A New Way to Enjoy Driving
Incheon BMW Driving Center
Those who have drivers’ license have dreamed of driving a car on empty roads. But there is a big difference between ideal and reality. No doubt, there are full of vehicles on roads at weekends. When holiday falls on before and after weekends, the roads become a huge parking lot. Main lines in the city are the same. Far from the driving, you get only tiredness and stress. For you, BMW Driving Center is an exit. The Center, located in Unseo-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, is the only driving experience facility in Korea. Visitors can get to know the brand’s history in an exhibition room where BMW models are on display. Style shop, restaurant, and theme park make the center a perfect destination for your weekend trip.
Most of all, the sheer reason to visit the Center is excitement of driving itself. According to the BMW’s core value, dedication to “sheer driving pleasure,” 6 driving courses are arranged. More than 7 programs are designed to boost drivers’ unique experiences. The tracks, which factor in various conditions on- and off-roads can offer easy access and unique practices. Skillful instructors give you detailed and advanced driving lessons that ranges from basic techniques to drifting course.
In fact, when the news of construction of the Center was told, many domestic car-lovers were suspicious rather than welcoming. Back then, there were only two BMW Driving Centers in the world: one in German and the other in a mega-market, the USA, respectively. There was very low possibility of building such a facility in Asia, and further more in Korea instead of China or Japan. But thanks to BMW Korea’s efforts, the headquarters of BMW had approved the plan, and Incheon BMW Driving Center finally opened in August, 2014. It is the first in Asia, and the third in the world following the centers in German and the USA. It is safe to say that the construction well reflects Korean market’s presence in BMW. Korea is one of top ten markets for BMW as well.
The Center is very close to Incheon International Airport. It only takes 10 minutes by car. Yeongjongdo Island SKY72 Golf Club is across the street. The area is about 70000 pyung (240000㎡) equivalent to the size of 33 soccer fields combined. Visitors encounter an exhibition room at first. It showcases the history of BMW with all its models – from the 1 Series to 7 Series along with X series, MINI, bike-brand Motorrad, and futuristic electric car BMW i. It beats a motor show by offering all BMW models in one place.
Besides exhibition room, there is hospitality space – style shop and lounge. The style shop carries BMW brands’ life-style items from daily items like bags, t-shirts, and purses to sports goods and car accessories. At a bar on the first floor, visitors can have snack and beverage. A restaurant situated on the second floor serves fine European food in a German atmosphere. Diners can enjoy the meals with overlooking the tracks.
BMW training center, service center and R&D center are also set in. An event hall accommodating about 300 people often holds various occasions. An eco-friendly Green Park with the size of roughly 4000 pyung (1300㎡) is a good place for family outings. It provides sports area – soccer and basketball pitches, wide grass, and playground for kids.
Yet, the essence of the Center is tracks. Taking an alcohol test and basic safety training with drivers’ license check, you can drive 6 courses: Multiple, Handling, Dynamic, Circular, Acceleration & Braking, and Off-Road. Each course offers its unique excitement: Multiple-course for adaptation to manipulation and handling before full-scale driving; Handling-course for acceleration and stop at corners; Circular-course for turnings; Dynamic-course for efficient control on wet surfaces with a kick plate, which causes the rear wheels of a vehicle to slide for training drivers in a dangerous situation; and Acceleration & Braking course for high-speed of more than 160km/h.
Based on participants’ driving skill and option, the Center offers courses: Challenge A (for general), Challenge B (dynamic), and Off-Road program. There are other options for advanced drivers: Advanced (practical technique course); Intensive courses for those who complete advanced course; and M-Drift of intensive training for drifting. Taxi program is prepared for those who don’t want to drive for themselves. Instructors drive them to the courses.
The vehicle model is different from program to program: X 5 is for Off-Road course and BMW 1 to 5 series and 7 series, MINI, and BMW i8 are for Challenge A/B, Advanced, Intensive courses. Prices are depending on the program and vehicle models. Challenge A/B with running times of 80 minutes is 60000 to 200000 won. Advanced program with 180 minutes is 100000 to 220000 won. Intensive program for 8 hours including lunch is 640000 to 800000 won.
Along with the exhibition and experience for driving, the Center is running Junior Campus for science. With the establishments, they figure out the basic science principles of car engineering like friction forces, center of gravity, etc. Educational applications and tools make them learn about eco-environmental energy. Kid Driving School helps pre-schoolers understand traffic situation through traffic safety training and driving experience. The running time is about 50 minutes and price is 7000 won per child. A maximum of 12 children can attend the program a time. For elementary schoolers, a program is run four times a day with the price of 10000 won. Running time is about 70 minutes and the maximum capacity a time is 30.
BMW Driving Center
- Website : http://www.bmw-driving-center.co.kr
- Address : 136 Gonghangdong-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon (1677-77 Unseo-dong, Jung-gu)
- Operating Hours : 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed every Monday, New Year’s Day, Lunar New year’s Day, and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)
- Inquiries : 080-269-3300