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    BMW of Peabody News

      

     

    BMW ActiveE To Take Center Stage at London Olympics


    In its quest to put on the greenest Olympic Games in modern history, London has tapped the help of luxury automaker BMW for a fleet of more than 2,700 low-emission vehicles. Offered in a limited trial lease at U.S. BMW dealerships earlier this year, the all-electric BMW ActiveE will play a pivotal role in the upcoming events, with 160 models transporting Olympic athletes and supporting the Olympic Torch Relay leading up to the games this summer.

    As the Official Automotive Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, BMW was charged with the task of keeping its fleet's average emissions below 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer, which is well below the UK's new-car emissions average of 138 grams of CO2 per kilometer. With the help of the BMW ActiveE and fuel-efficient diesel models of the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, the fleet averages 116 grams of CO2 per kilometer, the equivalent of 64.5 mpg on the European cycle.

    "BMW's Olympic fleet shows just how far they've come in terms of fuel efficiency; they now have vehicles like the ActiveE that give off less emissions than the Olympic torch itself," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealership BMW of Peabody. "In a city as densely populated as London, the emissions of future vehicles will make a huge impact on air quality and the environment, and cars like the ActiveE can play a critical role."

    Secondary to their transportation duty at the games, BMW ActiveE fleet vehicles will be used to draw attention to London's new EV charging stations and highlight the automaker's current drive to advance sustainable urban transportation. Using BMW's eDrive technology, the ActiveE runs with a 170-horsepower electric motor and lithium-ion batteries to offer drivers a range of approximately 100 miles between charges.

    BMW engineers will use data gathered from the ActiveE's use at the Olympic Games and its two-year-lease field trials to help refine its eDrive powertrains for future vehicles. The new technology was most recently incorporated in the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, a plug-in hybrid sports car that debuted at the Beijing Auto Show in April. Matching a 131-horsepower electric motor with a three-cylinder turbocharged gas engine outputting 223 horsepower, the two-seat convertible can go from 0 - 62 mph in just five seconds.

    Following the introductions of the BMW i3 Concept and i8 Concept coupe last year, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder features a body design concept called LifeDrive. By integrating the heavy lithium-ion battery into the vehicle's drive structure, BMW is able to keep the open-air i8's center of gravity low while simultaneously improving driving dynamics. Meanwhile, the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic in cabin construction keeps the rest of the vehicle lightweight for maximum acceleration and fuel efficiency.

    "It used to be that the more cylinders a sports car had, the better performance it provided, but that's not necessarily true anymore," added Cabot. "The i8 Concept Spyder uses turbocharging and a boost from the electric motor to do things that weren't previously possible with a three-cylinder engine. With that mix of power and fuel efficiency, i8 Spyder drivers will be able to have their cake and eat it too if production plans are announced."

    BMW Keeps Luxury Sales Crown from Mercedes-Benz's Grasp
    Automaker Leads Luxury Brands in Both March and First-Quarter Sales

    In the battle of the Bavarian luxury automakers, no race could be more neck-and-neck than the one currently being waged between BMW and Mercedes-Benz. While each had a strong showing last month, it was BMW that claimed the sales crown for March and the first quarter of 2012, thanks to the popularity of models like the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series and the BMW X5 sport activity vehicle (SAV). 

    BMW reported U.S sales of 23,940 units in March for an 18-percent increase compared to the year prior, besting Mercedes-Benz's 23,134 units. First-quarter sales were closer, however: BMW dealerships moved 61,549 vehicles, a mere 36 units above Mercedes-Benz's total of 61,513. That was still enough for BMW to claim supremacy over all of its premium-market competition though, with next-closest luxury brand Lexus falling short at 49,096 units for the quarter. 

    "Sales of the redesigned 3 Series have obviously helped BMW tremendously, but it was the X5 that really stood out last month with its 41-percent increase," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealership BMW of Peabody. "The BMW X5 offers fuel efficiency along with its power, especially when you look at the 26-mpg diesel model, so its sales don't suffer when gas prices rise like with other SUVs." 

