PEABODY, Mass., May 23, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Performance may be the first thing that comes to mind when drivers think of BMW engineering, but two innovations in the works from the automaker should boost its growing reputation for sustainability and safety. The all-electric ActiveE coupe rolls out to Greater Boston BMW dealers like BMW of Peabody over the next year, and the BMW i3 will follow, adding a commuter-friendly electric option to the BMW lineup. BMW is also developing new technology that will make dangerous left turns and U-turn maneuvers safer in future vehicles.
Powered by a rear-mounted 150-horsepower electric motor, the all-electric BMW i3 is expected to have a range of about 99 miles and a top speed of 100 mph. The i3 subcompact is made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and makes the most of the space it has, sporting 14.1 cubic feet of luggage space split between its front trunk and the area behind the back seats. It will come to market in the fall of 2013 with a base price around $35,000.
“The BMW i3 is the first of what will become a complete line of “i” BMW cars that are built not just with electric motors, but designed from the ground up with sustainable materials and practical designs,” said Marshal Cabot, general manager at BMW of Peabody. “BMW is developing the i Series for the future urban environment, creating small electric cars that are sustainable, easy to park and cheaper to operate on a daily basis.”
As the automaker gets closer to bringing its all-electric vision to the streets, BMW is also addressing one of the top causes of accidents and motorcycle fatalities: taking a left turn. A new system called “Left Turn Assistant” employs three laser scanners at the front of the vehicle to detect oncoming vehicles in the opposite lanes and automatically activate the brakes during close calls. To ensure that the braking doesn’t bring the car to a dangerously abrupt stop, the system will only work when the car is traveling at speeds under 10 kilometers per hour, or about 6.2 mph.
Although the Left Turn Assistant technology is still in test mode on the BMW 5 Series, customers can get in line for some other new BMW technology by making reservations for the ActiveE later this summer. Based on the popular BMW 1 Series Coupe, the ActiveE drops the 230-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine found in some models in favor of a 170-horsepower electric motor with a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. BMW is promising 0 to 60 mph acceleration times around 9 seconds and 99-mile range on a full charge. The automaker plans to deliver 700 of the vehicles to U.S. BMW dealers by year’s end, including dealerships in Greater Boston, with the first batch available only through a 24-month lease.
For those that don’t want to wait for the i3 or the ActiveE, there is sustainable Bavarian transport available in BMW’s two existing hybrids, the ActiveHybrid X6 sports activity coupe and the ActiveHybrid 750i sedan. The ActiveHybrid X6 uses about 20 percent less fuel than the gas-powered V8 in the BMW X6 xDrive501, earning 17 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. With fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, the ActiveHybrid 7 offers a 30 percent improvement over the gas-powered 750i, according to BMW.
“The diversity of new technology at BMW right now is really impressive, whether you’re looking at their electric and hybrid vehicles or their emerging safety features,” Cabot added. “The company has always pushed the boundaries of what a vehicle can do, and these new designs allow drivers to enjoy the BMW performance they expect with greater safety and a lower cost of ownership.”
About BMW of Peabody:
Located minutes from downtown Boston on Route 114, BMW of Peabody takes pride in offering some of the world’s finest vehicles, and backing up every new and used BMW sale with their expert, customer-focused sales and service staff. Recognized as a top Greater Boston BMW dealer, BMW of Peabody is a five-time winner of the prestigious Center of Excellence Award and offers two BMW service centers to fit the schedules of its busy customers. See their full BMW inventory online at www.bmwpeabody.com, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bmwofpeabody , visit their showroom at 221 Andover Street in Peabody or call them at 978-538-9900.
Lori Connolly, of Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, 978-532-8312