Camouflaged BMW X3 causes bomb scare outside NY museum


In a breaking news article, Autoblog reports that a BMW X3 prototype wearing the now famous psychedelic triggered a bomb scare and the resulting evacuation …

In a breaking news article, Autoblog reports that a BMW X3 prototype wearing the now famous psychedelic triggered a bomb scare and the resulting evacuation of several blocks along Central Park West near the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday afternoon in New York City.

While the story has yet to be confirmed by BMW, we will give you the details as related by Autoblog with the mention that we are working on getting an official reply from BMW North America. Edit: Confirmed by BMWNA.

A 2011 BMW X3 prototype was currently tested by BMW in the Big Apple and the car was briefly left running while parked. A woman walking her dog rightly thought the vehicle looked suspicious, most likely due to the funky camouflage, and alerted the police.




Police responded to investigate, and after clearing the area of bystanders, found no reason for alarm. Everyone was safe, although the back window of the X3 prototype was apparently shattered in the process.

[Photos: "Yaz" at Germancarforum ]

  • M5-2011

    Living right in NYC I can officially say we are a paranoid city now

    • Ted Spahr

      It’s not just NY’ers… This country as a whole is WAY overly paranoid.


    Fucking people from NYC, they are all paranoid, they can see a hamburger leave it on the street and they think it´s a fucking bomb. Suckers.

    • Doug

      What the hell would you know about “people from NYC” aside from a story you read online about a paranoid woman walking her dog?

  • Laszlo

    saw a same – or similar X3 – in Greer, by the factory (bmw) last week.

  • M5-2011

    from those pics I can say that for the X to be parked like that there was no reason in the world for it to be on, especially with no one in it, after what did just happened on 42nd street I can see why this happened.

  • Alex Rossbach

    wow new yorkers must not be that intelligent…so a camouflaged car is a bomb?
    way too paranoid…it must be like 1984 over there lol

  • okeribok

    Why would anybody leave their car with the engine running? That’s just crazy.

    • bob

      It’s a prototype. Birkmann was instructed to keep it running, in order for engineers to gather more (real world) data?

  • wow

    well, it looks more that the bulk in the back of the care was the cause…sure it will be a lot of buzz between the BMW- test drivers about the happening!

  • T.

    In hindsight it is good that there is vigilance to recognise if something is suspicious.
    The Tarp in the trunk, reported was the reason to be suspicious and where there would be people who would see it as a BMW prototype sadly this was not the case as the woman that reported the car would have no way of distinguishing a prototype from another car on the street.
    In Munich because they are on the road every day it is mere curiosity than suspicion. Of course do not expect any BMW prototypes in NYC for the time being.

  • plaxico

    they probably all run away because x3s so ugly………

  • Laszlo

    yeah sure, the terrorists will always mark their car with heavy flashy camouflage. you know just to show that they are terrorists and not just a soccer mom. All terrorist drive new BMW’s because ya know, they are cool. and they will leave the engine running because they are from an Arabic country where the gasoline is cheap so they don’t care… it all points to the obvious – the woman was an idiot.

    the tarp in a back, that was a cream on the cake. the cops probably felt good to smash the window in. just in case we need to smash the window… open it would be too simple and not police like.
    If they break it then it will be safe for them if they open, it will detonate ?
    sure thinking… nowhere in a world but in NY…

    • XC


    • Vaybach Khan

      man,your comment is so funny :)
      i think it was just a stupid individual,an every city or country has its own..but the police had been stupid here specially …if they have chance to brake window they willbrake it ,they couldnt just wait for owner?
      you know the song ..˝i feel safe in new york city..˝

      • Horatiu B.

        Here are some facts guys: in North America, automakers are apparently not allowed to park their camouflaged cars in parking garages, especially when the interior is all covered up and looks suspicious. The only place left to park is on the street.

        This whole issue happened because of the timing of the situation and because the car was left running for a bit.

  • Doug

    I don’t think the camouflage was the problem, it was the silvery bundle in the back – probably a car tarp or heat reflector or something.

    Nothing really added up to a credible threat, with or without the bundle in the back.

  • Doug

    The thing that pisses me off about this is that right after 9/11, I tried to point out to a cart-cop an obvious non-native who all afternoon was was taking detailed pictures of all the buildings in the midtown financial district. The cop completely blew me off. The NYPD has always been completely erratic in their handling of these matters.

  • M5-2011

    The tarp mixed with the car parked AND running, with no one inside it makes it justifiable in the wake of Times Squares car bomb last week. Not so much the camo I would think. We here in NY have advertised/designed rides all over, even our buses look like that at times

  • T.

    Just been pointed out to me that they would have to FEDEX Spartanburg for a new rear screen as I doubt BMW of Manhattan would be able to supply one at the present time. :)

  • Gord

    I think if you tried to report a camo’d car in Detroit, you would be called an idiot.

    • bob

      Maybe bombing Detroit would be a GOOD idea! Turn it into productive farmland. Or, productive something…

  • badger

    this is so funny ahaha

  • XC

    There is no such thing as bad publicity, lol. As long as they talk about you…

  • XC

    Wow, the license plate looks somehow arabic… maybe that was the suspicious thing…

    • bob

      By “arabic”, you mean New Jersey?! FYI, BMW NA is located in Woodcliff Lake, NJ.

      • XC

        It was a joke, duh.

  • bob

    This is ironic!

    For their 3/2003 issue, NA’s BMW Magazine did a profile on Martin Birkmann – “People Behind BMW”. This was when he was 5 Series & X5 Product Advocate (even before being ///M Mgr.).

    “Q: You live in New York City. Do you park your car on the street or in a garage?
    A: Garage, but I never know which causes more damage to it!…”


    See: BMW Magazine, 3/2003, pg. 96-97.

  • viper

    I think this is all part of publication from bmw , their x3 lacks attention so this move should score some points

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  • Michael

    These things only happen in the US. I wonder why…