Paris Motor Show | BMW Looks to the Future while Improving the Present
BMW was out in force at the Paris Motor Show occupying a huge area and displaying a good proportion of its current range including standard cars, its M-Sport division, i-Cars and Mini. As seemed to be the case for a range of manufacturers, the major themes at BMW were sustainability (i.e. green cars), connectivity and promoting its vision for what motoring will look like over the next 100 years.
BMW X2 Concept Breaks Cover
The big talking point for BMW was its X2 concept – a crossover that sits neatly between the X1 and X3. It’s aimed at people who are looking for an enjoyable car to drive, but with the practicality of an SUV. To that end, the X2 has the low-slung proportions of a coupe, yet is clearly in the ‘X’ bloodline thanks to design accents visible from the side-on view, and a window line that tapers towards the rear of the glass house. The classic Hofmeister kink in the C-pillars, complete with a BMW roundel, is a nod to BMWs of old. Flared wheel arches and huge 21-inch wheels complete the look.
Up front, a unique – and rather pleasant on the eye – set of LEDs make the X2 very distinctive. These are set off by the iconic kidney grille and outer intakes that aren’t too far off of those seen on some of the company’s M cars. A heavily raked windscreen helps the car carry off that hunkered-down look, despite its status as an SUV. The car is similarly well resolved at the rear and has more than a little bit of the 1-Series in the way it looks. For example, the shut line on the boot, lights and in-set number plate have a very clear association with the current 1-Series.
While it is a concept at the moment, it’s highly likely that a production-spec version will break cover in the coming year, with production likely to begin in 2018.
BMW i3 Range Increased by 50%
BMW’s commitment to viable green transport got a boost at Paris with the announcement that the i3 is now available with a 50% greater driving range. Thanks to higher-energy-density lithium-ion cells, which increase the battery capacity of the new BMW i3 (94 Ah) to 33 kilowatt hours, the car’s range on a single charge has been increased from 118 to 186 miles (NEDC cycle), with a real-world range of up to 124 miles – even in adverse weather conditions requiring use of the heater or air-conditioning. Owners of the first generation i3 don’t have to miss out either, as there is the option to upgrade to the new battery pack.
It’s not just a denser battery pack that has endowed the i3 with greater range; revised motor management and lower rolling resistance tyres have been fitted. In addition, the range extender version, which utilises a 38hp petrol engine to generate on-board electricity, will be able to travel further while offering up 470.8mpg and emissions of 13g/km of CO2. While there is a small weight penalty with the new battery pack, the i3 remains the lightest car in its segment and maintains its renowned performance off the line and especially in mid-range acceleration.
For BMW’s i8 there is a limited-run ‘Protonic Dark Silver Edition’ going into production in December. The second limited edition i8, the Protonic Dark Silver Edition gains an all-new paint colour and with the order book shutting at the beginning of 2017, there is only a short time to get one.
BMW Car ran a story when the details of BMW Connected were first announced. This innovative way of managing your working and personal life around the journeys you take is being rolled out in markets across Europe having been active in the USA since March 2016. With an array of useful functions that make travel by car more convenient and efficient, it is set to revolutionise the way BMW owners connect with their cars.
BMW Next 100
A major part of the BMW press conference at the Paris Motor Show was taken up with spelling out the company’s vision for the future and how it sees its products evolving. Already, through the products and concepts BMW is creating the manufacturer is looking to future proof what it offers to customers. It is doing this by seeking to understand how mobility and society will evolve; how technology and digitalisation can be utilised to make people’s lives better; how emissions-free vehicles can improve quality of life without any detriment to practicality and usability and how, as a business, BMW can become a more responsible organisation. As part of this, concepts of a future BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce were shown.
Mini Clubman John Cooper Works
BMW Group manufacturer, Mini, was in attendance with its new John Cooper Works Clubman. Boasting 231hp, it will hit 62mph in 6.3 seconds and go on to a top speed of 148mph. For the first time, Mini is combining a performance model with its ALL4 all-wheel-drive system for better grip and traction. Chassis upgrades also make for a more engaging and sharper drive according to BMW. With orders already being taken for the Clubman John Cooper Works, deliveries will begin before the end of the year.