BMW sought an innovative approach for the launch of the all-new BMW Z4 Roadster, and had to look no further than its rich legacy of commitment to art for inspiration. The result, an aesthetically powerful marketing campaign entitled "Expression of Joy," rolls out in early May. The campaign, which relies heavily on vibrant video content, includes an MSN.com homepage takeover on May 11 with which BMW will be the first advertiser to make use of the Web site�s new feature - an expandable video unit that will allow users to view the BMW Z4 spot in full-screen mode. Also, the conventional 30-second spot is complimented by a 30-minute documentary.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
If these indeed are the first spy shots of the BMW CS Concept, which the company said was not up for production then many might be left more disappointed than elated. The ‘CS Concept’, which was showcased at the 2008 Shanghai Auto Show, is a four door luxury sedan with plenty of space in the inside, aggressive front end styling, a sloping rear and a powerful BMW engine to drive it on. It still looks highly unlikely that the CS, which is more of a precursor to the future production model of BMW, will actually ever hit production. Any guesses on what the pics are guys? - via
Apparently some of our friends from CarMag in the UK managed to get some “rare” details on how the n BMW 1-series is going to look like. With an accent on fuel efficiency, the new BMW 1 is going to sport a new 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine but the power figures are like that.
- BMW 116i - 136bhp (101kW)
- BMW 118i - 184bhp (137kW)
- BMW 120i - 218bhp (163kW)
- BMW 130i - 272bhp (203kW)
- no M1, but a twin turbo that will sport 300bhp (225kW)
- BMW 118d with 150bhp (112kW)
- BMW 120d producing 184bhp (137kW)
- BMW 123d good for 211bhp (157kW)
Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed double-clutch (as optional), running on a RWD suspension, and a few body changes, we’re only eager to get behind the wheel for a test ride. This BMW looks much better than the older version .. isn’t it ?
You can download 22 hi-res wallpapers of this BMW 5 GT right here>>Download wallpapers
A genuine BMW offering new options and features in truly fascinating style and diversity - this is the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept.
Introducing this trendsetting concept car, the world's most successful manufacturer of premium automobiles is establishing a brand-new segment in the automobile market, enriching the Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of BMW by a new facet and carrying over that unique BMW style to another type of vehicle.
As in the case of the BMW X5 as the world's first Sports Activity Vehicle and the BMW 1-Series, to this day the only rear-wheel-drive premium compact car, BMW, through outstanding innovation, is once again developing new and progressive market segments and giving additional target groups that unique experience of the BMW brand.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is the production-based rendition of the Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS) in the upper midrange segment, offering an outlook at the extension of the BMW 5-Series by a new, additional vehicle concept. For the first time in the automobile market, this concept car combines the looks and appearance of a prestigious Sedan, a modern Sports Activity Vehicle, and a classic Gran Turismo. Indeed, perhaps the most outstanding feature of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is this unprecedented combination of stylish elegance, luxurious comfort, and impressive diversity.
As the name alone indicates, the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is the ideal car for long journeys while still offering a magnificent driving experience also in everyday traffic on short routes. The design of the body alone also presents all the dynamics and efficiency of a BMW dedicated to sporting performance. And apart from the proportions so typical of the brand, the design language again characteristic of a BMW comes out clearly from every angle.
An intelligent concept for modern mobility.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept conveys an up-to-date image of modern mobility. The focus in particular is on the demands and requirements of the discerning motorist who expects generosity, appreciates an exclusive ambience, and enjoys all the benefits of a variable interior.
Precisely with this in mind, the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept meets all these demands, representing the special status and elegant style of an upper midrange model with individual flair oriented to the driver's personal needs and preferences.
This provides the potential to win over new target groups for BMW, with the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept being a truly unique and attractive offer for the dedicated motorist wishing to retain classic features such as presence, luxury and premium quality while nevertheless living out a versatile and spontaneous lifestyle and remaining open to innovative concepts. The car therefore also reflects new demands made by the modern motorist wishing to enjoy a vehicle in perfect harmony with all kinds of situations and requirements in life - both in a prestigious professional world and in dynamic leisure time activities.
The interior of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept combines spaciousness, personal luxury and an exquisite choice of materials to provide a genuine premium experience. The four doors allow convenient and ergonomically ideal access to all seats, the driver-oriented design of the cockpit again in typical BMW style demonstrates truly sporting performance, and the slightly elevated seating position promotes the driver's superior control of the car.
Unique design also at the rear provides a modern, exclusive and generous ambience. With the seats being adjustable to many different positions, both legroom and the seat angle may be set to the individual preferences of the passengers. Headroom is virtually the same as in the BMW X5, giving both the driver and front passenger as well as the passengers at the rear a genuine experience of first class comfort.
Large side windows emphasise the bright and generous ambience within the car, as does the panorama glass roof previously available only in the BMW 5-Series Touring and the BMW X models.
Luxurious comfort and impressive variability.
Depending on the driver's and passengers' priorities, legroom at the rear may be increased to the same level as in the BMW 7-Series or the capacity of the luggage compartment may be upgraded to that of a BMW 5-Series Touring.
The unique variability of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept comes, among other things, from the rear seats adjustable fore-and-aft by up to 100 millimetres or more than 3.9". A further option is to adjust the backrest angle individually according to one's personal requirements, either in the interest of maximum seating comfort or for additional space in the luggage compartment.
Using all the space available at the rear, legroom is roughly the same as in the BMW 7-Series and luggage capacity amounts to 430 litres or 15.1 cubic feet. With the rear seats moved to the front and the partition wall opened up, in turn, luggage capacity increases to 570 litres or almost 20 cubic feet. And even in this position legroom in the rear still meets the substantial demands made of an outstanding sedan in the upper midrange segment.
After completely folding the rear-seat backrests as well as the partition wall leading to the luggage compartment, the driver and passengers are able to load particularly large and bulky objects into the rear. With the firm luggage compartment cover being stowed away in the floor of the luggage compartment, maximum luggage capacity in the loading area extending all the way through is no less than 1650 litres or nearly 58 cubic feet.
The seat backrests fold down both electrically and by means of a button on the side panel of the luggage compartment, the partition wall, after being released, following the respective movement of the rear-seat backrests. This ensures absolute convenience in adjusting luggage capacity to current requirements even during the process of loading the car.
The option to fold down the rear-seat backrests individually provides even greater variability, especially as the rear partition wall also splits up into two sections, likewise folding down according to current requirements.
Optimum visibility and comfortable access thanks to the elevated seating position.
On the front seats both the driver and front passenger benefit from a slightly elevated seating position. This semi-commanding seating position, as it is called, offers an optimum overview all around the car, like in the BMW X models. And the particular configuration developed for the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept serves furthermore to provide very convenient and ergonomic access to the car.
In the design of the cockpit, the structure of horizontally arranged, cascadelike surfaces finished in different materials and colours strongly accentuates the width of BMW's new concept car. The displays and controls are clearly separated from one another, grouped together according to their functions.
Through its design, the instrument panel enhances the very good visibility already provided by the elevated seating position, giving the driver a clear view from above of the control elements for the lights and the start/stop button on the middle level strongly inclined to the front. As the final important feature in this context, the horizontal orientation of the entire cockpit additionally accentuates the generous character of the interior.
Elegant interior design accentuating the unique feeling of space.
