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Performance Center Delivery
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  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Location: Mobile, AL
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mein Auto: BMW 2012 650i xDrive
Summary of my PCD Experience - 02/10/2012

I recently took delivery of a 2012 650i xDrive Coupe, and I am completely in love with the car. This is my first BMW, and I wanted to have the full BMW experience so PCD was not an option.

If you plan on purchasing a BMW at any point in the future I would highly recommend taking advantage of PCD. Getting a BMW is great and loads of fun, but PCD adds one more level of excitement to the BMW Experience.

I did what is called the One-on-One, or 101. It is essentially the PCD without the delivery part. That essentially means that you get the entire experience but you do not pick up your car at the Performance Center. The only thing I missed out on was the time with the product specialist and seeing my shiny new car sitting in/outside of the Performance Center. I was still able to ask the specialists a few questions while at the Performance Center, so I really didn’t miss much. I took delivery of my coupe a week and a half before my 101 at my dealership, and my Client Advisor went through the key features of the vehicle at that time. I did the 101 instead of the full PCD because I would have had to wait an extra month due to scheduling of PCD. I’m not quite sure about how the scheduling works and why the 101 was available sooner, but it really worked perfectly for me. Also, the 101 gave me more flexibility with scheduling, so I was able to do my 101 on a Friday and the 2-day car control course Saturday and Sunday – perfect weekend.

Here is the breakdown of my PCD/101:

I received an e-mail from the Performance Center confirming the date of my PCD/101. It had an attachment called the “travel form” essentially provides them with information about you and your guest, the room configuration you would like, etc.

I arrived at the Greenville Marriott Thursday evening and went to dinner at Giatu, the in-house restaurant. BMW pays for the room for the night prior to the PCD/101 as well as the meal at Giatu (they cover you and one guest). I was impressed with the menu offered. It was a special menu for BMW PCD participants, but it was still a very nice menu. It included a salad, entrée items like Shrimp and Grits, Pasta, Fish, Steak, etc. (> 5 options), and a dessert (2 options). The next morning I went down for the buffet (again, covered for you and a guest). It was a very nice selection, but I was glad BMW was picking up the tab (about $15 per person). After breakfast I got on the shuttle with the other PCD customers and headed over to the Performance Center. It was a 15 minute trip on one of Marriott’s big shuttle buses.

We were delivered at the front door of the Performance Center and greeted by the staff (professional drivers, product specialists, etc.). The new BMWs of those taking delivery were parked inside the facility on display – very impressive looking with the high ceilings and the glass walls. We were then taken to a classroom for a short orientation prior to heading to the track.

The orientation was a quick overview of basic driving skills and techniques. We then went outside to our cars - one of the cars in their fleet that is similar to the car we purchased. I had a 650i convertible (I purchased a 650xi coupe). Another person who had an M3 cabriolet was given an M3 sedan. Not identical, but very similar. I actually liked having the convertible, non-M Sport, non-xDrive version, as I was able to compare it to my 650xi M Sport coupe that I had been driving for over a week.

We got in our cars and were split into groups for four different exercises:
1) Slalom Course (weaving through cones).
2) Handling Course (portion of the track with several corners with cones to indicate the line to take through each corner).
3) Emergency Stop Situation (engaging ABS at different speeds and steering while the system is engaged).
4) Skid Pad (polished, wet concrete driving in circles with and without DSC; did this in a 3 Series – funny they didn’t let me take the 6er out there – and got to spin out without the system and the effectiveness of the system).

Next we went to the Zentrum/Factory. I thought they’d shuttle us over there as a group, but that would be missing out on a prime marketing opportunity. Instead, they had a row of X5s, and they told us to hop into one with our guest and follow our guide down the road to the factory. Once we got there we drove up on the sidewalk and parked in front of the Zentrum.

