Drifting on wet asphalt, ice, and snow, seasoned with track sessions behind the wheel of BMW M models. What more could you ask for?

Here’s one for you: BMW was the first carmaker to offer driver training courses more than four decades years ago - to be more exact, 42 years at the time of writing. Back in 1976, the BMW Board saw fit to share the knowledge of correct vehicle handling and ways of driving in critical situations with the wide public by teaching motorists how to identify and react to the dangers they frequently encountered in traffic. But for that to happen, the manufacturer needed a so-called “School for Drivers.” And it came in 1977, when the BMW Training events kicked off on 22 April in Maching. BMW commissioned the services of its own M GmbH division to supervise the training modules, at that time led by the legendary Jochen Neerpasch. The support vehicle was a BMW 320i. Fast forward to 1991 and we witness the birth of BMW Snow Experience, which took place for the first time in Ötztal, Austria, inside a winter training facility found at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters. As of 1999, driver training expanded to include the famed Nürburgring - the first support vehicle to take on the Green Hell was a BMW Z3 M Coupé. Last but not least, 2006 sees the opening of BMW’s Arjeplog Testing Centre and subsequently, the BMW Ice Training events were relocated to Sweden.

BMW M Drift Training

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Posted by BMW Driving Experience on Friday, May 12, 2017

Drifting is an art but you don’t have to hear it from us. And as it happens, BMWs are one of the most fun cars to go sideways in, as long as you know what you’re doing. Getting into the BMW M Drift Training program won’t just sharpen your drifting skills. Knowing when to input swift yet precise steering movements can make the difference between avoiding leaving the road or safely continuing your journey when the road gets slippery. Having a sense of WHEN and HOW to react will give you the edge when the unpredicted strikes, and that’s an invaluable skill every driver should develop. The BMW M Drift Training courses take place at the carmaker’s Driving Academy in Maisach, Bavaria, Germany.

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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Location Maisach, Bavaria, Germany
Training time 1/2 day
Number of participants 8, 2 per car
Price €430

The BMW M Drift Training program involves a theoretical presentation of driving dynamics and the practical driving exercises. The course stretches on half a day and is designed for eight participants per group (two participants per car). The training venue is a former airport near Maisach (that’s about 30 kilometers west of Munich), while participants will be handed BMW M4 Coupés as support cars. Price: €430 per participant.

BMW M4 Coupé Powertrain & Drivetrain
Engine straight-six, turbocharged
Displacement 3 liters
Power output 431 horsepower @ 5,500 - 7,300 rpm
Torque 406 lb-ft @ 1,850 - 5,500 rpm
Gearbox 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT
0-60 mph 4.1 seconds (manual), 3.9 seconds (DCT)
Top speed 155 mph

BMW M Race Track Training Nordschleife

Name one petrolhead who doesn’t dream of hooning his favorite car on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Exactly, you can’t, because such a person doesn’t exist or he’s not a petrolhead.

Level 1

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The BMW M Race Track Training Nordschleife Level 1 will have you work with certified BMW instructors who will walk you through every turn of the 20.8-km track, including the famed Breidscheid Bridge and Caracciola Carousel. You also get to choose your poison between the BMW M2 Competition, M4 Competition, and M5 Competition. Keep in mind that to select the M5 Competition, you must complete the course in either the M2 or the M4. BMW also offers two days and two overnight stays with full board in a single room for a maximum of eight participants (two in each car).

Level 2

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The BMW M Race Track Training Level 2 requires the completion of the BMW M Race Track Training Nordschleife Level 1 module, so you can get accustomed to the circuit and its tricky turns. During Level 2, you’ll spend a full day completing guided laps of the Nordschleife behind a pace car. The available cars remain unchanged, so you’ll be able to pick between the M2 Competition, M4 Competition, and M5 Competition. Just like Level 1, Level 2 includes two days and two overnight stays for up to eight participants per group.

BMW M Race Track Training

The BMW M Race Track Training module gives you the opportunity to put your skills to the test and improve them in the process on one of Germany’s many race tracks: Bilster Berg, Hockenheimring, Red Bull Ring, Sachsenring, Zandvoort, Nürburgring Grand-Prix, or Eurospeedway Lausitz.

Level 1

BMW M Race Track Training Level 1 will show you how to optimise your driving style with exercises that involve dynamic breaking and avoidance, dual lane changes, oversteering and drifting, as well as timed slalom. The available cars are the BMW M2 Competition, M4 Competition, and M5 Competition (on request). The course spans over one day and one overnight stay and allows up to ten participants.

Level 2

The BMW M Race Track Training Level 2 program will take things to a new level. Based on what you learned during Level 1, you’ll get to the more subtle side of circuit racing as you’ll learn how to get the perfect line on the race track as well as how to safely and efficiently change lanes at high speeds. Level 2 involves less circuits, namely Eurospeedway Lausitz, Sachsenring, Red Bull Ring, Nürburgring Grand Prix, and Bilster Berg. Price starts at €2,990.

