BMW Announces New X7 SUV


By Kelsey Mays,

BMW announced Friday it will build the recently unveiled X4 plus an all-new X7 (and eventually the X5 plug-in hybrid) at its Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant. The German automaker currently builds the X3, X5 and X6 SUVs there.

2015 BMW X3: First Look

The flurry of SUV announcements came with few other details, particularly on the new X7, which BMW called "another all-new, larger X model." The automaker said it plans to build all X7s in Spartanburg, and will export them from there for sales overseas. Autoweek reports the SUV will seat up to seven occupants in three rows; BMW will build it off an extended-wheelbase version of the recently redesigned X5 platform, which will underpin the next X6 as well. The X7 will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX80 and Cadillac Escalade. Autoweek says it will offer inline-six and V-8 engines. It should also have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain similar to the one in the forthcoming X5 plug-in, which BMW previewed in the X5 Concept eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

As part of a $1 billion investment over the next two years, the automaker says it will expand capacity at the 20-year-old plant by 50 percent, to 450,000 total cars from the current 300,000 a year. BMW shoppers here shouldn't expect to get all of those, though: The automaker says it exports around 70 percent of its Spartanburg production each year. photo

By David Thomas | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

BMW X4 Concept Photo Gallery


It's a "coupe" with four doors and a hatchback. It's a crossover SUV that insists on being called an SAV. And, as reviewer Aaron D. Bragman previously observed when we saw it last spring during the 2013 Shanghai auto show, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the '80s-fabulous AMC Eagle. The X4 concept, BMW's latest boutiquey offering and a downsized counterpart to the X6, is now looking to confound Americans in its U.S. debut this week at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Slated to launch in 2014, BMW's latest "sport activity vehicle" blends the qualities of an SAV with those of a coupe (read: five-door).

More 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The horizontally biased, width-accentuating exterior styling of the X4 suggests the stocky athleticism of a no-neck, fireplug-physiqued high school wrestler crouched on the mat and ready to pounce. Meanwhile, it also wears classic BMW features such as a kidney grille and stylized twin circular headlights, as well as 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Check out the photo gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 20, 2013 | Comments (4)

Top 10 Most Polarizing Cars


Maybe you love it, maybe you hate it, but almost certainly you're talking about it. Polarizing cars have that effect on people — but sometimes you just love what you love, even if seems like everyone thinks you're nuts for loving it. Sometimes that public pressure makes you love it more. There have been cars like this since the beginning of the auto industry, with the first automobiles themselves being polarizing machines. Some people thought the horseless carriage was amazing, and some thought it was blasphemy, but it certainly got attention.

We polled the editors of to decide the most polarizing cars of recent memory and tabulated the results. What's the most polarizing car?

By Aaron Bragman | September 17, 2013 | Comments (23)

BMW X4 Sport Activity Coupe Concept at 2013 Shanghai Motor Show

  • Looks like: Honey, I shrunk the X6!
  • Defining characteristics: BMW family face, apparent lack of rear headroom, new headlight pattern
  • Ridiculous features: 21-inch concept-car wheels, naming a five-door hatchback a "coupe"
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Count on it

BMW continues to add new quirky models to its lineup in its quest to become the best-selling luxury brand in the world. The automaker's most recent concept car, which is headed for the 2013 Shanghai motor show, is likely a preview of the next step in BMW's model blitz. Behold the BMW X4 Sport Activity Coupe concept, a baby brother to the larger X6.

BMW hasn't released any technical details on the X4 concept, sticking to discussions of its styling instead, but we assume its relationship to the BMW X3 Sport Activity Vehicle (BMW refuses to call them SUVs) will be similar to the connection between the X5 and the X6.

By Aaron Bragman | April 5, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2012-2013 BMW X5, 2013 BMW X6

BMW X5BMW is recalling 2,642 2012-13 BMW X5s and 2013 BMW X6s due to incorrect manufacturing of the steering system, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In affected vehicles, built from April 20 to May 29, the steering gear was not built to specifications. As a result, the gear may not lie firmly in the rack-and-pinion guide and could be pressed out under certain conditions. This would cause power-steering fluid to leak possibly into the engine compartment. The result would be a loss of hydraulic power steering, making it more difficult to steer. More importantly, the flammable steering fluids could ignite an engine fire if exposed to hot exhaust. The manufacturing error is reported to be in about 70% of the recalled vehicles, according to BMW.