    Currently, BMW's lineup of SAVs includes the X5, the X3 and the X6 sport activity coupe, but a younger sibling is expected to join them at dealerships this fall. Fresh off its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show earlier this month, the 2013 BMW X1 will be the smallest BMW X model and the first-ever sub-compact premium SAV sold in the United States. 

    While it has been on sale overseas since 2009, the X1 will sport a number of updates to make it more suitable for the U.S. market when it arrives stateside. A bolder and more modern exterior design will include new headlights that wrap towards the sides of the vehicle and an exaggerated version of BMW's twin-kidney grille. Meanwhile, a redesigned interior gets luxury touches like chrome accents and a driver-oriented center console. U.S. BMW X1 buyers will also have their choice of two TwinPower Turbo engines, which BMW expects will help give the X1 an edge over the competition in terms of power and fuel efficiency. 

    The 2012 BMW M6 Convertible was also present on the show floor in New York this year, making its world debut. BMW says the third-generation convertible will arrive at dealerships in June, just in time for drop-top enthusiasts to amp up their summers with the highest-powered V8 engine ever offered in a BMW M production car. 

    "The responsiveness of the M6 engine is amazing; it'll take you from 0 - 62 mph in just over four seconds," added Cabot. "Even with that kind of power, it is expected to use less fuel compared to similar sports cars, so M6 Convertible owners will be able to enjoy the sun for longer before having to fill up this summer."
    BMW Unveils U.S. Ready 3 Series in Detroit

    Since the debut of the 3 Series in 1976, the model has accounted for more than half of BMW's total sales in the U.S. That makes the unveiling of an all-new version of the iconic sedan a big moment for the brand. The luxury automaker pulled back the curtain on the U.S.-spec 2012 BMW 3 Series at the Detroit Auto Show last week, giving fans of the brand a glimpse of what will be available at BMW dealerships in February.


    The extensive use of high-strength steel, aluminum, composites and plastics mean that the next-generation BMW 3 Series is some 88 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. Despite that weight loss, the sedan has managed to grow 3.7 inches in length and add 1.9 inches to its wheelbase. The sixth-generation 3 Series puts a premium on dynamic performance, featuring a 50:50 weight balance like its predecessors, yet it provides even faster acceleration.

    "BMW has spent decades refining the 3 Series, steadily improving it without losing the soul of the vehicle," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealership BMW of Peabody. "With better power and fuel economy, and even more interior space, the 2012 3 Series promises to be the best model yet. That is no small feat considering that its history goes back more than 35 years."

    Beneath its sleek new sheet metal, the 3 Series sports a new standard engine that replaces the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine in the BMW 328i. The new turbocharged four-cylinder unit produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 10 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque over the outgoing powerplant. Meanwhile, the popular turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine will also still be available, producing 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque in the BMW 335i.

    Both engines will be available with a six-speed manual gear box, as well as an eight-speed automatic that helps the four-cylinder-powered BMW 328i reach 60 mph a full second faster than the car it replaces. Fuel economy numbers have yet to be released, but the same four-cylinder engine in the larger, heavier BMW 5 Series sedan returns 34 mpg on the highway. With the outgoing BMW 328i producing 28 mpg on the highway, the next-generation BMW 328i is expected to significantly increase fuel efficiency.

    BMW engineers have also been hard at work on the new ActiveHybrid 3, the first 3 Series to feature a hybrid drivetrain. The system adds a 55-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to the turbocharged six-cylinder engine of the BMW 335i for a combined maximum output of 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Motor Trend magazine claims the hybrid will outperform the BMW 335i while still returning fuel economy similar to the BMW 328i when it reaches dealerships in early 2013.

    "The hybrid model is perhaps the most exciting of all the new versions of the new 3 Series," Cabot noted. "There's nothing else on the market that combines power and efficiency at such high levels, so the ActiveHybrid 3 stands out even among its high-performance brethren."
    BMW Unveils First Four-Door Coupe Design
     
    BMW recently pulled back the curtain on its sleek 6 Series Gran Coupe, the automaker's first four-door coupe model. Destined for BMW dealerships next summer, the 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe adds a more aggressive look to the competitive niche market occupied by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera and Audi A7.

