Albertville, Minnesota, United States
Another day, another new BMW spied. Sometimes it feels like Bimmer is developing so many new models that in the future, every buyer will get their own unique car. The latest one spied is the upcoming BMW X4 that was launched as a concept nearly a year ago. The Bavarians still see a need to camouflage the rear end of its prototypes, though.
As you can see, the production version is hewing very closely to the concept. If you peer around the camo, the headlights have the same shape, but the foglights are a new addition. The rear roofline seems quite similar to concept, too, but the back end is still somewhat more mysterious because the masking and dirt hide a lot. Still, it doesn't seem like the production model is going to be radically different from the concept based on the previous test cars we spied in the past. It also strikes us as very similar in size and form to the already available 3 Series Gran Turismo, with which it is expected to share a great deal.
Our wait might not be very long to see the midsize German CUV undisguised, because the X4's debut is rumored for the New York Auto Show on April 16 with a reveal as early as March 14.
Bridging the gap between internal combustion engine-powered vehicles and electric vehicles are plug-in hybrids, and BMW has made one out of its biggest sports utility vehicle, even if it's just a concept car at this point. The plug-in hybrid X5 eDrive Concept debuted today at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and it sits attached to a charge port on the show floor.
As we reported in August, the X5 eDrive Concept combines a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of unknown output with a 95-horsepower electric motor, to achieve longer range and lower emissions. The X5 eDrive can drive up to 75 miles per hour and 19 miles on electric power alone, manage about 62 miles per gallon (3.8 liters per 100 kilometers) and accelerate from 0-62 mph in under seven seconds, according to BMW.
Three drive modes are offered: one that automatically operates the hybrid system, an all-electric mode and a Save Battery mode that operates the vehicle using the engine only.
Good news just keeps coming for BMW, as Consumer Reports has just handed out a stunner of a verdict - the M235i, a spritely, 320-horsepower coupe that starts at just $43,100 has bested the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Porsche 911, vehicles that can easily cost twice as much and come to battle with considerably more power.
CR awarded the spiritual successor to the 1 Series M Coupe a score of 98 out of 100, beating out the 911 and the Stingray by three and six points, respectively. In fact, the M235i is remarkably close to the Tesla Model S' 99, making it one of the highest scores CR has ever handed out. It's also, not surprisingly, the highest-rated BMW ever.
Of the M235i's many attributes, Consumer Reports cited the car's performance potential as well as its quiet ride and comfort for front-seat passengers. While it's a shock to no one, CR called out the limited space in the backseats as well as some finicky controls as this Bimmer's biggest shortcomings.