How can Lexus get so wrong when doing right?

I have a confession— I like Joss Whedon’s work.  This is the man who brought us Toy Story via screen play, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Buffy spin-off Angel, and Doll House.  Given those are shows my girlfriend watches, not me, the show that got me hooked was the cult-classic Firefly and subsequent follow-up film Serenity.  Other films such as The Avengers and Alien Resurrection are also among them.  The reason for bringing this up comes down to the latter: Alien.  One can look around the automotive market and see what seems to be a resurgence of the franchise when looking at such vehicles as Honda’s Insight, or the Nissan Quest.


2012 Honda Insight Hybrid (upper left).  2012 Nissan Quest (upper right).  Me without coffee Alien (lower left).

While I can say Whedon had nothing to do with “AVP,” I can’t think of a better way of throwing out that Lexus has gone a different stylistic route: Predator.  Yup, while everyone else makes blobby alien-heads, here comes Lexus with the weird spindle-grille that gets everyone thinking of the toothy Rastafarian hunters that gave Arnold and the acid-blooders a run for their money.

Om nomnom (upper left).  2013 Lexus GS F-Sport package (upper right).  My last dentists appointment Lexus predator mouth (bottom left).

Sure it’s a controversial design, and that’s always a subjective topic.  Personally I can dig the grille—the new GS and ES pull it off fairly well, even.  Both of those cars also offer something Lexus hasn’t done in some time: offering a surprise to drivers.  The ES is now based on the new Toyota Avalon, snubbing the ES norm as the Camry’s Harley Earl Edition.  Since the Avalon is quite the platform for 2013, it translated under the L-badge, too.

2013 Lexus ES350

For the GS, that’s just some good old front-engine, rear-drive performance done… better.  Maybe not perfect, but better.  Stylistically, though, it’s no longer a shoe-horn shaped, Yaris-eyed sedan.  It’s now a sharper, meaner, faster machine.

2010 Lexus GS430 (left).  2013 Lexus GS450h (right).

Now that the ES and GS have finally had their much-needed updates (the LS gets a touch up deserving less attention), what about the already well shaped Lexus IS that’s been out since 2006?  That too has been unveiled.  Now I’m confused.  How could the Lexus designers improve the GS and ES looks so well, and fail so badly on the IS?  The tail-lights seem to evoke old, lesser cars from the MkIV and MkV VW Golf’s (see the Rebadge Round of a few weeks ago for examples), the current Kia Rio subcompact, and a commonly brought up 2004 Acura TSX.

2004 Acura TSX (left).  2013 Lexus IS (right).

One can only deduce that the GS is still supposed to be a stalwart in the class by Lexus’ ideas (though BMW and Mercedes are actually quite bland for the 5-Series and E-Class designs it competes with).  Thus, if the sharp controversy of the GS is supposed to be dull, the IS should be outrageously heinous to to pupils.

2013 Lexus IS with F-Sport kit (left).  2010 Lexus IS250 (right).

But then it hit me after I started writing this article that, while initially mangled, there’s still method in the IS madness.  You see, I have a reputation for seeing lines and design in a car that others may not always pay close attention to.  The way the rocker panel swoops up, it’s creating an invisible line that goes across the wheel, into the rear bumper, and through the lights, looping into the trunk lid to be mirrored on the other side.

I may see that now, but how many other people will?  It was a risky move for Lexus to make when they were on a roll style wise… at least for the models that weren’t simply refreshed with the new grille (helllllooooo LS, RX, et al).  However with sales, looks generally aren’t everything.  Technology, performance, and the all-important brand identity still reigns supreme.  Sadly, that can often be the case for Mr. Whedon’s Firefly.

Image sources:
Click on the images.  It’ll take you to the original source (aside from IS rear lines– that I Photoshopped myself).

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Standard news to be covered: Corvette C7

Search Engine Optimization (more known as “SEO”) is a powerful thing, and for the sake of being a media whore for once, I’ll indulge this.   Here it goes…

Corvette, C7, 2014, Chevrolet

Boom.

As some may be aware, the 2014 Corvette has been revealed to the world at the 2013 Detroit International Auto Show.  After a year or two of media clamoring, trying to figure out what the seventh generation of Corvette had in store for inside, outside, and everything in-between was a hot topic.  Now that it’s official, the C7 an internet bloggers go-button.

