BMW Factory Delivery at the Spartanburg Performance Center: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d

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Next came BMW’s Other Roads off-road course.  Although I took the one-day M Driving School at the Performance Center several years ago, we didn’t take the M3s off road and this part was entirely new to me.

BMW has built a challenging course that includes steep inclines and almost two feet of standing water.  Our off-road instructor, Arnie, guided us through every step.  We were the last car so we got to watch all of the others ahead of us ascending rocky terrain with what looked like only one wheel (ok, maybe it was two) on the ground and plunge into a stream that was almost two feet deep.

Make sure to view the Other Roads Virtual Tour to See Our Experience

Once we made it through the course, it was time to regroup and parade over to the Zentrum to see how our X5 was built.  Following our instructor, we parked our brand new X5 on the sidewalk right alongside the factory, next to the other new cars that were just delivered.

The BMW Zentrum serves as the factory’s visitor’s center and a starting point for factory tours.  It has exhibits that showcase the company’s history in automobiles, aircraft, and motorcycles and, if you don’t have time for the full factory tour, you can view a virtual factory tour that shows the manufacturing process from the car’s perspective.

The Spartanburg factory is BMW’s only plant in the United States.  It opened in 1994 and is currently the sole production site of the automaker’s X3 and X6 vehicles.  It also manufactures the X5 line.  (We’ll take an in-depth look at how the X5 was produced in an upcoming feature.)

After spending roughly two hours seeing the robots in action building X5s, and taking some photos of the X5 in front of the Zentrum, it was time to hit the road.  In just a few minutes, we were on a South Carolina highway heading in a south-easterly direction.

(Photos: Christian Stampfer)

Click here to continue to Page 4Virtual Tours: Slalom, Braking, M5 Hotlaps, Other Roads

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