Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The crossovers break with BMW M tradition and take the Ultimate Driving Machine in a whole new direction.
Contrary to all previous notions that M-badged BMWs must be track-tuned, rear-wheel-drive cars with high-revving naturally aspirated engines, the German automaker confirms it soon will unleash higher-performance versions of the X6 and X5 crossover SUVs adorned with the coveted "M" label of its in-house performance unit.
Unveiled via internet video (watch below) in prototype form, the vehicles represent a stark contrast to the purified ethos of existing M cars in that both the X6 and X5 top 5000 pounds, feature all-wheel drive, and are motivated by large V-8 engines mated to six-speed automatic transmissions. Specifics are murky, but BMW M's Bernd Limmer—demonstrating the handling prowess of the test mules—says the X6 M will come to market with an enhanced version of the existing 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 (likely near 500 hp), as well as an optimized chassis/suspension setup and a stronger rear-wheel bias to the all-wheel-drive system for greater agility and less understeer.
Keep Reading: 2010 BMW X6 M and X5 M Confirmed - Car News
At a time where SUVs are facing sluggish sales and hatred from treehuggers all over the world, BMW is not slowing down development on its SACs or SAVs (or whatever the German automaker wants to call SUVs). Just days after it released the video of the BMW X5 M, BMW today dropped footage of the X6 M.
Unlike the X5 M video, BMW actually provides some technical specs here. We learn that the BMW X6 M will carry a "V8 M turbo engine with twin-scroll turbo chargers" and will of course feature all-wheel-drive. While the chassis of the X6 M is equal to the base X6, it will be more rear-concentrated - meaning it should drive like a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
The BMW X6 xDrive50i, the range-topper of the X6 lineup, is powered by a 4.4L turbo charged V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. We're guessing BMW will beef it up for a total of 450 or 500-hp. No word on when the X5 M and the X6 M will make their world debut.
BMW X3 3.0 Diesel, a vehicle that the US based BMW fans don't have the chance to buy it or….even to drive it. Despite being a popular model overseas and exceeding BMW's expectations when it comes to sales, the X3 Diesel is not available for the U.S market. The first SAV equipped with a diesel engine that made it to the States is the 2009 BMW X5d, which was launched in December 2008. Stronger than expected sales of the diesel equipped bimmers, and BMW might shift their strategy and import more diesels in the U.S *cough* 123d please.
The BMW X3 3.0sd is powered by a sequentially turbocharged three-liter diesel which develops 286 hp and 427.8 lb-ft of torque available from just 1750 rpm and goes from 0-62mph in approximately 7.0 seconds. Not bad for a diesel Sports Activity Vehicle.
Being an owner of a 3.0 liter petrol engine X3, I look forward to driving an X3 diesel in the near future, a comparison between the two engines would be my main focus. I have already talked quite a bit last week about the US version of the BMW X3, but today I have a special, complete and very detailed review from AutoEvolution. A great review overall since it's broken down into several categories, feeding our curiosity all the way to the end.
Driving in the city
Out in the open
These are just some excerpts from the article, but head over to Autoevolution.com for a full report and to find out how the BMW X3 3.0sd has been ranked.
An interesting article was posted on Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago. The main topic was the BMW and VW's plans to expand their market share in the US, riding on the decline of the three large US automakers.
But the following question arises: is BMW NA changing course yet again in the U.S.? The Wall Street Journal article quotes BMW NA CEO Jim O'Donnell as saying the U.S. "will be the growth engine of the future. This is where we will continue to focus our efforts." See what Jonathan Spira had to say about this apparent change of plans.
Spira also found another oddity: The Journal's Kate Linebaugh (indirectly quoting O'Donnell) wrote that "BMW expects to gain share after it launches the new 1 Series small car in the U.S., a type of vehicle it hadn't offered previously"—apparently unaware that the 1 Series has been sold in the U.S. for quite some time. As of the end of November—the last period for which BMW reported sales—BMW NA had sold over 11,000 1 Series vehicles in the U.S.
BMW is counting on the 1 Series sales and Mini to increase their market, and this year, it will add about 10 dealerships in cities around the country such as Raleigh, N.C., and Birmingham, Ala. Chicago, a fertile market for sporty small cars, doesn't have a Mini dealer in its downtown.
After we posted the BMW 1 Series Concept photos rendered by Giom, many online websites republish them and of course, many comments and opinions were shared. One of the opinions lead to the revealing of some BMW's future plans.
Even though I entirely trust the person that posted this - he has been right many many times before - I have to keep these information at a "rumor status". In the upcoming months, I will cross-reference them with other people close to BMW and I will keep you updated along the line.
