Thursday, July 30, 2009

What does BMW's exit mean for F1?

BMW has confirmed that this will be its last season in Formula 1.

The team, BMWwhich had been tipped to fight for the world championship, has been struggling to make an impact on the track this year.

But that's only part of the story.

Like Honda, which pulled out of Formula 1 before the season had even started, the German carmaker has seen its sales and profits tumble as a result of the global economic downturn.

In such a difficult environment, they are struggling to justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on motor sport.

BMW's departure leaves four car manufacturers still competing in F1: Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Renault.

Ferrari is unlikely to leave the sport, because its image as a manufacturer of supercars is intimately tied to its racing heritage.

But there is widespread speculation that at least one of the other major brands could follow BMW out of the door.

"BMW definitely won't be the last," says F1 analyst Christian Sylt of Formula Money.

"Before the end of the year, we will see at least one other car manufacturer leave F1."

According to motorsport's governing body, the FIA, such an exodus was inevitable.

"It has been clear for some time that motorsport cannot ignore the world economic crisis," it said in a statement released after BMW's announcement.

"Car manufacturers cannot be expected to continue to pour large sums of money into Formula 1 when their survival depends on redundancies, plant closures and the support of the taxpayer."

Race against time

So will BMW's departure cause any lasting damage to Formula 1?

Ferrari supporters celebrating
Ferrari is not expected to pull out of F1 - but at least one other firm is

The answer is, not necessarily.

Three new teams are due to join the series next year. Assuming they can raise enough sponsorship to guarantee their entries, there should still be plenty of cars on the starting grid.

But in the current climate raising the money is likely to prove difficult.

In addition, the new teams face a race against time if they are to be on the grid next year.

If the new entries fail to materialise, and more teams leave, a crisis could yet develop.

Some experts believe that the departure of major names such as Honda and BMW undermines F1's claim to be the pinnacle of world motorsport.

It's an argument that points towards the real problem facing Formula 1.

Spending rows

A key part of the sport's attraction is its brash, free-spending image.

It oozes high-rent glamour, and promotes itself as a hub of white-hot technology.

Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes and Jenson Button of Brawn
There have been moves to reduce spending in the glamorous world of F1

That image comes at a cost. In recent years, top teams have been spending more than $400m (£244m) a season.

Yet as the departures of BMW and Honda have illustrated all too clearly, that kind of outlay can no longer be taken for granted.

For much of the past year, the main stakeholders in Formula 1 have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over how to cut costs, without emasculating the sport.

The FIA, led by its forceful president Max Mosley, wanted to put the brakes on spending by forcing teams to cut their budgets to just $60 million a year, as well as restricting technical development.

But this was vehemently opposed by most of the teams, who believed such a move would destroy the essence of Formula 1.

'Nuclear' threat

The teams' ire was also directed at the Formula 1 Group, the network of companies run by Bernie Ecclestone, which control the commercial side of F1.

The group earns close to a billion dollars a year from trackside advertising, television rights and race fees.

But only half of the money goes back into F1, as payments to the teams.

The rest is absorbed by the F1 Group and its ultimate owner, the private equity group CVC Capital partners.

At a time when sponsors were hard to find, the teams argued, they should be given a bigger slice of the cake.

The dispute came to a head at the British Grand Prix in June, when eight teams threatened to walk out of F1 and set up their own rival championship.

That plan, widely seen as a "nuclear option" now looks highly unlikely to be carried out.

Under intense pressure from Bernie Ecclestone and the F1 Group as well as the team owners, the FIA backed down.

VIA

BMW Confirms EfficientDynamics Vision Sports Car Concept For Frankfurt


If you've been following the news over the past 24 hours, you'll know that BMW announced yesterday that it would depart from Formula 1 racing at the end of the 2009 season. While that might strike a pang in the hearts of BMW enthusiasts, Dr. Klaus Draeger, BMW management board member, did drop some interesting news hidden deep in his statement on BMW's motorsports activities yesterday - BMW will bring a highly efficient sports car concept to the Frankfurt motor show this September.

"You will see a product of sustainable development at the IAA in Frankfurt in a few weeks in the form of a concept car," Draeger said in the statement. "The BMW EfficientDynamics Vision will demonstrate how efficient a sports car can be. It will also prove that sustainability does not apply to the drivetrain alone, but to design and materials as well."


"Anyone who takes a closer look at this concept car will understand the direction in which we are developing our technology. And it will become evident that we will have to dedicate more human and financial resources to this type of development work."

So the cat's out of the bag - in part, at least. We still don't know any of the vital details regarding what BMW's EfficientDynamics Vision sports car concept will be made from or powered by - let alone what it might look like. Speculation has the concept running on anything from full electric power, to a hybrid drivetrain, to a highly-efficient diesel mill. And you can bet that there will be a host of lightweight materials used in the sports car concept's construction, along with an ultra-aerodynamic profile -- similar to that of the GINA concept (pictured). BMW recently finished construction of an advanced new wind tunnel which is critical to the EfficientDynamics program.

BMW will also be bringing its complete fleet of EfficientDynamics vehicles to Frankfurt, along with production versions of its its ActiveHybrid 7 and ActiveHybrid X6, concepts of which were shown previously at Frankfurt.. Other BMW entries include the 5 Series Gran Turismo and the X1 compact utility vehicle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BMW X5 M

BMW X5 M

The new BMW X5 M version will come earlier this year in Australia. The reported bottom price of 2010 BMW X5 M is $90,000 but it’s not official. These pictures with 2010 BMW X5 M were shown officialy by BMW. The M version of BMW X5 comes with a 4.4 litre V8 engine with 408 kiloWatt output.

BMW X5 M accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,7 seconds. Just like the M version of BMW X6, develops 555 horse power at 6000 RPM. The transmission has 6 Speed M Sport paddle shifted automanual. I’m surprised about how exclusive is this car. In Australia will be only 100 BMW X5 M and 1/4 X6 M.

The 2010 BMW X5 M specifications are very tempting but I still prefer the hybrid version, just to save the planet. If you really want such a car you should have already between $90k and $200k because it is possible that other clients to buy the M version of BMW X5.

BMW X5 M BMW X5 M BMW X5 M

2009 BMW 3 Series UK version

BMW 3 Series UK version 2009

BMW said that this is how is going to look the new 2009 3 Series UK version. The aspect is very familiar to us, there’s nothing new about this. BMW 3 Series UK version comes with a wide range of motors that you can choose from.

These are the gasoline models of the 2009 BMW 3 Series UK version: 318i with 143 PS at 6,000rpm, 320i with 170 PS at 6,700 rpm, 325i with 218 PS at 6,100rpm, 330i with 272 PS at 6,700 rpm and 335i with 306 PS at 5,800 rpm.Also, these are the diesel models: 318d with 143 PS at 4,000 rpm, 320d with 177 PS at 4,000 rpm, 325d with 197 PS at 4,000 rpm, 330d with 245 PS at 4,000 rpm and 335d with 286 PS at 4,400 rpm. This is the source: autoblog.

This UK version of the 2009 BMW 3 Series has a very nice design and a very good motorization. I prefer the 7 Series with this design and also the 1 Series with a diferent aspect because I think it’s too much for a 3 Series to look like this.

BMW 3 Series UK version 2009 BMW 3 Series UK version 2009 BMW 3 Series UK version 2009

2011 BMW Series 1

2011 BMW 1 Series

The 2011 BMW Series 1 have been cought on lot of spy pictures. I chose only 4 pictures to show you the car from all angles but from a simple search you can find a lot of pictures with 2011 BMW 1 Series.

I read that on the US market will have a four cylinder engine and on Europe market will be packed with a 1.35 liter three cylinder and will develop between 163 horsepower and 241 horsepower. The turbo diesel engine of 2011 BMW 1 Series comes with 150, 184, and 211 horsepower. People expects to come with a xDrive sytem and the power to be 78 kW and 243 kW.

If I had to be sure of anything, that would be that the 2011 BMW Series will have turbo versions and no way about a M model. People expects also a hybrid model. I was expecting a lot of power from this new 2011 BMW 1 Series as I used from previous versions but this is a small car so you don’t need more power than that; anyway, there is nothing sure about the car’s performance. I expect to be released in 1 and a half year - 2 years.

