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      01-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
GOLFFRR
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Smile My Performance Center visit and driving experience

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Just got back from South Carolina where I got a chance to visit the BMW Performance Center and all I can say is WOW. This was my first time visiting the facility. I went with Ryan who has been there a couple times before which was nice because he was able to give me some insight on everything we did.

The staff and facility are top notch, def something that everyone should try to visit at least once. Below are some pics of some of the activities that I participated in.

*My pics and vids are terrible, there from a point and shoot. Also I didn't take to many pics/vids bc I was having such a great time I kept forgetting to pull my camera out and document everything :

Here is my trip in a nutshell and the events I participated in.

Day 1.

Ryan and I flew into South Carolina late Tuesday night. As we pulled up to the Marriot parked right out front was a brand new Red 335i. IT was really dark and the flash on my camera sucked pretty bad but I was able to snap a pic of the car. (Marriott's websitehttp://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...ille-marriott/)

My plan was to wake up early when it was light and walk down and grab a couple better pics but the car was gone within the hour. bummer


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We ate at the Marriott's restaurant which was called Giatu Restaurant & Bar . Great place had some really good food.

Day 2: Heading to Performance Center

We loaded up on the shuttle and headed over to the performance center. Being from SoCal the weather in South Carolina was pretty cold to me. I believe it was 38 or 32 in the morning. The Ride over to the center is a short distance, before you know it your there. On the trip to the center you get to see the factory where the X's are made. You can't miss it from the HWY its huge words can't really describe just how large it is. It seems to go for days!

When we pulled up to the performance center the first thing I noticed was the mailbox


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When I saw this I knew we were in for something special lol. We proceeded through the parking lot and headed to the back of the facility to the "HIGH SPEED TEST TRACK" As we pulled up we noticed 2 x5M's, 2 x6M's, e90M3 and a e92M3.


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I really didn't know what to expect but then I was told we were going to go along with the instructors in the x5M and the x6M and do high speed runs!!! I have never done anything even remotely like this so yes I was a little scared. This was also the first time I was able to get a sense of just how powerful the xM's are and the handling ability they have and wow is all I can say. I was speechless at the power and control those cars had. We got it up to 145 on the straights just insane. Here is a little clip.




We also got to hear the M3 stock exhaust vs perf exhaust on the high speed runs.




The next event was what they call the "RAT RACE" this was where we jump in M3 and race against another car on a small oval track. The catch is that the track was polished concrete with water on it . I was a little nervous on this one due to the fact that I had never really drove on a slippery surface like this. Wasn't worried about the drive but more about how well I would be able to perform. Overall I did very well and never spun out. Ryan did really well and actually almost made it to the finals in our group.


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Vid of Ryans Run Mind the curse word at the end from my co pilot (Ryan is a co pilot in the white e90M)



Ryans run White e90M



The vids don't do the cars justice they were moving pretty good clip, if you floored it though the car would spin out.



After the skidpad "Rat Race" was over we headed back up to the center's staging area where they had our next activity lined up. 6 1M's waiting and ready for us to take them out and rip up the time trial course.


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Here we got to take the 1M's onto a small track which had a timer. I was pretty proud with my times for never doing anything like this before. My best was a 23.009 which was pretty solid. The top 3 guys times were 22.806, 22.601, and the winner was 22.436 I believe so some pretty fast times. Here is the start of the track.


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Next up was something I was really looking forward to. We got to drive the full track at high speeds with lots of turns and cut backs but we were not only driving the M3, x5M and x6M but we also got to drive the CTS-V and the C63 AMG coupe to compare.

I didn't take any pics of this just due to the fact there wasn't an opportunity so your just going to have to take my word for it.

impressions on each of the cars: (Keep in mind I have never Tracked a car before and have only ever driven the M products up to this point so this was a true first impression of the vehicles) I am not going to go to much in to detail bc we have all seen and heard the comparisons




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CTSV: The car itself was all blacked out and was brand new, only had maybe 2k miles on it. It was loaded. The car is def a rocket ship when you hit that pedal it screams. The car just didn't feel safe or solid through the turns. The brakes were very soft and the car was sketchy through the turns lots of body roll. I was not impressed at all with the vehicle and was actually glad to get out. Each time someone completed both laps with the car the brakes were smoking.

Pros: The car is really fast on the straights.
Cons: Not very solid, terrible on the turns, brakes were very soft
overall: I would give this car a 6 out of 10



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c63 AMG coupe:
This car as well was brand new under 5k miles I believe can't remember. Unfortunatly I did not get to drive this car The first 6 drivers were the only guys who got to drive the car. The Merc started to smoke like crazy from the rear. Later we found out the there was something wrong with the rear diff and the car is out of commission. So nothing to report besides that particular car only made it for 6 laps before it was in the shop.

Keep in mind that the CTSV and the C63AMG were basically brand new. The CTSV we drove was having slight issues with the brakes and the c63AMG had issue with the rear diff. All the M's had well over 30k of "SUPER HARD" track miles on them and they were running perfectly. Also after driving the other cars and driving the M's you really see why the M is such a great car. The brakes the handling the feel of the car, it just is better. Hard to explain but for "ME" it wasn't even close.

At the end of the day the instructors had one more event for us before we headed out and that was doing a couple hot laps in some e60M5's with the traction control off That was insane! These guys can drive! Drifting really is a art and being able to be in the car and experiencing it first hand was awesome. here is a short vid of some of the driving.

hot lap vid -------


THis was just a small part of the track that we could see from where we were standing.

I wish I would have got some video while I was in the car but I was to busy holding on for dear life!




Overall I really can't explain how awesome this place is and how great the M brand and cars are. I am def hooked now and am excited to go back. The performance centers offers a bunch of various driving schools and I def will be back to attend others.

cheers
jimmy
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Last edited by GOLFFRR; 01-20-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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