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Formula E Rome e-Prix: Race Recap and Results

Last weekend saw the 2020-2021 Formula E World Championship touch down in Rome for the third and fourth rounds of the championship. There was still much to prove for the BMW i Andretti team, who arrived after two scoreless races in Diriyah a month ago languishing at the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship points standings.

While this weekend’s doubleheader was a significant step forward for BMW Andretti with Maximilian Guenther picking up points from both races, there is still a long way to go before the team and drivers can be classified as title contenders. We begin today with a recap of the first race in Rome.

Back In Rome

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Rome (ITA), 8th April – 11th April 2021. ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 7, Rome E-Prix, MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW. Safety Car.

Firstly, we proceed with a quick introduction to the weekend in Rome in general. Formula E returned to the streets of Rome for the first time since 2019 after a one-season hiatus, but the track had been radically reconfigured and now only loosely resembled the track that was used in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. This meant that previous records in Rome mostly went out the window — the drivers had to approach the race as if it were a brand new track.

Some sections from the previous track still remained, though, most notably the iconic “jump” section where Formula E cars were known to go the slightest bit airborne for a fraction of a second. But the Attack Mode activation zone, for example, was now on the outside edge of a wide hairpin turn instead of just on the inside line of a straight, meaning that cars would lose a lot more time taking the new Attack Mode compared to taking the old one.

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Rome (ITA), 8th April – 11th April 2021. ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 7, Rome E-Prix, Jake Dennis (GBR) #27 BMW iFE.21, BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

This also meant that the previous Rome track’s characteristic of numerous varying pavement surfaces remained. Drivers would face the challenge of navigating the circuit as quickly as possible while paying attention to inconsistent grip levels on the track due to the different pavement surfaces. In addition, white painted markings on the track for lane dividers, crosswalks, and bus lanes were slippery hazards in the event of rain.

And rain it did. The whole weekend was overcast, punctuated by small showers on Saturday and Sunday, affecting both Qualifying and the race for both Race I and Race II. In fact, both races would end up starting behind the safety car due to the damp conditions.

Race 1

Rome (ITA), 8th April – 11th April 2021. ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 7, Rome E-Prix, Maximilian Günther (GER) #28 BMW iFE.21, BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Qualifying had been promising for the BMW Andretti team, with Max Guenther making it to the Super Pole session and managing to qualify 6th before being demoted to start 11th after the application of a five-spot grid penalty carried over from Diriyah II where he had been judged to have caused a collision. Jake Dennis, the driver of the #27 car, unfortunately was not able to get a clean lap in and would start the race from 19th place despite having been in Group 4 for Qualifying.

Before the race, the track was damp but it was not actively raining. Race Control, however, decided to call for a safety car start due to the dampness of the track. The brand new MINI Cooper safety car was called upon for the first time to lead the pack through two laps of the Rome street circuit before racing would begin in earnest. Drivers and viewers noted that certain parts of the track were wet while others were actually already quite dry.

Two laps behind the safety car quickly passed, and the queue of cars behind polesitter Stoffel Vandoorne of the Mercedes EQ team prepared for the green flag. With 40 minutes (+1 lap) to go, the green flag was waved and the cars took off at full pelt for the first time!

An immediate incident ensued: Porsche’s Andre Lotterer, having started the race in 2nd behind Vandoorne, looked racy and stuck to the rear end of Vandoorne’s Mercedes. Going into Turn 7, the German attempted a risky last-second move, diving to the inside of the Mercedes at the braking zone in an overtaking attempt. Vandoorne, however, was having none of it and turned into Lotterer as if he weren’t there.

The two leaders collided and went straight on instead of turning left. Luckily for them, they were able to recover quickly and get back into the race, but now Lotterer was running in 7th and Vandoorne had fallen all the way to 13th. These shenanigans promoted Guenther to 10th.

With 38’ (+1 lap) to go, former BMW Andretti driver Alexander Sims ran into trouble, with his Mahindra slowing to a crawl. This promoted Dennis into 18th position. At around this time, Attack Mode activation opened, meaning that cars were now allowed to activate Attack Mode by running to the outside edge of the Turn 14 hairpin. Mitch Evans, meanwhile, was right behind Guenther and attempted a dive down the inside at the hairpin, to no avail.

