Bimmerfest has long been our favorite BMW event for almost more reasons than we can list. It’s wonderful location at the Pasadena Rose Bowl undoubtedly helps to generate a laidback atmosphere that washes over visitors, vendors and owners alike. It also attracts a huge array of different BMW models, from the earliest to the very latest. In fact, BMW North America stepped up its involvement this year, choosing to debut the M6 Convertible and Gran Coupe to the field of enthusiasts.
Not only did BMWNA’s new president, Ludwig Willisch make a personal appearance but he addressed the crowd and introduced the new models. They were part of a larger display that included the only F10 M5 in the US as well as the M Performance Parts 335i you’ll find elsewhere in this issue. There was also a display of historic racecars including the V12 LMR Le Mans racer, M1 Procar and PTG M3 GTR.
The newest 6 Series was in demand this year, with several appearing in wheel vendor’s booths with giant rims, and we spotted a couple of convincing M5 clones based on the F10 528i, of all things.
LTBMW made a splash with some of the only F30 conversions using hybrid bumpers, etc. They can also be seen elsewhere in the issue.
But if you owned the E9X or E46 M3 you were far better catered to with turbos from Horsepowerfreaks and superchargers from VF-Engineering, among others. ESS Tuning showed a stage 3 E92 M3 with a built engine reportedly good for 725hp, which warrants further investigation.
We also uncovered tuning parts for the N20 two-liter turbo motor in the F30 328i. These included an exhaust and intake from aFe (which we hope to test soon), along with downpipe, intake and software from Evolution Racewerks (which are tested elsewhere in this issue).
One of the most varied displays was from Vorsteiner, with everything from its latest Lamborghini Gallardo styling to the X5M and 1M Coupe. The latter gets a front spoiler, diffuser, trunk lid, exhaust and the company’s wheels.
There was also the new F10 5 Series styling that included a similar front spoiler and rear diffuser plus a trunk spoiler and either a stainless steel or titanium exhaust.
Vorsteiner also had a 1M-style GTS5 front spoiler for the E92 M3, as well as the widebody M3 GTRS5, which has similar front-end styling for this very aggressive conversion.
With the E21, E28, E30, 2002 et al remaining among our favorite eye-candy at the show, we look forward to 2013 rolling around. But if you can’t wait that long, or live on the East Coast, don’t forget to visit Bimmerfest East in Aberdeen, MD on August 25. The new show was established last year and looks like being another pillar of the Euro show scene (bimmerfest.com)