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Old 19th November 2007, 01:48   #1
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Thumbs up BMW Event at Amby Valley - Nov 07

Hey guys, thought I would share my experience at the BMW event held at Aamby Valley. It was held for about a week, give or take, with each group of participants spending one night and day there.

Guests arrive in the evening for a formal dinner reception by the lakeside. I walked-in to the event to the sight of a white beast with it's angel eyes turned on, and against the dark of the night, that just set the tone perfectly for the evening! (White beast = E92 M3).

Drinks, snacks, dinner...polite conversation all around. Very well organised and very classy. The BMW India crew were there as well as some German driving instructors and various Indian dealer representatives as well. They even had an F1 simulator / video game with half a mock-up F1 chassis to sit in and race around Monza. Of course all the on-screen / in-game cars were F1 BMWs!

Retired for the night to our rooms and re-assembled the next morning for breakfast at 8 a.m. Had to sign the mandatory "release" that these events would require. After breakfast there was a presentation on various elements of BMW and their vehicles, with a couple of short talks. Then the guests were split into three groups for the remainder of the day. All three groups had the same activities planned, but obviously in differing order.





My group started off the day with the driver training session where each driver was given a 320i to drive. The cars were taken-out on to the airstrip at Aamby Valley where the actual driving took place. First they made us drive through a slalom to get a feel of the car's handling. Next we had to drive the cars down the airstrip at speeds of between 50 Km/h - 80 Km/h and then perform an emergency braking maneuvre between two sets of cones to demonstrate the car's stability and ABS efficiency under hard braking. This not only showed-off the cars ability, but also served to demonstrate how increasing speed makes braking distances longer. It also showed that the car could easily be steered out of harm's way while braking hard, thanks to the ABS and DSC. Each car had a walkie-talkie in it, so that the instructors could communicate with you while you were driving your car and tell you how you were faring.











Once the brake exercise was done, we were switched to a bunch of 5 Series cars for the next exercise (they had a 523i, 525i, 530i and 525d). That exercise was a competitive slalom run with a very tight 180 degree turn at the far end and then you went back through the slalom and had to stop your car at the end within a given area. The person with the fastest time was promised something special. That exercise again highlighted how even a large sedan like the 5 Series can handle in a nimble fashion. It was good fun too. Once again walkie-talkies in the cars so that the instructors could communicate with you.

Then we had a break with snacks and drinks after which we were taken on the X drive sector. This exercise had a bunch of X3s (2.5si) and X5s (3.0d) which were taken on a really cool off-road trek. We got to drive both cars on paths that very few SUVs will ever see in their lifetime! Once again the instructors explained exactly what to do over the in-car walkie- talkies, so it really made light work of some pretty tricky tasks. The path had grass as high as the cars' bonnets and we went down some slopes that were easily 35 degrees or more. Here the car's hill descent system was showed to best effect where you just press a button and let go of the brake and the accelerator and the car will crawl down the slope on its own at a speed of 8 Km/h. Good stuff! They even took us through some large puddles and muddy tracks. Best of all was when they made us drive down some quite large "steps". The path was not a road at all, but more like some rocky steps with 18-20 inch drop-offs. Here the cars actually went two diagonally-opposite wheels in the air, because the drop was so steep. This was the only way to tackle this situation because there was no way even an SUV could take these drops with both front-wheels at the same time, so it was down in a side-to-side, one-wheel-at-a-time, see-saw fashion. This really showed the off-road capabilities of both X models and I'm sure all the drivers were MOST impressed by these cars. Then it was time for another break for lunch.













After lunch we went on what they called the scenic drive. This was essentially a 10 car convoy that drove from Aamby Valley down to Bushy dam in Lonavala and back up to Aamby Valley. They had an instructor with a 3 series pace car in the front and an instructor with a 3 series tail car at the rear. The eight cars in-between were various different 3 series', a couple of 5s, a 650i, a 750i and an X3. Eight stops were made on the entire 90 minute drive so that each driver got a chance to drive each car. There was nothing spectacular about this event, except that you got to try almost the entire range of vehicles for a short while, on the great twisty roads that lead to and from Aamby Valley, which was nice. The entire drive was very stress-free since you were being warned of on-coming people, motorists, animals and obstructions by the pace cars' drivers on the walkie-talkies!

