Best of 2020: good reads for quiet winter moments

5 min reading time
As 2020 heads toward the finish line, it’s a good time to take a look in the rearview mirror. From gripping personal interviews to unique insights and fascinating vehicles, we have put together a selection of inspiring stories from the world of BMW.

21 December 2020

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Innovative technologies, vibrant people, creative design ideas, road trip recommendations and the future of mobility: every week BMW.com posts interesting articles about all things BMW. Here is a small look back over the year with a selection of our editors’ favorites that you can read and listen to.

Charlie Martin: bringing the rainbow to motorsport

At the end of September, I set off from Munich in the direction of the Nürburgring together with photographer Marc Wittwowski.

Our job that day was to interview the trail-blazing race car driver Charlie Martin at the legendary track. What drives her is her desire to prove herself as a woman in this male-dominated sport. Her mission is all the more interesting because Charlie Martin was born in 1981 in the English city of Leicester as a boy. She wanted to make history by being the first transgender race car driver to compete in the 24-hour racing event at the track. As her story unfolded, we came across so many fascinating insights into the various chapters of her personal journey that the interview practically wrote itself. It was a truly moving experience to see Charlie in her element in the pit lane and the respect shown to her by her male colleagues, but also to learn of the long and arduous path she has travelled to get where she is today. The interview is one that will stay with you. Charlie is a role model who talks about new ways of thinking, daring overtaking maneuvers on the track and in real life and of the decision that changed her life forever. You can also listen to the interview on the BMW podcast Changing Lanes.

 

Read the full article here.

Markus Löblein (TERRITORY)

BMW Art Cars: Artworks on wheels

My highlight this year was our article on the BMW Art Cars.

Often overlooked in the annals of history but with plenty of reasons to be revisited, BMW’s Art Cars project is as beautiful as it is curious. Featuring some of the world’s most renowned artists and a handful of the most iconic BMW models of all time, the article lists 18 incredible artist interpretations of classic BMWs. From David Hockney’s 1995 ode to the BMW 850 CSi to Ólafur Eliasson’s interpretation of the BMW H2R, this is a real treat for art lovers and BMW fanatics alike, with all the creativity, curiosity and color one can dream of.

 

Read the full piece here.

David Barnwell (TERRITORY)

Everyday hero: in search of forgotten cars

As a motorhead, you sometimes think you already know it all.

You can identify all the important cars, you’ve seen all the memes and heard of all the subcultures. So it’s that much cooler when you come across an unknown car culture and are reminded of just how many different ways there are for people to express their love of cars. This is exactly what happened in our article about Wikipedia car photographer Adam C. Inspired by a discussion on Reddit, we delved into the world of a small group of people who spend their free time photographing cars for Wikipedia articles. They are not interested in exotic and racing models that have been photographed thousands of times, but rather are on the lookout for four-wheeled curiosities or unpopular everyday vehicles that have slipped into obscurity. And this they do with great dedication and for no payment at all. This interview is a fascinating peek into the scene and a reminder that you won’t ever know it all.

 

Read the full article here.

Julian Stiller (TERRITORY)

Tire guide: become a tire pro

Our motto: keep our readers informed and entertained.

For our tire article, we therefore drove to a remote valley in the Alps and tested tires from early in the morning to late in the evening. After months of hard work, we allowed ourselves a brief moment of satisfaction. But only a very brief one. And then we sent a mental note of thanks to all the colleagues, video producers, editors, translators, layouters, organizers, caterers, and everyone else involved in making this article happen. It also turned out to be a very fun article to write. Only those who have actually tried spikes on a BMW M4, chased around a self-imposed handling track or tested the limits of winter tires in a BMW X5 know what they’re writing about. All this we did in order to help you, dear reader, learn how to choose the best tires for your needs.

 

Read the full article here.

Nils Arnold (TERRITORY)

#StaySafe: BMW DIY games to make at home

What little things can you do to make the lockdown less dreary and provide some entertainment?

We wanted to offer our readers and their families something that would help them take their mind off things, at least for a little while. This is how we came up with the coronavirus pandemic series with downloadable pictures to color and cut out for kids of all ages. To give Mom and Dad a little break and gear down. But the absolute highlight of the year for me is our printable BMW board game that is perfect for those cozy winter evenings at home. Who would have ever thought that as a graphic designer I would create what is, in my humble opinion, the board game to beat all board games? I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly and profusely thank all my colleagues who gamely “volunteered” to play it with me over and over and over to test it out. All you need for this amazing game is a printer, paper and a pair of scissors. That’s it! I hope you enjoy playing it at home – even after the pandemic is over.

 

Read the full article here.

Franziska Goppold (TERRITORY)

Hypnopolis Podcast

My personal highlight this year was the HYPNOPOLIS science fiction thriller podcast.

The six episodes last 120 minutes and transport you to the year 2063. Journalist Hope Reiser wakes from a 30-year sleep to which she was sentenced for the murder of her husband. But she knows she is innocent. During her incarceration she has hardly aged, but now she is fighting for her past in a very foreign future. It’s just so much fun to delve into a completely new and exciting world. Binge watching? Not for me. Binge listening is where it’s at! This podcast is great entertainment while driving. I also love the retro-electric soundtrack, and I became emotionally invested in several of the characters. On top of this, the podcast is very inspiring as far as the future of mobility and new technologies goes.

 

Listen to the full podcast here.

Cora Güntert (BMW)

Making it: dancing his way out of the favela

A story is really good when the whole thing is revealed little by little.

And when the tale suddenly takes on a great deal more depth than you were expecting. This is exactly what happened during the story of academy dancer Luis Fernando Rego, who uses his talent and ambition to make it into the Brazilian branch of the world-famous Bolshoi Theater. The story of a young man from the favela entering the baroque world of ballet is a narrative contradiction which grabs you and moves you, but which also has a lot to say about the life of such a person on a meta level. For example, that talent alone is not enough and that hard work and discipline are essential when striving for perfection. Or that you have to make your own way regardless of what stereotypes and prejudices you face. Our author Christoph demonstrated a very fine sense for light and shadow in writing about the life of this young man. The photography is outstanding as well. Our photographer Evgeny portrays to stunning effect the unique atmosphere of the dance school, which though fraught with the pressure to perform and the fear of failure, is tempered by optimism and sheer talent. This piece is my personal favorite of 2020.

 

Read the full article here.

Julian Hetzenecker (BMW)

Photos: BMW; Illustrations: Carolin Wabra; Author: BMW, TERRITORY

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