Get Ready For An Invasion Of M-Badged BMWs

2016 Beijing Auto Show

This makes us happy, and we’re sure BMW’s accountants will be too.

China is the largest auto market in the world, so now that the Beijing auto show is currently going on, top BMW executives have made their way to the country and are dropping hints of some exciting new possibilities for the firm. Like Mercedes, BMW is vacuuming cash out of buyer's wallets thanks to its performance branded M cars. This means that the company's accountants have more reasons to add horsepower. As a result, BMW will join Mercedes among the ranks of automakers that make performance variants of almost every car in each automaker’s lineup.

BMW sales chief Dr. Ian Robertson spoke to auto show attendees and said, “The key to the future success of BMW M is strategic expansion – we are planning to close any gaps in the M portfolio.” Given that BMW is too chicken to build an M7 and almost all cars have M versions roaming around, this likely means that BMW’s X lineup will see more M cars. The X3 and X4 are the likely candidates for new generations of Bavarian performance machines, although it isn’t too far fetched to believe that the small X1 will get the treatment as well. Previously, BMW has said that it wouldn’t dare build an M with FWD or front-biased AWD because it would dilute the handling feel and make for a car that is inconsistent with BMW philosophy.

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However, given the success of the GLA45 AMG, advocates for the performance mini-SUV may have their argument made for them. Packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger, the hypothetical X1 M could take the GLA head on and steal some customers from Mercedes. We still think that if BMW really wants to impress customers, it needs to make an M7 to take on the S63 AMG. The German civil war could continue with a 4-Series Grand Coupe in M guise to cross swords with the CLS63 AMG. If these new and exciting performance cars are built, we can expect that they wouldn’t be exclusive to China. This means that we can probably expect to see more M badges and bulging hood lines soon.