BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

Has the BMW M Division lost its way?

  • Yes, it has lost its path

    Votes: 24 68.6%
  • No, it's just evolving with the times

    Votes: 11 31.4%

  • Total voters
    35
  • Poll closed .
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Vendor
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


BMW's M division has changed a lot over the years, but is it for better or for worse? From the E28 to the F10, from naturally aspirated inline-sixes to twin-turbo V8s, from sedans and coupes to SUVs, from pure M cars to M Sport models, the evolution has been constant.

So we'd like to know, from you, BMW owners, if you think the M brand has lost its way.

We (AutoGuide.com) are working on a story and we want to compare what real BMW owners and enthusiasts think, plus we'll also be running a poll on AutoGuide to see what the average consumer thinks.

Let us know and feel free to comment too.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
BMW M didn't lost its way, it's the car industry that actually is loosing its way in the consumable products trend (amongst many other things), and BMW follows the fashion. Lots of new cars/liftings every year, lots of different spare parts to manage...


I have a E39 model and I'm amazed how easy I can find OEM parts over the internet for this model, and I'm sure BMW has still a lot of spares for this generation. I doubt it will be the same for all these new and very sophisticated models...What about running them in 10 years ?


Regarding the design or the drive qualities, yes they're very good, hopefully...but will they manage to stay in memories like the E28 M5, the E30 M3 or the E39 M5 ..., I'm not convinced. Rise of power, agressive look and gadgets in the extreme way we can see now may not be the recipe for iconic cars, but future will tell us. I'm maybe already too old to understand :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
+1 Adding emission regulations to the list does not help. BMW and other car manufacturers will have to follow and comply to the standards if they want to stay competitive. Technology also evolves with the times. 400HP while still plenty, (for most folks) is average if not sub par to performance cars in today's market. Gone will be the 6 speed manual shifters as long as HP increases and computers are constantly upgraded to keep up with the technology.

To answer, the question - YES, maybe BMW M has lost their way and gone mainstream in today's constantly changing car market. But you can't argue with the numbers and performance of an M F80 or F82 on the track/street...then again I'll take my manual V8 E39 M5 any day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
* BMW Motorsport GmbH (circa 1972-1992) was mainly a race-engine & race-car builder who occassionly handbuilt street-legal machines using their racecar-technology, -experience and -production-facilities.

* BMW M GmbH (1992-....) was and is manly a street-legal-top-perforance car producer using mainly BMW mass production facilities.

So, from my point of view, the big change started BMW-intended in 1992 when also the name-change took place. BMW M Division = M GmbH never lost it´s way.

Starting in the 1990s, the car industry in general introduced more and more unnecessary (assistance-) features and real "driver-cars" are hardly built anymore. Prices went high and higher and people are still buying nearly everything the industry indoctrinate us to "require".

***

My loved M5 E34 was handcrafted in November 1988 which why "BMW Motorsport GmbH" is also listed as producer in it´s papers.

"Sheer Driving Pleasure" must not be determined by performance figures only - it mainly depends on personal preferences & taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
I think it's evloved into something lesser than what it used to be, especially in the eye of an enthusiast, it's more marketing than engineering. How did they go from the M1 to the X5M and a M package and M wheels available for every model? A Type R, or Audi RS emblem hold more weight for what it represents nowadays, and deserve more respect than the M badge.

actually come to think of it the type R has always been pretty hardcore... not necessarily more advanced or complex, but definitely raw and focused.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I think it's evloved into something lesser than what it used to be, especially in the eye of an enthusiast, it's more marketing than engineering. How did they go from the M1 to the X5M and a M package and M wheels available for every model? A Type R, or Audi RS emblem hold more weight for what it represents nowadays, and deserve more respect than the M badge.

actually come to think of it the type R has always been pretty hardcore... not necessarily more advanced or complex, but definitely raw and focused.
Very well said. I drive M cars because I believe in the M ideology. I think the waters have been muddied by the overuse of the emblem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Marketing...Hopefully, enthousiasts still recognize the real M cars. Why people turn heads on my old e39 m5 whereas the x6M with its 550+ hp doesn't produce any réaction ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,154 Posts
I am probably one of the few that think it has evolved but evolved based on economics and emissions.

At the F10 M5 Launch in Spain the people from the motorsports division shared that it is highly unlikely that engines like the S85 and it's offshoot, the S65 will never be built again. The simple matter is that with the environmental climate will not allow this type of engine to be built again. This is highly unfortunate.

I love the fact that I own one of the last great engines built in the old tradition, the S85 and also love the fact that I own the future of BMW performance, the B38 Hybrid edition in my i8.

I can't predict the future but if the M division decides to do anything with the i8, watch out...it will further shatter the automotive world and quiet the naysayers that high performance automobiles have to look a certain way.

Cheers-mk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Very well said. I drive M cars because I believe in the M ideology. I think the waters have been muddied by the overuse of the emblem.

