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From a very reliable source who has been right 99%. From a guy inside BMW, they claim.

Motorsport and experiMental.

The M car is the flagship of the BMW products. By very much a tradition . Allbeit a very successful tradition the next car will build on the success of the first but like in every generation of Mcar an increase in performance, technology, control , handling and capability.
M division is not about standing still we are constantly developing the next line of performance cars for BMW. Even if the new developments eclipse the latest developments in a newly released model - Progress is constant.


Although the media are content on the emphasis of the " Horsepower war " between Germany's luxury car makers At BMW we approach this with caution - We want our products to be memorable , desirable and capable . BMW M and AMG phillosophy differs from the fact that the Motorsport cars are developed from the core product simulating individuality an M5 is not a regular 5er although it takes the best bits and develops them further making the end product a different type of vehicle.


As the saying goes: Power corrupts - Knowing all to well the Mercedes AMG's with their straight line speed .M division sees no need to compete with AMG. We do not see AMG cars as rivals for our own . Ours are more individual products . That is why we have no interest in a M engined 7er
For a start that the current car does not fit in with our phillosophy and we have no need for such a car .
To fit in with our front line and individual approach to performance . BMW all to aware that less weight is the key to formulating success in this market and have considerably moved the goal posts and it is the Bavarians who score each time.


BMW like to experiment using lightweight components, alluminium, magnesium carbon fibre and composite plastics all being developed into the M-cars to enhance the car more than adding more unrealistic power . It's all in the Sheer driving pleasure factor. By experimenting with lightweight materials we
are experimenting on making an exceptional road car - Due to safety legislations, crash developments cars are expanding on weight . By experimenting with lightweight materials we are beginning the foundation to incorporate these ideas into production cars. Carbon fibre is one way to go as is Alluminium and Magnesium
etc...


Although having launched the M5 to critical acclaim and with the new M6 arriving any day now.
The progression will continue as BMW are looking at An expansion of it's M division sales. Such as formulating the return of Touring to the M portfolio. Purists and traditionalists may add that the M brand might lose it's lustre and mystery because of it's expanded product plan. But we can be successful if we stick to our current phillosophy .



An M5 Touring will eclipse losing market share for BMW allbeit a very small percentage of market share - all to aware that customers wanting a high performance wagon leave to our competitors when BMW who have the ultimate performance sedan cannot provide for their customers. We can no longer stand by and watch that, This will no longer be the case.


BMW reckon that they have the ultimate product in the sedan and the Touring is a very logical step.
All too aware that there is a brace of Audi Avants coming both in RS4 and RS6, and Mercedes-Benz thinking of counter attacking with 6.5 AMG E-Klasse to regain some sort of power control of the high performance luxury sedan and wagon market.



The wagon will have a significant weight increase because of it's purpose but BMW are working to make this a benefit to the overall handling of the Touring. By placing more weight over the rear of the car will allow the responses to be tuned for sharper handling than it's competitors - Just because you have been to ikea and you have a dog in the back doesent mean that you are going to miss out on the sedans abilities because you opted for the Touring.


By experimenting with a M5 Touring it also allows for BMW to evaluate the smaller performance wagon market with the first incarnation of an M3 Touring. If this happens it would be the last M model of the 3er product range. We cannot sit back and watch any longer as bystanders in this segment.


The next M3 as always will be the flagship of the 3er portfolio. And will be available as coupe, sedan and then a high performance touring version.
The reintroduction of a sedan and the introduction of a Touring was chosen because we realise we are losing customers who want the practicality . The logical choice would be Alpina but many defect to other manufacturers.


The next M3 will receive a high rev V8 evolved from the latest V10 - Basically two cylinders removed but no less spectacular.
due to increasing competition ,power up to either 420 - 440 BHP specified , top speed could be unlimited up to 180 or 190mph. Seven speed SMG.


The next M3 is all about progress - We upgrade the current car (E46) to todays requirements , add tweak here, more developments , new materials and remove some weight from there.

The Coupe is expected to follow the M6 with a carbon fibre roof however both a metal roof and carbon fibre are being tested to see which one emphasizes the cars capabilities. as it will be positioned as the top M3 variant. More use of cabrbon fibre and composite plastic as seen with M6. Structure and chassis will benefit with use of alluminium for exceptional ride quality , rigidity and handling.

The hard top Coupe-Cabrio (3er cabrio replacement) will be known as the 4er. An M4 variant with same engine will follow later.
The entire roof structure will differ from production cars alluminium top by using a full carbon fibre top.


First up will be a long awaited BMW Z4 M roadster. Surprisingly this car has been resuurected to challenge it's rivals in the roadster segment of the market. An area BMW were convinced that the Z4 need not apply. With the advent of new Boxster and SLK , The need to offer nothing more than a six cylinder engine has now been eclipsed . The Z4 will arrive as will a small noticeable facelift for the car which is mainly slight tweaks , such as the inclusion of clear indicators and updated headlights and a small areodynamic tweak. BMW seeing that the car does not really need much changing as it still looks fresh and has immediate presence. The M Roadster will feature the current E46's six cylinder straight six again with 343bhp. The M styling will introduce a substantial M package including sculpted sills , diffuser, a raised tailgate spoiler for down force and quad exhausts.
The M package will enhance already which is a very arresting presence.


The new M6 cabrio will make it's world debut at this Septembers IAA Frankfurt. The M6 Cabrio will of course take the fight to MB AMG SL's both 55 and 65 - BMW seeing the M6 as more car for less than the SL65. And more of an individual product . Although lacking the coupes innovative carbon fibre roof The structure has been developed to handle the power and the loss of the roof is no major concern. Extra development on handling and increasing rigidity has been successfully completed and will greatly benefit.

BMW have also now introduced a development period to investigate the possibilty of a range topping roadster - a sort of modern interpretation of the Z8 .
The M5 and M6's V10 is expected to be the powerplant of choice - But with the new V10 - the engine can be developed further - increasing the prospect of the car - The overall concept is purely experimental with an alluminium frame - an up to date version of the previous Z8 and a unique folding carbon fibre roof . Light weight construction will give the car a low center of gravity , exceptional rigidity and superior handling and ride control. A modern flagship for BMW at less the cost than rivals . This if given the go ahead for production will reach the market in 2008.
Stylling will takes it's cues from the Hydrogen H2R concept.
However the car that has been chosen for full scale model is the designworks proposal.
 

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Great news, but I would like to see the traditional manual gearbox included in BMW's future plans.

Not that it is as good as the SMG, I just like to exercise my left leg whilst driving, and I'm a spastic when it comes to left foot braking!
 

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Mine sees the sun all the time :D

It kind of reads like an internal memo. Im not so sure how new or old this is since they refer to the 4 series, a naming system dropped by BMW a while ago.

BMW did show some drawings of such a roadster recently as they made their way into a few magazines. The sketches looked hot. The articles also pointed out they would not use the name "Z8" but rather something else. "Z10" would seem appropriate, especially if they are using a V10 engine....
 
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