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      07-18-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
swamp2
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Official BMW retort to recent "reviews" and rankings

Let me first say that this is clearly an oxymoronic thread by its nature.

I have just been pondering how we all feel here about low quality reviews and reviews which seem to sing all the praise to the M3 but award the "title" to the RS4.

Think about how all of the poor passionaite professionals at BMW and BMW M are feeling right now. What has there "response" been? Not even any of our friendly insiders have posted a single word about these "tests" and "verdicts". I think in addition to being really disappointed they probably have a strict, perhaps even official, lock down on any comments primarily to not look weak and defensive. Sure I agree there is much more important things to consider in a car than it's "magazine rank" yet at the same time there is an enormous amout of pride and ego at stake here. Heck it is not a war, but it is business and that gets about as serious as war sometimes. BMW certainly wants to make a pretty penny on the M3 and use it to drive sales of other vehicles. Probably the latter effect is way more important to their revenue.

However, I think most BMW employees, be them in engineering, product management, sales, marketing, management, etc. are resting quite confidently in their creation and achievement. Sure the car may not be blowing the competition (be it Audi or Porsche) out of the water but in the end and already it is pretty clear which car is the better performer and better "all arounder" if you lean in the pure performance direction.

I'll never myself be able to submit to the old addage that "silence is golden" but it is an interested idea, no?
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      07-18-2007, 10:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Let me first say that this is clearly an oxymoronic thread by its nature.

I have just been pondering how we all feel here about low quality reviews and reviews which seem to sing all the praise to the M3 but award the "title" to the RS4.

Think about how all of the poor passionaite professionals at BMW and BMW M are feeling right now. What has there "response" been? Not even any of our friendly insiders have posted a single word about these "tests" and "verdicts". I think in addition to being really disappointed they probably have a strict, perhaps even official, lock down on any comments primarily to not look weak and defensive. Sure I agree there is much more important things to consider in a car than it's "magazine rank" yet at the same time there is an enormous amout of pride and ego at stake here. Heck it is not a war, but it is business and that gets about as serious as war sometimes. BMW certainly wants to make a pretty penny on the M3 and use it to drive sales of other vehicles. Probably the latter effect is way more important to their revenue.

However, I think most BMW employees, be them in engineering, product management, sales, marketing, management, etc. are resting quite confidently in their creation and achievement. Sure the car may not be blowing the competition (be it Audi or Porsche) out of the water but in the end and already it is pretty clear which car is the better performer and better "all arounder" if you lean in the pure performance direction.

I'll never myself be able to submit to the old addage that "silence is golden" but it is an interested idea, no?
The more experienced BMW people most likely know that this kind of thing happens during the release of almost any new product that has a glowing history. They probably observed similar reactions during the release of the E46 M3. And, they, more than anyone else, must recognize that product design is about making trade-offs since they know exactly what trade-offs had to be made during the development of the E92 M3 and why. Ultimately, we, consumers, are the real judges--not the professional critics. We will decide if they've made the appropiate trade-offs. So, BMW folks must still be in the wait and see mode.
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      07-18-2007, 10:32 PM   #3
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I agree with you BUT...

I think we are all getting waaaay ahead of ourselves here with these first reviews. I would say less than half of them are truly bad. The rest are positive with negative remarks about steering and brakes which every M3 has had to deal with.

I am holding real judgement until some real reviews are done.

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      07-19-2007, 12:02 AM   #4
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But

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Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
I agree with you BUT...

I think we are all getting waaaay ahead of ourselves here with these first reviews. I would say less than half of them are truly bad. The rest are positive with negative remarks about steering and brakes which every M3 has had to deal with.

I am holding real judgement until some real reviews are done.

Jason
But 0/2 as far as having to choose one car as victor and the other as a close second ain't exactly awe inspisring. Steering is getting beat on pretty hard as well.
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      07-19-2007, 12:07 AM   #5
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What disturbing for me are the complaints on the steering. All other stuff they complain about I dont care about but the steering, thats not what I wanted to hear people diss.
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      07-19-2007, 12:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Let me first say that this is clearly an oxymoronic thread by its nature.

I have just been pondering how we all feel here about low quality reviews and reviews which seem to sing all the praise to the M3 but award the "title" to the RS4.

Think about how all of the poor passionaite professionals at BMW and BMW M are feeling right now. What has there "response" been? Not even any of our friendly insiders have posted a single word about these "tests" and "verdicts". I think in addition to being really disappointed they probably have a strict, perhaps even official, lock down on any comments primarily to not look weak and defensive. Sure I agree there is much more important things to consider in a car than it's "magazine rank" yet at the same time there is an enormous amout of pride and ego at stake here. Heck it is not a war, but it is business and that gets about as serious as war sometimes. BMW certainly wants to make a pretty penny on the M3 and use it to drive sales of other vehicles. Probably the latter effect is way more important to their revenue.

