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      03-12-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
Jason
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Post We Interview BMW M President, Dr. Nitschke, at 2012 Geneva Motorshow

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We Interview BMW M President, Dr. Nitschke, at 2012 Geneva Motorshow
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We had the opportunity to sit down with the gracious Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, current BMW M GmbH President, at the 2012 Geneva Motorshow last week. We were primarily interested in discussing future M models and developments and here's what we are able to report.

Is it safe to assume that will there will be a successor to the popular 1M coupe?
We sold more than 5000 units worldwide and we are thinking for a successor, but we haven't made a decision yet.


We've seen next generation M3 sedan prototypes for a while now. What M3 variants can we expect for the next generation?

The M3 is an icon and it's very important for us to make it a perfect fit for our customer. It has to be a perfect in its whole - not only in its engine and suspension, it must be a perfect concept. We are working on weight of course and on horsepower of course and for perfect handling. We will surprise you with this new car.


Will there be an M F31 touring?
We haven't made a decision on that yet.


Former M President and now BMW USA President Ludwig Willisch said years ago that BMW would be looking into V6 engines for the next M3. We've also seen patents showing interesting turbo technology and V6 layouts, so is there anything you can hint at or rule out at this point already?

From a technical point of view it would be possible. There were at times discussions about just shortening the M5 (F10) engine. But we are considering anything.


Any consideration of renaming the M3 coupe and convertible to M4?

Speaking of M model names, it's pretty easy - we have two variants: those having the M in front / series number in the back (i.e. M3, M5, M6) and second way is like the X models (i.e. X5M, X6M, Z4M) where the M is at the back. If there would be a 9 series and if M would do it, we would call it an M9 I guess. [We then asked whether the M models with the # at the end will always reflect the underlying car on which it's developed, and they confirmed. Presumably then, if the F32 coupe is named a "4 Series Coupe", the M variant of it will be called the "M4 Coupe." Ultimately the decision comes down to BMW's board of management though, which can of course always decide to break with any of these conventions.]


So far, M Performance models have only been announced for markets outside of the US/NA. Can you give us an idea/preview of what M Performance models the US can expect to receive?

We launched the tri turbo diesel but not in the US, but you will see here at the show the M135i concept with the gasoline engine and I'm sure we can bring M Performance Automobiles also worldwide (also America).

Even though we see some demand for the tri-turbo diesel M Performance models in the US, the business case didn't make sense for this particular diesel. We have to have 50 state certification and in order to do that for this engine you need SCR technology [Selective Catalytic Reduction(SCR) is a method of converting harmful diesel oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions], which is an expensive thing to engineer for the US market. So even though we see some demand for these models, there has to be some balance between the demand and the engineering costs.


For the F10 5 series, there's both the M5 and the M550d (outside NA) which makes sense as one is a petrol and the other a Diesel model. Do you see enough room for both a dedicated M model and a petrol M Performance model, e.g. an M3 and an M335i?

Not only us, but our customers like the idea of having that intermediate layer in between the M model and top end regular series model and therefore anything that is successful we'll do.


Any plans for F11 M5?
With the current M5 we won't bring a touring model.


Any plans for upcoming M variants of X or Z cars?
In the current generation we won't bring a Z4 M, but for the successor we are thinking about it. Also with the current X3 we won't bring an M version, but with successor generation, we'll see.


Will there be a dedicated event to celebrate 40 years of BMW M, or is the M Festival in May meant to be that event?
For the 24 Hour Race at Nurburgring (where M Festival takes place) we'll have a special event for the anniversary and perhaps in August there will be an event also at the Nurburgring, perhaps at the DTM race.

Note: portions of select answers above were contributed by Mr. Tom Plucinsky (BMW NA) and Mr. Stefan Behr (BMW AG).


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      03-12-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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They first say that the M3 is an icon an after that they say that the M3 Coupe will be renamed to M4 because is the M variant of the 4 series.
I hope that this would not be the case and someone from bmw is reading all these forums.
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      03-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matei View Post
They first say that the M3 is an icon an after that they say that the M3 Coupe will be renamed to M4 because is the M variant of the 4 series.
I hope that this would not be the case and someone from bmw is reading all these forums.
So far, they're just saying that it wouldn't be called M3 if it's based on a 4 series.


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      03-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
So far, they're just saying that it wouldn't be called M3 if it's based on a 4 series.


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Which it is, so... M4.
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      03-12-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Yes, correct, they say that it would not be called M3 if it is bassed on the 4 series. So most problably they will call it M4.
I was saying that is pretty ironic for them to say that the M3 is an icon and after that they change this icon's name just because the coupe is bassed on the 4 series. And then the iconic name M3 will remain on the 3 series four door that was not so much of an M icon. The coupe was.
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      03-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matei View Post
Yes, correct, they say that it would not be called M3 if it is bassed on the 4 series. So most problably they will call it M4.
I was saying that is pretty ironic for them to say that the M3 is an icon and after that they change this icon's name just because the coupe is bassed on the 4 series. And then the iconic name M3 will remain on the 3 series four door that was not so much of an M icon. The coupe was.
Fair enough.


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      03-12-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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If you noticed the answer. Well, You got your answer. He could have said no and denied the question but he gave the logical answer.
And of course you will learn more , soon.

