The 2012 Paris Motor Show opens this weekend, and ahead of the show we have seen numerous previews of concept cars using hybrid and electric power trains. Carbon dioxide reduction is a huge issue in Europe, and automakers are showing off their latest research into vehicles that can give people the transportation options to which they have become accustomed, yet meet new emissions specifications. The win-win for Europeans is that these vehicles get much improved fuel economy in a regions with notoriously high gasoline prices.
Returning to my hotel in Las Vegas one night this summer, I discovered that the parking garage was completely full. Not sure what else to do -- and with time running out before a show I had tickets to -- I drove my BMW 650i Coupe up to the hotel's valet. "That's a really nice car," the guy said. "Do you mind if we keep it out in front?"
It's odd how the world acts subliminally upon our desperate minds.
One minute it tells us to love Kelly Clarkson, the next hip-hop. One minute it sneaks the idea of monogamy into our brains, the next it makes pornography available online and we're louche putty.
How touching, then, that there's a deep subliminal reason for all the white cars we see on the streets these days. Have you noticed? Yes, white has now superseded silver as our favorite car color.
Why might this be? Oh, the same reason we've become gadget-obsessed, socially networking automatons: yes, Steve … Read more
In the last decade, BMW's motorcycle division dabbled in scooters as a green solution for crowded urban centers, producing the C1 for a few years. Now BMW is showing off the final fruits of a new project, an electric scooter designed to achieve the performance specifications of a gasoline-fueled scooter.
The C Evolution is the third generation of an electric scooter that BMW has previously shown in concept form. This two-wheeler uses an electric motor and an 8 kilowatt battery pack to drive the rear wheel. BMW says that it can go 62 miles on a full charge. Although … Read more
As Americans downsize their vehicles to get better fuel economy and fit on increasingly congested urban streets, automakers have met the demand with a range of small SUVs. Unlike the lumbering beasts of the '90s, these little SUVs use independent suspensions to improve ride comfort and new technologies to aggressively pursue better fuel economy. Versatile seating means these vehicles can seat five or haul large amounts of cargo.… Read more
Two little birds, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. One's name is Wayne Cunningham, the others is 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe. You can read all about their 4.5-star love affair, which resulted in the highest rating we've given to anything this week. But please know that unless you're rolling in cash, this is a recreational read only. This tech-friendly beauty (with built-in chair massage) costs $76,000.
For real, live, normal people, we've reviewed plenty more exciting and affordable tech, including Apple's latest OS X release, Mountain Lion. Jason Parker took a deep dive … Read more
I am one of those traditionalists who believes a coupe should only have two doors, yet after driving the 2013 BMW 640i Gran Coupe, I don't care how many doors this sleek bit of German automotive engineering sports. The car is such an excellent example of tech used well that our staff could find very little worth criticizing.
In its various comfort settings, the 640i Gran Coupe cruises along in luxury, treating passengers to massage seats, fine materials in the cabin, and delicious sound quality from a Bang & Olufsen audio system. Push a couple of buttons, and suddenly … Read more
BMW started the trend in 2004, offering native integration between car and iPod. Now almost every new car sold has some method of plugging in an iPhone or iPod. This integration is very convenient for drivers, as they can select music from the device through a car's own stereo controls.
However, reports of a smaller, 19-pin connector for the iPhone 5, replacing the current 30-pin connector, may bork iPhone integration with car stereos. Short of getting a new car to match your shiny new iPhone, what is a driver to do?
The good news is that many cars, such as those from Ford, BMW, and Honda, use a standard USB port to connect to the existing white iPhone cable. The new 19-pin connector is likely to use the same sort of adapter cable as current iPhones and iPods, so should plug right in. However, those existing cars may not be able to decode the signal from the iPhone 5 and its connector, depending on how much Apple reengineers its interface.… Read more
In recent years, BMW and Audi have emerged as technological juggernauts, pushing cutting-edge new cabin electronics in their cars. Today BMW announced a bundle of new features for its cars that trumps Audi in some ways, and plays catch-up in others.
The most obvious change we will see comes next year, with a new iDrive controller that BMW calls iDrive Touch. It uses the familiar dial/joystick hybrid on the console, and adds a touch pad to its top. With this touch pad, drivers can trace letters and numbers to input addresses into the navigation system. iDrive Touch also supports … Read more
You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more