The most beautiful motorcycle classics will once again attract two-wheeler fans from all over the world to Cernobbio in Northern Italy between 24th and 26th May 2019. Once again, a unique collection of elite rare beauties from different eras of vehicle history will come together at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 in the parkland of Villa Erba located on the shores of Lake Como. The Concorso di Motociclette is one of the spectacular attractions of the event for public spectators and contributes to the distinguished character of the show presenting rare classic vehicles. For the ninth time, it will be a fixed element of the exclusive beauty contest for historic vehicles that will this year celebrate its 90th anniversary.
This year’s weekend of classics is represented by the motto “The Symphony of Engines – 90 Years of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este & BMW Automobiles.” to match this and another anniversary. As the organisers, BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este present particularly sensational automobiles and two-wheeled chart toppers from all eras of vehicle history: motorcycles which are not only admirable as exhibition items but are also roadworthy in almost all cases. They demonstrate this on the Street Run when the participants parade in convoy on the Saturday from the parklands of Villa Erba through the streets of Cernobbio to the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este where all the motorcycles taking part in the competition are presented to the public on the shores of Lake Como. On the Sunday, the two-wheelers are the focus of attention at Villa Erba where they are presented to thousands of visitors.
In 2019, the Concorso di Motociclette also offers a fascinating overview of the history of motorised transport on two wheels. As usual, the Selecting Committee applies a great deal of care in choosing the rare gems from all over the world. The motorcycles permitted to line up on the starting grid here all need to have an impressive and exclusive history.
The rare gems on two wheels will compete in five award categories for the favour of the Jury. The Selecting Committee has already defined four vehicle classes for the contest:
This category harks back to the year 1969, which was a very special year in motorcycle manufacture. Big-bore machines with two, three and four cylinders fuelled the motorcycle boom during the 1960s even further. Brands like BMW, Honda, BSA, Kawasaki, Laverda, Moto Guzzi, Norton and Triumph were the key protagonists at the time.
In the 1950s, motorcycle racing attracted hundreds of thousands of fans throughout Europe. Anyone with the necessary financial means could even have a racing machine built with a roadgoing license at their local dealership. Alongside the successful brands produced in the 1960s, manufacturers like FN, Gilera, Jawa and Velocette were also popular.
Emperors, kings, heads of state – were always accompanied by motorcycle escorts when they came on a state visit – a ceremony recalled by this competition class. Manufacturers like BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi and Triumph delivered specialist model versions with special equipment such as side panniers, radio equipment, pennant holders, and running boards instead of footrests.
Exceptional motorcycle studies have now become a tradition at Villa Erba. As in the last two years, there will also be a dedicated class for the most unusual and spectacular two-wheeled concepts from motorcycle manufacturers as well as from independent designers.
The definition of these four vehicle classes opens the nomination phase for the Concorso di Motociclette 2019. Owners of exceptional historic motorcycles are invited to apply for a place in the beauty contest – irrespective of whether or not their vehicle matches one of the categories already defined. The other categories in the contest will be announced later.
For online registration, you can go to the official website at http://concorsodeleganzavilladeste.com.
Entry tickets and visitor packages can also already be booked there now.
BMW PRESS CLUB
On Sunday the 14th October Hawthorn BMW were lucky enough to be given the opportunity of visiting the 2018 Motor Classica event. Riley and Sally both attended and found the experience educational, motivational and overall fantastic. It was very fortunate to be able to go along to see all the different cars especially being exposed to a bit of BMW history. It was a great feeling to be a part of the BMW Driver’s Club Melbourne display and to show off one of our very own special vehicles amongst the wide variety of BMW vehicles. We want to thank BMWDCM for the experience and opportunity and cannot wait for all our future engagements.
Riley Aickin | Member #175
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Since joining the Bell Motorsport family, I have been increasing my knowledge of Motorsport and upgrading my CAMS licences to suit the areas I wish to volunteer in.
To start with, I did the basic General Officials licence which is an online module. It allowed me to help in a general capacity at any event. I also got my Working With Childrens Check done, as all CAMS officials now need one.
After falling into an administration role, I found this was one area I loved and enjoyed, so I upgraded to my bronze. This involved another online module and an assessment at an event by a recognised CAMS assessor.
Shortly following this I upgraded to my Bronze Circuit Licence, which involved a 2-day stint on a flag point at a State level event. I did this at an August Access Phillip Island race meeting, being assessed by VFT. While out there I found I really was enjoying this role and joined as a volunteer flag marshal. VFT (Victorian Flag Marshalling) are a great group of poeple and welcomed me with open arms. They set me up on a 10-day training schedule, where you get accessed by your peers and officials after the event has been completed. This has allowed me to volunteer at V8 rounds and get up close and personal to some amazing racing.
My final upgrade was Bronze Event command, which was assessed at Haunted Hills early this year, and it was also preceded by an online module. Event command (Clerk of Course) is basically the head of the event so you oversee all the other officials and volunteers and control the event, along with the Event Secretary.
This past weekend both Graeme and I volunteered to help at the AROCA 12-hour regularity event at Winton Motor Raceway and it was a busy weekend with lots to keep us on our toes. Graeme was the Chief Scrutineer for the event, so he was busy Friday afternoon until the end of the event on Sunday afternoon.
I was officially in administration, so that meant check in on Friday and Saturday morning but a few weeks before the event. A few weeks before the event I also volunteered to assist with flagging as well. This I was able to do after lunch on Saturday once I had managed to get all drivers checked in and all the team manager packs back. I also received a lovely note from a team to say thank you for my efforts.
Once my administration assistance was done, I was put on turn 9, which is just at the back of the track, after the cleavage and was kept extremely busy blue flagging and black flag relaying, calling defects on cars.
Sunday, we went out at 8.15am and were out on points all day until 4 pm. Some of us were on our own, others had trainees helping. Sunday was massive and by the end of the day I hardly had a voice left with so many different calls back to Race Control, but I loved it.
These events are amazing and without volunteers they don’t happen. I urge you to come along to anyone of our motorsport events and talk to us or anyone else that is volunteering and see if there is any area you might be able to help in.
To become an official there is not cost but your time. I find it very rewarding and love every part of it and only wish I could do more.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice there are plenty of areas at a motorsport event for all sorts of people, we would love more helpers to allow senior officials the chance to dedicate themselves to making the event run smoothly.
Jo Mawson | Member #2 - Vice President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
I have to admit I couldn’t hide my delight when the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne invited me to be a part of the club’s “Motorclassica” display. I felt flattered to be asked to bring not just one of my Beemers, but two.
Sure, it was a slight logistical headache, to get both cars into the Exhibition Building (having to jump-start one of them just as we where due to head in added to my grey hairs) but good friends are always available to assist, and due to the timing of it, I had to enlist two helpers, one for the drive in, then and another for the return journey.
Being (practically) retired, I have a lot of spare time, so also took the opportunity to volunteer at this automotive extravaganza. I was excited to go there each day, flash my pass, and walk around like I owned the place.
Although our display was outside, watching the owners prepare their magnificent showpieces inside, was a lesson in car detailing. The shine on some of these precious, timeless and often irreplaceable machines was a sight to behold, with lustrous paint and shiny chrome work that you could see your face in (scary…) The detail in the presentation of these wondrous pieces of “movable art” was as miniscule as using small, fine brushes and cotton buds. Maybe that one small crevice that didn’t get attention was the difference between winning and losing.
The upstairs area was constantly a buzz as well, with displays limited to the smaller, (and no doubt lighter) cars such as Isetta’s and Gogomobiles, plus a large array of pristine vintage Motorcycles. Most of the businesses pedaling their services, and food stalls and coffee stands also were housed in the second level.
Outside, there was a large marquee serving any number of refreshing beverages, both alcoholic and otherwise, coffee, ice creams and delicious meals. The shade and the seating it provided was a welcome escape from the constant sunshine each day.
I spent roughly 5 or 6 hours on site on each of the three days. With so much going on all the time, and people everywhere to either assist or just to talk with, I truly felt like I was in my element.
