Archive for BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept Car

Production i8 revealed

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Car conception, Upcoming cars with tags , , , on 18/04/2012 by Alexander

I’ve always been a fan of the BMW i8 ever since it was a concept car with a very complicated name. Looking at the latest renderings of the production form of the car, it’s going to be a head-turner.

BMW are a strange lot. They make a new 7- and 5-series that look great, then make a new 1- and 3-series that both look bloody awful, and then they do a 180 and give us another proper-looking car. That said, I would like to see the interior. BMW make awful, Spartan-bare innards for their cars, so I don’t have my hopes high.



Posted in News, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , on 09/02/2012 by Alexander

The BMW i8, which started life as the tongue-twisting Vision EfficientDynamics Concept Car (which I like a lot), has been promised as a production car, and has been spotted in the wild during the usual winter tests for cars under development. Looks pretty cool.

Opel/Vauxhall is in the s**t again. After having gone through some hard times thanks to the incompetence of its parent company, General Motors, more trouble looms on the horizon in the shape of more cost-cutting measures. This just goes to show how much I understand the car industry. Let me illustrate.
SEAT are an awful brand, who make ugly Golf-based hatchbacks and cheap Audi A4 rip-offs. A couple of years ago VW, who owns them, mulled over the hypothesis of ditching the brand due to dismal sales. Unfortunately, they’re going strength to strength, even though there’s nothing tangible to justify this. Opel, on the other hand, have been making better and better cars. The Corsa and Astra make top 10 sales lists all the time, the Insignia has been a top-selling sedan in Europe (400,000 units sold up to 2011), won European Car Of The Year and another German award for “Car with the least flaws“. I’ve already raved about the Insignia and Astra’s brilliant interiors, and there’s still great Opels to look forward too: the four-door Astra and the amazing-looking Mokka (and I hate SUVs). I’d have thought Opel would be a lifeline for GM but I’m spectacularly wrong by the looks of it.

Gordon Murray has his T25 and T27 city cars nearly ready to go into production, all he needs is some ink on paper to render the whole thing official. His cars had better be bloody good because there’s been a lot of hype surrounding them. The iStream manufacturing looks pretty solid, though. But if I were Mr. Murray, I’d expect a lawsuit from Apple in the near future for calling his brainchild “i-(something)”.

Studebaker is planning a comeback. The legendary American brand that stopped manufacturing cars in 1966 has a new concept in the works and is betting on advanced, clean technology, with diesel-hybrid propulsion inside a compact five-door. Everyone, a warm welcome back to the Studebaker Lark.

An intellectually dishonest take on the cost of running an EV versus a petrol car. Doesn’t include the hefty cost of having to replace a battery every few years and/or its hefty rental cost. Doesn’t take into account the taxes petrol pays, and that EV’s will have to pay road tax eventually too (do you think governments will pass up this opportunity to go for what’s in our pockets?) Uses a 20mpg figure for the car (11.8 litres/100km)!

BMW: what’s next?

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Car conception, Crap cars, Desirable machines, General opinions, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , on 16/04/2010 by Alexander

I am not a BMW fan. They make some excellent cars, though nowadays the entire range is all ugly, probably a consequence of ex-chief designer Chris Bangle’s atrocious taste. BMW, like Mercedes and Audi, thrives as a badge-brand, with cars no better than rivals yet insultingly more expensive, thus more attractive to morons.

But before the said morons start leaving stupid comments, let me say more. Before the 90’s, BMW made beautiful cars. The old 1602’s were a regular sight here in Portugal, and I miss them and yelp for joy when I see one running. The E34 5-series was and is a properly good-looking car, that’s easily prettier than most of what came after, and not just in comparison to the following 5-series or other BMW ranges for that matter.

If there’s anything that BMW do undeniably well, it’s creating engines. Their early 90’s 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine was revolutionary (525tds, remember?), and today they still churn out a host of amazing powerplants. And some pretty amazingly-engined vehicles are coming soon too.

And this is an interesting dilemma for me. On one hand, the Bavarian brand is making really head-turning stuff, like the Dynamics-Efficiency-complicated-name thing, while on the other, it offends good taste everywhere by farting out the X-range. The most recent example is their killing the next 6-series M-version for a V8, pollution-farter, while on the other their making a range below the 1-series (probably an Isetta-inspired affair) and a triturbo diesel engine.

Let me delve into each matter shortly. Firstly, the 6-series is something I’ve always wanted to hate, but shouldn’t and can’t. It’s a coupé, and it’s not exactly gut-churningly ugly, as other BMW’s. It also has a diesel in its midst, which gives it a rare status, i.e., a grand tourer that does more than just chew fuel. It’s a well-balanced, interesting coupé, although it’s Achilles heel (apart from the badge) is it’s obscene price tag. And at the risk of sounding incoherent, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave the M6 out of the next generation. Yes, M-BMW’s are “fuel-chewingly” mad, but all car models have a big-engined, multi-hundred horsepower version in their range. Not having one seriously cheapens the whole line-up of 6-series models. I think this is silliness on BMW’s part.

On the other hand, the prospect of a triple-turbo engine sounds insanely cool. The thought of accelerating and feeling turbo after turbo kick in is exhilarating. Let’s wait and see what the Bavarian brand has in store.

A new level

Posted in Alt-Fuel, Desirable machines, Green Tech with tags , , , on 05/09/2009 by Alexander

BMW are usually full of shit, calling their cars “the ultimate driving machine”, a catchy publicity slogan but removed from reality. But now have unveiled what could be a fantastic look into the future, and something that can live up to the hype of their P.R. catchphrase, though not in the sense of a thug-streetracer driving machine.

Their latest brainfart has been dubbed the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept Car. Hardly catchy, but it’s characteristics are quite the opposite.

It’s powered by a 1.5-lite, three-cylinder powerplant with around 3.7l/100km, which makes it sound like a sluggish, tree-hugging bore-inspiring crapmobile petrolheads like to bash on. But then it sports a 0-100kph time of 4.8 seconds and 365 horsepower, a level of efficiency never before seen. It does this by joining the ICE with electric motors, giving it autonomy in all-electric mode and the extra oopmh for the performance.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future. These are the kind of figures all carmakers should be aiming for. I’d never thought I’d say this, but congratulations, BMW. Now all you have to do is make your cars look nice like they used to.