BMW X1 grows for 2023, adds more power

BMW’s most petite crossover is getting a plus-size upgrade.

The redesigned X1 is roomier and features updated technology and a beefier powertrain.

The 2023 BMW X1 arrives at U.S. stores in the fourth quarter. Pricing starts at $39,595, including shipping.

Launched in 2009, the entry-level crossover opened the door to a new vehicle category in the premium segment. Last year, BMW sold 18,253 X1 models. It was last redesigned in 2016.

Previously among the smallest in the class, the larger X1 will be better positioned against the competition, which includes the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40.

BMW’s focus has always been the pleasure of driving, and the X1 is the brand’s chance to lure young buyers into the family, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.

“While most vehicles provide transportation, BMW wants buyers looking to be entertained by the vehicle,” Fiorani said. “Updating the drivetrain and suspension makes the X1 more entertaining than the previous generation and gives it a leg up on the competition.”

The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine is revised for 2023. It makes 241 hp, and the X1 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

The engine is mated to a new seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, which BMW said features a widened gear ratio spread and greater efficiency. The transmission automatically shifts into park when the engine turns off, and sensors can detect when the vehicle is parked on a slope and automatically engage the parking brake.

The M Sport package features gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel that enable the Sport Boost function. BMW said that when the driver pulls the left-hand shift paddle for at least a second, the powertrain and chassis settings are primed for the quickest acceleration possible.

The X1 adopts a more rugged look, even though it’s unlikely to be driven off city streets.

Compared with its predecessor, the crossover is 1.7 inches longer, 0.9 inch wider and 1.7 inches higher. The wheelbase, meanwhile, is extended 0.9 inch.

BMW said track widths have increased 0.8 inch for improved handling and on-road agility.

The X1’s new front features BMW’s large, almost square kidney grille bookended by standard LED headlights with cornering lights.

Active air flap control systems for the kidney grille and lower intake adapters open and close depending on the need for cooling air.

At the rear, the narrow rear window and flared wheel arches emphasize the body’s width. Full LED taillights provide an updated interpretation of the L shape classically sported by BMW X models.

A long roofline flows into a spoiler extending far over the rear glass.

BMW said the new design helps the X1 achieve a “segment-leading” drag coefficient of 0.27.

Airflow is guided by air curtains in the outer sections of the front apron, flush-fitting door handles, aerodynamic exterior mirrors, side air deflectors around the rear window, and a nearly flush underbody.

The BMW X1’s suspension and damping systems received an extensive upgrade to improve comfort.

The front axle is equipped with extra lift-related damping using an additional sleeve on the dampers, reducing body movement when driving over small bumps.

The adaptive M suspension, available as an option for the first time on the X1 xDrive28i, delivers agility and long-distance comfort thanks to mechanically controlled adjustable dampers. The damper system lowers ride height 0.6 inch.

The X1 bristles with the latest driving assistance and infotainment technology.

The cockpit is anchored by a curved display, pairing a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch central information display.

The display is powered by BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system with the automaker’s newest operating system. The BMW Operating System 8 processes twice the number of information signals and 20 times more data volume than before.

The optional Driving Assistant Professional, available for the first time on the X1, is a camera- and radar-based system that includes a suite of technologies including steering and lane-control assistance, active cruise control and hands-free driving at speeds up to 40 mph on highways.

The BMW Drive Recorder, part of the Parking Assistant Plus feature, uses the cameras of the driver-assistance systems to record video all around the vehicle. The saved video files can be viewed on the center control display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port.

The Crash Recorder feature automatically records up to one minute of footage in case of an accident. For scenic drives and “spirited driving sessions,” the Joy Recorder feature captures 60 seconds of high-definition footage.

The 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate Is an $85,000 Ultra-Luxury Truck

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2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate review! The 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate is a luxury pickup truck — the ultimate luxury truck, according to General Motors. Today I’m reviewing the 2022 Sierra Denali Ultimate, and I’ll show you all the quirks and features of this luxury truck. I’m also going to drive the new Sierra Denali Ultimate and review the driving experience.

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Hyundai, Kia are pouring on the hybrids

Hyundai Motor Group was slow to jump on the hybrid-powertrain bandwagon, as rivals surged ahead with the fuel-sipping technology.

But the Korean lines are making up for lost time.

Hyundai Motor Co. is on an aggressive path to electrification that seeks 7 percent of the global battery-electric market by 2030.

