Originally Posted by Enduro
Funny you say this. I agree Audi is trying to be BMW with respect to performance. However, BMW has essentially followed Audi in vehicle design and by vehicle designation. Before, you could buy a 3er, 5er, or 7er, each a clearly defined model. Now it's a matter of choosing between a small, medium, and large sedan with little distinction between models just like Audi.
To stay on topic, releasing a model after the benchmark brand releases theirs will always hold an advantage.
Not sure I get your meaning here but here goes:
BMW has had consistent model designation basically since the beginning in the 1920ies with a three digit model designation. The exception being the '60ies with the 4 digit models (f.ex. 2002)
5-series since 1972
3-series since 1975
7-series since 1977
Audi however have just recently (relatively) changed to the A4/5/6 etc. model names. The A4 came in 1995 and replaced the Audi 80.
So, BMW cannot be said to follow Audi in model designation. BMW has had a very clear model designation policy over the years.
When it comes to design, I believe that most people are able to distinguish E39, E60 and F10 5-series from each other. The same with the 3-series. How many are able to tell the last generations of A4/A6 from each other?
Yes, there are design similarities between the 3/5/7-series, but so was there in previous years as well...