BMW i focuses on eco-luxury to ready i3 for sale

How does a car manufacturer whose motto is "the ultimate driving machine" sell a front-wheel-drive car that takes 8 seconds to hit 60 mph and tops out at 93 mph? By shifting attention from under the hood to inside the cabin, focusing on the urban-electric lifestyle.

BMW opened its first dedicated BMW i Store in London this week. The BMW i3 isn't scheduled to enter production until 2013, but the company is taking advantage of the Summer Olympics to boost the new vehicle line's presence. The store serves as a showroom for its upcoming line of … Read more

Ford's 999cc EcoBoost engine wins top honors at Engine Awards

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This year's International Engine of the Year Awards saw many repeats from 2011, but stealing the show was a new sub-1-liter engine from Ford. Using direct injection and a turbocharger, this 999cc engine manages to generate 123 horsepower, enough for most subcompact and compact cars. And in European test cycles, the engine manages well over 50 mpg.

Despite the economy of Ford's engine, the Green Engine Award went to GM for the range extended electric power train in the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera.

Here are the various … Read more

Apple fans, don't expect a Siri button in your car anytime soon

Among the deluge of new features Apple talked up in the keynote for WWDC, integrating Siri with cars, in conjunction with automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Honda, and GM, generated a lot of buzz. Siri has proved a popular voice command feature in the latest iOS, and so naturally users would want that functionality integrated into their cars.

But, knowing how the auto industry works, I was skeptical about a number of aspects of this announcement. I could not believe automakers would actually put dedicated buttons just for Siri in their cars. They would also not necessarily want to … Read more

2012 BMW X5 review: The big tech roller

Automakers traditionally update a model, then leave it alone for three to five years, with maybe a minor cosmetic change somewhere in the product cycle. The X5, due for a major update in 2013, may look similar to its 2007 self, but the performance and cabin tech have all kept up with the times.

Under the hood sits BMW's N55 engine, the latest version of its 3-liter straight six cylinder, using direct injection for fuel delivery and a twin scroll turbocharger to boost power. Its eight-speed automatic transmission also represents more recent BMW technology. And BMW engineers tweaked the … Read more

BMW Zagato Coupe: German-engineered, Italian-designed

No, it is not the resurgence of the Axis, but a brilliant partnership showcasing the excellent automotive engineering of BMW and the beautiful design work of Zagato, an Italian automotive coach-builder. Zagato completely redesigned the body and cabin of a Z4, turning the roadster into a stylish coupe for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, an exclusive automotive show held on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.

The Zagato name came up last year in regard to Aston Martin, a partnership that resulted in the V12 Zagato. That limited-run Aston Martin model went for a 1 percenter price … Read more

Windows 8 Release Preview puts gadgets in the backseat

Nothing is as fascinating as the thing you can't have yet. Between Windows 8 Release Preview and a deafening cavalcade of iPhone 5 rumors, the current gadget crop didn't stand a chance this week.

This week's roundup of top-rated gear includes everything we've awarded three-and-a-half stars or above in our rating scale, and you can browse all of them in our slideshow. But first, read through our unrated Windows 8 Release Preview, written by Seth Rosenblatt. Seth has spent a lot of time with the new Windows preview, and he's played with the two-screen, app-centric … Read more

Drop the top on these 7 types of convertibles

Summer is upon us, which means that it's officially open-air motoring season. However, not all cabriolets are created equal; there are actually many different types of convertibles to choose from. We've rounded up seven of the most obvious convertible classes and the best examples of each. … Read more

Five OEM navigation systems that are worth your bucks

While just about any navigation system on the market will get you where you're going, not all of them are created equally. This is especially true in the world of OEM in-car navigation systems where screen size, interface design, feature sets, and (most importantly) price vary wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some automakers offer cutting-edge GPS navigators with innovative features that you'll wonder how you ever got along without. Others will make you wish you'd skipped the pricey navigation package and just packed a smartphone.

We've taken a look back on the most recent OEM navigation systems to have graced the Car Tech garage and picked out a few manufacturers, in no particular order, that consistently knock it out of the park when it comes offering the best in-dash technology for getting from where you are to wherever you want to be. … Read more

Mothers' Day cars: Beyond the soccer mom

A kernel of truth lies at the core of most stereotypes. Certainly mothers across the country trawl suburban streets in minivans, picking up kids from school and delivering them to various extracurricular activities, including the art of kicking a ball into a net. But the moms we know encompass a much greater variety, too much for one simple stereotype. So we considered nine other mom stereotypes, matching the cars most appropriate for them. … Read more

BMW gives ActiveE drivers incentive to fuel up with the sun

By driving electric cars, BMW ActiveE drivers have already kicked the gasoline habit. But now the auto manufacturer is giving them a little help in the effort to quit fossil fuels for good. BMW has partnered with Real Goods Solar to offer EV customers discounted residential solar panel systems so they can charge up using only the sun.

Real Goods Solar will install solar panels at homes of ActiveE drivers at a 35 percent discount. The Colorado-based company operates offices in California and Connecticut, and offers several purchase plans, including the typical upfront system purchase, a zero-down 20-year lease of … Read more