How does it feel driving one of the world’s most powerful and revered automobile? If one were to encapsulate the BMW M experience in a word, I would say that it was exhilarating.
For a day, lead-footed motoring hacks and people with fat paychecks were provided with an opportunity to drive around the Clark International Speedway behind the wheel of a BMW M series machine. For the weeklong event, Asian Carmakers Corporation, held a weeklong track day to highlight the capabilities, features and technological advancements of the M Series line-up, namely: the BMW M3, BMW M4, BMW X5, BMW X6, as well as the M Performance vehicles such as the BMW135i and the BMW M235i. “This global experiential program allows car enthusiasts and aspiring BMW owners to learn from seasoned BMW instructors who offer their expertise in high performance driving,” says Maricar Parco, President of ACC. The M experience track session was headed by the country’s lone BMW M certified driving instructor, Jp Tuason. “This driving experience would allow you to appreciate the qualities and the BMW M series cars by way of a string of challenges which we have lined-up for you guys,” adds Tuason.
The media were divided into three groups and we were subjected to driving drills that provided us hands on feedback with the M cars. I was with the “red” group which initially had us take a taxi ride onboard an M4 with Tuason behind the wheel. Tuason drove the M4 like to its limits and did some hot laps around the short course of the Speedway. We were then shepherded to the slalom course where participants tested the cars handling and braking capabilities and managed a 25.1 seconds run.
Next challenge was the drive around the long course of the Speedway with the fleet of M Series cars at our disposal. We took turns behind the wheel of the BMW M4, M3, and the X5 M SUV. Among the variants, I would bet on the M4 any day due to the car’s sheer grunt, accurate steering and the superb handling. I drove it like I stole it and attacked the corners with reckless abandon, and had the pedal to the metal on the straights of the track. The engine’s wail was music to my ears and the tires fought for grip as I ate up the corners and powered up around it through the straightaway. At the end of the M experience, I was behind the wheel of the X5 M as the weather began to pop its ugly head. For safety reasons, I was not able to push the advanced V8 engine with twin turbo technology for fear of being an owner of a slightly banged up BMW X5 M during a heavy rain. I don’t want to be labeled as the guy who screwed up the driving event.
Held every year, the BMW Driving Experience allows participants to feel the M Series range of vehicles in a set up that highlights its engineering and design innovations. “We hope to engage our valued customers in exercises that will not only help them understand the remarkable track ability of these automobiles, but also impart BMW’s passion for automotive excellence,” explains Parco.