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      09-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #1
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Has the M Division and BMW lost their way?

First of all, before the flaming begins for me submitting another whiny thread, hear me out. I am as hardcore BMW and M fan as there is, period. I have literally been researching, and saving cash to buy an M3 for the past 20 yrs. My intent is to keep the car for another 20 yrs. So I am a very vested in this purchase and I have went way beyond the call for due diligence in my preparation for such a monetary commitment. One thing I can confidently say is I do know my stuff when it comes to BMW. Let me start with the M1. Not many people know this but BMW commissioned Lamborghini to build the Chassis for BMW. It was BMW's only mid engine car...and What a car. It makes me ill to see that the R8 is now the spiritual successor to the M1 and it is made by Audi. The R8 is the true challenger to the Porshce brigade just like the M1 was. Where is BMW and the M division? I just think it is so ironic that BMW is arrogant enough to say Audi is not their direct competitor. Wait till they drop Lamborghini's V10 into the R8 and you will really see Porsche limping off the scene with their tails between their legs. Porsche is too worried about the 997 cash cow to allow the Cayman to be the car it capable of being. The M5 was ranked 3rd out of 3 cars in a Car and Driver shootout with AMG taking the victory barely over the S6. The Cadilac CTS V is rummored to be getting a 500-600 hp Corvette power. The Lexus GS-F is is building an M5 fighter with possible V10 power. The RS6 may have what could be +550hp. I have never seen the new M coupe rated higher than the Cayman nor are we likely anytime soon to see the the yet released M3 rated higher than Porsches "can't afford a 911 huh" car. Reports are the C63's steering and handling are much improved. The latest rumor from Mercedes is they are no longer going to build their transmissions in house but rather outsource them and focus on the new DCT technology. Infinity is quickly catching up to the 335 with the G37 and offers an LSD to boot. The new Audi B8 is is rumored to be be getting twin turbos with its V6 for 300+ horsepower and has for the most part fixed the Audi demon known as understeer by repositioning the engine farther back in the chassis. The twin turbo GTR is going to send all the car companies back to the drawing boards. It just seems like BMW is moving in the direction of what AMG use to be...great engines, with all the creature comforts but heavy and a "blunt" driving experience. Audi, the German step child in America, but highly respected in Europe, looks like it is becoming the new M Division. They are willing to take risks and make the necessary changes to not only compete but dominate the sports car segment. And in turn, build the car BMW had always been destined to ressurect. I had confidence the E92M3 was going to recieve the type of reviews the R8 is getting. I was wrong. I know that reviews are just that... reviews but they are conducted by professionals who drive and review supercars every day for a living. I can't do that, so their reviews became an important piece of the puzzle in determining my purchase. AMG also appears to have gotten it's act together for the first time and actually commited itself to motor sports and driving dynamics with it's new offerings. I can gaurantee you, Porsche has become very nervous themselves as they should be and will need to respond soon. I am sure DFI and DCT will be their first response but will it be enough? That leaves the vaunted M division, the keepers of Motor Sport. Will they get back to their roots, those roots that have earned their well deserved respect and reputation or will they continue move in the direction of Lexus and Mercedes offering wonderful electronics and high speed creature comforts? I am confident they will respond, but how and when?
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      09-07-2007, 11:06 AM   #2
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First of all, before the flaming begins for me submitting another whiny thread, hear me out. I am as hardcore BMW and M fan as there is, period. I have literally been researching, and saving cash to buy an M3 for the past 20 yrs. My intent is to keep the car for another 20 yrs. So I am a very vested in this purchase and I have went way beyond the call for due diligence in my preparation for such a monetary commitment. One thing I can confidently say is I do know my stuff when it comes to BMW. Let me start with the M1. Not many people know this but BMW commissioned Lamborghini to build the Chassis for BMW. It was BMW's only mid engine car...and What a car. It makes me ill to see that the R8 is now the spiritual successor to the M1 and it is made by Audi. The R8 is the true challenger to the Porshce brigade just like the M1 was. Where is BMW and the M division? I just think it is so ironic that BMW is arrogant enough to say Audi is not their direct competitor. Wait till they drop Lamborghini's V10 into the R8 and you will really see Porsche limping off the scene with their tails between their legs. Porsche is too worried about the 997 cash cow to allow the Cayman to be the car it capable of being. The M5 was ranked 3rd out of 3 cars in a Car and Driver shootout with AMG taking the victory barely over the S6. The Cadilac CTS V is rummored to be getting a 500-600 hp Corvette power. The Lexus GS-F is is building an M5 fighter with possible V10 power. The RS6 may have what could be +550hp. I have never seen the new M coupe rated higher than the Cayman nor are we likely anytime soon to see the the yet released M3 rated higher than Porsches "can't afford a 911 huh" car. Reports are the C63's steering and handling are much improved. The latest rumor from Mercedes is they are no longer going to build their transmissions in house but rather outsource them and focus on the new DCT technology. Infinity is quickly catching up to the 335 with the G37 and offers an LSD to boot. The new Audi B8 is is rumored to be be getting twin turbos with its V6 for 300+ horsepower and has for the most part fixed the Audi demon known as understeer by repositioning the engine farther back in the chassis. The twin turbo GTR is going to send all the car companies back to the drawing boards. It just seems like BMW is moving in the direction of what AMG use to be...great engines, with all the creature comforts but heavy and a "blunt" driving experience. Audi, the German step child in America, but highly respected in Europe, looks like it is becoming the new M Division. They are willing to take risks and make the necessary changes to not only compete but dominate the sports car segment. And in turn, build the car BMW had always been destined to ressurect. I had confidence the E92M3 was going to recieve the type of reviews the R8 is getting. I was wrong. I know that reviews are just that... reviews but they are conducted by professionals who drive and review supercars every day for a living. I can't do that, so their reviews became an important piece of the puzzle in determining my purchase. AMG also appears to have gotten it's act together for the first time and actually commited itself to motor sports and driving dynamics with it's new offerings. I can gaurantee you, Porsche has become very nervous themselves as they should be and will need to respond soon. I am sure DFI and DCT will be their first response but will it be enough? That leaves the vaunted M division, the keepers of Motor Sport. Will they get back to their roots, those roots that have earned their well deserved respect and reputation or will they continue move in the direction of Lexus and Mercedes offering wonderful electronics and high speed creature comforts? I am confident they will respond, but how and when?
Three letters for you....................

