In South Africa currently, we are going through a trend of all sorts of festivals from music to Kota festivals Soweto and now to the BMW Festival. When we got invited to the Festival this year we didn’t know what to expect but since this our first motor festival. You can tell that this festival took a lot of components moving around to get everything working as smoothly as possible. When we arrived you could see them and hear the cars racing and the buzz with the media people around the festival.
As I arrived the last group because I was late, the first group came back from a short trip around Haarties in the new BMW 1 series, to be honest with you this is beautiful and it’s gonna be an interesting option to those who are looking for a different option if they don’t like Mercedes Benz A-Class or the Audi A1. My prediction is that this car will be popular with the ladies as well similar to the A-Class, its beautiful. When you enter the new BMW 1 Series you get the feeling of the new 3 series interior which is really good and I commend BMW for working on the interior. The overall design is sleek, much more modern compared to the previous model and aggressive, which I like. The one thing that will grow on me is the back, but I will get used to it.
It’s available with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. We’ll have final clarity on transmission choice for the SA market closer to the vehicle’s launch. The diesel options include the 116d (85 kW/270 Nm), 118d (110 kW/350 Nm) and 120d xDrive (140 kW/400 Nm).
While we were there we saw the classic BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition (matchbox) that has been restored, also BMW has launched the restoration segment for South Africa. We also got a chance to around the track in the BMW 4 Series DTM and I will say this about the DTM that I’ve never thought it was possible to take a corner at 180 to 200 with such grip to the road. I was screaming and saying wow most of the time until the end of the race, what was interesting about that ride as well is that I almost didn’t make it because of my height – if I was a bit taller it would a struggle for me to fit in the car.
Then you get to see all the BMW cars from the vintage to the latest ones that haven’t arrived yet in South Africa, I saw the new X6 and I really can’t wait to experience the car for myself. The BMW M8, X3, X4 Competition, actually all the competition were enticing. It’s a beautiful event for all the BMW fans and those who love their brand. I wish more brands did this and gave their consumers an experience that they will never forget with their cars. Also, cars were sold at the festival at great discounts as well which I believe is a brilliant way of doing it. We can’t wait for the next BMW Festival.