Things I’ve heard about it:
-More aluminum in the underbody
-Direct injection replacing port injection
-Variable Valve Timing (something I though Corvettes already had)
-Seven-speed manual transmission (you read that right—seven forward gears.  Porsche also has such a three-pedal set-up)
-Cylinder deactivation
-Carbon fiber hood with a functioning heat extractor (something not seen on a factory Corvette since the C3)
-Carbon fiber roof
A revised rear suspension, ditching the transverse leaf spring the Corvette has used for decades (even the Yugo GV had a transverse leaf in back, though not as well tuned)*****
-Better interior
-Other stuff I’m not even reading about yet.

With all the changes, there’s controversy.  This happens as any car becomes more advanced or competitive.  BMW’s M division had this in many different times, be it engine changes or even a new body style/model (check “Changes at BMW’s M– what’s the big deal?”).  Porsche’s 911 line had fans going nuts to the thought of liquid-cooled 911’s for the 996 generation, and more recently in the 991 model the electric steering and famously-rearward engine moving just a smidge farther toward the back wheels.  What are the Corvette faithful seeming the most upset about from what I’ve seen?  The tail lights.

Corvette’s have always had circular, ovoid, or at the very least round-edged squares for the back reds.  Now, though, the Corvette takes more edgy and sharp tail-lamp cues from the Chevrolet Camaro.  Until I see the Corvette in person, I can’t make a judgement of the exterior, but I do think the added detail in the lenses may be a nice change.  Something that isn’t a nice change is the huge swath of shiny, black plastic back there.  Couldn’t they have at least made it faux carbon?   Right now it’s more like what one would see on many sport sub-compact hopefuls.  I think I may be coming around with that, though.

Inside is a much nicer place to look at, but of course one would expect that.  Every car should—and usually does—advance their interior from the last model, and of course GM knew this was one of the main complaints of the C6.  It can be had with two tone red and black, but honestly that does zilch for me no matter the machine.  I’m not Vampira—there’s no need for it to match her purse.

The Corvette will apparently offer an array of not only different interior colors, but differing amounts of that color.  The new interior is a stark improvement to the C6 (below).

The marketing at the Chevy site right now says “The 2014 Corvette Stingray has arrived to defy convention.”  Is it still an OHC V8?  Is it still front engine, rear drive, built in Kentucky?  Is it still Coke-Bottle shaped?  Yes.  What other conventions does it not break?  Automotively speaking, there are plenty of vehicles just as dynamically and technically similar.  A front engined V8 car with a rear mounted transaxle can be found a few times in Italy under Maserati and Ferrari, in Germany with the AMG SLS Gullwing, and even Lexus has the LFA.  The latter of which, has a similar rear ducting to cool the transmission.  Oh yes, convention is bowing to Bowling Green, Kentucky.

With that said, the Corvette still holds its party-piece of being a bargain like it has forever.  All those other cars start well over $120,000.  The C7 is projected to more around $60,000.  Currently, the base C6 with 430hp (the C7 is expected to have 450hp) is $50,000.  Given the advances, the new Corvette is still quite the bargain, even while costing nearly an entire Chevy Spark more.

Some will bring up the new Dodge Viper, and to that I say– not competitors… yet.  The Viper has always taken the supercar hand-biter approach to the owner, and that’s what Viper guys pay for– the thrill, the track-ready guts of the darn thing.  Corvette’s are still cruisers that can be driven every day to work, or drive across country without being beaten up.  It’s a more gentle vehicle for a more gentle driver… and then when it’s sold, us young guys beat them ’til they piss coolant.  It’s a story old as leaf springs.  The Z06 was the track machine of all the Corvette’s, as it found more ways to kick weight, had the most unique engine even against the mighty ZR1, and simply isn’t built to cruise the same way.  That was the Viper of the line– not just about the power and speed, but the rawness.

We’ll see what comes about in the new Corvette and Viper.  Especially in light of the more recent power wars that have picked up since the last time both cars were all-new (2003 for Viper; 2005 for Corvette).  The market has changed rapidly since then.

There you have it: a quick look at the Corvette for the sake of readership.  I feel dirty.

