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      07-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #243
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I think the opinion article was well written.

The concept of M now is "marketing" not performance

Big Money Wins
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      07-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US///M3 View Post
The best-ever M5 beaten, by autocar.i dont remember the E39/E60 M5 doin this poorly against the competition.

Car and Driver, The M5 places last.
http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...arison-test?re on direct=no
^^^Not a good sign for the ///M brand.^^^

Quoting Car and driver's review on the latest M5:"...the M5 suffers shortfalls in three areas where an M usually excels: steering, suspension, and brakes. We noticed this while tackling fast bends on Bavarian back roads. The calipers supplied a cold, weak bite. There was too much up-and-down bobbing of the body, and the relatively slow, remote steering wasn’t always able to place the front tires exactly where we wanted them. To drive in haste, you must trust the machine, and the M5, capable as it is, keeps secrets."
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      07-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post
I am a 1M owner and a former 258 ps Euro specific N52 engined E90 330i owner and I know what you are talking about very well and totally respect your preferences. I still believe that you should give yourself a chance to drive a 1M first, if you could, and you may change some of those impressions. I would never rate the 1M as a great car if it wouldn't have such a big NA under the bonnet feeling most of the times and when you want it to be more, it has more too. Still, I agree with your OP totally and that Z4 3.0i coupe was really one of the best BMWs.
Don't get me wrong -- the 1M is an incredible car and a future classic. I'm not saying otherwise. Had I been in the market for a new car when it was briefly available, there's a chance I'd have one today. For my tastes, however, it wasn't enough for me to break a new lease. Maybe if it had an NA engine.

I think the 1M is the most focused car BMW has built in years, so it gives me hope that they're not just slapping M badges on everything for no good reason. Still, what I'd really like to see is the M Division develop a sports car on its own chassis (something like a Cayman).
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      07-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #246
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I love the rampant fanboy-ism in this thread. This should be a wake up call for BMW and for anyone who claims to like the brand and what it stood for, as I do / did. Is the article over the top - yes; does it make some (IMO) relevant points everyone should think about - yes.

All these profit arguments are garbage as no one knows BMW's margins and no one bothered to respond to my post on it because I suspect no one here understands corporate strategy and finance. Something I happen to do for a living.

Most of you should look beyond what is in your garage and your instinctive human need to defend yourselves through defending your material possessions.
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      07-11-2012, 01:28 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erhan View Post
...and more importantly, give us a 1 series or Z4 type car that is small, light and f**king fast. And do this without massaging seats, automatically closing boot, iphone apps, and freaking turbo engines. Make it a simple, raw, direct driver's car. You know, like the freaking Subaru does...
EXACTLY

It's pure speculation on my part, but maybe, just maybe the BMW-Toyota partnership will end up spawning a line or sub-brand of relatively affordable sports cars ($30-$40K). If BMW only occupies the $40K+ market for too long, I fear they'll eventually lose appeal to young drivers which will eventual erode sales. It's obviously the same problem Toyota faced in the last decade, hence the Scion brand and the surprisingly focused FR-S.

When Mercedes introduced the C Class "Baby Benz" to the U.S. in the 1980s, the move was seen as highly risky to the well-established Mercedes brand. But it turned out to be a huge success because it opened the door to a whole new class of long-term Mercedes customers without cheapening the brand because the 190E was a good car in its day. Now we see Audi bringing a next-gen A3 sedan (even flirting with the A1 in America) and Mercedes is likely to bring an A or B class car to the U.S. Perhaps BMW will see fit to do the same with BMW branded cars (the MINI brand is kind of a half-step in this direction).

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      07-11-2012, 01:32 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by DiscoZ View Post
I love the rampant fanboy-ism in this thread. This should be a wake up call for BMW and for anyone who claims to like the brand and what it stood for, as I do / did. Is the article over the top - yes; does it make some (IMO) relevant points everyone should think about - yes.

All these profit arguments are garbage as no one knows BMW's margins and no one bothered to respond to my post on it because I suspect no one here understands corporate strategy and finance. Something I happen to do for a living.

