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2011 BMW X1 Pictures, Details and Specs

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BMW has been venturing into uncharted territories these past few years – the BMW X6 and 5-series GT come to mind. As if the German automaker didn’t have enough crossovers in its lineup already, it has decided to release the 2011 BMW X1, a little brother (or sister?) to the X3. The X1 will make its European debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this fall and is expected to go on sale in Europe at the beginning of 2010.

The X1 shares the same platform as the 3-series, munch like the X3 is. As a result, it is close in size to the current X3 and is 4.3 inches shorter, 5.5 inches narrower and 2.4 inches lower. On the the outside, the X1 has cleaner, sharper lines than the X3; on the inside, they are virtually the same (seriously).

Buyers will have an initial choice of four engines. These include a 3.0-liter straight six gasoline engine that produces 258HP and launches the X1 from zero to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, and three 2.0-liter four-pot diesel engines that produce of 204HP, 177HP and 143HP and achieve up to 5.2 liter/100km or 45.2mpg by US and European standards.

As a first for an an X-Series model, the X1 will be available in rear-wheel drive (dubbed the sDrive) and xDrive all-wheel drive configurations.

As far as pricing go, the entry-level, rear-wheel drive X1 sDrive18i gas-engined model will go on sale in Europe from the beginning of 2010 with a starting price of €27,200. The top-of-the-line all-wheel drive xDrive28i with its 258HP straight six gasoline engine is priced from €41,500.

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BMW

Next BMW M3 Has RWD And 4WD Versions, Which Will You Choose?

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New, 2019 BMW 3 Series M Performance Parts

The M3 will take a page from the latest M5, but without losing grip of its roots.

When the sixth-generation BMW M3 and M4 hit the market, they will reportedly be offered with both rear-wheel and all-wheel driver versions.

The rear-wheel drive M3 / M4 — ‘M3 and M4 Pure’, as they are known internally — are intended for purists, while those looking for outright performance will certainly go for the all-wheel drive variants.

According to , the all-wheel drive M3 / M4 can only be had with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and will have a bit more power to work with since the manual transmission in the purist M3 / M4 can’t handle the same amount of torque. It will also be a bit different aesthetically, featuring a different front fascia and set of wheels.

BMW hasn’t announced when the next M3 and M4 will debut, but it will add three additional go-faster models to the lineup overtime, including a competition package.

So, which one will it be for you — the rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive M3 / M4? Let us know in the comments below, including your reason(s) why.

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BMW Creates Meteoric M850i Night Sky For Outer Space Geeks

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BMW M850i Night Sky Meteorite

The unique 8 Series features meteorite inlay and 3D-printed brake calipers.

BMW has revealed the M850i xDrive Coupe Night Sky, a one-off take on the new M850i created by the company’s Individual Manufaktur team for astronomy fans.

The car features an outer space theme. Inside, hunks of meteoric rock adorn the center console, start/stop button, shift lever, iDrive controller and other surfaces, while Widmanstätten surface pattern of meteorites can be found on the center console’s trim finishers, brake discs, exterior mirror caps and the front splitters.

For the non-space geeks among us, Widmanstätten patterns are the result of iron-nickel crystals forming on meteors over the course of around 10 million years and cannot be reproduced on Earth.

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Special LED project constellations of stars on the center console and other interior surfaces.

Not content with the space theme, BMW created new lightweight brake calipers using generative design processes (3D printing). The pieces manage to be 30 percent lighter than the 8 Series’ usual calipers without negatively affecting necessary strength characteristics.

The one-off Night Sky edition is finished in San Marino Blue metallic paint over a black base coat. Its debut coincided with a meteor shower that took place overnight from January 3 – 4, resulting from the Earth briefly passing through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH, with fragments from the asteroid entering our planet’s atmosphere and burning up.

Some of these meteoric fragments were incorporated into the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky’s interior.

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BMW, Porsche’s Ultrafast EV Charger Adds 62 Miles In 3 Minutes

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BMW, Porsche Ultrafast EV Charger

It only takes 15 minutes for an electric vehicle’s batteries to be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent capacity.

BMW and Porsche, along with several other partner companies, have made great progress developing an ultrafast EV charging system.

Their so-called FastCharge research program has resulted in a 450 kW prototype charging station that can add 62 miles (100 km) of range in just three minutes or nearly fully charge a mostly depleted battery from 10 to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.

While the ability to charge an electric car in just a few minutes will be a boon for EV owners, today’s electric vehicles aren’t able to charge at 450 kilowatts. Tesla’s vehicles, for instance, utilize a 400-volt battery configuration, but Porsche and Audi’s FastCharge tech can handle higher voltage levels of up to 920 volts, which experts believe will become the norm.

Their charging station is able to handle so much current and voltage thanks to actively cooled cables that use a circulating water-glycol solution to manage temperature. The electric vehicle must also be compatible and use intelligent charging strategy that not only precools the battery before charging begins, but also monitors cell temperature during the charging process.

Suffice it to say, the long, tedious hours that it used to take to charge an electric car are almost a thing of the past.

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