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The Direction Of Our Once Sublime BMW  
User currently offlineKrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 571 posts, RR: 3
Posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1261 times:

Well many of us 100% BMW purists are kind of worried at the direction of our sublime Bavarian company and its recent designs under the wholly controversial Chris Bangle of the USA – first demonstrated with the release of the 7-Series last year.

So what do you all think of the new and what I believe to be the most ugly BMW inside and out ever? What do you think of this super-duper technology under i-drive that no one can figure out how to operate? What happened to the divine 1995 7-Series regarded by many as the world’s best car – superlative in its performance, dynamics, looks and luxury? Where has the understated class gone?

On the other hand, what do you all think of the beautifully crafted and oh-so-BMW Z4 Roadster to replace the horrid and outdated Z3? What do you expect the new 5 and 6-Series to be like? Does any one have some good and reliable pics to shed some light?

Has BMW lost that sparkle of the last 7 years that has captivated and pushed to the extreme the slogan of sheer driving pleasure or is the company merely moving with the times?

Technology worries me….


35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHartsfieldboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1227 times:

I'm a huge Bimmer fan, I used to own a 1985 E24 and having used to detail at a BMW dealership, I've driven nearly every model since the 70s. I'm also concerned about the way they are heading. The new 7 (E65) looks bulky and bloated compared with the slim and light looking E38. Mercedes went the opposite way with their S class, the previous model looked bloated while the current model look trim. I've driven an E65 very briefly, from the end of the car wash tunnel to the pad for cleaning, and it's a very nice car. However, some character has been lost with all the whiz-bang features.

I understand that ALL cars are eventually heading in the direction of all drive-by-wire system, but I still can't accept that BMW will lose the direct link from the road the the driver. Now, BMW has artificially recreated their great driving feel with a computer program. It'll never be the same again.

2001, I think, was the peak of Bimmer design. All the models looked good and were the best performing in their history. The current 5 series looks badass and the 3 series looks very compact and light. From now on, I'm expecting all new models to be more oriented for pure luxury and be very living room-like. The driver-oriented design will be still be there, but more diluted in favor of mass appeal features. I think Audi will overtake BMW for the true drivers' car. Too bad.


User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1219 times:

I have 2 BMWs, a 72'2002 and a 73'2002tii touring. Those were great cars, simple and fast. New BMWs are slowly lossing this spirit, the new 7 series is just an ugly fat cow. The 3 series is still looking good, but for how long?


Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1216 times:



I like the new 7-series.

The reason I like it is because it looks very, very cool. However, it is an amazing car - with a crap colour and the very small standard wheels, it looks horrendous. In black, with massive 19" alloys, it looks stunning. I wonder why this is? IMHO, there is nothing cooler than a black 745i with massive alloys thundering down a rainy London street. It screams power.

The new 5-series also looks quite good - kind of like a smaller, tighter 7. And, of course, the M5 will have a 5-litre V10!!!!

However, I sat in a new Audi A8 at the motor show and the MMI interface wipes the floor with iDrive in terms of ease of use.


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1210 times:

My 2001 M5 rocks.
And you can bet when the new one is offered...my reservation will be among the first at the dealership. BMW hasn't lost their edge at all.

FYI...There is still a waiting list here in Houston for 7 Series Sedans...particularly the long wheel base model.

So, your opinion, while just as valid as any, doesn't hold much water here in Texas.

Two of our senior partners own them....they both traded in their MB's for 745's. They absolutely love them.

And actually, the Z4 is just as peculiar looking as the new 7 on first glance (another BAD rear end by BMW...).

Brdgs.


User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 1197 times:

Oh please Greg, like we never hear you talk about your precious M5.

The new 7 series is nice, however I really think Mercedes has a better model with the S Class.


User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1189 times:

Greg, M5's are really neat indeed. I'm sure yours "rocks"

I personally think the new BMW designs are a little brazen; they are very new and very...weird. I think the new 7 is just a bad design- the back particularly..terrible design.

