Originally Posted by Advskier
Maybe BMW doesn't need to come out with a completely new design.
All they need to do is hire a few of the rocket scientists from here to teach them how to mod the 335.
Well, Professional Mechanical Engineer, with a minor in Manufacturing Engineering. So, actually, more qualified than a rocket scientist for this discussion.
My point, that you completely missed while struggling to come up with a smart ass reply, is that the M's are increasingly just as you describe, just slightly modded 3's. Obviously according to your defenition of "modded", they always have been, but a few bolt on suspension members, stroked engine, and... (oh yes, body panels
Let me be clear, I'm NOT hating on the M3. In fact, I think it's generally the best sports sedan out of the box. Stock to stock, it handles better than any other 3. It's a great engine, a true swan song to NA (unfortunately). For me, I race bikes and karts, and need to tow a trailer (yes, crazy, I tow a trailer) so went with the 335, modded the hell out of it, and now it's an even better car than it started out. 530hp/530tq at the crank, 1.2G cornering on our local road course, beat 70% of the exotics at Race the Base 300kph top speed event, with a trailer hitch and baby seat in the back.
So please understand my comments aren't a 335 vs M3 flame war, I'm simply pointing out that when you look at the numbers: light weight, cheap, fast, handling... the 335 embodies the original M spirit pretty well.
This is a thread about the future direction of the M. And like many here, it seems like more and more it's the bean counters taking control at M; which for years they'd successfully prevented from happening. Corvette and Mustang are doing better at staying true to their roots these days.