Tag Archives: bmw

mercedes benz bmw logo

Luxury car brand sales hit record levels in 2014

mercedes benz bmw logo

German automakers BMW and Mercedes said Friday they attained record sales in 2014, their fourth in a row, driven by rising demand in all regions.

 said in a statement it delivered more than two million vehicles to customers in 2014, “the company’s fourth record year in a row.”

It said it sold a total 2.118 million BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles, 7.9% more than the year before.

“I am delighted that we achieved our target of selling more than two million vehicles in 2014, a new record for the BMW group. We have seen good growth throughout the year, well spread across all major sales regions,” said the group’s sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson.

“We are now looking forward to building on these successes in 2015.”

Separately, , which is owned by Daimler, also posted the “best-ever sales in the company’s history.”

Sales of Mercedes-Benz rose by 12.9% to 1.65 million, its fourth straight year of record demand.

“Mercedes-Benz is on a course of success. The best sales in our company’s history show that our product offensive is bearing fruit,” said chief executive Dieter Zetsche.

He attributed the group’s success “in particular to our compact cars, the new C-Class and the S-Class.”

But the group managed to increase grow unit sales in all core markets, Zetsche said. “In 2015, we will continue our product offensive in the SUV (sports utility vehicle) segment,” the CEO added.

BMW Remote Valet Parking

BMW wants your smartwatch to park your car

BMW Remote Valet Parking

A fully-automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant will be one of the major highlights of the German carmaker’s appearance at the CES 2015.

BMW will be bringing a specially adapted version of its i3 electric car to the show that can safely negotiate a multi-storey parking lot, and identify and park in an available space with no human input at all.

All the owner has to do is get out and activate the system via his or her smartwatch and leave the car to its own devices.

Even smarter still, the car can work out exactly when its owner is returning and meet him or her at the entrance.

BMW i3 electric car interior

Self-parking cars are not new. In fact one of the stars of the 2013 International CES was an Audi A7 that could park and un-park itself when the driver activated a smartphone app. What makes BMW’s system that little bit special is how the car navigates the parking lot.

GPS systems are unreliable indoors, as anyone who’s tried setting the satnav while in a multi-storey parking lot can attest to.

So the BMW system uses a system of four lasers in conjunction with a detailed digital map of the space.

As well as straight forward navigation, the lasers can identify oncoming traffic, pedestrians, when a space is occupied and when a car is badly parked and needs to be avoided.

The other benefit is that parking lots won’t have to invest in complex infrastructure or sensors that communicate with cars for mapping purposes.

The BMW system is equally effective on the open road, providing 360° collision avoidance and alerting the driver as to potential obstacles and even taking control in emergencies, turning the wheel and applying the brakes.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

BMW reveals the 2 Series Convertible

BMW 2 Series Convertible

The replacement for the popular BMW 1 Series Convertible has been revealed and it’s called the 2 Series Convertible.

This is the third car in the all-new  line up, joining the 2 Series Coupe and 2 Series Active Tourer models.

The 2 Series’ predecessor sold more than 130,000 units worldwide, so BMW has high hopes for its drop-top replacement.


It’s bigger in pretty much every way than the car it replaces so that rear-seat passengers get an extra 43mm of leg room and the trunk now offers 353 liters of space when the roof’s up.

When dropped and folded into the trunk, load space drops to 280 liters, but for a car that’s only 4432mm from nose to tail that’s not bad.

To improve space inside without impacting on performance, BMW has opted for a lighter fabric rather than a heavy metal retractable roof.

And rather than try to disguise the fact the car has a ‘soft’ top, BMW is accentuating it by offering owners a choice of fabric finishes to complement or contrast the exterior paint job.

BMW 2 Series Convertible interior

Although using a fabric soft top can mean that the cabin is noisier and colder when the roof’s up, because this one has four layers, BMW says that cabin noise in the rear has been cut by 7 decibels.

Meanwhile, the system knows when the roof is down and can automatically compensate for big changes in temperature and the speed at which the car is travelling.

Other intelligent touches include a special leather finish that incorporates something called SunReflective technology, which means that when the roof’s down and the sun’s shining into the cabin, the leather seats shouldn’t heat up as much.

In terms of engines, at launch there will be a choice of three petrol powerplants, the most exciting of which — a twin turbo in-line 3-liter six-cylinder — will be found in the M235i.

It is capable of going from 0-100km/h (62mph) in 5 seconds when power is sent to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission.

