BMW is going the Apple route. They don't may be have the most hardcore features, but it's beautifully designed and marketing strategy is pretty well executed (judging by sales success) so all in all, it's fairly easy to see what they're doing.
All these halo car projects are loss making I think, and they values they bring are 'soft' and hard to measure. In these times, it's hard for a bean counter to understand why we need these 'soft' things and M bosses have hard time arguing against them. It's like this in many fields. Some things generate revenue directly, and others aren't.
I think in face of beancounters BMW is holding up relatively OK - but we pay for this at the showroom (well those who buy new).
'07 TiAg E86 Z4 Coupe 3.0si