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      07-06-2007, 04:13 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Revlis View Post
OK... Didn't bother to read your last bit of drivel... All I saw was FANBOY, so I'll say Your an idiot...

Been reading about and enjoying cars since I was a kid, I'm pretty well aware of the market and economics... Simply put, you're all wrapped up in own little predetermined course, I've got nothing for you but I'd encourage you to look around a little bit at the automotive world, if you can get your head far enough out of your ass to do so...

Cheers.
There are quite a few great points in his reply so I wouldn't dismiss it so quickly.

As for the original question, "Why can't BMW offer more options as standard?", the answer to that is BMW most certainly can offer more options as standard. They just don't want to.
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      07-06-2007, 04:40 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revlis View Post
OK... Didn't bother to read your last bit of drivel... All I saw was FANBOY, so I'll say Your an idiot...

Been reading about and enjoying cars since I was a kid, I'm pretty well aware of the market and economics... Simply put, you're all wrapped up in own little predetermined course, I've got nothing for you but I'd encourage you to look around a little bit at the automotive world, if you can get your head far enough out of your ass to do so...

Cheers.
Ok, I'll say you are an idiot as well. It is very apparant that you do not have a grasp of the automotive industry. You have been reading some magazines and spent some time in Wiki and seem to act like you know what "soul" is from a car. If you are such a "soul" searching purist, did you just discover BMW from E92? Try driving a E36 M or an E30, that is what "soul" is. I guess you don't know what "over built" means either huh? You must be one of those people who talk a lot but don't have anything to back it up. Stop reading those magazines and open your eyes.

Engineering, technology and ingenuity is public domain; it is not proprietary to any specific make of vehicles. It is what the manufacturer chooses to make. Do you think BMW engineers are locked up in some secret basement?

How can anyone be so naive to think that other auto makers do not know how to make the same thing. Do you know how easy that is to do??? Do you know what reverse engineering is, and that every company does it, and that they choose what to copy and what not to based on economic sense. You said you are well aware of market and economics; this is just basic son.

You have nothing to say but that I am on some pre-determined course and resort to calling me names. Every car maker is capable of building a supercar, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you stop looking like a dumbass.

Call me a fanboy, I don't care, I am, but I know facts from opinion. I've personally worked with engineers from Toyota, BMW, D-C, as well as other trade vehicles to know what I am talking about. I'm not wrapped up in anything, just telling the facts. I welcome you to present some facts to support your idiotic claims.

Last edited by homerunball; 07-06-2007 at 05:02 PM.
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      07-06-2007, 06:26 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by homerunball View Post
Ok, I'll say you are an idiot as well. It is very apparant that you do not have a grasp of the automotive industry. You have been reading some magazines and spent some time in Wiki and seem to act like you know what "soul" is from a car. If you are such a "soul" searching purist, did you just discover BMW from E92? Try driving a E36 M or an E30, that is what "soul" is. I guess you don't know what "over built" means either huh? You must be one of those people who talk a lot but don't have anything to back it up. Stop reading those magazines and open your eyes.

Engineering, technology and ingenuity is public domain; it is not proprietary to any specific make of vehicles. It is what the manufacturer chooses to make. Do you think BMW engineers are locked up in some secret basement?

How can anyone be so naive to think that other auto makers do not know how to make the same thing. Do you know how easy that is to do??? Do you know what reverse engineering is, and that every company does it, and that they choose what to copy and what not to based on economic sense. You said you are well aware of market and economics; this is just basic son.

You have nothing to say but that I am on some pre-determined course and resort to calling me names. Every car maker is capable of building a supercar, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you stop looking like a dumbass.

Call me a fanboy, I don't care, I am, but I know facts from opinion. I've personally worked with engineers from Toyota, BMW, D-C, as well as other trade vehicles to know what I am talking about. I'm not wrapped up in anything, just telling the facts. I welcome you to present some facts to support your idiotic claims.
Yeah..you're right...every automaker knows how to do everything and everything is really easy to do, but they just don't do it....

