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Mini Set To Become An EV Brand?

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Rumors are swirling around the auto industry that the beloved Mini brand could be turning into a full-blown EV (electric vehicle) company. After it has introduced the electric version of its Hardtop, the company is again making waves that could change the auto landscape in the foreseeable future.

According to a report from Automobile, managers at parent company BMW Group canceled plans to develop and offer internal combustion engines in the next-generation Mini lineup. The cars will be developed as EV cars, instead.

The report also said that the new electric Minis will be based on a skateboard-style platform, the development of which we have no idea when or where will be. The platform will out the electric motor at the front axle. There will be a pack of battery—ranging from 35 to 50 kilowatt-hours—somewhere there.

The entire lineup will be fully electric, reports indicate. But these are not entirely new cars. The lineup should include replacements for the Hardtop and the Countryman too. There will be a new downsized Mini (as if the Mini wasn’t small enough even for one passenger) as well.

Plans for a downsized Mini were nothing new. A month ago, it was reported that the downsized Mini is based on the 2011’s Rocketman Concept.

Last year, BMW Group, which manages Mini, signed a letter of intent with Great Wall Motors in China to jointly develop and manufacture electric Minis in the Asian economic giant’s shores. Although there was no mention of when the partnership will take effect, reports said that the first jointly developed Minis will arrive by 2022 or 2023.

The question is, will Minis (whether regular or electric) still be made out of China? There was no mention of exclusivity in the partnership with Great Wall Motors. Rival company Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, signed an agreement with Geely in March to jointly develop and manufacture future Smart cars exclusively in China.

 

New All-Electric BMW iNEXT SUV Nearing Production

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BMW is nearing the production phase for its all-electric iNEXT SUV, which will join the market in competition with the Audi e-tron. The latest spy shots gave the best indication of the model’s new design. First unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show, the iNEXT SUV will be the standard of the brand’s all-electric “i” range when it reaches the United Kingdom in 2021.

During the last six months, the German automaker teased us with spy shots of the iNEXT SUV, but this set is the first one to show the car’s interior, including the dashboard. While the SUV has many new features—a large dash-mounted infotainment system and a digital gauge cluster—it is the unconventional, squared-off, two-spoke steering wheel that takes the cake.

Squarish Steering Wheel

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According to BMW, the squarish steering wheel was designed to allow drivers to easily switch between autonomous and active driving modes. The shape of the steering wheel also allows drivers to easily determine the car’s steering angle.

The steering wheel is going to be fitted with optic fibers, which will inform drivers when autonomous driving is available. The same optic fibers will also emit sensors that will warn the drivers when it’s time to take control of the vehicle (when it is on autonomous mode).

Curved Infotainment Screen

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Recently, BMW also teased a revolutionary curved infotainment screen for the iNEXT. Similar to the floating system that was on the iNEXT concept, the curved infotainment screen eliminates the need for the smaller screen on the dashboard in front of the driver.

The infotainment system will be angled toward the driver. The screen itself will cover the width of the car’s interior but passengers won’t see the lightweight magnesium bracket that holds the system in place as a matter of aesthetic appearance. The screen is made of non-reflective glass.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Spied in Full Camo

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Capitalizing on the success of its rival in introducing the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the market, BMW is getting its 2 Series Gran Coupe ready. Recently, the car was spied while making its rounds.

The prototype spied by Motor1 appears in a heavy camouflage so it is still hard to make out its features. However, we can confirm that it is indeed a BMW because of its distinctive kidney grille in front. We can also see some traces of the 1 Series in the design of the auto, but with a sportier stance plus some differences in the layout of the air intakes located at the bumper, lightings, and dimensions. Furthermore, the images hint that we might be looking at the high-performance trim of the car due to the blue brake calipers found on its wheels.

All we have right now are exterior shots of the 2 Series Gran Coupe but we expect that some of the tech found in the 1 Series will be carried over to the car. Meanwhile, it is likely that it will get the same engine found in the X2 crossover.