The trim bar stretching out as an exciting arch throughout the entire width of the instrument panel continues into the door linings, the impression of a fully enclosed space around the occupants created in this way being further enhanced by the harmonious design and finish of the trim surfaces on the front and rear doors with their perfect blend of shapes and colours. The interaction of ascending and descending lines and contours throughout the entire length of the interior creates a homogeneous impression optically connecting the front and rear seats. All lines and the surfaces finished with the most sophisticated materials taper out to the rear behind the rear seats, giving the interior its particularly comfortable and spacious character.
The dynamic flow of lines not even interrupted by the B-pillar additionally emphasises the length of the interior crucial to the feeling of space and generosity. And last but not least, this feeling of length is supported by the centre console in the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept extending all the way to the rear.
The elaborate design of individual elements on the door panels adds further exciting effects, from the very beginning bringing out the overall design context without any interruption between the front and rear areas.
A more precise look reveals the subtle play of surfaces in the door linings, with individual elements changing not only in shape, but also in their function. The middle section on the door lining around the front seats, for example, is strongly contoured and also forms a kind of legrest. Then, moving back to the rear, these contour lines become even stronger, the surface turning to the inside within itself. Finally, this surface now concave in shape leads on to the armrests on the rear seats.
Special concept of materials and colours within the interior.
The colour and materials concept for the interior further enhances the impression of personal luxury and the interplay of surfaces and lines. All surfaces within the interior are finished in high-quality natural leather, the surfaces on the seats and the door armrests forming the comfort zone in Glacier White leather. This creates the impression of a bright brand extending round the lower section of the instrument panel, the cool and elegant colour giving particular emphasis to the generous und luxurious feeling of space.
The bright surfaces in the comfort zone are surrounded by a dark, warm reddish brown, this special colour referred to as Copper Brown providing a smooth link to the exterior paintwork.
The superior impression of modern luxury is further enhanced through the use of authentic materials such as polished metal elements milled out of one piece and ceramic units.
The superior quality of the interior finish is borne out particularly by the solid wooden trim with metal inlays extending generously across the instrument panel.
Instrument cluster with colour display in black panel technology.
The instrument cluster of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is made up of a high-resolution colour display in black panel technology presenting the four round instruments in traditional sports car style as well as status and function displays, navigation data, information from the Check/Control, feedback from various control units and service interval information in the traditional style of a sports car.
Introduced for the first time in the new BMW 7-Series, black panel technology ensures particularly precise and, at the same time, sophisticated presentation of the instruments and displays. In its rest mode the entire panel forms a homogeneous black surface, the numbers on the circular instruments then being generated electronically when activated, together with all the symbols on the Display.
The iDrive Control Display arranged in typical BMW style on the same level as the instrument cluster is integrated in the dashboard in a central position as a free-standing element. The Control Display forms one common design unit with the black panel in the central section of the dashboard housing the controls for the audio system and air conditioning. For optical purposes this unit is separated by the horizontal trim bar with its central ventilation grid and a storage box. A further point is that in the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept the special look of black panel technology continues into a homogeneous surface in the centre console.
Proportions: dynamism in typical BMW style combined with the elegance of a Gran Turismo.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept re-interprets the experience of driving a BMW, the luxury and variability of the interior coming together to form a modern rendition of superior generosity.
This offers both the driver and his passengers unique opportunities in enjoying the driving experience, the new flair of the car forming an ideal match with fascinating features typical of BMW, in particular uncompromising premium quality and interior design ensuring Sheer Driving Pleasure of the highest standard.
The body design of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept likewise ensures an exciting balance of innovation and tradition. The concept car stands out at first sight as a genuine BMW, just as the overall look of the exterior clearly alludes to the extension of BMW's model portfolio made possible by this unique automobile. Indeed, the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept enters new terrain in the history of the BMW brand and has no competitors throughout the entire world of motoring.
In its exterior dimensions the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept fits in perfectly between the BMW 7-Series and BMW's various SAV models. In its length of 499.8 centimetres or 196.8", it is second only within the BMW model range to BMW's Luxury Performance Sedan, while the car's height of 155.5 centimetres or 61.2" is exceeded significantly only by BMW's X models.
The characteristic look of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept so typical of the brand results in particular from the car's proportions, the long engine compartment lid, the long wheelbase and the greenhouse moved far to the rear bearing out the dynamic performance characteristics of a BMW also through the car's design.
These features are combined with innovative elements highlighting the unique qualities of the new concept, the extra-large passenger cell clearly bearing testimony to the luxurious variability of the interior. The coupé-like roofline extending into the air spoiler at the rear, in turn, represents the sporting elegance of a genuine Gran Turismo.
Paintwork in Fluid Cuprite, a new colour developed specifically for this concept car, again highlights the unique design and look of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept. The extremely fine surface flair reminiscent of liquid metal most impressively models the various surfaces on the body under all kinds of light conditions through its powerful contours.
And to provide an appropriate supplementary touch, the brake callipers and the inner surfaces on the exhaust gas tailpipes are finished in a new colour called Copper.
Front view with that forward-pushing motion.
The front view of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is characterised in particular by the strong presence of the low-slung BMW kidney grille, the large air intake, and the characteristic dual round headlights. The BMW kidney grille is slanted slightly to the front, its upper edge marking the foremost point on the body. In its presence, the kidney grille is further accentuated by the surrounding surfaces intentionally moved further back.
All contour lines flowing along the engine compartment out of the side panels aim at the kidney grille at the front of the car. The air intake, in turn, is lower in the middle where it extends beneath the kidney grille. And last but not least the contours on the headlight units taper out smoothly towards the middle of the car.
Just as the size of the BMW kidney grille clearly demonstrates the engine's significant demand for cooling air, the power dome in the middle of the engine compartment lid emphasises the sheer power and muscle of the engine itself. The outer flanks of the engine compartment lid facing downward form a cascade-like contour together with the widely flared wheel arches, giving the front view of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept a particularly wide and powerful look.
This impression is further enhanced by the foglamps positioned at the outer edges of the air intake, while the all-aluminium bars separating the two outer elements on the air intake and extending beyond the foglamps further enhance the sheer look of width at the front through their horizontal orientation.
Dual round headlights typical of BMW, unique LED corona rings.
The dual round headlights typical of a BMW come with new contour lines and a new technology for the daytime driving lights on the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept.
Slanted to a distinctive angle and extending far into the side panels, the headlight units are highlighted by surrounding bars, the headlights themselves cylindrical in shape bordering at the top on a matt headlight cover. This particularly emphasises the unique look of the front end again in typical BMW style with its clear, almost penetrating focus.
Apart from the direction indicators, the corona rings for the daytime driving lights come for the first time as LED units generating a particularly homogeneous and bright light adding new and attractive features to that particular look so typical of BMW.
Side-view: coupé-like roofline and waistline emphasising the sleek elegance of the car.
Appropriate lines along the side create the harmonious symbiosis of the front end, the side view and the rear section so typical of BMW design also on the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept. The dominating feature from the side is the waistline characteristic of a BMW extending from the outer edge of the headlights and moving back at the same level as the door openers along the entire length of the car, rising up slightly in the process and continuing into the contours of the rear light clusters.
The equally striking sill-line continues into the upper edge around the air intake at the front and the contour in the rear air dam, this interplay of the waistline and the sill-line making the car look lower and more crouched down on the ground and emphasising the dynamic wedge of the body.
