In 1977 BMW became the first carmaker to offer drivers the chance to hone their skills at the wheel – and it has continued to do so ever since. This year, what began as a “driving school” has been repackaged under the “BMW Driving Experience” and “MINI Driving Experience” banners to serve up driving experiences of a very special variety. Today, the range of training courses extends beyond the original remit of driving safety training. From drifting on ice and snow and the pursuit of the ideal line on the race track all the way to tours through picturesque landscapes – the broad spread of brand-specific BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience courses offer the type of content and car to suit novices and advanced drivers alike.
The basic idea behind the courses has remained the same for the last 30-plus years: learning how to work effectively with the car in a wide range of – sometimes critical – driving situations will allow participants to go about their daily driving safely and securely. Indeed, BMW Driving Experience or MINI Driving Experience courses prepare drivers to experience their cars in a totally new way.
The training courses and tours allow participants to focus one hundred per cent on the driving experience at all times. That’s the mission statement of BMW M GmbH, which oversees the BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience. Meals, accommodation and service are always included in the price of the events, as applicable, as well as use of the cars, of course. For courses requiring an overnight stay, the cost of a single room with full board is covered by the price of the package, as are any supplementary activities. Needless to say, passenger accident insurance is also included. All the BMW and MINI Driving Experience training courses and tours take place in small groups and under the watchful eye of specially trained BMW and MINI instructors, which helps to maximise both the progress the participants make and the enjoyment they have behind the wheel.
The BMW Driving Experience.
The BMW Driving Experience is split into sections: the BMW Training Experience, BMW Tour Experience and BMW Customized Experience. As if the
BMW Training Experience driving safety and race track training courses were not enough, the one-day and multi-day tours available as part of the BMW Tour Experience provide participants with even more routes to serious pleasure at the wheel. The BMW Customized Experience, meanwhile, offers incentives designed to reflect the participants’ vision of their driving experience and meet their wishes. Plus, the one-to-one programme available through the Personal Coaching option promises to help individuals achieve the targets they have set themselves for their course.
The BMW Training Experience – a safe route to driving pleasure.
The BMW Training Experience has something to offer newly qualified drivers, those who haven’t been behind the wheel for some time, track enthusiasts and frequent drivers alike. This programme takes up where driving lessons left off and continues all the way up to training courses that give participants the opportunity to explore the cars’ limits on the race track. The aim of each course is to familiarise the participants with the technical theory of driving and how the laws of physics affect a car’s behaviour, to put this knowledge into practice as part of driving drills and, in so doing, to increase the drivers’ confidence in responding to challenging situations on the road. The broad-based content of the course takes into account the particular needs of the participants and covers an extremely wide range of driving proficiency.
A choice of five options – BMW Safety Training, BMW M Race Track Training, the BMW M Experience, BMW Snow and Ice Training, and BMW Training for Professionals – allows participants to select a course that meets their needs and provides the type of challenge they are seeking. BMW Safety Training promotes confidence and composure in everyday driving. For those in the mood for a sporting challenge on a major European race track, BMW M Race Track Training will be the course of choice. The BMW Driving Experience offers participants a combination of high-speed thrills and insider knowledge on BMW M cars. BMW Snow and Ice Training teaches the art of driving in wintry conditions, which tends to involve the occasional close encounter with the limits of both the car and the laws of physics. And professional drivers – from sales representatives to chauffeurs – can polish their skills as part of the BMW Training for Professionals course.
BMW Safety Training – mastering the challenges of everyday driving.
As the name implies, BMW Safety Training focuses primarily on driving safety. An increasing spread of technology, such as ABS, airbags and electronic chassis control systems, now ensures a high level of active and passive safety in today’s cars. However, some 95 per cent of the accidents that do occur are caused by human error. Which means it is not only important for drivers to have the latest safety features on board, but also to practise using them and to ensure they do their job correctly at the wheel.
BMW Safety training courses use this realisation as their starting point and give drivers the tools to react as effectively as possible in critical situations. The usage and effect of important technology such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are therefore a key component of BMW Safety Training. Potential participants can choose from two options – the half-day Compact Basic Training and the full-day Basic Training. Both courses also impart handy tips on how to drive more efficiently and economically.
The programme also includes special BMW Safety Training courses for young adults aged between 18 and 25. These are designed to ensure the information is conveyed as effectively as possible, while at the same time adding an extra dose of fun. And there are also plans to tailor BMW Safety Training to other target groups. In order to respond more efficiently to participants and better address their needs, training courses led by women for women and special courses for older people are also in the pipeline. BMW has already shown how well this “made-to-measure” approach for specific target groups can work with the introduction of driving safety training courses for partially sighted drivers.
BMW Compact Basic Training.
Drivers who have an accurate awareness of and confidence in their driving ability are in a much better position to deal with the challenges of day-to-day driving. That applies as much to the experienced driver as it does to the novice. With this in mind, the half-day Compact Basic Training passes on valuable knowledge to a maximum of 10 participants per group on techniques to better assess hazards on the road and identify them in good time, as well as on how to react correctly in unexpected situations. The course begins with theory-based instruction, in which participants deepen their knowledge of vehicle technology, the fundamentals of driving physics and the influence of a car’s weight and tyre choice on the way it handles. In the driving exercises that follow, BMW Compact Basic Training participants learn how to guide their car confidently and securely through city traffic – starting with the correct seating position and the right way to hold the steering wheel, and moving on to the benefits of good steering technique under braking and the execution of effective evasive manoeuvres – with and without the help of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). As these exercises, like all the BMW Driving Experience training drills, are run in small groups, the BMW instructors can explore the particular strengths and weaknesses of each participant individually.
BMW Basic Training.
In the one-day BMW Basic Training course, participants learn how to assess their driving more accurately at city driving speeds. However, in addition to braking and evading exercises, they also try their hand at dynamic cornering drills. Tests focusing on target braking manoeuvres show the participants how to accurately grade their braking power, while purposefully inducing understeer and oversteer prepares them for cornering at the limit and develops a finer sense of how to react confidently and effectively to unexpected situations. Other exercises highlighting emergency braking, target braking and dynamic lane changes teach participants skills to successfully negotiate hazardous situations. Small groups of a maximum of 10 ensure each participant takes as much information as possible on board. The climax of this training unit is a timed slalom test.
BMW Safety Training for young adults aged 18 to 25.
The special Safety Training courses for young adults are designed for inexperienced and novice drivers. The half-day Compact Basic Training Young or full-day Basic Training Young courses give young drivers the chance to refine their safety-enhancing driving skills – and at an extremely reasonably price. The content of these courses is the same as that set out for the standard BMW Safety Training. The only difference comes in the type of cars used on the courses; instead of a BMW 330i the youngsters get behind the wheel of a BMW 123d.
BMW M Race Track Training – all the thrills of the race.
The BMW M Race Track range of training courses is geared to drivers looking for a sporting challenge on a famous European race track. Participants team up with the BMW M3 for a high-speed burn around the circuits at Hockenheim, the Salzburgring, the LUK Driving Center in Baden-Baden, the Sachsenring, the Hungaroring in Hungary, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the notorious “Green Hell” – the Nürburgring Nordschleife – and set about honing their driving skills while they’re about it. A place on this course represents a passport to a unique experience, with everything in place to deliver either one or two days packed with speed and extreme driving manoeuvres; double lane changes at high speeds, controlled drifts and the chance to develop your relationship with the ideal line will set the pulse of even the keenest enthusiast racing. BMW instructors with experience of race competition guide the participants through the exercises, instilling a sense for the ideal line and the art of driving at speed. Small groups of eight to 10 participants ensure the course is a successful learning experience for all involved.
