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      02-03-2012, 02:40 PM   #38

Drives: No BMW for now
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canton, MI

iTrader: (1)

Originally Posted by Propagator View Post
This happens quite often. The manufacturer claims that the new car is lighter when similarly equipped, but that is a very vague statement as it doesn't have to mean that the statement holds for every possible configuration, or even that the new car can be similarly equipped to the old one at all in their definition of "similar".

It's why I was a little skeptical when the claims of a lighter car were made in some of the early press material. I'm sure that they employed plenty of techniques to save weight in everything from the unibody to the suspension to the interior parts and electronics, and this is a commendable effort. It at least means the car is lighter than it otherwise would have been, which is a good thing. But if the end result is that, in the typical factory configuration, the car is heavier than the one it succeeds, then the significance of all the work they did ends up being somewhat diminished in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think we are going to see any revolutionary turnaround to vehicle weight until BMW's CFRP process becomes affordable enough to permeate into the bulk of their product range. The good news is that this is rumored to be starting in the next decade or so. Even the next M3 will reportedly make use of carbon fibre throughout the car (i.e. not just the roof). But don't expect another sub 3400 pound 3 Series before the next generation, and maybe not until after that one.