• May 9, 2010
2011 BMW X3 prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Note To Self: Don't leave camouflaged prototypes parked with the engine running next to Central Park in Manhattan. Just a week after a failed car bomb attempt in Times Square, Manhattan is understandably still a bit jittery. An apparent error in judgement by Martin Birkmann, head of product planning for BMW North America, reportedly triggered a bomb scare and the resulting evacuation of several blocks along Central Park West near the American Museum of Natural History this afternoon.

Birkmann was out evaluating a prototype 2011 BMW X3 covered in camouflage when he stopped to enjoy a bit of fresh air in the park. He inadvertently left the engine running and a woman walking her dog rightly thought the vehicle looked suspicious – particularly understandable given that New Yorkers are not as used to seeing such prototypes out and about as much as, say, your average Detroiter.

Police responded to investigate, and after clearing the area of bystanders, found no reason for alarm. Everyone was safe, although the back window of the X3 prototype was apparently shattered in the process. No doubt Birkmann will think twice about where he parks such vehicles in the future. Hat tip to Michael!



[Source: New York Daily News | Image: CarPix]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 58 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who the hell leaves ANY car running unattended? Can you say "G.T.A."?
      Besides, a potential terrorist won't plant a bomb in a BMW. They'll want to drive it!


      j/k
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think he left his car running because he need to pee real bad and was looking for a public bathroom along Central Park.

      Anyway why would terrorist put a bomb in a car that attracts so much attention?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is very unfortunate
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone else notice the weird defrost pattern on the rear glass?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone else notice the driver flipping off the camera man in the 3rd picture?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Did anyone else see the comment above already talking about this?
        aka if you read the comments youd know that yes a couple people did.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is the driver in the photo giving the photographer the finger?
      • 4 Years Ago
      First, Birkman is head of Product Planning for BMWNA? So, this guy isn't some joy-riding junior specialist...

      Secondly, he leaves the car, locked but with the engine running... clearly, he knew what he was doing and this wasn't "mistakenly".

      Finally, given NYC's signal rich environment, I think he was evaluating something that might require remote access to the vehicle, perhaps through a smartphone or the RKE fob...

      This story doesn't smell bad because it's a "mistakenly locked" prototype but because the story is so obviously faked. He clearly didn't want to tell what he was really doing with a prototype in NYC, leaving it like he did.

      That's my take on this...
      • 4 Years Ago
      ''he inadvertently left the engine running...while he walked thru Central Park?

      I hope BMW have got good long term healthcare benefits as this guy is losing his mind.... Seriously!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dont know if its just me but, the new x3 looks very similar to last generations, but I imagine it will look the X1 and X5.

      thecarblog.weebly.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      "THAT CAR IS PAINTED WEIRD AND HAS THE ENGINE RUNNING! IT MUST BE A BOMB!"

      What an idiot.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "a woman walking her dog rightly thought the vehicle looked suspicious"

      Yeah, right, because every terrorist's first choice for an inconspicuous bomb car would be one with a zebra paintjob on it.
      tls445
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it really possible to 'accidentally' leave your engine running?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tls445
        My wife left my 3 running for 1.5 hours in the starbucks parking lot the first time she drove it... And the doors unlocked. It was her first time w keyless start. Needless to say she doesn't drive it anymore!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tls445
        My dad did that once in a theme park. Luckily mom had a set of spare keys...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tls445
        pos glitchy BMW electrics, probably locked this idiot outside...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tls445
        No kidding, I'd thought anyone would be able to tell when they step outside the car...
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