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    BMW's M Division To Stick With Six-Cylinders and Rear-Wheel Drive For As Long As Its Feasible


    • Six-Cylinders and Rear-Wheel Drive is still the order of the day for BMW's M Division

    A lot of the high-performance sub-brands have been thinking about the future and the possibility of using turbocharged four-cylinders or all-wheel drive. BMW's M division isn't going down that trail of thought yet.

     

    Speaking with Australian outlet Motoring, BMW M's head of product management, Carsten Pries says for the time being, the division will focus on developing models with the six cylinders and rear-wheel drive.

     

    “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Pries.

     

    “This combination of six cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive is not just a USP in marketing terms but it is something that really attracts people to our brand. This is obviously not something you can just talk about but also something you can experience and enjoy."

     

    It should be noted that M does have two models with all-wheel drive, the X5 and X6 M models. We assume Pries is referring to M's sedans and coupes with these comments.

     

    Pries does admit that the current strategy could change in the near future.

     

    “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer,” said Pries.

     

    Source: Motoring

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    So in other words, they will milk old tech and dated styling as long as badge snobs are willing to let them be parted with their money.

     

    Cannot blame them for taking the easy way out.

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    This is the same problem that all luxury car makers have.  Cadillac is painting itself into a corner with the Escalade.  These cars make a lot of money but the regulatory demands for different engines and MPG standards are coming very soon.  What is the point of investing in R&D for new models until it is absolutely necessary?  The business case needs to be there and not just the government staring you down to make something new.

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    This is the same problem that all luxury car makers have.  Cadillac is painting itself into a corner with the Escalade.  These cars make a lot of money but the regulatory demands for different engines and MPG standards are coming very soon.  What is the point of investing in R&D for new models until it is absolutely necessary?  The business case needs to be there and not just the government staring you down to make something new.

     

    I would disagree with you about the Escalade being painted into a corner. 

     

    You can easily as proven by theTT V6 replace the V8 in the escalade with the TTV6. You can also due to the room under the body between the frame put in a pure electric power train and battery packs or go the VOLT way with a Hybrid powertrain. 

     

    The Escalade is an awesome superior SUV to any of the other makes out there and you can easily change the powertrain.

     

    I would have expected BMW to do this but they seem to not want to unless this is about just the I6 engine. On hind site I guess we could take this as they will continue to improve the engine but use it till they are forced to drop it or finally add alternative fuel power trains.

     

    The style of the Escalade has continued to improve with each version where the BMW has stayed stagnant for the last 20+ years on style.

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    As much as I like the Escalade, it is still a Chevrolet Tahoe.  As some point Cadillac will have to make a decision to make the Escalade completely and totally different from GMC/Chevy.  If they can make the TTV6/Hybrid a reality and build it separately from the GMC/Chevy platform, then great.  Make it so.  Otherwise, Cadillac will continue to be tied to GM as a whole with the admin structure and production lines.   

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    BMW M division should focus more on V8 and V12 power.  The straight six is a great engine, and a very smooth and balanced engine, but it still a six cylinder.  That is great for standard BMWs, but in an M car there should be more.

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    BMW M division should focus more on V8 and V12 power.  The straight six is a great engine, and a very smooth and balanced engine, but it still a six cylinder.  That is great for standard BMWs, but in an M car there should be more.

    It will be interesting to see how long they live considering that Europe after this diesel scandal is now considering raising the emissions hurdle. I could not find anything other than stories about discussions. Yet if they get their way, the life of the V8 and V12 could be shorter than it has been in the past.

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    BMW M division should focus more on V8 and V12 power.  The straight six is a great engine, and a very smooth and balanced engine, but it still a six cylinder.  That is great for standard BMWs, but in an M car there should be more.

    It will be interesting to see how long they live considering that Europe after this diesel scandal is now considering raising the emissions hurdle. I could not find anything other than stories about discussions. Yet if they get their way, the life of the V8 and V12 could be shorter than it has been in the past.

