The Truth About Cars » bmw x1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » bmw x1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Cain’s Segments: Compact Luxury Crossovers In October 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cains-segments-compact-luxury-crossovers-october-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cains-segments-compact-luxury-crossovers-october-2014/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 13:47:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944937 In the span of two months, the BMW X1 went from possessing no true direct German competition to finding challengers on two fronts. That’s not to say the X1 was never a viable, though slightly smaller, challenger to the rivals of BMW’s own X3. But the X1 was sitting on the bottom rung of the […]

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mercedes-benz-gla-2In the span of two months, the BMW X1 went from possessing no true direct German competition to finding challengers on two fronts.

That’s not to say the X1 was never a viable, though slightly smaller, challenger to the rivals of BMW’s own X3. But the X1 was sitting on the bottom rung of the ladder, and it’s no longer resting their on its own.

Audi USA sold 243 Q3s during the month it which it first went on sale in the United States, August 2014. Another 1092 were sold in August. October results, visible in the accompanying table, position the Q3 at the bottom of the three-car category.

(Want to add the Buick Encore into the mix? It sells far more often than any of these cars – 4780 copies in October; 41,213 year-to-date – but it’s 26% cheaper than the Q3 in base form, 22% less costly than the X1, and 26% less expensive than our final subject, the Mercedes-Benz GLA.) Sales of the Q3’s big brother, the Q5, were up 6% to 3571 units in October. 2014 appears set to be the Q5’s fifth consecutive year of annual U.S. sales growth.

Auto
October 2014
October 2013
% Change
10 mos. 2014
10 mos. 2013
% Change
Audi Q3
683 2,018
BMW X1
 2,073 3,059 -32.2% 17,801 21,407 -16.8%
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
2007 2,998
Total
 4,763
3,059  55.7%  22,817  21,407  6.6%

The BMW X1 reached a sales peak of more than 4300 units in March of this year but has averaged fewer than 1800 monthly sales, down from more than 2200 last year. The X1 is part of a five-pronged SAV lineup at BMW that’s enjoyed a 6.5% sales increase in 2014 despite significant declines from the X1 and X6. X3 sales are up 26% to 28,808 this year. X5 sales have risen 9% to lead the range with 36,376 sales. As you can see, X1 volume fell by nearly 1000 units in October, but the Q3 and GLA did much more than make up for those losses.

The GLA, a Mercedes-Benz CLA-related tall hatchback that you can call an SUV or a crossover or a CUV if you like, is also part of a five-member SUV/crossover lineup. The GLA, along with the more costly and larger G, GL, GLK, and M-Class, generated 39% of the Mercedes-Benz brand’s non-Sprinter sales in October. The GLA’s presence may have had an impact on the GLK’s total in October, the GLA’s second month, but if so, it was only the slightest of impacts. (Mercedes-Benz reported 991 U.S. GLA sales in September.) GLK volume slid 4%, a loss of just 107 units, after rising 21% during the first three-quarters of 2014. But GLK inventory of late hasn’t been as strong as it was earlier in the year, and the GLA therefore may have had little to do with the decline.

The lesson? If “luxury” automakers are going to sell more new vehicles, they’ll do so with less costly vehicles. And if they’re going to sell more of these less costly vehicles, the easiest way to do so will be to turn those vehicles into high riders, or at least vehicles with the appearance of increased ride heights. They’re not huge sellers – yet – but nearly one out of every 20 Audis soldnin October was a Q3. BMW has relied on the X1 for 7% of the brand’s U.S. volume this year. Likewise, 7% of the vehicles sold in Mercedes-Benz showrooms last month were GLAs.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Capsule Review: 2015 BMW X1 28i http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/capsule-review-2015-bmw-x1-28i/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/capsule-review-2015-bmw-x1-28i/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 19:13:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941049 At a base price of $30,900, the BMW X1 is the cheapest new vehicle you can buy with a Roundel. That price tag, as well as the crossover body style and a lack of a manual transmission, hasn’t endeared the X1 to the BMW faithful, or the enthusiast crowd. When a friend of mine asked […]

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At a base price of $30,900, the BMW X1 is the cheapest new vehicle you can buy with a Roundel. That price tag, as well as the crossover body style and a lack of a manual transmission, hasn’t endeared the X1 to the BMW faithful, or the enthusiast crowd.

