BMW Showcases 3 Series Sedan, ActiveHybrid 5, M5 and i-Concepts at NAIAS +VIDEO


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BMW welcomes Apolo Ohno, Janet Evans and Bryan Clay at their Detroit press conference

DETROIT - January 9, 2012: BMW brought nearly everything but the kitchen sink to this year's North American International Auto Show, and they did it in high style with a flashy display and the help of Olympic Champions Janet Evans, Apolo Ohno and Bryan Clay.


Watch the complete BMW Press Conference at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan

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BMW 3 Series sedans
The sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series Sedan, the world’s best-selling premium car, sets new benchmarks in terms of sporting prowess, elegance and comfort. The pioneering history of the 3 Series serves as inspiration for the new sports sedan, whose powerful styling represents a fresh interpretation and conscientious development of traditional BMW design cues. The new BMW face, with flat headlights reaching along as far as the BMW kidney grille, emphasises the elegantly dynamic design of the new BMW 3 Series. The sixth generation of the 3 Series has grown in size compared to its predecessor, with its wide track (front + 37 mm, rear + 47 mm) particularly prominent, and the car’s increased length (+ 93 mm) and augmented wheelbase (+ 50 mm) also accentuate its sporting silhouette. Inside the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the noticeable increase in space benefits the rear passengers above all. And the BMW 3 Series range is now also available in a trio of trim and equipment variants – the Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line. Each presents its own individual take on the character of the sports sedan, with exclusive, high-quality material combinations and unbeatable build quality underlining the premium ambience of the new range.

Drive and chassis technology have always been key areas of expertise for the brand, and agility and driving dynamics remain outstanding attributes of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The new car belies its larger dimensions with a kerb weight 40 kilograms (88 lb) below that of its predecessor. In addition to the sports performance typical of the brand, the further enhanced levels of comfort on board the new 3 Series make a significant contribution to driving pleasure.

A choice of two refined, economical and muscular engines – all of which feature new BMW TwinPower Turbo technology – will be available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan from launch. In addition to two further optimised diesel powerplants and the already successful six-cylinder petrol unit, customers can also enjoy the talents of the new turbocharged four-cylinder variant in the BMW 328i. This latest-generation petrol engine rewards the driver with a dynamic driving experience coupled with reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

BMW is the first carmaker to offer an eight-speed automatic gearbox in the premium mid-size segment. It can be specified in combination with any of the petrol and diesel engines in the range and links up with the Auto Start-Stop function that comes as standard. Compact and exceptionally efficient, it allows the new BMW 3 Series to match or outperform models fitted with the standard six-speed manual gearbox in terms of both fuel economy and emissions. The new eight-speed automatic brings together shift comfort, dynamic performance and efficiency of the highest order, making it the perfect partner for the new sedan’s dynamic potential.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5

BMW takes the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems to the next level with the introduction of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 – another series-produced model in which a combustion engine and electric motor join forces to enhance both efficiency and the brand’s hallmark driving pleasure. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 brings together a BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engine, an electric drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox for the first time. The latest generation of BMW ActiveHybrid technology also adds precisely controlled – and therefore extremely effective – energy management to the mix. All of which gives the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 an exceptional balance of performance and fuel economy for the premium executive car class. Its drive system generates combined output of 250 kW/340 hp, allows the car to be driven on electric power alone up to 60 km/h (37 mph), accelerates the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, limits average fuel consumption to between 6.4 and 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres (44 – 40 mpg imp) and has CO2 emissions of just 149 – 163 grams per kilometre (figures according to EU test cycle, may vary according to the tyre format specified).

The 225 kW/306 hp six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is the same unit renowned for its free-revving capability, pulling power and efficiency in the BMW 535i. The electric motor, meanwhile, develops 40 kW/55 hp and is supplied with energy by a high-performance lithium-ion battery integrated into the luggage area.

A harmonious blend of power from the two drive systems is transferred to the rear wheels by the eight-speed automatic gearbox. In addition to its full-hybrid construction, which enables purely electric and therefore emission-free driving in urban conditions, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 boasts not only the sportiest performance in its market segment but also a double-digit percentage improvement in fuel economy over the BMW 535i.