Most of you should look beyond what is in your garage and your instinctive human need to defend yourselves through defending your material possessions.
shouldnt you be crunching numbers mr finance?
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      07-11-2012, 01:43 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
I sense your skepticism (though your sarcasm is unwarranted), but don't think I wouldn't put my money where my mouth is. For me, there were two factors for not seriously considering a 1M Coupe: First, I was only a few months into a 3 year lease on my current 335i Coupe when it was announced and, second, I strongly prefer BMW's NA engines.

You can choose to label it as snobbery (it's not, really, just a well-reasoned personal preference), but I prefer the direct throttle response and non-linearity (i.e. gradual build) of BMW's NA straight sixes. I understand why turbos are likely here to stay and I appreciate their all around efficiency (the N55 really feels like a V8 much of the time and pulls in any gear), but I still gravitate to any NA straight six and I'm saddened that its time is coming to an end next year.

I'm on record many times as saying I would like my 335i much more if it came with the 255/260HP variant of the N52 even if I'd give up some speed in the process. I really wish they still offered a 330i in the U.S. My car prior to the 335i was a Z4 Coupe and that 255HP N52 was my favorite engine of all time. I'm not saying it's the best engine ever made, but I found that it was the perfect combination of usable power, everyday civility and decent economy. And it also had a lovely rasp to it when pushed -- I really miss that natural metallic sound that urged me to wind it out. It may not be an M engine, but it's plenty good for me.

So given my strong preferences and the fact that my lease is up next Spring, the leading candidate for my next car is a 128i Coupe M-Sport. I'm not even going to look at the new 335i or 135i because have no problem trading in some luxury, space and speed for a 300 lb. reduction in weight. If BMW offered a 130i in the U.S. with the 255HP N52 and a slightly harder suspension, that would be my ideal car right now. And without going off on a tangent, we bought my wife an F30 328i earlier this year and it's hugely disappointing as a driver's car, but fine as a luxury sedan.

I will also be test driving a Subaru BRZ which may sound crazy coming from a 335i, but I know my value system and I'm going to seek out cars that fulfill the demands of my heart and head. As I mentioned above, I believe the BRZ is the closest thing to a spiritual successor to the E30 M3 that's available new today regardless of price (almost same size, power, weight, speed, etc.)

As for weight, one gripe I've repeated before: I find it unholy and maddening that BMW doesn't include lumbar support on all their cars. But for the inclusion of lumbar support, I would likely forgo the Premium Package to remove weight and complexity. Unfortunately, I've driven a couple BMWs without lumbar support and my back starts hurting within an hour, so Premium is a must for me.

So despite my defense of BMW's current direction with the M brand, I'm basically an old school M customer and BMW is probably going to lose me at some point. For now, they still make the best car in their class and, perhaps most importantly to me, they still offer manual transmissions (even if I have to order them hear in SoCal) which I require.

If the Cayman had a small rear seat for the dog, that would be my car of choice, but a 128i M-Sport manual with the last of the great BMW NA straight sixes is a pretty good option, actually better for me than a 1M.

Outstanding.. as a 17 year E30 M3 owner... I'm an old school BMW owner as well. Sorry.. snobbish comments retracted. Don't fear the turbos. Appreciate the most excellent response and agree wholeheartedly on the F30 as a daily car and not a fun to drive car. It's so freaking BIG. BMW NA would be wise to clamor for an F20 SEDAN.
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      07-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #250
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A lot of whining in this thread (and on this forum in general). The only thing to worry about is whether BMW can still deliver the car that is satisfactory to you. That is different from what you WANT. What people WANT, they probably wont find. If the decision was left to the members on this board, we would have a 500HP NA engine that revs to 9500RPM in a 2900 lb car, six piston brakes that you can choose the color of the caliper on, and a six speed (because GOD FORBID bmw explore new transmission technologies at the expense of everyones manhood)...

The thing that you (we) should be worried about is whether they make a car that suits you and justifies your feeling of brand loyalty. I dont care if they make M SUVs, 4500 lb M super yachts, or slap an M badge on a 116i... As long as the car I want to buy is good enough for me and hits all the buttons. I want performance, innovative technology, slight comfort for a passenger occasionally, and aesthetics; in a relatively small car. As long as they make that car, I'm happy...

