January Update : 2011 and Beyond. As you know BMW have announced that between now and 2015 they will bring 20 new models to the market covering a vast range of segments. With the future growth of the small compact city , Premium Compact and Premium Entry segments in the minds of the product planners. BMW will unleash a greater majority of models based on this model matrix to increase it's volumes in the Premium segment. Beginning in 2011 we will see the first results of this strategy within the new BMW 1er Sporthatch and BMW 3er Sedan which will be unveiled just before the end of 2011. Another new exciting additions for the M-Division include the exciting new 1 series M Coupe and the sixth generation BMW M5. The Premium market will welcome a new luxury set of BMW 6er Coupe and Convertible. Whilst the first evidence of the Gran coupe will be seen on the streets of Munich. The new BMW X3 begins it's first year on the market with additional engines in europe along with a new four cylinder petrol turbo which will be announced later in the year. The BMW X1 continues it's success with over 100,000 units sold and top place in the market with an additional M-Sport packet. The BMW X6 which recently celebrated it's three years launch in December 2007 will see a slight refresh life cycle improvement. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2011 you will get to hear more regarding BMW's innovative think-tank on sustainable future mobility as BMW begin preparing the world for it's innovative new Sub brand. New innovations Aswell as exciting new Concepts scheduled for Detroit , Geneva , Shanghai and Frankfurt. all to show BMW's leadership of the premium segment. In Part one we focus on the MINI Brand , and the new BMW sub brand "BMW "i" IN Part Two it will concentrate on the BMW Premium Compact and Premium Entry segment . BMW's FWD compact series, The BMW 1er and BMW 3er, BMW X1 and BMW X3 and X4. In Part Three we will touch on the Core BMW Premium luxury models - BMW 5er , 6er and 7er. BMW X5 and X6. In Part Four we will look at the other BMW sub brands - BMW "M" and BMW "Z" and finally Rolls-Royce Motor cars. Part one Not just a fashion brand. From MINI to Paceman.. The Genius of MINI. They said it would never last , they said it would be popular for a year and then spiral downwards , They said it would never work in the US. As we head to the NAIAS in Detroit this coming week for MINI. although for other reasons it is also the highly successful tenth anniversary of launching the MINI brand in the US back in 2001. To which the early voices have been proven wrong. What is the secret to MINI's success? Marketing is in principle the key but for successful marketing to work you have to have an outstanding product to which the MINI redefined the purpose of a small car and proved that it can go Premium. From 2001 we have seen many ideas that were considered from the original strategy come to reality in later years. Since it's first introduction in 2001 MINI has come along way and now offers the customer innovative and individual concepts in the shape of the Clubman and Countryman on top of the regular hatch that only initially spawned a MINI Convertible. Over the past year MINI has shown how it will expand it's brand beginning very soon with the Production model of one the "untamed" twins the highly anticipated MINI Coupe. - Testing has been ongoing behind closed doors since last year and will eventually be seen in public soon , first pre-production models are now being built on the Oxford Production line. The MINI Coupe will be joined towards the end of the year by the introduction of the MINI Roadster , another highly expected model. MINI's expansion into new premium territory begins this week with the unveiling of the MINI Paceman Concept Car. The Paceman is MINI's interpretation of BMW's successful niche "Sport Activity Coupe". Codenamed Canyon this Concept has been in development for a number of years and began as a simple concept designed for brand expansion a few years back. MINI sees the Paceman as a more dynamic alternative to the Countryman in which if the BMW X5 and BMW X6 can co-exist, why can't Paceman and Countryman? Designed as both a 3dr and 5dr concept using "Club doors" but renamed "Activity doors" but still maintaining a B-Pillar for structural rigidity. The Paceman (although it will be named something entirely different for production) is lower than the Countryman and to reach it's premium tendency the Paceman in production format will feature ALL 4 All-wheel-drive only although to distance both the Countryman and Paceman Concepts in the same way the X5 and X6 distinguish themselves in the driving will be a MINI developed Dynamic Performance Control which will give the Paceman more direct dynamic handling. Although the MINI brand can count on a premium market expansion. At Geneva MINI will showcase a strategy to see how the brand can be stretched but towards a new market for the brand. The MINI City Car Concept will be shown to gauge reaction amongst the public, strictly a two seater but inheriting iconic MINI design elements , the car is put forward as an alternative to lower market cars such as the Smart car which is in the line of fire for this concept. Although the concept will be based on an existing R56 Chassis, it is purely to showcase whether such a small MINI would be credible and an exciting alternative to smaller city car concepts. If the car is well received then production would be a definte with a production model arriving by 2013. However many hope that this car could actually start a sub-brand under the existing MINI which the current R56 will be replaced in 2013. One such idea is a MINI based on the Megacity Vehicle design concept in which a smaller concept for four in the shape of an alternative multi-purpose vehicle. With the Countryman finding it's market and