BMW & Movie Stars – A Hollywood Love Story

So ends another year at the Oscars. The lavish gowns are the subject of public scrutiny in the morning tabloids, and photos abound of Hollywood’s best and most beautiful. We’ve already come up with a list of featured BMW beauties in the movies. What about in real life? Let’s have a look at what some of our personal Tinseltown favorites drive.

BMW Hydrogen 7 – Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Like the star herself, the BMW Hydrogen 7 combines elegance, and environmental consciousness into one sleek package. We’re told that she’ll let Brad take it out for a spin from time to time. Although roomy enough to pack in a gaggle of children, clearly this isn’t the family car.

BMW 7 Series – Eva LongoriaThere’s something so right about seeing this Hollywood bombshell and political activist step out of a sleek 7 Series. Classy and beautiful, yet powerful. We’re certain that the Series 7 would be as equally provocative taking the curves out in the middle of the desert

BMW Z3 – Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan is often seen taking in the town in his sporty BMW Z3, which just goes to show that the sixth James Bond truly has a sense of style, performance and fun – both on and off-screen.

BMW Z8 – Gerard Butler

The BMW Z8 perfectly fits this firebrand action hero to perfection: made for speed, adept at handling any curves thrown his way (smirk!), and impeccably stylish. Nothing says undaunted like the quintessential concept car he’s chosen from the stable of BMW Ultimate Driving Machines!

Rowan Atkinson – 1939 BMW 328

Don’t let the adorably buffoonish façade of Mr. Bean fool you. He might not be up for an Oscar any time soon, but he just might surprise everyone in this vintage-built BMW 328 at the 1000 Miglia time trials near Florence. Che classico !

And the Award for “Best Car in an Action Movie” Goes to…BMW!

It’s that time of year again – the film awards season! The Academy Awards are almost upon us.  Among the dazzling lights, beautiful people, glitz and glamor,  have you ever wondered why the BMW wasn’t up for a nomination? After all, we have quite a few examples of movies where the BMW was the real star of the show. As a nod to the 85th Annual Oscar Award ceremonies, we’ve compiled a list of our top five BMW movie cars. Here are our personal favorites, in no particular order:

1: The Transporter – 735i. We said “in no particular order”, but this one may be our favorite. It doesn’t get much cooler than Jason Statham motoring his way from chase to chase in The Transporter with this 735i. This 7 Series scores bonus points for having a manual transmission! Check it out on IMDB here.

2: The World is Not Enough – Z8. James Bond meets one of the most attractive BMWs ever. It was a match made in heaven. The gadgets made for some memorable scenes, but the car’s sad ending was one you will never forget! Check it out on IMDB here.

3: Ronin – E34 M5. While many remember the film Ronin for a different car, it is the bad guy’s M5 that did much of the film’s dirty work. And snaps for being driven the wrong way on the freeway in a chase scene! A classic BMW being put through its paces gives it a direct link to our top 5 list. Check it out on IMDB here.

4: Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol – i8 Concept. The only concept BMW on our list, the i8 brought BMW back to Hollywood in a major way. The chase scene through Mumbai traffic is a classic, and Tom Cruise’s softball affection for the car makes the i8 more memorable than the film itself! Check it out on IMDB here.

5: Tomorrow Never Dies– 750il. Yes we included a second Bond car here, and this time it is a 7 Series. This 7 Series traded The Transporter’s manual gearbox for a remote control! The parking lot scene has been cemented in our minds since we first saw it in 1997. As usual, the Bond car doesn’t meet a happy ending though. Check it out on IMDB here.

What was your most memorable performance by a BMW in an action movie? Let us know!

BMW Financial Services Launches The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook

Today we are releasing The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook, which lets BMW drivers and other driving enthusiasts find and share their exceptional driving routes. Users of the app can add their own route descriptions, photos or ratings, and see all of the contributions from others on the map or with Google Street View.

