Time to Retire the Ultimate Driving Machine?

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The new more refined Z4 (currently in our test garage) has us thinking about BMW ‘s famous tagline “the Ultimate Driving Machine “. Does that even fit anymore? With very driver focused cars out there in all possible categories (Lotus Exige, Porsche GT3, Maserati Quattroporte to name a few) where does the modern BMW fit? And what does “Ultimate ” really mean? If the Z4 isn ‘t as driver focused as the Boxster (let alone the previous Z4) how can it be called the ultimate driving machine. And if it can ‘t, how should BMW start positioning cars like it? Or does it even matter. Is the tagline a broad brush stroke that simply encompasses a variety of driver focused attributes?

Let ‘s hear your thoughts…

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  • MJulian

    At the age of 21, I’ve grown up with BMWs all my life. My step father has been a BMW technician way before I was born. Growing up I remember driving many e30, e32, e34, e36, e38, e39, etc. and even owning a e28 535iS for my first car. I’ve always admired BMWs for being driver oriented while remaining innovative and luxurious. I have test drove some newer BMWs and I will admit I feel some character is missing. I am thinking of buying a BMW in a couple years, was thinking brand new but might end up going used because of the missing character.

  • JonPD

    For me personally I think BMW still does a decent job producing a drivers car, though I think the “Ultimate” may be a reach. BMW’s are slowly evolving the way of the Japanese cars with adding more technology between the driver and the road, this for me is a direct threat to the practicality of this.

    I think in may ways BMW is going through the same aging process a person goes through. Right now we have moved firmly away from the mid 20’s personality to the stouter and heavier mid 40’s. I also believe that this cars are becoming softer and heavier as the brand ages.

    Time to retire “the ultimate driving machine”, well probably still has some life.

  • Me thinks you think too much.

  • It’s just a marketing slogan. It doesn’t mean anything.

  • Nicolas

    I agree with Nick and RichardM. It’s just a marketing tool which is still working quite well. It is memorable and is associated by most, even non car enthusiats, to BMW. I don’t see any reason to change it.

  • lava

    how about a new brand that pares back the luxury, weight, and entry cost, and emphasizes the driving.

  • Sagar

    I heard they are changing their slogan to “The Joy of Driving”…seems more appropriate with the direction they are taking.