5 Reasons an Eco-Friendly BMW Can be as Cool as a Hotrod (Almost)
By: Carl Brand
The days of muscle cars billowing blasts of smoke from the exhaust are long over. With government emissions changing the way we build cars in America, the goal is to keep the skies that wonderful off-blue color. Just because you may have to give-up your hotrod, however, doesn’t mean you have to give up on a cool set of wheels. The German automaker BMW is creating a lineup of eco-friendly vehicles that come with features that offer a blast from your hot-rodding past, without a blast from your tailpipe.
Speed always takes center stage for hot rodders, and BMW gives you plenty of it with the i8 plug-in hybrid. This stylish vehicle goes from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds, PlugInCars.com reports. Not bad for something that depends on electricity. The other eco-friendly vehicles in the lineup are the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics sedan and the BMW Concept Active Tourer. MotorTrend.com says the sedan goes from the zero to 60 mph in less than eight seconds while the crossover hybrid takes less than eight seconds to get from zero to 62 mph.
BMW is known for its style and class and the eco-friendly lineup is no exception. PlugInCars.com goes as far as to call the i8 plug-in hybrid exotic, while mentioning BMW is playing around with a Spyder concept for the i8 as well. If you’re scratching your head about the Spyder concept, simply imagine a car designed as the name implies: with a body that sits firm on the ground and doors that open upward like a set of spider legs. If the Spyder concept doesn’t at least draw some former hotrodders toward BMW sales, it’s unclear what may!
Even the traditionally stylistically challenged subcompact hybrid gets style when it comes from BMW. MotorTrend.com says the Active Tourer boasts BMW’s trademark twin-kidney grille as well as angular headlights and aggressive airdams on the front bumper. While the silhouette is notably that of a crossover, it’s a crossover of a sleek and futuristic variety.
Vehicles with a lighter weight are more apt to achieve the higher speeds, and BMW is going lightweight with its new designs. A major contributor to the lightweight nature of the i3 and i8 series is carbon fiber. PlugInCars.com reports BMW is investing $100 million on this innovation, so you can bet the investment is going to show up in its vehicles. The i3 and i8 series vehicles are expected to contain carbon fiber passenger cabins atop a chassis constructed of aluminum, according to HybridCars.com.
Hot rodders who happen to be motorcycle enthusiasts may especially dig the Active Tourer’s interior. The Washington Post says the driver instrument cluster is nearly “motorcycle-like” based on the shape and orientation to the driver. You’ll feel just at home! Other cool features found inside the vehicle are an extended steering column that prominently stands out from the dashboard and an alluring light pipe system. The light pipe system sends out a neon glow throughout the entire cabin.
You’d expect the BMW hybrid lineup to be ultra-clean for the environment, and BMW even goes clean with a diesel option. HybridCars.com notes the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics sedan serves as a grand example of the high standards the company is meeting with its combination of fuel efficiency and cleanliness. In fact, the diesel-powered sedan just nabbed the Best Green Car of the Year award from WHATCAR? It averages 60 mpg and emits less than 110g/km CO2.
by: Carl Brand
Carl loves cars, Car Talk, writing about cars and driving. Not necessarily in that order.