BMW kicked off its centennial celebrations with a ceremony in Munich, Germany, looking back at the company’s past and forward to the next 100 years. The event concluded with the debut of the BMW Vision Next 100 concept car (pictured at top) and the promise of further futuristic concepts through the year including a motorcycle to debut in Los Angeles in October.
Close to 2,000 guests at the Munich Olympic Hall took in a multimedia presentation highlighting key moments in history such as the launch of BMW’s first motorcycle, the R32 (pictured below) and the R80G/S which established the company’s GS adventure-tourer line which has become a perennial best-seller.
BMW also didn’t shy away from some of the worst parts of the company’s history, acknowledging its role in Nazi Germany, with convicts and concentration camp prisoners forced into making aircraft engines during the war.
Looking toward the future, BMW presented the first of its Vision Next 100 concepts. The concept car will be joined through the year by similar concepts for the company’s other car brands, Mini and Rolls Royce, and finally a Vision Next 100 motorcycle to be unveiled Oct. 11 in L.A.
BMW will hold further celebrations through the year including a special exhibition at the BMW Museum in Munich and a festival in September at Munich Olympic Park. BMW will also release a 13-volume publication exploring the company’s heritage and future direction.