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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 Debuts 760Li Flagship at Shanghai Auto Show

Uber-luxury sedan to use all-new twin-turbo V12 with 8-speed automatic transmission

 |  Apr 21 2009, 10:46 PM



BMW recognized the importance of the emerging Chinese economy by choosing the Shanghai Auto Show to debut its flagship flagship, the 760Li.

Looking mostly similar to the standard extended-wheelbase 7 Series, with many of the same technological innovations, what really makes the 760 unique is what’s under the hood. There you will find a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 engine, with direct injection and double VANOS.

The new engine makes 554 hp at 5000 rpm and 553 ft-lbs of torque at just 1500 rpm. Compared to the last generation BMW V12, this is an increase of 25 percent at 2300 rpm less. (Who says the horsepower war is over?)

BMW boasts that the new V12 is silent at idle, but thanks to electronicaly operate exhaust flaps, it makes a real howl at wide open throttle.

Paired to the all-new engine is an equally new 8-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission shifts faster than the old six-speed automatic and thanks to the extra gears provides an increase in fuel-economy of six percent. BMW also says that the new 8-speed unit is ideal for a hybrid application, due out later this year.

Combined, the new 8-speed transmission and 554hp V12 engine propel the massive 760Li to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.


Other highlights on the new 760 include a self-leveling air suspension in the rear and an optional Active Steering system, which adjusts the steering angle based on speed for both the front and rear wheels.

Outside the 760Li is distinguishable by the chrome bar on the rear bumper, as well as the square exhaust pipes.

Inside the new flagship gets stainless-steel door sills with illuminated V12 logos and Alcantara for the headliner and sun visors. 

GALLERY: 2010 BMW 760Li


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BMW X5 M World Premiere at Shanghai Auto Show

555 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque

 |  Apr 21 2009, 9:25 PM


BMW Board Member Ian Robertson stands with BMW Sauber F1 Team driver Nick Heidfeld at the Shanghai Auto Show during the BMW press conference.

We had expected that BMW would premiere its new X5 M alongisde the X6 M at the New York Auto Show and so we were surprised when only the X6 M took the stage in the Big Apple.

BMW apparently decided to get all the publicity it could out of the mostly-similar SUVs, making the choice to save the X5 M for the Shanghai Auto Show. And so yesterday BMW drew back the covers on the 555hp monster.

The X5 M makes all that power  through the use of a twin-turbo direct-injection 4.4-liter V8 engine. As for torque, that number is 500 ft-lbs from 1500 to 5650 rpm.

BMW says it has all but eliminated pesky turbo-lag through a new invention it calls CCM (which stands for Cylinder-bank Comprehensive Manifold). This new manifold is a one-piece unit and has been designed with every cylinder working together to minimize “charge cycles.”

The X5 M features BMW’s M Sports Automatic transmission, which BMW claims is much faster than previous unit – although no shift times are available. Gear changes can be made by using the automatic stick shift, the paddle shifters on the steering wheel or automatically in the default setting.

The X5 M model will continue to use BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system, making it (and the X6 M) the first AWD M models. Also standard is the Dynamic Performance Control system that first made its debut on the X6. It allows for power to not only be distributed between the front and rear wheels, but between the left and right rear wheels.

As a result of all this power and grip the X5 M can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

That speedy sprint is achieved in the Power mode (and likely with the Launch Control on), which can be activated by hitting the M button on the steering wheel. The M button can not only activate the “Sport” program for the engine and transmission, but also an “Efficiency” program, allowing for earlier upshifts and improved fuel-economy.

In terms of the look of the SUV, it stays mostly similar up front but features special front fenders and a distinctive rear diffuser with quad tailpipes. A set of 20-inch wheels is also standard with 275/40/20 front tires and massive 315/35/20 rear tires.

As braking is always an important part of every M-car, and this bruiser no doubt weighs triple what some of the original Ms did, the X5 M gets four-piston calipers with 15.6-inch front rotors and 15.2-inch rear rotors.

And as for Launch Control, it’s sure to be used, and abused by many owners. Here’s how it works:

To activate Launch Control, the driver stops the vehicle, moves the gear selector into the M/S position and activates the Sports Power mode, as well as the M Dynamic mode, or respectively, the DSC-Off mode. Then, with the transmission in stage M1, the driver presses down the brake pedal and moves the accelerator to at least 60% throttle, setting Launch Control to standby. Standby status is confirmed by “starter’s flag” symbol in the instrument cluster. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the vehicle will accelerate with full power in “genuine racing style.” In the process, the M Sports Automatic transmission automatically upshifts at the ideal points, with the fastest possible shifts and optimum wheelspin control. The driver may terminate the Launch Control process at any time by reducing the throttle position.




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 |  Apr 21 2009, 11:36 AM


It’s a well-known fact that the Buick is a dominant force (and growing) in the Chinese marketplace, so it’s no surprise that the traditionally traditional brand used the Shanghai Auto Show to debut an important new concept. The real surprise is that this crossover is anything but traditional.

The Buick Business MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) Concept was developed in China by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is a joint project between GM and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

The Business incorporates much of Buick’s new design philosophy, taking much of what we first saw in the Riviera concept car and using it in a boxy crossover vehicle.

GM hasn’t confirmed the underpinnings of the Business MPV Concept but it’s likely the architecture is the same that forms the basis of the Chevrolet Orlando concept, which first debuted at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, was confirmed for production at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and has since been delayed.


Outside, the Business MPV Concept sits on 20-inch wheels, LED lights and features plenty of glass. Inside, the cockpit is elegant and sophisticated. One unique feature are the second row chairs that can swivel 225 degrees.