BMW M Race Track Training offers three options: the one-day BMW M Intensive Training, two-day BMW M Perfection Training and two-day BMW M Fascination Training.
Generally speaking, no previous experience is necessary to take part in BMW M Race Track Training. The exception is BMW M Fascination Training,
which builds on the content of BMW M Perfection Training and therefore makes prior completion of this course essential. As the participants in BMW M Fascination Training set out as a group in search of high speeds and the ideal line, they can only be as fast as their slowest member. Hence the importance of grading access to the course and to ensure the drivers in each group are of a roughly equal level.
V-Box and BMW TrackTrainer – a high-tech recipe for faster lap times.
BMW M Race Track Training uses additional high-performance electronic systems, notably the V-Box and BMW TrackTrainer, to ensure participants make even more impressive progress. The V-Box is a type of video system linked up to the car’s management unit which records all the data supplied by the engine, measures speeds and distances, and uses a pair of video cameras to film each participant’s responses at the wheel.
Depending on the track in question, the two-day BMW M Perfection Training and BMW M Fascination Training courses give advanced drivers the chance to work with the BMW TrackTrainer. This technology has been used since 2007 to give participants on the courses valuable assistance in exploring the ideal line on a particular race track. A mixture of electronic systems including GPS-based position location through the navigation system, Active Cruise Control (ACC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) enables cars fitted with the system to follow the ideal line around an enclosed race track “independently” – i.e. without any input from the driver. Experienced test drivers, such as racing driver and BMW Driving Experience chief instructor Claudia Hürtgen, lap the track several times on the ideal line, during which time all the characteristics and vehicle parameters – e.g. the car’s position on the track and lateral acceleration, accelerator position and steering input – are recorded and stored on a chip card. This data is then used by the system’s computer to give the “target values” that underpin the ideal line around the circuit. A line that has actually been driven by a real driver therefore takes precedence over a computer-generated equivalent.
The first phase of the training course with the BMW TrackTrainer sees the participants completing several laps with the BMW demonstration car. Resting their hands lightly on the steering wheel allows them to sense the car’s automatic steering movements and therefore also the ideal turn-in and braking points. Indeed, even experienced drivers soon discover ways in which they can optimise their driving style. Plus, the BMW instructor is on hand to add his or her own advice for each individual participant.
The second phase of the course puts the participants behind the wheel of a “feedback car”. This car also has the ideal line stored in its systems, but is not able to drive itself around the track independently. Instead, it uses visual, tactile and audible signals to alert the driver when he strays from the ideal line. Depending on the way the system is set up, LEDs on the left and right of the instrument cluster (the light from which is reflected on the windscreen), a subtle vibration through the steering wheel spokes or warning tones from the audio system’s left or right-hand speaker make the driver aware that he is moving off the ideal line. The driver can then react immediately or make the required adjustments on the following lap. In this way, the participants are given direct feedback on where and how they have ventured away from the optimum course around the track and can take rapid steps to get back on the ideal line.
The third phase of the learning process consists of data analysis back in the pit garage. Here, all the data recorded by the feedback cars during each participant’s laps are studied. The computer then compares the line followed by the participant with its pre-stored ideal line. This allows the BMW instructor to identify further potential for improvement and to give the driver personalised tips on how they can further optimise their driving style.
BMW M Intensive Training.
Time to turn your first wheels on a race track; high speeds, dynamic driving situations and confident evading moves are the key elements of the one-day
BMW M Intensive Training course in the BMW M3. This course focuses primarily on linking together sequences of movements and thinking ahead. On the evening before the action begins, participants are given an extensive introduction to the theory of track driving – in preparation for the drills that will test their mettle the following day. These include dynamic braking and evasive manoeuvres through corners, double lane changes, understeer and oversteer exercises and timed slalom runs, and even bring some controlled drifting into play. To make the learning processes as effective as possible, the participants first run through every corner at low speed. Yet even at a modest 100 km/h the participants can experience how important – but also how tricky – it can be to turn in at just the right time and hit the optimum corner radius. Driving pleasure rises another notch when the drivers return to the track to follow the racing line behind the pace car. This course is held at the Nürburgring, the Hockenheimring, the Sachsenring,
LUK Driving Center Baden-Baden and the Salzburgring.
BMW M Perfection Training.
Speed and absolute car control are the key themes of the two-day BMW M Perfection Training. Here, the ideal line is king – and something the participants at the wheel of the BMW M3 need to keep in mind at all times, even during demanding manoeuvres. The course also teaches drifting within a circle and ultra-extreme braking and evading manoeuvres. Under the professional eye of BMW instructors, the participants also practise skills such as double lane changes at higher speeds and dynamic drifting, and try to stick to the ideal line over several laps. Here, the V-Box cameras witness situations unfolding during the lap and record how the driver responds. This allows the drivers to see for themselves where they can further improve their driving technique. Participants can choose from various venues for the course, such as the Nürburgring and the Sachsenring in Germany, the Hungaroring in Hungary and
Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
BMW M Fascination Training.
BMW M Fascination Training is the only course for which participants need to have previous experience under their belts. It builds on the lessons learnt in
BMW M Perfection Training, teaching the participants to find the optimum path through twisty sections of road and to hit the ideal line consistently over several laps. In so doing they also get to sample the exclusive race track atmosphere of a major European circuit, such as the Nürburgring or Sachsenring in Germany, the Hungaroring in Hungary or Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Joining them at the track is the BMW M3 – their car for the event – and a team of professional BMW instructors. The instructors use the evening before the first track day to give the participants a thorough run-down on the theory and dynamics of motor racing. This includes exclusive tips on driving dynamics, supplemented by insider information from the sharp end of professional motor sport. The drills on the track are designed to optimise the driving technique of each individual participant. The first day plunges them straight into the deep end of tests at the dynamic limit, after which they set about familiarising themselves with the circuit and the fastest route around it. The goal for the second day is to convert their research into the perfect racing line, as the budding racing drivers go out onto the track on their own. Subsequent video analysis using the V-Box helps to further refine their responses in specific situations.
BMW M Experience. A journey into the soul of BMW M.
The BMW M Experience training courses turn driving students into expert wheelmen as the participants learn about the technology built into the high-performance cars from BMW M and explore the process of transferring the car’s horsepower onto the road under total control. As well as the opportunity to chat away with BMW test engineers (and become BMW M insiders in the process), the BMW M Experience allows course participants to sample the technical fineries of a BMW M car at race speed on the Nordschleife circuit and taste the rarefied racing air behind the wheel of a genuine Formula BMW car.
The half-day, full-day or two-day BMW M Drift Experience, BMW M Power Insider, BMW M Fascination Nordschleife and BMW M Motorsport courses have a clear target group in mind: drivers looking to take their dynamic driving skills to the next level as part of an unforgettable experience in an exclusive atmosphere at a major European race track. Best of all, no prior experience is required.
BMW M Drift Experience.
Rapid lane changes and evasive manoeuvres in emergency situations often call for drivers to display their drifting ability. Perfecting such skills is the task the maximum of eight drivers set themselves for each half-day BMW M Drift Experience course. First up is the theory of drifting, after which the drivers are initiated in the dynamics. Once they’ve mastered the art of sliding sideways in the BMW M3 over the wide-open spaces of the BMW Driver Training centre at Munich Airport, it’s time to put their skills to the test in a drift slalom test on the drifting course. And those who still haven’t had enough can try their hand at controlled drifts on a wet surface.
