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Auto blogSun, 12 Jan 2014 13:58:00 EST
Without a doubt, the most impressive thing that BMW showed at CES this year was a driverless M235i drifting flawlessly around a wet track at Las Vegas Speedway. However, that bit of robotic helmsmanship wasn't the only trick the German company had up its sleeve. Or, more to the point, on its wrist.
Taking a page from rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW demonstrated how a "smartwatch," in this case the Samsung Galaxy Gear, could be made to function usefully with a vehicle, in this case the BMW i3. Calling it a "research application," BMW showed off its BMW i Remote App on the Galaxy Gear; the app gives information about state of battery charge, available range and whether or not all the doors and windows are closed or open. Perhaps more useful still, the watch can be used to send a destination to the i3's navigation unit, adjust the climate control in preparation for a trip and can recognize voice commands. Nifty stuff, if not world-shaking, that could help tech-obsessed luxury buyers take a second look at the upcoming BMW EV.
Take a closer look at the watch in action below, or read thru the BMW press release.
Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:02:00 EST
There's no doubt that Tesla is downshifting while Fisker has been grinding its gears. But it wasn't always that way.
In the wake of Tesla's recent success, it's easy to forget that there were once two California electric carmakers with bright futures.
Audi has the S8, Mercedes has the S63 AMG and Jaguar has the XJR, but BMW has always held that an M7 wasn't justified, leaving its associated Alpina line to tackle that market with the B7 (pictured). The chief engineer at the M division, however, feels otherwise.
Speaking to Autocar, the BMW M development chief Albert Biermann indicated that he would like to see the M division do a performance version of the 7 Series to compete with the above-mentioned models, but that there are no current plans in place to do so. Neither did he specify what kind of engine it would have, or if it would be badged, for that matter, as an M7 or an M Performance model.
The latter is the approach which the M division is reportedly taking with performance versions of BMW crossovers beyond the X5 M and X6 M, such as the X3 and upcoming X4. The division is also said to be developing a performance-tuned xDrive system to compete with AMG's new all-wheel-drive models, as well as a potential M3 GT to join the new M3 sedan and M4 coupe with a slantback bodystyle.