Category: BMW

All you need to know about the BMW M8 GTE.



BMW M…hang on. BMW has graced the motorsport world with, to be modest, some track devouring machines and they are back on track. The 8 Series badge has been resuscitated and has undergone some extensive metal and carbon surgery to give us the new BMW M8 GTE, unveiled at the IAA (Frankfurt International Motor Show). Rolled out on the first of July 2017, the M8 GTE is the latest precision scalpel to roll out of BMW’s M Division.


Firstly, a bit of nostalgia. The Circuit de la Sarthe has been hosting tortured tyres annually since 1923. Le Mans is known as the most prestigious endurance race on the calendar. BMW motorsport dipped its toe into the pond of Le Mans as victors in class in 1939 and came fifth overall, with the BMW 328 powering the drivers along the gruelling and fast track. Ever since, BMW has obtained numerous accolades racing at Le Mans – ’73 saw the BMW 3.0 CSL (E9) power to a class victory. 1999 saw BMW surging to their maiden overall victory with the BMW V12 LMR, boasting a chassis developed by WilliamsF1 and the BMW S70/3 5990 cc V12 as retained from the BMW V12 LM.


The thing about motorsport is that getting one’s head around the precision, planning and technology involved in the development of a race car like the M8 GTE is simply impossible.

BMW has gone to great lengths with the M8 GTE to make this concept of racing even more difficult to comprehend. For example: BMW is using a principle called “virtual development” where the traction control system (the system that keeps you on the road when you feel like Ken Block) is being developed with the assistance of an artificial intelligence system (something similar to “skynet” in Terminator). 3D printing and “Rapid prototyping” makes it possible to produce a usable prototype part within 24 hours. 3D measurement tools are also being implemented for precise reassembly of the exterior that consists of CFRP components (Carbon fibre reinforced plastics) that help with keeping the weight down to 1 220 kilograms.


The car looks absolutely jaw dropping when stationary, but at some point it is going to have to compete in a race and the package consisting of the engine and aerodynamics will come into play. In true BMW fashion, no IT worker was spared. An algorithm was developed to aid in CFD calculations (Calculations and numbers on how air moves over, around and under the car) which increases the number of possible simulations before moving to the wind tunnel. The result of all of this collaboration – late nights, 30 cups of coffee daily and aero rims. Every tenth of a second counts.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the drivetrain and engine. In the engine bay of the M8 GTE lives a 4.0-litre V8 with two turbochargers for company (Also called BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology). With racing restrictions and regulations of late, the engine is restricted to 4.0 litres but has a base horsepower output in excess of 500 horsepower – thank you Al Gore. The V8 is teamed up with a 6-speed sequential gearbox and a Sachs carbon-fibre clutch. There are rumours that the production model, with BMW’s already familiar 4.4 litre V8, will pack the punch of 600 Bavarian stallions.

To keep the driver pointing in the right direction, the M8 GTE makes use of 30/68 R18 tyres on the front axle and 31/71 R18 tyres on the rear axle, provided by Michelin.


The transition from track to road has always been a road littered with obstacles, but a new course of action is being taken by BMW. We can expect to see the 8 Series on the road by late 2018 to early 2019 and having said this, the BMW M8 GTE has already competed in numerous outings in the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Championship in North America with all the knowledge gained being incorporated into the production model. With the expected launch date estimated at late 2018 to early 2019 the amount of development that can be made on the production model through the workings of the M8 GTE is endless. Indeed a very exciting prospect.

The M8 GTE is unquestionably a marvellous machine to behold and a technical master class. We will be waiting with bated breath for the launch of the production model and will be biting our nails on race day whilst the BMW M8 GTE makes its way around the boxing ring called Le Mans.


Twice as nice? – 2018 BMW X2

The popularity of the SUV has created an age where we have consumers in their numbers moving away from the traditional sedan style of car, and with the estate concept proving to be too reminiscent of a hearse to the South African market; the move to the SUV has almost become the go-to. The categories and subcategories, being numerous, make it hard to keep up with the manufacturer’s response to demand, with Crossover SUV’s, large SUV’s, compact SUV’s all making things a bit confusing.  

