BMWBLOG got a great look at BMW at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance this year. A good mix of vintage metal and tomorrow’s biggest M vehicles were on display, and a field of interesting collector vehicles ranging from 1930s Bugatti cars to a 1980s Lamborghini Countach. Notably, BMW is the sole automaker sponsor of the Arizona Concours d’Elegance. And they did not disappoint with any of the vehicles offered for display – new or old.
New School: BMW M2 and XM
This was an exciting day for me, as it was my first glimpse of the 2023 BMW M2 in person. It isn’t substantially larger than the outgoing model, and the proportions from the side are classic BMW. The bucket seats are the exact same as the ones found in the G80 M3 and G82 M4, but the shifter feels much crisper and seems to sit much lower. The shift boot is also physically smaller. I was lucky enough to start the vehicle, and I’m happy to report it sounds just as gnarly as the S58 under the hood of the M3 and M4.
The only nit to pick on the design of the M2 is the lower front grille. It’s a little empty feeling and starkly contrasts with the primary kidney grilles, which are somewhat busy-looking. Not perfect, but perhaps it will grow on me.
The BMW XM greeted visitors as you walked in – its gaping grille is unmistakable, even at a distance. Up close, the XM is clearly derivative of the X7 and X6, as advertised – not as big as the X7 and not as aggressively tapered as the X6. This one featured Cape York Green with the fairly obnoxious gold 23-inch wheels and the definitely unique Deep Lagoon with Vintage Coffee interior. Overall – not my favorite look, but it had some fans in the crowd. A BMW of North America rep informed me that a leather bag – similar to the luggage packaged with the 50 Jahre M3 – is included with the BMW XM.
Old School: 1971 BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car and 3.0 CSL ALPINA
BMW treated a very special Seattle-area owner to some time in the sun in Scottsdale as a courtesy for letting them use two cars from his very special collection. The BMW 3.0 CSL Race Car had a storied history of racing in the 1970s. Currently donning its Levi’s CSL (which it raced as in 1975), it formerly raced as the Marlboro CSL in 1974 and an orange GP car in 1972. A true piece of race history, it will be on display at the local Penske-owned BMW dealership while the owner drives around his other car – a 3.0 CSL ALPINA.
This 3.0 CSL features Golf Yellow paint and all the special details that make it an ALPINA special. Primarily, the 14-inch alloy wheels, chrome fender flares, and ALPINA graphics. You can learn more about Peter Gleeson, the esteemed collector of these fine vehicles, by checking out the Peter Gleeson BMW Classic Heart Podcast.