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      08-24-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
newoldbeemer
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BMW Ultimate Driving Experience at Alameda, CA

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Had a great day! This is the first time I've been to a UDE, and also a first time at autocross. Had a GRREEAT time!

Autocross was fun. I could only sign up for the 5 series (everything else was filled up before I could sign up). They did it in a 535i and a 535d. The instructors were cool and obviously had lots of experience with this sort of thing.

Test drives were nice too. Finally got my hands on a 2 series that I've intended to test drive for some time. The Z4 was nice too! The F10 5 series felt quite nimble for its size.

I waited for some time for the 650i test drive but ran out of patience. There was a long line for it.

It was also great to see the i8 in the flesh! The car is every bit as gorgeous as it seems on photos.

Wish they had "M" cars for test drives but hey you cant ask for everything

Clicked a few quick pics with my cellphone camera:


The registration booths and the display car tent. The staff were all friendly and professional.
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This is the about-to-be-launched X4. I think its about as big as the X3 and as ugly as the X6. What's the point?
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The X4 doesn't look bad from the front
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The M235i. Drool!
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The 4 series
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They had this set up to show all-wheel drive capability of the X cars
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4 series convertible. Felt good to drive this in the sunny but cool weather.
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Showing off the X cars AWD capability
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      08-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #2
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Autocross!
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A skid-pad to demonstrate traction control
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The M235i! I love this car.
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The M235i's interior
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The 4 series
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This car was the best there (of course!)
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The 650i had the best interior I have seen in a BMW. That white leather feels soooo luxurious!
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The 650i
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      08-24-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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The new X5
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Yes it does!
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Yup!
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This car is my favorite. Loved the low stance, the power and the sound.
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BMW's ugly duckling. Skinny tires. Not my thing.
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The 5 series. I did a test drive, this one felt surprisingly nimble for its size.
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The imax-like setup by harmon kardon, for the autocross orientation.Name:  2014-08-24 13.36.16.jpg
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      08-24-2014, 10:37 PM   #4
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Autocross!
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Our autocross batch got to do it in both a petrol and a diesel car.
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Can you spot my score? ("NAT")
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The i8!!! Finally got to see it in the flesh. Looks absolutely gorgeous.
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Back seat in the i8 near non-existent. Forget about putting a kid there. Maybe a cat. If you don't like your cat.
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The M4 in an all-new light blue color!
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The new M4 in a cool light blue.
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Love the carbon fiber and leather interior of the M4. Wish they offered this interior on a regular 3 series as a retrofit.
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Those wheels! Those brakes! Michelin PSS! Droollll!!!
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      08-24-2014, 10:39 PM   #5
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Thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. Hope BMWNA does this every year in this part of the country. I didn't take the Car Control Clinic (that is not free, costs $650). Maybe next year.
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      08-24-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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Great pics. Interesting - that setup is larger than they had in Chicagoland. Here they didn't have an ///M4 inside, only the i8, and they didn't have the xDrive demo, which you'd think they'd have had here.

I spoke with one of the support guys and he told me they use roughly 100 cars for the entire event.
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      08-24-2014, 11:41 PM   #7
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Great pics. I had a great time. Now if they would only send my allowance coupon so I could go and pick up a new car.
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      08-24-2014, 11:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Great pics. Interesting - that setup is larger than they had in Chicagoland. Here they didn't have an ///M4 inside, only the i8, and they didn't have the xDrive demo, which you'd think they'd have had here.

I spoke with one of the support guys and he told me they use roughly 100 cars for the entire event.
Thanks! Yeah its surprising they should do a bigger event here. Just a guess, maybe because they sell more cars here in CA? (I can spot at least ten bimmers every time I step out of the house).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nop View Post
Great pics. I had a great time. Now if they would only send my allowance coupon so I could go and pick up a new car.
Yeah I too realized I didn't pick up the coupon just as I was leaving. Well, its not like I'm going to be buying a car in the next 60 days so it doesn't matter.

By the way did we meet? I was at the 2PM autocross (the 5 series). What are you planning to buy?
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      08-24-2014, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newoldbeemer View Post
Yeah I too realized I didn't pick up the coupon just as I was leaving. Well, its not like I'm going to be buying a car in the next 60 days so it doesn't matter.

By the way did we meet? I was at the 2PM autocross (the 5 series). What are you planning to buy?
They email you the coupons. Monday, supposedly

We didn't meet, I did the autocross the previous weekend. I have a 335i lined up, just waiting for this rebate to sign the paperwork.
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      08-25-2014, 12:40 AM   #10
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Great pics! How many cars were available for driving in the autocross event? Do they only allow you to try it in a 2 or 5 series?
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      08-25-2014, 10:35 AM   #11
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Wow, what a phenomenal event! Thanks for sharing and providing such an awesome detailed review. Really wish they had something similar in my neck of the woods
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      08-25-2014, 10:57 AM   #12
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Great pics! How many cars were available for driving in the autocross event? Do they only allow you to try it in a 2 or 5 series?
I think they have it in the 2 and 5 series (maybe they also had the 3 and 4, not sure) but everything got filled by the time I managed to sign up. When they sent out the website, the registration was not working and everyone was complaining. People were signing up over the phone, but unfortunately I was out of the country and couldnt call the toll free number.

Luckily I got an email saying that I was registered for the 5 series - it looked like one of my registration attempts had gone through successfully.

I told the staff about the website issue and they said something like "I know, we are working on it".

Yesterday was the last day of the event, and they're still "working on" the website issue?

That was the only negative aspect of the whole thing. Besides that, the event itself was conducted very well.
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      08-25-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
Wow, what a phenomenal event! Thanks for sharing and providing such an awesome detailed review. Really wish they had something similar in my neck of the woods
Yeah, surprising they dont have it in Detroit, the capital of cars!

Thanks, I wanted to test my new phone's camera too . However I think the image resizing software I used later, probably reduced the quality of the pictures.
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      08-25-2014, 11:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newoldbeemer View Post
I think they have it in the 2 and 5 series (maybe they also had the 3 and 4, not sure) but everything got filled by the time I managed to sign up. When they sent out the website, the registration was not working and everyone was complaining. People were signing up over the phone, but unfortunately I was out of the country and couldnt call the toll free number.

Luckily I got an email saying that I was registered for the 5 series - it looked like one of my registration attempts had gone through successfully.

I told the staff about the website issue and they said something like "I know, we are working on it".

Yesterday was the last day of the event, and they're still "working on" the website issue?

That was the only negative aspect of the whole thing. Besides that, the event itself was conducted very well.
If you have time to hang around you can get on a waiting list. There are always people who don't show up and almost 100% of the time if you're on the waiting list early you'll get in. I was only scheduled for one autocross, but because I was able to go on two days and had time to wait I got to do it four times and I even told them to put me at the bottom of the waiting list. I did it twice in the 2er and twice in the 5er.

btw - they use the 228i with the Track package. The 535i is M Sport, so sport suspension. The 535d does not have the sport suspension. I love the 535d, but I found it harder on the autocross, because it has so much torque and the turns come up really fast.
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      08-25-2014, 10:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
btw - they use the 228i with the Track package. The 535i is M Sport, so sport suspension. The 535d does not have the sport suspension. I love the 535d, but I found it harder on the autocross, because it has so much torque and the turns come up really fast.
That makes sense. I could've sworn the 535i handled better than the 535d, it was probably the msport suspension, wheels and tires.
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