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      08-05-2019, 05:24 PM   #23
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Now we have the G20, which is being received very well over here in the UK reviews and first user's feedback. Seems the 3-series has its crown back, will be even harder for the competition to take sales away.

Can you buy "the ultimate driving machine" over in the UK with a manual transmission?

Because you can't here in the USA if you want a 3 series, and that automatically revokes that title.
Ultimate driving machine was a slogan penned by BMWUSA.

Sheer driving pleasure is the slogan BMW is known elsewhere in the world.
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      08-05-2019, 05:24 PM   #24
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Can you buy "the ultimate driving machine" over in the UK with a manual transmission?

Because you can't here in the USA if you want a 3 series, and that automatically revokes that title.
You can get MT in the smaller engine models, keeps the price down and historically fulfils a different part of the market. Plus many 4-cylinder diesels work better with AT, than MT, becomes the drivetrain of choice for more users, even at the lower end of the range.

Higher end models are all AT, we've been going this way for several generations of 3-series. Larger engine MT models were dying back in E90 days. Folks just didn't buy them in numbers which justified BMW UK supporting their sales and marketing. Some MT models were dropped part way through the E9x model's life cycle, as sales were just not there. Plus AT were holding their value better than MT, in many models.

Even the F10 M5 was never released in MT form in the UK, no real market for the MT.
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      08-05-2019, 05:40 PM   #25
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Ultimate driving machine was a slogan penned by BMWUSA.

Sheer driving pleasure is the slogan BMW is known elsewhere in the world.
We've used the 'UDM' tagline over here as well, but do think we widen it out to mean the best driving package, more than the narrow interpretation of best driving dynamics.

BMW have been compromised on UK roads for many a year. Some E9x M-sport models gained a reputation for being far too harsh, by many who have tried them. The F30 which has been hammered so hard in the US for poor dynamics, has offered a much more compliant ride, which many do value over here. The G2x models have to offer more comfort along with decent handling dynamics. Seems BMW may have achieved that balance.

IMO, BMW still offer the best "all-round" models in many segments. 3-series is still the model many aspire to own and drive.
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      08-05-2019, 05:46 PM   #26
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Their favorite present day BMWs are the X1 and X2. That right there tells you all you need to know.
Perhaps, but they did name the M2 Competition to their 2019 10 Best Cars annual feature:

https://www.caranddriver.com/feature...est-cars-2019/

(Although they did complain a bit about the steering: "And although the M2's steering isn't as communicative as we'd like...")
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      08-05-2019, 06:09 PM   #27
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Ultimate driving machine was a slogan penned by BMWUSA.

Sheer driving pleasure is the slogan BMW is known elsewhere in the world.
6 one way, half dozen the other. If it has no manual transmission option, then it isn't "sheer driving pleasure" to me, nor many other enthusiasts.

I understand that if the market isn't there to support the sales, then it makes sense from a P&L standpoint to ditch the manual. If done, however, they are really just becoming another Lexus.

BMW should just admit that they no longer build sports cars or sports sedans in any but the most rare special models - say they are now a "luxury brand" and move on.

Maybe the should start pitching MINI as the "drivers car"? My MINI is far more engaging and fun to drive than any BMW I've owned, and I can still get it with a manual. It doesn't weigh two tons, either.
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      08-05-2019, 06:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Now we have the G20, which is being received very well over here in the UK reviews and first user's feedback. Seems the 3-series has its crown back, will be even harder for the competition to take sales away.

Can you buy "the ultimate driving machine" over in the UK with a manual transmission?

Because you can't here in the USA if you want a 3 series, and that automatically revokes that title.
Why is manual relevant to "ultimate driving machine" it will be more fun, but not more performance with today's technology
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      08-05-2019, 06:24 PM   #29
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They didn’t start making garbage, the competition caught up to them.
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      08-05-2019, 06:38 PM   #30
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Why is manual relevant to "ultimate driving machine" it will be more fun, but not more performance with today's technology
Read your post again. They don't say "the fastest machine". Fun trumps .01sec faster around a track that most enthusiasts will never drive. Every time.