2010 BMW X3 coming in November



When the X3 launched in 2004 there was no Mercedes GLK or Audi Q5. Now that the other Germans have come with the competition, reports are indicate BMW is moving the launch of the 2010 X3 up to make sure it can compete.

The next X3 will be about four inches longer, a half-inch narrower, and a fraction of an inch taller. The extra length will help improve interior room, but the Sport Activity Vehicle is said to be tuned for increased sporting performance. The features list will include hand-me-downs from the 7 Series such as Night Vision and Heads Up Display, and -- in Europe at least -- six engines will be offered: two gasoline and four diesel. We in the U.S. will probably still make do with the either the naturally aspirated or turbocharged 3.0-liter gas engines and possibly a turbo'd four.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2010 V12 BMW 760i and 760Li

BMW 760 2

With grace and style true to a flagship BMW and sheer power and performance usually seen amongst tuned supercars, the 2010 BMW 760i and 760Li will screech out of the factory with 544-horsepower 6.0-liter twin turbo V12s and new eight-speed gearboxes. The 760i shares dimensions with the current BMW 7-Series (760Li is extended by 5.5 “), but the beefed-up powertrain provides performance potential that brings the 760s to the very top of the BMW food chain. While not many luxury sedan drivers will ever need to hit 60 MPH in just 4.5 seconds, BMW had better offer something for the $136K price tag besides leather seats and walnut trim. Visually, the 760s get an extra wide, slightly- concave frame, 19-inch alloy wheels, V12 designations on the gill elements and dual rectangular exhaust pipes. Interior features like four-zone air conditioning, BMW Professional nav system and optional multi-channel sound system round off this romance between elegance and muscle. [via Jalopnik]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Drive: 2010 BMW X6 M



A screw-up by BMW's German PR department has given me exactly one hour and fifty-eight minutes to write my driving impressions on the X6 M before the embargo lifts. That's not nearly enough time to collect my thoughts and write a coherent story, much less wade through the 25 pages of technical information we were just handed. So you'll have to wait a few days for the full story. But there's no reason you should have to wait for the unfiltered, raw information. Here I go:

The X6 M will cost $89,725; the X5 M (which we didn't drive, but which shares all powertrain components) will be slightly cheaper, at $86,225. Under the hood is an M-massaged version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that made its first appearance in the X6 xDrive50i and also does duty in the 7-series sedan.

Massaged is a loose term. The engine, code S63B44, uses a brilliant-and patented-exhaust manifold and dual twin-scroll turbochargers to reduce turbo lag to levels previously unheard of. Coupled with an automatic transmission, the lag rounds to zero. It's there, of course, but this is probably the least laggy turbocharged gas engine in the world. I expect nothing less from M-a company that has gone through the outrageous expense of installing independent throttle bodies on each cylinder of every normally aspirated engine it developed. (Those multiple throttles shave milliseconds from response time-turbos can sometimes add multiple *seconds* of lag.)

Output is quoted at 555 hp, with a perfectly flat plateau of torque (500 lb-ft) from 1500 rpm to 5650 rpm. The engine revs to 7000, though by that point it's lost quite a bit of its thrust. The transmission is a special version of the brilliant ZF-developed 6HP26 6-speed automatic, which gains an "S" suffix. S obviously stands for "Oh My God," because shift times are reduced to something resembling a dual-clutch gearbox. According to an engineer, shifts in manual mode are accomplished with the torque converter locked, and the entire shift takes place within the time needed for one single, solitary power stroke. The computers simply misfire one cylinder on purpose for an incomprehensively short interruption in torque, and by the time the next cylinder fires (one four-hundreth of a second later if the engine is at 6000 rpm), full power is given back. Shifts in automatic mode are also very quick-though not quite as fast, and are much smoother.

BMW claims that the 5300-plus lb SUV will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and there's no doubt in my mind that it will. In fact, if my butt is calibrated correctly, you can expect to see numbers even quicker than that from magazines that measure 0-60 mph times without rollout.

Both the X5 M and the X6 M use the amazing rear Dynamic Performance Control differential first seen in the regular X6. The electronically controlled diff can transfer up to 1300 lb-ft of torque from one rear wheel to the other, helping turn the car to follow the driver's desired path. The X6 M put all of its power down without any drama whatsoever. The only time we saw wheelspin was during mid-corner slides after bouncing off curbing at the Road Atlanta racetrack, where we put the X6 M through its paces.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BMW 760Li Priced From $136,000

Word is out that the new BMW 760Li is now available to order at U.S. dealerships. The new BMW comes with a price tag of $136,000 and features a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 with all-aluminum construction mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 535 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, allowing the 760Li to sprint from zero to sixty miles per hour in 4.5 seconds.

Naturally, the 760Li will be offered with a ton of standard features. Lane departure warning, active blind spot detection, integral active steering, heated sport steering wheel, nineteen-inch wheels, head-up display, and high beam assist are all available on the Big 7.

Critics attack BMW's electric Mini E

BMW's electric Mini E
BMW's electric Mini E

"It's all the G-force of a sports car without the guilt," he says. "I love it."

But not everyone in the electric vehicle community is so enthused. For the last several months, a not-entirely-civil war of words has erupted on blogs and Facebook between BMW and those who'd volunteered to pay $850 a month for the privilege of leasing a Mini E for a year. Critics say the cars were months late in reaching customers. A shortage of high-power cables left many dealing with desperately slow recharging times. Some of what BMW calls its Mini E "pioneers" have dropped out of the program because of delays in the installation of home charging equipment, others because of the expense of upgrading their home's electrical service.

Late in June, the grassroots EV advocacy group Plug In America, based in Santa Monica, denounced the Mini E program as "botched."

BMW's muddled rollout of the Mini E "makes the whole technology look like it's not ready for prime time," says Chelsea Sexton, a member of the group's advisory board.

The accusation with the most sting is that BMW is exploiting a loophole in the California Air Resources Board's Zero Emission Vehicle mandate. Automakers who sell more than 60,000 units a year in California must offer a certain number of high-efficiency vehicles to the public. However, because the rules don't distinguish between selling and leasing vehicles, BMW is getting full credit for vehicles that will be on the road for only a year. (The hydrogen-powered Honda Clarity also benefits from the rules.)

Mini spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters says the company made no secret of trying to take advantage of the Zero Emission Vehicle credits ahead of the June 30 deadline.

"There was no gaming of the system," she says.

As for leasing the cars as opposed to selling them outright, she notes that the cars use experimental lithium-ion batteries.

"Lithium is not used in vehicles sold to the public because we're not there yet," Bauters says.

Rich Steinberg, manager of product strategy for the Mini brand, concedes that "things could have been done better. There's legitimate criticism out there."

However, he says, "BMW is clearly committed to this technology. We have learned a bloody ton, and we intend to use that learning in the future."

For instance, Steinberg says, the company underestimated the time and difficulty in coordinating the installation of the home recharging equipment among subcontractors, utilities and municipal inspectors. This is an issue that is certain to confront more homeowners as EVs enter the market.

Another problem: BMW's original plan was to use a beefy high-power cable that had been in use in Europe, assuming it would be quickly approved by Underwriters Laboratories.

Unfortunately, UL's lengthy testing procedures created a major delay. Program managers also learned that all the equipment to recharge the car -- the wall box, cable and connector -- has to be approved separately and as a unit by UL. Meanwhile, electrical inspectors for different municipalities "all have a different read on the rules," Steinberg says. Some installations were quickly approved while others were turned down flat.

Ed Kim, an aerospace program manager in Irvine, Calif., finally received his high-power charging cable June 8, but ran into problems because the unit was not UL approved.

"Then I got angry," Kim says. "I was ready to get out."

BMW and the pioneers have also wrangled over who was entitled to the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars. However, it appears now that because the lease is only one year, neither BMW nor the lessees will be able to claim the tax credit.

"Some of these (tax) rules are not even written yet," Steinberg says.

