Showtime: BMW World of Passion and Joy 2018

All things considered, it’s been a pretty good season for automotive enthusiasts on our local island with F1 right around the corner, plenty of small grassroots styled meets happening (like our very own Cars & Kopi) and a number of events brought onto the scene by manufacturers themselves.

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One of these shows is of course, BMW World. Put together by the awesome people at BMW Asia, it showcases a number of the Bavarian marque’s latest offerings along with some of their heritage autos under one very well presented roof.

Having missed the media presentation day due to work, I managed to arrange for a special “early bird” visit an hour before the door opened to the general public. Big thanks to BMW Asia for their hospitality.

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Because there was really quite a lot UDMs to look at, I’ve decided to cherry pick some favourites. Let’s go!

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The biggest surprise was no doubt having the latest Z4 on the show floor. Having this car here was supposedly a really hush hush affair that only the top BMW Asia management folk knew about. It was flown in under wraps and driven into the show hall (still under covers) literally hours after its Worldwide debut at Pebble Beach halfway around the World.

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To have the only other production prototype in the World sitting here in Singapore was really something special and for a BMW fan, just having this car here is probably well worth the cost of entry. I will do a separate piece of the Z4 later so let’s move on to another star of the show.

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The 8 Series. M850i to be exact. Having seen the pictures and watched the videos, it still was quite a sight to behold in the metal.

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While pictures still show a pretty large car being substantially wide and long, they don’t quite convey the rest of the surfacing that goes on with the elegant bodywork.

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There are plenty of really lovely angles to take in and overall, it is a really pretty car to look at even though the car’s Barcelona Blue hue does feel a little dull for such a car.

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I’ll take mine in Sonic speed blue or Sunset orange, please.

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Sometimes, coming in early means certain cars remained under covers. Not a real issue as the car cover was promptly taken off minutes before the doors opened.

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I will reserve judgement on this but I do hope they tone down that monstrously big kidney grille. At the same time, I do wonder how much Rolls Royce Cullinan is inside this car too.

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The beautiful new i8 Roadster also had its first local outing at this event and once again, it is a car that looks a lot better in real life.

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I’ll be honest, the i8 looks so good and so natural with its roof chopped off it makes you wonder if this was how it should have been designed in the first place, especially when you consider its slightly more GT drive characteristics when compared to its rivals. Imagine that, cruising down with the roof removed in complete E-drive silence.

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E-Copper is also a very nice colour to see in the flesh. Hopefully, a test drive will be possible in the near future. BMW Asia, if you are reading this, may we please? (with a cherry on top?)

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Another surprising highlight for me was this M2 Competition fully, and I mean fully, decked out in M Performance parts. Looking like it will be more at home on the show floors of the Tokyo Auto Salon this M2 Competition had a ton of carbon goodies optioned on. Carbon bonnet, carbon front splitter, spoiler, engine cover, the works.

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Oh yes, it also had the best looking wheels for the entire event. These gorgeous forged Style 763M finished in gold. When was the last time you saw wheels being offered by a manufacturer in gold?

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Black car, gold wheels. Perfect combo. Game over!

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The price for all these factory optioned accessories? Um… Let’s just say it’s somewhat substantial.

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I heard this M4 CS was sold later in the day. I’ll still take the Black Gold M2 Competition.

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Lurking in the back of the BMW M stand was the new M5 in standard trim. With the Competition variant now already out, I think most will probably go for the hotter variant.

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How many Hrsprs? BMW says 600, but we all know how conservative BMW are with their official figures and recent independent test (courtesy of IND Distribution and AMS Performance) have netted a spectacular dyno result of 625 horses at the wheels and a cool 824 Newton Meters of twisting force. Knowing how capable recent Turbo-ed M engines have been at churning out massive numbers, I don’t think it will be long before we see the M5’s S63 cross the 1000 horsepower mark. Of course, if you ever feel brave enough to venture into the abyss of speed and power, don’t bet on your warranty holding up.

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Of course, we can’t forget the modern classic (and true classic) autos that have contributed to the reputation of Bayerische Motoren Werke, can we? No! of course not, so here are some handpicked cars that were showcased at the event. These are all cars owned by individuals and private collectors hence the velvet ropes.

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The E46 M3 CSL. Another one of M Division’s Perfect cars that stays true to the CSL development ethos of less weight, more power, and a very limited production run.

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The E39 M5, also regarded by many as one of BMW M’s best. The one and only NA V8 M5, also known as the “Madonna” M5. With the recent rise in classic car values, prices of used E39 M5s have also ridden a steady stream uphill. An almost unused E39 M5 is set to be auctioned off soon at Pebble Beach and valuers have mentioned it might go for between 140-180k USD.

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The perfect 2 car garage for many a BMW fan.

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Cute little Isetta we recently saw at Cars & Kopi sitting pretty next to its fire-breathing cousins.

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Speaking of heritage, you can’t do a Mini showcase without the classic cars that started it all right?

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Another beautifully kept locally owned car. I need one of my own one day.

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Nice looking Clubman but one with a rarely seen (locally at least) All4 badge. All4 of course meaning, all-wheel drive. A rarely spec-ed option here.

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Rounding off our event report is the Paul Smith Mini. Yes, the actual Paul Smith Mini. 1 of 3 classic Mini art cars that were commissioned back in 1999 for the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the iconic car. The 2 other cars were designed by Kate Moss and the late great David Bowie.

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