If you take the whole of the European market - Diesel outsells the petrol equivalent. In the US it is the complete opposite.
BMW does make sporty diesels but never has there been a road-going BMW performance diesel, and BMW knew this and so did M Division. They know there is demand for such a concept. I have been in rooms with many people and they have demanded such a concept as the M550d.
Which now offers the best of both worlds for European customers - Diesel economy and AWD and an exclusive badge and performance pedigree.
You may not like the concept, but for M this will be highly lucrative in terms what this can sustain for future developments. The competition are now beginning to catching up, but the M performance diesels show in engineering , precision and innovation that BMW M are still very much ahead.