CSL.
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      09-07-2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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Porsche holds VW, VW holds Audi. They're not worrying a bit.

Best regards, south
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      09-07-2007, 11:12 AM   #4
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Paragraphs???
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      09-07-2007, 11:13 AM   #5
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Three letters for you....................

CSL.
I need to pack my bags and move to Europe.
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      09-07-2007, 11:14 AM   #6
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Also, many if not almost all the other cars you mentioned have "creature comforts."

There will always be a contingent of people who prefer say, the E30 M3 with it's raw, visceral driving experience.

Nothing wrong with that.

But, today's cars are being built to match today's buyers. Most, but certainly not all buyers are looking for an incredible GT car- which the new M3 is. So the market dictates what the "M" division makes, and this is true for all brands. For those who want more of a raw track car there will always be mods, and CSL's out there.

I do agree that in some ways the "M" spirit has diminshed somewhat, and if you want these cars nowadays they only seem to come at an incredible price- and to me that is a shame.........But again, this is due to the market and what people are willing to pay and what they want. Basic Econ 101.....
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      09-07-2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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Porsche holds VW, VW holds Audi. They're not worrying a bit.

Best regards, south
You wanna bet? If PAG controlled Audi there would be no R8. Now where is that negative review about the R8 you were talking about?
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      09-07-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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Paragraphs???
Too bad you can't write that in red like a good English Professor.
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      09-07-2007, 11:28 AM   #9
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Also, many if not almost all the other cars you mentioned have "creature comforts."

There will always be a contingent of people who prefer say, the E30 M3 with it's raw, visceral driving experience.

Nothing wrong with that.

But, today's cars are being built to match today's buyers. Most, but certainly not all buyers are looking for an incredible GT car- which the new M3 is. So the market dictates what the "M" division makes, and this is true for all brands. For those who want more of a raw track car there will always be mods, and CSL's out there.

