The BMW M235i Coupe at the “Drift Mob” shoot in Cape Town

July 31, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on August 6, 2015

Professional stunt drivers and Hollywood stunt coordinator Mic Rodgers (“The Fast and the Furious”) stage a perfectly choreographed drift show in the centre of the South African metropolis.

The BMW 2 Series Coupe takes brand-typical driving pleasure to a new dimension. The sportiest vehicle in the premium compact segment fascinates with powerful drive technology and exceptionally agile handling characteristics. The BMW M235i Coupe (fuel consumption combined: 8.1 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined: 189 g/km), which offers the extremely intensive experience of superior dynamics, recently put on a spectacular performance in the centre of the South African metropolis Cape Town. The city’s streets became a stage for a “drift mob show” featuring the BMW M235i Coupe, professional stunt drivers and a Hollywood film crew that documented the sensational happening in a video clip. On 30 July 2014, the drift mob video starring the BMW M Performance automobile will celebrate its online debut on the new communication platform

A flash mob has long become commonplace, but the drift mob is a true innovation, as it requires specialised skills at the wheel and a very exceptional automobile. Both of these attributes came together in Cape Town. Five BMW M235i Coupes painted in Melbourne Red drove through the city to suddenly and seemingly spontaneously transform an urban traffic roundabout into a film set. They were steered by five of the world’s best and most experienced stunt drivers, with the encounter being captured for posterity by Hollywood legend Mic Rodgers (“The Fast and the Furious”). The result is a perfectly staged action video with smoking tyres and that special “goose bumps” feeling – but with no age limit.

Drift mob action in Cape Town: Hollywood’s best drivers behind the wheel of the compact segment’s most agile automobile.
The BMW 2 Series Coupe’s characteristics are unique to the compact segment and deliver the substance from which the drift mob clip draws its fascination. After all, the encounter at the traffic roundabout in Cape Town served only one single purpose – collaborative, cinematically staged drifting through deliberate and well-controlled oversteer during highly dynamic turning manoeuvres. Therefore, at the casting for the leading role, the immediate choice was the BMW M235i Coupe. The car’s 240 kW/326 hp straight six-cylinder engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, power transmission to the rear wheels and well-balanced weight distribution offer the ideal prerequisites for driving pleasure worthy of a film. And with true masters behind the wheel and on the accelerator pedal, the controlled slipping of the rear wheels soon became artistically choreographed “formation dancing” on tarmac.

The drivers didn’t take long to become accustomed with the BMW M235i Coupe. “It’s amazingly simple to do a clean drift in this car,” says Rhys Millen, professional stunt driver from New Zealand who was a Formula Drift champion in 2005 and has regularly provided major Hollywood film productions with breathtaking action on four wheels for a decade now. “The weight balance, the steering, the brakes – everything’s simply perfect for this purpose.” And his Swedish colleague Samuel Hübinette, former touring car racing driver and record title holder of the Formula Drift Championships, adds: “The car has exactly the right wheelbase, a good suspension and is excellently tuned.”

The professional drivers’ enthusiasm for the dynamic character of the BMW M235i Coupe doesn’t come as a surprise. Maximum agility, the highest level of handling precision and a highly emotional character are the typical attributes of a BMW M Performance automobile. The BMW M235i Coupe combines the power of the 3-litre, straight six-cylinder engine delivering even power development up to the top engine speed range with rear-wheel drive and a virtually perfectly balanced axle load distribution ratio of 50 : 50. Moreover, the in-depth motor racing know-how of the BMW M GmbH was used to attune both its model-specific suspension technology and the aerodynamic balance of the car body to the power unit’s performance qualities. This resulted in fascinating overall performance-oriented characteristics that bestow the BMW M235i Coupe with handling properties that are precisely controllable right up to the limit.

Drift mob video clip on the Worldwide Web: Hollywood film crew stages BMW story with the BMW M235i Coupe in the leading role.
In order to render the BMW M235i Coupe’s performance characteristics a gripping experience, both the stunts and the film shoot were carried out exactly according to screenplay. The “who is who” of Hollywood’s stunt and action scene took their places behind the wheels and cameras, led by stunt coordinators Mic Rodgers und Riley Harper who during the course of their careers were not only involved in movies of “The Fast and the Furious” series, but also in box office hits such as “Iron Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

They directed a team of drivers that transformed every press of the accelerator, every movement of the brake pedal and the slightest change in steering angle into a perfect choreography of tail swings, rubber abrasion and “smoke signals” from the tyres. Apart from Rhys Millen and Samuel Hübinette, the drift mob driver crew also included the two successful Formula Drift pilots Conrad Grunewald and Daijiro Yoshihara as well as the stunt driver Rich Rutherford who has already been involved in around 200 films to date. For stunt coordinator Riley Harper this quintet was the ideal choice: “That was a well-coordinated team, in which each member always knew exactly how and where the others were driving,” he comments.

But for passers-by who experienced the sudden drift spectacle at the traffic roundabout in Cape Town’s city centre, which had been completely blocked off shortly beforehand, the surprise was even greater. They were not able to realise until the camera vehicles had arrived that the supposedly spontaneous driving spectacle was in reality a precisely staged video shoot. Each manoeuvre shown in the drift mob clip was performed exactly according to plan, without the use of computer tricks or any other forms of post-processing of the footage, and merely with an inimitable sense for the reactions of the BMW M235i Coupe.

The clip shot in Cape Town will be shown on the new online communication platform as from 30 July 2014. On the platform, fans of the brand will not only be able to become acquainted with the diversity of the BMW model range, but also share their own experiences in the form of pictures and videos. Parallel to the premiere of the drift mob clip, further short films will go online, including “behind the scenes” footage about the shoot in Cape Town and a spectacular tutorial entitled “Rhys Millen’s guide to high precision driving,” in which the New Zealand stunt driver sitting behind the wheel of a BMW M235i Coupe gives an impressive demonstration of how the dynamic potential of the BMW M Performance automobile can be fathomed safely and with maximum driving pleasure.