     

    I will agree to the sentiment that V8s and certainly V12s have a limited life span going forward...but I did not want to discuss that. I wanna discuss BMW's I6. 

     

    SMK...not only are V8s and V12s gonna be limited...

    BMWs...especially the 3 Series...and now the 2 Series and 4 Series...and the 5 Series...including the "M" versions of these...are known for the inline 6....

     

    Why?

     

    You said it yourself SMK...BMW's I6...I6s in general, are smooth and well balanced.

    BMWs...whether regular or "M" version, are known to be very well balanced sportds sedans. Enough power, not over-whelming, mixed with just the right amount slalom handling and steering. The perfect balance. Engine, suspension and steering. Smooth and not over-powerful. Like an American muscle car or M-B AMG trim.

     

    The E39 M5 did indeed have a V8...but it was far from being a torque monster muscle car.  It was smooth and well balanced. 

    Have you noticed that every M5 since has not exactly been a purists favorite?

     

    The way you have philosophized this is BMW should "AMG", "SRT8",  or "SS"  itself with V8s in their "M" cars...but if they do that, then BMW truly has lost the war with its competition as THAT is NOT what BMW is all about.

    BMW, especially now that V8s are gonna be in limited use, should just continue in being what BMW always was...inline 6s and all...

     

    BMW kept up with the horsepower wars introducing  twin turbos to their I6s without going to a V8...

    If anything, BMW has lost its way when they have introduced V8s, V10s and SAVs in their line-up.

     

    I feel that when BMW engineers introduced twin turbos to their I6s, the little light bulb went on again and they realized the wrong path they took when they decided to chase M-B in the horsepower, cylinder count war.

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    I6s are so good that even Mercedes is getting in on that action.

     

    I actually am a V10 person. I think the Lexus LFA engine is best sounding engine ever... They only way someone could replicate that same sound is probably by recording it and them piping it in through speakers...mounted right at the firewall with a sountube...and all of that kit better be made by Harman...

     

    However, I think the 5.2 Voodoo is the most appropriate soundtrack for a musclecar/trackrat.

     

    I think the inline 6 and the flat six are pretty cool.

     

    But automakers are examining the idea of opposed piston engines in cars. Check it out. It could be the next revolution in internal combustion because the main benefit is that you don't need cylinder heads - the pistons fire against each other. fewer parts, better thermal efficiency...

     

     

     

     

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    The I6 engine is fantastic but a 335 or 535, or 340/740, etc has a straight six. If I were going to spend $90k on an M5 or $150k on an M7 or M760 as it were, I would want V8 and V12 power. Or if they do an M8, it better be a V12 coupe.

    The M5 is like 4,400 lbs, I wouldn't want a six cylinder in that. The exception would be if the M cars got lighter than the base model. If an M5 had a carbon fiber body so that it weighed as much as a 528i, then a 450 HP straight six might work. But I don't see them making an M5 that weighs what the E39 weighed.

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    The I6 engine is fantastic but a 335 or 535, or 340/740, etc has a straight six. If I were going to spend $90k on an M5 or $150k on an M7 or M760 as it were, I would want V8 and V12 power. Or if they do an M8, it better be a V12 coupe.

    The M5 is like 4,400 lbs, I wouldn't want a six cylinder in that. The exception would be if the M cars got lighter than the base model. If an M5 had a carbon fiber body so that it weighed as much as a 528i, then a 450 HP straight six might work. But I don't see them making an M5 that weighs what the E39 weighed.

     

    I'm pretty sure the entire I6 discussion is about the M3/4 and how that's what they're going to keep in the M3/4. 

     

    the M brand should just care about the best performance. If they can get it from partial electrification, then by all means. I think they're strongly considering a TTI6 with electric motors to power the front wheels for their M5. I would. If it can even maintain the same level of performance, but seriously cut the fuel consumption, it would help BMW both with their "Ultimate" brand - which really means they are not stuck into any drive-train configuration, but rather pick the best they have techwise they have as of this day.

