- The current BMW M3 CS

The 2019 BMW M3 will lead a 26 model M Division plan for world domination

In 2019 the all-new M3 will spearhead a wealth of new M models including several new M-Performance variants. Is this a step too far for the M Brand?

2y ago


After this week's reveal that BMW is planning a plethora of new electric models. Autocar has revealed that the German carmaker is staging a further expansion of its model line-up. This time though it’s the turn of M Division as BMW aim to take the fight straight to Mercedes-AMG.

At the core of this mass assault will be the all-new next generation BMW M3. Autocar has speculated that the new model could be packing a 465bhp six-cylinder turbo engine when it finally breaks cover in 2019. This new halo model, alongside its identically powered siblings the M4 coupe and cabriolet, are all a part of M Division CEO Frank van Meel’s master plan to broaden BMW's line-up to match rival Mercedes-AMG.

Targeting Mercedes-AMG

To achieve this target, van Meel is pushing forward with plans for several new M denomination cars alongside a crop of slightly less hardcore 'warm' M-Performance models. The long-term target is for M division to match its rivals Mercedes-AMG with global sales of 100,000 cars per year.

Contained within this strategy is 26 new or enhanced models hitting the market by the end of 2020. This total is made up of 11 hardcore fully fledged M models alongside 15 ‘warm’ M-Performance variants.

M division models we really want

An M2 CS, yes please

An M2 CS, yes please

Now for the good news, the world will get fully fledged M versions of the new 8-series in both coupe and drop-top form to replace the current M6 in the model. The company is also planning an M variant of the upcoming fourth-generation Z4 and a lightened CS version of the brilliant M2 model.

As always with these things there is a ‘but’ and as usual its models that some would say are undeserving of the much heralded M division badge. As an example the X3 and the X4 SUVs are slated for the full M division treatment to go alongside the larger existing models.

Only the very best cars should bear the M badge

This shift of direction for the carmaker has also revealed plans for further M-Performance ‘warm’ variants of the new X2 model, alongside the next-generation 3-series, the new X7 SUV and as yet unseen next-generation 1-series.

Does the world need or want an M-Performance version of the X2?

Does the world need or want an M-Performance version of the X2?

BMW has previously surprised the world with certain M division models that were received with a somewhat lukewarm reception. These of course being the monstrous X5 M and X6 M SUVs.

Both are M car powerful and very quick, but the fact that the much anticipated E92 M3 CSL didn’t make production in favour of this pairing has always left us wondering what could have been.

Simplicity is key

Some of the very best M cars ever built

Some of the very best M cars ever built

In its first decade of producing road cars, M division only built four official M denomination cars (M1, M3, M5 and M6) which served to establish the brand in performance car folklore. In 2017 the M Division is responsible for producing what most would refer to as five proper M division cars alongside the two uber-SUV models.

This expansion, while good for increasing sales and bringing cash through the door which will convert into all-important research and development revenues. The downside being that true fans of the badge could feel the carmaker is spreading itself a bit thin by producing too many M-Performance models alongside numerous M badge SUVs. Whereas historically, only the very best cars produced by BMW have been given the M denomination.

Do you think that this move by BMW is a step too far for M division? Or is it a required step to ensure the future of M badge cars by widening their appeal to buyers? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (6)

  • It is very understable, from a business point of view, that BMW is doing this strategy. I just hope the company won't forget their DNA though. The core M products M2, M3, M4, M5, M6 and Z4 M should always deliver on the driving experience like only a true M car can. If BMW delivers on those models then the M brand can easily exploit the brand with softer M Performance models. Those are cars bought with less focus on the driving experience I believe, although that must stay an important factor for even those models.

      2 years ago
  • start by withdrawal of M-package / M sport for non-M models (i.e. series 1 with 100hp & M package xD)

    but ofc if M-package costs 2-3k its profitable from a business point of view.

      2 years ago
  • BMW is getting too fancy, and it's all because of the bottom line. Too many companies are following the same trend for their sales margins. Keep the core strong stick to what you used to to best.

      2 years ago
  • M 1 series hatch? Surely you can’t not make one of those coz of a slight naming issue...

    if you’re going to rival AMG, start off with the A45 and work your way up.

      2 years ago
  • Just don't put M badge on that pathetic excuse of a car...the glorified MINI....or as satan calls it: 2-seres Active Tourer...

      2 years ago