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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. bluejae's Avatar
        bluejae -
        yuck
      1. Forcefed's Avatar
        Forcefed -
        Oh boohoo. This doesn't change performance or feel of the actual M cars, so why is everyone whining about "dilution"?
      1. Forcefed's Avatar
        Forcefed -
        "Oh no, more people have "M" on their cars, so now we aren't as special!"
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        As i said many times BMW had this before. E12 and E28 M535i, E23 M745i are good examples of it. I think a M335i sounds more reasonable than a 335is to be honest. The cars like M135i have M-Power touches in suspension and chassis.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        So if Fiat starts producing sport models with Ferrari badges that means it doesn't matter because the 458 still drives awesome? Didn't Porsche jyst say no sub Boxster because it would bring the brand too far downscale?

        How is having an M badge on more cars improving the M image or exclusivity?
      1. b00st's Avatar
        b00st -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        So if Fiat starts producing sport models with Ferrari badges that means it doesn't matter because the 458 still drives awesome? Didn't Porsche jyst say no sub Boxster because it would bring the brand too far downscale?

        How is having an M badge on more cars improving the M image or exclusivity?
        I fail to see how this applies? The Fiat Ferrari thing would be like putting BMW badges on a MINI, not an "M Designed" badge or whatever they are talking about. This is much more along the lines of "SRT Designed" or "S-Line" in my oppinion. Are people really that worried about what random people on the road think of your car. If an enthusiast can't tell the difference between an M3 and a 335i visually, than that's their problem. I take the badges off of all my cars anyways though, so I guess it doesn't matter much to me. Perhaps if it matters to people so much, they should leave the window sticker in the car as well, so that they can prove they own a real M car. I say if these stupid marketing gimmicks are moving cars for them, and it allows them to keep creating real M cars, then what's the issue? Would we rather they dilute the M cars further to fit this slot, or do these silly gimmicks and be done with it? I just don't see why anyone cares if they do this honestly.
      1. TRES's Avatar
        TRES -
        so should i feel special i have one of the last IS model line lol
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        I fail to see how this applies? The Fiat Ferrari thing would be like putting BMW badges on a MINI, not an "M Designed" badge or whatever they are talking about.
        If you want to take it literally sure but the principle is in putting a badge from a higher end model line on a lower end car that has nothing to do with the model line. That would be the analogy you missed.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Are people really that worried about what random people on the road think of your car. If an enthusiast can't tell the difference between an M3 and a 335i visually, than that's their problem.
        When have M cars been about visual differences? The idea is you get a car the Motorsport division worked on. How does it make sense to put an M badge on a car that has no M division involvement? It's simply for sales and marketing.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Perhaps if it matters to people so much, they should leave the window sticker in the car as well, so that they can prove they own a real M car.
        I asked the dealer to leave my sticker on when I bought my M3 but they didn't. I was bummed.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        I say if these stupid marketing gimmicks are moving cars for them, and it allows them to keep creating real M cars, then what's the issue?
        The issue is if you take something special and start giving it to everyone is it still special? I mean why don't they just rename all the cars M-whatever if it sells? Are there no principles any longer or history to pay attention to? What about the loss of the "is" moniker?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Would we rather they dilute the M cars further to fit this slot, or do these silly gimmicks and be done with it? I just don't see why anyone cares if they do this honestly.
        I think I made it pretty clear why I care and why you should. I suppose the easy thing to do is say who cares. Why even pay attention to the cars in the first place if you don't care?

        Why doesn't M just start licensing the badge to Honda then if it helps them sell cars? I mean, who cares right? If it makes them money and they can still make M cars they should do this according to your logic.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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
        You should but everyone else won't care.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        As i said many times BMW had this before. E12 and E28 M535i, E23 M745i are good examples of it. I think a M335i sounds more reasonable than a 335is to be honest. The cars like M135i have M-Power touches in suspension and chassis.
        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.

        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.

        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. So, the M badge will be on more cars and diluted. Very different from producing a couple special models before M was even established in the United States. Get the difference?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed Click here to enlarge
        Oh boohoo. This doesn't change performance or feel of the actual M cars, so why is everyone whining about "dilution"?
        Because it changes the image and brand association as well as BMW history.
      1. Forcefed's Avatar
        Forcefed -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Because it changes the image and brand association as well as BMW history.
        But why does that matter to true enthusiasts?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed Click here to enlarge
        But why does that matter to true enthusiasts?
        You think I like seeing the M badge on everything? What am I paying a premium for? Why even have an M division if everyone is going to get M designation even when the M division isn't involved?

        They might as well just let you pay extra to get whatever badge you want.

        I expect M to go on M products. Now a 135is is all of a sudden an M model. I find it insulting.
      1. Forcefed's Avatar
        Forcefed -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You think I like seeing the M badge on everything? What am I paying a premium for? Why even have an M division if everyone is going to get M designation even when the M division isn't involved?

