Road to the Nurburgring in a BMW G30 530i xDrive: TECHNIK MUSEUM SPEYER

With around 5-6 hours of driving laid out ahead of us, it was time to load up our trusty G30 5s for a short roadtrip across Germany.

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Today, we leave Munich towards the lovely spa town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, where we will be based for the rest of the weekend while covering the BMW M Festival and the 24hr Nurburgring race.

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Having already swallowed a sizeable amount of luggage in the boot, the long German Autobahn roads that lie ahead will allow to fully experience what else our 530i xDrive is capable of.

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And capable it was, despite having “only” a 2-litre 4-pot under the bonnet, our 530i powered us up to 100km/h in a comfortably brisk 6 seconds. Interestingly 0.9 seconds quicker than the 2-wheel drive variant. On paper, specs reveal a maximum output of 252 horses and 350Nm of torque, but in actual practice, feels slightly more eager, no doubt in part having full turning power come on at just 1450rpm. Mid-range push is also decent, giving us the ability to displace most other cars on the road with power tapering off slightly just before hitting the 200km/h mark.

High speed stability was also a highlight of the G30’s chassis, with the driving mode switched over to “adaptive”, our car sat stable throughout multiple runs to its electronically limited top speed.

Even when meandering bends appeared, the 530i remained poised, tackling them steadily at speeds that would be unthinkable anywhere else in the World.

If there ever is a contest to nominate a new wonder of our modern World, derestricted stretches of the German Autobahn will definitely get my vote.

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Unfortunately many bugs harmed during our Autobahn jaunt.

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No road trip is ever complete without a picturesque stopover. For us, this meant a short rest at Schloss Solitude (Castle Solitude), a hunting retreat commissioned by Duke Charles Eugene and built in 1967.

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Judging by the name, one wonders if he preferred hunting alone.

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Nonetheless, it provided us with a lovely backdrop to take pictures of our 5.

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Non xDrive 5s played chaperon.

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A view that shouldn’t be kept to oneself. Conveniently, Schloss Solitude resides in the rather familiar city of Stuttgart, so… since it was lunch time…

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We decided to hit up a very well known and well regarded restaurant located in the Museum of “A marque that shall not be named”. Needless to say, they took real good care of us with fantastisch food. With lunch over, it was time to get back on the road towards our next stop, Technik Museum Speyer.

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Historical landmarks are not the only interesting things you’ll come across while on the roads. Check out this G-Wagen equipped with Central Inflation wheel hubs!

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ited beside a beautifully scenic river, Speyer is one of Germany’s oldest towns at over 2000 years of age and was first established as a Roman military camp back in 10BC!

With such a long history dating back to even the days before Christ, it is somewhat ironic that we are now visiting a technology museum in this very same locale. I guess Germans like looking ahead.

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They call this place Technik Museum Speyer, but having the word “Museum” in its named is somewhat misleading as the scale of this place is just plain massive.

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With more than 2,000 exhibits and an exhibition area of more than 150,000 square meters that covers both indoor and outdoor areas, Technik Musuem Speyer feels more like a technology theme park! Yes, you can spend an entire day here. Us? We only had an hour or two. Time to start running.

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The real reason we were here was because the museum had put together a little showcase of period BMWs to celebrate the marque’s Centenary!

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Yes, that is space shuttle sharing space with the BMW exhibit. Russian/Soviet it might be, but a space shuttle nonetheless.

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Though not quite as impressive or immersive as the BMW Museum we visited just a couple of days ago, this showcase did put together some rather interesting cars, like an M1 Procar and a brown E30 M3 Cabriolet with a custom hardtop cover.

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Lovely E3 in a rather unusual shade. This was the genesis of the 7 Series, amazing how far the 7 has come. Especially after seeing the tour de force that is the new M760Li.

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Beautiful E9 3.0CSL. This is the earlier racing CSL that was produced by Alpina. Also remarkable for being one of BMW’s earliest collaborations with the Buchloe tuner. A relationship that continues on till today. Doesn’t it look resplendent in Jagermeister colours.

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Pre-war BMWs were also on show. Not exactly my thing but it was still good to see them.

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The 2002 Turbo though i can relate to. I absolutely adore these cars and remember in my earlier article about having a dream 5 car garage? Well, there is a spot reserved for one of these as well.

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Much love.

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The BMW 507, a very beautifully styled car and once again, one of BMW’s best design efforts. Unfortunately, it was a commercial failure during its time being prohibitively expensive. But because they were a commercial failure, these cars are now highly sought after and command astronomical prices on the classic car market. Only 252 were ever made and in 2014, a pristine 507 sold for US$2.4 million.

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While not as shapely or lusted after as its 507 sibling, the BMW 503 is still in its own right, a very beautiful automobile. An elegant sports coupe based on the BMW luxury sedan underpinnings of its era, the 503 was intended to be sold alongside the 507.

It was an attempt to sell a significant number of luxury cars to the United States, but similarly to the 507, the amount of money involved to build these cars were extremely high and with every car costing twice as much to build than their projected selling price, BMW lost money on every car sold.

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The BMW 3200, the car that succeeded the 503/507. It managed to do marginally better, selling over 600 units during a 3 year production run.

This particular cabriolet though, was a specially commissioned one-off. Made for major BMW shareholder Herbert Quandt and given to him for his contribution in the rescue of BMW at a time when BMW was an ailing company facing takeover by Daimler-Benz. We can only imagine what something as rare and historically significant can ever be worth.

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Elsewhere, there were a couple more BMWs scattered across the vast museum compounds, like this unique looking E9 Cabriolet. No, this is not a BMW factory car but rather, an aftermarket conversion. Supposedly 8 E9s were converted and this is one of them. No idea how well (or not) it soaks up the bumpy roads.

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Some other cars on display in an old hanger. This 300SL Gullwing is also one of my dream machines, but it didn’t look exactly pristine. Probably still worth a ton of money regardless.

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Same same, but different.

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If you are into vintage autos, i think you’ll like it here.

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Pure Art Deco.

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Fans of Rimowa suitcases should know what these planes are.

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There were also some rather sombre exhibits from a dark part of human history.

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The museum also had a dedicated level just for scale trains. Crazy.

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Yes, the compound is so large, it houses entire jumbo jets. There’s even an Antonov AN-22 cargo plane sitting outside. The largest propeller aircraft in the world. Unfortunately, i just didn’t have the time to explore the giant Russian craft.

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I did manage to poke my head into this old Vickers Viscount 814 wearing Lufthansa colours.

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How pilots used to fly this thing is totally beyond me. With that, my time here at the Technik Museum was up and it was time for us to load back up onto the Autobahn straight to Bad Neuenahr for dinner and some rest. Tomorrow, we go to the Nordschleife.

Here’s a bonus picture of another interesting sighting on the Autobahn! Lovely ain’t it?

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