BMW Past Present And Future, $10k Cheap Hatchback Challenge: RAC #37

Welcome to the world of BMW. In this case, we mean that figuratively and literally, as Senior Editor Jeff Perez joins Bruce and Smith on Rambling About Cars to talk about his weeklong adventure with BMW in Germany. Munich is where you’ll find BMW’s headquarters, so in addition to reporting from the 2021 Munich Motor Show, Perez spent all kinds of time around Bimmers from the past, present, and yes, the future.

Live photos of BMW i Vision Circular from IAA 2021

As such, the first half of this week’s show is an ode to BMW. It’s especially interesting because, from an outside perspective, Mercedes-Benz absolutely dominated headlines from the Munich show despite it being held in BMW’s backyard. Mercedes certainly had more vehicle debuts, both in production and concept form. But as Perez explains, BMW was active at the event in its own way. The curious i Vision Circular concept was arguably the company’s headlining act, but whereas Mercedes was all about electricity, BMW was strutting its in-house customization team with an M4 Competition wearing a Hulk-approved shade of green.

There was also the iX5 hydrogen fuel-cell SUV concept that wasn’t just on display. BMW used several as shuttle vehicles around Munich. Perez spent time in one, which led to a larger discussion on why a hydrogen infrastructure for fuel-cell vehicles is all but ignored. Perez is on-board with hydrogen as a great alternative to electricity that could better serve people in rural areas. Smith agrees and busts out a wild conspiracy theory about electric high-rollers trying to kill hydrogen. Bruce rolls his eyes and points out the expense involved in developing hydrogen for fuel-cell use, not to mention its tendency to explode.

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