BMW M Power Insider.
The BMW M Power Insider event gives groups of no more than 12 participants a day behind the scenes of BMW M. Participants get a taste of the BMW M3 at the BMW M Test Center in the “Green Hell” of the Nürburgring, where the high-performance sports cars from BMW M are imbued with the genes of “the world’s most powerful letter”. After a detailed briefing the participants are waved out onto the circuit. Guided by the pace car driven by a BMW instructor, they spend an hour exploring the talents of the BMW M3 over the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife circuit. The subsequent technical workshop in the BMW M Test Center offers the chance to pick the brains of BMW engineers and find out more about the lightweight chassis and state-of-the-art technologies, such as the bi-turbo V8 engine and M Drive function, which enables the car’s responses to be adjusted to personal tastes and requirements.
BMW M Fascination Nordschleife.
For those seeking to test their qualities as a racing driver and get to grips with the legendary circuit without the need for prior experience, the two-day
BMW M Fascination Nordschleife training course will be the box to tick. BMW instructors with racing experience guide the participants through the 73 corners of the “Green Hell” in the BMW M3 and introduce them to the adventures that lie in wait over the various sections of the 20.8-kilometre-long circuit. On the evening before the first day of driving, the participants are given instructions and a presentation on the theory of driving dynamics. The following day begins with a drive to the Nordschleife complete with advice on seating position, steering technique and handling. This is followed by the first runs through individual sections of the Nordschleife led by the pace car. The shackles come off on day two as the participants take to the Nordschleife for a second period of track time around different sections of the circuit in the slipstream of the pace car. Also included in the price of the package are the services of the V-Box and subsequent analysis of data recorded by its inboard cameras. A dinner with the BMW instructors concludes with each participant being presented with a certificate with which to remember the event.
BMW Motorsport Special.
The two-day BMW Motorsport Special event is all about turning the dream of becoming a racing driver into reality. A new addition to the programme in 2011, the BMW Motorsport Special represents another step up from BMW M Race Track Training. Participants experience the essence of BMW M and BMW Motorsport in a single training course taking place on famous race tracks, in high-performance BMW sports cars and with active racing drivers as instructors. Following a theory session on the evening before the event, the participants spend day one experiencing the twists and turns of the Hungaroring in Hungary or the Red Bull Ring (formerly the A1 Ring) in Austria at the wheel of the BMW M3. The aim is to hit the ideal line and get a feel for the grip available at high speeds. Day two sees the participants turn into true racing drivers as they don the full racing gear and get behind the wheel of an original Formula BMW FB02. Here, the participants are tasked with applying the experiences of the previous day to a new situation, as the Formula BMW car is a very different car to drive compared with the M3; later braking points and even harder acceleration are the key features of the racing experience in the FBMW car.
BMW Snow and Ice Training – safer driving pleasure when the mercury drops.
With the right preparation, driving can also be a pleasurable experience during the winter months. BMW Snow and Ice Training courses give participants the chance to learn the techniques required to drive safely on snow and ice. BMW Snow Training courses are held against the snow-covered Alpine backdrop of Sölden in Austria. The glacier above the resort hosts the highest winter training venue in the world. Snowbound tracks, tight mountain passes and extremely slippery ice-covered surfaces offer the perfect conditions for the BMW Snow Drift, BMW Snow Basic and BMW Snow Intensive training courses. BMW Ice Perfection Training and BMW Ice Fascination Training, meanwhile, take place over vast expanses of ice not far from the Arctic Circle. Arjeplog, in northern Sweden, is the location of the BMW Test Centre, where the BMW test engineers take advantage of the outstanding conditions provided by the untouched snow-covered landscapes and metre-thick layers of ice to put prototype vehicles through their paces in the extreme cold. All the events in the BMW Snow and Ice Training programme are led by professional BMW instructors, which ensures both unbeatable levels of safety and an unforgettable experience for all.
Four of the five elements of the BMW Snow and Ice Training programme do not require any prior experience. The only exception is for drivers wishing to drift a BMW M3 with spiked tyres over the ice at high speeds as part of the BMW Ice Fascination Training course. Here, participants need to have first successfully completed the BMW Ice Perfection Training or BMW Snow Intensive Training. The duration of the BMW Snow and Ice Training courses ranges from half a day for BMW Snow Drift Training and two days for BMW Snow Intensive Training up to four days for BMW Ice Perfection and five days for BMW Ice Fascination Training. All the courses see small groups of participants learn special winter driving techniques, such as safe steering on slippery road surfaces, a variety of braking and cornering manoeuvres, obstacle evasion skills and safe lane changes. All of which helps to dispel nervousness at the wheel and increase safety in day-to-day driving during the winter months. Depending on the course selected, other elements of the programme may include snow chain competitions, drift slalom courses and off-road excursions. Included in the price of the BMW Ice Training packages are the services of the V-Box and subsequent analysis of data recorded by its inboard cameras. Drivers booking a place on the BMW Ice Fascination Training course can also look forward to exclusive insights into the work of the BMW Test Centre in Arjeplog. And we should point out, too, that course participants are similarly well catered for when it comes to comfort. The overall package of overnight stays with full board in exclusive accommodation and, in some cases, a supplementary programme of activities adds the icing to the cake of the multi-day winter driving experiences.
BMW Snow Drift Training.
BMW Snow Drift Training is all about performing controlled slides on snow. Drifting is fun, and what’s more, the technique can also boost safety in hazardous situations, where a controlled rear-wheel slide can be a more effective way of getting round corners.
BMW Snow Drift Training is a half-day course for a maximum of 10 participants. The training is held in Sölden, where participants learn how to control the 420 hp BMW M3 safely on snow and ice. First comes an introduction to the theory of driving dynamics, then participants test their own ability to control a vehicle in slippery conditions. In particular they practise understeering and oversteering – which is the first step to controlled drifting. When they have got the hang of this, they can then tackle the drift course and compete in the drift slalom. The BMW Snow Drift Training course requires no prior experience.
BMW Snow Basic Training.
The aim of the one-day BMW Snow Basic Training course is to take the worry out of winter driving. At the end of this course, sub-zero temperatures, icy roads, snow and other seasonal hazards will literally leave the participants cold! Because at the end of this training, which is held with a maximum of 10 people per group, they will have the confidence to handle difficult winter driving situations competently and with ease. On the evening of the arrival day, the instructors run through the fundamentals of winter driving dynamics and explain how to fit snow chains. During the next day’s practical training, a warm-up with braking and evasive driving exercises eases the drivers into more challenging tasks like hill starts (or moving off downhill) with snow chains, downhill evasive manoeuvres and downhill braking. Of course there’s plenty of fun in store. too, particularly on the off-road course, which offers a chance to enjoy the sheer beauty of winter. The price includes the training and one night’s full-board accommodation in the luxurious 5-star Central Spa Hotel, as well as a “log cabin” evening. Subject to availability, the training vehicles include the BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X1, BMW X3 and BMW X5 models. The course requires no prior experience.
BMW Snow Intensive Training.