The roofline consistently tapering out and ending in the rear air spoiler conveys a feature typical of a modern coupé to a four-door automobile in the guise of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept. The innovative character of the car's design is indeed a visual expression of the many features and qualities the car has to offer. With its sporting flair, the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept leaves an even greater and more positive impression through its spacious and generous interior.
Both front and rear the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept comes with frameless doors, a feature of particularly sporting cars now to be admired for the first time on a four-door BMW.
The door cutout bars are another special feature, forming one unit across both entry areas and thus corresponding with the overall harmonious flair conveyed by the door panels inside the car.
Large, significantly flared wheel arches symbolise the sporting potential of the car: The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept comes on 21-inch light-alloy rims offering a particular touch of elegance through their exclusive multi-spoke design.
Yet another feature of particularly sporting cars is the small mass of the body above the front wheels, keeping the side panels particularly low and long. This effect is further intensified by the horizontal lines of the car borne out by the waistline as well as the joint and contour line on the engine compartment.
The "Hofmeister kink" re-interpreted in modern style.
The design of the side window graphics also presents a re-interpretation of a characteristic BMW feature: On the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept both the shaft covers and the window surrounds are made of one piece, this three-dimensional shape giving the frame made of aluminium a particularly sophisticated and dynamic look around that famous "Hofmeister kink".
The exterior mirrors also represent a new design element, with the mirror base forming part of the shaft cover starting on the foot of the A-pillars and thus blending particularly smoothly and harmoniously with the side panel of the car. The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept offers a brand-new rendition of the counter-swing in the bottom corner of the rear side window frame so well-known as the "Hofmeister kink". In this case the inner radius of the "kink" is particularly large, the outer radius strikingly small. This creates an exciting contrast to the roofline moving down smoothly and gently to the rear specifically at this point.
Powerful rear end.
The design of the rear end offers a particularly striking impression of this unique concept with its exceptional strengths and features. The two outer rooflines as well as the shoulder lines merge into the air spoiler on the tailgate, giving the rear end in its fastback style a kind of surrounding line and at the same time adding a compact touch to the overall design of the car.
The entire rear view of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is split by horizontal lines highlighting the width and powerful stance of the car. At the same time this creates an attractive interplay of convex and concave surfaces, the negatively slanted surface above the chrome bar between the rear light clusters bearing the BMW logo offering an additional sporting effect.
The rear end reaches its full width around the wheel arches, the exhaust tailpipes positioned far to the outside also directing the eyes of the beholder to the wheels. The distinctive light edge in the lower part of the bumper adds a further touch, while a diffuser finished in black marks the gap between the rear panel and the road.
Impressive function: two tailgates in one.
With the rear panel of the car appearing to start directly beneath the rear light clusters in order to convey a sporting impression, the low loading sill on the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept is not visible at first sight.
Another innovation crucial to the superior function of the car is likewise only recognisable when opening the tailgate: To stow away luggage, the tailgate may be opened either in full or only around the rear window. If only the lower section is swivelled upward, the driver and passengers will load the luggage compartment in the same way as in a sedan, naturally benefitting in the process from the far lower loading sill. Since in this case they only open the luggage compartment as such, the passenger compartment will not suffer in the process from drafts or any other effects of bad weather.
The need to open the complete tailgate pivoting above the rear window arises only when stowing away particularly large and bulky objects.
The L-shape of the rear light clusters typical of a BMW is re-interpreted on the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept, with the two rows of light following a dynamic sweeping motion. The rear lights extend far into the side panel, emphasising the full width of the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept also in the car's night design.
The lights fed by LED illumination units provide a homogeneous light effect with the brake lights and direction indicators positioned behind the rows of lights and being illuminated even more brilliantly when activated.
The rear light clusters are connected to one another by a chrome bar continuing from the waistline at the side into the line extending into the rear lights and thus accentuating the width of the rear end. Yet a further innovation is the integration of the third brake light in the rear fin again so typical of BMW.
BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept: new momentum in a demanding market.
Presenting the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept, BMW is once again proving its outstanding competence in the development of innovative vehicle concepts. The world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars follows the challenges created by the need for up-to-date mobility.
This new car concept addresses a demanding target group seeking to combine stylish elegance, luxurious wellness and impressive variability in individual style with the demands and requirements of their active lifestyle.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept offers precisely these qualities, enhancing the Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of the brand by a new dimension thrilling the true connoisseur also beyond BMW's existing target groups.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept clearly reveals the full bandwidth of its qualities when compared with the demands made of an up-to-date grand tourer. With its elegant look, the sophisticated ambience of its comfortable and spacious interior, as well as its generous and variable transport capacities, the BMW Concept 5-Series is simply perfect for a wonderful travel experience.
And since BMW's innovative power is also borne out by an extremely efficient drivetrain, this new concept car will also ensure appropriate economy in today's world.
The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept thus stands out as a modern interpretation of the Gran Turismo segment so rich in tradition, cars which at all times have combined particularly superior long-distance driving qualities with a truly comfortable interior.
Stylish elegance, luxurious spaciousness, and impressive versatility all come together in the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo Concept in unique style. Features never before combined in one car in this way make the new concept a truly progressive innovation serving ideally to set new standards in the most demanding upper midrange segment.
Establishing a new vehicle segment in this process, BMW is consistently continuing its successful development strategy. Qualities typical of the brand once are again carried over into a new market with an innovative concept unique to world over. Hence, BMW is using all the innovative power of the brand to give new customers that unique thrill of Sheer Driving Pleasure and to continue the ongoing growth of the BMW brand in a lasting, long-term process.
These past few weeks have all been about the new generation BMW 5 Series due to launch in 2010. We have seen plenty of spy photos, from all the angles and most important, showing us all the future models…or at least most of them, the M5 won’t be out until 2012.
So what’s so special about these latest spy shots and why are we so excited? Simply one reason: these are the first photos showing us tiny bits of the new 5 Series interior. We have learned over the course of the last few months that the new interior design will resemble in many ways the one found in the recently launched 7 Series. Even though the spy photographers were insistent -it’s part of their job- the BMW engineers managed to somewhat cover some parts of the dashboard.
The gauge rings and “needles” are very similar, if not identical to the ones in the 7er which we can be all very grateful for; same applies to the gear shifter, even though not shown in our spy photos(more images can be seen at Carscoop). From this point on, it all gets a bit blurry and the BMW drivers are doing a great job covering some other parts. Zooming in one of the photos from Carscoop, we can see some of the controls on the steering wheel, but still unfortunately, blurry.
Moving out on the exterior, we’re starting to love the design lines more and more, despite the “funky camouflage”, we can still see the two metal creases running down the hood and meeting the headlights right before the grille. Similar white corona-rings as seen on the 5 GT appear on the Touring model as well. The wider twin kidney grille diffeentiates the 20011 5 Series from the front-end on the 7, clearing out a misconception that many people have had.
BMW has designed a new all-steel chassis for the new 5 Series and a weight increase concern has appeared among the BMW fans. But, the Munich based automaker states that by using some special techniques to process the steel - a multi phase steel (tubes are made of thinner steel layers reinforced with some other composites - making them lighter yet stronger than classic steel tubes), the weight is quite reduced compared to a classic steel frame.
