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      08-15-2020, 01:48 PM   #1
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My Experience at the New Owner's Track Drive

Here are some thoughts from my New Owner's Track Drive experience (NOTD) at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg.
TLDR; It is awesome! Let me just say from the outset that the instructors were great.

The NOTD is a relatively new program that they started on July 1, after they re-opened.
Any person in the USA who bought any new BMW (not just Spartanburg products) in 2020 can experience this.
I found out about it from an email. Since I live close by, I signed up and did the NOTD yesterday. You can bring a 2nd person.
My wife had no interest, so I brought my son-in-law, who has a 3 series. I have an X5 40i.

Just an editorial comment: The Performance Center experience is basically in incredible brand building exercise. They have several programs, including Performance Center Delivery, Driving School, and M School. Yet Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is experienced by a tiny fraction of new BMW owners. The dealers really downplay PCD because they want to sell you a car today, right now, off the lot. They view it as a defeat to sell a custom car, because that is no help in making the current month quota. It takes a very knowledgeable buyer (like those on this forum) to 1) insist on a custom order, 2. Insist on PCD, and 3. Still negotiate a good financial deal. Most buyers new to the brand never experience PCD. So this NOTD opens up this incredible brand-building facility to everyone, even people who bought their BMW off the lot. After coming here, the question on your mind is not so much "Do I want a BMW again when I trade this one - or try some other brand?" Rather, it is "Which BMW will I choose next time? Maybe that M model I drove in Spartanburg...".

Many people are familiar with Performance Center Delivery (PCD) so I will mention some similarities and differences.

I had a misconception about Performance Center Delivery that it only applied to products made in Spartanburg. In fact, you can take delivery of any custom-built BMW model at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg. I'm sure most of you know this, but it was new news to me. You can get a car from a German factory and do PCD in Spartanburg. This is great since they are discontinuing European Delivery.

Things that are similar to Performance Center Delivery (PCD):
You get the X5 experience through the off-road course.
You get to drive laps on a track.

Differences:
PCD includes hotel and meals, lasts a good portion of the day (not sure how long). Includes instruction on the features of your new car.
NOTD does not include hotel or meals. Lasts about 2 hours.
PCD lets you drive a model similar to the one you bought on laps around the track. If you bought an X5, that is what you drive on laps around the track to get a feel for the capabilities of your new car.
NOTD lets you drive amazing cars - but probably not the one you bought. We could choose from 6 cars. We picked the four we most wanted to drive. The particular cars may vary from day to day.

Here was how the day unfolded:
1. Orientation - This was really helpful information like how to adjust your seat for maximum braking power, where to focus your attention, where to look with your eyes, etc.

2. Off-road course. On this course, you drive an X5. I had a X-Drive 40i. My son-in-law had a X5 M50i. We went over obstacles designed to show how well the X5 performs in rough terrain. The answer is, surprisingly well. And I learned how to use some features on my X5 that I did not know were there (like Hill Descent Control). And the iDrive screen that shows the current angle that your truck is leaning. We went through 18 inches of water, steep hills - up and down, ridiculous obstacles where one side of your truck was 25 degrees higher than the other side, and places where you could only have three tires touching at a time. There were places where you literally could not see where you were going without turning on the front facing camera. Lots of fun.

3. Braking - We had some time to kill after the off-road, so our instructor took us to a straight section of a track to let us practice braking. We would floor our X5, and then, when we reached a certain cone, do a hard brake. The stopping power is amazing, but with the Antilock brakes, no skidding at all. I got to do about 4 or 5 runs. The instructor was pushing us to brake harder and harder.

4. Then we went to run laps on the track. I got to drive 4 cars: the 12 cylinder M760i, the M4, the M40i (convertible), the X4M Comp. I probably did about 20 laps total. One of the M cars had ceramic brakes. As the instructor said, this is your chance to burn through tires and brakes, and it doesn't come out of your pocket. Note: The number of laps you drive may be dependent on how big the class size is.

This was a short-ish track, which meant that you could put the accelerator to the floor, but when you got to 70-80 miles an hour, it was time to brake hard for the sharp corner. (As the track was set up, that felt plenty fast). The back side of the oval had more twists, and you had to aim for a series of cones on the left and right sides to do it at speed, then a sharp left turn around the other end of the oval and back on the straight again. We had three cars on the track at a time. There was no passing, but it did not seem to be an issue.

