The folks at BMW of Manhattan recently held a private track day at historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and we were there to experience it first-hand. We got a chance to run through BMW’s 6 and 7 Series vehicles in varying trims and styles, which included several M cars like the M5 and M6 Gran Coupe as well. In our opinion, this was the ultimate driving experience from beginning to end. So what’s that consist of? Here you go:
There are two teams that help make this day happen. One’s from the BMW side that keeps an eye on the vehicles and can answer just about any car-specific question you throw at them while there’s another team from the Skip Barber-owned track that ensure you’re doing all the right things behind the track. Pros guide beginners through optimal racing lines, highlighting the apex and helping folks understand the importance of timing and braking. This upfront 101 really helps everyone have the proper mindset before heading onto the course with both efficiency and safety as top priorities.
As the folks invited to this event were prospective buyers (ourselves included), this really is the best way to test drive these vehicles and see which cars deliver your definition of comfort and performance. A 640i performs way differently than a 650xi and even a 760Li but each brings something unique to the table that really made the drives enjoyable. First, we got a chance to drive the M cars which were dedicated to the autocross course. This is where you can really put the cars through their paces on a shorter, more technical course. The lineup consisted of an M5, M6 Convertible, M6 Gran Coupe as well as an M235i. As expected, each handled differently but the laps really showcased the M line’s power and agility. The M6 Gran Coupe was our favorite M vehicle going into this event and it still holds that crown. Delays in the turbos kicking in were virtually non existent while the Competition Package delivered some much-welcomed fine tuning to take these beauties to the next level. Meanwhile, the M235i packs a punch and is a joy to drive. It really delivered on all fronts which just reaffirms all the talk around it on the forums.
The circuit track brought out the 6 and 7 series cars led by two M6 Convertible pace cars driven by professional drivers. There were four groups, each with 3 or 4 cars so two groups would be waiting / getting prepped while two others were on the track for two laps. The great part about this was that the pace cars would adjust their speeds based on how tight the pack was so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep up and really push the envelope. In our opinion, the 650i and 650xi handled really well on the circuit track. The 760Li was a joy to drive as well as it delivered unparalleled comfort blended with almost as many horses as the M6 pace cars we were tailing.
Sure, being behind the wheel is always the best seat in the house but let me tell you that sitting passenger while pro drivers whipped the M lineup of cars effortlessly around the circuit track takes the cake. No pace car, nobody chiming in via radio telling you to slow down or pick up the pace because these guys were damn near perfect. Every. Single. Time.
And that’s how we’d sum up this day – perfect. Being an M owner myself, getting the opportunity to test drive the latest generation of ultimate driving machines in a closed environment reaffirmed my love for the BMW brand and its longstanding history.