In the U.S., Hyundai hopes half of its new-vehicle sales will come from EVs in that time frame.

But part of transforming itself into an electric automaker is offering a conventional hybrid-electric or plug-in hybrid variant for every model in its gasoline-powered lineup.

That approach represents a pivot for the automaker.

“What prompted the change was a significant shift in strategy” to go all electric, Jose Muñoz, Hyundai Motor Co.’s global COO, told Automotive News in an exclusive interview.

“We see hybrid buying habits as the next step toward electrification,” he said.

“Many customers are still reluctant to take the bold step of moving into a battery-electric vehicle right away. However, we have seen a significant increase in demand of hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

“If we want to be a key player in electrification, we need to be strong in hybrids and plug-in hybrids — but with the ultimate goal to be a very strong on battery EV technology.”

Having the full spectrum of electrified products might help bridge the gap between gasoline and electric, but there are other factors in play.

“At this point, making sure you have hybrid and plug-in hybrids across a broader portion of the portfolio and making it more prominent is partially about emissions regulations,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst for IHS Markit.

New EPA rules that take effect in September require a 28.3 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2026.

Saying customers will move more easily into EVs if they’ve tried electrification “feels like a theory in some respects, but it can’t hurt,” Brinley said.

“People who have chosen to do hybrids, plug-in hybrids or mild hybrids are obviously more interested in electrification or more willing to consider it,” Brinley said.

“Plug-in hybrids have a better potential for getting a customer used to the plug and understanding what the capabilities are. With hybrids, [customers] don’t have to do anything different and use same infrastructure.”

Hyundai’s “green” vehicles now represent 15 percent of Hyundai’s business, an increase of 5 percentage points over a year earlier, according to Muñoz.

By year end, Hyundai expects to have 10 electrified vehicles. One is the hybrid version of the Santa Fe midsize crossover, the first electrified Hyundai vehicle to be built in the U.S. at its factory in Montgomery, Ala. The Santa Fe has gotten a PHEV, and the Tucson compact crossover mirrors that format.

Kia is using the same playbook.

The redesigned, fifth-generation Sportage compact crossover, which had its first full month of sales in April, will add a hybrid and PHEV variant in June and July, respectively. Kia’s redesigned Sorento, which went on sale in 2021, also comes in gasoline, hybrid or PHEV versions.

Kia offers a dedicated hybrid, the Niro, that went on sale in 2017 and was followed by PHEV and EV variants in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Interest in the Niro family has seen highs and lows. But since January, the Niro has been experiencing triple-digit gains — mostly because of sales of the hybrid variant.

In the first quarter, the Niro hybrid notched 6,148 sales, compared with 4,014 for the EV and 2,060 for the PHEV, according to data from Motor Intelligence.

Hyundai and Kia are not the only brands targeting hybrids on the road to zero emissions.

Honda Motor Co. — which has attempted to sell hybrids in the past — has set a target of selling 800,000 EVs in North America by 2030.

But Dave Gardner, head of national operations and sales for American Honda, said the company will help its customers ease into EVs by getting them into hybrid versions of its popular models first.

Honda is prioritizing the Accord and CR-V, both high-volume models built with a 25 percent hybrid mix — sometimes more for the CR-V.

The Civic, which Gardner describes as a “gateway to the brand,” will be the next to get a hybrid variant, although Honda has not specified timing.

More desirable features and tech will be loaded onto the hybrid models as extra incentive for shoppers to try the electrified platform.

“The dealers can see the transition,” Gardner said. “We’ve got a solid plan and I think it’s clear to see the pathway as we head to the end of the decade.”

Designing the 2014 Chevrolet Impala – Wide Open Throttle Episode 27

On this episode of Wide Open Throttle, Jessi Lang talks with the design team of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, the car GM is hoping to once again reposition as the flagship of the Chevrolet brand.

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Velotric Discover 1: $400 Off This Value City Cruiser eBike [Video]

Velotric Discover 1: $400 Off This Value City Cruiser eBike [Video]

The Velotric Discover 1 is a great value electric city cruiser with surprising quality given the entry to mid level price. There’s so much to love about this bike, but the look, is undoubtedly the first positive impression. The Discover 1 has a wonderful build that blends utility and aesthetics.

The Discover 1 is really good looking in photos, but it’s looks even better in person.

