The start of the new year is extremely exciting for car enthusiasts as the North American International Auto Show opens its doors. BMW is debuting a host of new models at the Detroit show, including the sleek-looking BMW X2 and updated i8 Coupe.
The slick X2 concept turned heads at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, and now the production version of BMW's all-new Sports-Activity-Coupe to make its world debut in Detroit. Sporting a rakish roof-line, large alloy-wheels as well as signature BMW design cues, the new X2 is extremely stylish.
Two variants are available on launch in the US including a base-model and the range-topping M Sport X. All feature an 8-speed transmission and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system. It's X1-derived 2.0-liter turbo-four pumps out 228 hp (171 kW) and 250 lb-ft (339 Nm) of torque, which will allow it to sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds.
The modern interior features BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system that has BMW's Connected App, which hosts various services like a Wi-Fi hotspot and dynamic location sharing.
BMW i8 Coupe and Roadster
BMW's sporty hybrid gets an open-top Roadster model, an updated 2019 Coupe model and increased power and range. An additional 12 hp has been squeezed from the hybrid powertrain, thanks to a battery capacity hike from 7.6 kWh to 11.6 kWh, which brings the performance specs to 369 hp (276 kW) and a fully-electric range of 18 miles (29 km).
With 184 pound-feet (249 Nm) of torque, the i8 will sprint from 0-60 mph (0-92 km/h) in 4.2 seconds for the Coupe and 4.4 seconds for the Roadster, on their way to a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). At launch, the First Edition model of the Roadster will be limited to just 200 units and will be available with a copper-colored leather interior and an ivory paint job.
With power and range being boosted for the updated i8, BMW has taken a slightly-different approach for the sporty version of its baby plug-in EV, the i3s. Range has been sacrificed to boost the vehicle's electric powertrain from 170 hp (125 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque to 184 hp (135 kW) and 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque, thanks to taper roller bearings and a modified motor controller.
Combined with the "go-faster" red paint job, the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint has been reduced to 6.9 seconds and contributes to a higher top-speed of 99 mph (160 km/h). The range drop isn't significant though, with the new NEDC figure being reduced by only 6-12 miles with a final figure of 174 miles (280 km) per charge and for those hyper-milers, the range-extending two-cylinder engine is still available.
Electronics like Traffic Jam Assistant, which is a low-speed active cruise control system, is now available, along with Parking Assistant and BMW's Connected driving services.
It seems that BMW is on a bit of a roll with its X-range cars, and will be showing its third-generation X3 crossover in Detroit. The exterior of the new X3 has been updated to modern-day BMW styling with new headlights, a muscular body and large multi-spoke alloys, which results in a package that is a lot more aggressive compared to the outgoing model.
Smart engineering has been employed to help improve aerodynamics including shutters in the grille that close at highway speeds and vents in the front flanks of the car to help reduce wheel-arch turbulence.
The smartened-up interior gets an optional 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, a fully-digital gauge cluster and heads-up display found on cars like the 5-series.
The highlight for the new-generation X3 is an all-new M40i performance model with a twin-turbo straight-six. The M40i's 360 hp (265 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque is fed through an 8-speed automatic transmission and optional all-wheel-drive, which allows it to sprint from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds.
BMW X7 iPerformance Concept
The X7 concept will also be shown at the Detroit show, and is set to be even more luxurious than the X5 with an expansive interior and large digital screens adorning the driver's cockpit, gauge cluster as well as displays for the two individual second-row passengers. The leather-appointed interior features a giant panoramic roof, which almost gives it a convertible-look, but it is unlikely that this will make it into production.
The exterior sports BMW's prominent kidney-grille, identically-shaped headlights and taillights and a tall stature. With iPerformance in the name, BMW seems to be hinting at a hybrid powertrain but there will most likely be a host of gasoline and diesel engines on offer from other models like the X5 and 7-series sedan.
BMW M3 CS
What's a fleet of new BMW models without at least mentioning a BMW performance sedan like the M3 CS? It was the E46 M3 to last sport the CS badge and it was well-known for being a purpose-built track-monster. However, the CS-treatment is a lot more subtle on the latest M3.
The aluminum body and the extensive use of carbon-fiber on the exterior contributes to a curb weight of 3,494 lb (1,585 kg), a lower center of gravity and better handling. The 3.0-liter straight-six gets 10 more horsepower and 10 percent more torque and results in 460 hp (338 kW) and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque that is fed through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and BMW's Active M differential.
The leather and Alcantara interior are finished in a stealth anthracite grey, an M-sport steering wheel with a 12 o'clock marker and Competition Package seats.
Thanks to VANOS variable cam-timing and twin turbochargers, 0-62 mph (100 km/h) takes 3.9 seconds, onto a top speed that is electronically limited to 174 mph (280 km/h). Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrap the car's 10-spoke forged wheels and high-performance brakes. Production is being limited to only 1,200 units with pricing being announced closer to market launch.
BMW's updated flagship performance sedan is the first model in the 5-series lineage to be fitted with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. However, BMW claims that you can still have some tail-out action by adjusting the M Dynamic mode settings and the stability control.
The V8 has been heavily revised with new turbo's, higher pressure fuel injection and better air-charge cooling to bring power up to 600 hp (441 kW) as well as making the 750 Nm of torque more accessible in lower RPMs. 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) takes just 3.4 seconds and if you take the limiter off, the M5 can hit 305 km/h (189 mph).
Heavily-bolstered seats dominate the drivers cockpit and the sport steering wheel features two custom M buttons with performance presets for the various vehicle parameters. The exterior has also been beefed up with large air-intakes, quad exhaust pipes and a large rear diffuser.
Check-in regularly as we'll be bringing you more information on new models as we get closer to the start of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January.
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