BMW is Keeping the Trademark Office Busy with new Designations for Future M Models
Any BMW that wears the “CSL” badge is very much sought-after. In fact, some of the earlier versions of CSL-badged Bimmers have turned into prized collectibles. That list includes the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, 2004 BMW M3 CSL, and most recently, the BMW M2 CSL. The M2 CSL, in particular, hasn’t even been released yet. Only 1,000 units of the model are expected to be built with orders scheduled to start in January 2018 and deliveries beginning in May 2018. But, even before the M2 CSL arrives, there is major news regarding the badge and what its future is with BMW.
As it turns out, BMW is serious about protecting the CSL designation to the point that it has registered the trademarks for a whole range of CSL models with the World Intellectual Property Organization, beginning with the M1 CSL and extending all the way to the M8 CSL. There is a caveat to the trademarks as only the M2 CSL, M4 CSL, and M8 CSL have been registered internationally whereas all of the trademarks are registered in Germany. It’s anybody’s guess what this could all mean, but we can at least be sure that BMW is going to be using the CSL moniker a lot more now that it has effectively replaced the GTS badge as the company’s go-to, top-of-the-line track machine.
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2018 BMW M5
The new-generation 5 Series arrived for the 2017 model year, replacing the seven-year-old and rather successful F10 model. Not only redesigned inside and out, the new sedan also lost some weight and gained new engines, including four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and V-8 mills. Now up to 137 pounds lighter, it’s quicker, more dynamic, and returns improved fuel economy. It also features state-of-the-art tech that brings it in line with the latest Mercedes-AMG E-Class. As usual, a high-performance M5 version is set to follow, and BMW just introduced it to the world with loads of new tech and an upgraded V-8 engine.
Arguably the most intriguing fact about the new M5 is that gained all-wheel-drive. The rumor has been circulating for quite a few years, and BMW has confirmed that xDrive will be offered as an option (but standard in the United States). The move is far from surprising, as both Audi and Mercedes-Benz have adopted all-wheel-drive for most of their performance cars. So basically BMW is bringing the M5 in line with its main U.S. rivals, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and the Audi RS7. The new sedan will go on sale starting September 2017, with deliveries set to commence in the spring of 2018.
Updated 09/19/2017: The new M5 was one of the many cars BMW displayed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Check our gallery to see how amazing the car looked on the show’s floor.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW M5.
BMW Could Electrify Its M-Car Lineup in the Near Future
BMW’s i division may have brought us the electric BMW i3 and the Plug-in BMW i8, but it also brought fear that BMW would merge the the i and M divisions, potentially taking away from the “Ultimate Driving Machine” image associated with the brand’s M-car lineup. Even still, BMW remained adamant that the two divisions would remain separate for the foreseeable future. Well, until now, that is, as BMW’s Head of Product Management – Alexander Kotouc – has hinted that the two brands could eventually merge: “If we built something like a high-performance car or a supersports electric car, why shouldn’t it be something like an iM car?”
That’s the word that comes from Car Advice, who was on the scene in Australia when the BMW 530e iPerformance made its local debut. Kotouc claims that the reasoning behind this possibility in the future stems from the fact that people are willing to step into a car that is “part-electric,” but they still want all of that M goodness we’ve all grown to love. It’s the main reason why the brand’s plug-in models with the M Sport package sell so well. According to Kotouc, the brand’s cars will always retain that “ultimate driving machine” heritage, regardless of drivetrain, so there are at least some reassurances on the table. But, what does that really mean for future i and M models? Keep reading to find out.
2016 - 2018 BMW M2
BMW needed a successor for the 1 Series Coupe, so it created the 2 Series in 2014. It took a couple of years, but BMW finally graced us with the BMW M2 To put it simply, BMW created a car with some of the 1M’s charm mixed in with the aggressiveness of the BMW M4. The exterior featured a menacing front fascia with large air inlets while the rear featured a sculpted fascia with deep character lines and vertical reflectors in the corners. The interior was driver-focused and littered with M-specific features like exclusive gauge needles, sport seats with adjustable side bolsters, M steering wheel, and an infotainment system that featured a GoPro and M Laptimer app. All told, it was the compact M coupe we’ve been waiting for since the 1M was discontinued in 2012.
