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      01-11-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
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Exclamation BMW M GmbH Announces New Model Category! The M Performance Automobiles Range

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BMW M GmbH Announces New M Performance Automobiles Range
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For months now, there have been signs and clues pointing to the potential release of several M tuned BMW models which will create a new category of models to fill the gap between the standard series cars and their M versions. It's now just been officially announced by BMW M! Think of this new category of models as akin to Audi's S models.





BMW M Performance Automobiles Category Announcement


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12th January 2012

M genes as standard: the BMW M Performance Automobiles.


New model category with emphasis on sporting characteristics combines exclusive engine line-up, enhanced agility, precise chassis tuning and emotional design. Driving experience defined by the development expertise of BMW M GmbH. World premiere at the International Geneva Motor Show 2012.

Munich. In spring 2012, BMW M GmbH will unveil a new product range for drivers seeking a particularly sporty driving experience, yet who also value the familiar comfort and practicality of BMW models. The BMW M Performance Automobiles offer exclusive engine variants, noticeably enhanced agility and outstanding precision on the road, plus design laced with emotional appeal. The harmonious interplay of engine output, power transfer, chassis technology and aerodynamic balance provides a captivating showcase for the familiar M genes - in day-to-day driving and beyond. The BMW M Performance Automobiles will be presented to the global public for the first time at the International Geneva Motor Show 2012 which takes place from 8-18 March.

The BMW M Performance Automobiles represent a totally new model category none of its rivals can offer. Only the high-performance sports cars from BMW M GmbH provide a more convincing execution of an overall concept focused on inspirational driving dynamics. "We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don't want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars," said Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH. Nitschke announced plans for further additions to the new product line-up, referring to "a range including a wide variety of model series, as well as both petrol and diese-engined variants". The intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive would also play a significant role in the BMW M Performance Automobiles, he added.

2011 will go down as one of the most successful years for BMW M GmbH since the company was founded. In addition to the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, which marked BMW M GmbH's first ever foray into the premium compact segment, last year also saw the successful introduction of the new BMW M5. The imminent arrival of the BMW M Performance Automobiles provides 2012 - which will also feature the world premiere of the new BMW M6, among others - with an early highlight.

"The BMW M Performance Automobiles benefit from the full expertise of BMW M GmbH," explained Nitschke. The BMW Group subsidiary can call on decades of motor sport experience when it comes to translating outstanding engine power into excellent dynamics. This development expertise also imbues the BMW M Performance Automobiles with their distinctive character.

The models in the new product category follow in the tyre tracks of the BMW M535i, which was unveiled in 1980 and went on to capture the hearts of performance-minded customers with its extra power, precisely tuned chassis technology and subtly modified design. A fresh addition to the BMW 5 Series ranks, the Sedan remained a highly successful member of the line-up through two model generations and - up to 1987 - with the BMW M5 for company within the range. "Our aim with the BMW M Performance Automobiles is to continue this tradition," confirmed Nitschke.




So what rumored models can we expect to launch this new category of BMWs? The following three rumored models should all come with the criteria just announced by BMW M for its new M Performance cars category -- extra power, tuned handling, and M visual enhancements.


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M550d xDrive

There is the M550d, which was first discovered on the label of a new BMW brake pad package (pictured left). The M550d will be a new tri-turbo inline-6 diesel F10 5 series and it's effectively been confirmed. What's not yet confirmed however, is a power figure.

The latest rumor coming out of a BMW dealer presentation held in the Netherlands in November was that the M550d will come in with 381hp and 516 lb-ft torque. It will be AWD-only.



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X6 M50d

The X6 M50d is the car which has been teased by BMW in recent days with their teaser video. It should to be powered by the same tri-turbo inline-6 diesel engine as the M550d. Complimenting the power plant should be a dedicated M Sport Package and some other goodies. It will debut in the X6 LCI (facelift) form, which should be revealed imminently.

We've confirmed at the 2012 NAIAS however, that this model will not be seeing North American shores, which likely rules out the M550d as well.



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M135i

From the same Dutch BMW dealer presentation in November which yielded the 381hp tri-turbo diesel M550d rumor (see above), came a report that a "M135i" F20 1 series hatchback is coming next summer. Those in attendance were reportedly told about a M135i featuring 320hp and powered by the N55 inline 6 engine.

A few months back, we spied what appears to be an M Sport 135i F20, so we wouldn't be surprised if BMW went with the "M135i" moniker for that car.



