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Premium competition: this is how BMW wants to stay ahead

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E There are many who don't like these numbers: 2011 amounted to the growth at BMW to 12.9 percent (sales January to November), sales of the BMW 5 Series rose by 52.1 percent and that of the BMW 6 Series literally exploded with an increase of 733.5 percent in November.

The Mini brand also grew by 22.4 percent. This balance caused a hangover mood, especially at Mercedes, even before New Year's Eve: the ore competitor cannot point to such a success despite increasing sales. The rockets should shine all the brighter in the sky in Munich because in 2012 the new products calendar is so full that this success story is not going to end anytime soon.

New BMW 3 Series from February 2012

Sales of the new BMW 3 Series, the sedan, will start in February, followed by the station wagon version in September. The Touring has also increased in length by almost ten centimeters, thus gaining space without - of course, just imagine - moving up into the space miracle à la VW Passat Variant or Ford Mondeo Tournament: The trunk volume increases by 30 liters to 490 Liters to.

The BMW 3 Series will set standards in other respects, as was evident from the first encounter with the sedan: sportiness has never been so well crossed with comfort as with this generation. The new chassis with a high proportion of aluminum, five-link rear axle and adaptive dampers (for a surcharge) as well as the electromechanical steering contribute to this. And since the weight of the Touring is reduced by around 50 kilos, it should prance through sweeping even more nimbly than before.

It does this in combination with an automatic start-stop system, optional eight-speed automatic and initially four different engines: Dem Four-cylinder 328i (245 hp), the six-cylinder 335i (306 hp) and the diesel 320d, which is offered in two power levels (163 and 184 hp). This is followed by the 316d and 318d (116 and 143 hp) and an M variant. Only the hybrid is reserved for the sedan because BMW is targeting the USA in particular. The six-cylinder turbo has an electric motor with a system output of 340 hp and consumption is twelve percent lower than the 335i. It can drive electrically up to 60 km /h and in this mode it has a maximum range of three kilometers. The hybrid system can also be programmed using a navigation device, so that the driver can also cover the last kilometer home on electric power alone.

BMW Active Hybrid 5 from April

You don't have to wait long for this drive in the BMW 5 Series: The Active Hybrid 5 comes in April. In principle, it uses the identical system and has the same performance values. The turbocharged six-cylinder (306 hp), which is combined with a 40 kW electric motor, takes 5.9 seconds to sprint from zero to 100 km /h. The consumption values ​​are between 6.4 and seven liters per 100 km. The same applies here: This drive system is only available for the sedan.

One of the Group's heralds of spring in March is the new Mini Roadster, which is 20 millimeters lower than the convertible and has a windshield that is 13 degrees more inclined disposes. The 3.73 meter long two-seater has over 240 liters of luggage space and protects the passengers from the elements with a fabric roof. In the best roadster tradition, however, the cap has to be operated manually. There is a choice of four engines (122 to 211 hp) for the drive.

A cargo variant based on the Clubman (3.96 meters long) is also making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show Lifestyle and utility do not rule out. The rear bench disappears, instead of a window in the rear there is sheet metal cladding - one of the finest pizza-making runabouts that has ever existed is finished.

Facelift BMW X1

The BMW X1, which will be upgraded with a facelift in September - especially in the interior, does not have much more space in the luggage compartment. BMW is reacting to the ongoing criticism and using higher quality materials. The interior of the headlights and the front apron have changed visually, and there are also smaller exterior mirrors with integrated indicators. The petrol engines remain unchanged, but the diesels are increased in their performance. The 20d increases from 177 hp to 184 hp, the 25d ranks above that with 218 hp. Among the options, the X1 customer will then also find the eight-speed automatic transmission and gearshift paddles on the steering wheel.

And the brand will set another highlight in diesel technology: the first M is the M 550 x-Drive -Model with all-wheel drive and triple-charged diesel, which has 381 hp and around 700 Newton meters of torque. Sales are carried out by the new M Performance Automobile division, which was founded especially for this purpose and is a division of M GmbH.

After the X5 and X6, the new super diesel is also moving into the BMW 7 Series as a 750 dx , for which a facelift is also due next year. In the course of this refresh, the flagship gets a new front apron and the eight-speed automatic transmission across the board. The Nightvision assistance system is also brought up to date and now directs a beam of light onto unlit pedestrians. With the information and security system Connected Drive, BMW wants oneset further benchmarks. The chassis, on the other hand, remains unchanged, but will be even more comfortable and dynamic.

BMW 1 Series Van from autumn

And what about the engines? The 4.4-liter V8 in the 750i will produce 450 instead of 407 hp and should emit less than 200 g of CO2 per kilometer. The trick: instead of switching off the cylinders, BMW dims the power of the engine via the valve lift - provided the driver doesn't need it. The two diesels also get a boost in power - in the 730d from 245 to 258 hp, in the 740d from 306 to 313 hp.

It wouldn't be the year for BMW if there wasn't another surprise in autumn: Up The BMW 1 Series Van with front-wheel drive as an alternative to the Mercedes B-Class makes its debut at the Paris Salon in October. Possibly another reason for a hangover in Stuttgart.

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