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    Audi bitter over the i8? Audi reveals the first production car with laser high beams, the 2015 570 horsepower R8 LMX

    Audi apparently wants to steal a bit of BMW's thunder from the i8. BMW has touted their laser headlight technology for a while now and Audi is taking the 'first production laser 'high beam' title from BMW by releasing the R8 LMX before the i8 hits the market in August. The new R8 is supposed to be ready for summer which is right around the corner. Audi obviously made headlight changes but the 99 unit limited edition model also gets a special interior and horsepower boost.

    Click here to enlarge

    Carbon ceramic brakes are standard along with the 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox. The power boost to 570 (562 bhp) comes thanks to some revised software. Really, this is just the same R8 with some standard options and laser high beam headlights. For those who think the 99 unit model is worth the price of 210,000 Euros the car will be available in Germany in July. No word on whether it will come to the United States and the standard R8 5.2 V10 will be a much better value anyway.

    This LMX model just makes Audi look a bit bitter over the i8 releasing a car with laser headlights a couple months before the i8 hits the market. Audi, maybe you should respond with something a bit more serious?

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    Neckarsulm, 2014-05-09


    The Audi R8 LMX – world's first production car with laser high beams


    • Engine developing 419 kW (570 hp), from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds
    • Laser high beam increases range and safety
    • Limited-edition supercar can now be ordered


    419 kW (570 hp), from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.4 seconds: The Audi R8 LMX (12.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers [18.2 US mpg]; 299 grams CO2 per kilometer [481.2 g/mile]) offers breathtaking performance and groundbreaking technology. The limited-edition car is the first production car in the world to come equipped with laser high beams. The R8 LMX can now be ordered and will debut on the streets this summer.

    Audi is the leader in developing automotive lighting technology. In 2008, the Audi R8 became the first production car in the world to boast all‑LED headlights; this was followed in 2012 by dynamic turn signals. Audi launched a new chapter in automotive lighting with the Matrix LED headlights, which debuted in the updated A8 in 2013. Now the brand with the four rings is igniting the next stage in the R8 LMX: the laser spot for the high beams. It increases the range substantially, which is ideal for a supercar like the R8 LMX.

    The Audi engineers work very closely with their racing colleagues on the development of lighting technologies. The combination of LED and laser high beams, for example, will be used for the first time on the new Audi R18 e‑tron quattro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 14 and 15. The premium brand is thus continuing its tradition of using racing to test new technologies destined for production.

    “Audi has long dominated the most important 24-hour race. In addition to the outstanding TDI drive technology, a maximum light yield gives our pilots a major advantage, and with night racing in particular is a key factor to our success,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. “The transfer of the laser headlight to the Audi R8 LMX underscores our leading position in lighting technology. The safety benefit this provides to the customer truly represents Vorsprung durch Technik,” says AUDI AG’s Board Member for Development.

    With the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight generates a cone of light with twice the range of the all‑LED headlight. Each module comprises four high‑power laser diodes. With a diameter of just 300 micrometers, these generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. A phosphor converter transforms this into roadworthy white light with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognize contrast more easily and help prevent fatigue. The laser spot, which is active at speeds of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above, supplements the LED high beam in the R8 LMX and greatly enhances visibility and safety. An intelligent camera‑based sensor system detects other road users and actively adjusts the light pattern to exclude them.

    The Audi R8 (14,9 – 12,4 l/100 km [15.8 – 19.0 US mpg]; 349 – 289 g CO2 per km [561.7 – 465.1 g/mile]) is the dynamic, top‑of‑the‑line Audi model. Its high-revving, mid‑mounted engine, double wishbone suspension and ASF (Audi Space Frame) aluminum body are closely based on racing. The Audi R8 LMX is available as a coupe with a production run limited to 99 vehicles. With 419 kW (570 hp) and 540 Nm (398.3 lb‑ft) of torque, its 5.2 liter, V10 engine accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 320 km/h (198.8 mph), and average consumption is 12.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (299 grams CO2 per kilometer) [18.2 US mpg/481.2 g/mile]. A compact, seven‑speed S tronic transfers the power to the quattro permanent all‑wheel drive system. 19‑inch wheels are combined with carbon‑fiber ceramic brake discs, which up front measure 380 millimeters (15.0 in) in diameter. Red anodized brake calipers shine behind the exclusive designer wheels. The R8 LMX is shod with 235/35 R 19 tires up front and 305/30 R 19 tires at the rear.

    The new top model also sends out a clear visual signal with its Audi exclusive customized paint finish in Ara Blue, crystal effect. A large, fixed rear spoiler increases the downforce on the rear axle. Like the front spoiler lip, the flics on the sides, the engine compartment cover, the exterior mirror housings, the sideblades, the rear wing and the diffuser, it is made of carbon fiber‑reinforced polymer (CFRP) with a matte finish. The Singleframe grille, the air inlet grilles up front and the outlet grille at the rear are finished in titanium gray. The sport exhaust system has high-gloss black tailpipes.

    The dynamic lines carry over into the black interior, which also features blue accents. The folding bucket seats are covered in Fine Nappa leather with Sepang Blue diamond pattern. The backrest covers are finished in Ara Blue. Sepang Blue stitching provides subtle contrasts, including on the parking brake lever, the center tunnel console, the steering wheel and the instrument cowl. The black Alcantara headlining and black Fine Nappa leather door trim panels take up the Sepang Blue diamond pattern of the bucket seats.

    Subtle details round out the interior. Matte carbon is used on the covers of the center tunnel console and the parking brake lever, on the inlays in the doors and the arc around the cockpit. Illuminated aluminum inlays bearing the limited-edition number are integrated into the CFRP door sill trims. Fine Nappa leather adorns the selector lever for the S tronic and the knee pads; the floor mats have black piping and Sepang Blue stitching.

    The Audi R8 LMX will take to the streets this summer. The base price in Germany is €210,000.

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    Audi will only make 99 of these though.
    Not sure why that is...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    There is no reason to make more, who's going to buy them? It's a regular R8 with fancy headlights and some software.

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    Cool car, but insane price point.

    I just saw the new driving lights on the S5 the other day - one was following me on the highway - very cool. It is becoming a bit comical though with all the light patterns and such from different manufacturers. This is like the new, classier, OE version of neon lights under your car.

    I really do not like the 4 individual light look in each headlight on the new Porsches either...looks weird to me.

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    New headlights do not warrant a 'limited' edition model. Audi looks butthurt here.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    New headlights do not warrant a 'limited' edition model. Audi looks butthurt here.
    You honestly think it's a response to the i8 thought? Not saying it isn't, but is this really an overlapping market given the different purposes of the two cars and difference in pricepoint?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    You honestly think it's a response to the i8 thought?
    Yes. They are specifically releasing it right before the i8 to take the title of first production high beam laser headlights.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Yes. They are specifically releasing it right before the i8 to take the title of first production high beam laser headlights.
    Got it. Yah that is stupid. Hopefully some journalist (other than you) will try to bust their balls for it.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Got it. Yah that is stupid. Hopefully some journalist (other than you) will try to bust their balls for it.
    Well Autoexpress at least mentioned it:

    t’ll go on sale in ‘early summer’ 2014, just ahead of BMW’s laser-light equipped i8 hybrid supercar, which is available from August 2014. BMW has to instead settle for the i8 being the first ‘series production car’ with laser lights, as its build total isn’t limited, in contrast to the R8 LMX.


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Well Autoexpress at least mentioned it:

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    Decent potshot there...

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    I mean, it's cool that they're doing this...no reason not to. I'm glad they have their laser headlights ready to go, really excited to see that trickle down over the next few years. 2x as bright as LED and with even better ability to shape/modify the beam all while using a fraction of the power and being lighter/smaller? I'm all for it.

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Well, at least Audi has a proper sports car in their lineup with the R8. Something that BMW hasn't had for decades. They only have a car that looks like a sportscar but doesn't drive like one, to appease the tree-hugger crowd.

    Who gives a $#@! about the light technology in a car like the R8 anyway? I know I don't. 570hp from the factory like the Gallardo SL without having to remap it at a tuner is also appealing to some.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    Well, at least Audi has a proper sports car in their lineup with the R8. Something that BMW hasn't had for decades. They only have a car that looks like a sportscar but doesn't drive like one, to appease the tree-hugger crowd.

    Who gives a $#@! about the light technology in a car like the R8 anyway? I know I don't. 570hp from the factory like the Gallardo SL without having to remap it at a tuner is also appealing to some.
    Great post, strongly agree.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    Well, at least Audi has a proper sports car in their lineup with the R8. Something that BMW hasn't had for decades. They only have a car that looks like a sportscar but doesn't drive like one, to appease the tree-hugger crowd.

    Who gives a $#@! about the light technology in a car like the R8 anyway? I know I don't. 570hp from the factory like the Gallardo SL without having to remap it at a tuner is also appealing to some.
    True. Lights are not something that are going to be a decision point on a car like this.

    BMW has been about building street cars that can be taken to the track...for decades. I mean, I would love to see them build a purpose-built sports car, but I doubt Munich feels the least bit one-upped by Audi. They view Audi as followers, not leaders. Whether you agree or not; not trying to start $#@!. But that seems like the culture within BMW. They don't feel they need to react to other German brands.

    Honestly - all the German companies seem a little crazy to me. The whole $#@! with Porsche trying to acquire VW, then VW acquiring them? Crazy stuff...huge egos.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    True. Lights are not something that are going to be a decision point on a car like this.

    BMW has been about building street cars that can be taken to the track...for decades. I mean, I would love to see them build a purpose-built sports car, but I doubt Munich feels the least bit one-upped by Audi. They view Audi as followers, not leaders. Whether you agree or not; not trying to start $#@!. But that seems like the culture within BMW. They don't feel they need to react to other German brands.

    Honestly - all the German companies seem a little crazy to me. The whole $#@! with Porsche trying to acquire VW, then VW acquiring them? Crazy stuff...huge egos.
    Audi does react to others and seems overly sensitive.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    BMW has been about building street cars that can be taken to the track...for decades.
    But not in the last decade. Not really. If you go to a racetrack in Germany you see loads of E30, E36 and E46 but only very, very few E9x M3. That won't change with their current line-up, as even the cheapest car that may qualify for that - M235i - is really expensive, too heavy and also needs to be modified quite a bit to go on the track. [/QUOTE]

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    I mean, I would love to see them build a purpose-built sports car, but I doubt Munich feels the least bit one-upped by Audi.
    They should. Not only Audi, also Mercedes with the SLS has a real halo sports car. And I'm not even speaking about the Volkswagen group in general who also have Lamborghini in their portfolio now. And Mercedes will probably acquire Aston Martin in the near future, if you ask me. Plus even Jaguar has something like the F-Type. Where's BMW there? The one brand that claims to be focused on the sportive side of driving a car? The 6 series is a big bloated boat, the Z4 a re-badged SLK that is just as unhappy on anything remotely resembling a race track, and even the 2 series just a shortened 4 series really. Quite disappointing.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    They view Audi as followers, not leaders. Whether you agree or not; not trying to start $#@!. But that seems like the culture within BMW. They don't feel they need to react to other German brands.
    I don't believe that. They would be rather naïve and stupid to do that, and I don't think that they are either.

    Audi has brought a lot of innovations onto the market that have worked very well, both technology (Quattro, procon-ten, LED headlights, aluminium space frame) and diversification of model portfolio wise (sportback, TT). Lately their focus has not been so much on that, but it would be foolish to think they're merely following trends set by others. The R8 works very well for them as halo car and brings customers to the brand that would not otherwise choose it. It also has an excellent reputation in motorsports due to the success in the Nürburgring races and similar cup sport events. They are actually building up a tradition of sportscars, while BMW continues running theirs into the ground.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    They should. Not only Audi, also Mercedes with the SLS has a real halo sports car. And I'm not even speaking about the Volkswagen group in general who also have Lamborghini in their portfolio now. And Mercedes will probably acquire Aston Martin in the near future, if you ask me. Plus even Jaguar has something like the F-Type. Where's BMW there? The one brand that claims to be focused on the sportive side of driving a car? The 6 series is a big bloated boat, the Z4 a re-badged SLK that is just as unhappy on anything remotely resembling a race track, and even the 2 series just a shortened 4 series really. Quite disappointing.
    They don't have anything. It's not the same company.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux Click here to enlarge
    But not in the last decade. Not really. If you go to a racetrack in Germany you see loads of E30, E36 and E46 but only very, very few E9x M3. That won't change with their current line-up, as even the cheapest car that may qualify for that - M235i - is really expensive, too heavy and also needs to be modified quite a bit to go on the track.
    Really? I see a ton of videos from the nurburgring of M3s. I've seen a lot of pics with many M3s there and even days where there are a lot of M3 GTS. Last time I was at the track, there were 4 e92 M3s there, 2 E36s, and no other M3s. I'm not sure I see the relevance though. You could make the same argument about Ferrari - less people track their Ferrari's today than 10 years ago. What does that show?

    They should. Not only Audi, also Mercedes with the SLS has a real halo sports car. And I'm not even speaking about the Volkswagen group in general who also have Lamborghini in their portfolio now. And Mercedes will probably acquire Aston Martin in the near future, if you ask me. Plus even Jaguar has something like the F-Type. Where's BMW there? The one brand that claims to be focused on the sportive side of driving a car? The 6 series is a big bloated boat, the Z4 a re-badged SLK that is just as unhappy on anything remotely resembling a race track, and even the 2 series just a shortened 4 series really. Quite disappointing.
    Why should they? They are sitting on their best year ever. The SLS is a great car, but it is hardly a pure sports car. It has a lot of GT qualities too and weighs 3500 lbs.

