Displaying items by tag: BMW
"The latest BMW 7 Series sports a brash new grille, improved powertrains and even more tech"
This is the sixth-generation of the BMW 7 Series luxury saloon and arguably the most identifiable, thanks to its bold new face. BMW clearly decided its conservative flagship saloon needed to stand out against the stately Mercedes S-Class and forward-looking Audi A8, increasing the size of its kidney grille by around 40%.
Elsewhere the makeover is far less dramatic, with slim new headlights and a full-width LED rear light-bar representing the most noticeable changes. It also has a smoother overall look and has been tweaked to suit the Chinese market, where more than a third of all 7 Series are sold.
The interior has also been reworked with a light touch, leaving most of its design intact but revisiting the tech on offer. The start of the show is BMW's latest infotainment system, bringing digital instruments and an updated tablet that passengers in the back can use to control the car's interior features.
Depending on its expected use, the 7 Series can be specified with a standard or long wheelbase to boost passenger space, along with either a bench rear seat or two-seat 'lounge' setup. The latter brings the full VIP experience, with individual seats that are heated, cooled and reclining either side of a centre console.
For a car that doesn’t sell in huge numbers, there's a wide range of engines, spanning from a plug-in hybrid model to diesels, and even a flagship V8 petrol. Every 7 Series is quick and supremely comfortable, but the range-topping petrols are also powerful for a large saloon, and the BMW has a sportier edge than the Mercedes S-Class.
BMW 7 Series saloon - MPG, running costs & CO2
The plug-in hybrid and diesel models make the big BMW 7 Series surprisingly efficient
Thanks to the breadth of the BMW 7 Series' engine range, there should be a version to suit every customer and location. We say ‘location’ because the plug-in hybrid 745e will bring real advantages in terms of taxes and charges if the owner drives into cities like London with low-emission zones and tariffs.
For this reason, the 745e plug-in hybrid is popular thanks to its CO2 emissions from 41g/km and fuel economy of up to 156.9mpg. The exact economy you get will depend on how often you can charge its battery pack and make use of its 28 mile electric range, but its fixed emissions figure gives the car free access to city centres with low-emission zones. A low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax will also appeal to business users.
The 7 Series’ standard petrol models are considerably pricier to run. The 740i returns up to 35.8mpg and emits from 180g/km, while the hugely powerful 750i xDrive returns little over 25mpg and sits in the top BiK tax band for business drivers.
Diesel engines are still very popular for the 7 Series, and the 730d will especially suit high-mileage drivers. Fuel economy of up to 51.4mpg is pretty impressive given the BMW's size, but emissions from 144g/km (with the smallest alloy wheels fitted) mean it still sits in a high BiK tax band. The 740d still returns 47mpg despite posting a very quick acceleration time and getting four-wheel drive. It features mild-hybrid technology with a small battery that stores the energy harvested from braking and deceleration, which is then used to give the engine a boost helping to improve fuel economy and emissions.
Insurance groups for the BMW 7 Series saloon are high because of how much it costs, the complex engineering and high performance. Even models lower down the range, such as the 740i are in insurance groups 48 or 49. Every other model, including all long wheel variants and even the 745e hybrid, sit in the top insurance group 50.
All BMW models come with a three-year warranty that's typical amongst the German brands, however it does also have unlimited mileage within this period.
BMW offers servicing packages that can be purchased when the car is new, covering maintenance for a fixed cost for a set period of time, for up to five years, which can also be transferred to subsequent owners.
Servicing packages can also be extended to include consumable items like brake pads, discs and a new clutch for an extra charge.
BMW 7 Series saloon - Engines, drive & performance
While still comfortable, the BMW 7 Series is a bit more involving to drive than most large saloons
Unlike most BMW models, the 7 Series favours a plush ride over sporty handling, but it still feels lighter on its toes than the Audi A8 or Mercedes S-Class. This is partly thanks to use of a carbon fibre 'core' running through its underpinnings, which helps save weight and increase structural stiffness.
