BMW NEW CAR MODEL GUIDE
automaker BMW charges into 2008
with a vast collection of sedans, coupes,
station wagons and sport utility wagons.
The company also brings several drop-tops
and a slick two-seat roadster. The 2008
line spotlights the new 3 Series convertibles
and coupes, a re-make of the mid-size
5 Series sedans and wagons and the ultra-performance
M Series models rigged with massive powertrains.
A subcompact 1 Series hatchback coupe
is also on BMW's horizon.
Series Coupes and Convertibles
Compact-class coupes and convertibles
from BMW present fresh designs riding
on an expanded rear-wheel-drive (RWD)
platform. Models are badged as the 328i
and 335i RWD for coupes and convertibles
plus two AWD (all wheel drive) coupes
the 328xi and 335xi which
feature BMW's xDrive computer-controlled
AWD equipment. The 328i and 328xi stock
a 3.0-liter, in-line-six with 230 horsepower
through a manual six-speed or six-speed
electronic automatic with Steptronic manual
shift control. BMW's 335i and 335xi use
the in-line-six with twin turbo-chargers
and direct fuel injection. They zip with
300 horsepower through the six-speed manual
or Steptronic automatic.
Series Sedans and Wagons
The 3 Series string of compact cars from
BMW extends to four-door sedans and five-door
sport wagons with RWD and AWD variations.
Sedans include the 328i (RWD) and 328xi
(AWD), plus the 335i (RWD) and 335xi (AWD).
Wagons are the 328i (RWD) and 328xi (AWD).
All 328 models employ the 3.0-liter, six-in-line
with 230 horsepower, while the 335 carries
the twin-turbo version that delivers 300
horsepower. BMW's compacts also carry
a load of sophisticated electronic vehicle
controls such as BMW's Head Protection
System (HPS) air bags. Additionally, new
16-inch wheels are mounted on 328 models.
BMW's mid-size cars are new with RWD and
AWD models. The RWD sedans include the
528i, 535i and 550i. For AWD sedans there
is the 528xi and 535xi, along with a five-door
AWD sport wagon named 535xi. For the 528i,
the in-line-six delivers 230 horsepower,
but for the 535i and 535xi, the output
climbs to 300 horsepower. The deluxe 550i
with BMW's 4.8-liter V8 creates 360 horsepower.
All versions provide the spectrum of BMW
mechanical systems for performance and
safety, including Dynamic Stability Control
(DSC), which corrects lateral skidding.
BMW's Night Vision, Active Cruise Control
and xenon high intensity discharge (HID)
headlights are also available.
The mid-size 650i models hardtop
coupes or soft top convertibles
stock a 4.8-liter V8 reaching 360 horsepower
with a Sport Automatic Transmission and
paddle shifters. High-tech hardware aboard
includes Active Roll Stabilization (ARS)
to reduce body roll and optional Active
Steering Control (ASC), which varies the
steering ratio to match a driver's style
and the pavement conditions. A plush cockpit
features articulated bucket seats and
trimmings in leathers and hardwoods. There
are luxurious appointments and power controls
with memory settings, plus electronic
tools like BMW's computerized iDrive controller
and new Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system.
These sedans roll with powerful engines.
There's a V8 for the 750i and stretched
750Li, or a V12 in the 760Li. The V8 employed
by the 750i and 750Li displaces 4.8 liters
and delivers 360 horsepower. The 12-cylinder
engine for the 760Li is a 6.0-liter aluminum
plant that creates 408 horsepower and
features BMW's Valvetronic system plus
fully variable bi-VANOS camshaft controls.
Both engines tie to a six-speed automatic
with shift-by-wire technology. The line-capper
Alpina B7 totes a 4.4-liter V8 tuned by
Alpina for 500 horsepower with paddle
shifters tied to the six-speed automatic.
BMW's two-seat Z4 roadster convertible
and hardtop coupe come from a BMW plant
in South Carolina. The coupe looking
long, low and quick features a
curvy hardtop covering the cockpit and
a spoiler integrated into the tail. For
juice, the Z4 3.0si Coupe and Roadster
draw from BMW's 3.0-liter, in-line-six
engine that delivers 255 horsepower with
a six-speed Getrag manual stick or optional
six-speed ZF Steptronic automatic. The
Sport Package on the Z4 3.0i Roadster
upgrades to 18-inch wheels and adds taut
sport suspension settings and the Sport
Driving Mode gear.
The line of ultra-performance cars from
BMW expands in 2008 for the new M3 coupe
and M5 sedan, while continuing with the
M6 coupe and convertible and Z4 M roadster
and coupe. Thrust for the M5 stems from
a 5.0-liter V10 that blows the doors off
with 500 horsepower through a seven-speed
sequential manual gearbox (SMG) charting
automatic and manual shift programs. For
the M6, M5's V10 with the SMG also works.
The new M3 spits out 414 horsepower from
a 4.0-liter V8. The Z4 M roadster or coupe
holds the 3.2-liter, in-line-six, creating
343 horsepower with a six-speed manual
The compact-class SUV from BMW seems like
a raucous sports car packing a wagon's
boxy utility bay. BMW calls it a SAV,
meaning sport activity vehicle. The sole
model is the X3 3.0si with crisp exterior
styling, luxurious appointments in the
five-seat passenger compartment and a
healthy powertrain aboard with the xDrive
AWD traction device. BMW's 3.0-liter,
six-in-line plant delivers 260 horsepower
and links to a standard six-speed manual
shifter or no-load six-speed Steptronic
automatic. Options available include a
new Sport Activity Package that installs
privacy glass, running boards and 18-inch
wheels, plus a unique leather-wrapped
The two versions of the mid-size sport
activity vehicle from BMW are labeled
as the X5 3.0si and X5 4.8i. Both look
like a big BMW sports sedan, only jacked
up with a wagon's cargo box in back. Both
also contain BMW's smart xDrive AWD system.
Adjustable and variable, the device directs
engine power to whichever axle, front
or rear, has the best traction bite. It
works with BMW's four-wheel Dynamic Stability
Control (DSC-X) mechanism and a traction
control system (TCS-X) that corrects potentially
dangerous skid movements. The X5 3.0si
pumps 260 horsepower while the X5 4.8i
hits 350 horsepower.
more information on BMW.