With that, the car might come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with at least 302 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission will be responsible for distributing its power to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

Since BMW has no plans to ever introduce the new 1 Series in the US market, the 2 Series Gran Coupe might fill the void it created. The vehicle will go head-to-head with the CLA when it comes out next year.

3 Important Things You Need To Know About The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

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The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe will be the widest BMW on the road when it arrives in dealerships this September. The wheelbase is stretched to 7.9 inches, spanning an extra nine inches in length, and 2.2 inches in height. The rear track grew an additional 1.2 inches.

Three Trim Levels

There will be three trim levels: the rear-wheel-drive 840i, 840i xDrive, and the M850i xDrive. The 840i and 840i xDrive are both powered by the brand’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the M850i xDrive gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

More Room Inside The Cabin

Inside, the Gran Coupe is taller, providing more headroom for all passengers. This is evident from the taller windshield. Passengers can look up and find a standard panoramic glass roof with a moonroof. This pushes the multi-function antenna to be integrated into the rear window.

There are four contoured seats but an optional fifth seat can be fitted between the two rear seats. By the November this year, an option for a carbon fiber roof will also be available for the M850i.

Nappa leather will wrap the dashboard and the door panel uppers. The 840’s interiors will get Vernasca leather in either Black, Ivory White or Cognac while the M850i will get an Individual Extended Merino Leather in Black, Ivory White, Cognac or two-tone options Night Blue/Black, Tartufo/Black or Fiona Red/Black. There’s a BMW Individual Full Merino package as an option.

New Tech

BMW’s latest Live Cockpit Professional will be displayed on the 12.3-inch screen that sits behind the steering wheel. There’s also a heads-up display that hangs over the hood in the driver’s line of sight while the instrument panel has a 10.25-inch screen that houses the iDrive system.

The center console has a slew of new tech. it runs to the rear compartment, allowing those seated in the back to control the climate, air vents, USB ports, and storage trays.

Prices start at $84,990 for the RWD 840i, plus $995 destination, for a total of $85,985. The 840i xDrive will be priced at $88,795 and the M850i xDrive will sell for $109,895.

3 Things We Expect From The 2020 BMW M8 Convertible

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BMW finally delivered its promised M8 Convertible, the first for the 8 Series, which since its conception two decades ago has only been available in a coupe version. This luxury convertible sedan will finally give the AMG-prepped Mercedes S63 and S65 Cabriolet some competition.

It comes in standard and Competition trim, with the former getting 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque while the Competition trim putting out 17 more ponies.

Exterior

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The M treatment isn’t that all dramatic. In fact, you’ll have a hard time differentiating the M8 Convertible from the M850i, except for the bigger inlets in the front and back and the wider arches and vents along the sides.

Out front, you’ll see the camera and sensors protruding proudly. BMW is not the type of brand that will hide their cameras and sensors behind a grille. It has an aerodynamic lip around the tip of the bumper, as well as bigger vents out front. The hood is made of carbon fiber double bubble for a lightweight material.

The wheelbase is at 111.1 inches with an overall car length of 191.2 inches, a width of 74.9 inches, and a height of 53.0 inches.

Interior

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The M8 has a lot of the 8 Series’ features inside the cabin. The wide dashboard still separates the driver’s and passenger’s side. There’s a lot of carbon fiber materials in here, and you can get more if you opt for the M Performance parts. The main controls are on the dashboard but other features can be accessed through the 10.25-inch infotainment display.

The front seats are powered by a semi-electric folding function that makes it easier for back passengers to enter and exit the car. Most of the cabin is wrapped in leather and Alcantara. You can opt for tan leather with tan stitching if black isn’t your thing, but other combinations are available such as Ivory White/Tartufo, Midland Beige, and Ivory White/Midnight Blue.

Drivetrain

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As mentioned above, the M8 Convertible will come in two trims: the standard and the Competition. It has the same S63B44T4 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 with four valves per cylinder that’s also found in the M5. The standard M8 makes 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque between 1,800 and 5,700 rpm.

