What If You Could Not Drive a BMW?

Featured Posts, Interesting | June 20th, 2011 by 59
audi_quattro_concept_5

Thankfully, we live in a world where there are literally dozens and dozens of BMW’s to choose from, new and old. You can go out …

Thankfully, we live in a world where there are literally dozens and dozens of BMW’s to choose from, new and old. You can go out and buy a E12 5er or a brand new X6, a F01 740i or an E38 740i, a 2002tii or, if you can find one, a 1 M Coupe. Without these sorts of choices the automotive landscape would very sad, desolate place. For many, the automobile is an extension of ourselves, something that is as much about emotion as it is the utilitarian need for a daily driver.

The emotional side of car enthusiasts in many cases finds the brand that most aligns with the principles and abilities they demand out of a car with the result, in some instances, being sites like BMWBlog.com. Comparable brands have their own core group of enthusiasts as demonstrated by sites like MBWorld.org or Fourtitude.com. Hardcore enthusiasts (and we can attest to this!) are a fierce bunch that will defend their brand to the bitter end and this sense of loyalty can lead to lifelong dedication to a brand with the feelings that dare not be trifled with or questioned lest a car maker lose its way.

 

What If You Could Not Drive a BMW?


Recently, while examining some of the styling trends of our favorite Bavarian Motor Works group, the BMWBlog team got into an interesting philosophical discussion about car brands and their impact on their core enthusiast groups. With some of the recent styling developments within BMW, some of the team feel that the exteriors of current and forthcoming BMW models, competent driver’s cars and a gorgeous array of technology under the skin, don’t necessarily exude the same beauty through its styling(Ahem, new 1 Series). This raised the idea that perhaps other manufacturers – which shan’t be named – are making more attractive and interesting cars if only from the standpoint of exterior design.

As a result, we began to as a group ponder the interesting idea of “what do you drive if you couldn’t drive BMW?” The obvious answer is that there are numerous car manufacturers for buyers to choose from. Would a 335iS driver switch to a sporting Nissan 370Z – part of a legacy of successful sports cars? Does Audi present enough rear-wheel-drive-type performance via its newer torque-vectoring differentials in cars like the S4 to win over buyers? Is a Hyundai Equus luxurious enough to supersede the ventilated seats of a 7?

We pose the question not as a lack of enthusiasm about BMW the brand but – and it’s a big but – if BMW was not the company as you know it, past, present and future; and you had to choose another manufacturer who’s products and ideals aligned with your tastes and needs – which would it be?

We’ve listed a few comments below from a handful of the BMWBlog team – but first and foremost we want to hear from you in the comments below!

Manny:

If I was thrown in to an alternate universe where BMW did not exist, I would have to go with Mercedes-Benz. With over 100 years of automotive engineering under their belt, they have a head start on everyone else. I feel MB has the closest model offerings to BMW in terms of size and performance.

In particular, I would love to own an E63 AMG. Whatever shortcomings the chassis may present, it can always be “tuned” out. But that engine is simply amazing. So much torque and power for a normally aspirated engine. The brakes are world class and the balance is as close to an M5 as can be had.
What If You Could Not Drive a BMW?
Mercedes-Benz has also shown the world that they have the capability of producing a super car that can rival the world’s best.

 

Hugo:

If there were no more new BMWs to be had, I’d be in a world of hurt picking another car (or make). I have a bias towards GT cars. And they have to be relatively short wheelbase cars. And then I love inline six cylinder engines. Oh and my wife has to be able to get in and out of them without killing her back. Suspension has to be compliant but not soft. Couple all of those needs with a manual transmission and I’ve severely limited my choices.

I’m afraid I’d be in the market for a used car at that point. How about a Bristol 404? Fits most of the requirements, uses the Bristol version of the BMW M328 inline six, a really neat (read quirky) car. But, old, used and costs a fortune to maintain. And parts availability? Ha! Next. Aston-Martin DB4, fits the requirements, but I can’t afford to purchase or maintain one. Next. Lancia Flaminia Zagato, oh yeah FTW!! (Good luck finding one and if you thought the Bristol would be a pain to maintain . . .) Next. Jaguar XKE 2+2 Coupe. I think I might actually be able to do that, parts are available. They’re drop dead gorgeous and not all that expensive to obtain and maintain.

What If You Could Not Drive a BMW?