During the two-day BMW Snow Intensive Training in Sölden, Austria, the participants learn how to keep a sure footing even on narrow mountain passes, how to confidently perform an emergency stop on snow, and how to climb or descend an icy gradient without breaking into a sweat. On the evening before the event, the instructors run through the fundamentals of winter driving dynamics. Then, on the first day of training in the Sölden valley, the participants practice sudden lane changes, evasive action, steering manoeuvres, and drifting on ice. They also learn the correct technique for moving off in slippery conditions. Another regular fixture at the BMW Snow Intensive Training events in Sölden is driving in hilly and difficult terrain. Here the BMW instructors coach the group in correct and sensitive vehicle handling both with and without the help of state-of-the-art chassis control systems like DSC electronic stability control. This takes place on the second day, when a snowcat takes the group to the training site on the Rettenbach glacier, the highest winter training venue in the world. Here the participants practise correct braking techniques on a slope in wintry conditions, obstacle avoidance on a downhill slope, and braking to maximum effect before and during a corner. Special winter highlights are the snowchain competition, the drift slalom course and the mountain
off-road course. No prior knowledge is necessary to take part in the BMW Snow Intensive Training. The maximum number of participants per group is 10.
Subject to availability, the training vehicles include the BMW 3 Series, BMW M3, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X models including the brand-new BMW X3. The price includes two nights’ stay in a single room with full board in the exclusive 5-star Central Spa Hotel, a wellness programme and a cosy and relaxing log cabin evening. A BMW Snow Intensive Training for Professionals course, which prepares professional drivers to face a complete range of challenges, is also available.
BMW Ice Perfection Training.
In Arjeplog, 60 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle and just next door to the BMW Test Centre, the participants in the four-day BMW Ice Perfection Training
(10 participants maximum per group) will find excellent conditions for brushing up their driving skills in wintry conditions. In temperatures that can drop as low as minus 23 degrees Celsius, they can test their ability to master extreme situations in a controlled and confident way at the wheel of a BMW M3 with spikes. On the extensive and specially prepared ice surfaces, they practise understeer and oversteer, controlled acceleration and skilful obstacle avoidance. Forwards and reverse turns, the timed slalom and emergency braking or braking within a set distance, both with and without chassis control systems, are all part of the programme. In order to monitor drivers’ technique in more detail, every vehicle is fitted with two inboard cameras (V-Box). After the intensive driving sessions, participants can relax with wellness treatments in the 4-star Kraja hotel and enjoy regional specialities in the restaurant. The course price includes three nights full-board in a single room, team support and a supplementary programme.
BMW Ice Fascination Training.
Only participants who have successfully completed the BMW Ice Perfection Training or the BMW Snow Intensive Training are eligible to explore the dynamic limits of the training vehicles in the five-day BMW Ice Fascination Training in Arjeplog, Sweden. At high speed and under hard cornering acceleration, they get to put a BMW M3 with spikes through its paces at the BMW Test Centre. This is the very same site where the BMW engineers conduct extreme winter testing with BMW models. Here the participants can practise long drifts, slalom drifting and high-speed drifting on the rally circuit. They are intensively coached, in small groups (10 persons maximum per group), by BMW instructors. The coaching includes individual analysis of video from the inboard cameras (V-Box), which faithfully record every situation. Also on the programme is a taxi ride with a BMW instructor in the BMW M3 Iceracer, as well as floodlit high-speed ice racing action with the Polaris Snowquad PZR. A presentation by a BMW test engineer gives participants an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes at the BMW Test Centre. The training package also includes authentic local food, four nights’ accommodation in single rooms with full board in the exclusive 4-star Kraja hotel and a typical Lapp-style log cabin evening.
BMW Training for Professionals – transporting passengers safely and in comfort.
For professional drivers, safety is an issue that goes well beyond simply coping with the challenges of day-to-day driving. Drivers whose job involves responsibility for the wellbeing and personal safety of other people need a special type of training. In the BMW Training for Professionals, professional drivers, including chauffeurs of businesspeople, politicians or VIPs, are confronted with situations which will strengthen both their driving skills and their personal character. In the four different BMW Training for Professionals courses, participants learn about the physics of driving, improve their driving technique and vehicle handling skills, and hone their tactical skills.
A one-day course at the BMW Driver Training Centre at Munich Airport (BMW Basic Training for Professionals), or a two-day course in wintry conditions at Sölden, Austria (BMW Snow Intensive Training for Professionals), offers training in emergency braking, evasive manoeuvres and emergency lane changes. Participants train their speed of reaction and improve their driving skills in high-speed practice areas. The two BMW Security Training courses – BMW Security Intensive Training for Professionals and BMW Security Perfection Training for Professionals – are held at the Gross Dölln Driving Centre in Templin, north of Berlin. These two courses are consecutive, i.e. the second one builds on the first. Given the sensitive security needs of the clientele, admission to the courses is strictly controlled. All applications for BMW Security Training are thoroughly vetted, and complete discretion is provided for participants, who practise with armoured vehicles supplied by the BMW Development Department. To ensure drivers are as well equipped as possible to face emergencies, pyrotechnic devices are used during the courses.
BMW Basic Training for Professionals.
BMW Basic Training for Professionals is specially designed for professional drivers and provides the basic skills for confident handling of the vehicle both under normal working conditions and in critical situations which take them by surprise. Again, the course begins with an introductory session on the correct seating position and the correct position at the steering wheel. Then, taking to the wheel of a BMW 330i or a BMW 7 Series model, a maximum of eight participants practise emergency braking, evasive manoeuvres and emergency lane changes. These exercises will ensure they are well equipped to react appropriately to sudden obstacles in an emergency. BMW Basic Training for Professionals is held at the BMW Driver Training Centre at Munich Airport. Correcting an over or understeering car in a professional manner is a useful skill, which is then put to the test in the timed slalom that concludes the course. Such an ability to react impeccably under pressure is the hallmark of the true expert. No previous experience is required to take part in this course.
BMW Snow Intensive Training for Professionals.
Special challenges call for special preparation. BMW Snow Intensive Training for Professionals supports professional drivers in getting their vehicle and passengers to their destination safely and in comfort, even in snow and ice. The training modules correspond largely to the regular BMW Snow Intensive Training course, except that in this case the emphasis is on safely transporting passengers. Practising manoeuvres that range from fast lane changes or avoidance of sudden obstacles on bends to correcting an under or oversteering vehicle on treacherous surfaces are all designed to improve the driving skills of the participants. The BMW instructors pass on tips and tricks that ensure that even under the most arduous winter conditions, passengers feel utmost confidence in their driver’s safety skills and ability to handle any situation. A maximum of 10 participants can take part per group. Subject to availability, the training vehicles comprise the BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, BMW M3 and BMW X models, including the brand-new BMW X3.
BMW Security Intensive Training for Professionals.
The purpose of BMW Security Intensive Training for Professionals is to ensure that professional drivers can handle unexpected situations expertly and with a cool head. At the Gross Dölln Driving Centre in Templin, north of Berlin, eight hand-picked participants per group receive two days of theoretical and practical coaching from experienced BMW instructors on how to handle sudden dangers and obstacles and how to shorten their reaction times. The training includes fast lane changes, avoiding obstacles on bends or on the hard shoulder, and identifying and tactically evaluating escape routes. The focus is always firmly on the safety of the passengers. To make things as realistic as possible, the training is carried out in armoured BMW vehicles and using pyrotechnic devices. No previous knowledge is required to take part in the BMW Security Intensive Training for Professionals. However, this training is a prior requirement for taking part in the BMW Security Perfection Training for Professionals.
BMW Security Perfection Training for Professionals.