After 4-5 laps, we would pit. They would wipe down the interior of the cars with disinfectant, and we would choose a new car.

With the M760i and the M40i, the default was the automatic transmission, but you could select a manual shift mode. With the X4Mcomp and the M4, the default was manual shifting, but you could change it to automatic. This took some getting used to.

I think my favorite was the M760i, because it was so similar to my (former) LS460 in size, but the performance was way better. But the hottest car was the X4M Comp.

5. Then we did a Hot Lap. Hot laps are driven by instructor in a M5 Comp. You go as a passenger. They drive you around the longer M School track and through the skid pad twice. If you saw Ford vs. Ferrari, this is the ride that Caroll Shelby gave to Henry Ford II.

6. At the end, we had a Q&A with a product specialist (genius) on any features of your car that you want to know more about. There were parts of the Drivers Assistance Package that the manual did not explain very well, so I asked about it. After the guy explained how to do it, it was quite easy to use the autonomous driving as I continued my journey later in the day.

You get 15% off at the gift shop, but there was no one manning the cash register so I did not get anything.

It was an amazing experience. I was surprised how much we did in about two hours. (We went a little over). I highly recommend the NOTD if you can make it to Spartanburg safely!***

*** I understand this is also offered in California.
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      08-15-2020, 02:29 PM   #2
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thank you for this write up. do you know how long they are offering this promotion? ie can I schedule it in November, or is it just through summer/fall?
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      08-15-2020, 02:46 PM   #3
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thank you for this write up. do you know how long they are offering this promotion? ie can I schedule it in November, or is it just through summer/fall?
I would schedule ASAP. As word gets out, this will fill up.
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      08-15-2020, 10:05 PM   #4
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great write up!
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      08-16-2020, 12:22 PM   #5
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I forgot one thing! We practiced coming to a complete stop from speed using only the emergency brake. I was surprised, but it worked.
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      08-16-2020, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmer-Bimmer View Post
Here are some thoughts from my New Owner's Track Drive experience (NOTD) at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg.
TLDR; It is awesome! Let me just say from the outset that the instructors were great.

The NOTD is a relatively new program that they started on July 1, after they re-opened.
Any person in the USA who bought any new BMW (not just Spartanburg products) in 2020 can experience this.
I found out about it from an email. Since I live close by, I signed up and did the NOTD yesterday. You can bring a 2nd person.
My wife had no interest, so I brought my son-in-law, who has a 3 series. I have an X5 40i.

Just an editorial comment: The Performance Center experience is basically in incredible brand building exercise. They have several programs, including Performance Center Delivery, Driving School, and M School. Yet Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is experienced by a tiny fraction of new BMW owners. The dealers really downplay PCD because they want to sell you a car today, right now, off the lot. They view it as a defeat to sell a custom car, because that is no help in making the current month quota. It takes a very knowledgeable buyer (like those on this forum) to 1) insist on a custom order, 2. Insist on PCD, and 3. Still negotiate a good financial deal. Most buyers new to the brand never experience PCD. So this NOTD opens up this incredible brand-building facility to everyone, even people who bought their BMW off the lot. After coming here, the question on your mind is not so much "Do I want a BMW again when I trade this one - or try some other brand?" Rather, it is "Which BMW will I choose next time? Maybe that M model I drove in Spartanburg...".

Many people are familiar with Performance Center Delivery (PCD) so I will mention some similarities and differences.

I had a misconception about Performance Center Delivery that it only applied to products made in Spartanburg. In fact, you can take delivery of any custom-built BMW model at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg. I'm sure most of you know this, but it was new news to me. You can get a car from a German factory and do PCD in Spartanburg. This is great since they are discontinuing European Delivery.

Things that are similar to Performance Center Delivery (PCD):
You get the X5 experience through the off-road course.
You get to drive laps on a track.

Differences:
PCD includes hotel and meals, lasts a good portion of the day (not sure how long). Includes instruction on the features of your new car.
NOTD does not include hotel or meals. Lasts about 2 hours.
PCD lets you drive a model similar to the one you bought on laps around the track. If you bought an X5, that is what you drive on laps around the track to get a feel for the capabilities of your new car.
NOTD lets you drive amazing cars - but probably not the one you bought. We could choose from 6 cars. We picked the four we most wanted to drive. The particular cars may vary from day to day.

Here was how the day unfolded:
1. Orientation - This was really helpful information like how to adjust your seat for maximum braking power, where to focus your attention, where to look with your eyes, etc.