However, I think most BMW employees, be them in engineering, product management, sales, marketing, management, etc. are resting quite confidently in their creation and achievement. Sure the car may not be blowing the competition (be it Audi or Porsche) out of the water but in the end and already it is pretty clear which car is the better performer and better "all arounder" if you lean in the pure performance direction.

I'll never myself be able to submit to the old addage that "silence is golden" but it is an interested idea, no?
BMW hard core fans that most of us are, can rationalize and spin ourselves into oblivion to try and make ourself feel good about these preliminary reviews, but it doesn't change the outcome. And after rationalizing, I do feel better for little while and then the questions start to creep back in. The fact of the matter is, if the reviews were great, no one, and I mean no one, except maybe trolls, would be pointing out, that the reviews were only preliminary or questioning the source and validity of the reviews. Furthermore, no one ever seems to question the M3's good characteristics and performance in these reviews just the poor characteristics and performance. What us hardcores tend to forget is that for the most part, BMW is the darling of the automotive press and quite frankly gets enough breaks with the press to cause other Automakers and their fans to cry conspiracy. This alone causes me concern about the E92 M3. How important is steering feel? To me, it may be the most important factor that seperates driving a sports car from driving an everday appliance. It's easy to increase horsepower in car, but takes great engineering to develop tactile and perfectly balanced steering...the reason only a few elite cars have this trait. How long has it been since BMW has been universally hammered about steering feel on one of their cars, maybe the 3 series, 5 or 6 years ago? The negative press on the M3 so far has to be shocking the boys from Munich. They are use to ego massaging from the press based on their well deserved reputation of great vehicles. In a way, it is good to see BMW squirm, especially after making a press release stating Audi isn't their competition. How arrogant and narcissistic is that? Talk about wearing blinders. Well the blinders are off and we will be seeing if the e92 M3 really was over-hyped. One suggestion to BMW, read the reviews and take thorough notes. You might learn something.
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      07-19-2007, 12:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
I agree with you BUT...

I think we are all getting waaaay ahead of ourselves here with these first reviews. I would say less than half of them are truly bad. The rest are positive with negative remarks about steering and brakes which every M3 has had to deal with.

I am holding real judgement until some real reviews are done.

Jason

I tend to agree with this. What's more is that the poor reviews haven't exactly been written by top echelon publications. I find it interesting that the most reputable publications have had more favorable reactions.

Nonetheless, these reviews aren't real reviews in my book. For all intents and purposes this was a press junket, each publisher only having a limited amount of time to spend with the car. As such, i take these things all with a grain of salt, and await the reviews which await us when the car is officially released or on the verge of being released.

The complaints about steering have been pervasive however, and hope that bmw takes heed of them prior to release to correct for their misgivings. That many publications can't be wrong.
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      07-19-2007, 01:33 AM   #8
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Mainstream publications cater to mainstream crowd. If somebody who drives an Escalade is put into an M3 he would think the magazine was nuts to tell him steering was poor or brakes faded. He would think that the car was perfection itself.
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      07-19-2007, 01:59 AM   #9
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...........
Spot on comments ruff, well stated.
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      07-19-2007, 06:45 AM   #10
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Spot on comments ruff, well stated.
Agreed.

It's the M guys I feel sorry for, because they've had their hands tied somewhat by the volumes BMW are hoping for and seemingly the development guys for the 335i were allowed to go all out and make that car what it is, but the M guys had to hold back.
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      07-19-2007, 06:59 AM   #11
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BMW expected nothing but rave reviews from this pre launch review session. They would never have allowed any reviewing of this nature if they themselves weren’t 100% satisfied. I think they are all recovering from a blood nose and have their tails between their legs in boardroom meetings.

I am also looking forward to better more detailed articles.
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      07-19-2007, 07:05 AM   #12
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There are NO real reviews only real first drives.
To my knowledge only Car and Driver posted actual test numbers using actual test equipment. Steved reported, (check his posts) to us after his first drive. What he reported was more inline with what C&D and Top Gear had to say. There will be an all out head to head with all the numbers and mark my words. "The KING Lives".
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      07-19-2007, 07:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason-NY View Post
Spot on comments ruff, well stated.
/agree

Also, you have to remeber that BMW used this to get info back from the prees so that they can tweak the M3 before going into production.

This seems like a big enough issue that BMW will be looking deeply into.
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      07-19-2007, 07:26 AM   #14
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/agree

Also, you have to remeber that BMW used this to get info back from the prees so that they can tweak the M3 before going into production.