But for now, let me share with you what Scott has said:
Very interesting and adventurous plans from BMW, a bit different from the safe and conservative line up they have had for years. Will those plans come through? Are any of these projects going to be cancelled? Anything is possible and I'm sure that no one can predict what the future will bring in the automotive world.
P.S I'm mostly excited about the BMW Z2
In the past months I have received a lot of email regarding the new iDrive system and which BMW vehicles will have it implemented in the future. I have just learned that the BMW X5 and X6 will be receiving the new iDrive controller and the Drive logic including the hard drive and USB port.
Unfortunately, the navigation screen will not change.
The change will take place in September and it will be available on the 2010 models.
Back in August, we learned that the 2009 BMW 5 and 6 Series will not be arriving with the CIC (Car Infotainment Computer). But it has been confirmed today that in March the BMW 5 and 6 Series will get the new iDrive logic and hard drive, an addition to the new iDrive controller that has been added before.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the tip Irv!
The online configurator for the new 2009 BMW 7 Series is available on BMWUSA.COM. If you're interested to see all the options, pricing or simply get a quote, head over to the BMW USA website.
As you might know by now, there are two models available now for the US market, the BMW 750i and 750Li, but at the end of this year, we will see a high-end 7 Series: BMW 760Li, a vehicle powered by a V12 twin-turbo engine.
Along with the online configurator, a new 7 Series multimedia microsite was launched as well, named 7 Series "HD experience.
Thanks for the tips Gil and Miles!
A new rendering of the next generation 2010 BMW 5 Series has surfaced on the web. Our friend Jon Sibal, who has done several renderings for us before, is the author of this CGI.
The rendering is based on the 5 series bumper we posted last week and it incorporates some design elements and hints coming from people close to BMW.
The 2010 BMW 5 Series rendering shows a larger front grille than the current model, a trend started by the new 7 Series. The front-end is a combination of the CS Concept and the 2009 BMW 7 Series. Despite the popular assumption that the 7 Series was inspired by the CS Concept, the reality is that, the now cancelled CS, has imported the elements from the new 7, and this seems to be the case with new 5 Series.
Many of the design changes in 2010 BMW 5 Series are influenced by the new European pedestrian safety standards. As it was mentioned before, the next-generation BMW 5-series will soften the harder lines of the current E60 with a cleaner front-end design and where the bonnet meets the lenses in an angular shape.
The 2010 BMW 5 Series is rumored to use the same six cylinder twin-turbo engine found in the 535i model. The high-end model will most likely get the V8 twin-turbo 4.0 liter engine -407hp, that powers the BMW X6 xDrive50i and it will feature an eight-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel drive option being available. The entry level models in Europe will be the BMW 520i - 204 hp and 525i - 235 hp. Diesel engines will complete the line-up.
Once again, keep in mind, this an artist rendering and just a rendering, but it incorporates many of the BMW "leaks" or inside information. As soon as more information emerge, I do expect these renderings to change a bit.
Overall, great job Jon!
[Source: Leftlanenews ]
BMW has released today their sale numbers for December 2008 and as expected, they are not pretty. While the Mini brand's sales accounted for 3,566 automobiles, up 0.1 percent from the 3,562 cars sold in December 2007, the BMW brand took a huge hit: down 40.2 percent compared to December 2007.
In December, BMW Group sales in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) down by 35.9 percent. Company continued to gain market share in 2008.
Commenting on the 2008 result, Jim O'Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC. said:
"Low consumer confidence and tight credit was a double whammy in '08 making it a year we'd all like to forget. One bright spot for us was a December of reasonable sales and gaining share in the premium market for the full year. This is a foundation for our 2009 plan of keeping high value leasing and retail financing and introducing 10 new or significantly refined vehicles in the next 24 months that showcase our classic dynamic values and impressive technology that contributes to our class leading efficiency. This will help manage our way through the immediate turmoil but we'll have an equal focus on doing more of the right things that set us up for the market's return."
BMW Brand Sales
BMW Automobile Sales
BMW Sports Activity Vehicle Sales
MINI Brand Sales
"Fuel efficiency and small cars had a big year in 2008 even with low fuel prices slowing down the positive sales development in the past few months," said Jim McDowell, Vice-President of MINI USA. "A balance of rational and emotional reasons are going to be the way of the future to continue small car growth in the U.S. MINI's success in 2008 may be a good indication of this balance."
