Reasons to Take European Delivery of Your New BMW – Part 3: The German Road Trip!

In our last blog post, we continued our European Delivery adventure with a tour of the BMW Museum and the BMW Factory, culminating with delivery of a new BMW! This final part of the story is a recap of the driving adventure before dropping off the BMW, which will be reunited with its owner at a dealer back in the USA.

Having been tossed the keys to a new BMW in the motherland, we were eager to go put our foot down and motor! We didn’t know much about driving in Germany, other than the country’s excellent road manners and drivers’ tendency to go VERY fast. Thankfully BMW takes away a lot of the stress, providing insurance for the trip and a wonderful in-car navigation system (if ordered on your car). So with the GPS programmed, we hit the Autobahn from Munich.

We had a few options for routes, starting with the Ultimate Drive App as a trusted resource.  Using the App, we found over 60 amazing trips short and long that were recommended by local drivers, including this scenic route starting right in Munich:

There was even this amazing roller-coaster of a drive if we had wanted to drive further towards the Alps:

BMW also provides some standard tours they’ve collected over the years. Since we don’t know Germany like the back of our hand and we wanted to make the most of the little time we had, we found BMW’s “Driving Adventures” program (http://bit.ly/bQQ9GP) to be a fantastic resource. With a selection of drives to suit any taste, you can sign up for a pre-planned tour. We decided to take the “Black Forest” tour through Schaffhausen and Baden Baden with a little twist…

After stopping by the breathtaking waterfalls in Schaffhausen, we decided to skip the rest day in Baden Baden to do what any serious would driver would do when presented with a new BMW in Germany: go burn laps at the Nurburgring! It was an entire day’s trip when including the drive to and from the track, but the laps around the 14 mile, visitor-friendly circuit made it the best day of our trip. The opportunity of a lifetime!

From there we rejoined our pre-planned route and wound up in the city of Wiesbaden, where we dropped the newest member of the family off for shipment back to the US. In the morning we hopped a plane back to the USA, and slept away the rigors of the trip while dreaming of the next one.

For anyone planning a European Delivery trip, the following materials are excellent resources:

BMW Welt Overview: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_bc0ddae6-5beb-4673-bdc2-ad79e3286198.arox?v=810c076d-5ace-4f92-abdf-407353dd2cd0

European Delivery Program Guide: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_b6496b61-a503-4572-aab6-b33693f336c7.arox?v=35d5ccae-ea56-485a-87b7-f3b8c185526c

European Delivery Quick Guide: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_3ad64cb0-6b8f-4c68-ba2e-d05826acf175.arox?v=ba96778e-cb4f-4e2d-b0c9-56c67f187077

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, August Edition

What’s better than a weekend drive? A weekend drive on the most fun, beautiful and scenic roads! To help you discover these hidden gems, each week we feature our favorite, user-submitted stretches on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page. Check out this month’s featured Weekend Drive Picks — there are some great Labor Day trip ideas here!

Southern California: Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw

If you’re in the San Diego area or planning a trip out to the West Coast, this route should be on your must-drive list! From Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw, this drive is packed with fantastic vistas. Just a short distance from the peak of Palomar Mountain a scenic overlook awaits, offering breathtaking views of the mountainside, and another overlook, nearer to Lake Henshaw, highlights the lush valleys and sparkling waters of the lake area. Beautiful!

Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw, California

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by DOMAPOI. Google Maps directions:  http://bit.ly/NkOfRJ.

Northern California: Big Sur

This breath-taking 60 mile stretch along the coast of Big Sur in Northern California offers dramatic ocean views, glimpses of towering redwoods and some fun stretches of twisty roads to keep you on your toes!

Big Sur, Northern California

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by starshley. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OMz6H3.

Colorado: Coal Creek Canyon

Just southwest of Boulder, this drive is only a short distance from the big city, but takes you past the hustle and bustle and into the mountains of central Colorado. From Coal Creek Canyon to the town of Golden, this route has a fun mix of straight-aways and twisty turns, passing by several of Colorado’s state parks and offering up fantastic views of canyons, wooded areas and mountain ranges.

Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Nelson5235. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OgnY1P.

North Carolina: Franklin to Highlands

In the mood for a quick road trip that’s not only fun but will also put your driving skills to the test? Then this short, but highly technical route in North Carolina — with 140+ twists in just under 20 miles — should get your heart racing! Plus, there are plenty of places along the way to stop and enjoy the scenery, including a gorgeous waterfall.

Franklin to Highlands, North Carolina

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Jpwiii. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OEu9O9.

