The name BMW is often associated with its driver-focused lineup of vehicles. However, the Bavarian-based company is also well known for its driver training program that they organize a couple of times a year.
Closer to home, BMW Malaysia regularly organizes its BMW Driver Training program at the Sepang Circuit.
BMW’s annual Driver Training program aims to develop better drivers on the road. Their course structure is designed in a way that it covers all the basis, from correct seating position to correct steering wheel holding method.
Basics aside, we truly appreciate what BMW has done for its Driver Training program, as we feel that the driving courses offered by the boys from Bavaria allows the driver to properly understand and control their vehicle, be it in a regular or emergency situation.
Several specially-designed exercises await those who sign up for the one-day long BMW Driver Training program, including Brake Steer Avoid, Straight Line Hard Braking, Emergency Lane Change plus understanding oversteer and understeer in a vehicle.
Personally, the one exercise I was looking forward to was the oversteer exercise, where participants had to switch DSC off and drive on a specially-prepared section of the Sepang Circuit car park.
We started off with an understeer exercise, which allowed us to properly understand how understeering happens and how to correct it. After the understeering exercise, the oversteer exercise was a different ballgame altogether. While it was easy to correct an understeering vehicle by reducing throttle input, correcting an oversteering vehicle certainly took more finesse.
With that said, once DSC was switched back on, the BMW 420i demo cars used for the exercises avoided both understeer and oversteer situations with no fuss. Brakes were applied on the wheels that were slipping and power to the engine was cut, all done within mili-seconds.
The goal of this exercise is to highlight the importance of having electronic stability control in a vehicle. More often than not, avoidable accidents occur because one of the vehicles involved is not fitted with stability control. While it is fun to have the rear end sliding around for experienced drivers, a beginner may panic and end up crashing.
In a nutshell, the BMW Driver Training program is an excellent platform for both novice and advanced drivers seeking to improve their driving skills. After all, once they are done with the Advanced level, drivers can opt for the Intensive level, which we will be covering in the near future.