History of BMW M Driving Experience

A SUCCESS STORY.

The history of the BMW M Driving Experience.

A SUCCESS STORY.The history of the BMW M Driving Experience.

The idea is as simple as it is logical: If a car manufacturer offers its customers the optimal of technology, it should also be able to pass on the high art of driving expertise. BMW were the first car-maker to put this into practice in 1977 – the birth of the BMW Driver Training.

Read more
“BMW Motorsport as a company is responsible for the overall motorsport activities of the BMW marque and as such would like to make a contribution to supporting driving performance in the interplay of human and machine.”
Core statement in the first announcement of BMW driver training, 1977

DECIDED BY THE BOARD.

The foundations for the wide variety of training courses which are today offered all over the world by the BMW M Driving Experience were laid by the BMW board a year before. On 3rd February 1976, they decided to found a drivers’ school. The aim was for 20 courses with a total of 800 participants a year on the BMW testing grounds and various racetracks. Back then, no one had any idea how big the idea would become: in 2022, more than 110,000 participants in 25 countries enjoyed driving fun and action at one of the many training courses in the BMW M Driving Experience.

Read more
Rauno Aaltonen wrote the only textbook on the subject of driver training.

Rauno Aaltonen wrote the only textbook on the subject of driver training. In Revolution at the Wheel (Revolution am Steuer) the training plans were vividly explained – and the book quickly sold out.

Börries von Breitenbuch, former sports secretary of the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD).

Former sports secretary of the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) Börries von Breitenbuch was part of the first team of instructors for the BMW Driver Training.

LEARNING FROM THE FASTEST.

The close connection to motorsport runs like a golden thread through the history of the BMW M Driving Experience. The very first concept by Jochen Neerpasch, head of the still young BMW Motorsport, convinced none other than Rauno Aaltonen. The Finn wasn’t just a successful rally driver, but was also fascinated by the subject of driving technique, which over the years earned him the nickname of “the rally professor”. He became the first official instructor.

 

Aaltonen and Börries von Breitenbuch, former sports secretary of the Automobile Club of Germany (AvD) were two men from the world of motorsport involved in the BMW driver training from day one. After some initial test courses, including for the Munich police force, BMW Driver Training started officially on 22nd April 1977 with a safety training seminar.

Read more

125 HP TRAINING VEHICLES.

While the BMW M Driving Experience today offers the unique opportunity to drive real racing cars like the BMW M4 GT4 along with BMW M high-performance automobiles on the racetrack, at the beginning there was just one model. The small fleet consisted of modified BMW 320i vehicles: 125 hp, an adapted suspension, a limited-slip differential and a bucket seat for the driver.

Read more
For the first driver safety training sessions, BMW 320is were modified. Here we see Head Instructor Rauno Aaltonen in the passenger seat.

For the first driver safety training sessions, BMW 320is were modified. Here we see Head Instructor Rauno Aaltonen in the passenger seat.

Renaissance of the exercise programme: At the “Driver Vitality” training in 2005, callisthenics were included again to guard against pain and tiredness while driving.

Renaissance of the exercise programme: At the “Driver Vitality” training in 2005, callisthenics were included again to guard against pain and tiredness while driving.

AT THE BEGINNING WERE THE EARLY MORNING EXERCISES.

The first training sessions were held exclusively at the weekend and the programme contained different items than today’s. For instance, there were talks on the subject of “Stress at the wheel” and everyday problem situations like uphill starts or common breakdowns and how do to deal with them were practised. Another feature was an extensive fitness programme led by a sports instructor. The latter was soon abandoned: “As far as the exercises were concerned, we instructors soon had the place to ourselves”, remembers Rauno Aaltonen 2007 in an interview with "Der Spiegel".

Read more

THE CORE REMAINS THE SAME.

