2013 is upon us and is shaping up to be an exciting year for BMW and its customers. The Bavarians are preparing a vast array of models to hit the market in 2013, both refreshed models and new introductions to the premium segment.
Some of those rumored models are controversial (FWD) while others are welcomed with enthusiasm (M3/M4) and curiosity (BMW i), so we decided to look ahead and choose our Top 5 models that we’re excited about in 2013.
Rendering by Gerry Alvarez
The next generation BMW M3 will debut first in concept form at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, followed by the production debut in September at Frankfurt Show. European sales are expected to commence late next year.
The F80 BMW M3 will be powered by an inline-six engine rumored to produce 450 horsepower and close to 400 lb-ft of torque. The new M3 is expected to be slightly faster than the current E90 generation thanks to a lower weight.
The engine is mated to a double-clutch transmission 7-speed transmission, but we expect to see a manual transmission for U.S. customers.
Another big launch next year is the high-volume seller 3 Series Coupe or now, 4 Series Coupe. BMW has decided to take a page from Audi and bump its coupe offering up a number. Instead of the heretofore 3 Series Coupe, we will be seeing that the 4 Series Coupe is the direction the company will take going forward.
The new 4 Series family will make use of the same powerplants offered in the F30 3 Series sedan, so customers will continue to have a choice between diesel and petrol engines in both four and six-cylinder units.
Market launch is expected in Summer of 2013.
Rendering by TopSpeed
Another shift in BMW’s strategy is the new BMW 2 Series Coupe. Same as the 4 Series, the new 2 Series family separates itself from the 1 Series badging and will come to market in a coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe variant.
The car will share some design cues with the 1 Series Hatchback (especially inside), but overall, the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible are expected to look and feel sportier than the hatchback. The BMW 2 Series Coupe will be driven by a rear-wheel drive architecture with the possibility of the coupe to be paired with the xDrive system.
The Coupe will begin production in Fall 2013.
Years ago, BMW kicked off one of the most ambitions and biggest projects to date: Project i. Built under the umbrella of sustainability and future drivetrain applications, Project i renamed itself in 2011 into a new sub-brand: BMW i. The first model to emerge out of this new family of electric and hybrid cars is the BMW i3.
The BMW i3 provides four adult occupants with excellent all-round visibility, as well as an impressive 200 liters of luggage space behind the rear seats. The plug-in system is a compact electric motor mounted over the rear axle. It draws energy from the battery to provide drive to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The i3 will be offered with an optional range extender powertrain (called REx) to satisfy those with longer commutes.
The i3 uses an electric motor over the rear axle generating an output of 125 kW/170 hp and impressive torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). BMW i3 Concept accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in under four seconds and from still to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than eight seconds. The electric vehicle has a driving range between 85 and 100 miles on a single charge.
When it goes on sale in late 2013 customers will have to shell out anywhere from 35,000 to 40,000 euros to get to enjoy BMW’s first pure electric car.
Even though just recently unveiled, the four-door version of the M6 Coupe will reach local dealerships in Spring-Summer 2013. The BMW M6 Gran Coupe joins the existing Coupe and Convertible models in the line-up and it is built atop the 6 Series Gran Coupe model and it is powered by the same powerplant as its M6 twins: the S63Tü high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology that produces 412 kW/560 hp and 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) on tap between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm, while maximum output is developed between 6,000 and 7,000 rpm. The engine revs to a maximum of 7,200 rpm. 0-60mph is achieved in 4.1 seconds with a top speed limited to 155mph. The engine is matted to a 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic.
The recommended retail price Germany of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is 128.800 €, including 19 % VAT. Market launch will be in May 2013, followed shortly by a North American debut with a price higher than the M6 Coupe.