As an exercise to aggressively establish the capabilities of BMW range of vehicles, BMW India Private Limited has planned 12 Experience Tours across various cities in India. The Experience Tour is aimed at demonstrating the superior driving dynamics of the BMW range of vehicles on specially designed challenging test route. The dynamism, versatility and performance of BMW`s portfolio of cars/SUVs is a well known fact and we got another chance to experience it first hand at the 6th installment of the event held near Mumbai in Thane West.
The Sheer Driving Pleasure with BMW Experience Tour 2014 was split into 2 distinct categories, the Dynamic drive and the X drive. The Dynamic drive was meant to exhibit the exceptional handling characteristics of the BMW sedans on a challenging and tight private race track. A bunch of 320ds and 520ds were pressed into service. It’s a no brainer which one we selected, the 320d! Just because it’s the lowest priced sedan from the BMW stable, it must not be written off as a less desirable machine. It’s a lighter, lither, nimbler car. The track was barely 500 meters in total length, quite bumpy, and very tight. Just 2 laps and lots of tyre squealing proved the mettle of the 320d. Despite a relatively small engine and un-help of the electronic granny, the 320d was fun to chuck around the track.
BMW were generous enough to give us hot laps in the M5 and the M6 in the hands of professional drivers. Precise drifts through the course, donuts and burnouts et al, the experience put a continent-wide grin on the occupants stepping out of the cars. It was a splendid sight of tarmac passing perpendicular under the car while the cars were being put through tyre shredding donuts. The rear passenger seat proved to be a thorough entertainer, especially in the manic M6.
The X drive was similar to the previous X drive events showcased by BMW India. It gave us yet another example of what BMW SUVs are capable of while clearing obstacles. An army consisting of the X3, X5 and the X6 was pressed in to service for this job, and they delivered with aplomb! The X series (Sport Activity Vehicle) is a range of vehicles equipped with permanent all wheel drive which constantly optimizes grip levels of each wheel to modulate power accordingly. The course for the X drive was typically set to test the capabilities of the crossovers, this included the axle twister ramp with alternating high bumps, the single ramp simulating a banking effect and the X drive ramp with rollers. The X6, which we sampled first out made a kids play of the axle twister while tilting side to side, it was easy to see how the X drive tech can bail you out in an event the occasion calls for. The banking simulator ramp wasn’t a problem at all while the X drive ramp tested the system to the T.
The BMW Experience not only underlined the efficiency of technology that goes into making BMW automobiles, but also highlighted their robustness. This makes them just perfectly suited to Indian road conditions! The initiative by BMW is clearly aimed towards customer contact and relationship deepening and certainly a great way to experience BMW tech in safe and controlled environments.