It would be hard not to say that the M2 was essentially an M235i on steroids, but that doesn’t change the fact that the M2 is still tied to iconic models like the E30 M3 and the 2002 Turbo from 1973. Even though it’s hard to consider something smaller like the M2, when you could just as easily get an M4, it’s the power that comes with the little coupe that makes it worth its weight in gold. The 3.0-liter engine under the hood features M TwinPower Turbo technology and develops 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to send Bimmers smallest M to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds or 4.2 seconds with DCT.
Updated 05/12/2017: BMW dropped the official details on the facelift M2 sports car, with just a few weeks before its market launch in July 2017.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M2.
BMW Trademarks Point To Family Of Track-Focused CS Models
Trademarks a can be a tricky thing because while they do point to potentially big things for the future, there are no guarantees that these “big things” will pan out. But this one is more than interesting because it involves BMW and the possibility of seeing a whole family of CS models down the road. According to Auto Guide, the German automaker has filed trademarks for a handful of CS-badged models, ranging from the M1 to the M8, with the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Why is this big? Well, the answer goes back a few months ago when reports of BMW introducing an M4 CS model, a performance-oriented version of the coupe that’s rumored to sit between the M4 and the track-focused M4 GTS. If the M4 CS is an indication of what we can expect with these new trademarks, there’s a possibility that the M4 CS won’t be the only CS-badged model we’ll see in the future. Is it possible then that a full family of CS models, beginning with the M1 all the way up to the M8, is on the way? We can dream, right?
Take it a step further and you can even point to the M4 Competition Sport that BMW introduced in Spain as a limited edition model to serve as a precursor to the M4 CS. That or BMW could just build off of what it already has with the M4 Competition Sport and rechristen it as the M4 CS. A lot of possibilities are beginning to come into play here and it all points to a lot of exciting possibilities.
Beyond the ramifications of having an entire lineup of CS-badged M models, the trademarks also provides a hint that BMW may finally give the 1 Series a full-fledged M model. More importantly, an M8 CS model adds another layer of proof that the German automaker is going full steam ahead with bringing back the entire 8 Series family, M models included.
Then again, these trademarks could end up being nothing more than BMW performing its due diligence to prevent other brands to trademark the same names. That’s a possibility, but I think we’re all unanimous in hoping that these trademarks lead to something more than that.
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1998 - 2002 BMW M Coupe
It’s been called the “clown shoe” on more than one occasion. Personally, I think it looks like a Dutch clog, but that’s just me. Whatever you want to call it, the BMW M Coupe is undeniably unique, and the individuality runs much deeper than simple aesthetics. From a numbers standpoint, it’s one of the lowest production BMWs ever made. Philosophically, the M Coupe was built by engineers for people who want to go fast, completely removed from the velocity-killing forces of branding and marketing. Rather, the approach taken here was more backyard-special than high-gloss advertisement – low weight, high horsepower, lots of rubber, and let the public think whatever it wants.
While at times unbridled and unforgiving, the M Coupe is still whip-smart, with handling that takes finesse and patience to master. A true enthusiast’s vehicle, Car and Driver called it “nerd chic,” while U.S. owners gather every year to share their passion at an event called Dorkfest. Let’s just say appeal is limited, at best.
While rarity and explicit weirdness have pushed the M Coupe into obscurity, car lovers of every stripe would do well to regard it as the fast, unhinged shooting-brake challenge that was never truly answered.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1998 – 2002 BMW M Coupe.
1978 - 1981 BMW M1
Although BMW had been racing its cars since the 1920s, it didn’t develop its first true-blue sports car until the late 1970s. A few years after the M division started making headlines with its beefed-up sedans and coupes, BMW signed an agreement with Italian manufacturer Lamborghini to build a mid-engine sports car in sufficient quantity for racing homologation. The collaboration didn’t go as planned, and BMW eventually decided to produce the car itself with input from its Motorsport division. The M1’s body was designed by Giugiaro, which explains its very Italian cues, while production was handled by Baur. The end result was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981, with only 453 examples built.