2. Off-road course. On this course, you drive an X5. I had a X-Drive 40i. My son-in-law had a X5 M50i. We went over obstacles designed to show how well the X5 performs in rough terrain. The answer is, surprisingly well. And I learned how to use some features on my X5 that I did not know were there (like Hill Descent Control). And the iDrive screen that shows the current angle that your truck is leaning. We went through 18 inches of water, steep hills - up and down, ridiculous obstacles where one side of your truck was 25 degrees higher than the other side, and places where you could only have three tires touching at a time. There were places where you literally could not see where you were going without turning on the front facing camera. Lots of fun.

3. Braking - We had some time to kill after the off-road, so our instructor took us to a straight section of a track to let us practice braking. We would floor our X5, and then, when we reached a certain cone, do a hard brake. The stopping power is amazing, but with the Antilock brakes, no skidding at all. I got to do about 4 or 5 runs. The instructor was pushing us to brake harder and harder.

4. Then we went to run laps on the track. I got to drive 4 cars: the 12 cylinder M760i, the M4, the M40i (convertible), the X4M Comp. I probably did about 20 laps total. One of the M cars had ceramic brakes. As the instructor said, this is your chance to burn through tires and brakes, and it doesn't come out of your pocket. Note: The number of laps you drive may be dependent on how big the class size is.

This was a short-ish track, which meant that you could put the accelerator to the floor, but when you got to 70-80 miles an hour, it was time to brake hard for the sharp corner. (As the track was set up, that felt plenty fast). The back side of the oval had more twists, and you had to aim for a series of cones on the left and right sides to do it at speed, then a sharp left turn around the other end of the oval and back on the straight again. We had three cars on the track at a time. There was no passing, but it did not seem to be an issue.

After 4-5 laps, we would pit. They would wipe down the interior of the cars with disinfectant, and we would choose a new car.

With the M760i and the M40i, the default was the automatic transmission, but you could select a manual shift mode. With the X4Mcomp and the M4, the default was manual shifting, but you could change it to automatic. This took some getting used to.

I think my favorite was the M760i, because it was so similar to my (former) LS460 in size, but the performance was way better. But the hottest car was the X4M Comp.

5. Then we did a Hot Lap. Hot laps are driven by instructor in a M5 Comp. You go as a passenger. They drive you around the longer M School track and through the skid pad twice. If you saw Ford vs. Ferrari, this is the ride that Caroll Shelby gave to Henry Ford II.

6. At the end, we had a Q&A with a product specialist (genius) on any features of your car that you want to know more about. There were parts of the Drivers Assistance Package that the manual did not explain very well, so I asked about it. After the guy explained how to do it, it was quite easy to use the autonomous driving as I continued my journey later in the day.

You get 15% off at the gift shop, but there was no one manning the cash register so I did not get anything.

It was an amazing experience. I was surprised how much we did in about two hours. (We went a little over). I highly recommend the NOTD if you can make it to Spartanburg safely!***

*** I understand this is also offered in California.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmer-Bimmer View Post
Here are some thoughts from my New Owner's Track Drive experience (NOTD) at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg.
TLDR; It is awesome! Let me just say from the outset that the instructors were great.

The NOTD is a relatively new program that they started on July 1, after they re-opened.
Any person in the USA who bought any new BMW (not just Spartanburg products) in 2020 can experience this.
I found out about it from an email. Since I live close by, I signed up and did the NOTD yesterday. You can bring a 2nd person.
My wife had no interest, so I brought my son-in-law, who has a 3 series. I have an X5 40i.

Just an editorial comment: The Performance Center experience is basically in incredible brand building exercise. They have several programs, including Performance Center Delivery, Driving School, and M School. Yet Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is experienced by a tiny fraction of new BMW owners. The dealers really downplay PCD because they want to sell you a car today, right now, off the lot. They view it as a defeat to sell a custom car, because that is no help in making the current month quota. It takes a very knowledgeable buyer (like those on this forum) to 1) insist on a custom order, 2. Insist on PCD, and 3. Still negotiate a good financial deal. Most buyers new to the brand never experience PCD. So this NOTD opens up this incredible brand-building facility to everyone, even people who bought their BMW off the lot. After coming here, the question on your mind is not so much "Do I want a BMW again when I trade this one - or try some other brand?" Rather, it is "Which BMW will I choose next time? Maybe that M model I drove in Spartanburg...".

