LOL this is a debate that has gone on since the dawn of time.
IM_Dave, the Aus market is a very different one to the European market - even the BMW range here is small, with so many models and options missing! I don't think the whole range is oriented at people wanting a sporty car although they are percieved as being for a younger market...It's almost like they market them like this here:
1 series: For those who want the badge but can't afford a 3 series
3 series: The bulk of BMW drivers made up of people from all walks of life...
5: series: Bought by well-healed executives who want to show off their wealth and couldn't care less about the ethos of spirited driving (they only come in auto btw)
6 series: bought as Christmas/birthday gifts for CEO's wifes
7 series: bought by the CEO for himself
I also have to say that I don't see there being much wrong with stuffing a big engine in a small car. AMG make some fantastic cars - Brabus make even better ones - they're all pointless but car ownership isn't all about rationalism.