When a friend of mine asked for suggestions for a compact CUV, I initially suggested segment favorites like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. She ended up stopping by the BMW dealer, drawn in by the heavily subsidized lease deals and the idea of driving something with a roundel on the hood.

She ended up walking away with the X1 shown above: a 28i xDrive model with the Technology Package, Driver Assistance Package, Panoramic Moonroof and heated front seats. A $32,700 CUV (base price for an AWD X1) suddenly rang up to $41,720. A backup camera, front and rear parking senors, navigation, Satellite radio and wood trim are just some of the items that you have to pay extra for – and you still don’t get real leather (though the Sensatec leatherette is quite good). Of course, you have to pay to play if you want a German luxury vehicle (specifically, the badge that comes with it). At least the X1 has a value add. It’s still quite good to drive.

With its roots in the outgoing 3-Series, the X1 still feels, well, like a proper BMW, and not like the reasonable facsimile of a 3-Series that is the defining vehicle for this generation of Bimmer. Hydraulic power steering is still present on the all-wheel drive X1, though it’s not as heavy or direct as the E90 3-Series. Nevertheless, its far ahead of what one could expect from the F-Series 3 and 4-Series cars, which feel like a video game force feedback wheel in comparison.

The now-ubiquitous 2.0L turbocharged I4 and 8-speed automatic transmission are present on the X1, and while the N20 engine may lack the character of the much-loved I6, it delivers plenty of power. 240 horsepower is on tap, but with 260 lb-ft available from just 1250 rpm, the X1 never lacks forward motivation. The 8-speed transmission is a great match for this motor, delivering great fuel economy (on a trip from Indianapolis to Nashville, we just touched 29 mpg despite doing 70 mph on the Interstate) while also reacting with verve when a downshift was called for.

Dynamically, the X1 doesn’t seem to suffer from a slightly higher ride height and center of gravity. The culprit here appears to be the Goodyear Eagle LS run-flat tires, which I suspect impose an artificial ceiling on the car’s dynamic envelope. But for the target buyer, they do the job just fine. The ride is quiet and comfortable, and those interested in something more performance oriented can opt for the Sport package, which comes with a brawnier wheel and tire package (and likely, a harsher ride).

2013-bmw-x1-xdrive28i-inline7-photo-634280-s-original

As this graphic from Car and Driver shows, the X1 is dimensionally similar to the 328i wagon – but that doesn’t seem to insulate it from verbal barbs from the enthusiast community, which regards it with the same kind of disdain it tends to reserve for the Nissan Rogue. I’m not one to talk – I held that view until I actually drove the X1 and realized that it’s basically a wagon, but not marketed as such, lest the X1 become a commercial failure. I know that my friend feels the same way. She was all set to buy a Volvo V60, but as a new immigrant to the United States, she had no credit, and was thus given no lease or financing options. If that weren’t the case, she might have been one of a handful of people who bought a new Volvo station wagon. But now she’s behind the wheel of a BMW wagon, marketed as a crossover and sold for thousands of dollars less than a comparable 328i wagon. She’s as happy as I am impressed by the least expensive Bimmer. If only it had a manual.

The owner provided this vehicle to TTAC for the purposes of this review.

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Question Of The Day: Who Will Win The Luxury Compact Crossover Sales Race? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/question-of-the-day-who-will-win-the-luxury-compact-crossover-sales-race/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/question-of-the-day-who-will-win-the-luxury-compact-crossover-sales-race/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:28:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=875425 With pricing for the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA announced, the fight for the luxury compact crossover sales crown is officially on. It’s going to be the most important battle of the year for the luxury car market. Crossovers are, without a doubt, the hottest sales segment right now, and one of the most profitable […]

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With pricing for the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA announced, the fight for the luxury compact crossover sales crown is officially on. It’s going to be the most important battle of the year for the luxury car market.

