Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Shanghai Auto Show this year and as much as we wanted to report live the unveiling of the new BMW X5 M and the ultimate 7 Series model, 760Li, we will have to rely on some of our friends to helps us bring you the latest news since we are still committed to do so.
So, for the next 24 hours, stay tuned and more BMW news from the Shanghai Auto Show will be seen on here. BMW has also brought out their 5 Series GT along with the MINI Crossover Concept, but more on that later. For now, here is the BMW Press Conference presented by Ian Robertson and surprise, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber F1 pilot and the team boss, Mario Theissen:
Ladies and Gentlemen –
Here we have here the world premiere of the BMW 7 Series with a new V12 engine. This is the most powerful BMW 7 Series in the world.
The new BMW 7 Series is the fifth generation of this luxury sedan. And since it is BMW’s flagship, it is also a pioneer in terms of innovative technology and design.
This luxury sedan has been on the market for just over six months now – and within that short space of time it has already been voted “Car of the Year” in Europe by readers of the magazine auto motor sport.
The BMW 7 Series you see here – a BMW 760 Li – is the most exclusive and prestigious vehicle in our range.
I actually prefer to be behind the wheel, but, I must admit, it is quite a thrill to be driven in such a superb vehicle as the new 7 Series: Not only is it top of the range, it is also the first time this model is being presented. That is an unbeatable feeling.
Thanks to a powerful 544 HP 6-litre twelve-cylinder engine, the BMW 760 Li glides along effortlessly – with a newly developed 8-gear automatic transmission to ensure smooth power and performance.
As a passenger you can fully appreciate the superior motoring comfort – as well as the exclusive interior. Details such as chrome-plated door sill strips with an illuminated V12 logo – and genuine wood interior trim with inlays ensure every trip is a luxurious experience.
The BMW 7 Series will leave the stage now, however we do have a lot more exciting news for you.
Auto Shanghai is an important show for us – which is why we have two world premieres for you today, as well as two other models which we are presenting for the first time in Asia. But I’ll come to that in a moment.
We know customers here in China truly appreciate premium – and China is now our biggest market in Asia. And it is our fifth largest market worldwide.
Starting this year, we will sell vehicles from its complete model series here in China: from the compact 1 Series through to the long wheelbase version of the top model 7 Series. Not to mention our globally successful X models and the BMW M sports cars.
In fact, we even offer more models in China than in our other markets around the world. We produce the BMW 530 Li, BMW 525 Li and BMW 523 Li models exclusively for this growing market. These business sedans have a 140-millimetre longer wheelbase.
And we’re determined to do everything we can to meet the demands and tastes of our customers here in China.
On a global level, there is no doubt that the automotive industry today faces unique challenges. Environmental concerns and diminishing resources are becoming increasingly important factors in vehicle development.
We already offer our customers efficient vehicles – in all series. The BMW Group has used innovative technology to reduce CO2 emissions of its vehicles more than any of its competitors.
Obviously, innovative technology and innovative vehicle concepts will be the key to the company’s success in the future.
Our latest example of a totally different and innovative vehicle concept is the BMW Concept 5 Series Gran Turismo: Here it is on show for the first time in Asia.
This unique BMW Concept combines the elegance and the spaciousness of a luxury sedan with the versatile interior usually found only in Sports Activity Vehicles. It is scheduled to be available here in China as of early 2010.
I promised you a second world premiere today – and here you have the BMW X5 M: Since this is an extremely sporty vehicle, we asked one of the world’s best drivers to take it out for a test drive.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in welcoming BMW Sauber Team driver Nick Heidfeld.
Nick, tell us what it feels like to drive the BMW X5 M.
I can definitely say that the BMW X5 M is an absolutely sporty vehicle.
This car is a lot of fun for a serious driver like me to handle. The BMW M engineers have really done an outstanding job.
The M TwinPower turbo engine is extremely impressive. Its 4.4 litre engine develops a maximum performance of 555 horsepower and maximum torque of 680 Newton metres. With that kind of performance it could definitely compete on the racetrack.
