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BMW slayer from GM - Page 4

post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEstSidE
even though it's ridiculously girly, the miata is an incredible car.

anyway, i think someone asked about mitsus warranty deal. i don't know what they do anymore but they're probably still dicks about the warranty. it also depends on where you live.

to the person who said bangle isn't all that bad: i agree. he's not the worst ever but his designs are not timely. he smoothed everything out too much and too quickly. last good 3-series was the e36 (e30 kicks ass too).

He's one of today's most influential design directors. One may detract the current Bavarian crop in a thoughtless manner but in reality, he is something of a visionary in todays circle.

Who exactly are you comparing Bangle to? Walter De'Silva? Martin Smith? Kia's new golden child Peter Schreyer? Perhaps the mere idea that entire fleets of car designers are taking cues from Bangle at least accredits him for innovation. He is a polarizing figure, perhaps overexposed but his skills are not to be questioned. Another staid Audi rehash with a slightly different grille is not what the industry need. Are you damning change? Timeliness shouldn't be a factor for an industry stuck in mud for the past decade or so. Or is his Gehry imitation too disturbing. He is the Jean Paul Gaultier of the automotive industry, perhaps with a little more reverent sensibility and taste.
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkNWorn
Regardless of how you want to put it, at the end of the day the M3 is absolutely faster than a Miata. Arguing otherwise is just being obtuse.
I'm not sure where you got that anyone said otherwise. My point is, who cares? Being faster just means that the responses of the car at the speeds people actually drive have to be dumbed down so that a minute flick of the wrist at 150mph doesn't send the driver into the nearest oceans! I'm not particularly interested in racing, but I demand that my car speak to me every time I get behind the wheel. An M3 doesn't, by any stretch. The only cars with outsized performance that really do are the Elise/VX220 (and presumably variations thereof that I've not driven), Evo, and WRX. On another topic, to whom Bangle should be compared. I would submit that the design chief who most clearly shows Bangle to be a well-educated but ultimately talentless hack is Patrick le Quoment of Renault. Unlike Bangle, every car he turns out is more beautiful than the last. Often "difficult," but never gratuitous in the sense of Bangle's "innovations."
post #48 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
but I demand that my car speak to me every time I get behind the wheel. An M3 doesn't, by any stretch.


Excuse me for being argumentative here, but if you think a WRX "speaks" to you then you are sorely mistaken about performance and handling. The steering feel, breaking, and cornering capabilities on that car (STi included) are nothing close to an M3 on pavement. There is no "feel" in that car in the comparison. I'll give you the Evo....but a WRX! haha! I am done with bantering back and forth with you, and for your safety please by all means don't drive an M3.
post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
I'm not sure where you got that anyone said otherwise. My point is, who cares? Being faster just means that the responses of the car at the speeds people actually drive have to be dumbed down so that a minute flick of the wrist at 150mph doesn't send the driver into the nearest oceans! I'm not particularly interested in racing, but I demand that my car speak to me every time I get behind the wheel. An M3 doesn't, by any stretch. The only cars with outsized performance that really do are the Elise/VX220 (and presumably variations thereof that I've not driven), Evo, and WRX.

On another topic, to whom Bangle should be compared. I would submit that the design chief who most clearly shows Bangle to be a well-educated but ultimately talentless hack is Patrick le Quoment of Renault. Unlike Bangle, every car he turns out is more beautiful than the last. Often "difficult," but never gratuitous in the sense of Bangle's "innovations."

What is so "difficult" about Bangle's "innovation?" Do you find the Bangle Butt so incomprehensible? As for Quement, he is a fine designer.

There's nothing particularly outlandish about Bangles new designs. If anything, his influence on the latest 3 and 7 has been disappointing, quite possibly due to BMW's board members being afeard of backlash from traditionalists.

As for comparing the two, you might as well bring in Raymond Loewy into the conversation if you'll be so obtuse as to compare the portfolios of a fledgling with a veteran like Quement.

Quement was attacked in a rather heavy manner, even more so than Bangle, for his, yes, "innovative" design. The similarities are, in fact, uncanny. He had several notable flops during his career, namely the Megane and the Avantime. His designs were deemed ugly at the time and still are by some. I can't fathom how you would deem Bangle as "gratuitous" when Quement's designs are far more, how shall we deem it, out there? I am a fan of his for precisely the same reasons I support Bangle.

There is, in fact, a congruity to both their works. But a direct analysis between the two is pointless. Apples and oranges.

And please, such a sweeping analysis of a portfolio is silly. Quement himself admits to mistakes and not all of his designs were "beautiful." Original, certainly.
post #50 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSeca
Excuse me for being argumentative here, but if you think a WRX "speaks" to you then you are sorely mistaken about performance and handling. The steering feel, breaking, and cornering capabilities on that car (STi included) are nothing close to an M3 on pavement. There is no "feel" in that car in the comparison. I'll give you the Evo....but a WRX! haha! I am done with bantering back and forth with you, and for your safety please by all means don't drive an M3.

