Three days of festivities have been planned at Spartanburg where visitors will have the opportunity to see and drive the latest M cars.
BMW's 50th anniversary celebration of its high-performance M division in 2022 has been quite something, but as we enter the fourth quarter of the year, the festivities are drawing to a close. The German marque isn't done yet, though, and has planned three days of events in America for later this month, known as The M Anniversary Celebration.
Two of the brand's most contentious models, the new XM that was revealed recently and the leaked M2, will make a public appearance at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the brand just hit a major production milestone. The high-octane event includes driving events on a closed course and thrilling exhibits celebrating five decades of BMW M.
The action begins on Friday, October 14 with The Ultimate Driving Museum and BMW Zentrum. At the museum, ticket holders will be able to enjoy "The Power of M: Celebrating 50 Years" exhibit.
At this exhibit, fans can see over 25 vehicles from M's glittering history, a list that includes the 1972 3.0 CSL Batmobile, the 2012 M3 CRT, and the 2018 M8 GTE race car. Later at the BMW Zentrum, an event will be held to honor BMW's first Director of Motorsport and the creator of BMW M, Jochen Neerpasch. Unfortunately, Neerpasch himself is unable to attend. At this event, fans stand the chance of winning a set of Continental tires and driving experiences at the BMW Performance Center.
The next day, October 15, is when the festivities will peak at the BMW Performance Center. Visitors can get behind the wheel of the latest M cars with instruction from the center's professional drivers, and those who aren't as brave can buy a ticket to sit in the passenger seat and be taken around the track.
Various street and race cars will be on display, but most will be keen to check out the new XM and M2, the first time that US enthusiasts will be able to see and hear these vastly different M cars. Whereas the 2023 M2 replaces the compact and much-loved F87 M2, the XM is positioned as the brand's new halo M car with a V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain, but not everyone is convinced.
The weekend ends on October 16 with a Cars and Coffee show at the BMW CCA headquarters, with dozens of new and classic M cars on display and another chance to see both the M2 and XM. An exclusive drive on South Carolina's best backroads also form part of this day.
Tickets for the VIP Reception on the 14th cost $195, and this includes the chance to meet IMSA champion Bill Auberlen. For the driving event on the 15th, tickets are $135, while the afternoon events on this day will cost $35 on their own.