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ROAD TO PERFECTION.ROAD TO PERFECTION.

ROAD TO PERFECTION.

7 min reading time

On the road in the new BMW M2 CS and BMW X5 M with developers Christian Flessa and Peter Schmid.

This is how intensively the engineers at BMW M GmbH test the high-performance BMW M2 CS and BMW X5 M.

5 February 2020

Snow and ice as far as the eye can see; the thermometer shows minus 35 degrees. It’s on this bitterly cold morning that the BMW M Magazine editorial team is due to meet Christian Flessa, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M and Peter Schmid, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW X5 M / X6 M. Here at the BMW Test Centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, BMW M GmbH tests everything that might affect driving dynamics on low friction surfaces – like snow and ice. The frozen lake on which the majority of the test tracks are located offers the best conditions for these extreme test drives.

The site is located just under 60 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, so in order to accompany the engineers' work in daylight, there is only a narrow window of time between ten in the morning and half-past-two in the afternoon during the winter. After that, the sun sets and the sky turns pitch black. Welcome to Lapland.

Christian Flessa, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M, working in the test centreChristian Flessa, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M, working in the test centre
We want maximum stability and maximum traction to be available at all times, in order to guarantee a controllable vehicle in every driving situation.
Christian Flessa, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M
Peter Schmid, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW X5 M / X6 M, working in the test centrePeter Schmid, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW X5 M / X6 M, working in the test centre

ON THE PATH TO PERFECT DRIVING DYNAMICS.

The BMW M2 CS prototype drifting on the frozen lake in ArjeplogThe BMW M2 CS prototype drifting on the frozen lake in Arjeplog
Pushed to the limit: Developer Christian Flessa driving the BMW M2 CS.

TUNING THE M xDRIVE IN THE NEW BMW X5 M.

The BMW X5 M prototype drifts on the frozen lake in ArjeplogThe BMW X5 M prototype drifts on the frozen lake in Arjeplog
The development of the chassis will take about two years.
Peter Schmid, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW X5 M / X6 M
The BMW X5 M prototype at highspeed on the frozen lake in ArjeplogThe BMW X5 M prototype at highspeed on the frozen lake in Arjeplog
Road test on ice with 625 hp: Peter Schmid drives the new BMW X5 M.

Nordschleife or Arjeplog: every BMW M model must overcome both.

THE BMW M TEST CENTRE NÜRBURG.THE BMW M TEST CENTRE NÜRBURG.

THE BMW M TEST CENTRE NÜRBURG.

From the Swedish Arjeplog to the Eifel mountains.

Almost five months have passed since our polar encounter with Flessa and Schmid. After the driving dynamics systems were tuned to a low friction coefficient in Arjeplog, the road to perfection takes us south, on dry asphalt. Of course, this is not just any road surface: we arrive at the BMW M Test Centre on the Nürburgring’s legendary Nordschleife.

PIONEER AT THE ‘RING.

The BMW M Test Centre Nürburg, located directy at the legendary Nürburgring NordschleifeThe BMW M Test Centre Nürburg, located directy at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife

BMW was the first manufacturer to have a development centre at the Nürburgring, the epicentre of vehicle dynamics development. BMW vehicles have been tested here for over 50 years; whether production, DTM or GT cars, BMW and BMW M GmbH have played a revolutionary role in testing its expertise at the Nürburgring. The centre's pioneering work is reflected in its unique location within walking distance of the Nordschleife’s start and finish line, allowing engineers to test and develop their vehicles directly on site.

THE BMW M2 CS ON THE NORDSCHLEIFE.

The BMW M2 CS prototype on Nürburgring-Nordschleife The BMW M2 CS prototype on Nürburgring-Nordschleife

But enough theory. Christian Flessa is ready to get going and we're accompanying him – in the passenger seat – on a drive through the ‘Green Hell’. The BMW M2 CS will be driven in DSC mode so that Flessa can evaluate the system, paying attention to every one of the M car’s reactions. Ideally, it will support the driver precisely but inconspicuously, only becoming noticeable when genuinely needed. Despite Flessa‘s more than courageous driving style, the system hardly has to intervene. In the M specific MDM mode, the driver is given even more freedom to push the vehicle to its dynamic limits.

The BMW X5 M prototype on Nürburgring-NordschleifeThe BMW X5 M prototype on Nürburgring-Nordschleife

The BMW M2 CS is being tuned by Flessa to make it even more racetrack-oriented than the BMW M2 Competition. This is an exciting task for the development engineer, as the base model already has very high driving dynamics potential on the racetrack. The tuning includes giving the M2 CS its own suspension and steering set-up and an Active M Differential specially adapted to the vehicle, in combination with specially developed Michelin Cup 2 tyres. In addition, new driving dynamics possibilities are explored through targeted lightweight construction methods and modified aerodynamics for the M2 CS. With the optional carbon ceramic brake, the further reduction in wheel load opens up further potential for increased driving dynamics. A consistent racetrack set-up is pursued with every further lap on the Nordschleife.

BMW M developer Christian Flessa BMW M developer Christian Flessa
We've turned our hobby into our profession.
Christian Flessa, Head of Driving Dynamics Systems BMW M

M POWER ON RACETRACKS AND ROADS.

BEST IN CLASS.

ROAD TO PERFECTION: MASTERING ULTIMATE DRIVING DYNAMICS BY BMW M.ROAD TO PERFECTION: MASTERING ULTIMATE DRIVING DYNAMICS BY BMW M.

ROAD TO PERFECTION: MASTERING ULTIMATE DRIVING DYNAMICS BY BMW M.

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