Image sources:
C7 Corvette front, rear, and red/black interior
C7 Corvette tail-light close up
C7 Corvette Tan and black interior
C7 Corvette Black dash
C6 Corvette interior
C7 Corvette rear fender scoop
C7 Corvette seven-speed shifter

*****Retraction.  The rear leaf spring remains for the C7

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Rebadge Round: VW Golf vs. Audi A3

Rebadge Round is going to be a series which takes vehicles based on the same platform (or is a kissing-cousin) and sees which one I’d subjectively find more appealing.  Feel free to comment below as to whether or not you’d agree.

In 2006, Volkswagen Auto Group (or VAG) gave us a couple of vehicles that make a compelling Rebadged Round.  VAG owns Bentley, Lamborghini, Audi, Porsche, VW of course, Skoda (from the Czech Republic), and a Spanish car company called SEAT (pronounced like Fiat), so there could be any number of Rebadge Rounds from that conglomerate.  For now, we’re going to look at the two least expensive sold in the U.S.

Forget the retro-named Rabbit (a throwback to the American-market VW Golf of the 1970’s and ‘80s), because the base Rabbit’s 2.5L inline-five engine wasn’t shared between the two cars.  Instead, the sporty MkV GTI with the 2.0L turbo charged, direct injected FSI engine was the basis of the upscale brother—the Audi A3.  Just so those out of the loop know, “Mk” followed by a numeral is the way the Golf generations are separated among enthusiasts.

While the Golf GTI had long been in the VW lineup in America, a practical Audi smaller than the A4 had been a thing of the past until 2006 (the TT isn’t what one could call “practical”).  The A3 did indeed have the same architecture underneath as the MkV GTI, the same 2.0 FSI engine, and the same six-speed manual or dual-clutch automated manual (DSG, called S-Tronic at Audi).

The Golf/A3 differences in size were found in length, width and height (the audi being 3.8” longer, .8” wider, and .6” shorter).  The distance between the front and rear wheels was identical, keeping things like legroom nearly equal (the Audi gives up .5” in rear legroom to the MkV Golf).  The Audi, with the larger overall footprint, obviously gained a little more weight (up to 300lbs more), but at least has more cargo space (55.6 cuft vs. 41.8cuft).  Elsewhere the Audi overtook the GTI was its five-doors-only approach (that is, until the 2007 GTI gained rear doors), and available Quattro AWD—an Audi exclusive.  It also could be had with a 3.2L, 250hp V6 engine shared with the Audi TT.  The Quattro was limited to the V6 until 2009, when the 2.0T could finally turn all four wheels.  As with the V6, the 2.0T AWD was DSG only.

Come 2008, the Golf could be had in an AWD, V6 powered model dubbed the R32, but unlike the Audi, it had a three-door or five-door choice at American dealerships.  The VW R32 was a limited production model gone the next year.  Like the A3 3.2L, this R32 had just DSG (the MkIV Golf R32 was down 10hp, but had a six-speed manual).

MkV R32 line; MkIV R32 it replaced

By the 2010 model year, the Audi had dropped the 3.2L V6 from the A3 in leiu of the TDI diesel found in the Golf line, which by ’10 had freshly hit the MkVI generation to further stagnate the A3.

One could say this is a complicated sibling rivalry, with a mix-match of body styles and transmissions being bumped between the two.  Making matters worse, there’s the Golf R of the MkVI generation.  Golf R took the concept of the R32’s—AWD, stiffer suspension, grippier seats—but replaced the 3.2L V6 with a hopped up version of the 2.0T of the GTI.  Good for around the same power of the V6, but with less weight on the nose (and a manual-transmission only), the Golf R takes the lost chance of the 2.0T matched with a hatchback and AWD in one place.  On the downside, the stability control has been called intrusive at too early a point, and isn’t defeatable from the factory.


Golf R model

If one was to split the cars in a respective powertrain course of engine and transmission, there would be varied results for me.  The GTI vs. A4 2.0T manual’s with FWD, for starters, would go to the GTI.  The price of the GTI, along with the relative simplicity and liquid-nitro cool feature of retro-plaid seats is a win all its own.

Throw in the DSG 2.0T and AWD of later A3, and the Audi would get it for fact the GTI didn’t offer that combo.

The 3.2L and AWD goes to A3 yet again, as it was a bargain R32 before the second iteration R32 came out.  Add in the fact it was a bit more of a sleeper stylistically, and fun is a-go.

