||12-06-2003 04:11 PM
BMW, AUDI, BENTLEY : new models!
BMW's 5-Series saloon and 6-Series coupe are likely to be offered with the 6.0-litre V12 engine used in the 445 bhp 760i. The company has trademarked the names '660' and '560', as well as '650', indicating a 5.0-litre engine, indicating its intent to produce such models. A glimpse at a list of trademarks recently filed also shows that the company is considering 125, 130 and 130 models (the new 1-Series hatchback), 225 and 230 (small coupe), 425, 430 and 435 (mid-sized coupe) models, as well as something called 'H7' - perhaps a luxury saloon/station wagon crossover based on the 7-Series platform.
The list gives plenty of clues as to what other companies are planning, too; Opel has trademarked 'Twin Top' , probably for its Corsa-based roadster with metal folding roof, Ford 'Two Hundred', 'Three Hundred', 'Four Hundred' and 'Six Hundred', no doubt for further concepts or even limited-run production cars to follow the Five Hundred, General Motors H3, for a new mid-sized Hummer 4x4, and Alfa Romeo '148', '157' and '167' (no prizes for guessing). Ford has also trademarked 'Hurricane', and Toyota 'X-Runner', the former probably for a 4x4. Land Rover is thinking about 'Range Stormer', 'Range Sport' and 'Range Rover Sport' models, and Mercedes-Benz a B-Class - a long-wheelbase A-Class, in B160 and B180 form.
Audi has trademarked the name 'magnesport' - perhaps for the production version of its Pike's Peak off-roader - and smart, interestingly, 'sports-roader', for its forfour-based mini-SUV. Jaguar is continuing with its F-Type programme, but could well be planning to badge the next-generation XJ saloon 'XJ-Type' - and developing a new 'D-Type'. Peugeot is preparing a '1007' - probably a concept car - and Bentley is likely to call its new midsize saloon Continental Flying Spur, stirring memories of the Mulliner-bodied saloon of the 1960s.