So far, we’re liking what we see and we can certainly say that our recent front-end rendering is pretty close to the real deal.
With all these recent mergers talks - Fiat with Chrysler and Opel, VW/Porsche and Saab with everyone else - one cannot wonder if some of the oldest and traditional luxury carmakers will join this bandwagon. New York Times reached out to Friedrich Eichiner, BMW’s chief financial officer for an extensive interview.
Herr Eichiner told NYT that BMW values their independence even through this painful economic climate. While Eichiner lists mostly the advantages of staying independent as a company e.g customers willing to still pay money for distinctive cars, New York Times articles goes deeper into this matter and digs out some concerns or, as we would call it: disadvantages.
By merging with another company, BMW or any other automaker, would have the opportunity to share technology, parts, even research and development with the clear and precise scope of reducing costs and increasing profit margins on their vehicles. As a counterpoint, Herr Eichiner lists the General Motors as being a negative example of that approach: “Size does not protect you from anything”.
What we found interesting in the article is the fact that while it will focus more on premium greener vehicles, BMW will continue to offer superior performance.
More news coming down the Munich pipeline, but this time, they’re all about the England based brand, MINI. Rumor says that MINI is actively looking into the possibility of building a competitor for the popular(at least in Europe), Volkswagen GTI. Following the same ideas found in the BMW 5 Series GT, the MINI GTI will be based on the upcoming Crossover, a 4 meter long, five door platform.
The MINI GTI will be manufactured at the Steyr factory in Austria and will launch sometimes in 2012. The GTI is rumored to deliver from 180 horsepower and up, but we believe that at this moment, the engine specs are pure speculations.
Rendering by Autocar
Also, if we look at the 5 Series GT idea, we envision the new MINI GTI as being a more interior luxurious car, very efficient but in the same time, still very much into performance. We cannot wonder if the MINI GTI will be somewhat related to the SpaceBox Concept we talked about recently.
BMW sources have also told Autocar that the they are looking at eventually designing three new models based on the same Crossover platform, a move similar to the strategy implemented by BMW with the upcoming 1 Series platform.
As things develop, we will continue to keep you informed and hopefully we will learn more at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
[Source: Autocar ]
Daimler would like to expand plans for cooperation “as equal partners” with BMW beyond an agreement to bundle purchasing of components, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche told Reuters.
“In general I only see a few areas where working together is in principle out of the question,” Zetsche said in an interview at Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart’s Untertuerkheim district.
“It’s clear that we are two independent companies whose success in the market depends of the strength of our brands, so brand integrity is a cardinal imperative. This has to be considered at all times but it is not something that would prevent broad cooperation.”
While he would not say what areas were off limits, he explained that Daimler had to ensure that when its customers drive off a dealer lot, they believe they have bought a luxury car with the unique characteristics of a Mercedes.
Unlike German rival Audi or Volvo of Sweden, BMW and Mercedes share a specialization in rear-wheel-drive cars. At the same time the performance and design of their cars appeal to two largely different customer groups.
“The issues we are discussing (with BMW) have to be examined closely from the very beginning in order not to realize later halfway through that you made a mistake. That is why any results we might achieve would be that much more thorough,” he said.
Zetsche refuted the credo of pure production size that has come to exemplify Sergio Marchionne’s vision at Fiat (FIA.MI), but he acknowledged that a key ingredient to success was the consistent use of modules to build Mercedes-Benz cars across segments as a method of gaining economies of scale.
“That offers the main opportunity for volume effects and then we can look at whether they can be applied jointly across company borders, which is certainly a sensible goal,” he said.
BMW sought an innovative approach for the launch of the all-new BMW Z4 Roadster, and had to look no further than its rich legacy of commitment to art for inspiration. The result, an aesthetically powerful marketing campaign entitled “Expression of Joy,” rolls out in early May. The campaign, which relies heavily on vibrant video content, includes an MSN.com homepage takeover on May 11 with which BMW will be the first advertiser to make use of the Web site’s new feature - an expandable video unit that will allow users to view the BMW Z4 spot in full-screen mode. Also, the conventional 30-second spot is complimented by a 30-minute documentary.
At the heart of the campaign, created by BMW’s Austin, Texas-based agency GSD&M Idea City, is an artistic collaboration between BMW, contemporary artist Robin Rhode and filmmaker Jake Scott. Rhode choreographed the movements of two BMW Z4 Roadsters mounted with special paint dispensers behind the wheels to create a football-field size painting, while Scott captured all the action with 40 simultaneous camera angles. The final Rhode piece and video elements form the foundation of the campaign’s creative treatments.
“BMW has a long history of collaborating with contemporary artists,” said Jack Pitney, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “Through this latest collaboration with Robin and Jake, we’ve extended our tradition of engaging leading talents in the art community for the introduction of the all-new BMW Z4 Roadster.”
A 30-minute documentary that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Rhode piece, as it was directed by Scott at Downey Studios in Los Angeles last November, forms the centerpiece of the campaign. The documentary will air on Discovery HD Theater at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on May 10, with subsequent multiple airings on the network through May and June. Additionally, a tie-in with TiVo will extend the reach of the documentary by allowing TiVo users to preview and record it for later viewing.
The BMW Z4 campaign’s online presence will rely exclusively on video-based assets, to bring the performance art to life online. Video banners will run from May 8 – June 30 on leading news, business and lifestyle Web sites, including CNN, CNN Money, Dow Jones, Yahoo!, Condé Nast and Wired.
National print pieces, many with unique creative treatments, will be published in May and June issues of art, lifestyle and design magazines, including Art & Antiques, ArtNews Esquire, W, and Elle Décor. Notably, an eight-page, photo feature-style insert, written and photographed by actor Dennis Hopper, will run in the June issue of Vanity Fair, and a cover page takeover is slated for the June issue of Dwell magazine.
An out-of-home component is planned for the nation’s busiest airports in ten key markets for BMW. The airport billboards feature representations of the Rhode piece alongside images of the BMW Z4 with headlines that read, “Expressionism meets Exhilarationism,” “Not all artists are depressed” and “Rarely does the paintbrush rival the painting,” or the succinctly stated “Art Movement” and “Muse.”
While the core of the campaign breaks in May, some elements that laid the groundwork for the campaign began to appear as early as late-March, including: a public art installation featuring the Rhode/Scott collaboration at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal from March 25–April 6; an iPhone application that lets users replicate Rhode’s experience of creating artwork with the BMW Z4 as “paintbrush;” and the launch of the BMW Z4 micro-site www.expressionofjoy.com. Additionally, special video spots are now running in mainstream and independent movie theaters nationwide – a 30-second spot prior to the house lights going down and a two-minute cinematic piece as a lead-in to the feature presentation.
[Source: BMW ]
I’m not sure how many of you remember, but back in January we featured some renderings of our friend Jon’s dream car: a BMW M3 Touring. Since you’re reading our blog, you are most likely huge bimmer fans so therefore you know by now that the BMW M3 only comes in three variants: Sedan, Coupe and Convertible.
Even though over the past few years there were many rumors surrounding the idea of an M3 Touring, but no official confirmation has even been given. So, we were left at the “mercy” of those talented graphic artists. One of them is our close friend Jon Sibal who created those exciting M3 Touring renderings a few months back.
Fast forward a few months and what started as a simple “never come true wish” turned into the real deal. Manhart-Racing, a German based company, modded an E91 Touring and gave it more of an “M” look.
