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      06-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #23
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It's simple to value a car based on how "fast" it is, and manufactures get rich because of consumers who think this way. How much more money does it cost BMW to make an "is" version, or Porsche to make an "S" or "GTS"? The answer, as least as far as the engine is concerned, is essentially nothing- software changes are free, and it would probably cost Porsche less to manufacture and federalize only "S" motors rather than offer nine different normally aspirated motor combinations from the same family.

While it might cost them less to make them all fast, however, they would undoubtedly make far less money, simply because consumers don't blink an eye spending thousands more to get the "faster" car. The fact that most customers can't use or even notice a 10 hp difference, or that it's within manufacturing tolerances so some customers don't even get the faster car they pay for, makes very little difference. If you want to know how Porsche can average over 20k profit per car, look no further.

There is a problem with this strategy, however, when it comes time to actually use the car in the US: cars are simply getting too fast. Today's sedans and SUVs are faster than yesterday's sports cars, and can be used to their full potential for a matter of seconds before risking your license on public roads. Trying to use today's hypercars is an exercise in frustration and self-restraint. Sure, you still get bragging rights and a feeling of occasion, but ever increasing potential is paradoxically leading to ever decreasing opportunity to enjoy it.

Cars can't go on getting faster forever, however. People are the weak link. In the 70s to 80s race cars essentially stopped getting faster, because their drivers could no longer endure or control them, and rules have strictly limited increases in pace ever since. The fastest street cars are not much slower than yesterday's race cars, and quickly approaching a similar point. In practice they may have essentially already reached it: how much speed you can reasonably use in US when not on a track?

Where do we go from here? Do cars keep getting quicker, and our ability to fully enjoy them keep going down? Some cars certainly will, because in reality many don't really buy cars to exploit their abilities anyway. Others, however, will choose a different path. When SUVs and sedans are just as quick, sports cars will be separated by feeling and involvement. And raw speed isn't the key ingredient in either of those.

BMW likely knows this- they stick with rear wheel drive and adjustability, even if 4wd might now be quicker. Their greatest drivers cars have never been their fastest, but they have always been the most fun. Soon this will be even more true, and I look forward to the day when the goal is firmly on involvement and fun. I personally won't be surprised if in a decade the real drivers cars are relatively slow compared to ever quicker 4wd SUVs, etc. I know which one I'd buy...
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      06-29-2014, 04:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete_vB View Post
It's simple to value a car based on how "fast" it is, and manufactures get rich because of consumers who think this way. How much more money does it cost BMW to make an "is" version, or Porsche to make an "S" or "GTS"? The answer, as least as far as the engine is concerned, is essentially nothing- software changes are free, and it would probably cost Porsche less to manufacture and federalize only "S" motors rather than offer nine different normally aspirated motor combinations from the same family.

While it might cost them less to make them all fast, however, they would undoubtedly make far less money, simply because consumers don't blink an eye spending thousands more to get the "faster" car. The fact that most customers can't use or even notice a 10 hp difference, or that it's within manufacturing tolerances so some customers don't even get the faster car they pay for, makes very little difference. If you want to know how Porsche can average over 20k profit per car, look no further.

There is a problem with this strategy, however, when it comes time to actually use the car in the US: cars are simply getting too fast. Today's sedans and SUVs are faster than yesterday's sports cars, and can be used to their full potential for a matter of seconds before risking your license on public roads. Trying to use today's hypercars is an exercise in frustration and self-restraint. Sure, you still get bragging rights and a feeling of occasion, but ever increasing potential is paradoxically leading to ever decreasing opportunity to enjoy it.

Cars can't go on getting faster forever, however. People are the weak link. In the 70s to 80s race cars essentially stopped getting faster, because their drivers could no longer endure or control them, and rules have strictly limited increases in pace ever since. The fastest street cars are not much slower than yesterday's race cars, and quickly approaching a similar point. In practice they may have essentially already reached it: how much speed you can reasonably use in US when not on a track?

