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Encouraged by 2 things I saw in Road and Track regarding BMW

2191 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  bmw325
in an article on x5 4.6is, the manager for X and 5 series vehices Martin Birkmann is quoted regarding why BMW didn't badge the truck as an M:
"It just did not feel did not deliver the right driving experience"..adding that M badged vehicles are rear-drive only and have manual transmissions and have their torque peaks shifted nearer to redline" Its good to see that BMW still has some integrity and doesn't yet feel right slapping an M badge on anything that moves w/ a big engine. This is a nice contrast to Mercedes AMG line where they HAVE done that.

The other positive item was a computer enhanced photo and description of the Z5. They're targeting 220 pounds, are building the engine out of fiber reinforced magnesium and are targeting a price of under 30k! The blurb also mentions that BMW marketing people would like to slap a straight 6 into the car (as opposed to the 4), but that this would upset the balance and point of the car (a light sports car w/ an excellenet power to weight ratio). The icing on the cake is that the xomputer enhanced photo was not Banglefied. If the computer photo is somewhat accurate, this car sounds great-- souds like exactly what many on this board would love. TD may soon be able to buy a car to replace his M3.

All of this positive news was mostly offset by the queasy feeling I got looking at the 7 series ad in the front of the magazine.
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TD said:
No manual tranny available = No sale to TD

This is going to be SMG-only. Sorry, but I'm not ready to give up my third pedal just yet.
The Z5 is an interesting proposition, but it has three very strong negatives, at least as far as I can tell now:

1) 2 seats. BMW, what happened to building sports *sedans*? If I want two seats, I'll buy a Z. As Hack points out, no baby seat (or anything) is coming with the driver and his/her single passenger. Not practical.

2) SMG. I'm with TD on this one. Give me a clutch pedal or give me death.

3) 2.0L, 240 hp 4 cyl. Hmm, that sounds familiar. I'm very concerned this will be an S2000 clone, with no grunt down low. S2000s are a whole lot of no fun in my book, and an S2000 whose top doesn't go down sounds even worse, even with a blue propeller on the hood.
cenotaph said:

I think you need to get more sleep. :) First you say that you are talking about the Z5. Then you say that if you want 2 seats you'll buy a Z.'re already talking about a Z, a Z5. Given the number of cars that are discussed regularly here that have a Z in their names you may want to be more specific.
While it does sound like an interesting car, I'm also not sure I'm ready to give up the third pedal.
Oh, yeah, I guess that's a good point. The Z I was referring to is the Nissan 350Z.
robg said:
so why do you say that you'd get a Nissan Z over the Z5? The Z5 sounds even more enticing than the Nissan...RWD, lighter weight, better handling, looks better,
I think you were actually looking at my post, rather than blackdawg's.

I don't necessarily mean that I would buy the 350Z over the Z5; having not driven either, it's a bit hard to compare and pick a winner. All I was suggesting is that the 2 seat sportscar segment is a crowded field. I'd much rather that BMW focus its efforts on building a worthy sports sedan, rather than further developing a line of 2 seat sports car that I (and most people I know) could never really justify owning as a primary automobile.

After all, sports sedans are the cars that built BMW, and BMW's success with post-war 2 seaters (other than, perhaps, the Isetta) has been decidedly less stellar. The 507, the Z1, the Z3; even the M coupe and the Z8. All of these are interesting cars, but none define their segment in the way that BMW sedans have come to do. None are the heavyweight (or even lightweight) favorite, if you will. Couple that with the small volumes of even a segment leading 2 seater, and you can see why I think the R&D money might be better spent elsewhere (like on Bangle's severance package, for example).

Here's what I want: The 1 series, sans ugly bodywork, with appropriately firm suspension. Toss in a 6 speed manual and either a big 4 (2+ liters) or a small six (2.5 liters) with approximately 250 hp and (most importantly) good torque characteristics. Call it the M125. Sell it to me for 35K. Do all of that and I'll shut up about Bangle, and I'll even take the gratuitous slam on the E65 out of my sig.
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