BMW Opens More Dedicated M Showrooms As Range Expands

BMW could expand its spectrum of cars in both directions, reviving the 8 series after a nearly two-decade absence and potentially bringing a tiny 1-series sedan to the U.S. It has big plans for plug-in hybrids and electric cars, including a roadster version of the i8 next year and a battery-electric crossover in the early 2020s. With crossovers surging among U.S. buyers, it's also finding ways to fit several more of those into its lineup: an X2 targeting young consumers in early 2018, followed a year later by the X7, a three-row behemoth with potentially a six-figure price.

1 series:

A 1-series sedan went on sale in China this year, but it won't be sold here, at least initially. Global sales chief Ian Robertson has said the small front-wheel-drive sedan is unlikely for the U.S. But one source says it could go on sale here in early 2019. Competitors' plans to bring new small entries could put the pressure on BMW. Mercedes, for instance, will begin selling the A-class sedan in the U.S. in 2018.​

2 series:

A freshened coupe and convertible were introduced this year as 2018 models. An updated M2 will go on sale in late 2018. Contrary to recent reports out of Germany, the 2 series will retain a manual transmission option, according to BMW officials in the U.S. A new body style — the four-door Gran Coupe — is expected in early 2020 with a move to the same fwd platform that underpins the 1 series. The coupe and convertible will be redesigned in 2022.

3 series:​ The redesigned 3-series sedan will go on sale in the U.S. before the end of 2018 and move to BMW's CLAR cluster architecture. CLAR debuted on the redesigned 7 series and will eventually underpin all rear-wheel-drive vehicles 3 series and larger. Some 3-series cars for the U.S. will be sourced from a new factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, when it opens in late 2019. A redesigned M3 and a plug-in hybrid variant are likely to follow the sedan. The 3-series Gran Turismo is expected to be discontinued in 2019.

A fully electric 3-series sedan could be on sale by 2019 or 2020. A concept version could be shown at September's Frankfurt auto show.


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4 series:​ The 4-series coupe is slated for a redesign in 2020, with a redesigned convertible coming in 2021. The 4-series Gran Coupe also would be redesigned in 2021. Plug-in and fully electric versions of the Gran Coupe are probable.

Z4: Contrary to speculation, the two-door sports car will not be renamed Z5 when a redesigned car goes on sale in mid-2019. BMW is working with Toyota to jointly develop the Z4's successor and a Toyota sport coupe. The previous Z4 went out of production last August. A Z4 concept could be unveiled during events surrounding the Pebble Beach Concours this month. With a new lightweight platform, the Z4 is expected to grow in size and get new engines. A plug-in hybrid variant is expected. A fabric roof will replace the current retractable hardtop on the car.

5 series:

​ The redesigned 5-series sedan went on sale in February after switching to the CLAR architecture. As of that launch, manual transmissions were dropped from the nameplate. Now 5-series variants will begin to roll out. The M5 sport sedan is expected to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September, with U.S. sales coming in early 2018. It will get a new M xDrive awd system that can be turned off to allow rwd operation. Hybrid and diesel variants are also planned. The 5 series Gran Turismo was dropped this year and won't come back.

2018 BMW 6-series Gran Turismo

6 series: The new 6-series Gran Turismo goes on sale this fall in the U.S. Some call it a successor to the discontinued 5-series GT. The 6-series GT is based on the CLAR architecture. The GT variant joins the 6-series convertible and Gran Coupe. The 6-series coupe was dropped earlier this year in the U.S. The Gran Coupe and convertible are likely to be dropped after the 2019 model as BMW switches its focus to the new 8-series line.

7 series: The 7-series sedan will be freshened in 2018 and redesigned in 2022.

8 series:

​ The new 8-series coupe will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018, and a convertible will go on sale in the U.S. in late 2018 or early 2019. They are based on the 7-series flagship sedan and will compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-class coupe and convertible. BMW unveiled a concept version of the coupe in May. The 8-series coupe and convertible will be sleeker and sportier than the 6-series models they replace. An M8 performance version is possible. An 8-series Gran Coupe variant is expected in late 2019. A V-12 engine is expected to power the family's top-end model. BMW last built an 8 series in 1999.


​ The compact battery-electric car will be freshened by the end of 2017. A new sporty i3S model is expected to arrive in the U.S. by the end of the year. It could be shown at the Frankfurt auto show. The i3S will have more power and some minor styling tweaks to differentiate it from the base model. An i3 with a significantly larger battery and more range is expected by the end of 2018. A redesigned i3 is expected in 2020.

i8: A new roadster variant of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will go on sale in the first half of 2018 in the U.S. It likely will be unveiled in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The existing coupe will be freshened in 2018. It will get a longer range and more power. The coupe and the roadster are expected to be redesigned in 2022, and they could move to fully electric at that point.

iNEXT: A planned extension of the i sub-brand previously referred to as the i5 has morphed into the iNEXT. BMW says it will introduce the iNEXT battery-electric crossover in 2021. It will have what BMW reportedly is calling Level 3.5 autonomous driving capabilities. That means it should be more capable than Level 3 systems that allow part-time autonomous driving, but it won't allow full-time driver-free operation. The vehicle's range will top 310 miles. The iNEXT initially could be rolled out in a limited fashion to ride-sharing fleets before the general public gets a chance to buy it, but that's not finalized. One faction within the company is interested in ride-sharing first, while another faction wants to sell the vehicle directly to consumers from the start.

X1: The X1 small crossover will be freshened in early 2019. It is slated for a redesign in 2022 or 2023.


​ A new small crossover with coupelike styling will go on sale in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018. BMW is viewing the X2 as a potential conquest tool to attract younger buyers with a lower budget to the brand. It will be sportier than the X1, with a more powerful engine.

X3:​ BMW aims to regain leadership of the fast-growing premium compact crossover segment with its redesigned X3 going on sale in November in the U.S. With new production locations coming online, the U.S. will get a significant increase in X3 allocation. The X3 gets lighter, more powerful and more efficient with better handling and driving dynamics, BMW says. Two models of the redesigned crossover will be available at launch: the X3 xDrive30i with a 248-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the top-of-the-line X3 M40i with a 355-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. This will be the first time BMW has offered an M performance model for the X3.

More X3 variants will follow. A plug-in hybrid is expected in early 2018. Other likely variants include a rwd model and a potential diesel-powered model. An all-electric version will be sold in 2020, BMW has said. This is the third generation of the X3, and it moves to the versatile CLAR architecture.


​ The crossover with a coupelike rear roofline will be redesigned in 2018 with U.S. sales coming in the second half of the year. Like the X3, it will also move to CLAR.

X5: The midsize crossover will be redesigned and grow in size when it moves to CLAR in 2018, arriving in the U.S. late in the year. The X5's redesign is coming sooner than expected given BMW's typical seven-year product cycle. The vehicle was last redesigned in 2013.


​ The midsize crossover with coupelike styling will be redesigned and go on sale in the U.S. in late 2019. It will also move to CLAR at that time.

X7:​ The concept version of BMW's long- awaited large crossover will debut at September's Frankfurt auto show, but the new vehicle won't go on sale in the U.S. until the first quarter of 2019. BMW has been hampered against competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS because it hasn't had its own full-size crossover with a dedicated third row. The X7 will change that. It will come in six-cylinder and eight-cylinder models. A $100,000-plus four- seater, possibly with a 12-cylinder engine, has been discussed, but that seating configuration has limited appeal in the U.S. A loaded-up six-seat version would be a better bet here in such a large vehicle.

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