Ode to Joy…
The body copy here attempts to challenge the contemporary perception that BMW was essentially a niche manufacturer with a tiny range of specialist cars by highlighting the broad scope of BMW’s 1975 UK range: 14 cars. Today there are as many variations of the current 3-door 1-Series available upon these shores. So while the 40-year old range could fit on an single A4 sheet, BMW’s entire 2015 range would now require a good 38 pages – and most likely a glossary of terms.
It’s obvious BMW as a company have grown massively in the last four decades, but the staggering fact is today’s UK range; (one we mustn’t forget has yet to be further swelled by the newly announced 7-Series), amounts to 37 vehicles and 458 model variants. I’m not joking – I checked*.
The 3-Series is (unsurprisingly) the most prolific, with 41 saloon variants, the same number of Touring models, 33 Gran Turismo variations and 3 Active Hybrid models. That’s 118 individual model choices. You may be equally unsurprised to learn Ford offers a mere 38 variants of its Mondeo to UK customers – and that includes a hybrid and the Vignale. And were you aware it’s possible to order a 5-Series Gran Turismo in 12 different flavours? BMW’s problem now is the inverse of the one they faced forty years ago – to successfully distract our attention from the fact it’s no longer a specialist marque.
The 3-Series made its début in 1975. There was only one body style and one engine choice. Doesn’t time fly?
*sourced from BMW UK.