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New Five Series...

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July 4, 2003 11:36 AM EDT

FRANKFURT, Germany - Auto maker BMW launches its new-model offensive in earnest

Saturday as its redesigned 5-series cars go on sale in Europe - a make-or-break

product launch that will determine profits for years to come.

The 5-series, wedged between the smaller, mass-market 3-series and the high-end

7-series, had only about 20 percent of BMW's sales volume last year but

contributes an estimated 35-40 percent of the Munich-based carmakers profits.

Last remade in 1995, it's the most important new design in BMW's high-stakes

attempt to shake up its product line this year and next. The X3 sport-utility

vehicle and 6-series luxury coupe will follow later this year, with the small 1-

series "baby BMW" to follow next year.

The 5-series "is the backbone of BMW's business," said Georg Stuerzer, auto

stocks analyst at HVB bank in Munich.

For the new model, the company's American design chief, Christopher Bangle,

softened some of the style departures that led to sharp differences of opinion

over 2001's new 7-series and even an Internet campaign against the new model.

Most noticeably, the 5-series lacks the sharply raised trunk lid that some

critics attacked in the 7-series. The company also simplified the iDrive knob

that combines controls for things like the sound system and heating; some auto

critics derided iDrive as too complicated when it appeared in the 7-series.

Customers haven't seemed to mind since the new 7-series continues to sell a bit

better than its predecessor, analysts say.

Stuerzer said the company's older models were sometimes criticized as too

conservative and looking too much alike. "Now the model differences are much

sharper," he said.

He said the 5-series' technical advances, such as an active steering system

that improves handling by adjusting steering response for different speeds,

will give it an advantage against competitors such as the Mercedes E-class that

should outweigh any concerns about the styling.

The new models should boost company earnings over the next three to four years,

Stuerzer said.

The 520 version with a 2.5-liter engine starts at euro35,100, the equivalent of

US$40,360 at current exchange rates. The 3-liter 530 starts at euro40,600.

Option packages can push the price over euro55,000. The car goes on sale in

Britain and the United States in the fall; U.S. prices have not been set yet

and will be different from the European prices, the company says.

http://www.bmw.com/bmwe/products/automobiles/5er/sedan/index.html

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a magazine i have tested it already

To them, the new BMW 530 sedan is one of the best handling BMW's ever. However, there are some issues with it. Namely the styling and interior ergonomics.

iDrive is a little simpler to use, but the writers stiull think that it is an awful feature. The test car suffered from the electronic power steering failing at times (its a new system called Acttive Steer). Interior is bigger than before, but way behind the E-Class. The ergonomic issues were oddly not discussed, just mentioned.

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Guest saleen351

BMW is doneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....

their rein is ova....

with caddy having two good models and g35, benz, nissan, etc, bmw is a trendy car and the tend is ova...

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bmw's suck azz now. the 7 sux, the z4 sux, and now they destoyed the 5'er. the only model left is the 3 series and thats sure to go down the tubes when its redesigned next year.

mb e320/500/s55 kill the bmw.

and yes the g35 coupe is one beautiful car on the outside...but the interior is horrendous. why the japs cant design a nice looking interior just boggles the mind!!!

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Guest saleen351

the back of the 7 series looks like they chopped the truck off and glued it back on.. and motor trend didn't like it at all. this i drive bullshit sucks, just like the brakes on the benz, computers fuck it all up...

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bmw has made some great cars... i'll admit that the 3 series is the biggest trend i've seen in a while... but the m3 (all generations) are great... i've never cared for the 7 series, but i thought the 5's were always classy...

i don't like that new one, though...

aside from the m3, i've always been slightly more partial to mercedes than bmw...

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Originally posted by saleen351

only beemer worth driving

dsc_0084.jpg

ofcourse ud choose the beamer closest to an american car...an underpowered v12...with a shitty computer..that needs maintenance every 2 weeks...typical american philosophy..more hp..more hp..more hp!

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Originally posted by ghhhhhost

ofcourse ud choose the beamer closest to an american car...an underpowered v12...with a shitty computer..that needs maintenance every 2 weeks...typical american philosophy..more hp..more hp..more hp!

in V8 form it was decent....no match for the Corvette or SC400 though

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having owned both the clk430 and the 540i(sport) i like the bmw way better. Im ready to pick up the 2001 740i(sport) not crazy about the 2002+ body style. Test drove the e500 and the bmw handles/drives way better(imo)

Service wise bmw is awesome comparing to benz at least around here.

IMO the 2004 5 series looks cool, im looking forward to driving it.

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