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      01-12-2012, 04:21 AM   #2
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This is excellent news, so more involvement from BMW ///M in the previous "is" models like the 335is type of vehicle, and leaving the ///M cars to be "all they can be". Sounds all win to me. So the non-traditional ///M cars can be the ///M Performance Automobiles range, and the M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6 can be the hardcore BMW range. If they keep it that way, this is an excellent move.
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      01-12-2012, 04:24 AM   #3
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320hp on the 135iM? That's only 20hp more. It better have LSD / good suspension atleast then.
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      01-12-2012, 04:24 AM   #4
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Nice, that X6 looks like a beast.
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      01-12-2012, 04:28 AM   #5
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Seems like a smart move!
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      01-12-2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cooler2442 View Post
320hp on the 135iM? That's only 20hp more. It better have LSD / good suspension atleast then.
+1!

I didn't know that dropping the N55 engine from the 335is coupe into a 135i will turn it into an "M" car? Not really feeling the M135i name for some reason.

I know a lot will say that this is BMW's way of following Audi in the "S line" of cars, but IMHO exclusivity for the "M" vehicles are getting tarnished since the "M" badge is being used too much on a lot of BMW's new vehicle lineup nowadays.

Just because the 135i acquired the N55 engine from the 335is, it does not mean it deserves the "M" name. They should call it a 135is.

Just my $0.02.
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      01-12-2012, 04:42 AM   #7
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+1!

I didn't know that dropping the N55 engine from the 335is coupe into a 135i will turn it into an "M" car?

They should call it 135is. The "M" badge is being used too much by BMW nowadays.
It doesn't turn it into the traditional "M" car, but it does makes it the new additional category of "M" car.

I see nothing wrong with this if it allows the traditional M models to be focused on even higher performance and being better than ever.
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      01-12-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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I think this sucks and waters down the M brand. Every BMW is going to have an M badge on it. The cars we laughed at which slapped an M before the numeric designation like M750iL are coming true.

Unless this opens room for the real M cars to go balls to the wall and break away from the luxury market grip to become more hardcore sports cars, then I can't see ANY good coming from this to M enthusiasts or the M brand. M ALL THE THINGS!
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      01-12-2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
It doesn't turn it into the traditional "M" car, but it does makes it the new additional category of "M" car.

I see nothing wrong with this if it allows the traditional M models to be focused on even higher performance and being better than ever.
I understand what you mean and it's definitely BMW's way of following Audi's S Line models, but the "M" name is just being used a lot by BMW on their new model lineup nowadays.

It's basically a 135i acquiring the N55 engine from the 335is, so IMHO 135is sounds better.


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Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
I think this sucks and waters down the M brand. Every BMW is going to have an M badge on it. The cars we laughed at which slapped an M before the numeric designation like M750iL are coming true.
^^^My point exactly man!^^^

M750iL sounds like a motor oil blend. LOL! Hahahaha.
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      01-12-2012, 05:18 AM   #10
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It doesn't turn it into the traditional "M" car, but it does makes it the new additional category of "M" car.

I see nothing wrong with this if it allows the traditional M models to be focused on even higher performance and being better than ever.
Dilution of the badge. It all started with the E36 M3 not making it to the US.
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      01-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #11
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It may water down the brand (which was happening anyway) but doesn't this mean it's less likely to water down the M cars themselves?

This allows them to have a stop gap watered down version whilst at the same time retaining the more hardcore traditional purist editions, no?

I personally would love to see M350d xdrive touring (which could be more likely to exist than an M3 xdrive touring).

Can you have it both ways?
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      01-12-2012, 05:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by e92_m3 View Post
I understand what you mean and it's definitely BMW's way of following Audi's S Line models, but the "M" name is just being used a lot by BMW on their new model lineup nowadays.

It's basically a 135i acquiring the N55 engine from the 335is, so IMHO 135is sounds better.

+1

Instead of watering down the M brand, BMW should enhance the "is" category. To be honest, that's what I thought they were going to do when they released the 335is. I dunno whats up with BMW these days. Now we are going to have M badges all over the place and confuse people even further. Let's not even get into the fact the 3 coupe is now the 4 series/M4
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      01-12-2012, 05:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by as7920 View Post
It may water down the brand (which was happening anyway) but doesn't this mean it's less likely to water down the M cars themselves?

This allows them to have a stop gap watered down version whilst at the same time retaining the more hardcore traditional purist editions, no?

I personally would love to see M350d xdrive touring ( which could be more likely to exist than an M3 xdrive touring.

Can you have it both ways?
That sounds like an Infiniti or something. Imagine trying to explain to someone what you drive lol.
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      01-12-2012, 05:37 AM   #14
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That sounds like an Infiniti or something. Imagine trying to explain to someone what you drive lol.
I with what 3XTR3M3 had said:
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Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
The cars we laughed at which slapped an M before the numeric designation like M750iL are coming true.
Imagine a 750iL getting the M badge???

