As the new series production BMW C evolution e-scooter is launched to the world’s press in Barcelona, German Touring Car driver Martin Tomczyk came along for the ride. The hugely experienced BMW Team Schnitzer driver is one of the most experienced in the field, having been racing in the DTM since 2001. He achieved his greatest goal in 2011, taking the DTM drivers' title at the 11th attempt.
This year, the 32-year-old’s goal is clear: he wants the number 1 back on his BMW M4 DTM racing car. Before the 2014 series began in Hockenheim on 4th May, Martin spoke to BMW Motorrad about his enjoyment of discovering sustainable, two-wheeled travel.
What do you think are the best things about riding the BMW C evolution?
First and foremost, it is of course, emission-free riding. In addition, the C evolution offers a ‘noiseless’ ride, due to its electric motor, so you are much more in touch with your surroundings. Riding the e-scooter brings great benefits in the city: the four different riding modes are sensational as the rider can determine the desired mix of driving dynamics and efficiency.
I guess there's no fun for you driving a car on busy public roads, but can you see the advantages of an e-powered scooter in the city?
Definitely, especially in big cities like Barcelona, where the C evolution is being presented now. Barcelona is a vibrant city with a very high volume of traffic, so a scooter can soon demonstrate all its advantages, especially making it possible to get quickly to your destination. It's also great fun to ride the C evolution with its different driving modes, where you can ride efficiently yet dynamically at the same time.
Do you think a machine like the C evolution has the potential to change the way people move around their urban environments?
BMW is the pioneer in electric mobility. This has been shown with the BMW i3, which was very well received by the customers. Now this e-power is also being used on two wheels in the form of the new BMW C evolution, and I am sure this electro maxi-scooter is going to win many fans. Of course, you have to allow some time for such an innovative product, but I believe that it is definitely the right way to go. The electro scooter is completing the overall product range of the BMW Group as far as electro mobility is concerned.
You have already used one of these in the race paddock. What has been the reaction of your colleagues to this e-scooter?
An innovative and new product like the C evolution is the subject of intensive interest and all the technical details have been surveyed. Also, when we ride the e-scooter in the paddock it definitely attracts attention, even though it makes no noise!
Do you think motorsport should go in this direction as part of its sustainable development?
That's a tough question. In the end we have to continuously improve and develop in motorsports. But the actual sound plays a major role for the fans. This year there is the first Formula E championship, with electric driven formula cars. It remains to be seen if these series will be attractive for the fans. Despite everything I do not see the full electrification of racing cars, even though I’m well aware that it could happen.
As a famous racing driver, do you like the anonymity that comes from putting on a safety helmet and 'disappearing' into the crowds on two wheels?
For me, riding a motorcycle is all about freedom, as you are travelling alone and can relax. This is also one of the many advantages of the C evolution: it is completely silent and this is a very pleasant feeling because you can simply enjoy the fresh air and the environment around you while you ride.
Do you also ride BMW bikes? If so, what is your favourite one?
I have a BMW C 600 Sport maxi-scooter at home, which I enjoy riding a lot. I do not currently have a BMW motorcycle, but the new R nineT looks amazing. Who knows, maybe soon there will be one more BMW motorcycle in my garage!
What BMW car do you drive on the road when not 'working' at the racetrack?
Currently I drive a BMW X5 and a BMW M6 Gran Coupe.
Thank you for your time Martin.
BMW Motorsport races in 2014 with the new BMW M4 DTM in the popular top-class German touring car racing series, which also makes guest appearances in Budapest and China this year. In 2012, BMW Motorsport celebrated a sensational DTM comeback by winning three titles after an absence of 20 years from the series. In 2013, it defended the title in the Manufacturers' Championship. This year the BMW M4 DTM starts a new era in the quest for more race wins and titles in this prestigious championship.
Martin Tomczyk clothing and equipment by BMW Motorrad and BALDESSARINI,