11 things to see at BMW World 2018 Singapore

Leow Ju-Len

The BMW World of Passion and Joy is rolling into town next weekend at Suntec. Here’s what to expect
SINGAPORE — BMW World 2018 is right around the corner. Time-wise, that is. Unless you live on Beach Road, in which case it’s right around the corner from you spatially, because it’s happening at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Let’s take that from the top, shall we?
BMW World 2018 is kicking off on August 25 (and wrapping up on August 26) at Suntec. The event is actually called “BMW World of Passion and Joy”, which gives you some idea of what you can expect to see there. Basically, if you’re a BMW fan, you might want to bring some wet wipes.
Incoming BMW Asia boss Christopher Wehner calls the exhibition a “brand journey”, in that it will highlight cars from BMW’s past, present and future. “In addition, for the first time in Singapore, we’re launching at once four new models and showcasing an additional two models, including the much anticipated BMW Concept X7 iPerformance,” he said in a statement.
Mini will also be there, with a heritage display called The Mini Story that dwells on five chapters in the brand’s history.
Tickets cost S$20 per adult (even very short ones) because hiring a whole exhibition hall isn’t cheap, but also because there will genuinely be a lot to see. That said, anyone under 18 gets in for free (even very tall ones).
We’ve rounded up some highlights…

BMW Concept X7 iPerformance

What is it?
An über gross (that’s just German for “very big”) crossover with seven-seats that’s strictly only just a concept car
Why is it interesting?
Because BMW is going to build it, and it’s going to be huge, in-yer-face and super plush. Basically, it’s what you upgrade to from a long wheelbase 7 Series. So gaze on its massive massiveness at Suntec to decide if you want one.

BMW 327 Convertible

What is it?
A plucky, 55 horsepower cabrio that burst onto the scene 81 years ago, in BMW’s infancy. A coupe version followed a year later.
Why is it interesting?
So many reasons! It was one of the earliest BMWs to have a double kidney grille. It was built in Eisenach, which was cut-off from the rest of BMW after Germany was carved into two following World War 2, meaning an unknown number of bootleg examples were built, until the Eisenachers finally agreed to change the name of their ex-BMW factory to “EMW” (surely you can guess why). Also, it’s not super expensive; you can probably pick one up for around S$300,000 if you really want one. Maybe S$200,000 if you buy a coupe instead.
BMW 2 Series LCI

What is it?
Facelifted versions of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, respectively, five and seven-seat mini Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPVs). That’s what LCI (or Life Cycle Impulse) means in BMW-speak, by the way.
Why’s it interesting?
These have been strong sellers for BMW (proving that nice badge plus practicality equal big money in Singapore), and they’ve been updated with a twin-clutch transmission, plus some cosmetic upgrades. Can’t tell? Neither can we. That’s why you should go to Suntec, where BMW is launching them.

What is it?
The svelte new “Sport Activity Coupe” that our editor, Jerky McJerkface, got to drive in America a few months ago.
Why’s it interesting?
It looks good. Need more reason than that? We quite like the latest X3 for its refinement and size. This has the former, but trades some of the latter for sharper looks. It’s roomier than the previous model, mind you. BMW is launching it at Suntec, too.
Designer Mini by Paul Smith

What is it?
A commemorative 40th anniversary car that was one of three Designer Minis commissioned in 1998.
Why’s it interesting?
No, we don’t know who Paul Smith is either, but those stripes are pretty. Also, old Mini fans (and they seem countless in number) will drool at the chance to see a pristine Issigonis (i.e. original) example, while younger ones will finally understand why they’re actually called “minis”.
BMW M5 (E39 model)

What is it?
Basically, the great-grandfather of the current, monstrous M5.
Why’s it interesting?
It was the first V8 M5, the last one to come with a manual gearbox, and it came from an era when understated looks were appreciated. Also, it sounded like thunder and went like… oh boy, did it go. The older guys in the office still get weak-kneed about how involving this one was.
BMW M2 Competition

What is it?
A sharper, slightly more powerful version of the M2, BMW M’s pocket rocket coupe.
Why’s it interesting?
Are you kidding? It embodies everything that’s best about BMW. Jerky McJerkface drove it a month ago in Spain and his face hasn’t unpuckered from the experience yet. It’s more responsive, more planted and more pointy on turn in, apparently.
BMW Isetta

What is it?
A bubble car that BMW licensed from Iso, an Italian car company.

Why’s it interesting?
It’s 10 years after the war (you know which one) and, like just about everyone else in Germany at the time, BMW is pretty broke. The answer? Licence a cheap microcar from Italy and sell lots of them. BMW, being BMW, put its own engines in and eventually re-engineered it so heavily that apparently, no parts are interchangeable between an original Iso Isetta and a BMW one. Did it work financially? Not really. By 1959, BMW was on the verge of being taken over by Daimler-Benz. Industrialist Herbert Quandt saved the day by buying it instead. Good move on his part.

BMW i8 Roadster

What is it?
An updated and roof-less version of BMW’s i8 eco coupe.
Why’s it interesting?
If any car was destined for toplessness, surely the i8 is it? Drive fast, have a blast, save the Earth and let everyone see you doing it — the i8 Roadster is a socially conscious playboy’s dream come true. It’s getting its launch at Suntec, so you’ll find out the price there

BMW M3 CSL (E46)

What is it?
The final, ultra-honed edition of the E46 M3, a car that was pretty hot to begin with.

Why’s it interesting?
The last M3 to be powered by a naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, the E46 belongs in the Temple of Special BMWs. Why? Because it was adroit, driftable and made you feel supremely connected to the action. That high-compression, high-revving straight six has to be heard to be believed, and the complicated exhaust manifold that helped give it its voice has to be seen to be believed.
BMW 8 Series

What is it?
A hot new luxury coupe at which BMW has thrown every bit of its tech know-how.
Why’s it interesting?
Use your eyes. Don’t you want to see that in the flesh?

BONUS: Kidding Around

At Suntec children (as in, actual children. This means not you) ages 1 to 5 can awaken their inner racer by test riding the BMW Baby Racers, BMW RS1200 GS Pedal (above, background) and JCW Go-Kart (above). Children aged 18 months to 3 years will also have the opportunity to participate in an actual (if slightly adorable) race. The child with the fastest time clocked gets to bring a BMW Baby Racer home! Ah, the joys of youth…


BMW World car show exhibtion suntec

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Leow Ju-Len

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