2011 BMW Alpina B7

Okay, so maybe this isn't much in the way of confirmation, but BMW M division president Friedrich Nitschke told Car and Driver that the company was "considering" building an M Performance version of the 7-Series. While that's not quite an M7, it's close.

Remember, M Performance is the new quasi-M car line that BMW has created to offer a higher performance version of its vehicles to slot between the standard models and the full-blown M cars. M Performance will also allow BMW to create performance diesel and all-wheel-drive models without sullying the M badge.

Of course, enthusiasts looking for a full-size BMW performance sedan can already have an Alpina B7 like the one pictured above, but there's something alluring about a real M-badged 7-Series. Given that BMW has already M-ed the X6, it only seems fair that the 7-Series gets some love too, even if it's just in M Performance form.

Nitschke's interview revealed a few more interesting details about BMW's product plans, namely that turbocharged engines are here to stay. He said BMW has no plans to use superchargers for its M products, and it sounds like naturally aspirated M engines are a thing of the past as well. Manual transmissions will continue to be offered, as according to Nitschke, new models will be equipped with transmissions that use software and electronics to "protect" the tranny from mismatched shifts. We won't be seeing a hatchback M135i here in the U.S., however, nor are any of the diesel M Performance models headed towards our shores.