There will also be one diesel available in the 220d that offers less in way of performance but incredible gains in fuel economy of 4.4 – 4.1 liters per 100 kilometers (64.2-68.9mpg) when specified with automatic transmission.

The 2-Series Convertible will go on sale in Europe in October and will be on public display at the Paris Motor Show.

BMW i8 Concours Elegance Edition

BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition Revealed

BMW i8 Concours Elegance Edition

BMW has announced plans to offer an i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The BMW i8 is extremely lightweight and uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a 128bph electric motor powering the front wheels and a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-liter, 228bhp petrol engine spinning the rear wheels.

The result is a car that can go from a standstill to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h yet delivers a fuel economy of 2.1l/100km and carbon dioxide emissions of just 49g/km.

That makes the car faster off the line, lighter and more efficient than a current Porsche 911 Carrera S despite being bigger and only having half as many cylinders under the hood.


Unsurprisingly, demand for the standard edition is already very high ahead of the car’s official launch in the US this autumn, therefore the Concours d’Elegance Edition could be a great way of jumping the queue!

The BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition will come with a unique Frozen Grey metallic exterior paint finish and an interior trimmed in Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery that has been tanned using dye derived from plant extracts.

It will also be the first BMW i8 to land on US shores with laser headlights as standard and its own professional charging station.


It even gets a special ‘display’ key that has an integrated touchscreen and that can show information such as remaining battery power, range and the closest charging station, at a glance.

The auction will be conducted by Gooding & Company on Saturday, August 16 with all proceeds going to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The i8 is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000 and the auction will be broadcast as a live stream via Gooding’s website.

bmw i8 concept spyder photo

BMW to mark centenary in 2016 with i9 hybrid coupe

bmw i8 concept spyder photo

To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016, BMW could launch a new and improved edition of its i8 hybrid coupe.

Dubbed the BMW i9, the new supercar will reportedly have a new hybrid plug-in powertrain and will be capable of outperforming the i8.

The coupe will be equipped with a combustion engine and an electric motor, with combined power of more than the current BMW i8’s 362hp (231hp from the fuel engine and 131hp from the electric side).

The i9 is expected to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in less than 4 seconds.


Louis Vuitton luggage for BMW i8

The vehicle in question will be made with lightweight materials (aluminum, carbon fiber) for optimized power-to-weight ratio and performance.

While the development of a BMW i9 is indeed possible, there can never be a BMW i10, as the name is already used by Hyundai.

BMW 2 Series Active Tourers

BMW rolls out new 2 Series Active Tourers

BMW 2 Series Active Tourers

 is entering the premium compact car market with the launch of the 2 Series Active Tourer, a new range aimed at combining comfort and functionality with dynamics and elegance.

The driver and passenger are seated slightly higher than they would be in a typical sedan, offering a panoramic view and easier entry.

The sliding rear seat enables more flexible seating, allowing passengers to increase either their legroom or the storage space in the luggage compartment.

Another element to improve passenger comfort: all of those aboard can take advantage of the online services of the BMW ConnectedDrive system.

Under the hood, the 2 Series Active Tourer will be offered with a choice of three next-generation engines, all of which are equipped with the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and in line with the Euro 6 emissions standard.

The BMW 218i Active Tourer is powered by a three-cylinder fuel engine with 136hp and has a fuel consumption rate of between 4.9 and 5.2l/100km (CO2 emissions: 115-120g/km).

The top-of-the-range BMW 225i Active Tourer has a four-cylinder fuel engine with 231hp, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 6.6s and to hit a top speed of 240km/h.

The model’s fuel consumption is listed at between 5.8 and 6l/100km (CO2 emissions: 135-139g/km). Between the two, the BMW 218d Active Tourer is equipped with a four-cylinder diesel engine with 150hp.

A choice of five trim packages will be available on the 2 Series Active Tourer. Among the standard features included all around are a Bluetooth interface for hands-free phone use, the BMW iDrive control system with its central control screen, a rain sensor and automatic headlight activation, a leather-covered sports steering wheel, a smart emergency contact system and collision warnings.

The trim packages offer additional extras including two-zone automatic temperature control, rear parking radars, fog lamps, cruise control with braking and a multifunction steering wheel.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer range will go on sale in Germany from September. The new model will go on display at the Paris Motor Show 2014.

BMW China

BMW expands China production

BMW China

 said Wednesday it will increase the number of models it builds in China from three to six in the coming years to meet growing demand.

