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      12-31-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
southlight
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Arrow BMW 2011 Year In Review

BIMMERPOST NEWS
BMW 2011 Year In Review
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Happy New Year to the entire BIMMERPOST community! As we cross over to a new year it's a fitting time for a recap of the past year. It was an amazing year for BMW, with the company hitting sales records and many new important models making their debuts. 2012 should prove to be as successful, if not more. And we'll be seeing some new models and facelifts coming.


Again, we wish you all a very Happy New Year 2012. May it bring to you whatever you wish for!


BMW 1 SERIES

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The F20 1 series hatchback debuted in Spring 2011 and hit the European markets in Fall 2011. It wasn't universally praised for its design as the front end design didn't sit well with many BMW fans. In every other way however, there is no doubt that it is a vast improvement. The automotive press' reviews backs that up. And, the 1 series finally got an interior worthy of a premium hatchback.

The F21 3 door variant will be available in 2012 and introduce new and more powerful engines to the 1 series lineup. There are even rumors of an M135i powered by a 320hp version of BMW's N55 engine.

There are no plans to bring the F20/1 1 series to the US.



BMW 1M

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THE unequivocal star in 2011 was the 1M Coupe. After its reveal in late 2010, 2011 brought a tons of reviews and happy owners raving about M's little rocket. We had the pleasure to test the 1M at Willow Springs back in May (see review HERE) and could not agree more with the general consensus from the rest of the automotive press.

And in case you're one of the few people still not fully convinced about this car here's all you need to know to change your mind: It's quicker than the M3 Coupe on certain tracks (see Autobild's M comparison HERE) and it's Richard Hammond's car of the year (see HERE). And if you're a fan, check out the recent epic Performance Center Delivery of no less than 5 1M models by 5 1addicts members on the same day HERE.

The bad news however, is that while 2011 was undoubtedly the year of the 1M it was also the only one. All US cars are built and there won't be any produced in 2012. Good for the people who already own one as it might help on the 1M's way to real collectors car (if it isn't already), but bad for those late to the 1M party.

The silver lining? Hopefully, BMW consider's the 1M's tremendous success as justification to bring a worthy successor (perhaps in the form of an M2?).




BMW 3 Series

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We've now shift the discussion from the marquee BMWr of 2011 to BMW's most important car of 2012 - the mighty all-new F30 3 series sedan. BMW officially announced the F30 back in October in Munich (see our coverage of the reveal HERE), and it's scheduled for a global market launch on February 12th 2012.

The first reviews on the new F30 3 series have been overwhelmingly positive. We had the opportunity to test a 328i Sport line model in Barcelona last month (review HERE), and came away without a doubt in our minds that it's the best 3 series ever.

If you're considering ordering an F30, you can find our breakdown of the 3 available lines, namely Sport, Modern and Luxury HERE. The M Sport package will be available from July 2012 on (SOP). There are also order guides, price lists, tracking info, and other useful ordering info in our F30 Ordering Discussion Forum.

The all-new F30 3 series will make its public debut at the NAIAS in Detroit in just over a week. The US will see an F30 328i (2.0l inline-4) and an F30 335i (3.0l inline 6). Expect more information and reviews on both the 328i and the 335i when the US press drives commence in late January 2012.



BMW M3

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Due to the F30 introduction, the production of the vaunted E90 M3 sedan ended in October. It went out with a bang however, with the launch of the E90 M3 CRT. Powered by a 4.4l version of the S65 engine, the M3 CRT produces 450hp and weighs just 1,580kg. But, it wasn't homologated for the US and all 67 units were sold within a matter of days.

BMW also launched a new special edition E92 M3 coupe for the US market in 2011 - the 2012 M3 Competition Edition. Celebrating the M3's rich racing history in the US (most importantly BMW's 2011 ALMS championship), this was a limited edition of 40 identically equipped E92 M3 models in Frozen Silver.

While the E90 M3 sedan has ceased production, BMW has begun work on the new F80 M3 sedan already. It was first spotted this summer, and has been quite a regular sight for our spy photographers (see our full gallery of F80 M3 Spyshots). Details on the new M3 are obviously sketchy so far, but we know that it'll be powered by a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine producing in the ballpark of 450hp. While rumors suggested (and had us convinced) a V6 engine, it now seems possible that an inline-6 loosely based on the N55 engine has won the selection race. All that being said, the new F80 M3 is quite a bit away, so don't expect any official news on the F80 M3 in 2012. As BMW keeps stressing, the E92 and E93 M3 models are meant to be with us for at least 1 or 2 more years, and there won't be any new M3 until these are out of production.



BMW M5

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The other big launch in 2011 was the all-new BMW M5 (F10). We were able to catch a first glimpse at the new M5 Concept back in April when BMW invited us to Garching. Speaking of said event, check our video of BMW M's secret underground garage if you haven't previously.

