BMW Premieres New X5, New 4 Series, Plug-in X5 Concept, i3, and i8 in Frankfurt

By Christian Stampfer on 10 September 2013
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The 2014 BMW i3 at the IAA

The 2014 BMW i3 at the IAA

FRANKFURT—The Frankfurt Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (International Automobile Show) continues to be one of the most important shows in the automotive world, and, on the first day of the show, BMW took the opportunity to debut the i3 and i8, the all-new 4 Series coupe, the next generation X5, an updated 5 Series sedan and wagon, and an X5 plug-in hybrid concept car.

On a completely redesigned 300-meter (984-foot) stage in the shape of an infinity symbol, BMW presented its first purely electrically-powered production-ready automobile, the all-new 2014 BMW i3. The BMW i3 made its first appearance as a concept car at the IAA in 2011 and is also the first car offered by BMW i.   To offset the additional weight of the car’s batteries, BMW used carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the passenger cell of the i3.

The i3’s electric motor generates a maximum output of 170 hp with a peak torque of 184 pound-feet. The zero-emission car can accelerate from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.2 seconds and offers a driving range of 80-100 miles (130 to 160 km) with fully charged lithium-ion batteries.

The BMW 420d coupe

The BMW 420d coupe

The 2015 BMW i8, which is also built using carbon fiber reinforced plastic, is a plug-in hybrid with a conventional 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, in combination with a modified version of the electric motor which powers the BMW i3. The combined power output is 362 hp with 420 pound-feet of torque while the estimated fuel economy is said to be 94 mpg (2.5 l/100 km) in the EU test cycle.

Another world premiere was the all-new 2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe. The BMW 4 Series will initially be available with two petrol engines, namely the BMW 428i and 435i, and one diesel engine, BMW 420d, although the diesel is not planned for the U.S. market at this time.  The 4er can be in several configurations, including Sport Line, Modern Line, and Luxury Line, as well as in M Sport guise.

Also on the docket was the debut of the third generation of the BMW X5, the world’s first Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV), as BMW refers to it.  The 2014 BMW X5 will be offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines ranging from the BMW X5 sDrive25d to the BMW X5 xDrive50d.  The entry-level model, BMW X5 sDrive25d, is not equipped with BMW xDrive technology, marking the first time an X5 has been sold without all wheel drive. That car is capable of delivering 47 mpg (5.6 /100km).

BMW's X5 plug-in

BMW’s X5 plug-in

BMW also unveiled the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, a plug-in hybrid version of the all-new X5.  The plug-in is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine and a 95 hp electric motor and can go up to 19 miles (30 km) solely on electric power, generating zero emissions.  It is capable of achieving 78.4 mpg (3.8 l/100 km) in the EU test cycle.

Alongside all of the world premieres and concept cars, BMW showed off the refreshed 5 Series. The changes include modifications to the car’s exterior design (such as lower structured air intakes), and new engine options, as well as the latest BMW ConnectedDrive technology.  The new entry model of the BMW 5 Series is the all-new BMW 518d Sedan and Touring, both powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine and capable of developing 143 hp and achieving a fuel economy rating of 52 mpg (4.5 l/100 km) .

BMW M Performance models with their tri-turbo six-cylinder diesel engines mark the top of the BMW 5 Series range. The engine of the BMW M550d xDrive Sedan and Touring is capable of developing 381 hp and 546 pound-feet of torque while being very economical at 37.3 mpg (6.3 l/100 km).  Both can go from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds.

According to Thomas Plucinsky, a spokesman for BMW of North America, there are no plans to bring the diesel-powered M Performance cars to the U.S. at this time.

Dan Collins contributed reporting to this article.

(Photos: Accura Media Group)