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    • More M dilution? BMW "is" model line dead, to be replaced with M Performance Line

      The dilution of the M brand and BMW turning its back on its history just continues. Car and Driver reports they have information from a source inside BMW that "is" models will no longer be offered and instead they will be replaced with the M Performance Line. Kind of a sad day for longtime BMW fans as the "is" models were very special denoting fuel injection with the i and sport with the s.

      Some great BMW cars were denoted in such fashion and it served to even protect the M brand such as when BMW called the X5 a 4.8is rather than putting an M badge on it. At that time BMW believed the letter M only belonged on a select few vehicles worthy of the name making it exclusive, special, and sought after. Now, practically everyone is going to have an M on their BMW. People will now think their cars are somehow in the same league as other M vehicles even though they do not have motors or other parts developed by the Motorsport division which is the whole point of putting an M on a BMW in the first place. It's simply maddening.

      So why is BMW doing it? Money and marketing. The letter M sells. BMW themselves calls it the most powerful letter in the world and it is likely because of the impact it has on their bottom line. Imagine selling the M idea and not even having to provide an M car. Instant profit without the additional engineering and investment of actually having to produce an M model. Not to mention this allows BMW to copy Audi in a sense of offering sport models such as the "S-Line" in the mid range and then the higher performance cars on top of that keeping everything neat and uniform. Why BMW is mimicking Audi instead of continuing down their own path they have forged makes no sense. Unless you work in BMW's marketing department.

      So, another proud BMW chapter comes to a close. Here's to seeing an M badge on every BMW model in the lineup, whether it deserves it and is actually developed by the Motorsport division or not.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: More M dilution? BMW "is" model line dead, to be replaced with M Performance Line started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 91 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by KB Click here to enlarge
        They have had m sport for a while now with m badges everywhere. Why cry about it now?
        I cried about it then and now it just got worse.
      1. JRCART's Avatar
        JRCART -
        Audi has been doing this since 2004 with their "S-Line" which is available on all models offered by Audis but are not "S" models, It's working for Audi, Audi has been stealing market share from BMW so BMW is trying some of their tactics.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The E28 M535i was not imported to America. As a matter of fact, the 535is was which did feature M5 styling cues but BMW did not just stick the M badge on it. The is was a special and unique model and nothing was wrong with calling it a 535is. It also featured M-Tecnik suspension components and did not share body panels with the 535i. It was unique not just a rebadged "is" like what I wrote is happening now in the article.
        Does M550dx looks like a regular 5-Series? Or does the butt ugly M135 looks like a stock 1-Series? They have styling changes over the basic models. As for the suspension, Both M135i and M550dx has M tuned suspension. The M550dx has a completely new hydraulic assisted steering compared to the 550i or 535d.

        If a 335is has M touches on it, then why it doesn't deserve to have that M in it's name? You make it sound like M335i/335is is just a regular 335i. And the fact is it isn't.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        The M745 was a South African variant with a turbo. This was a special edition which is fine. They didn't just take any "is" and throw an M badge on it and say done. Actually, it is a very sought after model today and a collector's piece.
        No that was the 745i. The M745i was a 7-Series with M88 and an automatic gearbox and everything else was shared with lesser 735i/745i models.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Also, BMW never killed off the "is" badge for these cars simply to sell cars with an M badge on it previously. That is what they are doing now.
        Good then. I think M-X sounds better than X-is. M was long before than "is" so if we care about heritage, the M is more welcome.
      1. GTR-Dad's Avatar
        GTR-Dad -
        Sticky, I feel your pain. But I just don't care enough to shed a tear.
        My M5, on a tight techncial track, just reeled in a list of cars that would be embarassed to listed here. (911 turbo, C6 Vette, G35 etc. oops - sorry!) M5, not M sport 5, or M dynamics 5.1, or Special M. At the end of the day the car that is more capable, balanced, and - well - fun is the one I want to be driving. And that's a real M car.
        As long as they don't quite making real M cars, I don't care if they call them M's. In fact, it makes the M5 that much more of a stealthmobile.
        I hate airlines for milking the business traveller who needs to be a specific place at a specific time, but I still don't drive across the country to spite them. I fly.
      1. cisi's Avatar
        cisi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed Click here to enlarge
        For money. And yes, there is pride that comes with owning an M car, but anyone who knows enough to even care than you have a M car will know the differences.
        i think thats exactly the point, now for cheap you get your M car, and it will be just as much M as the other M (the one someone should recognize as the "real" M), M is M. (there is no RM like at audi the RS)
        The reason for this is that M wont mean any kind of performance M-division involvement any more, but just the the idea of owning an M....

        Finally its just like in "The incredibles" when when elastigirl tells flash "we are all special" an he replies "well thats just as much worth, as if no one would be".
        And M is becoming exactly that, normal, for everyone with no meaning performance wise. But a big seller.
        And you can be sure that the one who buys the pseudo M will be very sure about the fact, that he owns a real M car just as much as an M3 is. "hey, but my suspension comes from M (yeah right!), and all this m badges, and ist lover then the normal non M, and M performance is written on my motor". He want care the fact that his M never was at bmw M division even only for 1 minute, and his motor just got a low software tune (if it even got one!). And you will be the stupid who sends 20000 $ more to bmw for an M model just like the other one, as (as you pointed it), very few people will get the difference any more.
        A difference that before everyone(!), even the non enthusiasts, could get just looking at the name of the car.
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TRES Click here to enlarge
        so should i feel special i have one of the last IS model line lol
        +1, and mine's a stick with no moonroof. Click here to enlarge
      1. whoosh's Avatar
        whoosh -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        M was long before than "is" so if we care about heritage, the M is more welcome.
        Depends on how much time you mean by "long". The original E30 M3 and 325is aren't separated by much. If you're going back to the M1 then I agree, but I think the M1 is so far out of the league of any of the great M cars that have come since that it's not appropriate to consider it in the same family.