    Designed to increase the comfort of passengers in the back seats, the Gran Coupe is 4.4 inches longer than the 2012 BMW 6 Series Coupe, its two-door sibling, but keeps the aerodynamic shape. That sporty design is complimented by features that improve handling, safety and efficiency.

    "The four-door coupe is a growing market segment that BMW hasn't previously tackled," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealership BMW of Peabody. "However, that extra time spent planning and engineering has resulted in a car that outpaces the competition in all areas, from performance to in-car technology."

    Hosting a laundry list of high-tech gadgets, the 6 Series Gran Coupe is available with BMW's next-generation Head-Up-Display, which displays the rear-view camera, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, Surround View, Active Blind Spot Detection, the Lane Departure Warning System and even the Parking Assistant. The information is projected onto the windshield in a full spectrum of colors, allowing drivers to keep their eyes toward the road. 

    BMW will offer the Gran Coupe in three flavors, including the 640i Gran Coupe, the 650i Gran Coupe and the 650i xDrive Gran Coupe with BMW's sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. The 640i will be the first trim level to reach dealerships, joined later in the summer by the V8-powered 650i and 650i xDrive. While the V8 models may produce more power, it is the 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six cylinder slated for the 640i Gran Coupe that was recently chosen for the 2012 Ward's Auto 10 Best Engines list.

    Ward's annual 10 Best Engines list recognizes powerplants that are affordable, boost horsepower and torque, have an appealing sound and integrate well with their intended vehicle. BMW had a pair of engines on the list, including the Gran Coupe-bound 3.0-liter currently found in cars like the BMW 335i. Though it produces 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque in the 335i, the TwinPower Turbo six cylinder will be upgraded to produce 315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque in the BMW 640i Gran Coupe.

    BMW's other award-winning engine is a four cylinder featured in the Z4 sDrive 28i roadster and the 2012 BMW 528i, displacing 2.0 liters and producing 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The turbocharged unit produces more power than the larger naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter six-cylinder it replaces, yet returns 32 mpg on the highway in the BMW 5 Series.

    "Ward's 10 Best Engines list recognizes only the best, and BMW is one of only two automakers to win multiple awards," Cabot noted. "By drawing on its decades of innovation and forward thinking, BMW is consistently turning out engines that are not only powerful, but fuel efficient, reliable and refined."

    BMW 5 Series Hybrid Readies for American Debut

    BMW is committed to building more and more powerful luxury sedans and sports cars, but it wants to do so while improving the fuel efficiency of its lineup. Those efforts have led to the creation of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 sedan, which will reach U.S. BMW dealers next March sporting impressive power figures and much-improved fuel efficiency.

    Based on the BMW 535i Sedan, the ActiveHybrid 5 is expected to get a 35-horsepower boost over its gas-only sibling, along with double-digit percentage improvements in fuel economy, according to the automaker's initial testing. BMW shoppers will have two hybrid sedan options after the launch of the 5 Series hybrid, with the other choice being the ActiveHybrid 7, the world's fastest street-legal hybrid car.

    "BMW uses its hybrid technology in different ways than other automakers, and that is to actually add power to its luxury vehicles while using much less gas than they would otherwise," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealer BMW of Peabody. "Massachusetts BMW drivers will really enjoy the ActiveHybrid 5's ability to eat up miles while sipping on fuel."

    While the ActiveHybrid 7 may be the more speedy selection with its 455-horsepower hybrid drive system, the ActiveHybrid 5 will be no slouch when it comes to acceleration. Featuring the same turbocharged three-liter inline six-cylinder engine found in the 2012 BMW 535i, the ActiveHybrid 5 adds a 55-horsepower electric motor to the mix for a maximum combined output of 335 horsepower. All that power is channeled through an eight-speed transmission to the rear wheels, maintaining the dynamic handling characteristics BMW has become famous for.

    Like the ActiveHybrid 7, the ActiveHybrid 5 uses a lithium-ion battery pack to collect energy as the car is coasting or braking and then doles it out to aid acceleration. The luxury hybrid can dash from zero to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, but while cruising downtown it can run on electricity alone for up to 2.5 miles when maintaining an average speed of 22 mph.

    Fuel efficiency gains in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 come not only from the hybrid drive system, but from the ECO PRO mode in the standard Driving Dynamics Control software. ECO PRO can temporarily disengage the gasoline engine at speeds up to 100 mph to make maximum use of kinetic energy and, therefore, fuel efficiency.

    "BMW isn't simply throwing an electric motor and battery into a 5 Series and calling it a day," Cabot noted. "They've really thought the ActiveHybrid 5 through, adding some truly innovative features that further improve fuel economy and performance without having any impact whatsoever on ride quality."


    BMW Enlightens with Laser Headlights
    Though it is a feature that can be overlooked, BMW has made developing cutting-edge car-headlight technology a priority in models like the 2012 BMW 6 Series, which utilizes adaptive, full-LED headlamps. However, the technology in the new 6 Series is just the beginning. The luxury automaker recently announced the development of its Dynamic Light Spot technology, which identifies and illuminates pedestrians in harm's way, and now BMW is fine-tuning headlights that utilize laser illumination. 

    Still a few years from seeing action at BMW dealers, the laser headlights are featured on the BMW i8 Concept hybrid sports car, set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15. BMW says its laser technology is capable of generating light a thousand times more intense than that of LED headlights while using less than half the power, which makes the laser system even more attractive to automakers looking to eke out the most miles from a gallon of fuel.

    "We often find ourselves talking about engines and transmissions when it comes to increasing efficiency, but there are many other areas that BMW is exploring, including lighting," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Greater Boston BMW dealer BMW of Peabody. "The truth is that there are lots of inefficiencies in our vehicles today that BMW is working to eliminate without sacrificing quality and performance. Laser headlights are a clear example of that detailed approach."

    Beyond efficiency, BMW's laser-lighting technology also saves space with a diode length of just 10 microns, which is one hundred times smaller than the cells used in LED lighting. That miniscule size allows engineers to use light in new ways throughout the car and gives BMW designers the ability to change the face of vehicles making their way to BMW dealerships in the future.

    The laser lighting is just one innovative aspect of the new BMW i8 Concept, which is part of the sustainable and sporty BMW i brand and is set to see production in 2014. A plug-in hybrid car, the i8 features a 170-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels, and a turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 220 horsepower driving the rear wheels. The result is a car that can travel up to 20 miles on electricity alone before using the combustion engine for more dynamic handling.

    The front and rear drive units on the BMW i8 can work simultaneously to give the vehicle four-wheel-drive-like capability in inclement weather. With a top speed of 155 mph, the i8 can accelerate to 62 mph in less than five seconds and was found to return approximately 94 mpg in European cycle testing.

    The new BMW i lineup also includes the all-electric i3 hatchback, which features a 170-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels and an advanced lithium-ion battery pack. Expected to arrive at dealerships in 2013, the BMW i3 has room for four within its spacious interior that, thanks to its large windows, has an open and airy feel. All the drive components, including the battery pack, are underneath the car, which means more space for passengers and cargo.

    "It is good to know that performance cars will remain viable in the future thanks to BMW's efforts," Cabot noted. "BMW's new i lineup of cars will provide efficient, sporty transportation that will set the standard for driving dynamics and comfort. I'm really excited for the future of the brand, and I see many reasons why our customers should be as well."

    Massachusetts BMW Dealer Joins Stop the Texting Campaign


    PEABODY, Mass. -- BMW is known for incorporating the latest technology to protect drivers and passengers, but starting this month, the automaker and its dealerships are asking drivers themselves to improve safety on the road by focusing more on driving and less on texting. BMW dealers including BMW of Peabody will add their support to a corporate-sponsored campaign of radio, print, television and Internet ads designed to expose the dangers of distracted driving.

    BMW already preaches "Don't Txt & Drive" at its BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it hosts its Teen Driving School using BMW 3 Series cars to teach car control to budding drivers. During the summer, BMW's safe-driving campaign will be rolled out to the more than 100 teen driving schools run by the BMW Club of America Foundation in the hope of reaching an impressionable and high-risk group of drivers. Teen texting behind the wheel is currently widespread, with 87 percent of teen drivers admitting to the behavior, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    "Anybody that drives in Massachusetts knows that distracted driving is a serious issue," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of Massachusetts BMW dealer BMW of Peabody. "Massachusetts has laws prohibiting texting while driving, but it's still prevalent. Younger drivers just don't recognize how dangerous it can be, so hopefully BMW's ad campaign will open some eyes."

