A BMW insider said that company’s M Performance line of vehicles will replace the brand’s “is” models. The M Performance models, which are positioned between the brand’s regular lineup and the true M GmbH–developed high-power cars, were developed in close partnership with M. The first M Performance models to come out in Europe are the X5 M50d, the X6 M50d, and the M550d xDrive with a tri-turbocharged straight-six diesel engine.
It also includes the gasoline-powered M135i hatchback. The powerful turbodiesels were added to the lineup, while the M135i (which is a 1-series M with slightly more power) is discontinued. There will be more high-powered M Performance derivatives of different BMW models, such as the 3-series coupe or 4-series and the Z4.
M Performance versions will replace the presently offered “is” models. A BMW source said that nothing will be changed now since it will just create confusion in consumers. But with the modifications for the next model generation, the successors of these models will be M Performance vehicles. The Z4 M35i will arrive in the market in early 2015. The M335i (or M435i) is set to be launched in 2013.
The purist approach of the true M cars will not be followed by the M Performance models. For example, the M135i gets an optional torque-converter automatic rather than a dual-clutch transmission. In addition, the turbodiesels get conventional automatic gearboxes.
Their chassis and driver interface are based on BMW’s regular turbodiesels rather than using a trickle-down approach from the M5, the X5 M, or the X6 M. It’s typical for the engines in the M Performance models to be used in other BMW models that don’t bear the M Performance name.
Outstanding efficiency of the brand-new V8 engine and extensive Efficient Dynamics technology as well as the Automatic Start-Stop function together with the standard seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic, making up for the remarkably improved balance between the performance-oriented M experience and the automobile’s fuel consumption.
To channel the engine’s monumental power development into impressive performance features, the latest BMW M5 prides itself on its chassis technology developed on the back of racing proficiency and modified to a powerplant’s output profile. The chassis technology includes M-specific Servotronic steering, electronically controlled shock absorber, a stability control method with powerful compound brakes and M Dynamic Mode.
This technology pairs with model-specific style features to produce the typical conceptual synchronization of BMW M cars. The pairing of the features directly impacts the optimization of the amount of cooling air and improvement of aerodynamic features. The specific chemistry of the chassis, design and drive system has been polished in thorough testing on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring to guarantee unbeatable braking performance, handling characteristics and longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
The control concept, innovative equipment and interior design characteristics of the latest car also contribute in creating the unique M experience. The cockpit has a classical sporty feel to it due to the car’s M leather steering wheel, M-specific instrument cluster and centre console, and sports seats.