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      01-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #84
cvp911t
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Drives: 06 Z4M Coupe, 05 M3 ZCP
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: DFW, TX

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M Performance = old Sport Package

Maybe I misinterpreted the press release....but while I was reading it, all I could think of was the following:

-When I drove the newest 5 series (sport package), it felt more Lexus than BMW in its driving dynamics. Nice aesthetics, but BMW traditionalists will not like the steering feel or lack of sensation of speed. I'll pass.

-I haven't driven the new M5, but from what I've read (and from feedback from a BMWNA friend) - they fixed all that.

Seems like BMW is creating a more concrete separation between product lines:
-Standard cars: for Lexus, Cadillac, and MB traditionalists.
-M Performance line: those who want real BMW dynamics, but can't afford or don't want the edge of an M.
-Real M cars: (somewhat) for M loyalists.

I'm an M guy - I currently have an E46 ZCP, and my all time favorite motor is the s62 (E39 M5). I've driven plenty of the newer stuff, and owned an M6 for a few months, but just couldn't get away from the late 90s- early 2000 cars. I like their NA motors, reduced weight, and the aesthetic philosophy.

The new 5 and 6 series are being more geared towards comfort. So if you want a big BMW with true BMW capabilities, you need the //M. That said, I can't deny the rush of a sport package 135i, 335i. The torque and handling is great...these cars are so good to drive, that the M cars are really for people who want M cars. Now they want to know how far you're willing to //M - do you want just the aesthetic and handling, or are you really after that motor?

Although the execution is flawed (they should keep an M badge for the all-out //M), I think the philosophy behind the move could be sound (for BMW). The catch I'm expecting is that BMW will use the move to justify another price hike for the true M cars (good for BMW, bad for us).

Thoughts?