BMW is touring the country with its Ultimate Driving Experience (UDE) program. They made a stop near Seattle at Emerald Downs in Auburn. They set up a big showroom and some tracks on the huge parking lot. BMW offered a lot of drives to participate and all for free. Except the “M Car Control Clinic” which had a fee of $750 but you got a full day of driving in a high-end BMW M model and get help from professional instructors. Here some of the highlights they offered for free.
Teen Driving School
This is for drivers under the age of 21 with a valid permit or license. The young drivers learn about distracted driving and how dangerous it can be as well as how to master some dangerous situations which can occur any time on the street. The two-hour event starts with a short session in the classroom to cover the basics of driving physics and then the teens will head out to the tracks. Professional instructors wil teach how to react in different situations and how to handle the car.
This was the best part for me. It is a two-hour session. You get to drive in a BMW 3 Series, 4 Series or X4. I got assigned to an X4. This is just awesome, you will race around a short track and an instructor will sit next to you to give you instructions how to brake, throttle and steer. I shared my car with 2 other people and every one got to drive two rounds and then swap. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will get your heart rate up – believe me.
In the video below you can see two tracks of the Seattle event. The video was taken with an X4.
You can take a ride over a rollercoaster like ramp. You don’t get to drive yourself – unfortunately – but you can take a ride at the front seat. Enjoy how easy the X5 handles this obstacle. Or choose to take a ride in a 5 Series sedan and go on a skid pad. You will ride along with a professional driver and he will show you the difference between activated driver assistance systems and deactivated systems. It’s amazing what technology can do with your car and how it keeps you safe and on track.
This is an amazing offer. You can take pretty much every model of BMW (except the i8) out on the streets. Real driving pleasure with the ultimate driving machine. They give you a pre-programmed route around the area for a 15-minute drive. You can drive as many vehicle as you want, just see what vehicles are available or get yourself on the waitlist. Very important! You get to keep all the traffic tickets during your drive. So be careful and obey the laws. I was finally able to take the X6 and 6 Series Grand Coupe out for a test drive. At the first intersection there was a sign “Vodka tasting room open”, this is probably very inviting, but as mentioned before, obey the law and don’t drink and drive.
Go inside and sit down, relax and take a break of all the excitement around you. There are some snacks, drinks and coffee waiting for you. BMW is celebrating its 40th birthday in the US market. There is even a BMW shop inside to buy merchandise and show your love for the brand. Have a seat inside the amazing BMW i8.
Outside of the showroom front you got to examine some of the special models of BMW cars. Like the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car.
BMW is still touring through the country with the UDE. There are three stops left this year: Dallas, TX (October 3-11); Chicago, IL (October 24 – November 1); Flushing, NY (November 14-22)
If you want to visit one of the events, go to the event homepage and register as soon it opens up for your destination.
Got hooked now? Good! You can book more such events at one of their two Performance Centers in the US, in Spartanburg, SC or Thermal, CA.
Looking for another great experience? Buy a brand new BMW and pick it up at the factory in Munich, Germany. Get to see the BMW Welt (World) and take a factory tour. If you are buying a brand new car, you should consider that option. Talk to your sales rep about it.
A very big thanks to the BMW dealers, who made this event possible: BMW of Bellevue, BMW Northwest, BMW Seattle.