Where do we go from here? Do cars keep getting quicker, and our ability to fully enjoy them keep going down? Some cars certainly will, because in reality many don't really buy cars to exploit their abilities anyway. Others, however, will choose a different path. When SUVs and sedans are just as quick, sports cars will be separated by feeling and involvement. And raw speed isn't the key ingredient in either of those.

BMW likely knows this- they stick with rear wheel drive and adjustability, even if 4wd might now be quicker. Their greatest drivers cars have never been their fastest, but they have always been the most fun. Soon this will be even more true, and I look forward to the day when the goal is firmly on involvement and fun. I personally won't be surprised if in a decade the real drivers cars are relatively slow compared to ever quicker 4wd SUVs, etc. I know which one I'd buy...

Pete,

Best post I have read in a long time.

Very well put and agree with everything you said!
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      07-08-2014, 10:13 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Robin_NL View Post
...You're right, the 991 has grown bigger and heavier. Driving sensation is hard to define/describe but I bet the M2 for me will be much more 'sensational' than a M3/4 or 991S...
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Originally Posted by manuelf View Post
The more general question imho is:
When will the M2 replace the M3/4 as the sportiest (in terms of track performance - not straight line performance) BMW?
Despite the talk about weight reduction measures with F8x, BMW faces the problem of the ever increasing size of the base 3/4 series platform. Even with the F8x (according to real weighing tests) BMW "only" managed to stop the weight increase - a real improvement to the E9x has not happened.
That means a M2 WILL be lighter...
I hope BMW will slot the M2 to compete more with the Cayman(S) than the 911. Yes, Porsches are very different cars than BMW... but that aside, the M4 does match up more to the 911 than the Cayman (numbers, prospective buyers, etc.) That leaves room in the roost for a car that slots against Porsche's "driver's car"... the one that may not be their fastest, but drivers love the way it handles and feels on a track.

The M2 is the right car for BMW to build to address this segment, as it is will fill a void in their current lineup... one that many of us are seriously lamenting. With its wheelbase ~5" shorter than 3/4 series cars, the M2 will have a different feel than the M4. Presumably it will be appreciably lighter (and more nimble?), with less power as well. I'd expect it to be less GT/luxury-focused, but still retain the core creature comforts that many of us (even if we don't want to admit it) have come to appreciate. I doubt BMW will build it to lay down the fastest times around the 'Ring, but I have high hopes that this car will be their ultimate daily/track car... practical and livable on the street, capable and fun on the track.

In my opinion, the best thing BMW could do is build the M2 to be "BMW's answer to the Cayman S" - light and impeccably balanced... quick, sharp and precise with tenacious grip... but with the most desirable/practical of the M4's creature comforts to ensure that it sells well and is an enjoyable daily driver road car.
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      07-08-2014, 10:43 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC View Post
I hope BMW will slot the M2 to compete more with the Cayman(S) than the 911. Yes, Porsches are very different cars than BMW... but that aside, the M4 does match up more to the 911 than the Cayman (numbers, prospective buyers, etc.) That leaves room in the roost for a car that slots against Porsche's "driver's car"... the one that may not be their fastest, but drivers love the way it handles and feels on a track.

The M2 is the right car for BMW to build to address this segment, as it is will fill a void in their current lineup... one that many of us are seriously lamenting. With its wheelbase ~5" shorter than 3/4 series cars, the M2 will have a different feel than the M4. Presumably it will be appreciably lighter (and more nimble?), with less power as well. I'd expect it to be less GT/luxury-focused, but still retain the core creature comforts that many of us (even if we don't want to admit it) have come to appreciate. I doubt BMW will build it to lay down the fastest times around the 'Ring, but I have high hopes that this car will be their ultimate daily/track car... practical and livable on the street, capable and fun on the track.

In my opinion, the best thing BMW could do is build the M2 to be "BMW's answer to the Cayman S" - light and impeccably balanced... quick, sharp and precise with tenacious grip... but with the most desirable/practical of the M4's creature comforts to ensure that it sells well and is an enjoyable daily driver road car.
I absolutely agree. Considering how good the M235i already is, the M2 stopped me from buying an F80 (ok I exaggerated, the S65 did too). Having driven the M4, you could tell M went out of their way to make that car stiff! And the brakes are amazing too.

