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Auto Briefs

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Auto Briefs

Spartanburg associate Carolyn Tate performs a quality inspection of the new generation BMW X5, which just started rolling out of the South Carolina plant (Provided).

•Providing life lessons for teen drivers•

A one-day “school,” in which young motorists learn to negotiate road dangers while driving their own cars, returns to North Charleston after an extended hiatus.

Teen Street Survival School will take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 17 at the North Charleston Coliseum parking lot. Such day-long events happened at least once a year in the Charleston area in the late 2000s, but they’ve been scarce in the past couple of seasons.

The program, affiliated with Tire Street Survival and authorized by BMW CCA Foundation, provides hands-on driving in “real-world situations.” Backers say the school is worthwhile, especially after you witness “the incredible change this class has on teen drivers,” said Brad Davis, executive general manager of Rick Hendrick Imports and one of the organizers.

The Swamp Fox Region of the Sports Car Club of America and Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston will head up the mid-August program.

According to the Street Survival website, “We use your own car to teach you about its handling limits and how you can control them.”

Students will better observe potentially hazardous traffic situations and learn to look ahead “to anticipate unwise actions of other drivers.” They will learn how the application of physics makes it easier to drive a car and lead to fewer unwise driving actions themselves, the online site notes.

And, teen motorists will understand why they should always wear seatbelts and insist that their passengers do so as well, according to organizers.

For more information and the school schedule, visit

•New generation BMW X5s get rolling in Upstate•

Just before the new millennium, a German auto maker introduced what it would call a “sport activity vehicle” combining luxury and handling in a tall wagon.

Fourteen years later, the vehicle – the BMW X5 – enters its third generation of production. BMW builds the crossover at its plant outside Spartanburg.

The company marked the introduction of the new X5 this week “with the manufacture of dealer vehicles designed to generate excitement and sales in their region.”

The first new model is a Mineral White M50d, featuring a six-cylinder inline diesel engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. Spiffs include Exclusive Nappa Mocha leather interior. The X5 will be exported to a dealer in Eastern Europe, according to BMW.

“Since 1999, the X5 has been a significant contributor to the Spartanburg plant’s global success,” said Josef Kerscher, BMW Manufacturing Co. president. “Our team will continue to build the next-generation X5 with the superior quality that our customers around the world have come to expect from South Carolina,” he said.

According to the carmaker, the third-generation BMW X5 “sets new standards in powerful design, luxurious spaciousness, cutting-edge versatility and efficient driving pleasure.”

The X5 unveils three engine choices: the xDrive50i with a new V-8 gas engine producing 450 horsepower; xDrive30d with revised six-cylinder in-line diesel unit generating 258 hp and the M50d M Performance Automobile with tri-turbo six-cylinder in-line diesel capable of 381 hp.

In December, BMW will add the X5 xDrive40d, xDrive35i, xDrive25d and fuel-sipping sDrive25d.

BMW describes the new X5 as sporting a “powerful, alert look” to the front end with twin circular headlights extending into the kidney grill. Aerodynamic features such as air curtains, air breathers and “aero blades” for the rear window integrate with the overall design.

The vehicle’s “commitment to reducing fuel consumption and emissions” can be found in the efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW EfficientDynamics technology, according to the company. The new X5 is the first sport activity vehicle fitted with run-flat tires as standard equipment.

Separately, BMW assembled the final second-generation X5 at the South Carolina plant June 28. According to the manufacturer, the last model was a Titanium Silver Metallic 4.4-liter, 400-hp V-8 engine BMW X5 xDrive50i with Sand Beige Perforated Nevada Leather and M Sport Package. It will join the permanent BMW historic car collection.

The Upstate plant produced 728,107 second-generation X5 models between 2006 and 2013. Since 1999, BMW has rolled out more than 1.3 million X5s for customers worldwide.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is the global producer of the X3 and X5 sports activity vehicles and X6 sports activity coupe. For more information, visit


A photo caption in the July 26 automotive section of The Post and Courier contained an error. The owner of a 1936 Chevy Coupe displayed at the AACA car show in Goose Creek is Bill Milburn. The Post and Courier regrets the error.

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