A new BMW "lifestyle park" in Waterfall Park, Johannesburg, looks set for completion next month.
BMW X-range drivers will be able to take their sport utility vehicles for off-road adventures without having to leave the city.
The 4,600 square meter facility will have thirteen different obstacle courses.
Soft sand makes for very tricky terrain to drive on and BMW's driving instructors advised us to switch to sports manual mode, and to switch the traction control systems off because "in soft sand, you need to have the wheels spinning a little bit".
We used the throttle relatively aggressive to built up momentum - in order to have constant throttle application. The driving instructors cautioned us not to go on and off the throttle as we would dig ourselves into the sand.
We were also advised to keep steering wheel motions to a minimum for such a terrain.
This course exposes the SUV to an ultra-rugged terrain of rocks. Going at it one wheel at a time and maintaining traction on the other three wheels as much as possible, we made use of some momentum to slowly carry the weight of the car through the obstacle.
After tussling with the X3 past the rocks, what awaits towards the end of the first course is a hair-raising bridge of very narrow logs - for which one has to perfectly straighten all four wheels to drive across.
The water course is one of the most nerve wrecking if you've never driven into a large body of water before. BMW built a simulated dam for which the car is submerged a little over 50 cm deep in the water as it's driven across.
The key here, according to BMW's driving instructors, is activating the low-range 4-wheel drive and entering the water as gently as possible. Driving across the water at a steady pace generates and maintains a bow wave (indication of a good water crossing). Also, never stop in the middle of the water.
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