Loving the positive energy here in the land of peace and love (incidentally where many a car commercial is also filmed - i.e. the Marin Headlands). Clearly, we are all extremely excited about this car. And Car Magazine did have an excellent point in that article (which I just bought while in Dublin Ireland over new years, and also has an interesting/rare Bangle interview) about this being a car BMW cannot afford to screw up - the M3 is an enthusiast automobile that leads an aspirational segment for the 3-series (BMW's #1 seller by far) and this new design will be around for the next 5-7 years.
I think the negative sentiment has been tied to the fact that we're all sort of 'holding our breath' to see what the final result looks like. I am not sure about others on this forum, but I for one have been anticipating (googling spy shots, articles, etc.) for about two years now - and the car is almost here! So with that pent up excitement naturally comes a bit of apprehension when we're less than thrilled with the latest photochop or what have you. The performance is absolutely going to be there - I recently drove an '04 545i (325hp v8) and the thing is an absolute beast. Shave off a few hundred pounds, add 100hp, M tune the thing and what the...(!!!).
So for me, it is coming down to the pure lines and looks of the car - an area that BMW enthusiasts have reason to be apprehensive about these days (anyone seen the new X3?). I will have this thing for at least the next three years, and the only other real option that I have is buying a used Porsche 997 for about 65K - an absolutely gorgeous car (with almost zero trunk *******. I think the new M3 will be hotter (i.e. fresher/newer), faster, cheaper, and hold more of my stuff. Never been a real Audi fan - BMW's simply 'feel' better made and more exciting to me. Hopefully, the debate will be put to rest soon, and BMW will make us all true believers. I have little doubt.
So Geneva huh? Really? Jussi where are you bro? Anyone else with credible thoughts on the topic?