Friday, January 23, 2009

BMW X6 Hybrid and 7 Series Hybrid into production in 2009

BMW brought its hybrid program to the Detroit Auto Show this year. While the BMW X6 Hybrid and the new BMW 7-Series Hybrid are nothing new, the announcement was: BMW will have these hybrid cars in U.S dealerships by the end of this year. The "two-mode" hybrid system for these Bimmers was developed in conjunction with General Motors and Chrysler. So we've seen this system before in cars like the Dodge Durango Hybrid we had in our fleet. The BMW 7 Series Hybrid should use a twin-turbo (...)

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Detroit 2009: BMW Z4 - Interior Photos

2009 BMW Z4 interior

And we're moving further with our coverage from the Detroit Auto Show by showing you some new photos of the 2009 BMW Z4 interior. Just yesterday, we published the latest and greatest shots of the 2009 BMW Z4's displayed there, but we left on purpose all the interior photos.

But before I go ahead and post them, I would like to tell you about my mini interview with Miss Nadya Arnaut, Interior Designer of the new BMW Z4. As I mentioned yesterday, both Julia Blasi and Nadya are just fascinating, pleasant and very approachable.

I had to take advantage of the situation of her being present there and I initiated a mini interview. First thing that I learned from her is that she was the same and only person that designed the interior of the beautiful CS Concept. (CS  Concept Photo Gallery )

2009 BMW Z4 red interior

As you can see or already seen in the CS Concept photos posted all over the web, some interior design elements have made their way into the new BMW Z4. The round chromed AC control buttons are the evidence that CS Concept served as an inspiration for the Z4 interior design.

2009 BMW Z4 interior

In our less formal conversation, Nadya stated that Z8 helped her design the interior of the new Z4, but I have to admit, after looking again at the Z8 photos, I just don't see any common design elements.

She once again reinforced what we knew, the return of the driver oriented dashboard as we have seen in the 7 Series as well. The idea behind it is to connect the driver immediately with the car and create those "emotions" that Julia Blasi was referring to in our interview.


The new Z4 is all about the driver and the pleasure to drive, with a simple interior design and usability being the prime factor. When asked why she decided to go with the round shaped AC buttons, she said that the driver should be able to operate the car's controls without giving it much thought or spending time trying to figure them out. And what's best than rotating buttons that offer you that simplicity.

Maximizing interior space was also one of her top priority and as I have seen, despite the two seater design, the new Z4 offers plenty of interior and cargo space. For those of you that are golfers, when the hardtop is whether up or down, a golf club will slide from your trunk all the way to the center space between the seats. If the hardtop remains up, another golf club can be placed in the trunk in an horizontal position. Same applies to skis.

Also, behind each seat, there is a small cargo space that can hold purses or laptop bags.

At the end of our interview, in behalf of our blog and readers, I took the time to congratulate her on the best BMW interior design we have seen so far. As I told Miss Blasi, I really hope Nadya will have a hand in some future BMW vehicles.

Nadya is a BMW DesignworksUSA employee based in Newbury Park, CA and she travels all the time between California and Munich. Also, she graduated from an Art School in CA and even more interesting, she is the one that designed the Nilfsik Extreme P Series vacuum.

Enjoy the photos and as a bonus, I have some new ones with a red interior.



BMW X5 M Spotted In Black - Spy Photo

BMW X5 M Spy Shot

We recently showed you a behind the scenes clip showcasing the development of the new BMW X6M and now we have an exclusive spy shot of what seems to be the upcoming BMW X5 M at the BMW Performance Delivery Center. The photo was taken by Gadgetman, aka Darren who happens to be a good friend of's owner.

Speculation is that the new BMW X5 M should be similar to the X6 M in performance. BMW is probably hoping that this will attract more consumers to the Sports Utility Vehicles with having a great gain in the performance arena. The BMW X5 was already a big hit and now the BMW X5 M should not disappoint, at least not in the performance area when it may sport a new twin turbo V8 or the n/a V10 from the M5 as rumored.



BMW X6 M spotted this time in a blue color

BMW X6 M photos

Judging by the latest spy photos and the official video posted by BMW, it seems like the 2010 BMW X6 M is ready for production. The spy photos  belong to the same BMW X6 M set we posted back in December and of course, they were taken by our close friend and collaborator Palbay.

With over 30,000 units built last year, BMW is hoping that the new X6 M will draw more consumers to the Sports Activity Coupe products, consumers that are looking for a car that it's not a sedan nor a coupe, it has similar capabilities as the SAV vehicles, but it also gives them the thrill and power of an M engine.

BMW X6 M photos

Could the BMW x6 M be the answer to this? Well, time will tell, despite the criticism it has received from many publications and BMW fans, the X6 sales have been strong, with most of the units being exported last year.

I won't be getting into all the technical details and design elements again, you can find all the details here.

[Source: AutoMotorSport ]



Spy Photos: BMW X5 M

We're shifting a little bit our attention from the Detroit Auto Show and we're posting our regular BMW spy photos. Today, thanks to Andrus from GlobalMotors, we have some new shots of the upcoming 2010 BMW X5 M.

Due to be launched in September of this year, the X5 M in this photos, wears very little to none camo, the only things that are still covered are the regular M side vents, the quad exhaust tips and the front air-intakes.

