Finishing No 1 in the luxury performance class with the new BMW 7 Series and scoring the ninth class victory in a row with the MINI, the BMW Group once again achieved absolutely outstanding results in this year's choice of "Die besten Autos" by the readers of the leading German motor magazine "auto, motor und sport".

Right from the start, BMW's new luxury performance saloon brought home an outstanding victory in this particularly prestigious category. The MINI, in turn, was once again the unchallenged No 1 in the overall rating of Mini Cars.

In addition to this double victory, the BMW Group's latest models scored no less than three second and two third places in five further categories.

The awards were presented to the Board Members of BMW AG Dr. Klaus Draeger and Ian Robertson in the "Alte Reithalle" of the Stuttgart Maritim Hotel.

BMW 7 Series Winner in the Luxury Class

An overview of the award-winning BMW Group models:

BMW 7 Series Winner in the Luxury Class BMW 5 Series No 2 in the Upper Midrange Class BMW 3 Series No 2 in the Midrange Class BMW X5 No 2 in the SUV Class BMW 1 Series No 3 in the Compact Class BMW 3 Series Convertible No 3 in the Convertible Class

MINI Winner in the Mini Cars Class

MINI Cooper S

The "Die besten Autos" readers' vote was conducted this year for the 33rd time. In all, no less than 336 models competed in ten vehicle categories, with more than 100 000 readers participating in the vote.

The positive opinion they expressed of the BMW Group's latest models is reflected by ongoing great demand for premium cars from both BMW and MINI: Delivering more than 1.4 million units to customers in 2008, the BMW Group once again remained the most successful manufacturer of premium automobiles worldwide.

Launched in autumn 2008, the new BMW 7 Series has made an extremely successful entry into the international automobile market not only in the opinion of professional testers, but also in the eyes of the public. Now the top position in the "Die besten AUtos" readers' choice again reflects this positive response, BMW's new luxury performance saloon receiving no less than 26.1 per cent of the votes. And indeed, the new BMW 7 Series is truly fascinating not only through its stylish design and the exclusive interior, but also through its unique combination of driving comfort, dynamism and efficiency.

The long series of victories scored by the MINI in the "auto, motor und sport" readers' choice likewise reflects the ongoing increase in sales of the only premium brand in the small car segment: In 2008 more than 232 000 cars of the MINI brand were delivered to customers worldwide, representing an increase over the previous year by 4.3 per cent. And receiving no less than 31.1 per cent of all votes in the Mini Cars Class, MINI was once again the superior winner in the "Die besten Autos" contest.

Accounting for 18 class wins in the "Die besten Autos" readers' choice and therefore reigning as the record winner of all times, the BMW 3 Series came second in its category this year, just like the BMW 5 Series and the BMW X5. Finishing third in the Compact Cars Class, in turn, the BMW 1 Series once again scored an important position on the winners' podium.

The BMW 3 Series Convertible brought home the same outstanding result in the Open Cars Class. And last but certainly not least, both the BMW 1 Series Convertible and the BMW 6 Series Convertible received such great support from the readers of "auto, motor und sport" that no less than three BMW models are among the six top cars in this category. Together, the three BMWs accounted for a total vote of 18.3 per cent, by far the best result of any one manufacturer in the Convertibles Category.