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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #126  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:42 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
We are witness to the late great days of BMW as they attempt to sell every trick in the book to meet EPA mpg standards. Four cylinder, twin turbo'd, slush boxed, stop/starting, electric motor steered 3 series? Just 8 years ago we would have laughed ourselves silly even considering the possibility.
Truer words were never spoken.

I was never so disheartened as when we walked into Die Welt a few weeks ago and one had to look very hard to appreciate the fact that BMW is, in fact, the primary business. The ground floor gift shop has been uprooted to the area previously occupied by the Driving Dynamics Display and the pantheon of engine blocks. The BMW Individual display has been moved out of the rarified air of an enclosed salon out to the main floor as part of the "generic" BMW display which includes an M3 and a 6er. Easily 1/3 of the the first floor display area is now the exclusive domain of the Rolls Royce and AT LEAST another 3rd is under active remodelling to hallmark the MINI. Considering that the gift shop and snack bar take up probably 1/6 of the real estate on the main floor this leaves a measley 1/6 of "BMW WORLD" to BMW. The Isetta is gone.... Even light displays on the floor enticingly enouraging Freude am Fahren have disappeared. It honestly seems like BMW is trying to divorce its self from itself.

With due diligence in reporting though, no where in the current lineup on the floor of the Welt is a current 3 series Sedan, no matter how luxurious they have become.

All it does is make me want to keep my little old NA 328i even longer than I originally projected.
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  #127  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:46 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
See above!

I was right about the 428i.

I was right about the M328i

I was right about the status symbol "Luxury" consumer target.

You should start to listen to me. Might learn something.

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I always thought that at the center of all your jibes there was a kernel of truth. The old saying "The truth often hurts" is what provided the tension in so much of the fun we had around here way back when.
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  #128  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:47 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
In terms of suspension, I think the F30 is more of a the "classic" BMW than the E90. The models prior to the E90 were notable for representing an ideal ride/handling tradeoff. In the E90 though, its all about handling and there is relatively little attention to ride quality. The F30 moves back in that direction.

The only real issue with the F30 is the steering, which saps the fun.
The E9x sport suspension was the worst of both worlds. Horrible ride quality and lousy handling on anything but pristine road surfaces. Real world roads aren't race track smooth. They have bumps in inconvenient places such as mid-corner overlooking a gorge. Hit a bump under any condition, be it cornering, accelerating, or braking and the RFTs and the crap OEM dampers would cause the tires to start dancing around undermining driver confidence.

As I discovered it is possible to have an E9x that has good handling and decent ride quality by changing out the tires and the shocks. I have discussed the E9x suspension issue with people from BMW and although they are not about to make a public announcement admitting that the suspension was very poorly sorted out they were very aware that there was an issue.

I have not driven an F30 but from what I have read it appears that they were able to solve the suspension issue. In the unlikely event that I were to buy an F30 I would not even consider one without the adjustable dampers. I will be looking at the 3 Series (4 Series) coupe and convertivle when they are released but I learned my lesson the hard way and will defininely do a more extensive test drive than I did with the E93.

As for the electric power steering, that is likely the wave of the future. I suspect that the road feel issue will be solved as the systems become more refined. At one time power steering and brakes were very contoversial when they first started to appear in performace oriented cars.

