BMW News


The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off on January 9. What was once the biggest trade show for electronic gadgets and audio/video equipment has expanded to become quite the car show. As it has done in a big way for the past few years, BMW will be there to demonstrate where the electronics and automotive worlds intersect for the customer.

Virtual racing is growing and now demands super-accurate virtual cars and car actions. On January 10 at 11 AM, Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital and creator of the PlayStation Gran Turismo videogame series; Todd Ballard, CMO, GoPro; and BMW Team RLL professional race car driver John Edwards will be on a panel discussing capturing and replicating the reality of real-world racing in a virtual world. David “Shingy” Shing, Digital Prophet, AOL (Oath) will moderate the discussion.

BMW and PlayStation will host a virtual experience using the most recent Gran Turismo Sport, the latest in the Gran Turismo series of racing simulators. Each day at the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience during show hours, contestants will attempt to set their best times. The top five finishers each day from January 9 to January 11 will be invited to the BMW Ultimate Driver CES Showdown at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, January 12 where they will race a 2018 BMW M4 in an event hosted by BMW Team RLL and BMW Brand Ambassador Bill Auberlen. The overall winner will receive a grand prize of an M School Experience at a BMW Performance Center and their name will be featured on a custom BMW M6 GT3 in the Gran Turismo Sport racing game.

CES attendees will also have the opportunity to experience BMW's new virtual reality tool—VR@Retail—which is designed to enhance the car-buying process. VR@Retail is a fully immersive environment in which visitors can view and interact with the all-new BMW X2 Sports Activity Vehicle. Potential customers may explore the interior and exterior of the vehicle and customize key elements of the new X2. BMW plans to field VR@Retail to dealerships worldwide in 2018.

Demonstrations of how the new M5 can drift will be held each day on the hour to emphasize the world record drifting ability of the M5 and its drivers from the BMW Performance Center.

As usual, BMW will have a healthy stable of production vehicles for street and autocross test drives, including offerings from BMW i, BMW M, and BMW X models during show hours.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]