Three category wins from BMW at the 2023 AA Car Awards.
THREE CATEGORY WINS FROM BMW AT THE 2023 AA CAR AWARDS.
BMW scored big at the second ever AA Car Awards ceremony, held in October this year at Croke Park. Helen Westby, Managing Director of BMW Group Ireland was called to the stage on three occasions to pick up the coveted category winner trophies, while a fourth BMW model made the shortlist just weeks before its replacement launches on the Irish market.
BEST COMPACT EXECUTIVE – BMW i4.
Though the AA Car Awards includes three specific EV (electric vehicle) categories, the BMW i4 was deemed worthy of the top prize in the tightly-fought Best Compact Executive category, competing with a wide arrange of premium models powered by an array of petrol, diesel, electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The BMW i4 is part of the 4 Series Gran Coupé family and is sold exclusively in all-electric form. Prices start from just €61,335 for the i4 eDrive35 Sport, featuring a 286hp motor driving the rear wheels. Its specification includes a 70.2kWh battery pack for an official range of up to 482 kilometres.
An even longer distance between charges is possible in the BMW i4 eDrive40 Sport, starting at €71,045. It features an 83.9kWh battery for a range of up to 589 kilometres. That’s despite the use of a powerful 340hp electric motor.
For the ultimate i4 experience, there’s the BMW M-developed i4 M50. This features an electric motor front and rear for outstanding performance and handling. Peak power is 544hp and the 0-100km/h time takes just 3.9 seconds. In spite of the sports-car pace, this model can achieve up to 512 kilometres on a charge, too. It’s priced at €87,255.
BEST PERFORMANCE CAR – BMW M2
The second-generation BMW M2 launched in Ireland this year and the AA Car Awards jurors quickly deemed it worthy of the Best Performance Car title. There are plenty of models in the BMW line-up that could have won the accolade, but the judges reckon that the M2 is perfectly proportioned for Irish roads.
Based on the distinctive new BMW 2 Series Coupé, the M2 has been further developed by the firm’s hallowed M division to include all the technology and hardware from the ‘senior’ BMW M cars such as the M3 and M4. That makes its €115,055 starting price look auspiciously good value. Buyers can choose from automatic or manual gearboxes, though both versions are powered by a ferocious twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine sending 460hp to the rear wheels. It’s a thrill to drive.
BEST LUXURY EV – BMW i7
Despite the significant increase in new luxury EVs launched this year, the electric version of the evergreen BMW 7 Series stole the hearts and heads of the jury at the AA Car Awards. Electric power is particularly well-suited to luxury motoring where silence and refinement go hand in hand with comfort. The i7 has all that, wrapped up in a cutting-edge design that makes as bold a statement as the car’s high-tech cabin.
Irish buyers have a choice of three different electric powertrains, ranging from the rear-drive i7 eDrive50, to the dual-motor i7 xDrive60 – which can cover up to 618 kilometres on a charge – to the most powerful electric BMW of the moment, the 659hp i7 M70 xDrive. All mix exceptional performance with extraordinary opulence.
SHORTLISTED – BMW 5 SERIES
Remarkably, though an all-new generation of the BMW 5 Series executive is imminent, the outgoing car was shortlisted for the Large Executive category in the 2023 awards. The new car, which arrives with electric power in the form of the i5 from launch, must be the favourite to top this category at the 2024 event.
ABOUT THE AA CAR AWARDS
Now in its second year, the AA Car Awards is organised by AA Ireland and voted on by a panel of independent motoring journalists. These experts drive hundreds of new models every year, on Irish roads and abroad, while having the opportunity to question the car makers’ engineers, designers and management. Few others know the industry and the new cars on the market better.
Other than the “Overall Winner” trophy, which is only for cars introduced to the Irish market in the past 12 months, the AA Car Awards differs from most similar schemes by choosing the best cars on sale in each category regardless of when they were launched. This is of more use to in-market car buyers than awards restricted to models launched within a certain time period.