MIDRAND - Remaining true to the BMW M brand slogan "The most powerful letter in the world", the first-ever BMW M Festival in South Africa attracted just under 20,000 people during the two-day show held at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit in Gauteng over the past weekend.
At the festival, visitors got a sneak preview of the all-new BMW X3 that will be manufactured at Rosslyn plant as well as the new BMW M5 that will be available in South Africa in the first quarter of 2018. The exclusive, limited-run and special-edition BMW M4 CS was also officially launched at the festival.
Festivalgoers went for laps in various BMW Ms and M Performance models with more than 2,000 people test driving various BMW models around the circuit.
In addition, a number of first time drivers were offered a memorable experience by getting the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a BMW for the very first time. A large number of visitors also took advantage of attractive finance offers that were available at the biggest ever BMW pop up dealership at the festival. All BMW models on display were offered with a special "festival rates."
There was much excitement throughout the show when veteran BMW superbike rider Lance Isaacs, BMW DTM driver Tom Blomqvist and Sasol GTC BMW driver Gennaro Bonafede performed drag racing in the BMW S 1000 RR.
Other BMW M vehicles also entertained crowds with drag races. A few number of visitors were also lucky enough to be taken for hot laps around the 16-turn, 4.5km anti-clockwise FIA graded Kyalami circuit by Blomqvist in his BMW M4 DTM racing car.
On the last day of the festival, the BMW Gauteng Car Club hosted its annual Concours Event - the most prestigious event on the BMW Car Club calendar.
It is the greatest annual South African celebration of BMW heritage. Entrant vehicles were prepared meticulously prior to the event and then expertly judged on their condition, authenticity, preparation and presentation.
The BMW M Festival was not only all about BMW cars and the exhilaration of high speeds.
Festivalgoers were entertained at the main stage by local and international DJs such as Tomorrows Will, DJ Martin, The Muses, Delivery Boys, Mali Zulu, Majozi, Goodluck Live, Bad Wolf, Shekhinah, DJ Kent, Culoe De Song, Ricky Rick and German DJ Alex Schulz.
Gourmet food, drinks and BMW lifestyle accessories were also on offer.
"We have made history by not only hosting the first-ever BMW M Festival in Africa, but also the largest one in the world. We are very grateful for the overwhelming support we received from our partners, customers and fans. This demonstrates the passion we've instilled in South Africans over the last four decades of our presence in the country. We are certainly here to stay and look forward to other successful BMW M Festivals in the future," says Tim Abbott, Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Alexander Baraka, General Manager of BMW Brand Management and BMW Group Marketing Services, adds that the success of the first-ever BMW M Festival encourages the brand to explore more customer engagement opportunities.
"We want to inspire car fans around the country and actively engage with our customers using more innovative experiential as well as highly emotional brand platforms in future," she said.