In any of its driving modes and any scenario, the 7 Series is incredibly comfortable. We found the normal Comfort mode to be the best all-round setting; Comfort Plus makes the air suspension even softer, but this can make the body feel a little wayward on demanding roads, so is probably best left for the motorway.
BMW 7 Series diesel engines
There are two versions of the same 3.0-litre straight-six diesel, and the BMW 730d has traditionally been the bestseller in Britain. It has 282bhp and manages 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds when equipped with rear-wheel drive, with the xDrive four-wheel drive version taking 5.6 seconds. The more powerful four-wheel drive 740d gets 335bhp, and manages to get from 0-62mph in only five seconds. BMW’s mild-hybrid technology is fitted to both models, which provides an extra 11bhp overboost under full throttle to aid acceleration.
The petrol line-up consists of one relatively normal straight-six, and two much more expensive to run, powerful and exotic engines. With 328bhp, the 740i engine is shared with models including the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series, and still proves spritely in a bigger vehicle, getting the 7 Series from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.
BMW 7 Series saloon - rear 3/4 dynamic 17
An all-new 4.4-litre V8 offered in the 750i creates a thunderous 528bhp and gets the car from 0-62mph in four seconds, aided by four-wheel drive traction. Despite its extra size and four extra cylinders, the 577bhp 6.6-litre V12 in the M760Li could only shave 0.2 seconds off the 0-62mph sprint, and has now been discontinued in the UK.
While the 730d has long been the most popular model, a shift away from diesel and heavy taxation means the 745e plug-in hybrid is likely to win favour with business buyers - who make up the bulk of 7 Series customers. It combines a six-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and battery pack, providing an electric-only driving range of up to 28 miles. Zero-to-62mph takes a fraction over five seconds.
BMW 7 Series saloon - Interior & comfort
Technology has been improved with a better infotainment system and rear seat entertainment
Aside from its grille, the BMW 7 Series and its rivals are known for being conservative, and the interior hasn't changed too much from its predecessor. Of course, technology has been bolstered, so every gadget you can think of is standard or available as an option.
BMW 7 Series dashboard
While it looks pretty similar, there's a new set of digital instruments that can show much more information to the driver. Materials have also been updated to keep the 7 Series near the front of the pack, with every surface covered in leather or wooden trim, including oak and polar.
Perhaps most importantly, the infotainment system runs BMW's Operating System 7.0, bringing the latest connectivity, media and navigation to the driver and passengers via seven-inch removable tablets.
Choose the 730d and so much is included you'd be hard pressed to tell it's officially the entry-level model. A Harman Kardon stereo, adaptive LED headlights, powered boot, wireless phone charging and a key with its own display are all standard.
BMW 7 Series saloon - infotainment 17
In-car technology doesn’t disappoint either, with all models coming as standard with the ‘Connected Package Professional’. This includes Remote Services, which allows you to send destinations, find your vehicle or even keep an eye on your 7 Series’ surroundings via your smartphone. A remote 3D view generates an up-to-date 360-degree image around the car so that you can see it even when you’re not near it, using the BWW Connected App. Other features include Connected Navigations, Concierge Services and Apple CarPlay.
The M Sport trim gives the 7 Series a more athletic look inside and out, capped off by unique alloy wheels, while the M760Li xDrive flagship is essentially its own trim level, with just about every option included.
It's hard to believe you'd need to add a Comfort Plus Pack, but do so and it brings massaging and ventilated seats, scented air and laminated glass designed to help regulate the interior temperature and add soundproofing. A Technology Plus Pack adds driving aids, remote control parking and a head-up display, while the Rear Seat Comfort Plus Pack upgrades the back seats for first-class luxury by adding heated seats and two 10-inch screens on the back of the front seats along with a Blu-ray player and TV.
BMW 7 Series saloon - Practicality & boot space
There's plenty of room to stretch out and the boot is a generous size
The BMW 7 Series saloon has been designed to carry adults in ultimate luxury from the outset, and the latest version is 22mm longer than before. Choose the long-wheelbase version and it gains a full 14cm of additional length, providing even more room for rear passengers to stretch out and sleep on the move.