For that reason, I'm sure Lexus or Infinity want to be better than BMW, driving and performance wise, but they just don't do it....

Dude, if they knew how to do it, they would have done it already. Or maybe they have some special secret why they want to be #2 or #3 all the time.

Does that make sense to you?

And stop with the name calling! If you can't express your opinion without calling people names, don't post.
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      07-06-2007, 07:57 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by E90ice View Post
Yeah..you're right...every automaker knows how to do everything and everything is really easy to do, but they just don't do it....

For that reason, I'm sure Lexus or Infinity want to be better than BMW, driving and performance wise, but they just don't do it....

Dude, if they knew how to do it, they would have done it already. Or maybe they have some special secret why they want to be #2 or #3 all the time.

Does that make sense to you?

And stop with the name calling! If you can't express your opinion without calling people names, don't post.
I understand what you're saying, but Lexus sells alot more cars than BMW (almost 2x as much at least in 2005. This is the most recent full year data that i can find). I highly doubt that Lexus really wants to be BMW. Toyota is closing in being the world's sales leader. As much as i dont like their cars (for the most part), one cannot disagree that they have been very successful
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      07-06-2007, 08:06 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90ice View Post
Yeah..you're right...every automaker knows how to do everything and everything is really easy to do, but they just don't do it....

For that reason, I'm sure Lexus or Infinity want to be better than BMW, driving and performance wise, but they just don't do it....

Dude, if they knew how to do it, they would have done it already. Or maybe they have some special secret why they want to be #2 or #3 all the time.

Does that make sense to you?

And stop with the name calling! If you can't express your opinion without calling people names, don't post.
Let's look at Toyota for a second. First of all, they just surpassed GM as the number 1 automaker in the world. Second of all, the IS250/350, the obvious competitor to the 3 Series, is selling quite well. I believe the old IS was selling at about 1/10 the rate of the 3 Series. Last I saw, the 2nd generation was selling at more like 1/2 the rate. That's a huge improvement in market share.

And Lexus achieved that improvement without offering a coupe or convertible. More importantly--for the enthusiast--it also made all this headway with a weak base engine, and no stick available with the 3.5-liter. Lexus could easily have chosen to offer a better set of powertrain options, but it very consciously chose not to. This isn't a failure to "crack the BMW code", it's just what made economic sense for Lexus.

As for feel, the IS actually rides stiffer than a sport-packaged 3 Series. Lexus spokespeople have publicly stated that, with the ES350 in their lineup, they can tune the IS more stiffly than the 3 Series because the buyers looking for comfort will simply buy an ES instead of an IS. BMW, on the other hand, tunes it's suspensions with more compliance, yet still manages to achieve very good handling, and it's engineers put a strong emphasis on communication. The IS has all the capability of a 3 Series, but the company still believes its buyers--even those who want the stiff-riding IS--favor isolation over communication, so they smooth out some of the vibrations BMW leaves in.

So, yeah, what homerunball said...If Lexus wanted to make a 3 Series with an IS body over it, it could. Instead, it chose a different path. Its engineers purposely chose not to continue with an inline-6 (but see the IS300 for proof that they know how to make one), and they chose to build more isolation into the steering (yet there are MR Spyders out there that suggest Toyota can build a quicker, more communicative rack if they so choose).

So, there's nothing magic about BMW. It's just a company with a storied history, a loyal following, and a very strong brand identity. The reason other companies aren't offering BMW clones is that they have their own brand identities to uphold and their own niche in the market to satisfy.

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      07-06-2007, 08:11 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by homerunball View Post
Ok, I'll say you are an idiot as well. It is very apparant that you do not have a grasp of the automotive industry. You have been reading some magazines and spent some time in Wiki and seem to act like you know what "soul" is from a car. If you are such a "soul" searching purist, did you just discover BMW from E92? Try driving a E36 M or an E30, that is what "soul" is. I guess you don't know what "over built" means either huh? You must be one of those people who talk a lot but don't have anything to back it up. Stop reading those magazines and open your eyes.