Where the A3 becomes a loser is when the V6 was dropped, and the MkVI Golf came along.  The same power was used better, the car became larger, and of course it brought the AWD, manual, and added power back into the equation (albeit in a sedated fashion—the GTI still gives a Golf R a good run dollar-for-dollar).

No matter what, the Audi interior appeals to those wanting a slightly nicer interior, and a more niche machine than simply taking a standard compact car and adding go-fast parts.  If you want a hoon car, the GTI and R32’s are it.  To be more mature and dignified with some speed and handling still available in a different wrapper, the A3’s are a good bet, but at the risk of a still-old car until the new one comes in 2013 based off the MkVII Golf.


Image sources as follows:
GTI Front
A3 front
GTI Rear
A3 Rear
GTI Interior
A3 Interior
GTI Five-door
MkV R32’s
MkIV R32 Front
MkIV R32 Rear (how I don’t know)
Golf R Front
Golf R Rear
Golf R Interior
’13 A3 front
-’13 A3 rear
’13 A3 interior

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Electro Intervention

The non-driving enthusiast is costing all of us money.  It’s simple to prove.  When we buy a car, we’re paying not just for the materials and labor, but the features.  More standard features means more materials and labor installing them, and thus more money for the things that technically aren’t even needed by everyone.

In a world where our vehicles have become heavier from safety features, ask yourself if they are all needed as much as they seem.  For example, the radar-guided cruise control that will adjust the speed of your vehicle depending on conditions around your vehicle.  Another is the lane-departure, in which if the vehicle senses your vehicle creeping over the lines with no turn signal, it’ll automatically straighten it out and/or beep. Then there’s blind-spot monitoring, which has sensors that let you know (via little lights in your side mirrors) whether or not something is where you can’t see it… like a truck.  Another are all the affordable cars with feature that will read out the text or social-media message just received, in order to keep us from looking at the phone.

Essentially, these systems are for the lazy and easily distracted; the person who can’t be bothered to use a turn signal, look over a shoulder before moving over, or is so engrossed in their BFF’s latest tweet they simply HAVE to respond while going 90 miles per-hour.  These clueless and irresponsible drivers make such things a must—and one that gradually increases the price of every other vehicle on the market over time because, someday, it’ll be standard… ya know, for safety of the greater good.

Look at ABS.  A long time ago that was reserved for the rich, who could afford the newest toys.  Now it’s a standard affair on even the cheapest $12,000 subcompact in the country because too many people didn’t have enough control to not stomp the brake pedal, or relieve pressure when they start to lock up.  Since the 2013 model year, electronic stability control (ESC)/traction control also joined in the fray of mandated technologies.  Some 13 years prior, ABS was a mere option in that class, ESC was unheard in anything outside luxury marques, and the cheapest cars on the market could be had for $8,000 or so.

It’s wonderful to know a car is safe.  I rather like having airbags and crumple zones in my Toyota Echo.  But this sort of thing can also lull a person into a sense of over-hyped security.  Get in my car and slam on the brakes, and you will lock up.  Yank the wheel too hard at too fast a speed, and it’ll understeer like no tomorrow.  But there’s nothing trying to decrease the amount of all these skid-mark inducing moments (in either tire or skivvy realms), so it’s a matter of learning nothing will catch you, and to be more responsible.  Hop into the modern, computer laden vehicle expecting it to work as normally in the way it turns or stops, and someday it won’t.

That laser or radar guided cruise control I mentioned earlier was something Mercedes was showing off around 2005 with their newest toy—the car would come to a full stop, then continue with traffic.  That’s a notable, cool gadget.  However at the press release, with a car full of journalists about to be shown how it works, Mercedes forgot to turn it on.  Instead it was a test proving the effectiveness of airbags.  You’d think it’d always be on!  You’d also think that a few years later when Volvo equipped the same sort of system, that they would have remembered… but no.

Those are honest mistakes—a hiccup of an early system in a staged environment.  But if anyone has ever had an older vehicle like say, a Jeep Grand Cherokee or any German luxury brand, one can learn what a fickle world it can be when the electronics stop working.  Imagine that Mercedes and Volvo press fiasco happening on the road to an unsuspecting operator.  It could be them sideswiping because their blind-spot detection has a burnt out bulb, or a more serious “oops” of ending up flying off a sweeping curve on the freeway.  They somehow think that giving a vehicle higher limits of speed (more grip/stability) somehow makes it safer, when reality is we’ll just be more comfortable pushing even farther, meaning we’ll be going faster when things go wrong.

