Washington Auto Show Special Report: BMW

D.C.’s Washington Auto Show made its visit beginning on February 1st through the 10th.  And while some big name car company’s didn’t show up (I’m talking to you Porsche, Ferrari, and Lambo), many great cars were on display.  And fortunately, for  of all you fellow enthusiasts that either couldn’t make it, didn’t feel like going, or were just wondering what was on display, The Full Throttle Times is doing a special report of some of the highlighted vehicles on display.  So, let’s start with BMW.

128i

Over the years, BMW’s 1-Series has built a reputation for itself of being a small, sensible car, that can also be quite rewarding when you throw it around a bit.  And with this BMW 128i, Bimmer is promising all of its customers and fans that it is keeping to those adjectives with this car.

This new 1-Series Coupe comes equipped with a 3.0-liter, straight-six engine that is also the same engine that is used in a 5-Series.  The 24-valve engine produces 230 horsepower and also achieves 28 miles per gallon highway, making it a rather fuel efficient car.  And to keep with the oath of keeping the car fun and sporty, all the engine’s power is sent to the rear wheels, which foretells of some exciting sideways moments – all completely predictable sideways moments, of course.  The engine’s power is distributed via a 6-speed manual transmission, as well.

With a cost of $31,200, the car is relatively affordable, although some may ponder as to why a car this small is costing over $30,000.  However, from what the numbers say, and what BMW promises, this car seems to have no plans or possibilities of leaving behind its reputation.

650i Gran Coupe

Now looking at the picture of this car, you have most likely realized a very deceiving feature on this car.  It has 4 doors.  If you haven’t looked at the name or the picture of the new Bimmer, you may be thinking “What’s the big deal?  It has four doors, so do a lot of cars.”  Well, this car is called a Gran “Coupe,” but it has four doors.  There’s your problem.

When I asked BMW about the reasoning behind having what should clearly be a sedan being called a coupe, they responded with distinct details that actually makes quite a good deal of sense.  This car may be a sedan, however the car is equipped with coupe aerodynamics, allowing it to cut through the air much better than a block-like sedan.  For example, the flow of the roof line definitely has a certain, 2-door, look about it.

Along with a cleaner, more aerodynamic body, the 650i has also been given a good deal of power.  Actually, a great deal of power because this machine has 445 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque on tap.  The power is manufactured inside of a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8.  The power allows this car to achieve 60 mph from a stand still in 4.5 seconds, and reach a (limited) 155 mph.

The 650i Gran Coupe has a starting cost of $76,500.  However, buyers may also want to consider the 6-Series coupe which produces either 315 horsepower in the 640i Coupe or 445 horsepower in the 650i Coupe.  And if you decide you want to go topless, you can also opt for the convertible version, which comes with the same power as the 640i and 650i Coupes.

X1 sDrive 28i

Before this model year, the only X-Series BMW’s received here in the U.S.have been the X3, X5, and X6.  However, the X1 remained off of that list as the car had remained exclusive to European customers.  That is, until now.  BMW finally saw the U.S. market fit for the X1 as they saw it bad for their market if it was to be kept in Europe.

Now what’s so different about this car?  Well first things first, this car is smaller than any other X-Series model.  The x1 is 60.8 inches high in comparison to the X3’s 65.4 inches.  This smaller size makes the X1 a better city car, not that the X3 is exceptionally large in the first place.

At the heart of the X1 is a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter straight four.  Not often that you see an SUV with twin-turbos, if you can even call it an SUV.  Power is the same as the X3, with the engine producing 240 horsepower.  The “SUV” also makes 260 lb-ft. of torque, meaning that you most likely won’t be scaling up any off-road hills, keeping true to the fact that X-Series cars aren’t the ideal off-roaders.

However, with 34 mpg highway and a starting price of $30,800, the car is sensible and affordable.  A quality city car with leg room, head room, and storage, this car should sell quite well here in the U.S.

Photos and Info from edmunds.com, autoguide.com, and bmw.com

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