2018 BMW X2 xDrive28i: X + Dynamic = Proficiency

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Welcome to the BMW Performance Center West, Thermal Club in Palm Springs, California for test driving of the first ever BMW X2 compact and premium Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). With consumers clamoring for smaller but fully complete, stylish, efficient and intelligent vehicles automakers are meeting the demand with a plethora of new options such as Bavarian Motor Works’ latest X-mobile that is about to hit the streets. [Read more…]

2016 BMW X4 M40i: Fifty Shades of X

BMW X4 M40i

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

The BMW X line is becoming increasingly more significant with the advent of new model types to strengthen the core of the SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) line and appease consumers looking for active lifestyle utilities with character, novelty and performance. Currently in dealerships, the $57,800 BMW X4 M40i is blessed with a paddle shifting M steering wheel, unique 20” M light-alloy double-spoke rims tucked in specific Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber for maximum grip (optional), a sports exhaust with Black Chrome tailpipes, sports chassis and of course the newly introduced inline 6-cylinder engine.

To experience the latest X edition I ventured to Salinas, California located on the Central Coast where we spent time driving through picturesque panoramas of the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Salad Bowl of the world, the adventurous roads were perfect for the vehicle’s DNA, which is typical BMW AWD performance by way of xDrive. In this case the system is rear wheel biased to meet the driving dynamics BMW was trying to ascertain. Along with explicitly tuned dampers to help reduce body roll, the X4 M40i felt firm and planted through winding roads and abrupt cornering. Of course this is not your average SUV with taller proportions and sluggish componentry. The X4 was designed to closely mimic a car hence its lower stature and coupe-like dimensions.

BMW X4 M40i

Keep in mind the X4 M40i is not a full-fledged BMW M like the X5 M and X6 M, but it receives M packaging, technology and design cues to uplift its systemic M persona from Special Forces operative Wade Wilson to Marvel Comic hero Deadpool. It essentially falls under the M Performance moniker. Accelerated powers begin with the newfangled M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine dispersing 355-horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque which allows the German SAV to dart from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The 3-liter is paired with BMW’s fluid and fast reacting 8-speed STEPTRONIC sports transmission. Acceleration was smooth with continuous torque on demand.

The decision to build the X4 M40i was easy for BMW executives and offers the market another playful utility to decipher from while extending the X roster. Inquiring minds can choose from seven exterior hues such as Long Beach Blue metallic, six Nevada Leather upholstery themes and four various interior trims. Its thick, multifunction steering wheel, wide dead pedal, comfortable seats, Head-up Display, the option of setting the Driving Dynamics Control in SPORT or ECO PRO mode and of course iDrive, BMW Online, BMW Apps and BMW ConnectedDrive made for a relaxing and interactive two-hour drive evaluation. I’m a fan of smart and intuitive vehicles and BMW ascertains you receive the best of both worlds: performance and intelligence.

Depending on your requirements — based on location or career — an array of upgrade packages are available for your M40i beginning with the $950 Cold Weather Package (very much needed in Maryland right now), $1,700 Driver Assistance Plus, $1,900 Lighting Package, $2,750 Technology Package, $1,900 ACC Stop & Go + Active Driving Assistant and many more. Though, a plethora of key features are standard such as Automatic Start/Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, Dynamic Damper Control, Sport seats, Dynamic Cruise Control, Park Distance Control, Harman Kardon surround sound system, BMW TeleServices, etc. However, it would have been nice if the steering wheel adjustments were not manual.

BMW X4 M40i

All in all the 2016 BMW X4 M40i presents anther solid offering in the X line which adds more diversity to the Bimmer crew for greater numbers to compete against the likes of Mercedes, Porsche and Audi.

2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i SAV Update: The Summer of 2014

2014-BMW-X5-xDrive35i-SAV.......... 010Sport Activity Vehicle on the Go!

It’s been a glorious and vigorous summer for the staff and families of Automotive Rhythms (AR) and Fit Fathers (FF). Days prior to each fun-filled weekend there was always a debate on who would get the honors of escorting our long-term 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) around or out of town for either soccer practices, bike rides and races, family road trips, afternoon Washington Nationals games (1st in NL Eastern Division) or wife and kiddy lunch dates. But who could blame them? Our Carbon Black Metallic M Sport is not only stunning, it is as dynamic as X-Men and as utilitarian as Navy Seals. Starting at $55,100, BMW instilled the AR/FF X5 with optional, electrifying equipment bringing the tally to $68,675. [Read more…]

Fit Fathers Weekend with the BMW X5 SAV

2014-BMW-X5-BikerackWell, off we go for our Fit Fathers Sunday family bike ride and picnic. The 2014 X5 is a well-defined sport activity vehicle to accomplish all our adventures with grace, style and technological convenience. For example, we love 2-piece tailgates. You can open and close them without dismounting the bikes from their rack position. And, supplies won’t fall out when the top portion is raised. Enjoy your fun and energetic afternoon whether it’s biking, hiking, swimming or running.

BMW Concept X5 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Clean Energy

BMW Concept X5 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle_ChargingKimatni D. Rawlins

Look around and take heed to your environmental surroundings. Pay close attention to weather patterns and ocean toxicity. What about the air we breathe and the water we drink? It is no coincidence that snow fell on the Eastern Seaboard in late April. Global Warming or Global Cooling will continue to take its toll if humans treat Planet Earth as if it’s a temporary home. Well, at least we know there are corporate conscious companies like BMW making a difference to decrease pollution and the need for petroleum by way of their Concept X5 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (X5 PHEV). Clean energy anyone? [Read more…]

2014-2015 Ford Focus Electric: The Future is Now

2014 Ford Focus Electric My Shots 021SHERYLL ALEXANDER

Before I had road tested the 2014 Ford Focus Electric (the 2015 Ford Focus Electric was recently announced but won’t be available until summer), I was a huge Nissan Leaf fan. And while the Leaf is a cool EV (and cheaper), this green auto expert has switched her answer to this question: “What’s your favorite electric car?” Now I can say with confidence: Ford Focus Electric.

If you really are considering getting off the petro dollar for good by purchasing a hot, new five-seater EV, the real question should be: “Do I go with the 2014 or wait for the newly-launched 2015 Focus Electric model?” Yes, on a week-long road test of a surprisingly fast and good-looking seafoam green 2014 Ford Focus Electric, I discovered the EV of my sustainable transportation dreams. Although Ford has not yet released all of its 2015 Focus Electric specs, the updated exterior is certainly more bold than the 2014 with its restyled hood, grille and trunk. However, I was perfectly happy with my 2014 model. I really grew to love the low-slung, yet eye-catching contemporary design of the vehicle most especially from its toothy-grilled burnished chrome grille. [Read more…]