I felt the same way about the STi until the 2005 model came out. They made a few significant modifications to the suspension that really changed my mind. I was very close to pulling the trigger on an 05 Evo, too.
post #51 of 69
Thanks for the pix C. Damn near identical to my daily driver. A person can't help but have a smile on one's face.
post #52 of 69
I've never driven an M3 on the track, but I had a chance recently to take a long drive in my boss's E46 M3 cabrio on a winding country road (CA-150 from Santa Barbara to Ojai for those who know the area), and the car is a big meh for me.

In terms of handling, it behaves like a normal 3 series, except it's way faster. The most disconcerting thing was how fast corners come up even though I wasn't really pushing the car very hard --- I rarely went over 5K RPM, whereas it made the most power right below 8K RPM. This car is deceptively fast: you don't realize how fast you're going, and in that sense I agree that it could be more communicative. That's also one of the big complaints of track school instructors who have to teach drivers with E46 M3s: the car makes you look like an amazing driver until you overstep its boundaries, and then it bites you hard.

The SMG and suspension tuning was also underwhelming. Unless you're pushing the car fairly hard, or downshifting at reasonably fast speeds, SMG's shifting is rather balky. The suspension tuning was uncomfortably stiff for a production car, and I say this coming from an E46 328 coupe with big sway bars, shorter springs and stiffer shocks (UUC bars, H&R sport springs, Bilstein sport shocks, GC RSMs set to full stiff) which felt far more compliant, but equally grippy.

It's kind of made me rethink the whole ///M deal. I was pretty sure my next car was going to be an M of some sort that I'd keep completely stock, but now I think I'd be happier with one of the more normal cars (which are still enormously powerful and fast) with some aftermarket suspension tuning. A Z4 3.0si coupe would do just fine.

--Andre
post #53 of 69
yea man, the e30 is the best. i just wish it had more horsepower.
too bad it's impossible to find...
post #54 of 69
SG: I do admit that my Beemer never has spoken to me. Of course, neither do any of the inanimate objects in my life. I have no idea what you mean by "speak."
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachbeet
SG: I do admit that my Beemer never has spoken to me. Of course, neither do any of the inanimate objects in my life. I have no idea what you mean by "speak."

That's cool. Some people have the driving enthusiast bug, and others don't. Just like some people care if their suits are canvassed, and others would rather wear flip-flops. Or some people care deeply about subtleties in wine in every setting, and others (such as me) are perfectly content to quaff some cheap lambrusco with dinner.