BMW 7 Series interior space & storage
In standard form, the interior of the 7 Series offers a generous amount of room for both front and rear passengers. Travelling in the rear seats though, is more like first-class air travel than squeezing into the back of a hatchback. That's especially the case if you specify the individual executive lounge rear seats rather than the standard three seat rear bench.
Opt for the extended long-wheelbase version of 7 Series and the rear passenger space is extended further still, meaning that while in transit, you can enjoy a film, work or have a nap. This can be complemented by electrified rear and side window sunblinds and the optional BMW Touch Command, which adds a capacitive touch sensor to control the rear interior lighting. Even more space can be afforded by pressing a button to move and tilt the front passenger seat out of the way.
The powered boot lid opens to reveal a large 515-litre boot (10 litres more space than the Audi A8), providing plenty of room for suitcases or golf clubs. Due to the onboard battery in the 745Le plug-in hybrid, boot space is reduced to 429 litres. Those opulent rear seats don't fold down, though, so you can't expand the space.
While you're unlikely to ever see a 7 Series towing a trailer, its 2,300kg capability means it would actually be rather adept at the task.
BMW 7 Series saloon - Reliability & safety
The BMW 7 Series boasts some of the world's most advanced safety technology
The BMW 7 Series is a hugely complex car, but a decent manufacturer's warranty should allay many fears. It's also laden with safety technology.
BMW 7 Series reliability
It can be daunting buying a car with as much technology and equipment as the 7 Series, but it’s covered by an unlimited-mileage warranty for the first three years. Because this model is essentially a thorough facelift of the previous version, a lot of the new model's underpinnings have also been tried and tested.
Its smaller sibling, the 5 Series, came 40th in our top 100 cars rated by owners in the 2020 Driver Power satisfaction survey. It seems that BMW owners aren’t happy with the running costs, which include high insurance premiums and servicing bills. Surprisingly, BMWs are getting worse than average reviews in the ride and handling and acceleration categories.
While it's unlikely to be tested by Euro NCAP because of its status as a luxury car sold in small numbers, we'd be amazed if the 7 Series didn't get a five-star result. After all, it's BMW's flagship saloon and a showcase for the brand’s latest safety technology. That includes myriad systems to help warn you of, and even help avoid accidents.
Onboard safety technology includes BMW’s Parking Assistant Plus which is capable of taking control of the car steering and brakes to park the car automatically in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces. This functionality can also be operated via the BMW Display key, with the driver outside the car. Other safety features include the optional Driving Assistant Professional system, which uses a series of cameras and radar to guide the car as you drive, and includes lane change assistance, and can even stop you if you attempt to drive down a one-way street the wrong way.
If someone had have told you twenty years ago that the latest BMW M4 (or M3, as it was universally called back then) would have over 500bhp, a choice of all-wheel drive – but no manual gearbox – and styling loud enough to send seasoned M enthusiasts off into the arms of AMG, you’d no doubt wonder what potent blend of super glue they’d been inhaling before bed.
Yet, here we are in 2021 where the crazy proclamations of yesteryear have indeed come true. The G82 version of one of BMW’s most famous names is all of the above. Granted, a six-speed three-pedal version is available elsewhere, but on these shores it’s eight-speed ZF only. And yes, the debate over the styling still rages on. I’ve grown to like it, chiefly because it dares to be different from every copy and paste vanilla car on sale today. But let’s not go down that rabbit hole…
What are the headline figures?
As well as the manual gearbox, UK buyers have also been denied the ‘standard’ car, so it’s Competition only for the G82 and its M3 sibling. That means pre-pumped outputs of 503bhp and 479lb ft of torque – up 59bhp and 73lb ft on the outgoing F82 Competition. Big gains? Quite. But also big dollar, with this latest M4 coming in with a £76,000 asking price (our test car was knocking on for £90k).
