German luxury car maker BMW has had an encouraging start to 2019. The group has clocked almost 3,000 cars in the first quarter of the year reducing the gap between the market leader Mercedes-Benz and themselves. And this week two new cars were added to the portfolio, ones that will not necessarily contribute highly to sales figures but will certainly take up the desirability quotient in the luxury car segment.


Promising to offer the freedom between road and open sky, the Z4 roadster made a comeback in India as a completely built-up unit model this week. While the sDrive20i variant is priced at Rs 64.9 lakh, the more powerful M40i variant will set you back by Rs 78.90 lakh.

All the essential characteristics of a Roadster are there for all to see —the long bonnet, classic soft top and the short overhangs. The kidney grille gets a new mesh design and vertically aligned headlights are new as well. You have the option between standard LED headlights or optional adaptive LED headlights on the car. The large air breathers on the front wheel arches, aerodynamic air vents and the rear spoiler are there to play their part dynamically. The rear apron combines with the diffusor and exhaust tailpipes. In the M performance version, standard features include 19-inch M light alloy wheels, Cerium Grey finish in the Kidney Grille, exterior mirror caps and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes.

Just as is the case with all beamers even the Z4 gets a driver-orientated cockpit design. The layout features a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in a hexagonal frame and a high-resolution touch screen information display. The car also gets an adaptive navigation system and active park distance control. Optional features include a high-end Harman Kardon with 12 loudspeakers and 408 Watts of output and a first ever full-colour BMW head-up display screen.  Standard specification for the M40i variant includes a leather and alcantara interior with blue contrast stitching and blue piping. The M sport package apart from M exterior badging will also get you door sill finishers with M designation and M Leather steering Wheel.

The two-litre inline four-cylinder petrol engine of the sDrive20i produces an output of 197 hp and a maximum torque of 320 Nm. The car accelerates from 0-100 kmph in just 6.6 seconds. The more powerful and fun to drive M40i gets a three-litre six-cylinder in-line engine which produces 340 hp and a maximum torque of 500 Nm. It accelerates from 0-100 kmph in just 4.5 seconds. Both cars get an 8-speed Steptronic Sport Transmission. To save some fuel the 2 seat convertible gets car auto start-stop, eco pro mode and brake-energy regeneration. Different driving modes include ecopro, comfort, sport/ sport+ to suit diverse driving conditions.

BMW 620d Gran Turismo

The first-ever 620d Gran Turismo from BMW was launched in India this week. The idea behind the GT family of cars from the brand is to provide a balance between of driver-orientation and luxurious comfort. Things that contribute to that are a two-part panorama glass roof, electrically operated adjustable rear seats, colour screens behind the front-seat backrests and game consoles.

In terms of design the car gets a generously sized long bonnet, the signature frameless windows, coupé-style low roofline and large automatic tailgate. The active rear spoiler provides visual lightness and reduces lift at touring speeds. This car too gets adaptive LED headlights.  Inside the luxury line, the aluminium door sill plates, sports leather steering wheel, ambient lighting and chrome edging for the air vents all catch the eye. The 8.8-inch digital instrument display, a navigation professional (with 10.25-inch touch screen) and apple carplay with wireless functionality add more to the cabin.

The car runs on a two-litre four-cylinder diesel engine which produces an output of 190 hp and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. It takes 7.9 seconds for it to accelerate from 0-100 km / hr. The eight-speed automatic transmission does the duty here too. The driver can choose between different driving modes to suit diverse driving conditions— Sport, Comfort, Comfort +, Eco Pro and Adaptive. The company says adaptive 2-axle air suspension with automatic self-leveling ensures a comfortable ride and also sharpens the car’s dynamics. The car gets safety features like dynamic stability control, cornering brake control, hill descent control and side-impact protection. BMW says efficient weight distribution, low centre of gravity, automatic start/stop function and eco pro mode ensure a better mileage on the car.  The car is priced at Rs 63. 9 lakh (ex-showroom). The petrol variant of the car, 630i GT already sells in the Indian market.


Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars      

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