It’s always a plus when your BMW media invite begins with ‘Meet at Mechanics bay.’ This location generally means a Helicopter ride to an event that will undoubtedly be something rather special. In this case, I was correct with the event but thanks to the weather gods not playing ball, incorrect with the chopper. Still being chauffeur driven in a new BMW X7 to one of the most amazing looking homes in Auckland came a very close second.
Nestled near Tanglewood retreat just north of Waimauku, is a personally owned luxurious abode that BMW NZ had acquired for a few days. It’s a modern yet minimalistic venue that oozed opulence, boasted one of (if not THE) largest man-made lake in NZ and a place that grows the ultra-desirable delicacy, Truffles.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a fine cup of flat white, classical music performed by an Octet of strings flown in from the NZ Philharmonic Orchestra and an array of some of BMW’s most luxurious vehicles they currently have on offer – this event was certainly going to be, in BMW’s own words, “the most personal promise of luxury.”
We were welcomed by Karol Abrasowicz-Madej (MD BMW NZ) in his usual hospitable fashion and told about the day’s events that included a 75km driving loop where we would experience the plethora of prestigious rides we had drooled over on the way in, followed by a lavish lunch courtesy of Josh Emmet and fine champagne, wines and whisky thanks to Moet Hennessy (evidently no more driving was to be done after that).
Ultimately, the event had been perfected to enliven all five of our senses and maybe even the 6th. We learned a little more about the ethos behind the chariots we would be driving, then headed out to begin the drive.
We opted for the M5 Competition first. It was a stand out on the body colour department (Marina bay blue) but also meant that if the weather played ball, we may have timed our last ride perfectly – I’ll get to that soon.
The M5 Competition is a fierce ride when it wants to be (0-100km/h 3.3seconds) yet is as placid as a lamb when not being stressed. Sure the ride is firm but that’s what you want in an M-Sport car isn’t it? The loop would take us around the country roads that surrounded North West Auckland, it offered places to stretch the car’s legs and areas to simply enjoy the scenery, regardless of the rain.
At the next stop, we moved into the magnificent 7. The flagship of the brand in terms of luxury sedan and a vehicle that drives like it’s on a soft carpet. Sporting a new grille and refreshed interior that was lavish to touch, it defines luxury, pure and simple. Next, we headed into the first of two X7s. A Seven seat option X750 followed by a Six seat layout with captains chairs and an X740 badge. Both SUVs offered leather furniture and a whole raft of technological wizardry, oh and of course, a very smooth driving experience.
Last but not least, the 8-series. First the coupe with its stunning exterior design and an interior so refined, it would make a board room blush, then, just as the rain eased, the convertible. We ‘electronically’ dropped the top, switched on the heated seats and air scarfs and listened to the engine crackle and pop as the gears downshifted.
We arrived back at the homestead with (as promised) many of our senses being somewhat overloaded. Sight, Sound, Touch, even Scent, had all managed to experience some of the wonders that had been laid on for the day, but there was still one yet to be covered – Taste.
With the driving behind us, we each received a glass of Krug Grande Cuvee champagne before sitting down to a five-course lunch. Handmade Sourdough with Smoked butter that was still smoking. Salmon and Caviar with a 2004 Vintage Krug match. Steamed aubergine with shitake cream matched with a 2015 Cloudy Bay Te Koko, Spiced Cambridge Duck breast with confit leg and white bean cassoulet matched with a 2016 Cloudy Bay Te Wahi and finally Hogarth Chocolate with truffle ice cream matched with a Glenmorangie Signet – let’s just say, our tastebuds didn’t go wanting.
BMW is not just a car manufacturer, they are inspired minds, passionate about creating and enriching lives. They are doers, audacious enough to challenge the status quo, audacious enough to take fate into their hands and change it. They believe in creating unique moments in emotions and magic. They believe that we should make the most out of the time we have. They are creators of meaningful experiences that inspire us. They are creators of moments that become so precious that we want to own them.
The entire experience was just that, an experience and a full-on one to be more precise. From sight and sound to excitement and ultimate feeling, it goes to prove that BMWs are not just a way of getting from A to B but a way to get from here to where you really want to be.