BMW & Movie Stars – A Hollywood Love Story

So ends another year at the Oscars. The lavish gowns are the subject of public scrutiny in the morning tabloids, and photos abound of Hollywood’s best and most beautiful. We’ve already come up with a list of featured BMW beauties in the movies. What about in real life? Let’s have a look at what some of our personal Tinseltown favorites drive.

BMW Hydrogen 7 – Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Like the star herself, the BMW Hydrogen 7 combines elegance, and environmental consciousness into one sleek package. We’re told that she’ll let Brad take it out for a spin from time to time. Although roomy enough to pack in a gaggle of children, clearly this isn’t the family car.

BMW 7 Series – Eva LongoriaThere’s something so right about seeing this Hollywood bombshell and political activist step out of a sleek 7 Series. Classy and beautiful, yet powerful. We’re certain that the Series 7 would be as equally provocative taking the curves out in the middle of the desert

BMW Z3 – Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan is often seen taking in the town in his sporty BMW Z3, which just goes to show that the sixth James Bond truly has a sense of style, performance and fun – both on and off-screen.

BMW Z8 – Gerard Butler

The BMW Z8 perfectly fits this firebrand action hero to perfection: made for speed, adept at handling any curves thrown his way (smirk!), and impeccably stylish. Nothing says undaunted like the quintessential concept car he’s chosen from the stable of BMW Ultimate Driving Machines!

Rowan Atkinson – 1939 BMW 328

Don’t let the adorably buffoonish façade of Mr. Bean fool you. He might not be up for an Oscar any time soon, but he just might surprise everyone in this vintage-built BMW 328 at the 1000 Miglia time trials near Florence. Che classico !

Valentine’s Day Road Trip Tips

So the big day is approaching, and you are debating what to do with your significant other for the weekend. Why not make it a romantic getaway and take a road trip somewhere? Driving takes away all the stress of air travel, usually costs less when traveling as a pair, and gives you both some quiet alone time as you travel to your destination. For those of you who think this is a great idea, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your time together, and don’t forget to check the Ultimate Drive app for the best routes!

1: Plan everything in advance. This may seem like the obvious, but it is easy to plan the road trip and forget to buy flowers and make a dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day, or vice versa. Planning the whole thing through will avoid traffic, lines and surprises so you can focus on having a good time.

2: Don’t pick a destination too far away. As much as we all love road trips, there is such a thing as too much time in the car- especially when you are trying to get somewhere. Plan for something just a few hours away, and don’t leave at a time that will place you in traffic. Try to locate the most scenic drives around – the Ultimate Drive app is perfect for that!

3: Make sure the car is ready for the trip. Regardless of vehicle, make sure it is up to the trip and everything from tires to headlights are in top order. A quick stop by the dealer for a service or even a once-over in the garage at home will ensure it’s a Valentines Day drive you never forget, and not because of a flat tire!

4: If you have a choice of cars, pick the right one. As much fun as it may sound to take the Z4 out for the weekend; it doesn’t fit enough luggage, lend itself to comfortable long distance driving, or have all terrain tires. (It is February!) Take the X5 instead and enjoy its creature comforts.

5: Have Fun! Remember the whole point of getting away is to enjoy each other’s company and have a good time. Following the tips above will minimize any potential headaches, but remember: even if you do get that flat tire, it will be something you can look back and laugh at on Valentine’s Day for many years to come!

And the Award for “Best Car in an Action Movie” Goes to…BMW!

It’s that time of year again – the film awards season! The Academy Awards are almost upon us.  Among the dazzling lights, beautiful people, glitz and glamor,  have you ever wondered why the BMW wasn’t up for a nomination? After all, we have quite a few examples of movies where the BMW was the real star of the show. As a nod to the 85th Annual Oscar Award ceremonies, we’ve compiled a list of our top five BMW movie cars. Here are our personal favorites, in no particular order:

1: The Transporter – 735i. We said “in no particular order”, but this one may be our favorite. It doesn’t get much cooler than Jason Statham motoring his way from chase to chase in The Transporter with this 735i. This 7 Series scores bonus points for having a manual transmission! Check it out on IMDB here.

2: The World is Not Enough – Z8. James Bond meets one of the most attractive BMWs ever. It was a match made in heaven. The gadgets made for some memorable scenes, but the car’s sad ending was one you will never forget! Check it out on IMDB here.

