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August 23, 2017

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In the fast lane

Ever dreamed of driving on the German autobahn? BMW has got just the ticket

If the average traveller thinks "Oktoberfest" when they hear the name Munich, car lovers are thinking of something else entirely — speed.

The cosmopolitan capital of Germany's Bavarian region is also the headquarters of BMW. And those three letters take on a particular resonance when you're in the only country in the developed world with no highway speed limit.

That would be reason enough for car lovers to head to Munich. But the city also sits within easy reach of the Romantic and Alpine Roads, both twisting strips of perfect asphalt that cut through the rolling countryside past grazing sheep, onion-domed churches and some of the most storied castles in the country.

All of which is to say, if you like to drive, this is not the place to sign up for a bus tour.

Just a peek

The excellent BMW Museum will woo even those who are lukewarm about automotive arts. The building is beautiful and takes incorporating technology to a whole new level. Inside, luminescent three-storey-high LED walls act as giant black-and-white screens. Visitors go down a slow winding walkway and wander off into galleries that cover early history, stock car and F1 racing, and every major brand change of the past century with interactive iPad-style interfaces, videos and audio clips. Guides who seem to eat, breathe and sleep BMW lore stand throughout the museum with encyclopedic knowledge at the ready for any question.

Next door the sweeping BMW World (or BMW Welt) is the place for brand fanatics to see all the latest models and concept cars, take in temporary exhibitions and occasionally catch a demonstration of pure engine-revving, tire-spinning torque in the main hall. And across the way is the BMW plant where a tour will show you how these beasts of the road get put together. Best of all, the entire complex is close to the centre of town and easily accessible by transit. Consult bmw-welt.com/museum for more information.

BMW on Demand

But really, why come all the way here and not get behind the wheel yourself? You actually can experience your favourite model for the price of lunch. BMW's On Demand fleet is available for by-the-hour rentals (€16 to 40 per hour, depending on the model) and comes equipped with a preloaded GPS route for a two-hour Bavarian Adrenalin drive.

You'll take in the German autobahn as well as twisting country roads past typical Bavarian villages. There are over 20 models available for rent, from sedans, to convertibles and roadsters. Reservations are required. Click on BMW on Demand on the bottom right of bmw-welt.com.

Old-school effect

Those whose love affair with BMW goes back to their youth might want to take a spin in something a little more iconic, like the space-age 1955 Isetta, the classic 1959 LS Luxus, the 1971 3.0 CSI, or even the high-tech 1986 Z1 roadster. These cars can be rented by the day (or week). Rates vary depending on the model. Reservations are required. Consult bmw-classic.de.

Get chauffered

On Sundays between April and October, the BMW Museum's chauffeur-driven city tours use classic cars from the 1930s and '50s to take you on the town in style. You'll start with a tour of the BMW World brand experience, then tour the BMW 3-series plant next door before heading to the Historic Vehicles Collection, which isn't otherwise accessible to the public. You'll swing into the city centre, past some of the main sights of Munich’s historic core and head to a champagne reception at BMW’s flagship showroom. The cost for the tour is €95.00 per person (including tickets for you to take in the BMW Museum on your own afterwards). Reservations are required. Go to bmw-welt.com, click on BMW Museum at the top and go to Specials, then City Tours under the Events menu.

The ultimate: European delivery

If you've been planning to buy a BMW, why pick it up at your boring old local dealership when you could get the VIP treatment in the sleek BMW World in Munich itself? In fact, you could even take it for a two-week insurance-paid road trip around Europe, if you want.

Here's how it works: you pay for your car in Canada at your local dealer but ask them to put in the paperwork for European delivery. When you arrive in Munich, you'll be received in style in the Premium lounge at BMW World and of course be handed the keys to your spanking new bimmer. You'll then get a tour of the BMW plant next door and, if you want, swing by for a guided tour in the BMW Museum.

After that, you're free to explore Germany and beyond; the European delivery package includes 14 days of car insurance free of charge, so you don't have to worry. You have the option of sticking to unfettered bliss of the autobahn, or going a little further afield and taking in some other sights on the Continent.

When you're done, you leave your car at a Harms port in any of 30 European countries, from which it will be shipped to Canada for pick up, six to eight weeks later. And, as an added bonus, you'll be saving on taxes.

If this isn't a memorable present, we don't know what is. For more information, click on the Automobile Delivery tab on bmw-welt.com.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

Comments

Showing 1 comments

  1. On March 26, 2012, Danaze Chambers said:
    I am interested in buying a BMW X1 and definitely interested in buying it in Germany.

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