Munich. For classic car fans in North America, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance has long been the perfect season-opening event. And the 28th running of the spring get-together shone the spotlight on exquisite rarities from days gone by, as well new models from Bavaria. BMW and BMW M GmbH joined forces to present the new editions of their Sports Activity Vehicles and Sports Activity Coups – produced at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg. Introduced to the public for first time were the new BMW X5 and new BMW X6, plus the BMW X5 M Competition (fuel consumption, combined: 13.1 – 12.9 l/100 km [21.6 – 21.9 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions, combined: 295 – 291 g/km in the WLTP cycle) and BMW X6 M Competition (fuel consumption, combined: 12.9 – 12.7 l/100 km [21.9 – 22.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions, combined: 292 – 287 g/km in the WLTP cycle) high-performance models, with their extensively upgraded design and technology.
Precise design modifications, including new headlights and the latest version of the fully digital control/operation system BMW iDrive with BMW Curved Display, bring fresh cutting-edge appeal to the exterior and interior of the new BMW X5 and new BMW X6. And taking driving pleasure to new heights are the new and more powerful drive system for the BMW X5 xDrive50e plug-in hybrid model (fuel consumption, combined: 1.1 – 0.8 l/100 km [256.8 – 353.1 mpg imp]; electric power consumption, combined: 27.0 – 22.9 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 26 – 18 g/km in the WLTP cycle) and the likewise new engines with 48V mild hybrid technology fitted in all other model variants. The new BMW X5 M Competition and new BMW X6 M Competition have a visibly honed exterior and, for the first time, a shared front-end design. The cabins of both vehicles feature state-of-the-art technology in the form of the BMW Curved Display including the BMW iDrive control/operation system with M-specific screen content. Their extensively modified V8 engines now also work with 48V technology and deliver their maximum output of 460 kW/625 hp with even greater urgency and in even more impressive style.
All four models handed their world premieres at Amelia Island also benefit from a significantly expanded portfolio of systems for automated driving and parking. For example, the cars can now be parked and complete manoeuvres carried out from outside the vehicle using an Apple iPhone.
BMW Group Classic glitters with racing legends and design icons.
Joining the fray alongside the sporty new arrivals from BMW and BMW M at Amelia Island was a true legend of motor sport – the BMW 3.0 CSL. BMW Group Classic brought the fabled racer to the show to mark a very special anniversary. Exactly 50 years ago, Toine Hezemans (NL) and Dieter Quester (AT) drove the 3.0 CSL to victory in the touring car (“Tourisme Spciale”) class at the Le Mans 24 Hours race. The reliability of the 3.3-litre engine in the number 51 car played a key role here, as the pairing also finished 11th in the overall standings at the prestigious endurance classic.
At Amelia Island, the 3.0 CSL racing coup took turns on display in the BMW Group Classic space with the series-produced version of the two-door car also known as the “Batmobile” (on account of its spectacular rear wing). This final development stage of the BMW 3.0 CSL with 3.2-litre engine producing 206 hp, of which only 167 examples were made, is also celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Adding the cherry to the cake of the BMW Group Classic line-up was the BMW 507. The roadster’s reputation as one of the most iconic BMW cars of all time endures to this day.
BMW Z3 and BMW Z4: hallmark BMW roadster feeling across four generations.
The run-up to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance saw almost three decades of roadster history reunited. A road trip through Florida brought together a handful of BMW Z3 and BMW Z4 models from four generations. The line-up of cars selected for the tour from southern Florida to the venue for the classic car event in the north-east of the Sunshine State ranged from the BMW Z3 to the latest BMW Z4, which recently gained a fresh round of design and equipment updates.
The BMW Z3 was the first model built for the global market at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the US state of South Carolina. The roadster was unveiled in 1995 and made its first public appearance in the blockbuster James Bond movie GoldenEye. It remained on sale until 2002, when it was replaced by the first BMW Z4. With its eye-catching lines and cutting-edge equipment details, the Z4 put clear ground between itself and its predecessor. Seven years further on, the second-generation BMW Z4 provided a fresh interpretation of the roadster art – with its elegantly sweeping lines and, most notably, a retractable metal hardtop which could be lowered and raised again electrohydraulically at the touch of a button. The third generation of the Z4 has been putting smiles on the faces of open-top driving pleasure aficionados since 2018. Crisp proportions, a classical – and electrically powered – soft-top roof and a new level of dynamic talent set it apart from the crowd, as does the unique-in-its-segment straight-six engine of the range-topping model.