BMW hosted journalists recently for its Fall Test Fest -- a chance to drive the latest offerings from BMW and Mini at a private track in Thermal, CA.
Indeed, Bavaria has big plans for battery-electric cars, such as the soon-to-arrive iX CUV and i4 sedan. But internal-combustion engines remain relevant for the majority of U.S. buyers today and the automaker, as always, is in a race with Mercedes-Benz for the luxury sales crown.
Through October, BMW held a slight edge over Mercedes, with 292,093 vehicles sold in the U.S., up 26.4% over like-2020, according to Wards Intelligence data.
Among new models driven at Test Fest were the all-new '22 BMW 230i compact coupe and significantly updated '22 Mini Cooper S convertible, and high-speed track time was enjoyed in the still-fresh (and thoroughly engaging) M3 sedan and M4 coupe.
But something stood out as dozens of new BMWs were parked alongside the track in a long line, ready to be test driven: colors were spectacularly vibrant, both inside and out.
Not everyone wants neon yellow sheet metal with bright blue seats or a brilliant matte-finish green exterior with a lava interior, but BMW is doing its best to satisfy those who do.