I'm an Audi person, although I do like the BMW M's. I have a TT, but I'm looking to trade it in for a used S4. I'd rather have that than an M3--M3=Lots more power=unecessary for me.


FSP


User currently offline747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1180 times:

"....under the wholly controversial Chris Bangle of the USA ..."

Oh my God and American!!!!!!! how awful.....  Yeah sure



User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1176 times:

I too despise the direction BMW is taking. And unlike the above messages, I cannot stand the Z4 either. I once posted on www.bmwplanet.com about the upcoming 3 series, and in that post mentioned how I hoped the styling was good, since the current 7 series looks more like what a new Buick Roadmaster might look like. I got flamed pretty bad!

The reasons I don't like the direction BMW is taking as as follows:

1. The designs actually show promise, but their execution is horrendous! The 7 series and to a lesser degree, the Z4 have an unfinished look about them. And the Z4 looks more like it has a Japanese rear end, rather than a German one.

2. All this technology is causing lots of trouble for owners and BMW alike. There was an unheard of number of factory buy-backs, and customers either demanded new 2003 7 series and hoping for no problems, or then they went off and bought a competitor's car. It is deplorable to use your customers, especially those shelling out the incredible amount of money a 7 series demands as product development engineers! German quality has been much worse lately than their reputation would suggest, and this is a direct result of all the crap they put into their cars so they are at the leading edge against their competitors. Sorry, but leave it to the Japanese to introduce new technology, they seem to get it right the first time. In the mean time, German cars are losing their souls.

3. BMW is going away from the driver oriented feel to a more luxury feel. This is evident by the new interiors that have lost their driver oriented centre console, and also by the predominance of new technology such as I-Drive. It's as if BMW wants to be Lexus. They are surely very comfortable cars, and very capable, but they are going in a totally different direction.

However, given all this, 7 series sales are much higher than before, and I believe for the first time, they have surpassed Mercedes S Class sales. This is no mean feat, and it shows they quite possibly might be right about their direction. But driving enthusiasts from now on looking for upscale sporty cars might have to get cars from Audi, or maybe even Infinity.



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1172 times:

It's not awful that Chris Bangle is an American. It's awful the designs he's coming up with now!


"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1837 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1154 times:

I think it looks good from this angle:





User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1145 times:

I'll respectfully disagree...BMW has more performance oriented cars than ever before. Luxury still takes a back seat to handling and performance. If you've driven a 7-series you'll see what I mean (it's a world away from a Lexus). Andy they are outselling out their other German rivals (enough said).

I'll agree with your styling concerns. My issue is that five years ago, a BMW looked like a BMW--now they are moving in all different directions with only the kidney shaped grille remaining the same. The ass end of all the new cars need some serious review (except the 3 series which appears to be a reasonalble evolution of the previous series...).

Flight152: Grow up...you're just an 'armchair' car enthusiast. Most of us are actual owners.


User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2682 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1140 times:

I believe with that new 7 that BMW is slowly starting to ruin their cars.. Hopefully they dont let that design spill over into other models.


The best looking 3's and 5's were in the mid ninties.. bring back that style!



N/A
User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1130 times:

EG777er, I agree that in that angle, the 745 looks very nice! To note, the details I do not like are 1. the headlights, and the overall frontal area, which looks a little ponderous and lacks any elegance. That's subjective though. 2. The tail lights are awful, look like they came straight off a Cirrus. Also note that the Cirrus has an elevated trunk, but that car is actually elegant for what it is! 3. The cutlines for the trunk lid only make the rear end look cheap, it does not have a seamless appearance.

On the upside, I love those rims! And another thing, the European version, as shown above, looks much better with the orange instead of the white in the tail lights. That small detail alone gives it a much nicer appearance.

Let's see if they can manage to change some of those details in the next year or so.




"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1124 times:

Flight152: Grow up...you're just an 'armchair' car enthusiast. Most of us are actual owners.