BMW X5 M photos

The BMW X5 M spied is definitely is in the Final Evaluation Phase and it's a ready for production model. We can again see the X6 headlights style and we also know that the X5 M will feature the same fascia as its twin brother.

The BMW X5 M will be powered by a modified version of the twin-turbo 4.4 liter engine, enough to compete with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.

More photos after the jump

BMW X5 M photos

If you would like to see the BMW X5 M in action, feel free to take a look at our previous article where we posted a video of the X5 M around the Nurburgring track.

[Source: GlobalMotors ]

BMW X5 M photos



Spy Shots: Is BMW working on an M7?

Don't get us wrong; we've got no beef with enormously powerful luxury vehicles. In fact, we love 'em. But while Mercedes' AMG division has shoehorned their bestial power plants into all manner of vehicles big and small, BMW's Motorsport division has always drawn a line in the Bavarian sand. They'd tune the 3 Series and the 5 Series along with a handful of coupes and convertibles, but that's where it ended. But that line seems to be eroding, as spy shots of what could be an M7 sedan have been snapped soon after the news of M-tuned X5 and X6 crossovers.

It's hard to tell from the shots exactly what we're looking at, but it appears to be a sportified version of the latest-generation 7 Series (codename F01), complete with quad exhaust tips and lightweight painted wheels. Of course, it could be a tuner special, a simple M-Sport appearance package or an Alpina version, but then why would the BMW badges be covered? If it is an M7, it would be a first for BMW, and could, according to speculation, derive its power from a twin-turbo V12 with over 600 horsepower. Coupled with some weight reduction, the BMW M7 could give the the Mercedes S63 AMG and Audi S8 a run for their money, of which there is plenty at stake in this stratospheric sub-segment. And as with the reported emergence of an xDrive 7 Series, the Bavarians might be growing tired of seeing their customers leave town for Stuttgart or Ingolstadt. Props to RJ for the tip!

[Source: MotorTips]



Unstoppable success: 10 years of the BMW X5

Unstoppable success: 10 years of the BMW X5

With superior dynamic performance on the road and outstanding traction on rough terrain, the BMW X5 has been on an unstoppable course for success for ten years. BMW presented the first generation of the all-wheel-drive five-door vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in 1999, thereby founding the segment of the Sports Activity Vehicle [...]

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More BMW Z4 Exterior Photos and a little chat with Julia Blasi

As I promised, I am back with more photos of the all new 2009 BMW Z4. Also, I mentioned in my previous article that I had an interesting chat with Julia Blasi, BMW Z4 Exterior Designer.

First I would like to say that she's very approachable and a pleasure to talk to. We jumped right into the discussion about the new BMW Z4 and I found out that her team started to work on the Z4 in 2005. So  nearly four years later and we finally had a chance to see the result of her work: the newest BMW roadster, Z4.

2009 BMW Z4 Photos

After complimenting her design, she simply asked me if I think the car has a feminine look. It made me chuckle a bit but I quickly responded that the new Z4 is far from being a "chicks car" and it will never be perceived that way. I soon found out that the BMW Z8 played an important role in the design of the new Z4, same as with the interior design.

She went on explaining how a roadster should always be represented by a long massive hood and small rear-end. Afterward, I let her explain the Z4 design for us, from the crease which starts behind the door handle and moves up towards the A-pillar, to the two side creases coming from the back of the car all the way to the front.

2009 BMW Z4

Asking her about the decision of moving the BMW roundel from the hood to the front bumper, she decided to show me directly on the car's hood why she chose it that way. The hood has two central creases which end before reaching the hood front cut line, forming a small V shape, and this is where the BMW roundel is sitting.


We continued to chit-chat about her being in the video on in which she talked about the Z4 and I mentioned how our readers were fascinated by it. First thing that I noticed was that she is as passionate about the Z4 as she was in the video, she talks about the car with great enthusiasm and pride.

But, she was a bit sad, she has never had the chance to drive her own "baby", which I found it to be pretty interesting, a designer does not necessary gets to drive the car for a while after it's released. She also told me that she has seen the car in final production shape just a few months ago, until then, her clay model was all she would see around.

2009 BMW Z4

At the end I mentioned how you, our readers, would like her to design more cars in the future and I was told that she is currently working on another project, but of details can be revealed. I also wanted to find out more about the Progressive Activity Sedan and mentioned the word PAS, but to my surprise, she told me that not all the designing teams know what the others are working on.


And if you haven't realized yet how much attention to details BMW pays, then this should give you a better idea: asked why the beautiful Deep Sea Blue sDrive35i wasn't placed in the middle of the BMW's show floor, she pointed out the very light colored hardwood floors would have make the Orion Silver sDrive30i blend in too much within, rather than standing out. A detail that many of us would have missed.


Right before saying goodbye, she offered to introduce me to Nadya Arnaud, the talented interior designer, but I will follow up with another article based on my conversation with Nadya.

So, to go back to the photos I promised I will post, here they are, enjoy them since I believe they are much better than the first ones I posted.

P.S If anyone would like to post these photos on other forums, we just ask you to link back to us, especially since we didn't add any watermarks on them.




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