Chris Harris from the Driver ‘s Republic (Formerly of Autocar) thinks so. Here ‘s an excerpt from his recent column:

>Trouble has been brewing for some time. The first vestiges are hard to pin-point, but the company’s refusal to fit decent brakes to its cars since, well, 2004 is perhaps symbolic of the slight shift in focus. Don’t get me wrong, the current M5 and M3 are exceptional cars, but I don’t think either of them will be remembered as the best examples to have worn the badge. The fastest, yes – but not the best.

>I suppose before one deconstructs BMW M and attempts to pinpoint what might be wrong with its current approach, we need to outline what ‘M’ stands for. In its original form it denotes a ‘Motorsport’ connection, but this is not something on which any car company can base an entire range of cars.

It ‘s an opinion that has surely been festering within some of us but until the M X5/X6 came out, it was hard to actually come out and say it. Now however it ‘s clear that the M Division has changed focus and product positioning.

+ Chris ‘ column – 11th June 2009 / Driver ‘s Republic