There were lots of people swarming around our collection of BMW Beauties, both old and new. A lot of intelligent questions were asked (plus the occasional SILLY ONE!!) notwithstanding, the comments were always complimentary, and the stares and sighs, and long loving glances at Bavaria’s finest was a constant common denominator. Although many seemed to lust after my E9 3.0 Csi, I think the car that most couldn’t go past was the delightful Black E30 M3 parked next to me, and to be brutally honest, it constantly had my adoring glances as well.
The days seem to fly by, and all to soon it was over, with only 361 days until it comes around again, so mark it on your calendars now.
Special thanks has to go to Lawrence Glynn for arranging our clubs inclusion, and planning the whole thing with his customary military precision. As for me, I feel privileged to have been a part of it, and look forward to next years event, scheduled for 11-13th October 2019.
Steve Garth | Member #40
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The legendary series of Automobile Artworks is coming to Munich. At the new special exhibition entitled “BMW Art Cars | How a vision became reality.” visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the World of BMW Art Cars at the BMW Museum. Between 10 October 2018 and February 2019, they will be able to admire seven out of the 19 vehicles in existence. Apart from the first four Art Cars known at the “Big Four” executed by the artists Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, the rolling sculpture #17 by Jeff Koons will also be on show. Another highlight of the exhibition is provided with the latest BMW Art Cars #18 by Chinese video artist Cao Fei and #19 by US artist John Baldessari as these cars celebrate their premiere in Europe and take the legendary series forward. The special exhibition also salutes the work of the French originator Hervé Poulain. As an auctioneer and racing driver, he always straddled the worlds of art and motor sport. He created a link between the two genres with his idea of establishing a synthesis between art and motor sport that has continued to this day. The exhibition presents a range of documents from his collection alongside works from the visual arts with themes dedicated to motor sport.
Cao Fei and John Baldessari are following in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors as the youngest artist and the oldest artist. They were selected by a Jury made up of museum directors and curators to design the latest artworks to join the collection – two BMW M6 GT3 automobiles. The 40-year-old Chinese artist Cao Fei links video art with 3D animations along with elements of virtual reality to present scenes of social watershed in her home country. Her BMW Art Car #18 finished in carbon black reflects the speed of change taking place in China and the traditions and future of this country. She takes the collection into the 21st century with the first BMW Art Car combined with an Augmented Reality-Video.
The work of US artist John Baldessari has ranked among the pioneering achievements of contemporary art since the 1960s. The legend of American conceptual art has implemented his famous hallmark in the 19th BMW Art Car, and as a confirmed minimalist he has worked exclusively with the colours red, yellow, blue and green. The BMW Art Car #17 created by Jeff Koons in the form of the BMW M3 GT2 makes a strikingly gaudy impact at the special exhibition and represents a Pop Art hommage to Koons’ role model Andy Warhol with a lively mix of graphic designs, vivacious colours and representations of speed and explosive forces.
The “big four” made their contributions thanks to Hervé Poulain’s contacts with the most significant Pop Art exponents of their time. On his initiative, the US artist Alexander Calder painted a 480 hp BMW 3.0 CSL in powerful colours and gave it elegantly curved surfaces in 1975. Hervé Poulain himself drove this car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975. The artwork created by New Yorker Frank Stella in the following year similarly lined up on the starting grid at Le Mans in 1976. Pop Art legend Andy Warhol followed suit by immortalising his contribution in an artwork with a highly individual approach. By contrast with his predecessors, he did not first construct a true scale model of the vehicle before handing over the final design to his assistants. In 1979, he himself painted the BMW M1 Group 4 automobile from start to finish. He accomplished this in just 28 minutes. When the camera teams arrived to film the action, the artwork was almost completed. Only the final brushstrokes could be documented on film.
Other renowned artists from different countries and art genres have designed BMW series automobiles and racing cars, including Austrian painter Ernst Fuchs (1982), Spanish architect and sculptor César Manrique (1990) and British painter and draughtsman David Hockney (1995), before US artist Jeff Koons concluded the series for the time being with his Art Car #17 in 2010. The legendary series looks back on a history lasting more than 40 years and it has been continued with the BMW Art Cars #18 and #19. The Art Cars are now being presented at the special exhibition in the BMW Museum and this heritage can be experienced until February 2019.