BMW currently produces three models in China, the BMW 5 Series sedan, the BMW 3 Series sedan and the BMW X1.

However, “we are strengthening our focus on meeting the needs and aspirations of our Chinese customers,” said board member Friedrich Eichiner.

“This is why we are going to produce even more models specially tailored to the Chinese market. We are going to double our range of locally produced models in the future — from three to six,” Eichiner said.


BMW X3 revamped

The new models will include a completely new entry model below the 3 Series and a variant of the BMW X3 specifically developed for China.

Over the last five years, BMW has invested more than two billion euros in its Chinese plants, “and we will continue to invest in China,” Eichiner said.

It has two production sites in Dadong and Tiexi and “over the next two years, we are going to step up the capacity of the two plants from 300.000 units to a combined total of 400,000 units per year,” he said.

BMW also plans to extend its joint venture with Chinese automaker Brilliance China Automotive until 2028.

BMW Horse Edition interior

The Chinese market for private cars should grow by an annual average 8.0 percent until 2020 when overall sales would reach 22 million vehicles.

BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupe Bang & Olufsen Edition

BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupe Bang & Olufsen Edition

BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupe Bang & Olufsen Edition

Promising to combine the design and engineering prowess of both companies in a single object of desire, only 10 Bang and Olufsen Edition BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupés are set to roll off the production line.

As well as being rare, they will also be incredibly fast, thanks to a special competition package of features including a twin-turbo V8 with 575hp on tap and a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Available in two understated exterior colors, Brilliant White Metallic or Dark Graphite II Metallic, the car’s interior is also equally subtle in terms of finish.

The seats are covered in handcrafted Merino Leathers and the door panel and dashboard inserts are black piano wood.

BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupe Bang & Olufsen

Then there’s the  sound system. It features 16 separate active loudspeakers, each dressed in a brushed black aluminum cover for a combined 1200 watts. The finishing touch is a set of matching black BeoPlay H6 high-end headphones.

The car comes with pretty much every creature comfort, including active driver aids and infotainment options that the company offers, as standard.

 hopes to start delivering the first cars this summer and warns potential customers that orders are being taken on a first come, first served basis.

BMW Vision Gran Turismo

BMW debuts Gran Turismo car

BMW Vision Gran Turismo

A new dedicated track car, quite literally aimed at the PlayStation generation, the BMW Vision Gran Turismo can only be driven by players of the sixth installment of the leading racing simulator title.

However, just because it’s heading for a HD display rather than the Nurburgring, it doesn’t mean that BMW’s engineers haven’t taken the job of developing and testing the car anything other than extremely seriously.

So, it boasts an engine developed by the company’s ‘M’ division and capable of pumping out 549 virtual horsepower from its six in-line cylinders.

The engine is milked of all of this power thanks to a sequential six-speed transmission, operated by gearshift paddles on the steering wheel, while handling is taken care of thanks to a perfect 50:50 weight distribution and a curb weight of just 1180kg.

BMW’s virtual car is the latest to be revealed as part of the “Gran Turismo 6 PlayStation 3” game and follows similar virtual reveals from Mercedes Benz and Toyota and future cars from the likes of Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin which will be revealed soon.

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo

To mark the title’s 15th anniversary in 2013, Gran Turismo’s creator Kazunori Yamauchi, approached a number of carmakers with the idea of creating special concept cars that would appear in the game via online updates.

As well as via the latest Gran Turismo update, BMW fans will be able to experience the car for themselves at BMW Welt in Munich. The company has set up a special racing seat surrounded by a three-screen display so that virtual test drivers of the new car get a truly lifelike, immersive experience.


The BMW M5 “30 years of the M5″ edition


BMW’s M division has marked the 30th anniversary of the M5 with the unveiling of the most powerful version of the iconic four-door saloon yet.

The ‘standard’ fifth-generation M5, launched in 2011, boasted some hair-raising performance figures — 560hp, 680Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds despite being a huge four-door, five-seat sedan with plenty of luggage space.

BMW 30 JAHRE M5 interior photo

But to celebrate its birthday, BMW’s engineers have really gone to town.

The 30 Jahre (‘years of’ in German) M5 puts out 600hp, 700Nm of torque and hits 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and all from the same, albeit massively tweaked, twin-turbo V8 engine.

BMW 30 JAHRE M5 interior

What’s more, all of that power comes with environmental responsibility in the form of a combined cycle fuel economy of 9.9l/100km (28.5mpg) and CO2 emissions of 231g/km.

