Lots of good discussion going on about the future of BMW in these forums and others. Everyone rants on (including me) about how much of a disgrace the X5/6 M and 1M are. But the fact is working at a dealership I see the unfortunate truth everyday. The Red E92 M3 with cloth manual seats, 18inch rims, carbon roof and 6spd manual sits on the lot forever, and we can't keep any X6 Ms in stock. And simply put if you gave the BMW forums a blank sheet of paper and told us to design BMW's next "M" car you'd get what amounts to a front engined Porsche GT3 RS haha. But when the time came to put our deposits down all of a sudden we'd be complaining this 75 thousand dollar car has no sat nav or heated seats and the car's too loud. In truth the customers (ie; ourselves) have trained BMW into developing cars that WILL SELL.
And the M divisions job is getting harder all the time because sports cars (as a whole) are getting better and better, so much so the performance envelope between models is becoming too close to be reasonable. I think M is realizing that and it simply concentrating on cars that maintain as much of the Motorsport DNA as possible while being sustainable and profitable. Why push for a car that does 0-60 in 3.6 seconds when you can build one that does a 3.8 and carries an "ED" badge and costs 12k less to make?
Sorry for the long post, and I'm not really sure what I'm even trying to say. I guess after being with the company for a few years I just thought I'd try and maybe offer a bit of insight I guess.