Behind the scenes at BMW Spartanburg plant

The BMW plant near Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA, began producing BMW automobiles for the world market in 1994. Today, it manufactures the BMW X3, BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the X6 Sports Activity Coupe and their variants. In 2014 the p...

The BMW plant near Spartanburg in South Carolina, USA, began producing BMW automobiles for the world market in 1994. Today, it manufactures the BMW X3, BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and the X6 Sports Activity Coupe and their variants. In 2014 the production of the all new BMW X4 started and it will be responsible for the production of the BMW X7 in the future. Here’s a behind the scenes look.

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2015 NYIAS: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class World Debut

Debuting at the 2015 NYIAS today are a couple of niche entries from Mercedes-Benz to take BMW head on at its own game. The GLE Class and GLE Coupe, both of which will have their own lunatic AMG versions as well. The GLE Class replaces the M Class as ...

Debuting at the 2015 NYIAS today are a couple of niche entries from Mercedes-Benz to take BMW head on at its own game. The GLE Class and GLE Coupe, both of which will have their own lunatic AMG versions as well. The GLE Class replaces the M Class as Mercedes’ X5 fighter, while the GLE Coupe has been designed to take on the X6. With one diesel engine and two V6s available, the GLE should match up with the X5 quite well. The GLE300d will come with a 2.1 liter four-cylinder diesel engine, producing 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The GLE350 will feature a naturally aspirated 3.5 liter V6, making 302 hp and the top of the line GLE400 will have a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 producing 329 hp and 354 lb-ft.

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Them there’s the psychotic AMGs version which will pack 550 hp and 516 lb-ft from a 5.5 liter twin-turbo V8, carried over from the previous ML63 AMG. The GLE63 AMGs will rocket to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, compared to the 4.0 flat 0-60 time of the X5/X6M.

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The interior features rich, comfortable leather seats with a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and a massive COMMAND Screen on the dash. Many people seem to complain about the massive screen, claiming it looks cheap, like it’s just been stuck to the dash. Some also claim it’s too big. Sitting in the car, the screen looks just right. It’s the right size for such a big, spacious interior and it looks and feels high-quality. Nothing cheap there.

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The seats both AMG and non-AMG models are supremely comfortable and supportive. The leather and alcantara are top-notch, as well as all of the soft-touch plastics and wood trim. The AMG model I sat in featured an unfinished, open-pore wood trim which looked and felt fantastic. A truly high-quality item.

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The exterior looks are a bit underwhelming, not changing much from the previous M Class aside from a bit of a facelift. That being said, the new face is a looker, with the bulging three-pointed star and chunky headlights. It looks more aggressive than the M Class’ and more expensive. Aside from the new face, though, it’s really standard M Class all around. The GLE Coupe is the new addition, and looks great. It’s aggressive and sporty with a nicely tapered roofline towards the back. Proportionally, it’s very similar to the X6, with the X6 looking even more aggressive, though. The GLE63 AMGs Coupe looks very good, and a bit more understated than the X6 M. The interior of the AMG also get a bit more luxurious that the X6 M, which leans more to the sporty side. Overall, the new GLE Class and GLE Coupe, both standard and AMG models, are fine entries to the Mercedes-Benz stable and worthy competitors to the X5 and X6.

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The article 2015 NYIAS: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class World Debut appeared first on BMW BLOG

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NYIAS 2015: BMW Motorsports Race Cars

BMW Motorsports cars display at the 2015 New York auto show, including a 200ti race car, the 3.0 CSL, and the new BMW Z4 GTLM CSL Homage Livery. ...

BMW Motorsports cars display at the 2015 New York auto show, including a 200ti race car, the 3.0 CSL, and the new BMW Z4 GTLM CSL Homage Livery.

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NYIAS 2015: BMW Cars

Here’s a general visual overview of the BMWs on display at this year’s 2015 NYIAS. ...

Here’s a general visual overview of the BMWs on display at this year’s 2015 NYIAS.

