From the 13th to 18th January this year, BMW Group Malaysia participated as the automotive partner in the 12th edition of the Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2014, which took place around the Langkawi islands. The annual event attracts sailors from all over the world, categorised into 11 classes, and the competition this year saw more than 30 yachts participating.
Dr. Gerhard Pils, President and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia mentions that BMW has had a long history and commitment with being involved with sailing and that the sport is the perfect example of low emissions mobility, which is the highlight behind BMW EfficientDynamics – BMW’s innovation strategy for reduced fuel consumption and emissions in all of their vehicles.
Close to the final day of the International Regatta, we got the opportunity to experience the prestigious sailing competition first-hand at sea. We set out on a beautiful boat in the morning to catch the sailors battle the harsh winds at the choppy sea as it changes unexpectedly in direction and speed.
It was definitely intriguing and mind-boggling at the same time watching these skilled and experienced crewmen manoeuvre their yachts by carefully shifting their weights around the yachts to balance or straighten out their sails. We can only imagine how challenging it must have been for them seeing that every decision made by the skipper on the yachts required so much technique, skills and precise thought.
The Royal Langkawi International Regatta (RLIR) 2014, was organised by the Royal Langkawi Yacht Club (RLYC), sanctioned by the ISAF and Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA), and was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia. The RLIR is part of the Asian Yachting Circuit.
During our short time in Langkawi, we also took part in a drive program with BMW – The BMW Premium Experience. Upon landing at the Langkawi International Airport, we were assigned various BMW vehicles in pairs – the BMW 4 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW X6 and BMW Z4 – and we proceeded with a casual drive around Langkawi island. We convoyed along the carefree roads nearby Langkawi’s main vein and most popular beach, Pantai Cenang, and the excitement was then elevated as we continued our joyride along the curvy roads heading up towards the infamous Gunung Raya for a magnificent and panoramic view of the entire island.
With a few stops along the way for driver and car swaps, each of us got to experience the comfort of the interiors, exteriors and the performance capabilities of all the BMW vehicles available during the drive. Surely, from the sporty Z4, the superior mid-size X6 SUV to the sleek and elegant sedans, the 4 Series and 5 Series, these industry leaders projected exemplary performance as well as provided maximum comfort and luxury amenities while exuding premium and sexy exteriors.
Comparing the four exclusive vehicles, each has its own individuality and notable assets. Of course, for hardcore driving enthusiasts, the Z4 would stand out with its beyond powerful turbo engines, capable of achieving the 0-100km/h sprint in an astonishing 6.9 seconds. Notably higher than the rest, the X6 SUV has a much chunkier build. Despite its size, the vehicle comes with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that delivers strong acceleration and power overall, as well as spacious seats and ample cargo space.
On the other hand, both the 4 Series and 5 Series are leaders in its class for mid-size and large sport sedans respectively. Both these vehicles are pretty much a joy to drive as they are well-rounded and provide a great balance in terms of performance and overall practicality.
However, amongst the four that we’ve tested out, our most preferred would be the 5 Series. Equipped with the efficient BMW TwinPower Turbo engines, this luxury sedan delivers exceptional power and razor-sharp handling, yet feels very composed, comfortable and refined, even at top speed. This elegant ride gives the driver a sense of instant confidence and control, making it a swift and ultimate machine that’s sure to please many.