On the other side of the high-limits argument, there are many people who have high-performing vehicles that are rewarding to drive quickly, yet drive them as though it’s a skinny-tired, crude Ford Model-A sort of vehicle.  Not a single one of those ESC or traction-control systems will ever really be used, so aren’t even necessary for that driver– why pay for it?  My father never uses the power sunroof or Bluetooth connectivity in his Hyundai Sonata, yet there was no choice in the matter– the same can be said for these active safety devices for that little old lady doing 35 in a 55 in her Acura RL with Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)– a system that applies optimal power to the wheels when exiting a corner at high speed.

These lane/speed keeping technologies all conspire to my disdain of autonomous vehicles.  Just because the self-driving car doesn’t have the idiotic bag of meat controlling it, doesn’t mean there isn’t another one next to them to foul things up, or a guarantee the computer will work, or they’ll be able to sense every situation correctly.  Such as this video below:

Who’s to say there isn’t a car blasting by in the left lane, or a wall there keeping the system from working?  Perhaps the tires are bald, or it hydroplanes.  There are dozens of situations where this system and the false security it builds can come to an emotional and physical halt.

What of these Google-powered cars that will communicate amongst each other in one big electronic, wireless, satellite network?  I think if the Blackberry crash doesn’t tell us this sort of thing is fallible, we need to just wake up and make every vehicle a mobile Faraday cage, and have electrodes on our genitals if we have our hands off the wheel longer than five seconds at a time (maybe vary that by speed).

It just seems like the whole market is catered more to the bad drivers than the good.  I realize everyone makes mistakes, but in what world does rewarding those more prone to fail with ways to increase their incompetence with compensatory gadgets?  Shouldn’t we lower the tolerances of such systems?   A safe-mode, if you will.  Keep acting like a baboons anus according to all the systems being worked too often, and then it’ll just slow everything to a crawl or simply put you on the shoulder… ya know, with that whole self-driving crap we’ll all have in the future.  Ford already has a parentally friendly system on many of their cars called “My Key.”  They can program an individual key to operate the vehicle to set, limited parameters.  Things like top speed, amount of acceleration, even the radio volume.  That way if your kids borrow the car, you can keep them in a slightly less Barbaric mood (maybe even bum them out).

For all intents and purposes, I fully understand that technology is a necessary part of a car.  I like that my car has electronic fuel injection that means I don’t have to set a choke, adjust the fuel for altitude and temperature, etc.  There are limits to what I feel should be available, though.  I also realize this is a rant that is somewhat elitist in regards to the following sentiments.  Who determines what is and isn’t fit for an individual to drive, and how?  Everyone has their good and bad days in terms of coordination and reaction time, so there’s no way to conduct such limitations.  However, there should be a limit on how much room we give safety features that negate driver responsibility, not just because it shall only beget a better idiot, but because it’ll keep costing everyone more and more in so many different ways.

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Changes at BMW’s M– what’s the big deal?

Ah!  The BMW M-Cars are changing!  Turbos?  All-wheel drive?  A diesel?  No more screaming straight-sixes, V8’s, and V10’s?  Yes.

While I’m not one to embrace it (especially the X6M, although that’s more because of the entire vehicle, not just the M version), it could be worse.  Seeing as the world has been pushing cars to be greener and more efficient, the M-division could have just as well disappeared.  But it hasn’t.

The tall, heavy, and impractical BMW X6M.

Do I miss the old ones like the E39 M5 and E46 M3?  Sure.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find a driving enthusiast who wouldn’t at some level.  I never thought I’d see the day where I’d miss the 1M—that tiny, turbo-six powered little dimple of ugly.  But now that it’s gone, where’s the little chuckable M?  When I went looking at BMWUSA.com, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was one of those cars I never expected to miss this much, and now that the limited stint of 7,000 (which is still more than threes times the original target) is done with.  It’s been replaced by a lesser 135is.

BMW M5 E39 (left) and E46 M3 (right).

If you don’t understand the meaning of this alphanumeric nonsense, here’s the breakdown:
-the BMW 1-Series is their smallest offering.