The production F10 M5 was revealed during the M Festival at the Nürburgring (official thread). Powered by BMW's S63tu engine (a 4.4l twin scroll twin turbo V8 producing 560hp) the new M5 has been clocked at 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds and quarter mile in 12.0 seconds (at 122mph, both per C&D). It also laps the Hockenheim Ring in 1:12.9 (per sport auto) and the German Sachsenring only 3 hundredth of a second slower than the lightweight M3 CRT (per Autobild). The new M5 already has some impressive results under its belt.

We can't wait to see the new M5 hit the US market later next year when it will be available both with the 7 speed DCT and a manual transmission. Also watch this nice F10 M5 teaser video from our friend Matt Russell, BMW M brand manager, if you haven't seen it yet.



BMW 6 Series

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Both the all-new 6 series convertible and the all-new 6 series coupe were launched this year. After its reveal in late 2010, the 6 series convertible hit the market in Spring 2011. The 6 series coupe followed some months later and hit the market in summer 2011.

Last but not least, BMW recently revealed the 6 series Gran Coupe, a 4 door coupe variant to hit the market next year.



BMW Z4


BMW introduced a new engine for the BMW Z4 28i in 2011- the 2.0l Twinpower turbocharged inline 4 internally dubbed N20. It produces 240hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The change from the well-known inline-6 N52 engine to a new turbo 4 caused a slight uproar among the inline 6 fanbase. As early reviews suggest however, the N20 does not disappoint and fills the N52's shoes nicely. It features a torque advantage while providing better fuel economy. Having experienced this engine in the F30 328i myself, I can tell you that it's an absolutely fabulous engine. It's both powerful and revvy, as seen in this F30 328i test drive clip



BMW i

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And then there's BMW i. BMW gave us an outlook ahead to 2013 and unveiled the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.

It's particularly the BMW i8 hybrid sports car that has us and most BMW fans excited. The first spyshots of the production i8 undergoing road tests in Germany were posted just last week. Despite some changes to meet regulations, it's still a stunner. Our guess is that there's virtually no BMW enthusiast who wouldn't want to own an i8. Then again, BMW is still tight-lipped about the price so it may be a dream for many.

Expect the i3 to be available in late 2013 and the i8 in early 2014.



2012 OUTLOOK

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BMW F30 3 SERIES
What should we expect in 2012? First off, the F30 3 series will hit the market on February 11th, worldwide. Before that, we'll have more information on the new 3 series during our NAIAS coverage next week and from the US press drives in late January. Expect the first F30 335i reviews around that time.

The much anticipated M Sport Package for the F30 will be available from July 2012 on (SOP), and the xDrive models will follow sometime in 2012 too. In late 2012, the Active Hybrid 3 will join the lineup -- and maybe, but only maybe, a Diesel F30 (a diesel F30 is expected, but perhaps beyond 2012).

We also expect the F31 3 touring to debut in 2012. After BMWNA nixed the F11 5 series touring for the North American market, we're not too certain if the F31 will be available in the US. *If* they bring it, it'll be the 328i model only and would hit the market in Fall 2012.

BMW M6
Both the M6 convertible and the M6 coupe will debut in 2012. Contrary to earlier rumors, the M6 convertible will not debut at NAIAS next week but at Geneva in March. Both the M6 convertible and the M6 coupe will be available in late 2012. We expect the same power output as in the M5, namely 560hp. A manual transmission will be available, as will a ceramic brakes option.

BMW X6
The BMW X6 will get a LCI (aka facelift) in Spring 2012. This makeover will comprise of the usual components - revised headlights including a full LED option, revised rear lights and updated engines. The X6 50i might get the updated 450hp N63 engine that debuted in the 6 series Gran Coupe. The X6M (and X5M) might get the updated S63tu engine from the new M5.

Another highlight will be the X6 M50d. BMW has been teasing this car for a while now, and it's been teased simultaneously with the X6 LCI. It will be powered by BMW's latest version of the N57 diesel engine, a 3.0l triturbo inline 6 producing 380hp and a silly amount of torque. We've been told that BMW M put quite some effort into this car which means it's supposed to be more than a souped up engine and some decals. There will also be a F10 M550d xDrive and an X5 M50d, both powered by the same engine. Bad news however for the US: As things look, these M50d models won't be available in the US. BMW sees no business case for it in the US.

Also, the F01 7 series will receive a facelift in Spring 2012, and the X1 in Fall 2012.


CONCEPT CARS
BMW will also showcase several concept cars in 2012. As usual with concept cars, we can only speculate as to which cars actually make it. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer recently confirmed the X4, so we wouldn't be surprised to see an X4 Concept at Geneva or Paris shows. Another usual suspect is the long-rumored Z2. Either way, we don't expect an M3 concept in 2012. As stated above, it's simply too early for this car.



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