Another surprise lies under the hood of the crossover, as the Business is powered by GM’s next-generation hybrid system, with lithium-ion batteries that allow these new hybrids to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the previous hybrid systems. Such fuel-savings are also helped by several other innovative features in the new hybrid system, including regenerative braking and a start/stop system which shuts off the gasoline engine at idle.

“Developing and launching the Business Concept Vehicle in China underscores the diversity, strength and depth of GM’s global design network,” said Ed Welburn, VP of Global Design a General Motors. “It also reflects PATAC’s growing role within the GM design family and China’s significance as the world’s largest Buick market.”

GALLERY: Buick Business MPV Concept


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 |  Apr 20 2009, 2:03 PM

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At the Shanghai Auto Show Jaguar teased the press with a short video (above) of the upcoming XJ flagship model, which will officially debut in July.

While the video certainly doesn’t show much, Jaguar Managing Director Mike O’Driscoll did have some interesting news to report. The 2010 XJ will be significantly lighter than past models due to a new all-aluminum chassis.

Jaguar’s entire lineup of engines will also be offered including the 510hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and the economical diesel V6. Both a standard and long wheelbase model will be offered.

As for design highlights, O’Driscoll did say that the car will come with a panoramic glass roof, however, he did not comment on the XF-inspired styling that he spoke of previously.

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 |  Apr 20 2009, 1:42 PM


It’s official, the name for the RR4 will be the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Company CEO Tom Purves made the announcement during the Rolls-Royce press conference at the Shanghai Auto Show.

“We are delighted to formally announce the Rolls-Royce Ghost,” said Purves. It is one of the most revered names in the automotive industry, evoking images of adventure and technical innovation. The name reflects this new model’s breadth of abilities. The first cars to bear the Ghost name were known not only for impressive dependability and refinement but also great flair and style. This car will be the first in a new generation of models to carry this evocative name and will give us two pinnacle product lines – Phantom and Ghost.

Rolls-Royce displayed the Ghost in Shanghai, although, technically speaking, the model is still the concept car (or “Design Study”), which first debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March.

Technical details on the car are still scarce but we do know it will be powered by an all-new 6.0-liter turbocharged V12 engine with more than 500hp. A new 8-speed ZF transmission will also be used. The Ghost measures 212.6-inches long, 76.7-inches wide and 61-inches high. The wheelbase is listed as 129.7-inches. The platform for the car is the same used by the new BMW 7 Series. The wheels are 20-inch units with 255/45/20 tires up front an 285/40/20 tires in the rear.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost will go into production in late 2009 as a 2010 model.

GALLERY: Rolls-Royce Ghost


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Porsche Panamera Officially Unveiled in Shanghai

High-performance 4-door Porsche debuts, with 6-cylinder and hybrid models to come

 |  Apr 20 2009, 12:53 PM


We’re not really sure there’s anything left to show or tell, but yesterday Porsche officially took the wraps off the Panamera sedan at the Shanghai Auto Show. The move is a bold one for Porsche, as the Panamera marks the German sportscar maker’s first sedan. Holding a world-premiere in China, also sends a clear statement about how important Porsche views expansion into that market.

”Introducing the Panamera, we are entering a market segment completely new for our customers and we are once again consistently expanding our model portfolio,” said Klaus Berning, VP of sales and marketing at Porsche AG.


As the first all-new model from Porsche since the Cayenne debuted in 2002, the Panamera will initially be offered in three models, the 400hp Panamera S and all-wheel drive Panamera 4S, as well as the 500hp Panamera Turbo.

The Panamera seats four adults and Porsche says rear seat room will be significant – as will cargo capacity. And while Porsche say the vehicle will be a performance leader in the 4-door Gran Turismo segment, it also says it will be a leader in fuel-economy with an average of 22 mpg.

Helping to achieve that fuel-economy rating is a world’s first start-stop automatic transmission. And that’s not the only innovation on the Panamera. Porsche has also equipped the car with a segment-first active rear spoiler (for Turbo models), as well as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with an air suspension that can add extra air (for even more ground clearance) when required.


“Our engineers, technicians, and designers have invested all their know-how, years of experience, a wealth of ideas, and their full passion for sports cars in this four-seater Gran Turismo,” said Porsche AG R&D boss Wolfgang Dürheimer.

The Panamera will go on sale this fall with an MSRP of $89,800 ($115,100 CDN), the Panamera 4S will retail for $93,800 ($120,300) and the Panamera Turbo will start at $132,600 ($155,000 CDN).

A six-cylinder model and a hybrid version will follow later.

GALLERY: Porsche Panamera


Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 18 2009, 9:28 AM


Porsche might not have invented the grand-touring luxury sedan segment, but it obviously intends to become the dominant player thanks to several innovative technologies that will be available on the new Panamera.

Among the list of innovations are some that are borrowed from Porsche’s sportscars, as well as some that are being put into production for the first time in a premium production car.

Included in the latter is a new start/stop system, which works with Porsche’s automatic transmission.

The Panamera Turbo will come equipped with a new adaptive air suspension that will allow for an additional volume of air to be added to further increase comfort. This system will be optional on all other models.

One first-in-class innovation is the use of a completely covered underbody. This not only reduces lift and improves aerodynamics for added performance, but it also reduces drag and thereby improves fuel-economy.

A final highlight is one that any Porsche lover will immediately recognize as being borrowed for Porsche’s sports cars – a multi-stage, adjustable rear spoiler. This rear spoiler will come standard on the Panamera Turbo models.

We’ll be sure to bring you full details on the Panamera when it is officially unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

GALLERY: Porsche Panamera


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