Rome (ITA), 8th April – 11th April 2021. ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 7, Rome E-Prix, Maximilian Günther (GER) #28 BMW iFE.21, BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

However, he was able to make a move stick a few laps later, demoting Guenther to 11th. In the meantime, Dennis made a move past Nico Muller’s Dragon to snatch 17th.

A frenzy of Attack Mode arming occurred with around 28’ (+1 lap) remaining, with cars directly ahead of and behind Guenther all arming Attack Mode. Guenther did an exceptional job of maintaining his position during this time, notably keeping Alex Lynn and Sebastien Buemi behind him.

At this time, cars from 1st position to 15th position were all running nose-to-tail, covered by approximately 7.0 seconds. None of the top 8 cars had taken Attack Mode yet though; perhaps they were waiting for each other to make the first move.

At 23’ (+1 lap), the DS Techeetah Driver Jean-Eric Vergne was the first to blink, activating Attack Mode and dropping from 2nd to 5th. His move prompted Robin Frijns, Nyck De Vries, and both Porsches to take Attack Mode as well on the following lap. Guenther was able to sneak past Lotterer when Lotterer ran wide following his Attack Mode activation, and thus moved into 9th. At 19’ (+1 lap) remaining, Guenther finally took his first Attack Mode, doing well to only drop into 11th, behind Sebastien Buemi. But disappointingly, he was unable to leverage four minutes of extra power to get past Buemi’s Nissan and thus remained in 11th. Up ahead, Vergne passed De Vries for the lead but Lucas di Grassi in the Audi was lurking behind.

10’ (+1 lap) to go marked a very negative turning point for BMW Andretti. Around this time, Dennis’s car appeared to have technical issues as it ground to a halt in the runoff area off a corner, ending his race. Guenther, in the meantime, had a spin and hit the wall in an incident that was only briefly replayed on live TV, resulting in him dropping to 16th after he took Attack Mode. However, he was resilient in continuing and even recovered to 13th place. But with 5’ (+1lap) remaining in the race, he was in a bit of trouble as he had consumed slightly more energy during the race than the cars around him had.

He received a lucky break in that regard though — just 4 minutes from the final lap of the race, race leader Lucas di Grassi suffered a driveshaft failure and was immediately out of the race, driving slowly on the track to move his Audi to retire in a safe location.

In avoiding the stricken Audi driving on the racing line, Vandoorne moved to the outside line and hit a manhole cover, sending his Mercedes into a spin and a crash. His teammate de Vries got involved in the ensuing chaos and was forced to retire from the race as well. This led to a safety car period, neutralizing any issues Guenther had in energy management. He would finish the race 10th behind the MINI safety car, which then became 9th after Lotterer’s penalty (for crashing into Vandoorne) was applied.

Rome (ITA), 8th April – 11th April 2021. ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, Season 7, Rome E-Prix, Maximilian Günther (GER) #28 BMW iFE.21, BMW i Andretti Motorsport.

Overall, it was good to see the BMW Andretti team score their first points of the season. As a matter of fact, this was the first time Guenther had ever scored points for BMW Andretti in a race where he did not finish on the podium. Picking up these small scraps of points will be vital in what could be shaping up to be a long championship. However, there is clearly still a lot of work to be done back in the factory, as the BMW iFE.20 looked outmatched by many of its rivals during the race with Guenther being forced to drive defensively for much of it. What would Race II in Rome bring? Check back tomorrow for the report!


BMW says sales results in Q1 2021 exceed expectations

BMW HQ Munich

BMW has just released an interim sales report for their entire worldwide network. According to the Munich-based automaker,  the sales growth was significant in all significant regions of the world, in particular in China, and all brands in the first quarter of 2021. In addition, positive price and mix effects, as well as high demand for pre-owned cars, also lead to key financial performance figures of BMW AG which exceed market expectations in a positive current environment.

