It’s the last entry for this Germany 2019 series, and on the day we were due to fly back to the UK, BMW Welt was around the corner (not literally) from the Munich Airport so we did a visit because, why not. After all, BMW has always been – in my eyes – German automotive engineering in the most definitive sense.
I remember the first Beemer that probably initiated my affinity towards the marque. It parked up outside my house in the form of a black E46 3-Series coupe belonging to my cousin. It wasn’t even an M3, nonetheless, it was and still is a highly appealing machine to me. I have always appreciated BMW always being slightly off the beaten path in their manners, whether it be slapping the infamous “kidney-grille” on every one of their models, or throwing daft engines, such as a 5.0L V10, into the E60 M5 saloon. Every write-up I read tends to vouch for the BMW’s superiority over their Audi and Benz counterparts, and I think it is because the company know balance and how to implement it well. Before you think I am fanboying, there of course were some cock-ups made in the past by the BMW design department; see E63 6-Series or those weird 3-Series Compact things…
Situated pretty much right off of the autobahn, the BMW Welt and Museum architecture was quite brave in its design. Inside the museum was a bit of a maze and it also had an upwards-spiral walkway, similar to that found in Mercedes’ Museum, but not as grand.
Krazy spindle-shaped structure partially grafted on to the BMW Welt building.
BMW, similar to other car manufacturers, started out producing aircraft engines, before venturing into the motorcycle industry, only until late-1920s/early-1930s did the company begin making four-wheeled automobiles.
A line-up of the brand’s bread-and-butter, takes you through time via generations of 3-Series, all the way up until the E9X iteration. Was this where the peak was tipped before emissions controls forced the glory of the NA “M-Car” days to retreat? I reckon so…
Pre-1990s marketing memorabilia has got to be the best form of advertising there has been, especially the German way with its straight-up, no-nonsense captions. That BMW K1 ad for the Japanese market loosely reads: “The new indicator of supersports”… If they ever do an Akira live-action movie, that bike gets the part, no contest.
Luke’s worst nightmare is FOMO, and the BMW Museum’s awkward layout with multiple floors let the win go to Mercedes in the final verdict. I didn’t mind the labyrinth of rooms, it kept you on your toes and it made you take note of what you saw in each exhibit.
Could the Z1 have been a kei-car for the roads of Bavaria? Such a quirky design with its disappearing-doors and pocket-sized kidney-grilles.
The M-Power bloodline.
I have always been drawn to the shape of the 2002, probably thanks to the Turbo model. You can definitely find hints of the 1M Coupe embedded within this early predecessor.
BMW’s racecar livery and aero-work has always been on point – Exhibit A, B, and C, above.
Of course, like the rest of ’em, BMW are keen on showcasing the people what the future could look like. The company’s efforts were evident throughout the museum, implying their methods of making humanity’s lives more “convenient” with autonomous driving, whilst simultaneously being a harbinger of alternative fuels.
I am quite interested in how manufacturers will manage to successfully implement the use of hydrogen as a form of energy to power vehicles of the future. I feel that because it is seemingly difficult to efficiently do so at the moment, if the industry can power through the challenges they face, Tesla will have to up their game. But that’s just a hunch, eh…
Upon leaving the museum, we popped into a glass building situated outside, separate from both the BMW Welt and Museum. This small space was given to a few M Performance demo-cars, tarted up with all of the options available from the pricey catalogue. You’re talking £5k for a set of those 19″ wheels; with tyres of course. I suppose its nice of BMW to offer aero parts and wheels that better represent the models’ deep-seated motorsports DNA.
That Z4 GT car was the show-stealer for me though. From its centre-lock BBS, to the silhouette of the widebody, I can imagine it looking (and probably sounding) like a maniac out on circuit. [Scurries over to YouTube]…
On another note, are BMW aware of how dramatically enlarged the front grilles are on their current models? I just saw an X7 for the first time out in a retail carpark, and the proportions between the headlights and grille are just straight weird. I guess only time will tell, for now, lets just appreciate how mean M4s look even when painted in the colours of lemon and orange TicTacs.
That journey to BMW World closes out the Germany 2019 saga. It was a kool trip and I reckon we saw a decent amount in the 5 nights we stayed there for. The highlight has got to be Nurburgring, but seeing the appreciation for Mazda was also absolutely worth the 300+ mile drive from “Burg to Burg”.
As always, thank you for stopping by at the site, and please follow the Instagram @soulfokus for more of my car/photography content. If you’re not far from the Yorkshire & Humber area, give me a shout if you would like me to shoot your motor!