In the automotive world, it’s easy to debate the most iconic vehicles and brands. While gearheads may not agree on every contender for ‘legendary’ status, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to exclude mention of BMW M Series in that conversation. BMW M is renown as the sporty sub-brand of BMW which was first brought to life in 1972, and has spent the last 50 years testing the boundaries of sport performance, striking a delicate chord between luxury and technical perfection, and driving towards innovation with models designed to be ahead of their time.
Last week, BMW Canada invited a select group of BMW M enthusiasts to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of M at Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex and, as you might have guessed, it was a grand affair. As Canada ranks among the top M markets in the world, the event attracted no shortage of fans, many of whom were dressed in BMW branded clothing for the occasion and eager to catch the exclusive first glance at the future of M, as promised by the event invite.
As attendees approached the entrance of the venue, they were met with an undeniably formidable line-up of some of BMW’s most beloved M series models, including the M3, M4, the stylish new X7, the X5 M, and many more. Upon signing in, guests even had the option to register for an in-car experience with a professional driver trusted with the task of demonstrating the full power of M while manoeuvring through a slalom circuit.
The entrance to the main hall featured another striking display: the 2023 BMW M3 Competition M xDrive Edition 50 Jahre BMW M, with a MSRP of $126,500 and an eye-catching lime rock grey metallic exterior. Just behind it, the 2022 BMW M5 Competition was waiting, in addition to a Z3 M Coupé and the highly anticipated 2023 BMW M4 CSL. Perhaps most eye-catching of all (depending on your taste), was the BMW Art Car on display. The 2022 8 X Jeff Koons model represents the fruits of 200 hours of manual labour, with an exterior that combines eleven different colours to achieve a styling reminiscent of a classic superhero comic book.
Throughout the evening, attendees were free to admire and interact with the expansive line-up of featured M vehicles, pick the brains of BMW specialists on the floor, and take a trip down (M)emory lane with the help of a timeline backdrop that stretched the length of the room. Beyond the cars themselves, guests were treated to an open bar, incredible food, a Bespoke Luggage Tag Laser Engraving experience, a BMW Race Simulation Competition, the BMW Lifestyle Boutique, and a BMW-themed ‘Falling In Sand’ display meticulously put on by James Sun, a sand artist from Toronto. The 2022 M 1000 RR and Ben Young’s 2022 M 1000 RR (the 2022 Canadian Pro Superbike Championship Winner) were also on display to appeal to the BMW Motorrad enthusiasts in the room.
The 50 Years of M celebration reached its apex during a special presentation at 7 PM, during which BMW Canada President and CEO David George took the stage to thank the crowd and speak to the importance of M in Canada. Before passing the microphone over to Kevin Marcotte — the National Manager of BMW M, BMW i and Luxury Class in Canada — we were treated to the long-awaited Canadian reveal of the new BMW XM and M2 models.
While we can’t divulge all those delectable details here, we can leave you with this sentiment: the future of BMW M looks very, very bright.
All photography by Lucas Scarfone