3: Ronin – E34 M5. While many remember the film Ronin for a different car, it is the bad guy’s M5 that did much of the film’s dirty work. And snaps for being driven the wrong way on the freeway in a chase scene! A classic BMW being put through its paces gives it a direct link to our top 5 list. Check it out on IMDB here.

4: Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol – i8 Concept. The only concept BMW on our list, the i8 brought BMW back to Hollywood in a major way. The chase scene through Mumbai traffic is a classic, and Tom Cruise’s softball affection for the car makes the i8 more memorable than the film itself! Check it out on IMDB here.

5: Tomorrow Never Dies– 750il. Yes we included a second Bond car here, and this time it is a 7 Series. This 7 Series traded The Transporter’s manual gearbox for a remote control! The parking lot scene has been cemented in our minds since we first saw it in 1997. As usual, the Bond car doesn’t meet a happy ending though. Check it out on IMDB here.

What was your most memorable performance by a BMW in an action movie? Let us know!

California Dreamin’ : A BMW Getaway

For those of you who are missing the sunshine outdoors and quality driving time in your BMW, there are some easy ways to leave town for a weekend and enjoy a drive! There is no better place for this than Southern California, and here are some pointers for planning the perfect weekend.

Thanks to the availability of several, large airports in Southern California, flying out is relatively easy and affordable. For those leaving from the East Coast there is also the advantage of the time change, enabling you to leave after work on Friday and still get to California at a reasonable hour. Depending on the roads you plan to travel, we recommend flying into LAX (Los Angeles), SNA (Orange County) or SAN (San Diego). All three airports are in close proximity to a good BMW rental, or have them on site at their own rental car terminals.

These California roads practically demand the best of cars and, in terms of renting a BMW, Southern California offers a rather large set of options. Budget, Enterprise and several other well-known rental car companies offer BMWs in their Southern California fleet. If you really want to drive a model they don’t have available, there are a number of smaller private rental companies in the area as well. Whatever you do be sure to reserve a car in advance, as there are usually only 1-2 BMWs on hand per rental location, and in Southern California they do rent out quickly.

Once you are in town and have picked up the BMW, you can relax and enjoy the trip! Naturally the best way to plan your drive is checking out roads in the Ultimate Drive app for iOS, Facebook or Android when preparing for the trip. The app features a vast variety of routes in Southern California from which you can plan a long, hard weekend drive, or a series or fast runs through the canyons and up the coast to enjoy the scenery.

Wherever the journey takes you in California, the appeal of sunshine, beautiful roads, abundant amenities and most importantly a BMW will make it a getaway to remember!

Starting your California trip in Northern California? BMW is now offering car sharing in San Francisco. Check it out here.

 If hitting the California coast isn’t in the cards this weekend, how about sharing other destinations closer to you that offer a milder climate and awesome roads for a long weekend getaway? Let us know on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/UltimateDriveApp !

 

Last Minute Gifts for the BMW Lover

It is that time of year again! Is there a BMW lover on your shopping list? Well instead of going for a generic BMW polo, or the same keychain as last year in a different color, have a look at our gift guide and get your loved one something a bit more unique, with picks for different budgets:

Driving a Local Racetrack: For those who haven’t yet driven a BMW on a racetrack, it is a thrill with no comparison. Many local racetracks host open track days, as do many local chapters of the BMW Car Club of America. To locate a track day near you, some excellent resources are the nearest raceway’s website (a good list of U.S. racetracks can be found here), or your local BMW club chapter. (Full list of BMW CCA Chapters available here)

BMW USB Charger: If you spend a lot of time in the car, this BMW USB Charger will be a very welcome addition. Plugging into the cigarette lighter, it converts the power to a standard USB 5 volts, and enables charging of everything from smartphones to iPads for about $23.

Tickets to a BMW Race Weekend: No more room in the house? Another excellent gift idea is tickets to a BMW race weekend! The 2013 American Le Mans Series has races all over the country, and there aren’t many things better than cheering on a factory BMW race car at a historic racing venue. Check out the American Le Mans schedule here to buy tickets and find the race nearest your loved one.

A Special BMW Memory – The Car You Had When We Met: Not all of us may have the history or finances to pull off a gift like this, but at the very least this is an inspired idea and wonderful story to read: The Surprise Gift

Whatever you may choose, have a safe and happy holiday season, and may the new year bring some great automotive adventures!