This ethos has led to the rather obvious move by BMW to create the X2. Based on the Current underpinnings of the 2-Series Active Tourer and the MINI Countryman, it falls in between the X1 and X3.  The BMW X2 will take on the likes of the Volvo XC40 and the Range Rover Evoque as a compact and stylish coupe-style SUV. Well, SAV or Sports Activity Vehicle in the case of  the BMW. The X2 is a sporty alternative to the more grown-up X3 and offers a sleek and sporty roofline and presence that is appealing and muscular

Trim Levels

The BMW X2 will be available in three trim levels, namely – base, M sport and the M-Sport X which will allow for different levels of specification and customisation as the owner so desires, ergo creating various looks and enhancing the visually striking elements.  BMW X2 South Africa

Drivetrain options

Upon the launch of the BMW X2, the option of either BMW’s 2.0-litre petrol motor in the sDrive 2.0i offering 141 kW and the 147 kW for the xDrive 2.0d diesel will be available. Fuel consumption for the petrol is a claimed 5.9l/100 km in the combined cycle and a rather diminutive 4.8l/100 km for the diesel.  Standard on the xDrive 2.0d is the xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive and the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The petrol model is fitted with a sporty seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

BMW X2 South Africa

Spec Level

The usual array of BMW options will come to the fall, including Apple CarPlay, voice control, heads-up display and the customary combination of electronics and leather and wheels to make your BMW X2 not only stand out but cost a whole lot more than the list price. Chief among these is the option of three new exterior colours Misano Blue, Sunset Orange and Galanic Gold. These can be combined with the option of Dakota Leather, finished in Magma Red and the Micro Hexagon Anthracite and Alcantara combination, finished in Black with M piping and yellow contrast stitching.

BMW X2 South Africa

BMW X2 Pricing in South Africa

There is no indication of price thus far but the local launch is scheduled for March of next year. Expect this to be a rather popular alternative to the more sedate options from other manufacturers, as well as within BMW.

BMW X7 SUV hints to a full sized X5 big brother.



Ahead of the Frankfurt Motorshow later this month leaked images of  BMW’s X7 IPerformance SUV concept, have come to light giving some interesting perspective to their new 7-series based full sized SUV. Due to arrive in international markets next year, the X7 will likely be based on a version BMW’s CLAR modular platform that underpins the current 7 Series.


The Key indications to the X7 production model are the simplicity through which the design is carried through, which allow for ques, typical of BMW design language to be very clear and apparent yet in effect still feel new. The clever design of the vehicle doesn’t hide the fact that this is no small car and the overall size and dimensions will not be overly friendly to the concept of the Undercover parking lot or Parrell parking in the CBD.

Interior Design

The concept makes use of the typical extravagance that is the very notion of a ‘concept car’ interior, but the main points to understand is the level of simplicity and the high-quality materials to be used. The use of light and space are used to conceal the cavernous exterior proportions rather well. This is through the large panoramic roof and the use of clever mood- lights that help add light to the cabin and give it the same effect as looking up at the sky light on a summers evening – or in fact the ceiling of a 7 Series, from which the system was undoubtedly lifted.


Infotainment will be handled through a driver focused 12.3 Inch Screen that serves as an instrument cluster and a smaller one that the centre console. Rear seat entertainment includes an additional two screens likely optional fair but an effective addition gives the SUV’s Child hauling destiny.  The usual mix of high-quality woods and metals is used to make up the cabin but the largest and most interesting is the number of seats totalling 6, and in fact suggesting to the 7 that will likely be available on the production model.

BMW X7 Availability in South Africa

Early production models will hit international markets as early as 2018, with no confirmed dates as to when we will receive the X7, but we should get the bruiser at some point in 2018.


BMW M3 Competition Package: Worth the extra money?