In June, as the online dispute got uglier, BMW was accused of dumping the Mini E on municipalities and other agencies, such as Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, in order to have all the cars on the road by June 30.

"We directly refute that," Steinberg says.

The hostilities became so intense that one of the program participants, Jeff U'ren, a former EV1 driver, was told he would not be getting a car.

"I am being punished for bad behavior," he says.

BMW declined to comment on U'ren's situation.

Executives at BMW confess to being a little bewildered by the EV community's reaction.

"We knew going in this was an extremely evangelistic audience," Steinberg says. "We also made clear that this was a field trial and not everything was going to go smoothly. That's why we call them pioneers."

Yet, he says, "we honestly feel like we are doing good."

And BMW has its defenders, including Freeman.

"What they've done is legitimately stick their toe out," Freeman says.

The BMW F1 09: The Big Blunder


Last season BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica was in the mix for the F1 World Championship right up until the last few races of the campaign.

The title ultimately went to Lewis Hamilton, after a last minute win at the Brazilian Grand Prix, which broke local hero Felipe Massa's heart.

One of the reasons why Kubica was not given the opportunity to chase the 2008 World Championship was because the BMW Motorsport hierarchy decided to concentrate the efforts of the team on the construction of the BMW F1 09.

A decision that, with hindsight, was an extremely bad one.

So far this season BMW have struggled at the back of the grid constantly.

Although all Formula 1’s heavy weights have struggled with the raft of technical regulations brought in at the beginning of the season, Ferrari and McLaren have continued to try to upgrade their cars to give their drivers the best chance of doing well.

BMW seem to have written off 2009 just as they wrote off 2008.

Today, at qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld failed to make the second session and will start tomorrow's race from 16th and 19th place on the grid.

BMW are a classic example of thinking too far forward. They planned too far ahead and have paid the price for not considering every factor.

This season will have been a big lesson for them.

Because of their decision to concentrate on 2009 in 2008, they failed to win anything and now with 2009 pretty much a write off as well they will soon be planning for 2010.

BMW spent too much time on technology that did not live up to the hype made, namely KERS.

In a time of global recession, which has hit car manufacturers badly, the likes of BMW will have been left counting the pennies and dreaming of what might have been.

2009 BMW Z4 boasts hideaway hard top

2009 BMW Z4


The proportion of hard tops to soft tops for convertibles and sports cars continues to evolve -- but not in the way you might think.

Increasingly, manufacturers are equipping their droptops with folding metal contraptions, despite their complexity and cost. The latest example: the 2009 BMW Z4, the first roadster from the Bavarian manufacturer with a hideaway hard top. It succeeds the Z4 Roadster and Coupe.

Others that have recently installed hard tops include Volkswagen's Eos, Infiniti's G37, Chrysler's Sebring and Mazda, which added a disappearing hard top model for its MX-5 Miata.

Usually, in addition to adding cost and lots of whirring and moving parts, a collapsible hard top reduces luggage space and accessibility, though there are exceptions like the MX-5.

But the counterintuitive thing about these engineering marvels is that they have appeared more on cars below the median price line than on the very expensive cars where you might expect them.

For example, the $234,000 Bentley GTC Speed has a fabric top, as does BMW's own 650i convertible, which can wind up costing more than $100,000. One explanation is that fabric technology has advanced to the point where convertibles really don't need hard tops because the soft tops likely can last the life of the car.

And the super-luxury cars get tops that resemble the proverbial padded cell.

But Martin Birkman, BMW's manager of product planning and motor sports, has a better analysis of the hard top/soft top dichotomy. A major reason BMW went to the hard top, he said, is to make the car more appealing to a larger array of people.

Aside from the obvious advantage of a cozy car that feels like a coupe with the top up, Birkman says the hard top gives the Z4 more of the character of an everyday car. He said a single person or a couple might consider using it as their only car, where people who buy expensive soft top convertibles likely view them as toys and not daily drivers.

An example is the Audi TTS, a ragtop competitor of the new Z4 Roadster. The new Z4 certainly is in a price class where it could be considered as an expensive toy. But the powers at BMW obviously also think the hard top will broaden its appeal, not to mention the fact that it replaces two models.

Still, it is not a car for the masses. The base Z4's Drive30i has a starting price of $46,575 and you can option the more powerful sDrive35i up well north of $60,000. The tested 30i with the optional sport package and heated front seats had a suggested sticker of $49,375.

Though the more powerful 35i likely will find favor with poverty-challenged enthusiasts who just have to have the hottest version in the lineup, the 30i gets the driving juices flowing just as well. It comes with BMW's famed 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower, which drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox with a stiff shift linkage but glossy clutch action.

The combination is good for a zero-to-60 acceleration time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 150 miles an hour, according to BMW's test figures. If you opt for the $51,505 35i with the twin-turbo, 300-horsepower engine and the amazing $1,525 twin-clutch, seven-speed automated manual gearbox, you gain only six-tenths of a second, hitting 60 miles an hour in five seconds. Top speed is the same.

The seven-speed is a marvel, uncannily pre-selecting gears and snapping off shifts faster than you can think about them. But many enthusiasts likely would be just as happy with the tested six-speed stick shift and naturally-aspirated engine, not to mention saving nearly $6,500.

BMW calls the Z4 a roadster. By its definition, a roadster has a classic configuration of a long hood and a short rear deck. Years ago, a two-seater was considered a roadster if it had leaky side curtains. It was deemed a convertible if it had roll-up windows.

There's no point in arguing automotive theology. The Z4's defining characteristic is its way back seating position, almost over the rear axle. It imparts the feeling of driving the car from the back seat. It's not a new phenomenon.

The long hood/short rear deck has been a characteristic of many American muscle cars. Looking out over that elongated hood, as opposed to sitting in a sports car like a Porsche Cayman or Boxster where you can't see anything but asphalt, has a charm all its own.

The Z4 is a BMW, which means that by definition it is biased toward handling and performance, and that's what you get. It tracks cleanly through the curves and switchbacks and sends back tactile sensations and messages through the steering and brakes.

Not all is perfect. You'd think at $46,575 you'd get leather upholstery instead of hot and sticky vinyl leatherette. The hot and sticky real leather costs $1,250 extra. And why, if you have push-button starting, must you insert the key fob in a slot in the dash?



Thursday, July 23, 2009

BMW Plans Tiny Electric Car for 2012

BMW Electric tiny
It turns out BMW has more alternative fuels brewing than just clean diesel and hydrogen. BMW is also working on Project i--a code name for a tiny electric car that will launch in 2012 and be smaller than the Mini Cooper, according to Car and Driver.

For now, the production version is tentatively named "City." Essentially, the City will be a three-door hatchback that's specifically designed to meet California's ZEV (zero-emissions vehicle) requirements, which kick in beginning in--you guessed it--2012.

The report said that the City will likely be a four-seater with a low roofline, a wide track, and a smaller overall length than the five-door 2009 Honda Fit (161.6 inches) and the three-door 2009 Mini Cooper (145.6 inches). BMW is currently targeting a 100 mile range and a lithium-ion battery pack. Since BMW builds the Mini Cooper, the City could be badged either way. (The City also appears to be a completely separate project from the electric Mini E.)

2011 BMW X1 - First Drive Review

BMW is an expert at filling niches that buyers probably never even thought existed. Witness vehicles such as the 5-series Gran Turismo, the upcoming Mini SUV, and the smallest member of the X family, the X1.
2011 BMW X1
This new BMW baby ute is 175.4 inches long, 70.8 inches wide, and 60.8 inches high. That makes it 2.8 inches shorter than a 3-series wagon and 4.5 inches shorter than an X3. Although this may suggest it’s based on the 1-series, the X1 is actually closely related to the 3-series wagon, down to axles, powertrains, and identical all-wheel-drive systems.

The X1 is not a serious off-roader—there are no differential locks, for instance. It’s more of an on-road driving machine with forest-exploration capability. In everyday driving, the AWD system delivers 60 percent of the engine torque to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front, but the multidisc clutch pack is able to apportion torque to whichever axle needs it for traction.

