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BMW Confirms 2-Series Coupe to Debut in Detroit

Will debut alongside new M3 and M4 models.

by on Dec.13, 2013

The new BMW 2-Series Coupe replaces the old 1-Series 2-door model.

We’ve had more than a month to pour over early images of the new BMW 2-Series Coupe but now, the German maker says, we’ve only got a few more weeks to wait for a chance to actually eyeball the new sheet metal with the downsized 2-door scheduled to make its formal debut at January’s North American International Auto Show.

It will make its appearance alongside the fourth-generation BMW M3 and the all-new M4 Coupe on the floor of the newly expanded Cobo Center on the Detroit riverfront.

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For those who haven’t followed BMW’s new nomenclature strategy, odd numbers will now be dedicated to sedans, even numbers to coupes.  In other words, the new 2-Series Coupe is the replacement for the old 1-Series 2-doors.


Compact Luxury Cars Could be the Next Big Thing

Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other high-line brands move mainstream.

by on Oct.02, 2013

The new 2014 CLA 250 takes Mercedes-Benz into a segment where competitors include Ford's upscale Fusion Titanium editions.

While the all-new 2014 S-Class sedan might serve as the “flagship” of the Mercedes-Benz line-up, the German luxury maker’s big news this coming year is actually its smallest offering, the new CLA.

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse the coupe-like sedan with the older Mercedes CLS model, something that was far from coincidental, company officials concede.  But there’s no confusing the numbers on the Munroney window sticker, the compact CLA starting at just $29,990 – compared with the $73,025 base price of the bigger four-door.

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With the launch of the CLA, Mercedes is going after a new generation of luxury buyers that it hopes will become long-term brand loyalists. But the German maker isn’t alone.  Virtually every manufacturer in the luxury car segment, from BMW to Volvo, is rushing to market downsized and lower-priced luxury models, whether sedan, coupe or crossover.  And that could be particularly bad news for mainstream manufacturers like Ford Motor Co. who have themselves been pushing upwards into the luxury segment.


BMW’s New 3-Cylinder Engine Thinks it’s a Six

Peppy little powertrain has promising future.

by on Apr.17, 2013

The production version of the BMW i8 will be the first to use the maker's new inline-three engine.

We hear the word, “downsizing” a lot these days, and there’s no question that more and more Americans are abandoning their full-size utes, pickups and sedans for smaller offerings.

But the shift is happening at a far slower pace than many had anticipated – and for a good reason. Motorists have discovered that instead of having to settle for vehicles smaller than they might feel comfortable in they can instead downsize their powertrains, trading in a V-8 for a V-6, for example, or a six for a higher-mileage four.  And now comes an entirely new generation of three-cylinder powertrains.

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As we recently discovered during a morning drive at BMW’s suburban New Jersey headquarters, these are not the stone pony inline-three engines from decades past. In fact, the prototype BMW 1-Series we tested might have completely fooled us into thinking it was “just” another BMW I-6, peppy, smooth and satisfyingly responsive when we put the proverbial pedal to the metal.


Buick Adding Turbo Performance to Verano

Boosting Buick’s sporty shift.

by on Jun.14, 2012

Buick bumps up the power of its new Verano with an even newer turbo model.

Those who have traditionally used derogatives like “soft,” and “flabby” to describe Buick products might be in for a surprise if they check out some of the General Motors brand’s latest offerings.

And Buick hopes to continue shifting gears with the launch of a performance-oriented version of its new Verano model later this year.  It will get a new 250-horsepower inline-four pumping out 260 pound-feet of torque by just 2,000 RPMs. The turbocharged package will let the front-drive Buick Verano charge from 0 to 60 in just 6.5 seconds, on a par with European competitors like the Audi A3 or BMW 1-Series.

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“The way it sounds, the power delivery and the refined character are all fitting of a luxury sedan with a fun side,” said Amy Joss, who oversaw development of the 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo.

The new model will make only minimal sacrifice on the mileage front, meanwhile, Buick promising that the turbocharged version of the small Verano will still deliver at least 30 mpg on the highway once official figures are released by the EPA.


Is BMW Going Front-Wheel Drive?

1-Series GT reportedly due to debut in Paris next autumn.

by on Jun.11, 2012

Is BMW ready to adopt front-wheel-drive? Apparently on at least one new model to come.

While it’s probably not the end of the world some might see another sign of the apocalypse in BMW’s apparent plan to introduce its first front-wheel-drive model at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

The new offering will bear the badge of a 1-Series GT and is reportedly going to share the same platform as the next-generation Mini, according to our friends at Autoblog and Britain’s Autocar.

Other sources suggest it will also be dubbed the new Compact Activity Tourer, or CAV, reflecting its tall, crossover-like shape.  It would complement, rather than replace the new X1 Sport Activity Vehicle, or SAV.  It’s expected to feature a higher seating position than other 1-Series models, much like BMW’s current 5-Series GT.

The new 1-er GT is apparently being developed to compete with the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class line.

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BMW Chairman Norbert Reithof first signaled the possibility of a front-driver back in 2010 and the upcoming update of the Mini was a perfect opportunity.  Like all automakers, BMW is intent on improving its economies of scale by sharing components wherever possible.  Nonetheless, purists were hoping the maker would back away from that strategy and retain its focus on rear- or all-wheel-drive across the line-up.


First Look: 2012 BMW 1-Series

Small gets bigger.

by on Sep.14, 2011

The new BMW 118d - the 2012 1-Series gets bigger, wider, with more cargo and passenger space.

There are some curious and conflicting trends you’ll spot wandering the vast halls of the Frankfurt Motor Show: automakers are moving ever-smaller with their newest models – even as their existing small cars get bigger.