The general objectives of those first programmes is however still today an integral part of the BMW M Driving Experience: first, the subject is approached theoretically, then the participants can practise what they’ve learned in simulated borderline situations. And another factor has remained the same: apart from a few exceptions, the vehicle for the training sessions are provided by BMW. Thus, all participants have the same technical basis and don’t have to worry about ruining the tyres on their own cars. In this way, the training courses also offer the chance to experience various different models of BMW M, BMW and Mini – and above all the unique opportunity to push the BMW M automobiles to the limit.

Read more
The history of the BMW M Driving Experience.

Parallel to the development of the BMW driver training, so too the number of official instructors grew. Members of staff from BMW Vehicle Development and Accident Research, along with expert drivers from Switzerland, helped in the build-up.

WORLDWIDE SUCCESS.

The concept went down a storm: more and more drivers were interested in the training, and not just in Germany. So it was only logical that Josef Bücherl, who took over in 1991, began to extend the programme. Armed with the idea of a unified instructor qualification, he travelled the world and laid the foundations for the BMW M Driving Experiences we know on all continents of the earth today. Since 1997, the high standards set by the qualification have been imparted at the instructor academy. Here, aspiring instructors learn the skills they need to help participants at the Driving Experiences in their home countries enjoy more safety and driving pleasure according to exactly defined parameters.

Read more
The history of the BMW M Driving Experience.

A training session of the BMW M Driving Experience, in those days BMW Driver Training, at the Salzburgring in Austria in 2001.

MODULAR CONSTRUCTION.

The right training for every level of knowledge.

Josef Bücherl also left his mark on the training structure: he introduced the modular concept still in place today. As a rule, you begin with a compact or development training course in order to further educate yourself via the next, more sophisticated steps. Both beginners and experienced drivers can thus develop and perfect their skills step by step.

Read more

A HANDSHAKE FOR THE SNOW EXPERIENCE.

Over the years, the range of courses on offer grew. One important milestone was passed when Josef Bücherl, then Head Instructor, and Hans Falkner, then managing director of The Central, one of the best 5-star hotels in Sölden, Tyrol, shook hands in 1990. This marked the start of a new series of winter training seminars in 1991, initially as 6-day events in which the skiing was as important as the driver training. Since then, several thousand participants have taken part in the BMW Snow Experiences on the world's highest winter training ground at almost 3,000 metres. Today, participants can enjoy a variety of training courses, from drifting to an off-road course on a glacier, in a wide range of current BMW and BMW M models. And after the action-packed drives, The Central pampers the participants with a fantastic atmosphere and excellent, Gault & Millau award-winning cuisine.

Read more
BMW BMW Driver Training in Sölden in 1991
BMW 320i at the BMW BMW Driver Training in Sölden in 1991
BMW M3, BMW BMW Driver Training in Sölden in 1991
BMW M3 E30 in the snow.
BMW BMW Driver Training in Sölden in 2001.

WORLDWIDE ACTION.

From the Arctic Circle to South Africa.

Spectacular drift training on frozen Swedish lakes has been offered since 2006 at Arjeplog on the Arctic Circle. The participants of the Ice Experiences practise driving sideways in BMW M automobiles with spiked tyres and may if they’re lucky catch a glimpse of the odd camouflaged prototype from the BMW Test Centre. The huge frozen lakes are not only ideal for drifting: all the big car manufacturers test their series vehicles here.

Read more
BMW M Driving Experience Ice Training.
BMW M Driving Experience Ice Training.
BMW M Driving Experience Offroad Tour in South Africa.

And it’s not just on snow and ice that the participants of the BMW M Driving Experience can find out what they and the BMW automobiles are made of: the summer of 2000 saw the first off-road tour through the Atlas Mountains and the sandy wastes of Morocco with the BMW X5. Later, other destinations were added, with Kenya, Namibia and Botswana. In the meantime, the BMW Driving Experience South Africa has taken over the organisation of the tours there.

Read more
BMW M Driving Experience Offroad Tour in South Africa.
There have been courses on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring since 1999.