As for "Slushboxes" they are also probably the wave of the future as DCTs and high performance ATs (which very closely rival the performance of DCTs) are appearing in the highest performance cars available.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 09-24-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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  #129  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:19 PM
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Good points CA, but I disagree in regard to the EPS (electric power steering). I can only think of one good reason for its existance and that is it might result in a few tenths more mpg. So doing adds to the cost, greatly increases the complexity, and completely separates the driver from the road. I am unable to imagine how some feedback gimmickry can recreate that connection.
For those who don't know, EPS used to use an electric powered power steering pump. The mechanical and hydraulic systems were otherwise the same as they've been for 50 years. In fact, total failure of the EPS system would still result in a steerable car.
Not any more. Now there is no steel connecting the driver with the wheels. The steering wheel is now a big...sensor. It senses which way you've turned it, how far and how fast. It sends this information to another of many computers (yes, there's one just for steering now!) where the computer looks at vehicle speed, direction, and stability data from the DSC computer and the computer decides how far to turn your steering rack via the stepper motor now replacing the input shaft on the steering box! Failure of this system will result in an unsteerable car. Of course, many redundant systems will ensure that there is never a failure...
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  #130  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Good points CA, but I disagree in regard to the EPS (electric power steering). I can only think of one good reason for its existance and that is it might result in a few tenths more mpg. So doing adds to the cost, greatly increases the complexity, and completely separates the driver from the road. I am unable to imagine how some feedback gimmickry can recreate that connection.
For those who don't know, EPS used to use an electric powered power steering pump. The mechanical and hydraulic systems were otherwise the same as they've been for 50 years. In fact, total failure of the EPS system would still result in a steerable car.
Not any more. Now there is no steel connecting the driver with the wheels. The steering wheel is now a big...sensor. It senses which way you've turned it, how far and how fast. It sends this information to another of many computers (yes, there's one just for steering now!) where the computer looks at vehicle speed, direction, and stability data from the DSC computer and the computer decides how far to turn your steering rack via the stepper motor now replacing the input shaft on the steering box! Failure of this system will result in an unsteerable car. Of course, many redundant systems will ensure that there is never a failure...
Interesting info.

As I stated I have no experience with the steeing on the F30 so my post was pure specultation.

I don't necessarily agree that computer connected steering has to lack communication or road feel. I have driven both Jaguars and Cadillacs (and the 750iL) that have compurer controlled suspensions. The 750 system is very good but the systems in the Jaguar XKR-S and the Cadillac CTS-V are amazing and are as good (and probably better) than what can be accomplished with conventional suspension tuning. I imagine that similar advances can be made in electric steering but of course as I am prone to say "nothing is impossible when you don't know what you're talking about".

I have spent a fair amount of time speaking to people from BMW and attending market research events. BMW is very aware that a significanly large portion of their market buys the cars because of the driving dynamics and they are definetely interested in keeping that market segment happy. They are also aware that most people use the cars for basic transportation and are not going to tolerate a car that breaks or shakes the fillings out of their teeth when it encounters a poor road surface. BMW definitely wants to retain its image as "The Ultimate Driving Machine" even as they add more comfort and luxury features.

I have also spoken to people at Lexus and they are aware that they have lost their way and are regarded by many as a manufacturer of bland cars that are not fun to drive. They are trying very hard to loose that image.

The reality is that Lexus, at this point in time, is more interested in emulating BMW than BMW is in emulating Lexus.
What both manufactures would like to accomplish is to produce a car with the refinement of a Lexus and the driving dynamics of a BMW.

I am going to guess that if the new 5 Series and 3 Series are being thought of as two soft and detached that is something that BMW will not be happy with and will not be a trend that will continue.
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  #131  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Interesting info.

As I stated I have no experience with the steeing on the F30 so my post was pure specultation.

I don't necessarily agree that computer connected steering has to lack communication or road feel. I have driven both Jaguars and Cadillacs (and the 750iL) that have compurer controlled suspensions. The 750 system is very good but the systems in the Jaguar XKR-S and the Cadillac CTS-V are amazing and are as good (and probably better) than what can be accomplished with conventional suspension tuning. I imagine that similar advances can be made in electric steering but of course as I am prone to say "nothing is impossible when you don't know what you're talking about".

I have spent a fair amount of time speaking to people from BMW and attending market research events. BMW is very aware that a significanly large portion of their market buys the cars because of the driving dynamics and they are definetely interested in keeping that market segment happy. They are also aware that most people use the cars for basic transportation and are not going to tolerate a car that breaks or shakes the fillings out of their teeth when it encounters a poor road surface. BMW definitely wants to retain its image as "The Ultimate Driving Machine" even as they add more comfort and luxury features.