BMW 30 JAHRE M5 logo

As well as the powertrain upgrades, the car comes in a special silver exterior paint finish and the cabin is packed full of high-tech features.

BMW M5 30th Anniversary

BMW will only be producing 300 examples of the car and there is little doubt that the order book will fill up almost as quickly as the car accelerates.

BMW Horse Edition interior

BMW prepares China-only 7-Series Horse Edition

BMW Horse Edition interior

The car, which will be exclusive to the brand’s Chinese customers, will be the centerpiece of BMW’s stand at the Beijing auto show.

Based on the long-wheelbase 7-Series luxury executive sedan, the Horse Edition offers a host of personalization options, including a number of individual paint finishes, and to help it stand out from the crowd, the exterior will also be augmented by elements from the company’s M division.

So, equipment and aerodynamic additions focused on increasing handling, performance and its sporty nature.

BMW promises a host of “high-class” interior details which will be open to personal interpretation but will include, as standard, specially embroidered leather seats featuring the Chinese character representing the Horse.

Now in its 13th year, the Beijing International Automotive exhibition officially opens its doors to the public on April 20.

BMW Horse Edition

BMW Art Cars

BMW Launches Book about Its Art Cars Collection

BMW Art Cars

Since 1975, BMW has regularly invited leading contemporary artists to transform iconic cars into unique works of art. Now, for the first time, fans can browse through all of the Art Cars in a single book.

Alexander Calder

This richly illustrated volume provides a complete panorama of this one-of-a-kind automobile collection. In addition to multiple photos of each of these works of art, the book includes commentary from the artists on their inspiration when decorating the cars.

BMW Art Cars Ken Done

A total of 17 artists contributed to the collection: Alexander Calder (1975), Frank Stella (1976), Roy Lichtenstein (1977), Andy Warhol (1979), Ernst Fuchs (1982), Robert Rauschenberg (1986), Michael Jagamara Nelson (1989), Ken Done (1989), Matazo Kayama (1990), Cesar Manrique (1990), A.R Penck (1991), Esther Mahlangu (1991), Sandro Chia (1992), David Hockney (1995), Jenny Holzer (1999), Olafur Eliasson (2007) and Jeff Koons (2010).

César Manrique's BMW Art Car: 1990 BMW 730i

The book also includes commentary from the co-founders of the collection: former BMW Motorsport director Jochen Neerpasch and former racing pilot Hervé Poulain, who is now vice president of the French art auction house Artcurial. Jeff Koons designed the book’s cover, while Schmid+Widmaier Design created the cardboard slip cover.

Jeff Koons' BMW Art Car

Coinciding with the book’s European release, an exhibit of BMW Art Cars is taking place from April 1-18 at the BMW George V dealership in Paris, where visitors can see the cars decorated by Alexander Calder, Franck Stella, Sandro Chia and Jeff Koons.

frank stella bmw art car

“BMW Art Cars” was edited by Thomas Girst and published by Hatje Cantz.

BMW vehicles in production

BMW X7 SUV confirmed

BMW vehicles in production

BMW confirmed today it will launch a new model called the X7, a larger SUV that tops the current X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6 range.

The X7 will be built in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the same factory where BMW already builds all of its SUVs except the X1.

The new model, which will go head to head with the full-sized Range Rover, the Mercedes-Benz GL and the Audi Q7, is expected to only be offered with permanent all-wheel drive and with a choice of 6- and 8-cylinder engines.

It is also expected to arrive in 2016 with enough seats for seven. All of which suggests that BMW is targeting the US more than Europe with the X7.

All of which means that 2016 is going to be a very busy automotive year for the SUV segment. As well as the X7, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Bentley have all scheduled 2016 launches for their own off-roaders.

They look set to be joined by Jaguar: a production car based on the C-X17 is currently in development. Seen as more a sports car with a high driving position than a genuinely utilitarian 4×4, it will attempt to compete with the recently launched Porsche Macan.

An ambitious target but an understandable aim as it would be unlikely for Jaguar to try to compete with Land Rover, seeing as both brands are part of the same parent company.

Louis Vuitton luggage for BMW i8

Louis Vuitton Create Custom Bags for BMW i8

Louis Vuitton has partnered up with BMW to debut a set of luggage pieces that match the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid.

