Last post on Apr 02, 2008 at 7:01 AM
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#166 of 204 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment!
Jan 02, 2008 (11:59 pm)
I know, the title sounds like nonsense. I mean, just look at what the industry has pumped out of its design rooms for 2008! We've got BMW's E92 M3 and 335i, Lexus' ISF, Merc's C63 AMG, Audi's RS4/S4/&S5, Mitshibish's Evolution X, Suburu's new WRX, Nissan's GTR supercar outta nowhere, up to Porsche's 997 line up including the new GT2, Ferrari's Scuderia.. and it goes on.
All of'em boosted up the wazoo with more power, more torque, fancy suspensions, and spancy dual clutch tranny's. Ok, so you're probably wondering, WTF is the problem then B#$! And WhyTF are you complaining here, in an M3 forum of all places??? Those may sound like good questions to many of you, but the mere fact that my qualms aren't obvious to so many is probably THE source of the problem in the first place! Yeah, I'm blaming the average consumer..for inducing the industry into causing this mess, this embarrassing mess IMO.
This here article goes out to the manufactures who got it all wrong and to the average joe auto consumers who need educating. True enthusiasts already know, and all you fanboys are beyond help so click the back radio dial button on your web browser now.
Let me elucidate:
I post this Here, in an M3 forum at Edmunds for various reasons. Firstly because I respect Edmunds reviews and have used their valuable site for years. Secondly, because I know I wont get hassled here by A-hole m3forum/m3post moderators and fanboys. Thirdly and most importantly, I post on an M3 thread because, I've anticipated and waited for this new M3 for years!..and have been utterly disappointed in many ways. This car was supposed to be the car I drive in 2008!
Here's the gripe already. From an auto-enthusiast's point of view, ALL of the cars listed above severely disappoint in at least one way or another. Let's go down the line shall we?
BMW's E92 M3: This car was supposed to be perfect! Why? Because the E46 M3 was nearly perfect! Instead, it turned out to be a muscle head GT highway gas guzzling cruiser. I didn't want a fuel inefficient V8 with today's gas prices! What gives with the macho man's crotch bulge on the hood? The view of which is unavoidable from the “cockpit”; pun intended. The front grill no longer has the classic E46,M5 beauty/coolness. The steering feel is numb at low to medium speeds where most people need it most for driving enjoyment. <- this was and is the deal breaker for me..but there are more flaws. The interior isn't much more inspiring than a bland 328's. The rear bumper is overly complicated with busy grooves. Its performance isn't much better than a typical 335i with a 2k Dinnan software patch. Why pay extra for the M3?? Ok..next car.. BMW's 335i: Well, actually, this car is Nearly a perfect car. Outta the bunch, its rather simple being rear drive 6cyl with 50/50 weight and excellent steering feel and handling. The car has lotsa usable torque at very low rpm's and will spool with minimal turbo lag all the way to 7000rpms maintaining high torque across a wide band! I’m VERY happy with all of these aspects. The big gripe with the 335i is its appearance. Inside and out, the car is bland. Elegant perhaps, but why did they dull down this superbly sporty car so much??? Previous 3series cars inspired and were more aggressively sporty looking. As a typical enthusiast, who is a bit more extreme in spirit than in driving expertise; I want a more sporty, meaner, COOLER, looking car darn it while at the same time I want a car that retains that business suit professional look that BMW knows best. Lexus ISF: Ok..the looks of this car have grown on me a little bit but I wont tell you what I still think F stands for though. What the hell, FUGLY. Sorry Lexus. My main gripe with this car however is not its looks. After all, this car is probably the most fuel efficient and reliable V8 outa the bunch. The problem is, it has a V8. I don't like, and its transmission has been described as having one too many gears for its own good. Merc's C63 AMG: Now, this car is a extremely snobbish monster, bordering on reckless. Again, it’s an overkill gas guzzling V8 that's Way too heavy. Had this car weighed the same as the E92 M3, I would’ve probably settled for it. Audi's S4/RS4/&S5: All of these cars are gas-guzzlers and very heavy. They typically have uninvolved steering feel. Basically major deal breakers. Mitshibish's Evolution X & Suburu's new WRX: Ok these cars are wonderfully too complicated and a bit ugly to be frank. I appreciate the effort, and had I wanted to rally race a production car..these would be my top choices. Oh well.. Nissan's GTR: WOW..this car got my attention quick. Basically, it's like an all in one multifunction laser jet printer with fax, scanner, modem, ipod jack and all for a relatively cheap price. I mean, it’s got 4wd, dual clutch transmission, a fancy transaxle and suspension, 4 seats, a funky performance monitor/display, plenty of trunk room, and with supercar beating performance. All for a base price of under 70k to boot! I really like the GTR on many fronts however..it's got major flaws too! Rear seat room is F'ing crampt! Yes,..that matters to me dammit! If the car proclaims to be a four seater..then they aught provide respectable seats. The other gripe is with its looks..Come on, I mean it looks like a freagin transformer that got stuck in mid transformation for goodness sake. It also lacks a business suit professional touch that should come with a car cost'n upward of 70k! And Everyone is talk’n bout how cheap the GTR is..Come On! That's BS!!!! 70k MSRP is NOT cheap..we're talking near 80k out the door probably even with no markups that are highly anticipated! The price tag is barely attainable to the average mid income auto enthusiast/consumer. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate Nissan's effort on this car. It's nearly perfect in all respects where it counts. They’ve raised the bar, and eyebrows of those who’ve paid much much more for less performance! Even if I don’t buy your car, Thank You Nissan! Porsche’s 997s: These cars are obviously out of reach to most folks. A troubling question suddenly now exists for those who can afford the car. Why do these cars cost so much when the GTR beats almost every one for at least 30k less? WTF? It kinda puts a nasty negative light on Porsche IMO. The same argument goes for Ferrari's line up. Nuff said, I can’t afford them cars any way.
#167 of 204 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! (Continued)
Jan 03, 2008 (12:36 am)
I'll try to conclude the above evolution of thought, that will no doubt still go on for whatever reason makes an auto enthusiast tick, by asking the following: How could all these great auto manufacturers, all’of’em I say; F up royally in one way or another??? There were so many this time! How could the M division diverge away from the ideal I thought they knew best?? Instead of a driver's car, they produced a well designed albeit irresponsible muscle bound GT cruiser. And almost everyone else followed suit!
Nissan’s GTR and BMW’s 335i are exempt from the brunt of the above question, but as I’ve described, they have big flaws as well. I suppose the 335’s toned down look was an intentional attempt to protect the E92 M3? The GTR’s looks are understandably different since the car reflects, unapologetically, Japanese culture.
For the rest, the only answer I could come up with thus far is that the manufacturers only provided what they, to the best of their knowledge, thought the average consumer wanted. And who can blame them given monster SUV demand and ever growing lust for more brute hp. There’s just an embarrassing obsession for numbers like 0-60, 1/4mi, and oh yeah you can’t leave out the all mighty “Ring” time. I guess, the lust for these numbers have distracted folks from an ideal centered around the “driving experience”. Why should manufacturers provide a sophisticated yet simple driver's machine to the masses when crude unsophisticated cowboy mentality seems to be the trend. You see the over exuberant lust for super-sized everything everywhere from fries to carpet bombs to Hummers.
So, I bid all well this 2008. Enjoy your super dooper V8's and fancy computerized trannys. I’m sure you’ll make plenty of like-minded friends at gas stations. I have no
Idea what I’ll be doing in less than a year when my 330i lease is up.
#168 of 204 Re: 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! (Continued) [jmaroun]
by Claire@Edmunds HOST
Jan 03, 2008 (11:47 am)
Looks like a good start for a blog -- have you considered writing one here?
If you decide to, please send me a link so that I can bookmark it.
Auto News & Views | Coupes & Convertibles
#169 of 204 Re: 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! [jmaroun]
Jan 06, 2008 (4:08 am)
have you test driven any of these cars?
#170 of 204 Re: 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! [westgmn]
Jan 06, 2008 (7:47 pm)
Are you kidding? I get the impression he doesn't even have a driver's license yet.
#171 of 204 Re: 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! [fedlawman]
Jan 06, 2008 (8:09 pm)
Are you kidding? I get the impression he doesn't even have a driver's license yet.
Well, the search function is a wonderful thing... Here's an excerpt from one of his earlier posts:
What I want is to be able to safely attack turns aggressively and to be able to accellerate quickly from rest or at lower speeds.
It sounds like dialogue from one of my son's Initial D manga comics(though I must admit that they ARE kind of fun to read).
#172 of 204 Re: 2008,.. an enthusiast's disappointment! [roadburner]
Jan 06, 2008 (9:52 pm)
LOL...I see I'm not the only one to think that way.
Actually, after I read his post, my first thought was that he should hide his car magazines before his homeroom teacher catches him and gives him detention - because then he'd either have to catch the late bus or call his mom to come pick him up.
Jan 07, 2008 (5:24 am)
Good because i tend to believe a well informed opinion regarding cars also includes a test drive , not regurgitating magazine exercepts or following the media hype
#174 of 204 Re: test drive [westgmn]
Jan 07, 2008 (8:01 am)
i tend to believe a well informed opinion regarding cars also includes a test drive , not regurgitating magazine exercepts or following the media hype
I think that enthusiast magazine tests and evaluations can be helpful, but you need to know the editorial slant of the magazine as well as that of the author. Unfortunately, most "experts" tend to forget all that and simply want to use the buff books to play a game of "mine's bigger" by comparing accelleration, braking and skidpad/slalom numbers...
#175 of 204 Re: test drive [roadburner]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:25 am)
A very astute poster on another forum (mikeebear) put it best (I've been waiting for a chance to pass it on).
"You can't look at cars like Pokemon cards, where each car has its own set of "stats" and "numbers" attached to it. They are to be driven and your analysis should come from how they drive."