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All-new, 2016 BMW X1 Arrives Looking Like Baby X5

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2016 BMW X1 SUV

An all-new BMW X1 is upon us, even though the previous model only went on sale in North America in 2012. While the first-gen had a rather conservative appearance, the new, 2016 X1 looks like a baby X5.

In addition to a much more sportier and handsome exterior design, the German crossover brings to market a roomier interior, more tech features and a more fuel-efficient drivetrain. The interior, for starters, offers occupants more head and legroom than before and features rear seatbacks that can optionally be configured to split, slide and recline 40/20/40. A power-folding feature for the rear seats is also available.

Other interior highlights include a driver-focused cockpit with a large 6.5-inch central display (an 8.8-inch unit is optional) for BMW’s iDrive interface and a standard backup camera (a first for the X1), as well as a head-up display, a series of useful apps and remote services, and a Driver Assistance Plus package of electronic driving aids (parking sensors, lane departure and front collision warning, active cruise control, etc.).

The BMW X1 abandons the old 3-Series platform for the front- and all-wheel drive UKL1 architecture found on the BMW’s 2-Series Active and Grand Tourer minivans and the MINI hatchback, gaining a transverse engine mount instead of a longitudinal setup as a result. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional.

Speaking of the X1’s engine, the Euro-spec model comes with five:

  • A 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol making 192 PS and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft) of torque
  • A 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol rated at 231 PS and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque
  • A 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel unit with 150 PS and 330 Nm (243 lb-ft) of torque
  • A 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel with at 190 PS and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque

In North America, the 2016 X1 will initially be available exclusively in xDrive28i trim equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-wheel-drive system. The engine, which is mated to an eight-speed auto transmission, allows the small crossover to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h).

The new, 2016 BMW X1 made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show and goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015. It competes directly with the Audi Q3, as well as slightly larger models like the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and the Range Rover Evoque Five-door. Would you choose it over any of those premium crossovers?

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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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