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View Full Version : He ain't heavy, he's my BMW....


EdCT
01-27-2006, 08:47 PM
I think the E90 330i is an excellent car, I've driven them and find them impressive, I especially like the new engine.

If I were in the market for a five series, this is the car I'd get, the three is a better five imo, but as a "sports" car, at 3400lbs with a 108 inch wheelbase, it's too large and too heavy. Geeez, at least it's not as heavy as the new and bulbous 3500lb+ Lexus IS.

I'd say bring over the one series, but it doesn't benefit from expensive "lightweight" engineering, so it too is a heavy-ish (for its size) 3100-3200+ Lbs, about the same as my dearly departed E46. And it costs too much.

Z4's are gaining weight too, the new coupes are in the one series range (at least they get astoundlingly super-stiff shells). A smaller gas tank and lower gas mileage will further reduce the already compromised sports-car cruising range of around 275 miles.

At the prices BMW charges, we should be seeing more weight-savings engineering; yes, BMW does seem to do more than most manufacturers in this regard, but it's not enough. My Z4 has an aluminum hood, but the trunk lid is metal , at least much of the suspension is aluminum, and the convertible top's frame magnesium, but the 18 inch wheels weigh 25lbs each!! More could've been done to get the car down below 2900lbs.

By contrast, the new Miata has an aluminum hood, trunk lid, suspension and many other details bringing it in at 2400-ish lbs. It's a marvel of light-weight engineering. Kudos to Mazda for doing so much at such a low MSRP.

Even my wife's '05 Outback has impressive use of materials, the hood, tailgate and engine are aluminum - the thing weighs in at 3300lbs and it's a large AWD wagon - with commendable crash ratings.

I'd like to see the Z4 at 2600lbs for starters, the E90 at around 3100lbs and the One series at 2800-2900lbs. It certainly is do-able, would make our cars more fun, more responsive and more miserly.

Ed

philippek
01-27-2006, 09:02 PM
I'd like to see the Z4 at 2600lbs for starters, the E90 at around 3100lbs and the One series at 2800-2900lbs. It certainly is do-able, would make our cars more fun, more responsive and more miserly.



I dunno about that...the two ways to achieve this kind of weight loss would be to decontent and/or invest in expensive weight-saving materials. The former would reduce the vehicle's value (in the eyes of most consumers) and the latter would raise prices for all of us.

While I'd love to see BMW produce something to compete with say, the Elise, I don't think weight loss like you're proposing is a high priority for most mass market vehicles.

EdCT
01-27-2006, 09:30 PM
I dunno about that...the two ways to achieve this kind of weight loss would be to decontent and/or invest in expensive weight-saving materials. The former would reduce the vehicle's value (in the eyes of most consumers) and the latter would raise prices for all of us.

While I'd love to see BMW produce something to compete with say, the Elise, I don't think weight loss like you're proposing is a high priority for most mass market vehicles.

An Elise is way over to the other end of the pendulum, I'm not suggesting that, I'm asking for a little more.

For instance, the five series has an aluminum rear suspension, why can't the three? Why give us aluminum in the front suspension and not the rear? Why not throw an aluminum hood and trunk lid on the E90? I bet those changes alone would make the car hit the weight goals I've given. The costs would be amortized over the entire production run.

As for decontenting, it's already been done, the new three and five series interiors are proof of this and the lousy standard equipment lists (leather is an option on a 330i, a car which costs nearly 40 large) makes me wonder why we pay so much :dunno:

You're absolutely right about the priorities of most consumers - the "new" BMW demographic - it's a sad fact, but BMW's should be head and toes better than the competition, not just barely better.

Ed

MarcusSDCA
01-28-2006, 01:06 AM
You make some interesting points Ed, but I'm sure the engineers at BMW would have some pretty good responses to your comments. One thing to remember is the 50-50 wt distribution in BMWs...just reducing the wt of the rear by using more aluminum means they have to reduce the front end by an equal amount. Maybe that can be done but maybe not at the expense of safety. Plus, I think we all have closed the door on a Toyota and thought "gee...just not the solid (read: heavier) feel of a German car".

