Originally Posted by Chris33
I know what you mean Viv! It's blaspheme to even mention a towbar and BMW in the same sentence.
I was after the OEM BMW Concealed towbar so I can tow my sons trailer & quad bike.
Rumour has it you can not see the towbar when the "neck" is removed, hence the reason I wanted photo's.
I will do a search. Thanks Viv.
I have the factory fitted towbar (I use it for towing gliders). No pics at the moment, but I'll see what I can do in a few days time.
The towbar itself doen't have any removable parts, it swivels underneath the car and is stored inverted when not deployed. If you look at the back of the car from the same level as the bottom of the edge of the bumper, you can just see the top edge of the ball about half an inch below the bumper line, several inches back under the car and a little right of centre line. Other than that (or looking under the car) there is no indication that the towbar is fitted at all.
The bumper does not have any cut outs (Although according to the literature, the structures behind the bumper are different and not so resillient to slight knocks).
The towbar is deployed by depressing a button inside the right hand side of the boot. Pressing the button for a few seconds releases the towbar which drops down under the car. You then then lift it into position and it latches there (there are green and red lights in the button to indicate locked / unlocked). Check the light is green before connecting the trailer.
Stowing the towbar is the opposite procedure. Press the button for a few seconds, towbar drops down, then you lift it into it's stowed position, check the light is green and go!. BMW provide gloves to save you getting your hands dirty, but in practice, I just use my foot to lift it into position.
BMW also provide an adapter to convert the electical connector to a different format if your trailer requires this. On that subject the electrical connector is part of the swiveling hook assembly, and so is hiden along with the hook itself.
The one thing this system does not have is a plate that protects the bumper if the trailer overruns when hitching up. I keep a spare car mat in the boot and droop it over the bumper when connecting a Glider.
All in all this system is a Glider pilots dream! and is very easy and convenient to use. When a friend came to collect me from another airfield last year in his E46, it took him a couple of minuted to assemble the (factory installed) removable towbar. The equivalent deployment in the E90 takes five seconds!
As for the blasphemy thing - I think our excuses are cool enough to exempt us. Just never use it for a caravan or expect to be shot by the next passing E90POST member