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GALLERY: A retrospective look at the celebration that was M Fest 2022

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

Image: BMW

“What is M Fest?” asked the curious flight attendant, and in a daze brought on by 2 hours of sleep before my flight, I responded, “It’s like a festival, but with BMWs”. However, it should be said that M Fest is more than a gathering of an odd number of BMWs.

Image: BMW

What I should have told that flight attendant was that M Fest is a celebration of BMW M’s success and growth. As an automotive journalist, it’s an opportunity to talk to BMW M officials and get down to the nitty-gritty, but as a petrol-head and car enthusiast, it’s an excuse to gawk and stare at BMW’s best and boldest works spanning as far back as the M division’s inception.

Thursday: up close and personal with the G87 M2, XM and M4 CSL.

Ferried to Kyalami, the foyer is dominated by the presence of a vintage BMW 850 CSI. What an introduction to the day. Soon we were witnessing the world primer of the G87 M2. The latest M2 is endowed with the same motor found in the M3 and M4, only with some kW less. Alongside a powerful motor comes a polarizing design. Although the exterior might not be to everybody’s liking, there are plenty of motoring enthusiast goodies to almost smooth it over. Pricing isn’t available yet, but we’ve been told that if the stars align, pricing may be available at the end of this year. This was followed by round table style interviews with BMW M CEO Frank van Meel and BMW SA CEO Peter van Binsbergen.

Image: BMW

A highlight of the day may have been the teeth-clenching and heart-rate-elevating hot laps with newly crowned DTM champion, Sheldon van de Linde. Although not piloting his winning machine, the aggressive headlights of the G82 appeared out of the smoke followed by the body of the already legendary BMW M4 CSL.

Image: BMW

Tailing the refined brute that is the M4 CSL is the Luxurious and elegant BMW XM. The M4 CSL stood boldly on the right flank of the stage. The 15 or so models that were allocated for South Africa at a price shy of R4 million have already been sold.

Image: BMW

The XM, adorned in BMW’s cutting-edge tech, inches the firm closer to luxury standard akin to that of a Rolls Royce or Bentley. We were told that BMW’s electric fleet will continue to grow without forgoing the classic M feel.

Saturday: M Fest open day

The previous night we were told that all tickets to M Fest had been sold out. Twenty-five thousand members of the public would be sharing Kyalami with us, a congregation of motoring journalists.

Image: BMW

From Heritage cars to purpose-built BMW drift cars, Saturday allowed the public to get up close and personal with some of BMW’s best and brightest. Food, drinks, live music and plenty of tyre smoke were the main themes for the day with BMW’s Driftbrothers and some notable SA spinners injecting some hooliganism into the day.

Image: BMW

Juxtaposing the high-speed happenings on the track were a plethora of stationery vintage BMW race cars, some of whom were seen springing on the track.

Image: BMW

As the media, our day was cut short as we had to race to the airport to catch our flights, but the festivities went on till 7 pm. M Fest 2022 was the biggest celebration of BMW’s legacy and heritage to ever take place on South Africa’s shores and there will be more to come.

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