On a Tuesday night where it would have been easier to stay home because of the poor weather conditions, we had a great evening at the October Members Meeting at Essendon BMW.
The new showroom looked fantastic, it was great to see the new BMWs and MINIs up close and personal. The staff who stayed behind on their own time also made us feel very welcome and were happy to answer any questions we had.
It was fantastic to see some new faces, with some of our new members attending. "As a new member to the club, it was a pleasure to meet ... some of the other members. to my delight I also won the door prize (car detailing kit) and have put it to good use in keeping my car looking as good as the day I bought it. All in all, it was a great night..." - Constandinos Tzovlas (#121).
Thank you to Essendon BMW for having us, the new dealership is fantastic. We can't wait to visit again soon!
The Committee | BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
It was a marvellous day for a car drive
Clear skies and big yellow sun
Twisty roads made me feel so a-live
Out of town and we’re having some fun.
We’re on a club drive, we’re going to Healesville
The straight route would take hours one
But we’re taking the back roads for some thrill
It’s the best way to get from Brighton.
And all the great feeling that you get from B M
And all the sheer pleasure you get, from them
And we just had one more car drive with you, our club.
With sincere apologies to Van Morrison’s Moondance but I couldn’t think of any better way to start the article!
Yes, this is the club drive from Brighton BMW’s highly impressive new facilities to the Healesville Sanctuary via some interesting roads, thanks to Peter William’s route plotting skills.
The new showrooms are double storey and spotlessly clean, neither of which applied to the new car dealerships of my acquaintance when I started driving in the 1970’s, so things have moved on a lot since then.
And if you are after an M-car they have a special area upstairs just for that, which is where they served us morning tea with yummy cakes etc and the now staff operated café coffee machine downstairs – no more push button automated systems, this is proper coffee.
In fact, the whole ambience is that of a very upmarket shopping mall, although not too many of those would move 100 designer items per month at $50,000+ per item. And its that sales volume which dictate a much larger delivery area which can easily hold 5 cars – the average sales being 4.25 per day!
Servicing has also had a huge upgrade with spacious well light work areas and a mixture of more traditional four post hoists and easier to work around scissor lift hoists. With the Express Lane system your car can be serviced while you wait and, if you want to, you can even watch and stand under you car in two specially designed service bays with the technician explained what they are doing and what all the bits and bobs are under there.
Suitably refreshed and impressed we headed off through the traffic to the city limits and some twisty roads. As the road opened out and climbed the views started to unfold before us and the traffic thinned, allowed for a bit of responsible spirited driving at times and an excellent opportunity to evaluate the X2 lent to Shaaron and I as part of the Royal Children’s Hospital fund raising prize from Good Friday.
And we certainly picked the right day for the drive as the weather was glorious and just the right day for fun drive enjoyed by our members..
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
MONTH IN REVIEW
September kicked off with AROCA Sprints at Sandown, with a fantastic turn out of BMWDCM members and we were pretty lucky. The rain held off for most of the day and we managed to get most of our sessions in under dry conditions. Special thanks to Phil Kolar, who attends many of our track days with his son Blake, for cooking up a storm with Jo Mawson – the egg and bacon rolls for breakfast the sausages etc for lunch and coffee all day was fantastic!
Read more about the Sprint day here.
Our September members meeting was at Makulu Vehicle Storage. Thank you to Clive and Jesse for putting on a fantastic night.
Read more about our night here.
On 22 September we started our day at Brighton BMW's new facility with a guided tour and a scrumptious morning tea. We were then led to Healesville Sanctuary by Peter Williams on a fantastic drive for a fun day at the Sanctuary.
Some of our members also attended the VACC Centennial display in Bendigo. It was a beautiful day with 100 cars from 100 years.
Read more about the Centennial display here.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 230 MEMBERS
Welcome to all our new members, we can't wait to welcome you in person at the next event!
For more about our month, catch up with our September update from Graeme Bell here.
THE MONTH AHEAD
EVENTS NOT TO MISS!