     

    Would you really care what the number of cylinders is? Like really?

     

    Car enthusiasts all over will eventually or already do pop their hoods to reveal a storage cubby because there's no engine and you can put any exhaust note like switching a ringtone on a phone. Yeah. It'll happen - heck it already does happen.

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    The I6 engine is fantastic but a 335 or 535, or 340/740, etc has a straight six. If I were going to spend $90k on an M5 or $150k on an M7 or M760 as it were, I would want V8 and V12 power. Or if they do an M8, it better be a V12 coupe.

    The M5 is like 4,400 lbs, I wouldn't want a six cylinder in that. The exception would be if the M cars got lighter than the base model. If an M5 had a carbon fiber body so that it weighed as much as a 528i, then a 450 HP straight six might work. But I don't see them making an M5 that weighs what the E39 weighed.

    Therein lies the problem with the M5, SMK...

    4400lbs...

     

     

    The exception would be if the M cars got lighter than the base model. If an M5 had a carbon fiber body so that it weighed as much as a 528i, then a 450 HP straight six might work.

     

    which you yourself, found a more viable solution for BMW rather than just dump a V8 under the hood like you originally suggested...

     

    But I don't see them making an M5 that weighs what the E39 weighed.

     

     

    Safety features and sensors aside, which is also mandated by governments...BMW also thinks that dumb technology is what makes BMW...like that stupid hand gesture recognition shyte they introduced in the 7 Series...which adds unnecessary weight to their cars...

     

    Hand gesture recognition shyte:

     

    in the air, make a gesture that resembles lowering the volume on the radio or temperature and the computer sensors will recognize it and do it for you!

     

     

    HOW STUPID IS THAT???!!!

    JUST PHYSICALLY DO IT YOURSELF!!!!

    YOU ARE ALREADY DOING THE DAMNED GESTURE BURNING THE DAMNED CALORIES ANYWAY!!!

    WHY THE NEED FOR THE COMPUTER GESTURING RECOGNITION SENSORS THEN???!!!

    JUST BRING BACK THE PHYSICAL BUTTONS...ITS EASIER TO ADJUST SHYTE THIS WAY, SAFER AND FASTER AND FORGET ABOUT THE IPHONE CRAP!!!

     

    Yes, I did say safer...

    Because as we all know, computers sometimes dont always recognize the inputs we input in them, an we rinse repeat all the time...FRUSTRATING the SHYTE out of us...and while we drive and this shyte happens, we not only get mad unnecessarily at the computer, then we put all our attention to it rather than focus are attention on the road...just to change a setting...

    With physical buttons, especially when its our car that has been in our possession for months and years, its a 2 second affair over and done with...if that. 

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    When you look at the M cars, most of them are in the 2, 3, 4 series line.  I still don't see them putting a straight six in an M5 or M^, still need a V8 there.  But when you compare the M line to AMG, you realize how many fewer M cars there are, and how many fewer at the high end.  They don't have any full size M products, or pure sports car or SL roadster competitor. 

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    When you look at the M cars, most of them are in the 2, 3, 4 series line.  I still don't see them putting a straight six in an M5 or M^, still need a V8 there.  But when you compare the M line to AMG, you realize how many fewer M cars there are, and how many fewer at the high end.  They don't have any full size M products, or pure sports car or SL roadster competitor. 

    You may have a point here...

    But I cant give you a decent rebuttal as my brain tonight aint working properly on a product planning level...

     

    Part of me wants to say that BMW SHOULD NOT be chasing Mercedes-Benz in all AMG trims in all kinds of niches...the "M" badge should not be diluted with non-sense...that would  include the X6 and the M7...

     

    Yet...they do need the volume...they do need to move metal some how.

     

    Which makes me think of another thing...but my mind is all over the place tonight with product planning that I may not be thinking this out logically...here goes:

     

    Is it possible that the AMG line has become more in tune with what M-B wants it to be than BMW with the "M" line and because M-B is more focused with what the AMG line is and BMW has muddled its "M" line that the new benchmark is the AMG line?