I have also spoken to people at Lexus and they are aware that they have lost their way and are regarded by many as a manufacturer of bland cars that are not fun to drive. They are trying very hard to loose that image.

The reality is that Lexus, at this point in time, is more interested in emulating BMW than BMW is in emulating Lexus.
What both manufactures would like to accomplish is to produce a car with the refinement of a Lexus and the driving dynamics of a BMW.

I am going to guess that if the new 5 Series and 3 Series are being thought of as two soft and detached that is something that BMW will not be happy with and will not be a trend that will continue.
CA, cars have been getting heavier and heavier, and BMW's are no exception, but if they want to use their slogan, they need to stop with all this 'green' stuff. Making a car lighter will naturally help the car use less gas. It will naturally help the car handle better, it will naturally help the car stop better. Making the car weight and drive like a boat(while slapping an M badge on it) won't make the car any better of a performance car. The electric steering on the F30,X3 and 5 series is disappointing. I've driven 3 F10 M5's (A Individual Red, a Blue, and a Black) and the car doesn't have any sense of urgency. The car doesn't dart into a corner anymore when you turn the wheel. There's absolutely no feedback, and the fact that an M5 has to pipe in artificial sound into the cabin just further proves BMW is eying S class comfort in their cars...all of them. The BR-Z and FR-S are both amazing little things. A hoot to drive.
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  #132  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:27 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post

I am going to guess that if the new 5 Series and 3 Series are being thought of as two soft and detached that is something that BMW will not be happy with and will not be a trend that will continue.
I've got a theory of my own, goes something like this:

BMW is smartly taking the two best-selling and most-loved platforms and making a shift towards supporting them both.

1 Series RWD Sedan = E46
3 Series RWD Sedan = E39

BMW decided that there's room for a car between the 5 Series and the 7 Series and that's the F10. The F30 then becomes the 'new' 5 Series and the 1 Sedan the 'new' 3 Series. Proportions have grown over the decades and they couldn't shrink the E90, so instead they grew it to E39 dimensions and positioned the 1 Series sedan as a downsized E90 sitting comfortably at the E46 dimensions.

As a result, the 'new' 1, 3, and 5 take on what used to be the 3, 5, and 7. They've got the two best proportions in their history (check), the 3 Series buyer of a decade ago is aging and needs more room (check), the younger buyer will again find a BMW sized and priced for their emerging family (check), the 5 Series buyer doesn't mind extra girth (check), and the 7 has always been its own animal and can go as big as it wants (check).

So, no one needs to wish for the 3 Series to shrink. Instead, just wait on the new 1 Series to launch. Add up the sales of the 1 and 3 Sedans, they'll blow away the 3 and 5 numbers that'll get pinched.

BJ
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  #133  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:37 PM
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I drive F30's all day. The steering is horrible. It drives like a boat. Putting the car into sport just males the car feel kinda weird. Steering weight becomes heavy for no reason.The car will fit you perfectly of you are 80 years old And want to pretend you're 40.
Ridiculous.

The F30 is far more nimble than the E90, it feels lighter, faster, and more maneuverable. BMW built it to succeed, to satisfy its core audience and it's loyal buyers. If you're not one of them, that's fine, but for the vast majority of ex-E90 owners it is a complete breath of fresh air. From its design to its comforts to its technology to its ride to its acceleration, it's the perfect car for what we want it to be.

The 3 Series has always been about the combination of luxury and sport, and for too long the definition of "sport" has meant an uncomfortable ride with a sparse interior and an uncompetitive feature set. That's all been addressed now, truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine. The key word being "driving", as in "I have to drive my kids to soccer practice, my wife to the mall, and myself to the golf course". The 3 Series is no longer pretending to be someone's weekend track car. Thank God for that.

BJ
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  #134  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I've got a theory of my own, goes something like this:

BMW is smartly taking the two best-selling and most-loved platforms and making a shift towards supporting them both.

