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Company Representative of RPI Power
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Just got back from the one at South Bay BMW in Torrance, CA. Great event. BMW donates $1 per mile you drive and you get to drive a number of their cars. This money goes to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer research foundation.

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/Experience/Events/Komen/Default.aspx

http://cms.komen.org/komen/Partners/CorporatePartners/011445

Here's a few pictures I took of the cars and event:

Entrance:



South Bay BMW had an 07 M5 there with AC Schnitzer exhaust there for sale. I don't tend to like to speak ill of other products but oh man. Lemme just say it was breathtaking. Read into it what you will.





Registration confirmation was inside the building. They had an x6 there, their signature car:







Map of the event route for 2008:



The registration computer(s) along with some merchandise they were selling to benefit the cause:

 

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They had an M3 there to drive. It was a coupe, manual tranny too!







I wonder how long that clutch is going to last with everyone driving it. :)



Here it is out on the drive (I'm in an Alpina B7 behind it):



As mentioned above, I took an Alpina B7 out.









 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The B7 is a BIG car, certainly bigger than I'm used to driving. You really feel the weight. The engine has boatloads of torque down low compared to the M5, but it feels like it's lugging around a boat anchor.

I think part of the issue is the transmission. It's not nearly as crisp as something like a Mercedes S63 auto. It feels like the accelerator is attached to a rubber band or something... you step on it... it considers your request... then you go. The engine revs up freely though, and you can hear the whistle of the supercharger, even with the windows closed. Not for everyone, but I liked it.

The steering wheel was especially interesting. Check out the - and +:



That's how you shift gears in "manual" mode. There's no lever, but rather a small "blister" on the back of the wheel. It feels like a 2mm deep tensioned metal bubble. It's interesting that seems so delicate. Works well though.

 

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Some other cars they had there:

750iL (the 760iL was out getting new tires):



550i:



535xi Touring:



335i Coupe:



650i 'Vert and Z4:



They also had a whole line of M3 coupes and sedans there at the dealership. Here's just a few:








Overall, it's a great event. Take a look at the BMW Ultimate Drive link at the top post and register for the one in your area. It's a great cause, and lots of fun. :applause:
 

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They had an M3 there to drive. It was a coupe, manual tranny too!
There were no M cars last year :sad2:
The chance to drive an M3 without a salesman is priceless :M5thumbs:

Some information about the event not listed on the BMW website:

  • The events are held at BMW dealerships, but all the support staff for the event travel with the cars.
  • Salesmen do not ride with you.
  • A specific route must be followed.
  • The BMW website lets you sign up for 2 specific test drive vehicles and times, but you will be encouraged to drive more cars.
  • Volunteers are needed to drive the cars to the next dealership.
 

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Just did the drive few months back... they had all the M cars in our town. Just got to sign up quickly to be able to drive them. The M cars go first off the list and then u'll be stuck driving a 328i :hihi:
 

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I wonder if this fleet was the same one that was in Austin a few weeks ago?? If so, my signature is on that X6!!!!

I got to drive the M3, the 335i and the 135i.....the M3 was TOTALLY WICKED, and it is a good thing that I drove the M3 AFTER I drove the 335i....as much as I loved the 335i, I felt that the 335i SUCKED after driving the M3....heck, the 135i was more fun that the 335i....

The only downer for me was, despite my reservation, I never got the chance to drive the Alpina B7.....I had a 12:30 apt and by 2:30PM I still had not gotten behind the wheel....too many people were taking the Alpina on much longer drives....also, by 2:30 the traffic was getting too thick to really enjoy the cars.....I did call and B**CH at BMW NA for how poorly the '20-something dweeb ran the show....

Still, I was VERY happy at getting to drive the M3, and if I had had $72k burning a hole in my pocket, I would have bought the M3 Coupe that was in the showroom!!! lovelove

Cheers,
 

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I wonder if this fleet was the same one that was in Austin a few weeks ago?? If so, my signature is on that X6!!!!
It is the same fleet of cars.
In prior years 2 groups of cars were used, starting together and eventually meeting at the final event. This year there is only one group, so the Ultimate Drive started February and continues until December -- it is becoming the Neverending Drive :M5launch:
 

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Regarding the M3 and the Apina B7 at the Susan B. Komen Drive, unless you have a reservation for those specific cars they will not let you drive them. I was just there Sunday 6/1 in Calabasas and that is the policy for the rest of the drive.
 

