THE JOY OF DRIVING
HERITAGE CARS, NEWLY-LAUNCHED MODELS AND A SURPRISING DEBUT ENLIVEN BMW WORLD OF PASSION AND JOY. JOEZER MANDAGI REPORTS FROM SINGAPORE
Last august, the bmw world experience came to singapore. The two day event was held at the suntec singapore international convention and exhibition centre, and allowed fans of the brand, automotive connoisseurs and just about anybody interested in cars to come face-to-face with historic bmw models, explore the history of the mini, get up close and personal with concept cars and become some of the first people in the world to witness the debut of a new car or two.
fortunately, i had the opportunity to roam around the grounds of the aptly titled bmw world of passion and Joy a day before the exhibit opened its doors to an expectant public. below are some of the highlights from the show.
The Appetizer: History and Bestsellers
one of the great things about joining the media event portion of bmw world of passion and Joy was the guided tour across the whole exhibit. The whole area was actually divided into several thematic sections and going through them in sequence felt logical. That being said, there were several—three, to be exact—highlights that i would say are the most exciting reveals, especially for us here in indonesia. now. to build up to those three top stories, perhaps we could take a look first at some of the other focal points across bmw world of passion and Joy.
iconic heritage bmws were the first to greet visitors. from the legendary m5 from 1998 to the diminutive isetta, this opening lineup perfectly illustrated the length and breadth of bmw history. in stark contrast to these oldsters, the bmw concept x7 iperformance showcased where the brand will be heading in the future. same thing with the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid bmw i8 roadster.
“Next we have a model that arguably drew the most attention: the all new BMW 8 Series, a ‘ redefinition of the sports car’”
of course, no bmw exhibit would be complete without a corner for mini. in this case, visitors were invited to go through The mini story, covering the history of the brand, a replica of the historical workshop where the iconic model was born, innovative technologies just around the corner—including its augmented reality glasses—and, most impressively, the vibrant designer mini by paul smith, one of three designer minis presented by rover as part of mini’s 40th anniversary in 1998.
The Main Course: Future Favorites
it’s definitely hard to pick a couple of favorites from all the models on display at bmw world of passion and Joy—but there are two new cars that are particularly exciting and doubtlessly relevant to the indonesian market.
first up is the bmw x4. This couple-like suv boasts—among other things—a mighty six-cylinder in-line engine, bmw’s xdrive all-wheel-drive system for superior handling and off-road capabilities, m sport brakes, optional adaptive suspension ... the list goes on. essentially, this is a car that takes any kind of terrain in stride. and it does so in style and comfort. The new x4 comes with all the bells and whistles one could expect from a car this caliber, but one aspect that was clearly demonstrated in singapore was its roomy interior. and bmw did so by having a troupe of acrobatic dancers include dive through the cabin as part of their entertainment routine.
next we have a model that arguably drew the most attention: the all new bmw 8 series. it is, the brand claims, a “redefinition of the sports car.” That might just be an understatement. Low-slung and eye-catching, this sleek coupe is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-litre v8 producing 530hp. This allows the car to go from zero to 100—the so-called “century dash”—in a staggering 3.7 seconds. it’s clean and contemporary aesthetics, both inside and out, make it the perfect gentleman’s car.
Dessert: The Debut
chronologically, this was one of the first models i got to see at bmw world of passion and Joy’s media event. but it certainly makes for an amazing closing chapter for this story. i am talking, of course, about the new bmw Z4. in fact, the unveiling of the car in singapore happened at very same day as the car world premiere at the concours d’elegance event held at pebble beach, california. if anything, it goes to show once again just how important this region has become to bmw.
as for the car itself, the new bmw Z4 looks much more masculine than its predecessor and has the specs to match. its straight six-cylinder engine delivers a solid 340hp and allows the car to go from zero to 100kph in a mere 4.6 seconds. and topping it all off, the Z4 sports a very expressive frozen orange paintjob that gives it an extra sporty flair. for sure, this is a perfect embodiment of what the “passion and joy” for driving a bmw is all about.
BMW World of Passion and Joy’s “Independent” section, the newly unveiled BMW Z4, the BMW 8 Series Opposite page The “Dynamic” corner at the exhibition