RE: BMW M550i: Driven

Author
Discussion

Ares

7,311 posts

55 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
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theboss said:
Badges don't bother me in the slightest and if I were buying a non-M BMW I'd more than likely buy M Sport trim just because I prefer the styling and suspension setup (as nice as a 550i SE would be!).

As for dilution, the harder it is to distinguish between my M5 and every 520d M Sport out there on the roads, the better as far as I'm concerned. The relative anonymity is half the reason I wanted one.

I know its contradictory to the above, but I do think MB have gone a little too far in plastering AMG on everything they sell, but again that wouldn't bother me in the slightest if I were buying an E63S.
Very true - and lest we forget, the original M5 was pretty much visually indistinguishable from a 520. That was the pull/USP

Ares

7,311 posts

55 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
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Etypephil said:
BMW made some great cars during the 80s and 90s; fast, involving and reliable, but seem to have lost their way in the search for increased market share. Sadly, they are far from alone in this.
I think rose tinted glasses play a huge part in that. I had 2x E36 (318is & M3) and E46 (330d Touring & M3). They were brilliant in their day, but drive them now and they are nowhere near their current counterparts, perhaps the e46 M3 aside.

Gooly

689 posts

83 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
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Ares said:
Very true - and lest we forget, the original M5 was pretty much visually indistinguishable from a 520. That was the pull/USP
The issue now though is surely the fact that cooking spec models with M-sport trims now look more like M cars as opposed to M-cars looking like standard SE spec cars? Ie what was so great about the E28 and to some extent E34 M5 was that you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart from the slower cars because of how un-aggressive the styling was, whereas now it's hard to tell the slower cars from the M-cars due to how aggressive the styling is across the board. I guess it's a matter of preference but IMO the F10 was a nice balance of aggression and Q-car, you could tell it was an M5 just glancing at it due to the obviously wider arches and more defined bumpers but it didn't necessarily scream it at you if specced in a dark colour with no badges. Upcoming one seems to look about generic in comparison, and much like the current gen AMGs it's hard to tell it apart from the 2litre diesels with the sport pack optioned.

I think it's a shame they aren't making a 550i SE as that would be the ultimate unassuming Q-car, but considering how few large engined F10 and E60 5-series were sold in the UK I can't say I'm surprised. I think it's inevitable that a 2-ton non-M car will be uninvolving and relatively dull to drive compared to M-cars of old, not quite sure why anyone would expect anything else? New BMWs are involving to drive as far as new cars go, but they aren't a patch on 90s / early 2000s stuff and never will be. Such is inevitable with safety and emission regs

Ares

7,311 posts

55 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
quotequote all
Gooly said:
Ares said:
Very true - and lest we forget, the original M5 was pretty much visually indistinguishable from a 520. That was the pull/USP
The issue now though is surely the fact that cooking spec models with M-sport trims now look more like M cars as opposed to M-cars looking like standard SE spec cars? Ie what was so great about the E28 and to some extent E34 M5 was that you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart from the slower cars because of how un-aggressive the styling was, whereas now it's hard to tell the slower cars from the M-cars due to how aggressive the styling is across the board. I guess it's a matter of preference but IMO the F10 was a nice balance of aggression and Q-car, you could tell it was an M5 just glancing at it due to the obviously wider arches and more defined bumpers but it didn't necessarily scream it at you if specced in a dark colour with no badges. Upcoming one seems to look about generic in comparison, and much like the current gen AMGs it's hard to tell it apart from the 2litre diesels with the sport pack optioned.

I think it's a shame they aren't making a 550i SE as that would be the ultimate unassuming Q-car, but considering how few large engined F10 and E60 5-series were sold in the UK I can't say I'm surprised. I think it's inevitable that a 2-ton non-M car will be uninvolving and relatively dull to drive compared to M-cars of old, not quite sure why anyone would expect anything else? New BMWs are involving to drive as far as new cars go, but they aren't a patch on 90s / early 2000s stuff and never will be. Such is inevitable with safety and emission regs
I see it the same side of the argument. M5 looks similar the non-M5 5-series. It's just that there are two trim for the normal 5 (which there was always a sport, just less of a visual difference) - but given the massive success of the Msport models (so good, Merc & Audi copied), they'd be lunatics not to do them. And if you are going to base the M5 on one of the trim, you'd obviously go for the more sporty looking one (and have Alpina based on the other!)

You can tell the difference between the M5 and the 2 litre, more than you could with the first M5. But the difference is subtle, unlike Audi that go very aggressive.

As for the M5 being involving and dull....never in a million years. Rose tinted glasses make everything seem good, but drive modern M and they are fantastic.

Gooly

689 posts

83 months

Monday 2nd October 2017
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I said non-M, not the M5, but regardless I mean uninvolving purely in the sense that wide tyres, better NVH and heavier chassis means that any new car lacks the same delicacy that stuff of old had; thats inevitable. Modern BMWs are still the best of the bunch when it comes to having a fun driver oriented saloon car, I've yet to drive any of the new M-stuff but I'm sure all of it is nothing less than great to drive. I'm also sure that none of them will have quite the same talkative steering and playful, accessible limits as my E34 or E36, nor would I expect them to and nor would I criticise them on. Progress dictates faster cars, faster cars dictate higher limits.
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