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Long BMW 550i test drive

Every year BMW of North America supports the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by providing a fleets of cars to be driven by the public. For every mile driven, BMW donates $1 to the foundation--no limit. This year they have two fleets of cars and both just recently started from Charlotte NC and is traveling across the entire US. More information is available regarding the progress and how to participate.

BMW needs to move these cars (about 18 per fleet) from dealership to dealership. They call on BMW CCA members to help drive the cars. We all drive in a very loose convoy and in no particular order as long as you don't go in front of the lead car or fall behind the trailing RV. All the cars are silver with special pink ribbon markings. Once at the destination they haul everyone back on a bus to their origin.

I did this last year and drove an X3 from Raleigh to Virginia Beach for a great trip. This year it was just down to Fayetteville (the Va trip was last weekend and I was not in town). I got there early enough to pick my car this time--a new 550i! This is such a sweet car. I've never driven a car with that much horsepower (360hp). The car accelerates effortlessly past 100mph. Transmission is super slick (6-speed automatic) and there is a lot of engine braking which is really nice for an automatic in stop and go traffic. iDrive drove me up the wall though. This is BMW's idea of a computer interface to communications, entertainment, climate control, navigation and other stuff. It was just way too complicated to do something as simple as displaying the artist and song being played (all of these have Sirius installed). It took me about three minutes to figure out how to adjust the bass setting--grrrrr! That whole iDrive thing needs to be completely re-engineered from scratch. Wonderful seats. Mine had the heads up display too which was pretty slick. It was odd on this rainy trip to see my speed hovering over the hood perfectly clear. :)

Nice end to a tiresome day at work. :)


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
Very cool that you did this, not only for the charity aspect which is cool, but for the experience. While I could never afford (nor would I purchase if I could afford) a 550i, there is something magical about the way art and technology are married. BMW certainly has that down. I've never been much of a window shopper, though... I've never wanted to see and experience things I can't have. Nice to have friends through whom I can live vicariously, though... ;)

Glad you had a good time. I'm jealous... :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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