BMW News

The last big auto show of the year in North America will kick off in Los Angeles with press days—officially called Automobility LA—on November 29 and 30, followed by public access to the Los Angeles Auto Show from December 1–10. BMW will be there, of course, with a hefty handful of Bavarian iron, including five electrified—and occasionally electrifying—cars and a couple of very-high-performance sedans.

Remember how the Chairman of the BMW AG Board of Management, Harald Krüger, promised us 25 electrified cars by 2025 including 12 that were purely electric? The BMW contingent at LA shows he is serious about that. Five cars on the BMW stand will be electric: the BMW i3 and i3s, the Mini Electric Concept, the BMW I Vision Dynamics concept, and a "mystery car," which might be the new BMW i8 Roadster.

The BMW press conference will be on November 29th at 11:50 AM EST/8:50 AM PST, so expect bunches of BMW stories on automotive web sites about a half-hour later. The event will be livestreamed on

For fans of conventionally-powered Bimmers—if you consider turbocharged gasoline engines to be conventional—Los Angeles will host the World Premiere of the BMW M3 CS, the North American Premiere of the BMW X7 Concept, and the BMW 8 Series Concept, the new BMW M5, and the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo.

In another North American Premiere of a sort, the newest President and CEO of BMW of North America, Bernhard Kuhnt, will address the media for the first time.

Many people expected BMW to premiere the BMW i8 Roadster at September's Frankfurt International Auto Show, but it didn't. Now we have a "mystery car" coming to Los Angeles, so everyone figures it will be the roadster version of BMW's i8 Coupe halo car. Reputed to have a soft folding top and more power than the original i8 while still keeping the i8's signature doors, the i8 Roadster will certainly regenerate interest in BMW's plug-in hybrid sports car—whenever it premieres, which could be in a few weeks in Los Angeles. Maybe. It's a mystery.

The BMW i Vision Dynamics concept, which we first saw at the Frankfurt show in September, is an all-electric, point-of-use emission-free four-door Gran Coupe with a top speed of 120 mph, a zero-to-60 time of 4.0 seconds, and a range of 373 miles before needing a recharge. It is designed to be dynamic and elegant and delivers on a promise of performance and range—although probably not both at the same time. What we should get from the BMW i Vision Dynamics is a possible look at the styling and engineering of future BMW all-electric cars, like the promised BMW iNext in 2021.

The other purely electric concept at Los Angeles will be the Mini Electric Concept. This is most likely a preview of the production all-electric Mini coming in 2019. The BMW Group sees this as an urban car with the looks and go-kart-like performance of a Mini.

The next concept at the L.A. show is the plug-in hybrid BMW X7 iPerformance Concept. If you wondered where BMW's priorities are these days, look no further than the fact that BMW chose to preview the range-topping X7 Sports Activity Vehicle as an electrified version of the big SAV. This is the vehicle for which BMW built an almost billion-dollar addition to BMW Plant Spartanburg to produce. The X7 will certainly come with gasoline and diesel engines, but BMW wanted you to know that it will also have hybrid variants.

BMW's first production purely electric car—the BMW i3—will be at L.A. with its newest family member, the BMW i3s. It has more power and performance and handles better than the original i3 that is now going on four years old. It's stronger electric motor puts out 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque that will take the i3s from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. This is not a concept car; it will be in dealer showrooms this month.

The other BMW electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show isn't an auto; it's a scooter. The BMW C-Evolution Scooter, to be precise. This all-electric maxi-scooter from BMW Motorrad has a 99-mile range, a top speed of 80 mph, and will travel from zero to 31 mph in 2.8 seconds. You will see it in California BMW motorcycle dealerships in the spring with a price tag of $13,750. For a scooter.

Electromobility is currently a BMW priority, but fortunately for most of us, they still build exciting, sporty, gasoline-powered cars, and the newest limited-edition BMW will make its World Premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show—the BMW M3 CS. This special CS edition of the high-powered BMW M3 has even more power—453 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, and weighs 110 pounds less than a standard M3 thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber. It will get you from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 174 mph. Only 1,200 will be built but almost half of those—550 units—will come to the United States. The BMW M3 CS will be available to order in the U.S. starting in May 2018.

Another car we have been anxiously awaiting is the new BMW 8 Series, but so far, all we have seen is a concept car. That BMW 8 Series Concept will be at L.A. in December, continuing to whet our appetites for BMW's new flagship coupe.

The all-new BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo will also be at the Los Angeles show. It takes over the Gran Turismo role from the 5 Series GT and it has the drivetrain, luxury, technology, and space to be an excellent grand touring car. The 2018 BMW 640i xDrive Gran Turismo will be available soon in U.S. showrooms starting at $69,700 plus $995 Destination and Handling.

For years, BMW has been preparing us for the day when the BMW M5 Sedan will develop so much power, it will need all-wheel drive to get that power to the pavement. Well, that day is here and we will see the new M5 at L.A. The quintessential high performance sports sedan contains the first ever M-specific all-wheel drive system, M xDrive. The 4.4-liter V8 with M TwinPower Turbo technology produces 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, making the zero-to-60 mph trip in 3.2 seconds. It is the quickest M5 ever, and it is coming to U.S. dealerships this spring.  

The Los Angeles Auto Show will have something for most BMW enthusiasts, whether they are electro-motorists or performance junkies. Then there is the "mystery car" that most likely will appeal to both.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]