1 Series RWD Sedan = E46
3 Series RWD Sedan = E39

BMW decided that there's room for a car between the 5 Series and the 7 Series and that's the F10. The F30 then becomes the 'new' 5 Series and the 1 Sedan the 'new' 3 Series. Proportions have grown over the decades and they couldn't shrink the E90, so instead they grew it to E39 dimensions and positioned the 1 Series sedan as a downsized E90 sitting comfortably at the E46 dimensions.

As a result, the 'new' 1, 3, and 5 take on what used to be the 3, 5, and 7. They've got the two best proportions in their history (check), the 3 Series buyer of a decade ago is aging and needs more room (check), the younger buyer will again find a BMW sized and priced for their emerging family (check), the 5 Series buyer doesn't mind extra girth (check), and the 7 has always been its own animal and can go as big as it wants (check).

So, no one needs to wish for the 3 Series to shrink. Instead, just wait on the new 1 Series to launch. Add up the sales of the 1 and 3 Sedans, they'll blow away the 3 and 5 numbers that'll get pinched.

BJ
I don't think that the 3 Series will be smaller in its next interation but it will very likely be lighter. BMW will very likely follow the lead of companies like Jaguar and Audi and start using lighter materials like aluminum carbon fiber and composits. They are already moving in that direction.

The way a car drives is important to me but I expect a certain amount of refinement and creature comforts. I don't think that there would be much of a market for a stripped down, performance oriented 3 Series with a lack of basic amenties, The days of the basic sports sedan are long gone and they are not going to return. Todays buyers expect things like climate control, a decent sound system, power windows and seats, etc. These features are standard on cars like Honda Civics.

That being said, although I complained bitterly about the poorly sorted out sport suspension of the 335i, and took a lot of flack for daring to say that the emperor had no clothes, I have never heard anyone say that they felt that BMWs steering was too precise and had too much feedback and that they hoped BMW would soften it up a bit. The steering is one of the things I like the best about my 3 and that is why I was so determined to resolve the suspension issue,

I have not yet driven an F30 so I have no opinion on the way it drives. I will say that I really like the way the 750iL drives. It just does not feel anywhere as large as it is. It is certainly not a track car (nor was it designed as one) but it is a great highway cruiser and it is very planted on the twisties. I actually enjoy driving it as much as I do the 335i.

Don't discount the 3 Series as a weekend track car. There are 67 chpters and 75,000 members of the BMW Car Club of America.



CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 09-24-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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  #135  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I've got a theory of my own, goes something like this:
...
As a result, the 'new' 1, 3, and 5 take on what used to be the 3, 5, and 7. ...

So, no one needs to wish for the 3 Series to shrink. Instead, just wait on the new 1 Series to launch. Add up the sales of the 1 and 3 Sedans, they'll blow away the 3 and 5 numbers that'll get pinched.
The theory collapses when you look at how BMW markets the Series then and now. Ten years ago, mainstream brand advertising was dominated by the 3 Series followed closely by the 5 Series. The 7 Series appeared to sell itself, being advertised mainly in channels ignored or unseen by those of aspirational means.

Fast forward to today, when the mainstream brand advertising is dominated by ... the 3 Series followed closely by the 5 Series. The 7 Series appears to sell itself, being advertised mainly in channels ignored or unseen by those of aspirational means. The 1 Series is all but absent from brand advertising and seems to move largely due to individual dealership advertising.

BMW appear to have given the Series a "promotion" in price point and dimensions, as you say. Trouble is, they have not shifted the advertised identities of the cars to match. The 3 Series was the historical entry to the brand based on price, the bread-and-butter seller and the standard-bearer of the brand's sporting character. The problem is the entry level and sportiest model is now the 1er, the 3er is still the cash cow but the advertising has yet to separate the two.
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  #136  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:17 PM
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Ridiculous.

The F30 is far more nimble than the E90, it feels lighter, faster, and more maneuverable. BMW built it to succeed, to satisfy its core audience and it's loyal buyers. If you're not one of them, that's fine, but for the vast majority of ex-E90 owners it is a complete breath of fresh air. From its design to its comforts to its technology to its ride to its acceleration, it's the perfect car for what we want it to be.