A drivable track car that never fails to please... My wife just told me to get whatever I want at the dealership. I'll keep my e39 M5 thanks - even though the '16 B6 was staring me down. The dilution of the M branding is definitely a shame, because we think of this as a drivers segment and brand. Very different from the S-class owner who sees the ad for the under $30k entry-level car. I don't think that BMW owners care or should care as much about who is behind the wheel, so long as they're enthusiasts and not just in it for the label. If you want to celebrate the M heritage with some wheels, go ahead.

That M235 is a fun car - doesn't deserve the badge, but we know what it is, and should celebrate it. Some owners may be posers, some may have simply found the right fit in a packaged car without the under bonnet muscle. In the end I'm not having any less fun because of the guy in the new turbo M or the M-packaged whatever. I'm just not going to buy one. So I'll hunt for the perfect e92 M3 to add to my garage and won't be hunting any further... unless it's to the Porsche dealership.

-Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I don't think it's lost it's way at all. I think instead of looking at what M has evolved into it's more important to think about what has kept M as a constant. M to me has meant that in the industry it's put in it will always been the best blend of driving pleasure, enthusiasm and have the track/motorsport pedigree. In today's environment competing against a CTS-V or in yesterdays environment competing against muscle car mania with SRT-8's M has always been the benchmark and that to me is the constant.

Using today's resources and development to create something that is balanced and spectacular. I drive an E60 M5 but because of my driving style/habits and my love of cars my favorite cars include the E46 M3, 330ZHP and E36 M3 sedan. These cars already exist and they're already amazing, for BMW to recreate these models would show that they can't reach the bar of today and that's why I support this evolution of the M brand. It's different than what I'm used to, but it's the same in the sense that it's still a benchmark, it's still a global rival, it's still the holy grail of balance with all things considered in a car. M if forward thinking, always has been and always will be.

You can ask the same questions about the Porsche 911 evolution, it had "lost it's way" after the air cooled era in the eyes of purists. Or with Lexus, in the eyes of purists entering the performance car industry was against the grain of the brand... being a purist myself I can give myself the same advice I give others - if you like yesterdays car for whatever reason, buy yesterdays car. If you like tomorrows car you can simply get that one instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I feel like M has lost its way in terms of design. The new M5/M6 look to me more like luxury boats that go really fast. The E60&63 M's seem much more sporting and fun to drive in the M spirit. I feel like to new M models with exception of the 2,3,4 series are sacrificing the spirit of M to make them more appealing to Benz & Audi customers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
723 Posts
I feel like M has lost its way in terms of design. The new M5/M6 look to me more like luxury boats that go really fast. The E60&63 M's seem much more sporting and fun to drive in the M spirit. I feel like to new M models with exception of the 2,3,4 series are sacrificing the spirit of M to make them more appealing to Benz & Audi customers.

I must agree as a E60 M5 owner I can tell you that new way of Ms with these twin turbos etc takes away from the rawness of all motor. Don't sleep though with some tweaks here and there the E60 can be just as fast as the F-10. The E60 will forever be a classic and I agree the new body styles today are just not doing for me. But hey it's the way of the future and time goes on I guess, the era of twin turbos and superchargers in cars today are more environmentally sound as they say but I will continue to keep the hope alive by driving my V-10 as she screams the sound of natural aspirated motor is a thing of beauty and will never be done again in the M!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
They lost it when they replaced the amazing naturally aspirated V10 and V8's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Yes, it has. Mainly because:

*No low cost model available

*Now offering a slush-box auto in the X5/6 M; transmission is basically found in most Series BMW, along with Bentley, Audi, Chrysler

*Using non-unique engines; X5 and M6 have basically the same engine, which seems to be based off a 550i engine

*Offering M versions of crossovers

*Reliability seems to be getting worse and worse; no M car can reach 200,000 miles anymore without a major invasive mechanical repair one or two times along the way (even when maintenance and use are perfect)

*Not offering a 7 speed manual (like 911 or Corvette) across all M models as a -$2,500 (discount1) option

*Cars like the C63 AMG-S are as good as the M3 Sedan now, the Mustang GT350R is better than any future M4 GTS, BMW has no answer to the RS3 2.5TQ


Turbocharging, lower red lines, M Sport Series cars, and dual clutch (DSG) 7+ speed automated manuals do not bother me since they have real world improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Yes it has!

I am on my third M car, went form e36 M3 to e39 M5 and now to my e34.

I would never part with my e34, and while some people thought I was crazy to give up my e39 M5 for this car due to performance numbers, one cannot even being to compare the driving pleasure and cozy feeling I get from the e34. It reflects everything the M division stood for: race car feel, stealth and exclusivity. IN the 90s you really had to look really hard to see an M car on the street. Now they are a dime a dozen. It's a mass produces luxury car with race car qualities , rather than the other way around.

I also heard though I can't be certain that the M division back in the day was not making any real money and that they only produced these cars to show their technological might.

I feel sad to say that I have no desire to own any of the newer M cars, have test driven a few and none of them inspired me. At this point I would rather go to a 911 than new M car.

This is indeed a very sad chapter of the M division.

Rob
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top