Many people are familiar with Performance Center Delivery (PCD) so I will mention some similarities and differences.

I had a misconception about Performance Center Delivery that it only applied to products made in Spartanburg. In fact, you can take delivery of any custom-built BMW model at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg. I'm sure most of you know this, but it was new news to me. You can get a car from a German factory and do PCD in Spartanburg. This is great since they are discontinuing European Delivery.

Things that are similar to Performance Center Delivery (PCD):
You get the X5 experience through the off-road course.
You get to drive laps on a track.

Differences:
PCD includes hotel and meals, lasts a good portion of the day (not sure how long). Includes instruction on the features of your new car.
NOTD does not include hotel or meals. Lasts about 2 hours.
PCD lets you drive a model similar to the one you bought on laps around the track. If you bought an X5, that is what you drive on laps around the track to get a feel for the capabilities of your new car.
NOTD lets you drive amazing cars - but probably not the one you bought. We could choose from 6 cars. We picked the four we most wanted to drive. The particular cars may vary from day to day.

Here was how the day unfolded:
1. Orientation - This was really helpful information like how to adjust your seat for maximum braking power, where to focus your attention, where to look with your eyes, etc.

2. Off-road course. On this course, you drive an X5. I had a X-Drive 40i. My son-in-law had a X5 M50i. We went over obstacles designed to show how well the X5 performs in rough terrain. The answer is, surprisingly well. And I learned how to use some features on my X5 that I did not know were there (like Hill Descent Control). And the iDrive screen that shows the current angle that your truck is leaning. We went through 18 inches of water, steep hills - up and down, ridiculous obstacles where one side of your truck was 25 degrees higher than the other side, and places where you could only have three tires touching at a time. There were places where you literally could not see where you were going without turning on the front facing camera. Lots of fun.

3. Braking - We had some time to kill after the off-road, so our instructor took us to a straight section of a track to let us practice braking. We would floor our X5, and then, when we reached a certain cone, do a hard brake. The stopping power is amazing, but with the Antilock brakes, no skidding at all. I got to do about 4 or 5 runs. The instructor was pushing us to brake harder and harder.

4. Then we went to run laps on the track. I got to drive 4 cars: the 12 cylinder M760i, the M4, the M40i (convertible), the X4M Comp. I probably did about 20 laps total. One of the M cars had ceramic brakes. As the instructor said, this is your chance to burn through tires and brakes, and it doesn't come out of your pocket. Note: The number of laps you drive may be dependent on how big the class size is.

This was a short-ish track, which meant that you could put the accelerator to the floor, but when you got to 70-80 miles an hour, it was time to brake hard for the sharp corner. (As the track was set up, that felt plenty fast). The back side of the oval had more twists, and you had to aim for a series of cones on the left and right sides to do it at speed, then a sharp left turn around the other end of the oval and back on the straight again. We had three cars on the track at a time. There was no passing, but it did not seem to be an issue.

After 4-5 laps, we would pit. They would wipe down the interior of the cars with disinfectant, and we would choose a new car.

With the M760i and the M40i, the default was the automatic transmission, but you could select a manual shift mode. With the X4Mcomp and the M4, the default was manual shifting, but you could change it to automatic. This took some getting used to.

I think my favorite was the M760i, because it was so similar to my (former) LS460 in size, but the performance was way better. But the hottest car was the X4M Comp.

5. Then we did a Hot Lap. Hot laps are driven by instructor in a M5 Comp. You go as a passenger. They drive you around the longer M School track and through the skid pad twice. If you saw Ford vs. Ferrari, this is the ride that Caroll Shelby gave to Henry Ford II.

6. At the end, we had a Q&A with a product specialist (genius) on any features of your car that you want to know more about. There were parts of the Drivers Assistance Package that the manual did not explain very well, so I asked about it. After the guy explained how to do it, it was quite easy to use the autonomous driving as I continued my journey later in the day.

You get 15% off at the gift shop, but there was no one manning the cash register so I did not get anything.

