2012 BMW 528i in Munich, Germany

Weekends: The Ultimate Driving Machine at home in Munich

The BMW 528i relaxes impatiently outside my hotel window, breathlessly anticipating my return to the city from which it was born. The car and München are linked by a rich heritage of German knowhow and craftsmanship, this being the technology hub of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW). Yes there are many other fine German automobiles on the streets here today, but there is something special about driving a Bimmer on home soil.

I am reminded of this each time we engage the engine start button or press the accelerator pedal and feel the surge of power. Breathless no more, it surges forward to command the road and stake its claim as one in a long line of ultimate driving machines.

Engine performance comes in the form of a 3.0-litre inline 6-cylinder engine with 4-valve per cylinder technology. A powerful motor, it cranks out 240 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 230 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm. Matched with a near flawless 8-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic, the rear-wheel drive BMW 528i sedan accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds flat.

Inside, cabin space is both elegant and functional. Superb seats for both driver and passenger hug in all the right places, making this an exhilarating place to spend quality time. Rear seat passengers need not worry as 3 people will be more than comfortable, though two is the optimum number for ultimate occupant pleasure.

2012 BMW 528i in Munich, Germany

The list of standard features is exceptional. Once the bane of every auto journalist, iDrive is now considered by many to be the penultimate interface for communicating effectively with your automobile, even while driving at speeds normally reserved for European roads. A sporty 3-spoke steering wheel compliments the dash layout with several touch controls and a rock-solid feel for where and how the car is being driven. BMW’s coupes and sedans feel so right, it just can’t be stated more simply than that.

Our stay in Munich, Germany takes place at the renowned The Charles Hotel located in the city center. Positioned next to Munich’s Old Botanical Gardens, the hotel first opened its doors in 2007 as the latest addition to Rocco Forte Hotels in Germany.

A total of 160 guestrooms, including 27 suites and the Momforte Suite (Presidential) define this exquisite hotel. Soft colours and rich dark wood are featured throughout. Vibrant red fabric and brown leather couches surround the celebrated lobby bar where night caps and conversations of the rich and famous go on well into the night.

Floor to ceiling windows face south to take full advantage of the morning sun as I sit and enjoy the morning paper at restaurant DAVVERO. A superb buffet breakfast is served in the morning, with lunch available throughout the day. In the evening, fine Italian dining takes center stage as seating for up to 130 guests revel in the ambience of the park and historic Munich sparkling in the background.

Our Deluxe King room features a king-size bed, views overlooking the Botanical Gardens, a French-style balcony along with contemporary light colours capitalizing on the richness that Munich itself. Carpeting is soft and warm. A large desk is the perfect location for getting a little work done, Internet connectivity is included.

The lavish bathroom features Bavarian limestone, an over-sized tub and separate shower, dual-sinks and heated floors. While I would never suggest quality bathroom time as a suitable replacement for sightseeing, this is one setting worth consideration. When something a little more grandiose and professional is required, a quick phone call sets up the ideal massage or body treatment at The Charles Spa.

2012 BMW 528i in Munich, Germany

A short drive north of the city, we test the mettle of the 2012 BMW 528i on the roads in and around the Freising, one of the oldest towns in Bavaria. It rose to fame as a center for religion during the Middle Ages and retains much of its old-world charm in the streets and close-knit buildings of the city. I find myself wishing for a little more maneuvering room on more than one occasion, but the 528i remains unflappable in even the tightest corner.

A true Bavarian adventure is best enjoyed from the behind the wheel of the best in Bavarian transportation. BMW knows a thing or two about driving in Germany, and it shows. Back at the hotel, I am reminded of this fact as I contemplate the day’s activities sitting on a stool at the bar enjoying another of Germany’s finest creations. The famous Bavarian saying, “Der Teufel steckt im Detail” (the devil is in the details) is truly the best way to summarize this destination. One question, however, begs clarification. Why is Oktoberfest held mostly in September?

2012 BMW 528i
Configuration: front engine/ rear-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.0L inline 6-cyl. / 8-spd automatic
Power/torque: 240 hp/ 230 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Premium (70L)
Fuel economy ratings: 9.6 L/100km city; 6.2 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 8.4 L/100km over 350 km
Warranties: 4 years/ 80,000 km (basic); 12 years/ unlimited km (rust)

Related links:
BMW Canada
The Charles Hotel

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