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LA Auto Show: BMW Launches the Hydrogen 7 and New X5 Sports Activity Vehicle - VIDEO ENHANCED



SEE ALSO BMW 7 Hydrogen Tutorial - Video Enhanced

(Click PLAY button at bottom of page to watch the complete BMW LA Press Conference)

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29, 2006; BMW today unveiled two world premiere vehicles during its press conference on the occasion of the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The first premiere was the new BMW X5. The new BMW X5 grows in size and luxury yet further improves upon the driving dynamics that made the first iteration of the X5 such a success. The new X5 will be available with an expanded array of available options -- one of which is a third row, seven passenger seating option. The new X5 is now on sale in the USA. The second premiere was the new BMW Hydrogen 7, the world's first hydrogen-drive luxury performance automobile. The Hydrogen 7 -- which has fulfilled all of the criteria of BMW's rigorous product development process -- will be built in a limited series and will be driven by selected users in the US and other countries in 2007. The Hydrogen 7 is based on BMW's familiar 7 Series model and is equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running either on hydrogen or on gasoline.

With the BMW Hydrogen 7, the BMW Group is laying down a marker for sustainable mobility. This car will play a pioneering role in driving forward hydrogen technologies. BMW has gained an excellent reputation for significantly reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by using ultra efficient, yet very dynamic gasoline engines. Together with clean, performance diesel engines and the technologically advanced hybrid systems currently under development within the BMW EfficientDynamics project, the BMW Group has a clear strategy for sustainable mobility -- with hydrogen as the ultimate goal.

Hydrogen technology dramatically reduces emissions generated by personal transport and, in particular, minimizes the emission of CO2. Running in the hydrogen mode, the BMW Hydrogen 7 essentially emits nothing but water vapor.

With all the comforts and amenities of a non-hydrogen BMW 7 Series, the BMW Hydrogen 7 is powered by a 260 bhp twelve-cylinder engine that accelerates from 0-62.1 mph in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 143 mph. The BMW Hydrogen 7 also features a dual-mode power unit -- controlled at the touch of a button -- that can switch quickly and conveniently from hydrogen to conventional premium gasoline.

The car's dual-mode drive provides a hydrogen mode cruising range of more than 125 miles, with another 300 miles in the gasoline mode. With this overall cruising range of more than 400 miles, the driver of a BMW Hydrogen 7 is able to use the vehicle without problem even when the nearest hydrogen filling station is far away. This technology is a viable solution until the hydrogen infrastructure is fully developed.

The BMW Hydrogen 7 emphatically proves that changing over to an alternative form of energy doesn't mean missing out on superior driving dynamics and comfort. The departure from fossil fuel does not in any way mean giving up the dynamics and performance typical of a BMW. The mobility of tomorrow and driving pleasure of today are compatible, with the drive concept of BMW Hydrogen 7 being directly transferable to future models. Driving a car of this caliber will be just as thrilling in the future as it is today, but at the same time cleaner than ever before.

The new BMW X5

When it arrived nearly seven years ago, BMW's X5 could have simply added another respected premium nameplate to the ranks of sport-utility vehicles. Instead, it redefined the class. BMW's description of that original X5 as a "Sports Activity Vehicle" represented a new approach to the concept of a traditional SUV -- one that linked handling, performance and agility to the conventional attributes of practicality, versatility and off-road ability. The result was some 618,000 X5s were produced in BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina factory. For 2007, BMW expands and refines that definition with an all-new X5, one that includes an even higher level of achievement in each of those original concepts.

In the area of versatility, the new X5 is now available with a third row seating option which will fold flat -- along with the second row to provide a roomier cargo area and greater flexibility of usage than its predecessor. The luxury of the X5 has been enhanced with high quality interior materials and design. An extended color, trim and option list allows a customer to tailor the X5 to exactly their specifications.

Finally, in spite of the larger dimensions, increased versatility and luxury, the performance that made the original X5 such a strong product has been thoroughly enhanced in this new model. As in previous years, the X5 offers a choice of 6-cylinder or V-8 performance: the X5 3.0si and the 4.8i, both of which offer better performance and excellent efficiency. The flagship 4.8i boasts BMW's all-aluminum Valvetronic V-8, boosted to 4.8 liters and 350 horsepower. The 3.0si features BMW's new 260-horsepower aluminum/magnesium inline-6. Standard equipment on both models is a new 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic. BMW's outstanding xDrive all-wheel-drive system continues, enhanced via a closer link between the xDrive electronics and the X5's Dynamic Stability Control to provide even quicker, more accurate response.

New Products for 2007

BMW also presented a number of new for 2007 products today. The 3 Series Coupe continues to raise the level of luxury and performance from which all sport coupes are judged. In true BMW tradition, it also establishes new standards of performance and driving dynamics with the introduction of an exceptional engine: the 335i Coupe features a new inline six-cylinder engine with twin-turbochargers, high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase with an output of 300 horsepower. The 335i Coupe will be joined in the U.S. by the 230 horsepower 328i Coupe. The 328i Coupe will also will be offered with xDrive all-wheel drive for the first time. The 3 Series sedans also benefit from the engines developed for the coupes. For 2007, the 3 Series sedan will be offered both as a 328i and as a twin-turbo 335i.

Building on its reputation as an agile, fun to drive, attainable BMW Sports Activity Vehicle, the X3 has received a significant freshening for the 2007 model year. It begins, of course, with a performance upgrade. The BMW X3 3.0si -- as it is now called -- is powered by the award-winning aluminum/magnesium 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, featuring VALVETRONIC technology. In the X3 3.0si, this engine produces 260 hp at 6,600 rpm and 225 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. This represents an increase of 35 horsepower and 11 lb-ft of torque over the model it replaces. True to its BMW heritage, the X3 3.0si is offered with a six-speed manual as standard equipment. A new six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is a no cost option in place of the previous 5-speed. It also includes revamped exterior styling, an increase in the level of interior refinement as well as new luxury and performance oriented options.

The BMW 7 Series is the introductory "canvas" for BMW Individual in the USA. The BMW Individual offering will provide 7 Series customers with a selection of distinctive paints and interior treatments allowing them to individualize their vehicles to reflect their own tastes and personality. BMW Individual was established in 1991 as a division of BMW M GmbH with the goal of leading the trend towards more individuality by concentrating on customers who were looking for made-to-measure solutions in terms of distinction, design and function.

The available BMW Individual exterior paints are developed using special Xirallic paints and a 5-coat process that picks up fine pigments in the coating to create constantly changing nuances in the finish, giving greater color intensity and dramatic two-tonal effects.

The interior is fitted with the highest quality Merino full-leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner and unique interior trim -- including Piano varnish wood trim. Illuminated BMW Individual doorsills, distinctive 20" BMW Individual wheels and the convenient storage net in the front passenger foot well provide the additional premium touches to complement the BMW Individual 7 Series.