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BMW Concept Could Become New Super-Lux 8- or 9-Series

German maker turns to Beijing for unveiling.

by on Apr.20, 2014

BMW is showing off the new Vision Future Luxury Concept in Beijing this week.

BMW is pulling the wraps off a sleek new coupe-like sedan that could fill one of the few apparent gaps in its rapidly expanding line-up. The prototype on display at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show is considered quite likely to become the maker’s new 8- or 9-Series flagship.

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Precisely how close a production model might come to the show car remains to be seen, however. The concept, dubbed the BMW Vision Future Luxury, features some details that are often used to enhance the sex appeal of show cars – such as the rear-hinged, “suicide doors” – that are seldom actually carried over into production models.

Nonetheless, BMW has long been hinting at its desire to fill a niche left open when it dropped the older 8-Series line a few years back.


Audi A3 Wins World Car of the Year

Germans take clean sweep of five awards.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, clutches the large World Car Trophy in front of the Audi A3.

The Audi A3 was named the World Car of the Year during a ceremony at the New York International Auto Show Thursday, marking the second time the maker has captured the prestigious honor in recent years.

But there was something for everyone during the morning ceremony – at least if you were a German automaker, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche dividing up the four other trophies handed out for 2014.

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“This really represents what Audi does extremely well,” proclaimed Scott Keogh, Audi of America’s CEO, as he clutched the large World Car Trophy at the podium. “We couldn’t be prouder to win this award.” (more…)

BMW Reveals Array of New Models

Focus is on performance.

by on Apr.17, 2014

BMW board member Ian Robertson behind the wheel of the new M4 Convertible.

With nearly 60 different products making their U.S. or global debut at this year’s New York Auto Show, nearly every major automaker – and quite a few smaller ones – has something to show off this month.

But BMW has a disproportionate presence on the list, with the Bavarian automaker putting a particular emphasis on performance.  But the maker is also giving a hint as to its possible plans to roll out a battery-based version of its big X5 Sport Activity Vehicle.

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“This is a year for BMW to set significant milestones,” said Ian Robertson, the BMW board member overseeing global sales. It’s already pulled off one, delivering a record 487,000 vehicles during the first quarter of the year worldwide, and the company – which includes brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce — is “aiming for a significant increase to a record of over 2 million” vehicles for all of 2014.


BMW Joins Recall Rush

Assortment of popular models targeted.

by on Apr.11, 2014

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is one of the many models targeted by the latest recall.

BMW has become the latest maker to announce a major safety recall, targeting an array of its more popular models due to an issue that underscores why there have been so many large-scale recalls in recent years.

A total of 156,137 luxury cars and so-called Sport Activity Vehicles – BMW’s term for an SUV – are targeted, and the maker blames defective bolts that can cause engine stalling or damage.

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Among the models included in the recall are the BMW 3-Series and X5, two of the maker’s most popular product lines.  Also targeted are the 1-Series, 5-Series and 5-Series Gran Turismo, X3, X6 and Z4 sports car, all sold during the 2010 to 2012 model-years. Also covered is the 2012 6-Series model.  All are equipped with BMW’s inline six-cylinder engine.


BMW Reveals All-New M4 Convertible

Bavarian maker rolling out new speedster in New York.

by on Apr.03, 2014

BMW added a ragtop to is M line-up with a new M4 convertible. It debuted today at the New York Auto Show.

BMW is about to add another new model to its rapidly expanding line-up of performance M cars. And, little surprise, the 2015 BMW M4 Convertible will have plenty in common with the coupe model, as well as the new BMW M3 Sedan.

Set to debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show later this month, the ragtop M4 will be powered by the now-familiar BMW TwinPower 3.0-liter inline-six – here relying on two mono-scroll turbos – that can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed M double-clutch transmission.

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Redlining at 7,600 RPMs – a significant number for a turbo engine, the package churns out a hefty 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and is likely to be at least one of the fastest BMW cabriolets ever, with a 0 to 60 time nudging down around 4.4 seconds with the stick and 4.2 seconds with the DCT. (more…)

X-Files: BMW Expected to Add X7 to Product Line-up

Maker needs to expand S.C. plant to build SUV.

by on Mar.25, 2014

BMW is hosting an event at its Spartanburg, S.C. plant later this week where, it's rumored, it will announce plans to build the long-awaited X7 SUV.

BMW is hosting an event this week at its Spartanburg, S.C. plant where the German luxury maker is expected to announce it will build the long-awaited X7 at the plant.

The X7, a large, three-row SUV, has been in and out of BMW’s product plans over the past couple of years. However, with the popularity of other large, full-size luxury SUVs on the rise, BMW executives appear to have given the project a green light.

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The X7 would be the fifth SUV built in the Spartanburg plant. The plant now builds the X3, X4, X5 and X6 in the Spartanburg plant, which is now undergoing an expansion that will push the plant’s capacity from approximately 300,000 units annually to 350,000 units. Roughly, half the production from the Spartanburg plant is now exported to BMW dealers in an estimated 130 countries around the world. (more…)

BMW Strives for 100,000 Electric Vehicles by 2020

EVs needed to meet tougher European emissions standards.

by on Mar.20, 2014

BMW is counting on the i3 and i8 to help the maker meet the EU emission standards in 2020.

Looming tougher emissions standards in Europe has automakers on the continent hustling to find ways to make sure they meet the 2020 mandate. BMW plans to build more than 100,000 electric vehicles annually to achieve the goal.

BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told reporters yesterday that the German maker will increase production levels of its i3 and i8 in 2018 in anticipation of getting to 100,000 units annually in order to meet the stricter carbon dioxide emission standards, according to Automotive News.

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BMW wants to cut its average emissions to 105 grams per km by 2020. That would be down from 133g/km last year. The European Union set an industry-wide goal of 95g/km by 2021, down from about 130g/km now. However, the targets are individual to each company depending upon the type of vehicles each produces. (more…)

Audi Takes Global Luxury Sales Lead

But BMW isn’t ready to concede defeat.

by on Mar.11, 2014

The redesigned Audi TT makes its Geneva debut.

Two months does not a year make, but in a significant breakthrough Audi AG is claiming to hold the lead in the hotly contested global luxury car maket.

The largest of the luxury brands of Volkswagen AG, Audi has been gaining ground on traditional rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in recent years, and is hoping to solidify its first-place position with a flood of new products planned for the coming year, an assortment of which were previewed at the Geneva Motor Show last week.

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For the first two months of 2014, Audi delivered 242,000 vehicles, giving it a modest 383-unit lead over BMW.  It fell 429 cars short of its Bavarian rival during the same period last year.

And Audi intends to widen the lead, Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler said Tuesday at the brand’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, promising that, “We will increase deliveries in all regions of the world, including Europe.”

But Audi’s rivals aren’t ready to concede defeat.


BMW Reveals New X4 SAV

Downsized X6 to debut at NY Auto Show.

by on Mar.06, 2014

BMW adds another Sports Activity Vehicle to its line-up, the new X4 Sports Activity Coupe.

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with all the SAVs, GTs, Gran Coupes and Active Tourers, here’s a spoiler alert: the BMW line-up is about to get bigger still.

Barely had we finished writing about the maker’s Geneva Motor Show additions, including the new 2-Series Active Tourer, before we received an e-mail advising us of yet another debut, this one the Bavarian maker’s latest Sports Activity Coupe, the X4.

Product Insight!

Think of it as a downsized version of the X6 and, as BMW has changed the definition, this Coupe actually has four doors.  Make that five with the big rear hatch.

We’ll have to wait until next month’s New York Auto Show to see this one in the sheet metal – which may give us a chance to digest all the other recent BMW offerings.  But here’s what the maker is telling us ahead of time.


BMW Plans to Bring Front-Drive 2-Series Active Tourer to US – Eventually

European launch comes this year; State-side edition likely over a year away.

by on Mar.05, 2014

BMW's 2-Series Active Tourer made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show; however, it won't be coming to the U.S. for a while, an official said.

BMW continues to fill seemingly every possible niche in the luxury market, from top to bottom and a surprising number of places in-between. And it has global plans for some of the newest members of its fast-expanding line-up.

That includes models such as the 4-Series Gran Coupe and the 2-Series Active Tourer on display at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the latter model making its world debut at the annual European event.

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But while U.S. buyers will find the 4-Series Gran Coupe in showrooms in the near future, they’ll have to wait for the smaller Grand Tourer, perhaps as much as two years, a well-placed BMW source told (more…)