It seems we have moved from comparing fwd and rwd to rwd mid engined to rwd front engined. One thing we could possibly agree on then is that both are superior to FWD and then call it a day.
it's this whole concept of superiority that I find a bit snobbish and pointless to be honest: RWD is superior to FWD in terms of certain aspects of performance handling, but in the hands of an average driver it can be more dangerous and behave unexpectedly than a FWD.
So if we're talking about cars used for daily commute or travelling there is no discernible advantage in a RWD over a FWD, if anything the RWD could pose more potential handling issues.
Calling the BMW set-up wrong is overstating things. Compromised is nearer the truth and something I even said myself in an earlier post, but any road optimised configuration is going to be a compromise in some area.
It's deciding to spend that much for a "compromise" that I don't find particularly appealing.
The drivetrain and chassis of a car is what really gives it its character and handling characteristics. BMW and even worse Mercedes take their standard chassis and tart them up with beautiful engines, but when you apply monsters in excess of 400hp to an obsolete drivetrain concept you need to compensate with loads of electronic for the car to be controllable.
As to the ridiculously complicated electronic solutions, I think you will find they exist just as much on mid engined cars as front engined. I am not a fan of them either which is why I would take an E39 M5 over an E60 M5. It has some 'driver aids' but much more basic and they can be switched off without changing the dynamics of the car. It is also a big reason why I enjoyed driving the Capri so much. It was simple and did exactly what you asked it to do, no nannying.
A well balanced chassis can do without electronic and put down all its HP in capable hands: I could switch off all the electronic gizmos of a Porsche and still have a controllable car that is a tad more challenging to drive, but surely driveable and enjoyable, but I couldn't do the same on say a C63 AMG, because I'd be swinging left and right in a cloud of tyre smoke, because there's no weight on the traction wheels
, the mass is all where it shouldn't be. So you might have shell loads of power and thousands of sensors to keep em under control, but you're still trying to make a ballerina dance wearing army boots, do you see what I mean?
As BHP numbers go up and up, cars are becoming more like fly by wire jets where they are unusable without a computer between your inputs and the controls and drivetrain. I have always preferred cars where the driver and only the driver is the difference between being in control and not a computer.
I completely agree, the whole idea of putting insanely powerful engines on modern car and then control them with electronics completely kills the feel for driving. It's like speed and 0-60 have become the only two important things (and that is surely something to blame to Top Gear and the like).
As to the concept being overrated, that I simply cannot agree on. The concept is that someone with a family can have one car that does everything well, not necessarily perfect in any one area, but very good in all areas. It is a good concept in my book and one that has enabled me to have cars I enjoy driving, rather than some anonymous but practical shed of a thing to drive around.
there's a lot of grey areas in that, and the M3 is probably the "greyer" of grey area cars.. it does nothing for me, probably because it's trying so hard to be good at everything, but in fact has no flair, no sense of distinction.
The other myth is that only/all ***** drive bimmers/mercs/audis.
A **** is a **** whatever car they drive and a good car is a good car whoever is sat in the drivers seat.
Stereotypes have no place in reasoned discussion and a group of people who have to put up with constantly being told their car will breakdown/rust/fall apart because it is an alfa should know better.
I believe that stereotypes are always based on facts
if it can be of any consolation, Alfisti are considered ***** in Italy