A case in point is the 2012 BMW 1-Series, which is making its debut at this year’s German car show.  Introduced six years ago as the smallest model in the maker’s line-up.  But the newly-updated 2012 1-Series will be both longer and wider, according to BMW tech chief Klaus Draeger, addressing concerns about the car’s limited interior and cargo space.

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The Bavarians introduced a range of variants of the next 1-Series during their Frankfurt press event, which opened this year’s well-attended show.  Speeding around an indoor test track, the line-up includes a mix of diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles, such as the 118d.


First Look: 2012 BMW 1-Series Hatchback

A family resemblance.

by on Jun.06, 2011

The new 2012 BMW 1-Series line-up will debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s a small world, after all.  At least when it comes to cars.  And even in the luxury market motorists have been steadily downsizing, as BMW discovered with the launch of the original 1-Series.

Earlier this spring, a new version of the Bavarian maker’s smallest model was spotted in the midst of testing on the Nürburgring. No new model can ever drive unnoticed on the famous race track, where the spy photographers seem to dig in at every corner, so when a maker puts something out there, it is likely meant to be seen.

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Word quickly got out that an all-new version of the BMW 1-Series was set to make its formal debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.  But with pics already leaking out on the Internet, BMW decided to make something official available.

Fans of the small BMW have had a seven-year wait for the second-generation subcompact. Why it took so long to come up with the 2012 BMW 1-Series the Bavarians aren’t saying, but it’s clear they wanted to address some of the criticism of the original – including weight and room.


BMW Returns to Four-cylinder Roots

Automaker plans to reintroduce four cylinder in U.S. market.

by on Jan.31, 2011

BMW is introducing a new four cylinder engine to the U.S. later this year. Could it go into the 1-Series.

Back in ’60s, BMW essentially created the modern sports sedan by slipping a 2.0-liter four cylinder under the hood of a car designed with a 1.6-liter.

Long before BMW became synonymous with silky smooth inline sixes – and later ever-more powerful V-8s and V-12s – the German automaker was known for exceptionally smooth four cylinders.

Now, after a 13-year absence, BMW has decided the time is right to bring back the four-pot engine for the U.S. market.

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BMW announced that it will introduce a new turbocharged 2.0-liter turbo four producing 240 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine will be avilable later this year, presumably in the 1-Series, but possibly in other models as well. BMW said it would announce availability and models later.


New 6-Series Convertible One Of Three BMW World Premieres In Motown

Maker also rolling out updated 1-Series, 1-er M Coupe – and more.

by on Dec.23, 2010

BMW is set to unveil the new 6-Series Convertible at next month's Detroit Auto Show.

BMW officials better brush up on their speed-reading because the teleprompter will be moving fast during their 25-minute news conference at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

The Bavarian maker will launch the new year with some significant news – starting with the premiere of the next-generation 6-Series Convertible, as well as the updated 1-Series line-up and the all-new 1-Series M-Coupe, the latest offering from BMW’s celebrated sports division M GmbH. (Click Here for more on the 1-Series M…or Here for the full story on the new BMW 1-Series Coupe and Convertible.)

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As if that won’t be getting things going at a rapid pace, the maker will preview the new X3 with the M Sports package, as well as the 5 Series new xDrive versions.  And, if you haven’t run out of breath, there’ll be the new BMW Individual colours and wheels.

The world premiere of the 6-Series Convertible will be one of the highlights of the 2011 North American International Auto Show. The topless variant precedes the new Coupe that is expected to roll out over the summer – even though you might think it would be the other way around: a Coupe for snowy Detroit and a Convertible for New York in spring.

BMW also will reveal the updated 1-Series.

The Convertible will make its North American debut in the form of the 2012 BMW650i, which features the direct-injected V8 TwinPower Turbo engine that delivers 407 hp with a choice of a six-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic sports transmission.

The pictures of the 1-Series M Coupe, that were released earlier this month, already show the new design for the face lifted 1-Series Coupe and Convertible.

The latest M variant is the first in the compact class and is aimed at young buyers who are interested in the M models, but who thought though could not (yet) afford one. With a base price in Germany of 50,500 euros the 1-Series M Coupe offers 340 hp.

The new X3 gets the M Sport Package.

Visitors to Detroit’s Cobo Hall will be able to also see the new X3 with M Sport package, a variant of the new X3 model with standard xDrive all-wheel-drive that now adds sports suspension calibration, M aerodynamics and M components, such as Performance Control and 18-inch alloy wheels.

It will be a very busy year for BMW.  Consider that:

  • In 2011, the 2 Series gets new versions and new options.
  • The maker launches the 535i XDrive Sedan with 8-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic and auto Start/stop function.
  • BMW Individual, the Bavarians’ customization line, debuts new colors and Merino leather trim and 19-inch V-spoke alloy wheels with absolutely massive new tires.
  • Another first for the 5 Series is the introduction of the optional full-colour HUD (head-up display).

Partially disguised, we get our first drive of the 2012 BMW 1-Series Coupe...which will be shown, without camouflage, in Detroit.

While products like the new X3 are likely to be big draws, the maker is also lifting the covers on some significant technical innovations, one of them the new BMW Connected Drive Services. This network system links the driver to the outside world, offering various possibilities for increased safety and comfort with some significant new infotainment features available at a touch of a button or a twist of the iDrive knob.

The 1 Series Coupe and Convertible models will begin the roll-out of the new technology, with the ability to actually access iPhone apps through the Connected Drive system, making  it possible to show Facebook and Twitter on the display and access it with the iDrive controller.

While many of the features will only be accessible when the car is stopped, drivers will be able to tune into web radio as another alternative source of mobile entertainment.