Category Archives: Events

World Car of the Year Award Finalists

It’s the most exciting time of year for car enthusiasts — they’ve just announced the finalists for the World Car of the Year award. This award, which has been given annually since 2004, highlights the best of the best in automotive manufacturing.

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s finalists, as well as some of the highlights of previous years.

2019’s Finalists

Ten cars are shortlisted for the award:

  1. Audi e-tron, Audi’s first fully electric SUV
  2. BMW 3 Series
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Genesis G70
  5. Hyundai Nexo, the only hydrogen-powered model on the list
  6. Jaguar I-Pace
  7. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  8. Suzuki Jimny
  9. Volvo S60 and the S60 Wagon
  10. Volvo XC40

There are also five other categories — Design of the Year, Luxury Car, Performance Car, Urban Car and Green Car — that are all up for grabs. One fan favorite is the Suzuki Jimny, a boxy off-road SUV that scored three ANCAP safety stars.

It might not be the most technologically advanced car on the list, but it’s both fun and affordable, making it a front-runner in this competition.

Choosing the World’s Best Car

What goes into selecting the world’s best car every year?

This award is based on the judgments of each year’s jury — 82 automotive journalists from around the world that are newly chosen for each new year. To qualify, the vehicle must be sold in at least five countries, making it a global commodity. This qualification counts out many North American cars and manufacturers because they’re only available in the states.

During its first year, the only award handed out was the big one — World Car of the Year. In 2006, the performance, green and design categories were added, and in 2013 the luxury category joined the ranks. In 2017, the urban car award was also added.

Past Winners in the Present

While we wait for the jury to finish their judging — the winners will be announced at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April — let’s take a peek at some of the winners of the past, especially those that are in the running again this year.

The Audi XC60 took the big prize in 2018, and it’s up for the same honors this year. BMW won World Performance car in the same year with the M5, and Audi took the title of World Luxury Car with its A8.

BMW took the first Urban Car title in 2017 with the i3. That year also features two wins by the Jaguar F-PACE, and one each by Mercedes, Toyota and Porsche.

BMW, in particular, has entered at least one prize-winning car in the last five years. The 7 Series took the Luxury Car title in 2016, and the i8 won World Green Car in 2015. In 2014, the i3 took two titles — Green and Design.

Even with all of these wins under their belt, BMW hasn’t won the World Car of the Year title since 2006 with the 3 Series — the same model that’s shortlisted as a finalist this year. Maybe 2019 is the year that BMW’s luck changes.

Final Thoughts

We’ve got a couple of months before this year’s winners will be announced — 2019’s New York Auto Show runs from April 19th through the 28th — but that’s plenty of time to speculate on who might take home the title this year. Who do you think will win the coveted World Car of the Year title?

Interactive BMW Vision iNext Concept to Grace CES in 2019

The Consumer Electronic’s Show, or CES, happens in Las Vegas every year, and it’s the place to be for anyone interested in the new year’s electronics, cars and everything in between.

This coming year, BMW is planning to premiere a new concept that everyone is excited about. Let’s take a closer look at the new Vision iNext Concept that will grace the stage at 2019’s CES.

Introducing the Vision iNext Concept

Image via BMW Group Press

BMW has always been a brand that is synonymous with innovation and technological advances. They’re taking this label to the next level in the coming year with their iNext concept. The idea is to turn this BMW SUV into a ‘living space on wheels’ — creating a vehicle that gives you all the comforts of home so that you enjoy getting behind the wheel.

This concept will have a fully electric drivetrain and advanced autonomous driving programming. The driver has two options for their seat and the surrounding area. Boost mode gives the driver full control, with the steering wheel and other controls in easy reach.

When the autonomous driving program is engaged, the driver can switch to Ease mode, which retracts the steering wheel slightly, giving them more room to get comfortable. It’s easy to switch seamlessly between the two modes, depending on the needs of the driver.

Bells and Whistles

Image via BMW Group Press

The Vision iNext will have all the bells and whistles, but you might not see them at first glance. All the smart technology will be integrated into the car, only appearing when needed by the driver or passengers.

This setup creates a much cleaner interior, and you’ll never have to worry about accidentally smacking a smart screen or catching your sleeve on something when you’re shifting position.

The driver will also have access to two digital screens that convey everything from speed and RPMs to the proximity of other cars. This interactive glass technology will help to keep the driver aware of everything going on outside of their vehicle.

This technology has started appearing in modern cars in the form of a Heads Up Display, or HUD, which moves information like speed and fuel levels from the dash, where it’s below eye level, to the windshield — without obscuring the driver’s view of the road.

Take It for a Test Drive

While you won’t be able to get behind the wheel of the Vision iNext at 2019’s CES, that doesn’t mean you can’t take it for a test drive. Putting on a set of VR glasses, you’ll be able to test out the vehicle’s capabilities.

Starting with driving the car, then utilizing BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant, you can put the car in Ease mode and let the AI plan your trip for you.

The Vision iNext won’t be the only fantastic piece of automotive technology on the floor at CES 2019, but it’s one that we’re excited to see. This concept likely won’t premiere at BMW dealerships until 2020 at the earliest, but the first look has us ready to line up for a chance to get behind the wheel.

An M8 Competition Is in the Works – Here’s What We Know

BMW hasn’t officially announced it yet, but it seems an M8 Competition— a sportier version of the M8 — is in the works.

According to BMWBLOG, BMW recently invited some VIP customers to preview several upcoming models at an event in Paris. Cell phone use wasn’t allowed at the event, so we don’t have any pictures, but a reader of BMWBLOG shared some details with the site about what he saw at the event.

The reader told the publication that BMW is planning an M8 competition. Although this isn’t really a surprise to anyone who’s been following BMW, it’s certainly still exciting news.

What Do We Know?

So what do we know about this upcoming model? While we don’t have any official information, here’s what the report from the Paris event and other rumors and speculations tell us.

According to the attendee of the Paris event, the M8 Competition will come standard with carbon ceramic brakes and yellow calipers. It will get a carbon fiber package that lowers the weight of the vehicle slightly and enhances its visuals.

BMW didn’t share what the power output of the M8 Competition will be, but it’s expected that BMW will increase it for the sports model. All of the models in the M family feature a 4.4 liter V8 TwinTurbo engine, so the M8 Competition will likely have it as well. The engine of the M5 Competition has a peak torque of 553 lb-ft, which is the same as that of the standard M5.

BMW may use the same formula for the M8 Competition, although it will likely modify the power band. The competition will likely have the same engine as the regular M8 but be able to deliver a bit more horsepower. According to BMWBLOG, we can expect around 620 horsepower, although it could potentially be more.

Currently, the best 8 series model can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. With the M8 Competition, that time will likely drop by at least a few tenths of a second. The M8 Competition may be able to surpass 155 mph, according to speculations from topspeed.com. According to TopSpeed, it’s also reasonable to think the M8 Competition could reach speeds of 62 mph in less than three seconds due to its lighter weight and increased power.

While we don’t know exactly what to expect, we’ll likely see a number of other changes, perhaps including improvements to the transmission and all-wheel drive system. Based on the changes made to previous Competition models, we might also see new chassis and suspension components that will serve to improve the car’s handling.

A user also recently posted on the Bimmerpost forum what appears to be leaked documents showing the badges for several upcoming BMW models including the M8 Competition.

Anticipation Building for the M8 Competition

Excitement is building for the M8 Competition, and although we don’t have any official details, we have plenty of predictions about what the car will be like.

BMW fans are also excited about the other upcoming 8 Series models. The company has unveiled the M850i xDrive Coupe, teased an M8 Gran Coupe Concept and confirmed rumors of an upcoming M8 Coupe. The new BMW 8 Series, it seems, will soon be joined by a full-blown M8 and an M8 Competition, which is expected to launch in 2019 or 2020.

It’s going to be an exciting few years for BMW fans, especially those that like the sporty M models. The M8 Competition could turn out to the best most impressive M model from BMW yet.