Saturday, April 2, 2022

2022 BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

"EV" for Electric Vehicles, the BMWs that start with the letter "i"

On April 2nd, Tobay Beach on Long Island was the place, and NMS-North visited the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience. This is an annual event where BMW brings a bunch of their vehicles to various sites around the USA and lets normal people drive them for free! Shoot, I'll sign up for that every time!

On a small autocross course, we got to drive the all electric BMW i4 M50. It was a very short course with only a few little chicanes and one tight corner and one medium tight corner. The highlight for me was launching at the start and feeling 586 foot-pounds of torque and 536 horsepower launching the car like crazy fast. Holy smokes this thing is quick! Just to spell it out, that's a LOT of HP and Torque. Even though this car weighs just over 5,000 pounds, it gets up to speed very nicely!

BMW i4 M50 all electric

We were supposed to get 3 turns driving the car on this little course, but I'm happy to say that I got 4, because on my 2nd trip I was going fast enough to catch up to the driver ahead of me, who was not going so fast. Lucky for me my coach noticed this and had me go ahead and end my run, and then I got another extra run too! Yeah for going fast and getting more practice! Unfortunately they weren't timing our runs or having any kind of competition, so I can only say that it was still great fun driving this car. I'd noticed other drivers braking for the first chicane, but after driving it once I realized that I could get through there without braking. Every time we drove, we had a coach talking us through it on the radio, although due to Covid they were not in the car with us, like in the old days, you know, before Covid! Regardless, I got some good tips from my coach Todd. 

BMW iX all electric SUV

One highlight for me in a very limited amount of time behind the wheel was that the car has a heads-up display which projects the speed up onto the windshield. This isn't brand new technology, but I think it's just very cool, and a safe way to check your speed while keeping your eyes on the road ahead a bit more than glancing down to the normal speedometer. Another thing I noticed coming out of the slow corner was that when I got back on the gas pedal that the response in speeding up was delayed, like turbo lag. Odd, because the car doesn't have a turbo. However, when I asked about this, I learned that it's a safety feature where with all the computers controlling things, the car knows when your steering wheel is turned a certain amount, and will cut fuel or gas response so that you can't just spin out or do donuts I suppose. So that's what I experienced, asking the car to both turn (steering) and speed up (gas) at the same time. Definitely the car is smarter than me!

There were 3 simultaneous autocross areas and other driving events going on, so plenty of people were having fun driving BMWs

If you're in the market for an all electric very nice and very quick car, sure, go test drive the i4 M50. The list price starts at about $65,900 and you'll probably get a federal and maybe a state tax credit, which we'll say drops the price below $60K. The electric range was about 280 miles, so if that fits your driving needs, you'll be very comfortable in this car and be able to move fast too! You can find out if the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience is coming near you at this link: BMW CITIES LINK

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