BMW may be India's largest luxury car brand, but that only means a rather large responsibility of staying on top of the game. Like Audi India, BMW too has big plans for India in the coming year and over the next few pages you can read all about them.
It starts with the 3 Series convertible in December that should, like the 5 Series GT, provide some novelty value in the country. Jumping straight to the Auto Expo, BMW will announce two new cars for India - one which will probably go on sale immediately. The Mini range is finally coming to India, while a new 3 Series will mark its serious push into the executive range.
Not to be outdone, BMW will also quietly slip in the new M5 into India, come 2012. The first turbocharged M5 since its entry three decades ago, the M5 is a sign of things to come. Enchanted? Then turn the page and start reading.
Read Audi India 2012 launches here:
>>>>> TURN OVER TO READ ON THE BMW 330d CONVERTIBLE>>>>>
WHEN?: December 2011
HOW MUCH?: Rs 40-45 lakh (est, ex-showroom)
The model is pretty much on its last legs, but that's not stopping BMW India from giving it one last hurrah before it disappears into the annals of history books. The 3 Series convertible will probably be around for another year or so before a new one makes its debut.
Until then, this E90-based (codenamed E93) should do fine. BMW's idea of yet another niche model after the 5 Series GT in 2010, expect the convertible to fit into just such a role. Under the hood of the 3 Series convertible will be a 2993cc, inline-six turbodiesel, good for 245 horses and 53 kgm of peak torque. That is good enough to propel the 330d convertible from 0-100 kph in just 6.4 seconds and will have a top speed of 250 kph (restricted)
The 330d, like the Z4 comes with a folding metal roof that can be electrically stowed in the trunk. To distinguish it, expect BMW to offer it in either the Sport or M pack option to add to the sporty appeal of the car. This four-seat convertible won't be the most comfortable, yet should have enough space for a few bags for the odd out-of-town jaunt. Don't expect the 330d convertible to be cheap – prices will hover in the Rs 40 to 45 lakh range. Expect it to be launched in the next few weeks.
>>>>> TURN OVER TO READ ON THE MINI RANGE>>>>>
WHEN?: Jan to Mar 2012
HOW MUCH?: Rs 22-30 lakh
Back in 2009, BMW India was busy studying the possibility of bringing in the Mini brand to India, but after a few customer clinics they found that the market wasn't ready for the brand then. Fast forward to 2011 and BMW India is all geared up to consider it for India – such has been the pace of progress in the luxury car field.
The original car may have been the brainchild of Sir Alec Issigonis, though the modern car has little it shares from the original concept. It's larger, heavier and has bigger engines with more power. Yet they are compact, look great and are great fun-to-drive.
For India, expect the Mini hatch, Clubman and possible even the Countryman to make their debut. At this point no concrete plans have been announced, but we expect the company to make an announcement soon. Expect cars like the Mini Cooper S to make it to India and in the future even the drop-top and coupe versions.
Pricing of the Mini range won't be cheap and at Rs 22-23 lakh for the basic model, going up to Rs 30-odd lakh for the Countryman, the Mini will be targetted at the elite. The company will begin with two dealerships in Mumbai and New Delhi with 3-4 more dealerships in 2013 and another three in 2014 with plans eventually to have 12 dealerships across the country.
>>>>> TURN OVER TO READ ON NEW BMW 3 SERIES
NEW 3 SERIES
WHEN?: Mar-Apr 2012
HOW MUCH?: Rs 27 to 35 lakh
This is the new BMW 3 Series. If there were any doubts, let's clear them right away. It's longer, wider and has an improved wheelbase too. All of which has been designed to liberate more space, something the last 3 Series could have done with. Available internationally in three trim levels, Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line, the new 3 Series also happens to be up to 40 kg lighter than the last car.
For the first time, the 3 Series will not come with a naturally aspirated six-cylinder motor. While purists may find this hard to believe, the shift comes at a time when manufacturers are working hard to reduce their average CO2 rating. A new 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo petrol motor replaces the 3.0-litre straight six. It produces a near identical 245 bhp, but it has as much as 35.4 kgm of peak torque which arrives at just 1,250 rpm. Performance of this motor is strong — 0-100 kph in just 5.9 secs. The 3-litre twin-scroll turbo with 306 bhp is identical to the outgoing car. A 2.0-litre diesel motor with 184 bhp, once again in similar spec to the one found on the X1/X3, is also offered.
BMW India will launch the car by March-April 2012, assembled at its plant in Chennai. Prices of the 3 Series may start around Rs 27 lakh and go up to Rs 34-35 lakh. We will review the new 3 Series soon and you can read all about it here in the next few weeks.
>>>> TURN OVER TO READ ON THE BMW M5>>>>>
In its fifth generation, the new M5, based on the F10 5 Series platform has for the very first time left its naturally aspirated past for a forced induction future. Unlike any previous generation M5, the new one comes with a twin-turbo 4.4-litre, eight-cylinder motor borrowed from the X5 M and X6 M. Power is rated at 552 bhp@6000 rpm, while torque is an absolutely