Originally Posted by SCOTT26
Do not forget that at the same time BMW offered the 1er M Coupe and M3 GTS to North America but rejected the M3 GTS due to its stripped personality against the more performance luxury orientated M3. M3 customers would not give up the M3's luxuries for that price.
Scott... The AMB Black still retains a lot of "luxury" features which is probably why the wealthy are attracted to it. Not so much for the performance side of the car but the "potential" combined with "luxury".
I agree that an M3 GTS would not be a steller seller in North America. Hardcore enthusiasts can strip an M3 for the track for the same $$$ as a GTS. If you want a luxury M3 with way more HP/TQ, just buy an M6... Speaking of... an M6 "Black" might sell well for those wanting to stand out from the regular M6 crowd!
The 1er M Coupe appeals to the "boy racer" as it is affordable and performance oriented. The M2 (should it come to N.America) would have the same appeal. The M4 is still tailored to those for whom performance outweighs luxury - but only slightly. The M6 is tailored to those that give the edge to luxury over performance - only slightly. An M6 Black would keep the luxury but up the performance and individuality (and price) to a new level!
BMW is becoming a more mainstream/affordable brand now with more emphasis on the 1er and Mini lines over the past 5-6 years. Also because they just build such great cars, more people are buying them thus diluting the exclusivity of the brand. It used to be very revered to own a BMW - now it's not quite as prestigious. Mercedes on the other hand is about 5-6 years behind and will eventually go in this direction as well - but for now, the prestige factor is higher in my opinion - only slightly. Audi still lacks character and driving dynamics but they have the VW design team producing enough of an appealing design to appeal to the sharp-suited crowd.
Audi = status > performance > luxury.
MB = luxury > status > performance.
BMW = performance > luxury > status.
I think a "Black" (or similar) edition of the M5/6 would fill the "status" void for some potential BMW customers with deep pockets.