It’s no coincidence that BMW AG (BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce) posted a 51% net gain in profit from a year ago and that February 2012 was the company’s best-ever sales month for any prior February. These vehicles are in sheer demand. To be more specific, the Munich, Germany based automaker sold 127,634 vehicles this past February compared to 111,724 in February 2011. In total 239,800 units were received by customers globally since the beginning of the year. “February was another record month for the BMW Group and we intend to continue the positive development,” said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing.
And whether you are a numbers person or not, the consensus is that there are major requests for premium vehicles around the world with raw nepotism towards German brands. The VW Group and Mercedes-Benz have also had similar sales success. BMW has an elite squad consisting of perennial players in each market segment, and this strength doesn’t seem likely to dissipate any time soon. The newly launched 3 Series Sedan for example will continue to grow sales for BMW since every manufacturer that competes in this territory considers it the benchmark since it’s so good and doesn’t have to be legitimized like some vehicles when re-introduced. For example, Lexus has to overstate why its new GS is the best from their point of view due to the fact that the Japanese model went missing for so many years in the eyes of premium sports sedan buyers. BMW doesn’t have that problem.
Yet the storyline gets better. Imminent are the new M5, an M6 Coupe, M6 Convertible and my new personal favorite – the 2013 6 Series Gran Coupe?. It’s the company’s version of a 4-door coupe. Theoretically, there is no such thing as a 4-door coupe, but it allows marketing to play along with the theme while enticing Bimmer enthusiasts who may have been Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide or Audi A7 prospects.
The latest member of the family will begin life mid summer as the 640i and later in the fall BMW will welcome the 650i. Furthermore, xDrive all-wheel drive will be added shortly after as an additional feature to the Gran Coupe? line. xDrive offers 60% rear and 40% front traction during norming driving and automatically sends power to the wheel (s) with grip. Both the 320-horsepower 6-cylinder 640i and 450-horsepower 8-cylinder 650i will receive BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. Keep in mind TwinPower does not mean twin turbo. The engines have one twin scroll turbo. If you have not experienced BMW’s current line-up of TwinPower engines then you need too. They are extraordinarily fluid and breathe easy. Coupled with TwinPower is the 8-speed sports automatic transmission with BMW’s automatic engine start/stop function to help preserve fuel economy.
The Gran Coupe?’s sporty and elegant appearance comes from an extended wheelbase, long hood, short deck lid, and sharp creases and lines that make the vehicle look as if it’s moving when stationary. For that very reason company designers style their BMWs with speed, flow and design depth, meaning the car needs to always surprise its owner with new styling cues. For example, one of the designers showed me a slight line on the corner of the bumper that actually helps with driving dynamics. I probably would have never noticed this particular line had it not been pointed out. BMW doesn’t know if an M6 Gran Coupe? will ever be produced, but in the interim the M Sport Package will ascertain immediate intimidation.
At the Geneva Motor Show BMW showcased a “Frozen Bronze” Gran Coupe? that was absolutely gorgeous. A personalization program allows the owner to choose an array of scenarios for the full leather interior. This vehicle in particular consisted of a cream and camel two-toned leather cockpit with cream stitching and a black multi-function steering wheel and trim. The dash is dominated by the external and enlarged iPad like screen that is controlled by BMW’s intuitive iDrive multi-media system. The company says lots can be done with iDrive in addition to new functions such as Pandora integration, Facebook updates, Web connectivity and more. Foldable backrests add additional storage to the trunk space.
Functionality, design, and engineering go hand in hand when competing in any new market segment. So BMW is loath to do anything unless ultimate success is the overall goal. And whether you like the sloping roofline of the new Gran Coupe?, TwinPower Turbo technology, or comfortable rear seating in a 4-door coupe then you will undoubtedly love this new Bimmer.