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BMW Group Take a look at Fest: Luxurious Smorgasbord

10 min read
BMW Group Media Drive


BMW, the posh model from Bavaria, Germany, has constructed fairly a status worldwide for efficiency and extra lately, luxurious.

Though BMW has been promoting automobiles within the U.S. since 1957, the model actually got here to prominence right here within the States with the recognition of the enduring BMW 2002 sports activities coupe. With a torquey four-cylinder motor, together with crisp dealing with the 2002 set the roots for the corporate’s exponential rise in reputation.

After the 2002, the BMW 320i was launched in 1977.

First Gen 320i

Dwelling Run!

With the quick reputation of the 320i, gross sales for the model actually took off, and the legend of “The Final Driving Machine,” BMW’s advertising and marketing tagline, was born. Because the saying goes, “the remaining is historical past,” as BMW has hit full stride, providing a powerful array of sedans, coupes, convertibles, and sport utility autos. Over time, BWW has added weapons to its portfolio with the addition of legendary British marques MINI and Rolls-Royce.

We lately traveled to heat Palm Springs California for a bi-annual occasion BMW has named Group Take a look at Fest. The Take a look at Fest provides automotive media the chance to drive the entire BMW Group choices: BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorrad bikes. One occasion is held on the proper coast in Spartanburg, South Carolina, residence of a BMW manufacturing plant and The BMW Driving Expertise; and the opposite is held on the left coast in Palm Springs, additionally residence of the BMW Driving Expertise. The BMW Driving Expertise provides BMW lovers the chance to drive efficiency variations of BMWs just like the potent “M” automobiles on racetracks and highway programs and timed gymkhana programs.  It’s an amazing thrill that should be skilled to completely perceive.

And whereas the Pacific model of Take a look at Fest is often on the Thermal Membership Raceway, this 12 months for logistical causes it was staged on the luxe Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. To not fear although, as the total squadron of the BMW Group was accessible, together with 5 outlined for this story: the BMW 760i xDrive Sedan, the BMW X1 xDrive28i, The MINI Cooper S Convertible, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Sequence II, and the full-electric BMW i7 XDrive60.

To grasp the breadth of car and motorbike drive decisions, there have been a number of automobiles and bikes of the next fashions to check drive, with numerous colours and choices:


  • 3 Sequence
  • 7 Sequence and i7
  • M3 Version 50 Jahre BMW M
  • M4 CSL
  • X1
  • X7
  • i4
  • iX M60


  • Cooper SE
  • Cooper S Clubman ALL4 Untold Version
  • Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Version
  • Cooper S Convertible Resolute Version



  • M 1000 RR
  • R 18
  • R nineT Scrambler
  • Ok 1600 GT
  • CE 04

Following is a sampling of take a look at drives throughout Group Take a look at Fest:


2023 BMW 760i xDrive

Within the luxurious sedan phase, competitors is fierce. The BMW 760i xDrive does battle with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, Lexus LS, and Porsche Panamera. Salvos have additionally been fired on this phase by Genesis, Hyundai’s luxurious model, with their glorious G90.

The 760i, with a base MSRP of $113,600, is the most costly trim stage for the 7 Sequence. The $93,300 740i begins at $93,300. Each are spectacular, with the costlier 760i providing customary all-wheel drive versus rear-wheel drive solely on the 740i; in addition to turbo V8 energy versus turbo V6, and extra inside consolation and comfort options.

Some new options for the 2023 mannequin 12 months embody adaptive air suspension, rear-wheel steering, Swarovski crystal full LED headlights, four-zone local weather management, an accessible 31-inch rear seat leisure display screen, heated, cooled, and massaging seats for entrance and rear occupants, and far more.

A brand new 48-Volt gentle hybrid system can also be important. When coupled to the 536-horsepower TwinPower turbocharged V8, on-road efficiency is superb. And even with a curb weight of just below 5,100 kilos, the 760i returns a powerful 18 mpg metropolis/26 mpg freeway.

Intensive aerodynamic enhancements are additionally a trademark of the brand new 7 Sequence. Lively Air Vent Management opens and closes the primary entrance grille to optimize aerodynamics and engine cooling. A pair of air vents flank the middle grille on the surface decrease edges, and have air curtains to optimize airflow within the wheel arches, the place Air Efficiency Wheels take over air-smoothing duties. The usage of intensive underbody panels contributes to an airflow-optimized underbody design. On the rear, the rear lid and diffusor are redesigned for optimum airflow.

The inside of the 760i is, as one would possibly count on, an excellent place to be. Peer out the windshield, and a high-definition Head-Up Show exhibits pertinent highway velocity and extra info. Don’t see what you want? A brand new curved show panel homes a 12.3-inch driver’s info cluster, in addition to a 14.9-inch infotainment show. Dwell Cockpit Professional permits for voice and iDrive operation of clusters.

Again-seat passengers are in for an actual deal with once you go for Rear Government Lounge Seating. At $7,200, it’s not low-cost, however is definitely price each penny. Twin seats recline and make the most of footrests to assist occupants benefit from the accessible 8K decision 31” theater display screen with Amazon Fireplace TV in-built that folds down from the headliner. All capabilities are managed by way of a rear middle console. A robust Bowers and Wilkins encompass sound system makes your Sirius XM, streaming audio, or film soundtracks sound terrific.

On the highway, the 760i is a blast to drive. We selected a winding mountain highway to determine highway manners, and folk, even at its massive dimension, it’s all BMW.

Our tester was outfitted with choices, together with Lively Roll Stabilization and Lively Consolation Drive, a part of the $3,600 Autobahn Bundle, that absolutely contributed to the automotive’s stellar twisty highway efficiency. Whole car value was $162,045, inclusive of a really affordable $995 vacation spot cost.


BMW i7 xDrive60 Full-Electrical

Constructed on the identical meeting line because the 760i in Din {golfing}, Germany and sharing an an identical physique and inside, BMW takes a brand new tack with the i7 xDrive60 on advertising and marketing Battery Electrical Autos (BEV). Most producers, together with a key Germany based mostly competitor, construct nice BEVs, however the styling on some screams “that is an electrical car!” I discover the shared physique type execution very refreshing, as each “7” fashions are very, very good-looking. The i7 shares the identical Carbon Core development of the 760i, which incorporates carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, aluminum, metal and magnesium physique construction elements.

The i7 carries a base value of $119,300, and our take a look at mannequin got here totally loaded at $156,595 together with vacation spot cost, and joins the i4 and iX within the BMW full-electric lineup.

Primarily, the ICE and BEV automobiles are twins, as the outside and inside are equals in content material, type, and customary and accessible luxurious options. And sure, the $7,200 Rear Government Lounge Seating choice with the sensational 8K 31.3” HD display screen was an choice on our examined i7. It additionally shares the usual panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof with built-in graphic design for a spectacular and entertaining nighttime ambiance utilizing mild threads backlit by LEDs.


Panoramic Sky Lounge


The construction this creates replicates the sample of the quilting on the seat surfaces. The colour palette of the sunshine results will be chosen independently.


8K 31″ Media Display


So does the electrical “7” deal with like a BMW? You guess it does.

The i7 options two electrical motors for all-wheel drive functionality with a mixed output of 536 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque.  Whereas the i7 xDrive60’s 4.5 second 0-60 is fast, the huge near-three-ton weight of the i7 enhances the feeling of velocity. Vary is nice, with BMW estimating 296-318 miles. The Degree 2 charging functionality gives a sub-ten-hour full cost from 0-100% cost. A ten-minute DC quick cost can yield 105 miles of vary. Brake power regeneration provides to the vary totals. EPA financial system estimate is 87 MPGe.

The accessible BMW Wallbox is a Degree 2 (240V) residence charger that permits you to cost your all-electric BMW at a 9.6 kW velocity from 0-100% in as little as 12 hours – with out going any farther than your storage. With its minimalist, weatherproof design, it’s additionally good to put in outside. A cable and plug holder is included for straightforward cable administration and group whereas not in use.

Additionally, take pleasure in three years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations. This tailor-made program provides you entry to over 3,000+ quick chargers and 800 charging stations open or beneath improvement.


The i7 carries an 8-year/100,000 mile Excessive Voltage battery guarantee, along with BMW Final Care, which covers upkeep without spending a dime for the primary 3 years or 36,00 miles, and the 4-year, 50,000-mile new car guarantee.


MINI Cooper S Convertible Resolute Version


It could appear odd that the MINI Cooper S Convertible was certainly one of my favourite automobiles on the Group Fest, given my “svelte” 6’9”, 280-pound body. However sure, I match properly within the MINI, with ample head and legroom. With the nice and cozy solar beckoning me to drive a drop high, we motored round Palm Springs on this extremely fun-to-drive Cooper S Convertible.

The Cooper MINI is called after legendary Basic Mini tuner John Cooper, who noticed the racing advantages and steadiness of a small automotive with a large stance. Cooper’s Mini creations dominated Sixties racing, successful Monte Carlo 4 years in a row.

With the acquisition of Mini by the BMW Group in 1996, the custom stays alive.

