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BMW Takes on Mies van der Rohe in the Financial District

The luxury automotive brand unveils a concept hybrid SUV in the shadow of Mies van der Rohe’s TD Centre

By Nelda Rodger

On October 16, BMW opened a temporary steel and glass pavilion right in the heart of downtown Toronto. Poised atop the parking garage in the courtyard of the Bay Adelaide Centre and surrounded by skyscrapers, the pre-fab structure – which was assembled in just a matter of days – fits perfectly into its hyper-urban context. In fact, according to BMW project manager Wim Van Boegaert, it takes its classic modern cues from the German master of the genre, Mies van der Rohe.

Toronto was selected as the third stop for the BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion on its journey to 10 destinations worldwide. Following Berlin last February and a sojourn on the northern Tuscan seaside in July, Toronto is the only North American stop, with Singapore next in line.

The suits in the Financial District are getting a ringside view inside the pavilion of BMW’s lastest concept car, the X7 iPerformance. The luxury 6-seater hybrid SUV features a full-length skyroof and touch-operated handle-less doors. Designed by BMW’s Matthias Junghanns, who cut his teeth in the studio of late designer Hannes Wettstein, the X7 is aimed at sectors of the North American, Russian and Chinese markets with an appetite for large, powerful vehicles with all the amenities of home. Junghanns’ early training in furniture design shines through in the spacious, well-appointed interior bursting with the latest technology.

Outside the pavilion, performance and electric vehicles set the stage, including the M760, the i8 and the all-new M5. The BMW Luxury Excellence Pavilion at 333 Bay St. Toronto is open to visitors until October 29. To book a test drive, discover the available vehicles, and learn its hours of operation, visit the BMW Pavilion’s website.


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