A reader spotted this camo-wrapped BMW X6 between Greer, SC and Asheville, NC yesterday claiming he "couldn't hear the exhaust over the tires" as the car/SUV/bulgy Bimmer surged from 80 to "very fast."
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It's no secret that crossovers are one of the key vehicle types driving today's auto industry profits, and nowhere is that more true than among the world's luxury brands. BMW became one of the first players in the luxury CUV segment when it launched its original X5 in 1999, and buoyed by that model's runaway success, it followed up with the X3 in 2003, the X6 in 2008 and the X1 in 2009 (though the latter didn't make it to the US until late 2012). It's replaced the X5 twice since then and the X3 once, but the Bavarian automaker isn't about to let matters rest there.
First off, a production version of a new X4 model is expected at the New York Auto Show in April. The model was previously rumored to be earmarked for reveal a month earlier, but a new report from Autocar suggests that the previously mooted reveal date and location were inaccurate. The X4 is expected to apply the same controversial slant-back formula to the X3 that transformed the X5 into the X6, which will in turn lead to an update for the X3 as well.
But that's not all. Autocar also reports that before 2014 is out, BMW will unveil a revised X6 at the Moscow Motor Show in August, which will in turn be followed by upgraded versions of both the X6 M and X5 M. These high-performance crossovers are tipped to pack the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 as the outgoing versions, albeit with higher outputs than the current models' 555 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. All this, and they're still expected to simultaneously improve fuel consumption and emissions figures.Permalink | Email this | Comments
BMW may be set to expand its US operations with a new engine plant, Bloomberg reports. The Bavarian automaker already has its Spartanburg, SC factory which builds the company's X3, X5 and X6 crossovers. According to the story, Mexico is also under consideration for the BMW engine factory, with the report claiming a final decision will be made in 2014.
"Establishing local motor manufacturing abroad is more complex than assembling cars, but it's a logical step for them to eventually start making engines in markets where they're expanding vehicle production," Juergen Pieper, an analyst for Bankhaus Metzler tells Bloomberg. Building engines in the US or Mexico would save BMW from having to ship engines for some of its most popular models across the Atlantic.
BMW, for its part, hasn't said anything concrete. Spokesman Mathias Schmidt is quoted in the story saying, "As part of our long-term growth strategy, we're frequently looking at different countries for possible locations of future production facilities. No decisions have been made yet, though, for an additional plant."
What do you think, is this a good idea, or would having a non-German powerplant in its new models remove some of the company's mystique? Have your say in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Following the debut of the X5 earlier this year, it shouldn't come as a shock that BMW is testing an updated X6 in its homeland. The Munich-based manufacturer trekked to the Nürburgring to test the lifted, four-door coupe it calls a Sports Activity Vehicle, while also giving us our first peak as to what the future holds for one of the weirder models in the brand's stable.
Mainly, we can safely expect the next X6 to get the same range of refinements made to its platform-mate, the X5, which debuted earlier this year. If we're lucky, that could mean an X6 sDrive35i, complete with rear-wheel drive with which to fling the big SAV about. Adding a rear-drive option could also broaden its admittedly limited appeal by lowering the cost of entry, which could serve the pricier X6 well. As a point of reference, the X5 sDrive35i is priced at $2,300 below an xDrive all-wheel-drive-equipped model.
The X6's top-flight xDrive50i model should get the same 45-horsepower bump as the X5 xDrive50i, thanks to refinements to its twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8, while the 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-pot should remain unchanged. We wouldn't hold our breath for an X6 diesel to arrive, although weirder stuff has happened. Like the X5, though, this should be a pretty slim refit that improves an already competent package to go along with an expected increase in price.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 1980s will be remembered for the liftback coupe, a bodystyle that, aside from the Nissan 370Z and a few other isolated cases, is mostly nonexistent today. In all likelihood, the late 2000s and early 2010s will be remembered in 20 years time by a spate of bizarre lifted four-door 'coupes' that popped onto the market.
Much like those liftback coupes, most of which were eventually replaced by traditional trunks, it doesn't appear vehicles like the Acura ZDX and Honda Crosstour are long for this world (the exception being the BMW X6, which will almost certainly see a second generation or at least a significant refresh). Sales of five of the six four-door coupe-crossovers on the market had a year-over-year drop in September of anywhere from 39 to 80 percent, according to a new report from Automotive News. The Infiniti FX/QX70, Toyota Venza, Accord Crosstour, BMW X6 and 5 Series GT all saw drops, while the ZDX saw its sales drop even further, making it about as popular as Congress these days.
This news wouldn't be tough to swallow were the rest of the industry down as well. But with sales of traditional luxury crossovers up ten percent so far in 2013 and the overall crossover segment up 15 percent overall, the losses by the four-door CCs is rather glaring.
Part of the reason for the sales drop is likely due to simple human nature - these are fashion-forward vehicles that make a statement. The result is that the people who are truly interested in them buy them early and are quick to move on to the next big thing, giving these models a very brief shelf life, not unlike sportscars and most convertibles. That said, there's no shortage of more practical issues that limited their broader appeal. Besides the additional price of entry demanded by the coupes, their lack of rear headroom, limited visibility and diminished utility have arguably made them a tough sell with consumers, particularly when they're forced to share showroom space with more conventional platform-mates.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Published under Acura, Acura ZDX, Bmw, BMW X6, Coupes, Crossovers, honda, Honda Accord, Honda Accord Crosstour | send this post
Tags: 2013 bmw x6, 2013 honda crosstour, Car Buying, coupe, crossover, luxury, Marketing/Advertising, Performance, Sales
How big is the market for a jacked-up car-based that has a steeper, less practical shape? Not very, apparently.