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"Money Making Machine" not “Ultimate driving machine”

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  • M3Enthusiast
    replied
    Let's pray that the S2000 doesn't follow the same path ...
    I'm an admirer and follower of Japanese cars as well, and have driven/owned a few. There's a very similar thing happening to them as well - the best Evo is widely regarded as Evo 6.5 (Makkinen edition), and the best STi is still the 22b. Like the E30 M3, both were equivalent of homologation specials of rally cars. Since then they have simply continued the wave of producing "Evos" and STis", struggling to find the right market and producing softer cars.
    The other example is the Mazda RX-7 succession by the very soft RX-8.
    Perhaps a notable exception is the new R35 GTR, but that remains to be seen.

    The ideal thing would be production of cars for the so-called "yuppies" as well as for driving enthusiasts like us. To me, Audi probably comes closest at the moment

    Leave a comment:


  • S14addict
    replied
    Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
    I haven't driven one, so I cannot comment on whether the EVO and STI are being watered down for mass market appeal.

    However, remember the EVO has been on the market in various iterations for many years, they just were not sold in the USA. So if the car is being softened and watered down now, I would conclude that the US market has something to do with it. A lot of them have sold in this country, and I wonder if some of the owners are whining about wanting more space, softer springs, whatever.......:sosad:

    haven't driven the new evo, but i have driven the evo IX and the 07 and 08 STI extensively. C+D and R+T are pretty spot on with the evaluations for cars concerning individual tests. i believe just about everything they have to say about a new model.

    the STI is definitely softer. the special thing about the previous EVOs and STIs is that as soon as you got inside the cars and fired them up, there was the voice in there telling you, "C'mon. Let me show you what i can do! let's explore the limits of adhesion...." this voice would just constantly egg you on, make you corner the car a little quicker as every turn came by. I can't explain it...... but i am completely captivated by that feeling. But personally i know of only one other car that communicates like that......

    I agree with your statement that the US market is corrupting these cars. We are the largest market.... only natural for companies to cater to the taste that will buy the most units. bunch of sell outs, but they can't be blamed.

    you know what would be the zenith of automotive truth as far as wheels go in my garage?
    E34 M5, E30 M3, E30 325is. i'd be all :fyeah::fyeah::fyeah:


    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - AUTOMERGED! There's no thread "bumping" or "double posting" within a 24hr period. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Originally posted by CleanAzzE30z View Post
    Aint that the truth. SHame huh? "Refinement" my balls.




    Mariano
    tell me bout it. I hate that word now.

    i have a feeling the S2000 is next on the chopping block. :shit:
    Last edited by S14addict; 09-26-2008, 07:41 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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  • CleanAzzE30z
    replied
    Originally posted by noro View Post
    Recently I read that the current E9x series has already sold 300,000 more units than the E46 line-up in the same time period since model's inception, making E9x more successful than the most successful 3er. I agree... what's BMW to do? Cater to the 5000 people like us (the wise guys that know something others don't) or to the millions that think that Dynamic Stability Control is this magical god-like creature that comes and saves the day by fighting laws of physics.
    Exactly. You cant alltogether blame BMW. It is, in the end, a business.


    Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
    I haven't driven one, so I cannot comment on whether the EVO and STI are being watered down for mass market appeal.

    However, remember the EVO has been on the market in various iterations for many years, they just were not sold in the USA. So if the car is being softened and watered down now, I would conclude that the US market has something to do with it. A lot of them have sold in this country, and I wonder if some of the owners are whining about wanting more space, softer springs, whatever.......:sosad:
    If you go by what you read in the automotive press, its the companies that want to drive the cars a bit upmarket and have more mass appeal.


    Mariano

    Leave a comment:


  • Ironhead
    replied
    Originally posted by CleanAzzE30z View Post
    Aint that the truth. SHame huh? "Refinement" my balls.




    Mariano
    I haven't driven one, so I cannot comment on whether the EVO and STI are being watered down for mass market appeal.

    However, remember the EVO has been on the market in various iterations for many years, they just were not sold in the USA. So if the car is being softened and watered down now, I would conclude that the US market has something to do with it. A lot of them have sold in this country, and I wonder if some of the owners are whining about wanting more space, softer springs, whatever.......:sosad:

    Leave a comment:


  • ///Mflossin
    replied
    sex sells....