Engineering, technology and ingenuity is public domain; it is not proprietary to any specific make of vehicles. It is what the manufacturer chooses to make. Do you think BMW engineers are locked up in some secret basement?

How can anyone be so naive to think that other auto makers do not know how to make the same thing. Do you know how easy that is to do??? Do you know what reverse engineering is, and that every company does it, and that they choose what to copy and what not to based on economic sense. You said you are well aware of market and economics; this is just basic son.

You have nothing to say but that I am on some pre-determined course and resort to calling me names. Every car maker is capable of building a supercar, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you stop looking like a dumbass.

Call me a fanboy, I don't care, I am, but I know facts from opinion. I've personally worked with engineers from Toyota, BMW, D-C, as well as other trade vehicles to know what I am talking about. I'm not wrapped up in anything, just telling the facts. I welcome you to present some facts to support your idiotic claims.
Nope Pretty Sure you've got your own little set of assumptions you are going to cling to. You're the guy throwing out "fanboy" after having obviously missed the gist of what I was driving at...

No the E92 isn't my introduction to BMW and the addictive "feel" that I speak of. I have previously driven an E36 (Not Mine) an E46 M3 (a few hundred miles) and a 540i for a few months... Yes the E92 is soft by comparison to EVERY 3-series before it, but the seat of the Pants and steering wheel FEEL is there is abundance, I am willing to bet that when I eliminate the RFTs that the steering feel will also sharpen up some.

Pretty sure I hadn't made any Statements presenting myself as a subject matter expert, You keep banging a FACT WarDrum what is it you need me to do, dig into the Road & Track Library, record some television commercials for you? Present some scans of ads, and reviews? My point is valid. BMW is the Target, has been for decades and other manufacturers take great pains to compare whatever the hell they are building to BMW... As I mentioned NOT all but each has their one or two models... "Like BMW" "as found on the BMW..." "similar to the BMWXXX for Less". On and on.

Not sitting here at work getting all misty eyed and romantic about BMW. BUT, there is a difference, and I think you know exactly what I am talking about. It is a "feel" a "Soul" certain cars have, call it feedback, or balance, or hell maybe it's the little bit of vibration in the steering wheel I dunno. I do know that it doesn't take some deep seeded Purist fanaticism to appreciate the "feel" or whatever you want to call it that BMWs have that is lacking in most every other car out there, especially those built to a tighter price point than BMW.

You seem to have the answers, why don't you tell me where the feel is? 350z Nope, Maxima Nope, G35 Nope, Rx-8 CLOSE, C6 Nope, CTS-V not here either... Why don't these cars have the feel, the sense of control that I am talking about? It's not a measure of performance, there are plenty of cars that are faster, with higher lateral grip, or faster slalom times that just don't have the feedback the FEEL that the BMW does. At least not that I found over the last couple of years.

It's subjective sure, but when I can "feel" the Left rear tire start to slip a bit in a freaking 540i through the seat of my pants and hands? This means something, it's addicting and it's why I have an E92.

Where are the cars that provide the type of feedback I am speaking of? In a purely 1+1=2 kind of world sure it's irrelevant, you can work on suspension geometry all day and not get it... It's a pity that you do not understand what it is I am talking about. You claim to be speaking of FACTS, where are they? Where are the hoards of inexpensive or even competitively priced cars with the "Feel" and handling balance of a BMW?

In the end I took offense to the
Quote:
We really gotta stop this mindless BMW fanboy rants and get real.
This statement was intentionally offensive. The implication being that my entire POV is skewed because I am a mindless Roundel Worshiper. I may be an asshole, but I am not a Fanboy and my posts and POV bear this out.


Oh and FWIW I believe the 335's 6-speed is a German made unit...
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      07-06-2007, 08:15 PM   #95
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There are quite a few great points in his reply so I wouldn't dismiss it so quickly.