Are you taking a special roadtrip this Labor Day or do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? Submit it through The Ultimate Drive app or share it with us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Reasons to Take European Delivery of Your New BMW – Part 2: BMW Museum and Factory

Part 2: The BMW Museum and Factory

In our last blog post (which can be found HERE) we kicked off our incredible European Delivery trip to BMW in Munich with a tour of BMW Welt. This time we are getting down to business by touring the BMW Factory, Museum, and picking up a new car!

Having spent our morning wandering the main reception hall of BMW Welt, we check in for our tour and are whisked across the street by a fabulous tour guide. Our first destination is the BMW Museum, which for us car nuts is a real highlight of the trip. The museum could be considered a whole day’s activity by itself, and many people spend that much time viewing its many exhibits. BMW has assembled an amazing array of street cars, racing cars, motorcycles, aviation items and interactive displays, all of which tell the story of the company over time.  The images below give a good overview of the multi-level museum and its treasures.

After an amazing few hours wandering the museum and gathering a real appreciation for what the company has accomplished through the years, we meet our guide for a trip through the BMW factory. The car nut within had us divided between love for the museum’s history and the factory’s technology. Unfortunately, images are not allowed in the plant, but we managed to come up with a few stock photos to show off what it is like:

Finally, the moment arrives for those who are there to pick up their new car. At the delivery center, you are given an educational walk-through of every feature on your BMW. It is an impressive presentation, and, despite the anxiety of almost getting your car, it is time well spent to learn features you may not have discovered otherwise. Then the moment arrives! You are united with your car, and given the keys. Time to get behind the wheel and drive!

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog- the German road trip!

4 Amazing American Racetracks You Can Drive Yourself

Have you ever hopped in your car and pretended you were driving in a big race at a famous circuit? Well, that dream can now come true… with the exception of actually racing the courses! Below is a list of roads which have hosted serious championship races in the past, as well as the present, that are now open to the public! So what are you waiting for? Fire up your engine and go for a drive! Which one will you choose first?

1. Road America Elkhart Lake, WI

While most people think of the purpose-built racing circuit when they hear the name Road America, the truth is, racing in the small town of Elkhart Lake, WI, began on public roads in the 1950’s, just down the street from the modern day race track. To preserve this history, the town has put forth a tremendous effort to maintain the original circuit’s roads and has even posted signs indicating the original racing course! Start planning now so you can squeeze in a race at the modern track and a scenic drive through the Wisconsin countryside!

Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

2. Watkins Glen International – Watkins Glen, NY

Much like Road America, New York’s Watkins Glen began by hosting races on public roads (with a course that crossed railroad tracks twice per lap!) before building a permanent race track. At 6.6 miles, it is longer than most and a breathtaking site, but there’s another perk of visiting this New York track — many of the roads leading to Watkins Glen are worthy of praise themselves!

Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY

3. Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit Pebble Beach, CA

The third cornerstone of the SCCA championship in the 1950’s was the Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit. This tight and twisty circuit was raced from 1950 until 1956, replaced soon after by the Laguna Seca circuit off nearby Highway 68. The track is essentially a 17 mile drive, through the forest, next to the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit, Pebble Beach, CA

4. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak in Colorado, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is unique on this list for two reasons: not only is the road still raced every July, but it is a one-way uphill course as opposed to the usual closed loop circuit. This 19 mile highway takes drivers to an altitude of over 14,000 feet, a spectacular drive offering amazing views and some twisty turns the whole way up and down the mountain. Situated just outside Colorado Springs, a bonus to this course is virtually every road or highway to the area is a great drive in itself.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Colorado Springs, CO

Have you ever driven down one of these historic racetracks or are you planning a trip with a few other race car enthusiasts? Fill us in on our Ultimate Drive App Facebook fan page – we want to know what kind of fun you’re getting into this summer!

The Real Faces Behind the All-New BMW 3 Series Test Drive Promotion

For more than a month now, BMW Financial Services has been doling out $300 lease/loan vouchers to customers all over the U.S. for doing a couple of very simple things: scheduling a test drive of the All-new 3 Series via The Ultimate Drive app, and then taking that test drive!  Easy, right?

Well, our customers are loving this 3 Series offer. In fact, some have even been sending us photos from the day of their test drive! We wanted to share some of these happy and excited faces with you:

So, what are you waiting for? Download The Ultimate Drive app, sign up for that test drive, and get that $300 voucher in your pocket! Questions?  Find out on Facebook or Twitter.