This seems like a big enough issue that BMW will be looking deeply into.
That has been discussed as well and it is not clear whether BMW tweaks cars after press introductions. Steved said they generally do not unless something is seriously wrong.
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      07-19-2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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If BMW is confident in its product, they are probably taken aback somewhat by the tome of the initial reviews, but sure that reviews based on real testing will show the true merits of the car.

BMW would never publicly respond to the lame-ass "comparison" tests published so far.

It would not surprise me, though, if BMW had people posting to forums like this one as a form of guerrilla marketing.
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      07-19-2007, 09:02 AM   #16
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It would not surprise me, though, if BMW had people posting to forums like this one as a form of guerrilla marketing.
Ok, you got me. What was the dead giveaway?
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      07-19-2007, 09:05 AM   #17
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Ok, you got me. What was the dead giveaway?
I thought we were supposed to keep that a secret, Helmut.
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      07-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #18
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In a way, it is good to see BMW squirm, especially after making a press release stating Audi isn't their competition. How arrogant and narcissistic is that? Talk about wearing blinders.
The BMW sales catologs clearly identify the RS4 as a competitor, and provide in depth information about it. A press release doesn't say anything about the thinking of the M development team or other development staff; it's simply a part of a marketing campaign. What press release are you referring to anyway?

You've taken "some" of these initial impressions way too seriously. These people are trying to sell magazines, and drama does that. Pick up the NYT and read the art critics. They always find fault in anything; that's their job. Most auto critics are not any different.

Think about it: are M engineers really that STUPID? If there was a steering problem, wouldn't their test drivers have pointed out the issue to them a long time ago? And why would they not fix it?

In other words, at this early point in the game, in the absence of any hardcore data and personal experience, I would trust the M engineers more than the the sensational magazine writers. That doesn't mean that there is no problem with the steering. There is a chance M engineers got the steering wrong, but I'm saying that is much lower than the chance some of these initial reviews are onto something significant. And, only time will tell. I haven't put a deposit on anything, and if I like what I see and hear when the 08 comes out, I'll put in an order for an 09.
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      07-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #19
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How long has it been since BMW has been universally hammered about steering feel on one of their cars, maybe the 3 series, 5 or 6 years ago?
I had a 330i when they "softened" the steering rack mid-production run for more "luxury". BMW made it right by offering free old steering rack retrofits for anyone that asked.
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      07-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #20
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It would not surprise me, though, if BMW had people posting to forums like this one as a form of guerrilla marketing.
I thoroughly believe that Audi does this.
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      07-19-2007, 02:38 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Let me first say that this is clearly an oxymoronic thread by its nature.

I have just been pondering how we all feel here about low quality reviews and reviews which seem to sing all the praise to the M3 but award the "title" to the RS4.

Think about how all of the poor passionaite professionals at BMW and BMW M are feeling right now. What has there "response" been? Not even any of our friendly insiders have posted a single word about these "tests" and "verdicts". I think in addition to being really disappointed they probably have a strict, perhaps even official, lock down on any comments primarily to not look weak and defensive. Sure I agree there is much more important things to consider in a car than it's "magazine rank" yet at the same time there is an enormous amout of pride and ego at stake here. Heck it is not a war, but it is business and that gets about as serious as war sometimes. BMW certainly wants to make a pretty penny on the M3 and use it to drive sales of other vehicles. Probably the latter effect is way more important to their revenue.

However, I think most BMW employees, be them in engineering, product management, sales, marketing, management, etc. are resting quite confidently in their creation and achievement. Sure the car may not be blowing the competition (be it Audi or Porsche) out of the water but in the end and already it is pretty clear which car is the better performer and better "all arounder" if you lean in the pure performance direction.

I'll never myself be able to submit to the old addage that "silence is golden" but it is an interested idea, no?
I didn't know you speak on behalf of BMW.

I'm not going to assume to know what they're thinking.
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      07-19-2007, 03:43 PM   #22
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I don't, OBVIOUSLY

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I didn't know you speak on behalf of BMW.

I'm not going to assume to know what they're thinking.
The title of my post was simply a small bit of drama to attract attention and then to discuss a point I thought to be quite interesting to ponder. Get with it - I'm not that pompous!

However, given the overwhelmingly passionaite discussions we have here as enthusiasts, I think it is totally fair to say that the dedicated BMW folks who poured their souls into this car over the last couple of years are overflowing with emotion about these preliminary reviews/comparisons. Each probably has a different mixture of emotions but for sure I know they are STRONG. To believe any less is to be totally deluded or even inhuman.
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