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SiR 07-11-2012 12:22 PM

BMW M: The Ultimate posing machine
interesting article from jaloponik that I totally agree with.

BMW's announcement today of the Lime Rock Edition M3 was the final nail in the coffin for me. The company that claims more 24-Hour wins at the Nürburgring than any other manufacturer just launched a track edition M3 that has no serious performance improvement over the current M3.

It's basically bolt-on Pep Boys parts like a flat bottom Knight Rider steering wheel and special paint.*And I'm guessing there is a Lime Rock track map sticker somewhere or a plaque on the dash that tells you this is something special.*But that's just it. This isn't something special. It's simply a marketing exercise.*A fraud.*Not unlike pumping a fake engine noise through the car stereo like BMW does with the M5.
It's for guys who want to be associated with racetracks but don't actually go to the track themselves.*It's for the modern poser racer.*A luxury version of those fast and furious Honda civics with race seats and belts but stock engines that kids drive around on the street.* *
I can't wait to meet the guy that buys these Lime Rock editions.*He's the one that checks out of his hotel in the morning wearing his fire suit for his BMW CCA driver school session that doesn't start till 10 am because he wants the girl at the front desk to know that he is "racing" today. That guy.*

The one that wears a firesuit because he wants to be a racer even though he's in his street car that he takes to the train every day.*That's who will buy this car.* *
So why is it so painful?*The M brand used to mean something.* Really mean something.*To me and auto enthusiasts everywhere.* I can't think of a performance division of a company with more creditability than BMW's motorsport brand back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.*

To fully appreciate this you need a little history in BMW M brand.* It was created to build homologation specials.* Cars built for specific racing series in minimum quantity to meet the rules.* It started with the M1 in 1978. Then came hand-build 5 series cars that at one point were the fastest sedans in the world – as delivered from the factory.*

Next came the original M3, known to us car guys as the E30 M3.* Built by BMW for one purpose. To win races.* And it won so much its known as the most winning chassis in touring car history.*This was BMW's M brand.* *
So what is it now?* Besides the M3, we have an M1 (or 1 Series M Coupe so it's not to be confused with the real M1).*

To be fair, this car is amazing. I love it. But BMW built 800 or so and called it a day.*Did one go racing?* Not that I know of.*And then there are the M brand SUVs: an X6M and a X5M.*Did either of these go racing?* Sort of.* BMW gave one to a journalist to compete in One Lap of America this year and it got beat by a Jeep Cherokee. A Jeep Cherokee took down the M Brand.**(Ed. Note: Matt Farrah should be along soon to explain how the Jeep was modified and the X5 M was not.)
Now to be fair BMW ran the new M5 — yes the one with the fake engine noises — in One Lap and it won its "Luxury Sedan" class. So my point is that BMW no longer makes high performance automobiles known as the Ultimate Driving Machine.*They now make luxury automobiles that are the ultimate motorsport poser mobile.*

There is no car that says "I want to pretend I'm a performance driver, a racer, but never go to the track" more than the current M brand.* It's a fraud leveraging the company's rich racing history and it pisses me off.* *
Let's took a look at that racing history that the brand was created for.* When was the last time BMW won an F1 race? Le Mans? Any of the large sports car races other than Sebring? I'm ignoring Grand Am where BMW races against KIAs and Dinan builds engines for a prototype team. That doesn't count as a factory program. About the only major race on the planet that BMW M won that impressed me as an enthusiast was the Nürburgring 24, which happened last in the ALMS M3 car in 2010.* *
Ever seen that ALMS car?* Its nothing like the production car we buy.* It has double wishbone front suspension.* EVERY M3 ever sold has McPherson front struts. And we haven't even gotten to the weirdo rear transaxle deal with its built-in air conditioning pump.* Huh, was that a factory option?*

My point is that BMW used to build amazing street cars to meet the rules of racing and win.* Now they choose races with loose rules and bring cars nothing like the one we buy and turn around and sell us models that have nothing to do with racing other than the sticker on the dash.* *
So back to today's Lime Rock Edition M3 that BMW just announced. How does this thing even get approved?* I can picture the conversation in the marketing department now: *
BMW Marketing Guy 1: Guys we really need to leverage our M brand.*
Let's release an M3 with a race track associated with it. Yeah like that big one in Germany Nutterburgerringring or something. But I hear that place is expensive to rent, maybe we should use that track near headquarters here in the US, Lime Rock?
BMW Marketing Guy 2: Yeah!