M750iL really sounds like a motor oil blend.
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      01-12-2012, 05:42 AM   #15
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Pretty interesting move by BMW. Kinda seems like an enhanced version of what they've done throughout the generations, i.e. 's' models and factory performance packages. I'm looking forward to seeing the new variants.
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      01-12-2012, 05:46 AM   #16
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Actually only ONE thing I can see might be good from this. If this new "M" category is created it might mean that true "M" models become even more hardcore.
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      01-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #17
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..Amazing how powerful //M is in marketing... I'm waiting to see the Motorsport logo in the Roundel

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      01-12-2012, 06:21 AM   #18
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No way the 1 Series is getting N55! No way!
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      01-12-2012, 06:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
I think this sucks and waters down the M brand. Every BMW is going to have an M badge on it. The cars we laughed at which slapped an M before the numeric designation like M750iL are coming true.

Unless this opens room for the real M cars to go balls to the wall and break away from the luxury market grip to become more hardcore sports cars, then I can't see ANY good coming from this to M enthusiasts or the M brand. M ALL THE THINGS!
+1

Now everyone is going to stick a M badge on their car, they're killing the M name. If its not a true M car it should carry the is badging IMO
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      01-12-2012, 07:02 AM   #20
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I don't think the article is right to say this would be equivalent to Audi's S-Line. Isn't the S-Line usually just an appearance treatment, like M Sport?

Whatever the case though, more importantly I think this has real potential to cannibalize M sales for people who want an "M" car (read: the badge) but don't need an actual harder-core track-oriented weapon. I guess that will make the true M cars more exclusive, but it still somehow bums me out. I expect most people won't be able to differentiate between true Ms and these cars considering that the average person can't tell an M car from a normal Series car! Not that anybody would ever buy an M car just for show or anything.

This reeks of the BMW bean counters decreeing that M should start bringing in even more cash. I guess it could work out though; Porsche brought out the Cayenne and Panamera for the same reason, and they've used profits from those to continue development on the 911s, so if BMW does the same thing and this just means more money to keep true M cars alive, then I guess that's a good thing. Still seems lame though.

I actually hope the M cars DON'T get more hardcore; I really like where they are now on the comfort/performance continuum. If they introduced this line to be slightly less M and intend to make the M cars slightly more M (dedicated track cars, etc), I can see that appealing to track junkies, but for the most part I think they'll alienate everyone by removing the existing happy medium option of a car that's entirely practical on the street but hugely capable on-track. If they keep M cars where they are and this is just a lower-level offering, then I guess we just have brand dilution.

Quote:
The BMW M Performance Automobiles offer exclusive engine variants, noticeably enhanced agility and outstanding precision on the road, plus design laced with emotional appeal.
How is that different from M cars?

Quote:
"We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don't want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars," said Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH.
Wow, it sure SEEMS like my M3 has plenty of everyday usability, but I guess I was wrong, thanks for clearing that up. In that case you may also want to tell your Marketing division to stop bragging about the M5's everyday usability too, Dr. Nitschke.
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      01-12-2012, 07:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e92_m3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
It doesn't turn it into the traditional "M" car, but it does makes it the new additional category of "M" car.

I see nothing wrong with this if it allows the traditional M models to be focused on even higher performance and being better than ever.
I understand what you mean and it's definitely BMW's way of following Audi's S Line models, but the "M" name is just being used a lot by BMW on their new model lineup nowadays.

It's basically a 135i acquiring the N55 engine from the 335is, so IMHO 135is sounds better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
I think this sucks and waters down the M brand. Every BMW is going to have an M badge on it. The cars we laughed at which slapped an M before the numeric designation like M750iL are coming true.
^^^My point exactly man!^^^

M750iL sounds like a motor oil blend. LOL! Hahahaha.
Isn't the 335is powered by the N54? Isn't the 135i already powered by the N55 now?
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      01-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #22
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I don't think the article is right to say this would be equivalent to Audi's S-Line. Isn't the S-Line usually just an appearance treatment, like M Sport?

Whatever the case though, more importantly I think this has real potential to cannibalize M sales for people who want an "M" car (read: the badge) but don't need an actual harder-core track-oriented weapon. I guess that will make the true M cars more exclusive, but it still somehow bums me out. I expect most people won't be able to differentiate between true Ms and these cars considering that the average person can't tell an M car from a normal Series car! Not that anybody would ever buy an M car just for show or anything.
I think they might be referring to moels like the S4, S5 etc. I think Audi's system works better though because the RS badge only appears on top models whereas S models are comparable to 335i etc.

What I want to know is where this new M category will fit in terms of design? Already M-sport/M cars have similarities but you can tell right away true M cars because of the signature quad exhausts, side vents etc. What are these models going to look like? Take the 335is for example. The changes are minimal and thats ok because it was only badged as an "is", but if these new cars are going to have M badges on them are they going to look too similar to true M models? I dunno.
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