But the kicker would be a Lamborghini Islero – there’s a 12 cylinder (hey it’s just two inline sixes, after all) and that delightfully thin C pillar I like and pop-up headlamps. As long as I’m at it, why not a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Hmmmm . . . But, truth be told there are very few cars I’d rather have than a BMW 3.0 CS.


Misha:

In short, I would have to say it’s Benz for me. After driving a new 2.0T A4, I left so dissapointed. It felt heavy, boring, slow, but man was the interior cabin and build quality upscale – even for an entry level Audi sedan. And the 8 speed auto box shifted nicely and was well matched to the 4-cyl turbo.

 

Andrew:

I would have to choose Audi if I was forced to deviate from BMW. I enjoy the more modern racing in which they engage and that they so closely associate their motorsport projects with road cars. I love the heritage, engineering and exclusivity of Mercedes-Benz(I’m a huge fan of the late 60′s 300SEL 6.8 Red Pig that raced at Spa Francorchamps) but their product line seems to be strongest in the $85,000+ segment while Audi can compete with equal performance and style in lower segments. Audi’s also bring with them a certain appealing quirkiness in their performance line with cars like the B5 RS4 Avant or the new Quattro Concept.

What If You Could Not Drive a BMW?

 


  • Russell Chapman

    I’d have to go with Jaguar. They are the the closest in terms of mixing dynamic sportiness with quality and luxury – and their cars are just gorgeous. To replace the X5 could only be the Range Rover Sport, none of the  German SUVs come close.

    • LexusLVR

      Um…Porsche Cayenne, MB ML63 AMG

      • LexusLVRWishHeHadaVagina

        Um… How bout LexusLVR supercar Yaris?  Nothing comes close to that car it beats everything in the universe.  After LexusLVR smokes his crack he drives his luxurious, sporty, high quality Yaris to a back alley of a gym and gets his ass pounded by gay bodybuilders.  That is a life of LexusLVR.

  • Slowtyper

    To choose by (but obviously not limited to) exterior design, it has to be a 911. :-)

  • tailgate1234

    Audi for sure.  I don’t like Mercedes recent styling or build quality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1842858183 Ahmad Haziq

    I’d go for Mercedes. In my opinion, they’re the closest to BMW thus why I have it more than Audi…

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarkisyan2 Gog Bimmeryan

    then i wouldnt drive simple as that lol

  • v1p3r

    I’d have an Audi.

  • Alen Residovic

    I’d go to MINI ! LOL 

  • Vic

    I’d have go with-DACIA LOGAN-powered by RENAULT……..hahahah!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Austin-zheng-ming-xun-Williamson/1829521876 Austin 鄭明訓 Williamson

    Audi or Porsche. I’ve always said that BMW is sport, and MB is luxury, and Audi is a perfect combo of both, although BMW’s have become more luxurious in the past 10 years (just compare current cup holders to my dads prior 530 and 545)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

      AUDI= epic failure with the 4wd systems ! 90% of the world does NOT need 4wd 4×4 AWD whatever you call it.

      Give me a RWD  car, 3000lbs and 300HP and I will be happy.

      • http://profiles.google.com/aknutson Alan Knutson

        “Audi = epic failure” ?   Are you on drugs??     Obviously All Wheel Drive ( Quattro for Audi’s systems) does work as the S4,S5, RS3, RS4, RS5, Quattro Concept and  the R8 are designed from the ground up with it.  Audi has countless racing victories (Just moved to number 2 behind Porsche and ahead of Ferrari for all time most wins at Le Mans)  and there are numerous real world reviews (and increased record sales) to back that up. 

        AND BTW  Lamborghini, Porsche, and Bugatti also use AWD in their top models (NOT archaic 4wd) as you call it. 

        That said, I’d take an Audi…

        • H.C.

          Awesome reply to an ignoramus.

        • Royal

          To add to “Alan Knutson”: The best of the best, the Nissan GT-R, uses AWD technology… and that helps this monster soar off the line from 0-60 at such outstanding speed and in record time. Nevertheless, the Subaru Impreza uses AWD. It obviously doesn’t have to be a luxury car that allows this to be possible. Maybe AWD, in the context for snow, is not neccessary for everyone… I wouldn’t say as high as 90% don’t need it, but if you want a powerhouse, AWD is probably the way to go. With this all said, “La Ma”… you have no clue what you are talking about!

