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.
BMW‘s upcoming X1 crossover will be delayed by almost a year, due to extreme demand in the European market. BMW’s Leipzig, Germany plant can barely produce enough vehicles for Europe, and BMW USA has decided to delay the small crossover’s American launch until at least the fall of 2011.
Canada will be getting the X1 on schedule, due to their smaller market and the fact that Canadian consumers overwhelmingly gravitate towards compact vehicles. The X1 makes its North American debut at the Montreal Auto Show today.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Good news for the economy, not-so-great news for BMW and Mercedes-Benz factory workers who had travel plans over the holiday season. In order to meet the growing demand for new models, these two automakers have decided to shorten Christmas breaks this year.
This shortened vacation policy applies to BMW’s German plants in Dingolfing and Leipzig, as well as Mercedes-Benz’ Hamburg factory. The BMW factory is where the recently overhauled 5-Series and the X1 are made, and the Mercedes plant supplies parts to vehicles including the Mercedes E- and S-Class sedans.
While workers might be grumbling about there shortened holidays, this is great news for the automakers and the economy. It shows that luxury-vehicle demand is back – in fact, BMW and Mercedes each target sales growth of more than 10 percent this year. Business is also booming for Audi as well (the luxury unit of Volkswagen AG), as they have plans to add shifts next month to address a record number of orders.
As for sales, BMW increased sales worldwide by 13 percent to 1.19 million vehicles through October (this includes Mini and Rolls-Royce models, which the company manufactures), while deliveries of Mercedes and the Smart city car rose 12 percent to 1.04 million.
It’s nice to get some good news about the economy for a change, and the experts remain optimistic as well. “This is the first strong signal that the boom over the last few months can continue into next year,” said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler.
[Source: Automotive News]
Little-known but well-respected BMW-tuner Hartge has done a surprisingly good job at styling up BMW‘s X1 and has even thrown some horsepower gains to the mix.
The X1 18d motor can receive a 36-hp boost (to 179-hp) with 258 ft-lbs of torque to play with. The xDrive20d will get a 32-hp boost with 306 ft-lbs of torque. And available for all X1 models is a new exhaust to improve the sporty sound of the smallest BMW crossover.
Now for the styling goods, Hartge offers a conservative 1.2-inch drop for the X1, which makes outfitting the SUV with a set of wheels that much more appealing. On this particular demo car, Hartge opted for their Classic 2 wheel in a 20×9/20×10 setup. The wheels are wrapped with 245/30/20 tires in the front and 295/25/20 tires in the rear with Hartge recommending rubber from Pirelli or Michelin.
And of course you can get your run-of-the-mill interior upgrades from steering wheel to pedals to hand-brake.
The only pricing they announced is $2,400 for the 20d power kit – but that U.S. pricing is pretty much irrelevant as you can be sure BMW won’t offer a diesel X1 when the car finally does go on sale here.
GALLERY: Hartge BMW X1
Official press release available after the break.
Audi is reportedly hard at work with their new Q1 crossover, to compete with the BMW X1. With a higher ground clearance, as well as a more muscular appearance and a possible 5-door layout.
Quattro all-wheel drive will be standard, unlike the front-drive A1, while the engines offered will be the 1.4TFSI and a 2.0TDI. At this point, much of the talk surrounding the Q1 is speculation, but considering the VW Group’s ambitious target of being the #1 automaker in the world by 2018, BMW’s upcoming X1 small crossover and America’s love of premium vehicles, the Q1 is likely a safe bet for production.
[Source: Zero Customs]
There’s been some buzz brewing on Alfa Romeo’s return to the North American market with an SUV and convertible entry, with their SUV targeting the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 market. But this is probably the last thing we expected when we finally set eyes on an SUV with Alfa Romeo branding. Spotted at Alfa Romeo’s 100-year anniversary was an SUV sporting Kamal on the hood and BMW X1 styling… no wait, it’s just a BMW X1 rebadged. As for the Kamal letting, you may remember that that was the name given to an Alfa SUV concept, shown at the Geneva Auto Show a few years back.
So what exactly is going on? We’re not quite sure, but this is most definitely just a BMW X1 with some Alfa Romeo styling and design signatures tacked on. In fact if we didn’t know any better we would just think it was an uncreative Photoshop job.
The (now new) rumors are that Chrysler will be manufacturing Alfa Romeo’s smaller SUV and importing it into European markets starting in 2012. A larger SUV, based on the Jeep Liberty, is planned for 2014. So now we’re going to have to assume that we’ll be seeing rebadged Chrysler SUVs under the Alfa Romeo brand.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
Gallery: Alfa Romeo Kamal SUV
In the automotive schoolyard, the Acura ZDX would be the kid who invites everyone to their birthday party, only to have nobody show up. The much maligned crossover was the only vehicle to actually lose Facebook fans, according to data supplied by Chris Baccus, a marketing professional who operates The Auto Marketing Blog.
From a high of 8,776 fans in April, the ZDX was down to 8,597 as of June 30th. For comparison, the lowly Toyota Yaris has 15,476 fans the yet-to-be-released BMW X1 has 9,306 fans while the Ford Mustang leads the pack with over 515,000 fans. The biggest loser remains the Lexus IS-C, with a lowly 159 fans.
[Data Supplied By Chris Baccus Of The Auto Marketing Blog]
To call Jeremy Clarkson an automotive gadfly would be incorrect. Quite possibly the most influential automotive journalist in the world, when Clarkson speaks, people listen, and this will not bode well for BMW‘s new X1 crossover.
The new mini-ute from the Bavarian automaker is an important product, but Clarkson was suitably unimpressed, saying its looks reminded him of “a Hyundai that’s been subjected to a thousand years of wind erosion.” The driving experience wasn’t much better, claiming that the diesel engine “…sounds like a dump truck when you start it up…” with a ride that is “much too rigid”.
Whether the X1 is a truly bad car or if this is just another quintessential Clarkson rant remains to be seen (you’ll have to wait for Autoguide’s test drive closer to the launch date.) But considering how much Clarkson liked the not-so-perfect X3, we’re not too surprised that the diminutive Bimmer was given such an abysmal evaluation.