Originally Posted by bimmerjph
Second. Why did they feel the need to create a whole new line. Couldn't they have just have just added an "s" or "is" to the end of the number like they have always done?
No, -is wasn't differentiated enough from the basic model and few would want to pay the extra price tag witout a label upgrade (implying an image boost) consistent with the model's purpose. On the other hand, use a specific and charismatic label (as debatable the use of M might be) just like Audi uses S_ instead of A_ and the car will be perceived as more upmarket so buyers will be willing to pay the extra price because they get not only extra performance but also extra image and differentiation from basic models (what the -is range lacked). Although these M Performance models look just as close to the M Sport as the -is did... but the label changes it all.