BMW X1 at the Paris motor show 2008

Published: 02 October 2008

The new X1 and 7-series were the stars of BMW’s Paris stand, but there were plenty more treats for showgoers, including the subtly revised 3-series saloon and Touring – the Efficient Dynamics-fettled 3 now boasting the lowest carbon emissions in its class.

Tell me more about the X1 and 7-series

The X1 is BMW’s smallest off-roader, sitting below X5 and X3 – and, let’s not forget, above the soon-to-be-production-ready Mini Crossover Concept. In the metal it doesn’t actually look much smaller than the X3, but it does look a hell of a lot lower. It’s prettier than the X3 too, save the slightly odd clash of lines that congregate around the Hofmeister Kink area.

BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer gave the Lexus LS a not-so-subtle kick in the goolies when he introduced the new 730d. ‘It uses only 7.2 litres per 100km,’ he said. ‘Can you think of any of today’s large hybrids that offer comparable mileage?’ Ooof.

With the Lexus already down, BMW then went in for the kill with the world premier of the 7-series Active Hybrid – a V8 petrol augmented with electric hybrid power to boost mpg by 15 percent. It’ll be with us early in 2009, as will an Active Hybrid X6. Take that RX350!

What else is new on the BMW stand?

CAR got incredibly distracted by a white 125i coupe kitted out with BMW’s Performance range: hardcore Recaros, carbon aero aids, M3-CSL style induction kit and six-pot brakes. Elsewhere we spotted the world debut of the 320d Xdrive Touring. Forget a hybrid X6, surely this is the ultimate four-by-four for eco-conscious downsizers.

CAR’s verdict: BMW at the Paris motor show 2008

You’ve got to hand it to them – BMW aren’t standing still. There’s still something of the Marmite about them; you’ll either love or loathe its latest design statements, but you can’t argue with the hybrid achivements or the persistent downsizing being offered.

CAR’s BMW stand score: 4/5



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Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars

Paris motor show 2008


By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator