Tag Archives: new car

Top Gear Reviews UK’s Sportier BMW i3s

BMW just released in Britain an i3s, the sportier version of its electric i3, with a larger 120 Ah battery. Top Gear decided to give the upgraded i3s a try, and the resulting review paints a pretty alluring picture of what it’s like to drive the car.

The i3s offers 182bhp, about 14 more than the i3, and can go from 0 to 62 mph in 6.9 seconds, 0.4 less than the i3. It also features one-inch-bigger wheels, 10mm-lower suspension, a 40mm-wider track and extended wheel arches. The car’s max speed is 99mph.

The drive system now also has a new Sport mode, and you get a bespoke steering setup and slightly updated exterior design. The upgraded i3s costs £37,615, or about 49,022, new — about 3,258 more than the regular i3. Overall, Top Gear gave the BMW i3s a rating of 8/10.

2014 BMW All-Electric i3 Press Drive.

The Top Gear reviewer, Stephen Dobie, notes that on paper the differences between the i3s and i3 are pretty subtle. When it comes to how the car drives though, he writes, the i3s “does noticeably lift it to another level.” He notes that the acceleration is “flipping quick” up to 60 miles per hour, especially in the first 40. Lifting off the gas pedal often provides enough of a slowdown to navigate turns, speed bumps and the like without needing to hit the brakes.

Top Gear writes that the i3s handles well “to an extent.” Dobie notes the vehicle’s tall body and flighty steering as well as its rear-wheel drive and the fact that the car’s heaviest portions are set low. After some time, you’ll get used to how the car handles and even learn to take advantage of it to tuck into and out of corners, he writes.

“It’ll even indulge a small amount of silliness if you slacken off the stability control,” Dobie says. Loosening up the stability control with a few turns and clicks of the iDrive wheel will let you get enough momentum during a turn to enjoy some nano-slides.

The setup and design of the car seem to encourage you to drive fast, Dobie says. There’s a large fishbowl windscreen that gives you a clear view of the road, and a digital speedometer at the bottom of it. The way the car flat-lines its acceleration around the typical highway speed limit means you can get to the car’s fun dynamics without pushing too hard.

BMW Press

“What’s present here – and not in a Leaf, Zoe or Ioniq – is a real sense of humour, and layers of fun beyond those first few hits away from the traffic lights,” Dobie writes in his review. “Isn’t it vital to know as cars fundamentally change, their sense of fun is still tangible?”

Of course, if you drive hard, your range will decrease from the quoted 160 miles. The car doesn’t have the optional range extender, a small gas-powered engine, anymore either — it’s fully electric.

Based on this review though, it seems like enjoying the full extent of the driving experience the i3s has to offer might be worthing losing a bit of range now and then.

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.

Checklist for Buying Your First BMW

Dream cars are as many and as varied as the people who dream of them, but almost every driver has fantasized about owning a luxury car from German manufacturer BMW. While getting your hands on a brand-new BMW might seem out of reach, if the opportunity does present itself, what do you need to do first? Here’s an easy-to-follow checklist to help you navigate the purchase of your first BMW.

Know Your Credit Score

When was the last time you pulled your credit report? You might know how much money you bring home every payday, but even if you’re making $10,000 a month, you might have trouble getting your hands on the keys to a new BMW if you’ve got bad credit.

Tools like Credit Karma are useful for keeping track of your credit accounts and finding out if someone has opened a card or taken out a loan in your name, but the credit score they provide isn’t always accurate. Take advantage of the Federal Trade Commission’s offer of a free credit report once a year — you can pull one report from each of the three major credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and compare them to your information.

Do Your Research

There are a lot of options when it comes to getting a new — or new-to-you — BMW. Do you want to pick up your new car at the dealership, or travel to Germany to pick it up in person? Do you want a new car or a used one? Do you want to buy or lease?

Do your research and make your decisions before you get to the dealership — or, if you’re buying used, before you meet with the seller. Not only will this help you get the car you really want, but it will also keep you from getting pressured into paying more for something you didn’t need in the first place.

Don’t Forget Insurance

BMW M2 Performance Parts

Whether you’re buying new or used, you need to make sure you have insurance before you drive away. If you’re going with a new or an expensive used model, you’re not going to want to choose one of the standard car insurance companies. Instead, find a company that specializes in insurance for high-dollar vehicles like BMWs and other luxury cars.

A good insurance policy will give you better overall protection, and keep you safe in the event of an accident or theft.

Go Certified

You might be able to find a BMW on Craigslist for a steal, but you’ve got no guarantee the previous owner didn’t ride the car hard and put it up wet, so to speak. If a new BMW is out of your price range, but you have your heart set on that German manufacturing, make sure you choose a certified pre-owned BMW. Not only do these come with a warranty and roadside assistance, but the mechanics at the dealership have inspected it and repaired any problems.

There’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a BMW, especially if it’s yours. Just make sure you do plenty of research, and don’t forget to pick up a good car insurance plan to protect your new investment.