The Tesla Model 3 electric car, which will supposedly launch in late 2017 with over 200 miles of driving range and an affordable $35,000 price tag, has been quite the sensation. Even without seeing its final design and specifications, over 300,000 people have already pre-ordered one.
Tesla insists that the model 3 will ship in 2017, but we have our doubts and wonder if waiting for one is prudent.
First, the Tesla Model 3 will be an entirely new car, and who knows what issues may occur when it hits the market. Also, even if you are on the waiting list, you may not get your car until 2018 or even 2019. If this causes you to pause and think, we have a very real alternative to the Model 3 that is available right now: the .
The 2016 BMW 330e is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s best-selling product, the renowned 3-Series sport sedan. In the United States, the EPA rates it at 14 miles of electric range, with a total driving range of over 300 miles when running in gas-electric mode. The company says it obtains 31 mpg combined when operating as a conventional hybrid after the battery depletes, and a fine 72 MPGe when running on electricity alone. MPGe, or , is a measure of how far an electric vehicle can travel on the same amount of energy as is contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.
The best part about the 330e is that it is a hybrid and not a pure electric vehicle (EV) like the Tesla. It combines the best of both worlds, not to mention it’s affordable and fast. In fact, according to the car enthusiasts at , a local BMW dealer in Schaumburg, IL, the 330e is faster than the 328i gas-powered car.
Faster than the gasoline version, you ask? That’s because of the hybrid drivetrain. Some Hybrids are “electric powered automobiles with a small gasoline engine for backup.” Full hybrids can thus be run on electric power or on the gasoline power when necessary. The BMW 330e, however, has a large gasoline engine and both the gas and electric engines can power the vehicle at the same time. BMW’s standard 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 tuned to 180 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque is under the hood. The gas engine receives help from an electric motor that makes 87 hp, which raises the total output to 248 hp and 310 lb-ft combined. That’s the same horsepower rating as the 330i but significantly more torque, and much of it is available instantaneously!
As with other BMW hybrid models, the 330e comes with a number of fuel-saving features such as brake-energy recovery and automatic stop/start functions. The engineers at BMW have also designed certain components that operate only when conditions demand, such as the engine water pump.
Another fuel-saving feature is the Hybrid Coasting function that sets the gasoline engine back to idle when you back off the throttle and lightly touch the brakes.
So whats it like to drive a 330e? As soon as you start to move, it seems like a regular car but it is very, very quiet. If you proceed under modest throttle, the 330e will power itself for 14 miles purely under electric power. Soon thereafter, the 4 cylinder gas engine fires up and the car sounds a little more like a standard automobile. The fun part, however, is when you punch the accelerator and you are propelled by a combination of gasoline and electric power. Hold on!
BMW M8 Gran Coupe Is A Super Sedan With 617 HP
It can hit 60 mph in a supercar-like three seconds flat.
The BMW 8 Series family has welcomed its final two members, the M8 Gran Coupe and M8 Gran Coupe Competition.
Despite offering nearly eight inches of additional rear shoulder room and more than seven inches of rear legroom, the two extra doors and stretched body make the M8 Gran Coupe just 185 pounds heavier than its two-door counterpart.
Power comes from the lineup’s familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo S63 V8, tuned to produce 600 horsepower for the standard edition and 617 ponies for the Competition trim. Torque is rated at 553 pound-feet regardless of variant.
The V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the BMW M8 Gran Coupe to reach 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill in 3.1 seconds, while the M8 Gran Coupe Competition matches the M8 coupe’s 3.0 seconds.
Top speed is electronically-limited at 155 mph (249 km/h) but can be increased to 190 mph (306 km/h) with the M Driver’s Package.
BMW has also announced the M8 Gran Coupe First Edition, a special build based on the Competition variant that pairs Individual Green Metallic paint and Goldbronze wheels and accents inspired by the M8 Gran Coupe concept vehicle.
It also gets unique 20-inch Forged M Star-Spoke wheels, while the interior features Ivory White/Tartufo Full Merino leather and a “First Edition 1/400” on the center console door.
Only 50 examples of the M8 Gran Coupe First Edition will be shipped to the U.S.
U.S. pricing for the 2020 BMW M8 Gran Coupe starts at $130,995 and at $143,995 for the M8 Gran Coupe Competition, both including destination fees.
BMW Concept 4 Previews A Massive-Grille 4 Series
Its huge grille supposedly “embodies the aesthetic essence” of the BMW brand.
BMW used the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show to debut the BMW Concept 4, previewing the “new face” of the 4 Series.
The first thing that will catch your eye is its massive twin-kidney grille, which the German automaker describes as a “confident and classy” new take on the brand’s iconic grille. Look closer and you’ll notice that it is made of several small “number 4s” joined together.
“The kidney grille has always been a signature feature of BMW cars,” BMW design head Domagoj Dukec stated. “The BMW Concept 4 presents a confident and classy take on this iconic feature. At the same time, the BMW Concept 4 offers a look ahead to the expressive face of the 4 Series range.”
The design is said to be inspired by the 3.0 CSi, though the 1970s car had a much smaller grille than any modern BMW. Do you like it?
Massive grille aside, the BMW Concept 4 borrows many styling cues from the 3 Series and 8 Series and features classic sports car proportions. We’ll have to wait and see how all of this translates to the production 4 series.
Here’s A BMW X7 Pickup Truck You Can’t Have
It’s not April 1, so no jokes here. This car is very real, but you can’t buy one.
BMW has transformed its biggest SUV into a pickup truck, and it’s pretty cool.
Developed by BMW Group vocational trainees in cooperation with the Concept Vehicle Construction and Model Technology divisions at BMW’s Munich plant, the BMW X7 Pickup is a one-off concept that can carry five passengers and an F 850 GS motorcycle. The roof panel, rear door skins, and tailgate are made from carbon fiber to minimize weight, trimming 440 pounds off the X7 SUV’s weight despite being a four inches longer.
The truck bed is finished in fine-polished wood finish, while a height-adjustable two-level air suspension makes it easier to get things into it.
There are no mechanical changes. Power is provided by a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that has been turbocharged to produce 340 horsepower, with an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the four wheels. BMW didn’t publish towing capacity, or revealed the effect the pickup conversion has on performance.
The BMW X7 truck concept looks production-ready and could be an interesting addition to the BMW lineup, but the German automaker stresses it has no plans to build it. What a shame.