BMW M VIDEO Interview: President, Dr. Nitschke

On the coat tails of today ‘s big announcement about M Performance Automobiles ‘s this video interview Dr. Friedrich Nitschke, President of BMW M GmbH reviews the success of 2011 and gives a glimpse into 2012. Having had some great conversations with Dr. Nitschke in the past, he like his predecessor Dr. Kay Segler, has a great passion for BMW and M cars. In our discussions last year he emphatically believed that the 400 plus engineers working at M have something to offer the automotive enthusiast other brands just can ‘t match.

This new line of cars provides those engineers the ability to serve more customers with products that offer great performance but that are not the full on focussed M offerings (or as expensive). Some may feel this is watering down of the brand M but in reality this is M returning to its roots of offering more performance above the base car while still building the more focussed products of today such as the M3, and M5 for the most demanding customers.

The European market should see two models introduced at Geneva- the X6 M550d and the M135i.We reached to to Matthew Russell, BMWNA M Brand Manager, to see how this announcement impacts the US. He informed us that this announcement will not impact the US market within the near future.

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  • JonPD

    “without loosing everyday usability”

    What on earth, has there ever been any ///M product (other than pure race cars) that are not perfectly suited to everyday use.

    • Adam

      Fuel economy wise? yeah I’d say just about every one of them was horrid on a day by day basis.  Remember just because you can buy the car doesnt necessarily mean you can do $80-$100 fill-ups of premium every week.  I’m a college student, I had a 540i Msport (not even an M5) and I was putting most of my weeks income into just the tank.  Insurance is another one.  but I’m nit picking, I love this idea, because honestly I’d feel guilty using an M in the snow and salt that we here in Chicago call winter, so these models will fit right in.  Think about it like this, you can have your M550D for year round and when the weather is good you have the little M beast in your garage.  So no there isnt an M car that cant be used everyday, the question is who does use them everyday?

      • JonPD

        I have multiple friends that drive their ///M’s as primary cars. Of course when the winter is at its worse they stay at home but ///M’s are ment to be driven not be garage queens, Of all of the reasons he could have put forth for a reason for this new direction saying you cannot use a ///M as a daily driver is a laugh. A ///M 6 or 5 would handle anything Colorado could through at them in the winter. I spent many years driving in the worst weather in Colorado over the passes in all manner of FWD and RWD cars).

        Economy is another thing but I think the typical ///M buyer has deep enough pockets to buy the car the fuel costs are likely survivable.

        • Anonymous

          I drove my E90 M3 everyday in every condition- snows in the CT winter of course. I love that car and miss it dearly but truth is, in Germany I would not be able to feed it and myself (seriously it would be like $400 a week for me to fill it) With the diff in that thing it would go through anything.

          It was comfortable and amazing on the track, no flaws in my mind…. 60,000 miles of pure love. 

          I see M targeting a different audience- less money up front, less high speed but more engagement and sensory experience. I think it is smart because like I said in my opinion piece the other day- not everyone can afford to upgrade to a full on M and not everyone needs or wants that and BMWs current offerings are sensational for the normal consumer they are lacking in some ways for the avid enthusiast.

          Keep in mind this has little to do with the US currently. The launch vehicles will be the M135i hatch and X6 M550d  )or something like that) and we will see neither.

          The first for the US will most likely be the M340i 

          • Julie

            So, will there be an “///M” in front of the 340i?  Or just the letter M?

            Or else it could very well look like:

            ///M340i

            is superior to the

            ///M3

            to even most car enthusiasts (who are not necessarily BMW nuts to the point of knowing the fine details)

            Even the name, “M Performance” line sounded like a higher performance version of the M cars to me when I first saw the name

          • Anonymous

            Does it really matter what the badge says? I think if one buys a car solely for the badge they are clueless anyways.

            There is a heritage with the single letter and number models that is unflappable- it is as simple as a google search, if you walk into a dealer and see an M3 and M335 in the same showroom the significant pricing difference and more involved descriptor of the M3 will make you immediately know that is the sportier car. Those in the US are really the only people that buy for the badge really… hard to find a badged car in Europe and those that know cars know what’s next to them. To everyone else it is just a way from A-B.

            M Performance is also an accessory line, one could also take M Performance to mean a factory accessorized vehicle.

            The next M3 has it’s own internal chassis code for a reason.

  • Herr26

    The M Performance line can actually be looked as “Everything the regular M Cars cannot have”

    If you take the M550d , you have requests for a Diesel M5 and even AWD , With the M550d you get both as well as the Touring. The M550d xDrive Touring will also be monitored to see if there is scope and a further market for a Touring M5.   The beauty about the M550d is that it is understated. The prototype was based on a normal 5er Sedan , no body kit or anything , when it got on the Autobahn The acceleration blew me away , it is fast! yet refined.

    The M135i (Which will come to the US as the Coupe and Cabrio M235i) shows that BMW can do a Performance hatch and not just a six cylinder 1er with M-packet. But a proper M-fettled chassis and M tested dynamics.

    The X6M50d xDrive. Is the sensible M. It has performance and is more efficient and in some  European countries that is important especially when compared to the X6M.

    • Sackboy

      Always appreciate your knowledge and comments! Spot on!  sackboy