BMW's X5 reaches the million mark
Wednesday 09 June 2010
BMW has now produced a million X5 luxury 4x4s at its US plant in Spartanburg in South Carolina.
When the X5 was introduced in 1999, it was described as the first of a new category of car, the Sport Activity Vehicle. The original 1970 Range Rover was probably the first off-roader to offer decent on-road performance, and Toyota's 1994 RAV 4 pioneered the concept of an agile 4x4 offering truly car-like behaviour, but for most of its life, the X5, now in its second generation, has certainly staked a strong claim to be considered the best-handling 4x4 on the road.
Comparisons with the Range Rover are especially appropriate; at the time the X5 was introduced, BMW still owned Land Rover and had access to its 4x4 expertise, although the British company was shortly afterwards sold to Ford, and later acquired by Tata of India. BMW subsequently expanded its range of 4x4s to include the mid-sized X3 and the more overtly sporting X6, as well as the smaller X1.
With the X1, BMW last year joined the trend for manufacturers to offer SUVs in two-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive form, on the grounds that many owners never take their cars off road but still value the practicality and high driving position offered by an SUV body. Two-wheel drive SUVs also tend to offer better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions than those with all-wheel drive as they are lighter. There's no sign so far of BMW extending this thinking to its more expensive SUVs such as the X5, though.
While Spartanburg originally built the Z3 roadster, and its successor, the Z4, production of sports cars was transferred to Germany in 2008, leaving BMW's US plant as the main centre of production for the company's 4x4s. As well as the X5, the X6 is also made there; production of the X3 will switch to Spartanburg from Europe later this year, when a new, second-generation model is introduced.
Life & Style blogs
DNA hope on schizophrenia: Research breakthrough points at over 100 genes
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
- 5 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...
Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...
£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...
£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire