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BMW i3 Review - Auto Express

BMW i3 review: http://bit.ly/16gv70B Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt The BMW i3 is unlike any other BMW we've driven before - it's all electric, has a body built from carbon fibre and is the smallest vehicle in the current 'i' line-up. The unique carbon fibre body never ceases to amaze us. It stops the car from flexing too much in the bends and it's resulted in a really low overall weight - the BMW i3 weighs in at just 1195kg, making it 300kgs lighter than the Nissan LEAF. There's no need for a B-pillar as the body is so rigid, meaning accessibility is great. The steering is nice and direct with just a hint of feedback - generally, it's a lot of fun. Albeit the roads on Amsterdam aren't the best dynamic test, but it's worth mentioning that even with all the torque from the electric motor and some skinny low grip tyres, it's not easy to do big slides. But the torque does come in handy - 0-63mph takes just 7.2 seconds, which is Renaultsport Clio territory. We drove the top-spec i3 with the Suite interior trim which is a perfect, futuristic design for this type of car. A special sat-nav comes as standard - this can direct you to a recharging point within the remaining range. Speaking of, the BMW i3 is supposed to be capable of covering 125 miles on a single charge (but that's in super-efficient ECOPRO+ mode). In the world of electric cars, the BMW i3 is definitely a class contender. It's not one of the cheapest options out there - the one we drove cost £25,860 - but it's highly desirable; a true BMW.


 


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BMW i8 review - the new king of supercars?
The BMW i8 is a game-changing hybrid super car that makes the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 feel and look dated. Read the full review: http://bit.ly/1o38PDU Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt The BMW i8 can trace its roots back to the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept from the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. After four years of technical workshops and concepts, BMW confirmed it would build that car and five years later, it arrived in the form of the i8. The design of the BMW i8 is absolutely incredible and it's a surprise to see how much of the concept's design that the BMW has managed to keep. There's a really nice cut-out in the bonnet which comes in a contrasting colour to the body and at the back, there are a pair of elegant flying C-Pillars. The most striking feature of the BMW i8 however, is its upward opening scissor doors. The BMW i8 is powered by three power-sources. A 129bhp engine driving the front wheels, a 227bhp three-cylinder driving the rears, and another small Boosting electric motor, which works as a generator. The BMW i8 also has a huge battery pack, which allows for 22 miles of range. Surprisingly though, the BMW i8 still weighs 70kg less than an Audi R8, which comes as a result of its high-tech carbon fibre body and aluminium chassis. It can also hit 0-62mph in 4.4-seconds. Driving on the electric motor, the BMW i8 feels Volkswagen Golf GTI fast, but if you put your foot down while going up a hill, the three-cylinder kicks in. It sounds really good - pretty similar to the throaty six-cylinder in the Porsche 911. To make the BMW i8 come fully alive, though, you need to put it in 'Sport' mode. This keeps the turbocharged three-cylinder engine running, as well as the electric motors. It basically gives you everything that this car has got. The engine sounds even better, and because you've got the electric motor giving you that instant shove, it feels fast. As soon as it starts to get a bit inefficient, the engine kicks in. You might expect a surging, stepped acceleration from the BMW i8, but it's really smooth. These figures are better than a Toyota Prius, a Yaris Hybrid and almost any other eco car you can think of. The BMW i8 is really nice to drive, and what you notice more than anything else, is that it feels really light on its feet. All that carbon fibre really seems to have done the trick. If you're expecting the BMW i8 to be an M Car, then don't. It's not a big oversteering brute, it's much more clinical than that and gets a character all of its own. The steering on the BMW i8 is really nice and light, plus you get a really crisp turn-in. When the back tyres are starting to lose traction, the fronts will come in and drag you out thanks to its four-wheel drive system. It's really forgiving, but not quite as sharp as a 911 maybe. However, it's different and it's something immensely likeable. The BMW i8 comes with a £100,000 price-tag - similar to a Porsche 911 or an Audi R8 - but what's amazing is how much tech you get for that. Obviously there's the carbon-fibre body, three power-trains and four-wheel drive, but there are even options such as laser headlamps. The BMW i8 makes the Audi R8 and 911 feel a bit old, but the Porsche is still sharper. What's clear though, is that BMW has definitely done enough to keep Audi and all other sports car manufacturers on their toes.