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, November Edition

Sharing and discovering the best routes across the US and Canada is what the Ultimate Drive app is all about, so each week we choose one of our favorite user-submitted stretches to highlight as a “Weekend Drive Pick” on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page. If you’re looking for a great drive to take this weekend, or want to plan a drive for the upcoming holidays, be sure to check out these roads — there could be an adventure right in your backyard. Here is a round-up of this month’s top picks!

Northern California — Princeton Crab Run

This Bay Area drive known as Princeton Crab Run takes us 20 miles south along the West Coast from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. With both coastal and inland stretches, this drive offers a variety of sights including beaches, buildings, parks and forests. Although an always beautiful and fun route, this is an especially great trip during crab season, which just opened on November 15. If you plan on making the trip soon, set out on an empty stomach so you can buy fresh Dungeness crab right off the boats!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by hoa. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/QQzp3z or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/PCW7PV.

Arizona — Bartlett Dam Road

Just northeast of Phoenix, Bartlett Dam Road offers an escape from the hustle and bustle with beautiful views and wildlife spotting you definitely won’t get in the city! The 13-mile-drive to the lake and dam is technical and smooth, allowing experienced drivers and motorcyclists to take full advantage of the curves, hills and corners. Locals say traffic on the route is light in the mid-morning, but wildlife is most active in the evenings. If you can’t decide which you prefer best, we suggest making the drive twice!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by AZrealtor. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/QQA9pk or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/S9eXKm.

Colorado — Rist Canyon Road 

Northern Colorado is notorious for its natural beauty, and this drive through Roosevelt National Forest surely will not disappoint! A fun and lightly traveled stretch through the Colorado foothills, Rist Canyon Road winds through forests, ranch lands, hills and canyons. The road is very well maintained, but be prepared for ups and downs, and ins and outs of a backcountry access road. Whether you’re planning to cruise at dusk or dawn, a beautiful sunrise or sunset is guaranteed!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by DoxJox. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/XNQQpg or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/S9mQ2v

East Coast / Toronto, Canada — Terra Nova

Located near Toronto, Canada, and just a quick trip from Niagara Falls, New York, this rural route is a must-drive for anyone in the Great Lakes area. Known by driving enthusiasts as a destination stretch, Terra Nova has it all — tight turns, sweeping corners, very little traffic and beautiful foliage! Plus, with several lakes and ponds lining this country road, there are plenty of scenic stop-offs if your foot gets tired making the trip!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by M3-Mike. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/SWAmHl or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/PDeST5

Do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? If you’re in the US or Canada, submit it through the all new Ultimate Drive Facebook app. Otherwise, share it with us on FacebookTwitter or through The Ultimate Drive mobile app you already know and love. We can’t wait to see your best roads!

Take the Scenic Way Home from Thanksgiving

Driving out of town for Thanksgiving this year? We all know that the holidays can be stressful, but the trip to and from your loved ones can also be enjoyable time in the car- whether alone or with family. For those who love driving, there is no better weekend to get in a last driving blast before fall turns to winter.

The traditional GPS will tell you the shortest path or the fastest path, but why not change it up and enjoy the drive on roads suggested by other drivers?  Even better, taking more fun or more scenic routes can enable you to avoid the holiday traffic on the highways.

If you need some tips or directions for your trip, The Ultimate Drive app comes to the rescue in the form of thousands of routes to choose from. All the routes are suggested by people like you, complete with descriptions and ratings to see what other drivers think are the best. You can download the free app at any of these links:

Find a great route, hop in the BMW and hit the road!

Wherever the driving adventure takes you, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a great road trip home!

 

Great Winter Escapes for People Who Love Driving

As winter rapidly approaches, many of us are preparing our BMWs for winter storage. For those of you who will continue to drive them during winter, the weather may take away the thrills of utilizing your car’s performance capabilities. To lighten up this sad time, we thought we would lay out a few warm weather destinations to get out of town and go on a winter driving journey!

Location #1: Honolulu, Hawaii.

Honolulu is a tropical paradise, and its roads live up to that reputation. Fly into town, get a bit of sun on the beach, then hop in your rental BMW and explore the island via car! We recommend the Tantalus Drive route, from which you can then circle back to town via Round Top Drive on the other side of the state park. You can find this adventurous route in the Ultimate Drive app for iOS, Facebook or Android app here.

Location #2: Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale is well-known for being a warm-weather haven during the winter months. It boasts a major airport in nearby Phoenix, numerous hotels and amenities, and some great desert roads for all to enjoy in the winter. Our personal favorite drive is Highway 88 from the Phoenix area out to Tortilla Flats. You can find the route in The Ultimate Drive app here. If the scenery looks familiar here is a good hint as to why: many car manufacturers use this road for auto magazine test drives.

