BMW SA plans busy product offensive for 2019

All-new BMW 3-Series, super-sized X7 SUV, and brutal M8 coupe are some of the highlights

14 January 2019 - 10:59 By Phuti Mpyane
The much anticipated 3 Series will arrive in March. Picture: SUPPLIED
The much anticipated 3 Series will arrive in March. Picture: SUPPLIED

BMW South Africa will be one of the busiest brands in South Africa in 2019 and has outlined its product plans for the year. Chief among the exciting new entrants will be the all-new BMW 3 Series which has for decades been the company’s best volume seller.

The 320d and 330i derivatives will be the first to arrive in March. Other derivatives will arrive during the course of 2019 and BMW SA says it’s also considering the 330e PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

This PHEV uses a 135kW 2.0l four-pot in conjunction with a 50kW electric drive motor. System output is 184kW and 420Nm. It’s claimed the 330e will achieve an emissions-free driving range up to 140km/h.

Expect 30% more electric drive range from the new 120Ah BMW i3. Picture: SUPPLIED
Expect 30% more electric drive range from the new 120Ah BMW i3. Picture: SUPPLIED

The June 2018 introduction of the facelifted BMW i3 is now bolstered by the i3 with a larger capacity 120Ah lithium-ion battery which offers a 30% improvement in electric driving range. The i3 will continue to be sold in either pure BEV (battery electric vehicle) or with Range Extender motor. The sportier i3S is not earmarked for introduction.

While still on BMW EVs, the company also says it’s still investigating the viability of introducing a PHEV version of the all-new X5 launched late in 2018.

The first quarter will also see the introduction of the grand touring duo of the BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible. This flagship range that’s equipped with xDrive is available in 6-cylinder 840i or 8-cylinder 850i guise but only the latter model will be availed for South Africa.

The M8 will be BMW"s flagship sports model, with more power than the M5. Picture: SUPPLIED
The M8 will be BMW"s flagship sports model, with more power than the M5. Picture: SUPPLIED

The range will then be augmented by the brutal BMW M8 version in the second half of the year. The brand's flagship car will get the same 4.4-litre twin turbo engine as the M5 but will reportedly be tuned to deliver even more power. 

The long-awaited all-new BMW Z4 will finally dock here during the first quarter of 2019 and will be available in two flavours – a 145kW/320Nm four-cylinder Z4 20i and a 250kW/500Nm straight-six Z4 40i variant.

The largest BMW thus far, the seven-seater X7, will soon make its way here. Picture: SUPPLIED
The largest BMW thus far, the seven-seater X7, will soon make its way here. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ‘Airbus A380’ of BMWs, the massive 7-seater X7 with xDrive, will initially be available in diesel M50d and M30d guise when it launches here in March. BMW SA says it’s still considering if it should add petrol versions for the X7. 

Additionally, BMW will reinforce the current X3 and X4 line-ups in 2019 with sportier but thriftier X3 M40d and X4 M40d derivatives. They are tasked with equal dynamism as petrol M40i variants but instead use a 3.0l turbodiesel engine with outputs of 240kW and 680Nm.

These will then be joined by the new duo of X3M and X4M tarmac scorchers boasting a newly developed straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving characteristics. BMW is still mum on output details but it’s believed they take the fight straight to Merc’s quick GLC 63 AMGs.

The junior X2 range will also gain a new and more powerful juggernaut: the X2 M35i which is powered by a 2.0l turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a whopping 225kW and 450Nm sent to all wheels via xDrive.

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