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      02-10-2007, 04:56 PM   #1
ILC32
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Today at the BMWCCA meeting at the Chicago Auto Show, I spoke with Martin Birkmann, M Brand Manager-BMW NA. He gave a general talk to the club about new products such as the 335, X5, B7, etc. He said last year was an active one for M, with the introduction of the 6 speed M5, M coupe and M6 convertible. This year "will be a little quiet." He said that the new M3 would not be available until "next year." He said the convertable would follow a year later, and they are still studying whether to offer the sedan. He said also that the sedan was the top selling body style for the E36 M3, but then he said that there was no sedan in the E46 version, but the E46 outsold the E36.

I had a chance to ask some questions on a one-on-one basis after the general presentation. I asked if the concept will be shown in Geneva, and he said "I have read that. . ." and smiled. I then asked what cars BMW is benchmarking the car against, and he said AMG and "S" Audis. He did NOT mention any Porsche or other manufacturer. I asked him about the RS4, and he said that of course that is one of the cars that is a competitor and we "will not be disappointed." He indicated that the RS4 of course has AWD, but M does not consider that appropriate for its cars. He said Audi is following a strange strategy with the S and RS lines, and that now that the RS4 is available, sales of the normal S are "way down." He said the 335 is really the competitor to the S4. He said the RS4 at $66,000 is a "pricey bit of kit" and I told him I was glad he thought that. I asked about the carbon roof for the M3, and he said we'll see. I asked about the HUD and he said that they did not adapt the system to the 3 series because of cost of the option was judged to be such that they would not sell enough HUDs to 3 buyers to justify adapting it for use in the 3 (or I assume the M3).

I told him I was very disappointed that DSC could not be fully disengaged in the manual M5, and he said "I hear you loud and clear." I told him that would be a dealbreaker for me if DSC could not be engaged. He said not to worry.

Sorry guys that is all I got to ask him. I am kicking myself that I did not ask about the DSG box.

One last thing -- during the general presentation, someone claimed to own a CSL in Germany. Martin told the guy he was lucky, and he should hold on to the car because it is a classic. I asked Martin whether there would be a new CSL, and if so whether it would be available in the US. He avoided answering that one!

Last edited by ILC32; 02-16-2007 at 06:14 PM.
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      02-10-2007, 06:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILC32 View Post

I told him I was very disappointed that DSC could not be fully disengaged in the manual M5, and he said "I hear you loud and clear." I told him that would be a dealbreaker for me if DSC could not be engaged. He said not to worry.
I hope that bit of information proves to be factual. All of that sounds promising to me (and reasonable), and I have no reason to doubt any of it. You did good - thanks for the report!

DSC fully disengaged ----->
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      02-10-2007, 07:43 PM   #3
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Garage List
thks for sharing
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      02-10-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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Thank you for sharing in this info
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      02-10-2007, 09:02 PM   #5
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this is really interesting but i have to do this for not asking about the gearbox joking haha

nice information about DSC/CF roof/CSL.

here i come...new M3!
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      02-11-2007, 04:04 PM   #6
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Bad news about HUD and also regarding the release timeline for here in the US. I will be pretty dissapointed if I can't be in my new M3 before Christmas. And the HUD, that just plainly sucks if it won't be a option on the M3. I drove the M5 and absolutely loved the HUD.

If there is no HUD, the gauges are red and not white like the M5 and M6, and the engine has less than 400HP, I'm sorry but as much as I'm anticipating this car, I won't be getting one. I'll stick with my E90 330i or more likely, I'll go buy a new Porsche Cayman S.
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      02-11-2007, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexecutive View Post
I'll stick with my E90 330i or more likely, I'll go buy a new Porsche Cayman S.
2 Totally different cars.
Maybe wait to see what the S5 looks like and what kinda performence you get out of that.
I really like the Cayman S, but with few options you already in the high 60's.
And I want and need some room in my car
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