    Leave a comment:


  • noro
    replied
    Originally posted by S14addict View Post
    Don't hate on BMW. It's the masses that dictate what's made. Hate on them.
    Relish in the fact that these results will only drive up values of true BMWs. Everything after E30/E34 was and is yuppie. Celebrate homologation specials, cars like the Elise, because 10-15 years from now you may not see others like it again. Look at what's happening to the EVO and Sti. Reminds me of the E30M to E36M story.
    Recently I read that the current E9x series has already sold 300,000 more units than the E46 line-up in the same time period since model's inception, making E9x more successful than the most successful 3er. I agree... what's BMW to do? Cater to the 5000 people like us (the wise guys that know something others don't) or to the millions that think that Dynamic Stability Control is this magical god-like creature that comes and saves the day by fighting laws of physics.

    Leave a comment:


  • CleanAzzE30z
    replied
    Originally posted by S14addict View Post
    Look at what's happening to the EVO and Sti. Reminds me of the E30M to E36M story.
    Aint that the truth. SHame huh? "Refinement" my balls.




    Mariano

    Leave a comment:


  • S14addict
    replied
    Originally posted by CleanAzzE30z View Post
    Whenever money enters into the equation of ANYTHING, it starts the watering down process and the slow wearing-down of the original intentions. I got over it a while ago.



    Mariano

    Amen. The main problem with money is that if you want money, you're going after yuppies. Yuppies are poseurs (99.9%) who don't know sh!t. British Motor Works right? :sosad: M stands for marketing. What was formerly known as the most powerful letter in the world should now read "BMW M. M stands for mock-up"

    Going after yuppies = less feedback. More weight, more refinement, quieter, gadgets..... these all kill feedback and response. Factor in crash regs to protect the masses from so many idiots who should realize driving a vehicle is like a loaded weapon and can f*ck people up, emissions regs that reduce "tinkerability" and you have a modern car.

    Don't hate on BMW. It's the masses that dictate what's made. Hate on them.
    Relish in the fact that these results will only drive up values of true BMWs. Everything after E30/E34 was and is yuppie. Celebrate homologation specials, cars like the Elise, because 10-15 years from now you may not see others like it again. Look at what's happening to the EVO and Sti. Reminds me of the E30M to E36M story.

    A part of me dies everyday seeing the inherent lack of soul in every cookie cutter model that rolls off the line.

    Drive by wire made me shed a tear..... and now this electronic LSD that does peg leg burn outs when its turned off? I can't wait for drive by wire steering! Drive by wire braking and drive by wire clutching and shifting. Wait a minute, that's a simulation! Can't I buy a PS3, GT4, and a steering wheel and get the same sensation for less than a grand?!?

    I'm getting off my soapbox now. For the record I was born 2 decades too late.

    ima have to make a lot of money because every vehicle i want to own was made in the late 80s early 90s and will need restoring if i want to enjoy it for another 20 years or so.
    Last edited by S14addict; 09-23-2008, 07:01 PM.

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  • CleanAzzE30z
    replied
    Whenever money enters into the equation of ANYTHING, it starts the watering down process and the slow wearing-down of the original intentions. I got over it a while ago.



    Mariano

    Leave a comment:


  • Shaun
    replied
    In my opinon BMW can make a pretty nice luxury car, and they should but only in there normal production vehicals ie.3,5,7 series. The M series should be the very best in motorsport and not compromise for that "fun to drive feel". I honestly hate what BMW is doing to the M, like wtf is up with a M series suv???? This clearly why I loved the E30 M3 so much, oh and about the whole marketing and price point, the M cars are ment to be the top of perfermance cars so why is BMW marketing them for average people who just want to go to point a to b, to me it doesn't make sence. just my 2 cents.

    Shaun

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  • thebusiness999
    replied
    In making a judgement on this car, I am trying hard to put aside any biases I may have since I own one. I'd like to think I can make a fair judgement since I have been lucky enough to drive many performance cars, consider myself a pretty sensitive driver in terms of feeling feedback, and in being slightly OCD am very critical even if it's towards my own vehicle. So having said that...

