BMW’s pitch on how great the X6 ActiveHybrid is goes like this: it’s the world’s most powerful hybrid vehicle, fuel consumption is reduced about 20 percent compared to a similar vehicle without a hybrid drivetrain, and no matter what speed you’re going, the incredibly complicated powertrain is performing at the most efficient level possible. All of this power means that the X6 hybrid is no sluggish Toyota Prius, offering frugal but unexciting performance. On the other hand, the size and weight of BMW’s luxury hybrid crossover means that, well, the X6 hybrid is no Prius in the mileage department, either.
Let’s start by congratulating BMW for bringing its first batch of hybrids to market (the 7 Series ActiveHybrid is launching alongside the X6). In everyday traffic, the hybrid system helps keep fuel consumption down – to a still-lame 18 mpg combined (estimated) – and, since the engine can shut down at stops, the ultra-quiet interior made sitting in Miami traffic during our preview drive almost a pleasure. Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of vehicle here that hampers any attempt at real fuel efficiency gains. The X6 ActiveHybrid weighs 5,688 pounds for crying out loud – 400 pounds more than the non-hybrid. This vehicle simply doesn’t makes a lot of sense for anyone actually interested in fuel efficiency.
We knew that BMW’s pivotal 5 Series was slated for replacement soon, and we’ve seen plenty of spy shots to prove that it’s in the cards. Up until just now, however, we didn’t know when it would appear.
In a brief press release available after the jump, BMW promises that its new 5 Series will be revealed with a “Live-Stream of the unveiling ceremony” on November 23 at 8pm CET. In the meantime, the automaker has released a teaser video of an amazing kinetic sculpture at the BMW Museum that gives away the car’s outline.
Though the maximum power output of 110 horses is carried over from the 2009 model, BMW says that torque is boosted a few lb-ft to 88 and that both the horsepower and torque curves are greatly improved. A revised fairing joins a slightly enlarged windscreen that is reportedly more transparent than before as the notable exterior modifications.
The final major updates are made to the suspension and brakes, including the latest versions of BMW’s Integral ABS brakes and Electronic Suspension Adjustment. Nine different combinations are available to the rider that adjust front and rear damping along with spring pretension and spring rate up front. Want all the details?
Anyone who follows motorcycling would likely tell you that BMW’s R 1200 GS sets the standard when it comes to building a proper adventure touring motorcycle – and with good reason. As we found out when we threw a leg over the 2009 edition, BMW’s big air-cooled mule can pretty much go anywhere the rider points it, and it’ll tackle gnarly off-road conditions with just as much aplomb as it attacks paved back roads and long stretches of superslab.
Still, nothing is perfect (we actually sorta prefer the little brother F 800 GS off the road), and BMW saw fit to update its best-seller for the 2010 model year with a revised boxer engine that now sports dual-overhead cams. That’s a major modification and it allowed BMW to locate five-percent more horsepower than the previous mill. Those 110 galloping ponies join 88 lb-ft of torque that BMW says is spread more evenly throughout the rev range than before.
The Ford SVT Raptor and the BMW X6 M are alike in that both vehicles represent the most extreme versions of their base forms. The Raptor, with its the triple-bypass Fox shocks and 35-inch tires, is a Baja-ready version of the F-150 right off the showroom floor. Meanwhile, the BMW X6 M is the 550-horsepower speed-demon version of the mild-mannered X6 luxury crossover. The two rides have little in common other than their extreme, top-tier positioning, yet 0-60 Magazine has found a way to put the two together for its Winter 2010 issue.
We don’t know what the gang at 0-60 actually did with the Raptor and the X6 M, but the magazine has managed to slap together a teaser video to whet the palette. Hit the jump to watch 0-60 have a bit of fun with the X6 M and the SVT Raptor. And if you’re not a big fan of the vid, you can simply sit back and enjoy the 1:21-minute excerpt of Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” that sets the aural backdrop to the onscreen mayhem.
The 3 Series coupe and convertible have had a little surgery done and been caught post-op. The actual changes aren’t monumental, but up front appear to have quite an effect on the looks. We’ll wait to see the uncovered version without the tape over the headlights before final judgments are issued, but from the three-quarter view the increased sweep, the changes to the kidney grille, and the drawn headlights makes the front look a little — forgive us for saying — vintage Grand Am.
In back the car gets revised taillights and a bumper massage. Inside expect slightly upgraded ergonomics and iDrive. The sedan and touring are rumored to get this look as well, and should appear next year.