'Armchair'? ROFL. I own my own car, thank you very much. The difference being, i'm not flaunting it it every other thread such as yourself.


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1120 times:

I doubt its a car worth flaunting.
I'll stand by my original comment.

But thank you for your reply.
Brgds.


User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1116 times:

I doubt its a car worth flaunting.


I wish I didn't have to come to this point but as you seem to be a very materialistic person, I drive a Volvo S90. I don't appreciate the arrogant comments.


User currently offline747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1114 times:

"It's not awful that Chris Bangle is an American. It's awful the designs he's coming up with now! "

I don't like the idea that Bangle coming from the USA is an issue. If the Germans are pure enough to run (or ruin) an American company like Chrysler, then an American is good enough to style autos for stodgy BMW.

I think his designs are refreshing and modern and it shows that BMW finally desires getting out of the 1970's as far as styling and wants external designs that are as modern and fresh as its engineering. BMW's up until only recently looked more or less like they had in the 70's and as far as high level luxury cars, their interiors were the worst, reminding one of NY taxi cabs. Finally, the new 7 series shows that a German Luxury sedan can have aesthetic styling and a sumptuous interior to match it's state of the art engineering without the gaudiness and needless ostentation of Mercedes.


User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1110 times:

747-451, you can't be serious, right? Mercedes gaudy??? Try simple elegance. The same could be said of past BMW's, but unfortunately not the case anymore. BMW is resorting to gaudiness now, with for the most part tasteless design themes that are not catching on with most BMW enthusiasts. And I beg you to illustrate which NY taxicabs have BMW interiors! In fact, BMW has appreciably increased their interior quality in the last 10 years or so, but at the same time has lost its sporty appeal. If you look at the interiors of BMW's in the past, they had good quality, although not matching Audi or Mercedes, but had amazing ergonomics. To me, the best BMW interiors are those of the former 3 series, and the current 3 and 5 series are almost as good. You really are in touch with all the controls unlike virtually any other car.

Regarding the American comments, I don't think anybody cares about the fact that Bangle is from Wisconsin, but they do care about the path he is taking in design lately. Notable exceptions are the X5 and in my opinion, the Z8. These are beautifully styled vehicles in their own ways.



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1107 times:

I agree completly Captaingomes. I was going to reply with the same comment. Don't even try to call the S class gaudy, if anything falls into that category, its the New 7-Series.

The S-Class has (since were comparing large sedans) one of the most un-cluttered, streamlined bodys. Mercedes says the coefficient of drag is .27.


User currently offline747-451 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1103 times:

Mercedes S500 is quite tasteless, especially it's interior. Too much test tube wood, poor quality leather, "plasticy" glove box and accessories hardly "simple elegance". I think as far as some of the "plastic", Mercedes should keep their fingers out of the Intrpid Parts Bin.The touch screen is an inscutible mess with a 200 page manual, ridiculous over kill at it's worst, especially in a car of that caliber (I ride in one every day for work)-a dash board can have insightful controls without needless gimmickry- leave the "doo dads" to the Lexus/Infiniti wannabees (Lexus, a Toyota with a blonde wig, Infiniti-a ghetto fab Nissan and both marques without a legend or a "soul"). Needlessness such as that is no excuse for a logically thought out dash board with logical controls.

I recall the interirors of 5 and 7 series cars of the past having too firm shapless seats covered in a cheap thick leather that reminds one of naugahyde vinyl and a lack of any detail what so ever as far as door trim, arm rests or anything else. It wasn't "utilitarian chic" it was just dull--reminding one of a taxi cab. Yes, they have come along way...

Perhaps "BMW Purist" means "reactionary", "stagnant" and inability to embrace refined intereptations of their legend.