    Did you miss the M3? It's a tremendous car and gets driven a lot by people that can afford any car they wish.

    I don't believe that. They would be rather naïve and stupid to do that, and I don't think that they are either.
    Well you not believing it does not make it untrue. There are public interviews out there. Show me one where BMW responds to a comparison to Audi on a point by point basis rather than refocusing on BMW. Of course internally they monitor the competition. However, their culture is that they lead and will not follow anyone. While you may think Audi has led in many areas, BMW has as well. Mass production of CFRP is one such area.

    Audi has brought a lot of innovations onto the market that have worked very well, both technology (Quattro, procon-ten, LED headlights, aluminium space frame) and diversification of model portfolio wise (sportback, TT). Lately their focus has not been so much on that, but it would be foolish to think they're merely following trends set by others. The R8 works very well for them as halo car and brings customers to the brand that would not otherwise choose it. It also has an excellent reputation in motorsports due to the success in the Nürburgring races and similar cup sport events. They are actually building up a tradition of sportscars, while BMW continues running theirs into the ground.
    BMW won DTM in 2012 and 2013.

    Again, I don't know where you get this "tradition of sportscars" and BMW? What was the last "sportscar" that BMW built according to you? Even the 2002 was not really a pure sports car - just like the E30, etc it was a roadcar that could be raced in the right trim.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Again, I don't know where you get this "tradition of sportscars" and BMW? What was the last "sportscar" that BMW built according to you? Even the 2002 was not really a pure sports car - just like the E30, etc it was a roadcar that could be raced in the right trim.
    BMW built everyday sports cars. They built cars that were about the driving experience. He's right, they've moved far away from that.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    BMW built everyday sports cars. They built cars that were about the driving experience. He's right, they've moved far away from that.
    He is talking about purpose-built sportscars which I don't get. He mentions the SLS as an example - a $200k+ gt-ish car as an example. The 6 series has always been a big, heavy car - so there is nothing new there, it's just an evolution of where it started. e24 was what? Like ~400 lbs heavier than the E30?

    Reviews of the M3 and M4 are still very positive despite some negatives. Now they are building a higher production M2, vs the limited production 1M. Sounds to me like they are still building the same kind of cars - evolved for the modern era (bigger; greener). Yes, they are building other cars that are outside of this model, but so is Porsche - SUVs...actually their biggest earners.

    I'm a broken record, but as long as they keep producing solid M cars, I really don't care what other kinds of cars they build also. Ultimately, the revenue from those cars will allow them to continue to compete in racing and develop solid M cars. I just reject the notion that they have something missing from their lineup. I would like to see them build a sportscar/supercar as much as the next guy, but until BMW determines that is good business, why would they? You don't see Porsche or Ferrari trying to build an M-like sedan. The four-seaters (FF; Panamera) they have built are autobahn rockets; which is what their customers want.

    Instead of trying to build a better 911 or 458, they build something unique that no one else has - the i8. Likewise, this allows them to push forward in CFRP and electric power while still earning money on a vehicle they can mass produce. They also essentially have no competition save Tesla who has boring styling vs the i8...which looks like a spaceship.
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    He is talking about purpose-built sportscars which I don't get. He mentions the SLS as an example - a $200k+ gt-ish car as an example. The 6 series has always been a big, heavy car - so there is nothing new there, it's just an evolution of where it started. e24 was what? Like ~400 lbs heavier than the E30?
    Well he's saying the other brands have high performance halo cars and BMW does not. Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi all some serious cars. BMW can afford to build one to show off but they do not. It's like they do not have the pride other brands do.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Yes, they are building other cars that are outside of this model, but so is Porsche - SUVs...actually their biggest earners.
    But the Porsche vehicles have a sporty emphasis and that Porsche DNA. What does the 2-Series Active Tourer have that is truly 'BMW' about it?

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    but as long as they keep producing solid M cars, I really don't care what other kinds of cars they build also.
    I think they are building good cars, not great ones.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Instead of trying to build a better 911 or 458, they build something unique that no one else has - the i8. Likewise, this allows them to push forward in CFRP and electric power while still earning money on a vehicle they can mass produce. They also essentially have no competition save Tesla who has boring styling vs the i8...which looks like a spaceship.
    The i8 is very nice. But then you look at the 918 Spyder and realize it is nothing special.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Well he's saying the other brands have high performance halo cars and BMW does not. Mercedes, Porsche, and Audi all some serious cars. BMW can afford to build one to show off but they do not. It's like they do not have the pride other brands do.
    My response to that is that they don't feel the need - in terms of responding or from a business perspective. There is a tremendous amount of technology and innovation represented in their latest cars still.

    But the Porsche vehicles have a sporty emphasis and that Porsche DNA. What does the 2-Series Active Tourer have that is truly 'BMW' about it?
    Porsche has how many models vs. BMW? BMW has managed to stay independent while Porsche got gobbled up due to their huge ego. If BMW doesn't expand their portfolio, someone will gobble them up also. Even Merc has the trucking business (which is substantial) outside of their cars. They are great trucks, but certainly have nothing in common from a brand-dna/performance perspective with their road cars.

    I think they are building good cars, not great ones.
    I need to drive the new M cars...I honestly don't know right now. I think their styling is excellent overall and a lot looks good on paper.

    The i8 is very nice. But then you look at the 918 Spyder and realize it is nothing special.
    Well the i8 costs around ~$140k vs the 918 at ~$900k; I would hope the 918 would blow it away. BMW will also make much more actual money making the i8 than Porsche will making the 918. Porsche also revised the 918 many times at great expense - to respond to McLaren and Ferrari. They deny this of course. The i8 basically went from concept to production with only minor changes. Cheaper development, great R&D, and a better pay-off. So while I can appreciate how awesome the 918 is, from a business perspective, it doesn't make a great deal of sense. Hyper-cars rarely do. Plus, as mentioned, there are two awesome alternatives to the 918. There is really no direct competitor to the i8. BMW saw a market and attacked to be #1 , rather than enter a market that is already saturated and much smaller.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    My response to that is that they don't feel the need - in terms of responding or from a business perspective. There is a tremendous amount of technology and innovation represented in their latest cars still.
    I understand your point of view but my argument would be with front wheel drive cars and electrics they need a 'real' car more than ever.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Porsche has how many models vs. BMW? BMW has managed to stay independent while Porsche got gobbled up due to their huge ego. If BMW doesn't expand their portfolio, someone will gobble them up also. Even Merc has the trucking business (which is substantial) outside of their cars. They are great trucks, but certainly have nothing in common from a brand-dna/performance perspective with their road cars.
    Porsche was gobbled up by who they were trying to buy. Porsche makes more money per car than anyone. They are doing it while retaining their brand ideals.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    I need to drive the new M cars...I honestly don't know right now. I think their styling is excellent overall and a lot looks good on paper.
    The issue isn't on paper. It's in practice. Everything looks nice when you see the torque and hp figures along with the design until you know they do not offer that special 'something' the past M cars did.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    Well the i8 costs around ~$140k vs the 918 at ~$900k; I would hope the 918 would blow it away.
    And the 918 does. But Porsche also ties the 918 into its racing programs. It performs like you expect a car of that pedigree to perform. Porsche uses the 918 to reinforce the high performance ideology of the brand. BMW built $140k car that can't hang with any $140k car.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    There is really no direct competitor to the i8. BMW saw a market and attacked to be #1 , rather than enter a market that is already saturated and much smaller.
    Sure, the i8 fills a niche. However, it could be much better than it is. It could have been something truly special.

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    Good discussion. Like most great battles, this one will be fought in the marketplace over the next 3-5 years. These guys are placing their bets right now and it will be interesting to see where they end up.

    In summary, I don't think they *need* anything right now. The risk is that people perceive the "pedestrian" models to diminish the brand. I don't see this, but you see this as a greater risk. It's possible.

    Porsche is retaining their brand ideals for now - VW is a big, weird place. We'll see over time.

    Gotta drive those new M cars.

    The i8 is sold-out, so clearly performing head to head with other 140k cars is not important to the buyers.

    Every product can always be better - always. The trick in great product management is finding the balance. That is what I use to do for a living (not automotive; but the concepts are universal) and it is much harder than people think - especially when you are an enthusiast yourself.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by singletrack Click here to enlarge
    In summary, I don't think they *need* anything right now. The risk is that people perceive the "pedestrian" models to diminish the brand. I don't see this, but you see this as a greater risk. It's possible.
    The issue for me and I think many BMW enthusiasts is that the brand has evolved so far away from what it was in the interest of making money enthusiasts feel forgotten. They should do this just to show that they care instead of alienating us.

    Honestly, I was about the most hardcore BMW fan you could find. I'm done with them.

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