It's really sad; some people on this forum get it, and yet, others continue to cling to the infallablility of BMW and render excuse after excuse for what clearly is yet more proof that BMW is getting soft and is no longer in business for the world's car lover that demands the "Ultimate Driving Machine".
Before I get flamed, I'm a huge BMW fan. I couldn't think of another car that I aspired to own more than an M3 growing up. This love affair started when I was in middle school and continues to this day. That being said, it's becoming more and more evident that now that I can finally afford some of the best BMWs money can buy, they're no longer the cars I remember them to be.
There was once a time where every car that BMW offered was the undeniable standard for its class, especially when it came to chassis dynamics, weight, steering feel and brake feel. So dominant was BMWs performance on a road and track that no one even dared debate it; one only bought a Mercedes or Audi simply because they preferred less BMW-like traits such as a quieter or softer ride. But no one bought a competitor's car because it performed better, that much is certain.
Today, this isn't the case. Not by a long shot. BMWs are heavy. They're overly feature laden. They no longer dominate comparison tests. The steering feel they were once lauded for is now gone, replaced by a half-baked electric system that saves less than a mile per gallon. Competitors have equalled their magical chassis dynamics (see Cadillac ATS, Audi S6, et al). They suffer from a Ford Mustang-like obsession with badge and tape "special editions" (how many "special" BMW M3s are there that offer absolutely nothing in terms of increased performance?). Their product portfolio includes Gran Turismos, Gran Coupes, and "Sport Activity Vehicles" (if that douchey acronym doesn't sound like something conceived by some marketing jerk-off in a conference room somewhere, I don't know what does) that only serve to diminish the purity of the brand in exchange for 300 sales in a niche market that never existed, and never will. Frankly, it's getting harder and harder to ascertain the original meaning of "M" in todays "M" cars. Does "M" stand for Marketing? I think the time has finally come that yes, indeed, it does.
Some of you can desperately cling to your excuses as if doing so will change the reality that a $50,000 4,100 lb. Camaro DESTROYED every M car in BMWs stable around a very well regarded track. If the ZLI destroyed them, then the $38,000, 3,900 lb, naturally aspirated Camaro 1LE BITCH SLAPPED them without the luxury of having any technical suspension, transmission or engine wizardry or any other gee-wiz do-dads. All it possessed was a well tuned and designed chassis (hmm, that sounds familiar...).
That's reality. These are the facts, people. And no, no amount of denial makes that fact go away. An 8 second difference is eternity on a track like VIR. Let me be clear; such a difference in time doesn't indicate poor drivers, bad tire selection, less-than-ideal weather conditions or any other poor excuse. Car and Driver has been running this annual event for years and years and years. They know what they're doing. Pure and simple, BMW got it's lunch ate by a better track car, pure and simple.
I don't say this as a "hater" or a "troll". I say this as a long admirer of BMW, or more accurately, an admirer of what BMW used to stand for. For me, enough is enough. I'm a car enthusiast true and true. There used to be a time that a car guy like me would own a BMW nine times out of ten as his personal daily driver. No more, however. Until BMW gets their shit together, realizes the values and engineering standards that got them where they are today and changes their bottom-feeding, let's-please-everyone design ethos, they can count me out as a future buyer. Unlike ten years ago, there's many choices out there for a guy like me.
Last edited by Cgm9999; 12-29-2012 at 08:36 PM.