At a glance, the X1 looks very similar to the bigger X3. The main differentiation is its giant BMW kidney grille and more steeply raked windshield and liftgate. Inside, the X1’s décor and layout mimic those of the 3-series. Surprisingly, in view of the vehicle’s compact dimensions, there’s plenty of room out back for a couple of adults. The fifth passenger’s space is compromised by the way the center console runs back into that rider’s seating area. The cargo area varies between 15 cubic feet with the rear seats slid all the way back—there’s another 3 cubic feet available if they’re slid forward—to 48 cubic feet with the seats folded flat.

When the car goes on sale in the U.S. in early 2011, the initial model offering will be the X1 xDrive30i, powered by a 260-hp version of BMW’s familiar 3.0-liter inline-six also found in the X3 and the X5. A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel may or may not make it to these shores. In Europe, the inline-six is mated only to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback

ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $36,000

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum-and-magnesium block and aluminum head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 183 cu in, 2996cc
Power (SAE net): 260 bhp @ 6600 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 225 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 108.7 in Length: 175.4 in Width: 70.8 in Height: 60.8 in Curb weight: 3750 lb

PERFORMANCE (MFR’S EST):
Zero to 62 mph: 6.8 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 127 mph


FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city/highway driving: 18/25 mpg

The X1 definitely wants to be the sports car in the compact-SUV segment. The Servo­tronic steering system is tuned comparably to the 3-series’ helm and feels much more responsive than the X3’s. The optional Sport package lowers the ride height by 0.8 inch and comes with 18-inch wheels and tires in place of the standard 17-inchers. Despite this, it’s more comfortable than the X3 and exhibits better body control in taking corners. Harsh impacts cause fewer tremors than in the X3.

Exactly what the X1’s niche is, though, we’re not quite sure: the sporty member of the really small and expensive cute-ute category, perhaps? When it goes on sale, it will be in a class of three, joined by the Land Rover LRX and the Audi Q3, and it will likely start at about $36,000.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Comparison: Audi Q5 Vs. BMW X3 Vs. Mercedes-Benz GLK

One of the most common comparisons in the past few months has been the one between the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and of course, the new Audi Q5. In one of our previous articles, we dissected the three cars based on their exterior appearance, interior design, performance and pricing.

Shortly after, we decided to take the Audi Q5 for a test drive and compare it against the current X3, a comparison that will be more accurate when BMW will launch their second generation X3 next year.

The fellows at CarConnection took the same approach of comparing the three vehicles based on similar criteria and it would be interesting to see what their conclusion was.

bmw-x3-audi-q5-mercedes-glk

Which of these three is best for you? First, know that each of these three compact luxury SUVs has been introduced or revamped in the past two years. The BMW X3 was refreshed in 2008 with an improved ride and a smoother shape; the Audi Q5 emerged brand-new in 2009; and the Mercedes-Benz GLK arrived late last year as a 2010 model.They’re state of the art, in the small-luxury-ute segment. They’re similar in size, equipment, and mission, too. Each of these compact utes has a six-cylinder engine, an automatic transmission, and available four-wheel drive (it’s standard on the Q5 and X3, an option on the GLK). Maybe most important to you, each wears a luxury-brand badge that conveys a certain standing in the world far more effectively than the badges on other very pleasant vehicles like the Volvo XC60, Infiniti EX35, even the Acura RDX.

Among them, one tops the TCC ratings by a small margin. Of Germany’s most prestigious, pint-sized SUVs, which one is the most highly rated by TheCarConnection.com?

We’ll compare Audi Q5 vs. BMW X3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLK shortly. But first, the basics:

Spy Photos: 2012 Five-Door BMW 1 Series spotted

Another week and some more spy photos of the next generation BMW 1 Series which will make its debut in 2012. This time, the spy photographers capture on camera a five-door 1 Series test mule during a testing session in Germany.

Judging by these photos, we are clearly looking at the 5-door hatchback, part of the future large 1 Series family. Now what makes these latest spy shots even more interesting is the RoaDyn Measuring Wheel System which uses a sensor to monitor the dynamic measurement of force and torque. Similar systems have been used before by engineers in the tuning process of AWD platforms.

Of course, we can only speculate at this point that we’re looking at an xDrive 1er model, but nonetheless, it was worth mention it.

We already know that BMW is looking to launch an extensive 1 Series line-up, from a 3-door touring, 3 and 5-door GT to 5-door hatchback and a 3-door Coupe and Convertible. A high-performance model, similar to an M car, is in works as well and sources close to BMW use the codename Supersports when referring to it.

new1a

By using the new modular platform for the upcoming 1 Series family, BMW can extend their 1 Series offerings without additional high manufacturing costs. The backbone of these models was designed especially for this purpose so every model can have a variation backbone, simply be moving suspension points and firewalls to areas that will benefit each vehicle.

BMW expands the engine offerings with new three and four turbo engines which will be used across the 1 Series models, from a 1.3 liter engine with 136 horsepower to a new 1.3-liter turbo powerplant developing 177 hp. More powerful powerplants are expects to be available as well, including six-cylinder turbo gasoline and diesel engines.

BMW still focuses on the EfficientDynamics program, so many new or existing technologies will make their way into the 1 Series models. The BMW 116d with its 64 mpg fuel consumption is still the most fuel efficient and least polluting vehicle in the current BMW line-up. Will the new three cylinder engine be able to improve those numbers? We certainly hope so.

The new 1 Series model will launch at the end of 2011, but it is unclear which variant will be offered first.

2011 BMW 1 Series caught on tape

The BMW 1 Series, set to reach dealerships in 2011, was captured on video fueling up and speeding away. The footage was shot by Worldcarfans.com somewhere in Europe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A hit GT could kill BMW's 5-series wagon

BMW 5 Series GT

The new 5-series Gran Turismo crossover, shown, could end U.S. sales of BMW's 5-series station wagon. Only 395 wagons have been sold this year.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- If BMW's new 5-series Gran Turismo proves to be a hit, the company may kill its slow-moving 5-series station wagon in the United States.

The 5-series GT, a coupelike four-door crossover, will debut in the fourth quarter. The wagon's future will be decided in about a year, when a redesigned 5 series debuts, said Martin Birkmann, manager of product and price planning for BMW of North America.

BMW forecasts annual sales of 4,000 to 8,000 units for the 5-series GT. The company won't disclose pricing but says the vehicle will be positioned between the flagship 7 series and the 5-series sedan.

The 5 series starts at $46,625 for the 528i. The 7 series starts at $81,125 for the 750i. The prices include shipping.

"There is plenty of room for a vehicle between those two cars," Birkmann said at a press event here.

Birkmann said BMW expects the GT to represent 10 to 20 percent of 5-series sales in the United States. Sales of the 5 series have been averaging about 40,000 units a year, peaking at 56,756 in 2006.

Sales of the station wagon never have taken off in the United States, where Birkmann said the vehicle has a stodgy image not associated with luxury cars.

Sales of the wagon topped out at 2,351 in 2005; only 395 were sold through the first six months of 2009.

BMW has not released full specifications for the 5-series GT, which will debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

At about 200 inches, the GT is as long as the short-wheelbase 7 series. It is five inches lower than an X5 crossover and six inches shorter than the X6 crossover.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BMW 7 Series

BMW makes changes and mechanical equipment in BMW 7 Series, and gives a different aspect, which somewhat resembles the Series 5. There are two forms of bodywork, the normal (5.03 m) and the long (5.18 m).

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

There currently is no diesel engines that are available with the long bodywork, but it will be soon available as the Diesel 6-cylinder (730Ld).

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

The most profound changes in this edition of BMW 7 Series are in the range of engines, where all those who had disappeared the previous BMW 7 Series, with the exception of the twelve-cylinder 760i.

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

A feature of almost all new engines is that they have better performance than the previous ones (greater power consumption and virtually the same or less), compared with versions that meet the Euro 4 emissions standard (not compared with Euro 3 engines).

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

All versions have a series of automatic gearbox six speeds, type 'Steptronic' without lever in the center console. To make changes by hand only has buttons embedded in the steering wheel rim. Another thing that has changed for the new BMW 7 Series system management and operation of "i-Drive".

