AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
What's the best selling luxury car in America?
In the market for a luxury vehicle and interested to see what’s popular? AutoGuide has compiled a list of the top 10 best selling luxury vehicles in America year-to-date for 2013.
With data provided by GoodCarBadCar.net the list includes some of the usual suspects and even a few surprises!
In fact, how’s this for a stat: less than half of the cars on the list are from Germany.
Contrary to Dunkin’ Donuts’ slogan, America actually runs gasoline, not deep-fried pastries. The dessert peddler may fuel people with freshly brewed coffee and lots of sugar, but when it comes to getting from point “A” to point “B” petrol is just about the only game in town. Giving drivers some much needed diversity in their fuel diets BMW is launching several new diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S.
Next month, BMW will unveil its updated lineup of law enforcement vehicles at the General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference (GPEC) in Leipzig, Germany, but to hold us over, the German automaker has released photos of its 2013 BMW 7-Series High Security along with its updated X3 and 5-Series models.
BMW will continue their tradition of providing patrol cars to the Munich police force thanks to a new contract that will contribute several hundred vehicles a year to the force.
The German automaker provided cruisers for the past 50 years and will continue to do so with its new 2012 3-Series and 5-Series sedans and wagons. They will also be adding the X3 crossover to the fleet for the first time. The updated police cars will come equipped with a customized iDrive system to control the sirens and lighting.
“I am glad that in the coming years, new BMW models will work for the police in Bavaria’s roads. As a longtime partner of the Bavarian police, we are proud that our expertise has convinced authorities and we continue to make our contribution to security in Bavaria, “said Alexander Thorwirth, head of sales to public authorities, operational and security vehicles.
BMW has announced the pricing for its new ActiveHybrid 5, and fuel efficiency will come at a cost, with a starting MSRP of $61,845, which includes a $895 destination and handling fee.
That price tag puts the ActiveHybrid 5 at $9,435 more expensive than the standard 535i, but with it you’ll get “not just highly sporty performance but also a double-digit percentage improvement in fuel economy over the BMW 535i.” The ActiveHybrid 5 couples BMW’s 3.0L turbocharged, inline-six engine that has 300-hp and 300 lb-ft of torque with an electric drive system packing 54-hp and 155 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combined output is 335-hp and 330 lb-ft of torque.
The ActiveHybrid 5 is able to be driven on electric power alone up to 37-mph and for a distance of 2.5-miles. What is impressive however is that the sedan can sprint to 60-mph in 5.7-seconds, which is just 0.1-seconds slower than the 535i. BMW hasn’t release EPA fuel economy estimates for the US model yet.
The ActiveHybrid 5 is the third in the line of hybrid models from the German automaker and features a new generation of BMW ActiveHybrid technology. It’s the debut for the combination of the six-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. The ActiveHybrid 5 will go on sale in America starting in March 2012.
GALLERY: BMW ActiveHybrid 5
BMW held a dealer presentation in the Netherlands and a leak has rumors stirring that the upcoming M550d will officially come with 381-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque from its tri-turbo, inline-six diesel powerplant.
Even though the horsepower figure comes in lower than the early speculations of over 500-hp, the torque is pretty impressive. It also appears that the M550d will be AWD only with production beginning next March. It is not yet known if this F10-generation M550d will make its way to North America, but we could be seeing the tri-turbo diesel in other BMW models including the X5 and X6.
The announcement comes after the initial debut earlier this month in Munich and reveals that there will be the standard and M Sport packages along with three new lines: sport, luxury and modern.
The exterior design is courtesy of Christian Weil, who also designed the 5 Series GT, while the interior comes from Christian Bauer who designed the current generation 6 Series coupe and convertible, ultimately offering a melting effect that shares features of both designers previous projects.
The exterior design builds on the pervious model’s rounded shaping but there’s a new face to look at. The headlights now stretch to the nose, just touching the grill, which also has a more pronounced and aggressive look borrowed from the 6 Series. The rear end will stay much the same, maintaining BMW’s L-shaped design.
The interior materials will vary based on trim level, but an instrument cluster tilted seven degrees towards the driver will add to the driver-oriented feeling of the car.
GALLERY: 2012 3 Series
Just as news of BMW‘s plans to offer a hybrid variant for the upcoming 3 series hit the net, the German automaker has announced the ActiveHybrid 5, completing hybrid trims across the core BMW four door sedan line-up.
Based upon the BMW 535i, the turbocharged inline-six gets an additional 55-hp electric motor with 155 lb-ft of torque and a lithium ion battery pack as well. The electric motor is capable or propelling the luxury sedan to a top speed of 37 miles per hour with an electric-only range of 2.5 miles. Performance wise, the complete hybrid package produces 335 horsepower, gets to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, and, combined with an 8-speed transmission, aims to gain a double digit percentage improvement in fuel efficiency.
Although prices have not been announced, expect the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 to reach U.S. showrooms by March 2012.
GALLERY: BMW ActiveHybrid 5
Here is one of the latest clips of the BMW M5 booting it on the Laguna Seca track. Oh how sweet the sound is!