Based on preliminary figures for the first quarter 2021, Automotive segment EBIT is €2,236 million (Q1 2020: €229 million), Financial Services segment EBT is €787 million (Q1 2020: €484 million) and Group EBT is €3,757 million (Q1 2020: €798 million). The Automotive segment EBIT margin is 9.8% (Q1 2020: 1.3%).

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The positive operating performance and the continued focus on working capital management lead to the free cash flow of €2,522 million (Q1 2020: -2,218 million) in the Automotive segment, also exceeding market expectations. BMW says that further details will be published in the Quarterly Statement for the period to 31 March 2021 on 7 May 2021.

The U.S. market also reported great numbers in Q1 2021. According to a press release, the North American branch sold 71,433 vehicles in the first three months of the year, a 20.1% increase from the 59,455 vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2020. The MINI brand also shows an increase of sales. The British marque sold 6,285 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 20% vs the 5,237 vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2020.


ALPINA B3 Sedan Rendered with a Lowered Widebody Kit

This generation of ALPINA B3 has been getting a bit more love than usual, simply because it isn’t the new M3. The new BMW M3 isn’t exactly a good looking car, due to its massive new grille and questionable styling throughout. However, the ALPINA B3 looks far better, with its normal 3 Series grille and simpler, less aggressive design. But would it look better if it were made more aggressive?

In this new render from Magnus.Concepts, we get to see what an ALPINA B3 would look like if it were slammed, cambered, and given a widebody kit.

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Despite being slammed, the render actually keeps the stock ALPINA wheels, which is a good idea, being that they’re gorgeous. Even with the extreme negative camber, they still look great and fit perfectly with its more dramatic stance.

The widebody kit gives it flared wheels arches that make even the BMW M3’s look tame but they somehow work. While the additional front lip gives it an even lower look. Out back, it gets a more aggressive rear diffuser but it still gets quad exhaust pipes that protrude through the rear bumper. That last bit is good because it’s one of ALPINA’s signature designs.

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Overall, this ALPINA B3 looks pretty good. If you’re into stanced, widebody kits, this render proves that the B3 will look good with both. By extension, that also means that the standard 3 Series will look good with both, if you can’t afford to get a B3. It also proves that the BMW M3 could have stuck with the standard 3 Series grille and still looked every bit as aggressive it needed to. So the ALPINA B3 is not only the best looking 3 Series variant you can find but this render also proves that it can look good if you make it more aggressive.

[Renderings: Magnus.Concepts]


Genesis Electrified G80 is an All-Electric BMW 5 Series Competitor

The new Genesis G80 is a very impressive competitor to the BMW 5 Series, in its own right. In fact, I’m currently testing a G80 as we speak and it’s a surprisingly good car (review to come soon). However, Genesis has now added a pure electric version to the G80’s stable, something that none of its competitors offer — the Electrified G80.

That’s actually the name of it, “Electrified G80”, which is refreshingly straightforward. I think it’s safe to say we’re all getting sick of EV puns, but I digress.

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Genesis hasn’t released any battery size or power figures just yet but it does say that the Electrified G80 will offer 500 km (310 miles) of range on the NEDC standard. Though, on the Korean EV standard, it’s only said to have about 427 km (265 miles). It’s also said to get from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which slots its performance in between the standard G80 2.5 and the more powerful G80 3.5.

Despite being built on a traditional architecture, the Electrified G80 is said to have 800-volt charging capability, which would place it among the best in the business. It can also provide V2L (vehicle-to-load) charging, so customers can use the Electrified G80 as a battery to charge other appliances.

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We’re a bit confused by Genesis’ press release, though. It claims that the Electrified G80 comes standard with all-wheel drive but that the motor can disconnect the driveshaft to the front wheels, thus making it rear-wheel drive, to help increase efficiency. Does that mean there’s one single rear-mounted electric motor that uses a driveshaft to send its power to the front wheels? That seems wildly inefficient compared to just using a second electric motor at the front axle.

The Genesis Electrified G80 seems like an interesting car. It’s the only car in the segment to offer a pure electric version, as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Audi A6 only offer hybrid versions at the most. Though, its potentially unusual powertrain makes us curious about how it’s going to drive.


Audi A6 e-tron Concept — Potential BMW i4-Fighter?

Audi’s electric offensive is far from slowing down, in fact it’s speeding up. Fresh off the release of the Audi Q4 e-tron, and the Q4 e-tron Sportback, the four-ringed brand has another all-new electric vehicle — the Audi A6 e-tron Concept.

At the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, Audi unveiled the A6 e-tron Concept, a four-door sportback electric sedan, similar in size to the Audi A5 Sportback. The Audi A6 e-tron is also the first vehicle to be built on Audi’s and Porsche’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture, rather than the J1 platform of the e-tron GT and MEB platform of the Q4 e-tron. Moving forward, all larger Audi EVs will be PPE-based.

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Sitting at 4.96 meters long (195 in), 1.96 meters wide (77 in), and 1.44 (56 in) tall, the A6 e-tron is similarly sized to the A5 Sportback and, more importantly, within striking distance of the ever-so-popular Tesla Model 3. While the A6 e-tron is a bit longer and wider than the Model 3, it’s actually a bit lower and sleeker looking.

More importantly than its size, the Audi A6 e-tron is said to boast a range of up to 700 km (434 miles), which would give it the best range of any Audi EV. Audi is vague on the exact details of the battery pack but it claims the top-end model will have a battery density of around 100 kWh, which is about what the longest-range EVs in the industry have at the moment.

Being a PPE-based vehicle, the Audi A6 e-tron will also get 800-volt charging technology, just as the e-tron GT does. Also like the e-tron GT, the A6 e-tron is capable of 270 kW charging. If you can find a charger with 270 kW charging capability, it will be able to add 186 miles (300 km) back to the battery in just ten minutes. In under 25 minutes, it will be able to charge from 5-80 percent.

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As for power, Audi has only said that there will be a dual-motor model with 496 horsepower (350 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. That puts it right in line with cars like the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. Audi claims that model will hit 60 mph in under four seconds but didn’t provide exact figures. There will also be an entry-level model that hits 60 mph in under seven seconds.

It also boasts a very impressive coefficient of drag, at just 0.22, which is the best in the segment, better even than the Model 3’s 0.23. It’s not as good as the Mercedes-Benz’s EQS, which hits 0.20, but it’s better than anything in its class and price point.

Audi also wants to make the A6 e-tron handle like a proper sports car. Being based on PPE, it will be a rear-biased car, so single motor cars will be rear-wheel drive and dual-motor cars will have a rear-bias to their power delivery. Up front, a new five-link front axle suspension, which has been optimized for EVs, should deliver superior front end grip and response to any current Audi sedan. Like most other Audis, it also gets a multi-link rear suspension. The concept car shown here also sits on air suspension with adaptive dampers.

Let’s also talk about the way it looks because the Audi A6 e-tron is not only unlike other e-tron products but it looks very different from any current Audi. It’s long, low, and smooth, featuring more subtle body lines than the e-tron GT. It still boasts muscular rear wheel arches and its shoulder line still sort of disappears in the middle, but it’s far less aggressive than its older sibling.

For an Audi, it features very short overhangs and its massive 20″ wheels fill its wheel arches nicely. The fast sportback roofline looks as if it boasts a liftback tailgate, like the A5 Sportback, and it even features a bit of a ducktail spoiler. The concept car features virtual side mirrors, and will likely offer them as options, but they won’t make it to every market, at least not right away.

Up front, a massive Singleframe “grille” dominates the design but Audi has carefully blended it into the design of the car, so as it not make it too outlandish. For example, the grille actually just a body-colored panel, with some geometry designed into it to remind you of a traditional car’s grille. Because it’s body-colored, it doesn’t look like a monster grille but it does have some black trim surrounding it, to separate it from the rest of the car.

Being an Audi concept, it needs fancy lighting and it gets it. Ultra-slim headlights sit above the grille and feature a new light design. They’re simpler and smaller than those found on the e-tron GT, or any other Audi for that matter, and look quite good. Out back, a large rear light bar makes up the taillights and features slick looking OLED light elements inside.

