Not to split hairs here, but however that still invalidates your strict statement of "NO ONE OUTSIDE BMW AG GETS TO DRIVE A PROTOTYPE BEFORE LAUNCH UNLESS FOR PRESS OR MEDIA PURPOSE .". That is simply not so when third party companies who supply and/or work with BMW get full access to test vehicles and mules that are very far (years) from actual launch and published specs.
As far as tuning companies getting access to non-released cars, I agree with you there 100% - I don't think any tuning company would have access to them before their release. And you have to be a major tuner to have exclusive/special access even after that, such as Hartge, who gained access to the S85B50 engine to create the H50. That would have required some co-operation from BMW. They have also earlier gained access to the previous E39 M5 engine to install it to other cars, such as the Z4, and that also requires special partnership with BMW because you can't just go in and buy the engine separately as a spare part - normally you need to return an old engine to receive a new one.
Last edited by JK42; 02-17-2007 at 04:21 PM.