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2009 BMW X5 Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award

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“BMW X5’s win of AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award shows that BMW understands what an American Luxury Crossover SUV buyer wants, and has delivered it. X5 owners rated the X5 best in class in five of fifteen categories and competitive in the remainder,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “In a product segment where buyers value image, luxury features, great ride and handling in an efficient package, X5 delivers the goods.” Top-rated X5 attributes include:
BMW_X5_IVA.jpg* Handling
* Ride
* Exterior size
* Cargo room


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Luca trumps Max: New Era in Formula One Announced

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Thumbnail image for fia-chef_max-mosley_ferrari-boss_luca-di-montezemolo.jpgIf you read our F1 post from several days ago, the world known as Formula One was on the brink of becoming CART Wars, PART II. A majority of the teams who race in the international F1 Championship were prepared (so they said), to launch a breakaway series, due in large part to their dissatisfaction with the requirements set forth by the governing body and its president, Max Mosely.


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Silverstone: The Beginning and End of Formula One

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silverstone-F1.jpgOn May 13, 1950, the first ever (modern era) Formula One Championship Grand Prix was won by Giuseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo-dominated event in which the Italian manufacturer cruised to a 1-2-3 finish. Luigi Fagioli and British driver Reg Parnell filled the remaining podium positions. The circuit was a WWII bomber airfield called Silverstone. The circuit has been a part of Formula One since that time, although races have, on occasion been run at other Britich tracks. This weekend, Silverstone hosted its last Grand Prix, and in addition to the race, manufacturers and the governing body announced they are going their separate ways as well. And so, Silverstone may go down in history marking the beginning and in some respects, the end of an era in modern motorsport.


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2009 NAIAS: 2009 BMW Z4

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After Mazda’s Miata, BMW, Audi, and Porsche revived the roadster market. Arriving as a late 2009MY, the third generation BMW Z4 promises to be the sweetest yet. With a retractable hardtop and available 300HP 3.0L I6, I’m going to start saving my pennies now. Someday, Z4, someday…

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More photos and BMW’s full release after the jump.


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2008 L.A. Auto Show – BMW 7-Series ActiveHybrid

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The Los Angeles Auto Show saw the world debut of the BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid. The concept shows the potential of BMW ActiveHybrid technology in the premium luxury car segment and is part of the BMW EfficientDynamics innovation strategy.

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The objective of the 7-Series ActiveHybrid is to achieve much better fuel economy and lower emissions in a premium luxury car – a class not known for being particularly environmentally conscious.
Mild Hybrid Teamed With Potent V8
The BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid combines an 8-cylinder gas engine and electric drive as a mild hybrid. The drivetrain technology featured in the Concept Car allows enhanced driving dynamics together with a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions by 15% versus the same car running on an internal combustion engine only. BMW states that the ActiveHybrid does not compromise the driving dynamics, performance or features of the 7-Series.
BMW contends that there are no compromises to the original 7-Series equation when the mild hybrid is adopted. The ActiveHybrid Seven looks practically the same, has the same level of comfort and performance while getting better fuel economy with lower emissions through use of the mild hybrid technology.
Twin Turbo V8 Based on 750i Powerplant
The internal combustion engine portion of the BMW Concept 7-Series ActiveHybrid is a Twin Turbo V8 gasoline engine and high precision fuel Injection based on the 4.4L V8 of the BMW 750i. Maximum output of the conventional engine in the regular production model is 407 horsepower, with peak torque of 442 lb-ft.
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BMW claims the V8 power unit is the most efficient engine in its class and is ideal for focusing on both driving dynamics and efficiency. BMW says its V8 is the only eight-cylinder gasoline engine in the world with its turbochargers mounted in the Vee between the two cylinder banks.
Electric Motor incorporated in Transmission Housing
The V8 is combined with an electric motor fully integrated in the transmission housing, developing maximum output of 20 hp and peak torque of 155 lb-ft. So with the mild hybrid concept, the electric motor boosts the dynamic driving potential of the eight-cylinder gasoline engine in a unique manner most appropriate for the character of the BMW 7 Series, giving the car better acceleration than the already great acceleration of the 750iL.
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Regenerative Braking Supplements Power for Accessories
Using Brake Energy Regeneration, the electric motor supplies electric power to the power-consuming items on board the car, minimizing the direct conversion of fuel into electrical energy and maximizing the drive power available for enhanced driving dynamics.


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2008 L.A. Auto Show – 2009 BMW 7-Series

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BMW used the 2008 Los Angeles International Auto Show to launch its new 2009 7-Series flagship. The primary changes to the 7-Series include revised interior and exterior styling and an improved iDrive system. I guess “revised” may be too mild a word, but even though practically every exterior body panel (except the roof) is new, the 7-Series does not look much different.

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At a glance, the primary differentiator between the 2009 7-Series and its predecessor is the pronounced character line running down its bodyside just below the windows. The styling of the front end has evolved a bit with a stronger looking hood surface and front fascia. The headlamps include translucent eyelids and have the subtle halo lighting first seen in the 5-Series several years ago. The Bangle Butt is less pronounced and now the rear end of the Seven looks much more conventional.
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Details are important and BMW’s signature cue – the Hofmeister kink at the rear of the DLO (daylight opening) is shadowed in the sheetmetal. Nice touch, but very, very subtle.
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You can still show the profile of the 7-Series and Lexus LS460 and not be able to tell the difference.


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2008 LA Auto Show: BMW Diesel Pricing

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335d and X5 xDrive35d Introduced in Strictest Emissions State
Since these BMW diesels are not exactly secrets, having already been discussed at the 2008 Detroit auto show back in January (click here), the big news for BMW diesels in LA is the pricing. The 335d sedan goes on sale in November 2008 for $44,725, including destination and handling. The X5 xDrive 35d for $52,025. Ouch, right?

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There is a way to offset the cost, at least this year. These vehicles, like their Mercedes counterparts, qualify for the IRS Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit. Buying the 335d means a $900 credit, while the X5 gets a maximum $1550 credit. Not quite the same as taking that amount off the top of the vehicle price, but it could help ease the pain.

Posted in: BMW, The Car Biz

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2008 BMW 135i: Near-Perfect, Marred by Questionable Looks

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From the first rumblings of the 1-Series coupe destined for the States, I waited impatiently. Saw it at the auto shows, and wanted it to look great on the road. VehicleVoice brought you the first photos last June and an update in October and again in March. Finally, we drive it.

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But I can’t fall in love with the real 1-Series look, like I did the latest Z4 coupe and Porsche’s Cayman. Still, a small BMW coupe, from a company that consistently delivers great driving dynamics, usable and plentiful power, and stern BMW interior in a size that seemed tailored just for me! How could I not be anxious? And do I care if it’s a little clumsy outside?
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The reality finally hit our press pool a few weeks ago. And just how did the little coupe satisfy? I fell in love. Behind the wheel, that is.


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BMW X5 Wins 2008 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award® for Premium Luxury Crossover SUV

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AutoPacific: The BMW X5 has been crowned a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® winner in the premium luxury SUV segment, with ratings from owners commending the vehicle for its overall quality and anti-theft features. The X5 also scored higher than the competition for feeling safe while driving and driver’s seat visibility.
IntelliChoice: The BMW X5 was an above-average performer in retained value and fuel and insurance costs. Combined with the X5’s solid performance in the AutoPacific survey, that makes the X5 a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® winner.

Posted in: Awards, BMW

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Road Noise: The Green Parade

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Green technology at the Woodward Dream Cruise? Hmmm. You could fit a whole Prius under this baby’s hood, I guess.

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