In the three-day BMW Security Perfection Training, the participants practise real-life emergency situations – again and again. Building on the two-day
BMW Security Intensive Training for Professionals, and driving armoured BMW vehicles, the participants consolidate their experience from the earlier course and also perfect their escape manoeuvres – such as the reverse slalom and the tactical turn in dual formation. Under the guidance of the experienced BMW instructors, the participants also take part in night training and in exercises involving vehicle contact and paintball fire (simulated shooting scenarios).
The BMW Security Perfection Training for Professionals, too, takes place behind closed doors with no public access, at the Gross Dölln Driving Centre in Templin, north of Berlin.
BMW Tour Experience. Driving fun and a taste of freedom.
Since 2011, the BMW Training Experience has been complemented by the BMW Tour Experience. The accent in this case is chiefly on driving enjoyment, relaxation and recreation. The BMW Tour Experience programme, which comprises Day and Multiday Tours, is being steadily developed and expanded. It is planned that the Munich Day Tour and the Convertible Day Tour will be joined by further offerings, extending the Day Tour concept to other cities and other themes.
On the Multiday Tour front, the extremely popular Namibia Multiday Tour is joined by a new Convertible Multiday Tour. On the Namibia Multiday Tour, participants spend eight days driving a BMW X5 over gravel tracks and sand dunes through stunning scenery, while on the Convertible Multiday Tour they enjoy winding along quiet European byroads through small, sleepy villages and idyllic countryside. The Multiday Tours range is set to be expanded by similar offerings.
BMW Day Tours. Through town and country.
The BMW Day Tours are tailored to all BMW fans who want to turn an enjoyable day out into a special occasion. Participants spend a day cruising along quiet byways and through picturesque countryside, discovering hidden gems and generally enjoying a relaxing break from routine. The BMW Day Tours offer drivers a day packed with new experiences both in and out of their car, giving them new energy to face the demands of daily life.
BMW Multiday Tours – adventure, freedom and driving pleasure.
BMW Multiday Tours offer exciting drives to fascinating destinations. Off-road fans who sign up for the Namibia Multiday Tour will be embarking on a journey of adventure, putting themselves and their BMW X5 to the test off road on gravel, sand and rock, and pushing themselves and their vehicle to new heights. Needless to say, despite all this fun at the wheel, there are also lots of opportunities to soak up the surroundings. Numerous stop-offs along the way allow participants to make even more new discoveries about this country. The Multiday Tour programme now also includes the Convertible Multiday Tour. Again the accent is on freedom, adventure and exhilarating driving on some truly great routes.
BMW Namibia Multiday Tour – discovering Namibia.
Genuine freedom is what the BMW Namibia Multiday Tour is all about. The 12 participants spend eight days exploring Namibia’s wide open spaces in a BMW X5, covering a total distance of 1,200 kilometres. The BMW Namibia Multiday tour not only takes the participants through canyons, dried up river beds and steep mountain passes, but also past salt flats and through an idyllic lagoon landscape along the Atlantic coast. This country is an off-road paradise. Guided by satellite navigation, participants make their way over rough terrain, gravel, rock and sand through stunning scenery. Getting out of their vehicle, they experience a close-up view of the fascinating wildlife of Africa – whether on a rhinoceros safari, visiting sea lion colonies or watching dolphins. Other discoveries awaiting them include the Erongo mountain rock paintings, many thousands of years old, and the exquisite artefacts to be found in Okahandja’s famous wood carvings market. Finest African cooking can be experienced at the carefully selected ranches and farms where the participants stay along the way, and where they can enjoy soothing rest and recuperation for body, mind and soul. There are no special conditions for participation in the BMW Namibia Multiday Tour.
BMW Convertible Multiday Tour – the sky’s the limit.
The theme of freedom is central also to the BMW Convertible Multiday Tour. In a BMW convertible, the tour guests wind their way through small, sleepy villages and picturesque landscapes. The Convertible Multiday Tour is open to all drop-top motoring fans.
BMW Customized Experience. Driving enjoyment with a personal touch.
The BMW Customized Experience caters for customers’ individual needs and wishes with a highly professional level of service. The “Incentive” packages can be offered by companies to customers, business partners or employees as a way of developing closer and stronger contacts, while the “Personal Coaching” package provides a way of tailoring training even more closely to individual needs.
BMW Customized Experience: incentives.
Customers wanting to jointly celebrate a business success can ask the experienced BMW Incentive team to put together a customised Business Event package compiled from the BMW Driving Experience portfolio. This package could take the form of a special thank-you gift, a team-building event or an exclusive trip with business partners through the desert – whatever the requirement, BMW Customized Experience can organise a package to suit. Day tours, race track training or exclusive off-road adventures are also possible. BMW M GmbH has more than 30 years’ experience organising and staging training courses and adventure trips of this kind. When necessary it can also team up with a range of tried-and-trusted partners. All BMW Customized Experience packages come with an optional customised support programme.
BMW Customized Experience: Personal Coaching.
For everyone who prefers a personal touch or who wants to focus on improving certain skills more quickly, BMW Customized Experience offers Personal Coaching – an exclusive, customised training experience where a BMW instructor focuses exclusively on the customer and their individual needs and wishes. The training content is entirely up to the customer, who can choose from the complete BMW Driving Experience programme.
MINI Driving Experience. Big driving enjoyment in a small and sporty package.
In 2003, the BMW Group began offering a new group of customers the chance to make use of its safety training expertise – with the MINI Driver Training programme. This gave fans of the MINI brand the opportunity to improve their personal driving techniques and to enhance their safe driving awareness under professional instruction. Since 2011, these courses are now being offered under the umbrella of the MINI Driving Experience. The MINI Driving Experience programme caters to a huge variety of target groups and requirements. While MINI Training Experience provides driver safety training (MINI Safety Training) and race track training (MINI JCW Experience), MINI Tour Experience focuses on special and memorable driving experiences
in the form of Day Tours and Multiday Tours. The third and final module in the MINI Driving Experience portfolio is MINI Customized Experience, which offers individually tailored events (Incentives) or Personal Coaching, in which any type of MINI Driving Experience training can be selected and tailored to personal needs and requirements.
Obviously, true to the spirit of MINI and the whole MINI Driving Experience philosophy (“More Safety. More Fun.”), the accent is also on driving fun. In all the training courses and tours, the experienced MINI instructors show the participants how to get the most out of the MINI John Cooper Works not only in terms of safety, but also with regard to performance and driving excitement. Currently all the courses on offer are being conducted with this model. Since the groups are small (maximum 10 participants per group), the coaching is personal, which is important for fast and successful learning.
MINI Training Experience – More Safety. More Fun.
MINI Training Experience is aimed at all fans of MINI. Depending on requirements, customers can select their training from one of two categories: MINI Safety Training and MINI JCW Experience. MINI Safety Training teaches MINI drivers how to stay calm and composed in everyday driving situations. There is a choice of two modules – the half-day MINI Quick Pack or the full-day MINI Starter Pack. Alternatively, the two-day MINI JCW Fascination Nordschleife course is for customers looking to take on a sporty challenge in the MINI – on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
MINI Safety Training.
In MINI Safety Training, the accent is on safe driving. Knowledge about the technical features of the vehicle, the principles of driving physics and the participant’s own skills allow drivers to handle the vehicle with greater awareness. This is why each course begins with a theory lesson known as “Train Your Brain”. This special introduction enhances drivers’ awareness of speed and the physics of driving and equips them with basic knowledge about the technical side of the vehicle and the various special features of the engines, chassis and body that govern the handling and performance of the MINI. Correct seating posture and optimal steering wheel adjustment are also dealt with in this introduction. The theory is anything but dry, and is presented in an entertaining and interesting way to ease the participants into the upcoming practical instruction. In this practical part, participants practise fast lane changes, braking and steering manoeuvres that they can then use to get themselves out of unexpected situations in day-to-day urban driving. Those in a hurry can opt for the compact half-day (MINI Quick Pack) version of MINI Safety Training, while the full-day MINI Starter Pack provides more time for practising, not to mention handbrake turns and slalom driving.
