04.11.2010 - 3:29 p.m.
I remember the first time i saw a bmw, at that time in the eighties, bm's and merc's hadn't reached the shitty little corner of the cotswolds where we lived. If you drove either you'd made it, so these were rare cars in a world of cortinas, morris minors and chevettes, even our doctor had a marcos so was either unaware of the growing reputation or a far out automotive radical unswayed by the marketing.
For a while i lusted after the 635 CSI which was a badass mudda of a car and hinted strongly in my adolescent mind of gangsters and suchlike fauxmantic notions, i still like them now but only the old ones, the new 635 is a palette in blandness for the grey old rep who's trying to break out of his leased, five door 320 funk. After the CSI, bmw fully embraced it's eurocentric blandness and owning one lost any appeal it might have once had. Although this was briefly re-ignited with the Z3 M coupe, but as 'sort of' pretty as it was it still wouldn't encourage me to be an owner. I'd decided by then that bmw and merc's were not status symbols they once might have been and i'd not own one unless it was given to me gratis.
Cut to the modern day and thanks to an aggressive fleet marketing policy, bm's and merc's are like arseholes i.e. everywhere. Not only that, but their design office has been lobotomised by, i can only assume, some external auditor with no design experience, no flair and a burning desire never to do anything exciting in case it upset his thinning hair. So we are now presented by examples like the X6 which when viewed in real life is one of the ugliest cars ever produced, evar. I nearly pooed myself in proxy-shame for the driver the first time i encountered one on the road, surely only for a bet would you drive one in daylight.
In fact all their X models are a bit crap now, the old X5 when in police colours is a formidable machine and a little bit scary, but it too has been subjected to the bland-o-tron and new models are not imposing at all. This coupled with the fact that now you don't get proper off-road stuff in the X models, like a diff-lock, so they're quite shit at off-roading too, a little suzuki vitara has better off road capacity, for shame, for shaaaame.
But someone in bavaria thinks that they've hit the proverbial leprechaun gold with the current bmw rear end and it's appearing on all their models, despite the fact that it's hideous, vomit inducingly nasty, the naomi campbell of the tailgate world. Fans will continue to drone on about the 'superior handling' and shit like that, but would they drive a diseased cock on the road if it handled really really well, i don't think so. Anyway, i've seen how rear wheel drive cars perform in the snow and it's not inspiring, not that we get much snow here, but when it does fall i like to know that i can still get from A to B without bouncing off stuff on the way there and having to avoid any kind of incline.
A thirty / forty grand car is all very well for impressing dim girls as you cruise the mean streets of islington, but when you have to flag down an old Golf or Astra chugging its way up a snowy hill because your techno-palace slid sideways into a ditch courtesy of a quarter inch of snow, you're not looking so cool now, are you ? I once watched, from my upstairs window at work, one of the reps try to park his bmw on our icy carpark which is also on a gentle incline, it was greatly amusing and lasted nearly fifteen minutes, he had quite an audience in the end.
I saw a 535GT on the way to work and itís also nasty, I guess they saw the Porsche Panamera and thought that now someone else had made a production car with a hideous arse they could stretch out a five series and match Porsche like for like, not a good option.
So a big fuck you to bmw, boring mundane wheels. Unlike.
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