Hot in the Lot: BMW ShowcaseNEIRAD enilno edition
Six kids, six cars, and one brand that has had the largest impact on the automotive industry that the world has ever seen. BMW changed the way people all over the world viewed the concept of transportation. Bavarian Motor Werks altered the definition of what a vehicle is, and, as a result, changed the mindset of the driver. There is a reason why the iconic BMW roundel is one of the most coveted in the world, not because of the exclusivity, the luxury, or the status, but because BMWs never fail to be the most complete and rewarding vehicles a person can ever own.
See, there is something very cunning about the brand that you do not hear from the owners, the mechanics, or even, surprisingly, the salesmen. The dealership doesn’t tell you, and there is no statement of this attribute in the owner’s manual or window sticker, yet it is probably the most significant standard feature. BMWs are addictive. Once someone owns a BMW, once someone experiences driving a BMW every day, most of the time, he or she cannot bear to own any other vehicle. When owners grasp the succulent steering wheel with their hands and move the confidence inspiring gear shifter, they ascend into a trance. It is a trance of control, ability, and oneness with the vehicle and the road – because they know how the vehicle will feel gliding into turns with crisp precision, perfectly balanced with all four tires glued to the pavement. The refined hum of the engine provides a most satisfying soundtrack, and the power never fails to entice a grin. Simply put, other cars are nothing more than a disappointment. BMW spoils its customers with the perfect compromise between luxury and performance, and after driving one every day, it becomes something you just modestly cannot live without. There is a difference between BMWs and all other practical car manufacturers, and it really comes down to the mindset of the driver. If you want a vehicle to get from point A to point B, buy a Ford, Chevy, Toyota, or Honda; but if you want a vehicle to drive from point A to point B, get a BMW.
BMW offers a lineup of nine different vehicles. Each vehicle is classified as a number series. There are five car series’ from smallest to largest, denoted as the 1-series, 3-series, 5 series, 6-series and 7-series. In addition there are two SUVs, the X3 and the X5. One distinct roadster exists in the lineup, the Z4. There is a reason why BMW offers so many ‘car’ solutions for its customers. BMW’s roots come from creating the first sports sedan, a practical car with four doors to fit the whole family, but all the while retaining the performance and handling characteristics of a sports car. Beginning with the BMW 2002, a car produced from 1962-1975 which was the predecessor to the future generations of the 3-Series, BMW was adamant about creating fun and practical sports sedans to fit everyone’s needs. As time progressed demand for larger sedans led to the development of the 5-series and 7-series sports sedans. BMW took their sport sedan platform of the 5-series and fitted it beneath a new coupe, or two-door body, to give birth to the BMW 6-series. Similarly, the three series chassis was adapted to fit a roadster body, which gave rise to the Z family of BMWs.
Until the year 2000, all BMWs were cars, low to the ground and predominantly rear wheel drive, however in 2000 BMW made an attempt to appeal to a changing market and offer a Sports Utility Vehicle. The X5 was BMW’s first shot at an SUV, and from the beginning it was incredibly successful.
The reason why the X5 was such a successful SUV despite the fact that BMW was somewhat of a novice in the field of off road vehicles, was because engineers at BMW took the attributes that made each sport sedan so capable, such as multi-link independent front and rear suspensions with aluminum components, isolated subframe structures in the front and rear, hydraulic rack and pinion steering, and low centers of gravity, to make the BMW X5 SUV, handle and perform similarly to the 5-series chassis beneath it. The result was a confidence-inspiring SUV that gripped the road like none other in its class. The fear that BMW would lose their niche was quickly quelled when the public saw and drove the introductory X5.
In 2003 BMW scaled down the X5, which was based on the 5-series platform, and introduced the X3, a smaller SUV based on the 3-series platform. The X3 contained all of the X5’s SUV properties in a smaller, lighter package. In 2008 BMW launched a SUV coupe, the X6, or the SUV version of the BMW 6 series. This controversial vehicle is much like the 6-Series coupe, large with sleek styling that compromise its practicality. The BMW lineup offers solutions for everyone to wear the renowned BMW badge, even if it is simply commuting to school every day.