BMW 7-Series is a dud

Why would I want to pay the price of a BMW for something that looks like a Hyundai? Sorry, I could not be kinder, but these are the facts.
Janet Alford
Senior Buyer
Plant 1 Purchasing

Likes new 7-Series

I believe the new BMW 7-Series looks tight and aggressive. It has finally updated the wheels to something more 21st century. The only styling gaff could possibly be the front turn signals mounted above the headlamps as traditionally mounted below them.
Michael Houston

Ain't you got no sense of proper grammar?

You know, you guys ain't doin' much to prevent the deterioration of the English language.

After stating that you “… consciously let the fuzzy grammar stand for effect,” you allow Jerry Flint to say, “You know, if your spouse hasn't cooked a good meal in 30 years, wise up; you're not likely to ever get one.” What is this, the journal of NFL athletes? You know, you don't need to start sentences with “you know.” Then you say: “This engine ain't gonna break …” Ain't you got no sense of proper grammar? Ain't communication your business?

Then I read “…while representing a societal ‘positive’ simply by using meaningfully less fuel.” You know, I think you think that meaningful and significant are interchangeable. Ain't so. I believe exceptions for effect should be rare rather than common.
Mike Danek
Retired GM engineer

You know Jerry didn't mean to offend, don't you? And you can rest easy: We don't intend to use “ain't” on our “preferred verb” list. As for our use of meaningful, we'd defend our word choice. A couple of mpg improvement in fuel economy may be meaningful, but it's less likely to be significant.

Sorting out the small ones

Dave Zoia suggests in “Small cars and concepts” (see WAW — Oct.'01, p.66) that the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3 and Fiat Stilo are all cars in the same segment. However, the Fiat opposite isn't the Stilo but the smaller Punto. The Stilo competes with the VW Golf, the Ford Focus and the Citroën Xsara.

He also writes that the Polo, Fiesta, C3 and Punto (instead of Stilo) are entry-level cars, but that isn't true. In Europe the smallest VW is the Lupo, Ford has its Ka, Citroën its Saxo and Fiat its Seicento and its immortal Panda (since 1980). Also, there aren't three gas powerplants in the new Fiat Stilo, like Mr. Zoia writes, but four: a 1.2L, 1.6L, 1.8L and a 2.4L 5-cyl. Abarth version.
Alexander Glorieux
Italian car enthusiast
Marke, Belgium

You certainly deserve your car enthusiast credentials. In that story (a brief overview of new cars at last September's Frankfurt motor show) we were broadly referring to entry-level cars, not trying to clinically define specific segments. As for the engines in the Stilo, you are correct, there are four gasoline and two diesel powerplants. Blame that error on jet lag and our rusty Italian.

Need a math refresher

In your reply to J.F. Lyon's letter (see WAW — Nov. '01, p.7) you state that the diesel and gas costs would be the same in 44,000 miles. I calculate 64,000 miles. You might want to brush up on your algebra and correct the value, at least in the Internet version.
Tom Niemoeller
Research Engineer
Kumho Technical Center
Akron, OH

Tom, you weren't the only math-literate reader to spot our mistake. The correct payback, indeed, would be about 64,000 miles (103,000 km). Was it algebra that you used? Hell, we just scribbled down some numbers until it looked about right. Senior tech editor Visnic says he hit the ceiling with geometry, much less algebra or any of that “high-order” math.

Question of the Month December 2001

Reaction by some to BMW's all-new 7-Series styling has been negative. Do you:
Disagree 25%
Agree 75%

Question of the Month January 2002

Will “good times” return to the auto industry before the end of the year?

E-Mail, FAX or Write your response along with your comments to:
FAX: 248-357-0810
Write: Ward's AutoWorld 3000 Town Center, Suite 2750, Southfield, MI, 48075.

You must include your name, address, and phone number and whether your comments are on or off the record.