I guess I am opinionated , but I have been in the industry for a fair part of my life so I guess I am entitled to state my opinion on matters that concern greatly, even more so today.
Wow, Scott! You're getting more and more opinionated lately... Not saying I don't mind. Most representatives of a brand (official or unofficial) prefer to re-divert the topic back to their own brand rather than calling others "cross-dressers" (even if it may be true).
I find that today there is no originality with some manufacturers. Some are so intent on making a BMW that outdoes BMW in every respect that they are too occupied on doing exactly what BMW does that they completely forget about originality. Then when the time comes and the media state "Not a BMW , not even close to a BMW" it creates a new paragraph on their media tombstone. "tried to succeed by being BMW".
For BMW success was not created overnight , the reputation of BMW was built by cars that defined a more sportier term to luxury touring that was generated not only on the road but on the race track too.
Today there is no patience. Some manufacturers want that image , that desireability right away that originality is lost.
It took BMW decades to where it is now and no matter how much resources? or how much money you have? , you cannot achieve that magnitude of success overnight.
People at BMW are very opinionated. Even the CEO , Because they are passionate about the brand, BMW is a doctrinated in their blood and majority of staff members including myself have been there before the start of the rise to the top. And like myself some do not like the idea of seeing a similiar marketing campaign or product idea within another brand that imitates the overall BMW philosophy instead of being original. For example Norbert Reithofer - see his comments on Audi as volume masquerading as premium. And Whatever Audi do, will be because BMW done it first. It is not all friendly in the auto industry at the end of the day it is a competition and everyone is playing to win.
I foresee BMWi maybe taking a decade or so , to fully cement itself with its philosophy. BMWi will endeavor to deliver products and solutions to customers who seek new challenges , especially in the future in regarding - What will happen if? BMWi is actually time travel and genealogy. The entire brand concept from design to solutions is brought about by the what if , what will we like to drive in the future? and what can the future look like?
As for the i brand - BMW has taken on a monumental task with this. BMW has already convinced the world that is builds a driver's car - and enjoys tremendous success with that. Now BMW is trying to be known as having an distinct fleet of the most efficient-yet-dynamic vehicles. Where the world has truly pointed out that it appreciates a driver's car, it will be interesting to see if the world is looking for efficient dynamics yet. Many "green-initiative" makers have tried efficient cars by way of electric vehicles (Toyota somewhat pioneered here with useable - and marketable - hybrids) but with the much anticipated and yet seemingly lackluster launch of the Volt and even the Karma and Tesla, it seems to me the world (aka the Consumer) is saying they love the idea but when shopping they would rather stick to what they know best.
It's a terrific endeavor and quite a gamble on BMW's part and I sincerely hope they can pull it off... If not this go-around then in 2050 when it becomes so important that consumers won't have a choice and BMW will be known as having "cool" efficient vehicles.
If you were in the fifties or sixties they had aspirations of living on the moon and driving around in jet cars which not only drive on the road , but also fly in the air. BMWi utilises that kind of thinking but in a more realistic manner.
With BMWi that kind of thinking and influences from the past are actually going to materialize with the BMW i3 and i8, they are going to be nothing like you have ever seen or driven before.
BMW believe that for BMWi to be successful it has to be its own brand - the i3 is not a variant of the 3er for example. And the BMWi philosophy is "Born Electric" meaning that this is not a BMW electrified. BMWi can also be determined as going back to the very beginning of BMW and building a brand that inherits the typical characteristics of a BMW but with Alternative drivetrains.
In terms of electrification , some say other manufacturers have gone down the existing product route for familiarity? But BMW believe that in order for the public to accept the BMWi cars that they have to be different and cutting edge in every aspect possible and that includes allowing the cars to be leased for a day within rental networks so that anyone will be able to drive a BMWi car and not leave them as mutually exclusive to the select few.
In light of BMW not having a Super Sports car , I would say we are doing well if we are still the worlds leading premium manufacturer. The BMW image of a sporting to drive concept is established within every BMW model. Other manufacturers might have the Super Sports car to back up the image, but do they have other products that reflect the super sports car?
You're missing the point. Whether it's an R8/SLS or F12 Berlinetta competitor, the point is BMW is selling itself as being a particularly sportive brand but they do not have a super sports car in their product portfolio, in spite of every other premium brand having one.
And the M6 certainly isn't it, it's just an overweight Gran Turismo car.
And in a lot of examples that would be no.
In regards to the M6. I am asked if the M4 would be the same car but distilled? Unfortunately the M4 cannot be the M6. As the M4 is more accessible and in a way more volume-orientated to the M6. The customer base for the M4 is also more varied as the M6 is more exclusive, M3 E92 is the key essential performance car that BMW offer and the new model will continue that progress and be more innovative in every key respect than before.
Ferrari already made an SUV. It's called the FF and the most ugly Ferrari I have every laid eyes upon. Interestingly from a BMW standpoint they were apparently inspired by the flattened-bug-look of the Z4 Coupé that fortunately is not produced anymore.
Ferrari don't classify the FF as an SUV , they say the Maserati Kubang will be the SUV that is needed from Italy. (interestingly enough at the 2011 IAA I seen the VAG contingent measure the Kubang and again with an imaginary vehicle alongside it, which given the proposed size was the Bentley SUV)
I liked the Z3 Coupe and M Coupe , it was quirky and interesting at the same time and was a riot to drive , especially that M. Those cars were created by sheer creativity , it was not just a marketing exercise or commitee.
It was like a Toy - A source of enjoyment for hours.