     

    I mean...AMG driving dynamics remains constant in whatever model range its present but the "M" badge totally differs between its model range...

     

    I see confusion in BMW product planning as where I see laser focus with M-B.

    Aside from the fact that BMW, M-B and Audi want to infiltrate all possible niches, real or imagined...M-B's focus on every niche they are in...is very dialed in...

    Exemptions are the Smart division and the B Series...

    Even the Sprinter is honed in and where it has become, in my eyes, the best Euro van on the market.

     

    Yet...they need to offer a M7 as Cadillac will be offering a 4.2 liter V8 in the CT6...

    They need the X6M...as M-B's SUVs are kicking ass...and Cadillac will soon be working on its own V Series CUV....

     

    Sure BMW will offer a fullsized SUV...but Cadillac mentioned that the Escalade will grow in luxury and sophistication..

    Which makes BMW's life miserable as the M2 and M4 are totally different "M" animals than the X6M, X5M and M7.

    Even the M5 and M6 dont even know what direction they need to go...

    Do they go the AMG and V Series way? Or do they stick to their tried and true formula...

     

    Which leads us back to what you were saying before...about V8s and V12s.

     

    In which I agreed that the M5 needs to lose weight in order to dance better rather than just to push its way around the track...like a German muscle car...because BMW aint at all like a Muscle Car...but M-B and AMG sure are!

     

    Did I confuse you?

    Because Im sure as hell confused!

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    Mercedes just has more top end cars than BMW.  We can speculate on what BMW might build, but when you look at the current line ups, they have nothing to compete with the GLS, G-wagen, AMG GT, or SL.  And the 7-series is getting pummeled by the S-class, even with the new M760i V12 is it outgunned by the S65, and the S65 is supposed to get a power bump when they get all wheel drive on it and I assume reinforce the transmission.

     

    And you have to consider that Mercedes made the SLR and SLS in the past, no reason that they wouldn't go back into the $200k super car market again,  BMW has never been up there.  Mercedes could build a Ferrari La Ferrari competitor, they have the ability as their Formula 1 car is better than Ferrari's, but they have said they will not do a hyper car because it would be a money loser.

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    As long as they are profitable as an over all company they will spend on stupid niche products that I bet if you really broke it down are NOT profitable and should be killed off.

     

    I bet MB and BMW will end up having to clean up their portfolio in the next 5 years and kill off many niche products that are just not supportable as they really never had a true business case but more of a we have extra money so lets tweak this car crazy and see who buys attitude.

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    As long as they are profitable as an over all company they will spend on stupid niche products that I bet if you really broke it down are NOT profitable and should be killed off.

     

    I bet MB and BMW will end up having to clean up their portfolio in the next 5 years and kill off many niche products that are just not supportable as they really never had a true business case but more of a we have extra money so lets tweak this car crazy and see who buys attitude.

    BMW has a lot of variants, if anything gets killed I could see it being the 4 and 6 series sedans, and just leaving those as 2 doors.  Crossovers do so well, I bet they keep the X4 and X6.  The BMW Z4 is probably the one in jeopardy since convertibles don't sell well.  But they have nothing else like it, so I could see them keeping it.

     

    The electric cars from both brands are niche, but the law says they have to build an electric car, so those won't go away.

     

    Mercedes niche product is the CLS, but seeing as how everyone copies it, and it is basically an E-class plus $10,000, that is a keeper.   Same goes for the GLE coupe, the interior is identical to the GLE, but it costs $10,000 more because the back window is sloped.   The G-wagen is a niche car that they were going ti kill in 2005 but the fans want it, so they kept it.  And the SL is low volume, but they won't ever kill the SL.

     

    I could see the GLC coupe being a weak seller and them dumping that.  But I think they will continue with sedan, coupe, convertible of the C, E , S classes.

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