BimmerCast Interview: BMWNA M Head Matt Russell

[audio:http://www.whiteroofradio.com/podcasts/NAIAmatt.mp3]

We ‘re back at NIAIS with likely the interview many of you have been waiting for years.Matthew Russel is one of us in most ways. He races E30s and lives and breathes BMW. The difference is he also happens to be the newly appointed M Brand Manager for the US. Matt is also a big fan of the 1M. Again like us but the difference is he ‘s driven it and likely knows more about it than anyone on the planet other than the engineers that created it. So it ‘s with great pleasure that we were able speak with him today about the 1M. We go into details about the car, the engine and what makes the entire package special.

We also get some answers. We press him on the options debacle (ie why I have to order two packages to get an iPod connector). And we also get some positive news about European delivery and the pricing details around it. The short answer is that he expects the ED pricing discount to be inline with other 1 Series and M cars.

Of course Matt is also the Alplina brand manager in the US so we talk B3, B5 and B7. There ‘s even a mention of the fabulous D3 that is still winning awards in Europe.

Finally we get a few vague references to the next generation M5.

In short, you won ‘t want to miss this interview.

Subscribe | Download (15 MB MP3)

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  • Stacy

    Thank you Gabe for getting us a USB ipod hook up separate from the rest of the package. I wanted a red or blue option, but perhaps I will be just fine with BSM instead. Wish I knew what next years colors will be….. not sure I can wait that long though.

  • Micah

    Nice work Gabe. Much more informative that Dr. Segler’s interview, who to me came across as a car salesman spouting marketing points: “This car is M pure! I guarantee you won’t sell it after 5 years of ownership.”

    So if I understand correctly what Matthew said, the 1M engine is identical in spec to the N54 in the Z4is: exact same internals, intercooler, flywheel, engine mapping, etc. Is this indeed the case?

    Again will look forward to driving one to evaluate myself where to place my $47+K — on the 1M or something like a used 996 GT3.

    • From the info we have is that there were some changes to the “is” motor after M evaluation. When the changes were implemented we are not sure but they in all applications of the motor 1M and Z4.

      As we have said before the Z4 was worked over by M for the IS offering.

  • Awesome interview all around! Sounded like a bunch of enthusiasts talking cars rather than the standard q&a- wish I could have been there.

    -M

  • Dylan

    Awesome how much influence you guys have. Great interview. Awesome blog!

    • Dylan- We try our best to make our readers opinions heard and BMWNA has always been gracious in allowing us to express opinions with them candidly.

      We are proud to be BMW enthusiasts and do our small part, we are thankful that BMW still believes in enthusiasts and respects our opinions enough to even listen let alone make changes.

      As we noted in our pre-holiday podcast changes were coming on many fronts (including options for the 1M) and we are happy to be the bearer of good news.

      -M

  • Erik

    Great interview!

    In case BMW is reading this… PLEASE make the NAV as a standalone option!!! It will greatly help me in ordering this car. Thank you.

  • Dylan

    Michael – both yourself and Gabe should be proud of what you’ve created. I really enjoy this blog and if it weren’t for you guys I wouldn’t be a young enthusiast about to trade my R56 for a 1M. Good job and keep it up. Love your work

  • Herr26

    “Nice work Gabe. Much more informative that Dr. Segler’s interview, who to me came across as a car salesman spouting marketing points: “This car is M pure! I guarantee you won’t sell it after 5 years of ownership.”

    You have to understand first and foremost that the principal people behind these cars are German and that English is more a second language to them , hence the hesitants , er’s and short bouts of silence when being asked questions about the car. When you hear them asking questions in German they are more talkative especially in pronounciation. It goes without saying that in some countries where English is the second language speech delivery is not as fluent because of how others sometimes misunderstand what we say in English through a strong German accent and vice versa.

    Whereas Mr Russell manager for the US Market can speak more prominently to his interviewers. I once said acc***ability instead of accountibility and it is due to my accent not my unintentional pronounciation.

    As for Dr.Segler he is the father of the 1M it is only right he acts like a Father who is proud of his and his sons achievements.

  • Stefan

    Gabe; you mention that you’re not interested in “metallic” but you don’t mind orange. I might have missed this in the podcasts, but what do you have against metallic paint (just curious)?

  • Marc

    I hadn’t heard that Matt was promoted to M brand manager. Very happy to hear this. I’ve spoken with him a few times, and it is not lip service that he is “one of us” as an enthusiast. He definitely “gets it” when it comes to what we want to drive. Will that = far superior products with less glitz and more go? Who knows?

    Incidentally – he used to drive MINIs.

  • Robert

    Matt was our rep. for a couple years and a certified BMW nut. I’m very happy to hear the future of the M Brand is in his hands. He also came up on the Service side of the business, so he knows from which he speaks. Congradulations Matt. Remember I’m the guy who had the job in ’75 and ’76 when no one knew what BMW stood for. We used to tell them “Bolivian Water Works” and they would stumble away in total confusion.

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  • alpinamike

    Great to hear from Matt R. and that he still has that E30, I bet his true love is the E30 M3 Evo from back in the day. Great BMW.

    I am more of a Alpina B10 Bi turbo E34 fan myself. But I do love the old E30’s they were the first mainstream tuner cars. Even before the e36 M3.

    Its funny to hear 1M as opposed to the M1 which was the true Motorsport BMW, Seeing it in person and race around a track,the thing is a beast.

    I can see people by mistake calling the 1M an M1 as we know people call Bimmer “beamer”, and you know how that goes.

    Matt again great to hear we have some more BMW nuts running things behind the roundel.

    I will be up at NAIAS this weekend and cant wait to see the orange 1M, “hey I like metallic orange” its the same on my MINI Hot Orange.

  • Gabe

    In case BMW is reading this… PLEASE make the NAV as a standalone option!!! It will greatly help me in ordering this car. Thank you.

    I’ve personally made this case to Matt several times so lets hope for the best.

    Gabe; you mention that you’re not interested in “metallic” but you don’t mind orange. I might have missed this in the podcasts, but what do you have against metallic paint (just curious)?

    I don’t have a problem with metallic at large. But powerful bold colors like orange shouldn’t be diluted by metallic flake IMHO.

  • alpinamike

    So your into flat orange like the porsche GT3 RS Gabe?

    http://www.dragtimes.com/gallery/Palm-Beach-Supercar-Weekend-2009/124

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