Ultimate Drive App 101: How to Find Great Roads

Time to get you a little more acquainted with BMW’s The Ultimate Drive app. Last week, we talked about the cash saving promo we have running where you can earn $300 off your BMW loan/lease when you schedule a test drive through the app. But there’s so much more to learn about this feature-packed (free!) mobile app for iPhone and Android. Specifically, this app tips you off to some of the most gorgeous, thrilling, twisty roads in the world, all entered into the app by other drivers. Today we’ll explain how to work the search feature…

Say you just became the proud owner of a new BMW and want to take it for a spin this weekend. Perhaps you recently moved to your area or maybe you just want to see what pleasure driving routes others are recommending not too far from home. Here’s what you do:

If you don’t already have The Ultimate Drive app for iPhone or Android, get it here.

STEP 1: Open the app and hit “Road Stretches” on the welcome screen:

BMW Ultimate Drive App Welcome Screen

STEP 2: You’ll see a map view. You can hit “Show Me” to get routes in your current location, or (say you’re currently on a business trip in another part of the country) you can also hit “Go To” to research from afar:

If you went with “Go To”, type in the city or zip code of the area you’d like to explore and hit “OK”:

STEP 3: You’ll get thousands of stretches to choose from, though you’ll only see up to 7 at a time so the screen doesn’t get too crowded. Hit “Next” to see more:

Ultimate Drive App - Next

Now, if you know the name of a specific route, there’s another way you can go about your search. Go to the screen in Step 2, and hit the icon in the top right corner:

BMW Ultimate Drive App - Searching Stretches

Here you can select “Find” and type in the title of the route you’re looking for. You can also check out some excellent trips we’ve put into BMW Favorites or add favorites of your own.

That’s it – you’re all equipped to search the greatest database for pleasure driving. Try those twisties and stay tuned for more how-tos on other great app features!

VIDEO: DESIR3 a BMW test drive and earn $300

Just a couple of weeks ago, we launched The Ultimate Drive app – version 3. The latest release of this free app gives you $300 off your first payment on a new BMW 3 Series…

Intrigued? Watch this video promo for all the details. The offer expires on June 30th, so better get on that!

Already got the app? Done the test drive? Comment on our Facebook page to tell us how it went!

 

A thank you to our customers.

We originally launched The Ultimate Drive app in August 2011 with the hope that everyone can experience the joy of driving that BMW customers have known for years. The success of that launch was overwhelming and we received many accolades from users all over the country.

With this latest version, we at BMW Financial Services want to be the ones saying “thank you” – specifically to our loyal customers. As an industry first, we want to reward the most passionate BMW drivers and fans through the very app that embodies this spirit, on a vehicle that is the very essence of the Ultimate Driving Machine – the 2012 3 Series.

The 3 Series has always been “the luxury sports sedan” that consistently sets the benchmark for performance, styling, and design. While the bar is set so high, we believe the 2012 3 Series surpasses the high standards we’ve set for ourselves.

It’s only been a day since we announced the promotion, and we’ve already seen excitement building as BMW Financial Services customers all across the country continue to walk away from their BMW 3 Series test drive with a $300 voucher in hand. So please download The Ultimate Drive app, and if you are lucky to be a BMW driver (and BMW Financial Services customer) please take this offer as our sincere “thank you” for being a fan of  The Ultimate Driving Machine.

– Pawan Murthy, General Manager, Online Business, BMW Financial Services

The Ultimate Drive App Version 3 Launches with Exclusive Features for BMW Financial Services Customers

In celebration of the new BMW 3 Series, we’ve launched The Ultimate Drive app version 3 for iPhone and Android today. Not only does The Ultimate Drive app lead you to the greatest roads around the world but it can now also lead you to a BMW Center anywhere in the U.S. for a test drive of the impressive, all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series. As a special reward from BMW Financial Services NA, all current BMW Financial Services customers who schedule a test drive through the app get a $300 credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new 2012 3 Series (U.S. customers only).

Here’s how the new test drive feature works:

Step 1: Smartphone owners download or upgrade to the new version of The Ultimate Drive app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android.

Step 2: Schedule a test drive by email or phone, from within the app. If you’re a BMW Financial Services customer, log into your account. The app first suggests your current BMW Center, if available, but you can select others from a map.

Step 3: After the test confirm which BMW Center you visited.

If you’re an existing BMW Financial Services customer in the U.S., the app will unlock a unique $300 “Mobile Voucher” that you can redeem upon financing a 2012 BMW 3 Series, good through June 30, 2012.

Here’s what the head of online business for BMW Financial Services, Pawan Murthy, had to say about the latest app release:

“What is exciting is the immediacy of it all. You don’t need to wait for a printed coupon to be mailed to you nor do you have to call a toll-free number. We want to reward our customers for their loyalty through the one tool that is always with them: their phone.”

The Ultimate Drive app was jointly developed by BMW Financial Services and San Francisco based firm, SocialNav, Inc. Have you tried it yet?  Comment to let us know what you think!