This is a game-changer. That was our first thoughts after playing with a preview version of the app yesterday at the Circuit of the Americas while on the launch of the new M6 Gran Coupe. It ‘s that good.
While the BMW Apps platform has been around since 2011 it ‘s fair to say that there hasn ‘t been any real reason for enthusiasts to care. That ‘s all set to change with the BMW M Track app scheduled to be released later this summer. The app (iOS only as in the BMW App platform itself) allows drivers to record their track drives by saving data taken straight from the car. Braking, throttle, speed, MPG and steering angle data are fed to the app via the standard white Apple cable. BMW is supporting the iPhone 4/4S and 5 with this initial release. An iPad specific app may come next year with a focus on viewing the data rather than collecting it.
So why is this a game-changer? For the simple reason that this app takes the place of complex and often expensive add-ons with data that is more precise. At the track all you have to do is his the record button before you take off. Once back in the pits simply hit stop. Once done all the data is collected in a proprietary file that can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter or email with other users.
And that ‘s where it gets interesting. Yes you can view two files of the same track from two different sessions at the same time. Queue ultimate bragging rights. It ‘s also a great way to compare performance of your own laps within a session or perhaps even from year to year.
But the app isn ‘t limited to known tracks. It can learn new tracks or even auto-cross routes with the custom track generator feature.
While an internet connection is technically required it ‘s really only needed for viewing satellite imagery on replay and weather info. That means those who have Phones other than iPhones can pick up a cheap used iPod touch to run the M Track App on.
And that brings us to what ‘s needed. First off the $250 BMW Apps option. It ‘s been available on all BMWs since 2011 as a standalone option. Then you ‘ll need an iOS device from the last few years. And finally a track.
In person seeing this thing in action is a revelation. For track junkies or even data junkies it ‘s a must have. Look for the M Track App to hit the track store sometime this summer.