        I have the M sport package on my E92 is, and to be honest I don't like all the M badging on it. But I did want the suspension, body kit and steering wheel upgrades. Yes, this makes it easier for posers to stand by their cars or get panties to drop, but the people who really know are going to know who has the goods. I don't care for the watering down of the heritage, but let's be real - many people that buy the M3 do so because it's the most expensive 3 series, rather than for its performance potential. With all future M cars having snails and the M3 becoming the M4, does it really matter anymore?
      1. Onetime's Avatar
        Onetime -
        It hurts my feelings that BMW will put M badges on non-M cars, lol
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        Does M550dx looks like a regular 5-Series? Or does the butt ugly M135 looks like a stock 1-Series? They have styling changes over the basic models. As for the suspension, Both M135i and M550dx has M tuned suspension. The M550dx has a completely new hydraulic assisted steering compared to the 550i or 535d.
        The M550 is a diesel M model. That's fine. It isn't just a rebadged car with no changes. Big difference...

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        If a 335is has M touches on it, then why it doesn't deserve to have that M in it's name? You make it sound like M335i/335is is just a regular 335i. And the fact is it isn't.
        What are the M touches exactly? It's an "is" model.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        No that was the 745i. The M745i was a 7-Series with M88 and an automatic gearbox and everything else was shared with lesser 735i/745i models.
        I think there is more than one but whatever they made a unique vehicle for South Africa they didn't just rebadge what they already had.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        Good then. I think M-X sounds better than X-is. M was long before than "is" so if we care about heritage, the M is more welcome.
        The BMW naming system existed before M. Why throw it away now?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GTR-Dad Click here to enlarge
        Sticky, I feel your pain. But I just don't care enough to shed a tear.
        My M5, on a tight techncial track, just reeled in a list of cars that would be embarassed to listed here. (911 turbo, C6 Vette, G35 etc. oops - sorry!) M5, not M sport 5, or M dynamics 5.1, or Special M. At the end of the day the car that is more capable, balanced, and - well - fun is the one I want to be driving. And that's a real M car.
        As long as they don't quite making real M cars, I don't care if they call them M's. In fact, it makes the M5 that much more of a stealthmobile.
        I hate airlines for milking the business traveller who needs to be a specific place at a specific time, but I still don't drive across the country to spite them. I fly.
        I think that is great and your M5 is a real M car, isn't it?

        They won't quit making real M cars but now M is on everything.

        The airline analogy isn't the same thing.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Onetime Click here to enlarge
        It hurts my feelings that BMW will put M badges on non-M cars, lol
        Hah, good.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by cisi Click here to enlarge
        i think thats exactly the point, now for cheap you get your M car, and it will be just as much M as the other M (the one someone should recognize as the "real" M), M is M. (there is no RM like at audi the RS)
        The reason for this is that M wont mean any kind of performance M-division involvement any more, but just the the idea of owning an M....
        EXACTLY.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by cisi Click here to enlarge
        A difference that before everyone(!), even the non enthusiasts, could get just looking at the name of the car.
        THIS. And when you saw an M model, it was special. It was more rare. It was... well, the idea dead now.
      1. xbox_fan's Avatar
        xbox_fan -
        This (M badging like Audi did S-line, and Merc doing their AMG packages on standard cars) is sad. But worse is the upcoming FWD BMW's. That is unaceptable...
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Its annoying, but not enough to care about. I dont see why they would choose to do it, as for a younger crowd, the M was something to strive for, a goal, a gift for yourself.. in my case anyway.. So it kept me wanting to stay in a BMW

        lets try to put in into perspective though.

        Lets say the e9x platform was the first no "is" and now "M" cars...

        a 328M pulls up, full body kit, parks, He feels like the MAN!
        a 335M pulls up next to him, same body work, but better interior, better motor, and the 328M guy knows it..

        Now, the real M3 rolls in and parks next to both.. same situation.

        Regardless of what the others are called, if its not an M, then its not an M and anyone that cares, knows the difference.

        The only thing different badging will do, is boost the ego of the people that are around people that arent into cars..
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        The only thing different badging will do, is boost the ego of the people that are around people that arent into cars..
        And devalue the badge, heritage, and it spits on their history.

        Everyone having an M car sucks.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge

        Everyone having an M car sucks.
        but they wont, they will have an M-badged car..
      1. Onetime's Avatar
        Onetime -
        It will only devalue the M badge in the mind of people who have their ego tied to a certain model of a car.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        but they wont, they will have an M-badged car..
        Yep, even worse.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Onetime Click here to enlarge
        It will only devalue the M badge in the mind of people who have their ego tied to a certain model of a car.
        When does flooding the market with something increase the value of said something?
      1. e46e92love's Avatar
        e46e92love -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        but they wont, they will have an M-badged car..
        +1......

        I used to care about this but realized that if them whoring out the ///M brand allows them to offer more focused variants of true ///M cars, like what is rumored to be happening on the next generation ///M3, then I'm ok with it.

        I can understand not wanting to confuse people with all the different badges of performance levels, and that is what having the iS badge does, the ///M badge is worth more. I get it. I really do. Just as long as they don't dumb down the true ///M cars.....let the badge whores buy ///M-Performance cars and let them think they have an ///M. Everybody wins: the whore gets what he wants, the M-GmbH enengineers get what they want (less involvement from marketing) and the enthusiasts get what they want (a more focused ///M car).