New Yorkers are a bit gun shy these days when it comes to things like potential car bombs, so when BMW executive Martin Birkmann left his psychedelic-camouflage-wrapped BMW X3 idling near the American Museum of Natural History, a passer-by dialed the NYPD. The bomb squad was called out and Central Park West was shut down until police determined the vehicle was not a threat. After breaking a rear window to gain access to the interior, bomb squad officers determined that the only offense committed was severe stupidity on behalf of the driver. Birkman was issued a summons for leaving an unattended vehicle idling.
Birkmann, who heads BMW’s North American Motorsports operation, also has a role in product planning. Unless they were attempting to test the vehicle’s anti-theft tracking system, I have no idea why someone would leave an unattended vehicle running on the streets of New York City while he enjoyed a walk through Central Park. The fact that the prototype X3 isn’t in a shipping container bound for South America right now is perhaps the biggest surprise of all.