    How many of you guys have actually DRIVEN a 135i through a windy road?

    Well I have, and I'm pretty impressed. Yes, the car is toooooo heavy, but something in how BMW has packaged it or designed the suspension results in a car that feels significantly lighter than the specs say. It is a LOT of fun to drive and surprisingly nimble and exloitable. It changes direction very quickly, easily, and with enthusiasm....honestly, I feel like I hear the car egging me on, telling me to keep pushing harder (just like my old e30M3). I still haven't taken 135 to the full limit, but so far it has not disappointed me and instead has left me quite surprised at the level of performance and driver involvement it offers.

    Yes, there are some compromises in being a modern BMW with sales figures to meet and competition to beat, but I see lots of evidence in this car that indicates the engineers were trying to cater to enthusiasts more so than they have in a real long time:

    Look at those brakes. Finally some proper calipers...more powerful brakes than what you'd find on pretty much any M car. A little reading led me to some info indicating that engineers did that knowing that 135i drivers would most likely be pushing their cars hard more often than the average BMW owner. I'll try to find a quote or link to back this up.

    You can't get fog lights on the 135. Why not? because the brake ducting would be lost.

    The driving position is close to perfect, pedals are great for heel toe, they lowered the drivers seat a bit so you're not feeling like you're sitting on top of the car anymore. A couple E92 M3 friends complain about the high driving position and I agree.

    Gimmicky or not, the eLSD it's equipped with is definitely better than an open diff, and the fact that BMW Performance will offer a dealer installable real LSD in the near future has to say something about the audience BMW is trying to sell this car to.

    The dash brings back instrumentation angled toward the driver....it's subttle, but it is there and refreshing to see.

    At first the car does seem isolated and dead compared to cars like the e30 but after a couple weeks with mine I have to say there is a lot more communication than one would initially think. I feel the smallest imperfections in the road surface come through the wheel. I feel more now than I did my first weekend with the car, and when pushing through a fun road the car definitely tells the driver whats going on in terms of grip and the chassis' limits. It's quite exploitable as the car is happy to grip like mad, or hit everything drifting leaving a trail of smoke behind (and it'll do anything between these two extremes quite well). Driving this car hard does not require a leap of faith and blind trust in the modern engineering because you can FEEL it at work.

    Even some of the interior styling cues, like the door panels for example, look a lot like modern interpretations of the E30 interior. The short front and longer rear over hang also scream M3 to me.

    I think the suspension valving is genius as well. It feels like the perfect example of that supple-firmness manufacturers and suspension builders aim for when designing a proper suspension. Even with those stupidly big wheels and runflat tires, this suspension offers all the compliance you would want since most drivers roads (around here at least) are far from perfect, while also being firm and controlled enough to keep all excess body motions, roll, and weight transfer well under control. The damping reminds me of that sweet porsche valving, or better yet, the pricey Ohlin's setup we liked to fit to our high end customer cars (from when I worked at the rally shop a couple years back).

    I've seen complaints about it being to soft and pushy when on track, and compared to M cars this may be true. But from what I've seen most modern M cars suffer on the less than perfect driver roads, where the little 135 seems to be quite happy. I think the understeer might have been designed to keep the car more slide-able and controlled when drivers' inner hooligans take control and start having fun. On track I'm sure the M cars have it beat (though not by much if at all), but on real roads I imagine the 135 will keep up with just about anything.

    The way the 135 encourages fast driving has me convinced BMW was going after the enthusiasts with this car. Otherwise don't you think they would have focused on bigger back seats and loaded the car up with even more pointless gadgetry?

    On base/sport equipped 135s, there's relatively very little as far as gadgets and gmmicks go on the interior. The i-drive-less center console is pretty simple with not much more than HVAC and entertainment controls on it. It's a lot more simple than even my dad's base 530. Most of the gimmicks and gadgetry that we could do without are geared towards giving a better driving experience or safety -- adaptive headlights, 2 stage traction control (3 including OFF), eLSD. Maybe I'm just being hopeful, but I see this stuff and see it as more evidence of who BMW was targetting with this car. So even if it's not perfect in its execution, I think it's a great sign that BMW hasn't completely lost it....

