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Auto blogTue, 04 Jun 2013 16:29:00 EST
BMW has teamed up with Chinese automaker Brilliance Automotive to create a joint venture in China, called Zinoro, and it appears that an all-electric version of the X1 crossover is to be the brand's first model. Spotted testing in Munich, these spy shots show a more camouflaged version of the X1 EV that we saw back in April.
Comparing these latest spy shots, we can see that the Zinoro model will wear a completely unique front fascia that ditches BMW's trademark grille, but few other changes seem to be taking place. Previous reports indicate that this Zinoro EV could go on sale in China early next year.
Bloomberg reports shifting tariff regulations have upended the traditional automotive pecking order in Korea. Thanks to cheaper import taxes, foreign brands have seen market share jump from 28 percent to 41 percent over the last two years. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have all capitalized on the shift, with domestics like Hyundai and Kia suffering at the hands of their German rivals.
Taxes on European imports have fallen from 8 percent in 2011 to just 3.2 percent today. Over the next few years, tariffs will all but be eliminated for most imports, and taxes on US-made vehicles are expected to fall to just 4 percent in 2014. By 2016, that number will be zero. Needless to say, Hyundai and Kia are concerned about the shift.
Hyundai has seen profit fall by 15 percent last quarter, and the company says it is on pace to see the slowest sales growth since 2007. The company's shares have fallen by 12 percent. In order to stem the losses, Hyundai has discounted its midsize sedans and started working on diesel engine options.
It's easy to look at racing video games as just a time waster or a hobby. In reality, though, they're often powerful tools for aspiring racers to learn tracks, race craft and how to set up a car in an easily accessible, risk-free environment. We aren't just talking about proper computer-based sims, like iRacing. Console-based racers like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo provide a test bed for racers of all sorts.
For Mario Bonfante, Jr., a former motorcycle racer that was involved in a brutal accident that left him in a wheelchair with only limited use of his arms, Forza is a bit more. It allows him to perfect the setup of his personal racecar, a heavily modified E46 BMW M3, complete with hand controls.
Check out Mario's inspiring story.