Car and Driver asked the head of BMW M, Friedrich Nitschke, a few questions about what the go-fast division had in mind for the future, and was rewarded with some enlightening answers. The best news to purist ears is that Nitschke said customers don't want all-wheel drive on their M cars, so it's the rear wheels alone that will propel new product into the future. If you want both an M badge and four driven wheels, it's the X5 M, X6 M and M Performance models you're looking for in the catalog.

"Mixed bag" is the phrase you're looking for regarding the other answers. Nitschke said that future M engines "at the core of their architecture" would "be closer to BMW AG engines" that are optimized for M cars, instead of following in the line of unique marvels like the V10 and naturally aspirated V8. They will keep the high redlines, however, with Nitschke saying "there is room beyond" the 7,000 rpm mark in BMW's current V8 turbos.

Managing weight will keep the same priority for M that it is for every other brand, so electrically assisted power steering is coming, as is an "unconventional" materials mix. At the smaller end of the M scale, Nitschke described three-cylinder engines as "attractive," saying that the brand can produce more than 310 horsepower from a three-pot.

As for the current M3, it's all gone. Nitschke said the company has about six more months of coupe and convertible production, but the units to come already have customers "on principle."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW is a thin shell of what was a performance core. Remember when the thought of a M SUV was blasphemous? The EPS, the cheap build quality, the move to four cylinders with no character all point to a company that is now run by accountants rather than engineers. Same happened to Honda starting in the 90s.
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xspeedy
        I can remember when it was considered utterly absurd to buy a BMW sedan with auto. transmission.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      In other words, they aren't going to spend any real money on /M engine development anymore. They'll just up the boost and call it a day.
      John Hughan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sad day. Here's to hoping I don't total mine now that I won't be able to buy a new one anymore. Farewell in a few months to the glorious S65 V8 and all that it represents. It is truly a high-water mark of engine development not just for BMW M but for the industry as a whole, as evidenced by the fact that it won International Engine of the Year award for all 5 years it's been eligible.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      The end of a era.
      SLR722GT
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just love the M3, its a fantastic car.
      ihyln
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a former owner of a 2008 M3 Sedan (which I sold last year because we needed a larger car), I will say the M3 has been the most fun I've ever had on four wheels that was affordable. I miss that N/A V8 every day
      rsxvue
      • 1 Year Ago
      This doesn't really say anything. Why would M promote AWD when all their road cars are RWD and they don't have any with AWD in the foreseeable future? I bet BMW is waiting to see how AMG does with AWD and they'll base their AWD decision on that.
        crshcrstr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsxvue
        what? There are plenty of awd road cars that bmw has been making since the early 2000s. anything with an x in its name, eg 330xi.
      Dani
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well there goes the last of the great high revving bespoke bmw engines, its all down hill from here.
        Ariste
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dani
        great job reading the article
          John Hughan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ariste
          Actually, he was mostly right. The BESPOKE engines are indeed apparently dying off, to be replaced with modified versions of regular production engines. However, in M's defense, that's actually what they used to do; the S85 V10 was a highly unconventional move, and it wasn't very difficult to turn that into the S65 V8 to spread the original R&D costs over more units. But it's also a fact that all else being equal, a turbo engine will never rev as high as an NA engine and won't deliver all of its torque all the way to redline -- so in many ways Dani was correct.
      funguy6713
      • 1 Year Ago
      All-wheel drive is very good thing. Where I live, rich parents are buying their teenage kids these powerful death machines. These kids just don't know how to drive these powerful rear-wheel drive cars and they spin them out-of-control a lot. All-wheel drive option would be an excellent addition to make these cars better and safer handling...
        wooootles
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        Fun fact from where I live; AWD vehicles are more likely to end up in a ditch in wintry weather, or heck, even rain. You give your typical moron driver an AWD vehicle (read: most of the drivers on the road) and they would think they're Superman on an icy road.
          crshcrstr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wooootles
          all wheel drive doesn't make the car stop any faster when somebody crashes in front of them.
          Doug Krupa
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wooootles
          Do you have any stats or is this purely anecdotal?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        [blocked]
        mitytitywhitey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        The point I was making fungus, is that parents need to put their kids in a slow-balls car, not a high-hp AWD car as if the AWD will prevent them from doing something stupid with said high-hp.
        John Hughan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        I'm sorry, but if we designed cars to make it as hard as possible for even the stupidest person couldn't crash them, cars would cease to be any fun at all. If you don't trust your kid to drive RWD properly, then don't buy them an RWD car -- though as others have already said, it's not as if you can't get yourself killed driving AWD either. I get that AWD can be safer, and if that's what you want, then there are several options on the market for you, but that doesn't mean RWD and all of its potential for handling fun in the proper setting should be killed off.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @John Hughan
          [blocked]
        crshcrstr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        Well, if they bought their kids a hand grenade, and they blew themselves up with it, we wouldn't think "oh, we should figure out how to make hand grenades safer"
        mitytitywhitey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @funguy6713
        AWD can't fix stupid. The M3 isn't even the easiest car on the road to spin out. Sounds like if there's a way to get themselves killed in cars they have no business driving, they'll find it.
          funguy6713
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mitytitywhitey
          I guess you don't have teenagers or read all the psychiatric literature about their cognitive skills and especially driving habits...
      mitytitywhitey
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW knocked it out of the park with the E9X M3. Here's hoping the next one is up to the task.
        mitytitywhitey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mitytitywhitey
        Ariste, I like torquey cars for daily driving too, but I still think the M3 is a crazy-fun car when driving assertively ( I.e above 7000 rpms it comes alive) It didn't feel too heavy compared to a 135i I drove back-back with the M3. The M3 feels excellent to me. So... Out of the park the did knock it, IMO
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        i.own.your.ass
        • 1 Year Ago
        facepalm big time... no one is selling out.... did you even understand the paragraph you were quoting? all it says is that people who buy M3 want RWD over AWD.... nothing was said about AMG.... AWD on AMG is its selling point..... same reason why the other guy \"ROB\" wanted E63 over M3....
          • 1 Year Ago
          @i.own.your.ass
          [blocked]
      Feurig
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW hit a home run if the current production model is sold out. There are so many of these things on the road + there is an M4 coming out, so the demand is extremely low, but they are still sold out.
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