The Era Of Driver-Focused BMW Cars Is Over Thanks To The Bean Counters

Interview

At least that’s what the man behind the “Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan thinks.

Those who are privy to the latest BMWs to roam out of Bavaria may have noticed that the company that once touted itself as the purveyor of sheer driving pleasure has gone bunk on its promise. Ex CEO of GM Bob Lutz who was also once on the BMW 3 Series development team has taken notice and wasn’t shy about mentioning it during a Road & Track Q & A column. Lutz mentioned how the lineup once consisted of smooth inline-six engines and chassis that were extensions of the driver’s body rather than machine.

Now, BMW's cars are teaming with fake exhaust notes, undercarriages engineered to hide increasing masses, and electric steering units with adjustable levels of numbness. In short, BMW has sold out on what made it great in exchange for shareholder money. The question cited the front-wheel drive 2 Series and upcoming FWD 1 Series as indicators that BMW has stopped caring about the enthusiasts, an idea that Lutz not only agreed with but stood behind as a seasoned industry veteran. His reasoning is that BMW has elevated its brand recognition to the point that it can afford to forgo building more expensive enthusiast vehicles in exchange for the moneymaking cars and given the choice, would have done the same thing.

You Might Also Like
Remembering Sergio Marchionne With His 10 Greatest Achievements
Remembering Sergio Marchionne With His 10 Greatest Achievements
Here Is Every V12-Powered Car Still In Production
Here Is Every V12-Powered Car Still In Production

To an extent, he is right. The once highly regarded 3 Series has drawn criticism after getting softer and more focused on comfort. BMW did this in order to appeal to its new buyers who are more interested in the badge than the experience and feel of a weekend drive. However, the existence of the M2 either blatantly proves Lutz wrong or shows that while BMW likes to make money off of its strong sellers, it hasn’t forgotten the enthusiasts. The sports car is a threat to the M4’s bottom line and once the M2 Gran Coupe is out, the M3 will roll off of the production line a bit more slowly. Let’s just hope BMW keeps this mantra as engine displacement and driver responsibility continues to shrink.

Fake Lamborghini Murcielago SV Reverse-Engineered By Iran

The Chinese couldn’t have done it better.

Hennessey Trackhawk Is World's Quickest SUV

That's what a thousand horsepower will do for ya.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

What's Hot