Hey guys. Just finished the Performance Center Delivery in Spartanburg and wanted to share my experience with some pictures. I’ll try to show some details that maybe haven’t been seen here before. Let me know if you have any questions about the experience. I’m not a professional driver or a gearhead by any means. The M235i is my first BMW. And wow, what a way to start.
To begin with here is the Greenville Marriott that BMW puts you up in for the night before. Nice but not anything exciting to write home about. Dinner and breakfast were included and were both very good. We were picked up from the airport in a brand new X5 and driven here. At 7:45 the next morning a shuttle arrived to take us to the Performance Center at the Spartanburg Factory.
Upon arrival we and everyone else in our group (about 15 of us) were greeted by the staff and given a quick overview.
I looked over to my right and got my first look at my Estoril Blue M235i through the glass. Can’t wait to see her up close.
But first we were given a 15 minute presentation on some basic driving techniques that we would be using out on the track. Instructor Paul Mazzacane managed to hold our attention with just the right doses of humor. You could tell he does this everyday.
Then we moved outside where the Ultimate Driving Machines awaited. With the precision of an air traffic control station the Performance Center does an amazing job coordinating track times between new deliveries and driving schools all going on at once. There was a lot of movement but we never waited longer than 5 minutes and never felt rushed. My wife and I drove the red M235i.
With DSC turned off we had fun spinning out on the skidpad.
Our group consisted of my wife and I, another couple in the blue 3 and our instructor in the white 3 up front while he talked to use by radio.
We did the skidpad with DSC off and then on. Then we did some hard braking. After that we did laps around a kidney shaped area of the track, definitely the best part. Lastly, one of the instructors took us out in an M5 for a much more spirited drive than we would dare on our own.
Now it was time to get up close and personal with our new baby. A product specialist (Donnie) lead us to a glass enclosed private room where we got better acquainted with her.
This car looks good in pictures but is incredible eye candy in real life. Estoril Blue with Terra Dakota Leather.
Donnie spent around 45 minutes demonstrating everything – with most of the time being spent on iDrive.
We were then instructed to park her outside among the other deliveries while we proceeded to the off-road course.
The off-road course was an all around good time. I now know why they include it in the experience, even for those of us not taking delivery of X vehicles: my wife is now sold on the X3.
We followed the instructor through the course while he spoke to us by radio.
Next we were instructed to get into our own cars and head across the street to the Zentrum Museum.
The museum was well done but a little smaller than I had hoped. What I’d really like to have seen is the nearby warehouse that holds the majority of the collection. The museum completed our experience.
We took a few photos before getting on the road. The factory was closed for tours as I had known it would be. However, we were given a voucher to tour it in the future. Wow this car looks pretty darn amazing from this angle.
We settled into the cozy leather seats for some mountain motoring.
We passed through Greenville and then went Northwest to Caesar’s Head Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Do not, DO NOT
even think about taking a Performance Center Delivery without getting out on these roads for a spin. The views were breathtaking, but not nearly as amazing as the M235i was to drive.
All in all, the Performance Center Driving Experience was spectacular and I highly recommend it to everyone getting a new BMW. But even more spectacular was the fun I had with this remarkable machine on these twisty mountain roads. For months I was excitedly anticipating this car. But if I had known how truly amazing the M235i is once you own it, I think I would have been madly ecstatic.