As for the original question, "Why can't BMW offer more options as standard?", the answer to that is BMW most certainly can offer more options as standard. They just don't want to.
More accurate I think would be to say they don't HAVE to.

This ties in with the assertion that BMWs are over priced? Well they obviously are NOT over priced as they are currently selling as fast as they can be produced. A sign that BMW has most likely hit the price point exactly on target, or right at what the market will bear for a German mid level sedan or coupe.

In a relatively Free market a thing that is priced beyond it's value or percieved value doesn't sell. Simple as that.
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      07-06-2007, 08:17 PM   #96
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because its a nissan, they have to make it sound like theyre selling more. A twin turbo in-line six 3.0 liter 300 hp 300 ft/lb 13 second 1/4 mile car kinda sells itself. all the other doo-dads are just icing on the cake. Not to mention its a freakin BMW!
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      07-06-2007, 08:24 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by lyndon_h View Post
I understand what you're saying, but Lexus sells alot more cars than BMW (almost 2x as much at least in 2005. This is the most recent full year data that i can find). I highly doubt that Lexus really wants to be BMW. Toyota is closing in being the world's sales leader. As much as i dont like their cars (for the most part), one cannot disagree that they have been very successful
Lets not compare Toyota to BMW, please. And thats only because they are targeting different markets and different price range. Toyotas are not as expensive as BMWs and therefore are a little easier to sell, and of course they are good cars too. But do you see my point? I'm sure Toyota makes more money than Ferrari or Lamborghini easy. The higher the price of the car the harder it is to sell it.

Moving on to Lexus and BMW, yes Lexus sells more cars because they are a slightly better value than the BMWs, if you ask me. Again, they are great cars also, but they give you more options for the same money.

just my 0.02 cents
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      07-06-2007, 08:28 PM   #98
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The point of this thread is absolutely useless, in my opinion.

Most of the modern decent cars out there have more options than a Lamborghini or a Ferrari than cost 200k+. So what?

Personally, I would pick a Ferrari 360 or a Murcielago in a heartbeat, if I could.

Some cars you don't buy just for options. You buy them for driving pleasure. And thats why they cost more along with the badge. A BMW will always cost more, simply because its a BMW.

What is the point of this discussion?
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      07-07-2007, 12:44 AM   #99
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My point is valid. BMW is the Target, has been for decades and other manufacturers take great pains to compare whatever the hell they are building to BMW...
Magazines have always said that, yes, but it's clearly a bunch of crap. You can't build a FWD car with 60:40 weight distribution, stick in a four cylinder or even a V6, and claim that BMW was the target. The first-generation Infiniti G20 was probably the first car that had some actual feel to it and looked kind of BMW-esque, but beyond that, it really was a half-hearted attempt at best. Similar story with the Maxima (four-door sports car?) from that era. The Lexus IS300 was really just a Lexified Japanese-market rear-drive sedan called the Altezza. But it had RWD and an inline-6, so at least it had a prayer of being comparable to a 3 Series.

Otherwise, who has really made BMW a target over the past few decades? Who has actually talked the talked, walked the walk, and completely and utterly failed? Can't think of too many examples. The same thing holds for Chrysler's vaunted minivans. The magazines went on and on for years about how no one else had figured out the formula. Please! Everyone knew the Chryslers were built on a car-based platform. Ford and Chevy were merely hoping people wouldn't notice that the Aerostar and Astro were just vanified trucks.

Today, there are plenty of cars with feel. I disagree with you completely about the 350Z. It feels great on a track at least--very controllable and communicative at the limit. The new G35 also feels very good--it's just a big ol' thing (really more of a 5 Series competitor in terms of size) and not as refined (kinda' choppy ride with a sport pak). The Miata and RX-8 are right in there when it comes to suspension and steering and kick the shit out of BMW when it comes to shift feel (engine-wise, I'll take the Bimmer's inline-6, however). The Porsche Boxter is untouchable (but it better be for the price), but even the lowly Honda S2000 would give a Z4 a run for the money if it had some torque (and it has literally the best feeling shifter on the market).