The 3 Series has always been about the combination of luxury and sport, and for too long the definition of "sport" has meant an uncomfortable ride with a sparse interior and an uncompetitive feature set. That's all been addressed now, truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine. The key word being "driving", as in "I have to drive my kids to soccer practice, my wife to the mall, and myself to the golf course". The 3 Series is no longer pretending to be someone's weekend track car. Thank God for that.

BJ
The 3 series use to be BMW's bread and butter. It use to set the bar real high when it came to dynamics. The only thing it sets the bar high in now is how boring it is to drive. I'm fine with refinement, but this has gone too far. I'm not a fan of the new 3 anyway. Too big, too soft.
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  #137  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:26 PM
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I have to admit that I don't "get" the 1 Series or understand where its market is. I had a friend who had a 128 convertible for a while and it was not a bad car but I don't think that it appeals to the traditional 3 Series buyer.

It does not appear to be selling very well. In Manhattan there are BMWs everywhere. If I stand in front of my building there is almost sure to be a BMW at every light change. I see lots of 3 Series, 7 Series, 5 Series, X5s, etc. but I probably have seen a total of less than ten 1 Series in the past year.

CA
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  #138  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:29 PM
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Good points CA, but I disagree in regard to the EPS (electric power steering). I can only think of one good reason for its existance and that is it might result in a few tenths more mpg. So doing adds to the cost, greatly increases the complexity, and completely separates the driver from the road. I am unable to imagine how some feedback gimmickry can recreate that connection.
For those who don't know, EPS used to use an electric powered power steering pump. The mechanical and hydraulic systems were otherwise the same as they've been for 50 years. In fact, total failure of the EPS system would still result in a steerable car.
Not any more. Now there is no steel connecting the driver with the wheels. The steering wheel is now a big...sensor. It senses which way you've turned it, how far and how fast. It sends this information to another of many computers (yes, there's one just for steering now!) where the computer looks at vehicle speed, direction, and stability data from the DSC computer and the computer decides how far to turn your steering rack via the stepper motor now replacing the input shaft on the steering box! Failure of this system will result in an unsteerable car. Of course, many redundant systems will ensure that there is never a failure...
I absolutely agree with you about all of this.

The sad thing is that BMW's iteration of EPS is the best I've drive to date - its light years better than what I've seen in Honda and Toyota products. And, even BMW's versions is horrible and numb. I've yet to run across and EPS rack I didn't hate, even BMW's relatively good implementation.
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  #139  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:50 PM
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I absolutely agree with you about all of this.

The sad thing is that BMW's iteration of EPS is the best I've drive to date - its light years better than what I've seen in Honda and Toyota products. And, even BMW's versions is horrible and numb. I've yet to run across and EPS rack I didn't hate, even BMW's relatively good implementation.
Porsche 991 - not the braille-like steering of the 997 but if you never experienced a 997 you would most likely find it very agreeable.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina
We are witness to the late great days of BMW as they attempt to sell every trick in the book to meet EPA mpg standards. Four cylinder, twin turbo'd, slush boxed, stop/starting, electric motor steered 3 series? Just 8 years ago we would have laughed ourselves silly even considering the possibility.... I sometimes forget that BMW does not consult the fanboy forums to get clues as to which direction they will be going.
Truer words were never spoken.

I was never so disheartened as when we walked into Die Welt a few weeks ago and one had to look very hard to appreciate the fact that BMW is, in fact, the primary business. The ground floor gift shop has been uprooted to the area previously occupied by the Driving Dynamics Display and the pantheon of engine blocks. The BMW Individual display has been moved out of the rarified air of an enclosed salon out to the main floor as part of the "generic" BMW display which includes an M3 and a 6er. Easily 1/3 of the the first floor display area is now the exclusive domain of the Rolls Royce and AT LEAST another 3rd is under active remodelling to hallmark the MINI. Considering that the gift shop and snack bar take up probably 1/6 of the real estate on the main floor this leaves a measley 1/6 of "BMW WORLD" to BMW. The Isetta is gone.... Even light displays on the floor enticingly enouraging Freude am Fahren have disappeared. It honestly seems like BMW is trying to divorce its self from itself.
This is disheartening and saddening, indeed. Some promotion of the Rollers and Mini is reasonable but devoting that much space is disproportionate. Elimination of the BMW Individual salon all but confirms a direction I'd begun to suspect: That BMW M GmbH wants to treat Individual like another M Sport--a style package for volume sales of the "character" of what was once a distinctive and exclusive sub-brand.