MINI Quick Pack.
The MINI Quick Pack is a half-day course offering lots of practical driving exercises, plus tips and tricks from experienced MINI instructors. A theoretical introduction on the principles of driving dynamics, correct seating position and steering techniques is followed by practical exercises where the participants (maximum 10 per group) test their reactions in braking and evasive manoeuvres, and in fast lane changes at typical city speeds. They then move on to explore the dynamic limits of the vehicle. The idea is that when drivers have had a chance to do this without risk to themselves or others on a training course, they will then be able to react with more confidence when a hazard arises in real life. The course ends with an authentic MINI experience: a competition on the slalom course.
MINI Starter Pack.
The full-day MINI Starter Pack course is a chance to savour the typical MINI “go-kart” feeling in concentrated form. In small groups of up to 10 people, the participants first receive a short theoretical overview of driving dynamics, seating position and steering techniques. They then move quickly on to the practical training, where they practise braking and steering manoeuvres and explore the limits of their vehicle in oversteering and understeering situations and while drifting in a circle. They are also coached in anticipation skills. Drivers who are good at spotting potentially tricky situations early on react more confidently. The experienced MINI instructors provide valuable inside tips and finally show the course members how to perform a high-speed handbrake turn. The climax of the one-day MINI Starter Pack course is the MINI Contest. This competition on the slalom course calls not for speed as an end in itself but for a sure instinct for combining the right speed with the right “line” that will pilot the MINI as fast and elegantly as possible round the course.
MINI John Cooper Works Fascination Nordschleife.
During the MINI John Cooper Works Fascination Nordschleife training, MINI enthusiasts can put themselves to the test on a 20.8-kilometre circuit featuring 73 bends and an elevation gain of 300 metres. Following a theoretical introduction on the evening before the two-day event, the participants then venture out onto the legendary Nordschleife, where they spend two days driving at speed and practising a variety of manoeuvres under ideal conditions, namely emergency braking, evasive manoeuvres, understeering and oversteering, braking on bends and slalom driving. MINI instructors with plenty of race track experience guide the participants all the way round the Nordschleife in the pace car, getting them to follow the ideal line. And in double lane-change manoeuvres they give participants a feel for handling the vehicle at higher speeds.
MINI Tour Experience – More Life. More Fun.
MINI Day Tour and MINI Multiday Tour.
The second MINI Driving Experience module, MINI Tour Experience, was completely revamped in 2011. Here the focus is on typical MINI driving enjoyment combined with a special recreational experience. Technical info, style, fun, relaxation and the typical go-kart feeling: there’s something of everything. The tours are still at the planning stage, but will comprise Day Tours and Multiday Tours. Possibilities being considered are a Day Tour of Munich, where the participants would begin the day with a driver training session and follow this up with a drive round town combined with shop-hopping or spa visits.
Multiday Tours currently in the pipeline include a MINI Convertible Multiday Tour and a MINI Lifestyle Multiday Tour. On the MINI Convertible Multiday Tour, the participants would tour the Salzburger Land in a MINI convertible, with lots of rewarding stop-offs to linger over on the way. The MINI Lifestyle Multiday Tour would take the participants as far as Zurich, with the accent more on “getting there” than on the final destination. Participants will explore some of the sights along the way, as well as visiting the hippest venues and clubs. Other MINI Day Tours and Multiday Tours will follow.
MINI Customized Experience – individual driving enjoyment with MINI.
The MINI Customized Experience is aimed at anyone looking for a special challenge – either on their own or in the company of friends and colleagues. It offers specially tailored MINI Incentives for employees and customers or Personal Coaching for drivers who want to hone specific skills in the company of an experienced MINI instructor. Drivers can choose from the complete MINI Driving Experience programme.
MINI Customized Experience: Incentives.
Customers wanting to jointly celebrate a business success can have a specially customised event package put together by the experienced MINI Incentive team. The package offered by the MINI Customized Experience team can comprise any content from the MINI Driving Experience range and can take the form of a thank-you gift, a team-building event, an incentive or a “motivation”. Whether with day tours, safety training or exclusive race track training, MINI – together with BMW M GmbH – has more than 30 years of experience organising and staging training courses and adventure trips of this kind. When necessary, it can call on the support of tried-and-tested partners. On request, MINI Customized Experience can put together a specially tailored complete programme that includes all transfers and hotel bookings, as well as the training itself.
MINI Customized Experience Personal Coaching.
For anyone who prefers a personal touch or wants to focus on improving certain skills more quickly, MINI offers Personal Coaching. Under the guidance of an experienced MINI instructor, participants can focus on those exercises that will allow them to achieve their own personal goal as efficiently as possible. Personalised tips and tricks from the instructor help to speed the process. MINI Personal Coaching customers can choose from the complete MINI Driving Experience portfolio.
The road to BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience.
Over three decades ago, the BMW Group had already come to the conclusion that it is not enough to simply develop and build sporty and dynamic automobiles. To ensure that they are driven safely and expertly, customers also had to be assisted in acquiring the necessary driving skills. In 1977, BMW Motorsport GmbH for the first time offered customers the chance to take part in a driver training school, to help them drive safely and derive maximum enjoyment from their high-performance vehicles. The slogan was “The optimal combination of a better car and a better driver”. After all, reducing accident risks is not just about developing safer cars but also about training drivers. This was the philosophy that led to the BMW Driving School organising its first 15 courses, each for a group of 20 participants. The courses were booked up in no time. The first participants completed their training in a BMW 320i, on 22 April 1977. This date marks the “birth” of BMW Driver Safety Training.
Getting started: focus on expert training.
The decision to set up a driver training school had first been taken by the BMW Board of Management on 3 February 1976. That same year, a team was recruited with a view to making this training as professional as possible. The then head of BMW Motorsport GmbH, Jochen Neerpasch, and Börries von Breitenbuch, for many years Sports Secretary of the Automobilclub von Deutschland (AvD), agreed in August 1976 to jointly put together a multi-day training programme.
Von Breitenbuch and Finnish professional rally driver Rauno Aaltonen had already had two years’ experience conducting driver training courses. The pair’s demanding approach was an ideal fit with the professional standards of BMW. In addition to precise analysis of driving situations that can cause problems in everyday driving, they also focused on teaching the kind of driving skills that lead to success in motor sport, amongst them finding the right “line” – with clearly defined braking, turn-in and turn-out points. For Neerpasch, Börries von Breitenbuch and Rauno Aaltonen were natural choices for the posts of Training Manager and Chief Instructor.
Training programme 1977-style: healthy eating, running, breakdown tips.
With the top management in place, the next step was to find a suitable training site, select and allocate vehicles, and draw up a training programme. Amongst other things, the training also took into account scientific research, for example the studies by
Freiburg sports medic Professor Joseph Keul about stress situations in motor sport and in everyday driving. The training programme was correspondingly varied. Information about “stress at the wheel”, healthy eating and traffic psychology was an integral part of all the courses. Early-morning runs, fitness exercises under the guidance of a certified sports instructor and a course on what to do in a breakdown were also part of the programme.