I won't call you a fanboy, because you're at least willing to admit when you're being subjective, but you're notions that BMW has feel that no one else can match don't fly with me. I grew up on Hondas, and there are certain things about the way Hondas feel that I've yet to see BMW match, especially when it comes to the shifter and switchgear. But do you really think BMW couldn't build a snickety-snick short throw shifter if it tried? The company clearly believes that's the wrong feel for a BMW, but I miss it. I also miss being able to blip the throttle with just the slightest nudge and have the revs shoot up enough for a perfect rev-matched downshift. BMW prefers that heavy-flywheeled feel, where you have to give the throttle a thorough jab before the engine responds.

Other cars don't feel exactly like BMWs because other car manufacturers think they know better, that their customers won't notice, or that it doesn't match their brand identity, not because they can't do it.

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      07-07-2007, 01:03 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by danimal View Post
M

Other cars don't feel exactly like BMWs because other car manufacturers think they know better, that their customers won't notice, or that it doesn't match their brand identity, not because they can't do it.

-Dan

Agreed.
The differences between makers are what make varities. If every single maker manufactures their cars to be exactly like a BMW then we would all end up driving...well...BMWs.
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      07-07-2007, 09:14 AM   #101
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Just scanning through these posts is seems that some of the basic concepts of economics are being ignored. At the heart of the matter is the fact that (many) BMW owners will pay a premium for their cars and for luxury items like blue-tooth connectivity, special lighting, upgraded sound systems, etc. Ergo, BMW slides the price over to the right. You vote with your wallet and we have spoken.

Also have to consider some of the less obvious costs of building a BMW over a Nissan (note, I wrote 'cost' and not 'price'). I recall, when my car was brand spanking new, being very concerned about that first post-break in oil change. I have a good friend who is a BMW mechanic and asked a million questions about it. He told me that every BMW engine is fully tested and broken in using a special lubricant before it is even put in the car. Said not to fuss with it (although he did say to change the oil at roughly 2x the BMW recommended cycle due to valve fouling). Think about the cost of doing this break in. You have to have an extra area in your factory, technicians to babysit the engines and make any necessary adjustments, etc. All that costs money which is passed along to you. Meanwhile, Nissan just pops the engine in and makes certain that it will run. It is a fact that Nissan motors run forever, so I have no complaints with their system. But, BMW takes it to another level. That kind of thinking permeates the company. Then, because their cars are so darn fun to drive, they get to tack on a higher profit margin. At the end of the day, the car ends up priced 25% higher than some of the competition. There you have it ... if you want the car you have to pay extra. The add ons just push the price even higher, so they give you the choice of paying $45k or $55k.

I think it is important to also consider some of the very expensive "standard" options that BMW's include like rear wheel drive, DTC, huge brakes (more important than a turbo charger), automatic brake drying system, rear mounted battery, 50/50 weight balance, standard RFTs, sport tuned suspension system (at $1k that is basically included in the price), etc. I'm not sure if half those things are even available on a Nissan. I'm not knocking Nissan. My first car was a Nissan and it was a great car. It never broke, wasn't particularly fun to drive but it held its own, and looked almost new when I sold it with 150K miles on the odometer.

Consider Ferrari. They hand build their cars. At the end of the day, a Corvette will deliver similar performance. But, it is not hand built. Is hand built better? In some cases, it probably results in MORE problems. But, it is hand built! I've driven a Ferrari and a Corvette and they were both awesome to drive. But I'd take the Ferrari 100% of the time given the choice.
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      07-07-2007, 10:55 AM   #102
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homerunball is exactly right. Any of the Japanese companies and even the domestics are fully capable of building a car with the "FEEL" of a BMW. But designing a car so that it feels the same involves making a lot of compromises that the other companies don't necessarily believe in, nor would their customers accept. Therefore the goal of these companies, particularly the Japanese, is to get as close to the feel of a BMW as possible, but without getting into the compromise zone.