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2015 NYIAS: Porsche Boxster Spyder World Debut

The 2015 was a bit quiet, in terms of debuts. Most of the things we saw, we’ve seen somewhere else before. However, one world debut did get the attention of everyone in attendance. The Porsche Boxster Spyder. This isn’t the first Boxster ...

The 2015 was a bit quiet, in terms of debuts. Most of the things we saw, we’ve seen somewhere else before. However, one world debut did get the attention of everyone in attendance. The Porsche Boxster Spyder. This isn’t the first Boxster Spyder, but it is the newest and the best. While the last gen Spyder was very good, this new Boxster’s chassis is far better than the previous generation’s, so the new Spyder should be as well.

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What the Spyder basically is, is a Boxster with a tent on the roof. Okay, facetiousness aside, the Boxster Spyder is a hardcore, stripped out Boxster purpose built for pure driving enjoyment. The tent reference was towards the power convertible top, which has been replaced, on the Spyder, with a manual top which must be disassembled by hand and stowed in the trunk. The reason for the added inconvenience is lightness. Power folding tops, regardless of soft or hardtop, are very heavy. Removing it and making it manually operated saves quite a bit of weight, but more importantly lowers the center of gravity by reducing weight up top.

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Porsche’s also stripped out the interior by replacing the leather seats with faux-suade ones, replacing the door pull with cloth straps and even reducing the diameter of the steering wheel. Porsche’s also removed the air conditioning and radio to reduce weight, though both are no-cost optional extras. Extreme stuff.

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But if you think Porsche just threw some stuff out and decided to charge you more for it, you’d only be half right. The engineers in Stuttgart have also fitted the 3.8 liter engine from the Carrera S, and it produces a healthy 375 hp. That’s enough grunt to send the Boxster Spyder to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Outright speed isn’t the Spyder’s bag, however. The Boxster Spyder is about driving pleasure and it should deliver. With the only transmission option being a 6-Speed manual, that low weight and center of gravity and the glorious flat-six engine, the Boxster Spyder should be absolutely wonderful to drive.

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Yes it will cost more than the Boxster S or GTS, and yes $82,100 is a lot for a car with a tent for a roof, but it will be the purest version, the version to get if you value driving above all else.

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The article 2015 NYIAS: Porsche Boxster Spyder World Debut appeared first on BMW BLOG

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2015 NYIAS: Cadillac CT6 makes it debut in New York

Recently, I wrote an article somewhat bashing the CT6 and its claims of besting everything else in the business. Since seeing in person at the New York International Auto Show, however, I’ve changed my mind a bit. In fact, I think it actually l...

Recently, I wrote an article somewhat bashing the CT6 and its claims of besting everything else in the business. Since seeing in person at the New York International Auto Show, however, I’ve changed my mind a bit. In fact, I think it actually looks quite promising. The CT6 is Cadillac’s newest sedan and will be its flagship car. The CT6 will be sized similarly to the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, in fact it has an almost identical wheelbase length as the 7er. However, despite its size, it will be as light as its little brother, the CTS. It will actually weigh in around 3,700 lbs, or lighter than the 5 Series. To manage this, Cadillac created the CT6’s chassis with extensive uses of aluminum, high-tensile steel, laser welding and even aircraft-grade metal adhesives.

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Despite its lightweight and high-tech construction, the CT6 is almost a throwback to the Cadillac’s of yore, when they were more about being driven in than actually driving. Rear leg, head and shoulder room are about on par with a normal wheelbase 7 Series. The back seats will recline, both heat and cool, and massage. Higher-end models will also feature high definition screens in the front seat backs.

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Although the rear passengers will be coddled in S Class levels of luxury, and are the primary focus of the CT6, the driver won’t have a bad time either. With Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, multilink front and rear suspension and even rear-wheel steer, the CT6 should be one of the better handling luxury sedans.