-The 128i is a 3.0 liter straight-six with 230hp
-135i is a 300hp turbo 3.0L straight-six

-135is is a 320hp straight-six.
You think that’s confusing, wait until you look at bigger vehicles.  For example, the 640i Gran Coupe is a 315hp turbo straight six—the #40i used to stand for a V8 not long ago.

The 1M used essentially the same straight-six as the 135i and 135is, but with unique tweaks to the suspension (including widening the stance of the wheels front and rear, aka “track”), aerodynamics, some beefier exterior panels for the wider track, an E46 M3 differential, and 340hp.  All of these things took a car known for feeling tippy and uninspiring, and lifting it to a more fun package.  Giving the 135i a chrome “s” and 20hp doesn’t make it a better sport coupe the way the 1M was.

BMW 135is that “replaced” the BMW 1M,

There’s yet more mourning to do.  The Z4M (and Z3 Roadster before it), for instance, had the E46’s screaming I-6 engine—that engine is the one alluded to in the beginning of this blog.  While the new Z4 is a great looking car inside and out (to me it’s one of the sexiest cars of the 21st century thus far, followed by dare I say the 6 Gran Coupe, especially from the rear 3/4 view), where’s the M-badge?  Instead it gets the same “35is” nomenclature, where it’s just an engine and a couple tweaks.  There’s nothing special about any of the #35is BMW’s as far as I’m concerned.


BMW Z4M Coupe (upper left); Replacement Z4is (right); BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe (bottom).  More images of the latter can be seen by clicking the image, and clicking on THAT image.                                                            

Mind you, I’m no Bimmer purist or fanboy.  But they’ve long represented the best balance of luxury and performance out of Germany for a long time.  Now, though, Mercedes and their AMG line seem to be taking some of BMW’s cake and om-nom-noming it (something Drive TV on Youtube agreed with—warning, later they show a cut-open arm and road-rashed buttocks).  Ever since the 5-Series BM was based on a shrunken 7-Series in 2009 (no need for “W” at this point), it automatically ruined the lineage.  The 2009 “F10” generation is  far too heavy and large.  Even the 3-Series Coupe of 2006 is massive in person, especially next to its predecessor.  And I can’t really blame the Bavarians for ruining the “Ultimate Driving Machine” because the drivers are the ones who buy them, and give feedback to what sells.

Current F60 M5 (left); E92 M3 has been out since 2006, and dropped the sedan (E90) body style for 2012.                                                                                                                      

Pinpointing where the branch actually went “wrong” is kind of up to the individual enthusiast—that is, if that enthusiast even feels that way.  Was it iDrive and all the menus just to adjust the settings in the M5 E60 (the V10 powered model)?  Could it have been the automated-manual-only M3 CSL?  There are plenty of things we could talk poorly about.

iDrive and SMG M5E60 M5; the lightweight E46 M3 CSL; dreaded SMG automated manual and early iDrive controls as seen in E60 M5.  iDrive was a single control for stereo, climate control car settings (such as performance settings and even how long the lights are on after parked).               

Perhaps this leg of the evolution can give us something to look forward to in the future.  After all, at least they didn’t simply drop the performance line altogether.  The automotive legislation around the world is shifting to a state of technology, safety and efficiency that few can bypass.

While it may seem dire, there is silver lining of the improvements already coming forth.  Turbocharged engines that would have an otherwise dull engine note are actually making good sounds (hello BMW, Mini, the Focus ST, and Fiat 500 Abarth just to name a few).  Electronic steering is the anti-feel for those who want a car to tell them what’s going on where tires meet road—Porsche’s system has taken this and made it better than most, with likely improvements in the future.  Manual transmissions are now exceeding six (and even seven) forward gears, possibly buying time for left-foot shenanigans for a decade or two longer.

Lets, then, give BMW’s M division some time to get their recipe right again.  They’ve had legendary turbo fours, and a few turbo straight-sixes (the M88/2 in M1 racing spec, and the M102 and M106 of the 1980’s 7-Series).  It’s not too far from BMW’s heritage, and it has the potential of getting better.  Though that doesn’t necessarily translate to being better to drive than the old M cars.

Images sourced from these sites:
M Bdage
X6M
E39 M5
E46 M3
135is
1M
Z4M Coupe
Second gen Z4
6-Series Gran Coupe
F60 M5
E92 M3
E60 M5
E46 M3 CSL
E60 SMG (automated manual) and early iDrive controls

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