More interesting than just its lights, though, are its LED projectors. Built into the sides of the car, and into its corners, are small light projectors that can display words and images onto the ground. For example, when you open the door, it can project words onto the ground next to the car. Or it can project warning triangles onto the ground surrounding the car, warning an oncoming cyclist that the doors are open at night.

Yet, it gets even more bizarrely hilarious. The Digital Matrix LED headlights can also project images in real time and Audi has even built a video game into them. The idea is that, if you’re sat at a charging station, facing a wall, you can kill some time by playing a video game projected onto the wall in front of you. The game was developed by Audi and is controlled via smartphone.

The Audi A6 e-tron is shaping up to be a very interesting car for the brand. It will allow Audi to take on the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. While official specs aren’t yet revealed and we don’t know how true to this concept the production car will be, the A6 e-tron seems to have what it takes to challenge the best in the business.

[Source: QuattroDaily]


BMW iX makes its debut at the Auto Shanghai 2021 show

Auto Shanghai is one of the world’s largest and most significant automotive shows, so it comes as no surprise that BMW chose the Chinese event to host the premiere of the new BMW iX. To our knowledge, this is also the first open-to-the-public car event since the COVID-19 pandemic started more than a year ago. According to a BMW press release, the Auto Shanghai 2021 will be held in compliance with strict hygiene regulations and will open its doors on April 21.

The BMW iX is first model in the brand’s line-up to feature the new Operating System 8 and the latest generation of BMW iDrive. Furthermore, iDrive 8 provides the basis for the seamless integration of additional digital services. The enhanced possibilities for using market-specific apps in China that this enables brings another focal point to BMW’s presentation at Auto Shanghai 2021.

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Under the internal codename I20, the new BMW iX is underpinned by a new technical platform which is both scalable and modular and will likely make its way onto several future models from BMW i and the core BMW brand. As you may happen to know, the iX is still under extensive on-road development and is scheduled to go into production at the Dingolfing plant in the second half of 2021.

The iX electric flagship is underpinned by the latest, 5th generation BMW eDrive platform, which is also found under the new iX3 and will also make its underneath the upcoming i4. The architecture comprises the two electric motors, the power electronics, the charging technology and the high-voltage battery.

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The two drive units will make around 370 kW (500 horsepower) and will be powered by a battery pack larger than 100 kWh. Oddly, BMW wasn’t specific as to the battery density, simply claiming it to be larger than 100 kWh. With that large battery, though, the BMW iX is said to have a range of 600 km (373 miles) on the WLTP-cycle.

For the U.S., BMW is claiming around 300 miles of range. The BMW iX xDrive50 is also said to have a 0-60 mph time of under five seconds, though BMW was unspecific.

In terms of charging, the BMW iX models will have 200 kW charging speed on compatible DC fast chargers. At that speed, the BMW iX can go from 10-80 percent battery in just 40 minutes. There’s also a quick ten-minute fast charge, that can quickly 120 km (75 miles) of charge to the BMW iX xDrive50 or 90 km (56 miles) to the xDrive40.

Pricing for the 2022 BMW iX xDrive50 will be released later this year, but BMW hints at an MSRP around the $85,000 mark.


BMW i4 vs Audi A6 e-tron Concept

Audi’s latest electric sedan is now here, at least in concept form, to take on cars like the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. However, we’re going to focus more on the latter, as Audi and BMW are more traditional competitors. While the Audi A6 e-tron is still just a concept, it’s likely going to be a very production ready one. Expect the final road car to look nearly identical to this concept, as most e-tron concepts do. Because of that, we want to see which design looks better, the A6 e-tron’s or that of the BMW i4.

We haven’t driven either and Audi has been a bit vague with its specs for the A6 e-tron, so we’re only going to look at their designs, nothing more.

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Up front, it’s clear that each brand had a different idea as to how to implement their signature grille design. BMW now famously (or infamously) went with a much bolder, brash approach, by using an enlarged version of its signature kidney grille design. While Audi also used a large version of its Singlegrame grille, it blended the grille into the body work, by color-matching it to the exterior and only outlining it in black trim. So it sort of just looks like more body work, rather than a grille. Which of course it is, as neither car needs a real grille, being electric and all.

