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Auto blogThu, 26 Jun 2014 15:46:00 EST
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just certified its latest Top Safety Pick+, honoring the all-new BMW 2 Series with the coveted rating.
IIHS cited the 2 Series' crash test ratings, which were rated as "Good" in the small overlap, moderate overlap, side and rollover. In the tricky small overlap test, the crash test dummy was at a "low risk of any significant injury."
The Institute was also complimentary of the 2 Series' head restraint system and its collision prevention system, including forward collision warning and City Braking.
Late last year, Mercedes-AMG worked up a concept car called the Vision Gran Turismo. It presented it at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but that wasn't the point: the point was that it would feature in Gran Turismo 6 on the PlayStation 3. It wasn't the first concept created specifically for the popular driving simulator - following similar projects by Citroën and Red Bull Racing - and as we reported just a month later, it wouldn't be the last. What we have here is the next.
Looking like an even more extreme version of the M235i Racing, the BMW Vision Gran Turismo concept builds on "the tradition of the successful BMW touring cars of the 1970s" in a heart-pumping, if unfortunately strictly virtual form. It's got more extreme aero than the aforementioned M235i Racing and a striking take on the M division's signature light blue, dark blue and red stripe over white livery.
Underneath the digital bonnet sits the same 3.0-liter inline six as the M235i, but pumping out a prodigious (if theoretical) 549 horsepower - far more than the 333 hp in the actual Racing version or the 320 hp in the roadgoing model. Of course BMW has given it an ideal 50:50 front-rear weight distribution and a curb weight of 2,600 lbs - nearly a thousand pounds less than the roadgoing M235i.
If you're sweet on the new BMW i3 but wish it had more space to carry people and stuff, we've got good news for you. According to Autocar, BMW is planning on stretching the platform that underpins the i3 to create a new model, expected to be called i5.
The stretch job would add an extra four inches of legroom in the back and another six inches of rear overhang to the benefit of cargo space. The result would create a vehicle longer than the current Mini Countryman - although the next Countryman is likely to be even larger. As Autocar points out, the process of extending the i3's composte passenger cell likely wouldn't be as difficult or cost-intensive as lengthening a conventional metal chassis, although the rear doors would need to be re-engineered.
Whether the resulting vehicle would more closely resemble a hatchback, wagon, minivan or something in between remains to be seen, however BMW is said to have already registered the nameplates i1 through i8, signalling that the possibility is at least there to add more members to its new EV family.