BMW M3 Competition Pack

BMW M3 Competition Package Driven

When you’ve ruled a segment for decades, it’s hard to keep pushing the benchmark forward. BMW has been in this position for many generations now with the competition having closed the gap significantly. Remember the normally aspirated C63 AMG? Yes, the one that caused a fair bit of confusion for E92 M3 drivers. That was one stunning car, from its noise to its looks. It proved to be one hell of a rival for the M. Now we have the likes of the turbocharged Mercedes-AMG C63 and the infamous Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio Verde. The competition has done a great deal of catching up and some have even questioned if the M3 is still the benchmark. The facelifted M3 is a stunning piece of kit, the obvious choice for those who need some space and performance, packaged with aggressive styling and shiny 20-inch alloy wheels. That’s what tells passers-by that your M3 is a Competition Package, besides an M3 badge finished in black.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

Internally, the difference comes in the form of more power, 331 kW to be exact. 550 N.m is a boat-load on the chassis of the M3, so much so that the vehicle is in constant attack mode, looking for any excuse to light up the rear wheels. This particular example we drove was finished in Sakhir Orange paintwork and had an aggression to it that we’ve never experienced in an M3/M4, and we’ve driven many an M3. Despite the added power and louder exhausts, one’s got to ask the question, is the Competition Package worth the extra money? At R135 000 more than a standard M3, the reality is that with the Competition Package, the added power is not the only thing the vehicle gives you. The whole car feels somewhat different. Anyone who’s driven an M3 will tell you that you can’t drive that car in anger with a nonchalant attitude. Do that and you’ll end up on YouTube under the “BMW fails” title. The Competition Package is still as lethal, but somehow slightly more forgiving, probably due to the larger rubber fitted to it. These larger wheels offer more grip, making the car more controllable in modes such as MDM, which allows for slight slippage of the rear wheels.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

The biggest appeal of the M3 is its practicality, you can really use this car as a parent who loves thrills. It’s also comfortable in the right setting, namely “Comfort” which keeps everything normal. Oh, in terms of interior changes, the CP has slats in the front seats, giving the seats a different look and the opportunity for back seat passengers to tickle the driver with ease. (Yes, we know that’s weird). Some experimenting is essential to find the perfect balance between comfort and speed for everyday driving scenarios. We found that a throttle setting of “Sport” with “Comfort” dampers and “Comfort” steering was best for the daily commute. With that, we saved our M1 mode. M2, on the other hand, was a bit riskier, dampers were still “Comfort”, steering “Sport” and throttle set to “Sport Plus”. Lastly, we had the car in MDM mode, just to keep us feeling alive. Our gearbox settings were rarely in the most lethal “Level 3” setting as this was just ridiculous. In the most brutal gearbox mode, the car mimics the E60 M5 days, with its “shove you in the lower back” type of gear changes.

BMW M3 Competition Pack

As much as the standard M3 is a great car, the Competition Package is very special. The car feels more complete and looks better as those wheels fill the car out beautifully. Very little is wrong with the M3, but it has become an acquired taste for many. Gone are the days of the E92’s composure and that fact alone has put some off the car, as they might feel like it’s too much effort to exploit all the car’s power. For the brave, the M3 remains a massive thrill as its razor-sharp nature can be intoxicating. Our experience in the car was very enjoyable. We love the fact that you can be civilised when needed, but a complete hooligan when the opportunity arises.

BMW M3 Competiton Package Pricing in South Africa

At approximately R1.4 million with a few extras, it’s not cheap but boy is it a rewarding car to drive.

BMW 440i vs Audi S5 – Decisions decisions.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

BMW 440i vs Audi S5

Do you have a R1million to spend on a coupe? Are you torn between a BMW 440i or an Audi S5? Well, you’re in good hands, TheMotorist is here to help you decide…

If only things worked like that. You read an article online. You make your mind up and off you go into either an Audi or BMW dealership and you drive away as the sales team cheers you off. Firstly, sales people don’t cheer you off, by the time you’ve driven off they’re just super glad they don’t have to talk about discounts with you anymore. I digress. The truth is, if you’re going to spend R1 million, you kind of know what you want. Right? Also, we all have preferences – so if you’re an Audi guy, get the S5 and if you like Beemers, give them a ring. What we want to do in this article is objectively compare the two models and see what comes out on top. So first and foremost, the looks.