0-62mph is done in 3.9 seconds while top speed hits the heady heights of 180mph if you pay the nice people in Munich a little extra for the M Sport Pro Package. It’s a seriously juicy set of stats for a game of Top Trumps, yet the truth is that we’ve come to expect nothing less when one of Germany’s big three releases a flagship performance car.
What’s of more importance, is how this M4 serves its power up compared with its predecessor. There’s plenty of tales from drivers who got behind the wheel of early F82s, likening the experience to driving a 400bhp supermarket trolly. You were never quite sure what it was going to do next and as a result, it felt like it was trying to spit you off into the nearest hedge.
Happily, things have since moved forward and BMW’s engineers have smoothed out the torque delivery in the S58 engine. It comes in from almost 1,000 revs later, and there’s a far more linear curve as it hauls through the mid-range leaving Porsche 911 Carreras in its wake. Catch it below 2,500rpm and you’ll detect tangible lag, yet it’s fleeting and insignificant compared with the sheer breadth of pulling power on offer.
It’s a level of flexibility that would scarcely have been believable not so long ago, yet the M4’s engine delivers at both ends of the scale. Almost as soon as the torque dies down, the endearingly frantic top end takes over and gives you just enough encouragement to ring out those final few revs before pulling the upshift paddle at 7,600rpm. If it wasn’t already clear, this is a blisteringly quick car.
BMW’s done a decent job with the sound, too. No doubt it’s synthesised, yet there’s enough going on, not just from the electronically controlled exhaust flaps, but the engine itself, to mean it should be slightly less controversial than the tones of its S55 predecessor.
It’s a real shame, then, that the eight-speed gearbox can’t doesn’t feel as confident as the rest of the powertrain. Everyday driving shows off its greatest strength of smooth, slick, well-timed changes, yet start to drive enthusiastically and the downshifts are underwhelming. There’s not the same level of decisiveness or aggression as Porsche’s PDK, for example, and despite the number of ratios being the same, each gear feels less distinctive.
What about the handling?
Before I get into that, it’s worth highlighting that most of my time in the M4 was spent on track with the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, rather than the standard Pilot Sport 4S. I did have an on-road drive with the latter, but the following impressions will – largely – be based on my experience with the super sticky track tyres.
Although, a quick glance through the spec sheet and you might question whether the M4 Competition should be going anywhere near a track. Because, under the colossal power and torque figures you’ll see a kerb weight in excess of 1.7-tonnes, that, by the way, is almost 200kg more than a similarly specced F82 M4 Competition
Why so hefty? Partly, it’s down to the increased reinforcement on the part-steel, part-aluminium CLAR platform. Braces to lock the front shock towers firmly to each other and the front bulkhead, elements to tie the stiffer subframe to the reinforced engine bay, underfloor shear panels – all of this in an effort to remove variables from the M4’s chassis.
And yet in truth, such weight gains feel like they’re there mostly because BMW knows it’s not the stigma it once was and that the average M4 customer still wants, no – scratch that, demands the creature comforts of a regular 4 regardless of the car’s sporting intentions. As a consequence, BMW has become the master of making its cars not necessarily hide weight (there’s only so far you can take that), but instead, work with the weight.
Like the F90 M5, the M4 Competition moves around tight corners on track (and on road), with a degree of agility that, not so long ago, wouldn’t have been out of place on the grid for the Nürburgring 24H. Wider, longer and tauter than its predecessor, it can take even greater speed into corners with the front-end that actively hunting down apexes given a little trail-braking encouragement. BMW’s engineers benchmarked the car against the previous M4 CS – and it shows.
It’s especially effective in tight and medium-speed corners where there’s enough attitude from the rear to punch you away from the throes of understeer, keeping the line tight and the speed high. Sure, the front will still push wide if you’re not decisive enough on the throttle, but it doesn’t take long to get used to its pleasingly direct way of doing things.