Although the theoretical training today concentrates more on safe driving, technical matters and the physics of driving, important principles of the practical training during those early days, such as staging training in closed practice areas with BMW and MINI vehicles, are still being followed today.
The vehicles: more models, more driving enjoyment.
The BMW and MINI Driving Experience fleet of vehicles has changed too. The year Driver Safety Training was first launched, in 1977, a fleet of BMW 320i models was used. The 125 hp vehicles from the first BMW 3 Series range were equipped with a specially tuned chassis, a 40 per cent differential lock, and contoured sports seats for the driver. Since then, the fleet has been substantially enlarged. It has now grown to more than
250 vehicles and has become much more diverse. The models chiefly used at present are the BMW 123d, BMW 130i, BMW 135i, BMW 330i and MINI John Cooper Works. On the race track, the current BMW M3 is the preferred vehicle. For off-road and winter training, vehicles featuring the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system are also available.
Diversity: expansion of the training programme.
The first few years saw a meteoric increase not only in the demand for but also in the diversity of the training. As early as the 1980s, more than 2,000 drivers a year were taking the opportunity to improve their driving skills with BMW’s help. In the 1990s, BMW focused on developing a modular training structure, with graded levels of course difficulty, and on internationalising its offerings. The idea of standardised instructor training also took shape. Today this concept ensures uniformly high training standards all over the world. In 2010 alone, some 13,000 participants covered over 750,000 kilometres at training sites, on race tracks and on snow and ice courses – and in the process became safer and more confident drivers.
In 2011, the extensive BMW Driving Experience programme no longer comprised just driver training but also included tours and personalised driving experiences. With the 24 different products in the BMW Driving Experience portfolio, and the eight in the MINI Driving Experience programme, customers are now being offered even more ways to learn more about themselves and about the vehicles of the BMW Group.
In action worldwide in the cause of safety: the BMW and MINI Driving Experience instructors.
BMW and MINI Driving Experience offers systematic training based on the latest scientific research. Another integral feature is personalised coaching by the instructors. Worldwide, more than 120 expert BMW and MINI instructors – including seasoned test drivers and engineers and BMW Group vehicle developers – use their technical and teaching skills, and often many years of motor sport experience, not only to provide optimal teaching but also to enable an unforgettable driving experience. The instructors are therefore a vital part of the BMW and MINI Driving Experience. With their background and experience, they can offer a host of additional information and can provide a very special and highly personalised driver training experience.
Highest standards of training.
It is not possible for just anybody to become a BMW or MINI Driving Experience instructor. Candidates first have to complete a part-time training programme, for which there is a rigorous application and selection process. After all, the demands on qualified instructors will be high. In addition to technical knowledge, a high level of driving skill and experience in handling the products of the BMW Group, the aspiring instructors must also have the necessary personal skills for efficient communication of their expertise. Participants in the instructor training programme are therefore intensively briefed on the educational and didactic philosophy behind the BMW and MINI Driving Experience training courses and tours. They must learn to identify the individual strengths and weaknesses of course participants and to ensure a successful learning outcome as efficiently as possible.
Before they qualify as instructors, applicants must complete a multi-stage programme. The basic training, which lasts 14 days, is followed by five co-teaching assignments and then by an examination. When the basic training has been completed, the new instructors are already entitled to carry out certain types of training. To teach the courses on ice or at the race track, however, which require special driving and didactic skills, instructors must first consolidate their basic training with further special training modules. In this way they can progress through a total of four instructor qualification levels. Instructors can only advance to higher levels if they have a perfect grasp of the requirements of the previous levels.
BMW Group Instructor Academy – uniformly high international standards.
The progressive internationalisation of BMW Driver Training began in the 1990s. The prime goal was and continues to be to ensure that the high standards developed by BMW M GmbH in Munich are identically applied in the courses offered in other countries. This led to the founding of the BMW Group Instructor Academy, where prospective instructors are taught all the skills they need to help customers in their particular country achieve greater safety and driving enjoyment in line with the precisely defined standards of the BMW Group. The growing demand in all markets for BMW and MINI Driving Experience has also resulted in an increase in the number of courses being offered at the BMW Group Instructor Academy. In the meantime, training courses for instructors from all over the world are now held several times a year. With this tool, BMW M GmbH has created the basis for uniform worldwide training standards. This further education programme for instructors from all over the world has made it possible to “export” an exciting profession: that of BMW and MINI Driving Experience instructor.
Motor sport experience for the road – the Chief Instructors.
From the launch of BMW Driver Training through to the BMW and MINI Driving Experience, the choice of Chief Instructors has always reflected a desire to apply driving skills and know-how from the race track to the road, in the interests of greater safety. The Finnish rally sport legend Rauno Aaltonen, whose achievements include winning the Monte Carlo rally in a Mini in 1967, was appointed as the first BMW Driver Training Chief Instructor in January 1977. Since then, the team has repeatedly benefited from the experience of professional racing drivers like Marc Surer or Claudia Hürtgen. There are many other active racing drivers among the instructors as well.
BMW and MINI Driving Experience venues.
BMW Driver Training Centre at Munich Airport, Germany.
This large, multifunctional asphalt area at Munich Airport offers ideal, realistic conditions for practising dealing with critical situations in urban traffic. The eight floodable standard tracks are designed for braking and avoidance manoeuvres as well as for the simulation of cornering on the circuit. Areas for slalom, manoeuvring and light off-roading exercises round off the spectrum. All driver safety training courses for the BMW and MINI Training Experience, as well as elements of the BMW and MINI Customized Experience, take place here. A cafeteria and a terrace are available for participants and visitors.
Size: 6.3 hectares, divided into two areas; approx. length: 330 m, approx. width: 120 m.
Nürburgring Grand Prix Circuit, Germany.
The Nürburgring is one of the fastest and safest race tracks in the world. Here participants quickly learn what it means to fall under the spell of a racing circuit. Not only can the Nürburgring claim something approaching cult status, this state-of-the-art facility offers virtually everything the racing enthusiast dreams of – long run-out zones, gravel traps, swooping crests and hollows, and demanding chicanes. The NGK chicane, Castrol-S and Dunlop hairpin allow participants to discover the degree of concentration and vehicle control required to find the perfect line.
Length: 5.1 km, number of turns: 17; elevation gain: 55 m, width of circuit: 10 – 25 m.
Nürburgring Sprint Circuit, Germany.
The Nürburgring Sprint Circuit is about two kilometres shorter than the full grand prix track. After Ford, participants turn off to the right before following a right-hand bend back onto the main track. The Sprint Circuit is ideally suited to the BMW M Intensive Training course. Varying degrees of difficulty and track characteristics, including uphill and downhill sections, provide the right conditions to suit all requirements.
Length: 3.1 km; number of turns: 14; elevation gain: 25 m, width of circuit: 10 – 15 m.
Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany.
The Nordschleife – also referred to as the “Green Hell” – is the legendary section of the Nürburgring and requires precise vehicle control. It holds an irresistible fascination: crests and hollows, fast consecutive turns and a relatively narrow track width make the Nürburgring Nordschleife one of the ultimate race circuits, demanding all the skill a driver can offer.
Length: 20.8 km; number of turns: 73; elevation gain: 290 m; width of circuit: 10 – 12 m.
Nürburgring Müllenbachschleife, Germany.
The Müllenbachschleife in the southern sector of the Nürburgring is normally used for rallies. With its generous safety zones, this loop gives racing newcomers an ideal sense of the difference between open road and race track. The challenging variation between long turns and fast, tight bends gives participants in the BMW Driving Experience an opportunity to perfect their driving style.