To this day, the M1 remains one of BMW’s rarest models. Likewise, it is also one of the company’s most successful race cars, with its track career surpassing that of the road car’s well into the 1980s. Unfortunately, the M1 is also BMW’s first sports car, which makes it that much more important to the Munich’s storied history as an automobile manufacturer.
The M1 Homage Concept launched in 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1 spawned rumors that BMW might build a successor, but a modern-day M1 has yet to arrive as of 2014.
Updated 08/23/2016: RM Sotheby’s auctioned a very well preserved Ferrari Enzo during the 2016 Monterey Car Week. Check out the "Prices" section to see how how much it was auctioned and the "Pictures" tab for some images taken during the event.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1978-1981 BMW M1.
2017 BMW M240i
For the moment, anyone who climbs the BMW 2 Series model ladder will eventually reach the M235i Coupe. Essentially the penultimate step before the top dog M2, the M235i offers copious sporting cues and performance-oriented hardware, but doesn’t bash the sensibilities (or bank account) quite like its hardcore sibling. Now at the halfway mark in its lifecycle, the compact is due for a refresh for the 2017 model year, which means an updated engine, and consequently, a new name – M240i. So far, official details from the Bavarians are limited, but given what we’re hearing from the rumor mill, you should also expect to see new equipment for the headlights and the cabin.
By all accounts, the M240i is exactly what we need from Bimmer, with more ponies, lower fuel consumption, quicker acceleration, and presumably, the latest gadgetry. Further details will drop this summer, but for now, read on for what we’ve learned so far.
Updated 03/23/2016: BMW announced prices for its latest M240i Coupe. Check the prices section to see how much you will have to pay for both the standard and the xDrive versions.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW M240i.
Like many high-performance vehicles, the BMW M3 has provided the perfect platform for a dozen special-edition models throughout its history. Who can forget the E36-based GTR and the E46-based CSL, or even the Cecotto and Ravaglia editions of the first-generation M3? Then there’s the GTS, arguably one of the best-performing M3s in history.
Launched for the 2010 model year and with only 250 units built, the GTS was a more powerful and lighter version of the E92 M3. The coupe had a 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 444 horsepower and weighed 300 pounds less than the standard M3. These specs made it incredibly fast in the sprint to 60 mph, which took only 4.2 seconds, and it was quite popular with collectors. All 250 units sold immediately, despite a sticker of €115,000 (more than $130,000 as of 2015). Although the E92 remained the sole GTS-badged Bimmer for half a decade, the nameplate returned for the 2016 model year, this time around on the M4.
Tested for many months camouflaged as a MotoGP Safety Car and then previewed as a concept at Pebble Beach, the production M4 GTS just broke cover ahead of its official public debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Granted, the GTS’ debut in Japan is rather exotic, but the Bimmer should debut in the U.S. at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November.
Updated 04/14/2016: BMW dropped a series of new images for its new M4 GTS, images taken during the car’s international press launch in Barcelona, Spain. We also want to remind you that the new M4 GTS will arrive on the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2016.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.
2017 BMW M7
Rumors of BMW planning to build an M7 have been floating around for quite a few years, but Munich has yet to offer a high-performance version of its range-topping limousine as of 2016. The Germans did launch the M760Li xDrive model for the 2017 model year with 600 horsepower, but the sedan isn’t a full-fledged M car. That may change in the future though, as BMW has announced plans to expand its range for M-branded models in March 2016. And with what appears to be a mule of an M7 already spotted on public roads, and BMW’s competitor for the Mercedes-AMG S63/S65 could be here as soon as 2017.
The big question here is “why now?” Well, BMW has been feeling the heat from the Mercedes S63 for some time now, but it was able to fend that off with its partner in crime, Alpina, and its B7. Now, with Cadillac causing all sorts of hell with its V-Series lineup and the looming CT6-V, BMW has no choice but to remove the sandbags from the 7 Series and create the first high-performance full-size since the limited-edition 745i SA, an actual M7 without the badges, built for the South African market between 1984 and 1987.