the Paceman offering a more premium Sports concept. The next generation MINI hatch will again offer a Cabrio model but with the Clubman proving successful the next move is to offer a MINI which would offer more flexibility. Previously under development as the SpaceBox but expected as a MINI Clubman X - For extended. The next generation Clubman will offer the same idea but the Extended wheelbase model will offer a higher roof and twin club doors, For right-hand-drive markets MINI will bring the Clubdoor to the passenger side although the poor argument that their kids can run out on to the road is irrelevant because the driver has to open their door first, no matter what Journalists state. Building two Clubmans on the one platform strategy would work out to be cost-effective as the structure can be shared with a relevant BMW model. Whilst the MINI Coupe and Roadster are very MINI-centric. If the car's take off and become successful? Initial discussion to future variants, talk of replacements not necessary sharing the same bodyshells as a regular MINI but by being more stand out in appearance - A proper small Sports coupe and Roadster but using MINI design elements on a seperate body that seperates the cars from the regular hatch and convertible. The litmus test is the reaction on the market to the incoming Coupe and Roadster. i-NFINITY AND BEYOND. Why BMW Group's Project-i Thinktank for future sustainable mobility will maintain the Group's position as the worlds no 1 manufacturer of Premium Automobiles. If MINI is Pop Culture , Rolls-Royce is classic and timeless and BMW is modern architecture. BMW "i" is Sci-fi future. When BMW announced the Project-i Thinktank many factions were intrigued. BMW has since made a name for itself in regards to meeting strict C 02 targets and reducing fuel consumption in their products since early 2007. The BMW Group are the worlds no 1 Premium Automobile manufacturer as well as the leader in emission reductions . BMW announced that Project-i will spawn a range of concepts that will range from two wheels to four and will be anything but conventional. Of course when the Vision Efficient Dynamics debuted at the IAA in 2009 , jaws dropped and finally people could see who innovative and serious BMW are in relation to Sustainable future mobility. But some thought the concept was too adventurous for production until BMW pulled the carpet from under them and announced you will be able to buy this car. Although the Vision Efficient Dynamics is in design format anything but conventional it lays the groundwork to what you can expect from Project-i . BMW are about to bring the future today as what you see in terms of design the Vision Efficient Dynamics is the signature language of Project-i . Ground breaking drivetrains clothed in high-tech design and functional areodynamics. That is the genesis of the BMW i sub-brand. Although first on the road will be the highly anticipated and soon-to-be-seen MegaCity Vehicle. a stunning mobility concept for four - purely electric with a cutting edge interior and bodyshell made entirely out of carbon fibre. Space inside the interior is not compromised by the drivetrain and the interior is very spacious with wrap around glass for excellent visibility. Entry is accessible to the rear cabin via MINI/RR esque rear hinged doors. The exterior is very much akin to the innovative Vision Efficient Dynamics in terms of design ideas , aerodynamics and appearance. The Vision Efficient Dynamics production car will be very much what you see and you will be surprised at how the car will arrive for production with minimal changes. Using the term i8, the production car of the concept is not a competitor for premium sports cars such as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 etc it is more of a Sports car concept for the future. A completely stand alone concept. Although there have been cries of "needing a V8 , V10 etc" to do so defeats the ideals of the concept and turns it into another premium sports car. Although the Audi R8 etc have their attributes in the end of the day it is an interpretaion of a sports car concept by the respective manufacturer. BMW wants to use their interpretation as something entirely alien , something that has never been done before something that really stands out and not as a competitor but a pioneer. Another question to why does the Sports Car have four seats should it just be two? The answer to why four seats is in principle because people would simply pay you to get driven in the car and BMW drivers like sharing their experience with others so they would not want friends and family to miss out . Of course the Production car will feature four seats but further down the Project-i strategy there are plans for an i4 a two seater small sports car in the same idea as the i8 which could be based on the Megacity Vehicle and be purely electric or and as to why Mercedes-Benz have instigated a partnership with Ducatti the Superbike manufacturer. Motorcycle engines. BMW have and continue to test it's engines from Motorrad in car chassis's , Motor cycle engines are compact , very light and when connected to powerful electric motors extremely rapid including the new inline six. Should the MegaCity vehicle be well received then BMW might consider equipping the car with a motorcycle engine as a range extender. Although Project-i is also developing two cylinder engines. In summary. BMWi is not going to be specially adapted additional series concepts but an entire series of models that will aim to offer their own identity and technology. So far you have only seen the Vision Efficient Dynamics and a sneak preview of the MegaCity Vehicle but it is your first look into a new era for BMW. The new "Clothes" on the Vision Efficient Dynamics" are to bring it in line with a forthcoming BMW Project-i Concept car. Do you like what you see?