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

The management system now includes the button that was first in the series, 5 and the structure is different menus and submenus. For example, it is now possible to directly elect the sound source.

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

There are changes in the standard and optional equipment. All versions have serial xenon headlamps, intermittent white lights and brake area varies depending on the intensity of the braking. The lighting system in curve remains optional. It is also standard equipment in all versions the automatic wiper. You can take receipt of digital and analogue television, and play CDs with songs in MP3 format.

BMW 7 Series Interior

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

The interior barely changed. There are some different materials, wood for example, now is hickory, and has expanded the range of color combinations to perform at ease consumer.

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

The plastic used on top of the dashboard is identical to the recently launched 3 Series. The 8-cylinder engine and 367 hp power of the BMW 7 Series 750i is very smooth at idle and in this car at least, very quiet any regime.

BMW 7 Series Engine

BMW 7 Series
BMW 7 Series

The strength of any engine is high speed and at almost any position of the accelerator pedal. As a result is less important not always being easy to choose the proper way when it chooses to manually change. The lack of a lever for change and with the buttons embedded in the steering wheel is not always easy to find the appropriate button to change.

BMW 7 Series

The difference between stability of the long version of battle is clear and normal. Yet, surprisingly, the speed with which this can happen 'bus' with slow curves. It was a small note at the beginning of resistance will quickly turn if, because of the large wheelbase, but the car very well supported and once had begun to turn faithfully keeps track.

BMW 7 Series

The rear measures 19 x 275/45 front and 245/45 x 19. As the wheel response is normal size range, with this definition spare wheel bearing evidence of our unity was the same size as the lead.

BMW 7 Series

BMW has made several corrections in the rear suspension, which now have a 14 mm wider track. It has also increased the size of the brakes in some versions.

BMW 7 Series

One of the most interesting changes is that BMW has simplified the supply of variants of suspension, which now have three alternatives instead of different combinations.

BMW 7 Series

The three variants are a basic one called "Adaptive Drive", which differs from the basic wearing because the continuous variable dampers adjustment (EDC-K) and stabilizing active (Dynamic Drive) and a sport, with adjustments harshest to the docks, shock absorbers and stabilizer active.

BMW 7 Series

From now on both the V8 diesel engine as the 6-cylinder in line are the engine block of aluminum, with shirts cast iron. With the use of aluminium, V8 engine weight is reduced to 30 kg and 25 kg of 6 cylinders, despite the increase in engine capacity.

BMW 7 Series

Another important aspect in the new diesel engines is that the injectors are piezoelectric, which allows for more precise dosing of the amount of fuel injected and a better adjustment of the exact moment of injection. All diesel engines carry particulate filter that needs no maintenance.

BMW 7 Series

The BMW 7 Series 745d replaces the 740d. It remains a diesel V8 engine, but with 4.4 litre engine capacity instead of 3.9 litre. Here too there is a visible improvement in performance that consumption is lower.

BMW 730d





Top standards and demands newly defined: Introducing the fifth generation of the BMW 7-Series Luxury Saloon, the world's most successful manufacturer of premium cars is setting the benchmark once again, proving how sheer driving pleasure and the pleasure of exclusive generosity may be perfectly combined in the ultimate symbiosis.

The new BMW 7-Series is the result of perfection in design and supreme engineering on the drivetrain, on the chassis, in terms of safety systems, driver assistance, and comfort. And at the same time the sophisticated but very modern interior proves that both driving and riding in the new BMW 7-Series is a truly impressive experience the driver and all passengers will enjoy at all times.

The high-performance and outstandingly efficient engines as well as the suspension technology of the new BMW 7-Series are both quite unique in the luxury saloon segment. Two petrol engines with Twin Turbo technology and High Precision Injection - the 300 kW/407 hp V8 in the top-of-the-range BMW 750Li and the 240 kW/326 hp straight-six in the new BMW 740i - as well as a newly developed straight-six diesel with common-rail fuel injection, piezo-injectors and an aluminium crankcase with maximum output of 180 kW/245 hp in the new BMW 730d are available right from the start upon the introduction of the car. All power units offer the highest standard of efficiency in their respective class and comply in full with the EU 5 emission standard. The new BMW 7-Series comes as standard with Dynamic Damper Control including Dynamic Driving Control operated by the touch of a button on the centre console.


Important options are the Integral Active Steering together with rear axle steering as a function of driving conditions (a technology absolutely unique the world over), as well as Dynamic Drive anti-roll stability.

The new BMW 7-Series also introduces the new generation of BMW's trendsetting iDrive control system. A newly developed Controller with direct selection buttons and a high-resolution 10.2-inch Control Display facilitate intuitive management, control and activation of numerous functions.

BMW's new iDrive also offers ideal conditions for unrestricted use of the internet in the car offered by BMW as the world's first manufacturer in the context of BMW ConnectedDrive. The clear structure of the cockpit dominated by the instrument cluster in innovative black panel technology gives the driver absolute supremacy and unrestricted control of his car at all times. The driver assistance systems featured for the first time in the new BMW 7-Series and exclusive the world over include BMW's new Night Vision with detection of individual persons, a camera-based Speed Limit Indicator, Lane Change Warning and Cruise Control with Stop & Go, an active Brake Assistant and a proximity warning function when approaching another vehicle from behind.

Both the "regular" and the long-wheelbase versions of BMW's new Luxury Saloon - with the latter available right from the start in the guise of the BMW 750Li and the BMW 740Li - come with the longest wheelbase in their segment. In practice, this means particularly generous space and roominess within the car. A wide range of lightweight features - including the doors, roof, engine compartment lid, side panels and the engine crankcase made of aluminium - enhance both the efficiency and the agility of the new BMW 7-Series. And through its comprehensive safety concept alone, BMW's new Luxury Saloon guarantees maximum occupant safety in all conceivable types of collision.

Design: sporting character BMW style in its most elegant form.

A harmonious combination of elegance and sportiness is the key issue in the body design of the new BMW 7-Series. Over and above the long wheelbase, the long and stretched-out engine compartment lid and the short body overhang at the front, the passenger compartment moved relatively far to the rear and the low and sleek roofline characterise the dynamic proportions of the new BMW 7-Series.

Seen from the front, the new BMW 7-Series emanates a sense of clear and calm superiority through its large and smooth engine compartment. The BMW kidney grille stands out far to the front and is fully integrated in the front end without any visible joints or seams, emphasising the powerful presence of the car. The bottom air intake stretches across the entire front air dam, thus highlighting, together with the foglamps and the chrome band above the air intake, the significant width of the car and its powerful stance on the road.

Dual round headlights in generous size and design ensure that concentrated focus so typical of BMW - first through their corona rings providing a daytime headlight function and second through the bright light bar bordering on the headlights at the top. A further new design feature is the direction indicators made up in each case of eight LED light units. The new BMW 7-Series interprets the classic style and design of a thoroughbred saloon in a unique manner typical of the brand. The interplay of concave and convex surfaces so characteristic of BMW generates highly effective light and shadow lines, tense surfaces around the wheel arches and the doors as well as the narrow shoulder surface above the contour line extending from the headlights to the rear lights emphasising the elegant character of this unique Luxury Saloon.

The high-rising doorsill line, in turn, reinforces the impression of a particularly slender and dynamic stature. An additional effect is provided by the chrome-plated gill unit complete with the integrated direction indicator at the transition point between the front side panel and the driver's and, respectively, front passenger's door. As a special feature characteristic of a truly sporting car, this gill unit again highlights the long distance between the front axle and the instrument panel.

Longest wheelbase in the luxury performance segment providing lots of space inside the car.

The sporting and elegant side view of the car is further highlighted by the long wheelbase: The new BMW 7-Series comes with the longest wheelbase in the luxury saloon segment, both in its "regular" guise (3,070 millimetres/ 120.9'') and in the extended-wheelbase version (3,210 millimetres/126.4''). In both cases this means extra space within the interior and a significant enhancement of motoring comfort, particularly since the wheelbase of the BMW 750Li and the BMW 740Li extended by 14 centimetres or 5.5'' completely benefits the passengers' legroom at the rear.