      • Royal

        To add to “Alan Knutson”: The best of the best, the Nissan GT-R, uses
        AWD technology… and that helps this monster soar off the line from
        0-60 at such outstanding speed and in record time. Nevertheless, the
        Subaru Impreza uses AWD. It obviously doesn’t have to be a luxury car
        that allows this to be possible. Maybe AWD, in the context for snow, is
        not neccessary for everyone… I wouldn’t say as high as 90% don’t need
        it, but if you want a powerhouse, AWD is probably the way to go. With
        this all said, “La Ma”… you have no clue what you are talking about!

    • http://www.facebook.com/henry.sichembe Henry Sichembe

      spot on

  • XC

    Alfa Romeo… glamour, luxury and babe magnets…

  • Phantomopera07

    If I couldn’t drive a BMW, I’ll ride a bike….  

  • Manny Antunes

    Great article Andrew! “Philosophical debate” As i recall it, more like the heat of battle! ;-))

    • Awmurphy

      haha at least we can all get along about it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P52TUZIQZZYWCXJGG7GU6DAADE Hero Sina

    BMW Are you watching this? 
    Can you say what is the reason behind this discussion? i do, it’s because you guys at headquarter SUCK ! 
    BMW is going to be the next Toyota, hopefully the man behind these stupid new big moves will be killed by a real BMW fan. 

    • 964turboCM

      Don’t know about BMWAG, but I’ve met many at BMWNA who are on all the boards, blogs and cca.  I work in the industry.  Let me tell you,  BMWAG or BMWNA right now is no where near sucking.  In fact, the conversations at other manufacturers are all about how to catch up to BMW.  So I don’t know what you are refering to.  What big moves are you talking about?  BMW seems to be very well calculated to me.

      • Labrat

        I’d have to agree with 964turboCM. Every time that BMW comes out with a new model that the motoring writers don’t like, it rocks its socks off in at least one global market. This suggests that the BMW marketing people know what they’re about. What striles me is that BMW makes cars which seem to fit perfectly tro so many drivers. OK, so I’m a relative newcomer to the brand, and OK,our choice was near the bottom of the range (a 125i coupe), but it fits us so well. It truly is fun to drive, and its looks have grown on us. I’ve read the comments by the self-styled automotive stylistas, but both my wife and I have a pretty good eye for design, and we like the agressive, tightly-stretched look. As an overall motoring package, we find it great for our purposes. Making cars to fit drivers, that’s what BMW does.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

      they want to be the next Toyota…  the largest manufacturer in the world !  Toyota had quality issues (so did everybody else) but their problem was weak response. BMW did not make the same mistake and will not ever. Everybody learned from the Toyota mistake, not just toyota.

      As far as BMW doing things bad, no way. They are on the roll. Look at the new cars ! 99% of it are great. The 1 series is a dog, but hey they can’t make all pretty. I’m sure when its time for an update they will fix the 1 series nose.  Otherwise tell me whats bad in a car line ?  ok, 5gt is a mistake, a costly one, but its still selling and hopefully they will kill that soon and forget about making a 3GT.
      otherwise, all models are on the roll !

    • e46fanatic

      I bet you don’t own a current prod bmw.  Please tell me how the brand is being watered down to the leve l of Toyota?  They make cars that are benchmarks. Also, please read all the 1M and M3 reviews raving how good they are. idiot troll

  • http://twitter.com/philly_jeff215 Philly_Jeff

    911

  • Sajan

    Audi for me.

    I know you’re all saying that Mercedes has the heritage and solid engineering expertise, but IMHO it’s what position the manufacturer is at in the present. Audi may not have the heritage that Mercedes or BMW has, but no one can deny that at this current time they are churning out some darn good cars. I admire the craftsmanship of Audi,  they are simply outstanding. I’ve never come across one that’s badly crafted. I consider myself a bit of a perfectionist therefore Audi fits in with what I would want to buy. BMW’s are a great tool for driving, but Audis are also great, not better, but great, and they are simply beautiful to behold, inside and out.

    God forbid anything ever happens to Bayeriche firm, but if they went down under, Ingolstadt is where my money would be heading.

  • Sajan

    Audi for me.