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To match the handling and luxury chops, the CT6 will also pack quite a punch under the hood. With a 400 hp twin-turbo V6, as the only engine option as of now, the CT6 will be more powerful than all of its non-V8 German competition. A 2.0 turbo four-cylinder and an all-new naturally aspirated V6 are in the works, says Cadillac. I’m terms of styling, it seems Caddy has gone the Mercedes-Benz route and kept the exterior styling simple. With not much to distinguish it from the CTS, the CT6 looks understated and sophisticated, with the typical Cadillac design language.

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The interior is also typical Cadillac, however it does have a very luxurious backseat. Front seat is just usual Caddy, lately, but is fine in both design and quality. Overall, the interior is very nice, but lacks some of the specialness found in the big Germans.

2016 Cadillac CT6

2016 Cadillac CT6

2016 Cadillac CT6

All of that is okay, though, as the CT6 is supposed to undercut the German luxury yachts in price. The CT6 is said to cost around $70,000 and will come with all of the aforementioned features as well as a 360 degree, around-view camera, a trick LCD rearview mirror (which houses a screen to show the rearview without the obstruction of passengers or C-Pillars) and quad-zone climate control. With all of that tech at that price, the CT6 may be the car Cadillac claimed it to be. It might be time for me to eat my words. The article 2015 NYIAS: Cadillac CT6 makes it debut in New York appeared first on BMW BLOG

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2015 NYIAS: BMW M3 with M Performance Parts

BMW brings the F80 M3 with M Performance Parts to the 2015 New York Auto Show. The Yas Marina Blue M3 showcases the latest development in aero carbon fiber parts. Customers can choose from a selection of items including add-on parts in carbon for the...

BMW brings the F80 M3 with M Performance Parts to the 2015 New York Auto Show. The Yas Marina Blue M3 showcases the latest development in aero carbon fiber parts. Customers can choose from a selection of items including add-on parts in carbon for the side sections of the front bumper, a front attachment made from polyurethane (PUR), a carbon rear diffuser and a carbon rear spoiler. PUR is also used for the side skirt attachments and a rear spoiler for the BMW M3.

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A set of carbon fiber mirror caps were also fitted to the car. The car also features a BMW M Performance silencer system developed specially for the BMW M3 and BMW M4 which uses optimized exhaust gas channeling to generate a louder exhaust note. The lightweight flap control exhaust system comprises a stainless-steel exhaust system and a silencer made completely from titanium and displaying M Performance lettering when viewed from the rear.

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Inside, the M3 can be ordered with the Alcantara M Sports Steering Wheel, but the car displayed at the show had the standard wheel. For more info on BMW M3/M4 M Performance Parts, click here.

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The article 2015 NYIAS: BMW M3 with M Performance Parts appeared first on BMW BLOG

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March 2015: BMW USA sales up 6.9 percent

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 6.9 percent in March for a total of 34,310 compared to 32,107 vehicles sold in March, 2014. “We are seeing a growing confidence and optimism among consumers across the country and for BMW the result is record s...

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 6.9 percent in March for a total of 34,310 compared to 32,107 vehicles sold in March, 2014. “We are seeing a growing confidence and optimism among consumers across the country and for BMW the result is record sales in the first quarter of this year,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “The record first quarter is especially satisfying as BMW of North America is celebrating its 40th Anniversary at the New York Auto Show this week and we are looking forward to the months ahead.”