This is not just for the 8 Series Register but an open Show N Shine day for all members whether you have a BMW or not. Followed by lunch, some fun and games and watch the great race on the big screen.
Although we will be having a feature display of the spectacular 8 Series cars, we would like you to come along and bring your beauty. We are looking for special cars in the club to come out be shown off regardless of condition.
You can even choose to join us after for Lunch, Cup Sweeps and some fun in Steeple’s Restaurant. Click here for more information, to register and find out how we judge the winning vehicles.
NEWS | BLOG
BMW Clubs Member Survey
BENDIGO BANK MORNINGTON
We are very lucky to have received support from Bendigo Bank, Mornington. Bendigo Bank Mornington are offering fantastic deals for our members. If you're interested in finding out more about this new partnership, click here.
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
The latest results of BMW’s ongoing product offensive are taking centre stage at the brand’s Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 show stand in Paris. Emotion-packed design, pioneering technology and an even more richly engaging form of driving pleasure define the character of the new models BMW is presenting at the most important date on Europe’s 2018 car show calendar. The fresh arrivals introduce the brand’s new design language to a number of vehicle segments and represent significant advances in the areas of digitalisation, operation, sustainability and driving dynamics. For example, visitors to the Paris show will discover the first models to feature the new BMW Operating System 7.0, which creates a fully digital grouping of instrument cluster and Control Display and allows system operation to be adapted even more precisely to the driver’s personal preferences.
The BMW Group is set to revolutionise driving pleasure with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. From March 2019, BMW drivers and passengers will be joined by an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. This will mark the start of a new era for the BMW Group in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking. Further innovations include BMW Laserlight and the Steering and lane control assistant, which are also available for other new models from the brand, plus the unique Reversing Assistant, which takes over steering for reversing manoeuvres in tight areas where visibility is restricted
The selection of series-production models due for market launch in the near future and innovative technology developments preparing to greet visitors to the Paris show from 4 – 14 October 2018 also reflect the rigorous implementation of NUMBER ONE > NEXT. The BMW Group’s corporate strategy spotlights development fields particularly relevant to the company’s future performance, i.e. design, automated driving, connectivity, electrification and services. The advances in these areas presented in Paris underscore the premium carmaker’s leading role in shaping the future of personal mobility. Also of key importance are BMW’s model offensive in the luxury segment (launched with the show premiere of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe), the continued expansion of the BMW X model family with the debut of the new BMW X5 and the addition of the new BMW M5 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.8 – 10.7 l/100 km [26.2 – 26.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 246 – 243 g/km) to the BMW M GmbH line-up. The BMW Group’s leading role in premium-segment electric mobility is underscored most prominently in Paris by the presentation of the new generation of high-voltage batteries for the BMW i3 (fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 13.1 – 13.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km) and BMW i3s (fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; electric power consumption combined: 14.6 – 14.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km).
The BMW 3 Series Sedan represents the heartbeat of the BMW brand and the epitome of sporty driving pleasure in the premium midsize segment. The Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 is the venue for the world premiere of the seventh generation of the sports sedan. The new-edition 3 Series sees BMW building above all on the sporting tradition of the best-selling car. New powertrain technology and a body and chassis design geared squarely to maximising agility and dynamics create an ideal platform for an enthralling driving experience. The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes as standard with a newly developed lift-related damper control system, which plays a significant role in giving the car its successful blend of sporting prowess and ride comfort. Options include an M Sport differential with electronically controlled locking function in the rear differential.
Precisely drawn lines and strikingly contoured surfaces mark out the exterior of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, which showcases the brand’s new design language. The interior also has a clear, modern and sophisticated design.
Other features of the car that highlight its innovative character are BMW Operating System 7.0 and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Presented here for the first time, the Intelligent Personal Assistant responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. The driver and passengers can speak with “him”, he is capable of learning and he gets better at his job all the time. The Intelligent Personal Assistant opens up a whole new avenue of interaction between the driver and car. It is a digital vehicle expert, knows the most important functions of the car and can explain them; if the driver wants to access navigation, office or entertainment functions, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is there to help. One unique feature over other digital assistants is that drivers can give him a name, so they can activate him by saying “Hey Charlie”, for example, and therefore give him an even more defined personality. The Intelligent Personal Assistant awaits the driver’s every command and is always there to assist them. BMW is also taking a leading role in progress towards automated driving in the midsize class, thanks to a significantly extended range of driver assistance systems.
A new chapter is set to be added to BMW’s fascinating history of roadster-making. The protagonist in question is the new BMW Z4, which will celebrate its show premiere in the French capital. The new version of the open-top two-seater exudes pure sporting pedigree at first glance with its emotionally powerful body design in the brand’s new design language, its classical soft-top roof with electric operation and its driver-focused interior. The dynamic potential of the new BMW Z4 is rooted in a range of extensively upgraded engines, a new chassis design and an extremely rigid body structure. Wide tracks, well balanced proportions and a compact wheelbase enhance the car’s handling agility. And its central seating position, minimised weight and low centre of gravity provide a ticket to intense driving pleasure. The new BMW Operating System 7.0 takes control and operation to an even higher level and makes use of 10.25-inch colour displays for both the digital instrument cluster and central monitor.
At the pinnacle of the three-pronged Z4 range is a BMW M Performance model. The new BMW Z4 M40i (fuel consumption combined: 7.4 – 7.1 l/100 km [38.2 – 39.8 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 168 – 162 g/km) is fitted with a six-cylinder in-line engine developing 250 kW/340 hp, comes as standard with features including Adaptive M Sport suspension, variable sport steering, M Sport brakes, an electronically controlled M Sport rear differential, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels and high-performance tyres, and dispatches the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.5 seconds.
The new BMW 8 Series Coupe also gets its first taste of the car show spotlight at the Paris event. It combines the dynamic credentials of a high-calibre sports car both visually and technologically with the exclusivity of a luxurious coupe. The new design language, laced with clarity and precision, expresses an unmistakable sporting aesthetic. The body structure, powertrain and chassis technology of the 8 Series Coupe are geared squarely to delivering a standout driving experience of sporting intent. All of which provides an extremely dynamic initiation into the luxury segment for the brand’s model offensive. The new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s ultra-advanced control & display, driver assistance and connectivity equipment roster also contributes to the car’s exclusive, innovative character.
The resemblance of the 8 Series Coupe to the BMW M8 GTE endurance racer is highlighted particularly vividly by the BMW M Performance model available from launch. The new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe (fuel consumption combined: 10.5 – 10.0 l/100 km [26.9 – 28.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 240 – 228 g/km) is powered by a new V8 petrol engine developing 390 kW/530 hp and making its debut in the car. The torque-rich power unit, chassis technology developed with motor sport expertise and an M Sport differential imbue the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe with thrilling performance characteristics. Joining the V8 in the range is a six-cylinder in-line diesel engine producing 235 kW/320 hp, which takes care of power in the new BMW 840d xDrive (fuel consumption combined: 6.2 – 6.1 l/100 km [45.6 – 46.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 164 – 160 g/km). Both model variants have intelligent all-wheel drive and also come as standard with Adaptive M suspension and Integral Active Steering.
The world premiere of the new BMW X5 at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 writes the next chapter in the successful history of the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). The fourth generation of the BMW X family’s founding father excels with majestically assured driving properties and numerous innovative equipment features. The new exterior design language clearly emphasises the presence, authority and robustness of the new BMW X5. The interior, meanwhile, blends generous levels of space with modern design and a luxurious ambience.
An upgraded range of engines, the latest generation of the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a raft of chassis systems included in a BMW X model for the first time generate the signature SAV combination of ride comfort, off-road performance and sporty road handling. Contributory factors here include two-axle air suspension, Integral Active Steering and the Off-Road package. A significantly expanded selection of innovative driver assistance systems now also includes the Steering and lane control assistant, and Reversing Assistant. Added to which, the new BMW X5 is fitted as standard with BMW Live Cockpit Professional. Working in tandem with BMW Operating System 7.0, it enables system operation to be adapted even more precisely to the driver’s wishes.