Yet a further important point is that both models come with their own distinctive roofline and C-pillar contour creating a side view reminiscent of the "regular" model with its normal wheelbase. And at the same time headroom on the rear seats of the longwheelbase model is up by 10 millimetres or 0.39''.

The sculptural design of the car's surfaces ensures a smooth and flowing transition of the side panels into the rear end of the car, the roofline flowing down via the car's flanks all the way to the bumper. The entire rear section is therefore surrounded by dynamic lines creating an even more sporting and muscular look.

Horizontal lines and light edges give the entire rear end a powerful and superior impression accentuated in particular by the chrome bar above the numberplate support. The rear light clusters of the new BMW 7-Series come in an L-shaped look, again typical of the brand. Inside, the rear lights are dominated by wide, horizontally arranged light bars with a special threedimensional look rising to the outside and therefore following the contour of the light units.

Fed by LED lights, the light bars provide a warm and homogeneous light effect. The direction indicators also use LED technology likewise featured on the third brake light at the upper end of the rear window and on the numberplate illumination.

Modern, luxurious, inviting: the interior.

In its interior design, the new BMW 7-Series offers a particularly modern and inviting rendition of sheer luxury. With the centre console slanted slightly towards the driver, the cockpit comes with the driver orientation so typical of BMW. Encountering the new BMW 7-Series for the first time, therefore, the driver immediately has the feeling of being able to handle the most advanced and sophisticated technology in genuine style in a truly exclusive setting.

The dashboard is subdivided into various levels above one another separated by horizontal lines. The instrument cluster and Control Display come on one level, the controls and buttons for all major functions are one level further down, beneath the trim surface likewise covering the entire width of the dashboard. And thanks to innovative presentation and surface technology, finally, the Control Display does not require the usual binnacle to keep out sunglare.

Vertical arrangement of the instruments and control units again serves to facilitate the process of controlling the car, adding extra safety in every respect. Information and control units relevant to the driver are on the side of the cockpit facing towards the driver himself. All controls, buttons and switches serving to operate comfort functions, in turn, are positioned in the middle of the car, with the same logic being applied to the control units integrated directly on the multifunction steering wheel.

Black panel technology: familiar flair, new options.

The design and presentation of the instrument cluster offers new options in presenting information with supreme clarity. For the first time the entire instrument cluster is made up of a high-resolution colour display in black panel technology comprising the four circular instruments arranged in traditional sports car style as well as status and function instruments important for motoring, navigation instructions, information from the Check/Control, feedback from the controls, and the Service Interval Indicator.

When not in use, the display forms a black homogeneous surface. The numbers in the circular instruments are generated electronically when required, thus not becoming visible - like all other symbols on the display - until the system is activated. On cars fitted with a navigation system the instrument clusters supports the High Guiding function, true-to-life arrow symbols giving the driver information on, say, criteria to be observed when changing his lane or when taking a bend at an unclear road junction.

The settings on the automatic air conditioning featured as standard are presented in a second display on the centre console, again in black panel technology. In the new BMW all settings of the automatic air conditioning may indeed be masterminded from a control panel on the centre console.

Electronic gear selector lever and Dynamic Driving Control button on the centre console.

The new BMW 7-Series comes with an electronic gear selector lever on the centre console. Right next to the lever are the Dynamic Driving Control operating unit on the side facing the driver and - on the opposite side - the iDrive Controller.

Instead of a conventional handbrake, the new BMW 7-Series comes with an electrohydraulic parking brake operated merely by pressing a button, that is without requiring any strength or particular effort. The Auto-Hold function likewise operated by a button, automatically holds the car when at a standstill, providing extra comfort in stop-and-go traffic.

A wide range of paintwork colours, interior colours, trim surfaces and seat upholstery enables the customer to personalise his or her car, catering for each and every individual wish. And at the same time, BMW is the world's first car maker to offer high-tech ceramics as an option on specific control units and elements.

Enhanced consistently, used intuitively: BMW iDrive.

The new BMW 7-Series naturally comes with BMW's trendsetting iDrive control system serving to activate and mastermind all entertainment, information, navigation and telecommunication functions featured either as standard or as an option. Indeed, the new generation of iDrive gives BMW an even greater lead over other manufacturers with their comparable systems.

Newly designed Controller with direct selection buttons.

Fitted in the perfect ergonomic position, the newly developed Controller enables the user to conveniently and intuitively choose and activate specific functions through standardised tilt, rotating and pushing movements. A picture of the Controller shown in the Control Display ensures even greater clarity and orientation in choosing the next control function or operating step, as does the clear graphic arrangement of the menus arranged as tables on top of one another. And with all menus structured according to the same standard scheme, the user will become fully acquainted with operating requirements almost immediately, not having to make himself accustomed with the control process.

Using the new direct selection buttons on the Controller, the user is able to change spontaneously to the CD, radio, telephone and navigation functions without the slightest effort or waiting time. The range of direct selection buttons is now rounded off by the three command buttons MENU, BACK and OPTION, the eight favourite buttons on the centre console serving for the first time to save and directly retrieve not only radio stations, telephone numbers and navigation destinations, but also menu items directly available through iDrive.

Extra-large display with variable layout, pre-view maps and full-screen presentation.

BMW iDrive in the new 7-Series comes with a 10.2 inch Control Display exceeding all graphic surfaces so far used in the world of motoring not only through its dimensions. For offering image resolution of 1,280 x 480 pixels, the Control Display is able to present detailed graphics or complete websites from the internet much better and more clearly than ever before, visual control aids ensuring additional clarity and ease of use and operation.

To spell out the names of places or streets, for example, and to enter telephone numbers, the driver simply has to use a very convenient circular "Speller" for rapid and easy entry of names and numbers. Optimised BMW iDrive with its upgraded technical features also facilitates use of the optional navigation system, full-screen presentation of maps providing an incomparably detailed overview of the region the driver is currently travelling through. Both travel maps and individual symbols may be shown as three-dimensional graphics, a pre-view screen presenting the appropriate map section when entering a specific destination.

The engines: superior, dynamic and extremely efficient.

Featuring the world's most efficient V8 petrol engine, the most powerful straight-six within BMW's line-up of power units, and the first representative of a new generation of straight-six diesels, the range of power units available right from the start upon the introduction of the new BMW 7-Series is full of superlatives.

The three engines stand out through dynamic power and performance, supreme motoring culture, and unique efficiency. In their respective power and performance segments they therefore offer an incomparably good balance of power and economy all in one. The engines thus comply in full with the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy featuring a wide range of further innovations in the new BMW 7-Series.

So over and above the highly modern power units, BMW EfficientDynamics in the new 7-Series stands, among other things, for Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand control of ancillary units, consistent lightweight technology and optimised aerodynamics, as well as electronically controlled air flap management for a further reduction of fuel consumption and emissions.

The most efficient car in its segment: the BMW 730d with its newly developed six-cylinder diesel.

This enhancement of efficiency comes out particularly in the new BMW 730d. Offering average fuel consumption of just 7.2 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 39.2 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle, this is the most economical car in its entire segment, with a standard of all-round fuel efficiency made possible by the first generation of straight-six diesel engines.

The newly developed power unit comes with an aluminium crankcase and the latest generation of common-rail direct fuel injection, piezo-injectors injecting fuel into the combustion chambers under a pressure of up to 1,800 bar.

The significantly upgraded turbocharger system with variable intake geometry provides smooth development of superior power tailored to the respective driving conditions, with maximum power and supreme harmony at all times.

The new diesel engine displacing 3.0 litres develops maximum output of 180 kW/245 hp at an engine speed of 4,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 540 Newton-metres or 398 lb-ft, in turn, comes at just 1,750 rpm. Compared with the former model, the new BMW 730d thus offers an increase in power by 10 kW or 14 hp on 10 per cent less fuel.