You guys should stop worrying about what everyone else is doing (buying M SUVs... oops SAVs) and worry about yourself. If you feel the last real M3 was the E46 and you want an M3... buy an E46. If that's too old of a car... buy a competitors car. We make up such a small percentage of BMW's revenue that all of this chatter is irrelevant. Just be happy when a car comes out that hits most of your buttons. This is the age we live in.
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      07-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
Don't get me wrong -- the 1M is an incredible car and a future classic. I'm not saying otherwise. Had I been in the market for a new car when it was briefly available, there's a chance I'd have one today. For my tastes, however, it wasn't enough for me to break a new lease. Maybe if it had an NA engine.

I think the 1M is the most focused car BMW has built in years, so it gives me hope that they're not just slapping M badges on everything for no good reason. Still, what I'd really like to see is the M Division develop a sports car on its own chassis (something like a Cayman).
Amen
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      07-11-2012, 02:05 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by highyo View Post
shouldnt you be crunching numbers mr finance?
Hey, dont hate on the number crunchers .

It's really interesting seeing some of the responses here, especially those who bemoan the loss of ///Motorsport heritage starting in 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, former head of BMW Motorsport, on the Euro-spec E36 M3
We see the M3 as part of a line of sporting coupes like the 3.0 CSL and M635 CSi, not that road-racer that the E30 M3 was.

To be frank, if I'd had my way, it'd would not have been called the M3. I wanted to call it the 330 CSi but the parent company decided it should be called the M3 for marketing and racing reasons.
Personally, I think most people here romanticize motorsports and tracking to an unrealistic degree. Too many people spend $10s of thousands of dollars to convert a street car to a "race-ready" car, and often end up with a car that isn't good on either street or track.
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      07-11-2012, 02:37 PM   #253
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Agree with the article's author 100 percent!!!!

The 1M, M3 and M5 are credible as M cars. No truck is.

That Lime Rock edition gimmick could have worked fine for the basic, E92 328i, 335i, or even perhaps for the 335is if BMW insisted on making it a car unto itself. The better approach would have been to offer it as a package much like the M-Sport package or the Canyon Brown/M-Sport Canyon Brown Package (Z4) for that's really all it is: a bunch of cosmetic enhancements.
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      07-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #254
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Interesting discussion from the posters here.

To address the article that prompted this discussion, the writer's basic premise that the "M" brand has been watered down. I agree.
But, is it the demise of M? I don't think so. There is room for evolve-ment.

Has the M brand been diminished?
I get a sense that it has to a degree, but some who call themselves M "purists" will likely never be satisfied unless BMW builds the first and/or 2nd M3 again, and they probably won't.

The watering down of M is mainly because of the "M" logo's slapped into non M cars, and this "M sport" thing.
It would be cool if BMW were trying to create a brand niche and call it
"M sport", but to do that any BMW that is an "M sport" needs to have added performance to lift it above standard performance, something between standard and M.
BMW has used "---iS" and ''ZHP" before.
Taking those names and mixing then creating an "M Sport" niche would be cool, but it HAS to have INCLUDED standard performance upgrades.
The 3 series "M sport" does NOT have any standard equipment that does that. It's simply cosmetic, and that is why it diminishes the "M".

Example, the new F30 3 series. BMW offers an "M sport" line.
I have one on order.
What does it have to do with M, or creating an "M sport" niche? Nothing.
It doesn't have anything that improves performance over the standard "sport line" option, which includes sport seats and sport suspension.
M sport does have staggered wheel sizing as standard, and has a unique M steering wheel. However, in terms of added performance there is nothing added. It comes with the same sport seats and sport suspension as the "sport line". What differentiates the Msport from the sport line is the body kit, different M steering wheel with M logo, "M" on the door sills, and an "M" foot rest. Non of that makes for a 3 series that embodies what M should be about.

To try and create an "M sport" niche, BMW should have at least included the M adaptive suspension, M sport brakes, and a boost in engine output even if only 30hp/50lb ft. Then, it would have something to improve performance over a regular sport line, and give a true upgraded performance option above a standard 3 in the spirit of attaining the "sport" spirit of an M.
"M SPORT" would fit that setup just fine, with an emphasis on
"sport" not "M".

