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Old 09-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #16
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Its the 2002.

Didnt you guys watch the documentary ? Come on, you call yourself enthusiasts ....
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:56 AM   #17
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The 2002 saved the company and defined the term "sports sedan". It gets my vote, though I do own 2 of them...
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #18
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:56 PM   #19
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I guess it all depends how you define the brand. For the purists, that are older than say 21, I think you all look towards the 2002, and some the e30 with admiration for what the vehicle is. However, if you look at sales figures, this is usually what defines the brand in terms of vehicle development and where the company aims in the future, it is definitely the e36. This was the start of an unprecedented stretch of award after award from journalists world wide. Sales increased. Performnace increased substantially. Luxury increased and so did sales. Prices remained flat for many years, and that was the start of all of the super dealerships you now see! That was reinvent era for BMW, it was either make it or break it. They made it and then some. To the purists, (myself included) they sold a bit of their soul to the devil, but that's who's buying bimmers these days. Status seekers, rather than purists. I must admit, BMW has made a tonne of moves that have irritated me in the years past but in the last two have done a few things really right. One was the 335is. What a machine. The other the 1M. Manual only, the way M's should be, all of them! I hope they keep up with this, and stop building all of the AWD crap their making now a days. I know it's a pipe dream but hey who am I to argue with success???
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:12 AM   #20
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My vote is for the 2002. Later models did get better and better, sell much higher volumes, and helped corporate growth tremendously but in my opinion the 2002 was most influential to the marque. It put BMW on the map in North America as a "drivers car" and set the corporate brand in motion. Without that initial foothold the subsequent successes might not have been possible.

I remember as a very young kid my uncle came to visit my family on the east coast from Ontario with a colorado orange roundie. I don't want to date myself but lets just say the car was pretty new at the time. It was the first BMW I had ever seen and I knew there was something special about it.

He told me all about what the roundel represented and what made the car so special to true car enthusiasts like him. Then he took me for a "ride" on some of the same roads Targa runs on today and scared the bejeezus out of me. I've loved BMW ever since. My uncle owned only BMWs the rest of his life because of that 2002 and he's responsible for my addiction to BMW. He's dead now, poor bastard. I took him for a run in my turbo vert before he died and he couldn't wipe the grin off his face. I'd love to get a roundie colorado in his memory.

/end irrelevant memory dump

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