        They might as well just let you pay extra to get whatever badge you want.

        I expect M to go on M products. Now a 135is is all of a sudden an M model. I find it insulting.
        I don't know, do you? I honestly don't care if they put an M badge on everything. I would still have just as much fun.
      1. b00st's Avatar
        b00st -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You think I like seeing the M badge on everything? What am I paying a premium for? Why even have an M division if everyone is going to get M designation even when the M division isn't involved?

        They might as well just let you pay extra to get whatever badge you want.

        I expect M to go on M products. Now a 135is is all of a sudden an M model. I find it insulting.
        Didnt you just say to me that M cars are not about visuals, but you seem to be hung up on seeing a badge on other cars and having it confuse people. Does an M135i, or an M335i change how the true M cars perform? You seem to arguing two points that don't go together honestly. You are paying a premium for the added performance of an M car. The point about the badges that you are arguing is exactly why these models exist. People will pay a premium just so they can park at the local meets and say to everyone "bro, I got this M car". It's unfortunate, but it's true. Enthusiasts don't like seeing this, but this to me is no different than Porsche making SUV's. No it isn't true to their heritage, but it is a way to eat up development costs, an stay profitable, so they can keep doing what we want from them. I honestly agree with you that I would prefer to have M cars stay exclusive, but it's not hard to see why they are doing it from their point of view. Like I said though, a badge is a badge, and I usually remove them anyways. I could see people being mad of an M335i looked identical to an M3, but had no M parts, but this isnt what they are doing from what I understand.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forcefed Click here to enlarge
        I don't know, do you? I honestly don't care if they put an M badge on everything. I would still have just as much fun.
        Ok how does this make sense. You put an M badge on a car the M division helps build. Why put it on a car that does not have an M motor, drivetrain, styling, brakes, or handling? It was tough enough to swallow the 1M which I didn't. Now cars that have even less M pieces will get it. What's the purpose of it then? To denote what?

        You can have fun in a Subaru BRZ too. There is a certain level of pride in owning a BMW and then an M product isn't there?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Didnt you just say to me that M cars are not about visuals, but you seem to be hung up on seeing a badge on other cars and having it confuse people.
        I'm hung up on devaluing the meaning of an M car as a whole. It's not just about the badge. Now a car that isn't M built is an M. Why?

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Does an M135i, or an M335i change how the true M cars perform?
        No, it changes the value of the brand. It becomes marketing over substance.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        You seem to arguing two points that don't go together honestly. You are paying a premium for the added performance of an M car. The point about the badges that you are arguing is exactly why these models exist.
        They go together just fine. An M isn't just about added performance but the whole package, brand, and experience. You can now get the brand without all the other parts that are supposed to go with it. Isn't that a devaluation of what is stands for? More M cars mean they are less special right? More M means each one is worth less, that is certainly one way to look at it. The market will now be flooded with M this and M that.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        People will pay a premium just so they can park at the local meets and say to everyone "bro, I got this M car".
        I'm not that person but now the door is open to a whole lot more people doing it. BMW should be embarrassed, they are selling a damn badge.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        Enthusiasts don't like seeing this, but this to me is no different than Porsche making SUV's.
        It's way different than Porsche making an SUV. If they made a Cayenne GT3-RS then you may have a point.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        No it isn't true to their heritage
        EXACTLY

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        but it is a way to eat up development costs, an stay profitable, so they can keep doing what we want from them.
        This could not be done with an is badge? Why did they do a 4.8is then? This model sold without an M badge somehow. It's simply a shameless money grab.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by b00st Click here to enlarge
        I honestly agree with you that I would prefer to have M cars stay exclusive, but it's not hard to see why they are doing it from their point of view. Like I said though, a badge is a badge, and I usually remove them anyways. I could see people being mad of an M335i looked identical to an M3, but had no M parts, but this isnt what they are doing from what I understand.
        No, instead what they are doing is taking what they already are making it and branding it difference. It's worse than just making a look alike M3, this doesn't even offer anything M other than a damn badge.
      1. Forcefed's Avatar
        Forcefed -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Ok how does this make sense. You put an M badge on a car the M division helps build. Why put it on a car that does not have an M motor, drivetrain, styling, brakes, or handling? It was tough enough to swallow the 1M which I didn't. Now cars that have even less M pieces will get it. What's the purpose of it then? To denote what?

        You can have fun in a Subaru BRZ too. There is a certain level of pride in owning a BMW and then an M product isn't there?
        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.
      1. KB's Avatar
        KB -
        They have had m sport for a while now with m badges everywhere. Why cry about it now?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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.
        And everyone who doesn't will just see M and see it more often too. How cool...