So my favorite car company, once again, shows me why it’s my favorite car company. This weekend at Citi Field, BMW held their annual Ultimate Driving Experience (UDE), and guess who made it there? Yours truly. This makes the 3rd time for me.
The UDE includes many things. The main event of it is the AutoCross competition. BMW brings in at least 15 professional drivers and a few truck loads of brand new BMW’s.
The set up is amazing. In the parking lot of Citi Field, they make 6 courses guided by traffic cones. Many participants broken into big groups of 6, then the pro drivers have us in sub-groups of 3. They start by driving the course with us in the car (2018 540i Sedan), giving us pointers on what to do at specific points on the track, taking things nice and easy, then BOOM! The pro driver shows us how it should be done. There is no mercy when these guys drive. They push the cars to the limit!
Now it’s our turn. The fun begins. They let us blast through the track with all we’ve got and the pro’s are right there guiding us on what moves we should make here and there. Look ahead! Hug the corners! Brake! Get into the power! Straighten out the wheel!
Poor traffic cones, some of these people were dragging them under the car for half the course! Haha!
For our last blast through the track, they time us. It’s a friendly competition among the few groups of 20. Top three drivers with the fastest time make it to the virtual podium. My experience wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t make it up there, and I sure did!
I love this stuff. It goes even further than that for some. If you have the best time for the event over thousands of participants, BMW invites you to California for a more intense driving event, all expenses paid.
The UDE isn’t over just yet. After, you’re done with the AutoCross, you can head over to check out the Street Drives, a 15 minute test drive alone with your choice of 15 different BMW’s. If you want to, you can literally drive all of them. I drove 2 of them, a 2018 440i Convertible and a 2018 740e Sedan. I fell in love with the 440i. What a beast that thing is.
BMW provides all of this for FREE. For an event like this, I would imagine a couple hundred bucks or so would cover costs. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s in their budget to do this across 6 big cities for weeks at a time.
I really love how BMW is all about pure driving. The initial seminar provided emergency driving tips, pointers, and other valuable advice for these often unforgiving streets of New York. People get distracted lately with anything, especially driving. The pro’s said their goal is to leave us with something that potentially save a life.
I must say, I had an amazing experience once again, courtesy of BMW.
Thanks soooo much!!!
Quick Add On Thought 12/7/2017
Oh yea, and I got this awesome little insulated thermos which is still scorching from the pot this morning…