Bmw Concept Likely to Spawn Sedan, N.a. CEO Says

By: Anthony Fontanelle

BMW is likely to spawn sedans to top its model range in the coming years. The upcoming premium four-seat sedan will be based on a concept vehicle shown at the Shanghai auto show. Tom Purves, the CEO of BMW of North America, said that the German automaker probably will build a car based on the CS: "We have a reasonable number of examples where we have built a concept car and relatively small examples where we have not built a concept car."

The BMW Concept CS was undeniably one of the breathtaking stunners of April's Shanghai Auto Show. The sleek coupe-like vehicle with four doors has pulled mostly raves and lots of hints from BMW execs that the CS is a car they would like to see built. The Concept CS is a low-slung, four-seat sport sedan equipped with cutting edge auto parts like the improved BMW clutch disc, engines, radiator, suspension and more.

The forthcoming sedan will be designed to rival vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the upcoming Porsche Panamera. Both competitors call their cars coupes. But like the BMW show car, they have four doors and a low roofline. Without coming out and saying so, Purves all but said that the CS will likely make its way to production.

The Mercedes Benz CLS-Class, based on the coupe version of the E-Class model, uses the automaker's W219 designation. The car marked the return of the automaker to the executive-size coupe market since the termination of E-Class coupe variant. According to a Mercedes-Benz press release, the CLS-class was produced to combine the "strong, emotive charisma" of a coupe with the "comfort and practicality" of a sedan.

The Porsche Panamera, on the other hand, is a four-door, four-seat coupe set to be launched in 2008. The front engined and rear wheel drive coupe is powered by an enhanced version of the 4.5 L V8 found in the Cayenne. The coupe is said to be the longed-for fruit of Porsche's 989 concept from the late 1980s.

According to Purves, the dealers loved it, he sees room at the top of the range for it and that BMW usually does concepts with the intention of bringing a production version to market later. Sounds like a done deal to us.

The BMW Concept CS illustrates that the automaker is "predominantly interested in building very beautiful luxury sport sedans," said Purves. The CS is "not a stretch or modified anything," he added. "It has aerodynamic style and presence, which is important for customers in that category."

Purves said that the automaker which is headquartered in Munich, Germany sees a market above the seven series but below the Rolls-Royce models. Formal market research from the Shanghai Auto Show is not in, but the preliminary reaction to the Concept CS has been positive, added Purves. "Our dealers, having seen the photos, are very excited. They love it. I don't know the research from the auto show. If media and dealers like it, there's a good chance the customers will."

BMW has always had a very tight community following. Analysts say that the German car maker is one of the few automakers that support driving their cars to their limits, suggesting "spirited driving" in certain operation manuals. This reputation is well secured by the German automaker. This is why the company is absorbed in producing remarkable cars with exceptional performance, ergonomics and styling.

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