A base 230i with a 6MT is so much more fun than a 340i with an Automatic. No comparison.

BMW is no longer a car for those who want to have a fun and sporty vehicle. They are just a Merc C class or Lexus E class with a different badge. Nice car, to be sure, but not a 'fun' car.
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      08-05-2019, 06:39 PM   #31
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Why is manual relevant to "ultimate driving machine" it will be more fun, but not more performance with today's technology
Your 540 is just a German version of this car:

https://www.dodge.com/charger.html
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      08-05-2019, 07:15 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
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Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
Ultimate driving machine was a slogan penned by BMWUSA.

Sheer driving pleasure is the slogan BMW is known elsewhere in the world.
6 one way, half dozen the other. If it has no manual transmission option, then it isn't "sheer driving pleasure" to me, nor many other enthusiasts.

I understand that if the market isn't there to support the sales, then it makes sense from a P&L standpoint to ditch the manual. If done, however, they are really just becoming another Lexus.

BMW should just admit that they no longer build sports cars or sports sedans in any but the most rare special models - say they are now a "luxury brand" and move on.

Maybe the should start pitching MINI as the "drivers car"? My MINI is far more engaging and fun to drive than any BMW I've owned, and I can still get it with a manual. It doesn't weigh two tons, either.
Preaching to the proverbial choir...

You wanna talk MINIs? I have owned 5 of them.

My 2004 and 2005 R53 Cooper S 6MT Supercharged we're both far more fun, visceral and engaging than your third gen 2016 Cooper S. I have owned 2 Clubman S R55s of Which I still own my 2013 model.

The third gen has superior quality and reliability but baby the most fun BMW MINIs were those first gen R50/R53 made between 2001-2006.
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      08-06-2019, 07:42 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
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Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
Why is manual relevant to "ultimate driving machine" it will be more fun, but not more performance with today's technology
Read your post again. They don't say "the fastest machine". Fun trumps .01sec faster around a track that most enthusiasts will never drive. Every time.

A base 230i with a 6MT is so much more fun than a 340i with an Automatic. No comparison.

BMW is no longer a car for those who want to have a fun and sporty vehicle. They are just a Merc C class or Lexus E class with a different badge. Nice car, to be sure, but not a 'fun' car.
Yea but it's not called ultimate "driver's" machine...
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      08-06-2019, 07:44 AM   #34
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I mean if you want "fun" car just buy some old car, less hp, loss backend, light weight, won't be quick but will be immensely fun
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      08-06-2019, 07:47 AM   #35
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Yea but it's not called ultimate "driver's" machine...
I assume you are just being pedantic. Either that, or you have some sort of attitude. Who knows.



It is well documented and well understood that for the last half a century, BMW has been known as the car you buy if you want something sporty, fun, and something that makes driving exciting. Someone who enjoys driving.

Regardless of how you want to break down a marketing slogan, it's just semantics. We all know what BMW used to represent to most buyers and what they pitched themselves to be in advertisements.

To say otherwise, is to be disingenuous.

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      08-06-2019, 07:49 AM   #36
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I'm always pedantic, though understood your point about their past, it's just not what sustain BMW anymore or any manufacture for that matter (other than Porsche? but they have a huge parent)
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      08-06-2019, 11:45 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
6 one way, half dozen the other. If it has no manual transmission option, then it isn't "sheer driving pleasure" to me, nor many other enthusiasts.
If there were enough enthusiasts like you, car companies would still have manuals as an option everywhere. But the reality is no one is buying manuals, even in the Corvette GM said the manual take rate is down to 20%. The top end Mustang is a dual clutch, the Ford GT is a dual clutch, the 911 is (primarily) a dual clutch and now the Corvette is a dual clutch.

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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
I understand that if the market isn't there to support the sales, then it makes sense from a P&L standpoint to ditch the manual. If done, however, they are really just becoming another Lexus.
And it's not just the take rate on manuals, it's the numbers. Today's automatics offer better fuel economy than manuals.

