When I was a kid, BMW not only claimed they were the Ultimate Driving Machine – they backed it up. If you have driven a 2002 or an E12 5-Series, then you get why BMW can make that claim. They drive like nothing else sold in this country. Their performance was coupled with excellent driving dynamics matched with a driver-focused design. All other BMWs were expected to follow these tenets for time and eternity.
I know that you cringe over hybrid gas-electric driven automobiles. It is easy to blame Toyota and the popular acceptance of the Prius during its second generation. That particular vehicle was the darling of Hollywood at the time. How many of your favorite celebrities owned a second-generation Prius?
By the early 1970s, Volkswagen was at the point where they needed to make changes for a modern world. They knew that their most loyal customers would jeer at the notion of their beloved air-cooled, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines that were mounted in the back would turn towards a more conventional vehicle format.