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Archive for March, 2014

BMW i8, the Supercar of the Future

The supercar is changing.

High horsepower and abysmal fuel economy are no longer staples of expensive, exotic supercars. Tomorrow’s supercars will be hybrids, packing high-horsepower engines and efficient electric motors. While BMW’s foray into hybrid supercars isn’t as aspirational as Porsche’s 918 or McLaren’s P1, the BMW i8 is a great stepping stone for the German automaker. The BMW i8 doesn’t command the astronomical price tag of the 918 or P1 either.

The BMW i8 is set to arrive in showrooms, like Chapman BMW Chandler, in the spring of 2014 for a cool $135,925. What makes the BMW i8 such a unique vehicles is that it really has no true competition. The Fisker Karma is no more while the Tesla Model S is a fully electric family sedan—not a 2+2 coupe like the i8.

Power comes from a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine, and a synchronous electric motor. Total output is rated at 360 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. This should be enough power to launch the i8 from 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds.

While that may not be real supercar speeds, it is very quick for a hybrid that looks as exotic as the i8. Once inside the i8, the interior feels distinctly futuristic while still offering the opulence BMW is known for. Recycled plastic and wool create the headliner floor mats and other interior bits. This is just the i8’s commitment to eco friendliness.

The passenger cell of the BMW i8 is carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which contributes to the i8’s relatively low weight of around 3300 pounds. Exotic materials are used throughout the i8, helping it reduce weight for increased efficiency.

Ultimately, the BMW i8 is the future of all cars. It’s combination of exotic and recycled materials combined with a fuel-efficient engine and electric motor will soon be the standard. While it isn’t the high-horsepower supercar like the 918 and P1, it still offers exceptional performance for what it is. Stop by your local BMW dealer for more information.

BMW ECO PRO

It’s no secret that fuel economy is a bigger concern among drivers than ever. As technology evolves, and with government fuel economy standards rising, better fuel economy is sure to continue well into the future. But no matter the car you drive, aggressive driving wastes gas. In fact, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.

BMW has always been focused on pursuing efficient driving technologies. BMW EfficientDynamics represents a comprehensive package of innovative technologies designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, increase driving dynamics, and ultimately allow drivers to visualize their fuel efficiency.

Among the latest of these technologies is BMW’s ECO PRO mode, which BMW claims will enable drivers to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent. When you select the ECO PRO mode using the driving experience switch, the system tells you if you’re accelerating too aggressively. And for maximum energy efficiency, automatic transmissions will shift even faster in higher gears and automatic air conditioning will be subject to energy-optimized settings. Visit an Arizona BMW dealer to see for yourself.

To take it a step further, BMW has added an ECO PRO Analyzer to the existing free BMW app for smartphones. The ECO PRO Analyzer evaluates driving style and how efficiently the driver accelerates, brakes and changes gear. This can help to extend the range of the vehicle. Useful ECO tips additionally help to achieve an even more efficient driving style. The goal is to help drivers develop a more efficient driving style in ECO PRO mode.

BMW ECO PRO Analyzer Star Rating

The analyzer uses a star rating function. The number of stars shows how good the result was in each of the individual categories over the previous ten minutes. The more stars you’ve earned, the faster the bonus range will build up.

BMW ECO PRO Analyzer Road Test

The road (pictured above) improves as more stars are won. If you earn all of the stars, the road becomes perfectly smooth. However, the road also reacts with inefficient driving.

BMW ECO PRO Analyzer High Score List

The high score list (pictured above) in the vehicle shows the four journeys that you have achieved the best average fuel consumption. For reference purposes, the average fuel consumption for the current journey is displayed above them. Only drives exceeding a distance of three miles will be stored.

To prevent driver distraction, it is best to test this function with a passenger in the car. For more information on BMW EfficientDynamics, or the BMW Connected App, visit Chapman BMW in Chandler.

i3

The US launch of the BMW i3 all electric vehicle is highly anticipated at Chapman BMW. Fully electric cars have significantly higher energy efficiency and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional vehicles. Already on a wait list, the i3 will be BMW’s first fully electric car that also boasts “cradle to grave” sustainability. BMW has ensured that sustainable practices and materials are incorporated in the i3 from the start of the production process, to ownership, and finally to the end of the cars life.

BMW’s Leipzig shop which manufactures the i3 is LEED Gold certified and gathers all of its energy to operate from four wind turbines. To become LEED Gold certified, BMW Lepizig needed to earn high points in nine categories ranging from waste and water efficiency, to design, materials, and sustainable education. It is the first automobile manufacture in Germany to obtain all of its energy solely from wind turbines. The turbines generate so much electricity that BMW finds them self with a surplus after powering the factory. BMW outsources the carbon fiber used for the passenger cell of the car from a facility in Moose Lake, Washington that produces 100 percent of its electricity from hydro power and has 50 percent less CO2 emissions then others facilities like it. The choice to use malleable carbon fiber sheets verses aluminum saves BMW energy in production as well as produces a car that is light weight increasing over all driving range.

A portion of the i3’s interior is created with recycled materials and environmentally refined wood accents, while the leather is tanned with olive leaf extract as a natural alternative to traditional chemicals. Any aluminum features in the exterior or interior of the car are made from melted down recycled aluminum, cutting energy use up to 95 percent that what would be needed to melt down aluminum alloy.

The least sustainable part of all electric vehicles happens to be the part that powers them. Batteries can be made of recycled components, but cannot be melted back down and recreated because of toxic chemicals inside. BMW’s solution to the i3’s battery is in a re purposing program. After 1000 charges, the battery is replaced with an all new one to ensure maximum range performance. The old battery is then turned into a solar energy storage cell for residential use or is combined with other batteries to build a large storage cell to store extra power produced from renewable sources.

BMW is the first car company to create an electric vehicle that maintains sustainability efforts throughout its production stages and past the death of the car. The i3 will come to Chapman BMW for a test drive event in April 2014, and will be available for purchase at Phoenix BMW dealerships June 2014.

Information was obtained from BMW’s Veritably Sustainable Press Release.