While Munich has yet to specifically confirm the upcoming M7, our paparazzi caught a group of M-badged cars out testing that included a 7 Series equipped with bigger, cross-drilled brakes. While the sedan sports the regular 7 Series body kit, the performance brakes and the fact that it was seen alongside two BMW X6Ms and an M5 suggests that BMW is indeed hard at work to bring us the first-ever M7.
With the debut of the M7 all but a certainty, we decided to dive into the rumor mill and fish out some details that will give you a good idea of what the M7 will bring to the table.
Updated 03/21/2016: Our spy photographers caught the first mule of the upcoming BMW M7 out for a testing session somewhere in Sweden.
Continue reading our speculative preview of the 2017 BMW M7 to learn more.
BMW Touts New X7 And M Performance Models
BMW is in the process of shifting its entire brand strategy towards bringing in a new era for the German automaker. In one of the most comprehensive press releases you’ll ever see, BMW CEO Harald Kruger laid out the company’s plans in setting new profit goals and strengthening its position as a market leader in the premium segment, among other things.
The latter of those two strategies will include a extensive product expansion, which will include the introduction of the BMW X7, which could serve as the brand’s full-size, flagship SUV that will sit above the current X6 coupe-SUV. The introduction of the X7 has been rumored for some time, dating back to 2011. But this is the first indication from BMW itself that the production of the range-topping SUV will proceed. Kruger also added that the company plans to look at “broadening” the SUV segment, which could potentially mean the addition of different variants across the entire range. He didn’t elaborate on those statements, but it could be a reference to a possible expansions of incumbent models like the X1, X3, X4, X5, and X6, as well as additional versions of the upcoming X2 and X7 models.
The other important item about BMW’s aggressive new strategy is its plan for the M Performance division. Again, the company didn’t elaborate on the specifics of its plans, opting only to say that it’s looking into “expanding” the entire range of M Performance models, specifically within the higher volume segments. The phrase “higher volume segments” suggests that BMW is talking about the lower- to mid-ranges of its produce lineup, one that includes the 2, 3, 4, and 5 Series families, as well as the X1, X3, and X4 SUVs. Taking some of these buzzwords into the equation, it appears that the German automaker is looking at introducing new M variants for models in these families, opening the door for the possible return of the M3 Coupe, the introduction of an M4 Sedan, and more M-badged crossovers and SUVs in the future. The BMW M7 is also another model that’ll likely come out from this new business strategy as BMW continues to fill up the M Performance division.
One model that didn’t get a specific mention was the 8 Series. Recent rumors indicate that Kruger himself has been keen on adding a true flagship model that can directly compete against the Mercedes S-Class and the Bentley Continental. AutoCar even reported last month that initial plans for the 8 Series have already made their way to Kruger.
Whatever comes out of this new business strategy, it’s clear that BMW is taking a proactive approach in cultivating a strong foundation for its own future
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2016 AC Schnitzer ACL2 Concept
AC Schnitzer is known for making statements in some of the biggest auto shows in the business. Over the years, it has used shows like the Geneva Motor Show to introduce provocative tuning projects. Now the German tuner is bringing an incredible concept vehicle to Geneva that has already left the Internet in a frenzy.
The concept vehicle is called the ACL2. It’s a rather simple name for a concept that’s anything but simple. It’s based on the BMW M 235i, arguably the least heralded member of the BMW’s M family. But don’t tell that to AC Schnitzer because the company performed what I can only describe as some serious tuning magic.
It’s too early to tell if this concept will steal the show at Geneva, but judging by how everyone has been reacting to leaked videos of the car being transported to Geneva, it’s a safe bet that a lot of people will be talking about the ACL2 well after Geneva’s closing day. So get the pens and cameras ready, folks. The ACL2 is already causing a ruckus as it prepares to take the Geneva Motor Show by storm.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.