Spoken rumours of the Nürburgring BMW 'Ring Taxi's imminent demise appear to be coming true. An email released by the company who ran the Ring Taxi confirms they're not running it this year. That company is OK Speed Marketing, and the 'Ring Taxi' name is theirs.
Nürburgring management have also removed all offers relating to taxi rides from the official website.
Like us 'normal' businesses OK Speed Marketing will be running their taxi laps in the VLN practice on Friday afternoons throughout summer. And their prices of €349 per customer certainly suggest no more manufacturer funding to soften the blow on a customer's wallet.
News of the Ring Taxi's demise will be a massive blow for fans all over the world. Fans of BMW, fans of Sabine and fans of the Nurburgring alike will all be sad to see the legacy come to an end.
At only €189 per car load (upto 3 people) it was just too good a deal to miss. The cost of drifting a brand-new BMW M5, 4-up around the Nordschleife with a celebrity driver is most certainly a little more than the post-tax €158.82 cover price!
No news on what (if anything) is being lined up to replace it. Nurburgring have half-heartedly run their own taxi service sporadically, using the talents of Andy Gülden in anything from a crappy Passat B36 through to the Aston N24. (Andy was also the No.1 Viper pilot for those of you who can remember the 'good old days'...).
I personally don't know what might have put an end to this fantastic service, but I would suggest any or all of the following factors could have played a part in killing it off:
* It probably doesn't make BMW any profit. OK Speed Marketing ran it as a business on behalf of BMW. They had to make money, but the retail price suggests that after they had made a profit, somebody else must have made a loss.
* The new 'ring management, for better or for worse, have a 'bottom-line' this year and any service needs to pay its own way in license fees.
* Automotive marketing budgets have been slashed across the board for a while
Full e-mail from OK-Speed-Marketing below (read more):
Dear Ring-Taxi® customer,
our preparation for season 2011 has been completed.
We are looking forward to a common Ring-Taxi® season 2011.
During our jubilee-season 2011 we enlarged our traditional taxi service. So enjoy with us pure driving fun. Powered by classical sportscars such as Porsche 911 GT3 (415 HP) Clubsport 997 or MINI John Cooper Works (211 HP). Driven by proofed and licensed pilots.
Enjoy Your favourite car as co-pilot
Porsche 911 Clubsport 997 (415 HP) price 349,- EURO incl. 19% VAT
MINI John Cooper Works (211 HP), price 195,- EURO incl. 19% VAT
On top you will enjoy our traditional services, served on the most famous race-tracks, starting with one lap Nürburgring (D) Nordschleife (20,832 km) or three laps in Spa-Francorchamps (B), the Ardens Grand-Prix Circuit (21,003 km) or accompanied by further attractions during the season.
Your Ring-Taxi® opportunities until May 2011
Nürburgring Nordschleife (D): 19.03.2011 / 25.03.2011
Spa-Francorchamps (B): 09.04.2011 / 10.04.2011 / 13.04.2011 / 18.04.2011 / 24.05.2011
How will you repeat your Ring-Taxi® adventure? (limited to Porsche)
We can realize your individual Ring-Taxi-lap as video served on USB stick.
The Ring -Taxi® video, 29.90 EURO (inkl. 19% VAT)
Life pics, sounds and data of car, track and (co)-pilot.
Ticket can be booked only with a fixed date for ring-taxi drive.
The ring-taxi adventure is limited to one person only.
If you have further questions please contact as by telephone hot line or by mail.
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