BTW, I don't have a problem with calling the 1M an M. If it's not a real M, then it's the most revised and hardcore "---iS" BMW has ever made. Or perhaps the 1M is exactly what a real "M Sport" would be.
It may not have a unique engine, but the rest of the car is what many think an M should have; high performance, unique, parts used have a performance enhancement purpose.
1M is still higher than what an "M sport" would be though, as it has a highly revised wide body, and it's steering and suspension come from an M3, a true M automobile. I know some would argue that too.

Last edited by RPM90; 07-11-2012 at 03:05 PM.
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      07-11-2012, 02:46 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
Don't get me wrong -- the 1M is an incredible car and a future classic. I'm not saying otherwise. Had I been in the market for a new car when it was briefly available, there's a chance I'd have one today. For my tastes, however, it wasn't enough for me to break a new lease. Maybe if it had an NA engine.

I think the 1M is the most focused car BMW has built in years, so it gives me hope that they're not just slapping M badges on everything for no good reason. Still, what I'd really like to see is the M Division develop a sports car on its own chassis (something like a Cayman).
It's own chassis?
I don't know that that would really be an "M", at least not in the way an M is created now.

Are you thinking that M could/should develop a chassis that can be altered to be used for an M2, M3, M5, M6, etc...
And then the basic bodies of the standard 2, 3, 5, 6 would be modified, widened, to fit?
Hmmm...interesting.
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      07-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post
EXACTLY

It's pure speculation on my part, but maybe, just maybe the BMW-Toyota partnership will end up spawning a line or sub-brand of relatively affordable sports cars ($30-$40K). If BMW only occupies the $40K market for too long, I fear they'll eventually lose appeal to young drivers which will eventual erode sales. It's obviously the same problem Toyota faced in the last decade, hence the Scion brand and the surprisingly focused FR-S.

When Mercedes introduced the C Class "Baby Benz" to the U.S. in the 1980s, the move was seen as highly risky to the well-established Mercedes brand. But it turned out to be a huge success because it opened the door to a whole new class of long-term Mercedes customers without cheapening the brand because the 190E was a good car in its day. Now we see Audi bringing a next-gen A3 sedan (even flirting with the A1 in America) and Mercedes is likely to bring an A or B class car to the U.S. Perhaps BMW will see fit to do the same with BMW branded cars (the MINI brand is kind of a half-step in this direction).
Subaru is famous for it's turbo's as much as for it's AWD.
The boxer turbo is a sweet piece, and it will be really sweet powering a BRZ/FRS.

I'll wager that the FRS/BRZ won't get sales as high as they will be once the turbo models come out.
Enthusiast drivers love lightweight great handling cars, but many also want power along with that. Turbo's have the ability to keep weight down while giving more power.

I always read about people who want small lightweight cars that handle well even though they don't have a lot of power.
Well, if that were true, then why did Mazda have to stop selling the RX8?
Why are those drivers not driving Miata's, instead of driving turbo engined BMW's?

Heck, if one wants a good handling NA engine powered RWD, Ford has been selling Mustangs for quite some time.
YES they DO handle well even with the archaic rear end.
There's also Nissan Z cars, normally aspirated, RWD, and they handle quite well. The Nismo 350Z was quite impressive in handling.

What people say they want, and what they actually buy are not the same.
Thus, people really need to think about what they think they're thinking about and be honest with themselves, and then hopefully they can be honest with others.

I LOVE turbo's. I also love nicely done NA engines.
I wish the new 3 series were lighter and smaller and didn't laden with all the freakin buttons and gadgets it has.
But, I still love how it drives, which is just like a BMW.
So, I ordered one. 335i Msport. Honest.

I too want to see a 1/2 series sedan. 4 doors is cool for a bit extra space.
The 3 has hit the limit in size, well, it may have gone a bit past it.
At least the F30 335i is a bit lighter than the slightly smaller E90.