User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1095 times:

I hate to say this, but I actually might *cough* agree with some of your points, 747-451. While I could never categorize the S Class interior as cheap, it does not live up the standards set by previous Benzes. And a touch screen is just this side of the I-Drive in terms of poor ergonomic, gimicky design. I also agree, as I said above, leave it to the Japanese to pioneer electronic gadgets, at least they usually get them right the first time, and they are reliable. I wonder if the sales successes the Germans are experiencing is a result of their vault like structures, sublime quality and great drivability, or if it's a result of the gadgetry they are employing.

Apparantly the 2003 S has improved interior quality. The new E class surely does, and I was truly impressed with its interior. I didn't get to drive it, but got to ride in the E500 and was very impressed with also the power, and the ride of the airmatic suspension.



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1080 times:

An S90!!! OH MY GOD.....a soccer mom mobile. Thank you for validating my comment.
Please go back and see who took the first punch.

A S90 (or any Volvo) is not even close to an M5.....Hell, it's not even on the same radar screen!

Also....BMW is easily outselling MB for the last three years. A comparably priced 500S will cost approximatley 15K more than the BMW....and won't even come close to performance and handling.

I'll agree that the rear end could use some revision...but the rest of the car is beautiful....inside and out. If you look at it as a performance sedan and not a luxury sedan...then the verdict is clearly in BMW's favor. Particularly when the 12-cylinder model appears in January.


User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1077 times:

Sorry Greg, but BMW has never outsold Mercedes. It's BMW's goal to outsell Mercedes by 2004 or 2005, something like that. Only now has the 7 series outsold the S Class, and that's right now. Things might change for them once all the problems with the 7 series become better known. With the extraordinarily high number of dealer buy-backs due to serious problems, many of the original 7 series customers have now gone to other manufacturers.

Wait until you can get the S500 4Matic, and wait for the biturbo V12's that Mercedes is now putting into the S600. And don't forget the S55, which will eat any 7 for lunch.  Smile



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineFlight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3406 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1074 times:

An S90!!! OH MY GOD.....a soccer mom mobile. Thank you for validating my comment.
Please go back and see who took the first punch.A S90 (or any Volvo) is not even close to an M5.....Hell, it's not even on the same radar screen!



I want you to take a hard look at yourself. I never intended to compare my car to yours (Theres also a 40K price difference). This situtation just shows how snobby and arrogant you are. You bring the term 'shallow' to new lows.

I know people just like the way you are acting, thinking your better then anyone whos car is worth less then yours. But I have news for you, thats not the way it works. Is your car the only thing you have to show for?


25 KrisworldB777 : How on earth can you say that the new 7's interior is classy? It is the most garish, cheap and ugly dashboard any BMW has ever worn. Look at that hide
26 Greg : No Flight152...I also have a truck...a ski boat (hence the truck)...a house and some property in west Texas to show for my eight years of education--7
27 MD-90 : Ouch. Nice comment there, Greg. So your "Atty" occupation probably means, attorney, doesn't it? If you want to brag about owning an M5 when that's you
28 Greg : MD-90..thanks for your interest. My retirement investments are doing....OK. Clearly no better or worse than most during this economic slump--it's lost
29 We're Nuts : Lawyers work? Since when?
30 MD-90 : I just have to wonder whom you're suing if you're making that much money when you're so young. Okay, I'll admit that was a low blow, but I am curious.
31 Greg : MD-90... We sue insurance companies (ultimately, they are ones who pay). Awards are mostly, but not entirely, transportation related (shipping, rarely
32 MD-90 : Well, hey, if you're happy and like the money...although for your age, you're definately not in the typical attorney job, that's for sure. My aunt has
33 Post contains images OO-AOG : No Flight152...I also have a truck...a ski boat (hence the truck)...a house and some property in west Texas to show for my eight years of education--7
34 MD-90 : And heck, I wouldn't mind having your income when I'm your age. Flying is expensive...so are families. Put the two together, and the money has to be s
35 Greg : I think some of you misunderstood...I travel 300K miles a year for WORK..not pleasure. WE have offices in Houston, London (for Lloyd's insurance), and
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