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      03-01-2008, 02:14 AM   #1
J07335
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Talking Driving Course in Spartanburg SC

I had the priveledge of going to the BMW driving school this past weekend and I wanted to share what I experienced. First and foremost, go if you can. It was an awesome experience and that is a huge understatement. We were able to push these marvels of machinery 8 to 9/10th and you just don't get to do that everyday.

Some things that were suprising and unanimous with the group during the class:

1) M6 is the BMW of BMW's. This car is far superior to any other BMW I drove during the course. We were able to drive the 335 coupe (I own a 335 sedan), 550, M5, 650, M6 and 750. There was a b7 and 3 white M3's, but we weren't allowed to touch those. The M6 sits lower and is lighter than the m5. I was able to push the rest of the lineup and stay under control, but the m6 was just too much for me with the short time we had. I'm not sure why it got low reviews from the various magazines. It's just plain awesome. We had a 360 modena owner and an owner of the original supercar, F40, and both gave the m6 rave reviews. You have to drive one hard to really appreciate this beast.

2) The car that most suprised the rest of the class was the 335 coupe. Almost all the other class members picked the 335 as the 2nd most enjoyable car to drive on the track....remember... we had access to an m5 and a 550. I own a 335 sedan so I already knew what it could do at 6 to 7/10ths..but at 9/10ths it's one of the best BMW's made.

3) The M5 is disappointing. Wow, did I just say that? It's always been an iconic car to me...until now. I was able to drive a 550, M5 and M6 back to back. I felt the M5 performed a tad bit better than the 550, but M6 was the true star. It did make me feel a greater appreciation for the 550.

4) I saw the new X6 being driven around the campus. I think it looks better in person and the new v8 turbo sounds great.

5) I'm not sure if the debate over whether or not BMW will develope it's own performace division is still alive, but the answer is yes. BMW will eventually split from Dinan and have the dealerships promote their in house performance products, including a new chip for the 335. No ETA, but it's in the works.

6) M3 is a sexy machine. It has a great presence when seen in person.

7) Matt, an instructor (he also is a pro driver and develops the commercials for BMW...what doesn't he do?), said he tested a stock 335 vs. a Proceed 335 and the proceed averaged 4 car lengths by 80mph. Wow...I knew what people were saying, but this really put the stamp of approval for me. Matt also said the BMW chip would be a tad bit tamer than the Proceed.

8) I always wondered how my driving skills would match up to others and I was able to post the 2nd best time in a timed event. This was out of a group of about 35, including a 360 modena owner and a retired formula 1 racer. Not the biggest group, but 2nd is still 2nd. By the way, I was only .3 seconds behind 1st (the 360 owner). I actually posted a better time than a former formula 1 driver.

10) we are all very lucky to drive the cars we drive.
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      03-01-2008, 02:20 AM   #2
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so jealous.
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      03-01-2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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One more thing. Matt said he tested the 135 straight line vs the new M3 and the 135 won 2/3 of the time. he said that you had to launch the M3 perfectly to beat the 135. Good job with the 1 series BMW.
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      03-01-2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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Hell yes I can't wait for this Spring break to roll around. I'ma doin the 2 day M-School program soon. Which driver program did you do specifically?
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      03-01-2008, 02:34 AM   #5
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Congrats on doing the course!

I did PCD back in October and man it was a blast. I did not get a chance to drive the M5 but the instructor took me on a hotlap and it was insane! I hope to go again and do the M school.
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      03-01-2008, 02:45 AM   #6
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My friend recently purchased a 650 and this was the free course. It was only a one day course. We both vowed to go to the M school and the M advanced school. Both are expensive, but I'm sure they will be worth every penny.
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      03-01-2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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There are serious about those M3's. They hate for us to look in the inside of them too! The X6 is bad as hell, cant wait to drive one!
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      03-01-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J07335 View Post
5) I'm not sure if the debate over whether or not BMW will develop it's own performance division is still alive, but the answer is yes. BMW will eventually split from Dinan and have the dealerships promote their in house performance products, including a new chip for the 335. No ETA, but it's in the works.
Wow. I wonder if this will lead to a performance chip or enhancement for the M3? If not things could get interesting especially if the same chip could be used for the 135i. And the OP is saying that the 135 beats the M3 2/3 times in a straight line. Hmm...

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      03-03-2008, 09:35 AM   #9
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Sweet. I'm signed up for a 2 day (non-M) driving school in May.
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      03-05-2008, 02:21 PM   #10
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Doubting the claim about the 135i. Plus it's so tiny...wouldn't work for me. Like barely bigger than the Z4!

Even if it beats the M3 (hypotheticaly)...if I owned one, I would still envy every M3 that went by me.
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      03-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #11
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Thanks for the compliments on the driving school I'm glad you enjoyed it.

A tad bit of extra knowledge on the M6 the 135 was up against. It was a 6SM and not SMG. 1st gear in the M6 6SM is tall and the 135 is almost shifting into 3rd by the time the M6 is going into 2nd. 135 vs M6 with SMG will be the real test.
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      04-01-2008, 01:16 PM   #12
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Driving school -- pro and con

First of all, I second all the praise for the two-day (non-M) driving school.
It takes a few hours at the end of each day to get your adrenaline back to normal,
and the overnight dreams I had were like those I had when I first learned to
water ski.

There were two details about the course that I was not aware of and of
which I could find no mention on the BMW website.

1. There are two drivers per car. That means you spend only half of each day
behind the wheel.
2. All cars have automatic transmissions. No manual transmissions available.
Granted, there is enough to think about in most of the maneuvers that you
may be glad that shifting is not one of them, and it takes time to get rid of
a few bad habits.

However, since this is about "performance driving", I would have liked a
couple of hours, for those interested, to unlearn their bad habits related
to clutch and gear.

Last edited by Gregor Samsa; 04-01-2008 at 02:54 PM.
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      04-01-2008, 08:30 PM   #13
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I went for training there when I had worked for BMW....spent 5 days there, and every day at lunch wed all go outside and watch the instructors go sideways with the tires smoking in the M6...it was great.

I will definetly be signing up for the driving school this summer.
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