Report from Detroit – Highlights from the 2017 North American International Auto Show

By Christian Stampfer on 10 January 2017
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DETROIT—The North American International Auto Show remains one of the most important auto shows in the automotive industry. However, over the past years the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has gained significant importance. The Detroit show is held at the Cobo Center in Detroit and starts with two press days on January 9 and 10, followed by two industry preview days and a charity day. On Saturday, January 14 the show opens its doors to the public and visitors have the opportunity to get a first look at new cars and technologies.

Here is our first report on key announcements and presentations of the first press day.

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BMW

Over the past decades, the BMW brand has established a sporty reputation, focusing on the driver and driving dynamics and in keeping with the reputation the all-new BMW 5 Series puts driving dynamic first. Additionally, latest trends in connectivity and autonomous driving will be made available.

The two eye-catching models in Detroit, showcasing BMW’s philosophy, are the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid and the M-inspired BMW M550i xDrive.

Until the all-new BMW M5 arrives in 2018, the BMW M550i xDrive climbs to the top of the 5 Series line-up. Looking at the performance of the M550i, with its high-revving V8 engine, you will find a power output of 462 horsepower (340 kW). Peak torque of 479 pound-feet (650 Nm) is readily available at 1,800 rpm. While it can reach the 62 mph (100 km/h) mark within 4.0 seconds, BMW promises fuel consumption of 8.9 l/100 km (26.4 mpg). A number, you might only reach in the laboratory but not on the Autobahn.

The new BMW 530e plug-in hybrid becomes the environment-friendly model of the new 5 Series. The BMW 530e iPerformance, powered by eDrive technology, is the sixth member of the iPerformance model range. It can cover a distance of 31 miles (50 km) purely on electric power. However, one shouldn’t be in a hurry. BMW has limited the maximum speed while driving in eDrive mode to 87 mph (140 km/h). In conjunction with the electric motor, a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine powers the sedan. The combined power output adds up to 252 horsepower (185 kW). All power is sent to the rear-wheels as BMW’s all-wheel drive system xDrive isn’t available on the plug-in hybrid.

Additionally, we saw the Concept X2 in Detroit. While the world premiere of the X2 happened at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the concept now celebrates its first appearance in the United States. The design of the X2 is somehow different from all current X-models. A long wheelbase, a stretched roofline and short overhangs impart a sleek look. However, the concept car is still positioned in the compact segment. Overall it provides a glimpse into the future design language of BMW X models.

Click here to continue to Page 2Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and VW

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