We went in for the factory tour and were guided through the entire facility (paint, body, assembly, etc.) by a tour guide who navigated us through the maze and made sure that we didn’t get skewered by a forklift. We then left the factory and were told that we could come back later to tour the Zentrum and the gift shop.

Next, we hopped back into our X5s and headed back to the Performance Center. Instead of going directly back, we were taken to the off-road course and guided through it. It was a lot of fun seeing what the X5 can do. I had heard/read reviews saying that the X5 was great in rain, snow, and ice but not a true off-roader. This in mind, I didn’t have very high expectations – I was shocked. The course included one or two hills that caused the car to tilt to the point where I thought it was going to roll, but it handled the course brilliantly. We were also taken through a pool of standing water (about 20” deep, I believe). They also showed us how the Hill Descent Control works. It was a pretty cool system, and I especially liked seeing it in action since my xDrive coupe has the feature (although this course would rip off the low M Sport body kit on the front of my coupe). It was a little weird pulling my foot away from the brake as I headed down a steep slope, but the system handled it brilliantly. This was a great detour that was a lot of fun and served its purpose (in the eyes of BMW) of impressing the heck out of us with regard to the X5’s capabilities and BMW engineering in general.

After we reluctantly handed over the keys to our X5s we went back inside the Performance Center for lunch. It was a great buffet with a number of options.

After lunch those who did PCD were given their cars and had their sessions with the Product Specialists. Those of us doing 101 were done for the day (about 1:30 p.m.) and sent on our way. At this point we went back to the Zentrum to look at the exhibits. The museum is smaller than I expected, but the displays were interesting and definitely worth going back for. My day finished around 3:00 p.m.

This is really a great program that I would highly recommend, especially since you only pay for travel expenses. The track exercises were an abbreviated version of day one of the 2-day car control course with the added bonus of doing it in a car similar to your own (the course uses 135i and 335i cars for the first day’s exercises).

Sorry this review is so lengthy, but I wanted to try to answer questions for those of you considering PCD and provide a little more information than is available on the website. Hope this helps.

Note: I would like to thank BMW of Mobile (Mobile, AL) for making the arrangements for my trip and coordinating my 101 with the 2-day course to build a fantastic Bimmer-filled weekend. I would highly recommend BMW of Mobile as they have been professional and helpful through the entire ordering, negotiating, and delivery process.
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650i xDrive Coupe (2012), Carbon Black/Black/Gray Poplar, M Sport, Full LEDs, 20" 373M Wheels, ARS,
HUD, CWP, Premium Sound, Nappa Dash w/ Contrast Stitching, Ceramic Controls, BMW Apps, PCD
http://www.youtube.com/user/Southern6er22
http://southern6er22.blogspot.com/
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2012, 04:43 PM
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pan pan is offline
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Location: Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 f12 was 2010 E63
In 2003 I leased a 745i. Compared to the Acura RL I had traded in the 745i made turns as if on rails. It took turns so well beyond the capability of the Acura I thought I need to find out what it could actually do. So I took a driving course at the BMW center. What an eye opener. I didn't know what I didn't know about driving. That was a great experience.

On the last day we got to compare all of the other models and I fell in love with the 650i. Tomorrow I will be ordering my third 650i having had a 2006 and currently driving a 2010. With each of these cars I've gone back to the performance center for the BMW driving experience which came with the cars.

The last time I went they took us on the X5 of road course. Those are very impressive cars. If I needed a SUV this last visit also would have sold me on a BMW X5 or X3.
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2012 650i xDrive|Vermillion Red Metallic | Cinnamon Brown Nappa Leather | Fine Line Oak Wood Trim | ARS | 20" Wheels | Active Cruise Control | HUD | Night Vision | LED Lights | Heated seats | Heated Steering Wheel | Ski bag | Active front seats | Premium hi-fi system | Satellite radio | Plus more

Former ride 2010 Deep Sea Blue 650i

Last edited by pan; 02-20-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2012, 09:27 AM
I-Won-Today I-Won-Today is offline
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Thanks "southern6er22" for the detailed post of your experience It was a pleasure meeting you and your dad that afternoon before you left. Glad you both had a great time!

