• Aug 19, 2014
Electric automaker Venturi hopes to post a new electric land speed record this week, despite Bonneville Speed Week being cancelled. The VBB-3, developed with Ohio State University, is powered by two 1,500-hp electric motors. If the salt flats are sufficiently dry, the team hopes to set a new electric world speed record of over 600 kilometers per hour (373 mph), and possibly 700 kph (435 mph). The Venturi BB-2.5 set a record of 495 kph (307 mph) in 2010. Read more at Electric Autosport, and keep abreast of Venturi's progress at its Twitter account.

A new app is trying to fix Wiesbaden, Germany's bike problem. A bike organization named the city the worst in the world for cycling. In response, a local group developed an app that uses crowdsourced routes to suggest where bike lanes and paths should go. The app tracks users routes as they ride, and maps them to show where the city could benefit from improving its infrastructure. The app and its results have the attention of government officials, too. See the video below, or read more at Fast Company.

BMW has delivered the first i8s at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. The first customers include Roger Penske, Rick Hendrick and Tony Fadell (founder and CEO of Nest). The lucky new owners were also treated to a gourmet meal from Chef Thomas Keller, who was also among those to receive the i8 at the event. As mentioned, BMW also auctioned off a special edition i8 at Pebble Beach for $825,000, considerably more than the car's base MSRP of $135,700. Read more in the press release from BMW, below.

Uber's Berlin ban has been suspended by a local court. The city banned the car-hailing app for failing to meet passenger safety standards. The court will now decide whether to uphold the ban or toss it out. This was the second time this year that Uber had been deemed unlawful in Berlin. Uber continued to operate throughout its ban, despite threats of fines. If upheld, Uber could be fined $34,000 for picking up a passenger. Read more at The New York Times.
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BMW Delivers First BMW i8 Sports Cars in the U.S. at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Chef Thomas Keller, Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick Among the First to Take Delivery of the Revolutionary BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 15, 2014... Today, BMW delivered the first plug-in hybrid BMW i8 sport cars at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the world's premier celebration of the automobile, in Carmel, Calif. In celebration of the revolutionary sports car made with carbon fiber, renowned Chef Thomas Keller is hosting an intimate dinner at the BMW Villa for a handful of the first owners of the BMW i8. In addition to hosting the special occasion, Chef Keller, who has set the standard within the hospitality industry with restaurants including Per Se in New York and French Laundry in Napa Valley, is joining the BMW i family after taking delivery of his BMW i8.

Among the first group receiving a BMW i8 is Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and Team Penske, which operates race teams in both the NASCAR and IndyCar series. With a strong legacy in transportation services, Penske understands the significance of the plug-in sports car to the automotive industry. Rick Hendrick, Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, currently the second-largest privately held dealership group in the country, will also be taking delivery of a BMW i8 during Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Additionally, Hendrick is the owner of Hendrick Motorsports, fielding four teams competing in the premier NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

"Today marks an exciting day for BMW of North America, as we take another step towards furthering sustainable mobility with the BMW i8, the plug-in hybrid sports car made with carbon fiber," said Ludwig Willisch, President & CEO, BMW of North America. "We are proud to see the i8, the second of BMW i's visionary vehicles, enter the market."

The list of those joining the exclusive dinner and taking delivery of a BMW i8 at the BMW Villa during Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance also includes:

- Tony Fadell, Founder and CEO of Nest, which reinvents unloved home products, like the thermostat.
- Michael Fux, a pioneer in the mattress and bedding industry and is currently CEO of Comfort Revolution.
- John Hendricks, Founder of the global media company Discovery Communications and Founder of Curiosity Project, a multi-platform service delivering highest-quality deep-dive content to lifelong learners.
- Barry Klarberg, Founder, CEO, Monarch Business and Wealth Management.
- Miles Nadal, Chairman, CEO President and Founder of MDC Partners, one of the largest advertising holding companies worldwide.
- Sam Nazarian, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SBE, a leading global hospitality and entertainment company.
- Patrick Wachsberger, Co-Chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, a premier next generation global content leader.

Continuing the celebration of the U.S. arrival of the BMW i8, on Saturday, August 16, Jay Leno will present a one-of-a-kind 2014 BMW i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition, which will be auctioned off during the annual Pebble Beach auctions. The i8 Concours d'Elegance Edition will be distinguished by a unique paint scheme and interior treatment as well as other features that will make it unlike any other BMW i8 in the world. For more information on the auction, please click here.

With its futuristic design and groundbreaking technology, the BMW i8 operates with extremely low fuel consumption (76 MPGe) and emissions output, and is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph. The BMW i8 has an MSRP of $135,700. It joins BMW i's growing lineup of visionary vehicles dedicated to solving many of the mobility challenges faced by the world's most densely populated cities.

For updates during Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on BMW's social media platforms, follow the conversation with:

- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BMWiUSA
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmwiusa
- Twitter hashtags: #BMW, #BMWi8, #BMWi, #HelloFuture
- Instagram tags: @BMWUSA

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Marco Polo
      • 15 Hours Ago
      The more I see of the BMW i8, the more I love it !
      • 15 Hours Ago
      It would be amazing if the Venturi team could get anywhere close to their most ambitious goal of 435 mph. That is within very close reach of the wheel driven land speed record. According to Guinness: "The fastest speed ever reached by a vehicle powered through its wheels is 737.794 km/h (458.444 mi/h), by the turbine-powered Vesco Turbinator, driven by Don Vesco (USA) at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA, on 18 October 2001." Keep in mind, that's a turbine powered car, likely a big helicopter engine. The fastest piston engine vehicle was the Speed Demon Streamliner which, in 2012, powered by a 347 ci, twin turbo V8 pushing 2,200 hp, went 439 mph. (dual pass mile)