Drive Type: rear wheel drive
San Carlos, California, United States
The Euro NCAP just tested a recent batch of new cars including the 2014 BMW i3, and the EV Bimmer scored less-than-perfect results. Though not horrible, BMW's all-electric/range-extended i3 was given a four-star (out of five possible) crash rating due to concerns with front-occupant whiplash and side-impact protection.
Based on the crash results, the BMW provided suitable protection for occupants in the frontal, side barrier, pedestrian and child-seat tests, but the i3 was tripped up when it came to the more severe side pole test and the rear-impact test. The pole test showed protection to the chest of the test dummy was "weak," and the front seats only provided "marginal" protection against whiplash for front passengers. Scroll down to watch two videos released by the Euro NCAP of the i3 being tested.
Audi and BMW have long been enemies on both the road and the track, with their respective M and S/RS lines duking it out to the delight of auto enthusiasts everywhere. In this video from Evo, two of the rivalry's newest combatants take to the track - the Audi S3 and the BMW M135i.
The new Audi S3, which is finally coming to America, throws down with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. 290 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque are deployed to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system via a six-speed, S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission, allowing the five-door Audi to scamper to 60 in under five seconds.
The BMW, which Americans will know as a long-roof version of the new M235i Coupe, comes to the track with 320 ponies and 331 lb-ft of torque. That's a good bit more than the Audi, but the M135i has only two wheels to send its power to, an eight-speed single-clutch automatic (a six-speed manual is available) and a slightly higher curb weight.
The BMW Z3/Z4 roadster has never really had a widespread following because it has either been too humble and small a roadster (albeit with some fun and very low-volume M editions) or it has been - in this E89 generation - too casual an image leader with no racier aspirations. The current 480-hp Z4 GTEs don't count, since they are as stock a Z4 as today's Pamela Anderson is the same blonde actress we knew as Heidi on Home Improvement. You know, sort of like those ever-so-slightly modified Toyota Camry coupes competing in NASCAR.
The ultimate highpoint for the BMW Z roadster franchise was at the very start of its life in the mid-90s, in the James Bond film GoldenEye with Pierce Brosnan. The Stinger missiles that Q's team installed behind the Z3's headlights were never fired, and BMW never even offered this self-defense package as an option. Yet another case of the ol' bait and switch.
And in all these subsequent years of Z3s and Z4s strutting their long-hooded stuff, the little sporting Bimmer could really have used a live Stinger missile or two to spice things up. The current Z4 exists, it is pretty dang sexy, and BMW seems content to let it linger there. We just drove the new midlife version of the roadster near BMW headquarters in Munich, and it served to reinforce our feelings.