It was an amazing experience. I was surprised how much we did in about two hours. (We went a little over). I highly recommend the NOTD if you can make it to Spartanburg safely!***

*** I understand this is also offered in California.
Hey, I have an x5 40i as well. Can you explain what they taught you about autonomous driving and also how to show the display that shows the angle of your car?
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      08-16-2020, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidforce View Post
Hey, I have an x5 40i as well. Can you explain what they taught you about autonomous driving and also how to show the display that shows the angle of your car?
The vehicle off-road angle Is shown when you customize your view on the main radio display. Tap the small tile icon in the upper left hand corner to customize views. In there you can add the vehicle angle information view among other features. Then you can swipe left and right for quick change views of your new screens. Kinda like an Apple Watch custom display option.
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      08-16-2020, 04:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by UltraDave View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidforce View Post
Hey, I have an x5 40i as well. Can you explain what they taught you about autonomous driving and also how to show the display that shows the angle of your car?
The vehicle off-road angle Is shown when you customize your view on the main radio display. Tap the small tile icon in the upper left hand corner to customize views. In there you can add the vehicle angle information view among other features. Then you can swipe left and right for quick change views of your new screens. Kinda like an Apple Watch custom display option.
Yes, I am not certain how to set it up, but they had it set up so that when you hit radio button #1, this view came up.
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      08-16-2020, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidforce View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmer-Bimmer View Post
Here are some thoughts from my New Owner's Track Drive experience (NOTD) at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg.
TLDR; It is awesome! Let me just say from the outset that the instructors were great.

The NOTD is a relatively new program that they started on July 1, after they re-opened.
Any person in the USA who bought any new BMW (not just Spartanburg products) in 2020 can experience this.
I found out about it from an email. Since I live close by, I signed up and did the NOTD yesterday. You can bring a 2nd person.
My wife had no interest, so I brought my son-in-law, who has a 3 series. I have an X5 40i.

Just an editorial comment: The Performance Center experience is basically in incredible brand building exercise. They have several programs, including Performance Center Delivery, Driving School, and M School. Yet Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is experienced by a tiny fraction of new BMW owners. The dealers really downplay PCD because they want to sell you a car today, right now, off the lot. They view it as a defeat to sell a custom car, because that is no help in making the current month quota. It takes a very knowledgeable buyer (like those on this forum) to 1) insist on a custom order, 2. Insist on PCD, and 3. Still negotiate a good financial deal. Most buyers new to the brand never experience PCD. So this NOTD opens up this incredible brand-building facility to everyone, even people who bought their BMW off the lot. After coming here, the question on your mind is not so much "Do I want a BMW again when I trade this one - or try some other brand?" Rather, it is "Which BMW will I choose next time? Maybe that M model I drove in Spartanburg...".

Many people are familiar with Performance Center Delivery (PCD) so I will mention some similarities and differences.

I had a misconception about Performance Center Delivery that it only applied to products made in Spartanburg. In fact, you can take delivery of any custom-built BMW model at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg. I'm sure most of you know this, but it was new news to me. You can get a car from a German factory and do PCD in Spartanburg. This is great since they are discontinuing European Delivery.

Things that are similar to Performance Center Delivery (PCD):
You get the X5 experience through the off-road course.
You get to drive laps on a track.

Differences:
PCD includes hotel and meals, lasts a good portion of the day (not sure how long). Includes instruction on the features of your new car.
NOTD does not include hotel or meals. Lasts about 2 hours.
PCD lets you drive a model similar to the one you bought on laps around the track. If you bought an X5, that is what you drive on laps around the track to get a feel for the capabilities of your new car.
NOTD lets you drive amazing cars - but probably not the one you bought. We could choose from 6 cars. We picked the four we most wanted to drive. The particular cars may vary from day to day.

Here was how the day unfolded:
1. Orientation - This was really helpful information like how to adjust your seat for maximum braking power, where to focus your attention, where to look with your eyes, etc.

2. Off-road course. On this course, you drive an X5. I had a X-Drive 40i. My son-in-law had a X5 M50i. We went over obstacles designed to show how well the X5 performs in rough terrain. The answer is, surprisingly well. And I learned how to use some features on my X5 that I did not know were there (like Hill Descent Control). And the iDrive screen that shows the current angle that your truck is leaning. We went through 18 inches of water, steep hills - up and down, ridiculous obstacles where one side of your truck was 25 degrees higher than the other side, and places where you could only have three tires touching at a time. There were places where you literally could not see where you were going without turning on the front facing camera. Lots of fun.

3. Braking - We had some time to kill after the off-road, so our instructor took us to a straight section of a track to let us practice braking. We would floor our X5, and then, when we reached a certain cone, do a hard brake. The stopping power is amazing, but with the Antilock brakes, no skidding at all. I got to do about 4 or 5 runs. The instructor was pushing us to brake harder and harder.