Table: Sales BMW of North America, LLC, December 2008
And at the end, here is a comparison table from Autoblog, illustrating various car manufactures and their overall sales.
By now, many of you, that are daily readers on our blog, might know Giom or have seen his name mentioned on here many times. Giom is the talented rendering artist that gave us the 2010 BMW 3 Series renderings and shortly after, the 2012 BMW M6 images.
For the past 6 months, he has been working on a new project which made me very excited: creating computer generated images of a BMW 1 Series Concept. I love the fact that for each project he has done for us, Giom took the time to analyze all the small details and current designing trends. He also showed us his progress along the way, so it was nice to see where he started and what the final outcome really is.
With that being said, I will let him explain in his own words the BMW 1 Series Concept:
This concept is pure fictional and based on nothing but imagination. I'm a huge fan of the One Series and I am under no illusions that I can create a better design. Having said that, I'm also not bound by any marketing and technical constraints, so the car pictured here would not and cannot predict the future model.
I'm doing this for fun and fun alone. My thinking towards the next model is that it might look more aggressive and purposeful. The design language will also reflect BMWs current design trends and will therefor be more edgy.
With my design, I tried to create a whole new identity for the One, but at the same time stuck to some typical BMW features.
Some interesting design elements: The headlights are CS Concept inspired but that's where it ends. There are two parallel lines running from the kidney grill at the front all the way over the roof and ends in the rear hatch number plate indent. Also the two lines running along the side of the car carries on into the front bumper and bends downwards to integrate with the front air intake.
I hope you enjoy this Concept 1-Series as much as I enjoyed creating it."
The latest and greatest from BMW: an M1 will not make it to production, BUT a "SuperSports" model based on the BMW 1 Series Coupe will be launched in 2010. The 135i will be a specific performance addition resulting in the use of lightweight materials, such as a Carbon Fibre 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.
This information comes from someone close to BMW and it was posted originally on Germancarzone. As we mentioned a year ago, eventually there WILL be a four cylinder turbo-engine powering the 1 Series models.
With the release or the BMW 1er Coupe and the storming top end model the 135i a model that begs the question , what happens next?
Although the premiere of the BMW 1er tii at Tokyo in October 2007 brought the question to the forefront again , although the tii was a preview of an upcoming BMW Performance Package specifically for the 1er Coupe.
How can the 135i be improved? With the original decision, there were plans to move forward with an M1 - History aside regarding the original BMW M1 Supercar, but the name M1 was destined to be reinvented to the new M model of the 1er Coupe.
The 6 cylinder engine originally from the E46 M3 and the upgraded engine for the E46 M3 CSL were both improved, tested and evaluated for use in the top of the line M1. Sadly re-engineering the old block with magnesium to reduce weight and provide the 1 Series Coupe with many unique solutions to be a solitary choice amongst small performance cars, did not produce the results the BMW board had specified.
For many, the question on the M3's position in the lineup regarding an M1 Coupe was also reconsidered, as the 1 Series was to follow it's 3 Series brother and be the entry M Coupe . The V8 M3 would be positioned further from the E46 M3 like it is positioned today, which is why there is a gap , even though a considerable one from the 135i to M3.
What solution fill the gap?
It is clear that consumers are asking for more from the 1 Series Coupe, which is a very popular choice for young enthusiasts migrating from the MINI brand or dire choices such as the Mercedes CLC .
BMW are aiming for a back to basics roll out for the current car, beginning with the much talked about four cylinder Turbo charged engine already in development, but not quite as perfected. The four-turbo is pumping out over 240PS and it is still undergoing testing to get the optimum in efficiency, not normally expected for a small performance coupe.
As seen with the advent of the 7 Series F01, BMW have shown how much power can be taken from the existing six cylinder . Originally, it was expected to progress down from the 7 Series to the next BMW Z4 (E89). But BMW have changed their original focus by letting the 7er have all the glory for now.
But the 135i will be one of the first BMW's to receive the upgraded six cylinder in 2010 together with the next generation BMW 5 Series (F10).
The question of what to do further to take the 1er Coupe to the next level, has resulted in a back to basics formula, which means that a new "SuperSports" model was needed. Limited to the Coupe and only with the 120i (four cylinder turbo) and 135i, the SuperSport model will be a specific performance addition resulting in the use of lightweight materials, such as a Carbon Fibre Roof and bootlid , loss of certain cabin comforts , upgraded suspension and brakes , lightweight glass , basically all the creative and performance comforts created for the M variant, but NOT under full MotorSport badging .
A different body kit will differentiate the SuperSports from the regular BMW Performance Package, and that includes the brakes and additional preformance upgrades .