Crossovers are, without a doubt, the hottest sales segment right now, and one of the most profitable segments for OEMs. Take some normal car underpinnings, add a bit of cladding, a higher ride height and a two-box body and all of a sudden, you can charge a hefty premium over what you’d normally have to sell a sedan for. And what better way to lower your CAFE rating than to sell a ton of “light trucks” that get the kind of fuel economy that you’d normally find in a compact or mid-size car? These little trucklets/wagonlets are going to float the ability of the German brands to keep making AMG, M and RS cars by keeping things kosher with the Feds. Remember that when you bemoan the lack of wagons on sale today.

Audi’s Q3 starts at $33,325, versus $29,900 for an A3, though the Q3, unlike the A3, does come standard with AWD .  The Q3 is front-drive, but it does have a 2.0T engine, unlike the A3’s 1.8T mill. A Mercedes-Benz GLA starts at $32,225 for a front-drive model versus $29,900 for a front-drive CLA. The one wildcard is the BMW X1, which is both rear-wheel drive and $30,900, making it the cheapest BMW in the entire model range.

I’m going to put my money on the Q3 taking the crown, just because Audi is very much the brand of the moment. This segment is a fickle, fashion-driven one, and products live and die by how cool they are. The Audi A3 quickly toppled the Mercedes-Benz CLA from the small sedan sales charts, and this won’t be any different.

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Hyundai Next To Enter The Small Crossover Party? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/hyundai-next-to-enter-the-small-crossover-party/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/hyundai-next-to-enter-the-small-crossover-party/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 14:45:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=495565 For all of Hyundai’s successes in Europe, it is conspicuously absent in perhaps the lone major growth segment on the continent; small crossovers. We’re not talking “small” in the sense of the Hyundai Tucson either. Think more along the lines of the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Ford EcoSport and the Dacia Duster. Even […]

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Hyundai_ix35_2.0_4WD_Premium_–_Frontansicht_(1),_29._Mai_2011,_Heiligenhaus

For all of Hyundai’s successes in Europe, it is conspicuously absent in perhaps the lone major growth segment on the continent; small crossovers. We’re not talking “small” in the sense of the Hyundai Tucson either. Think more along the lines of the Opel Mokka (our Buick Encore), the Ford EcoSport and the Dacia Duster. Even premium brands are getting into the fold, with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA vying for market share.

It would only make sense that Hyundai would be whipping something up to compete in that space, and this was only confirmed by Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik, who told Edmunds

“I think it is something that we have to look at,” Krafcik said. “We don’t have any plans. (But) it does seem like there is a lot of action in stuff below RAV4- and Tucson-sized vehicles. A new segment is emerging.”

Krafcik is certainly correct about the emergence of a segment that barely existed in the United States prior to the arrival of the Buick Encore. Sure, the Suzuki SX4 existed, but it was basically irrelevant in the broader context of the market. The Encore has had a relatively stable time on the market so far – inventories suddenly shot up this month to 72 days, but prior to that, they were firmly in the 30 day range. Sales have been in the 2,000-3,000 month ballpark, a respectable figure for a very niche vehicle.

Small cars have traditionally been less than popular in America, but when wrapped in crossover packaging, it may prove more palatable to Americans. In world markets, these cars have been astoundingly popular for different reasons. While small cars are the norm over there, Europeans tend to like the higher driving position without sacrificing the small size required for their tight urban spaces. In the BRIC countries, the SUV-aesthetics are considered a premium feature over regular small cars. Either way, it looks like we’ll be getting a few more of these products in the near future – Hyundai included.

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Editorial: Out Of Ideas: Audi Crosslane Is Another Steppenwolf, But That Probably Won’t Matter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/editorial-out-of-ideas-audi-crosslane-is-another-steppenwolf-but-that-probably-wont-matter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/editorial-out-of-ideas-audi-crosslane-is-another-steppenwolf-but-that-probably-wont-matter/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 16:07:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=462006 You’ve seen the Baldwin brothers. Canadians are very acquainted with the Sutter hockey dynasty. At their best, any of the nine Jackson siblings could almost pass for any of the other eight. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, I don’t know for sure. People I’ve never met – which is a large group of people […]

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You’ve seen the Baldwin brothers. Canadians are very acquainted with the Sutter hockey dynasty. At their best, any of the nine Jackson siblings could almost pass for any of the other eight.

Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, I don’t know for sure. People I’ve never met – which is a large group of people – have an uncanny ability to identify me as a Cain. For all I know, my grandfather sold them a horse in the 60s. Perhaps my father taught them high school economics in the 70s. My uncle possibly sold them a Dodge Aries in the 80s. Maybe my brother ordered their parts at the Suzuki dealership in the 90s. Certain genes flow more fervently. Thus, I’m identifiable.

The Baldwins, Sutters, Jacksons, and a family you’ve never heard of in Atlantic Canada know how the Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept feels. Eleven years ago in Paris, Audi displayed the Steppenwolf. The Crosslane appears to be the same vehicle, details aside. It’s almost as though Audi designers went on vacation this summer. At the last second, Audi executives realized they had nothing new to show in Paris. One guy was brought back from a staycation in Rothenburg ob der Tauber with the temptation of time-and-a-half to rework the Steppenwolf. Eleven years later.

I didn’t attend art school. My formal car design education includes reading Tony Lewin’s How To Design Cars Like A Pro and, for a while, reading Robert Cumberford’s piece in Automobile and Stephen Bayley’s column in CarI do study car sales, however, and I know that the Steppenwolf’s descendants, the Q7 and Q5, have been major players for Audi. 33,906 Q models were sold in the U.S. last year.

Think back to the pre-Q era: the U.S. new vehicle market shrunk 24.8% from calendar year 2005 to calendar year 2011, yet Audi USA sales were 41.5% higher in 2011 than in 2005. That growth wasn’t powered by preexisting Audis, however. Excluding the Q5 and the Q7, Audi USA posted a 2011 increase of 0.7% compared with 2005. Models which were on sale in 2005 and still on sale in 2011 actually slid 16.8%. That’s something, of course, as the overall industry’s decline was much worse.

Nevertheless, the reason you see more new Audis on the road now than in 2005 is because there are more Audis to be sold. Audi’s best-seller, the A4, suffered a 28% decline between 2005 and 2011, a drop that’s worse than what the overall market endured. Audi sold 34,495 more vehicles in 2011 than in 2005. Audi’s core models didn’t make that happen. In order to fuel the volume expansion, Audi brought to market the A5, A7, R8, Q5, and Q7. Collectively, those five models found 56,706 buyers last year.

Would importing the Q3 to North America be a mistake? BMW has found plenty of Canadian success with the X1. We don’t need a Crosslane-inspired Q2, but then again, we don’t need 333-horsepower S5 Cabriolets, either. Audi wants to sell more cars. If greater market share in the 3-Series/C-Class segment can’t be won, conquering or creating a new crossover niche isn’t the worst idea coming out of a product planner’s brainstorming session.

Sadly, if the Crosslane Coupe Concept does become a production Q2, it will look just like every other Audi. Unfortunately, Audi’s successful design team, the one which brought us the wildly unique first-generation TT and then totally distinguished the R8 from the Gallardo, is looking back eleven years rather than coming up with new ideas. I grew up in Audis. My father exchanged his four times when the odometer rang up 100,000 kilometres. Yet while I’ll urge luxury car buyers to consider an Audi when they’d otherwise make the default E-Class or RX350 choice, I’m personally losing interest

Audi is most certainly not the only automaker designing cars this way. You’re not the only one routinely asking yourself, “Which BMW is that?”, or, “Is that really a new Aston Martin model?” The Crosslane’s lack of originality just happen to make it the latest egregious example of a disappointing trend.

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BMW/NedCar Now In Talks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/bmwnedcar-now-in-talks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/bmwnedcar-now-in-talks/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 13:50:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450584 Reuters is reporting that BMW is discussing a possible arrangement with the soon-to-be dormant NedCar plant that once built the Volvo S40 and various Mitsubishi cars. A BMW spokesman is quoted by Reuters as saying “We’re in talks with NedCar over a third-party manufacturing contract”, though no further details were revealed. Reports in April suggested that […]

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Reuters is reporting that BMW is discussing a possible arrangement with the soon-to-be dormant NedCar plant that once built the Volvo S40 and various Mitsubishi cars.