BMW 440i Coupe South Africa

Who’s the fairest of them all?  

The 4 Series is a hit in SA. Everywhere you go people are driving these things. The problem we have with the 4 Series is that besides the amount of exhausts you have and the badge in the rear, they all look the same. Obviously, you have different model lines to choose from, but we wish the 440i had something about it that says, “I’m a 440i, not a 420i!!!”. Don’t tell me the two large exhausts are the differentiator because non-car people won’t even notice that. The S5 at least has different outside trimmings compared to the standard S Line models, so you can notice a slight difference. Again, it’s not huge because Audi loves to keep things low-key but you do have four exhaust pipes on the S5. So there’s that. The interiors on both cars are top notch, but the S5 has nicer seats and the BMW has a nicer dashboard. The S5 does have Apple CarPlay so that’s a big win, but BMW’s infotainment system also works really well. Whatever you do in both cars, you always need to go for the higher spec sound system. Audi calls it 3D surround and BMW has Harman Kardon.

The engines:

The only reason why you’d be buying either an S5 or a 440i is because your co-worker has a lesser model and you want to show them who’s boss, no? Either that or you’re a petrol head and fancy yourself some speed. This is the trickiest part between choosing between these two cars because both have SUCH nice engines. The Audi sounds nicer since it’s a 3.0 V6, but BMW’s new in-line 3.0 6 cylinder “B58” is the Greek yogurt of the range, so pure and creamy. Both cars feel just as fast and understandably so as you get 240kW in the 440i and 260kW in the S5. The BMW may have less power, but you’d have to be mad woke to notice a real difference. Where the difference comes in, is the drivetrain setup.

Quattro VS RWD:

The age-old debate between 4WD and RWD is a long standing one. We all love a good “slidey” RWD car but ask yourself, when am I going to do big slides in my car? If drifting is a concern, then the 440i is the obvious choice. But answer me this, do you attend many track days? Do you have access to an airfield? Do you have an endless budget for tyres? If you answered no to two of those questions, then RWD vs 4WD shouldn’t be your concern. “But don’t Quattro’s understeer?” You may wonder. Anything understeers if you come into a corner too quickly. The fact is that both the S5 and the 440i handle beautifully on regular roads and twisty ones, the average person will enjoy both cars at speed.

BMW 440i vs Audi S5

So, what’s the best then?

Again, both packages are very good indeed. The Audi wins when you’re sitting inside the car, but the BMW looks better on the outside. The Audi sounds better and has one hell of an engine, but the BMW’s engine is just as good. Money talks and this is where most decisions are made. The S5 will cost you R928 000 whereas the 440i will cost you R864 976. Both those prices don’t include options but an approximate difference of R60 000 between the two is interesting. If you’re financing, it’s not going to be a huge difference, either way you’re in for a big installment. What would we take home? I hate to say it but the BMW 440i is our top pick and before you scream “We knew it!”, the decision is based largely on the following: It’s all good and well to buy a new car but a time will come when you need to get rid of it. This is where the BMW wins because it’s biggest disadvantage is also its biggest advantage. There are many 4 Series models on the roads so you may lose out on the exclusivity you’ll have in the S5, but there is a bigger demand for the 4 Series in the used market. This means that when the time comes for you to trade in your 4 Series, you’ll get a better trade in value over an S5, purely because of the demand. For that reason, we’d drive away in the BMW. Besides that, both cars are a very good match for each other.

New BMW M5 officially revealed: Where to from here?

New BMW M5

New BMW M5 officially revealed

“Who needs a supercar when BMW’s new M5 and Mercedes AMG’s E63 are around?”

Let’s just begin with that 0-100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds. Like. Uhm. What? Basically, if you’re a speed chaser, you don’t need a supercar. With cars like the new M5 around, the only real reason you would want a supercar would be because you would like the aesthetics and attention that comes with a car such as that. That is understandable because for some, nothing beats being in a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. For those, however, who happen to have children and other dependants and a general lack of R6 million, these new age super saloons will do you just fine.