Once we got back to Aamby Valley there were yet more snacks and refreshments, followed by the wrap-up presentation. Here they thanked everyone for participating and announced the three fastest slalom times for the day. Third and second place got a 1/10th scale model BMW. The winner was treated to a high-speed passenger ride in the Z4M by one of BMW's test drivers. He started off with a full-blown launch that had the Z4M screaming to get off the line and putting down two long lines of rubber on the ground. Then he went onto a wet skid pad where they did several opposite-lock runs around a circle. Then a couple of donuts and a quick run on to the airstrip where a high speed pass was made both ways and then it was all over!

All-told it was a great day and really showed-off most of the BMW range (over 40 cars in all) and gave the participants a good feel for each of the cars. The entire event was brilliantly organised and superbly executed. BMW are clearly demonstrating their committment to India with these events. The food and drinks were excellent and never stopped. The driving experiences were very well thought-out and meticulously planned, especially the off-road X drive experience, where they really did their homework to take the cars to some really OFF ROAD situations. The event management was great, the people really friendly, and all-in-all it just left me feeling that BMW was really going the extra mile to impress potential (and repeat) customers and keep them "in the family".

OK, so that's that, I hope this gives everyone a feel of what the event was all about. Some more pics follow...

650i convertible








Last edited by kbk_75 : 19th November 2007 at 01:55.
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Old 19th November 2007, 01:49   #2
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E92 M3 Coupe























Z4M Coupe











...and lastly, while there were lots of nice customer cars at the event, one truly stood out, the beautiful LP640 Murcielago!











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Old 19th November 2007, 01:59   #3
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Reserving this post for future uploads of video taken at the event!
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Old 19th November 2007, 02:43   #4
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Nice pictures kbk, thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 19th November 2007, 02:49   #5
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Thanks for the coverage. Hmmm... great fun. What else can you say? Sighhh...
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Old 19th November 2007, 04:37   #6
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Thanks for the awesome coverage kbk_75.
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Old 19th November 2007, 05:32   #7
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Looks like BMW has taken India quite seriously this time.
As Borat would say: "Great success!!!"
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Old 19th November 2007, 07:52   #8
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Nice report kbk,

Believe it or not, those were the first "real" pictures on the new M3 i have seen!
Weren't you a little dissapointed since the M3 (or M5 for that matter) wasnt involved in the event much ?

Heres a similar thread for a Porsche event :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/super-...by-valley.html

cya
R
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Old 19th November 2007, 08:01   #9
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when are they launching the new M3 ? Any price approximates ?
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Old 19th November 2007, 08:23   #10
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The E92 M3 is going to be launched at the Delhi Auto Show in Jan 08, and deliveries are expected to begin in Feb. It's around 75 lakhs ex-showroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Nice report kbk,

Believe it or not, those were the first "real" pictures on the new M3 i have seen!
Weren't you a little dissapointed since the M3 (or M5 for that matter) wasnt involved in the event much ?
Yes, it's true, the M5 and M6 were conspicuous by their absence, but the M3 was involved (in a very small, hush-hush way), I just didn't write about it!

Last edited by aah78 : 20th November 2007 at 01:48. Reason: posts merged
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Old 19th November 2007, 10:19   #11
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Seems like a great event, when is the next one planned?
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Old 19th November 2007, 10:42   #12
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I think they're planning to have them once a year, so I'm guessing the next one will be some time late next year!
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Old 19th November 2007, 16:25   #13
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i wonder if the owner of the lp640 would be interested in buying an M3 as well,is this lp640 from pune or is it owned by somebody in mumbai?

BTW awesome pics and great coverage
the M3 looks very impressive

Last edited by AMATMO : 19th November 2007 at 16:26.
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Old 19th November 2007, 17:35   #14
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Hey - I was at the Aamby Valley for IBM conference exactly same time as BMW was going on. Didn't know it was such an interesting event!!! Kudos to you and BMW
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Old 19th November 2007, 17:41   #15
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Lambo is Pune based. I can't imagine someone who owns Lamborghinis wanting an M3. Maybe an M5 or M6, but not an M3. Just my guess!
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