My story begins on a chilly midsummer evening in Bavaria's capital Munich, so far so good. But suddenly this late summer idyll was cut up by something so ugly that my beer glass almost fell out of my hand.
Dear readers, I don't want to put you on the torture, this Kafkaesque object I have to announce my displeasure about here was a car, after all, I am Dr. Zwischengas and not James May. The final reason for my horror was when I deciphered the emblem on the car. Although every neural cell in my eye was reluctant to transmit what it no doubt saw, I adjusted my monocle for safety's sake! And behold, it was no Dacia, no abysmally sinister freak from the VW group (I'll drive myself over it in another article) nor was it the new B class. No! it was a BMW! I pulled out my iPhone and when I heard the familiar voice of my child-friend Harry I became a little more comfortable again. Dr. Marco Meyer is a passionate collector of vehicles of the brand with the propeller in the radiator grille, especially of those that carry the letter M. Marco happily tells me on the phone that he has just picked up the latest model from M GmbH, the M2 Competition, at the Starnberger See dealership and has already destroyed the first set of tires after less than 100 km on the speedometer. "For me, this is a driving pleasure", he said. "With 410 hp, manual transmission, and limited slip differential, you can only have driving pleasure," I confirm.
This nice story of my friend reassured me a little bit, it is not yet all lost in the house BMW. We lamented a little about the good old days when a higher fuel consumption was compensated with bigger fuel tanks - problem solved. Do you remember the last real BMW supercar? The only problem with the M1 was the time it was born, in itself it was a fabulous car. But no matter how much this project failed, among other things we owe his involuntary organ donation the first M5, for that alone he always has a place in my automotive heart. The reason why I give this Anecdote to the best is no smaller than to go into the legacy of the M-GmbH.
I'm going to put it in a nutshell right now. I have the unpleasant feeling that this ambivalence is not going well in the long run. I am simply afraid that two faces, two attitudes and much worse two philosophies under one roof will lead to one of these faces disappearing completely. Heaven forbids, it won't be the one that makes hearts beat faster every time a corner opens on a beautiful b-road.
Of course, I know that I sometimes have to coordinate my life as a petrolhead with the cold economic reality. And the tone at BMW is not set by the coked-up mayor of M-City, but by the quarterly figures.
For the majority of BMW customers, rear-wheel drive, perfect weight distribution and hand shifting are not decisive purchase criteria. You buy BMW - yes, why actually? Simply because it is a BMW. But that's exactly where the crux lies. This irrefutable nimbus of this brand comes exactly from the times when at least the spirit of our illustration fantasy mayor stuck in every car that carried the propeller logo. Before I am insulted here that I cry after the supposedly good old times ... we're talking about the brand for which it was indisputable to equip a hatchback with something other than a straight six-cylinder and rear-wheel drive! It's simply my job as Dr. Zwischengas to ask whether it's really worthwhile to skip the basics of a brand identity just to serve another small niche market. I am aware that this strategy works - only for how long? I would like to invite you to discuss this topic in the back of a Cayenne Coupe next year...
Respectfully Dr. Hans Zwischengas