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Los Angeles Auto Show : BMW unveils 7-passenger X5

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2006 Los Angeles Auto Show
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Los Angeles, California

2007 BMW X5 (Photo: BMW)
Looking to catch up with the competition, BMW unveiled its 7-passenger midsize SUV at the LA Auto Show. The X5 is truly a "sport utility" vehicle, one capable of besting several sports cars. This time, on top of a power increase, the automaker added a third-row split-folding bench. Let's be serious: these seats are only good to be used by small children during short trips. An all-new six-cylinder engine is now available, producing 265 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Despite the additional power, the X5's fuel economy will reportedly be improved thanks to a new six-speed automatic gearbox and a 30-kilo weight reduction. Meanwhile, the 4.8L V8 has been reworked to improve its efficiency.

Hydrogen-powered 7-Series
BMW 7-Series Hydrogen (Photo: BMW)
Some of BMW's North American customers will get the opportunity to test hydrogen-powered 7-Series sedans. These cars are already found on European roads. However, don't expect anything more than this eco-oriented initiative. Infrastructures for hydrogen distribution are still far from reality, even if more and more automakers, such as BMW and Honda, are considering the hydrogen technology. What you should expect, though, is seeing diesel-powered BMW cars beginning in 2008.