Weekend Roundup: BMW Teases 1 Series M Coupe, Ends M5 Production

Stepped away from your Blackberry, PC, or iPad for the week? Here are a few of the top news stories for the past week, along with some auto shows to visit and racing action you may want to tune into during your weekend.

BMW Teases 1 Series M Coupe On Film

Yes, it's finally, completely official: BMW is working on an M-tuned 1 Series, and the marketing folks in Munich recently saw fit to push a teaser video live on its official website earlier this week. We've learned a little more about the car's official name (1 Series M Coupe) and its goals ("to be pure M"), but we won't know a whole lot more until the car's official reveal at the end of the year.

Chrysler Dealers Asked to Downplay HEMI Name

That thing got a Hemi? Not anymore. Sure, some Chryslers may still be equipped with the company's 5.7-liter V-8, but new reports suggest dealers are being asked to downplay the Hemi nomenclature per Fiat's request. Chrysler's new parent wants to reshape the company's image as one that builds fuel-efficient cars, and the Hemi name brings back sweet, glorious images of powerful, fuel-guzzling muscle cars. That said, look for the Hemi name to remain on Chrysler's current muscle cars, including the Charger and Challenger. McLaren Preparing F1 Successor, U.S. Dealerships and Headquarters Announced

Is the MP4-12C a true successor to the legendary F1? No, says McLaren -- although a new car, possibly due in 2012, may be a veritable follow-up to the vaulted supercar. While engineers are scrambling to ready that car for a launch in as little as two years, marketing folks are busy readying a sales/service network for the MP4-12C. Six showrooms have been chosen in the U.S., and another three -- plus an outlet in Canada -- are on the way. Additionally, the company announced it would establish its North American headquarters in New York City.

2011 Ford Explorer Caught on Video

Minding our business on a boring drive to work earlier this week, we quickly glanced into our rear view mirror to find a 2011 Ford Explorer approaching. The test vehicle we spotted was one of the least covered models we've seen to date, and gave us an better look at what's to come.

M5 Production Ends, Alpina Launches B5

Production of BMW's E60 based M5 ended earlier this week. In its five year model year run, 19,523 sedan and 1025 wagon examples of the ultra-fast M5 rolled off the line at BMW's plant in Dingolfing, Germany. Although this may sadden Bimmerphiles, it's also a sign that the next-generation M5 is closer to reaching production than ever.

Can't wait? Then perhaps you should give Alpina a call -- the BMW tuning firm recently launched its new B5, and in many ways, it could become a serious competitor to the M5 itself. Alpina boosts the 550i's 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 to 507 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque, while revamping the suspension and improving upon the transmission design.

Weekend Racing

-NASCAR Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday July 10, on TNT at 7:30 p.m. -Viper Cup Series at Virginia International Raceway Saturday July 10, at 2 p.m. and Sunday July 11 at 2:30 p.m. on Versus -Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit Sunday July 11, on FOX at 8 a.m.

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