    I know you’re all saying that Mercedes has the heritage and solid engineering expertise, but IMHO it’s what position the manufacturer is at in the present. Audi may not have the heritage that Mercedes or BMW has, but no one can deny that at this current time they are churning out some darn good cars. I admire the craftsmanship of Audi,  they are simply outstanding. I’ve never come across one that’s badly crafted. I consider myself a bit of a perfectionist therefore Audi fits in with what I would want to buy. BMW’s are a great tool for driving, but Audis are also great, not better, but great, and they are simply beautiful to behold, inside and out.

    God forbid anything ever happens to Bayeriche firm, but if they went down under, Ingolstadt is where my money would be heading.

  • Viper

    right now there is a rule , have any mercedes any age (s class , cl , cls , sl) or audi rather than any new bmw (not including new alpina bmw b7 , alpina b5 new bmw 760il and x6 50i or M.

    audi looks better , they are kings of interior designs , also sporty and powerful engines , looks are great.
    mercedes is like wine , its always great , so many to choose from there
    bmw….. I just dont like that car much anymore , there is plenty of other better to chose from , same price range , same principals

    • Mr. Guest

      What is a sporty and powerful engine for you? 2TFSI with 200hp and FWD?? Or maybe RS6 Avant?
      Like Dr. Siegler said – I`d rather choose a horse then a elephant with 1000 horses. I still dont get it how so much people can praise those overpriced Volkswagens.

    • Mr. Guest

      What is a sporty and powerful engine for you? 2TFSI with 200hp and FWD?? Or maybe RS6 Avant?
      Like Dr. Siegler said – I`d rather choose a horse then a elephant with 1000 horses. I still dont get it how so much people can praise those overpriced Volkswagens.

    • Tom2871

      If you hate BMW so much, why do you hang out on a BMW blog?  Too much time on your hands?

      • X5SoB

        It’s good to see Viper has learned to capitalize the V in his name. Now if he could just do that with the rest of his posts. He would still sound pretty stupid, though. He should go to Fourtitude and MBWorld, but he won’t, he would get laughed off those sites.

  • http://twitter.com/meghanne701 Meghanne Foye

    inconceivable, I would fly an MD-11. http://71-37-34-56.tukw.qwest.net/md11.htm

  • http://twitter.com/meghanne701 Meghanne Foye

    inconceivable, I would fly an MD-11. http://71-37-34-56.tukw.qwest.net/md11.htm

  • X5SoB

    The only company that comes close to BMW in philosophy is Porsche. Beyond that, Alfa Romeo is a distant possible, with Honda being the closest from Japan, although only for some models… Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes are the obvious alternatives, but they all drive “heavy”, even if BMWs are about the same weight, they drive “lighter”, if that makes any sense. Porsche, Alfa and Honda have that too.

    • LexusLVR

      LMAO! What a bunch of bullshit. ANY Porsche totally rapes ANY BMW any day of the week in performance, handling and sport feel. The only BMWs which are mildly competitive with Porsches wear an “M” badge.

      And Alfa Romeos and Hondas are 99% FWD are come nowhere near Porsche or BMW in sport.

      • LexusLVReatsSh1t

        F U LexusLVR!!!!! Toyota rapes all road cars on the road.  Toyota makes the greatest and fastest cars in the universe!  Why are you speaking this blasphemy?  Are you not smoking your regular crack?

  • Cars_GeEk

    I cannot Imagine a world without BMW, but if you force me to do so, I would go for Mercedes Benz… after crying on BMW :’( 

  • LexusLVR

    1) Lexus – stunning designs, unmatched quality, gorgeous interiors, performance, comfortable, very quiet. PERFECTION. They represent what a car should be.

    2) Toyota – ^same as above^ except not as quiet and no performance until the FT-86 arrives.

    3) Honda – very reliable and great designs. Incredibly fun to drive.

    • LexusLVRAssisSore

      After LexusLVR has rough sex with a gay buff bodybuilder, his Yaris seats are nice and smooth.  
      LexusLVR’s Yaris seats are up to the task of comforting his sore ass.
       

  • Rob

    Definetly Audi. I live in Northern Europe, so 4wd is really useful (my next BMW i will probably get e60 530xd). I really like Audi A6C6 and the new one (C7).

  • Westech

    No Bimmer?    I’d ride a Beemer.

  • Juladams01

    I’d walk,bicycle, or take the bus.

  • JCS

    I’d pick an Audi. Their Quattro has a great racing pedigree, and I like the new A4 design. In fact I like Audi’s new designs better then everything BMW released since E46/E39 era.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.phillippe Alex Phillippe

    Who else makes “drivers cars” like BMW does? The first BMW I ever owned ( ’95 740iL) really made me understand why they call themselves the “ultimate driving machine,” and that it’s not just some marketing slogan. It’s that reason I fell in love with their cars.

