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The Ultimate Prom Machine
Rich Loney, Editor NOC BMWCCA Pilot Newsletter
Spring! It's an amazingly beautiful time of year. The foliage is in full bloom, the temps are rising and creatures of all varieties make my backyard resemble a Disney movie. However, having a teenage son who's a senior in high school has enlightened me to the fact that although the rebirth of nature may be magical, it's by no means the most important thing that happens this time of year. Prom, that's where it's at. More specifically, SENIOR PROM. It starts with a "prom-posal", the now standard over-the-top way to invite your date to the dance (search Youtube). Then comes prom photos, prom pre-parties, $1000 prom dresses, prom tuxes, prom after-parties, prom king, prom queen, prom flowers, prom drom, PROM!
Another essential element of prom is the chariot you arrive in. Akron is a town where you might just see LeBron James cruising in his Bentley Continental GT, so heaven forbid you and your prom date be seen motoring about in a rusty old Ford. Being a car guy, this is one aspect of prom I can respect. The marquee from Munich appears to be the sled of choice for prom 2013. My son Ryan lined up his aunt's Sapphire Black e92 BMW 328i convertible months ago. Another buddy has commandeered his dad's classic e36/7 Z3. Having a 2012 e82 135i parked in my garage, I knew it was only a matter of time before one of my son's friends would come calling in an attempt to relieve me of my keys for "the big dance." And so it goes. One Friday, a few weeks back, I arrived home from work to find my two sons and one of their good friends playing basketball in the driveway. I now know this was stage 1 of the set-up.
To protect his identity, we'll just call my son's buddy Brian. After they finished their game Brian rolls into the house, takes a seat at the kitchen table where my wife and I are chatting, and lays his chips on the table. "Mr. Loney, I'd like to ask to borrow your BMW for prom." Not only is the kid a fan of the Bayerische Motorenwerke marquee, but his date asked him to point out that the jet black paint on the 1'er would match her dress perfectly. Great sales pitch! Being that my Bimmer has the M-Sport package with a 6-speed manual it was essential that Brian's skills at rowing through the gears be evaluated. Riding shotgun, I let him drive the car through our neighborhood. His ability to competently operate the clutch and gearbox were solid and he responsibly managed the N55 twin scroll straight six turbo with its 300 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque. Brian passed the driving portion of the test so I've decided that if he promises to drive responsibly the Bimmer can be his for Prom. However, since prom is a school thing, there's one last challenge. Brain must also pass a final written exam that will access the extent of his BMW brand knowledge. If he's smart enough to use the Northern Ohio BMW CCA website as a study guide he may just find all the answers he needs.
NOCBMWCCA Welcomes New President
By Brian Nawrocki
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Nawrocki and as of February 10, 2013, I have the honor of being the third President of the Northern Ohio Chapter BMWCCA. I am a lifelong car guy and enjoy all makes and models, especially rare and unique automobiles. Many of you know me through Club Racing; I hope to see you all at the track again this summer.
I look forward to serving the BMW community in my best capacity. Don't look for things to change too much. We are still going to be hosting exciting HPDE's and Club Races at northern Ohio's premier tracks. There will be beer and wine tours aplenty, special activities such as car shows and destination events and, of course, the same great people at all the events.
In April we are hosting a HPDE and Club Race School at Mid-Ohio. We managed to procure Mid-Ohio again in May for the Memorial Day HPDE and Club Race. We would love to have you and your families out for fun at either event! I would like to begin my tenure by reminding everyone that our board meetings are open to all club members and are held quarterly. Feel free to join us. I would also like to remind all the chapter members of a few of the benefits of our club memberships:
- New car and CPO rebates based on membership longevity;
- Discounts at BMW parts counters across the nation;
- Access to all areas of the growing online community at BMWCCA.org;
- Discounts to ///M performance schools;
- Discounts and privileges at hotels and destinations across the country.
I hope everybody is as ready as I am for warm weather and the smell of burning rubber. I look forward to leading the club through 2013 and beyond. Feel free to contact me anytime by clicking the CONTACT THE CHAPTER link under CHAPTER INFO on this site.
Amped Up; Tesla Model S Test Drive
Rich Loney, Pilot Editor
Have you seen one yet? Spotting a Tesla Model S in northeast Ohio is a rare occurrence. Yet there one was, a stunning black over black Tesla Model S, sitting in the parking lot at my studio. The Franz von Holzhausen design (who's portfolio includes the Mazda Kabura concept car, the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, Chevy SS, and the "Concept One" New Beetle) has true presence. I was immediately struck by its physically large mass, something unexpected in an all-electric vehicle. This particular Tesla is owned by Tom Meadows, an entrepreneur friend of mine, who ordered the car four years ago and finally took delivery in December 2012. The one thing which Tom, a former 911 twin-turbo owner, appreciates more then a fine car is high technology. This being the case, he definitely found the perfect car. Tom invited me into the fully-appointed, hand-stitched leather cabin for an in-depth operations tutorial.
There are only two buttons on the entire dashboard; one operates the hazards, and the other pops open the glove box. All other functions are manipulated through a large touch screen interface (about the size of two stacked iPads) in the center of the dash. Everything from three adjustable ride heights to power performance levels can be manually set. There's even a "creep" function, which was a new addition in a recent software update. Tom explained that a Tesla, by its nature, does not accelerate until the activation (gas) pedal is pressed. When stopped at a red light the car simply sits silent and motionless even when lifting your foot off the brake. Owners felt that the driving experience would be improved if, when lifting your foot off the brake, the car would "creep" slowly forward like an internal combustion engine does at idle. The technology in this car is space-shuttle amazing!
After my orientation, Tom asked, "Ready to take it for a drive?" Hell yes! I strapped into the driver's seat and the full-color digital display in front of the steering wheel transitioned into a speedometer (cool). I placed my foot on the brake and looked and began looking for the start button. I looked at Tom who informed me that although the car was completely silent we were "on" and ready to roll. I have to admit, it's a bit unnerving not hearing the rumble and blurb of an engine that cues you into the fact the car is running.
The on ramp to Route 8 North is 50 feet from my parking lot. It has a long ramp that sweeps gently to the left as you merge onto the freeway. The perfect opportunity to punch the accelerator to see what this thing's got. Wow! What the 85-kWh "Performance" optioned Model S has is 416 horsepower and 443 foot pounds of IMMEDIATE torque. And, I mean—immediate! There's no transmission like in a conventional car, so all the power this e-machine has to offer is ready to do your bidding at a moment's notice. It actually doesn't accelerate as much as it thrusts you forward, NASA rocket-launch style. How fast is it? Search YouTube for "Tesla Model V vs BMW M5 drag race". Ezra Dyer of Automobile Magazine pits their "2013 Automobile of the Year" against one of the finest from the Bimmer fleet. The results are surprising.
So, what's my impression of the Tesla Model S? It's truly fascinating! I'm astounded that a vehicle with 75% fewer moving parts then an internal combustion engine can toss out supercar acceleration so effortlessly. Would I trade my BMW 135i for an all-electric vehicle? No. The world may be headed in the direction of the Tesla Lithium-ion highway but I'm not ready to jump aboard just yet. Each morning, before I wrap my hand around the manual shift lever in my 1-er, I roll the driver's window all the way down. I press the start button and hear the sweet, addictive blurb and rumble from the exhaust as the car comes to life and know I'm embarking on yet another ultimate driving experience.
|Center mounted control pod. There's only two physical
"buttons" on the dashboard located to the left and right of touchscreen.
Tom Meadows and his Tesla Model S