Last week in Washington, DC, BMW celebrated the return of its popular Ultimate Driving Experience (UDE). For those drivers fortunate enough to be near one of the sixteen cities on the 2019 Ultimate Driving Experience tour, BMW has prepared something for almost everyone.
This year’s BMW Ultimate Driving Experience will stop in the following places, with the bolded rows featuring a fully immersive experience including autocross, street drives, teen driving school, M car control clinic, and innovations area, while the other shorter events will exclusively focus on the autocross and street-drive experiences.
|April 23 – 21||East Rutherford, New Jersey||MetLife Stadium|
|April 26 – 28||Boston, Massachussets||Xfinity Center|
|May 7 – 9||Philadelphia, Pennsylvnia||Citizens Bank Park|
|May 17 – 23||Miami, Florida||Hard Rock Stadium|
|May 31 – June 2||Tampa, Florida||Derby Lane|
|June 6 – 8||Atlanta, Georgia||Alanta Motor Speedway|
|June 28 – 30||Dallas, Texas||Lone Star Park|
|July 27 – August 2||San Francisco, California||Cow Palace|
|August 23 – 25||Seattle, Washington||Emerald Downs|
|August 29 – 31||Portland, Oregon||Portland Expo Center|
|September 4 – 6||Orange County, California||OC Fair & Event Center|
|September 14 – 20||Los Angeles, California||San Anita Park|
|September 27 – 29||Cleveland, Ohio||I-X Center|
|October 18 – 20||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Canterbury Park|
|November 7 – 14||New York City||Citi Field|
The most popular event in the UDE is probably the autocross. Each driver receives two hours of instruction from a professional BMW instructor in a new G20 330i sedan. After the intense training, drivers have a final lap in which to set their best possible time. Autocross registrants must be at least eighteen years old with a valid driver’s license. Entry in the autocross is free.
The M car control clinic event is not free; it costs $750—but for that fee, drivers receive a full day of professional driving instruction in M cars, specifically an M2 or M4. Entrants learn high-performance car control on slalom and high-speed skid courses. Drivers of the M car control clinic must be at least 25 years old with a valid driver’s license.
BMW has something for younger drivers, too—something that may help save their lives. The teen driving school is open to drivers ages fifteen to twenty with a valid license or permit. These teen drivers will receive an introduction to driving theory in the BMW X2 SAV.
But wait, there’s more! At each UDE stop, BMW has more than just the autocross, or in the case of the five headlining events, the M car control clinic, and the teen driving school. Guests also may take a fifteen-minute test drive on the street in a wide range of BMW models.
The minimum age for all of the driving events except the M car control clinic and teen driving school is eighteen. Teen drivers may be between fifteen and twenty years old, while M car control clinic participants must be at least 25. All guests must sign a waiver, and those under eighteen need a parent’s or guardian’s signature. Other than the teen driving school participants, guests under eighteen are allowed only to ride along in street drives.
A new addition for 2019 is also the innovations area, which will give those interested an opportunity to test the off-road capabilities of the range-topping X7 SAV. This section will also allow people to interact with some of BMW’s most cutting edge driving assistance systems such as backup assistant, frontal collision warning, and parking assistant.
These events often fill quickly, and the first one has already started, so interested drivers should go right now to register at https://ude.bmwusa.com.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy BMW NA.]