It may not have escaped your attention that the new BMW X5 M and X6 M are only being offered as Competition models. That’s not because the SUVs are waiting for a standard M variant, but instead because the automaker plans to make the Competition models the new starting point for full-on M models.
The move is part of a plan to reconfigure the M lineup as the automaker looks ahead to the future. With lower-performance models like the M440i filling the gap between BMW’s regular vehicles and its high-performance models, Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M, believes there’s no longer a need for the standard M model.
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The M brand “introduced the Competition layer, which actually now has become the new normal,” van Meel told Car Throttle. “So [the standard M] will go away or more or less already has gone away… we’re not going to split any longer between M and M Competition, it will all be Competition in the future.”
As a result, the M3 Competition, for instance, will become the preferred choice for those in search of a high-performance BMW sedan. However, this doesn’t mean there won’t be options for buyers who desire even more performance.
Van Meel explains that the CS and CSL models are being introduced to provide an even more extreme performance option than the Competition model. He states, “Those are the more hardcore vehicles – if you say, ‘No, I really want to have a track tool with the number plate,’ then you go for the to CS or CSL.”
The impact of these changes on the pricing of M vehicles is yet to be determined. However, it’s possible that the starting price of the lowest-performance M model could increase as a result.