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Auto blogWed, 29 Jan 2014 19:01:00 EST
Mon, 08 Jul 2013 16:59:00 EST
$1.8 million is spent each year to maintain GM's fleet of 600 production and concept cars.
When at least two of the Detroit Three were on the verge of death a few years back, one of the tough questions that was asked of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler execs - outside of why execs were still taking private planes to meetings - was why each company maintained huge archives of old production and concept vehicles. GM, for example, had an 1,100-vehicle collection when talk of a federal bailout began.
The best money in the world might be configurator money - you never run out of it and you can never spend it the wrong way. We hope you're ready to dip into your configurator savings account, because it's time to start speccing out the 2014 BMW 4 Series, the coupe having just arrived in the virtual world.
There are four possible opening gambits: the 428i for $40,500, the 428i xDrive for $42,500, the 435i for $46,000 or the 435i xDrive for $48,000. After you've chosen your first move, there are three trim options: the $1,400 Luxury Line that features lots of chrome and wood (shown), the $1,700 Sport Line that adds lots of gloss black and contrasting trim color and stitching, or the $3,100 M Sport that offers the M Estoril Blue hue and lots of M-division specific accessories.
Starting with the 435i xDrive and M Sport, we then added items like the 19-inch wheels ($900), the Dynamic Handling Package ($1,000), Cold Weather Package ($700), Premium Package ($2,200), Tech Package ($3,150) and the Lighting Package ($1,900) on top of any other box we could check. The total, after the $925 destination and handling charge: $66,749.
For over a year now, we've been hearing about a potential partnership between Toyota and BMW on everything from sports cars to lithium-ion batteries, but one of the first cooperative projects between these two automakers could bring Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell technology to a BMW vehicle. Reuters is reporting that an announcement is likely to be made as soon as later this week regarding a BMW fuel cell vehicle that could be in production by 2020 with a prototype running around by 2015.
The last we heard of Toyota's fuel cell technology, it was in the FCV-R Concept that we saw at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, but there is no word how far along in development this system is. If it does come to fruition, such a vehicle for BMW would build on the automaker's commitment to hydrogen that started with the Hydrogen 7, which unlike a fuel cell vehicle, simply ran on hydrogen fuel rather than converting it to electricity for use in motors. We're definitely interested where this Toyota/BMW tie up could be headed.