BMW Marketing Guy 1: Don't we already sponsor that track?* Sweet, lets make a lime rock edition.*
BMW Marketing Guy 2: Whats that mean? *
BMW Marketing Guy 1: I dont know but people will think its special. *
BMW Marketing Guy 2: Really? Why? *
BMW Marketing Guy 1: Well, because we'll paint it a special color and add all our interior add ons like the Knight Rider wheel with the flat bottom! *
BMW Marketing Guy 2: But shouldn't it have a signfiicant increase in performance to have a racetrack badge on it? *
BMW Marketing Guy 1: No, No, No, the car doesn't need to be faster or handle better because we named it after a racetrack! Just the opposite. Leave the engine the same and give it one of our handling packages that we already have. Like the competition package, that sounds like it should be on a track car.
BMW's Motorsport Brand has lost its soul, and will slowly fade into marketing mediocrity.*A friend pointed out another company with a rich history in racing that abandoned its roots and went after the luxury auto market:*Saab.*

Obviously, BMW wont go bankrupt anytime soon, but what happens when all the luxury buyers that fell in love with performance brand in the 1980's stop driving cars? I don't have that answer but three years ago I asked a marketing executive at BMW this exact question after he told me BMW was supporting Golf and Yachting.*

His response was along the line of 'I don't know, I won't be working here when that happens.'*

ericdalinda 07-11-2012 12:50 PM

I would bet loads of money that

A E30 M3 would lose to a E36 M3 on the nordshclieff, Id also bet that an E36 M3 would lose to a E46 M3 and so on and so fourth.

Id also wager that with other models like the M5. older vs current.

So if anything BMW is getting more performance orientated.

SiR 07-11-2012 02:05 PM

Bullet Ride 07-11-2012 02:59 PM

So according to this guy, every M car that's not a homologation race car is a poser car because if it hasn't "gone racing" it's not a true M car. That's good for a laugh.

Yeah, BMW is doing a little marketing exercise by offering limited edition versions of the M3 with special colours and interior trimmings. Sure they could have easily named them after fast animals in the top tier of the food chain, but the M3 is a car that's built to perform well on the track (and the current generation is no exception) so they decided to name the special edition after a track. Is the assumption that as soon as a track name is involved the car needs to be stripped down and caged * la Porsche GT2/GT3? They are just doing the same sort of thing that Bugatti did with all the variants of the Veyron that they released. Do I care for it? Not particularly. Does it make the M3 a poser car? I wouldn't say so. Has the M brand lost its soul? Well the current M3 is a pretty damn good car so I'd say they are still doing a pretty good job.

Gleb 07-11-2012 08:00 PM

I had no idea that BMW made cars after 1991.

dbworld4k 07-11-2012 11:12 PM

Clearly this means non-Ms are now the cooler rides. ;)

ericdalinda 07-11-2012 11:40 PM


Originally Posted by Gleb (Post 1574488)
I had no idea that BMW made cars after 1991.

LOL! every BMW model that was made after 91 has superseded its predecessor.

In performance, luxury, space, handling, safety absolutely everything. I drive an E36 BMW and know for fact that an E46 is much much better then a E36 in every single aspect. There is really no argument, Id love for someone to explain to me how a E30 M3 BMW is better then a E92 M3?

absolutely everything BMW has done over the years is exactly what the market wants!!! for example, cars are getting larger because people are getting larger. Im 6'5 250Lbs and wouldnt be able to fit in a M3 if it were still as small as an E30. There also getting heavier because there a lot more safer then older cars.
Side curtain airbags?! non existant in older models. But are standard I believe in ALL BMWS.

