Letters — the English alphabet is full of them. But in BMW’s case, only one single letter really matters: M. As in M3, M4, M5, and M6, all of which were present at the 2014 BMW M Power Tour.
The German automaker brought the latest versions of the epic vehicles to Mission Raceway Park to give guests a few hours of performance driving instruction. Before the activities began, BMW product planner Matt Wilson gave a brief history lesson on the brand.
“M is for motorsports,” says Wilson, explaining that the particular line up of sporty cars have years of racing experience bred into them.
He went on to talk about several important dates: 1978, when the first M car, the M1, was born; 1984, the first M5; 1986, the “most iconic nameplate,” the M3, was released. Skipping forward a bit, 2005 saw comfort and raw power combined when the M6 hit the streets. In 2009, the public got their first glimpse of what was widely considered “sacrilegious” at the time, the X5 M SUV and X6 M crossover.
Vital stats on the cars we were about to drive were presented as well. The redesigned 2015 BMW M3 is wider and lighter than its predecessor, with an available carbon fibre roof and carbon ceramic brakes. A new TwinPower Turbo engine produces 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, rocketing the sedan to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds.
People were hungry to get behind the wheel of the M4 Coupé, based off BMW’s newest chassis that replaces the 3 Series two-door models. Performance is nearly identical to the M3, and is perfect for those preferring the cleaner look of a coupe. It is also the vehicle that can be seen precariously drifting around the aircraft carrier in the #UltimateM4 promo video on YouTube.
After being briefed on safety and proper technique, guests were let loose on the track. Split into two groups, drivers paired up and practiced attacking turns on different sections of the course. A train of BMWs followed a lead car occupied by an instructor, and after each run the occupants switched vehicles and seats so everyone had the chance to experience all the models.
The event concluded with guests putting all their new skills to good use by doing laps of the entire track. For more information about the tour, visit www.mpowertour.ca.