In order to fully exploit the potential of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology, the intelligent energy management of the power electronics in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 uses a host of innovative functions to ensure the drive system runs efficiently. The lithium-ion high-performance battery is charged when the car is coasting or braking, the electric motor performing the role of a generator feeding energy into the high-voltage battery. By contrast, under acceleration the electric motor takes on a boost function. Here, it assists the petrol engine by generating an ultra-dynamic burst of power, lending the sedan’s sporty driving experience a noticeably sharper edge. Added to which, while coasting at speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 mph) in ECO PRO mode, the combustion engine can be switched off and fully decoupled. This coasting mode combines comfortable driving with optimum utilisation of the kinetic energy already generated. To avoid periods with the engine running at idle – at junctions or in traffic tailbacks, for example – the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is equipped with a hybrid start-stop function. Plus, the power electronics in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 are linked up with the standard-fitted navigation system Professional. This allows forward-looking analysis of the driving situation, enabling the drive components to be primed to deliver maximum efficiency (the effect may vary according to the quality of the available navigation data). All the hybrid-specific components of the drive technology and energy management systems have been developed specially for use in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5. The result is an extremely well-rounded overall concept, which also provides a convincing demonstration of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology’s qualities out on the road. Needless to say, all of the new hybrid components are designed to last for the life of the vehicle.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 sees the sporty yet elegant body design of the BMW 5 Series Sedan complemented by bespoke touches which highlight the identity of its drive technology. The “ActiveHybrid 5” lettering on the C-pillars, BMW kidney grille with galvanised slats and exhaust matt chrome tailpipes set the exterior apart from the other models in the range. Available as an option, meanwhile, are 18-inch Streamline light-alloy wheels displaying exceptional aerodynamic efficiency. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is the only model in the BMW 5 Series line-up to be available in the exterior paint shade Bluewater metallic, and it also stands out visually from all other 5 Series variants with door sill strips bearing “ActiveHybrid 5” lettering, an aluminium plate on the centre console with the same ID, a bespoke engine cover and the visible “ActiveHybrid Power Unit” inscription on the special casing for the high-performance battery accommodated in the luggage area.

The selection of interior colours, upholstery and interior trim elements reflect the range offered for the other BMW 5 Series Sedan variants. And added to the standard-fitted array of comfort-enhancing features is not only the navigation system Professional, but also a 4-zone climate control system with stationary air conditioning. A wide range of driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive mobility services, as well as virtually all the other optional extras available for the conventionally powered BMW 5 Series Sedan, can also be specified for the BMW ActiveHybrid 5.

The new BMW M5

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BMW M5
A change in leadership is nigh in the exclusive segment that brings together ultra-dynamic business sedans with track-oriented drive and chassis technology. The new BMW M5 is poised to build on the tradition of its predecessors and once again redefine the performance experience available in a four-door car. Displaying the conceptual harmony, state-of-the-art technology and astonishingly dynamic handling for which BMW M cars have become renowned, the fifth-generation BMW M5 stirs the passion of keen drivers for top performance and blends it, in inimitable style, with the universal qualities of a top-class premium sedan. The most powerful engine ever fitted in a series-produced model from BMW M GmbH, the innovative Active M Differential – which optimises power transfer to the rear wheels – and model-specific chassis technology developed on the back of extensive racing expertise all secure the BMW M5 a dominant position among high-performance sedans.

Under the bonnet of the new BMW M5 lies a newly developed, high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology producing maximum output of 412 kW/560 hp at 6,000 – 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. The instantaneous power delivery and sustained thrust familiar from M cars are the key to acceleration of 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds (0–200 km/h / 124 mph: 13.0 seconds). Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres / 28.5 mpg imp (CO2 emissions: 232 g/km).

While output has increased by around 10 per cent and maximum torque is up by more than 30 per cent, the new BMW M5 burns over 30 per cent less fuel than its predecessor. The significantly improved balance between the performance-focused M experience and the car’s fuel consumption stems from the exceptionally impressive efficiency of the new V8 engine and from far-reaching Efficient Dynamics technology, including the Auto Start-Stop function in conjunction with the standard seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic.

In order to channel the engine’s imposing power development into inspiring performance characteristics, the new BMW M5 boasts chassis technology – including electronically controlled dampers, M-specific Servotronic steering, a stability control system with M Dynamic Mode and high-performance compound brakes – which was developed on the back of racing expertise and is weight-optimised and tuned to the output profile of the powerplant. This technology combines with model-specific, function-related design features – which make a direct contribution to optimising the supply of cooling air and enhancing aerodynamic characteristics – to create the conceptual harmony typical of BMW M cars. The precise interplay of the drive system, chassis and design has been refined in extensive and detailed testing on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring to ensure unbeatable longitudinal and lateral acceleration, handling characteristics and braking performance.

The interior design, control concept and innovative equipment features of the new car also play their part in creating the exclusive M experience. Sports seats, an M leather steering wheel, and an M-specific instrument cluster and centre console lend the cockpit a classical sports car feeling. For the first time, two M Drive buttons have been fitted as standard for the driver to call up the ideal car set-up for the situation at hand. High-quality, precisely finished materials, generous levels of space and the extensive range of equipment fitted as standard generate the premium ambience – laced with cutting-edge luxury – of a BMW 5 Series model. Moreover, customers can also give their car the personal touch, since virtually the full range of options for the BMW 5 Series Sedan are also available for the M5, including a host of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive.

BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept

BMW i is about the development of visionary vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability. With BMW i the BMW Group is adopting an all-embracing approach, redefining the understanding of personal mobility with purpose-built vehicle concepts, a focus on sustainability throughout the value chain and a range of complementary mobility services.

Two special vehicle concepts
The BMW i brand is now poised to enter the consciousness of the automotive public with two new vehicles. On the one hand there is the BMW i3 Concept. Previously known as the Megacity Vehicle, the BMW Group’s first series-produced all-electric car focuses squarely on the mobility challenges in urban areas and, as the first premium electric vehicle, reinvents the hallmark BMW attributes for the future. Then comes the BMW i8 Concept, a sports car of the most contemporary variety – forward-looking, intelligent and innovative. Its unique plug-in hybrid solution brings together a combustion engine and an electric drive system to create an extraordinary driving experience complemented by extremely low fuel consumption and emissions.

BMW i3 Concept – dynamic, urban, emission-free
The BMW i3 Concept is an uncompromisingly sustainable vehicle designed for urban areas. Driven purely by electric power and purpose-built to meet the demands of sustainable and emission-free mobility, it embodies an intelligent form of urban transportation and commuting.

The BMW i3 is a well-resolved all-round concept, with every detail conceived and optimised to fulfil its eventual purpose. Its innovative LifeDrive architecture renders the BMW i3 Concept light, safe, spacious and dynamic. Innovative use of materials and intelligent lightweight design, moreover, not only enable the i3 Concept to travel long distances on a single charge and provide superb safety in the event of a collision, they also help give the car its excellent driving dynamics. The electric motor over the rear axle – which generates output of 125 kW/170 hp and impressive torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) from a standstill – and a small turning circle combine to deliver pleasingly crisp driving characteristics. The BMW i3 Concept accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in under four seconds and from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than eight seconds.

The so-called Life module conjures up a feeling of space inside the car more generous than even the latest conversion vehicles can offer. Select materials lend the open and airy cabin a lounge-like character. The use of renewable raw materials is another defining characteristic of the interior, offering passengers a further means of “experiencing” the sustainability of the vehicle. Parts of the instrument panel and door panelling are visibly made from natural fibres, while the naturally tanned leather of the seats creates a lounge-style ambience. With four seats, wide-opening opposing “coach” doors, a boot capacity of around 200 litres and an additional functional compartment in the front, the BMW i3 Concept is neatly equipped for the demands of everyday use.

Innovative connectivity functions create a seamless connection between the BMW i3 Concept and its customers’ lives outside the car. Remote functions accessible via a smartphone enable owners to find their vehicles, flag up nearby charging stations, allow battery charging and preconditioning at the touch of a button, and supply information on the current status of the vehicle. Meanwhile, intelligent assistance systems ease the stress on drivers in monotonous city driving situations and allow them to arrive at their destination more safely and in a more relaxed state of mind.


Watch the BMW i-Concepts "Born Electric" promo video


BMW i8 Concept – emotional, dynamic and efficient
The BMW i8 Concept and the fascinating approach that underpins it embody the vision of a sustainable contemporary sports car brought to life. Its innovative plug-in hybrid concept combines the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept – fitted over its front axle – with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear. Working in tandem, they allow the two drive systems to display their respective talents to the full, delivering the performance of a sports car but the fuel consumption of a small car.

Acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under five seconds combined with fuel consumption in the European cycle of under three litres per 100 kilometres (approx. 94 mpg imp) are figures currently beyond the capability of any vehicle powered by a combustion engine of comparable performance. Thanks to its large lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a domestic power supply, the BMW i8 Concept can travel up to 35 kilometres (approx. 20 miles) on electric power alone. Added to which, the 2+2-seater offers enough space for four people, giving it a high level of everyday practicality.

The LifeDrive architecture of the BMW i8 Concept has been carefully adapted to enhance the vehicle’s sports car character, and therefore to deliver unbeatable performance and excellent driving dynamics. The motor in the front axle module and combustion engine at the rear are connected by an “energy tunnel”, which houses the high-voltage battery. This gives the car a low centre of gravity – and the dynamic benefits that come with it. The positioning of the electric motor and engine over their respective axles and the space-saving and well-balanced packaging of all components result in an optimum 50/50 weight distribution.

The emotional design of the BMW i8 Concept ensures its qualities are clear for all to see. Its dynamic proportions give the BMW i8 Concept the appearance of surging forward before it even turns a wheel and lend visual form to its extraordinary performance.

The sporting character continues into the interior. Boasting a driver-focused environment unmatched by any BMW Group vehicle before it, the BMW i8 Concept immerses the driver fully in the unique driving experience. The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable.


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