They offer better performance across the board, shifting time is better in a good conventional automatic than a manual and a dual clutch crushes what a driver can do for shift times. In today's performance cars people mostly start looking at cars for the numbers and when you get to the point that a car is 0-60 in 3 seconds the difference between a manual and automatic is going to be at least 0.5 and probably the same in the quarter.

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Originally Posted by Run Silent View Post
BMW should just admit that they no longer build sports cars or sports sedans in any but the most rare special models - say they are now a "luxury brand" and move on.
By what definition do you not call an M5 a "sports car"? Is a C8 Corvette not a sports car? Ford GT? 911? How about a Ferrari 812 Superfast? That's a dual clutch too.

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Maybe the should start pitching MINI as the "drivers car"? My MINI is far more engaging and fun to drive than any BMW I've owned, and I can still get it with a manual. It doesn't weigh two tons, either.
BMW sells as many (or more) 5 series than they do Minis at a much higher cost and weighing more than 2 tons. They'd be fools to stop selling that to make the 5 series what a few enthusiasts want it to be.

And the reality is BMW is making vehicles people want to buy, hence the big push for SUV/SAVs This isn't going to change, manuals are going away, cars certainly look to be going away, or at least we're going to see a lot less models than we used to, ICE engines are going away (though that will take a lot of years yet).

BMW is no more perfect than any car company out there, and they've made some blunders, but marginalizing manuals and track ready cars for more consumer friendly sports sedans isn't one of them, that choice was made long ago (and MB and Audi have done the same).
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      08-06-2019, 12:23 PM   #38
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BMW should just admit that they no longer build sports cars or sports sedans in any but the most rare special models -
The Z4 is still a sports car (more now than in the previous generation according to a number of reviews), and even the i8 probably squeaks in. Of course, neither of those two are available with BMW's high performance engines from the M Division, so they definitely miss out on some excitement that is sitting there in the corporate tool shed, ripe for the taking. And that fact clearly says something about where BMW's priorities lie.

But sport sedans? If the 3 Series isn't a sport sedan, then there are almost no sport sedans left. I say that because I don't see how we can arbitrarily eliminate the 3 Series without also nixing every other vehicle in its class. And if we do that, we have to eliminate plenty of other sedans out there that might otherwise be called sport sedans because they are even less sporty than the class we just eliminated. What's left to be called a sport sedan then? Just the M3, C63, RS5 Sportback, and Giulia Q? Maybe throw in the RS3 and CLA45? If that's it then we are really saying that the industry as a whole has abandoned the sport sedan. And I suppose that is one way to look at it, but then that would hardly be a BMW-specific problem, right?

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say they are now a "luxury brand" and move on.
You say that almost as if you believe that BMW is uniquely coy about how they market themselves and their products while everyone else just comes right out and tells the consumer like it is. To me, BMW's marketing does not register as any more disingenuous than their competitors'. Now, I would tend to declare foreign luxury automakers to be some of the more, shall we say, liberal in their use of hyperbole, superlatives, and outright ego stroking in order to sell product. But that's not really a new thing, and certainly, as I say, not limited to BMW.

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By what definition do you not call an M5 a "sports car"? Is a C8 Corvette not a sports car? Ford GT? 911? How about a Ferrari 812 Superfast? That's a dual clutch too.
The commonly accepted definition of sports car typically includes a vehicle that is either based on a purpose-built platform/chassis, or is at least crafted in an expressly selected form factor, that gives up passenger/cargo space in favor of higher performance by way of taking advantage of the smaller utility space for more favorable packaging of the powertrain and also for a lighter weight vehicle. Hallmark signs of a sports car are two doors, and either two seats or 2+2 seating.

Hopefully we can accept that or something roughly close and not have that debate again (its been had many times before). At any rate, by that definition, no an M5 isn't a sports car, but the others you mention are.
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      08-06-2019, 12:48 PM   #39
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They offer better performance across the board, shifting time is better in a good conventional automatic than a manual and a dual clutch crushes what a driver can do for shift times. In today's performance cars people mostly start looking at cars for the numbers and when you get to the point that a car is 0-60 in 3 seconds the difference between a manual and automatic is going to be at least 0.5 and probably the same in the quarter.
I believe I stated on several occasions that it isn't all about 'fastest' - whether that be in the 1/4 mile or around the ring. It's about feel, soul, emotion. A new Fiat(a) 124 Spider has more soul than nearly any BMW today. The manual transmission connects the driver in a way that an automatic cannot. Heck - even f1 transmissions out of Modena, while fantastic, still don't match the connection a true manual can give the driver.