The BMW Group is pushing the appeal of electric mobility to ever greater heights on the back of its unstinting research and development work. The latest fruits of its labour are new high-voltage batteries, which significantly increase the operating range of purely electrically powered BMW i cars. The latest-generation batteries will be fitted in the BMW i3 (120 Ah) and BMW i3s (120 Ah), which will be presented for the first time at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018. The new lithium-ion batteries have an increased cell capacity of 120 ampere-hours (Ah), which now brings into play ranges of 360 kilometres / 224 miles (BMW i3) and 330 – 345 kilometres / 205 – 214 miles (BMW i3s) according to the NEDC cycle, or 285 – 310 kilometres / 177 – 193 miles (BMW i3) and 270 – 285 kilometres / 168 – 177 miles (BMW i3s) as per the WLTP procedure. In everyday driving, the range of both models has increased by almost 30 per cent to a maximum 260 kilometres (162 miles). And they now offer a better balance than ever between range, environment-friendliness and a driving experience defined by the brand’s signature sporting ability and intelligent connectivity. All of which sees BMW i strengthen its position as an innovation leader and trailblazer for future-focused electric mobility characterised by driving pleasure and outstanding everyday usability.
Alongside the introduction of the new high-voltage battery, a Sport package will be offered for the BMW i3 for the first time. This comprises sports suspension (including a drop in ride height), wider tracks, 20-inch light-alloy wheels and black wheel arch surrounds. Also available for the BMW i3 and BMW i3s will be Adaptive LED headlights with matrix function for the high beam, the new exterior paint shade Jucaro Beige metallic, a new colour scheme for the interior design variant Loft, the Navigation system Business with optimised menu navigation and the telephony with wireless charging and WiFi hotspot options.
The BMW stand at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 also has a world premiere in store for fans of high-performance cars, as BMW M GmbH unveils the most powerful and sportiest variant of its high-performance sedan – the new BMW M5 Competition – for the first time in Paris. Engine output raised by 19 kW/25 hp (over the standard version of the new BMW M5) to 460 kW/625 hp, even more direct response and bespoke chassis tuning serve up a driving experience inspired overtly by motor sport competition. The new BMW M5 Competition also channels its power via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and M xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. The specific power delivery of the V8 engine, which gains from upgrades to various details, is reflected in a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time now reduced to 3.3 seconds. The new BMW M5 Competition hits 200 km/h (124 mph) from rest in 10.8 seconds.
A model-specific M Sport exhaust system, bespoke engine mounting and exclusive 20-inch M light-alloy wheels round off the elite athlete’s performance-enhancing package. Special design features in high-gloss black and “Competition” lettering added to the “M5” badge on the boot lid point to the exceptional dynamic potential of the new flagship model.
If you are a BMW traditionalist there is a lot wrong with an X2.
Starting with it being a “X” model, and thus a Sports Activity Vehicle (aka SUV) even if in junior SAV mode, and thus not a sports sedan or sports car like as a “proper” BMW.
It has 3 cylinders, which is exactly half the number it “should have”.
And, perhaps more importantly it is front wheel drive, which is the work of the devil as far as a traditionalist is concerned.
So, the burning question is, does it drive and feel like a BMW?
And the answer is a resounding "yes".
Thanks to a generous loan for an entire weekend donated by Brighton BMW to be auctioned as part of the fund raiser for the Royal Children Hospital on Good Friday, I was able to take an X2 on the club’s drive to Healesville Sanctuary and for the rest of the weekend which provided a great mix of roads and conditions.
And if you think an X2 is an odd choice for such a prize, let me stress that this was largely my choice with an eye on my next vehicle purchase.
Such are the ravages of time that my wife (Shaaron) and I have to face the fact that getting in and out of low slung sports cars on a daily basis is a thing of the past.
The X2 has the higher H-Point (or hip point, seat in plain speak) which is better for us oldies and also young families hauling kids into car seats – back breaking work in a sedan. It also gives more apparent leg room as one’s lower legs are more vertical.
First up, looks – a very personal thing. But I think the X2 hits the marks, not obviously a SAV and certainly not a dull hatchback. I like it. The BMW roundel on the C pillar harks back to the fabulous E9 2.5/2.8/3.0 coupes. It still has dual round headlamps flanking the iconic kidney grilles, but now the grilles are wider at the bottom than at the top. Still instantly recognisable as a BMW.
