Skip to main content

A Challenge To BMW !

After two extremely trying encounters with the British Airports Authority, which saw me compete for The Great Healthrow Terminal Marathon and British Airways who told me on arrival at Munich that my only checked-in baggage with all its toiletries and clothes had been misplaced, I stepped out into the concourse into the bright sunshine.

My troubles seemed to melt away as my eyes fell upon the BMW 7 series, extended, waiting to ferry, lo and behold, me to the Bavarian countryside. I strapped myself into the front passenger’s seat and began admiring the console. Having sat in aircraft cockpits, the experience was not wholly new. The young driver, a half Greek, half-German student studying medicine in Munich, was my guide and host for the next hour and a half.

The BMW 7 series is no ordinary car, but you possibly know that. I learnt quickly that I could hit the rotary dial located where the gear shift usually is, call up the menu on the screen placed on the dashboard and, among other things, fiddle with the suspension settings. “Will it be soft or sporty ?” asked the young driver. I chose soft and tweaked the electric switches to become even more comfortable.

No Limits Here

Autobahns don’t have speed limits right, I asked ? No, he said. I can go faster but we usually don’t. I looked like I rode autobahns for a living. I mean, we can go fast, but I don’t know if you would be okay, he said, adding insult to injury. Go ahead, I waved my hands. At which point, he dabbed the accelerator I think. I say I think because I didn't feel anything, but the speedometer leapt from 140 kmph to over 210 kmph.

I don’t know if it was the G-Forces or the fact that we were suddenly rocketing ahead of the seemingly crawling traffic but my heart skipped a beat. The young man seemed to have sensed some tremors on the passenger seat so he slowed down, to a sedate 160 kmph. I pretended to look at the GPS reader very carefully. "Aren't we in the same direction as Salzburg," I asked.

The highway was packed with trailers, heading towards Munich. Viktor, the driver, pointed out that the trailers were mostly Italians wanting to have a go at the Oktoberfest, presently on in full gusto in the city. Much as I wanted to, I never did make it there. Though I did see the lights of the fest from a distance in a tall building in Munich.

The Ultimate Suspension Challenge

While autobahns don’t have speed limits, recognize that you can rarely go over 180 kmph, such are traffic conditions at least on the arterial highways. The inner roads have speed limits. While the 7 Series comes with a host of other features, best left to automotive journalists to describe, I think the part I liked best was the suspension.

In fact, the Indian in me already wants to throw a challenge to BMW engineers. First, for the Indian versions (not 7 series), they should add a option called Bombay Roads, in addition to soft, sport etc. And promise that this will be the ultimate spine protector anywhere in the world. Think about it, its the automobile engineering challenge after, maybe, cars that run on water ! And I guarantee people will line up outside the dealerships.

Comments

rakesh kay said…
well..it depends on where you're driving..there are indeed stretches where you could go "beyond"!..but most of the time its limited to an average of 120..as for the magic suspension, Bose has already developed something similar (see:http://www.bose.com/controller?event=VIEW_STATIC_PAGE_EVENT&url=/learning/project_sound/suspension_solution.jsp&ck=0)
I,Me and Myself said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajesh said…
Nice post on BMW. One can feel the car through the post.
Goods Bookmarks

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Aamir Khan Swing For Narmada ?

He is not the first celebrity to do so. But he’s turned out to be the most radical, activist Bollywood filmstar by far, all in day's time..at least as far as my memory serves me.

The reasons why he would back the Narmada Bachao Aandolan
could be several. Ranging from the fact that a cousin associated with the movement influenced him to the fact that he was in and out of the Kutch for six months whilst the shooting of Lagaan.

Lets assume all that contributed significantly. Still, why join the protestors in the manner he did ? Why become a face for the movement ? Knowing well there could be consequences that may not be the most desirable.

Dammed If You Do..

To his credit, he did not buckle to the mob frenzy that followed his signing up a few days ago. Instead, he calmly called the attention of all and sundry and asked if these were really the politicians and political parties they wanted to be led by ? He even accused the political parties of trying to bully him.

There are those who de…

Jan Lokpal Bill Movement: Lessons For India's Middle & Ruling Classes

`Supercop' Kiran Bedi learnt the hard way (or so we hope) how not to hold fort when she resorted to somewhat unusual theatrics to drive home a point about elected representatives. She was on stage as Gandhian Anna Hazare fasted to get the Indian Government to agree to pass the Jan LokPal Bill, a strong anti-corruption bill. His fast ended on 28 August 2011, 12 days after it started.

The fast (and the strategy thereof) has attracted kudos and criticism alike. The critics call the fast and the accompanying protests blackmail. The supporters say politicians are not known to respond to the usual greet, meet and review process. As they have not in the past. Moreover, the country has lived with unprecedented levels of corruption for decades and across all walks of life. And cannot tolerate it any longer. Extreme conditions call for extreme responses. Both sides however agree that the issue of corruption in public life must be addressed, with some urgency.

I see it a little differently.…

The Zone

I was watching Indian captain MS Dhoni's eyes when he hit the sixer that catapulted India to victory at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on Saturday night. Only someone with numbing focus and meditative concentration, oblivious to the utter mayhem and cacophony all around, can play a shot like that. It was the definitive, you-guys-can-take-this stroke from a cricketer wanting to leave a permanent stamp on the game.

To be fair, many such definitive shots have been played, match winning and otherwise. But it was one of the few I would categorize as belonging to The Zone. Spiritual expert Jaya Row who once defined the Zone to me. "Its your ability to disconnect totally from the world outside and be in total control of your mind and body for that moment," she had told me.

I have always wondered about the role of spirituality (secular) in our lives. Ms Row, a Vedanta expert, defined ita appropriately. "Think of Sachin Tendulkar when he is facing a bowler. Look at his face…