The 8-series' rebirth has been much hyped globally—the original V12 powered 8 from the 90s became an icon even though it was a sales flop, and BMW fans have been screaming for it to make a return. The 8 looks gorgeous in the flesh, with sleek lines and Grand Tourer proportions that make this gentleman's racer a salivating prospect.
Z4 M40i First Edition
BMW redefined open-top performance with the original Z4, but it wasn’t pretty. That's about to change with the all-new Z4, which has the styling to back up punchy performance and spirited underpinnings that will be shared with Toyota for its new Supra. It's a looker from most angles and there's no doubt about the potential underneath.
The X7 concept study looked at what a 7-series off-roader would look like, and it looks good—7 seats, all-wheel drive, packed with luxury goodies and a dignified exterior that would fit right into presidential motorcades and football club car-parks. BMW's vision of a flagship SUV looks as good as the Rolls Royce Cullinan it's rumoured to be a sister car to. Minus the grille.
BMW has renewed its commitment to sustainable motoring with two new “i” models—the i8 Roadster and the i3S. Both are trying to use performance and driving thrill to sell the idea of electrics and hybrids, and it seems to be working.
The M4 CS is the hardcore, track ready version of the already brilliant M4, featuring lighter wheels, more carbon fiber for reduced weight, more power and better brakes and suspension. The interior gets alcantara and bucket seats and paint options that can hold its own at any tuner show for some boy-racer street cred. The TwinPower Turbo inline 6- motor makes 460 HP and 442 lb-ft torque, with a 0-60 time of 3.9 secs and a top speed of 174 MPH.
Similar to the M4 CS, the M2 gets a hardcore makeover for 2019. The M2 has already gained accolades for being a true drivers' car, with an inline-six motor that can trace its roots back to the early 90s and a manual gearbox that utilises all of the power it produces. The Competition gets beefier aero, bigger brakes and reduced weight for more agility.
AWD seemed to be a big talking point when the G30 M5 was released some months ago. We're happy to report the G30 is still an absolute maniac—we'd know, having driven it at the event. Official test drive will come soon.
The i3B BEV is the extended range version of the first gen i3, and we got the chance to take it out for a spin at the BMW World event. While not as exciting as having a go at the many horsepower M5, the i3 was still an eye-opener with its fantastic performance and economy tradeoffs. Full review coming soon.
E46 M3 CSL, E39 M5
The Classics section had a couple of recent models, like the laser sharp E46 M3 CSL and the iconic E39 M5. While they're still fresh in memory of the enthusiasts, they serve as good markers for how far the BMW brand has come in the last decade, in technology and the way driving thrill is delivered to users.
Isetta, 327 Cabriolet
The Classics section had a couple of reminders of how new cars stack up next to originals—there's a definite link between the Isetta and the i3S (with their unconventional entry/egress and city driving commitment) as well as the 327 Cabriolet and the Z4 (open top motoring and the glamour associated with it).
Mini got its own corner at BMW World, with a fantastic display consisting of a restored original Mini next to a recreation of Mini designer Sir Alec Issigonis' personal design studio/study.
Paul Smith Mini
The Paul Smith Mini is a throwback to the cult of personality that the Mini inspired in pop-culture, as well as the 60s and 70s aesthetic. If only someone did this to a newer Mini.
Photos: Shaer Reaz