4. Then we went to run laps on the track. I got to drive 4 cars: the 12 cylinder M760i, the M4, the M40i (convertible), the X4M Comp. I probably did about 20 laps total. One of the M cars had ceramic brakes. As the instructor said, this is your chance to burn through tires and brakes, and it doesn't come out of your pocket. Note: The number of laps you drive may be dependent on how big the class size is.

This was a short-ish track, which meant that you could put the accelerator to the floor, but when you got to 70-80 miles an hour, it was time to brake hard for the sharp corner. (As the track was set up, that felt plenty fast). The back side of the oval had more twists, and you had to aim for a series of cones on the left and right sides to do it at speed, then a sharp left turn around the other end of the oval and back on the straight again. We had three cars on the track at a time. There was no passing, but it did not seem to be an issue.

After 4-5 laps, we would pit. They would wipe down the interior of the cars with disinfectant, and we would choose a new car.

With the M760i and the M40i, the default was the automatic transmission, but you could select a manual shift mode. With the X4Mcomp and the M4, the default was manual shifting, but you could change it to automatic. This took some getting used to.

I think my favorite was the M760i, because it was so similar to my (former) LS460 in size, but the performance was way better. But the hottest car was the X4M Comp.

5. Then we did a Hot Lap. Hot laps are driven by instructor in a M5 Comp. You go as a passenger. They drive you around the longer M School track and through the skid pad twice. If you saw Ford vs. Ferrari, this is the ride that Caroll Shelby gave to Henry Ford II.

6. At the end, we had a Q&A with a product specialist (genius) on any features of your car that you want to know more about. There were parts of the Drivers Assistance Package that the manual did not explain very well, so I asked about it. After the guy explained how to do it, it was quite easy to use the autonomous driving as I continued my journey later in the day.

You get 15% off at the gift shop, but there was no one manning the cash register so I did not get anything.

It was an amazing experience. I was surprised how much we did in about two hours. (We went a little over). I highly recommend the NOTD if you can make it to Spartanburg safely!***

*** I understand this is also offered in California.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmer-Bimmer View Post
Here are some thoughts from my New Owner's Track Drive experience (NOTD) at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg.
TLDR; It is awesome! Let me just say from the outset that the instructors were great.

The NOTD is a relatively new program that they started on July 1, after they re-opened.
Any person in the USA who bought any new BMW (not just Spartanburg products) in 2020 can experience this.
I found out about it from an email. Since I live close by, I signed up and did the NOTD yesterday. You can bring a 2nd person.
My wife had no interest, so I brought my son-in-law, who has a 3 series. I have an X5 40i.

Just an editorial comment: The Performance Center experience is basically in incredible brand building exercise. They have several programs, including Performance Center Delivery, Driving School, and M School. Yet Performance Center Delivery (PCD) is experienced by a tiny fraction of new BMW owners. The dealers really downplay PCD because they want to sell you a car today, right now, off the lot. They view it as a defeat to sell a custom car, because that is no help in making the current month quota. It takes a very knowledgeable buyer (like those on this forum) to 1) insist on a custom order, 2. Insist on PCD, and 3. Still negotiate a good financial deal. Most buyers new to the brand never experience PCD. So this NOTD opens up this incredible brand-building facility to everyone, even people who bought their BMW off the lot. After coming here, the question on your mind is not so much "Do I want a BMW again when I trade this one - or try some other brand?" Rather, it is "Which BMW will I choose next time? Maybe that M model I drove in Spartanburg...".

Many people are familiar with Performance Center Delivery (PCD) so I will mention some similarities and differences.

I had a misconception about Performance Center Delivery that it only applied to products made in Spartanburg. In fact, you can take delivery of any custom-built BMW model at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg. I'm sure most of you know this, but it was new news to me. You can get a car from a German factory and do PCD in Spartanburg. This is great since they are discontinuing European Delivery.

Things that are similar to Performance Center Delivery (PCD):
You get the X5 experience through the off-road course.
You get to drive laps on a track.

Differences:
PCD includes hotel and meals, lasts a good portion of the day (not sure how long). Includes instruction on the features of your new car.
NOTD does not include hotel or meals. Lasts about 2 hours.
PCD lets you drive a model similar to the one you bought on laps around the track. If you bought an X5, that is what you drive on laps around the track to get a feel for the capabilities of your new car.
NOTD lets you drive amazing cars - but probably not the one you bought. We could choose from 6 cars. We picked the four we most wanted to drive. The particular cars may vary from day to day.