It all reminds me of a key conclusion in David Kiley's book, Driven (Kat, IIRC you've read this too): BMW's most valued asset is the brand. The Quandts appear to have figured out how to make the brand and its component brands (M/Individual, Rolls, Mini and soon BMW i) self-sustaining, without having to cater to the pesky tastes of the consumers that made the brand a global powerhouse in the first place. That's been done before and it's almost always been a recipe for disaster.

Pride goeth before a fall....
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  #141  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:31 PM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
The 3 series use to be BMW's bread and butter. It use to set the bar real high when it came to dynamics. The only thing it sets the bar high in now is how boring it is to drive. I'm fine with refinement, but this has gone too far. I'm not a fan of the new 3 anyway. Too big, too soft.
I agree with your comments, but think of the F30 as a necessary evil. Given the cost of birthing a new platform, all brands must exploit every market niche. If there were not 328 luxury variants, there might not be the funds available for cars like the M3/4. Yes the brand is being diluted with numerous marketing gimmicks, but the good news is that BMW must continue to produce true Ms to justify their core identity as a brand - The Ultimate Driving Machine.

Yes, the new M4 will be larger and turbo-charged but it will also come with 450+ HP, lighter weight, and nice tech like torque vectoring. EPS is scary, but perhaps BMW has purchased a 991 to dissect. For the time being, I would give M the benefit of the doubt, given M's track record, and BMW's considerable monetary, and psychological investment in the M brand. Remember – no F30s – No M4s.

In the end - be thankful that the F30 328 Luxury Line exists, and thankful for your personal circumstances that allow you to avail yourself of alternative choices that better satisfy your needs and desires. .
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  #142  
Old 09-25-2012, 04:19 AM
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///M-ratedE90 ///M-ratedE90 is offline
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My work here is done...

The 1-series is a pure European car. Perfect for the narrow streets and B-class roads. One couldn't drive through any the roads of Germany or Austria without tripping over a couple of the new 1 series hatchbacks. It looks good - I hope it comes here. Unfortunately, I didn't take note of the colour of the headliner.

The best looking BMW over there while I was visiting...the new 6 series coupe! Oarsome!
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  #143  
Old 09-25-2012, 07:45 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I have to admit that I don't "get" the 1 Series or understand where its market is. I had a friend who had a 128 convertible for a while and it was not a bad car but I don't think that it appeals to the traditional 3 Series buyer.

It does not appear to be selling very well. In Manhattan there are BMWs everywhere. If I stand in front of my building there is almost sure to be a BMW at every light change. I see lots of 3 Series, 7 Series, 5 Series, X5s, etc. but I probably have seen a total of less than ten 1 Series in the past year.

CA
The problem in the US is that there is no sedan. Not sure what the coupe vs. sedan stats are for the 3 Series, but perhaps 70% of all 3's have four-doors. If BMW launches a 1 Series RWD Sedan for $29,000 with E46 proportions that should do the trick.

The F30 is the larger/softer/pricier E90 for 40-50 year olds and the 1 Sedan is the smaller/tighter/cheaper E90 for the 25-40 crowd. Split the E90 in two, hit a lower pricepoint, satisfy the existing userbase, attract a younger userbase, win-win.

