Electric-powered vehicles are catching up to traditional gas-powered models in popularity and functionality, Alex Shack, General Manager with Braman BMW of Miami told Latin Trade.
Braman is among the top 20 automobile retailers in the US, and its Miami luxury dealership observes closely what Latin Americans seek in the latest vehicles. Buyers in Miami want high-performance vehicles, especially the brand's M series of sportier, more powerful vehicles.
Prized features include hybrids and electrification, and a greater use of carbon fiber to make bodies and chassis stronger, lighter, more fuel efficient, and cheaper than traditional steel or aluminum products, Shack said. Already, carbon fiber is available in the i8 and 7 series vehicles.
Meanwhile, luxury is going electric on the path to sustainability.
Audi's A8 "mild hybrid" features a 48-volt main electrical system that allows coasting with its engine switched off and drivetrain decoupled, an extended start-stop mode, and a high level of brake energy recuperation. Such sustainable products and services provide customers with individual premium mobility that copes with the pressing challenges of the future such as scarcity of resources and climate change, Oliver Scharfenberg, spokesman sales & marketing with Audi AG said in an interview with Latin Trade.
In terms of alternative drivetrain technology, Audi will launch this year the Audi e-tron, its first electric battery SUV. The company is also developing fuel cell technology, e-fuels, and more sustainable combustion engines. By 2025, a third of Audi vehicles will be electric cars.
"BMW wants to have all their factories capable of producing combustion or hybrid electric/combustion engines," said Shack, noting that the automaker will soon have 10 new models coming onstream. "They are very committed to having owners experience more than just sitting behind the wheel. It's about engaging the driver. 2018 is going to be huge for BMW. The future for BMW is right now."
Another innovation now beginning...