According to BMW, the focus of the North American International Auto Show 2017 was innovation. BMW hoped to showcase a new vision for sustainable and progressive cars. BMW unveiled the BMW 5 Series Sedan and the Concept X2. Also on display were the BMW i3 and i8 electrical vehicles with their new battery technology. Finally, racing fans had a chance to get up close and personal with the BMW M6 GT3 for the very first time.
The New BMW 5 Series Sedan
The main difference between the New BMW 5 Sedan and previous versions is in the wide range of assistance systems BMW has included to help ease the driving experience.
“The BMW 5 Series displays motorway dynamics and elegance in a perfect combination. It is, therefore, the ideal business saloon.” – ADRIAN VAN HOOYDONK, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT BMW GROUP DESIGN
The 2017 BMW 5 is the first to have iDrive 6.0. The car responds to voice commands that regulate almost every function. With the Optional Gesture Control, you can choose to navigate the car with simple hand movements. You can also control communication and entertainment.
Another system installed on the BMW 5 Series is the Active Lane Keeping Assistant. With the use of camera sensors, the Assistant helps keep your vehicle in the center of the traffic lane. This keeps distracted drivers from drifting, thus reducing accidents.
The BMW 5 Series, while not the fastest car on the market, does an impressive 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The car is lightweight and boasts BMW TwinPower Turbo engines. BMW promotes the combination of high-strength steel, magnesium, and aluminum they used to manufacture the car.
The BMW 5 Series Sedan seems to be similar to the previous versions except for new “gadget-like” controls. While cool, the use of gestures to drive your car, or having a computer keep you in the middle of your lane may not be enough to convince buyers that the BMW 5 is worth the sticker price.
The BMW Concept X2
Like the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the company has taken a previous version and changed up a few things in an effort to modernize it. The X2 is basically the sportier version of the X1, with most of the changes being in looks and not function.
BMW is marketing the Concept X2 to drivers who want a sporty, practical SUV type vehicle. They offer the car in a sporty red to make it eye-catching. BMW lengthened the wheelbase and extended the roof line to give the car a leaner, more powerful look.
“The X2 is a “vehicle for active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality.”- Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president for BMW Group Design
Under the hood, the Concept X2 has an engine similar to the X1. The four-cylinder twin-turbo engine generates 228 horsepower, which is adequate, though not groundbreaking. Priced in the mid $30k range, the car offers a stylish alternative to a standard SUV.
Sustainable Driving with The BMW i3 and i8
The BMW i-series addresses the need for sustainable transportation. The 2017 BMW i3 boasts an improved battery pack which has 50% more capacity. This enables the i3 to go upwards of 150 miles on one charge. The Range Extender (REx) adds somewhere around 50 miles to that figure. The BMW i3 has 0% emissions and can be charged in less than 3 hours.
The BMW i8 hybrid has a 357 horsepower powertrain, and the car can move amazingly fast. In tests, it went from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds. The hybrid i8 gets about 38 mpg. BMW worked hard on the exterior of the i8. The dark silver paint and lines of the car make it seem more futuristic than other BMW models.
For drivers who want an all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3 is a good option. However, if you don’t mind a hybrid, the BMW i8 is sportier, fuel-efficient, and lightning fast. All-in-all it is a more exciting ride.
BMW M6 GT3
To thrill the race car enthusiasts attending the Detroit show, BMW brought their BMW M6 GT3 race car. As described by Top Gear, it is a “big-winged beast of a racecar.” The BMW M6 GT3 claimed the top spot at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Japan’s Super GT Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the USA.
BMW’s premier racing car has a six-speed sequential racing transmission along with state-of-the-art motorsport electronics. Modification to the chassis helped improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The M6 GT3 is a modified BMW M6 Coupe, designed specifically for racing.
What BMW Offered Show Attendees
BMW brought out its newest and latest gadgets, such as the Lane Assistant found on the BMW 5 Sedan. The Concept X2 presented viewers with a sportier SUV and BMW also showcased their i-Series “green” cars. Of those presented, the i8 seems the most interesting. The hybrid looks good, drives fast, and offers the benefits of hybrid technology. However, most car enthusiasts will be dreaming of the M6 GT3 sports car instead of BMW’s other NAIAS offerings.