Text: Derryn Wong
Photos: Jonathan Lim, Derryn Wong
Breaking news: New BMW Z4 shares world premiere at 2018 BMW World Of Passion And Joy Singapore.
As you’ve already read on CarBuyer.com.sg, BMW World is here in Singapore, and being held at Suntec City on August 25 to 26, 2018.
And if you didn’t read it well, here’s a recap because we’re nice that way: BMW World 2018 (or to give its full name, ‘BMW World Of Passion And Joy’) is an exhibition and celebration of all things Bayerische Motoren Werke. Tickets cost $20 a head, but kids below 18 get in for free.
In the brand’s own words, or rather those of BMW Asia’s new incoming boss Christopher Wehner, it’s a brand journey showing off bright sparks from the marque’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.
The showfloor is split into different segments showcasing the various facets of BMW:
BMW i and iPerformance
BMW Dynamic (regular cars)
The four models launching in Singapore are: The BMW i8 Roadster, BMW 2 Series LCI in both Active Tourer and Gran Tourer forms, and the new BMW X4.
On showcase, but not for sale yet, were the BMW M2 Competition, BMW 8 Series, and BMW X7 Concept iPerformance, and the almost-world premiere of the new BMW Z4.
From BMW’s past…
BMW E46 M3 CSL
While the first-gen E30 M3 remains the King of the M3 Legend Hill, this one comes very close to the summit. The ‘L’ standing for ‘light’, and compared to the stock car it weighed 100kg less, and the experience from behind the wheel shows it in stacks. Sadly, you can’t say as much with its current ‘homage’ model, the M3 CS.
The spiritual ancestor of the current BMW i3 electric city car, the Isetta was a two-person microcar that was a totally unexpected success for the brand, selling more than 160,000 of them by the end of the model life, and one of its first forays into alternative mobility.
BMW E39 M5
BMW’s first V8-powered M5 became a legend for many reasons, but primarily because it set new standards in being fast, powerful, yet accessible and enjoyable to drive quickly. It was also one of the first to pack satellite navigation (involving the relic tech known as a ‘compact disc’ and even on-board TV.
BMW’s Singapore Launch Models
BMW i8 Roadster
Looks tell you pretty much all you need to here: It’s a stunningly beautiful version of an already lovely car, the drop-top edition of the i8 eco-sports-coupe, with its fabric soft-top that folds away in 15-seconds. Like the updated Coupe, the Roadster has an electric range of up to 53km, with 374hp in total from its plug-in hybrid drive system. The i8 Roadster goes for $634,999 with COE.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer
LCI is BMW-speak for ‘facelift’ and that’s what the new 2 Series ‘Tourer’ range gets, consisting of the Active Tourer (five-seat) and Gran Tourer (seven-seat). New are the front and rear aprons, plus modified kidney grilles, with two new colours (Jucaro Beige and Sunset Orange), the latest version of BMW iDrive, black panel instruments, and redesigned seats.
Both 2 Series MPVs are 216i models, which have a turbocharged, 1.5-litre inline three-cylinder engine with 109hp and 190Nm or torque, making them Cat A friendly. The 216i Active Tourer retails at $142,888 with COE. The 216i Gran Tourer comes in Sport ($158,888 with COE) and Luxury ($164,888 with COE) editions.
As covered in our international test drive of the new second-gen X4 earlier in July, the coupe-like SUV takes the X3 as its base, and sets out to do sportier, more coupier things, and largely succeeds.
For Singapore currently are two petrol models: The X4 xDrive20i X Line at $226,888 with COE. The car is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 184hp, 290Nm of torque.
There’s also the X4 xDrive30i M Sport at $266,888 with COE. This model has a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 252hp and 350Nm of torque.
BMW’s sneak preview models
Just hours after it was officially unveiled at Pebble Beach, California, the new BMW Z4 roadster made its first regional appearance at BMW World Singapore 2018.
The new Z4 M40i First Edition model appeared in Frozen Orange Metallic, with a 3.0-litre 340hp engine under the bonnet, it hits 100km/h from 0 in 4.6 seconds.
The car, co-developed with Toyota whose model will become the new Supra, boasts 50-50 weight distribution and a folding soft-top. This should save weight over the previous Z4, which was less than stellar in terms of its driving dynamics.
Check out our Facebook page to watch our walkaround video of the new Z4 from Suntec City and to see the car’s soft-top folding roof in action.
BMW M2 Competition
Harder, faster, stronger, but not nuts. That’s ‘Competition’ in a nutshell, marking out a new power-step-up in the BMW M range, although this, the improved BMW M2 Competition, actually replaces the current M2. Well, read the review and it’ll all become clear.
BMW X7 Concept iPerformance
You’ve read it here on CarBuyer before – the sharp end of the SUV segment has gotten really, really pointy in the past few years, with Audi, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche joining the super-lux SUV segment, even Rolls-Royce is joining in on the fun. The BMW X7, confirmed for production but shown here in Concept form, is Munich’s take on mixing the prowess of the 7 Series luxury limo with an X body.
BMW 8 Series
After the death of the original 6 Series (its successor was never quite up to the mark), BMW had no grand tourer at the top end of things, but now the 8 Series is here to show the S-Class Coupe and others, that they can’t have all the fun to themselves.