BJ
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  #144  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:07 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
CA, cars have been getting heavier and heavier, and BMW's are no exception, but if they want to use their slogan, they need to stop with all this 'green' stuff. Making a car lighter will naturally help the car use less gas. It will naturally help the car handle better, it will naturally help the car stop better. Making the car weight and drive like a boat(while slapping an M badge on it) won't make the car any better of a performance car. The electric steering on the F30,X3 and 5 series is disappointing. I've driven 3 F10 M5's (A Individual Red, a Blue, and a Black) and the car doesn't have any sense of urgency. The car doesn't dart into a corner anymore when you turn the wheel. There's absolutely no feedback, and the fact that an M5 has to pipe in artificial sound into the cabin just further proves BMW is eying S class comfort in their cars...all of them. The BR-Z and FR-S are both amazing little things. A hoot to drive.
An M5 is a heavy car. There is no way a 4400 pound car can dart into a corner. It's competition is equally fat and 90% of the owners are not going to give a damn. The M5 is meant to be a seriously fast car than can cover a lot of ground quickly whether the road is straight or curved and carry 4 people and their luggage in comfort. Expecting a BMW sedan to be the equivalent of a 2 seat sports coupe is beyond unreasonable. This includes the 3 series going back at least 3 generations (excluding M cars).

As far as weight is concerned, cutting weight in this era of safety and expected convenience is very expensive. Some here may long for a basic 3 series that weighs 3200 pounds, has fewer convenience features and is a pure canyon carver but that is not what the huge majority of the market wants.
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  #145  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:08 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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For most city driving I could be very happy with EPS. At the track with DSC off, accelerating out of a bumpy corner, or when the steering gets twitchy, when traction approaches 100% and the car is skittering sideways, I need to know now exactly what's happening with the tires and the only device which tells me that is the steering wheel.

I have 36K miles on my car. I put about 500 of them on at the track. Am I going to let 1.4% of my driving dictate what I have to have for the other 98.6%? You betcha. I've been a Bimmer fan for a long time, and a Beamer fan before that. I've been willing to accept a lot of compromises over the years, but I'm not buying any car with EPS until fahren isn't freude anymore
I have a feeling Turner Motorsports is not going to be adding EPS to their race cars any time soon.
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  #146  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:13 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Truer words were never spoken.

I was never so disheartened as when we walked into Die Welt a few weeks ago and one had to look very hard to appreciate the fact that BMW is, in fact, the primary business. The ground floor gift shop has been uprooted to the area previously occupied by the Driving Dynamics Display and the pantheon of engine blocks. The BMW Individual display has been moved out of the rarified air of an enclosed salon out to the main floor as part of the "generic" BMW display which includes an M3 and a 6er. Easily 1/3 of the the first floor display area is now the exclusive domain of the Rolls Royce and AT LEAST another 3rd is under active remodelling to hallmark the MINI. Considering that the gift shop and snack bar take up probably 1/6 of the real estate on the main floor this leaves a measley 1/6 of "BMW WORLD" to BMW. The Isetta is gone.... Even light displays on the floor enticingly enouraging Freude am Fahren have disappeared. It honestly seems like BMW is trying to divorce its self from itself.

With due diligence in reporting though, no where in the current lineup on the floor of the Welt is a current 3 series Sedan, no matter how luxurious they have become.

All it does is make me want to keep my little old NA 328i even longer than I originally projected.
BMW is far from alone in this strategy. I haven't been to the Welt but I'd guess it's about the the modern brand image and not specifically the cars. Walk into a Ferrari dealership and the merchandise is over the top. It doesn't mean the cars aren't wonderful to drive.
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  #147  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:44 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I've got a theory of my own, goes something like this:

BMW is smartly taking the two best-selling and most-loved platforms and making a shift towards supporting them both.

1 Series RWD Sedan = E46
3 Series RWD Sedan = E39

BMW decided that there's room for a car between the 5 Series and the 7 Series and that's the F10. The F30 then becomes the 'new' 5 Series and the 1 Sedan the 'new' 3 Series. Proportions have grown over the decades and they couldn't shrink the E90, so instead they grew it to E39 dimensions and positioned the 1 Series sedan as a downsized E90 sitting comfortably at the E46 dimensions.
There is no 1 series sedan, what are you talking about? There isn't really even a rumor about one.

