Originally Posted by Scoobe
Alot of people complain about plastic but for performance oriented drivers plastic has one redeeming quality... its LIGHT. I find it fascinating how some posters can deplore plastic and complain about weight. The next gen M3 will likely carbon fibre reinforced plastic which I guess sounds sexier but if you are wanting a light car (and efficiency standards will press weight down on performance cars to compensate) best get used to plastic in some form. Granted interiors will probably be the now adored "soft" plastic which I find a little comical. "Soft" plastic is like zarconian diamonds or pleather, looks and feels like the real thing but its not actually leather... yet "soft" plastic gets a pass? Honestly, I don't care all that much as long as the interior is comfortable, functional, and attractive. When I hear people say "ooh plastic" I roll my eyes. Is it just the fact that its plastic that bothers you or does it look unattractive? In some cases I think hard plastic does look bad, especially when they try to make it textured as if it was leather. But plastic can also be done right and even our beloved M3's have plastic in the interior (center console, AC vents, etc)
Here is a question, if the M3 had all plastic (even soft plastic) interior and pleather seats, but shaved off 300lbs and cost 15k less, but looked identical to how it looks now, would you buy it?
It's a bit like the Mustangs live axle. People love to point that out but the car performs very well with it and the car is 300lbs lighter than its nearest competition (Camaro).
As we enter this decade, the focus on lightweight materials is going to become intense. "Soft" plastic, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and even standard plastic is going to find more uses. If any of it becomes "non luxery" in perception than it probably won't go away, manufacturers will just find ways to hide it.
Except everything you mentioned the Mustang and the M3 weigh the same...