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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.)

BMW Confirms Diesel-M, High-Performance Engine to Find Numerous Other Applications

Will other makers follow with muscle diesels?

by on Aug.17, 2011

BMW's new M5 will soon get a diesel-powered companion, this one using a triple-turbo diesel, the first oil-burner to bear the vaunted "M" badge.

Editor’s note: The following story has been revised to make clear that BMW M Manager Brian Watts did not himself confirm the diesel program has been approved but is only under consideration.  However, ranking BMW sources have repeated their confirmation that what is tentatively being called the BMW 550dXM will be publicly revealed in spring 2012.

BMW will introduce a new high-performance diesel-powered 5-Series model next spring that will expand the German maker’s vaunted M division, has confirmed, with the triple-turbo V-8 oil-burner set to also be used in a variety of other BMW products, likely including its X-series sport-activity vehicles.

Rumors of the diesel M have been circulating for several weeks, but has confirmed details with a variety of BMW sources who say the maker wants to prove out the potential of the high-mileage technology – taking advantage of a variety of new technologies, including the unusual triple-turbocharging system meant to eliminate even the most minor turbo lag.

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The new model is likely to get the unusual designation of either BMW 550dM or 550dXM, the latter referring to its all-wheel-drive system.  With rare exception, most models produced by the Bavarian maker’s performance sub-brand flash the vaunted “M” first and foremost.  But the alternative nomenclature would reflect the unusual powertrain under the hood of the 5-Series BMW.