The Japanese could, if they wanted to, put cheapo E39 style ultra lightweight plastic cooling systems in the front end of their cars to lighten up the front end considerably and get ever so closer to a "perfect" 50/50 weight distribution, but would their owners accept cooling system failures and having to replace the entire cooling system as "normal maintenance" at a cost of $2000+ every 60k miles? Absolutely not. And what about those cheap plastic lightweight window mechanisms that love to break in BMWs all the time. They're designed to reduce weight in the corners and up high near the roof line which is the WORST possible place to have weight for cornering performance. This minimizes body roll and improves control. The Japanese could do this also, but would their customers accept window mechanism breakage and yet more things to replace? Also no. And what about these magnesium alloy engine blocks to lighten up the front end even more? It's not like BMW invented this. GM did this in the Corvette 20-30 years ago. Will this engine block hold up over 10+ years and keep running like new? Who knows, but the Japanese are all sticking with aluminum block engines. And what about this GRAV60 front end technology in the E60. Keeps overall weight down and more weight off the front end, but there's reports of $20,000 repair costs just for minor front end collisions which makes them ridiculously expensive to repair, and also drives up insurance rates. The Japanese "could" employ technologies like this also to improve feel, but would their customers accept that? Probably not also.

The biggest myth here by Revils is that BMW's are designed to last, which is provably false. BMW is about FEEL first and foremost and they'll compromise on reliability or durability at will if it's getting in the way of maintaining their feel, and that's just how they are. The Japanese are about reliability first and foremost. They want to give people a good feeling and driving car, but they won't compromise on reliability or durability to improve feel, because that isn't why their customers buy their cars. If their customers wanted a BMW feel they'd just go buy a BMW. Likewise any BMW owner who is tired of all of the annoying and nagging little issues they'll compromise on feel and go for a more reliable Japanese car. So much of this is just different companies with different niches catering to their customers needs and preferences.

As for BMW being the "benchmark", who makes them the benchmark? THE MEDIA. The media is obsessed with "FEEL" and hence they love BMWs, and Hondas, all of which "FEEL" and drive well. The media is just as biased in their preferences as any individual buyer is, so who made them the Gods of all that is good? It doesn't mean BMWs are "better" or that no other company is smart enough to design cars that way. They can. They just have different customers who expect different things, and therefore expect a different type of car. I could care less what the automotive rags say about anything and will just buy what suits me the best. Just because the media says something sucks doesn't mean you won't love it.

As for the price of BMWs, most of that has to do with the weak dollar against the Euro right now. BMW has published in trade magazines that they've had to economize a lot of their processes and do more in the way of platform and component sharing just to maintain their margins. All of the 2nd tier European makers trying to sell cars in the US are bleeding red ink. BMW's marketing and subsidized lease programs are brilliant also, which helps greatly.

The Japanese have their stuff together, but as for all of those American engineers? Many of them are just as smart if not smarter than anybody from Japan or Germany. So what's the difference? They're severely mismanaged and are never allowed to be creative. When engineers are properly let loose we get cars like the C6 Corvette Z06 which is brilliant in almost every aspect.

So in the end, it's important to realize that BMWs feel and drive the way they do because BMW is willing to compromise their designs in areas where other automakers aren't in order to achieve that feel. Don't believe for a second that this isn't true and that BMWs are in no way "compromised" designs because they are, and so is every other car. Just in different ways. And BMW "owns" the customers that enjoy that feel and don't mind the compromises whereas the Japanese companies don't. Japanese customers expect something different, and therefore the Japanese automakers cannot compromise their designs beyond what their customers will accept. A Japanese car designed to feel EXACTLY like a BMW will also have all of the compromises, and then it wouldn't be a Japanese car anymore.
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      07-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #103
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Just as BMW owns the market for "FEEL", Honda owns the market for high revving high horsepower per liter engines that have NO torque whatsoever. There is a sizable demograph of highly fanatical and loyal customers that believe that designing engines this way is the pinnacle of efficiency and all that is holy, and keep buying more and more Hondas accordingly. Even though their beliefs are provably false in many different ways both with theoretical and real life examples, is Honda wrong for building cars and engines this way when they have an established base of customers that expect that? Heck no! I like a lot of the cars that Honda makes but believe their engine building philosophy is stupid and hate the "FEEL" of their engines. But hey, other people love it and enjoy it, so they can keep on buying it, and Honda will keep on making it for them. That just means I have to find something else to drive, like a BMW.
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      07-07-2007, 02:25 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by SteVTEC View Post
A Japanese car designed to feel EXACTLY like a BMW will also have all of the compromises, and then it wouldn't be a Japanese car anymore.
Great post!