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      07-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #257
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I think this comes down more to someone pointing out that the direction the M brand is taking may not be the best for it. Not sure where I lean still but I don't think everything he said is invalid.
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      07-11-2012, 03:20 PM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post
Outstanding.. as a 17 year E30 M3 owner... I'm an old school BMW owner as well. Sorry.. snobbish comments retracted. Don't fear the turbos. Appreciate the most excellent response and agree wholeheartedly on the F30 as a daily car and not a fun to drive car. It's so freaking BIG. BMW NA would be wise to clamor for an F20 SEDAN.
Cool. I definitely appreciate the N55 and I know this sounds like skewed logic (though I'm equally sure others will agree), but BMW's turbo-charged engines are almost too efficient and thus less fun to drive IMO. I miss having to (getting to, really) rev the engine out to reach the power band. For me, it's more about feel and the experience than the actual acceleration.

Easy example: the N20 in my wife's new 328i is technically superior to the 230HP N52 in her previous 328i. It's faster, has more usable low end power, better efficiency and it's probably better for packaging. So as a mainstream, volume selling engine, it's a winner. But for enthusiasts, I think it's no fun. It doesn't sound very nice, it's rough at idle and it doesn't exhibit any willingness to rev. So it's a good 90% use case engine, but I think it will leave enthusiasts flat and I think BMW still has to cater to enthusiasts more than competing brands given the brand's heritage.

So therein lies the problem. As BMW understandably turns the ship towards the mainstream, I think many enthusiasts hope the M cars will remain the hold-outs to the trend. Realistically, though, all the M cars are based on the mainstream cars so they are gradually following the same macro trends: bigger, more weight, turbos, more electronics, etc. It's understandable, if lamentable.

I definitely think there's room for an F20 sedan in America if properly executed and, as I mentioned above, maybe the Toyota partnership will bear fruit in the $30-$40K market down the line. I like the current 1 Series, but I understand that the styling is polarizing and the fact that it's availble as a coupe or convertible only in the U.S. doesn't help sales. Also, I think the minimal price difference between the 1 and 3 series draws more people to the 3 Series who would otherwise buy a 1 (especially for those who lease -- check out the relative residuals).

A simpler F20 "Baby Bimmer" in Sedan, Coupe and Convertible form could restore some life to the enthusiast wing of the BMW brand, especially if it forms the basis of another relatively affordable M variant.
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      07-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #259
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Quote:
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It's own chassis?
I don't know that that would really be an "M", at least not in the way an M is created now.

Are you thinking that M could/should develop a chassis that can be altered to be used for an M2, M3, M5, M6, etc...
And then the basic bodies of the standard 2, 3, 5, 6 would be modified, widened, to fit?
Hmmm...interesting.
It would definitely be something different from the way BMW manages the M Division today. I see the possibility of an M-only chassis as something that could conceivably underpin a Caymen competitor and perhaps a 911 competitor, but it would not be directly related to the other BMW models or M variants. Think of it: an M sports car that's solely from the M Division and not available in any other form. I've always wanted to see BMW make a true sports car in addition to its many variants on coupes and sedans.

Short of an M-only chassis (which is admittedly unlikely), I think BMW could make another great Z4-based M car if they could forgo the folding hardtop and make some other changes to shed weight.
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      07-11-2012, 03:28 PM   #260
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Article was gay. Paint job is sick. I agree with all those guys that said BMW is a co. that wants to make $. Who cares.
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      07-11-2012, 03:42 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Subaru is famous for it's turbo's as much as for it's AWD.
The boxer turbo is a sweet piece, and it will be really sweet powering a BRZ/FRS.

I'll wager that the FRS/BRZ won't get sales as high as they will be once the turbo models come out.
Enthusiast drivers love lightweight great handling cars, but many also want power along with that. Turbo's have the ability to keep weight down while giving more power.

I always read about people who want small lightweight cars that handle well even though they don't have a lot of power.
Well, if that were true, then why did Mazda have to stop selling the RX8?
Why are those drivers not driving Miata's, instead of driving turbo engined BMW's?

Heck, if one wants a good handling NA engine powered RWD, Ford has been selling Mustangs for quite some time.
YES they DO handle well even with the archaic rear end.
There's also Nissan Z cars, normally aspirated, RWD, and they handle quite well. The Nismo 350Z was quite impressive in handling.

