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      11-11-2008, 09:17 PM   #16
TAC
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Drives: 2008 E92
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NH, USA

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Great topic!

Equipment:
• Make non-RFTs with full-size spare an option (punctured RFTs lose when it comes to cost, inability to repair, lack of timely availability, etc.).
• Bring back the dipstick; or, at least, provide access to the oil pan from the top of the engine.
• Maintain at least 45-series / 17" option for tires/wheels for those of us who live in pothole country (55/16" is preferable). At some point, styling has to take a back seat to reduced tire/wheel damage risk and lower angular momentum.

Features:
• Watch the Japanese closely for standard electronic convenience features (e.g. Auto-dim mirrors, Homelink, etc.). Don't put new owners in the position of having to field the "you don't have that?" question when the cost of these features is low. The Japanese understand this. (That said, BMW is getting better on this score.)
• Keep the practical aspects of the 3 (e.g. fold-down rear seats, roof rack mounting hardware); if I'd wanted a car like a G37, I would have bought a G37.

Styling aesthetics:
• Resist the trend of more LED lights (they look cheesy in an aftermarket-Civic way). Also, I've been behind cars with one LED out; it looks like hell.
• Keep the cockpit lighting as it is (don't follow the Japanese on this one; it's a car, not a Hollywood spaceship; current lighting is also functional for night vision)
• Watch that styling does not move too far toward the feminine end of the spectrum.

In general, resist the temptation to make the car more of an appliance with no user-serviceable parts. This can be done without making the car less desirable to those who have no interest beyond the cockpit (e.g. don't get rid of the electronic oil level sensor, just put the dipstick back; make non-RFT with full-size spare an option). Recognize that the BMW enthusiast base is one of its greatest differentiators in the marketplace.

Issues from my E46 experience that I hope are now fixed in the E9x:
• Use suspension bushings that are more durable (wore out way too often on E46)
• Address parking brake corrosion problem

Others:
• Make a sunglass tray an option in place of the ashtray (don’t Americans smoke less than Europeans?)
• Fix light polarization problem with radio display (w.r.t. polarized sunglasses); was ok on E46, and the rest of E9x display is polarized correctly.
• Include the 4mm wrench for the sunroof in the tool kit
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2008 E92

Last edited by TAC; 11-11-2008 at 11:47 PM..