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Today BMW is a top player in the luxury vehicle market, but it wasn't always so. With origins as an airplane engine builder early in the 20th Century, it broke into the automotive industry when it bought Automobilwerk Eisenach in 1928. That German manufacturer was licensed to build the Austin Seven under the name Dixi DA-1, which could be had in a roadster body style. In 1929, BMW dropped the Dixi name, and by 1936, it was building a car it designed in-house, the 326 sedan. That was followed by

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The 2001-2003 Z8 is one of the more graceful designs to slip from the BMW design studios in recent memory. With the droptop's classic roadster lines and plenty of performance on tap, the Z8 may not have sold like gangbusters when it was in production, but its slow-burn appeal has ensured that it has plenty of fans and impressive resale value. Despite a very limited production run of just 5,703 units, Senner Tuning has belatedly turned its attention toward modifying this convertible, which is qui

James Bond and Aston Martin go together like a tuxedo and a license to kill, but everyone's favorite international man of mystery has been behind the wheel of more than just British sports cars during his long and sordid career. The good people at CarBuzz have worked up a lengthy infographic detailing the long history of British Intelligence vehicles piloted by none other than 007. Bond has even held the keys to a Ford LTD on at least two occasions in what could only be a practical joke from Q.

BMW Classic in Munich – Click above for high-res image gallery

From its headquarters in Maranello, Ferrari has traditionally operated two divisions: one that makes exquisite road cars, and another that competes in motorsports. More recently, however, a third division has emerged, with the responsibility of conducting the company's ever-increasing marketing enterprise. The Global Branding Division itself seems to be following two tracks: licensing products as exclusive as the road cars and targeted towards their owners, and marketing merchandise to the Scude

Too many trips to SEMA have left us immune to the shiny detritus that populates the pages of some of our favorite mags, but when Henrik Fisker, the man who penned the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9, gets into the wheel business, we take notice.

The legend we had always known was that BMW and Mercedes-Benz had a gentleman's agreement in place not to go after the Porsche 911. For whatever reasons, building a proper two-seat sports car was out of the question, though both build heavier and more accomodating grand touring machines that manage to skirt around the 911's segment.

Automotive News is reporting that BMW will be unveiling a concept version of the successor to its Z8 sports car at the Shanghai motor show next month.The new Z9 (Z10 seems to fit current naming practices better, but we'll stick with Z9 here because it's what Auto News is reporting) will likely one-up its predecessor with a folding hardtop and possibly a coupe version, as well. The Z9 is likely to get a version of the 500-hp, 5.0-liter V10 from the M5/M6.

UDPATE: Like you, we're having a hard time wading through the conjecture on what this car is exactly. We mistakenly told you below that the Z9 would be a CL-Class fighter, which is wrong – it will be an SL-fighter (damned Mercedes nomenclature!). However, the test mule still doesn't look large enough to compete with the SL-Class (maybe the SLK, which is why we still think it's a Z4).

The skies over Germany were full of trial balloons this week, as BMW chairman Helmut Panke has been teasing the German press with possible new products. In an interview with auto motor und sport (rough English translation here), Panke alludes to several possible new BMW models: