There are people, lucky people with taste in automobiles – such as the gentleman that runs this website – who drive the BMW M3. Imagine what they’ve been through, waiting for the new one.

A V-8 new one.

What could be finer?

Maybe the old one.

It could be a bit premature to trade the one you’ve got for the one they want to sell to you.

The automotive press is not that happy with the new M3, the new V-8 and higher torque not withstanding.

The beginning was a trashing in the New York Times. Not that the Times is a very good source of automotive information, but they do decide the fashion of the East coast.

They dumped on the M3.

They called it, in essence, the Thunderbird of BMWs.

Doubt me?

“Kind of sounds like the bean counters have turned the M3 into an AMG: all big engine and great numbers and a drive that’s too refined.” 

“Too refined” is what they used to say about the ride in a Cadillac, before GM figured out that even Cadillac buyers were interested in real cars.

On the other hand, they did compare it to an AMG.

For those of us that can’t buy real big horsepower anywhere but the Mercedes store, this doesn’t sound like a criticism. Nobody does big blocks better than AMG, except Chevrolet. But that’s not the essence of BMW. BMW is all about balance.

This one doesn’t do it, they say.

Here’s what Autoweek had to say about the new M3:

”For all this, though, the M3 is not quite as tactile in its actions as the car it replaces. The speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering, which also offers normal and sport modes, is light for a car boasting such performance, giving the impression of being a tad vague... [y]ou are also aware of the car’s larger dimensions. It never feels quite as wieldy as before when you press hard. It’s not all that much bigger, but it gives the feeling that the M3 has moved up in size. Call it middle-age flab, if you like.”

Vague steering is what Ford and Chrysler sold for twenty years. (And we all know where that got them.)

Middle aged flab?

For middle-aged flab, you can buy an M5.

Better yet, you can buy a Porsche.

After all, Porsche is the ultimate middle-aged driving machine.

Or, as Jerry Lee Lewis once put it in a come-back song in his own middle age – titled

“Middle Aged Crazy:”
“Today he traded his 98 Oldsmobile,
“On a new Porsche automobile,
“He ain’t wearing his usual grey business suit,
“He’s got jeans and high boots,
“With an embroidered star,
“And today he’s forty years old going on twenty.”

Sounds like that’s the market at which the new M3 is aimed.

“Ultimate driving machine?”

Yesterday.

Today it’s the ultimate money making machine.

BMW has lost its roots.

What do you think?
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