New BMW M5

Predictable looks:

Unlike the likes of the M4/M3, the look of an M5 has become quite predictable. Many renderings of the car look very similar to the finished product. BMW has always kept the design of the car understated, with slightly wider fenders and flares here and there and of course the signature four exhaust pipes we’ve seen on every M5 since the E39. Let’s not lie to ourselves though, the G90 M5 looks good. The 5 Series range in general looks great so it’s not mind blowing to see that the M5 has followed suit. Where the G90 really shines with regards to its design, however, is the interior. I mean, look at those seats. Mmm mm mm!

New BMW M5

The good stuff:

Besides the way it looks, the real reason we care so deeply about the M5 is because of its ability to hunt supercars, as well as the fact that it can probably kill you if you’re not nice to it. Anyone who drove the F10 will attest to its ability to humble even the most skilled, should you be brave enough to stand toe to toe with it with no assistance activated. The G90, though, may be the most controllable M5 yet.

New BMW M5

The reason why this will be the most forgiving M5 is because it has M xDrive fitted to it. This system is 4WD but allows for all the power to be sent to the rear wheels, depending on the mode you’re in. As a result, in 4WD mode you can confidently exploit all 441 kW & 750 Nm from its 4.4 litre Twin Turbo V8 and not run into a tree of sorts, as the rear slides uncontrollably and your hands are all over the place trying to remember how Chris Harris does it. We all knew that this next M5 was going to have a 4WD system because you simply can’t have so much power in a RWD car and tell an average driver to go and play. That does create a problem for those that want to enjoy some skids, or rather the idea of skidding around town, however. So, to keep everyone happy, the G90 can toggle between different modes. It’s funny how we read about this setup months ago from BMW, but Mercedes-AMG were the first to do it in the segment with their E63 S, which I’m sure grinds the people at BMW. Anyway, it doesn’t matter who did it first, what matters is who does it best. From what we hear about the E63 S, the system works amazingly, not interrupting in anyway. You can be sure that the G90 will do the same, though, as BMW loves a good drift.

Besides going sideways, the benefits of having a 4WD car are simple, more traction all the time. In real world conditions, nothing beats being able to put your power down and having confidence in your car, something these new super saloons will allow you to do.

New BMW M5

All in all, the G90 M5 is the fastest production BMW to date. The question is, where to from here? Are we really going to have a sub 3 second super saloon sometime in the future? Maybe even in the G90 generation, especially since BMW loves their special editions. Who knows? All we know is that we live in a crazy, power-hungry time. What matters most is not the figures but rather how the car will make you feel behind the wheel. There’s something very satisfying about a large car that can handle in a way that defies physics and keeps you entertained at the same time. The real fight between this car and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S is not which is the fastest, but rather what’s the most entertaining. Time will tell…

New BMW M5

BMW M5 Pricing in South Africa

The M5 will be available in South Africa during the first quarter of 2018 with a approximate price of R1.8M. The BMW M5 First Edition, featuring a unique Frozen Dark Red Metalic Paintwork will also be available in very limited quantities in SA, with only 400 being produced worldwide. The cost of the First Edition is approximately  R300k on top of the standard model.

Images of the BMW X2 in jungle styled camouflage!



It seems to becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to expand their ranges, developing new models for relatively new segments. We have seen this  with the big German three, especially in the SUV Segment. Mercedes-Benz now have a GLA,GLC, GLE and GLS available, with the first three also available in Coupe form. Audi are following a similar approach with the Q2 through to the Q8. Which leaves us with BMW, currently sporting the X1,X3,X4,X5 and X6, with that range soon expanding with the upcoming BMW X2.


The BMW X2 is a Sports Utility Coupe and it currently in the production and development stage, even so,  it promises to bring a enjoyable but practical experience and is dubbed as an Urban Jungle vehicle kind of vehicle, aimed at young, extroverted and active people.  Last year BMW showed us concept images of the X2 and now they have given us a chance to see what the X2 will really look like, if you can look through the urban como that is.