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      07-07-2007, 05:27 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by SteVTEC View Post
The Japanese could, if they wanted to, put cheapo E39 style ultra lightweight plastic cooling systems in the front end of their cars to lighten up the front end considerably and get ever so closer to a "perfect" 50/50 weight distribution ... And what about those cheap plastic lightweight window mechanisms that love to break in BMWs all the time.
I think your post is good and you obviously put a lot of thought into it. However, my neighbor (who owns a Lexus and a Maxima) and I just opened up our trunks and took our the mini maglights to compare the cooling system components.

Not seeing it. The BMW has a lot more "shiny aluminum looking parts" (neighbor's description) and roughly the same amount of black plastic tubing in the air intake section. Our door handles are very similar except that mine are larger and his are smaller and the plastic around the handle appears to be softer (and has a bunch of tiny dings in it). My car is newer so that might just be wear.

Not saying you are wrong, but those "cheap" components must be deep inside the car where they cannot be observed from the top. Incidentally, the BMW has a cover on the bottom of the car, the Lexus does not.
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      07-07-2007, 07:00 PM   #106
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Because BMW builds them using far superior components, they are built to last, and are engineered for drivers, not for masses looking for transportation. yes the BMW is a mass produced vehicle, but a well engineered and thought out vehicle.

Besides, if BMW through more stuff at the 3 series as standard many folks that are stretching to afford the more simply equipped BMWs would be kept away.

I'd say go drive one, then come back and tell us if the 08 Altima is an equivalent driving experience for far less money.
+1

Took a quick test drive of a Passat Wagon which is a contender for the fiancee's next car. This particular example was a well loaded one for ~$39k. I wasn't impressed. Steering way too light, brakes grabby, engine raspy (V6), and felt too unsettled. Bottom line, the car may have had more amenities, but it felt tangibly inferior to the 328iT that we had test driven a month ago.
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      07-07-2007, 07:35 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMP View Post
I think your post is good and you obviously put a lot of thought into it. However, my neighbor (who owns a Lexus and a Maxima) and I just opened up our trunks and took our the mini maglights to compare the cooling system components.

Not seeing it. The BMW has a lot more "shiny aluminum looking parts" (neighbor's description) and roughly the same amount of black plastic tubing in the air intake section. Our door handles are very similar except that mine are larger and his are smaller and the plastic around the handle appears to be softer (and has a bunch of tiny dings in it). My car is newer so that might just be wear.

Not saying you are wrong, but those "cheap" components must be deep inside the car where they cannot be observed from the top. Incidentally, the BMW has a cover on the bottom of the car, the Lexus does not.
The E39 cooling system was just an example of BMW's car building philosophy. Maintain the feel and balance at all costs, even if it means sacrificing reliability. The N52 in your E90 saves weight in the front end via the magnesium alloy block, so maybe they don't need to use cheapo plastic stuff in the cooling system anymore. I'm not a metallurgist so I can't make any intelligent post about how a magnesium alloy block will hold up over the long term (or not) compared to aluminum. But it is lighter and not as strong as aluminum, which is why BMW went back to the aluminum block for the TT N54 motor. And a lot of it is dependent on the specific application and design anyways. Did BMW get it right the first time around on these mag blocks, or will they have fatigue issues and eventual block failure 5-10 years down the road? Your guess is as good as mine.