But wait….that’s not really the exciting part… Manhart-Racing managed to squeeze into the M3 Touring a V10 engine from the popular 5 Seroes E60 M5. The car was labeled as the M3 T V10, short for M3 Touring V10).
While the exterior of the car features some of the typical M elements, the interior is all about the BMW Performance Parts.
No other information have been released at this time, but if I were to draw a conclusion I would tell you that I still favor the rendering made by Jon. Here is Jon’s dream car:
[Source: Jon Sibal ]
When we were talking about Driving Dynamics with good quality performance the precise car i would choose is BMW X6.Sporty and stylish sports car that design to Driving Dynamics with confidents.If you peek on the new 2010 BMW X6 M weighs which is 5,247 Lbs and it actually can accelerate to 60 MPH in just 4.5 seconds and on to an optional top speed of 171 MPH.How great and promising is that?Recently an official price for the latest BMW X5 M and X6 M has been announced.
The staggering performance of the BMW X5 M and X6 M has been priced at the staggering price of $86,225 and 89,725 respectively. Making 555 HP soft-roaders go around corners ain't cheap.
All that power plus 500 Lb-Ft of Bavarian torque will carry both behemoths (the 2010 BMW X6 M weighs 5,247 Lbs) to 60 MPH in just 4.5 seconds and on to an optional top speed of 171 MPH. Both cars also benefit from BMW's Dynamic Performance Control rear axle, which, in combination with stiffer springs and dampers, will ensure that "trucks" actually go around corners in an M-like fashion. The 2010 BMW X5 M and X6 M go on sale this fall.
The latest models from BMW's M Division arrive in U.S. Dealers this Fall.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - April 27, 2009... On the occasion of the world debut of the BMW X5 M at the Shanghai International Auto Show, BMW today announced U.S. retail pricing for both the X5 M and the X6 M. The X6 M was unveiled for the first time at the New York International Auto Show on April 8th. When the X5 M and X6 M go on sale this fall as 2010 model vehicles, they will retail for $86,225 and $89,725 respectively (including $825 Destination & Handling).
Both the BMW X5 M and X6 M feature a new reverse flow V8 engine with patented twin-turbo technology. The lag-eliminating Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold (CCM) enables the engine to produce 555 horsepower and accelerate both models from 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds. At BMW M, "the chassis must always be more powerful than the engine." The X5 M and X6 M exploit the limits of physics through their reworked Integrated Chassis Management systems to provide maximum road-holding without conceding to harsh ride characteristics.
Power is delivered through an M derivative of BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive, allowing M typical throttle-steering. At the rear axle is BMW's revolutionary Dynamic Performance Control, tailored by BMW M to ensure near-perfect distribution of power. Four M-characteristic tailpipes emerge from the aerodynamic diffuser in the rear. Enormous brakes round out the package, providing confidence under all conditions.
The modern, sustainable legacy of BMW M began in 1985 when engineers placed the snarling, race-bred inline-6 engine from the M1 supercar into the production BMW 5 Series sedan, reworked the suspension and brakes, and created BMW's first M5. The M5 redefined the capabilities of a sedan with levels of power, precision, and linear control never before imaginable. Ever since, the craftsmen at BMW M have been focused on finding new ways to expand the performance boundaries using existing BMW models as a basis.
Ring in the New Year with a dose of horsepower - Vijay Pattni brings you the top hot hatch buys on Auto Trader right now.
Mouth-watering sports saloons at less-than-list price? Vijay Pattni runs through Auto Trader's used car ads to discover big-bhp bargains...
So BMW, being everso German and everso efficient have now made a system standard on all their diesel models to prevent you from putting the wrong kind of fuel in the tank.
BMW touts this as being the manufacturer-equipped system to “prevent cases of misfuelling at the pump and its far-reaching consequences.” Right. If you’ve ever put gasoline in a diesel, or even worse put diesel into a gas-burning car, you know what a HUGE mistake this is. Tank, fuel lines, injectors … those are ALL coming out, getting cleaned, blown out, run through the parts washer, and in a lot of cases replaced at great cost to you.
You only have to be around this kind of mistake once, or even worse, make this mistake yourself once to never, ever do it again.
But seriously, just how dumb does BMW think we are? Well let’s see.
Look, I understand, mistakes can happen, but just how much of a brain dead pump-jockey do you have to be to do something like but unleaded into a diesel tank? Not only are things color-coded but the nozzles are completely different sizes. You have to work hard to screw it up … but this is, after all, America. The country that invented the term “fool proof”, and invented it with good reason.
Remember a few years ago when Honda had to do a recall for seatbelt buckles coming unlatched? Honda found out that it wasn’t the buckles, they were using the same type worldwide. The found out that it was the “typical American driver” who would do things like swing by the drive through for the 16th time that week, and bits of lettuce and French fry would fall into the seat belt buckle and cause it to fail.
You think Honda had a shot at explaining that as a justifiable reason to the feds? Yeah, good luck with that. Honda had to do a complete redesign to compensate for the brains connected to our couch-shaped asses.
So, I can understand where BMW is coming from. You can all most see the engineering review meeting back in Der Fatherland.
“Zo, vee vill be pressing ahead mit out plans to roll out the neu diesels into the North American market, jah?”
“Jah, but vait a moment. Ve are going to zell the diesel to ze Americans?”
More interesting news keeps rolling out from der boys at Bavarian Motor Werke.
It seems that the new diesel models that BMW is rolling out are so clean that the IRS will actually give a tax credit for buying one of the things.
How does this work? Just how clean? And are we really giving props to the IRS (shudder)?
Yes we are.
For starters, this concerns only two models that BMW is currently brining into the states. Now that doesn’t mean that the other models don’t qualify, it’s just that BMW is only bringing in two at the moment due to marketing concerns, business plans & what not.
Anyway, both of the BMW Advanced Diesel models with BluePerformance technology have qualified for an Internal Revenue Service Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Tax Credit. In choosing vehicles that will burn significantly less fuel and produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions, purchasers of the 335d sedan will qualify for up to a $900 tax credit while purchasers of the X5 xDrive35d Sports Activity Vehicle(R) will qualify for up to a $1,800 tax credit.
Not bad, especially that $1,800 tax credit on the X5 SUV (kind of pricey, so any saving you can get, the better, right?).
And just because these are diesels doesn’t mean you should confuse them with 55 HP VW Rabbits.
With 265 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque available from the 3.0-liter sequential twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine, the 335d is capable of accelerating from 0 - 60 mph is six seconds flat while the X5 xDrive35d will do it in just 6.9 seconds. That’s not bad, especially for the truck, er, SUV, cause those things ain’t light.
But what about mileage, that’s what most oil burning customers are really looking after. The 335d Sedan, the most fuel efficient BMW ever sold in the US, delivers 23 miles per gallon city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway according to the US EPA. The X5 xDrive35d is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, taking the hit for being bigger, heavier and boxier. Both models are capable of traveling nearly 600 miles on a single tank of fuel.
So, if you’re inclined towards diesels, and are also disposed towards BMWs, these two are worth a look.
And you also get money from the IRS.
You heard me, money FROM the IRS (for a change).
