BMW has been synonymous with making some of the most reliable performance vehicles since its establishment in 1916. Its engineering was remarkably German from start to finish, and its cars have boasted significant motorsport history in some of the most prestigious events, such as Formula 1 and Le Mans 24 Hours race. Now, the Bavarian marque is bringing its unique brand of legacy (and more) to Singapore. Held from 25-26 August 2018 at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the ‘BMW World of Passion and Joy’ will merge the past, present, and future under one roof.
Besides giving fans the rare chance to see well-loved heritage cars, the exhibition will also launch — for the first time here — four new models simultaneously. An additional two models, one being the highly-anticipated BMW Concept X7 iPerformance will be showcased too, adding to the excitement of the two-day, activity-filled event.
Here are some of the many highlights you can expect to see there.
BMW i8 Roadster launch and BMW 8 Series showcase
BMW’s sci-fi poster child just got even cooler. The futuristic and very competent plug-in hybrid has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2014, especially evident from the fact that it now has a topless counterpart. Beneath the recognisable shark-like snout and swooping rear bodywork lies a more advanced powertrain, now upgraded with a battery that provides 141hp, giving a combined power of 374hp and 570Nm with the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. Acceleration to 100kph takes a mere 4.6 seconds — a figure few hybrids on the roads today can claim.
Another addition that’ll fully inherit the brand’s motorsport DNA is the new 8 Series, which took over the 6 Series this year. Introduced as the M850i xDrive, the athletic coupe will house an exhilarating 523 hp 4.4-litre v8 twin turbo powertrain. Performance figures are equally formidable, with the all-wheel drive coupe going from nought to 100kph in 3.7 seconds. Inside, Vernasca leather makes the sporty ride a cushy one to be in, with upgraded interior tech and even a Qi wireless smartphone charging station.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer launch
Driving in the city has seldom been referred to as a pleasant experience, but these newly-redesigned BMW 2 Series are specifically designed to change that perception. These two MPVs feature newly designed lights and grilles on the outside while still retaining their familiar shape. Larger exhaust pipes add a sportier touch to both, a gentle reminder that these may be family cars, but they still mean business. If you thought there weren’t enough colour options available the first time around, BMW has now added Jucaro Beige and Sunset Orange to the mix. There are also new seat and interior material options as well as an array of new wheels to choose from.
While both vehicles feature base models with a 109hp engine, the Active Tourer offers a higher output model with 231hp versus 192hp for the Gran Tourer. Highly efficient diesel and hybrid models offer great usability, whether your 2 Series is primarily used for driving around town or long motorway journeys. Expect an all-electric range of 45 kilometres with the hybrid model, as well as PHEV system technology borrowed from the exotic i8.
BMW X4 launch
Armed with a 355hp straight-six engine, an adaptive M suspension system and a locking rear differential, the BMW X4 is a capable force of nature that would take on menacing terrains with a confident smile. The distinctive slope-roofed SUV has now grown 1.4 inches in width and three inches in length, giving more road presence to the immense and undoubtedly, very spacious ride. A larger kidney grille and redesigned taillights tweak the fascia ever so slightly to give it a more contemporary disposition too.
Inside, BMW pulled all the stops to making the cabin one you wouldn’t want to leave. The crisp 10.25-inch iDrive 6 touchscreen and 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system marries perfectly well with the Vernsasca leather supportive seats.
BMW M2 Competition showcase
Already one of few favourite sports coupes amongst driving purists, the M2 Competition kicks driver engagement up several good notches with a more powerful straight-six engine from the M3 and M4. A whopping 405hp on tap lights up the rear wheels, clocking in a 0-100kph time in as little as 4.2 seconds when equipped with the DCT transmission. Like a proper M car, this will also handle like it’s on rails thanks to a variable limited-slip differential, carbon fibre struts in the engine bay, and racy 265 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres at the rear. You’ll be able to stop pretty quickly as well with either the standard 380mm and 370mm brake calipers set up or the 400mm and 380mm option. On the outside, expect a new dark front-end kidney grill, front bumper, and new five-spoke wheels.
BMW Concept X7 iPerformance showcase
With plans to be positioned above the existing third-generation X5, the new six-seat Concept X7 iPerformance made quite the impact when it was first unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Its upright stance and taut surfacing treatment mirrored the German carmaker’s new take on modern luxury, and saw close parallels to its Vision Future Luxury Concept first shown in Beijing in 2014. While features like the kidney grille, front air vents, and 23-inch wheels have been exaggerated on the concept, it’s a good indication of the level of sophistication to be expected on the production model that’s slated for later this year.
It’ll be suitably larger than the X5, with a dashboard and controls that mark new territory for the X Models. The plug-in petrol-electric powertrain (a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor) in the concept has been engineered to provide more than twice the pure electric range than its existing hybrids too. Inside, futuristic features like gesture control for the passengers and choreographed LED lighting on doors are a few easter eggs that may be carried over to the production version.
BMW Heritage cars
As a manufacturer whose legacy dates back a smidgen over a century, it’s safe to say that BMW has no lack of iconic heritage cars. Besides the legendary M5 (E39) from 1998, which was widely regarded as the benchmark sports saloon of its time, there’s also a 2003 BMW M3 CSL (E46), which once captivated the industry for its use of racing technologies on a street car.
Other classic highlights include the stately BMW 327 cabriolet and the adorable Isetta (pictured above). The former — first launched in 1937 — has been widely lauded through the years for its pre-war sports car looks with post-war performance, while the latter is an Italian-designed, bubble-shaped microcar which BMW re-engineered with its own one-cylinder 13hp motorcycle engine back in 1955.
Of course, it’s not all about cars. BMW brags its solid foundation in the motorcycle sector with a performance by professional mountain bike stunt man Igor Obu, who’ll negotiate the most thrilling manoeuvres during the event. Virtual reality experiences will allow you to delve deep into BMW’s visionary world, and test drives are available should you desire to get behind the wheel personally.
Fans of MINI will also be treated to an in-depth exploration into the five unique chapter of The MINI Story, which covers every aspect of the famous car from design to manufacturing. However, the Designer Mini by Paul Smith — made to celebrate the car’s 40th anniversary in 1998 — easily steals the limelight for its sprightly rainbow-hued and Instagram-friendly stripes.