If they went out, and added those elements to a 2 Series, the M2 will sell like hot cakes. Not to mention that if they can have the car start at low $50k, it'll undercut a Cayman S by a pretty damn good margin!

In terms of power, I don't even think I'd care if they literally plopped in an N55 with no mods. It's got more than enough power. Wide tracks, low center of gravity, as light as possible without blowing the budget... and some nice colors. That's the perfect recipe for me. Instead of getting an F80, I'd absolutely consider getting an M2 and keeping E36 for the same price (more or less).
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      07-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #27
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While I'd love it if the M2 winds up handling as well and feeling as connected to the road as a Cayman S, I very much doubt it's going to happen. The Porsche starts life off with too many basic physical advantages (significantly less weight, rear weight bias, much lower COG, less mass hanging out beyond its axles, etc.). I recently watched a Top Gear (or was it Evo?) track comparison test of the 1M and the Cayman S, and the S ate the 1M's lunch, at least in terms of it being a better driver's car. Can't see the M2 being that much better unfortunately.
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      07-09-2014, 01:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
While I'd love it if the M2 winds up handling as well and feeling as connected to the road as a Cayman S, I very much doubt it's going to happen. The Porsche starts life off with too many basic physical advantages (significantly less weight, rear weight bias, much lower COG, less mass hanging out beyond its axles, etc.). I recently watched a Top Gear (or was it Evo?) track comparison test of the 1M and the Cayman S, and the S ate the 1M's lunch, at least in terms of it being a better driver's car. Can't see the M2 being that much better unfortunately.
I'd have to disagree with your last statement. At least I hope you're wrong. Lol

If the regular M235i with a limited slip diff is faster (or just as fast) than a 1M and just as good without the makings of M chemistry, I will have to say that a full on M car will be much better.
Look at the performance of a E90 335is vs a E90 M3. Big difference. Or you could look at the performance of a 540 vs an M5. Big difference there again.
What about the 135is vs the 1M, same thing. The M version are much better in every case. Pretty much any regular BMW car compared to an M model there is a significant feel and performance difference so I don't see why the M2 will be any different. At least this is what I'm hoping.

Will it be better than the Cayman S, prob not as it's much more of a car. Will the Porsche eat the M2s lunch? I seriously doubt it.
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      07-10-2014, 12:22 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
I recently watched a Top Gear (or was it Evo?) track comparison test of the 1M and the Cayman S, and the S ate the 1M's lunch, at least in terms of it being a better driver's car.
Not EVO. The 1M beat the Cayman R in EVO car of the year voting, and in the process bested everything short of the McLaren 12C and the GT3 RS 4.0. Top Gear also had the 1M near the top of the list.

Are you sure you're not thinking of EVO, M235i vs base Cayman? Remember this is a track only competition, on the road the preference may have been different:
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      07-10-2014, 12:47 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bennu View Post
If the regular M235i with a limited slip diff is faster (or just as fast) than a 1M and just as good without the makings of M chemistry, I will have to say that a full on M car will be much better.
Not just the 1M, but when comparing the M235i to the e46 M3 CSL it holds true as well. I watched a video where the person reviewing both the M235i and the M3 CSL, achieved identical lap times around the track. Granted the person did mentioned that the CSL was more raw and fun to drive, but the fact that it achieved the same lap times was pretty interesting.

If the M235i, which is not even designed to be an M car in mind, is already just as fast as the full fledged track version of the e46 M3, I can only imagine what a thoroughbred M2 could do and how good it'll be.

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      07-10-2014, 02:13 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pete_vB View Post
Are you sure you're not thinking of EVO, M235i vs base Cayman? Remember this is a track only competition, on the road the preference may have been different
No, I found it, it was Steve Sutcliffe's comparison below. A road not a track test. It was a 1M vs. a Cayman R not an S.