I do agree that in some ways the "M" spirit has diminshed somewhat, and if you want these cars nowadays they only seem to come at an incredible price- and to me that is a shame.........But again, this is due to the market and what people are willing to pay and what they want. Basic Econ 101.....
I agree with you. My point is more about my concern with the direction the M Division is heading. Others might prefer this direction. I just think M is watering down their motor sport status with the sports car enthusiast. We have the 3, 5, and 7 series to take care of rest of automotive world.
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      09-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ruff View Post
You wanna bet? If PAG controlled Audi there would be no R8. Now where is that negative review about the R8 you were talking about?
http://www.reuters.com/article/tnBas...92612920070905

Referring R8: sorry, I'm not responding provocation today...maybe another time

Best regards, south
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      09-07-2007, 11:34 AM   #11
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I am lazy and I dont feel like writing the same stuff over and over again to very similar threads so here is my response to another thread that I believe applies here.

The E36 M3 and the E46 M3 both debuted to initial journalistic reviews that critisized both steering and brakes. Yet as time went by the car gets showered with awards and distinctions like one of Autocars 10 best drivers cars for 2007. I think automobile magazine said it best. I quote: "It happens every time a new BMW M3 is unveiled. Journalists write long reviews complaining that the new M3 is fatter, less involving, and less focused than its predecessor. Then, a few months later, those very same scribes shower that very same car with an endless stream of awards, giving outrageous titles like "Best Motorized Conveyance of All Time"."

-Think Car and Drivers article on the E36 M3 calling it the "Best Handling Car in America".

Automobile Magazine goes on to really break it down. In my opinion this is really getting down to the grit of the emotions that many of us our feeling.

"There is, however, an entire generation of automotive journalists-those of us who spent years falling alseep looking at posters of the E30 M3 on our walls-who cant help but hope that one day, there will be another "real" M3. And its beginning to look like there never will be. So each time we drive a new M3 for the first time, we mourn a little. We complain a little. And then we admit to ourselves that the new one, like each M3 before it, is the best sedan-based sports car of its time. Stealing the crown from the Audi RS4, the 2008 M3 is no exception to that rule."

Swamp, I have been around while. I have been a member of Bimmerforums since 2001 and a member of DTMpower.net even longer. I remember what it was like to own an E36 M3 back in 2001 when we were all watching the new E46 M3. I remember what us E36 owners said about the E46. If your curious what it was like check out M3forums.com and go to the E92 M3 section.

I will be honest and say that I didnt want the E46 M3 to be better. I wanted to see the M division fall on its face. I wanted my E36 M3 to go down in history as the last real M3. It was great in those days to talk about how fat, curvy, and overweight the E46 M3 was. But we all know the E46 M3 had no problems earning respect. I am not foolish enough to believe that history isnt going to repeat itself this time. I am not going to be the grumbling critic this time because I guess I know better. Besides, not every review is as critical of the brakes and steering as some are. Autocar may call the steering numb but they still give the distinction of being a great drivers car. So how numb can it really be. Num compared to what? The E30 M3 maybe, a 997 GT3?

And finally swamp, I leave you with this

Direct from Autocar

"Those with long memories will recall that the 1993 3.0-litre M3, the successor to the great original, was lambasted for being too soft and in possession of poor steering."

-So if this is how Autocar and other journalists felt about the E36 M3, then how can it go on to get titles like "Best Handling Car in America"? How can you and I possibly love driving our little E36's around when Autocar makes statements like this? Food for thought I guess.



I will add this and I have said this before and stand by it. Audi and Merc are getting good reviews because this is simply the first time either company has gotten a sports car right. Cars like the R8 have no hype to live up to. The RS4 is merely a generation improvement on a very imperfect model line.

Honestly I dont know why Audi is not critisized for having to basically make a new model line in order to compete head to head with the M3. I mean what happened to the normal S4 and M3 shoot outs. In my opinion I think Audi has pulled the wool over everyones eyes and the journalists are falling for it. I feel like I am taking crazy pills. At 50K base price Audi's direct competition for the M3 should be the S5. Yet people compare the S5 to the 335i, a car that is 10K less???

M3 will remain the best all around sports car/GT for the money. In the end isnt that what the M division has always accomplished.

So in short NO the M division hasnt dropped the ball.....


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      09-07-2007, 11:35 AM   #12
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I fully agree with the OP.