What people say they want, and what they actually buy are not the same.
Thus, people really need to think about what they think they're thinking about and be honest with themselves, and then hopefully they can be honest with others.

I LOVE turbo's. I also love nicely done NA engines.
I wish the new 3 series were lighter and smaller and didn't laden with all the freakin buttons and gadgets it has.
But, I still love how it drives, which is just like a BMW.
So, I ordered one. 335i Msport. Honest.

I too want to see a 1/2 series sedan. 4 doors is cool for a bit extra space.
The 3 has hit the limit in size, well, it may have gone a bit past it.
At least the F30 335i is a bit lighter than the slightly smaller E90.
There's no question that the overall market for smaller, lighter, NA sports cars is small regardless of price point. Even if everyone who said they wanted one bought one, the numbers aren't big. So for big auto companies who just want to get bigger every year and want to make use of endless platform sharing for cost efficiency, the business case is a tough sell. The existing cars in this space, many of which you mentioned, are either slicing up the existing pie or missing the mark IMO.

The RX-8, for example, is interesting, but the styling is controversial and the rotary engine represents too much compromise (and perhaps "weirdness") for all but the die-hard fans. Endless tales of poor fuel efficiency, insatiable oil consumption and quality issues helped keep the RX-8 a niche car.

The Mustang is a great value, but it's not a proper sports car in the classic sense because of its size and weight. It sells well, of course, and it's improving by leaps and bounds, but it doesn't appeal to many people who are really looking for a cut rate Porsche. The next chassis looks promising, however.

The Miata is a natural performer, but it also requires a fair bit of compromise. The interior is small and limited to 2 seats, the storage space is minimal and most reviews say it makes a fine 2nd car but it's not great for longer drives. The design is also getting a bit long in tooth.

The 370Z is darned close, though I hear it's a bit brutish for daily driving. It's also limited by being a 2 seater and the styling is also controversial IMO. I don't have a good sense for how well it sells.

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe has come from nowhere to establish a role in the market, but I think it needs another generation of development to really shine. Still, it's impressive given the fact that Hyundai has basically no performance pedigree.

This is why I find the FR-S / BRZ so interesting. Like the Miata when it first came out, I think it will make its own market, albeit a small market. I don't see the FR-S / BRZ stealing lots of sales so much as making sales from people who have been waiting for such a thing to return to the market. But as you noted, those numbers will likely dry up in a few years, so the car will inevitably add turbo and likely convertible variants. Of course, I'd still prefer a tuned BRZ edition with 225 of NA power .
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      07-11-2012, 03:54 PM   #262
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I agree with what you're saying, but what purist cars has //M made lately that we can get? They said this Lime Rock Edition is track oriented, but there's NOTHING special about the car other than the $5,000 paint job, which is getting old already since many have already done it. I haven't seen interior pics, but I'm hoping they at least get the $3,200 orange stitching.
It's not like BMW hasn't done the engineering on the BBK and coilover suspension already. Come on BMW, throw us a bone in the US with something with true performance improvements.

.
Purist...the 1M is as close as it got... before that the E46 M3 CSL. I agree that there needs to be a hardcore option like the M3 GTS which is readily available. Just as Porsche have the GT2/3 & Cayman R.

1M should have come in race version as an option with performance seats, harnesses, track suspension, CF roof etc.
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      07-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #263
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100% agree with the author.The M brand meant something all these days until this blasphemy seeped in.No Difference between M an AMG
If they want to make money they could do it perfectly with the vanilla cars.

Well at the end of the day they have every right to make money as a car maker....at the same note.... the author has every right to express his opinion.
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      07-11-2012, 04:23 PM   #264
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No Difference between M an AMG
Regardless of where you stand on the question about what M means these days, BMW does deserve credit for continuing to offer manual transmissions on most cars where they have any chance of selling (i.e. automatic-only SUVs are more understandable). That's one reason the AMG cars have very little appeal for me. Of course the manuals may be gone soon as well, but I think we still have 5-10 years of "row your own" BMWs ahead of us.
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