Here was how the day unfolded:
1. Orientation - This was really helpful information like how to adjust your seat for maximum braking power, where to focus your attention, where to look with your eyes, etc.

2. Off-road course. On this course, you drive an X5. I had a X-Drive 40i. My son-in-law had a X5 M50i. We went over obstacles designed to show how well the X5 performs in rough terrain. The answer is, surprisingly well. And I learned how to use some features on my X5 that I did not know were there (like Hill Descent Control). And the iDrive screen that shows the current angle that your truck is leaning. We went through 18 inches of water, steep hills - up and down, ridiculous obstacles where one side of your truck was 25 degrees higher than the other side, and places where you could only have three tires touching at a time. There were places where you literally could not see where you were going without turning on the front facing camera. Lots of fun.

3. Braking - We had some time to kill after the off-road, so our instructor took us to a straight section of a track to let us practice braking. We would floor our X5, and then, when we reached a certain cone, do a hard brake. The stopping power is amazing, but with the Antilock brakes, no skidding at all. I got to do about 4 or 5 runs. The instructor was pushing us to brake harder and harder.

4. Then we went to run laps on the track. I got to drive 4 cars: the 12 cylinder M760i, the M4, the M40i (convertible), the X4M Comp. I probably did about 20 laps total. One of the M cars had ceramic brakes. As the instructor said, this is your chance to burn through tires and brakes, and it doesn't come out of your pocket. Note: The number of laps you drive may be dependent on how big the class size is.

This was a short-ish track, which meant that you could put the accelerator to the floor, but when you got to 70-80 miles an hour, it was time to brake hard for the sharp corner. (As the track was set up, that felt plenty fast). The back side of the oval had more twists, and you had to aim for a series of cones on the left and right sides to do it at speed, then a sharp left turn around the other end of the oval and back on the straight again. We had three cars on the track at a time. There was no passing, but it did not seem to be an issue.

After 4-5 laps, we would pit. They would wipe down the interior of the cars with disinfectant, and we would choose a new car.

With the M760i and the M40i, the default was the automatic transmission, but you could select a manual shift mode. With the X4Mcomp and the M4, the default was manual shifting, but you could change it to automatic. This took some getting used to.

I think my favorite was the M760i, because it was so similar to my (former) LS460 in size, but the performance was way better. But the hottest car was the X4M Comp.

5. Then we did a Hot Lap. Hot laps are driven by instructor in a M5 Comp. You go as a passenger. They drive you around the longer M School track and through the skid pad twice. If you saw Ford vs. Ferrari, this is the ride that Caroll Shelby gave to Henry Ford II.

6. At the end, we had a Q&A with a product specialist (genius) on any features of your car that you want to know more about. There were parts of the Drivers Assistance Package that the manual did not explain very well, so I asked about it. After the guy explained how to do it, it was quite easy to use the autonomous driving as I continued my journey later in the day.

You get 15% off at the gift shop, but there was no one manning the cash register so I did not get anything.

It was an amazing experience. I was surprised how much we did in about two hours. (We went a little over). I highly recommend the NOTD if you can make it to Spartanburg safely!***

*** I understand this is also offered in California.
Hey, I have an x5 40i as well. Can you explain what they taught you about autonomous driving and also how to show the display that shows the angle of your car?
For the autonomous driving, you need the Drivers Assistance Package.
You use the buttons on the left side of your steering wheel.

You turn on the Drivers Assistance with the center button. Then you set the speed limit for the adaptive cruise control. You hit "Limit". Then use the toggle button to adjust the speed up and down. Then hit Set.
Then you hit the mode button to activate the lane assistance.

If you drive hands free, it will prompt you to touch the steering wheel every few seconds. I found it better to just lightly hold the steering wheel in your hand like you were holding something very delicate. (Light enough that the car can steer itself without your grip getting in the way.) This way you don't have to be constantly lifting your hands to touch the wheel.

Note: The mode button remembers where you set it last. If you had it set for lane assistance, it will remember that and do that the next time you set the speed limit.
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      08-17-2020, 02:27 PM   #10
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Great write up. It does seem that majority of it is a repeat of PCD (I did that also and agree with your comments about the experience). But I think the track part where you get to drive OTHER cars than your own is awesome, especially with M line and M cars. Since I did my PCD at Spartansburg, I think I would do the Cali one if I were to sign up.