"pan" - as your post implies, once you start driving BMW's and discover their capabilities, there is nothing that compares! If you can afford the time, you should take delivery of your new 6 series here. Hopefully I can personally say hello sometime in the future. I know you'll enjoy the new 650i
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:50 PM
rmcmjr rmcmjr is offline
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Location: PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Mein Auto: X3
Along for the ride....

I hope to accompany a family member to his delivery. As the guest I was hoping to maximize my experience.

I was looking for info on how much, if any, driving the guest gets to do for the PCD.

If I will only be along for the ride, then I'm hoping to participate in the one or two day driving course. Is the one day course offered on Sat and Sun or only Sat?

Thanks so much.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:28 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Location: Mobile, AL
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 2012 650i xDrive
The passenger/guest gets pretty much equal driving time. My dad came with me, and it was pretty evenly divided. For each exercise, I did several runs, then we swapped seats and he did it a few times.

I'm not sure about the days they offer the courses. Everyone in my class was there both days. I think they structure the 1-day slightly differently rather than just not returning for the second day. The schedule for the year is on the PC's site.

I'd strongly urge you to go for the 2-day. I found the second day to be a lot more fun than the first. Day 1 was good, but it was more educational than exciting. Day 2 brought everything together, and I felt morecfortable with the maneuvers - and was actually able to do them correctly (i.e. Recovering from oversteer. I didn't come out of it one the first day, but I recovered every time on the second day. Had I not done this, I would've just felt like I spent half an hour spinning around on the skid pad rather than learning something I'd feel confident about coming out of in real life should it happen.). We got to drive other cars and go faster the second day, so that also improved the experience.

I can't wait to go back for the M School. It is geared more for racing and track driving rather than primarily control and safety maneuvers. I'd still recommend the 2-day before unless you've got track experience. I think I'd feel ignorant and inexperienced doing the M without any prior experience.
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650i xDrive Coupe (2012), Carbon Black/Black/Gray Poplar, M Sport, Full LEDs, 20" 373M Wheels, ARS,
HUD, CWP, Premium Sound, Nappa Dash w/ Contrast Stitching, Ceramic Controls, BMW Apps, PCD
http://www.youtube.com/user/Southern6er22
http://southern6er22.blogspot.com/
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:31 PM
rmcmjr rmcmjr is offline
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Location: PA
 
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Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated. 2 day sounds like the way to go.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:40 PM
southern6er22's Avatar
southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Location: Mobile, AL
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 2012 650i xDrive
Definitely. I don't know when you plan to go, but the new M5 and M6 are coming soon, and I'd wait for that. The pro drivers take you for hot laps showing off what they can do, and it is amazing! I bet they'll use the new ones, so I'd wait for those to come. I'm waiting for them before I go for the M School. I just bought a 650xi, but I was very tempted by the F10 M5 which is about the same price (knew the M6 would be outta my league). Playing in their cars on their track is much more fun than you can ever have on public roads.
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650i xDrive Coupe (2012), Carbon Black/Black/Gray Poplar, M Sport, Full LEDs, 20" 373M Wheels, ARS,
HUD, CWP, Premium Sound, Nappa Dash w/ Contrast Stitching, Ceramic Controls, BMW Apps, PCD
http://www.youtube.com/user/Southern6er22
http://southern6er22.blogspot.com/
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2012, 02:09 PM
plegard plegard is offline
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Mein Auto: '15 35d MSport Carbon Blk
Great write up.

Thank you for the detailed and excellent recap of your day during the "101 Experience".

Just heard about this "101 Experience" option and think it sounds like a terrific solution for those that want to see the factory, drive the car, etc, but don't want to wait for a time slot or drive their car home thousands of miles.

Will pursue this with my salesman.

Thanks again. Terrific write-up. Felt like I was there with you.
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