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By what definition do you not call an M5 a "sports car"? Is a C8 Corvette not a sports car? Ford GT? 911? How about a Ferrari 812 Superfast? That's a dual clutch too.
No, the M5 is certainly not a sports car. A grand tourer? A German Muscle car? Perhaps, but no - certainly not a sports car. The rest you mention, with exception of the 812 (it's a grand tourer as well, according to Ferrari), can certainly be argued to be sports cars - with or without a manual transmission. Although, once again, the manual options certainly makes the car more fun - even if not as fast on paper.

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Originally Posted by nlaak View Post
And the reality is BMW is making vehicles people want to buy, hence the big push for SUV/SAVs This isn't going to change, manuals are going away, cars certainly look to be going away, or at least we're going to see a lot less models than we used to, ICE engines are going away (though that will take a lot of years yet).
You are right, and proving my point, BMW is building less and less 'drivers cars' and more of what those in the market want....fancy refrigerators on wheels. They are doing what is right with respect to the P&L, but they should start reducing marketing as the Ultimate Driving Machine, because they aren't really that anymore. Not a bad thing, from a shareholder point of view, but they have changed. To say otherwise, is disingenuous.
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      08-06-2019, 12:54 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
The Z4 is still a sports car (more now than in the previous generation according to a number of reviews), and even the i8 probably squeaks in. Of course, neither of those two are available with BMW's high performance engines from the M Division, so they definitely miss out on some excitement that is sitting there in the corporate tool shed, ripe for the taking. And that fact clearly says something about where BMW's priorities lie.

But sport sedans? If the 3 Series isn't a sport sedan, then there are almost no sport sedans left. I say that because I don't see how we can arbitrarily eliminate the 3 Series without also nixing every other vehicle in its class. And if we do that, we have to eliminate plenty of other sedans out there that might otherwise be called sport sedans because they are even less sporty than the class we just eliminated. What's left to be called a sport sedan then? Just the M3, C63, RS5 Sportback, and Giulia Q? Maybe throw in the RS3 and CLA45? If that's it then we are really saying that the industry as a whole has abandoned the sport sedan. And I suppose that is one way to look at it, but then that would hardly be a BMW-specific problem, right?
1) I will agree that the I8 and the Z4 are sports cars, to be certain, even without a manual option. I also think, as previously mentioned, that either car would be exponentially more fun and engaging for the driver if they offered one (not sure if even possible on the i8, but I digress). As I mentioned, however, these are becoming more and more rare when it comes to total sales at BMW. The company is a great company and is building good cars, but they are certainly moving away from their primary sellers having any 'sporting' characteristics.

2) I've driven a new 3 series many times as a loaner vehicle. Both the previous F series and the new G series. These do not appear to have any sporting aspirations in my opinion. While very nice cars for sure, I didn't feel like they were any more fun to drive than a Lexus E class or a MB C300. Steering, road feel, acceleration, handling, none of this felt 'sporty'.

Just my 2 cents.
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      08-06-2019, 01:24 PM   #41
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1) I will agree that the I8 and the Z4 are sports cars, to be certain, even without a manual option. I also think, as previously mentioned, that either car would be exponentially more fun and engaging for the driver if they offered one (not sure if even possible on the i8, but I digress).
To a select number of buyers that would add to the fun, no doubt. But we know that the number of people who want that option is shrinking steadily. We also know that this drop in demand is due in no small part to the fact that the manual transmission went from being the higher performance option (and for buyers of a sports car, sports sedan, or sports coupe, we know up front that performance going to be a pretty high priority) to being the an option that, in most cases, slightly hinders performance. It's just the normal effects of new technology as time marches on. We can't blame BMW nor any other corporation (its an industry trend - not one that is unique to BMW, after all) for eliminating features that increasingly fewer customers want.