The Competition package will give you 617 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and the same 553 torque, but they’re available between 1,800 and 5,860 rpm.

New 2019 BMW X1 Now Available In Plug-In Hybrid Version

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BMW just released the 2019 BMW X1. The sport utility vehicle comes with a fresh look, some upgraded tech, and plug-in hybrid powertrain for the very first time. This entry-level SUV has been “buffed and polished,” the German automaker said.

Outside, there’s a larger kidney grille, which is typical of BMW cars. There’s a new bumper, redesigned headlights, and two-tone LED puddle lights made specifically for the door mirrors. These lights project an “X1” image on the ground below. Pretty snazzy, right?

There are also three new exterior colors to choose from and four new wheel designs are awaiting those who can get their hands on the BMW X1.

Inside, fans will be treated to some new trims that include options for three new upholstery. That takes the number of color and material combinations to 13. If you can get your hands on the Flagship M Sport model, you’ll also get the “Micro Hexagon” fabric with the special M piping.

There’s also an upgraded tech. BMW’s latest ConnectedDrive technology is now available in the X1. This feature gives convenience to drivers in terms of providing real-time traffic information, as well as a Concierge Service that allows you to book and pay for things while you drive. Other features include the Apple CarPlay and a full-color heads-up display.

Rumor has it that the entry-level car will have an 8.8-inch infotainment screen as standard and a 10.25-inch Touch Control Display as an option.

The X1’s best feature is the availability of a plug-in hybrid X1 xDrive 25e powertrain. It can power the X1 on electricity alone, thanks to its range of 31 miles. It has a low carbon dioxide emission rating of 43g/km. BMW X1’s other engines—from the basic 18i petrol to the powerful 20d diesel—have been updated to meet EU6d-temp emissions standards.

BMW 1 Series Is Now More Practical Due To Customer Feedback

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BMW has finally heeded their customers’ feedback on the 1 Series. They wanted a more practical entry-level car and they got it with the re-engineered 2019 BMW 1 Series that can now compete with the Volkswagen Golf. On sale now for £24,430 ($31,074.96), this year’s 1 Series has undergone a complete overhaul to look exactly like the compact car of your dreams.

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The hatchback is larger and uses a front-wheel-drive configuration for the first time since it was launched in 2004. With the 1 Series hatch getting more practical, BMW decided that its three-door 2 Series coupe will also be transformed into a five-door Gran Coupe.

The front-wheel setup is the same architecture that the MINI uses for its range of ultra-cute compact cars. This change will come with another upgrade on the platform. Jochen Schmalholz, BMW’s 1 Series product manager, told Auto Express that the upgraded platform will highlight the salability of the 1 Series—a sporty design and strong driving dynamics.

The car is more compact, although it is larger than its predecessor. The 1 Series now stands with a height of 1,434mm (+13mm), 4,319mm long (-5mm), and 1,799mm wide (+34mm). The wheelbase is also longer at 2,670mm. That’s 20mm more than the previous generation.

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This allows the driver and the passengers to be more comfortable inside. There’s an extra 33mm of leg space and 19mm of headroom. While it may not sound much, that’s the same space you’ll find inside the Golf.

Drivers and passengers would love to know that the cabin has been upgraded, too, to the latest system and tech that was usually found inside the larger 3 Series. Even entry-level cars are getting 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster but a 9.2-inch head-up display and upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment screen can be options, too.

The 1 Series is currently on sale and we’ll start to see them on the roads by September.

Are You Ready For The New BMW M8 This September?

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The all-new BMW M8 Performance coupe, with its 600+ horsepower and twin-turbocharged V8 engine, is scheduled to make its grand debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Are you ready for it?

The new M8 Performance coupe is at the tail end of its development program. It has been testing its power output at the Estoril circuit in Portugal and BMW has even made available a list of performance enhancements that it plans to fit into the new M8.

BMW plans to launch its flagship M car, which looks to be the most powerful road car the German automaker has ever produced, together with the latest M3 sports saloon and the new M135i hot hatchback.