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In March, notable vehicles sales included the BMW 3 / 4 series which increased sales 46.6 percent to 14,835 vehicles and the BMW 2 series increased 124.2 percent to 1,249 vehicles. BMW Group Sales The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported March sales of 40,139 vehicles, an increase of 12.2 percent from the 35,762 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago. BMW Pre-Owned Vehicles In March, sales of BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned) decreased by 22.5 percent, to 14,956 vehicles compared to the 19,301 vehicles sold in March, 2014. MINI Brand Sales For March, MINI USA reports 5,829 automobiles sold, an increase of 59.5 percent from the 3,655 sold in the same month a year ago. MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles In March, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 2,104 automobiles, a decrease of 5.2 percent from the 2,220 sold in March, 2014. Table 1: Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, March 2015 Mar. 2015 Mar. 2014 % YTD Mar. 2015 YTD Mar. 2014 % BMW brand 34,310 32,107 6.9 78,492 72,377 8.4 BMW passenger cars 27,195 23,211 17.2 57,851 51,087 13.2 BMW light trucks 7,115 8,896 -20.0 20,641 21,290 -3.0 MINI brand 5,829 3,655 59.5 12,777 8,657 47.6 TOTAL Group 40,139 35,762 12.2 91,269 81,034 12.6 BMW Motorrad Sales BMW Motorrad USA sales grew by 3.0% in March with 1,614 motorcycles sold compared to the 1,567 sold in March 2014. The R 1200 RT was the best selling model in the month up 12.7% over 2014 with 186 deliveries compared to 165 the year before. S-Series models were boosted by the arrival of the all-new S 1000 RR, posting growth of 39.1% with sales of 302 units compared to 217 this time last year while the recently introduced F 800 R helped F-Series models outperform 2014, growing 27.8% with 312 deliveries compared to 244 in March 2014. Table 2: Motorcycle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, March 2015 Mar. 2015 Mar. 2014 % YTD 2015 YTD 2014 % BMW Motorcycles 1,614 1,567 3.0 3,098 3,091 0.2 The article March 2015: BMW USA sales up 6.9 percent appeared first on BMW BLOG

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NYIAS 2015: BMW M Cars

The 2015 NYIAS is underway and while BMW has no scheduled press conference nor reveals for this year’s show, we bring the show to you, virtually. Here are the BMW M cars on display – the BMW X6 M, X5 M, and F80 M3 with M Performance Part...

The 2015 NYIAS is underway and while BMW has no scheduled press conference nor reveals for this year’s show, we bring the show to you, virtually. Here are the BMW M cars on display – the BMW X6 M, X5 M, and F80 M3 with M Performance Parts.

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2015 NYIAS: 2016 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe

The 2016 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe made its world debut today at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The new ALPINA delivers more power and refinement than ever, and at $118,225, this ALPINA comes in at just $700 above the M6 Gran Coupe. The ALPINA B6 xDr...

The 2016 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe made its world debut today at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The new ALPINA delivers more power and refinement than ever, and at $118,225, this ALPINA comes in at just $700 above the M6 Gran Coupe. The ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe features a more-dynamic front spoiler and a subtly-revised kidney grill. The design of the hood has also been improved with new character chines, lending the new B6 xDrive Gran Coupe an even more powerful appearance. The design and shape of the new ALPINA front spoiler ensures the effective flow of sufficient air to the radiator modules of the performance cooling-system, including inter-cooler, water and oil. The integrated splitter directs air over and around rather than underneath the vehicle.

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Special NACA air channels at the front of the underbody suck cold air towards the powerful brake system with blue calipers. Large diameter brake discs measuring 374 x 36 mm on the front and 370 x 24 mm on the rear (up from 345 x 24 mm) guarantee effective brake performance.

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The 4.4 liter V8 Bi-Turbo V-8 engine now delivers 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 590 lb-ft at only 3,500 rpm (all figures preliminary). The increase in output of 60 hp over the 2015 model has been achieved through extensive rework of the air intake ducting and air filter housing, with enhancements to the fuel supply system. The new B6 xDrive Gran Coupe is capable of a maximum speed of 200 mph (electronically limited). 0 – 60 mph acceleration time is in 3.6 seconds (preliminary), fastest-accelerating BMW ALPINA model ever developed.

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Inside the cylinders, specific MAHLE pistons are designed to deal with temperatures and pressures associated with up to 1.2 bar (17.4 psi) boost pressure and the engine’s 10.0:1 nominal compression ratio. The engine is mated to an ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC 8-Speed Sport Automatic transmission, co-developed with ZF. U.S. deliveries begin in June 2015.

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The article 2015 NYIAS: 2016 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe appeared first on BMW BLOG

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