    Statistics from the United States Department of Transportation reveal that nearly 5,500 people died in crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2009, and distracted driving has become a cornerstone issue for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has made it a priority to meet with automakers to discuss the issue.

    BMW's television ad for the campaign has started circulating, featuring overprotective parents and pointing out how their efforts can be undone in an instant by answering a phone call or replying to a text while driving. Various print ads reproduce the view from a distracted driver's perspective, with one showing a phone preventing a driver from seeing a child running to catch a ball in the road. Participating websites will feature the phrase "Text Messaging Is Very Distracting" across their homepages in bold block letters, which should prove inconvenient enough to get BMW's point across.

    BMW's commitment to end distracted driving reaches beyond the ad campaign. The German automaker is also designing its car interiors to help drivers keep their eyes on the road. Using data collected through pupilometry, which closely studies eye movements, BMW has been able to move important and commonly used controls and displays to areas that allow drivers to keep their attention on the road ahead.

    "Automakers and drivers alike have a responsibility to fight distracted driving, and BMW is doing its part," Cabot added. "Every year, automakers are adding more features and displays, but they also need to stress that there are limits to multitasking while driving. Eliminating texting behind the wheel is a big step in the right direction."



    BMW to Buyers: Go Drive Something Else



    All automakers tell buyers that their new models are the best in their segments, but not many want you to get a side-by-side comparison and decide for yourself. However, BMW dealers like BMW of Peabody are giving customers an opportunity to do just that during the BMW X3 Difference Event. On March 28 from 11:00 AM- 6:45 PM, interested drivers who preregister for the event can visit BMW of Peabody to test drive the new 2011 BMW X3 and take a competing model out on the road to see how they compare.

    BMW expects those who take this unique comparison test drive to notice a clear difference when they are behind the wheel of the 2011 X3. Rather than simply describing the new SUV's features and advantages, this side-by-side comparison test will let buyers experience everything about the X3 that can't be described in a 30-second commercial. Every driver who takes delivery of a new X3 by June 30 will receive a gift card worth $500 toward BMW X3 accessories, like an iPhone Snap-in Adapter, Bicycle Lift System, Luggage Rack or Lockable Roof Box.

    "It's a very bold idea that comes from a place of real confidence," said Marshal Cabot, general manager of BMW of Peabody. "Buying a new vehicle, especially a model like the X3, is a big decision, and it's not often that you get to drive a car and its competition back-to-back. It's an opportunity for Massachusetts BMW shoppers to make an informed decision before they buy, and at the end of the day it lets them feel confident that they made the right choice."

    The highlight of driving the 2011 BMW X3 is its handling. While most SUVs tend to lose maneuverability due to their weight, the X3 stays agile with the help of a newly developed multilink rear suspension and a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder direct-injection engine that pushes out 240 horsepower in the base xDrive281 trim. Those seeking more power can opt for the turbocharged xDrive35i, which adds 60 horsepower for more speed off the line.

    The BMW X3 SAV (sports activity vehicle) comes equipped with xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive, designed to detect slipping in individual wheels and direct power away from them to maximize traction in any situation. Along with ground clearance that has increased by half an inch since last year's model, xDrive helps to establish the X3 as a true off-road contender, with Off-Road magazine already naming it "Off-Roader of the Year."

    "BMW wouldn't be putting drivers in competitors' SUVs if we weren't confident that the X3 provides a better driving experience," Cabot continued. "I think it's refreshing to see an automaker that has this much faith in its products. You don't do something like this unless you sincerely believe you've got the best vehicle in the segment."

    Spaces are limited for the X3 Difference Event, so BMW of Peabody encourages customers to sign up for a preferred driving slot now. Drivers can register by visiting www.bmwusa.com/X3Difference or by calling 1-866-905-4BMW (4269).