Length: 1.5 km; number of turns: 8; width of circuit: 10 m.
Redesigned in 2002, the Hockenheimring is a byword for high-speed driving fun with its generous run-out zones, fast turns and long straights. Demanding passages, such as the narrow combination of turns in the northern sector and the hairpin after the long Parabolika, offer ideal conditions for challenging courses such as the BMW M Perfection Training. Tight consecutive turns provide an excellent simulation of country roads and the entrance to the Motodrom guarantees goose bumps – of the kind otherwise only experienced by professional racing drivers.
Length: 4.6 km; number of turns: 15; elevation gain: 2 m; width of circuit: 9 – 14 m.
The first race on the Sachsenring near Hohenstein-Ernstthal was held back in 1927, making it one of the most historic racing circuits in Germany. The time-honoured natural race track quickly became a fixture in the international racing calendar – predominantly for motorcycle races. Since its redesign in 1996, the race track meets the highest safety standards and features permanent state-of-the-art pits, a new start and finish tower, as well as one of the most advanced race control systems. This is where BMW M Intensive Training, BMW M Perfection Training and BMW M Fascination Training courses take place.
Length: 3.67 km; number of turns: 14; width of circuit: 12 – 20 m.
LUK Driving Center in Baden, Germany.
The LUK Driving Center was built on a newly developed site at Baden Airpark in the beautiful Black Forest and opened in 2006. With direct links to the A5 autobahn, Baden-Baden is just 20 minutes away by car and Karlsruhe just 30 minutes. With a 2.77-kilometre handling circuit, three driving dynamics surfaces and a 1,800 sq. m. off-road course, this facility gives participants an opportunity to learn about the physics of driving, seating position and steering wheel posture, and to practise emergency braking on various road surfaces, driving on a slalom course, avoidance exercises or braking while cornering.
Driving Center Groß Dölln near Berlin, Germany.
The BMW Security Training for Professionals course is held at the Driving Center Groß Dölln in Templin near Berlin, the largest and most advanced driving safety centre in Europe. Under the guidance of internationally experienced instructors, participants practise how to tackle a range of situations, such as responding to sudden obstacles or changing lane at speed. The Driving Center offers ideal conditions for this: located in the Schorfheide region to the north of Berlin, the airstrips and taxiways of a former airport have been turned into a centre for training, presentation and racing. Covering an area of 1,600 hectares, the Driving Center Groß Dölln is unsurpassed in terms of size and space.
Dynamic driving area: 900 x 250 m; flight 4,000 x 96 m; taxiway 3,400 x 35 m; crosswind 2,800 x 45 m.
Set in an idyllic location amid the green hills and lakes of the Salzkammergut in Austria, the Salzburgring is an ideal testing and training ground and was opened in 1969. Two long straights – the start-finish straight a gradual incline – and the adjoining sweeping paddock turn make the Salzburgring a very fast circuit, while the large elevation gain and taxing bends render it a highly varied track. All in all, the Salzburgring provides just the right challenges for all skill levels on the BMW M Intensive Training courses, in particular.
Length: 4.3 km; number of turns: 12; elevation gain: 25 m; width of circuit: 10 m.
Red Bull Ring, Austria.
The Red Bull Ring is located at Aichfeld, Upper Styria, and is surrounded on three sides by slopes, some of which are used as natural grandstands. This arena-type setting not only offers excellent visibility over the entire circuit but also generates a special atmosphere for racing. The circuit was originally opened in 1969 as the Österreichring, and from 1997 to 2003 it was known as the A1-Ring. Built in 1969 with a length of around six kilometres, it became known for a time as the fastest track in Formula One. The circuit was redesigned in 1995/1996, shortened in length to 4,318 m and brought in line with the latest safety standards. The adrenaline rush is provided by five right-hand and two left-hand turns: Castrol (sharp right-hander after the start, uphill), Remus (hairpin after the long uphill straight, ideal overtaking opportunity – vehicles have to brake from over 320 km/h to 70 km/h), Gösser (right-hander, downhill), the two quick infield left-handers (Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger turns) and the two turns into the finish (Jochen Rindt, Mobilkom). The Red Bull Ring recently underwent a period of renovation and reopened on 1 April 2011.
Sölden, Ötztal Alps, Austria.
At just under 3,000 metres in height, the Rettenbach Glacier in Sölden offers the highest winter training grounds in the world. Here, snow-covered pistes, narrow pass roads and slick, groomed ice surfaces provide ideal conditions for the BMW Snow Drift and BMW Snow Intensive Training courses. There are flat practice areas in the valley and uphill and downhill sections on the mountain.
Training area in the valley approx. 30 x 180 m; training areas on the mountain of varying length; 12 km pass road leading to the glacier at 2,600 – 2,800 m.
The demanding and fascinating Hungaroring is located 19 kilometres outside the Hungarian capital Budapest. Due to the short length of the track, the high number of laps in Formula One races and the lack of overtaking opportunities, the Hungaroring is also known as the “Monaco of the East”. Its challenging profile makes it a thrilling experience for any driver with sporting ambitions. Engine power is not the dominant factor here. Owing to the highly angular layout and frequent switching between slow and medium-fast bends, it is driving skill that is most in demand – making it an ideal track for the BMW M Perfection Training and BMW M Fascination Training courses.
Length: 4.4 km; number of turns: 14; elevation gain: 36 m; width of circuit: 10 – 15 m.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
Spa-Francorchamps near Liège is unique for its relatively high elevation gain of approx. 200 metres, unpredictable weather and numerous turns that inflict powerful centrifugal forces. Not for nothing has it been nicknamed the “Ardennes roller coaster”. Opened in 1921, Spa is one of the last of the classic driver circuits. Very tight bends alternating with numerous uphill and downhill passages such as Eau Rouge – also known as the “Courage Bend” – put drivers to the ultimate test. Here, the BMW M Fascination Training becomes an experience in itself and a BMW M Perfection Training course presents every participant with a true challenge.
Length: 7 km; number of turns: 15; elevation gain: 200 m; width of circuit: 10 – 14 m.
Adventure region Arjeplog, Sweden.
What was previously available only to BMW test drivers and development engineers is now exclusively on offer to training participants at the BMW test centre in Arjeplog, northern Sweden as well. The facility located next to the BMW test centre, just 60 kilometres from the Arctic Circle, also serves as a base for
BMW Snow and Ice Training courses. The large frozen lakes used for prototype vehicle testing provide ideal conditions to practise vehicle control in critical handling situations, even at higher speeds.
Length: 3 km rally track, divisible. Characteristics: prepared dynamic driving areas of
400 m x 30 m, circuit with diameter of approx. 200 m, drift track, hill with gradient of between 10 and 25 per cent.
Adventure region Namibia, southern Africa.
Participants in the BMW Namibia Multiday Tour will leave the tarmac behind and continue driving a BMW X5 for eight days across 1,700 kilometres of dirt tracks, rocks and sand dunes. The tour starts in Namibia’s capital Windhoek. From there it continues along rough roads and up narrow mountain tracks into the Otjihavera Mountains north of Windhoek, through the Kuiseb Canyon and the Namib Naukluft Park to the coast at Walfish Bay. On the beach and the dunes of the northern Namib Desert participants will discover the entirely new sensation of driving on sand. The tour then heads for home, negotiating salt beds, dirt roads, sand and gravel tracks, as well as the dried-up river beds and rocks of the Erongo Mountains, before taking the country road back to Windhoek.