    If Pontiac were still around and was still “driving excitement” like they used to be before GM became one big badgineering fest, I’d probably pick up one of them. I actually really do like the G8 GXP and have considered it, but I’d still rather have another BMW as my next car.

    Porsche is another close one, but I don’t really care for small two door cars, neither do I care for SUVs. I’d take the Panamera if I had to go this way.

    Ferrari makes some nice GT cars and super cars, but on top of them being highly expensive, they’re also not very practical. My favorite one happens to be the F40 and while that would be quite the statement at the work place, I don’t see it being a practical daily driver. Especially with the maintenance required.

    Lamborghini is pretty much the same.

    Audi is just an up-scale VW to me. That’s another reason I like BMW, you’re not buying a cheaper car with sprinkles on it. The only thing that would make me consider Audi would be a well kept B5 S4 because of all of the tuning options available for it.

    Mercedes would probably be the best bet for a new car, probably a new E class. I actually like the square styling of the headlights on the new ones.

    Lotus makes nice “drivers cars,” and I know of a bunch of people who use the Elise/Exige as daily drivers. I don’t think I could do that though. If I had to pick a Lotus, I’d find a babied Carlton and pick it up.

    If all else fails, I’d search for a Bentley Brooklands or Rolls Royce Silver Seraph.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark6612 Mark Chen

    Hey guys, regarding the endless conflict between Audi and BMW on BMW Blog, I always considered it could be a good idea to do something on it…Here is my action:
    I conducted an academic research on the use of “comparative ads” in premium car segment. I highly appreciate the value of your voice, please let me know your stand on the war between Audi and BMW!

    This is my questionnaire: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/3063
    Short! and easy!
    Contact me on Facebook: Mark Chen —if you want to express more!

    btw, if I don’t have enough budget to buy a BMW, a second-hand E36 will be the answer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark6612 Mark Chen

    Hey guys, regarding the endless conflict between Audi and BMW on BMW Blog, I always considered it could be a good idea to do something on it…Here is my action:
    I conducted an academic research on the use of “comparative ads” in premium car segment. I highly appreciate the value of your voice, please let me know your stand on the war between Audi and BMW!

    This is my questionnaire: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/3063
    Short! and easy!
    Contact me on Facebook: Mark Chen —if you want to express more!

    btw, if I don’t have enough budget to buy a BMW, a second-hand E36 will be the answer!

  • Gsreinhardt

    Any old Alfa or Lancia

  • Blinginblades

    Frankly, I’m not sure I like the direction that BMW is headed so I may deviate from the brand in the future regardless. As to what I might choose, I think that I will be gravitating more towards Ferrari. Personally, I think BMW is getting too big and too popular for their own good. Instead of attracting customers to their brand based upon their unique formula for driving pleasure, they are now changing that formula to appease and accommodate customers.

    Ferrari on the other hand, has enough cache and exclusivity that they don’t have to cater to consumers! They do what they want to do styling and engineering-wise and if you don’t like it then tough $hit go buy something else.

    • http://profiles.google.com/aknutson Alan Knutson

      Interesting, but seems like an unfair comparison.   Which model from BMW was designed to go up against a Ferrari?  They don’t currently manufacture an exotic type sportscar that would even be cross shopped with a Ferrari.  Actually, they don’t have a production vehicle that would be cross shopped with an Audi R8 V10.  That said, I agree with your point.  BMW is capitalizing on the consumer and is more concerned with appeasing the masses these days. They have lost the purity that made them BMW and defined the ‘Sports Sedan”.  Nowadays it’s more common to see someone driving a BMW who knows nothing about the brand’s heritage, or it’s history in aviation.  They have never taken the engine past 3400RPM, never taken a spirited drive on a canyon road, and their car exists solely as a “commuter queen”.  These are now today’s BMW Customers, and unfortunately, the driving enthusiasts that have respect for great BMW classics like the M1 or the E30 M3 are fading…

  • a****t

    i would’ve gone with rolls royce

  • BMW 4 Lyfe

    if i could not drive my bmw, i rather take the bus

  • Anonymous

    if i could not,i will choose audi a4
    http://www.oemcargps.com

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