You’ll be able to select three completely different trims for the MINI Convertible: base Cooper (134-horsepower), my take a look at trim Cooper S (189-horsepower), and the high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) Convertible (228-horsepower).  Need extra JCW energy? Select from hardtop 301-horsepower Clubman All4 (all-wheel drive) and Countryman All4 fashions. Along with extra energy over base MINI fashions, JCW fashions function extra highly effective brakes and upgraded suspension elements, in addition to signature design components like full-aero physique kits which can be a trademark of the Cooper transformations.

My take a look at Cooper S Convertible Resolute Version carried a base MSRP of $35,900, and was $41,750 as examined, with the $3500 Iconic Trim bundle the most costly choice. The Bundle features a heated steering wheel, 7-speed sport dual-clutch transmission, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, nice sound harman/kardon premium audio, and efficiency summer time tires. The $1,000 Resolute Bundle provides black wheels and trim, and particular MINI driving modes.



MINI additionally gives the Cooper SE Electrical, a two-door hardtop with a base MSRP of $34,225. With solely 114 miles of vary, this mannequin is greatest suited to city environments with shorter commutes.



I drove the X1 when it first launched in 2012 as a 2013 mannequin. I used to be not impressed. The 2012 mannequin was underpowered and had match and end points, and had the worst highway journey high quality I had ever skilled in a small crossover utility. It rode like a dump truck, and the overhead glass moonroof panel shook over tough surfaces.

Ten years later, I would like the X1!


The brand new X1, to me, is the very best small Ute accessible immediately. It does all the pieces properly. Energy from the two.0-liter turbo 4 is clean and linear. Step on the throttle at any velocity, and the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission seamlessly matches your intent to go sooner. Inside match and end is first charge. Take a look at driving it within the hills round Palm Springs proved it handles identical to a BMW ought to, and journey high quality is superb.

See Additionally

And the glass moonroof panel doesn’t shake!

The X1 value can also be an amazing motivator to purchase one. The Xa1 xDrive28 begins at simply $38,600.

Very properly performed BMW!


Rolls-Royce Phantom Sequence II


Roll-Royce lately launched the Phantom Sequence II with the purpose of holding it the very best automotive on the planet.

They succeeded.

In case you haven’t figured it out but, energy, type, and excessive luxurious are the hallmarks of Rolls-Royce Phantom Sequence II possession. To quell any highway disturbances, Phantom coachwork is supported by a brilliant inflexible aluminum spaceframe construction. Vigorously press the accelerator, and easy energy emanates from the enduring 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Routed by means of a seamless eight-speed automated transmission, 563 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque strikes the close to three-ton Phantom with aplomb. Phantom II’s Satellite tv for pc Aided transmission can alert your Phantom when the highway forward can be steep or tremendous curvy and mechanically modify shift and efficiency parameters. Windshield-mounted cameras can sense highway imperfections like potholes and adapt the suspension accordingly, lest you or your passengers would really feel any ruffled habits. Lively Rear-Axle Steering and Cornering Brake management additionally help with what might really feel like an autonomous driving expertise. It’s actually that easy.

Contained in the serenely-quiet Phantom Sequence II cabin, if it’s not customary or elective, then the Bespoke Collective could make it occur. Need commissioned paintings in your dashboard? There’s a function referred to as The “Gallery” on the passenger entrance sprint that enables for the exhibition of artwork, pictures, or any particular impact or function that matches inside The Gallery’s house. Above your head, you possibly can fee the Starlight Headliner in any sample or galaxy you need. Relaxation assured, solely the best woods, leathers, and nice metals adorn the inside.


My take a look at Phantom Sequence II carried a base value of $475,000, with a whopping $142,100 in bespoke choices just like the $22,500 Ruthenium Bloom Gallery fascia, impressed by the fragile contours of flowers. Rolls’ proficient artisans laser minimize and engrave the geometric design into dual-finish ruthenium (a uncommon steel) coated layers.

The BMW Group Take a look at Fest was an actual deal with for automotive media, as we sampled a variety of excellent vehicles and bikes for individuals who take a look at bikes.



My solely remorse is the star of Take a look at Fest this 12 months, the beastly BMW M4 CSL Coupe. The race-inspired coupe defines what BMW is all about – pure, unadulterated efficiency.

With a BMW M TwinPower turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine outputting 543 horsepower and 478 pound-feet of torque, the M4 CSL hustles to 60 mph in simply 3.6 seconds and tops out at 191 mph. Supercar efficiency and BMW reliability begins at simply $139,900.

So what’s my remorse? At 6’9” and 280 kilos, there’s completely no manner I can match within the M4 CSL Coupe! So throughout your entire Take a look at Fest, I needed to hearken to my media colleague wax ecstatic concerning the automotive.



M4 CSL Coupe






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