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      03-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matei View Post
Yes, correct, they say that it would not be called M3 if it is bassed on the 4 series. So most problably they will call it M4.
I was saying that is pretty ironic for them to say that the M3 is an icon and after that they change this icon's name just because the coupe is bassed on the 4 series. And then the iconic name M3 will remain on the 3 series four door that was not so much of an M icon. The coupe was.
Ah, but the M4 will be a new icon...
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      03-12-2012, 04:40 PM   #9
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I am sure the M4 will be a new icon, but there is a bit of histroy that is left aside. I am sure that in a couple of years we will get used with it but it would have been nice that M Power continue with the M3 name for the M3 Coupe.
This is not possible due to public perception of bmw series names and marketing maybe.
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      03-12-2012, 04:52 PM   #10
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5000 1m's, I thought production was more like 2,800.
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      03-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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that which does not kill ///M makes it stronger...
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      03-12-2012, 05:10 PM   #12
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You guys are making it more complicated than it is...


From all the hints they have been giving us, here's what i can gather...


Previously, the 3 series model is made up of : Sedans, Coupe, Convertible, and Touring
Now, it would seem that BMW's small sedan model is broken up into two series:

3 series for the 4-door models: sedans and tourings
4 series for the 2-door models: coupes and hardtop convertibles. (2013)

Therefore the corresponding M# series for those models will be:

M3 = sedan (2013)
M4 = coupe/convertible (2015?)

So now we will have "2" choice of "M3": the M3 which is now a sedan, and the M4 which will be a 2-door monster...

any more questions?
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      03-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
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that which does not kill ///M makes it stronger...
The way they are going they will turn it into just another car. From what I read on this forum many don't care anyway so I guess it is what it is...
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      03-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
So far, M Performance models have only been announced for markets outside of the US/NA. Can you give us an idea/preview of what M Performance models the US can expect to receive?

We launched the tri turbo diesel but not in the US, but you will see here at the show the M135i concept with the gasoline engine and I'm sure we can bring M Performance Automobiles also worldwide (also America).

Even though we see some demand for the tri-turbo diesel M Performance models in the US, the business case didn't make sense for this particular diesel. We have to have 50 state certification and in order to do that for this engine you need SCR technology [Selective Catalytic Reduction(SCR) is a method of converting harmful diesel oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions], which is an expensive thing to engineer for the US market. So even though we see some demand for these models, there has to be some balance between the demand and the engineering costs.
WTF, so is the U.S. that friggin stringent on emmissions or is Europe just a gross polluter where anything goes, polar ice caps be dammed lol?
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      03-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
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5000 1m's, I thought production was more like 2,800.
Wow. Has mine just devalued 5k. LOL.

That's double the original estimate. Surely a mistake?
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      03-12-2012, 05:47 PM   #16
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Ah, but the M4 will be a new icon...
It will? Are you trying to tell us something?
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      03-12-2012, 06:03 PM   #17
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For the F10 5 series, there's both the M5 and the M550d (outside NA) which makes sense as one is a petrol and the other a Diesel model. Do you see enough room for both a dedicated M model and a petrol M Performance model, e.g. an M3 and an M335i?

Not only us, but our customers like the idea of having that intermediate layer in between the M model and top end regular series model and therefore anything that is successful we'll do.

- I would like to see evidence that customers want this. Anything between 335i and M3 makes the M3 more expensive, more unattainable.
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      03-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matei View Post
Yes, correct, they say that it would not be called M3 if it is bassed on the 4 series. So most problably they will call it M4.
I was saying that is pretty ironic for them to say that the M3 is an icon and after that they change this icon's name just because the coupe is bassed on the 4 series. And then the iconic name M3 will remain on the 3 series four door that was not so much of an M icon. The coupe was.
look at Audi s4 and s5 - did the s5 degrade the s4? Not at all.
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      03-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by as7920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
5000 1m's, I thought production was more like 2,800.
Wow. Has mine just devalued £5k. LOL.

That's double the original estimate. Surely a mistake?
Hah .. If this is true I predict a few "grey" 1Ms showing up stateside soon

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      03-12-2012, 07:06 PM   #20
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Everyone knows the M3 for what it is, It should stay like that and not be called M4 just because the next coupe is a 4 series base car. M3 is the bench mark by how other competitors has to measure their cars to! why fix what's not broken!!!!
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      03-12-2012, 07:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antzcrashing View Post
look at Audi s4 and s5 - did the s5 degrade the s4? Not at all.
Kind of hard to compare that way. We're talking about BMW M and the M3 going back to 3.0 CSL (influence?) in the early 70's compared to quattro GmbH which only started producing S and RS models in the early 90's. So you can kind of see why some BMW enthusiasts might be a little annoyed with having the M3 becoming a M4 (coupe model), you're comparing 40+ years of M to a little over 10 years with the S and RS.
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      03-12-2012, 07:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTT26 View Post
Ah, but the M4 will be a new icon...

sure the M4 will eventually become an icon (maybe)
but in doing so you have just killed an existing icon that has lasted about 26 years
you know how much most other car companies would pay to have the M3 name?
other than the 911 i don't think any other model name carries as much weight
i know this has been on the table since the E90/E92
but now its suddely being done, right after Audi did the same thing
and charged more for the A5 than the A4
hmmmmmmm
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