Here’s BMW’s full press release:
BMW ADVANCED DIESEL MODELS QUALIFY FOR IRS ADVANCED LEAN BURN TECHNOLOGY MOTOR VEHICLE TAX CREDIT
Purchasers of 335d Sedan and X5 xDrive35d Sports Activity Vehicle® qualify for up to $900 and $1,800 tax credit respectively
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - February 4, 2009… BMW of North America, LLC confirmed today that both of its BMW Advanced Diesel models with BluePerformance technology have qualified for an Internal Revenue Service Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle Tax Credit. In choosing vehicles that will burn significantly less fuel and produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions, purchasers of the 335d Sedan will qualify for up to a $900 tax credit while purchasers of the X5 xDrive35d Sports Activity Vehicle® will qualify for up to a $1,800 tax credit.
“Qualification for these tax credits is further recognition of the remarkable efficiency of our new BMW Advanced Diesel models,” said Jim O’Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC.
Both BMW Advanced Diesel models keep the promise of the Ultimate Driving Machine® while delivering class leading fuel efficiency. With 265 horsepower and 425 lb-ft of torque available from the 3.0-liter sequential twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine, the 335d is capable of accelerating from 0 - 60 mph is six seconds flat while the X5 xDrive35d will do it in just 6.9 seconds. In spite of this level of performance the 335d Sedan, the most fuel efficient BMW ever sold in the US, delivers 23 miles per gallon city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway according to the US EPA. The X5 xDrive35d is rated at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Both models are capable of traveling nearly 600 miles on a single tank of fuel.
The 335d Sedan and X5 xDrive35d Sports Activity Vehicle® are now available in BMW centers across all 50 states.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 82 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
BMW Art Cars continues their tour and they stopped this week in New York City. Just over a month ago, the BMW Art Cars were displayed at Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and we had the opportunity to show you some of the most amazing photos.
But since we couldn’t make it to NYC, our friend Jonathan Spira, a long time admirer of the BMW Art Cars was there to snap some photos and share his impressions. It is also worth mentioning that Jonathan was present at the original opening in 1986, so it is not surprising to sense his admiration for these cars in the article. The new BMW Z4 used as a paintbrush in the new “Expression of Joy” campaign, is also displayed at the Grand Central Terminal.
“The BMW Art Cars were first exhibited in the United States in 1986 at the BMW Gallery at 320 Park Avenue in a show called BMW And Five American Artists, and again in 1990 at the same venue. (With 7,000 square feet of exhibit space, the BMW Gallery at 320 Park Avenue was established in the 1980s as a North American beachhead for the BMW Museum. By 1991, it had been converted into a showroom, and it closed in 1998 when BMW consolidated dealership operations in the city.)
Today, four of those five original Art Cars returned to New York (Alexander Calder’s car, which was also the first Art Car, is not part of the exhibit) at an exhibit at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. The cars are accompanied by a 30-by-40-foot canvas by Robin Rhode, a South African artist presently living in Berlin, who used a new (E89) Z4 roadster equipped with paint dispensers behind its wheels to create “Expression Of Joy,” a unique and contemporary painting, by driving around on its surface; the painted surface was then disassembled into panels which can be reassembled in various ways. Some were used as the floor for the launch of the new Z4 in Spain, while others were hung on the wall of the restaurant at that launch.”
G-Power are putting their impressive tuning skills to work and after the fastest sedan in the world, the BMW M5, they worked their magic on the BMW X5. The results? 525 horsepower and a top speed of 170 mph(275 km/h).
This all-wheel drive “beast” runs from 0-62 in 6.2 seconds, about a second improvement from the regular 4.8i X5.
If under the hood upgrades are quite impressive, G-Power surprised us with an aerodynamic and pretty good looking exterior kit. The front larger air intakes remind us of the upcoming BMW X5 M, but they were obviously designed with better engine cooling in mind.
The curved fender flares on front and rear axle come complete with matching fender liners and add seven centimeters to the width of the X5.
For the WOW effect, G-Power Typhoon rocker panels feature five blue LED lights each, activated by pulling the door handle or by the keyless fob. The tops of the rocker panels feature integrated stainless-steel inserts with blue illuminated G-POWER logo.
While the performance is a bit lower than the upcoming BMW X5 M(550hp), will it make sense for a BMW buyer to go with the cheaper modded version rather than the “real deal”?
There are no doubts anymore that BMW is preparing a real “tii” model based on the 1 Series. Named Supersports, the M1-like car is set to launch in 2011 and its performance will be the result of using lightweight materials, such as a Carbon Fiber Roof and bootlid , loss of certain cabin comforts , upgraded suspension and brakes , lightweight glass , all the creative and performance comforts created for the M variant, but not under full MotorSport badging.
Since the official launch in 2007, the BMW 1 Series tii has been in the center of many rumors and speculations. For a while, BMW had us believe that a tii named model will actually be built, then months later, a BMW Performance Parts catalog was released, which included many of the design elements found on the 1 Series tii concept.
Some BMW dealerships, such as Classic BMW, went even further and modded their own tii version on a BMW 135i Coupe body style. But in the end, no official tii branding has even been placed on this cars.
So I got caught off guard when Carmagazine UK posted some photos of a BMW 1 Series Hatchback version this time spotted near a BMW office in Munich and….sporting some of the tii or Performance Parts.
The photographer, Rainer Wargitsch noticed 1er Hatch having a Carbon Fiber roof and judging from the photos, a more sportier front-bumper. This is the part where the usual speculations come in place: are we looking at a test car loaded with lightweight materials or it’s just another BMW fan “pimping their ride” ?
In my opinion, we’re just looking at a BMW 1 Series Hatchback with some Carbon Fiber body parts, most likely an individual work done by the owner.
It also reminds me of the E92 BMW M3 CSL, a model that never made it.
Sorry to dissapoint you guys, but we’ll just have to wait a bit longer for the “real tii/Supersports” to show up.
BMW North America has just released the U.S pricing for the new 2009 BMW Z4. As expected, there is a price increase over the previous Z4 generation, but still significantly lower than the German pricing.
The entry model, BMW Z4 sDrive30i has a base price of $46,575 and the twin-turbo powered sDrive35i jumps over the 50k mark, more specifically, $52, 475. Both prices include the Destination & Handling fee.
The Cold Weather package costs $1,000 for both models, while the Premium Package was set for the Z4 sDrive30i at $3,900 or $2,800 if you’re buying the Sport Package as well. The Premium Package for the high-end sDrive35i model costs $2,500.
The Sport Package has a more complicated pricing scheme. If you’re buying the sDrive30i or sDrive35i without the Premium options, then the Sport Package is priced at $2,300. Include the Premium and then you’re only paying $1,900.
For those of you looking for the ultimate performance on your new roadster, the 19: wheels with performance tires are priced at $1,200 (available only for the sDrive35i). The new 7-Speed double clutch transmission is available as well only for the twin-turbo engine and it will set you back $1,525.
For more information and pricing on the new 2009 BMW Z4, please download the PDF file below.
BMW Z4 sDrive 35i
12 out of 20
Driven March 2009
BMW has well and truly jumped on the bandwagon with the latest Z4. The SLK might have had a folding hard-top since its launch in 1996, but BMW was late joining the party. The 3-Series Convertible only got one in the latest generation and now the Z has finally gained it as well.
The bare figures are this: the roof lowers and raises in 20 seconds, prices start at £28,645 for the 23i and get to £37,060 for the 35i that we've just driven. Oh, and it'll do 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds with the dual clutch gearbox fitted.