And yet, that doesn’t mean that the M4 always plays nice. As mentioned, the engine is a much more tractable unit than before, but there’s still a sharpness, borderline nervouness to the car at the limit, that hints at the barely concealed aggression underneath. Big slides are possible – even encouraged – with the gimmicky but fun M Drift Analyser, yet it’s the transition from traction to no traction that leaves you a little unsure of where you stand. Although, as explained, much of this could have been down to the less forgiving Cup 2 tyres.
Either way, there’s no doubt more precise tools available for similar money. And while I don’t want to get too fixated on the 911, it certainly is one of them. The steering in the BMW, for example, is light and fast. Handy for the slower corners, but less helpful for delivering feel and stability in the faster stuff. Plus, the standard brakes, as powerful as they are still have their work cut out to bring 1.7 tonnes to a halt in a brisk and controlled manner. As a result, the M4 Competition is a car that’ll make you sweat, swear and question your own sense of self-preservation on a committed drive.
Which makes it all the more impressive that its capable of settling down into an exemplary everyday car with almost GT levels of refinement. The adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers does a fine job of keeping the car level in sport plus settings, but the well-rounded ride in comfort mode is equally impressive.
As is the cabin layout, infotainment and optional Clubsport carbon bucket seats. A £3,000 option, they save a mere 9.6kg, yet sit you lower and more comfortably in the car. Admittedly, I still wanted to go down a few mms further, and if I’m being picky, the steering wheel rim is too thick. Yet there’s no doubt it’s an exceptionally nice cabin to spend time in.
The BMW M4 Compeition manages to be both an accomplished all-rounder and a flawed, yet brilliantly exciting sports coupe all at the same time. It’s everyday on-road manners and luxuriously appointed cabin are almost beyond reproach. Yet start to press on the and the wave of seemingly limitless power and torque, combined with a veracious appetite for on-the-limit brinkmanship makes it a heart-stopping streetfighter of a sports coupe. And while it may not have the dynamic finesse of the 911 that its now priced so closely with, there’s more than enough reason to drop £80k on one of Munich’s most radical and controversial M cars yet.
A pricey special-edition M2 with a 444-hp heart reminds us of the BMWs of the past.
Taglines work. Take, for example, the incredible motivational power of a "Hang in There" cat poster or the decades that BMW marketed itself as The Ultimate Driving Machine. In those days, BMW's cars regularly delivered class-leading handling and fun. In 2006, the German brand dropped the tagline and began a slow move away from cars that sing and dance. But the company still has a few, such as the M2 CS, that are hanging in there, clinging to the branches of the old family tree.
The M2 CS is a limited-edition, high-powered version of the M2, which is itself the hot version of the 2-series coupe. We're talking the rear-wheel-drive 2-series, not the front-drive-based, four-door 2-series Gran Coupe abomination that placed last in a recent comparison test and is best thought of as an ultimate disappointment. Thankfully, the M2 CS has nothing in common with that car.
It does, however, share some parts with the outgoing Competition-spec M3 and M4, including the 444-hp version of the M division's twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. Despite being a healthy 39 horses up on the M2 Competition, the CS isn't any quicker than its sibling to relatively low-speed thresholds. Basically, it is limited in the run to 60 mph by the traction of its rear tires. But the CS pushes ahead after hitting 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and it passes through the quarter in 12.1 seconds at 120 mph, two-tenths of a second quicker and 4 mph faster than the stick-shift M2 Comp.
With its six-speed manual transmission, the CS pulls us in close. If you're lazy, it'll rev match on downshifts, and the shifter has the positive, if slightly rubbery, motion of BMWs past. Optional matte-gold wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track rubber are part of the CS makeover. A test-equipment snafu cost us our skidpad measurement, but by the seat-of-pants measurement this car has more grip than the 1.00 g we measured in an M2 Competition riding on Michelin Pilot Super Sports. We promise.
Highs: An angry car designed to make us smile, manual-transmission joy, BMW's best stuff.