Skoda Rapid Spaceback review - Auto Express
Skoda Rapid Spaceback review: http://bit.ly/15EHMYs Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the magazine: http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt The Skoda Rapid Spaceback might be a bit of a confusing prospect -- after all, it has the word space in the name, but actually has less room than the standard car. You can watch our Skoda Rapid Spaceback video review to find out more -- and just why this car even exists. The current Rapid has the body of a saloon, but is actually a hatchback, and offers a lot of space for not very much money. The new Skoda Rapid Spaceback is not an estate, but is in fact shorter than the Rapid, with a smaller boot. It does get more passenger room though, and a more traditional hatchback shape -- hence the name. Sit in the back of the Rapid Spaceback and the name starts to make sense. There's so much legroom it feels like a bigger car such as the Ford Mondeo. The extra glass means its lighter inside too, which makes it feel much less cramped for passengers. When it comes to desigen, however, the two Skoda Rapid siblings are virtually identical. From the front you'll be hard pressed to tell them apart - they've both got the Skoda family face, and the grille and headlights are the same. At the back it's much easier to tell them apart - the Spaceback is 180mm shorter than the standard car and the rear glass area near the C-pillar has been expanded to increase headroom. You can also get a style pack that adds a roof spoiler, darker rear lights and gloss black mirrors to give it a bit more desirability. New for the Spaceback is a lower powered 89bhp diesel, which gets 67mpg, emits 114g/km. This engine is also used for the Greenline version, which will have low ride height, even more efficiency tweaks, and that gets the Spaceback under 100g/km. The 1.2-litre TSI is the best one to go for, with a six-speed manual gearbox and it feels more like a driver's car. The Spaceback also gets a new electric power steering system and a retuned set of dampers.





Peugeot 308 review - Auto Express
Peugeot 308 review - http://bit.ly/188t5NY Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt The Peugeot 308 promises greater fuel efficiency, a new scalable platform and more onboard technology than ever before. But can it rival the Volkswagen Golf? We find out in this video review. The Peugeot 308 goes on sale in January next year and form then there will be a Blue HDi version with a claimed 82g/km of CO2 and 91mpg - great figures. There will also be a range of three-cylindner turbocharged petrols. The model we tested is the top-of-the-range turbo petrol 1.6 with 1552bhp - you'll recognise this engine from the Citroen DS3. It feels nice and responsive, and when you push the throttle there's a good amount of thrust. However, it doesn't take long to tell that this car has been set up with comfort in mind - the suspension feels very soft and although the steering makes it feel agile at first, the body control is not too great. The new Peugeot 308 is better than its predecessor in almost every way. The modern, stylish cabin has its plus points and the massive 470-litre boot makes it extremely practical. Watch the video review and see what you think.





Volkswagen XL1 review - Auto Express
Volkswagen XL1 review: http://bit.ly/19eyfWr Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt After nearly ten years in the making, the Volkswagen XL1 has arrived, and we were lucky enough to drive one in this video review. Volkswagen had one thing in mind with the XL1 - to create a useable, everyday vehicle that would use just a single litre of fuel for every hundred kilometres it travelled. Three concept cars and thirteen years of development later, the Volkswagen XL1 has now become a production reality. It boasts a stylish teardrop design, shaped by aerodynamics to create as little drag as possible. It sits just over a metre tall, which is lower than most sports cars, including a Porsche Boxster. When the XL1 finally arrives in the UK, only around 20-30 cars will be on offer, with early estimates of the price tag coming in at around £100,000. Volkswagen claim the car can achieve 313mpg, so to put this to the test, we drove the XL1 around a short loop in full electric mode. Astonishingly, we managed to achieve 403mpg - so it actually beat the figures stated by Volkswagen. Okay, so, when we did drive the XL1 a little faster, that figure did fall to 196mpg. But it's still efficient, and hardly going to break the bank. Overall, we were pretty impressed with the XL1 - the build quality of the interior was stunning, and it was hard not to be seduced by the cutting-edge technology on board. Don't worry, though; it's going to be a while before the next Volkswagen Golf looks like an XL1.





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