Louis Vuitton luggage for BMW i8

The four-piece suitcase set is made entirely of lightweight, yet sturdy, carbon fiber, and is patterned to match the interior of the sports car perfectly.

bmw i8 interior louis vuitton luggage

Comprising two travel bags, a business case and a garment bag, each item has a carbon black finish, dyed, natural leather handles and comes complete with Louis Vuitton’s unmistakable checkered Damier pattern.

bmw i8 louis vuitton luggage trunk

Black and electric blue used in the microfibre lining take their cue from the trademark brand colours of the BMW i8 .

bmw i8 louis vuitton luggage

The Louis Vuitton luggage series will be available upon request in a selection of Louis Vuitton stores worldwide starting April 1, 2014.


BMW launches new X3

The refreshed compact sports SUV integrates styling cues from the latest 3 Series sedan as well as a number of quality and fuel-efficiency upgrades.


BMW likes to think that it created the concept of the small-scale sporty off-roader or Sports Activity Vehicle and that the original X3, launched way back in 2003, was the nucleus of what has become a rapidly growing market.

That might well be true. Before the introduction of BMW’s ‘X’ range of cars, off-roaders were designed to be good off-road and bearable on the road.

BMW X3 photo

After they arrived, a whole host of vehicles were launched by everyone from Audi to Nissan that offered a high driving position and permanent four wheel drive, but were designed for city centers and highways rather than rocky mountains and country lanes.

Still, despite their lack of real off-road performance, there seems to be no shortage of demand for the cars and it is estimated that roughly 1 million X3s have been sold globally over the past decade.

BMW X3 back

In order to retain these levels of popularity as consumers become more worried about sustainability and the environment, the biggest change to the new X3 is what’s powering the wheels — the company’s latest generation turbodiesel engines, the most notable of which is the 2.0-liter unit.

It uses TwinPower technology to ensure acceleration at all points across the rev band and in all gears, delivers 187bhp, and a fuel economy of 52.3mpg (5.4l/100km) on the combined cycle.

BMW X3 interior

These figures can be improved further thanks to the EfficientDynamics package that includes an auto stop/start function and a brake energy regeneration system plus lower resistance tires.

Inside, cabin materials are subtly upgraded and BMW’s ConnectedDrive driver assistance and infotainment system is available as a cost option.

BMW X3 revamped

Announced Thursday, the X3 will be making its first real-world appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe photo

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is for drivers hankering for something that has space and doors for all the family but still has the good looks of a coupé.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe photo

Normally, a BMW customer has two choices when it comes to choosing his or her next mid-sized car from the German company.

A sleek, focused two-door which is intoxicating to drive but, thanks to a heavily sloping roof, a bit cramped in the back. Or an equally sporty four-door sedan that sacrifices a little in terms of rakish good looks in order to accommodate rear passenger doors and more rear-seat headroom.

BMW clearly worries that this is a difficult decision to make and one that might be driving its customers into the welcoming arms of Audi and Mercedes as, unlike its closest direct competitors, it currently doesn’t have a car that offers the best elements of a coupe and a sedan. That is until now.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

The 4 Series Gran Coupé is essentially a ‘stretched’ but not a distorted coupé and that’s because it’s been stretched upwards, rather than outwards.

Raising the roofline by 12mm has done nothing to spoil its lines. Neither has adding two extra doors. The car still looks like it means business — even on the school run.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe interior

And of course, because BMW has waited until Mercedes and Audi have already launched their offerings in this space (the 4-door A5 and CLA respectively), it can make sure that the 4 Series is ‘best in class’ in terms of things like trunk space and headroom.

Under the hood, the car will be powered at launch with a choice of five engines, four of which will be petrol powerplants and one will be of the turbodiesel variety. The most potent will be the 306hp, 3-liter, in-line 6-cylinder unit, but there will also be a choice of less potent four-cylinder engines too.

4 Series Gran Coupe

In terms of internal specifications, that’s down to the individual customer.

There will be three levels of standard trim and features, plus an options list that is huge (as with all BMWs); plus the BMW Individual Program will allow owners to create something even more exclusive.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive

Porsche Considering BMW 5 Series Competitor

The German sportscar company is considering a move into the premium mid-size executive sedan market where the BMW 5-series is currently king.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive

In fact, it is one of the most competitive market segments in the automotive world. As well as the 5-Series, the Porsche would have to do battle with the Mercedes E Class, Audi A6, a host of Lexus models and the new Maserati Ghibli.

However the company has never been scared of a challenge and has been debating a move into the segment since 2012. As Porsche boss Matthias Muller told Autocar: “Speaking very frankly, I can say this is one of many ideas we have, to build a car below Panamera.”