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In profile, the Audi A6 e-tron is lower and sleeker, whereas the BMW seems to be a bit more upright, with taller glass. The Audi also seems to sit a bit lower on its wheels, as if it has lowering springs, but it is still a concept car, so that’s likely why. However, there’s a bit more character to the design of the A6 e-tron; more body lines, sweeping shapes, and subtle muscularity. The BMW i4 is simpler, less dynamic looking. Both cars have liftback tailgates and their rooflines do little to hide it.

Out back, the Audi A6 e-tron gets a wide rear light bar, which is packed with three rows of LEDs and is capable of doing little light dances. While the BMW’s are your standard 4 Series taillights. The Audi’s roofline also looks lower from the back, due to a shorter rear window, and it seems to have a touch more muscular wheel arches, but we’ll reserve final judgement before after we get the cars in front of us.

Overall, it’s hard to not choose the Audi. The BMW i4 isn’t a bad looking car but it does lack excitement, whereas the A6 e-tron is a very pretty EV sedan that will catch the eyes of premium customers. Of course, it’s still a concept, so the design could be subject to change, but all three Audi e-tron concept cars; the e-tron SUV, e-tron GT, and Q4 e-tron; have debuted with designs nearly identical to their concept car predecessors. So we expect the same for this A6 e-tron. If that’s the case, at least in terms of style, it’s going to be tough to beat.

[Source: QuattroDaily]


Mercedes-Benz EQB is an All-Electric BMW iX3-Fighter

BMW’s two main competitors are really upping their EV games as of late. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the debut of four new EVs from both Audi and Mercedes-Benz; the Audi Q4 e-tron, Audi A6 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQS, and this — the Mercedes-Benz EQB.

The Mercedes EQB is the electrified version of the GLB crossover, so it’s not a from-the-ground-up, bespoke EV. Instead, it’s more like the BMW iX3 in that it starts out life as an traditional ICE vehicle and then gets an EV makeover. The EQB will go on sale in China first, launch in Europe by the end of 2021, and finally make it to the U.S. market in 2022.

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When it goes on sale, wherever you are, it’s going to be an interesting EV proposition for anyone that needs a lot of interior space. Being based on the GLB, the Mercedes-Benz EQB will boast three rows of seating and seven total seats. The interior is as stylish and good looking as the GLB’s, though it lacks the benefits of a true bespoke EV, as its cabin was designed for a piston-engine car.

It starts off as a front-drive car, with a single electric motor at the front axle. However, all-wheel drive variants, with two motors, will be available. Duel motor cars will make 288 horsepower in China and 268 horsepower in Europe. Front-wheel drive models are said to make 221 horsepower. It boasts a maximum usable battery capacity of 66.5 kWh, which is well below the 100-plus kWh battery of the new EQS. Though, Mercedes-Benz does claim that a longer-range model is on the way.

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This new Mercedes-Benz EQB might be the BMW iX3’s closest competitor, being that both are built on ICE platforms and both lack the battery and range to compete with the likes of Tesla. The EQB is a bit better looking than the iX3, has more cabin space, and offers all-wheel drive but it’s not exactly impressive. When you look at cars like the Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron, the BMW iX3 and Mercedes-EQB seem like afterthoughts, which shows that bespoke EVs are the way to go.


How I Made $35,218.31 Blogging in March 2021 (Blog Income Report)

March was yet again another great month for me personally, filled with a healthy amount of time away from my computer and a few days each week dedicated to filming video content for the massive overhaul I completed with Built to Blog. I continue to be super grateful that I don’t need to work all day/every day, and I’ve still been creating a lot of space for self-discovery, reading, trail running and rigorous exercise. On the blog, my top-line statistics were all down a bit (aside from revenue). Income came in at $35,218.31 and I brought in 106,006 readers—with 149,830 unique sessions.

Taking a closer look at the numbers for March… blog income was up significantly over the previous month. I’m still seeing consistent commissions from my guide about how to start a blog and ramping up longer-term oriented gains with other monetized articles. During the month of March, I relaunched my comprehensive blogging course, Built to Blog: How to Get Your First 10,000 Readers and Earn Six-Figures Blogging, packed full with all new content, updated lessons and more material than ever before. You can join the waiting list for an invite to the next enrollment period.