From what we can see, the X2 looks great and is quite unique when compared to the rest of the BMW Range. It has a very sporty and active feel and will definitely appeal to a younger audience.  We look forward to the world premiere of this car and will keep you updated with the latest news and images.



Thrash It, Otherwise It Will Kill You – BMW M3 E46 CSL


BMW M3 E46 CSL Driven

Exactly two generations ago in 2001, BMW’s department of performance and lunacy took to the lovely chassis that was the E46 3 Series. This action created what in BMW circles was, and to many still is, pretty much the quintessential M car and the ultimate M3. The broth was highly reminiscent of the recipe used to create the Power Puff girls, as the Professors of power slides and handling dynamics took the 2-door body shell exclusively and added the proverbial sugar, spice and everything nice, but as their “chemical X”, they used one of the best engines BMW has ever produced – the 3.2 litre S54, a powerful atmospheric straight-six that had a charismatically raspy engine note that crescendoed all the way to the 8000 rpm redline. The combination brought about a lightweight lavation, which sought after not only the souls of the competition, but to the corners into which it was propelled. It was the ultimate, and new the yardstick in performance motoring. This was the car that you compared other cars to. It was raw, analogue and undistilled – this was THE M-car; quick, sharp and incredibly adept at making you feel really fantastic, after showing far more expensive cars the LED taillights though a mountain pass. The feeling one gets from piloting an E46 M3 is hard to describe, it’s an incredible thing.  


Although, this proved not enough to cater to the fetish that is the M Division’s pursuit in the creation of the perfect M car. And after what can only be imagined as a heavy night of beer and bratwurst, in 2004 a harder, grippier version was spawned. This was the M3 CSL, a car that I have lusted over for exactly 13 years and wanted to drive since its conception, and finally, a gracious owner has allowed for this to happen.

Understanding that this is the ultimate M3 of the era and a total of only 65 were brought to South Africa, the CSL is still worth a fully loaded armoured security van and it’s not an easy task to get the keys to one of these now collectors pieces, and after 13 years, I would never pass up the opportunity. The exchange of my left kidney made it all possible but before the handing me the keys, the owner exclaimed ‘this car needs to be thrashed, otherwise it will kill you’, this brought a dark cloud on the experience and a sense of nervousness dawned the air.


Driving away and in pursuit of suitable driving roads, led to the almost immediate conclusion that the SMG automated manual was not great, and miles behind a modern box. The car tends to roll about on take-off like a learner driver that can’t balance the clutch and shifts are lurchy with the selection of gears resulting in a strange nodding action. The brake pedal in normal driving, again, was also a bit sloppy, with one really needing to stand on the peddle to get anything to happen, this I suspect was mainly due to the Hawk Track brake pads fitted to the car but they properly sucked at stopping the car in town. This culmination dropped confidence levels in the car a great deal and I was left with a rather gloomy outlook – could BMW possibly have ruined the E46 M3? Having broken away from the eternity that was stop/start traffic and taxis, an answer would soon be found. Looking at the delicious piece of tarmac ahead I turned the transmission all the way up, stabbed at the Traction Control button and set away like a mad man, determined and on a mission. The first corner approached incredibly quickly, the steering precision was translated instantly as I pitched the nose towards the apex of a corner. The rear snapped violently and sent me into a huge serpentine like tank slapper, the rear slithering about while fighting for traction. Confidence dropped to an all time low. I wanted nothing more to do with the CSL and was ready to retreat to my eco-box, where at least I was safe, I was actually scared of this thing.  Remembering the words of my now sensay, I recalled that this was no eco-box, this was no poncey parade at a fast car but rather true weapon. Confidence returned as I pushed faster, and harder the super sticky TOYO RA888R semi-slicks got hotter and with that grippier. The breaks sharper and more alert. The engine, furiously raging away, the transmission smoother and me braver. The drive became a cataclysm of point and shoot accuracy, the car hurling you into corners much faster than you would ever think possible, appearing to bend the laws of physics and pulling you out the other side after a battle with the grip and the 265 kW and 370 N m violently stabbing away at the rear tyres, it was all incredibly hard and part of the 110 kilo M-diet had included the aircon. I was drenched in sweat and almost paper white once the red mist had dispersed from my now numb body. All that I could think of was that I needed a cigarette, as one does after that much physical activity