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damn...registration is closed....what a great event!!!
 

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Regarding the M3 and the Alpina B7 at the Susan B. Komen Drive, unless you have a reservation for those specific cars they will not let you drive them. I was just there Sunday 6/1 in Calabasas and that is the policy for the rest of the drive.
I DID have a specific reservation for both...the appointment for the M3 was at 12:00 noon and the Alpina was for 12:30...AND, I was more than old enough to meet the age requirements for driving both ;)....I had to claw my way to get my noon appt. for the M3 as too many people were just walking up on their "lunch" breaks.....it took several people (myself included) to get borderline nasty with the dweeb running the show.....as I said, despite my reservation in hand (and my name clearly visible on the reservation spreadsheet) at 2:30 I still had not driven the Alpina.....I am no longer miffed as the 135i and M3 (especially the M3!!!!) were a true blast!!! Even the 335i was sweet, though it came in a distant 3rd to the M3 and 135i.....

If anything still worries me, it is that if the attendance continues to grow (which is a GOOD THING as it supports a great cause) then there will not be enough cars for all the people who WANT to drive, regardless of the type of BMW's available...not a good thing...I suspect that many of the folks at the Austin event never got to drive many of the cars as opposed to years past, I got to drive EVERY fleet car, sometimes two and three times!!!! :)

Cheers,
 

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I DID have a specific reservation for both...the appointment for the M3 was at 12:00 noon and the Alpina was for 12:30...AND, I was more than old enough to meet the age requirements for driving both ;)....I had to claw my way to get my noon appt. for the M3 as too many people were just walking up on their "lunch" breaks.....it took several people (myself included) to get borderline nasty with the dweeb running the show.....as I said, despite my reservation in hand (and my name clearly visible on the reservation spreadsheet) at 2:30 I still had not driven the Alpina.....I am no longer miffed as the 135i and M3 (especially the M3!!!!) were a true blast!!! Even the 335i was sweet, though it came in a distant 3rd to the M3 and 135i.....

If anything still worries me, it is that if the attendance continues to grow (which is a GOOD THING as it supports a great cause) then there will not be enough cars for all the people who WANT to drive, regardless of the type of BMW's available...not a good thing...I suspect that many of the folks at the Austin event never got to drive many of the cars as opposed to years past, I got to drive EVERY fleet car, sometimes two and three times!!!! :)

Cheers,
Driven the Alpina... I personally think it's overrated and I don't particularly like the look. Dude, you drive an M6, why are u salivating over the other cars! :hihihi:
 

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If anything still worries me, it is that if the attendance continues to grow (which is a GOOD THING as it supports a great cause) then there will not be enough cars for all the people who WANT to drive, regardless of the type of BMW's available...not a good thing...I suspect that many of the folks at the Austin event never got to drive many of the cars as opposed to years past, I got to drive EVERY fleet car, sometimes two and three times!!!! :)
I had a similar experience last year, driving any car I wanted multiple times :M5thumbs:
Of course last year there were no M or Alpina cars.

The event is run by a small group of people, all too young to meet the over 30 requirement to drive the B7. This is an unusual job, like concert roadies, they tour all around the country setting up every morning and moving on to the next city in the evening.
 

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Regarding the M3 and the Apina B7 at the Susan B. Komen Drive, unless you have a reservation for those specific cars they will not let you drive them. I was just there Sunday 6/1 in Calabasas and that is the policy for the rest of the drive.
I attended the Ultimate Drive held at Valley BMW in Modesto CA on 6/9.
The M3 was not available, the clutch failed a few days earlier ouich
A small sign was posted that reservations were required for the B7 and M3.

The B7 is a great car. The supercharged V8 is very well suited for this application, easily able to overcome the heavy weight of the 7 series. Equally impressive was the suspension tuning, which allowed for a very smooth ride with 21" wheels :M5thumbs:
 
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