If what I've been reading on this thread is true, then this will go one of two ways.
1. They will put the ///M badge along with the series name in a way indistinguishable from the real M's and confuse the average consumer, further diluting the brand.
2. They will put the ///M badge, but it will not be in true M fashion. As in, the badge location, size, placement, etc. will be different enough that both average people and enthusiasts will both know the distinction.
Depending on how this is going to play out, I think this is beneficial for BMW to bring in some more sales to focus on their true M division. There are a lot of people out there who want M-like performance without the price tag. Maybe they just want SOME of the soul, since they aren't the type to fully track their cars all the time anyway. I think it fills a great in-between segment that the "-is" was trying to awkwardly fill.
I think some people taking issue with this new range are the ones that are insecure that their true M's will be confused with "mass M's". If you can spread motorsport heritage a little more to the masses, then why not? The "true M" owners and enthusiasts (all of us) are the ones that know the real M's anyway. Are the real M owners scared that this new category will actually be a lot of bang for the buck? Just a thought.
I don't think BMW is abandoning their heritage, as I've seen some mention already. They have produced some fantastic cars, but maybe they haven't performed as well as their ancestors, relative to their time. The M3 being used for RLL racing is doing well, no? I honestly don't think BMW would abandon and dilute the M brand just to make a buck. I think they know that the exclusivity and heritage of the brand is what really powers BMW because ///M is the soul. I don't even have an M3, but I am really happy with my 328i because I know that it's granddaddy is the M3. If there was no M division, I don't think I would've considered BMW when buying a car.
They really need to shorten their designations though. "335is" was already too many numbers and letters IMO. Can you imagine "M108374XDSASD AWD"?
Last edited by thedm; 01-17-2012 at 07:00 PM.