There once was a time when BMW only produced a handful of its models in high-performance M guise. There was the M3, the M5, and that was pretty much it. Now, however, it offers M models based on the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, X5 and X6. And that's only expected to grow.

The first on the docket, says BMW North America CEO (and former M chief) Ludwig Willisch speaking with TheDetroitBureau.com, will be an M7. The Bavarian automaker has long resisted going down the same road as the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and Audi S8, but that's slated to change in the near future. But while the X5 M and X6 M have been hot sellers, Willisch rules out the possibility of M versions of the smaller X1 and X3 crossovers, as well as bringing the M550d xDrive super-diesel-sport wagon (or presumably its crossover counterparts) to North America.

Of course, BMW could opt to apply a similar sub-M formula to the 7 Series like it's doing with the M135i. Either way, BMW is counting on the reduced cost and labor involved in manufacturing carbon fiber components for the viability of both its performance vehicles and its environmentally friendly i range.

As our compatriots at the Bureau note, the engineers at McLaren needed some 3,000 hours of labor to produce the carbon fiber components for the McLaren F1 over a decade ago. By the time it started building the SLR for Mercedes-Benz, it had cut that down to 400 hours. And with the new MP4-12C, it takes them less than six hours. As a result, costs have come down too, resulting in a lower street price for each successive model: $1 million, $400,000 and $250,000, respectively. And that's a model on which other automakers – like BMW – can seek to capitalize.


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  • 16 Comments
      Ak74
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about 760Li or Alpina B7
      James
      • 2 Years Ago
      OH MY what sort of cruel garage is featured in that gallery, I would like to drive hmmmmmm all of them!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @James
        [blocked]
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish BMW would remake the 8 series and make it low and wide. And since this is a wish make an Alpina version and follow through with an M8 with the V-16 and with a manual. I know there was a V-16 designed for the Phantom so just borrow that block and update the other bits. If I were rich the 8 series would be one for the collection
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @OptimusPrimeRib
        Despite the historical significance, 16 cylinders seems like a waste. Welding two four cylinders to get a modern, dual-cam straight-8 would be cool! So smooth you can spin a dime on the intake.
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      There was a time when just having a BMW roundel on your hood meant that you had a sporty car. M models were faster still, but the entire BMW range offered the best handling dynamics in any given class. Appearently even BMW recognizes that this isn't the case anymore, as they feel they have to add M Sport and M Performance Parts and all sorts of sub-M badging to make their base models seem more sporty... Sad.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jvshenderson
        [blocked]
      me
      • 2 Years Ago
      When will Autoblog writers understand the difference between Audi S and RS. The Audi S8 competes with 750i and the regular non-AMG S class. The Audi S8 does NOT compete with S63 AMG.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @me
        [blocked]
      ryanmit01
      • 2 Years Ago
      "But while the X5 M and X6 M have been hot sellers"..... What? Where? I have only seen one X5 M and never seen an X6 M. The reason I'm acting surprised about the statement is because on the way to work this morning while stopped at a light I was next to a new Porsche Cayenne Turbo watching a Bentley GT convertible cross the intersection while a black Ferrari F430 Convertible made a left coming from the other direction. I live in South Florida and work in Boca Raton, "hundred thousand dollar cars, everybody got 'em"....and none of them are X5 or X6 M's.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ryanmit01
        [blocked]
        s2000_turbo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ryanmit01
        well ... you can see hundreds of X5 M and X6 M in the middle east ... I got bored from seeing them .. they are like taxis here .. I wonder why ppl would buy such cars when they have the opportunity to buy much better cars .. bmw and mercedes are very over priced in my opinion
          • 2 Years Ago
          @s2000_turbo
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Carbon structure? Carbon body panels? or just carbon fiber dashboard inserts?
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