reality, the systems needed to steer, accelerate, and brake.

And BMW demonstrated it on a racetrack with a 6 Series tackling a wet corner, a slalom, and s-turns at serious speed.

In fact, the 6 Series went as fast as its computer said it could without losing grip. I sat in the passenger seat while a … Read more

BMW i3's push-button parallel parking

LAS VEGAS -- BMW tends to do things its own way, which is the case with the new automated parallel parking system for the new i3. Unlike similar systems from other automakers, the driver of the i3 can keep hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals while the car parks itself.

During a demonstration at CES 2014, I sat in the driver's seat of the i3 electric car. BMW stationed a row of cars along a curb, with one relatively small space open for parallel parking. When I was ready to find a spot, I pressed a … Read more

Nvidia at CES 2014: Join us at 8 p.m. PT Sunday (live blog)

It's that time of year again, and Nvidia again kicks off the Consumer Electronics Show with the first major press conference of the week.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker will hold its event at 8 p.m. PT on Sunday at the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas. CNET's Eric Franklin, James Martin, and I will bring you all the live news, photos, and commentary starting about 30 minutes before the event.

Join CNET's live blog of Nvidia's CES press conference. Traditionally known for making graphics processing units found in computers and game consoles, Nvidia … Read more

First drive in the BMW i3 (CNET On Cars, Episode 31)


iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


In this episode:

BMW's i3 is a fascinating departure in almost every way Hemi engines: What were they...what are they? Top 5 fuel economy myths Understanding your kid's car booster seat E-mail: Clear auto-protection films to prevent paint chips

After you watch out Car Tech 101 on hemi engines, you may wonder why Chrysler is using them in modern cars where high RPM, compactness, and fuel efficiency are so important. The simple answer is today's Chrysler Hemi … Read more

BMW's M6 Gran Coupe, a big, effortless rocket ride (CNET On Cars, Episode 30)


iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


In this episode:

BMW's M6 Gran Coupe, a new member of the M family. Bumper impact tech may not save your life, but perhaps you wallet. Detail your car instead of buying a new one (see the products list below). Five top performance technologies that used to be only on high-end cars Safety tech that has trickled down from high-end cars E-mail: When and how will Alfa ever return to the US?

Here's the list of products I like … Read more

BMW i3 declassified: Why the Bavarian Motor Works' little EV has big potential

When young, nimble companies displace established, stalwart ones, it forces everyone to keep on their toes. Disruption has pushed the consumer tech world to insane levels of churn, but even the humble automobile is not immune. Tesla is the poster child for vehicular disruption, a new brand launching a new luxury automobile that, within a few months, was outselling popular models from Lexus, Porsche, and even BMW. Others are coming, with their own alternative cars and motorcycles, all intent on knocking the now-familiar brands from their comfortable perches.

Keenly aware of its position in the crosshairs, the Bavarian Motor Works … Read more

BMW M6 Gran Coupe takes performance to insane levels

A car like the Scion FR-S, driven on a twisty road, makes you feel like a really skillful driver. The 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe offers no such validation. Unless you push it to extremely dangerous speeds, it will take that same road and make it feel like a walk in the park.

BMW originally built its M cars as special editions for the company's racing drivers. Since that time the M brand has become popularized to the point where you can even get an M3 Convertible. The M6, however, has the kind of performance chops that can best … Read more