BMW 4 Series picks up where the 3 left off

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

BMW 4 Series: It's not a 3 Series. Really.

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

BMW combines all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid in concept

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

Final drive: Taking the E92 BMW M3 around the Nurburgring

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

One of a kind: The BMW M1

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

BMW roadster is expensive, impractical, exhilarating

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

How does the new BMW i3 compare with our favorite EVs?

This morning, BMW finally pulled the wraps off of the 2014 BMW i3 electric car, laying clear the last details surrounding this car for the cities of the future.

The car arrives in the second quarter of 2014, so it will be a while before most of you will be able to take one for a spin. In the meantime, we've got a lot of specs on our hands, so let's compare the i3's numbers with those of competing small EV models.

2014 BMW i3 I'd wager that BMW placed a high emphasis on driving dynamics … Read more

Electric BMW i3 comes with backup vehicle

CNET Update is charged up:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about the electric BMW i3, and how it compares to the competition. The i3 is said to travel 80 to 100 miles on a single charge, but if that doesn't work for a specific situation like a road trip, BMW wrote in a press release that it would provide an alternative vehicle to the owner. Bloomberg goes further and reports that owners will have the add-on option to book a conventional vehicle, like an X5 SUV, to drive several weeks a year.

- See why the new … Read more

First look at the BMW i3 electric car

For the amount of fanfare and effort BMW gave to its i3 electric car, I would have expected something at least nearly competitive with the Tesla Model S. But BMW's vision for a clean, futuristic urban vehicle doesn't reach far beyond what has already been put on the market by Nissan, Mitsubishi, Ford, and Honda, at least when it comes to raw performance numbers.

With an electric vehicle, performance primarily means range. BMW estimates the i3 will go 80 to 100 miles between charges, putting it in the same class as the majority of electric cars launched in … Read more

BMW's short, innovative road to the i3 electric car

Back in 2010, BMW began talking up what it called a Megacity Vehicle, a new electric car it would develop for the cities of the future. Not taking any half-measures, the company would run a test fleet of converted electric vehicles, come up with new carbon fiber manufacturing processes, launch a whole new brand, and design a car from a clean sheet.

The result of this intensive effort, the production version of the i3 electric car, will be unveiled Monday in New York, London, and Beijing.

Although BMW likely began plans for what would become the i3 electric car before … Read more