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BMW Group South Africa finishes strong at 2024 Simola Hillclimb.

Top 10 King of the Hill finishes for BMW entrants +++ BMW iX5 Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle first hydrogen-powered entrant to compete in Simola Hillclimb +++ Range of drivetrains showcased BMW Group's technology openness approach.

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Hailey Philander
BMW Group

Midrand. The 14th instalment of the Simola Hillclimb took place in Knysna from 2–5 May and was a certified adrenaline-fuelled event both for the motorsports enthusiasts in attendance and those watching the livestream online.


BMW Group South Africa’s participation in the King of the Hill event on Sunday 5 May proved to be a revolutionary showcase as the brand made history while celebrating the future of mobility with the debut of its BMW iX5 Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle – the first hydrogen-powered entrant to compete in the Simola Hillclimb.  


A battle on the hill.


The final leg of the 2024 Simola Hillclimb – the King of the Hill challenge – did not disappoint. It showcased many of South Africa’s fastest machines, including electrifying entrants from the BMW brand’s innovative portfolio, including the BMW i5 M60 xDrive, the inline six-cylinder BMW M4 Competition Coupé and BMW iX5 Hydrogen cars, and BMW’s M 1000 R and M 1000 XR motorcycles.


It was clear skies for the contenders – a welcome relief following the previous day’s downpour – and the BMW drivers gave a commendable performance. The BMW M4 Competition Coupé , driven by Cristiano Verolini and BMW i5 M60 xDrive driven by Deon Joubert placed in the top 10 of the Road and Supercar Shootout category in the A4 and A8 classes, respectively.


In addition to the BMW Group South Africa entries at the 2024 Simola Hillclimb, an impressive array of privateers entered BMWs in various classes. The headliner was Speedy Car Sales owner and renowned Group N and Touring Car driver Farouk Dangor’s immaculately restored BMW E30 BTCC M3 from the famous Speedy Car Sales motorsport Museum.


Dangor is one of the driving forces behind the introduction of a new B10 class for street-legal tuned or modified vehicles from 2025. It will be open to a range of production-based two- and four-wheel drive cars that – regardless of engine size – will level the playing field between full race cars and road-registered modified vehicles.


Future drive.


The much-anticipated debut performance of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen car, driven by Bradleigh Boshoff, met expectations by encompassing the brand’s dynamics and agility in ground-breaking hydrogen drive on the hill. Beyond the Simola Hillclimb, the BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet will be used by different target groups globally for further trial and demonstration purposes that will give the company’s development team valuable practical knowledge about the vehicle. The BMW Group is considering potential series production of vehicles with hydrogen drive systems in the second half of this decade.


The commitment of the BMW Group to this technology provides great opportunities for the environment and its resources, and for the future. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicle embodies one of many innovations to boost the hydrogen economy and advance the generation of green hydrogen.


At the end of the thrilling race weekend, BMW Group South Africa CEO Peter van Binsbergen said: “We had a great weekend of local motorsport that was well attended by a strong field of fans and competitors. Last year, BMW Group South Africa was present at the Hillclimb celebrating ‘50 Years in South Africa’ and, this year, we are back under the theme of ‘technological openness’.


“BMW Group South Africa was pleased to be present with a broad spectrum of drivetrains on offer, showcasing our technological openness, including a classic BMW M4 Competition, new fully electric BMW i5 M60, and ground-breaking BMW iX5 Hydrogen fuel cell electric car. We are happy with our results and would like to thank the organisers for another spectacular show of motorsport.”

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