Quote:
2) I've driven a new 3 series many times as a loaner vehicle. Both the previous F series and the new G series. These do not appear to have any sporting aspirations in my opinion. While very nice cars for sure, I didn't feel like they were any more fun to drive than a Lexus E class or a MB C300. Steering, road feel, acceleration, handling, none of this felt 'sporty'.

Just my 2 cents.
Sure, the vehicles have grown in size, gotten heavier, and are less toss-able. I would agree that makes them less sporty. But here again, it's not limited to BMW.

I notice you didn't offer up examples of sport sedans on sale today or, even better, perhaps a set of criteria which you think can be used to distinguish sport sedans from other sedans on the market today. As such, it's not clear to me that there is anything objectively identifiable about BMW's products that make them less qualified to be deemed sport sedans than anyone else's.
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      08-06-2019, 01:43 PM   #42
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I'd agree that nobody has really picked up the slack when BMW dropped the ball. Caddy is the best driving option out there, but the interiors are crap and have a certain... reputation.

I do think BMW traded short term sales gains for long term success. People bought BMWs because they had a reputation of being sporty, even when individual people didn't always care. That reputation has been lost, and their sales are now suffering. These days, there is nothing exceptional about BMW and people are starting to realize it. Brand reputation matters-- and BMW without sportiness is just a crappier Mercedes.

C&D has known for a while, because they test cars and care about how they drive :P

My last 15 cars have been BMWs. Some new, some used, some CPO. At this point, they haven't made a single car I desire to own since the e90 went out of production, and even that I like significantly than the e46/e39 generation of cars.

Nobody has replaced what BMW once was, but that doesn't mean I'm going to keep buying new BMWs.
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      08-06-2019, 01:51 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
I notice you didn't offer up examples of sport sedans on sale today or, even better, perhaps a set of criteria which you think can be used to distinguish sport sedans from other sedans on the market today. As such, it's not clear to me that there is anything objectively identifiable about BMW's products that make them less qualified to be deemed sport sedans than anyone else's.

Attributes that would increase the chance of a vehicle being classified as a "sports sedan" at least a "sporty sedan".

- Decent or above average acceleration
- Quick ratio steering
- Strong steering feedback
- Suspension that communicates the road to the driver
- Strong braking performance
- High levels of cornering ability
- Excellent handling characteristics
- A vehicle that gives the driver 'excitement' even with being driven at 5/10 capacity.

Adjectives describing a 'sports sedan'.

- Spritely
- Tossable
- Chuckable
- fun
- thrilling
- go kart
- smile enducing

List of cars I would consider more sporty and more fun to drive than the everyday 3 series:

Alfa Romeo Giula 2.0T
Ford Focus ST (I know it's no longer available in the USA)
MINI Hardtop S or JCW
MB CLA45
VW GTi (I know it's not technically a sedan)
Honda Civic Si

There are more that tend to be out of sync with the argument (Panamara, Lusso, et al) - but you get the drift.

Again - this is just my opinion, as well all know, but it's how I feel. BMW still builds amazing cars and I thoroughly enjoy most of their offering, but let's be honest here - they really are just fancy Camry these days. I've driven a Lexus and BMW back to back before, and can say - that in my opinion - the BMW was no more sporty.
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      08-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #44
Obioban
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There's more than that, imo:
linear powerband with instant throttle response
engaging, natural engine sound
feelsome steering
feelsome chassis
responsive steering
rear wheel drive driving dynamics
close to neutral when driven at the limit
light weight
good visibility and sense of where the car is on the road
ability to not be annoyed by computer assistance while going for an engaging drive
reasonably small, but still practical
... I'd put a manual trans on that list, too, for my wants.

And a sport sedan shouldn't have:
screens instead of gauges
fake exhaust sound through the stereo
fake burbles/pops on overrun
turbos
automatic trans
awd
run flat tires

BMW has given up on most of those at this point. Some still have rear wheel drive driving dynamics and/or responsive steering :P

Last edited by Obioban; 08-06-2019 at 02:09 PM..
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