One thing that amazes me is the wt diff between the 330 and 530: only 55 lbs...pretty cool engineering I think.

As far as price, well...it costs a lot of money to build cars in Germany...wages are high and so are benefits and taxes. They also have a rockin' quality of life and the BMW factories are probably the best and most advanced in the world...that costs money. Record sales in 2005 is evidence that they are doing something right...even if you and others might feel alienated by the evolution of BMer girth.

akhbhaat
01-28-2006, 02:18 AM
Excellent thread. I'm waiting for more responses before I chime in with one of my novelettes. I will say this much, though: the weight is an epidemic. The Z4 Coupe is surprisingly heavy. I was hoping for less-than-roadster weights, there. But the 32,000 nm shell is fabulous, if not downright amazing.

I do see the obese pigs being churned out at the Lexus and Infiniti factories (what the hell are they feeding them over there?), so I can't be that hard on BMW.

andy_thomas
01-28-2006, 02:48 AM
I think the E90 330i is an excellent car, I've driven them and find them impressive, I especially like the new engine.

If I were in the market for a five series, this is the car I'd get, the three is a better five imo, but as a "sports" car, at 3400lbs with a 108 inch wheelbase, it's too large and too heavy. Geeez, at least it's not as heavy as the new and bulbous 3500lb+ Lexus IS.

I'd say bring over the one series, but it doesn't benefit from expensive "lightweight" engineering, so it too is a heavy-ish (for its size) 3100-3200+ Lbs, about the same as my dearly departed E46. And it costs too much.

Are your US kerb weights quoted without government taxes? :) The E90 weighs the same as the E46, give or take a handful of kg. Some of them are actually lighter.

Z4's are gaining weight too

The 2.0 is 2,700 lb, and I don't expect the cars with the new, lightweight sixes to be significantly heavier.


At the prices BMW charges, we should be seeing more weight-savings engineering; yes, BMW does seem to do more than most manufacturers in this regard, but it's not enough.

Are you basing your opinions on facts (comparing before/after figures, and to other manufacturers), or some other factor?

I'd like to see the Z4 at 2600lbs for starters, the E90 at around 3100lbs and the One series at 2800-2900lbs. It certainly is do-able, would make our cars more fun, more responsive and more miserly.

OK, from the BMW UK website, less the EU-tastic 75 kg added to all quoted figures and multiplied to give lb:

Z4 2.0 SE 2,690 lb
Z4 2.5i SE 2,800 lb
325i SE 3,150 lb
120i SE 2,780 lb

There you go, Not only do-able, but done. Any extra increases are due either to the insistence on more powerful, heavier engines, or masses of standard equipment. How does the 3er fare against the A4 or Lexus? How does the 1er (no lightweight, but still) fare against the Audi A3?

andy_thomas
01-28-2006, 02:53 AM
An Elise is way over to the other end of the pendulum, I'm not suggesting that, I'm asking for a little more.

For instance, the five series has an aluminum rear suspension, why can't the three? Why give us aluminum in the front suspension and not the rear? Why not throw an aluminum hood and trunk lid on the E90? I bet those changes alone would make the car hit the weight goals I've given. The costs would be amortized over the entire production run.

Because you (plural) won't pay for it - simple as that. The US market is price-sensitive in the extreme; in market #2 (Germany) this kind of technology is inappropriate for that car's mass-market position. Only in the third market - the UK - could BMW jack up the prices for no visible reason and get away with it.

As for decontenting, it's already been done, the new three and five series interiors are proof of this and the lousy standard equipment lists (leather is an option on a 330i, a car which costs nearly 40 large) makes me wonder why we pay so much :dunno:

Bingo :)