Thanks to BMW Financial Services, users with a Facebook account (now over a billion people) can access this free app right away.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook features millions of miles of user-suggested driving routes, detailed descriptions, photos and user ratings. The Facebook app includes the ability to view stretches using Google Street View and to integrate with our other route-sharing apps from BMW Financial Services for iOS and Android.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook also allows existing BMW Financial Services customers (U.S. only) to generate a loyalty voucher worth up to $700 off the first finance or lease payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW. Users can claim this offer by reserving a test drive within one of the apps between now and December 31, 2012.

“What better way to enjoy the perfect road than with your friends.”, said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business,  BMW Financial Services, “We hope that The Ultimate Drive for Facebook will help fans of BMW share their passion within their social networks.”

Here are the voucher amounts available and how they match up with the different BMW models:

$300 Off Voucher — 3 Series, 1 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 (all trims, including M models)
$500 Off Voucher — 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X5 (all trims, including M models)
$700 Off Voucher — 7 Series, 6 Series, 6 Series Gran Coupe and X6 (all trims, including M models)

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get the new Facebook app!!!

NOTE: The Ultimate Drive for Facebook is initially available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam. If you’re located elsewhere, the iOS and Android apps are available in 100+ countries. You can get the mobile apps at http://socialnav-inc.com/GetTUD.

Quick Drive: The 2013 BMW Alpina B7

At last month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Ultimate Drive App team found ourselves in an enviable position. While at the BMW Villa (yes, a real villa),  the good folks at BMW North America offered us the key to a new 2013 Alpina B7 – on the weekend of its North American debut! Before anyone changed their mind, we quickly grabbed the key and hit the road for a test drive. Our time in the car was limited, so consider the following general impressions of the car and not a detailed road test. Here is what we thought:

Our Alpina B7, awaiting its workout

At first glance you know the car is something special. Many touches – both subtle and obvious – differentiate the B7 and its unbelievable 500hp, twin-turbocharged V8 from its 7 Series brethren. A variety of badges and body features let you know this car means business and, if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, the exhaust note when you start the engine will!

We were also fortunate enough to take a drive in the latest 7 Series which, until the Alpina drive, we had been lavishly praising as one of our favorite luxury sedans ever. The Alpina’s road manners changed that ranking, but it managed to do so without giving up exactly what made the 7 Series great – its road manners. The Alpina is aggressive, responsive and authoritative when you want it to be; or docile, comfortable and quiet when you aren’t wringing its neck. More on the performance later, but it is important to mention the car’s incredible versatility up front.

The Alpina-badged cockpit is all business, and laid out extremely well

Once inside the cockpit, we immediately noticed a host of features; the most immediate of which was silence. Getting into the Alpina is like stepping into a parallel universe – one which only embodies yourself, your passengers and the machine at your command. The cockpit was logically oriented, and we had no trouble getting familiar with the myriad of controls and accoutrements the B7 has to offer. Our passenger in the back seat made a point to consistently repeat how wonderful the rear seating area was throughout the drive. This was partially due to his spending the morning in the back of an M3, but nonetheless worth repeating here.

Our back seat driver passenger managed to snap a quick camera phone image of this interior Alpina badge between being flung between the limits of the seatbelt in corners

Getting back to business, we had already driven the 7 Series so we were quite keen to see what the Alpina could do. After a leisurely drive down 17 Mile Drive – Pebble Beach’s built in racetrack – we decided to put the car through its paces. The transformation from luxury sedan to sports car is simply incredible. The first big revelation was the braking system. From high speed the B7 stopped to a standstill with the ease of a sports car and, in doing so, gave the weight impression of a Go Kart not a 4500lb luxury sedan.

Top notch Michelins PS2’s and serious braking power – this is only the rear caliper! – inspire massive confidence in sport driving conditions

Naturally a stop sign gave us the opportunity to see how the car accelerates from a standstill, the answer to which is ferociously! The automatic transmission worked like a charm during both aggressive and relaxed driving periods. Handling mirrored our impressions of the rest of the car; which was to say perfect in all conditions. In fact, we had a hard time faulting anything in the car. Perhaps with more time and a proper testing ground we could have, but for now all we can say is we want one!