And speaking of racetrack: I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that the BMW X5 M matched the performance of the previous BMW M3 on the famous Northern Loop at the Nürburgring in Germany. In other words, this Sports Activity Vehicle boasts the same dynamic driving performance as a sports coupe. Supremely sporty – what else can I say?
Thanks a lot, Nick. It was a pleasure having you here today.
It’s great to hear a Formula 1 driver confirm that the BMW X5 M is racetrack-material. By the way, the M engineers also used the feedback they got from Nick Heidfeld to give the engine some additional fine-tuning.
Another just as perfectly executed and extremely sporty vehicle is the BMW X6 M which we are also presenting for the first time in Asia here today.
What makes M vehicles so fascinating?
It is the harmony of the overall concept. That means all components are perfectly aligned with one another.
An M vehicle is more than just the most powerful model in a series – and that is precisely what distinguishes our product offering from our competitors.
10 years ago, BMW’s X5 redefined the SUV segment by emerging as the first SAV, or Sports Activity Vehicle, on the market. Just in the first quarter of this year, BMW sold worldwide more X5 and X6 models than all of our direct competitors combined.
These new models, the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M display an agility not previously seen in this segment. You could say they are redefining the segment for high-performance SAVs.
These vehicles are not only setting the benchmark for emissions and fuel economy at that level of performance but are the most economical vehicles in their class.
BMW M also stands for innovation. New technologies ensure ideal development of the engine power in both the X5 M and the X6 M.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Innovative technology is also what makes our next Asian premiere special – the BMW Concept 7 Series Active Hybrid.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mario Theissen, Director of BMW Motorsport.
Mario, what can you tell our audience about the BMW Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid, from the viewpoint of a motorsport engineer?
Dr. Mario Theissen
In this 7 Series you can really tell that BMW has used the very best hybrid technology available.
BMW engineers have been working on this technology for quite some time, and new Formula One rules now allow us to put our innovative hybrid technology to the test under extreme conditions. This also allows us to garner crucial expertise for series development.
For instance, our new Formula One car has a special Brake Energy Regeneration system called “KERS”. During the braking phase, it stores enough energy to supply an additional 60kW for acceleration for about 6.5 seconds. A surge of energy like that can be decisive when a driver is overtaking. The power density of the KERS components far exceeds that of today’s hybrid vehicles.
However, the principal behind KERS is similar to the ActiveHybrid technology used in this 7 Series. This vehicle combines an eight-cylinder petrol engine and a 20-horsepower electric engine with a maximum torque of 210 Newton metres.
To put it in simple terms, brake energy is used to generate electrical energy – just like with KERS in the Formula One car. But that does not happen in a conventional generator – it happens in an “e-machine” integrated in the gearbox – which is much more efficient.
So, you could say, that for the first time, BMW ActiveHybrid combines BMW’s characteristic driving pleasure with the efficiency benefits of hybrid technology.
And that produces vehicles which
• develop a much better dynamic performance than any hybrid models until now,
• and, at the same time, have much lower consumption and emissions than
comparable models powered solely by combustion engine.
• That is noticeable both in city traffic and on the highway.
Thank you, Mario. It was great to have you with us today and we wish you all the best for the upcoming race in Bahrain.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
BMW ActiveHybrid technology will be ready for series production this year. The world premiere of the BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid will be at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Germany, in September this year.
At this point, allow me to sum up by saying that China is an extremely important market for premium vehicles.
• The BMW Group has performed well here over the past and we plan to build on
our current success here in China.
• We recently increased our production capacity here in China from 30,000 units to
well above 40,000 units. We also increased our local purchasing volume by 22
percent. That is also a good indication that we expect to sustain the momentum.
• China remains very promising for the company.
In the first quarter of this year we increased our sales by nearly 14 percent and
remain on our growth path in this key market.
• We expect to see a further positive market development in China in 2009 and a
further increase in sales.
We are confident that our product line-up is stronger than ever
and will continue to guarantee our legendary “Sheer driving pleasure” for our customers here in China and around the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your time.