Here we were worried that BMW had lost its way and their cars were more about technology and efficiency than driving fun. Glad we were wrong. Except it isn't a human having the fun, it's a computer.
BMW has announced a bundle of new technologies at CES 2014 under their Connected Drive banner. The ActiveAssist program in this prototype 2-series is supposed to "revolutionize sheer driving pleasure" and bring the car to its performance limits. Just without help from a human. ActiveAssist works through a series of existing technologies such as stability control, as well as a 360-degree spin control system, to perfectly drift a car.
Why is this system important? This is what BMW thinks:
Precise and reliable vehicle control at the dynamic limit is a central building block in the development of highly automated driving. Only a system that can safely master all dynamic situations up to the vehicle's dynamic limit will be able to generate trust and provide sustained and secure relief for the driver in tiring situations.
That's a good point. It's also worth mentioning that if you have a small, rear-wheel drive car, someone or something needs to be able to hoon it a little.
The system is part of BMW's automated car research that will conclude this year and being a trial run in 2015. Think about it this way, though. Your next BMW could have more fun driving itself than you will.