Those grippy Cup 2 tires probably deserve some credit for removing a lot of numbness from the M2's steering. While you can't quite read the Braille of the pavement through the Alcantara-wrapped wheel, the steering feedback is livelier than we've seen in recent BMWs. Adaptive dampers, similar to those found on the previous-generation M3 and M4, are available for the first time on the M2 and offer three modes. The Comfort setting works brilliantly on canyon roads (and probably even on racetracks), stiffening the damping as needed. Notching up to the harsher settings fails to improve handling and makes the ride punishingly firm.
Carbon-ceramic brake rotors are an $8500 option and proved to be up to the abuse leveled at them during testing and on the road. In addition to fade resistance, an added benefit of the ceramic rotors is that they won't leave brake dust on the lovely gold wheels. Fearless prediction: When it comes to wheels, gold is the new black. The brake pedal is a little softer than we like when used casually, but work the brakes hard and there's nothing to complain about. Stopping from 70 mph took a short 145 feet, and hauling down from 100 mph required 301 feet.
An M2 CS on a mountain road is a happy place. There's a slight lag when you hit the accelerator on corner exit, as the turbochargers need a moment to spin up. To ensure sharp engine responses, old M cars were naturally aspirated and fitted with individual throttle bodies, but none of them made torque like modern turbocharged engines do. The CS produces 406 pound-feet of torque at a low 2350 rpm.
Lows: Some turbo lag, pushing six figures is pushing it.
Other parts shared with the old M3/M4 include the deeply bolstered front seats and the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. Rear-seat space is tight, and there are only two seatbelts back there, making this a four-seater. Carbon-fiber and more Alcantara trim dress up this aging interior, and much of the switchgear appears to be from BMWs of the past, but we're totally okay with that. The infotainment system features BMW's latest software, and Apple CarPlay is included.
A carbon-fiber hood and roof help the CS weigh 83 pounds less than the M2 Competition. Pushed to its lofty cornering limits, the CS acts even lighter and smaller than its 3489 pounds. Our main problem with this astonishingly good car is its $84,595 starting price. The letters CS cost more than SS 1LE, ZL1, ZL1 1LE, GT PPL2, and GT500. Those exotic Camaros and Mustangs offer more power and the same connected driving experience, but the M2 is smaller, lighter, and undeniably special in its own right. It's one of the last true BMWs. We just hope the engineers responsible have a particular cat poster in their offices.
German Manhart now offers the owners of the BMW X5 M Competition a new tuning program.
Manhart’s package to modify the BMW X5 M Competition primarily implies that the 4.4-liter V8 TwinPower Turbo engine is boosted from 625hp and 750 Nm to 823hp and 1080 Nm of torque.
The Manhart package also includes carbon fiber elements, a stainless steel sports exhaust system, a set of new 22-inch wheels, stronger brakes, modified suspension (the car is 30 mm lower), as well as gold details, Manhart emblems and a refined interior. alcantara, carbon fiber elements).
Manhart does not state data on acceleration to 100 km / h, so here is a reminder that the serial X5 M Competiton needs 3.8 seconds for that.
The same package will be offered for the BMW X6 M Comeptition.
Although it is not news that the car is unlocked with a mobile phone, although only from close range, there is now a new technology on Wednesday that will allow us to do it remotely, as we normally do with keys.
Among the many things that smartphones have "suffocated" or at least pushed into the background, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS devices and bank cards, we will soon add another to this list that we use every day - car keys .
Although mobile phone unlock technology is already in use, it is NFC-based, which means you have to lean the phone against the vehicle, but thanks to another technology (UWB), cars will unlock phones remotely, as they do now we work with keys.
BMW iX, Photo: Promo
New models of Apple phones come with this technology, so BMW recently announced that UWB will use it on its new iX series electric vehicles.
The principle on which UWB works is best described on Wired, calling it "bluetooth on steroids", while Apple calls it internal GPS.
It is a short-range radio technology that will enable not only wireless communication with other devices, for example. unlocking the car door remotely, but also finding other devices nearby, similar to how devices like Tile's popular locators do.
Apple is not the only mobile company whose phones have UWB support - Samsung recently announced the Galaxy S21 series, which also implements this technology, and even before that, Xiaomi in the Mi10 series.
