A neat feature made famous by Rolls-Royce that eventually trickled down to BMWs and MINIs. Yes, we’re talking about self-leveling wheel center caps. The roundel stays fixed when the wheel is spinning to let everyone know what kind of car you’re driving just by looking at its side. Of course, it’s very much a gimmick at the end of the day, but we’ll admit we kind of like it.
Nowadays, it can be had for the lowly 2 Series Gran Coupe and is available outside of the BMW Group as well. Volkswagen introduced fixed hub caps back in 2019, meaning you can have them on a mainstream Golf. In case you’re wondering how self-leveling wheel center caps are installed; a new video shows the straightforward process. You’ll need a piece of plastic to push the standard cap out before pressing the new one into place.
It’s almost just as easy if the wheel is already on the car, such as is the case with this X3 M. Since you don’t have access to the wheel’s rear, you will have to get a different tool. BMW suggests using a vacuum cap from a smartphone holder to yank it out. Some will find the tutorial unnecessary since the procedure is simple, but a video won’t hurt.
Self-leveling wheel center caps are compatible with all OEM wheels, but you must know the hubs come in two sizes. The diameter of BMW’s logo is 65 mm (2.55 in) and the hub cap contains a counterweight. Its role is to maintain the badge’s orientation upwards at all times. It’s no more useful than the illuminated kidney grille, but from a business perspective, it serves as another revenue stream.
We can’t help but wonder whether there will come a time when the “M” logo will also stay put since BMW’s performance division is now more popular than ever.
[Source: BMW / YouTube]