In 1977 BMW became the first carmaker to offer drivers the chance to hone their skills at the wheel – and it has continued to do so ever since. This year, what began as a “driving school” has been repackaged under the “BMW Driving Experience” and “MINI Driving Experience” banners to serve up driving experiences of a very special variety.
Today, the range of training courses extends beyond the original remit of driving safety training. From drifting on ice and snow and the pursuit of the ideal line on the race track all the way to tours through picturesque landscapes – the broad spread of brand-specific BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience courses offer the type of content and car to suit novices and advanced drivers alike.
The basic idea behind the courses has remained the same for the last 30-plus years: learning how to work effectively with the car in a wide range of – sometimes critical – driving situations will allow participants to go about their daily driving safely and securely. Indeed, BMW Driving Experience or MINI Driving Experience courses prepare drivers to experience their cars in a totally new way.
The training courses and tours allow participants to focus one hundred per cent on the driving experience at all times. That’s the mission statement of BMW M GmbH, which oversees the BMW Driving Experience and MINI Driving Experience. Meals, accommodation and service are always included in the price of the events, as applicable, as well as use of the cars, of course.
For courses requiring an overnight stay, the cost of a single room with full board is covered by the price of the package, as are any supplementary activities. Needless to say, passenger accident insurance is also included. All the BMW and MINI Driving Experience training courses and tours take place in small groups and under the watchful eye of specially trained BMW and MINI instructors, which helps to maximise both the progress the participants make and the enjoyment they have behind the wheel.
The BMW Driving Experience is split into sections: the BMW Training Experience, BMW Tour Experience and BMW Customized Experience. As if the BMW Training Experience driving safety and race track training courses were not enough, the one-day and multi-day tours available as part of the BMW Tour Experience provide participants with even more routes to serious pleasure at the wheel. The BMW Customized Experience, meanwhile, offers incentives designed to reflect the participants’ vision of their driving experience and meet their wishes. Plus, the one-to-one programme available through the Personal Coaching option promises to help individuals achieve the targets they have set themselves for their course.
In 2003, the BMW Group began offering a new group of customers the chance to make use of its safety training expertise – with the MINI Driver Training programme. This gave fans of the MINI brand the opportunity to improve their personal driving techniques and to enhance their safe driving awareness under professional instruction. Since 2011, these courses are now being offered under the umbrella of the MINI Driving Experience.
The MINI Driving Experience programme caters to a huge variety of target groups and requirements. While MINI Training Experience provides driver safety training (MINI Safety Training) and race track training (MINI JCW Experience), MINI Tour Experience focuses on special and memorable driving experiences in the form of Day Tours and Multiday Tours.
The third and final module in the MINI Driving Experience portfolio is MINI Customized Experience, which offers individually tailored events (Incentives) or Personal Coaching, in which any type of MINI Driving Experience training can be selected and tailored to personal needs and requirements.
Obviously, true to the spirit of MINI and the whole MINI Driving Experience philosophy (“More Safety. More Fun.”), the accent is also on driving fun. In all the training courses and tours, the experienced MINI instructors show the participants how to get the most out of the MINI John Cooper Works not only in terms of safety, but also with regard to performance and driving excitement. Currently all the courses on offer are being conducted with this model. Since the groups are small (maximum 10 participants per group), the coaching is personal, which is important for fast and successful learning.