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The BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

The BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

We found out driving truly is believing at the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience in Los Angeles.


The purr of engines excited the evening air as the sun set behind the mountains near Arcadia, California. A sizable crowd had gathered at Santa Anita Park for the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience. As we awaited our road tests in the BMW of our choice (everything from the stylish M4 convertible to the sleekly space aged BMW I8 were available), we made our way around some of the unique BMWs on display like the S 1000 RR motorcycle and the BMW Gran Turismo Safety Car.

Soon, the shimmering Yas Marina Blue BMW M3 that I would be taking for a spin pulled up near me. At last, it was my turn to get behind the wheel and head out for a road test. I slid into one of the comfortable (and incredibly supportive) shell-shaped seats and quickly familiarized myself with the high-tech cockpit. Although the M3 had an automatic transmission, paddle shifters on the steering wheel gave the option of operating in manual, like a sports car. This was going to be fun!

After a very brief orientation, I set out onto the streets of Arcadia. As a car guy, I immediately felt the exhilaration of (responsibly) zipping through traffic, making my way from checkpoint to checkpoint using the navigation system.


As soon as I returned, I knew I wanted more so I queued up to drive the test track. I climbed into the cockpit of a Sakhir orange BMW M4 Coupe and quickly we were off. Hearing the engine open up and feeling how deftly the BMW handled the hug of a tight curve provided a heart-pounding rush. It's not often I get to experience testing the limits of what a high-performance vehicle can really do. Alas, so many traffic cones made so many sacrifices that day.


Once everyone had gotten the chance to an Ultimate Driving Machine for themselves, we were ushered inside for a cooking demonstration (and tasting!) of dishes created by local chef, Eduardo Ruiz of Corazon y Miel. The James Beard semi-finalist for Rising Star of the Year treated us to a spicy burrata with salsa molcajete and tomatillos, a short-rib over grits and a riff on a Mississippi Mud with carmelized marshmallows.


Sated and inspired, I headed home trying to figure out which BMW I wanted for my next car. Indeed, driving is believing.

To attend a BMW Ultimate Driving Experience in your area, go to

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Bryan Van Gorder