BMW iX, Photo: Promo
It seems like this is just the beginning because, according to information from the mobile industry, more and more companies are planning to introduce a phone with UWB support. So this year we can expect new Xiaomi phones with UWB support, but such devices are also being prepared by Oppo, Vivo and other companies, which means that many phones of the future will be able to replace car keys.
Of course, in addition to mobile manufacturers, UWB should also be accepted by car manufacturers. BMW has already confirmed this, and Samsung has announced that it is also cooperating with Audi, Ford and Genesis, so it is not difficult to assume that in the (near or distant) future, support for digital keys could become an industry standard.
Another Bavarian brand is currently working on several purely electric models that will debut in the next 10 years. However, the ambitions of the producers from Ingolstadt are much bigger. According to the head of the company, Marcus Disman, Audi plans to become purely "electric" in the next 20 years.
In fact, it is a time frame that is conceived as necessary to complete the transition, write Vrele Gume. According to Disman, Audi is currently setting a deadline for the phasing out of current models with internal combustion engines. The cars in question will either become purely electric or will be euthanized.
By the end of 2021, the Ingolstadt brand will have six purely electric models on offer, along with 12 plug-in hybrids. However, that is just the beginning. Audi wants to have twenty electric cars on sale by 2025, and if it succeeds in achieving that, it could become a manufacturer like Tesla sooner rather than later.
However, it should not be forgotten that Ingolstadt announced that they will continue to develop internal combustion engines, in an attempt to make them as efficient as possible. So, regardless of the fact that Audi will start phasing out the SUS engine, petrol engines will still have their place in the portfolio. "Plug-in" hybrids are likely to serve as long-distance models, giving customers who frequently travel hundreds of miles "from the train" the opportunity to own usable vehicles. Those who are not outspoken "long-distance runners" will be able to rely on electric cars. At the moment, there are only four different electric models of Audi on offer, with two being actually model variants. The Audi e-tron, e-tron Sportback, e-tron S and e-tron Sportback S are currently the only ones of their kind in the Ingolstadt range. However, by the end of the year, the Audi e-tron GT and Audi Q4 e-tron will enter the scene, with probably a couple of new "plug-in" hybrids.
Given all the above, the goal of the "four rings" brand to become purely electric in the next 20 years is not so unattainable. Will other premium manufacturers follow this matrix?
BMW also has ambitious plans when it comes to electrifying its models, although it seems that the latter has arrived "at the party". The BMW iX is the first true electric car from the Bavarian manufacturer since the i3, and it is not yet officially on sale. Although Audi’s e-tron models on the market rest on existing platforms, they are not just electrified versions of existing models, as is the case with the BMW iX3. The same can be said for the Mercedes-Benz EQC. Of course, Munich also plans to fill the electric offer in the near future, including the i4, the electrified series 7, the iX1 and possibly even the electric M5. BMW also wants to phase out internal combustion engines, although the deadline for achieving that process could be slightly longer than Audi's.
The BMW Group also published sales data during 2020. The data show that the placement of the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands last year amounted to 2,324,809 vehicles, which is a decrease of 8.4 percent compared to 2019.
BMW itself sold 2,028,659 cars (minus 7.2 percent), MINI ended the year with sales of 292,394 vehicles (minus 15.8 percent), and Rolls-Royce sold 3,756 luxury cars with sales down 26 , 4 percent).
In terms of sales by region, the BMW Group sold 912,621 vehicles (minus 15.7 percent) in Europe, 984,515 (plus 6.1 percent) in Asia, and 306,870 vehicles (minus 18.0 percent) in the United States. In Asia, the largest sales were, of course, in China, where the BMW Group found 777,379 customers (sales growth was 7.4 percent).
The statement also points out that the BMW M sold 144,218 cars in 2020 (plus 5.9 percent compared to 2019), and that sales of electric and plug-in hybrid models (BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric) amounted to 192,646 units (plus 31.8 percent).
Finally, the fact that BMW Motorrad sold 169,272 motorcycles last year (minus 3.4 percent).