    Having come from a couple years of driving an E30 M3 (only sold it because I moved to a rural area with 50% unpaved roads), I have to say that, in many respects (minus the engine mostly), 135 feels like a modern interpretation my old M3. It's very similar size wise and IMHO dynamically. I imagine a modernized E30 M3 would be VERY close to this... I also think BMW was wrong in calling it spiritual successor to the 2002 as its way closer to the E30. While we all would want a new drivers car from BMW, the reality is that with modern safety and emissions requirements, IMHO the best we can expect from BMW is 30-3200lbs. Of course having said that the 135 is real close to that weight, so....


    Originally posted by Stu Mc View Post
    The 1-series can't be considered light.

    For a 135i:
    First google answer: 3438 pounds.
    http://www.rsportscars.com/bmw/2008-bmw-135i-coupe/

    An E30 in full trim with a 280hp S50 weighs 838 pounds less.
    That weight sounds a little heavy...but as I understand it 33-3400 range is about right. Quite an agile pig tho!

    Even the STI and EVO are in this weight range and while it totally sucks, for the time being I think it's unavoidable. I don't see safety and emissions standards getting less restrictive anytime soon...

    Incase you're all wondering where I'm coming from with this, I've been lucking enough to drive quite a few awesome Subarus, including a couple $200k plus rally cars, some Mitsubishis, a 600hp porsche turbo, a couple other porshces, a gallardo, and my old E30, to name a few. Just so you don't think this opinion was pulled completely out of my ass.


    So how does this tie in to the original topic? Just some evidence that BMW hasn't completely lost vision of what a proper car is all about. BMW, like any manufacturer is in the business of making money, so it would be foolish of any of us to think or hope for otherwise.

    I still think they're doing a great job of compromising cost-effectiveness with driver satisfaction, especially with the 135 now part of the stable. 95% of M driving pleasure with noene of the unnecessary bling and status that comes with a modern M badge. Sad to say that most of you guys are right in that M now is a status symbol more than anything else, which once again is why I am so enthusiastic about the 135i.

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  • Stu Mc
    replied
    Originally posted by Ted B View Post
    That's because BMW can't resist from making it a luxury car. Smaller, yes, but still a luxury car.

    Even so, new cars a becoming so heavy, electronically complex and expensive to modify that I find myself progressively less interested in buying anything new. My guess is that better, more interesting performance cars from the past 20 years or so are all on their way to becoming classics.
    I'm not disagreeing with you in any way. Just pointing out how much of porkers the new cars are, while being considered "small." : )

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  • Ted B
    replied
    That's because BMW can't resist from making it a luxury car. Smaller, yes, but still a luxury car.

    Even so, new cars a becoming so heavy, electronically complex and expensive to modify that I find myself progressively less interested in buying anything new. My guess is that better, more interesting performance cars from the past 20 years or so are all on their way to becoming classics.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stu Mc
    replied
    Originally posted by Ted B View Post
    As for the 1-series, it exists only because the 3-series packed on more weight and size than a college co-ed. BMW needs something akin to a Lotus Exige, but with four seats.
    The 1-series can't be considered light.

    For a 135i:
    First google answer: 3438 pounds.
    http://www.rsportscars.com/bmw/2008-bmw-135i-coupe/

    An E30 in full trim with a 280hp S50 weighs 838 pounds less.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ted B
    replied
    Originally posted by njboy View Post
    As for the new M I think that BMW should make a modern S14 with perhaps a turbo and make it small and less than 3K lbs. That would be awesome.

    But it won't happen. BMW doesn't cater to real drivers any longer, just Ralph Lauren shirt and Topsider wearing sailboat owners with Breitling watches who grace the pages of airline magazine ads, and whose idea of an exciting day is playing 18 holes of golf, followed by a social visit to the yacht club.

    As for the 1-series, it exists only because the 3-series packed on more weight and size than a college co-ed. BMW needs something akin to a Lotus Exige, but with four seats.

    Leave a comment:

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