So it's not what you'd call slow. The twin-turbo straight six is the highlight of the whole car - it sounds absolutely brilliant. Low and deep to start off with before getting to a wail over 6,000rpm. It's far more enthusiastic than an SLK.
For those worried that this hard-top has made it handle worse than the old Z4, panic not - even though this latest Z4 weighs 100kg more than the last one, there's a sharpness to the steering and chassis that was lacking before. But it's still not the last word in dynamics that you know BMW would dearly love it to be.
That's BMW's whole raison d'etre, and so far no recent BMW Roadster has managed to hit it spot-on. Each generation improves things from the woeful Z3, but this one is still a bit disappointing when you think of something like the Porsche Boxster. There's now electronically controlled damping on the Z4 as an option, but even this can't quite tighten everything up enough. Roof up, you can certainly feel the extra weight up there as it pitches and rolls a bit more through corners. Roof down works better.
As such, the Z4 moves closer to the driving nirvana of the Boxster and pulls further away from the SLK. But it's still not the roadster version of an M3 that BMW so desperately wants.
2010 will be a pretty busy year for Bayerische Motoren Werke.
On the way is the 2010 BMW 5-Series GT which should enter production this fall with sales to start in the earlier half of 2010. The production version is expected to be offered with a choice of a 272-hp naturally aspirated engine and an updated 326-hp 3.0L twin-turbo 6-cylinder in the U.S.
Also hitting the markets early next year will be the 2010 BMW X1. The compact SUV was recently spotted at photo shoot for the production model. The BMW X1 will go into production later this year at company’s Leipzig plant in Germany.
Following those two models, BMW will introduce the much-anticipated 7-Series Hybrid and the X6 Hybrid crossover.
The BMW X6 Hybrid will feature a two-mode hybrid system that was developed from a partnership with Chrysler, Daimler and GM. It will be mated the xDrive50i’s 4.4L V8 and will offer 20 percent better gas mileage than its gasoline counterpart.
The BMW 7-Series Hybrid will be a mild hybrid system and will carry fuel-saving technologies like a start/stop system. It will have a transmission-mounted electric motor mated to the 750i’s 4.4L turbocharged V8.
We’ll keep you updated as all the models mentioned above make their market debuts.
According to a report by iMotor, BMW’s Project i program could spawn two, three and four-wheeled vehicles that will be fun to drive as well as eco-friendly. BMW and Bath University have developed a three-wheeler concept called the Clever Concept. The Clever Concept runs on compressed natural gas and can go up to 60 mph.
A spokesman at BMW said that BMW as a number of options under consideration for its Project i program and “one the of proposals is something like the Clever Concept.”
“This would deliver the thrills of a motorcycle but, being a three wheeler, you wouldn’t have to wear a helmet to drive one,” he told iMotor.
The spokesman said that BMW continues to test the viability of its Mini E to make sure that it is “truly viable” and something that the customer would consider buying. He said that it could take at least 5 years until BMW has a production Project i car on the road.
A sort of private game of Car Design Survivor appears to be afoot in the back rooms of BMW's design studio, according to the latest reports. Five different BMW 1-series variants are on the table, but only one will make it to production. The five variants include: a three-door shooting brake; a sport-touring model; a small Progressive Activity Sedan version with and extended tail and a higher roofline; a Sports Activity Coupe with a glass roof and a large rear liftgate; and a true five-door wagon-like car, reports AutoBild.
BMW 1-series mule
Date: March 2009
Current Mileage/Months in Fleet: 18,805/8 months
Average Fuel Economy/Range: 15 mpg/338 miles
Normal Wear: $0
Winter in Michigan is ugly. The short days, gray skies, and freezing temperatures conspire to infect a percentage of the population with clinical-strength seasonal affective disorder, a temporary depression that is doing its best to ensnare our long-term BMW X6. Since our last update, the X6 has been rear-ended, thrown another check-engine light, and torn its way throughtwo snow tires. Thank goodness winter’s almost over.
It Started Out With a Kiss
While sitting at a stoplight in mid-January, a staffer glanced in the mirror and noticed an inbound PT Cruiser that didn’t seem to be slowing appropriately. With heavy cross traffic leaving him no out, he had no choice but to grip the wheel and watch as the PT Cruiser skidded into him, demolishing its grille but fortunately not leaving any major scars on the X6.
Later that month, an editor noted a harsh idle at startup, and made it only a few hundred feet before an “Engine malfunction! Reduced power” warning appeared in the vehicle-information screen. Cycling the vehicle off and then on again made the problem—both the rough idle and the warning—vanish. The dealer was able to track down the incident in the computer’s memory at a later service visit and reported a misfire, likely due to the extreme cold. In a winter that has seen negative temperatures in the double digits, the X6 is our only long-termer to have any issues relating to the cold, although both this and a prior issue surfaced only once for a very brief period and then promptly vanished.
Keep Reading: 2008 BMW X6 xDrive50i - Long-Term Road Test Update
The automotive world has been waiting for BMW’s response to the Mercedes-Benz R-class since the debut of that crossover/minivan curiosity for 2006. For a while, a pseudo minivan in the same vein as the R-class was expected from Mercedes’ German rival, but the R’s dismal sales may have caused BMW to chart a different course of action.
At the Geneva auto show in March, we finally got to see, in concept form, BMW’s answer to the R-class. Mercifully, the company that prides itself on building the “ultimate driving machine” didn’t produce a minivan but rather a high-roofed, not-quite-an-SUV wagon version of the next-generation 5-series. After years of calling it the Progressive Activity Sedan, BMW has ditched that moniker in favor of calling the concept the 5-series Gran Turismo.
Keep Reading: BMW 5-series Gran Turismo Concept - Car News
Some will consider the announcement of the M versions of the BMW X5 and X6 arriving this fall to be heresy, a crime against the enthusiast faithful not seen since the debut of the Porsche Cayenne. Well suck it up fanboy, because the X6 M will lap the Nürburgring faster than the E46 M3. And if you really want to throw stones, blame the success of the Porsche, which demonstrated to BMW that a market exists for sporty SUVs. Both Bimmers—the powertrains are identical—put out 555 hp from a twin-turbo V-8, which is a 5-hp middle finger to the Cayenne Turbo S. The 500 lb-ft of torque in the BMWs, however, is 53 short of that of the top-level Cayenne.
The Mighty Boost
The heart of the X5/X6 M, as in all M cars, is the engine. And the heart of this engine is a trick exhaust manifold and a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers. Of course this is BMW, so there has to be an acronym: Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold, or CCM. The direct-injection 4.4-liter V-8 is based on BMW’s regular production engine, adding new pistons, a new intake manifold, and revised intake cam timing. Compression has been lowered slightly, to 9.3:1 from 10.0:1. The alloy used for the cylinder heads has been altered for greater strength, the oil pan is now aluminum with integrated cooling fins, and both the intercoolers and radiator have been enlarged to deal with increased engine heat.
