BMW South Africa has already celebrated half a century of car production at the Rosslyn plant where more than 1.6 million vehicles have been produced since March 1973. Throughout the years, it has assembled some special cars such as the 325iS Evo I and II during the E30 era, which also gave us the rare 333i. There was also a 530 MLE E12 serving as the first BMW road car to get an M-specific VIN plate while and a 745i E23 as the unofficial M7.
A follow-up to these low-volume products could be in the making to mark 50 years of BMW Group Plant Rosslyn. In an interview with CarMag, BMW Group SA CEO Peter van Binsbergen was asked about whether there are any plans for a new special car on this occasion. His answer? “We have some ideas.” He didn’t go into specific details, but he did rule out another homologation special, adding “dreams will remain dreams.”
The last time BMW South Africa came up with something a bit out of the ordinary was last year when several models received a Mzansi Edition. However, these were based on less exciting products such as the 118i and 128ti hatchbacks along with the 218i Gran Coupe, with all getting visual tweaks without any real performance upgrades.
While we understand the days of lightweight homologation specials built in extremely limited numbers are behind us, here’s hoping BMW South Africa is planning something more interesting than just cosmetic add-ons. The only model currently manufactured in Rosslyn is the X3, with over 300,000 units built since 2018 when the G01 went into production. The crossover replaced the 3 Series, which was assembled in 1,191,604 examples spanning five generations and over 30 years of production.
Realistically speaking, we wouldn’t rule out a special edition of the locally-made X3, presumably featuring the 50 years of BMW Group South Africa logo specifically created to celebrate the important milestone.