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: BMW CS lives! Kind of… [TopGear Blog]

07-28-2009, 12:42 PM

The lovely BMW CS four-door coupe isn’t dead yet. Or at least, its spirit lives on even though an actual production-car version of the CS concept was canned a few months back.
Foreman has been talking to senior BMW 7-Series engineers. They say that, just as all the other BMWs come in more than one bodystyle, the 7-Series should too.

So what about a 7-Series wagon, we said, not altogether in jest. After all, Audi showed a concept called Avantissimo. Nope, not suitable for the 7-Series, said our man, looking like he’d been given a lemon to suck.

And not a bigger version of the 5-Series GranTurismo idea? A sort of tall hatchback? Nope, no way. The 5GT is big enough, he said.

And not an M7? ‘No. We work closely with Alpina and the new B7 Biturbo is the car for sporty 7-Series customers. The top 7-Series customers want a luxury V12 [the new 760i].’

So what about a coupe? ‘It must have four doors.’ So we’re getting to something very close to the CS concept? ‘Something like that.’ So the CS isn’t dead, just on hold? ‘I’m hoping.’

The CS was officially killed back in the winter when it was some way along the production-development track. BMW was suddenly having a bad time financially and couldn’t justify something so expensive and counter to the zeitgeist.

But many of the people who engineer and market the 7-Series think there will eventually be a window for some range expansion, and a four-door saloon is the way to do it. It might not be as extravagant a car as the CS was, though.

And no doubt BMW will be watching the fate of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Rapide before it decides whether to jump in.

In the meantime, the 7-Series gets a petrol hybrid version this autumn. It uses the same mild hybrid system as Mercedes has used in its S400 petrol hybrid. The Merc hybrid uses a V6 for economy with the electric drive to add a bit of performance; BMW uses a V8 for performance, with the electric drive to add a bit of economy. A very different philosophy.