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Evolution or playing catch-up?

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Now there’s a debate. I’m not referring to change for the sake of change. Evolution versus playing catch-up through change is a far more serious offence. 

My good-buddy-auto-journo-colleague Miranda hasn’t stopped raving about the new 2015 BMW M4. Watch her video (if you can stomach it) and tell me she’s not going a little too far in her opinion on said Bavarian automobile. 

I did briefly caress the M4’s throttle and stroke the shifter, and on this point I agree that a manual BMW is a lovely thing. I spent the better part of a week with an M3 (Miranda got to babysit for a few days -- you’re welcome) equipped with the M DCT and was left confused, baffled, and frankly disappointed by what I found to be an overweight, over-burdened 4-door sedan. 

My 15 minutes with the M4 were no real fun other than when the throttle pedal hit the firewall. Otherwise, I could have been driving an over-powered minivan. I was, at the time, test-driving a Porsche Boxster GTS. And while writing this blog, I had a Jaguar F-Type S Coupe waiting in the parking lot. 

The F-Type is all-new, however, Jaguar’s past is steeped with racing history: think of the SS cars then on to the E-Type. Sure, the Brits lost their way and essentially their ability to actually build a car, but now, NOW, they’re back in the game. The F-Type has hoisted itself onto my long list of favourite cars. 

The Boxster, despite being considered a little too girlie for a Porsche, is still true to what the good Doctor had envisioned when he built chassis No.1. 

Cars are heavier, there’s no way around it, more powerful (for the latter reason), but the above mentioned cars reflect their intended reasons for being. 

The new M3 and M4 are not. Unlike the new 2016 ND Mazda MX-5 -- another example of staying the course -- the M cars are bulky, burdened, dense, foggy with electronics, and over saturated with aids. The driving pleasure that we all came to love with the E30, E36, E46 and even (when all is said and done) E90 are lost. The new M3 and M4 are no fun and off the mark. 

There are so many ways to go fast nowadays (it’s called the C7 Corvette -- look it up) that massive power at the expense of ride quality and driving fun are unacceptable, especially from BMW

Anyhow, watch my video and read my review on the Jag, when it gets published, eventually. This Brit is actually more German in composure and context than what used to be the benchmark: the BMW M3. 

IMO, BMW’s playing catch-up with the latest M cars as they’ve apparently lost the know-how to build ultimate driving machines. The Boxster and Corvette are evolutions, and far more appealing.