The M3 CSL is not an easy car to drive, and even harder to drive fast. The car needs to have a lot of heat in the tyres and in the breaks for peak performance to beckon, but once you’ve braved the rough waters, you’re transported into this trance that is far beyond what I have ever experienced behind the wheel of a car. It feels like a racecar, and the bare exposed carbon fibre that is plastered everywhere does a good job of reminding you that this is no daily driver. The hardcore cut throat nature of the CSL makes it hard to rival, the sensations are insane, the noise in the cabin is cathartic and jumping out of this car every day after making it to your destination as quickly as you have made it a contender for the M-car of the century. Indeed a big claim but it’s far better to the outright purist than the standard car. Analog, light and always ready to give you a bloody nose it’s one of the best M-cars ever.


BMW M3 E46 CSL Pricing In South Africa

A lot! Enough to get you a demo model M4. These days higher mileage CSL’s are still fetching around R800k, and that climbs all the way up to R1.2milion for lower mileage models.


BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 Jahre

The number ‘7’ in the Bible represents perfection and wholeness. I’m sure when BMW first made the 7 Series 40 years ago, they took that into mind due to the fact that the 7 Series is what BMW calls perfection and have never faltered on that principle. Now fast forward 40 years ahead – BMW celebrates their iconic flagship car in making the BMW 7 Series 40 Year Edition and it is dripping with luxury, driving pleasure and innovation.

Let’s start with the innovation part. Over the years, BMW has assumed a pioneering role for technological innovations that ultimately enhance driving pleasure. To give a few examples: the first 12-cylinder engine in a German post war automobile (1987); the first integral navigation system in a European production car (1994); the premier of unrestricted internet usage inside a vehicle (2008) and more. With all these innovations, you would think BMW have a time machine and go back and forth in time stealing future designs to enhance the 7 Series.

“What does this car do differently then?” you might ask.

Well this 7 Series has laser light headlamps, which help increase the range of the headlamps to as far as 600 meters! In plain English, that is roughly 6 soccer fields put next to each other. Amazing!

The 40 Year Edition 7 Series will be available in South Africa exclusively as the M760Li xDrive derivative. It’s a car, then, for the ballers to climb in the back and recline and think about their millions and for the bodyguards to fight over who rides shotgun. 200 units have been made and South Africa is only receiving 5, the M aerodynamics package, high gloss Shadow Line and 20-inch light alloy wheels will come as standard.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40

To top all of this exclusivity off, it only comes in two colors: Petrol Mica metallic and Frozen Silver metallic. With various color combinations on their Full Merino fine-grain leather trim offered, you can only expect that the seats are more comfortable than your bed at 6am on a cold winter’s Monday morning. The fascia finishes are crafted from the finest wood to bring the luxury level to its optimum.

BMW 7 Series Edition 40 pricing in South Africa

Now, there are more options available but these will be released to the brave souls who can stomach the cost of this precious beast. Here in South Africa, the car will set you back some R3 085 900 and should be available in the fourth quarter of 2017.

We drive the updated BMW 4 Series

Updated BMW 4 Series Launch

Mpumalanga is known by many for a variety of reasons, it has vast greenness, a large canyon and is the home of the Kruger National Park. This location then, might seem like a strange location for a sports car launch, but what many people may not know is that Mpumalanga is also home to something else, great driving roads.