I admired the M cars for years and just when I have enough $$$ to actually buy one brand new --- BMW "surpised me" and made me look at the competition....
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      09-07-2007, 11:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
http://www.reuters.com/article/tnBas...92612920070905

Referring R8: sorry, I'm not responding provocation today...maybe another time

Best regards, south
Darn it, I really thought you would take the bait. Good referral, I have been reading about this myself, very interesting. I think the R8's success and Audi's success in general is one of the reason PAG feels the need to control Audi and what cars they produce.
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      09-07-2007, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
I am lazy and I dont feel like writing the same stuff over and over again to very similar threads so here is my response to another thread that I believe applies here.

The E36 M3 and the E46 M3 both debuted to initial journalistic reviews that critisized both steering and brakes. Yet as time went by the car gets showered with awards and distinctions like one of Autocars 10 best drivers cars for 2007. I think automobile magazine said it best. I quote: "It happens every time a new BMW M3 is unveiled. Journalists write long reviews complaining that the new M3 is fatter, less involving, and less focused than its predecessor. Then, a few months later, those very same scribes shower that very same car with an endless stream of awards, giving outrageous titles like "Best Motorized Conveyance of All Time"."

-Think Car and Drivers article on the E36 M3 calling it the "Best Handling Car in America".

Automobile Magazine goes on to really break it down. In my opinion this is really getting down to the grit of the emotions that many of us our feeling.

"There is, however, an entire generation of automotive journalists-those of us who spent years falling alseep looking at posters of the E30 M3 on our walls-who cant help but hope that one day, there will be another "real" M3. And its beginning to look like there never will be. So each time we drive a new M3 for the first time, we mourn a little. We complain a little. And then we admit to ourselves that the new one, like each M3 before it, is the best sedan-based sports car of its time. Stealing the crown from the Audi RS4, the 2008 M3 is no exception to that rule."

Swamp, I have been around while. I have been a member of Bimmerforums since 2001 and a member of DTMpower.net even longer. I remember what it was like to own an E36 M3 back in 2001 when we were all watching the new E46 M3. I remember what us E36 owners said about the E46. If your curious what it was like check out M3forums.com and go to the E92 M3 section.

I will be honest and say that I didnt want the E46 M3 to be better. I wanted to see the M division fall on its face. I wanted my E36 M3 to go down in history as the last real M3. It was great in those days to talk about how fat, curvy, and overweight the E46 M3 was. But we all know the E46 M3 had no problems earning respect. I am not foolish enough to believe that history isnt going to repeat itself this time. I am not going to be the grumbling critic this time because I guess I know better. Besides, not every review is as critical of the brakes and steering as some are. Autocar may call the steering numb but they still give the distinction of being a great drivers car. So how numb can it really be. Num compared to what? The E30 M3 maybe, a 997 GT3?

And finally swamp, I leave you with this

Direct from Autocar

"Those with long memories will recall that the 1993 3.0-litre M3, the successor to the great original, was lambasted for being too soft and in possession of poor steering."

-So if this is how Autocar and other journalists felt about the E36 M3, then how can it go on to get titles like "Best Handling Car in America"? How can you and I possibly love driving our little E36's around when Autocar makes statements like this? Food for thought I guess.



I will add this and I have said this before and stand by it. Audi and Merc are getting good reviews because this is simply the first time either company has gotten a sports car right. Cars like the R8 have no hype to live up to. The RS4 is merely a generation improvement on a very imperfect model line.

Honestly I dont know why Audi is not critisized for having to basically make a new model line in order to compete head to head with the M3. I mean what happened to the normal S4 and M3 shoot outs. In my opinion I think Audi has pulled the wool over everyones eyes and the journalists are falling for it. I feel like I am taking crazy pills. At 50K base price Audi's direct competition for the M3 should be the S5. Yet people compare the S5 to the 335i, a car that is 10K less???

M3 will remain the best all around sports car/GT for the money. In the end isnt that what the M division has always accomplished.

So in short NO the M division hasnt dropped the ball.....


Jason
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Good points, but my question is have they raised the ball like the other auto manufactures?
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      09-07-2007, 11:42 AM   #15
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And what the h3ll is wrong with the new M e92 fuel consuption....???? 12-13 miles per gallon is this an M5? huh...