The quality on the Velotric Discover 1 really shows, with a very striking frame that is a refreshing take on the electric cruiser platform.  The rear triangle comes up to meet the rear rack, and the bottom bracket is met with a bold frame joint that stands proud and becomes a part of the design. On the front of the bike rests the headtube, which is large and accommodating for both the mechanical features, but also holds the internal cabling for a better fit and finish.

Velotric Discover 1 Specs

  • Frame: Aluminum step-through
  • Motor: 500w (900w peak)
  • Battery: 48v 14.4Ah (692wh) Certified Samsung or LG 21700 cells
  • Top Speed: 20mph (32kph)
  • Max Range: Up to 60 miles on Assist
  • Engagement: Throttle, 3 level pedal assist (cadence)
  • Gearing: Shimano 7-speed tourney derailleur (14-28)
  • Brakes: 180mm Mechanical disc
  • Tires: 26″ x 2.5″ Cruiser tires
  • Certification: UL2849 & UL2271
  • Accessories: Suspension fork, upright riding position, comfort grips, included rear rack, front and rear fenders, integrated lights, brake light, locking battery, 3amp charger, assembly toolkit

Velotric 1 Electric Power

Powering the Discover 1 is a 500w rear hub drive motor with an output of 65Nm of instant torque. Combined with the large capacity battery of 48v and 14.4ah, the bike has a stated range of up to 48 miles on level 1 pedal assist. Even at full throttle, I would expect to see about 30 miles of range without pedaling. Using the pedal assist function, the Discover 1 could last much longer than most people want to be on a bicycle seat.

But the Discover 1 has a secret power too. The high capacity battery is constructed with Samsung or LG 21700 cells (the same size form factor of cell used by Tesla), which enables greater power output in bursts of energy. These cells can handle more high output discharge compared to the common size (the 18650). Moreover, theses cells are made for balanced lifespan and power applications, making this a perfect choice for city cruising.

Velotric 500w Motor

Discover 1 is No Slouch

As a Class-2 electric bike, the Discover 1 is equipped with a throttle, and a 20mph top speed. This makes it a legal bicycle in most municipalities, normally in cities where the bike is meant to explore.

As a city champion the Discover 1 has both front and rear integrated lights, and the rear light also has a high beam for brake light functionality. The actual stopping power comes from a set of 180mm mechanical disc brakes, which also house a motor-cut off function.

Keeping strength and function, the frame is a step through design made of reinforced aluminum with an angular motif throughout the bike. The rear triangle features a clean cut and fantastic lines, a real head-turner in many ways. It’s hard to find a bike of this quality and unique design at this price point. It’s very easy to mount and dismount, but also maintains steady steering on the road. This laid back riding position takes stress off the rider, and allows the bike to take the brunt of the road imperfections.

More than Meets the Eye

The discover 1 has some hidden features that add value behind the scenes. First off is the UL2849 certification. This classification ensures the electronics on this bike have been tested for resistance to fire and electrical shock for the entire drivetrain and charging systems.

More noticeable, is the internal routing and sleek design of the bike itself. The cabling and wires for the bike slide into the frame of the bike, making for a clean look from front to back. The electrical cables meet at the controller, which is internally housed in the frame, preventing damage or risk to the electric system.

Velotric Rear Triangle/Gearing

Velotric Gets Down to Business

On the business side, the Discover 1 comes equipped with a rear rack for carrying extra cargo of various sizes, both trunk bags and side panniers. It also is equipped with full front and rear fenders protection against the weather and road debris. The 7 speed Shimano drivetrain operates in full alongside the motor, still putting some skin in the game, albeit, a bit much easier. 

Not only riding in style and utility, the Discover 1 features a wealth of comfort points. The ergonomic grips have a great texture on all sides, the handlebars come to meet you, taking strain off of your back, and the saddle is wide and plush to reduce fatigue. A surprising benefit is the front shock on the discover , making this bike much more fit for urban exploration than stiff bikes at a cheaper cost.

Velotric Discover 1 Shock

Velotric Discover 1 on Sale

Surprising enough, all of this is delivered to your door with free shipping in the lower 48 states, and for a regular MSRP of $1,899 this is a lot of quality value for a great price. Right now they are performing a launch sale, where you can save $400 off, making the bike slid in below the $1,500 mark.

This puts the Discover 1 on a very short list is UL2835 certified electric bikes in this price point, perhaps the only one at $1,499. You can follow Velotric for its latest announcements on YouTube and IG.


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