These great stretches of twisting and turning tarmac are fairly pivotal when testing a car built for sporty driving. I was excited, the thought of putting the updated BMW 4 Series through it’s paces for the day didn’t seem too shabby at all…

The updated BMW 4 Series doesn’t receive a major host of changes, rather small elements which come together in an all-round better package. This starts with the headlights, featuring a hexagonal design for the day time running lights which surround the LED beams. Rear lighting is also upgraded and is now an LED system, with both updates giving the BMW 4 Series a slightly sharper appeal. One will also find minor changes inside the cabin which spruce up the executive feel, helped along by three new upholstery colours and interior trim strips to choose from. The biggest change would be the optional navigation system which has the same interface as the BMW 5 and 7 Series’, large style control pads feature on the screen to control different elements, with each one receiving live updates and information.


Lined up outside Nelspruit airport were an array of BMW 4 Series in a variety of colours and engine specifications. The vast majority of the fleet were either 420i’s or 420d’s in Convertible, Coupé and GranCoupé form – as these are likely to be the most popular models. There was one 440i convertible glistening in the sunlight in the new Snapper Rocks Blue colour – an exclusive for the 4 Series range. My driving partner and I decided that we would not run for the 240 kW/450 N.m 440i, but we ended up with it anyway, so the roof went down, the neck heaters went on and off we went.

The first thing you will notice about the 440i compared to the other 4 series models is the noise, it purs on idle and growls under acceleration. It’s not mind blowing, and it certainly doesn’t compete with the Audi S5 in the volume department, but this doesn’t mean it’s not nice, because it is, especially when coupled with the sport auto gearbox with gives a delightful thump on the upwards gear change.

In terms of performance, the 440i is comfortably fast. It provides beautiful, linear power throughout the rev range and it feels very controllable. A big selling point for the 440i is that it can be driven easily and comfortably on the morning drive to work, but has enough in the tank to provide bucket loads of fun on the weekend – it’s definitely the middle ground if you’re looking to buy an M4, but your other half  says no.

As one would expect, the 440i has plenty of grip and gives confidence in the corners. The driver can really lean on the outer tyres when cornering without the worry of being spat out and sent tumbling down the side of a mountain pass. It’s not as sharp you might think though. Being the convertible model, it’s aimed more towards comfort than performance and does not receive the suspension upgrades that the Coupé and GranCoupé have.

After 200 km in the 440i, we swapped vehicles and jumped into a 420d Coupé for the remainder of our drive. Automatically, you may think that the 420d is the boring model in the range, aimed at the fuel economy enthusiast who drives miles everyday. While the latter may have some truth, it is certainly not a boring car to drive. It produces 140 kW and a mighty 400 N.m of torque which gives it some fantastic low down grunt. The power does fade after 4 000 rpm, but your aim isn’t to beat land speed records in this model, it’s to have a comfortable, quiet and economical vehicle in the guise of a sporty, stylish and tech savvy 4 Series. That being said, if you come across a twisty section of road, there is no doubt that you will have plenty of fun. As mentioned, the Coupé models have received suspension upgrades which give a sharper, more dynamic feel, especially across the front end.

Also sitting pretty at the launch was the updated BMW M4 in Competition Pack form. This model receives updates as well, with the adaptive full-LED headlights coming as standard, along with full LED lighting for the rear. Further to this, the BMW M4 also features the technology upgrades mentioned earlier, which are available across the range.


Although only minor changes, the updated BMW 4 Series range definitely offers a better all-round package in terms of style, comfort and performance. The 4 Series was a great car to begin with and bringing it up to date with the latest technologies was all the TLC it needed for now.

The 4 Series has a broad range with the 420d, 420i, 430i and 440i models all available, meaning that there is a good offering for a wide variety of people who may be interested.


Audi A5 – The updated Audi A5 launched earlier this year and offers a fantastic all-round package, as well as a great range of engines. It is definitely the more stealthy option, but does lose out a little on driving dynamics.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupé – Arguably, it may not compete when it comes to looks or style, but it does have driving comfort tucked firmly under its belt and years of Mercedes-Benz experience under the shell.

BMW 4 Series Pricing in South Africa

Coupé and GranCoupé 

420i – R604 794

420d – R639 300

430i – R692 992

M4 – R1 227 376


420i – R718 250

430i – R831 476

M4 – R 1 441 302