The loaner did not have Comfort Access so I had to go to the enormous effort of actually using the key to unlock the car. But it did have keyless start.
Once inside I felt right at home. Unmistakably BMW. The wheel to pedal placement, the layout of the controls, all exactly as expected and a perfect fit. Except, that is, for the gear lever which is a little bit too low and forward for me.
Tom from Brighton BMW quickly paired my phone and the contacts list uploaded in no time. The latest iDrive system is similar but different from the 2008 spec in my daily drive, but easy to use without training and a very nice clear display. I’m not keen on touch screens in cars even when operated by the passenger, and this one quickly had a few finger marks on it from our experimentation. Best avoided I think. The iDrive does it all anyway.
The door mirrors are a nice and large with a commanding view. The same can not be said for the interior mirror or over the shoulder where the view out is hampered by the attractive swoopy styling.
Fear not, as a reversing camera is included with trace lines to show you where you are going and multiple alerts from front and rear parking sensors to show you what you are about to hit, including kerbs when parallel parking. And it works properly in the dark. And while we are talking about parking, I found it to be especially easy with a very good turning circle and nice short overhangs.
The loaner was a s18i, so 2 wheel drive and 1.5 litre 3 cylinder turbo petrol, none of which is apparent when driving unless really pushed. Producing 103 kW it is certainly not an M-Car but it scoots along perfectly well, surprisingly quickly in fact. To put it in perspective, my 1981 323i (described as the ultimate sports sedan in many reviews when new in 1978) has about the same power although slightly less mass.
Certainly I did not find it wanting and it compared favourably with my daily drive E90 320d, although it did not have the wall of torque the diesel provides.
As with most new cars now it has Stop/Start functionality to turn the engine off when stopped in traffic. Unlike most systems, this one does not, illogically, turn the engine on when the parking brake is applied and the foot brake released.
The 7 speed auto is silky smooth and unobtrusive in traffic, holding onto gears slightly longer when in Eco-Pro mode, which makes the car feel slightly heavier and lethargic but still acceptable. Personally, I think I would just use the Comfort mode most of the time but I’d be interested to see what actual improvement in economy it produces. During my testing the system told me I gained 4.2 km during a 60 km drive. If that was maintained my credit card would tell me to use Eco-Pro quite often!
Sport mode spices things up and is ideal for more spirited driving on the open road where the steering also comes to life with plenty of feel and weight. And if that is not enough the auto gearbox can be operated manually, and I mean manually. It will stick with the gear you have chosen unless the road speeds falls too low!
Even though we had nice sunny weather on our drive, the leather (or fake leather) dash covering did not reflect in the windscreen – which is a problem I usually have. And the optional panoramic roof fitted made the interior light and airy.
Our route to Healesville, expertly selected by Peter Williams, included some town driving to get out of the city limits and some twisty roads to have some fun. The road surfaces varied and included a representative sample of VicRoads’s finest to some needing a lot of TLC.
Although many reviews describe the X2’s ride as jiggerly on the press car’s optional M Sport set up, I found the standard set up’s ride compliant and the body movements well controlled. Just about perfect in fact.
The loan car did not have the optional automatic climate control which presents another 1st world problem, manually controlling the temperature controls! But, more annoyingly in traffic, a feature of many recent model BMWs is that the recirculation control repeatedly turned itself off. Probably fixable with a laptop or Carly.
I thought the Xenon headlamps on my 320d were good, but the X2 is better again, although I did not have chance to try the updated adaptive headlamp operation.
Understandably, the boot is smaller than my current 320d, but still big enough to get two suitcases in, which is about all we are routinely likely to put in there. And the back seat does fold.
Whilst we are at the back of the car, the rear seat has plenty of leg room. I could easily sit behind myself, if you know what I mean. And there is plenty of head room for my long-body-for-my-height frame.
In summary, would I buy one. I think, yes - and there is now an X2 M35i. Don’t tempt me!
N.B: Cover photo via BMW Press Club.
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