BMW’s reign as the number one seller of luxury cars may finally be over.
For 10 straight years, BMW has been the world’s top-selling premium carmaker. But Mercedes-Benz is on track to dethrone BMW this year.
The difference isn’t much, but Mercedes has been outselling BMW every quarter so far this year, thanks to its new crossover and SUV models, as well as its E-Class sedan.
BMW doesn’t intend to stay in second place for long. On Wednesday, the company revealed its 2017 BMW 5 Series, a car that should help give it an edge next year.
The updated 5 Series sedan, which is meant to take on the Mercedes E-Class, boasts a number of improvements over its predecessor, including new engine options, better fuel efficiency, and more space. But perhaps the car’s most impressive asset is its updated technology.
For starters, the 5 Series has iDrive 6.0, which is the latest version of BMW’s infotainment system. The new system, which debuted in BMW’s 7 Series, includes high-tech features like gesture control, improved voice control, and a larger heads-up display so that the driver can see navigation information on the windshield more clearly.
What’s more, the vehicle also has all of BMW’s latest safety and driving assistant systems, giving it new semi-autonomous functions. For example, the new 5 Series has a new feature called Evasion Aid, which will automatically steer the car into another lane if the car in front of it slams on the brakes. The feature works at speeds up to 100 mph.
The car hits the US market in February, but the company has not yet revealed its price.
The new 5 Series should help give BMW an edge against the competition going into 2017, but it’s too soon to tell if the company will be able to catch up this year.
In 2012, Mercedes head Dieter Zetsche promised that the company would become the best-selling luxury automaker and overtake BMW and Audi by the end of the decade. But from the looks of it, the company is way ahead of schedule.
“We have set for ourselves a target five years ago… to become the number one car premium manufacturer,” Zetsche said during a Bloomberg interview last week that. “That was supposed to be reached in 2020, but it seems that we are awful close already.”
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