BMW's driver's ed gets an upgrade

Few manufacturers, outside of a handful of niche players, focus more on enhancing driver ability than BMW. Over the years, the BMW Experience has evolved to incorporate more subjects in more environments than any other course and now, the automaker is taking another step to educate its buyers.

This year, BMW plans to expand and update its current offerings to include an off-road course designed for the X5, called "other roads," while at the same time upgrading the M School's track layout -– a 1.5 mile course that has up to 35 different configurations –- to allow drivers to reach higher speeds and perform more technical turning maneuvers. Additionally, the automaker plans to bring back the BMW on Location program that travels around the country, allowing motorists to get hands-on experience on autocross courses and skid pads. Classes at the California Speedway are planned in the fall, while Chicago-area Bimmerphiles get a go come this September.

For those of you who enjoy BMWs of the two-wheel variety, there are plans to offer motorcycle courses for the first time this summer.

All the details are posted in the press release after the jump and more information is available at the BMW Experience website.


Spring Fever: BMW Turns up the Heat with Driving School Upgrades

Calling all Enthusiasts - New 'Real Roads' and 'Other-Roads' Tracks among Key Enhancements

SPARTANBURG, S.C., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring is in the air at the BMW Performance Center and Performance Driving School with updates to existing courses and exciting new driving school offerings. Additions include a track extension adding a different dimension to the high-performance M School that rivals popular race tracks, an "other-roads" course to showcase the capabilities of the X-5 Sports Activity Vehicle, and the return of BMW on Location. A totally new complement of motorcycle courses will also debut later this summer.

"The updates and improvements we've made to our numerous offerings this year will captivate the customer. There's something for everyone - BMW owner or not," says David Trimble, manager of driving programs and events for the BMW Performance Center. "High performance courses like the M School simulate race track driving while teaching advanced car control and safety skills. Our other-roads track enhancements are phenomenal with gravity-defying angles that will dispel the myth that a luxury brand like BMW isn't made to get dirty."

In with the New: Exciting Upgrades for 2007

The ultimate driving experience has gotten even better with the extension of the track at the BMW Performance Driving School, already known for its course that can be configured 35 different ways. The new 1.5 mile long track offers a half-dozen more configurations with a true racetrack feel that allows for more high-speed approaches and slower technical turns simulating a multitude of driving conditions.

The newly revamped other-roads course will be included as part of the two- day school offerings this spring. At 1.4 miles long with more aggressive sections at 34 degrees and higher, the new course teaches drivers the safest approaches to difficult-to-navigate terrain and shows off the extensive capabilities of the X5 vehicle.

Based on its popularity in 2006, BMW on Location, the traveling program that brings the BMW Performance Driving School to the backyards of enthusiasts has plans to go back to the California Speedway this fall. In addition to California, dates are being scheduled for early September in Chicago. The "On Location" driving school teaches exercises ranging from accident avoidance maneuvers and car control skills to more advanced exercises including skid pad, autocross, and high speed lane change and slalom courses.

In addition to the new driving school updates, programs such as the Performance Center Delivery will continue throughout 2007. The complete experience provides an introduction to the BMW brand and heritage. During a one-on-one session with a knowledgeable BMW delivery specialist, owners receive a personalized and thorough introduction to their vehicle. Every aspect of the BMW ownership experience is reviewed, from vehicle warranties and maintenance to safety features and controls. Following an in-depth overview of their BMW, owners receive a hands-on driving session. The package is complete with a visit to the BMW museum (subject to availability), overnight accommodations at a local first class hotel and dinner for two.

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