WHAT BMW's baby SUV.
WHEN Good question
DELAYED BY POPULAR DEMAND The X1, which is already on sale in Europe, was supposed to arrive here in the first quarter of 2011, but so far it's a no show. The problem is that demand elsewhere has eaten up every X1 that BMW can crank out. The X1 is still planned for our market, but executives can't say exactly when it will arrive. When it does, it should be available with the new N20 turbo four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter turbo six.
M5 & M6
WHAT 5-series sedan and 6-series coupe/convertible, with that special dose of M love.
WHEN Early 2012 (M5); mid-2012 (M6)
EIGHT IS ENOUGH Like Audi with its S6, BMW is stepping away from its V-10 in favor of a turbocharged V-8 -- specifically, the 4.4-liter unit used in the M versions of the X5 and the X6. For the M5, output is expected to climb to 570 hp and 530 lb-ft of torque. Working with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (sorry, no manual), the turbo V-8 should produce a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.4 seconds. Top speed will reach 188 mph. This "concept" teaser, from the Shanghai auto show, is a highly accurate preview of what the production M5 will look like when it's rolled out at the Frankfurt show this fall. The car will go on sale in the States in early 2012. Mechanically identical to its four-door sibling, the M6 follows it into U.S. showrooms by a few months, arriving here midway through 2012.
WHAT The first vehicle of BMW's electrified "i" sub-brand.
BEYOND THE BATTERY
the i3 -- once known as the Megacity Vehicle -- isn't just another compact, low-volume electric car. BMW is doubling down on the tech, using carbon fiber and aluminum to keep weight at a minimum. It sounds expensive, but the price should be about $40,000. A 150-hp electric motor drives the rear wheels, drawing power from a lithium-ion battery pack good for 100-plus miles of range. It doesn't debut until fall, but our spy illustrator delivers an early look below. The i sub-brand will grow to include a two-seat city car in 2015 and a larger five-seater in 2017.
WHAT The next-generation supercar.
AN UNLIKELY SUPERCAR As BMW's first exotic since the 1981 M1, the i8 will stand well above the compact commuter cars that'll make up the rest of the i range. But like those efficiency mavens, the i8 will be made with carbon fiber and powered by electricity, positioning BMW as one of the first of many to electrify the supercar. The powertrain concept is a plug-in hybrid driving all four wheels. the two electric motors are good for 321 lb-ft of torque, and with the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder diesel engine running, output climbs to 328 hp and a monstrous 535 lb-ft.