Tag Archives: bmw news

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?

BMW Unveils the M850i Night Sky, With One Surprising Element

Who doesn’t love a beautiful Bimmer? Exciting news then that BMW Group has unveiled their latest model, the M850i Night Sky, and it is truly, out of this world.

Beyond looks, we all know just how functional BMW vehicles are. As it turns out, this one is just a little more functional, in ways you may not have ever expected. It’s also downright stunning, with a one-of-a-kind design and composition that we will likely never see again… like ever.

Image via BMW Press

For Starters, the M850i Has 3D Printed Components

The vehicle is constructed of parts made through additive manufacturing — the fancy term for 3D printing. Its design was a planned effort meant to coincide with a rather exciting meteor shower that took place recently. In a way, the shower also played a role in deciding what materials were used.

Within the last couple of weeks, Earth passed through the orbit of a longstanding asteroid named 2003 EH. Several meteorites from the asteroid actually landed on the planet’s surface. They were scooped up and used to print components of BMW’s new model. Yes, the M850i has actual meteorites embedded within. How badass is that?

Image via BMW Press

Through a convergence of aluminum and meteoric rock materials, the M850i is rocking — pun definitely intended — 3D printed side mirror caps, brake calipers, as well as air intakes and a center mesh plate.

Throughout the vehicle, the Widmanstätten pattern was also used to give the model an added layer of galactic style. In short, Widmanstätten is a 3D octahedral pattern or structure that can be found in iron meteorites. It also looks fantastic when used to accent the center console of a vehicle.

The M850i’s exterior is also adorned with a custom paint job. All the paint was applied by skilled hands, as an even gradient starting with a brilliant San Marino blue near the bottom and fading into a deep black near the top.

Tinsel and bronze pigments were also used in the first coat. This gives it a captivating and unique look, remarkably similar to what you see on the horizon just after sunset — pockmarked with distant lights.

Not Just a Looker

Image via BMW Press

The M850i Night Sky is nothing to scoff at either. It was modeled after the M850i xDrive Coupe and is propelled by the same 530 horsepower twin-turbo V8 with top speeds of up to 155 miles-per-hour.

It looks great, offers incredible performance, and likely feels great to sit in, especially when the engine is running.

Unfortunately, there’s no mention of price, nor who might have commissioned the vehicle to add to their fleet. It’s entirely possible it will serve as nothing more than a concept forever to grace just our eyes with its true inner and outer beauty.

Even so, one could bet an endless supply of meteoric rocks on the fact that if it did have a price, well, very few of us would be able to afford it.

Now, let’s all collectively turn our attention back to the beautiful photos of this vehicle and drool over it for a few minutes more. It’s the least we can do for something so truly wondrous.

BMW’s X2 Is Fun, But Nothing New

The BMW X2 is the new luxury subcompact SUV from BMW. It’s biggest strengths are that it’s fun to drive, has a sleek exterior design and has lots of brand flashiness for the hardcore bimmer fan.

It’s a little light on room for cargo and passengers, and overall, it doesn’t have a lot to make it stand out from the competition.

Here’s what to expect from the X2:

  • Engine: Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122
  • Horsepower: 220
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Miles per gallon: 21 mpg city and 31 mpghighway
  • Seats: Five
  • Base price: $40,000

Design

The X2 is meant to be a sports activity coupe, but it doesn’t really look it from the outside, especially from the front. Inside, the smaller dimensions are more noticeable. The legroom is similar to that of the X1, but there’s less headroom. It also doesn’t have a lot of cargo space — a maximum of 50.1cubic feet.

BMW made some changes when designing the X2. Its traditional kidney grille is wider and the bottom. The car’s C-pillar also has a huge BMW badge, which is atribute to the CS coupes of the 60s and 70s.

In all, the X2 features 20 BMW logos across both the exterior and interior.

Performance

Performanceand handling are some of the X2’s strong suits. It features a 2.0-literturbocharged I4 engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Itfeatures an eight-speed automatic transmission.

You get front-wheel drivestandard but can also get all-wheel drive. You can also opt for the M Sport Xpackage, which has an upgraded suspension and revised shift mapping.

The X2 handles excellently around turns and on twisting back roads. If you turn onSport mode, you’ll feel a bit more weight to your steering and a bit of a quicker throttle response. The brakes feel a bit sticky, though, making commuting in traffic a bit uncomfortable.

You also get a fair amount of road noise in the cabin, because of the run-flat tires. Car and Driver measured 67 decibels at 70 mph.

Tech

TheX2 offers the typical BMW suite of iDrive infotainment features and an 8.8-inch touchscreen that you can also control using the center console. One downside of X2’s tech offerings is the fact that it only has one USB port. You can, however, upgrade to wireless charging as an option. You can also add AppleCapPlay, although that will cost you $300. There’s no option for Android Auto.

You’ll also have to pay extra if you want the driver assistance tech that comes with many other vehicles — even less expensive ones. If you want forward collision and lane departure warnings, you’ll need to add a $700 package.

Adaptive cruise control will cost you $1,000. Unfortunately, there’s no option for blind-spot monitoring.

Final Verdict

The BMW X2 is a decent subcompact crossover. There aren’t any significant drawbacks, but it’s benefits aren’t enough to make it stand out from the pack. It’s $40,000 base price isn’t bad, but you’ll likely want to add some features to get enough functionality to make it worth the purchase.

If you’re a BMW fan looking for a subcompact crossover and you prioritize performance and handling, you’ll enjoy the X2. For everyone else, it’s a solid option but not anything spectacular.