Leading its strategy is a shift in production of the X3 to America, where crossovers are likely to become king, and a shift in focus of the Z4 to Europe, where small, sporty cars have long seen great success, according to BMW boss Norbert Reithofer in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport. With the 1-series coming to the U.S. in just a few months, and under $30,000, BMW expects sales to rise. In fact, if sales continue to rise at or above current rates, BMW will be classed as a "large vehicle manufacturer" by 2012, and will therefore be required to have a zero-emissions vehicle in its lineup in order to meet proposed standards.

In that vein, Reithofer said BMW is pursuing hydrogen-powered vehicles, but noted that the technology was just too immature to expect hydrogen-fueled or fuel-cell vehicles to have any real market share before 2025. BMW is still not certain whether advanced lithium-ion battery technology or hydrogen fuel-cell technology will win in the end, but is advancing its development of both. Either way, the focus is on getting electric-powered cars to market that meet BMW's brand image of luxury and performance.

With the world's top luxury marques fighting to bring home the title of luxury-market supremacy, we, the enthusiasts, will surely be the real winners, as new technologies and processes yield new levels of performance and luxury.