How many M’s is too many? How much HP is needed?
Acknowledge that this is a bit of an open question, but does anyone else believe the HP wars are going a bit to far? Do we really need another X crossover/SUV model turned into an M machine, with more HP than the current M3, M4 and the upcoming M2 Competition model? Or is this just about slugging it out with MB? The “M” badge used to mean something special, but BMW has been diluting it’s value by:
1. Increasing the number of (pure?) M vehicles. Don’t have a problem with the cars, but who’s going to track an X5M (or X6M, X4M) without rolling it over (except for the 0.1% of drivers qualified to race these things)? How about a pure M7? Will BMW follow its general pattern of producing an M version of every car by making M versions of the X2/X3..all the way to X7?
2. The pseudo-M vehicles, or M Performance line up, ala X3M40 (x-drive or s-drive?), M555x, M240, M760...
3. The M peformance parts, which I didn’t initially have a problem with as I saw them as ways for BMW to capture some of the tuner market while keeping the warranty valid (Power and Exhaust kit, aerodynamics kit, etc). But when I saw BMW adding expensive M-Perf accessories marketed to existing M cars, that crosssed a line. M-P is either a an upgrade from base but below M, or it’s anything and everything BMW can think off. Marketing M-P wheels that are lighter than the wheels on six-figure M cars is BS! Put your best stuff on your best badge, or create a special line of premium M-only accessories; but don’t market M-P as a ‘tweener accessories/performance line and then include parts that are superior to those you put on your top end M5, M6, perhaps M8.
4. While going on for long time, the vast wild proliferation of M badging on base BMW’s courtesy of the “M Sports” package including steering wheel, door sills, and on and on. M badges everywhere. What use to be special is now just another commodity.
Many will argue that BMW is doing what is has to do to compete with MB who arguably started this war by boosting HP of its AMG models, especially the AMG C 63S, and then launching pseudo AMG’s with the AMG nameplate but without the handbuilt AMG engines. The latter was likely the impetus behind BMW’s decision to go forward with M Perf line of vehicles.
While I remain a BMW M loyalist, I am disappointed by the vast sea of M labels that I see on the road, in ads and at the dealer. Of the 3 German automakers, I think Audi does model delineation best: base line cars are simply A (or Q for their 2 suv’s). For the same body type upgraded for sports-oriented driving (more HP and torque, better handling and brakes, aero package, but not track), they simply swap the A for an S; hence A3, A4,5,6,7 become S3, S4, S5...S7. And for those who want what they consider to be a combo street/track car, Audi simply adds an additional letter “R” in front of the S (RS3...RS7). Couple of exclusions: their Z equivalent is upgraded using T and TT badging, and their top of the line sports car, the R8/R10, has no S or “lessser” versions.
Sorry for the long post. Just had to get it off my chest. Opposing views welcome. I don’t have to be right all the time.