May 10th: Delivery Day But First, a Visit to M Division
Got up at 5:00 a.m., just too excited to sleep. My M Div reps were coming to pick me up at 9:00 for the drive to Garching and a tour of the M Div facility. So some leisurely expresso's and breakfast was in order. Lots of time to make sure I had my DL, Passport, camera of course, etc etc ready to go.
Michael arrived right on time in an X6 M and off to Garching we went (about a 30 minute drive). Michael is an intern at BMW M and works for Christine who was the CA in charge of my car. Great guy and hopes to stay at BMW once he's obtained his Masters Degree. And he drove the M truck like it's supposed to be driven. Man these things never cease to amaze with their power. My goal that morning btw was to have an up-close look at the M5 and M1 prototypes....and anything else that looked "interesting". So we got there and through the gates and then right to the back of the facility to the M Studios. Camera had to remain in the X for now. There were 2 of the M5 protos with the usual camoflage sitting in the parking lot, a bunch of M3's but no new 1 and the mule for our Competition package cars. So inside we went where Christine was waiting for us. We'd met in Toronto twice over the past year while she was overseeing BMW M stuff in Canada. What a great person she is.
Anyways, we had some coffees and I was given the tour of the M Studio which also caters to Individual customers. Interesting stuff.....the prototype of the last generation CSL, an M6 in the new Frozen Sepang Bronze color, an Azurite 5 ser with a stunning new prototype "M Package" interior that I think might have been for the M5...disguised as a 550!! It was WAY more aggressive than regular sport package seating and when I sat in it it reeked of real "M". Of course I asked.....all I was told was that it was a prototype. I was allowed to photo some of the inside of the studio but not this interior. The car under wraps was an M3 in a brand new color (not Frozen Black) that I wasn't allowed to even look at let alone photograph. Hmmmm??? Oh well.
Then outside to the compound again for a closer look at the M5 mules. Really ratty and ill-fitting panels when you're up close. These were million dollar cars I was told. No doubt. The interiors were bone stock but underneath you could see the prototype M chassis. And then a bonus....one of the engineers came out with his laptop and prepared to go for a drive. So I waited for him to start up and leave.....what a nice sound but at this stage, not a great deal of difference from our M3's at startup. When the car got back down to normal idle, well you could tell that it was a mule 'cause you could start to hear things rattling in the engine compartment. Not too impressive but pretty cool nonetheless. And the M1 or 1M....damn, it was in France at BMW's test track that day. And if some BMW people have their way, the car won't be called "M1", despite customer feedback. They're inclined to go with the "1M" moniker at this point. Time will tell I guess.
Pics are self explanatory, bottom photo at the X6 M is Christine and Michael just before we drove off to the Welt.