Porsche is playing its cards close to its chest and makes it clear that as well as a car to match the 5 Series, it is also considering a host of different markets.

However, making a car similar in status to its Panamera sedan but smaller seems the most logical next step for the company. Also adding weight to the rumors is the fact that as part of the Volkswagen group, Porsche is currently helping to develop a new platform that will support rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles and that will be used for the next-generation Bentley.

That said, if Porsche does decide to build a BMW beater, the car will have to be incredible.

The current 5-series is pound-for-pound the best car that money can buy. It offers an unequalled mix of performance, practicality, comfort, quality, and high-tech active driver assistance features.

BMW X6M Design Edition

BMW X6 M Design Edition – First Look

BMW X6M Design Edition

The luxury car company plans to build just 100 examples of a special Design Edition version of the BMW X6 M sports crossover.

The BMW X6 M Design Edition comes with a serious interior upgrade, the seats and instrument panel finished in Merino leather while the dashboard fascia features a piano black veneer.

Owners will also be able to look at an edition-specific badge prominently mounted on the instrument panel to know which one of the 100 examples they are driving.

Outside, the car sits on 21-inch M Performance light-alloy wheels in a double-spoke design with carbon elements while there is a choice of three exterior paint finishes: Alpine White, Sapphire Black or Melbourne Red metallic.

The car also gets carbon-fiber front chin and rear spoilers, but the 4.4-liter turbocharged 547bhp V8 that powers the ‘stock’ edition will be carried over, untouched for this limited edition model.

And any potential customer put off by the M performance racing stripes need not worry, they are optional. BMW is yet to announce pricing.

BMW unveils the 2-Series Coupe

BMW 2 Series coupe

BMW has released pictures, specifications and pricing of its latest compact sportscar ahead of its official global debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January.

Continuing its new nomenclature whereby coupes take even numbers and four- or five-door cars odd numbers, the BMW 2 Series is essentially a curvy, angular, two-door version of the 1 Series, but one with impeccable road-holding and a massive amount of performance despite its diminutive proportions

The M235i, which will make its global debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January, is a massive attempt by the German manufacturer to crack the US ‘sub-compact’ market in the way that it already has the premium executive sedan sector.

So should potential US customers get excited? The simple answer is that if they love driving and want something that’s as exhilarating on a track as it is easy to drive along a chronically congested highway and that offers bulletproof reliability and build quality, yes.

There are currently a number of great-driving, inexpensive two-door coupes on the market, not least the incredibly entertaining Toyota GT 86. But with its 50:50 perfect weight distribution and twin-turbo in-line six cylinder engine (322 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque), good for a 0-60mph (100km/h) time of 4.8 seconds, the BMW raises the bar.

At $44,000 it is on the expensive side, but as well as the ferocious engine, prospective owners will get a specially tweaked suspension set-up, serious brakes and a host of electronic gadgetry — including dynamic traction control, cornering and dynamic brake control — to keep the car pointing straight and true even as grip levels reach their limits.

Serious drivers can also go crazy with the options catalogue and choose adaptive suspension, electronically controlled shock absorbers and even specify a 10-20mm lower ride height.

BMW also offers a slightly more diluted and civilized 228i coupe with a four-cylinder twin-turbocharged 240hp engine which is still good for a 0-100km/h time of 5.4 seconds. It will be priced at $33,000.

BMW 2 Series coupe interior

BMW i8 Teaser

BMW i8 to Officially Debut at Frankfurt

2014 BMW i8

At the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW will reveal the production model of its Spyder i8 hybrid car, previously presented as a prototype.

First introduced in 2011 to mark the launch of the premium BMW i line, the i8 stands out as a particularly sporty hybrid coupe. Its combination of turbodiesel and plug-in motors allows a total power of 354hp, for an announced top speed of 250km/h and 0 to 100km/h acceleration in 4.6 seconds.

The i8’s average fuel consumption is announced at 2.7L/100km. The other model in BMW’s i range, the i3, will also be on display on the manufacturer’s stand in Frankfurt. This all-electric car can travel up to 160km between charges, naturally without emitting a single gram of CO2.

2014 BMW i8 interior

Although final pricing details for the two models have yet to be announced, both are currently available for pre-order in certain European countries before their commercial launch on the continent, in late 2013 for the BMW i3 and early 2014 for the BMW i8.

Meanwhile, BMW fans in North America can register for a test drive of the i3, which will be marketed in certain US cities from the second quarter of 2014.