Overall, I generated $35,218.31 in blog income during March of 2021—while once again spending very little time in actual work mode, which shows me just how much my blog has been one of the most rewarding investments I’ve ever made… and something I’m continually very grateful for.

Expenses remained super low for the month while I focused on my Built to Blog course relaunch, with profit for March coming in at $33,586.40.

The Forecast ☀️For April, I’m expecting blog income to dip a good amount, coming down from this month’s surge in course enrollments, landing my revenue somewhere between $16,000 – $20,000. I’m anticipating I’ll stay in that general range over the coming months, while staying focused on updating my most important content, implementing SEO improvements and keeping a cadence of new content coming out with the goal of rebounding my traffic over the coming months. Business expenses will remain light for the coming months.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep all of my in-depth content free of charge for readers (like you).

Now, on to the details of my March blog income report…

Blog Income in March 2021: $35,218.31

In these monthly reports, I track my total income every month, including each individual source of that income, and associated expenses with running my business. This is the good and the bad.

Next, I break down the traffic to my blog which heavily impacts my income, including what’s performing best and how I’m working to drive in more readers. I also cover how many email subscribers I’m at, the number of new subscribers acquired during the month, and what that growth trajectory looks like.

Finally, I cover updates on any other side projects I’m working on for the month.

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Join me today and I’ll send you my weekly tips, strategies, and detailed insights on growing a profitable blog.

Now, let’s do this.

Blog Income Breakdown for March 2021

Freelance Clients & Sponsorships




Expenses Breakdown

Web Services: Hosting & Storage

SmartWP Hosting
RightBlogger Hosting
Google Drive





Professional Services

Freelance Writers
Technical Consultant
WordPress Development
Rev (YouTube Transcriptions)
Business Insurance



Travel, Office Supplies & Misc

AT&T Service Plan (iPhone)
iPhone 12 Payment Plan
Internet (Comcast)
Amazon (Office Supplies)
Health Insurance
Transaction and Processing Fees




Net Profit Breakdown

Now, on to my blog and email-related statistics for March 2021.

2. Blog Stats for March 2021: 149,830 Sessions and 145,438 Total Email Subscribers

March 2021 Google Analytics Screenshot ryrob Blog Income Report

March saw a bit of a drop in overall traffic compared to the previous month, hovering around some of the lower readership numbers I’ve seen on my site in at least a few years. While I’ve mentioned a few times recently that this is due largely to increased volatility in some of my key organic search rankings (fueled by several major Google algorithm updates over the past year), I’m now spending most of my work time on experimenting with technical SEO tweaks and exhaustive content updates to halt the decline I’ve been seeing… which seems (for now) to have slowed in pace.

I’ve mentioned in the last couple of income reports that I’m carefully monitoring this activity, but it’s also important for me to hold the context that short-term volatility has always been the norm within this extremely competitive niche, and I know exactly what works best for maintaining high-ranking content over the long-term… which is comprehensive, useful content 😊

Ultimately, I’m grateful that I can zoom out to see a clear pattern (with 8+ years of traffic history) that peaks and valleys are the norm. With that in mind though, it requires a healthy dose of proactivity and willingness to experiment in order to rebound from the low points. I’m continuing to implement some key SEO improvements that I can identify—of which I rely in part on Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool for actionable insights and specific fixes—while regularly updating my key articles to make sure they stay fresh and helpful for my readers.

As we’ve talked a lot about in these reports, I’m the first to tell you that blogging is a long game… and short-term punches can’t discourage you from investing in creating resources that’ll lead to a brighter future. One of my takeaways from this decline I’ve seen, is that I need to more thoughtfully diversify traffic sources (away from primarily Google search) and revenue sources (away from affiliates as my top channel).