Weighing just 185 kg or 408 lb, the new six-cylinder diesel is another 5 kilos lighter than its predecessor, this optimisation of weight enhancing not only the efficiency of the new BMW 730d, but also the car's performance and agility, with acceleration to 100 km/h in just 7.2 seconds and top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph).

Following BMW's usual commitment, the new BMW 730d comes as standard with a diesel particulates filter and an oxidation catalyst. The exhaust management units are fitted in one joint housing positioned directly downstream of the engine.

Thanks to the innovations in technology featured on the new six-cylinder, this model significantly outperforms the EU 5 emission standard, with the new BMW 730d generating just 192 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Unique: eight-cylinder petrol engine with Twin Turbo and High Precision Injection in the new BMW 750Li.

The most important technical asset shared by both petrol engines is Twin Turbo technology exclusive to BMW in conjunction with High Precision Injection. Featuring these sophisticated systems, both drive units achieve a level of power and torque natural-aspiration engines would only be able to offer on much larger engine displacement and with an inevitable increase in weight.

Displacing 4.4 litres, the eight-cylinder power unit featured in the new BMW 750Li is the first petrol engine of its kind worldwide to feature the turbochargers in the V-section between the two rows of cylinders. In addition to the optimisation of weight provided by the aluminium crankcase, this configuration also makes the engine extremely compact in its dimensions.

The V8 develops maximum output of 300 kW/407 hp in the speed range from 5,500 to 6,400 rpm, with maximum torque of 600 Newton-metres or 442 lb-ft all the way between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm.

On the road this means truly impressive power and performance from low engine speeds and with substantial thrust maintained throughout the entire range. Hence, the BMW 750i accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and is limited electronically to a top speed of 250 km/h or 155 mph. Average fuel consumption of the BMW 750i in the EU test cycle, already applying the EU 5 standard, is just 11.4 litres/100 kilometres or 24.8 mpg imp, with CO2 emissions of 266 grams per kilometre. Compared with the previous model homologated under the less strict and less demanding EU4 standard, this is an improvement by approximately 3 per cent with an increase in engine power by 30 kW or 41 hp.

As a result, the new model complies both with the ULEV II emission standard in the USA and the EU 5 standard in Europe.

Even more power: straight-six with Twin Turbo and High Precision Injection in the BMW 740i.

The second petrol engine version of the new BMW 7-Series is powered by a straight-six with unmistakable performance characteristics again resulting from the combination of Twin Turbo technology and High Precision Injection.

Appropriate modifications of the turbocharger system serve to increase output of the 3.0-litre power unit to 240 kW/326 hp. On the straight-six with Twin Turbo two exhaust gas turbochargers each supply three cylinders with compressed air, the low inertia of the relatively small turbochargers ensuring a significantly better response also on this power unit and building up larger pressure without the slightest delay from low engine speeds.

Maximum engine power comes at 5,800 rpm, with maximum torque of 450 Newton-metres or 332 lb-ft from just 1,500 rpm. This helps the new BMW 740i to accelerate to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, with the car's top speed limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph.

High Precision Injection plays a key role in ensuring the most efficient use of fuel. In this case the second generation of direct gasoline injection incorporates piezo-injectors positioned in the cylinder head directly next to the spark plugs and conveying fuel into the combustion chambers with an absolutely precise dosage under a pressure of 200 bar.

This particular configuration enhances not only fuel economy, but also emissions and engine acoustics. Accordingly, average consumption in the EU test cycle is just 9.9 litres/100 kilometres or 28.5 mpg imp, with a CO2 rating of 232 grams per kilometre. Compared with its predecessor, the new BMW 740i thus offers 15 kW/20 hp more power on a reduction in fuel consumption by 12 per cent. And again, it almost goes without saying that the new BMW 740i complies in full with the EU 5 emission standard.

Featured as standard: automatic transmission with precise and fast gearshift.

Power is transmitted as standard on the new BMW 7-Series by a further enhanced six-speed automatic transmission with particularly sporting gearshift characteristics. A newly developed control unit offering an even higher level of performance and modified converter technology allow even more precise selection of the right gear at all times. And as a further point the six-speed automatic transmission ensures superior comfort when shifting gears and an enhanced standard of efficiency.

Yet a further contribution to greater efficiency comes from the final drive likewise optimised to an even higher standard, now offering even lower friction and optimised thermal management.

Through the first-ever use of an aluminium housing on the final drive, weight is reduced by approximately 15 per cent versus the former model.

Innovative suspension technology for a unique combination of motoring comfort and dynamic performance.

Newly developed suspension technology guarantees excellent body and roll comfort, while at the same time the new BMW 7-Series comes with a standard of agility quite unique in the luxury segment. A further point is that the driver can decide himself at any time which of these features to give priority, varying the set-up of his car via Dynamic Driving Control.

The combination of a double-arm axle at the front and an integral-V axle at the rear offers not only a wide range of additional benefits in terms of motoring comfort and driving dynamics, but also outstandingly harmonious roll and transient behaviour in bends. In addition, the new BMW 7-Series comes with electronically masterminded Dynamic Damper Control, the newly developed dampers adjusting both to the road surface and the driver's particular style of motoring. And as the first car maker in the world, BMW uses a damper system where the inbound and rebound stages are adjustable in a continuous, independent process on each wheel. This allows a truly unique combination of a firm suspension set-up, on the one hand, and a comfortable response to bumps on the road, on the other.

Driving Dynamic Control button on the centre console.

The driver is able to vary the Dynamic Damper Control map through the Dynamic Driving Control button.

With Dynamic Driving Control, the set-up of the car my be varied for COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT+ at the simple touch of a button, acting not only on Dynamic Damper Control and the DSC Dynamic Stability Control threshold points, but also on the gearshift dynamics of the automatic transmission as well as the gas peal and steering assistance control maps.

Another button directly in front serves to choose the various Dynamic Stability Control set-ups, for example providing a special traction mode for setting off more easily on snow whenever required.

Integral Active Steering controlling the steering angle both front and rear.

As a further development of Active Steering, Integral Active Steering is now making its world debut in the new BMW 7-Series. For the first time this option varies the steering angle via an additional transmission on the front- wheel Active Steering and, for the first time, the steering angle on the rear wheels through a concentrically positioned motor with spindle drive on the rear axle, in a highly sophisticated function provided by Servotronic in accordance with current driving conditions.

The maximum steering angle of the rear wheels is 3 degrees. At low speeds the rear wheels are turned against the steering angle of the front wheels to give the BMW 7-Series significantly greater agility on the road. At higher speeds the Integral Active Steering gives the car an absolutely outstanding level of motoring comfort and supremacy on the road in changing lanes and in bends, with the rear wheels turning in the same direction as the front wheels. Even in abrupt steering manoeuvres, therefore, the BMW 7-Series follows the driver's commands precisely and with absolute superiority, any change in direction under dynamic driving conditions leading to an increase in lateral acceleration hardly having any influence on the car's yaw rate.

This clear separation between changes in direction and yaw or roll motion of the car is perceived as a significant increase in comfort above all on the rear seats.

Supreme precision: BMW Night Vision with detection of individual persons.

BMW is the world's first car maker to offer Night Vision with detection of individual persons and an appropriate warning in the new BMW 7-Series. The fundamental feature used in this system is a thermal imaging camera providing a moving video picture in which the driver is able to detect people, animals and other objects also outside of the headlight beam in a highresolution presentation on the central Control Display.

Now BMW Night Vision comes for the first time with detection of individual persons giving the driver an additional warning whenever the person(s) detected is/are at risk.

Precisely on course: Lane Change Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

Lane Change Warning available for the first time in a BMW enables the driver to overtake other vehicles in superior style and with a significantly reduced risk. Radar sensors at the rear end of the car monitor traffic conditions on the adjacent lanes, covering an area extending from the so-called blind angle on the next lane all the way to a distance of 60 metres or almost 200 feet behind the car.