Besides, everyone's talking about the F30 lacking feel, not that it's too big. The E39 M5 was just as big and a lot heavier, but was full of feel and a blast to drive. Size is not really the problem.
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  #148  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:53 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
I agree with your comments, but think of the F30 as a necessary evil. Given the cost of birthing a new platform, all brands must exploit every market niche. If there were not 328 luxury variants, there might not be the funds available for cars like the M3/4. Yes the brand is being diluted with numerous marketing gimmicks, but the good news is that BMW must continue to produce true Ms to justify their core identity as a brand - The Ultimate Driving Machine.

Yes, the new M4 will be larger and turbo-charged but it will also come with 450+ HP, lighter weight, and nice tech like torque vectoring. EPS is scary, but perhaps BMW has purchased a 991 to dissect. For the time being, I would give M the benefit of the doubt, given M's track record, and BMW's considerable monetary, and psychological investment in the M brand. Remember – no F30s – No M4s.

In the end - be thankful that the F30 328 Luxury Line exists, and thankful for your personal circumstances that allow you to avail yourself of alternative choices that better satisfy your needs and desires. .
I agree, and BMW also made the 1M coupe, to satisfy enthusiasts. That was not a car made by accountants or marketing suits, but by M engineers. I might have bought one if I hadn't been asleep at the wheel.

BMW is giving mainstream customers what they want - a big fat, luxury sedan full of bling and devoid of annoying quirks like steering feel.
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  #149  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:00 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
For most city driving I could be very happy with EPS. At the track with DSC off, accelerating out of a bumpy corner, or when the steering gets twitchy, when traction approaches 100% and the car is skittering sideways, I need to know now exactly what's happening with the tires and the only device which tells me that is the steering wheel.

I have 36K miles on my car. I put about 500 of them on at the track. Am I going to let 1.4% of my driving dictate what I have to have for the other 98.6%? You betcha. I've been a Bimmer fan for a long time, and a Beamer fan before that. I've been willing to accept a lot of compromises over the years, but I'm not buying any car with EPS until fahren isn't freude anymore
I have a feeling Turner Motorsports is not going to be adding EPS to their race cars any time soon.
I am not about to let 1.4% of my driving dictate the other 98.6% (which I guess would qualify as "normal" driving )

The last thing I want is a race car to drive on the street. I do however want a car that is responsive to drive on the street and as much as I hated the stock suspension on my 335i I loved the steering feel and if the new F30 is a significant step backwards in that direction that would be a deal breaker for me.

At this point the 335i with its Koni FSD shocks and Conti DWS tires is exactly the car that I though I was buying in 2007. I have no illusions about a 335i being a track car or a race car and that is why mine is a convertible with an AT. Of course the fact that I have access to a track and to track cars and the fact that I have to drive my street cars on New York City's ravaged roads are major factors. If I lived where you live I would be much more willing to let the 1.4% play a larger role in the decision making process.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 09-25-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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  #150  
Old 09-25-2012, 11:37 AM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Ridiculous.

The F30 is far more nimble than the E90, it feels lighter, faster, and more maneuverable. BMW built it to succeed, to satisfy its core audience and it's loyal buyers. If you're not one of them, that's fine, but for the vast majority of ex-E90 owners it is a complete breath of fresh air. From its design to its comforts to its technology to its ride to its acceleration, it's the perfect car for what we want it to be.

The 3 Series has always been about the combination of luxury and sport, and for too long the definition of "sport" has meant an uncomfortable ride with a sparse interior and an uncompetitive feature set. That's all been addressed now, truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine. The key word being "driving", as in "I have to drive my kids to soccer practice, my wife to the mall, and myself to the golf course". The 3 Series is no longer pretending to be someone's weekend track car. Thank God for that.

BJ
I stopped reading after "more nimble than the E90..." the F30 feels like a boat compared to the E90.
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