From the press release:<P>Munich, Germany, December 7, 2000...The BMW Group will present its BMW and MINI brands at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The BMW brand will offer three world premieres, while the MINI COOPER will make its debut in the United States. <P> <IMG SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/photos/pre_NAIAS/minicooper1.jpg"> <P>The MINI COOPER is the first all-new product of the MINI brand. The innovative design concept of the MINI COOPER is the same as that of the preceding model, but the new model offers state-of-the-art technology, and is already considered to be one of the most advanced vehicles of its size on the market.<P>BMW's 3 Series convertible is regarded as an automobile with unique style and flair. But now there is an automobile that adds to that style and flair, a performance edge that could only come from BMW M: <P>The new M3 convertible.<P> <IMG SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/photos/pre_NAIAS/m3_convert1.jpg"> <P>This open variant of the M3 coupe is an attractive and sporty four-seater with an electrically-operated soft top. It will enter the market in spring 2001 thereby rounding out the M3 offerings. The new M3 convertible features the agile handling of a sports car as well as the newly designed M3 inline six-cylinder engine developing 333 horsepower at 7900 rpm and a maximum torque of 262 lb-ft at 4900 rpm. With these credentials the M3 convertible is the embodiment of the four-seat sports car.<P>The previous engine of the M coupe and the M roadster will also be replaced by the new six-cylinder high-performance M engine, developing 315 horsepower at 7400 rpm, an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous 240. <P>With this radical power increase, the new M coupe and M roadster will reach 60 mph from rest in even less time than the previous cars' 5.1 and 5.2 seconds respectively.<P> <IMG SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/photos/pre_NAIAS/x5hp.jpg"> <P>The X5 HP, a new high-performance version of the X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will debut in Detroit. With BMW's launch of the X5 HP, it will be possible for the true driving enthusiast to experience a very special dimension of sporty driving beginning later this year. That is the dimension X. The most powerful X5 engine will no longer be a 282 horsepower, 4.4 liter V8, but rather a new high-performance V8 developing 347 horsepower (European rating). The new V8 has a displacement of 4.6 liters, and being exclusively reserved for the X5 HP, delivers up to 354 lb-ft of torque. The four-wheel-drive vehicle reaches 60 mph from standstill in less than 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of more than 149 mph. <P>The well-known BMW M3 coupe will be presented in Detroit, too. It will be introduced to the North American market, which is the most important export market for BMW. No other car offered on the world market is able to compete with the latest generation of the world-famous sports car from Munich. Its performance characteristics and features speak for themselves: in-line six-cylinder engine developing 333 horsepower with double-VANOS, 262 lb-ft of torque and 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.<P> <IMG SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/photos/pre_NAIAS/z9_roadster1.jpg"> <P>With the BMW Z9 convertible concept car, the car manufacturer from Munich will show in Detroit how it intends to intensify driving pleasure in the future. The central issue of the study is an interior design which makes driving easier instead of more complicated. Although the driver can concentrate on the fundamental functions of driving, all features of the latest generation technology are at the driver's disposal. This is made easy by the interior control concept of iDrive, which enables the driver to perform a variety of functions intuitively so that the driver's attention is not diverted from the main task at hand. The basic concept was presented in the Z9 gran turismo at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1999.<P>A most important aspect in the development of future cars is the search for alternative fuel and the design of an appropriate alternative engine. The resulting strategy of BMW regarding energy is to avoid emissions and to make use of regenerative forms of energy. On May11th, 2000 BMW presented the 750hL fleet in Berlin, the first fleet of production-based cars featuring an internal combustion engine powered by hydrogen. The 12-cylinder engine delivers 204 horsepower (European rating), accelerates from zero to 60 mph in approximately 9.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 140 mph. The cryo tank holds 37 gallons, giving the fully-equipped 7 Series vehicle a range of 218 miles. The 7 Series vehicle also features a conventional gasoline fuel system, which remains aboard in case of unavailability of hydrogen fuel. The production of 7 Series sedans marks the beginning of the series production of BMW's hydrogen cars: The first model for the present 3 Series is to enter the market in 2010.