A triangular symbol illuminated permanently on the base of the exterior mirror shows the driver that there is another vehicle in the critical range. Then, once the driver sets the direction indicator in order to change his lane in the process of overtaking, this LED signal will start to flash on and off, providing a clear warning in the process. The driver is also warned by discreet but unmistakable vibration on the steering wheel following the same signal as the Lane Departure Warning. This sophisticated system also available as an option on the new BMW 7-Series detects any unintentional departure by the driver from his desired course. Lane Departure Warning is made up of a camera installed on the windscreen near the interior mirror, a control unit for the comparison of data and a signal generator making the steering wheel vibrate. The camera in the system scans the road markings on at least one side of the car as well as the edge of each lane and the distance from the car. The system is able to look ahead some 50 metres or 165 feet and may also be used at night as soon as the driver switches on the headlights.

World debut in the new BMW 7-Series: recognition of traffic signs.

In combination with a navigation system and Lane Departure Warning, the new BMW 7-Series offers yet another exclusive function: the Speed Limit Indicator enables the driver to constantly monitor the speed limit on all routes he is currently taking.

For this purpose a camera fitted near the interior mirror permanently registers traffic signs by the road as well as variable signs on bridges above the road (eg on motorways). The data determined in this way from traffic signs is compared with the data saved in the car's navigation system and the speed limit at the driver's current location is shown in the instrument cluster or, as an option, in the Head-Up Display.

Optimum visibility: bi-xenon headlights featured as standard.

The new BMW 7-Series comes as standard with dual bi-xenon headlights. Adaptive Headlights available as an option, in turn, ensure clear and precise illumination of the road ahead following bends and winding roads. The Bending Lights function, as yet another feature, is integrated in the headlights. And last but not least the Adaptive Headlights allow variable light distribution for optimum illumination of the road ahead particularly when driving in a straight line.

Maximum agility, efficiency and solidity ensured by intelligent lightweight technology.

The bodyshell of the BMW 7-Series offers an unusually good balance of low weight and superior strength and solidity. This is made possible by intelligent lightweight technology, appropriate use of high- and ultra-high-strength steel giving the body an extremely stable structure and, together with the use of aluminium on numerous further components, providing a significant improvement of passive safety on lower overall weight. As a result, overall weight of the new BMW 7-Series is down from that of the previous model by 35 kg (77 lb) and even 55 kg (121 lb), taking the range of equipment into account. At the same time the bodyshell of the new BMW 7-Series offers about 20 per cent greater torsional stiffness than the bodyshell of the former model, thus providing the foundation for the car's excellent driving dynamics.

A unique feature in the BMW 7-Series segment is the combination of an aluminium roof and a steel body. The advantage in weight provided by this solution versus a conventional steel roof is approximately 7 kilos, the lower centre of gravity achieved in this way helping to give the car significantly greater agility. The engine compartment lid, the doors, the front side panels and the front spring supports on the body are also made of aluminium, with the use of aluminium on the doors for the first time in a large-scale production BMW reducing weight once again by another 22 kg or 49 lb.

Exemplary protection of the occupants on all seats.

High-load-resistant carrier structures, extra-large and exactly defined crumple zones as well as highly efficient restraint systems coordinated by high-performance electronic control set the foundation for the high level of passive safety in the new BMW 7-Series.

Within the interior, in turn, frontal and hip/thorax airbags as well as side curtain head airbags all come as standard. BMW's new Luxury Saloon features three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats.

The restraint systems furthermore come with a belt force limiter and, on the front seats, an additional belt tightener. To protect the occupants from cervical spine injury in the event of a collision from behind, the front seats come as standard with crash-activated headrests. And last but certainly not least, ISOFIX child seat fastenings are featured as standard on the rear seats.

Highest standard of climate comfort in the luxury class.

Featured as standard, the automatic air conditioning ensures highly effective cooling quality quite unparalleled in the luxury performance segment. The driver and front passenger are able, with this sophisticated system, to individually control air temperature, air volume and distribution on the right and left side of the car.

Available as an option, four-zone automatic air conditioning also allows individual control and regulation on the rear seats. And the long-wheelbase BMW 7-Series even comes as a further enhancement of four-zone automatic air conditioning with roof vents at the rear complete with separate controls, supplied by an additional air conditioner fitted in the luggage compartment.

As an option the new BMW 7-Series is available with adjustable single seats at the rear, and both climate and massage seats are available as an option at the rear of the car.

Hard disc memory for audio data and the navigation system.

To make use of the audio and navigation system particularly convenient and comfortable at all times, the new BMW 7-Series comes as standard with a hard disc memory. Offering capacity of 80 GB, this high-performance memory ensures exceptionally rapid access to the digitally prepared map material used for navigation purposes. In addition, no less than 12 GB is available for a comprehensive list of music files, also enabling the user to transmit music files from a CD, an MP3 player or a USB stick straight to the hard disc.

The audio system in the new BMW 7-Series features a DVD player, an AUX-in and a USB port all as standard. Optional equipment includes a six DVD changer, a TV module and a receiver for DAB Digital Audio Broadcasting. To offer the driver and his passengers an even greater experience in sound quality, the optional Professional HiFi system is able to play back multi-channel audio formats. As an option, furthermore, the new BMW 7-Series may also be fitted with the BMW Individual High-End audio system.

The entertainment systems available on the rear seats of the new BMW likewise set new standards in the world of motoring, with two TV screens integrated in the front seat backrests and allowing individual use on each side, two headsets and two AUX-in ports as well as a DVD player all included in the entertainment package.

World debut: unrestricted use of the internet in the car.

BMW is the world's first car maker to provide unrestricted use of the internet in the car through BMW ConnectedDrive.

Use of the internet is an optional extra in the new BMW 7-Series and comes at an attractive flat rate.

As in the case of the BMW Online internet service, BMW, making this new offer, is once again paving the way in the use and availability of online services in the automobile.

Use of the internet in the car is based on BMW iDrive now enhanced to an even higher standard, the Controller taking over the function of a conventional computer mouse. Internet sites may be presented in high resolution on the Control Display, but for reasons of safety only when the car is at a standstill.

Fully integrated use of the Apple iPhone and other Smartphones.

The mobile phone preparation kit complete with a Bluetooth interface available on the new BMW 7-Series allows safe and comfortable use of a wide range of the latest mobile phones while driving. In addition, Smartphones with an MP3 function may also be fully integrated into the car using a specially developed snap-in adapter together with a USB port again available as an option. Using this option, the driver and passengers are able to use both the communication and the entertainment functions of their mobile phone, masterminding the entire process of operation through the iDrive control system. The new interface is suited for fully integration of Apple iPhone, Sony Ericsson K850i and Nokia 6500c mobile phones.

World-first achievement: Integrated Owner's Manual.

The wide range of innovative functions offered by the new BMW 7-Series in terms of sophisticated electronics is rounded off by the Owner's Manual fully integrated in the car. In the same way as conventional computer programs, the Integrated Owner's Manual gives the driver information on all features and equipment of his car within seconds at the touch of a button via iDrive. Instructions for use are presented clearly and easily-to-understand by animations backed up by sound information and even by slide shows. Short and clear texts as well as interactive graphics enable the user to quickly take up and process information received in this way.

Exquisite highlights from BMW Individual.

Choosing from the wide range of options offered by BMW Individual, the discerning driver of a BMW 7-Series is able to express his sense of select quality and exclusive style even more convincingly.

Among other highlights, the range includes new BMW Individual leather in Merino fine grain standing out not only through the unique quality of the material and exclusive colours, but also through distinctive seam patterns on the seats, the dashboard and the door linings. Matching the various leather colours, BMW Individual offers an even wider range of colours on the Alcantara roof lining, with fine trim bars in Satin Nut Brown, Reddish Brown plane tree and Black Piano paint ensuring particular class and style. A new highlight in the wide range of BMW Individual exterior colours is Citrin Black in Xirallic technology.

Yet a further feature offered by BMW Individual is the newly developed, fully integrated cooling box able to accommodate two 0.7-litre bottles and two 0.33-litre cans.

New 20-inch BMW Individual light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design round off the car's exclusive appearance on a truly personalised BMW 7-Series. In a nutshell, therefore, the wide range of features offered by BMW Individual combines the safety and maturity of the regular production car with the unparalleled appeal, style and class of a genuine one-off masterpiece.