The next 3 series variant to make its debut will be the 3 series touring / wagon (F31). We’ve now spotted it with virtually no camouflage remaining. Combined with the recently revealed F31 rear design patent CGIs (images inside), we now basically know how the F31 will look when it makes its debut at the AMI auto show in Leipzig in early June (for a likely market debut in the Fall).
Unlike the F11 5 series touring, the new 3 series touring model will make a return to the North American market. In an interview we had at the 2012 NAIAS with Paul Ferraiolo, Manager, Product Planning & Strategy of BMWNA, he confirmed that the next generation F31 3 series touring will make it stateside again:
“It’s coming, … CONTINUED
Rumors about an M135i version have been circulating for months. Now there’s official confirmation from BMW - not in the form of a press release but via a newly launched F20 accessories price list.
As you can see in the screenshots below, there’s mention of the 135i, the 135i xDrive, and the M135i. The context is interesting too: The M Sport bumpers aren’t available as aftermarket parts for the 135i and the 135i xDrive, likely because both models come standard with them. The M135i is mentioned with the drilled and slotted M Performance rotors we’ve reported about before (and which BMW just announced HERE). This likely means that the M Sport brakes are standard on the M135i.
The M135i is expected to be powered by the N55 inline … CONTINUED
It’s often difficult to perceive the size and scale of a new BMW vehicle in spy photos/videos without any other model by its side. To tell the size of the upcoming next generation BMW X5 (F15), we’ve now spied it next to both the current X5 (E70) and the current X3.
Compared to the current X5, the F15 X5 doesn’t appear to be much larger, and any increase in size (at least with respect to height and width) doesn’t seem to be very perceptible at this distance. The overall shape, silhouette, and roofline also don’t appear to be a radical departure.
What we can count on changing is the styling. The F15’s grilles will be larger, wider, and bolder than the current X5’s (as seen in the previous … CONTINUED
Here is the best look yet at the gullwing / butterfly doors which will be featured on the production BMW i8 when it hits the market in 2014. The doors appear to open in the same fashion as did the BMW i8 concept.
Judging by photos, it’s apparent that the doors will not be constructed from glass, as in the concept i8. According to Scott26, the door skins are made of CFRP, but BMW is working on applying type of film over the CFRP which can be unpainted - giving the door a smooth glass-like finish and bringing the look of the i8 concept’s glass doors without actually using glass (which are impractical for many obvious reasons).
Here is the very first spy video of the 2014 BMW i8 production prototype, giving us the first live motion look and listen at the upcoming i8 hybrid sports car. Also confirmed in the video is the retaining of the gullwing doors as seen on the concept i8 car.
Check out the video and all details on the BMW i8 inside.
Although this pre-production i8 tracks the concept version’s styling generally, as expected, there are some significant changes from the i8 concept model [official info/pics]. The front fascia has lost a bit of its shark nose front slant with a new lower front bumper design, which protrudes more than that on the concept. Also, the headlights have been moved forward to the edge of the hood. This comes as no surprise considering the fact that the extremely deeply set headlights on the concept i8 would likely limit the area which the headlights can illuminate. The headlights will join the kidney grilles at the sides, just as seen on the F30 3 series.
The hood and windshield are now more traditional and the windshield no longer joins the hood … CONTINUED
The next generation 2014 X5 (F15) continues its cold weather testing and our spies have spotted the F15 interior for the first time. Below are images of two different prototype X5s, each having different gauges and iDrive buttons. It seems that final designs on those two parts have not yet been finalized and are still undergoing evaluation. The first design seen below shows a larger iDrive button design which features a touchpad surface on top. This dash also features a full black panel display.
Following on the design of the new 6 series (F12/13), 1 series hatchback (F20/21) and new 3 series (F30), the next X5 will feature a large free-standing navigation/infotainment LCD screen. This screen looks to the 8.8 inch panel used in the 6 … CONTINUED
What we know about BMW’s aggressive push into the electric car market (via their dedicated BMW i brand) is that it is essentially a two pronged approach. Cover the exotic sports car market with the BMW i8, to effectively show that an electric car can be a desirable super-car and at the same time produce a compact and efficient city car with the BMW i3.
While both of these cars will do alot to put electric cars into the mindset of car buyers and enthusiasts, the real car market is the mainstream people mover: the family sedan. Autobild.de is reporting that somewhere around year 2015, BMW plans to introduce the BMW i5, a fully electric mid-size people mover that will take a more cross-over shape of the … CONTINUED
On the heels of the just revealed BMW M Performance Automobiles opening lineup, our spies have spotted yet another F20 prototype which we believe may be the test mule for an upcoming M135i model to join the M Performance lineup, possibly by summer.
Now that the M550d and X5/X6 M50d have officially been announced, it’s really no big stretch to believe that BMW will go with an “M135i” moniker for the F20/F21 135i equipped with M-Sport package. To revisit the info so far on a possible M135i model — a report came from a BMW presentation to Dutch dealers in November that a “M135i” 1 series hatchback was coming this summer. Those in attendance were reportedly told about a M135i featuring 320hp and powered by the N55 … CONTINUED