Did they mention that it's only valid for 2020 or can you schedule out to 2021? It's still a bit scary to travel for a lot of folks right now...
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      08-17-2020, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karateboi87 View Post
But I think the track part where you get to drive OTHER cars than your own is awesome, especially with M line and M cars.
this is also the only reason I want to go back...
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      08-17-2020, 05:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karateboi87 View Post
Great write up. It does seem that majority of it is a repeat of PCD (I did that also and agree with your comments about the experience). But I think the track part where you get to drive OTHER cars than your own is awesome, especially with M line and M cars. Since I did my PCD at Spartansburg, I think I would do the Cali one if I were to sign up.

Did they mention that it's only valid for 2020 or can you schedule out to 2021? It's still a bit scary to travel for a lot of folks right now...
So far, it is only for cars purchased in 2020 , but that is probably (my opinion) for two reasons: 1) They will assess how popular this program is and is it meeting objectives?, and 2) What is their capacity for this after the driving schools and PCD? My strong opinion is that this will continue in 2021. (My opinion is unencumbered by any inside knowledge).

They asked how we heard about the program, and most of us said that we got the email. There was one gentleman who was there for M School. He found out about the program while he was there, and arranged to stay an extra day.

I understand that they are sending emails in batches. The first to get the emails are those who bought their car early in the year. Then they will roll out more emails to those who bought in 2Q and 3Q. So I would surmise that if the program applies to those who buy in 4Q, they might offer time slots in 2021. If you google this program, you will find that dealers are already promoting this program as a reason to buy a new BMW now.

You do not have to wait for an email. You can call the Performance Center number and schedule your visit. You will need your VIN, your Dealer name, and your Drivers License number. Also, if you plan to bring a +1, have their Name and drivers License number (and email) available.

They offered me several Fridays, and I took the first Friday that was available. One of the instructors said that they had also had some of these on Mondays.

The best answer to your question is to call and ask. If they can't schedule that far out, I would wait a few months and call again.
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      08-17-2020, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmer-Bimmer View Post
So far, it is only for cars purchased in 2020 , but that is probably (my opinion) for two reasons: 1) They will assess how popular this program is and is it meeting objectives?, and 2) What is their capacity for this after the driving schools and PCD? My strong opinion is that this will continue in 2021. (My opinion is unencumbered by any inside knowledge).

They asked how we heard about the program, and most of us said that we got the email. There was one gentleman who was there for M School. He found out about the program while he was there, and arranged to stay an extra day.

I understand that they are sending emails in batches. The first to get the emails are those who bought their car early in the year. Then they will roll out more emails to those who bought in 2Q and 3Q. So I would surmise that if the program applies to those who buy in 4Q, they might offer time slots in 2021. If you google this program, you will find that dealers are already promoting this program as a reason to buy a new BMW now.

You do not have to wait for an email. You can call the Performance Center number and schedule your visit. You will need your VIN, your Dealer name, and your Drivers License number. Also, if you plan to bring a +1, have their Name and drivers License number (and email) available.

They offered me several Fridays, and I took the first Friday that was available. One of the instructors said that they had also had some of these on Mondays.

The best answer to your question is to call and ask. If they can't schedule that far out, I would wait a few months and call again.
Yea thanks. I did get the email so will call to ask. It'd be a great getaway with the wife and I've never driven M cars so really tempted (especially in a track setting, however short of a track it may be).
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      12-07-2020, 11:16 PM   #14
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Feel the need....the need for speed!

Just enjoyed a NOTD at Spartanburg and as OP laid out, this 2 hours is amazing. My lineup of M cars was different: the M5CS, M2CS, XM4 and Z4M....all were amazing. the M2 sounds like a monster and produces power that shoves you in the seat, the Z4M will make you consider altering your lifestyle to afford one but my fav was the M5CS. Good god. I would have driven it home given half a chance, logic and budget be damned. Can't wait to go back to M school.

A day or so later, I dreamt I was back at the track, but somehow stuck in a manual Mazda as some kind of punishment by not being able to shift fast enough to keep up with others and woke up angry I didn't get back into the M5. Do yourself a favor - spend some time at one of these events.
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      08-09-2021, 08:58 AM   #15
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Thank you for sharing your outstanding detailed review of the NOTD - sounds like a great experience. Now I need to figure something out and make it happen!
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