Last year when I read that BMW was going to use front-wheel drive to propel the 1 Series, I was astounded. A FWD BMW is sacrilege. I’d been reading that BMW’s have been getting heavier, softer and worse to drive in many of my car magazines for a quite some time and as a happy driver of an old BMW I was fearful for the future of the brand that I trust. Peter M. De Lorenzo’s latest rant speaks on the how Mercedes-Benz and BMW are putting their brand equity on the line to attract new buyers with cheap cars that aren’t in line with their philosophies. To be considered a driver’s car BMW simply can’t have FWD. And sure, I recognize that fuel economy is important, but the move away from their characteristic inline 6 engines to power the base models in our market worries me as well. I’ve always thought of Mercedez-Benz as the ideal Teutonic luxury barge, but with coming models that will be priced competitively with some downmarket brands, I don’t know if I will be able to hold this image in my mind. There is the possibility that there will be a dichotomy within the brands between desirable models and undesirable models, but who wants that. If I were BMW I certainly wouldn’t.