Location #3: Key West, Florida.

Our featured East Coast adventure is one of the world’s best known stretches of highway. It’s not a flat-out performance drive, but what it lacks in sport it makes up for in scenery. The route takes you from Miami’s airport southbound to the bottom of the country. Once out of town, you can hop on the famous “Overseas Highway.” On this renowned Highway you will drive over the water and through various islands all the way to Key West- the southernmost city in the continental United States. Drives don’t get much more scenic than this! Check out the route here.

Last but not least, keep in mind that both smaller and larger car rental companies have fleets of BMWs you can rent for your adventure! This is *crucial* to ensure you have a fun ride for your winter driving escape. Plan your trip soon and have something to look forward to!

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, October Edition

[Editor’s note: Seeing the devastation of Sandy in the U.S. Northeast this week, we realize that taking a scenic drive may be the last thing on your minds.  Once the tunnels empty, the roads drain, the trees are cleared, the businesses re-open, and life begins to return to normal, we hope you are able to get out and drive, both to refresh your senses and to bring tourist dollars into areas that could use a hand to recover.]

Each week, the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page features our favorite user-submitted stretches, which we like to call “Weekend Drive Picks” — and this month’s routes highlight some of the twistiest, most scenic roads from across the U.S! Check out the October Weekend Drive round-up to get ideas for your next weekend getaway. There’s something for everyone here!

Nevada – Mt. Charleston

This Weekend Drive Pick takes us North West of the Vegas Strip to Mt. Charleston. You’ll want to squeeze this drive in before the snow hits, so pack up the car now and bring a jacket — it can get cold at the top! If you’re not in a hurry, be sure to stop into the Mt. Charleston Lodge, a favorite local eatery, for a tasty treat.

Mt. Charleston, Las Vegas - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Richie. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/UucLSB or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/O3iImu.

North Carolina – Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

Nicknamed “America’s Favorite Drive,” this 89-mile-stretch along the Blue Ridge Parkway (which in its entirety spans almost 500 miles!) provides breathtaking scenery and miles of solitude.  It’s a must-see and a Weekend Drive Pick you’ll never forget!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Ghost. View this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/VfYpAM or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/Vd3PkG.

Pennsylvania – Franklin Road

This Weekend Drive Pick features a short country road on the outskirts of Pittsburgh where real driving enthusiasts go to experience fun, twisty “S” curves and view beautiful farmland! With typically very little traffic on this stretch you’ll be able to roll down the windows, put the pedal to the metal (while still obeying the speed limit, of course!) and let the crisp fall air awaken your senses.

Franklin Rd, Pittsburgh - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Jmikesdude. View this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/RQQFEA or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/QVL67x.

Bay Area – Highway 9

From Boulder Creek to Saratoga, this Weekend Drive Pick cruises along Highway 9 in the Bay Area. There are viewing spots of Castle Rock State Park plus lots of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, just be careful around those “S” curves!

Highway 9, Bay Area - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App bbimmer shark. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/VkzFrj or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/QMco3e.

Do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? If you’re in the US or Canada submit it through the all new Ultimate Drive Facebook app. Otherwise, share it with us on FacebookTwitter or through The Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android you already know and love. We can’t wait to see your best roads!

Happy Halloween! The Best BMW Halloween Costumes from the Web

Halloween is almost here. In celebration of the holiday and our love for cars, we did some digging to come up with some of the best car costumes on the web. After all, if pet costumes are a regular theme, cars should be able to join in the fun as well!

First up is this M3; which automatically gets a winning vote for being in Halloween dress full time- right from the BMW factory. We give top marks to BMW for making an orange finish classy looking. This car is a Halloween BMW done right!

Next up on the list is this E30 M3, which the owner had to paint orange. We especially love the black headlight trim and grill treatment! It’s a great inspiration for decorating your own car for the 31st, or every day!

Up third it perhaps the most extreme treatment of the Halloween theme we have seen! This M3 is certainly the “loudest” matte black car we have ever seen. The details are done perfectly, and it definitely has a menacing look!

And last of all, we couldn’t ignore these great BMW pumpkins!

Since there is still time before Halloween, should you wind up decorating your own car please send us images at social@socialnav-inc.com! We will post the best ones on our Facebook page for all to see.

Happy Halloween!