Originally Posted by Hemorrhage
Do they use better/stronger materials or anything?
Sometimes and it depends what you are comparing with.
As you already noticed, BMW uses high end materials in the interior. The new 1 series 5 door has some hard plastics but BMW isn't selling that model in the US. at least not now.
The N52 engine has a Magnesium block. I don't think any of the current motors have a Magnesium block though. In that power range, BMW switched from a light I-6 to a turbocharged I-4.
BMW uses better high grade steel to save weight. They also use a lot of aluminium. But other automakers do that too. BMW is even falling behind a little. The Jaguar XJ has an all aluminium body. The 7 series is mix of steel and AL. Jaguar-Landrover is moving towards all aluminium bodies for all models.
Rather than play catch-up, BMW is getting ready to build an all carbon fibre body production car. As far as I know they will be the first.
The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.