Here are my top 15 most trafficked posts from March, ranked in descending order of which drove the most readers:

Throughout the past month still, readers to my 25,000+ word guide, How to Start a Blog and Make Money have remained surprisingly steady—which still holds rankings in organic search for competitive terms like how to start a bloghow to blog and such. As usual, when more readers land on that guide… more are joining my free course, How to Build a Blog in 7 Days and they’re offered an opportunity to join my more comprehensive paid Built to Blog course that’ll help level up their blogging skills even more.

In March, I actually didn’t publish any new articles (for the first time in years), as 100% of my time went to relaunching my Built to Blog course & filming impactful new content to keep the course fresh & relevant for students.

I’m continuing to find that the majority of my time spent on content goes toward maintaining my existing library of 300+ articles. It’s a lot of work updating and expanding these guides on an ongoing basis, so new long-form content will come a lot slower this time of year as I focus mostly on 2021 content updates for the next couple of months.

This is all with the continued mission of signaling to Google (and other search engines) that my blog’s niche is clearly focused around the topic of blogging and I’m expecting that intense focus to keep delivering more readers looking for tactical blogging advice over the long-term… this is an investment for the long game!

2. Email Subscribers

March 2021 ConvertKit Screenshot Email Subscribers ryrob

I’ve used ConvertKit to manage my email subscriber community and deliver my emails for several years now and I absolutely love the product.

March saw the addition of 2,310 subscribers to my community with my total email list growing to 145,438 subscribers.

This was an uptick in email subscriber growth from February, which is a positive signal for now. Email list growth is directly impacted by a few of my key articles getting less traffic than than they’d received in previous months (due to the many Google algorithm updates, which sent fluctuations in organic traffic), so I’m expecting fluctuations to mirror my traffic rises and dips over the coming months.

As with previous months though, most of my new email subscribers came from the influx of blogging-related content and free downloads I have across my site (like my blog business plan, blogging books, outreach email templates and blog post templates)—which is my ultimate goal to remain focused on, as that’s the niche I’m all in on serving for the years to come.

A significant chunk of my new subscriber growth continues to be fueled by my free course, Build a Blog in 7 Days which is well-optimized for both affiliate revenue—and for offering my more advanced paid course (Built to Blog) for those looking to get more hands on help in growing their blogs.

That’s it for my March 2021 blog income report

As we touched on in the beginning of this report, I’m predicting blog income to hover around the same general range I’m in right now for the next couple of months, landing somewhere between $16,000 – $20,000 in March as I experience fluctuations in traffic and corresponding affiliate payouts that are directly related to the volatility in traffic I’ve been seeing for the past several months.

If you’re looking for some additional reading to help grow your own blog, I’m always updating my ultimate guide to building and scaling a profitable blog right here that I’d love for you to read 😊


First photos of the i4 with a performance design

2021 BMW i4 M Sport Package 00

The BMW i4 M Sport celebrates its official world premiere at the Auto Shanghai 2021, along with the iX electric crossover. This is the first time that BMW is showcasing the i4 with an M Sport Package, a preview of the BMW i4 M50. As expected, the i4 gets the typical M Sport bits, starting with an aggressive front bumper complemented by large air curtains. In the back you can also see the sculpted and dynamic diffuser adorned with blue accents, typical to a BMW i car.

The M Sport package is likely going to be available for all three i4 models, including for the i4 eDrive35 and i4 eDrive40. So far, BMW has only confirmed one i4 – the M50 – but our sources are confident that two rear-wheel driven i4 models will follow also.

2021 BMW i4 M Sport Package 01 830x623

The BMW i4 model line will cover driving ranges of up to 590km (WLTP) and up to 300 miles (EPA). With a power output of up to 390kW / 530HP the BMW i4 can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in around 4 seconds.  The eDrive35 and eDrive40 models will likely come with lower outputs and slightly reduced all-electric range, below that of the i4 M50 (possibly around 450 km – 500 km).

For customers in China, the BMW i4 will not be the only premium sedan with an electric drive. There are rumors around a new BMW i3 based on the 3 Series long version. The electric 3 Series could offer significantly more space than the i4 Gran Coupe, but in return, it will have a less adventurous design.

BMW has yet to name the pricing of the new i4 family, but we expect models to range from mid $50,000 to $70,000, depending on spec and standard features.