Originally Posted by hwelvaar
What's up with the "is this functional" debate ?
Are bad-ass rims functional ? No. They provide looks.
Are 4 tail pipes functional? No. You can do with two. They just provide looks.
Is 10 different color options functional ? No. They provide looks.
Is M3 badging on the trunk and on the doorsteps functional ? No. Looks.
Are the body shape curves on the sides functional? No. Design/looks.
Are the the curves in the front fender functional? Design/looks.
Yes, this is over-simplified, but it's to make a point.
Your point has some validity however, the items under discussion here are different in a key way. On many cars, and in many designs, the features in question are very functional. Thus we have the case of some bit of faking/posering. BMW takes a design element that is often or typically a FUNCTIONAL element and uses it as a purely aesthetic NON-FUNCTIONAL element. BMW M has been known traditionally to place a large emphasis on functional design. Functional design is both a philosophy and a true benefit.
Taken to the extreme the more non functional design elements in a vehicle that are based in functional ones and the more the car turns into a ricer. No one wants an M3 ricer (well at least 95% of us don't...).