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Old 10-15-2012, 10:41 AM   #26
DSilk56
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 768
My Ride: M-3 Convertible
It is sad to see great marques like BMW spiraling into the eddies of mediocrity, but the combination of mass marketing and government regulation has resulted in the production of technically competent but dull vehicles. The latest issue of Car and Driver has a comparison test between the new BMW 328i and the Cadillac ATS. While the BMW won the points contest, the drivers universally complained about its lack of steering feedback and its lack of the fun factor. Dead steering in a BMW? Who would have thought we would ever come to this? I guess it is less of a surprise, considering that the new 2013 Porsches are being criticized for the same thing, and it all ties into their insane switch to electronic assist for the power steering. As cars get bigger (marketing), more bloated (thanks to EU pedestrian safety standards), and more computer-assisted (thanks to the insurance lobby and CAFE), the joys of driving may not survive for another generation. Cars are predominantly mass marketed to a non-car-enthusiast public composed of people who don't really want to drive, who can't manage a real manual gearbox, and who have never driven a car without power-assisted steering and brakes. The go-carts and mini-bikes that many of us grew up with have been replaced by computer monitors and keypads. Go-carts had real steering feel, while computer controls don't.
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