With a market that grows larger by the year, China is one of the most important automobile battlefields nowadays, and it’s no surprise that the 2014 Beijing Auto Show hosted so many important debuts, including Mercedes’ upcoming BMW X6 fighter, the Lexus NX or Lincoln’s MKX Concept crossover.
Likewise, BMW went to Beijing to showcase an array of vehicles, hoping to gain more leverage over its luxury competitors. But besides introducing already launched cars and a couple of special models, including the 7 Series Horse Edition, the Germans also debuted the Vision Future Luxury concept, which hints at the manufacturer’s next step in regard to large sedans.
As with most of its concepts, BMW declined to offer any information as to what to what kind of production model the Vision Future Luxury will spawn, but it makes a lot of sense for us to think about the next-generation 7 Series. Additionally, and based on previous reports, this study is also a forerunner for the upcoming 9 Series — the BMW-badged executive that will take on the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman.
Click past the jump to learn more about the BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept.
The sales market of executive limousines has been slowly increasing over the last several years. These extra-long sedans provide unsurpassed comfort, technology and refinement. Formerly the sole domain of rear-wheel drive German sedans with huge cylinder counts, the market has seen quite a shakeup over the last few years. Hyundai is trying to steal sales with the Equus, and companies like Audi have released more fuel efficient, diesel-powered versions of its A8L, and nearly every competitor now offers an AWD variant.
BMW is looking to take eyes away from the competition with its own fuel-efficient, all-weather model. The newly announced 740Ld xDrive combines a fuel-sipping diesel engine with the xDrive AWD system and crams it all under the sheetmetal of BMW’s biggest car.
Is this the winning combination that BMW needs to keep from hemorrhaging buyers to competitors like Hyundai, Jaguar and Audi? We have all the details below to help you decide for yourself.
BMW’s Individual Program has given rise to some pretty unique vehicles over the years. Remember in the 90’s when the automaker decided to build a bespoke BMW 750Li for Karl Lagerfeld?
Fast forward to 2013 and once again, the 750Li has become the subject of another individualized creation from the Bavarian automaker. This time, the company is teaming up with Robbe & Berking, a silverware maker with a long tradition that spans back to the 19th century, to create the 750Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition.
The car itself doesn’t receive any outward aerodynamic modifications, but as far as giving it some luxurious aesthetic upgrades, BMW is guilty of doing so. In building the 750Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition, the company began by adding a bespoke exterior shade to the car while also recreating the a number of exterior and interior components using 925 sterling silver, including the badges, the front grille, door sill finishers, door handles and the interior décor.
Speaking of the interior, there are plenty of upgrades in the cabin to justify its unique billing. Notice that a crescent moon, a crown, and the Robbe & Berking logos appear prominently on the interior. Those aren’t accidents, but rather intentional homages as symbols for silver and Germany, respectively.
A fine-grain, Merino full-leather trim in Amaro Brown was likewise used on the seats with contrast Oral White piping. Rounding out the luxurious interior upgrades are the Alcantara headliner, a silver carafe at the back, and Robbe & Berking silver goblets.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 750Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition
Thanks to the downsizing trend that many top brands have been following lately, we might have to say goodbye to the top-of-the-line V-12 engine in BMW’s lineup. As of yet, BMW hasn’t given the green light to its inclusion in the next-generation 7-Series.
The V-12 engine has always been the pièce de résistance for the flagship BMW. Other than the plethora of creature comforts and gadgets that would make your kids happy, the V-12 engine gave the 7-Series immense power — 544 horses of it — that would make your gearhead friends happy as well. M-Series cars aside, this engine made the BMW 760Li the most powerful and costliest Bimmer ever made. It was more like buying the cheaper, German cousin of the Rolls Royce Ghost.
If it is axed, BMW may replace the hole left by the V-12 with a tuned version of the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine from the M5. BMW claims the difference between the two is size of the hole burnt in your pocket when it comes to gas consumption.
For people who are planning to buy the flagship limo just for the V-12 engine – likely only a handful of people – don’t lose hope yet, as the consideration of this engine is still under review. However, with the downsizing trend picking up pace and popularity, this move seems inevitable.
The BMW 3-Series may be the German automaker’s resident mid-sized vehicle, but don’t tell that to the Chinese market.
In what can be attributed to the Chinese’s penchant for limousines, BMW has acquiesced that demand by unveiling the new 3-Series LWB that will be exclusively sold to the Chinese market.
The vehicle, which will make it’s debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, features a longer wheelbase than the standard 3-Series. The extra 4.3" in length should bode well for all those high-rolling Chinese that prefer to ride in style with a chauffeur in tow.
On top of that, the 3-Series LWB comes in a number of trim models, including the 320Li, the 328Li, and the top-of-the-line 335Li. Powertrain options for the respective models include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 320Li that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, the 328Li gets a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque, while the top-end 335Li gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that develops 302 horsepower.
More details are expected to be revealed regarding the 3-Series LWB when the 2012 Beijing Auto Show arrives. For now, digest these photos and wonder how you can get this ride into your garage.
BMW’s long list of special edition, market-exclusive vehicles just got a little longer with the release of the uber-exclusive BMW 7-Series Individual Pure Black.
Limited to only 50 units, the 7-Series Individual Pure Black will only be sold in Russia and is based on the 750Li xDrive limo that carries a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 407 horsepower under its hood.
More than just the powertrain, the 7-Sieres Individual Pure Black Exclusive differentiates itself with a Black Sapphire paint finish, bi-xenon headlights, a new set of 19" alloy wheels, and BMW’s ’Black Chrome’ exterior package for the grille, door surrounds, door handles, mirror casings, and exhaust pipes. Befitting the stature of the car and the prospective clients it will have, BMW dressed up the limo with piano black trim elements and an Alcantara roof lining.
They also put in electrically-adjusted seats with memory and massage function for the driver, four-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, HiFi Professional System, and Internet access via the BMW ConnectedDrive system.
Obviously, the car has been luxed up to a great degree. And as such, don’t expect a paltry price tag for the vehicle because one unit costs €123,301, which is around $162,000 based on current exchange rates.
China is a very important market among automakers, so you’re going to have to excuse them if they get vehicles built exclusively for their country. Other nations can’t claim to have that importance, but they probably would get it if they were home to arguably the biggest market in the world.
One automaker jumping into the China bandwagon is BMW, which presented plans for a China-only New Energy Vehicle at the company’s annual press conference last week.
Details on the car are still limited, although from what we took during the press conference, the car is expected to be the 2011 BMW 5-Series New Energy Vehicle. Based on the long-wheelbase version of the 5er, the BMW 5-Series NEV is being rumored to carry the company’s new ActiveHybrid 5 technology, which if true, would fit in nicely with China’s policy of having more fuel-efficient cars on the road.
For now, there are no plans of the car being sold in any other country except China so if you were angling to get a piece of this car when it hits production, you’re going to have a tough time scooping one up unless you live there.
What you can do, though, is head over to the Shanghai Motor Show, the place where BMW will be officially introducing the car to the Chinese market.
*Photo is of the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid