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Discussion Starter #1
<RANT MODE ON>

The more I drive modern cars, the more I hate them. Drive by wire, steer by wire, throttle by wire, brake assist, electronic stability systems, active yaw, traction control, all surrounded by crumple zones, side impact bars, seat belt pre tensioners, anti submarine seats and more air bags than you could shake a cleft stick at. The modern driving experience is about as connected as a three year olds hand writing, as direct as a dodgey politicians answers . I don’t want to be an input into a control system,... I want to BE THE control system. MARK MY WORDS, the day that driver control is literaly taken out of you hands, is closer than you think!

I drove a Mercedes E320 the other day. I've never felt so isoloated. I'm reliably informed that the accelrator pedal isn't even wired up to the engine ECU. It's connected to the oh so clever six speed auto transmission which then communicates with the engine. "My user requires more torque" says the gearbox, "the best way I can achieve this at this moment is to adjust X, Y & Z thus" says the engine. Good god, I'd sacrifce any amount of sophistication for a bit more CONTROL. What ever happened to engine with character. An SI engine is a breathing machine which needs to be given its' head through approprate introduction of fuel and spark. Its simple, and the current paradigm of adding every conciveable electromechanical bell and whistle imaginable, is killing it softly.

All this goes hand in hand with the Health and Safety driven mania for total abdication of personal responsibility. "Don’t go out without your Hi Vis jacket, the sky might fall on your head". Assessing if a certain situation might kill you or not is part of what it is to be alive. It’s my responsibility, not my employers, not the bloody governments. If there was a form I could sign which absolved anyone else of any responsibility for me, in return for freedom from all this ****e, I’d gladly sign it, right here, right now, no question. As it is, the Safety Stasi continue to win!

This is why I drive, and try to master the art of driving, an E34 M5

M5...Cause life’s too tame without one.

<RANT OVER>
 

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Great piece of prose Seanneee !

Have you ever thought of sending an article into one of the BMW magazines ?

Love your passion !

D
 

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There are days I would like to get in all most any car built in the 1950's with no power anything,drum brakes and big steering wheel with four on the floor and drive it as hard as i can.BUT at 55 years old most day's I would rather get in the WIFE'S e60 M5 and let it do most of the work. I think I'm getting old.
 

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There are days I would like to get in all most any car built in the 1950's with no power anything,drum brakes and big steering wheel with four on the floor and drive it as hard as i can.BUT at 55 years old most day's I would rather get in the WIFE'S e60 M5 and let it do most of the work. I think I'm getting old.
<RANT OVER>[/quot:dunno:e]
Yeah. I test drove a 1974 Porsche RS replica(3.0) and boy was I dissappointed. The power(185 hp) was nothing to write home about. The brakes were non-existent and the trans was also, how should I say it, required a strong right arm and tactical skill! Maybe it was a bad example but when I got back to my M5, suddenly I really appreciated my beast again! For the money the guy was asking, I think I would have gone for an EVO 8! Yes I like the E60 M5 too:applause:!
 

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I agree that modern cars are too isolated from a true driver's point of view but I have yet to drive a car from the 1950's that had enough character to make up for the crudness and inadequacies of the brakes, suspension and tyres. I recall my father's 1956 Pontiac, no nothing, three on the tree not four on the floor, certainly faster in a straight line than a Porsche of the same vintage but that was it. Didn't even have a radio!

Move into the 1960's and things are different. I recall driving a friend's Aston Martin DB5 and it was a car! Not as fast as a Vauxall Cavilier SRi around Silverstone but who cared? What a sound! The epitome of style and class! I suspect with modern rubber it would be quicker than the Cavilier on similiar rubber but again who cares? Same goes for the E-type even though it would overheat as soon as it saw there was another car on the road.

My Triumph Stag from the 1970's has its own charm but is now in car hospital awaiting a new heart ( 5.7 litres of Detroit iron ).

My son's Honda CRX from the late 1980's is an absolute hoot to drive although you have to be so careful not to let the rear end come around and bite curbs.

Brings me neatly to the 1990's and my e34 m5. An absolute glory to drive and unless you get into a similiar vintage Porsche or Ferrari very hard to beat for driver control. And you get four seats! Certainly a car that will never be beaten for its combination of pace, comfort and driver input.

My tuppence (old money).

:cheers:

ralph (vadas1)
 

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I used to love those Honda CRX vtecs after having a decent little tear up with one whilst riding my RD 350 LC in 1989 ! It suprised me , just how quick they were .

Ralph , to have owned an E28 M5 in late 1984 must have been a wonderful thing for any enthusiast ....... I would say that the E34 M5 has resulted in improvements in many areas , although the excitement levels attained whilst driving the E28 M5 are very hard to eclipse !:M5launch:
 

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I used to love those Honda CRX vtecs after having a decent little tear up with one whilst riding my RD 350 LC in 1989 ! It suprised me , just how quick they were .

Ralph , to have owned an E28 M5 in late 1984 must have been a wonderful thing for any enthusiast ....... I would say that the E34 M5 has resulted in improvements in many areas , although the excitement levels attained whilst driving the E28 M5 are very hard to eclipse !:M5launch:
I think you are absolutely right about the E28 M5. Speaking about having an E28 M5 in the 80's I recall how in awe my friends at the Jaguar garage were with it (one of their number having purchased one with a view to reselling it). They felt that as far as performance was concerned it was in another galaxy compared to anything Jaguar had at that time.

:cheers:

ralph (vadas1)
 

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Ode to the M

<RANT MODE ON>

The more I drive modern cars, the more I hate them. Drive by wire, steer by wire, throttle by wire, brake assist, electronic stability systems, active yaw, traction control, all surrounded by crumple zones, side impact bars, seat belt pre tensioners, anti submarine seats and more air bags than you could shake a cleft stick at. The modern driving experience is about as connected as a three year olds hand writing, as direct as a dodgey politicians answers . I don’t want to be an input into a control system,... I want to BE THE control system. MARK MY WORDS, the day that driver control is literaly taken out of you hands, is closer than you think!

I drove a Mercedes E320 the other day. I've never felt so isoloated. I'm reliably informed that the accelrator pedal isn't even wired up to the engine ECU. It's connected to the oh so clever six speed auto transmission which then communicates with the engine. "My user requires more torque" says the gearbox, "the best way I can achieve this at this moment is to adjust X, Y & Z thus" says the engine. Good god, I'd sacrifce any amount of sophistication for a bit more CONTROL. What ever happened to engine with character. An SI engine is a breathing machine which needs to be given its' head through approprate introduction of fuel and spark. Its simple, and the current paradigm of adding every conciveable electromechanical bell and whistle imaginable, is killing it softly.

All this goes hand in hand with the Health and Safety driven mania for total abdication of personal responsibility. "Don’t go out without your Hi Vis jacket, the sky might fall on your head". Assessing if a certain situation might kill you or not is part of what it is to be alive. It’s my responsibility, not my employers, not the bloody governments. If there was a form I could sign which absolved anyone else of any responsibility for me, in return for freedom from all this ****e, I’d gladly sign it, right here, right now, no question. As it is, the Safety Stasi continue to win!

This is why I drive, and try to master the art of driving, an E34 M5

M5...Cause life’s too tame without one.

<RANT OVER>
Oh my God! This post should be the mission statement/motto/anthem for the forum!!

IMHO the E34 M5 represents the absolute pinacle of driver's cars. The electronics make this old-fashioned cammy engine idle and squeeze every drop of fuel for a range that shames the modern M-cars, but after that it's all down to you! It is the very best handling road car (as opposed to track car, which has different requirements eg low polar moment) I have driven, always predictable, always on your side giving you plenty of time to do whatever takes your desire. It makes you feel like a hero even if you're not one, and if everybody drove one we'd all be better drivers, and the roads would be a safer place.

Modern cars absolve responsibilities, so people who really shouldn't drive far too fast with too little concentration.

I have bought my second M5 almost entirely because I couldn't tolerate the electronic throttle on my E39 530i Sport. The 530 is a very good car, and IMHO will corner faster than the E34 M5, but it does not behave so well on the limit, it is not as good a mate as the M5, which felt like it would never let you down. I could write an essay about the E34 M5's throttle pedal, linkage, response, rose joints, and individual throttle bodies alone. In the two years I owned my last one I was never once bored behind the wheel, yet neither was I ever fatigued - even after 900 miles in a day the worst bit was turning it off! When I sold it (LE 44/50 - see the need 5 speed g'bx post - got written off 10 days later) I mourned it for two years.

I used to say that if I won the lottery the first thing I'd buy would be this icon of a car. Now I've done that anyway, if I win the lottery the first thing I'd do would be a ground-up rebuild.

We are all very lucky to have motoring at it's very very best. All petrol should be burnt this way!

I'll leave the last word to BMW: "Congratulations on your choice of a BMW M5" those modest boys write in the front of the manual. "This car embodies exclusive style, advanced high technology, and supreme performance".

Thank you and goodnight BMW Motorsport
 

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PS love your wheels. BBS? Expensive?

Cheers, Anwar
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wheels

PS love your wheels. BBS? Expensive?

Cheers, Anwar
Wheels came with the car. They look nice but don't seem to do a great job of keeping discs cool plus the're a ***** to keep clean.

Glad my rant went down OK. It's been brewing for a while and feels good to get it off my chest. Don't get me started on the Royal Family or organised religion.

Cheers,

Sean.
 

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It's not all doom and gloom guys - interesting cars ARE still being made, it's just that none of the Europeans are.

Take the new Japanese Civic Type R for example (wholly unrelated to the UK blancmange) - 225BHP from it's 2 litre engine and virtually laps as quickly as an NSX! Very stripped, very raw, very focussed indeed - it's hard as nails .... just a shame Honda Europe don't bring them over here.

http://www.litchfieldimports.co.uk/civic.asp
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The End Is Nigh

It's not all doom and gloom guys - interesting cars ARE still being made, it's just that none of the Europeans are.

Take the new Japanese Civic Type R for example (wholly unrelated to the UK blancmange) - 225BHP from it's 2 litre engine and virtually laps as quickly as an NSX! Very stripped, very raw, very focussed indeed - it's hard as nails .... just a shame Honda Europe don't bring them over here.

http://www.litchfieldimports.co.uk/civic.asp
Excert from today's paper:

" The new Audi A4, sees things before you do. You know how it is, you've been driving on the motorway for some time and your mind starts to wander. What you musn't do is allow your car to wander too. The new Audi A4 has an option called Audi Lane Assist which warns you if this happens. Using an image recognition camera the A4 monitiors your position on the road and then alerts you with a mechanically generated steering vibration. it's another example of Audi looking ahead"
 

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Some side remarks though:


The new BMW 3-series has the most direct steering of all BMW's.

The V10 is the ONLY sedan I ever drove without getting used to its power

The americans are to blame because they would sew BMW if their 507hp car would spin at a traffic light by loss of traction, hence all the BS stuff we get these days.

But, I completely agree and seem to recall having made a similar thread a while ago, can;t seem to find it though.

Wout
 

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As an enthusiast I agree, reason why I own an E28S and E34S.

However as a daily driver / family car with the family in the car, it is impossible to stay focussed as when driving an E28S or E34S for sheer fun. Kids/wife want to interact and thus require attention or else they would accuse the driver of being ignorant. They also don't like driving too spirited, too fast or else they would call the driver selfish (Seat Altea commercial in Holland, very poor BTW).

As daily driver I have a W203 C180 Kombi. I could have bought an E46 330i for the same money, but the E46 lacks the interior space of the W203. And whilst the C180 may not offer any driver involvement whatsoever, I love it for those qualities as I do NOT feel the need to drive spirited anymore. With other words, it doesn't encourage me to drive over the limit which in the current atmosphere of law-enforcement (maximising speeding tickets revenue for the government) is a big plus.

Oh yes, since my wife drives that car mostly, the presence of ABS / ASR / ESP watchog functions is an added bonus as well, especially when the rare situation occurs that she or me cannot master. Like you all, I am a driving enthusiast and thus prefer the 'man-machine' interaction with our cars, but I admit that I am not perfect. The added safety of the modern watchdog functions saves lives and for that I appreciate them.

Just my two cents,
 

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I think its a bit too short-sighted to throw all the merits of modern cars into 'added safety which comes in handy'.

There is a HP war going on. Mercedes is crazy enough to put a 6.2 litre in a 190 chassis :hihi:. You can't do that without a huge amount of electronics.

The problem of the HP war is that the driver skill war doesn't happen in response. Not many performance car owner I know have actually honed their skills in any other way then the occasional Nurburgring Touristenfahrt. Many people with serious cars scare the cr%p out of me when I am next to them.

Also, I like some of the modern electronic/electric systems a lot. Launch control is amazing, and the SMG gearbox from a CSL is matched by nothing manual. I never thought to say this, but when I was in the E92 M3, the first thing I thought was 'shame it doesn't have the SMG!!'.

Also, having done over 30.000 km in an iDrive equipped car, I must say I can't live without it. Its very easy to use (it really is, don't listen to journo's who use a car for a day or two) and you virtually never have your eyes far from the road.

Also, what I don't like is when people lose perspective when comparing old vs new. Sure, an E30 M3 is amazing, very cool, I love it. But an E46 M3 or even 330i takes it in every corner.

In the weekend, somebody told me to want to have tried his previous Saab (tuned etc) against a CSL. He had a hard time believing that there would be no chance. A CSL eats everything. Period. On the Ring, a Ferrari Challenge Stradale does 7.56 according to sportAuto, the CSL does 7.50. 9 year old taxi chassis people, with some carbon fibre , airbox and an ECU that works 100times faster than the std M3 one and about 15.400 times faster than the E34 M5 one.

So, I love my car and any other old M-car.. My M535i is wandering into extreme waters now and its getting better and better to drive. However, it will never match the sheer speed or cornering ability of ANY M-car past 1998.

Wout
 

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I agree with some of your points Seanee but you have to remember that different cars are targeted at different people (including modern cars).

You bring up the Mercedes E320 as a comparison. I own a MB 320 touring and apart from the electrical niggles I love it. Im currently working in France and have to drive home to Brussels (600kms) and then on to Sweden (****loads of kms) on Wednesday and Im so glad Im doing it in the Merc and not the M5.

