BMW has enjoyed success with its performance-oriented image. Iconic BMW vehicles have stayed at the forefront of the market by including large doses of advanced engine and driving control technologies. In spite of heavy criticism, the new styling of BMW vehicles has connected with buyers, and sales of the 3-series, 5-series and 6-series automobiles have steadily increased.
In 2008, two of BMW's most iconic models will return to the US market. The M3 is BMW's factory-tuned high-performance variant of the 3-Series. To separate the M3 from the 3.0L twin-turbo 335i, BMW will equip it with a 4.0L V8 under the hood. Rated at over 400-bhp, the all-aluminum engine is the first V8 installed in a 3-Series. The M3 will be unmistakable, with more aggressive bodywork and large 18-inch wheels and tires. Both coupe and sedan variants of the M3 will be offered.
As the 3-Series has increased in size and price, an opening has emerged at the bottom of the BMW lineup. Enter the 1-Series. Billed as the spiritual successor to the classic 2002 BMWs of the 60s/70s, the 1-Series will appear in coupe and convertible forms during 2008. The smaller and lighter 1-Series combined with BMWs inline six could make the 128i and 135i models some of the most appealing products BMW sells.
Also for the 2008 model year, all 5-Series and 6-Series models receive updated styling to the front and rear fascias. 5-Series sedan models switch to the newer, more powerful 3.0-liter inline-sixes found in the 3-Series, resulting in new 528i and 535i models.