For people who want something reasonably fashionable and safe but kind of large, a 3-series is a great car.
post #56 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dormouse
What is so "difficult" about Bangle's "innovation?" Do you find the Bangle Butt so incomprehensible?
Incomprehensible, no. Ugly, yes. And poorly integrated into the form as a whole compared to the similarly bulbous rear ends on recent Renaults.
Quote:
As for comparing the two, you might as well bring in Raymond Loewy into the conversation if you'll be so obtuse as to compare the portfolios of a fledgling with a veteran like Quement.
I'm no expert on automotive design history but I became aware of them both at about the same time. PlQ thanks to the sensational Renault Twingo of 1993, and Chris Bangle thanks to his one design so far that hasn't massively sucked, the quirky and interesting Coupe Fiat of 1994. Even if PlQ was involved in previous Renaults, which I assume he was, the Twingo was the first one that really showed the direction in which Renault was going to move under his baton. So it's odd to me to consider PlQ a veteran and CB a newbie, and even sillier to throw in someone like Raymond Loewy into the discussion.
Quote:
Quement was attacked in a rather heavy manner, even more so than Bangle, for his, yes, "innovative" design.
I don't doubt in 1955 there were many reactionaries who somehow failed to share the views of Roland Barthes on the sublime Citroën DS as well. Innovation is not only nice, it's necessary. And I thank Quement doubly, because seeing traditionally stodgy Renault take on a worldwide leadership role in automotive design has finally prompted Citroen to quit sucking and get back to regaining the lead they had over the rest of the world when their lineup was the 2CV, Traction-then-DS, and H-Van. One gets the feeling that until recently Citroën was thought of by its heads as Peugeot's ugly step-child.
Quote:
The similarities are, in fact, uncanny.
And the differences are as dramatic as the differences between Helmut Lang and Jil Sander compared to one trick ponies such as Hedi Slimane or Thom Browne... Or to put it another way, between design and styling. Helmut Lang cultivated an aesthetic that could only be his. Thom Browne took a thrift store suit that was too small for him and hacked off the sleeves and pants a bit more. Likewise, Quement has fairly relentlessly pursued a very specific and novel aesthetic, whereas BMW under Bangle has endured such hells as flame surfacing and the bizzare idea that mulit-level menus are appropriate to use in a potential murder weapon through iDrive.
Quote:
He had several notable flops during his career, namely the Megane and the Avantime. His designs were deemed ugly at the time and still are by some.
The Megane II a failure? Hardly. In its class, it's easily the second- or third- best looking car after the Alfa 147 (another seemingly one-hit wonder, given its designer's output to date at Subaru) and possibly the Volvo C30. Is it one those instant-classic designs that gets you swooning on first sight? It wasn't for me. On paper, I actually hated it. When I started seeing them in person, PlQ's reconceptualization of the midsized car began to make more and more sense. I saw visual links to cars from France's unequaled automotive past, such as the Citroën Ami-6, but recomposed in a way that was entirely contemporary. (And, it must be said, in a far less ugly manner than the hapless Ami.) Surely you don't think that God awful BMW 1-series is in the same ballpark? The Avantime I actually think was kind of cool conceptually. I see no reason to hate on it compared to the questionable stuff being disgorged from all the German marques right now. However, it was what it was: a fairly transparent attempt to make work for Matra's factory using the running-gear and platform they were already using for the Renault Espace they had just stopped building. Besides, the only thing dumber than the concept of a "cool" minivan is a "cool" truck/SUV. Yet somehow the first concept failed as a little bit too precious (too French?) and the second managed to tap into the rampaging barbarian core of less-evolved people's psyches. Go figure.
Quote:
I can't fathom how you would deem Bangle as "gratuitous" when Quement's designs are far more, how shall we deem it, out there? I am a fan of his for precisely the same reasons I support Bangle.
"Out there" is certainly no vice. However, PlQ seems to take a design approach, engineering simplicity into his designs and letting their forms speak for themselves without needing to create some sort of pseudointellectual framework in attempts to get people to see them as anything but the latest naked Emperor. Chris Bangle takes a styling approach, slashing into his designs' sheetmetal with the CAD equivalent of a machete and calling it art. (Not to mention the injury done to BMW's once ruthlessly logical if somewhat soulless interiors under his watch!) Imagine, for a moment, the Z4 without that stupid gash hacked out of its flanks and the "concinnity" bullshit he conjured around it. It would almost be a modern take on the Triumph TR-6! (As an aside, doesn't BMW own the Triumph name now? When either Bangle comes to his senses or he is replaced by someone better, I would love to see BMW resurrect that marque.) Unfortunately, Bangle took all the bad parts of the Coupe Fiat (the stupid and gratuitous slashes, which morphed into his so called "flame surfacing" nonsense) and nothing else from that design into his BMW's.
post #57 of 69
Going back to the original topic, the interior is wholly unoriginal and an evident rip-off of the Audi A4 / RS4 interior. Look at the flat-bottomed steering wheel a-la RS4. The steering wheel controls via rotating rocker switches with a push button at either end is typical Audi. Hell, even the shape of the center of the steering wheel mimics Audi's! The instrument cluster with the rev counter and speedometer flanking a center rectangular display screen with engine temp gauge and fuel gauge at either end of the cluster is also a direct copy of the A4's. The round headlight selector is also similar to the Audi's (and typically found in German cars).



Audi A4 interior:



Jon.
post #58 of 69
So they aren't allowed to use a round headlight switch or buttons in the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on the steering wheel because Audi has? Other than those very minor things like buttons and toggle switches very little looks like the Audi interior. Perhaps it has less to do with an attempt of ripping off and rather that these are the most logical positions for these buttons and switches ergonomically speaking. As for Bangle and his designs, I applaud that he tried something different. Great design is often controversial. He shook the market up a little, made people gasp, and then he proceeded to create cars that have continued to be top sellers in their markets. In fact his style cues have been seen in other cars from Mercedes, Toyota, and Lexus.
post #59 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionology
So they aren't allowed to use a round headlight switch or buttons in the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on the steering wheel because Audi has? Other than those very minor things like buttons and toggle switches very little looks like the Audi interior.

Perhaps it has less to do with an attempt of ripping off and rather that these are the most logical positions for these buttons and switches ergonomically speaking.



Of course they can't directly copy Audi's interior, but they have copied all the best elements, instead of coming up with their own, which could possibly look quite a bit better and function better as well.

Jon.
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSeca
Excuse me for being argumentative here, but if you think a WRX "speaks" to you then you are sorely mistaken about performance and handling. The steering feel, breaking, and cornering capabilities on that car (STi included) are nothing close to an M3 on pavement. There is no "feel" in that car in the comparison. I'll give you the Evo....but a WRX! haha! I am done with bantering back and forth with you, and for your safety please by all means don't drive an M3.

I agree about the WRX vs. M3 in terms of feel. I owned a WRX for a few years and the feel was the worst part of the car's performance. I guess the huge amounts of body roll and the poorly matched springs/struts (although the struts have gotten better over time) do some kind of speaking, but not the kind I'm really looking for in a "performance" car. The E46 diesel wagon I drove for about a month while working in Germany crushed the WRX in terms of feedback and feel, it was just a shame that the engine and manual transmission didn't live up to the rest of the car. The WRX was still a fun car though and an absolute blast around Pacific Raceways.
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