The elegant, cultured and gastronomically celebrated city of Turin was the perfect sunlit canvas for portraying the BMW i8 to perfection on a weekend that brought automotive passion to the fore at the Gran Premio Parco Valentino scenic drive.

Evening aperitifs and magnificent rooftop views of the Alps at sunset came either side of a first day exploring the architectural gems of this northern Italian powerhouse.

The first evening, at NH Collection Piazza Carlina, began with the official welcome and handover of the Parco Valentino pack – including a special silver plaque to commemorate the BMW i8 owners’ participation in the parade – and an Italian-style espresso pot and coffee from local roasters Giuliano Caffè to remind them of Turin’s traditions. Alessandro Minelli, Giuliano Caffè owner, also joined the welcome aperitif, after which dinner was served at the top-quality hotel where the guests were staying for the weekend.

The second evening’s view of the city and mountains was from the rooftop of the Turin Palace Hotel after a day of sightseeing, offering a guided tour and free time to explore the city and visit the automotive exhibition at Parco Valentino.

The aperitif was followed by dinner with fine Italian wines that gave the 48 BMW i Pure Impulse members – from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Slovenia – the opportunity to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and get to know one another better.

If the city itself was the ‘star’ of Saturday, the BMW i Pure Impulse members and their vehicles were about to take centre stage on Sunday. The day began at the centrally located Piazza San Carlo, opened to cars for the first time, where the hybrid and electric vehicles gathered before the start of the Gran Premio Parco Valentino.

A short drive exclusively reserved for the BMW i8s took them to nearby Piazza Castello, meeting point for all 200 participants in the scenic drive through the city to Reggia di Venaria Reale palace. The BMW i8s shone in the packed square, and guests let members of the public take a seat in their cars before lining up for the start of the drive – another highlight and wonderful memory as the owners were announced to the waiting crowds by Andrea Levy, President of Parco Valentino.

And so began the scenic drive, opening up vistas of Turin for the BMW i8 owners, before ending with lunch at the Reggia Di Venaria Reale with all participants. A final highlight was an award for BMW i Pure Impulse for making up 24 cars of the total 200, which was handed over to our two guests who had travelled furthest to reach Turin – around 1,600 kilometers each way, from the north of England. As the award-winners headed on their long journey – and all participants on their shorter trips – back home, they all agreed that it had been an unmissable event and real highlight of the BMW i Pure Impulse calendar.