In the Merc I can sit back comfortably, the engine is whisper quite and at 160km/h revs about 3000rpm. I cannot think of a better car in this price range that i would prefer doing longs trips in.

The M5 is awesome but it is a completely different car and even though I love it I would not want to do 600km of mundane motorway driving in it. Its too noisy, the seats are too narrow over the shoulders, it revs too much at high speed, the stereo is crap etc.

Just my 2 cents

Lantz
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Todays Gizmo

I think its a bit too short-sighted to throw all the merits of modern cars into 'added safety which comes in handy'.

There is a HP war going on. Mercedes is crazy enough to put a 6.2 litre in a 190 chassis :hihi:. You can't do that without a huge amount of electronics.

The problem of the HP war is that the driver skill war doesn't happen in response. Not many performance car owner I know have actually honed their skills in any other way then the occasional Nurburgring Touristenfahrt. Many people with serious cars scare the cr%p out of me when I am next to them.

Also, I like some of the modern electronic/electric systems a lot. Launch control is amazing, and the SMG gearbox from a CSL is matched by nothing manual. I never thought to say this, but when I was in the E92 M3, the first thing I thought was 'shame it doesn't have the SMG!!'.

Also, having done over 30.000 km in an iDrive equipped car, I must say I can't live without it. Its very easy to use (it really is, don't listen to journo's who use a car for a day or two) and you virtually never have your eyes far from the road.

Also, what I don't like is when people lose perspective when comparing old vs new. Sure, an E30 M3 is amazing, very cool, I love it. But an E46 M3 or even 330i takes it in every corner.

In the weekend, somebody told me to want to have tried his previous Saab (tuned etc) against a CSL. He had a hard time believing that there would be no chance. A CSL eats everything. Period. On the Ring, a Ferrari Challenge Stradale does 7.56 according to sportAuto, the CSL does 7.50. 9 year old taxi chassis people, with some carbon fibre , airbox and an ECU that works 100times faster than the std M3 one and about 15.400 times faster than the E34 M5 one.

So, I love my car and any other old M-car.. My M535i is wandering into extreme waters now and its getting better and better to drive. However, it will never match the sheer speed or cornering ability of ANY M-car past 1998.

Wout
I guess I wasn't trying to win a fact based argument on if modern cars were any good or not. I was really trying to communicate that I don't like them, which is mostly an emotional thing.

But and it's a big but.. todays gizmo is tomorrows necessity. Even though they are not legally required, it is inconcievable that a mass market manufacturer would build a car without ABS or airbags. Litigation would destroy them. If a manufacturer makes a car that an average Joe can't drive without a suit of electronic controls then pretty soon they are going to get the arses sued off them when said Joe piles his beloved into a que at a bus stop with his electronics switched off. Suddenly an option becomes compulsory.

It's my belief that all of this is leading in one direction... the ultimate removal of true independant driver control. You might think this is sci fi but the rate of change in electronic control is exponential. There are already more people involved in system calibration activity than actual machine design. Once the Saftey Satsi get a hold of this, there is no counter argument and no telling where it could lead.
 

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Sean

Great comments and glad you have unburdoned your point of view.

BMW have a massive and very secretive development dept the name of which escapes me.

Time marches on and from the perspective of creative engineers what else can they do but research and develop every aspect of automotive technology?

I'm in a totally differnt creative field - Landscaping - but nothing gives me a greater buzz than coming up with a new angle, theme what ever you call it and I'm sure that this is no different for anyone looking for an edge.

It has always been a fascination to me when I consider the acceleration of technology during the second world war on all sides. The inginuity of the boffins to move things on step by step is a marvel in itself and is something that cannot be stopped.

Whether the end justifys the means is another subject but surely we can appreciate the old and new in its own time but the biggest flaw in this I feel is the subjucation of the human element if it means dumbing down our abililty for concentration and taking responsibility for our actions - this and the namby pampy H&S is very worrying indeed to the human spirit.
 

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All excellent comments about maintaining human control and accepting the ineviatable march of technology and together with that march the dilution of human input. But I find that most things/concepts in human history are cyclical and general themes tend to repeat themselves. For example the removal of traction control in Formula 1 which puts a greater demand on driver skill. I can see further moves in the direction of demanding more and more driver input. In the same way I can see car manufacturers, particularly those who manufacture upper end cars, following suit in introducing "sport" versions which demand higher skill levels from the driver and thus give driving that particular car more kudos - yes, you have an SMG box and yes, it is faster than my manual box but my box demands more skill to use and therefore I am a more skillful driver. The law itself will reach a point where the individual will once again have to accept the consequences of his actions and shortcomings rather than blaming circumstances or inanimate objects ( such as cars ).

Sixpence this time.

:cheers:

ralph (vadas1)
 
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