Detailed Look at the New BMW M Performance Models

M-Power (M ‘s official site) has given us a closer look at the new “Performance ” models that are based on standard series cars. What makes them special? Is it the tri-turbo diesel? How about the chassis updates? Autocar ‘s recent (and fantastic) review would have you believe the latter. But perhaps there ‘s more to this car than a tri-turbo inline six. Read on for more details.

Official M Power Release: The BMW M Performance Automobiles represent a new category of vehicle from BMW M GmbH. Based on current BMW models, they have been selectively refined in terms of technology and design using the expertise focused at BMW M. They therefore offer greater agility, precision and emotion in BMW M style.

The new vehicle category initially starts with four fascinating models. Others will follow in the course of 2012. These first BMW M Performance Automobiles are fitted with a high-performance diesel engine and the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive.

 BMW M Performance Automobiles intensely highlight the athletic potential of the BMW models. They are clearly differentiated in terms of drive feel from the core BMW M GmbH vehicles – the M Automobiles, which themselves demonstrate the character of distinctive high performance sports cars within each of their own segments. The suitability for everyday use which is typical of all BMW M GmbH products is particularly tangible in the BMW M Performance Automobiles.

They draw their unmistakable, innovative character from coherence in the interaction between drivetrain, suspension technology and design which is an M hallmark. The drive response is defined by agility and precision with precisely controllable handling properties. This is achieved by means of an optimum model-specific set-up of the all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive and the 8-speed automatic transmission, as well as suspension components which have been modified in detail – including light alloy wheels developed exclusively for the BMW M Performance automobiles.

All modifications to the suspension and damping, steering, brake system, suspension control systems and all-wheel drive are geared towards the specific performance characteristics of the vehicle. They are also harmonised so as to achieve a clearly defined drivability. The result: even in highly dynamic driving situations, the power transmission, steering and brakes provide clear-cut, predictable responses to the commands conveyed by the driver via the accelerator pedal, steering and brake system.

The M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder diesel engine combines common rail direct injection and three-stage turbocharging with variable turbine geometry. It has a capacity of 2,993 cc, delivering a peak output of 280 kW/381 bhp. The new diesel engine thus achieves a specific output of 93.6 kW/127.3 bhp per litre of capacity. No less impressive is the maximum torque of 740 Newton metres, fully available from an engine speed of just 2,000 rpm. Spontaneous response characteristics combined with a high output and high revving properties make for a driving experience which surpasses virtually anything previously possible with a diesel engine. Another important facet bears out the quality of the engine: in relation to the maximum available output and fuel consumption, the new diesel engine boasts the best efficiency figures ever seen in a serial production engine of this type. Never has such a low level of fuel consumption been available with such high performance.

The defining athletic character of the BMW M Performance Automobiles is also manifested in the distinctive design components of their exterior and interior.

A wide range of options and assistance systems fulfils a broad spectrum of preferences for the customisation of BMW M Performance Automobiles.

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  • Julie

    I seriously suspect I’m a prime candidate for these future M Performance cars.. it sounds like they may be deserving of their M (performance) badges…

  • Jed

    This is an interesting marketing move by BMW.  This is a brand/line extension that further segments the performance category and brings the M logo to more vehicles while trying to maintain it’s purity and value.You’ll recall we heard rumors of AWD on the M5 months ago, and rumors re: diesel M products as well.  I assume these products are what those rumors presaged. 

    It will be interesting to measure the success of the products — they seem targeted to run up against the Audi S models, letting the flagship M products compete against the Audi RS models. But not quite, right? Diesel is an interesting curveball.

    • Anonymous

      To me this is the rebadging of “is” models. The marketing people can say that M was not involved in BMW Performance or the “is” models but that is BS. The original “is” was created as an “Italian Special” so the Italians could get M cars without the enormous tax on them. This move seems to be similar, just they are using the M moniker to move product differently- In the end I have a gut feeling this has more to do with legislation, and hitting required fuel numbers than anything but we shall see. Personally I do not have issue with the move, most M customers are unable to use the capabilities of the full blown M models so the M Performance line makes sense.

      • JonPD

         Broadly indifferent to M Power, makes sense to try and capture a little more market and likely does no more damage to the ///M brand image than a 5k SUV where its portly ///M badges.

        Was thinking maybe ///M could come up with a new tag line. BMW M – almost as good as a Nissan 😉

      • Jed

        Maybe. It will be interesting to see if the IS model(s?) continue.  4 Models including a wagon (!) is pretty cool.

      • Adam

        In the real world I totally agree.  I would love an M performance for daily driving and a true M for the fun.