BMW CCA Windy City April 2014 : Page 2


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The Steering Wheel

If you are buying a new BMW and want a unique delivery experience, check out Performance Center Delivery in South Carolina. The Performance Delivery Center is across the street from the BMW manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, SC, where the X3, X5, X6, and soon to be X4, are made. Jackie and I took delivery of our new tow vehicle, a 2014 X5 diesel, and took advantage of the program last month.

After arriving at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, we were transported to the Greenville Marriott in a new X5. Definitely beats the typical hotel shuttle van. Our fight was delayed due to snow, so we missed the connection from Atlanta and arrived at the Marriott about 10 minutes too late for dinner in the normal dining area. The Marriott was setup to accommodate this with a late dinner menu.Certainly not typical bar fare, we found Chateaubriand on the menu and it was delicious. The rooms are very comfortable as well. The Marriott staff was outstanding during our stay.

For the delivery program, participants are divided into two groups, one group with a morning vehicle delivery and driving activities in the afternoon, and the second group with the reverse schedule.We requested the driving activities and Zentrum visit in the morning and delivery in the afternoon, to leave some time to visit downtown Greenville before heading to Asheville for the night.

The on-pavement driving exercises included a panic stop and turn, a short autocross type course, and a wet skid pad exercise, all in a BMW model that is very similar if not identical to one you will be driving home. The three exercises provide a nice opportunity to thrash a new Bimmer and test the ABS, stability control, and handling while not racking up a single mile or any abuse on your new prize. Next, we drove over to the Zentrum museum. This is typically coupled with a tour of the factory, but the tours are closed currently for factory reworking to begin building the new X4.

Next up was a chance to explore the off road capabilities of the X5. Though most BMW X vehicles are not likely to see much off road duty, it was fun to drive it through 18 inches of water, see what 25 degrees of lateral incline felt like, and test the hill descent feature. There was no shortage of smiles at the end of the activities.The exercises provide a great way to get a feel for how your new car or SAV will handle and drive it far harder than anyone is likely to do. There is no way I would put our new X5 through this kind of punishment.

My favorite part of the morning was the instructor ride on the track.Everyone willing can get in the right seat of an M3 and take a lap around the test track with one of the very skilled instructors. All of these guys have extensive racing careers and can really handle a car around the track. Most of the time is spent sideways with tires smoking. While not the fastest way around the track it is definitely the most entertaining by far. Can I go for another lap?

After a tasty lunch, we took delivery of our new Carbon Black X5.The delivery areas are great, in an all glass private room to review features in as much depth as desired. We spent almost two hours just going over the updates to the new model.

Well acquainted with our new SAV we headed out to downtown Greenville. What a great little town! If you’re there stop by Falls Park, which offers views of the river and falls from a very cool single suspension bridge.

Wondering what all this fun costs? Aside from travel to get to Greenville/Spartanburg, the cost for the stay at the Marriott including dinner and breakfast, the delivery program, the Zentrum visit, and the factory tour when it reopens, is $0. How can you afford to pass this up? If you need any more justification, after the drive back, the break-in period is almost complete.

Our thanks to the staff at the Marriott and the Performance Delivery Center for a great experience.


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