The new M8 is powered by the same 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the BMW M5. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as the company’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which will reportedly be rear-biased (similar to the M5). There will be two power outputs available—the base model can generate 600 horsepower while the Competition variant will make 625 horses.

The M8 coupe will be joined later on by a convertible and a four-door Gran Coupe. These were all hinted upon us by the M6 Gran Coupe concept back at the 2018 Geneva auto show.

Aside from the power output, the M8 will also get a reduced curb weight, a wider track, a lower center of gravity, increased body and chassis rigidity, and revised steering and suspension setup.

There’s still no word on how fast the new M8 will get to 62 mph from a standstill, as well as the car’s top speed. However, BMW did say that the car’s combined fuel economy rating will be in the 26 mpg region. CO2 emissions are expected to be somewhere between 243 and 246 g/km.

The BMW i4 EV Interior Is Just Your Average Joe

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The new BMW i4 EV has been spotted testing a couple of times before and its prototype gave us a good glimpse of how it will look like outside. These recent photos are going to give us more to talk about though. For the first time since we were first teased of its coming, the BMW i4’s interior came front and center.

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And does it really surprise us that it looks like an average BMW? In fact, it is so normal that there was nothing that stood out to us in the new spy shots. Since the BMW i4 looks like a regular BMW from outside, the fact that its cabin hasn’t been upgraded to a funky little number should not come as a shock.

We’re just a little curious why BMW did not follow the same path as the i3. Though the BMW i3 is a bit dated at this point, its interior is still funky cool and modern. But with the i4, even if it comes from its i division, the German automaker seems to want to return to being just a normal luxury car.

While most of the interior is still covered with camouflage, we now have a clear view of the infotainment screen, the climate control, and the gear shift. These major components of the car’s cabin are enough for us to judge that the i4’s interior is anything other than ordinary.

The direction that BMW took with the i4’s interior is in stark contrast to what the Tesla Model 3 is working on. Tesla is reportedly thinking of reinventing the typical car interior though we don’t have any proof that the EV maker is set on that path. Once both cars are on sale, we’ll see if BMW was right about keeping its EV’s cabin simple and practical.

There’s still a long way to go before we see the final production version of the BMW i4. The car is slated to enter production in 2021 and BMW has high expectations for it, promising a 372-mile range as the minimum. The car is said to be able to hit 62 mph from a standstill in under four seconds.

2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible To Drop The Hardtop

If there’s one thing we noticed about the recent spy shots of the 2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible being tested, it’s the ditching of the hardtop. As BMW sets to launch an all-new 4 Series sometime this year or next year, the German automaker also revealed that the new model is going to sport a traditional soft top option, which was last used on the E46 model discontinued in 2016.

BMW said that the G23 coupe version will not feature any dramatic changes but the G22 droptop obviously will. Though the spy shots were covered with heavy camouflage, that didn’t stop us from noticing the canvas top used, as well as the longer hood and rear decklid.

Exterior

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The spy shots showed that the proportions might be different from the current model but it’s still too early to tell whether BMW will stick to this size for its 4 Series. The front and rear fascias are obviously going to be more aggressive compared to what the 3 Series has. The front grille will also be inspired by the 2020 BMW Z4.

Interior

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The good thing about seeing these spy shots (aside from the reveal of the soft top option) is the fact that we were finally able to glimpse the car’s interior. It looks like the BMW engineers completely lazed out from designing a new and separate cabin for the 4 Series because it looks exactly what the current 3 Series has. We can expect a very similar layout to the X3 and X4 models. The 3-Series and the 4-Series will most probably sport the same center console buttons and controls, the dials, infotainment, and the steering wheel.

Drivetrain

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The 4-Series convertible, coupe, and four-door sedan will have gasoline, diesel, and electrified powertrains. This is the same lineup we can expect to see from the 3-Series, which also uses the same CLAR architecture. It is possible the 4-Series will ditch the base engine, though a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine cannot be excluded.

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