BMW’s product display at the 2011 New York Auto Show was one of the biggest and most exciting in the cavernous Javits Center. Located in the north west corner on the main floor, BMW literally had just about every model they are currently offering to their fans. Here’s a snapshot of a few of their most sporty offerings on display.
BMW 1 Series M Coupe – If your memory reaches back to the BMW 2002 days, you may remember that they offered hot rod versions (e.g., the famous “tii” and others) of that exciting, yet practical, sedan. The 1 Series M coupe, clocking in at a $47, 010 base, with 335 HP, boasts a 0-60MPH time of a few tenths under 5 seconds. Keeping with the M formula, you’ll find bigger wheels, lower profile tires and those wonderful M touches (badges, steering wheel, sport seats, sexy exhaust tips, and sporty mirrors). The car sits with a more aggressive stance and has an “in your face” air dam up front and a kick-up spoiler out back. If your heart skips a beat when you see an M3, M5 or M6 but your pocket book is not up to the challenge, maybe the new 1 Series M can find a place in your budget. It’s got all of the right bits and clearly has earned its M badges.
BMW Z4 Roadster – My how the Z3 has grown up! When they first brought out the “Z” line at the NY Auto Show, they hung their cars like works of art on the wall. The new Z4 Roadster, however, has earned its place in the center of the display and it looked stunning. Its folding hardtop, more evidence that the Z has grown up, disappears quickly behind the seats and provides one of the purest driving experiences around. The Z4 sDrive 30i starts at a base price of $48,325 and comes with their silky smooth 255HP in-line 6 – a masterpiece of an engine. It propels the Z4 to 60 in 5.6 seconds (6.0 seconds if you opt for their no-extra-cost automatic). They also offer a Z4 sDrive 35i with 300 turbo horses and a Z4 sDrive 35is with 335 Teutonic ponies. But the real surprise was the introduction of a new, 240HP twin turbo 4 cylinder engine (code N20) that will be available this fall. It will offer better fuel mileage (the 6 cylinder models range from 24 to 28 MPGs) and will be a lighter power-plant – perfectly in keeping with Z4 con brio driving.
You can, of course, pile on the options and accessories but from a basic fun-to-drive and safe-to-drive point of view, the most basic Z4 just about has it all.
BMW X5 M – BMW’s X5 Sports Activity Vehicles are comfortable, safe and handle with more car-like precision than any 2-ton vehicle has a right to claim. Add in a superb all wheel drive system, it’s hard to ask more from a vehicle. OK, unless you want more horse power! Enter the X5 M. This “bad boy” comes with 555 HP (not a mis-print) and a 0-60 time faster than most sports cars. (How does 4.5 seconds sound?). Unfortunately, gas mileage suffers on the X5 M (and X6 M) with a combined driving estimate in the 15 MPG range. IIf you can afford the nearly $90,000 price, $90 to fill the 22.5 gallon tank isn’t all that bad a hit.
BMW 335i – The heart of the BMW line is the fabulous 3 Series. It has it all. Safety, style, comfort, panache and that elusive “fun to drive” quality we all crave. You could enter the wonderful world of the BMW 3 Series with the purchase of a 328i. It’s a great car – blessed with that classic straight 6 that sets the standard for smoothness and efficiency. But this is about more sporty options so the 335i – all 300 turbo-charged horses of it – better fill the bill. Over 1 second faster to 60 than the 328i, the 335i truly conveys that “Ultimate Driving Experience” in a practical, yet exciting package.
If you think about it, BMW has a vehicle to appeal to almost anyone who loves driving, safety, performance and style. These are just a few of their more sporty options and worth consideration by anyone in the market for a new luxury performance vehicle.