The secret to the exhaust manifold, which sits in the valley between the two cylinder banks, is a convoluted plumbing system. Exhaust gas from each cylinder is routed to the dual twin-scroll turbochargers; each scroll is fed by a distinct pair of cylinders. The pairs are matched in such a way that the two cylinders fire a full crank rotation apart from each other. (In a four-stroke engine, every cylinder fires every two rotations.) This facilitates steady pulses of exhaust gases to spin the turbo, whereas a more conventional exhaust manifold will form waves of pressure. The M solution, while expensive, results in better engine response and less turbo lag. The torque peak, which runs flat from 1500 to 5650 rpm, backs up this claim. At max boost, the Garrett turbochargers produce 21 psi of pressurized air.
Keep Reading: 2010 BMW X6 M / X5 M - Auto Shows
Each country makes its specific contribution to automotive greatness: Germany, for example, has the autobahn, where unlimited speed still rules. But with gasoline prices approaching the equivalent of $7.50 a gallon and more, it's no wonder that fuel-sipping technologies such as BMW's "efficient dynamics" are all the rage. This is where other markets, such as the U.S. or Asia, come in. They don't have much to offer in terms of high-speed, long-distance cruising, but thanks to status-conscious customers, ultra-powerful V-12 engines are in sufficient demand to warrant constant updates.
Huffing and Puffing
"We need a V-12 mainly for Asian and American customers," confirms a BMW engineer. And so, the Shanghai auto show will see BMW launch a new V-12 version of the new-for-2009 7-series. The 2010 760i and the long-wheelbase 760Li are powered by an all-aluminum, direct-injected 6.0-liter V-12, which, unlike its 439-hp predecessor, is force-fed by two turbochargers. The two compressors are placed in a conventional manner outside the cylinder banks, each feeding six cylinders. Output for the new engine is 536 hp at 5250 rpm, while 553 lb-ft of torque is available from as low as 1500 rpm.
BMW says the engine is an all-new design, but we can't help noticing that it retains the same displacement of its predecessor, which in turn is related to the 6.7-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 in the Rolls-Royce Phantom. A compression ratio of 10.0:1 is high for a turbocharged engine, but is manageable due to the cooling effect of injecting fuel directly into the combustion chambers. A 6.6-liter version of the new V-12 with up to 600 hp also is expected to make its way under the hood of the Phantom’s upcoming little brother, which will go on sale next year and was previewed by the 200EX concept at the Geneva auto show in March.
Keep Reading: 2010 BMW 760i / 760Li - Auto Shows
Like automakers everywhere, BMW is being squeezed by environmental issues (carbon-dioxide emissions, for one) and the need to improve the fuel economy of its fleet. What does this mean for the German automaker’s power-focused M division, with its fuel-hungry road gobblers? We recently asked Ludwig Willisch, who heads the division.
Willisch told us that the next generation of M engines will have smaller displacement, which could mean less power. But turbocharging will help mitigate the decrease in displacement and should keep power levels about where they are today. And should the output drop, future products will lose pounds to maintain the power-to-weight ratios of today’s M products. Willisch even mentioned deleting somewhat heavy options such as power seats. Here’s what to expect from the M division in the next few years:
The hybrid 7-series will be among the company's first gas-electric offerings, making its way here for 2010.
Keep Reading: BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid - Video
When automakers launch their latest creations, a showcase of their newest technology is expected. Today, that means stuff like forced-induction engines, torque-vectoring differentials, and dual-clutch transmissions, a couple of which can be found in the redesigned 2009 BMW Z4. We’ve already sampled the new roadster in twin-turbo sDrive35i guise with the company’s new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. And now we’ve finally gotten our hands and test gear on a good-ol’ manual-transmission version of that car, with the hopes of finding out if our left foot and right hand could wrangle some extra spirit from BMW’s lone sports car.
The new interior of the Z4 is a giant leap forward from the previous generation. A quiet, comfortable place with gorgeous styling—and, hallelujah, a little room to wiggle and stow cargo—it is light-years better than the gloomy cabin of the old. The execution of the interior styling is reminiscent of the Z8, especially when equipped with the optional Extended Leather package ($2050) that covers the dash and other interior bits with fine cowhide. But perhaps opt for a darker color, as although the Ivory White leather added a rich feel to the cabin of our tester, it already showed signs of soiling during our short time behind the wheel. The optional sport seats were very comfortable during long jaunts and the Premium Sound package ($2000) sounded great even with the top down. Ergonomically, the Z4 is well laid out and includes the latest version of iDrive, which boasts a far more intuitive interface.
Keep Reading: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i Manual - Short Take Road Test
BMW shows off its A-game with the second-generation Z4.
Keep Reading: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i Manual Tested - Video
Certified pre-owned vehicles, or CPOs, are just the thing for the tightwad car buyer: You sidestep the hit from the initial depreciation and still get a thoroughly checked-over car, backed by the automaker. So it’s no wonder that even though new-car sales have cratered of late, CPO sales have been rising. It’s a great way to get into some exciting cars for a lower initial outlay.
Car and Driver will be looking at all sorts of desirable CPO cars in the months to come. First up is the BMW 3-series, in part because no other car has impressed and seduced the staff more consistently over the years and partly because this writer recently needed to buy a practical daily driver.
But BMWs have never been bargains. As an inveterate cheapskate, I decided to investigate a certified pre-owned BMW. BMW started its CPO program in 1996. To qualify as a CPO car, a BMW cannot be more than five years old, have more than 60,000 miles on the odo, and cannot have been seriously crashed. It also must pass a thorough inspection at a BMW dealership. If the tires or the brakes are more than half-worn, they are replaced. A CPO car is supposed to perform, if not look, like a brand-new BMW.
A BMW CPO’s warranty takes over when the new car’s four-year/ 50,000-mile coverage ends, continuing for two more years and raising the mileage limit to 100,000. In January, I bought a 2007 BMW 335i sedan with 23,421 miles on it, so I wound up with a warranty for four years and two months, or 76,500 miles. That’s longer coverage than the original buyer received.
The Z4 is part of a market segment long associated with thinning hair, sexual overcompensation, and other signs of a grievous midlife crisis. So it’s interesting to note that the designers of both the exterior and interior of BMW’s latest male-enhancement tool are women. These women really seem to understand us.
BMW identity means a twin-kidney grille and halo headlights, but it also means everyday usability to go with, as the Germans say, shportiness. We’ll get to the sporty part later. As for usability, the Z4 now comes with a folding aluminum roof that offers benefits beyond just looking good with the top up or down. BMW claims the solid roof allows for 40 percent more side-window glass and a 52-percent-larger rear window, as well as easier entry and exit. It also necessitates a longer trunk, which balances out the front and rear proportions better than in the previous Z4 and makes for a more practically shaped cargo hold (volume is up one cubic foot, to 10). It’s an effective visual trick: Though nearly identical in width and height to the old car, it looks much lower, wider, and sleeker. A 5.8-inch increase in length shows up mostly in the rear, but the new car retains an almost cartoonishly long nose. The extra length and the metal top come at a price of about 150 performance-dulling pounds.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door roadster
BASE PRICE: $46,575–$52,475
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 255 hp, 220 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve 3.0-liter inline-6, 300 hp, 300 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting, 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual
Wheelbase: 98.3 in Length: 166.9 in Width: 70.5 in Height: 50.8 in
Curb weight: 3250–3500 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
(sDrive35i, 7-sp auto man):
Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 12.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile (C/D est): 13.5 sec @ 106 mph
Top speed (governer limited mfr's est): 130–150 mph
PROJECTED FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city driving: 17–18 mpg
EPA highway driving: 26–28 mpg