Really? can someone please enlighten me on what is so great about an E30 over a modern day E9x

because I can garuntee you nothing is other then nostalgia because of the racing pedigree and "road feel" which in other words means "dated suspension".

And to the OP, That writer is a looney.BMW is a business after all and will not decide to lose money just so they can appeal to a shrinking market share. BMW has been producing "Ultimate Driving Machines" for the general populace, not race cars. If you want to go fast purchase their disgustingly fast motorcycles that look unbelivably BAD ASS.

momax_powers 07-12-2012 01:21 AM


Originally Posted by dbworld4k (Post 1574507)
Clearly this means non-Ms are now the cooler rides. ;)


Bimmer Heaven 07-12-2012 02:13 AM

What goes up, must come some point! NO body can stay on top forever, and the focus of every company will change after the years. What is the point of trying to be the best on the track for 30 years! Racing is good for one thing only (to a brand); show off what you are capable of in terms of technology, so you can make sales! Its all about promotion and advertising.

Its just like in music; Elvis, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson were all on top at some point, but no way could they stay up forever. No matter how good you are, you can not stay on top because the public's demands will change.

TheMadChigga 07-12-2012 09:10 AM

I always thought the poser cars are Audi's, with their slick hugo boss suit and pants, fashionable retro ray ban glasses, nice and shiny leather shoes and big giant watch with leather straps, what a magnificent douche creature.

SiR 07-12-2012 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by ericdalinda (Post 1574516)

Really? can someone please enlighten me on what is so great about an E30 over a modern day E9x

because I can garuntee you nothing is other then nostalgia because of the racing pedigree and "road feel" which in other words means "dated suspension".

stage 5 fan boi up in here. man the life boats.

Road feel = dated suspension? LOL

drapes 07-12-2012 09:40 AM

This writer strikes me as the one who is the poser too worried about the precious M on his bumper railing against what it is versus what he thinks it should be. It's taken until now for him to realize that BMW builds M cars not homologated for racing? Has needs a bit of a history lesson, methinks.

SiR 07-12-2012 10:15 AM

fyi the writer is one of the biggest bmw homers out there.

T.Dot_E30 07-12-2012 10:40 AM

BMW is selling more cars than in the 70s,80s,90s. They are making more money and still growing....

I agree the author is a looney, he wants BMW M to spend lots of R&D money and take huge losses on niche cars built in small numbers.

You want an e30 m3? Go buy one! Don't expect BMW to make the same car today...

Yes, I don't like the direction BMW is going with some of it's cars, but that's the way the market is heading and with BMW selling more and more cars, they must be doing something right even if they are pissing off the fanboys and purist.

I do agree with the poser comments, but that is true for EVERY BRAND, 99% of people that buy these legalized expensive track editions or most high horse power high performance cars, will never do any serious racing in them, many won't even see a track or be used anywhere closed to it's potential. If those people would stop buying these editions then BMW would stop making them, but special edition after special edition keeps selling out, so they must be doing something right.......that or the buyers are idiots.

SiR 07-12-2012 10:46 AM

at the end of the day bmw is a company looking to make money just like the rest of them.

BUT the M cars stood for something at some point...and they are supposed to be niche cars....

now its just a poser mobile and a lot of the responses in here just back up the articles point. It doesnt matter if the e9x smokes the e30m or e46m around the ring. Thats not the point at all.

take a look at the brz/frs for the kind of car an M car should be. Doesnt mean lower power is the way to go but bmw lost its way with the m dept and it was a downhill that started with the e46m imo when they started to factory rice it out.

I find many bmw purists are done with the brand. Moving on to other makes that make cars which hold more true to what an M car should stand for.
Not some luxo barge with 500 hp that feels numb.

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