A BMW spokesman is quoted by Reuters as saying “We’re in talks with NedCar over a third-party manufacturing contract”, though no further details were revealed. Reports in April suggested that the BMW X5, X1 and Mini Countryman were candidates for production at NedCar. The reports also seem to corroborate the idea of a third-party manufacturing contract, with VDL, a Dutch company, taking over the plant, and the government paying the salaries of workers.

VDL’s takeover is contingent on both the government paying for worker salaries, as well as a major OEM like BMW using the plant under contract. If the conditions aren’t met, then NedCar may join the long list of auto plants that are shuttered for good.

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BMW X1 xDrive35i: 0-60 In 5.3 Seconds http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/bmw-x1-xdrive35i-0-60-in-5-3-seconds/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/bmw-x1-xdrive35i-0-60-in-5-3-seconds/#comments Fri, 04 May 2012 21:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442899 Although Canucks have been enjoying the BMW X1 xDrive28i for over a year now, the launch of the X1 in the United States will see both the four-cylinder model, and a 3.0L twin-turbo I6 version, dubbed the xDrive35i. And it’s fast. The xDrive35i will dash to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The sDrive28i (RWD only) […]

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Although Canucks have been enjoying the BMW X1 xDrive28i for over a year now, the launch of the X1 in the United States will see both the four-cylinder model, and a 3.0L twin-turbo I6 version, dubbed the xDrive35i. And it’s fast.

The xDrive35i will dash to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The sDrive28i (RWD only) will do it in 6.2, while the xDrive28i takes additional tenth of a second. Fuel economy is 24 city/33 highway for the RWD model, 22/30 for the AWD version, and 18/27 for the xDrive35i. No manual will be offered, just BMW’s 8-speed automatic transmission. Looks like BMW’s baby crossover isn’t so lame after all.

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BMW May Takeover Nedcar Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/bmw-may-takeover-nedcar-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/bmw-may-takeover-nedcar-plant/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:51:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442120 Could BMW be acquiring the soon-to-be-shuttered Nedcar plant, which formerly built the Volvo S40 and Mitsubishi Colt? Dutch website Nu.nl seems to think so. Nu is reporting that Nedcar executives have given tours of the plant to their BMW counterparts, in advance of takeover talks. BMW is especially interested in building the BMW X5, BMW X1 and […]

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Could BMW be acquiring the soon-to-be-shuttered Nedcar plant, which formerly built the Volvo S40 and Mitsubishi Colt? Dutch website Nu.nl seems to think so.

Nu is reporting that Nedcar executives have given tours of the plant to their BMW counterparts, in advance of takeover talks. BMW is especially interested in building the BMW X5, BMW X1 and Mini Countryman at the plant, using the same lines that built the Colt and Mitsubishi Outlander.

BMW is having trouble keeping up with demand for both cars, especially the hot-selling X1, set to make its American debut this summer. Nedcar is capable of a maximum output of 200,000 cars per year, but only produced 23,000 in 2011. Apparently the arrangement would involve BMW renting space from Dutch industrial group VDL, rather than an outright purchase. VDL, based in Eindhoven, would take over the plant assuming BMW uses it for production, and the Dutch government would then have to pay the salaries of 1,500 workers who would be jobless in between Mitsubishi’s 2013 departure and the resumption of production at Nedcar.

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BMW X1 Finally Coming To United States In “Summer 2012″ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/bmw-x1-finally-coming-to-united-states-in-summer-2012/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/bmw-x1-finally-coming-to-united-states-in-summer-2012/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:20:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=436432 The BMW X1’s launch in the United States was “postponed indefinitely” due to high demand in Europe, but now, BMW has inadvertently confirmed a launch date for the United States. BMW’s New York Auto Show press release states that the car “…will be available in U.S. showrooms in summer 2012.” No specs have been announced, but in […]

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The BMW X1’s launch in the United States was “postponed indefinitely” due to high demand in Europe, but now, BMW has inadvertently confirmed a launch date for the United States.

BMW’s New York Auto Show press release states that the car “…will be available in U.S. showrooms in summer 2012.” No specs have been announced, but in Canada, the X1 is available with the 240 horsepower turbo 4-cylinder and 8-speed automatic like the F30 BMW 328i. And yes, a review is in the works, for all you Americans wondering about BMW’s baby crossover.

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