There have been courses on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring since 1999. They are among the most popular seminars in the BMW M Driving Experience.

EXPERIENCE THE LIMIT.

For people with petrol in their blood and a penchant for speed, they can experience numerous international race tracks, such as the world-famous Nürburgring or the legendary circuit of Hockenheim, almost from the very beginning. Here, the racing line is fine-tuned and sections of the track are driven on that are otherwise only driven on by the professionals. Reflexes and driving skills are trained with demanding driving manoeuvres. From dynamic lane changes at higher speeds to perfecting the racing line on the track.

Read more

THE BMW M TRACKDAYS.

For new and experienced racing drivers.

Bringing together the community of active motorsport fans was the aim of a new experience format introduced by the BMW M Driving Experience in 2020: the BMW M Trackdays. Here, both new and seasoned racing drivers can experience the power of the customer sport vehicles from BMW M or enjoy a Personal Coaching Seminar with an experienced instructor to improve their skills in finding the ideal line. Of course, BMW M fans can also take part with their own BMW M production model or racing car and experience renowned race tracks. The first BMW M Trackday on the Hockenheimring was greeted with enthusiasm and quickly became an integral part of the BMW M Driving Experience calendar.

Read more

BMW M3 Competition Sedan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 (WLTP); CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224-223 (WLTP)

 

BMW M4 Competition Coupé: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 (WLTP); CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224-223 (WLTP)

Read more

CUSTOMISED EXPERIENCE.

Tailor-made events.

In addition to the wide variety of regular training courses, tailor-made trainings and experiences have been a great strength of the BMW M Driving Experience since 2012. Be it for a group or an individual or planned completely individually in consultation with experts or on the basis of established modules – the Customised Experience has made the BMW M Driving Experience particularly customer-oriented since 2012.  From a half-day session at Maisach right through to racetrack training or even a tour lasting several days, almost everything is possible.

Read more
The BMW Driving Academy, Maisach.

The former airport offers fantastic opportunities for driving practice of all kinds. BMW M3 Competition Sedan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 (WLTP); CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224-223 (WLTP)

EXCELLENT SETTING.

The BMW M Driving Academy in Maisach.

Since 2012, the BMW M Driving Experience has been based at a former airport in Maisach, around 30 km west of Munich. The BMW M Driving Academy covers an area of 130 hectares. A 1.8 km circuit and numerous dynamic surfaces for different types of driving practice offer an excellent setting for all kinds of training.

Read more

And there will continue to be new, surprising and challenging training sessions in future – critical to success, if not self-evident in our age of transformation.

Read more
BMW M Driving Experience

THE BMW M DRIVING EXPERIENCE.

THE BMW M DRIVING EXPERIENCE.

BMW M3 Competition Sedan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 (WLTP); CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224-223 (WLTP)

 

BMW M4 Competition Coupé: Fuel consumption in l/100 km (combined): 9.8 (WLTP); CO2 emissions in g/km (combined): 224-223 (WLTP)

Read more
  • The models illustrated include optional equipment.

    Official data on power consumption and electric range were determined in accordance with the mandatory measurement procedure and comply with Regulation (EU) 715/2007 valid at the time of type approval. In case of a range, figures in the NEDC take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size; figures in the WLTP take into account any optional equipment. WLTP values are used for assessing taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions, as well as for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies, if applicable. Where applicable, the NEDC values listed were calculated based on the new WLTP measurement procedure and then converted back to the NEDC measurement procedure for comparability reasons. For newly type-tested vehicles since 01.01.2021, the official data no longer exist according to NEDC, but only according to WLTP. For more information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures, see https://www.bmw.com/wltp.

    For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at https://www.dat.de/co2/.

    All vehicles, equipment, combination possibilities and varieties shown here are examples and can differ in your country. In no way do they constitute a binding offer by the BMW M GmbH. Visit your local BMW website or see your authorised BMW M Retailer for accurate details on the offers in your country.