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  #1  
Old 09-29-2008, 11:50 PM
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Arrow M-division chief reveals near term plans

The high-performance arm of BMW has provided quite a lot of fodder for speculation recently, with the M1 Homage concept, an expected 1-series tii vehicle, and its somewhat bizarre focus on SUVs and crossovers. To help clear the air - if only somewhat - BMW's M Division development head Albert Biermann has given some answers about the Bavarian company's high-performance future.

Some of the detail discussed is already well-known, or at least completely expected. For example, there will be no M3 CSL since demand is low and the cost of development and construction would be high. Likewise, no 7-series M-model is in the works because it would run somewhat contrary to the M Division's philosophy of light, agile and powerful cars, reports the German language Auto-News. Finally, an M-treatment of the 1-series is similarly off the books, though only because it would be difficult to add performance to the car without impinging on the M3's performance - at a significantly lower price point.

Speculation of a new M1, based around the M1 Homage concept, remains rampant despite the company's vociferous denials of any such project. However, if the M1 is a design study only, runs the speculation, why would it incorporate pedestrian-protection-derived design elements? It is, of course, speculation that the law was the motivating factor behind the lack of pop-up headlights like those of the original M1, rather than simply a modernized styling element.

The crossover and SUV-focus for the M Division is a highly practical one, in the end. The X6 has already booked a half year of sales in advance, and so the company thinks an M version would have similar high sales figures. More sales mean more profit, and that is the goal of any business.

Other new elements of the M Division's business plan include the development of a range of racing and performance accessories. Carbon-ceramic brakes, roll cages and more track-specific safety and speed add-ons are hoped to prove a profitable arm of the business.

The ongoing emissions and fuel consumption battle between carmakers and governments worldwide is not as much a primary consideration for the M Division, according to Biermann, because its customers are not concerned with the price of fuel. Nevertheless, some technological innovations such as stop-start will be employed on M cars to help appease those drivers concerned with the environment. Like many other companies, BMW's M Division is also looking at the possibility of adding turbochargers to more and different engines to help maintain high power levels while complying with emissions standards.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:26 AM
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Maybe I missed it while reading, but I didn't see anything in there about weight reduction I wonder if BMW did something with the M3 like Porsche does with the GT3 if it would be successful or a complete failure. You know, like an M3, M3 RS (or gt or gtr, call it what you want), and an M3 club sport.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUINNESS
Maybe I missed it while reading, but I didn't see anything in there about weight reduction I wonder if BMW did something with the M3 like Porsche does with the GT3 if it would be successful or a complete failure. You know, like an M3, M3 RS (or gt or gtr, call it what you want), and an M3 club sport.
Well, the M3 CSL we never got was lightened up noticeably, with a cardboard trunk floor, plastic bootlid, CF hood, and various other negations. But the outlook states no E92 M3 CSL.........
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:13 PM
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And speaking of weight reduction, which should be paramount for the M division, how do we reconcile these two statements:

Quote:
Likewise, no 7-series M-model is in the works because it would run somewhat contrary to the M Division's philosophy of light, agile and powerful cars, reports the German language Auto-News.
Quote:
The X6 has already booked a half year of sales in advance, and so the company thinks an M version would have similar high sales figures.
There goes the M brand identity.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL
And speaking of weight reduction, which should be paramount for the M division, how do we reconcile these two statements:

Quote:
Likewise, no 7-series M-model is in the works because it would run somewhat contrary to the M Division's philosophy of light, agile and powerful cars, reports the German language Auto-News.

Quote:
The X6 has already booked a half year of sales in advance, and so the company thinks an M version would have similar high sales figures.

There goes the M brand identity.
x2
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:30 PM
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Good contrast and wonderment, JCL...

I suspect BMW and most any company would
label/brand most any product if:
-it didn't p iss off too many of the self-annointed
intelligentsia, and/or...
-it sold real well for a season or three.

I also agree on the diet, mpg inc. and the unfortunate
march toward $100G M cars of nearly any variety.

The Bavarians must view the world through 2007 eyes
and/or feel everyone is moving to Dubai.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32
Well, the M3 CSL we never got was lightened up noticeably, with a cardboard trunk floor, plastic bootlid, CF hood, and various other negations. But the outlook states no E92 M3 CSL.........

Bah, CSL doesn't count cause we didn't get it

And good point by JCL... no 7 series M cause light agile etc, but an X6???? WTF
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid
The Bavarians must view the world through 2007 eyes
and/or feel everyone is moving to Dubai.
+3 on the "agile, light" = X6.

However, BMW is seeing the market shift towards places like Asia and the Middle East. Those places are much more profitable than the US, and thus just because we're shifting ever so slightly towards the lower-consumption spectrum, doesn't mean that BMW can/will change its strategy for us.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:03 PM
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This article did not go far enought in explaining the new role for the M Division within BMW AG.The M Division will take the lead role for Efficient Dynamic's and all things "Green" for BMW going forward.Don't laugh it's very true.I agree it was not smart comparing the 7 Series to the X6......both big cars.The role of the X's are changing as we speak.Someone at the Plant told me production of the X5 will be slowing a little.The first significant slowdown in a few years.The reality of $4.00 gas and the worldwide economic slowdown.Probably some of BMW's new outlook..."Pull" vs "Push" marketing.The M3CSL would have been rolled out if the KERS technology had been street ready.KERS is the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.....a very high tech regenerative braking system.The M3CSL and/or next gen M5 will get the KERS system.BMW's Senior leadership strongly feels many of the other premium German/European Auto Companies will be forced to park many of their cars because they did not take into account the changing global climate for performance cars.BMW is willing to piss off the purist now ( scan any M3 or M5 forum) to make sure they will exist in the future performance car world.I will tip my hat to BMW for trying to build fun high performance cars AND be around for my kid to drive a Bimmer when he grows up.The world is changing.I don't want to give up my TTV8 or V10 and I'm not real fired up about driving a 4 banger.I hope BMW can walk the razors edge and give us the X5 and X6 "M"'s AND keep the "Green Police" happy.It will be fun to watch! Thanks! PalBay
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL
And speaking of weight reduction, which should be paramount for the M division, how do we reconcile these two statements:





There goes the M brand identity.
Great point. They are talking out of both sides of their mouth. I guess they feel that there is more to gain financially by offering an M version of the X6 as opposed to the 7-series, so they are chasing the money and saying that weight is the primary factor for not producing an M7. Kinda funny. I guess if you want a performance version of the 7-Series, you have to go to Alpina.
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