As much as I hate to say it (especially here in this forum), I think I will be going to buy a good ol' corvette that will give me good mpg, simple engine to repair, and mod, less $$$ (most likely), excelent handling, excelent accel, above average steering, and excellent braking.

I am confused - every day I am going back to the sweet memories of my old e30 M, and then I come back to reality, and wanna buy a vette, but then sweem memopries from the M come back, and I want to buy the new M e92...

I have no clue what the h3ll I am going to do at the end. But BMW has to really impress me with the price on the new e92 M to get it over the vette.

If BMW is lisening - hey hey hey (Increase the base price of the new M e92 by 10% from 2006 model)
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      09-07-2007, 11:46 AM   #16
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And what the h3ll is wrong with the new M e92 fuel consuption....???? 12-13 miles per gallon is this an M5? huh...

As much as I hate to say it (especially here in this forum), I think I will be going to buy a good ol' corvette that will give me good mpg, simple engine to repair, and mod, less $$$ (most likely), excelent handling, excelent accel, above average steering, and excellent braking.

I am confused - every day I am going back to the sweet memories of my old e30 M, and then I come back to reality, and wanna buy a vette, but then sweem memopries from the M come back, and I want to buy the new M e92...

I have no clue what the h3ll I am going to do at the end. But BMW has to really impress me with the price on the new e92 M to get it over the vette.

If BMW is lisening - hey hey hey (Increase the base price of the new M e92 by 10% from 2006 model)
Steved found a big improvement with mileage when he drove it in England. It surely helped that he didn't flog it continually like he did in Spain.
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      09-07-2007, 11:48 AM   #17
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Steved found a big improvement with mileage when he drove it in England. It surely helped that he didn't flog it continually like he did in Spain.
Where can I read that? Did they converted English miles to US?
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      09-07-2007, 11:48 AM   #18
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Three letters for you....................

CSL.
And again, the CSL card is played. This is not an attainable car in the US. Its basically irrelevant. Awesome, but irrelevant.
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      09-07-2007, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
And what the h3ll is wrong with the new M e92 fuel consuption....???? 12-13 miles per gallon is this an M5? huh...

As much as I hate to say it (especially here in this forum), I think I will be going to buy a good ol' corvette that will give me good mpg, simple engine to repair, and mod, less $$$ (most likely), excelent handling, excelent accel, above average steering, and excellent braking.

I am confused - every day I am going back to the sweet memories of my old e30 M, and then I come back to reality, and wanna buy a vette, but then sweem memopries from the M come back, and I want to buy the new M e92...

I have no clue what the h3ll I am going to do at the end. But BMW has to really impress me with the price on the new e92 M to get it over the vette.

If BMW is lisening - hey hey hey (Increase the base price of the new M e92 by 10% from 2006 model)
Sure a Vette gets great gas mileage when you driving 70mph in 6th gear. The new M3 I am sure will have decent MPG when driven in 6th at highway speeds. But please people can we put things in context here. The 12-13MPG were ahieved during the course of full day of road testing which included flogging and normal driving. Honestly my E36 M3 doesnt get much better gas mileage than that when I am having fun.

I really could never own a performance car that still uses Leaf Springs so the Vette is out for me.

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      09-07-2007, 11:56 AM   #20
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Where can I read that? Did they converted English miles to US?
I believe it is under the thread: Driving the M3 again or something to that effect posted the latter part of August.
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      09-07-2007, 12:00 PM   #21
ruff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
I really could never own a performance car that still uses Leaf Springs so the Vette is out for me.

Jason
Would you own a performance car with "numb steering"?
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      09-07-2007, 12:08 PM   #22
T Bone
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Remember

Just remember, the mandate for BMW M is to take an otherwise normal BMW and make it super. Like any good chef's they are limited by the quality of the ingredients.

The 3er, 5er and 6er are now big and heavy for to suit customer demands and for safety. M just makes them a lot better and faster. Blame BMW customers for making the cars bigger and heavier.

On the good side....

Name another company than can deliver 3 top-of-the-line variants at a rate of 1 / year. M5, M6, M3.... Audi's RS werks is a joke compared to M. AMG Black is a reaction to the fact their AMG's can't compete with the M's.

The Z10 is going to be a car built from the ground up by M.....I dare you to call it soft or lost when it comes out.
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