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New BMW X5 ready for the open road

BMW rolled out its first revamped X5 Sports Activity Vehicle at its Spartanburg County plant Wednesday.

The 2007 X5 is a product of a mid-life cycle redesign of the model and is scheduled to be in dealer showrooms across the country soon after Thanksgiving.

The new X5 will sell for $45,900 at its base level and go for $83,690 fully loaded, according to Century BMW in Greenville.

About 580,000 X5s have been sold since the model's launch in 1999. All X5s are built in Spartanburg County.

The 2007 X5s will be held at the factory until enough have been made to supply each dealer with one to show customers, according to BMW .

"Yocan't send it out to just one or two dealers," said company spokesman Bobby Hitt.

The Spartanburg County plant is producing about 15 new X5s a day.

Over the coming months, it will ramp up production to nearly 400 X5s a day, including British, European and Asian models of the vehicle.

"It'll take us until the end of the year to get back up to the typical rate," Hitt said.

Last Friday, the Spartanburg County BMW plant produced the last of the previous version of the vehicle, a 3.0is X5.

Sales of the X5 have slumped in recent months in anticipation of the introduction of the redesigned model.

Overall, however, demand for the vehicle vastly outpaced the company's expectations.

The 616,867 X5s produced in Spartanburg County were twice what the company had projected.

The new X5 is slightly longer and wider than the previous version. It is equipped with BMW 's Active Steering system, AdaptiveDrive system and a combination of Active Roll Stabilization and Electronic Damping Control, which improve handling.

Spartanburg Herald Journal

New BMW X5 ready for the open road
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