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Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #89: If BMW were a person, would this be a cry for help? | Hagerty Media

"Hey, Grandpa! Have you been sniffin' at the gas pumps too long?" And with that witty phrase, we're ready for the longest four minutes and seven seconds you've ever spent on the Internet. The plot of this BMW i-something video goes like so: A new electric BMW SUV (the iX) arrives at a museum, where [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-89-if-bmw-were-a-person-wo...
38 REPLIES 38
Pit Crew

Good article Jack, I think I understand your feelings exactly. As a current BMW owner I am disappointed in the apparent attempt to change their model line from "drivers cars" to match the rest of the mushy offers from many of the other manufacturers.
Pit Crew

I mean, to be frank, this is just awful marketing. BMW's marketing in general has been pretty bad lately. As a millennial in his late twenties, I polled several of my millennial friends who *don't* particularly care about cars, or marketing (and so wouldn't have a dog in the fight) and they all thought this was a stupid video. The company I'd have expected this from---especially as it tries to remake itself into a tech company---is GM, but even GM's people apparently know better than to crap all over a Buick Electra 225 or Sedan de Ville while peddling one of their upcoming fifty'leven EVs.

I do wonder if BMW strategically chose the E65, and a pre-LCI one at that, because it would offend the lowest number of enthusiasts who might watch the video. It's the BMW everyone loves to hate. To be sure, the pre-2006 ones were pretty awful, and looked like something you'd see featured on the show "River Monsters." And so, it made the perfect sacrificial lamb for this video. The E38 and anything prior would be sacred, while the F01 is still too new (having been sold as recently as MY2015) and looks too close to the G11 they're currently peddling. And one of the smaller cars wouldn't have illustrated the point.

That BMW plans to discontinue its current N74 V12 (which is used in the M760i as well as all the Rolls-Royce models) in 2023 with no replacement makes the E65 760Li a fitting "Boomer" actor. Mercedes-Benz already *did* discontinue their V12, and I imagine it's only a matter of time before VW Group dumps the W12 used in the Bentley products. It truly is the end of the "irreverent" luxury sedan. Tomorrow's Uber Executive and Exotic Cars will feature some form of hybrid propulsion or be purely electric (perhaps Lexus was ahead of the curve with the old LS 600hL, then), in lieu of large cylinder counts.

As for the E65 itself, I have some love for it, primarily because the interior truly was magnificent. It was one of the only times---the other being the original E23 generation---that the 7 Series had a special, unique interior within the lineup. Other generations' interiors could really be confused for those of the contemporary 5 Series by anyone who didn't know better.

But...any variant of the E65 is absolutely gorgeous, compared to the iX featured in the video, which just looks godawful. Lord knows I'm not against EVs or crossovers, but did they really have to style it so poorly? It has none of the quirky-but-cool charm of the departed i3, and seems content to discard every traditional BMW styling cue there is, other than the exaggerated full-height kidney grille. If it was made by Mitsubishi, it wouldn't look any different. Also, the name is stupid. What happens when BMW makes *another* crossover that's EV-only, as they most assuredly will? They'll probably start resorting to tacking on more letters. iXa, iXb, iXn...

Anyway, thanks for reading my long diatribe.

Intermediate Driver

Agree 100%. I remember when as BMW owners we'd do the headlight flash when meeting on the highway. Do it now, & all you see in the rearview is the guys brake lights coming on thinking there's a speed trap ahead. The uniqueness of owning a Bimmer pretty much left with the silly "Bangle look" era.
Pit Crew

Here’s how you know JB is right. In any large corporation, a corporate statement like this has to go through multiple layers. 100+ people looked at or approved this. And all of these self-loathing dopes thought it was fine. RIP BMW
Intermediate Driver

Spot on Jack!
From the video:
"I provide natural and emotional interaction with a characteristic attractive visualization"
Am I driving a car or hanging out in some digital, futuristic brothel?

"I know everything, I'm always online!"
Tells me everything I need to know about this "car" and the people who will be "driving" it.
I'll stick with my old E21, whatever happened to the Ultimate Driving Machine?
Pit Crew

I would go one step further. I just sold my manual 2016 BMW M235i in order to buy and restore a 2005 BMW 330Ci. No doubt, the M235i is way faster than my 330Ci, but it has turbo lag, steering that is lighter with less feel that my dad's Olds Vista Cruiser, and a suspension that doesn't seem to be happy in any of the modes that I could configure it for. By comparison, the 330Ci is reasonably quick, sounds better doing it, has a properly damped suspension (with new Koni struts and shocks), and the steering feel that made BMW a popular driver's car.
Good thing that the video didn't pick on the E46 cars!
Moderator

I'm just happy to see you on this site, so I'll read whatever you write --- jb
Pit Crew

Yeah this whole advertising campaign is definitely a poorly thought out thing someone thought was hip and cool and edgy and was going to generate attention. It has generated some attention but I haven't seen anyone who thought it was a good idea to piss on your old cars/customers like this. I'm not sure how this makes anyone want to buy a BMW. The image it leaves behind is a BMW owner is some know-it-all entitled jerk who throws OK Boomer around just to shut up anyone they don't like. Yeah that's going to get me to buy one. Not!

Seriously the worst crime is BMW styling. What happened to them? They are all looking like some sort of rodent on the front end. Is BMW capable of restrained classic styling anymore? Is it capable of a great drivers car anymore? Sadly it looks like they are having an identity crisis partially due to their coming electric future and partially due to they chased everyone else and now have forgotten what they did best.

"Bangled" cars suddenly look good compared to current BMW models.
New Driver

Well, I will stick to my 700's Not perfect, but pretty close. As simple as a Beatle, but much better handling and looks.
https://www.bmw700.ray-vin.com/census/census.htm