BMW Winter Experience

BMW uses three main locations for its Winter Experience program. The first one is Arjeplog, a facility that was initially available only to BMW’s factory drivers and development engineers. Arjeplog is located in northern Sweden and the area next to it also serves the BMW Ice Training modules that take place on the same large frozen lakes the carmaker uses to test its prototype cars before they’re given the greenlight for production.

BMW’s second Winter Experience facility is located in Sölden, Austria, right in the heart of the Austrian Alps. The third point of interest lies one and a half hours of driving from Sölden, at the foot of the Pitztal glacier. The oval-shaped training grounds sit at 1,700 meters above sea level and are surrounded by mountain peaks over 3,000 meters high.

Snow Training Level 1

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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Snow Training Level 1 takes place in Sölden. The module is structured over one day and one overnight stay and can take in a maximum of ten participants per group (two participants per vehicle). The support car fleet is made of the latest BMW and BMW X models. Over the course, participants will be instructed in the theory of driving dynamics, followed by the actual practical part (aka what they really paid for): braking and evading, traction exercises including snow chain driving, oversteer, drift, and drift slalom, as well as backward turn. But that’ just Part 1.

During Part 2, drivers will get behind the wheel of BMW X models and have a go at uphill and downhill driving, off-road exercises, as well as understeer on downhill bends. The Snow Training Level 1 program is priced at €860.

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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Location Sölden, Austria
Training time 1 day, 1 overnight stay
Number of participants 10, 2 per car
Price €860

Snow Training Level 2

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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Just like Snow Training Level 1, Snow Training Level 2 is also organized in Sölden. You’ll be glad to know that there are no prerequisites for this course (meaning you won’t have to take Training Level 1 before joining Level 2), but you’ll also get two days of action instead of just one, as well as two overnight stays. The module is designed for ten participants per each group (two participants per car) and includes a wider range of activities, such as slalom and traction exercises with emergency braking, understeering in the oval course, forward turn, and oversteer. The Snow Training Level 2 module has a price of €1,770.

Location Sölden, Austria
Training time 2 days, 2 overnight stays
Number of participants 10, 2 per car
Price €1,770

Ice Training Level 1

For Ice Training Level 1 you’ll travel 60 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle where you’ll meed frozen lakes and the latest BMW M models fitted with studded tires. Besides the actual driving, the experience also includes sauna and hot tub sessions as well as culinary modules hosted by the four-star Hotel Kraja. Moreover, you’ll get to hone the likes of BMW M4 Competition and BMW M2 Competition fitted with spiked tires. The support vehicles include two onboard cameras that will capture your every move.

The course stretches over three days and two overnight stays and costs €2,370 (price doesn’t include transportation fees and plane tickets). On the exercises front, you’ll drift in a circle and improve your Scandinavian Flick, learn to perform braking and evasive manoeuvres with and without electronic nannies, and take on a handling courses that will test your reflexes to the max.

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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Location Arjeplog, 60 km south of the Artic Circle
Training time 3 days, 2 overnight stays
Number of participants 10, 2 per car
Price €2,370

Ice Training Level 2

Your Full Guide to the BMW Driving Experience
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For Ice Training Level 2, the coordinates presented above stay the same. However, the difference is made by the duration of the module. In more detail, the BMW Ice Training Level 2 takes four days and three overnight stays, but otherwise follows the same recipe when it comes to participants: ten per group, with two in each vehicle (which could be either the M4 Competition or the M2 Competition). The extra day of fun will also mean that the Ice Training Level 2 is a tad more expensive than Ice Training Level 1, at €3,490. The price bump is also due to a more varied schedule, that includes a taxi ride in the BMW M4 ice racer, a heavily-modified M4 fitted with narrow tires and a hunting lodge social evening.

Location Arjeplog, 60 km south of the Arctic Circle
Training time 4 days, 3 overnight stays
Number of participants 10, 2 per car
Price €3,490

Ice Training Level 3

Ice Training Level 3 consists of all of the above experiences but it stretches over five days and four overnight stays. As far as what you’ll get out in the field, the novelties are the likes of a snowmobile tour, Rally Parcour, and sessions in the Super G Dynamic area. Otherwise, both the setting and the structure remain unchanged from Ice Training Level 1 and Ice Training Level 2. The module is priced at €4,090.

Location Arjeplog, 60 km south of the Arctic Circle
Training time 5 days, 4 overnight stays
Number of participants 10, 2 per car
Price €4,090

Besides the pre-defined modules and programs, BMW also offers customised events and tours. Customers can choose the desired duration, where the events should take place, and the support vehicles. Moreover, when it comes to events, BMW also offers several packages, including Meet and Drive, BMW Intensive, and Scenic Drive / M Race Track Experience, Scenic Drive, or Personal Coaching.

Further reading

2018 BMW M4
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

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