The M5 has been entirely redesigned but the biggest change is the switch from a high-revving V10 to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. The new engine cranks out 552 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The car is capable of achieving a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds, not bad for a car weighs around 4,000 lbs. Pricing has not been announced but the M5 will probably sell for around $85,000.
The minute and a half long commercial paints this car as nothing less than a monster as it knifes its way through the turns on a track.
Plus, we also managed to catch up with that very car, on display at Pebble Beach.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW M5 at Pebble Beach
Check out the video after the jump!
With the passing of the Volvo V70 and VW Passat in North America, European wagons are becoming harder to come by. But BMW is considering bringing the 5-Series Touring back to our shores to make up for disappointing 5-Series Gran Turismo sales figures.
Nothing has been confirmed, however some sources have learned that the comeback may be a strong possibility. Sales of the 5-Series GT haven’t been particularly exceptional, but the model outsold the previous 5-Series Touring since its arrival last year, even with its controversial appearance and mundane reception.
GALLERY: BMW 5-Series Touring
If there’s any car out there that proves less is more, it’s this BMW 528i built by Evan and featured on Canibeat.com. Obviously the 5-Series is a luxury sedan before anything else, but who says you can’t add a little sportiness to your luxury? This 5-Series started by being outfitted with BMW’s M Sport kit, but it’s 3D Design’s components that really make it stand out. Subtle and clean, the M Sport front lip, carbon fiber splitters and carbon fiber rear diffuser completely transforms the 5-Series.
In addition to the 3D Design kit, Evan shaved the annoying reflectors off the M Sport front bumper and swapped out his stock kidney grilles for a pair from the 528i’s bigger brother, the 550i. From there, getting a proper stance and wheel and tire combination was crucial to perfect the look and Evan hit the nail on the head. A staggered set of 21-inch Rennen RM7 Extreme Concave 3-piece forged wheels are seen on each corner, wrapped with Falken’s FK-452 tires for a perfect fit. CKS coilovers gives the BMW a lowered stance without compromising the luxurious ride quality.
The last finishing touch was a custom quad-tipped exhaust by Royal Muffler.
GALLERY: 3D Design-Equipped M Sport BMW 528i
Despite what you might be thinking, this story has nothing to do with BMW joining NASCAR. Instead, it’s the latest safety innovation by the Munich-based automaker, called Left Turn Assistant (LTA). Equipped in a 5 Series test vehicle it is designed to work at speeds of up to 6 mph, using three laser scanners in the front of the car map the area ahead by up to 100 meters.
These sensors will pick up cars, trucks, and motorcycles. If the sensors detect vehicles approaching from the opposite direction but the car continues to move into the intersection, the left turn assistant activates an automatic braking input in a low speed range up to 6 mph to prevent a collision. To further assist in executing the turn, a warning sound and relevant warning symbols in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display advise the driver of the reason for the intervention. If the driver engages the brakes himself, the breaking input triggered by the left turn assistant is disengaged and the car is “released” again to continue normal driving. For maximum safety, the driver can always override the left turn assistant.
The BMW engages and recognizes the left turn lane on two levels. Firstly, the vehicle positioning function of the navigation system allows the location of the car to be fixed to within a meter at intersections. Secondly, the system uses a camera to register the turn-off lane markings and lane borders on the road. When fitted with a special WLAN car-to-x communication unit the LTA system’s range is increased to 250 meters and can detect other vehicles on the road using the system, even if they aren’t in view.
A natural transition for the B5 Bi-Turbo tuning program for the new BMW 5-Series, Alpina is now offering its upgrades to the touring (wagon) model as well. We suppose if you’re absolutely stuck having to commute in a wagon, there’s probably no better way to do it than with 500-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque out of a 4.4L V8 twin-turbocharged powerplant.
Getting the power to the ground is an eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission, allowing the wagon to hit 0-62 mph in a mere 4.7 seconds. The B5 BiTurbo Touring can also be outfitted with a set of 20-inch Alpina Classic wheels matched with Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The recommended wheel sizes are 20×8.5-inch in the front and 20×9.5-inch in the rear.
The B5 BiTurbo isn’t cheap though, with a starting MSRP of around $135,000. We’ll have to check it out at the Geneva Auto Show to determine if it’s worth its steep price tag.
GALLERY: Alpina BMW B5 BiTurbo Touring
The next generation BMW 5 Series will be offered with not just one, but two hybrid powertrains.
According to the BMWBlog’s company insiders, the two hybrids will follow two very different paths, with one using a similar setup to the ActiveHybrid 7 Series and the other following in the footsteps of the X6 ActiveHybrid, but with a 3.0-liter diesel V8 in place of the X6′s V8. That being said, it’s unlikely the diesel motor will be sold in North America.
Design wise, the next 5 Series is expected to look smaller, to help differentiate it from the large Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class. To help achieve this goal it will use an elongated version of the twin-kidney grille.
As for the rest of the design, it is still a mystery, but it is expected that very few of the 5 Series GT’s body panels will be used on the standard 5 series.
BMW also plans to make the vehicle lighter than its predecessor by using new processes to manufacturing the chassis, while using lighter materials for things like the water pump and transmission case. In addition, aerodynamics will be improved though a new wheel design that will cut down on drag at speed.
We expect to learn more about the upcoming 5 Series at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show.