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      07-10-2014, 02:20 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennu View Post
I'd have to disagree with your last statement. At least I hope you're wrong. Lol

If the regular M235i with a limited slip diff is faster (or just as fast) than a 1M and just as good without the makings of M chemistry, I will have to say that a full on M car will be much better.
Look at the performance of a E90 335is vs a E90 M3. Big difference. Or you could look at the performance of a 540 vs an M5. Big difference there again.
What about the 135is vs the 1M, same thing. The M version are much better in every case. Pretty much any regular BMW car compared to an M model there is a significant feel and performance difference so I don't see why the M2 will be any different. At least this is what I'm hoping.

Will it be better than the Cayman S, prob not as it's much more of a car. Will the Porsche eat the M2s lunch? I seriously doubt it.
I have no doubt that the M2 will be much better than an M235i, and significantly better than the 1M. "Eat the M2's lunch" may have been a bit of overstatement--but will the M2 be close to a current-gen Cayman S in refinement, precision, feel, and agility? Again, I doubt it given the inherent head start the Cayman's form factor gives it (and don't forget the gazillions Porsche spends on engineering everything to the nth degree). As you say, The Cayman's much more of a car.
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      07-10-2014, 03:52 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
I recently watched a Top Gear (or was it Evo?) track comparison test of the 1M and the Cayman S, and the S ate the 1M's lunch, at least in terms of it being a better driver's car.
I yet have to see one video of any previous gen. Cayman S/R eating a 1M for lunch(also as in being a 'better' drivers car, what makes a better drivers car? G forces/slalom , 1M is more or less on par with even the current gen Cayman S as stated in one of the Sportauto Carmag issues a few months ago!)

It generally was the other way around LOL the 1M ate the CaymanS/r whatever for breakfast

As Pete stated it could have been Cayman vs M235i....

M2 will be a blast and as a daily destroy the Cayman series, on track that's another story I know that. Fun: M2. By far.

Cheers
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      07-10-2014, 09:22 AM   #34
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^ Sutcliffe begs to differ with you- see previous post. (As does Chris Harris in his comparo.) It's not about the numbers - no doubt the M2 will eat a base Cayman's lunch through a 1/4 mile.

Again, we're not talking a huge gulf between the two here, and you are giving up a lot of practicality for that extra agility and feel the Cayman offers, but the difference is there.
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      07-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
^ Sutcliffe begs to differ with you- see previous post. (As does Chris Harris in his comparo.) It's not about the numbers - no doubt the M2 will eat a base Cayman's lunch through a 1/4 mile.

Again, we're not talking a huge gulf between the two here, and you are giving up a lot of practicality for that extra agility and feel the Cayman offers, but the difference is there.
Probably my English is not as good as yours but not in any way Sutcliffe or Harris mentioned the Cayman eating the 1M for breakfast or words like that afaik...

Off course there is a difference(layout ), but the 'extra agility' card played here is nothing compared to the power and overall sporty abilities in real life . Don't get me wrong, Cayman is a very sporty car made by real engineers etc , has a nice layout, chassis and stuff, but sometimes lacks power when you need it(reasons in-house called 911)

It's a combo of nice chassis/layout and power what makes some sporty cars shine (the exciting and fun part) and some less imho.

I remember a few years ago me driving a 330d and a first gen Cayman came up (Autobahn near Cologne) . He tried to accellerate from me which he could not do(to about 220kmh) . Then we got to the off ramps overthere. Same story. He was not running away.On the contrary. And again on the straight same story. I was driving a big heavy diesel fgs...

It's not about the numbers you say: I agree. 1M is incredibly underrated in many many ways by BMW/M and naysayers

Cheers
Robin

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      07-10-2014, 02:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
I recently watched a Top Gear (or was it Evo?) track comparison test of the 1M and the Cayman S, and the S ate the 1M's lunch, at least in terms of it being a better driver's car.
I watched that video, and based on that the statement above sounds like a misrepresentation. Steve calls the 1M "close... but not quite as good" as the Cayman R, the 120 lbs lighter, more powerful version of the Cayman S. Meanwhile as I said the guys over at EVO compared these same two cars and put the BMW on top slightly, so it's clearly close, no lunch eaten either way, and remember you're comparing the hottest possible Cayman.