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified, and dealers will inspect and replace the steering gear, when necessary, free of charge. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

Check Out Other Recalls 
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By Colin Bird | June 21, 2012 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: High-Powered BMWs

BMW is recalling turbocharged versions of several of its vehicles to address a faulty water pump, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The affected vehicles include model-year 2011 5 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo and model-year 2012 6 Series convertible, 7 Series, X5 and X6 vehicles. They use turbocharged eight- or 12-cylinder engines. A total of 2,846 units are being recalled.

In the affected vehicles, the circuit board that controls the electric auxiliary water pump could overheat. This could lead to a vehicle fire. In February, BMW received eight complaints of water pump failures. There have been no accidents or injuries related to this recall, according to the automaker.

BMW will notify owners this month, and dealers will replace the affected parts free of charge. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 16, 2012 | Comments (0)

BMW Unveilings in New York Include M6, X1 Crossover

Five new or updated BMW vehicles will be unveiled at the 2012 New York International Auto Show next month. Making their world debuts are the M6 convertible and X1 compact crossover. The X6 M and M6 coupe will make their North American debut, and they will share the stage with the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, which was unveiled earlier this month at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in Florida.

The high-performance M versions of the 6 Series coupe and convertible return to the lineup after a two-year break. Power for the duo comes from a 560-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8 paired with a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.

The X1 will slot below the X3 in BMW's lineup and will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. It will use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Updated for model-year 2013 is the X6 M, bringing it in line with the updates the regular M got for 2013.

We'll have more info next month at the 2012 New York International Auto Show.

By Jennifer Geiger | March 23, 2012 | Comments (1)

2013 BMW X6: First Look

2013 BMW X6

  • Competes with: Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Infiniti FX50 
  • Looks like: Not a whole lot of change for the X6  
  • Drivetrain: 300-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six, 400-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, 555-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8; eight- or six-speed automatic transmissions
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2012

For the 2013 model year, the BMW X6 undergoes a subtle midcycle update, keeping the nearly 4-year-old model fresh enough for perspective buyers. Up front, the X6 gets a restyled grille, front clip, fog lamps and new headlights. Adaptive LED headlights are a new option for the model year; xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are still standard. In the back, there are restyled LED taillights. There also are new 19-inch wheel designs for the xDrive50i, too.

In the cabin, there's a new red leather upholstery option. The uplevel Nappa leather upholstery now comes in a new Ivory color scheme. Like the 2012 BMW X6, the 2013 model comes standard with four bucket seats, but there's a rear bench seat option, bringing the total capacity to five passengers.

By Colin Bird | January 26, 2012 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2008-2011 BMW Vehicles

5 Series Gran TurismoBMW is recalling 32,084 2008-11 model-year vehicles equipped with an eight- or 12-cylinder engine because of the potential for an engine fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 2008-11 models included in the recall are the 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo, 7 Series, X5 and X6.

In the affected vehicles, an auxiliary water pump, which supports cooling of the turbocharger, can malfunction because of a defective circuit board. In certain situations, this circuit board can overheat and smolder the water pump, which may lead to an engine compartment fire or vehicle fire.

The recall is expected to begin in November. BMW dealerships will replace the pump free of charge. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

By Colin Bird | October 31, 2011 | Comments (3)

2011 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 to Be Discontinued

2011 BMW ActiveHybrid X6

The 2011 model year is the last for the BMW ActiveHybrid, X6 according to, a BMW enthusiast website that confirmed the discontinuation with BMW of North America. 

The short-lived hybrid, which was launched in 2009, was BMW’s first foray into bi-powered propulsion. The full hybrid system in the X6 hybrid produced 480 horsepower and a whopping 575 pounds-feet of torque. It can travel on all-electric power up to 1.6 miles at speeds up to 37 mph — much longer and faster than the Toyota Prius. Gas mileage came in at 17/19 mpg city/highway — an improvement of 3 mpg in the city, but a loss of 1 mpg on the highway compared with the regular V-8 model.

The dual-mode hybrid in the X6 was a shared technology developed by Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and GM. As such, a similar system is used in cars like the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid and Mercedes ML450 hybrid, among others. None of these hybrids has been a particularly great seller.

Part of the problem may have to do with the hybrid system’s emphasis on power over efficiency and price. Case in point: The 2011 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid starts at $88,900. At that price, you’re only about $1,000 away from the high-performance BMW X6 M which, according to, is what many car shoppers opted for instead of the hybrid.

Exclusive: X6 Active Hybrid Exits US (BimmerFile)

By Colin Bird | September 21, 2011 | Comments (11)

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