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BMW Launching All-New Product Range

Bavarian maker to target niche between its mainstream and M-car lines.

by on Jan.16, 2012

BMW M President Friedrich Nitschke.

BMW apparently thinks there is more room for a few angels to dance on the head of its pin.  The maker will reveal an all-new product range during the upcoming Geneva Motor Show that it says will land somewhere between its mainstream line-up and its vaunted M series.

The new line-up, to be called BMW M Performance Automobiles, promise to deliver similar levels of performance to such current offerings as the M5, while appealing to those who don’t want to sacrifice “the familiar comfort and practicality” of a BMW 535i.

“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 Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH.

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While specific details will be held back for the March introduction, the executive hints that there could be additional product lines specifically created for the M Performance brand.  It will also rely on a mix of gasoline and diesel powertrains, with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system expected to “play a significant role.”

The role model for the new sub-brand is the 1980 M535i, which featured plenty of power but a more every day driving experience than the hard-charging M cars BMW produces today.

The new line should hit market sometime later this year.

It’s just the latest step the maker has announced in its effort to fill seemingly every possible inch of white space in the luxury segment.  BMW’s new “i” line of battery vehicles debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, last September.  The maker also pushed into compact performance, last year, with the debut of the 1M.  As has reported, a diesel-powered M model, tentatively dubbed the BMW 550dXM, for diesel, all-wheel-drive, is also in development.

The automaker last year, meanwhile, captured the top spot in the U.S. luxury sales wars, nudging past long-time leader Lexus and narrowly topping German rival Mercedes-Benz.  To help maintain that momentum, BMW announced last week plans to further expand its assembly line in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is expected to thus become the second-largest BMW plant in the world.

(For more on plans for Spartanburg, Click Here.)

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