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

DA MAN - - Special Report -

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

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