Welcome to the BMW Performance Center.
20 years ago, BMW opened the doors to its Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The building is positioned near BMW's SUV plant and features a 2.3-mile race track that was recently repaved. In preparation for the track repaving, BMW has reminisced about all of the tire-squealing laps that had been laid down over the past 20 years.
Between the Performance Center's educational teen driving schools and advanced M Schools, BMW estimates over 2,700 cars have been driven on the track, going through 50,000 tires in the process. BMW was so successful with its East Coast Performance center, it decided to build a second one on the West Coast in Palm Springs, California.
The BMW East Coast Performance Center is a 137-acre facility capable of hosting schools, corporate, and private events with up to 600 people. Attendees of the East and West Coast Performance Centers can hone their driving skills through a variety of one-day and two-day programs. CarBuzz has had the chance to experience the Performance Center first hand and we can vouch for the improvement you'll see in your driving.
The Teen School is geared towards younger drivers and begins with classroom sessions, where BMW will teach them the basics of performance driving including where to look, how to hold the steering wheel, and the best way to sit. Students then get practical experience learning car control during acceleration, turning and braking on a skidpad, emergency lane changing, and obstacle avoidance exercises.
More experienced drivers can attend the Driver's School, which teaches car control followed by a timed lap session. On the two-day course, the Driver's School also includes off-road sessions in BMW's X vehicles. If you already have the basic skills mastered, the M School helps drivers hone their advances skills such as hitting apexes, braking techniques, and drifting.
The occasion is as fitting as any to remind us that, while enthusiasts love to modify their cars to go faster, a "driver mod" is the ultimate way to go faster in any car.