Johannesburg’s Kyalami race track played host to Africa’s first-ever BMW M Festival — and the largest in the world — on October 21 & 22. Nearly 20 000 visitors had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with some of BMW’s newest, raciest and rarest M models and M Performance derivatives.
Visitors were introduced to three stomping new models:
X3 M40i: BMW X3 (2018) Specs & Price
The new M4 CS sits between the standard M4 with the Competition Pack and the more brutal M4 GTS. We drove it on track at a media day ahead of the festival and found it to be lighter, tighter, more reassuringly composed and a good measure quicker than the standard M4. The newcomer nails the 0-100 kph sprint in under 4 seconds and has lapped the Nürburgring in 7 min 38 sec!:
The new 441 kW M5 (related list: 5 things you need to know about the new BMW M5) was, unsurprisingly, a major hit among visitors, and rightly so - it is a truly impressive beast in all regards. If you have a spare R1.8m or so you can buy one early next year in South Africa. The first quarter is also when another hot newcomer goes on sale: the updated X3, which will be manufactured locally at BMW’s Rosslyn plant. Watch the video below for a sneak peak of the M5 and X3 M40i:
Visitors had the rare opportunity to drive (or be a passenger in) one of many BMW performance cars around the track, including the bonkers BMW M760Li, which despite its large size will easily keep up with the track-gobbling M4 GTS in the 0-100km/h sprint (around 3.7 seconds).
BMW DTM race driver Tom Blomqvist was a busy man at the festival, taking thrill-seekers for hot laps in his M4 DTM race car around the newly configured 16-turn, 4.522-km Kyalami circuit.
Off-track, visitors to the festival spent time perusing rare and unique M cars and calling their bank managers while wandering through a vast pop-up dealership.
Here’s a quick taste of some of the many models that will be on display:
There was much excitement when veteran BMW superbike rider Lance Isaacs, BMW DTM driver Tom Blomqvist and Sasol GTC BMW driver Gennaro Bonafede performed drag races in the BMW S 1000 RR, the BMW M4 DTM racing car and the new BMW M4 CS.
Watch the highlights clip from Day 1:
On the last day of the festival, the BMW Gauteng Car Club hosted its annual Concours Event - the biggest annual South African celebration of BMW heritage. Entrant's vehicles were prepared meticulously prior to the event and then expertly judged on their condition, authenticity, preparation and presentation.
Watch the highlights clip from Day 2:
Full details of M Festival at www.bmwmfestival.co.za