The end result is to take a car back to its roots and during times when modernisation, such as comfort equipment and extensive safety requirements, today have only lead to performance cars like this to be considerably larger and heavier compared to original BMW Classics, such as the 2002 turbo and the E30 M3, and are only here in spirit .
Both cars will debut in mid-2010.
Back in November, Collin from BMW of Pleasant Grove sent an email in telling me that he was able to place an order for a BMW X5 in Vermillion Red exterior paint. If some of you don't know, the Vermillion Red is a color that is offered on the X6 models and it's considered a Priority 1 option.
This is probably one of the few, if not the only X5 in the US that is available in this beautiful red paint. Of course, my next question was if there was any extra cost associated with this order, and the answer was negative.
For those of you unfamiliar with this program, Priority 1 options are not listed on brochures or configurators for US consumption, think of it as an "Individual Program" offered in Europe especially and where almost anything can be customized or changed. There are many Priority 1 options offered in the US across the BMW line-up.
Priority 1 usually means that the vehicles was customized for a specific buyer as a "sold" car.
With this being said, let's enjoy the photos Collin sent us and if you need more information about Priority 1 options or about this X5, feel free to contact him firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: BMWBlog does not have any affiliation with the dealership mentioned here, we simply related some useful information.
More photos here
I have been sitting on this photoshop image for a few days now and I have been contemplating on whether I should post it or not. The image below gives us an approximate look of what the next generation 2010 BMW 5 Series front-end might look like.
All the credit for this image goes to VroomVroom and AndyValencia, members if Germancarzone. With the help and hints from people close to BMW and who have seen the final design, the rendering is said to be about 95% accurate, with one exception: the BMW roundel or logo, will be going to be placed on the front bumper rather than the hood.
What we learned recently is that the mirrors and the handles on the F10 5-Series are the same that on the F01 and the front-end will resemble a little bit the the now canceled BMW CS Concept.
I know that VroomVroom is currently working on providing more computer generating images, so hopefully we will see something new soon.
Spartanburg, SC and another day with the BMW test vehicles being driven around the plant. Once again, our closest collaborator and spy photographer, Palbay, has some shots for us.
This time, we don't have the BMW X5 M version, but rather the regular X5 4.8 liter V8 model with the US version of the M-Sport Package. Just last week, we went into a close analysis of the BMW X5 M and the M-Sport Package which seemed to be creating a bit of confusion.
The X5 M-Sport Package has been available in Europe for quite some time now and there were always rumors pointing to an US version as well. So the natural question will be, what's so special about this package?
The main exterior differences from a standard X5 are the front and rear fascia's the wheel's and the sleeker roof rails.The car features a beefed up Sport Suspension and some M Sport touches on the interior, similar to the other "cosmetic" M packages.
As much as I like how the M-Sport Package looks on the X5, I cannot wonder the confusion that this package might create. Think about it, BMW X5 M, BMW X5 M-Sport Package…….I wonder how successful this will be.
No related posts.
No breaking news here, but according to Autocar UK, BMW's CEO Norbert Reithofer has confirmed the future launch of a smaller, more affordable luxury crossover, internally named V3. The first rumors of a 2012 BMW 3 Series Crossover surfaced back in April of 2008 and L.A Auto Show brought the official confirmation that the V3 model will make it to production.
The PAC, Progressive Activity Coupe or V3, as it is known internally, is expected to based on Long Wheel Base 3 Series. The Progressive Activity Coupe has a higher roof when compared to the existing 3 Series Wagon and of course, a longer wheelbase as well. According to Autocar, it will fill a slot between the 3 Series Touring and the BMW X3, a statement that might not be entirely true, since the next generation X3 will grow in size and the X1 will be taking its place.
The idea of a PAC vehicle is that the little less wealthy 3er customers might find 5 Series too expensive, X3 too big, so they might find the V3 PAC being the right choice.
As Autocar mentioned as well, we learned a while back that the 3-series crossover will come with rear-wheel drive as standard, but four-wheel drive will be offered as an option.
The engines are likely to be the ones from the BMW 3-series models, with a future line-up of turbocharged four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, basically expect all the "goodies" from the 3 Series to make it into the PAC as well.
The last two paragraphs on the Autocar article are probably the most interesting ones:
The first quote reinforces what we knew so far: BMW will focus on smaller vehicles, more efficient and less expensive to manufacture. The second one gives great hope to the Spartanburg Plant which will see an increase in production units per year and implicitly more jobs.
[Source: Autocar ]