For the first time ever, Winnipeggers have two winning hockey teams to cheer for. But for the more than 400 guests who showed up at Bell MTS Place on Nov. 23, the redesigned BMW X3 stole the show.
Birchwood BMW hosted the soiree at ice level to celebrate the arrival of the fresh, new SUV. Birchwood also proudly announced its new certifications, as both a BMW Canada i-brand and BMW M brand certified dealer.
The BMW i is their new sub-brand of plug-in electric vehicles. Initially, there are two i vehicles — the all-electric i3 (with gas range extender as an option) and the plug-in hybrid i8. Birchwood BMW general manager Craig Becker notes being i-certified means the dealership will have a space specifically for i-brand models, as well as sales staff and technicians dedicated specifically to the electric vehicles.
To prepare for the arrival of the new electric models, Birchwood BMW has installed several DC fast-charger stations in front of the store — one of which can recharge an i3 battery to 80 per cent in 20 minutes.
As with the i-brand vehicles, the BMW M brand will also have its own space, sales staff, and specially trained master technicians. The M brand — BMW’s Motorsport division — have modified engines, transmissions, suspensions, interior fitments, aerodynamics, and exterior modifications to set them apart from their BMW counterparts. All BMW Ms are tested and tuned at BMW’s private facility at the Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany.
Becker points out only a limited number of Canada’s nearly 50 BMW dealers have M-brand certification. Birchwood BMW will have special access to limited-edition models, such as the 30th-anniversary edition M3 and the “first edition” of the M5 sedan. The new model M5 is powered by a 600-hp, S63 twin-turbocharged 4.4-L V-8 engine that produces 516 lb-ft of torque — as compared to the outgoing M5 model’s 540hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.
Becker reports only 32 of the first-edition M5 models will be available in Canada. Birchwood BMW has secured one, based on its new certification of M brand.
Speaking to the guests at the arena Nov. 23, Matt Wilson, BMW Canada’s national manager of product planning, reported the manufacturer has 40 all-new or redesigned models coming out over the next two years. Leading the parade are the newly arrived, redesigned X3 x-drive 30i and M40i.
The 30i is powered by a 2.0-litre twin-turbo inline-four engine, producing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The M40i is powered by a 3.0-L twin-turbo inline-six engine, with 355 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
The new models come with a larger wheelbase and longer body, notes Birchwood BMW sales consultant Steven Weber. As well, the grille has a more 3D look, and the fog lights a new hexagonal shape. There are new LED headlights and rear tail lights, and a new twin-turbo exhaust.
“The windscreen is made of acoustic glass,” Wilson notes. “And there is active air-flap control. And, for the first time ever, cooled seats are an option.”
Some standard features are three-zone automatic climate control that adds separate temperature controls to the back seat area, and reclining seatbacks that can be adjusted individually.
Optional features include front ventilated seats, new ambient lighting, a 75 per cent larger heads-up display, and luxury and M sport packages that bring a host of cosmetic upgrades to the interior and exterior. A factory-installed trailer hitch is available for the first time. The model also introduces gesture controls, allowing customers to change the volume or perform other tasks directed toward the 10.25-inch touchscreen. Gesture controls first debuted on the 7 Series and later trickled down to the 5 Series.
Also optional, says Weber, is semi-autonomous driving with multiple-assist features. He reports the dealership is selling them quickly, and currently has both X3 30i and M40i models available to drive.
Dealer of the week
DEALER OF the WeEK
Sales Rep: Julie Da Silva
Dealership: Birchwood Toyota
No. of Years: Three
Favourite Model: The RAV4
Why: “The RAV4 is just right for me,” Da Silva says.” It’s a reliable vehicle and you can choose between FWD and AWD.”