Last week, we reported that Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW’s North American sales subsidiary, was fighting to offer its clients an M performance version of BMW’s top of the line sedan: the 7-Series. Now, new details suggest that BMW has indeed trademarked the M7 name, as well as an even more interesting M10, which were both previously registered in October 2010 (M7) and September 2011 (M10).
For the future M7, things are pretty clear. The next generation 7-Series will finally allow BMW to offer a real competitor for models like the Audi S8 and the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.
For the M10, all we have to go on is the trademarked name. If we were to speculate, we would say that this is more than likely the name that will be used for a long-denied model: a BMW competitor for the Audi R8 and the Mercedes SLS. BMW has stated many times that the company would love to offer such a model, but have denied its existence on several occasions.
The search for trademarked names continues with the M1 and M2 names, as well as a bunch of i names, ranging from i1 to i9. Considering the i-sub brand was just in the news for being too ahead of its time, these names will probably sit on the sidelines until 2017 or beyond.
In related news, BMW also trademarked the Corniche name that will most likely be used for a convertible version of the Rolls Royce Ghost.
In a recent interview, Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW’s North American sales subsidiary, offered a few more details regarding the company’s plans to expand its M line-up. He said that the American market is pressing BMW corporate headquarters in Munich to add an M variant to its new BMW 7-Series, even though BMW has said that the M7 will never happen. Now, this negative response to the production of the M7 may be changing, especially with Willisch’s counterpart in China also asking for the same thing. "I think we will get it," the BMW North America CEO said, but his lips were sealed tight after that, skipping out on offering any further details such as a launch date prediction.
Our hopes of seeing yet another M model gracing the BMW showfloor are high, but Willisch also reiterated that not all BMW models would get an M version. For example, he said that an M variant will never happen for models like the X1 or the X3. Instead, models like this will get a range of accessories through its new M Performance line. These options will improve the models’ general look, but won’t add significant performance upgrades.