BMW: Not Much New News

January 14, 2008

It's always nice to be surprised, but BMW didn't announce anything truly new at their Detroit event. If you're a TCC regular (and you probably are because you're reading this), we've let you know that BMW would show their X5-related X6 crossover in the Motor City.

BMW claims to have invented a new vehicle segment with the X6. They call it a "Coupe Sport Activity Vehicle." Because of my background in marketing, I bristle as such worthless pabulum. Besides being a vacuous claim (as in what the heck does it matter), their design is not categorically dissimilar enough from the Infiniti's new EX35 or that brand's extant FX35/45 twins to warrant any such positioning. Oh well, marketing departments have to justify their existence just like the rest of us...present company included.

After the X6, BMW showed the 1-Series Convertible. Nice, but we'd seen that before, too. The 1-Series is much more a baby 3-Series than anything that shares DNA with BMW's iconic 2002 (the new 1 is claimed to be the spiritual successor of the 2002). In person, the similarities between the drop-top 1 and 3 is remarkable. This is not a complaint, as the overall design plays well in full and 3/4-scale. We felt the same way about the 1-Series Coupe when we drove it.

Telling us more of what we already knew, BMW announced the addition of clean-diesel power to the 3-Series and their X5.

Okay, so BMW retold us everything we already knew. It was still good to be here in person as pixels just don't excite the retinas the same way as light bouncing off painted metal.

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