Saturday, November 10, 2007

BMW Performance Center Delivery!

If you are thinking of ordering a new BMW, The Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is a must! It is the same price as having the car delivered to your local dealer, but you get a day of driving on the courses at the BMW Performance Center in a car similar to the one your ordered. The most important thing they told us to remember was NYC - Not Your Car! So we beat them up pretty good. Our instructors were Donnie and ray and they were awesome.

The events include:
1) Driving an auto-cross style course
2) Testing the Dynamic Traction Control on a wet skid-plate
3) Testing the ABS brakes while learning to steer at the same time
4) An off road course in the X5
5) Delivery of your Vehicle in your own showroom

Typically there is also a tour of the factory there, which makes all of the x5s and the Z4s for the world, but it was closed as they switched over to some confidential build. We also had a tour if their Museum there which was fun for a bit.

1) Driving an auto-cross style course
Probably the best part of the whole trip was that Meghan got to drive all of the courses as well and she loved it. She said it released her inner race car driver! In this video you'll see Meghan driving part of the course, the instructor is talking to her over a walkie-talkie. He is not in the car but in the middle of the course switching between all of the drivers in the course giving them tips.

2) Dynamic Traction Control on a wet skid-plate
Dynamic Traction Control is pretty amazing. When it is turned on, no matter how much you try to accelerate on wet roads or ice, the car will only go as fast as it can while still making the turn. This exercise involved taking a few turns without DTC on and skidding out, then taking a few turns with on.

Without DTC

With DTC
I guess what was most amazing to me is you can still try to floor the car but it won't let you get out of control with DTC

In the car with Meghan - no DTC
Here, Donnie is trying to help Meghan correct a skid by steering into the skid when you don't have DTC.

In the car with Meghan - DTC
Now the car won't spin out no matter what you try to tell it to do.

Reverse Spin Out
Just for fun Donnie had Meghan do a spin out in reverse for the crowd, I wish I got this video from outside of the car! You will see he wanted everyone to think Meghan was driving that way, so he steered but then told Meghan to put her hands back on so everyone would think she did it!

3) Testing the ABS brakes
This was a lot of fun, each driver got 4 or 5 trips down and we kept increasing speed up to 50 mph, and Donnie kept sending us deeper and deeper into the sharp turn. It was a great way to learn how to lock your brakes up and still steer. Your instincts are to do one or the other!

Driving School
In addition to the Performance Center Delivery, this site lets you come down for a full day of driving (regardless of whether out bought a car or not). Here is some video of the other school going on. They had M class drivers there as well as an intermediate class. What you can't appreciate in the video is how fast they are going on this wet turn!

Donnie then took all of the couples for laps on this track. he drove an M5 with 500 hp and it was amazing! One women ditched her husband and went with us again because she had her eyes closed the 1st time she went! It was intense! I even thought we'd die, but since Donnie has even done "counter-terrorism" training on how to stop a moving car by ramming it, I figured we were fine. He even took us through a J turn where he starts off going really fast in reverse and whips around and goes forward without really slowing down!

4) An off road course in the X5
Then they took us off road in the X5. The car is amazing! They took us on a course that ended up putting the car up on 2 wheel, the front-left and the back-right (diagonal). Then the instructor rocked the car up and down to show that even in this extreme stress on the frame, nothing creaked or rattled, and all of the doors opened. Also through all of the course maneuvers, they have never cracked a sun roof, which is 2-3x larger than the normal sun roof (it starts in the front seat and goes all the way to the back seat)!

Other cool maneuvers included going through 20" of water!

Going over some crazy steep hills that included huge trenches (you were supposed to have some wheels off the ground and learn how to keep going)!

On the steep hills, they showed us how "hill assist" works, which is awesome for a manual transmission. If you come to a stop on a hill, you can take your foot off of the break and the car will stay put for 2 seconds. This gives you time to get over to the gas and the clutch without going crazy. Also there is a button for hill descent, which will control all of the breaking for you to go down hill, you only have to steer. This would be awesome for a slippery steep hill in winter, or driving down Mt. Washington without destroying your brakes (or going out of control)!

We also drove on 2 wheels which puts the car at an almost 45 degree angle!

It's weird to look out the sunroof and see land!

5) Delivery of your Vehicle in your own showroom
Then you spend 2 hours with a specialist going through all the features of your car. I said the same thing you are thinking - 2 HOURS! But it actually went by really fast and we both learned everything about the car!

This is the cleanest my rims will ever be, unless Warren invents that new product!

Museum Tour
We also toured the Zentrum Museum there, it was a self guided tour and we were ready to get the car on the road so we flew through.

Here's my car outside of the Museum, the special parking place they had for us was to drive and park on the sidewalk!

The best part of the museum was that I found a BMW that looked like my Dad's triumph. Since I was a kid I have always liked my Dad's car, but I couldn't keep up with all of the worked it would need, so maybe a new BMW that just looks like a triumph would be in my future!

I also found a BMW model for Mike and Jen. Maybe the can rebuild one of these and add it to the collection!

I have to say the whole day exceeded my expectations, mostly because I went there thinking Meghan was going to wait in the lobby while we were out on the track, but not only did she go with me, she even drove her turns AND enjoyed it. The only bad news is that I think Meghan is sold on the X5 as her next car, so I better pay this one off ASAP! The whole experience was top notch, they really made us feel like it was our special day, and we had a lot of fun!

Not sure why more people don't do this when they order their BMW.

Fun Car Facts
Other quick fun car facts. The car has a rain sensor to automatically run your wipers, that's not that cool, but the same technology is used to determine if your brakes get wet (either in a puddle or in the rain) and the brake pads slightly tighten on the brakes to dry them and you never notice! Always having dry brakes will be awesome! Also the comfort access is awesome. You can walk up to the car, it'll unlock, and you can start it without taking the key out of your pocket, it just has to be near the car for it all to work!


rachel said...

i love the x5! maybe for her 27th birthday???

Tom S. said...

The X5 demo was awesome - and I think Meghan loved driving it on the course. Maybe I'll try to keep the X5 until after we pay off the 335!