BMW M235i

BMW's M cars are undoubtedly some of the best sport sedans in the world. Unfortunately, their prices put them out of the reach of a huge segment of buyers, many of them young. However, that might change in the near future as BMW launches its M Performance Automobiles performance sub-brand, positioned between its standard cars and the full M models.

Traditionally, M car buyers have been male and in their early-40s, according to Oliver Ganser, product strategy manager for BMW North America, speaking to Automotive News. However with MPA, BMW hopes to find even younger buyers "who will be brand ambassadors and appeal to the real enthusiasts that we have," he said. These new MPA models will see a mild boost in power and handling from off-the-shelf parts, instead of the unique engines and cutting-edge tech from their bigger M brothers.

The M Performance Automobiles line was launched last March at the Geneva Motor Show with high-performance diesel models of the 5 Series, X5 and X6. The first of the MPA models coming Stateside, the M235i, launches in March. We liked it when we drove it in January, but the $44,000 base price is still a bit steep. If it proves to be a success, we will see more of them, and if not, then it'll go down as another failed experiment, like the 318ti hatchback.