Similarly I think you're misrepresenting Chris Harris's views on the same comparison- can you point me the where you think he "begs to differ"? He chose the 1M as the one car he'd want to daily drive two years in a row, price no object. So he's a pretty huge fan of the 1M. I'd like to see where you think he favors the Cayman.

Personally I've got a lot of seat time in both cars, both of the street and in competition. Zero question which one I prefer on the street. Don't assume accurate automatically mean better.
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      07-14-2014, 03:06 AM   #37
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To repeat myself, I already said that "eat the 1M's lunch" was an exaggeration. Steve definitely preferred the Cayman, and Chris also preferred its handling - he liked other aspects of the 1M (engine). People can watch the videos themselves and make up their own mind as to the degree of preference.
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      07-14-2014, 12:44 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devon K View Post
To repeat myself, I already said that "eat the 1M's lunch" was an exaggeration. Steve definitely preferred the Cayman, and Chris also preferred its handling - he liked other aspects of the 1M (engine). People can watch the videos themselves and make up their own mind as to the degree of preference.
And no quote where CH "begs to differ"... not unexpected.

So you support your initial exaggeration with more inaccuracy. You could just say you prefer the Cayman, that would be fine. Hopefully you've come to that conclusion based on actual experience with the cars in question, not simply misrecollection of what others have said about them.
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      07-31-2014, 01:49 PM   #39
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But today's 2 series Is basically the old E9x 3 series in size and weight. don't count on the M2 to be any faster than the old 1M. The new M235 is a nice chunk heavier, so 20 hp increase is not going to help it get any faster. It may handle better thanks to some good tires finally, but the car needs more hp. There's to many $25-40k cars with enough power and much lighter that are as fast. If there's one thing BMW needs to do, it's add equipment as standard... When a few $16-17k cars have back up camera, advanced Bluetooth and navigation standard, and bmw charges $4000+ plus for this and basic stereo, you know bmws are still over priced.
It's true that the M235i weighs almost as much as e9x and f3x 3 series cars, but it is dimensionally smaller (most notably in the wheelbase).
And the M235i is already faster around the 'ring than the 1M, so I think it's a pretty safe bet that the M2 will be faster yet.
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      07-31-2014, 07:50 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerEngineer
But today's 2 series Is basically the old E9x 3 series in size and weight. don't count on the M2 to be any faster than the old 1M. The new M235 is a nice chunk heavier, so 20 hp increase is not going to help it get any faster. It may handle better thanks to some good tires finally, but the car needs more hp. There's to many $25-40k cars with enough power and much lighter that are as fast. If there's one thing BMW needs to do, it's add equipment as standard... When a few $16-17k cars have back up camera, advanced Bluetooth and navigation standard, and bmw charges $4000+ plus for this and basic stereo, you know bmws are still over priced.
Don't count on the M2 being faster than the 1M???
Where have you been past few months? The M235i with a LSD is already faster, and do you really think BMW will make a successor to the 1M slower than the original one? Come on man what are you thinking?
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      07-31-2014, 11:11 PM   #41
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You guys probably already seen this right?

M4 vs 911 Carrera

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      08-12-2014, 07:23 AM   #42
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Once the G Series Models will be released we will see some real weight drop on the entire line up..
An M2 CSL/ GTS will be the real deal
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      08-13-2014, 05:28 PM   #43
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2008 BMW 128i  [5.00]
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Originally Posted by tmpendergrass View Post
I really hope that they give the M2 the power and handling to compete with cars like the carrera S. Then they could even make "GT" versions of the M2 to compete with porsche GT3s and the like. Maybe I'm just dreaming but this is what I think BMW needs!
Not even the M3 GTS could compete with the Porsche GT3; there's no way a M2 will either.
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