BMW takes the top off the i8 hybrid concept

While most auto manufacturers are focusing their attention on the news and new models being revealed at the New York International Auto Show this week, BMW is setting its sights on the Beijing motor show, where it will debut the latest addition to the i family of vehicles.

The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is a topless two-seater version of the i8 coupe, and will make its first appearance at the Beijing motor show later this month. Slightly shorter than its 2+2 sibling, the Concept Spyder makes generous use of the carbon fiber reinforced plastic used in the LifeDrive architecture, … Read more

Rumors and teasers from the New York auto show

The New York auto show follows Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Geneva, making it the last of the big international shows of the season. This is the show for automakers that have been pulling their punches, waiting to make a splash against fewer new model launches. And this year sees some tantalizing details of new models from Nissan, BMW, and Subaru, and mystery cars from Acura and Toyota. … Read more

Car Tech Live 256: New York auto show preview and the last live show ever! (podcast)

The Feds want to ban navigation systems, a preview of the New York auto show, we take a ride in not one, but two very fast cars, and finally we say goodbye to Car Tech Live.

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Fed driver distraction guidelines make navigation unusable

Piece the 2013 Nissan Altima together from this trio of teasers

BMW X1 in New York heralds U.S. introduction

Toyota new sedan

New Acura Flagship to Debut at the New York International Auto Show

Prestige hybrids: Luxury cars with electric boost

The inherent frugality of a hybrid car might make you think of a no-frills driving experience. But luxury automakers have learned the win-win nature of an electric-assisted power train.

Infiniti, Porsche, and BMW devised their own takes on the hybrid car, fitting these fuel-efficient systems into full-size sedans and SUVs. Lincoln borrowed a hybrid system from sister brand Ford for its own midsize sedan, the MKZ. And Lexus even transferred the Prius hybrid power train into a luxury hatchback.… Read more

BMW X1 in New York heralds U.S. introduction

A few years ago, BMW debuted a new, smaller SUV in Europe, suggesting it would also export the car to the U.S. But the X1 never made it to our shores as demand for the car in its existing markets took up all of its production, and the dollar fell against the Euro.

Click through for the full photo gallery and more details.

Those unfortunate circumstances seem to have changed enough, as BMW will now be showing off the X1 at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Bringing it to a major U.S. show means one thing: the X1 will hit U.S. dealers as a 2013 model near the end of this year.… Read more

BMW finally delivers a good-looking 6-series

BMW's original 6-series earned it the nickname "shark" for its profile, but nobody applied that moniker to the revived 6er from the last decade. BMW designers, forced by regulation to make the trunk lid a certain height, seemed to just sort of give up when it came to the rear of the car.

As a result, the trunk lid looked like a piece merely tacked on to what could have been a nice profile. Maybe BMW's designers were hoping an aftermarket would develop in modded trunk lids. Given the price of the car, the 6 buyer … Read more

Car Tech Live 253: 2012 BMW 328i & Geneva show preview (podcast)

We drive the 2012 BMW 328i sedan and give you our best guess as to what's going to make tech news at the 2012 Geneva auto show, from new Minis to new Ferraris.

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BMW 328i runs fine with four cylinders

Going from a six- to a four-cylinder engine is a fairly drastic change, and one that could ruin the reputation of even such a stalwart as BMW. But the automaker is in good company, as downsizing engines in favor of fuel economy is in fashion.

And the new 328i shows that those two cylinders may have been extraneous, as technologies such as a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection make up for the displacement loss. The real upside comes in the form of fuel economy averaging close to 30 mpg.

Less successful is the idle-stop feature, which is more intrusive on … Read more

New BMW M6 pushes tech for speed, economy

According to its specs, the new BMW M6 will hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, yet get an average of 24 mpg.

That fuel economy number comes from the European Combined Test Cycle, and will probably be somewhat less under the U.S. EPA test. But those numbers illustrate what technology can do for a sport car, especially considering the M6 weighs in at over 4,000 pounds.

The secret to the M6's success is a 4.4-liter V-8 with two twin scroll turbochargers. BMW designed an exhaust manifold that ducts the exhaust gases from two cylinders on … Read more

Can BMW iVentures fix parking?

BMW iVentures officially opened the doors to its New York office this week, and inaugurated its new space with a panel discussion on digital technology and mobility.

The $100 million fund has already seeded U.K.-based and MyCityWay, which will lease space in BMW's trendy West Village office. The firm plans to invest primarily in urban mobility technologies to solve the transportation needs of the future. But the hot topic of the evening was, of all things, parking.

Speaking in front of an audience made up mostly of VC groupies and techies angling for a free drink and an introduction to fund managers, panelists seemed to unanimously agree that the practice of finding a place to park your car was 20 years behind the times. In an industry where advanced technology is considered a gate or the capability to take a credit card, there is obviously a lot of room for improvement. … Read more