Yes, a lot of the stuff that makes the difference is stuff you won't even notice or see.
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      07-08-2007, 12:40 AM   #108
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The N52 engine block is formed in three complex castings consisting of magnesium and aluminum (magnesium upper and lower crankcases surrounding the aluminum center that contains the cylinder bores and coolant passages) - so it isn't really a magnesium alloy block. Either way, it isn't as if Magnesium hasn't been used before to lighten engines. The 1967 Porsche 911 R, designed as a racing version of the 911 S, was outitted with a magnesium alloy block instead of the usual aluminum block. I'm also not a metallurgist, but a quick search uncovered that aluminum, while strong, does not handle vibrations as well as Magnesium and is more prone to microfractures. It's possible that the N52 engine will turn out to be light but short-lived. On the other hand, it might be a technological breakthrough. I suppose we'll find out in a few years. Either way, I'm struggling to see solid examples of sacrificing quality components (i.e., metal) for lightweight but flimsy (i.e., plastic) in the 3 series. Using an innovative blend of aluminum and magnesium is exactly what I want in a car. Putting cheap plastic cooling components is not.
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      07-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #109
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Revlis, I am sorry if I took your comments out of context. Maybe I should have shown more discretion.

What I am trying to say is that these TV, magazine, and any other publication's reviews are simply just marketing with deep rooted factors on why they lean toward another brand of vehicles. Politics, money, and if the Project manager at Honda buys the editor of C&D a drink, the next review is somewhat favorable. That I do not believe as evidence or facts that any one company is better.

Like many have said, its their choice to build what they build based on what makes them the most money, the rest(ads, articles, reviews, anything) is just smoke and mirrors. Yes BMW and other 'focused makes' will make a car with great handling and feel at great costs to obtain the best materials, and engineering. They would not do this, however, if they knew that they cannot extract all that money from people like you and I. Its just their economic money making formula. I will admit, though that as automotive enthusiasts, I'd rather be making BMW's than Honda's to make money but in the end, it is still a business and the owners of Honda and BMW are both billionaires.

All I was trying to accomplish in this thread was that every company has the skills, tools, capability and the knowledge to build supercars.

Spending less on costly engineering and more on cheap advertising, like comparing to BMW's, is an excellent marketing ploy used by almost every product out there. As Toyota's sales numbers show, their method of success is just as brilliant as BMW.
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      07-09-2007, 12:38 AM   #110
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Politics, money, and if the Project manager at Honda buys the editor of C&D a drink, the next review is somewhat favorable.
I think most of your comments in this thread have been right on the, um, ball, but I have to take issue with this one. I've been to auto show press days and press trips, and, while automakers do generally provide nice food (and occasionally free adult beverages) in an attempt to generate favorable feelings about their cars, I sincerely doubt there are many journalists out there who would write a glowing review of a crappy car simply because he really liked the shrimp cocktail at the press launch.

Also, if you're going to make a case that car magazine writers are bought and sold like politicians, Car and Driver seems like a particularly bad example. They'll rip a car to shreds even if that manufacturer has ads in the very issue where the shredding occurs. Yes, Honda, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Porsche, tend to win a lot of their comparison tests, but this isn't because C/D has an economic interest in any of these brands, it's because these companies tend to sell cars that are fun to drive. And there are plenty of exceptions. If they were really "owned" by Honda, for example, why is it the Civic never wins their comparisons yet Accords often do? Similarly, why does the 3 Series usually win, but the 5 and 7 often don't?

If anything, I would say some publications just aren't very critical at all, but not any less so for one make versus another. I haven't read Motor Trend in a long time (and I hear it has improved), but there was a time it read like a brochure to me. Boring and hardly ever seriously critical--for all cars. I'll grant you that I have heard much speculation that their Car of the Year trophy really was given to the highest bidder, but in general, I think they just had an editorial policy to write generally favorable reviews and downplay the negatives.

Anyway, I've not naive enough to think that any industry is immune to corruption, I just think your statement was unjustified.

-Dan
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