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      07-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
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Exclamation X Marks the Spot - X3M, X1M, X2, X4 Development

X Marks the Spot. BMW X3M and BMW X1M.

"X" Marks the Spot.

The BMW X3M and BMW X1M.

BMW M always encourages debate. And there is no other form of debate than BMW M's inclusion of a BMW X5M and BMW X6M. M SAV's? . The idea that the scared M division could bring out something as blasthemous as a High Performance SAV was unthinkable , even after the dust has settled - The debate continues.

Because BMW went back on their philosophy and their word enthusiasts become notably upset.

But, as former head of M Dr. Kay Segler - explained "No Dogmas" that also covers the SAV/SAC , Turbo charging etc,etc,etc.

Of course BMW are only more than happy with the X5 and X6 M because they have opened the door in new markets for BMW.

In BMW's terms for M Division - BMW X5M and BMW X6M are considered to be "volume sellers". Why?

Given BMW M sales per model is in the early thousands, X5M and X6M are secondary to the BMW M3 Coupe in global sales. BMW X5M and BMW X6M have also allowed BMW to gain a foothold in key strategic markets such as China, Russia and the Middle-East where both concepts are highly popular. In China for example X6M is sought by younger customers and in some cases sales are mainly of the female demographic. This has led BMW M to be considered as a "Youthfull" brand in China as a majority of M customers start from an early age, compared to other key markets where the figures are for the majority - forty-plus.

Given the response to M products in China. The region is earmaked for continuous growth, more specific "M" dealerships such as like Munich Motors in Singapore to enhance the appeal of the BMW sub-brand. One such model is the recently spied X6 High Performance model. Which will receive a power boost and some technical changes to the standard car but not be overly crazy in the power department as it is crazy enough.

This X6M is all about furthering the appeal of the X6M so some visual changes occur, new wheels and most significantly some weight reduction with minor body panels and interior parts.

Given that X6 (technically) is a Coupe, albeit a Sport Activity Coupe. The car could hypothetically be called CSL. You could say for the BMW X6M - The best is about to come.

Now that BMW want BMWM to be more of a sub-brand following BMWi in products and in some cases in key markets separate sales networks the expansion begins to support that idea.

Given that not everybody can afford the BMW X5M and BMW X6M. BMW are keen to stretch the M SAV line with two models to become "Volume Sellers" moreso than the X5 and X6.

Step forward the BMW X3M and BMW X1M.

The old adage "Anything is Possible" can be applied to BMW M as they have stated that any BMW becoming an M model is possible which is why given the popularity of the SAV's that BMW have given M the go-ahead to bring forth both Premium Mid-size and Premium Compact High Performance SAV's.


What would be the benefits of the X3M to say, the X5M?

Weight for example... The difference between the X3 and X5M is 1,397 , Now that BMW M are expanding on a theme of lightness not only what is above the body but below the body. The target against the X5M is to be around 1200 pounds lighter. The new range of engines BMW have developed are designed to be very light and the engine for the X3M will not be so different. X3M will spearhead the introduction of a high tech six cylinder turbo-charged powerplant which to say the media rumours are exact. This engine will also find it's way into the next generation M3 family albeit with higher power output. Although the M3 will not receive the X3M's automatic transmission.

The aerodynamic packet of the X3M is not too disfamiliar from the M-Sport but receives are more curved aeropacket similar to the BMW M5 the central intake is very shallow but surrounded by larger twin brake vents. Wheelarches at the front and rear use the character of the X3 to add some mass to the flanks whilst at the rear a central diffuser surrounds the quad exhausts. The rear bumpers also include smaller vents at each corner which is more visual to help break up the larger bumper of the car.

Inside the additional M elements are expected - figure hugging sports seats and a unique combination of color and trim.


The BMW X1 is currently europe's best selling SA, not only is it selling as fast as it is built. Customers are still on waiting lists and US customers have to wait until 2012 in North America because the X1 been postponed because of the demand for the X1 in Europe. BMW launched the X1 in Europe in November 2009. BMW are rapidly approaching the 200,000 unit of X1 which goes to show the popularity of the new X1.

An M variant of the X1 has always been considered when and if the car's establishment period (which is two years from market launch) has borne success. Now that the car has been established BMW are moving forward not only on the X1M but also the next generation of BMW X1.

The X1M will be a short production model of around two years but is expected to be the trailblazer for the successor to the BMW 1er M coupe. The BMW M2.

Now that the plaudits and enthusiasts have nothing but great things to say about the 1M Coupe - The next generation has been given more time and more budget where the jury is still out whether the M2 can recapture that essence of the 1M with more money and time behind it?

Like the BMW X3M and the next M3, X1M will be the foundation for the next M2 which with the M3 resorting to Six Cylinders. The BMW M2 moves down to four cylinders but will still be the most powerful engine ahead of the 135i/235i.

The X1 has been tested with the N54 found within the 1M, but with emission legislations in some countries bringing it's lifecycle to a close , BMW M have been working on the latest BMW twin power turbo four cylinder which has been tested in a X1.

Senior BMW executives drove a prototype X1 which were an old Vermillion Red and Marakesh Brown press car but heavily modified. The lower part of the front aerodynamic package was removed , the track was wider and at the rear stood two large exhausts, inside the fairly standard interior had no decorative transmission tunnel - The shifter was there but you could see the inner workings of the transmission. [b]The four cylinder is in experimental stage and has a slightly higher output of the 1M and about as exact as the E46 M3. (343BHP)[b]. Again BMW are holding back on power mainly for the reasons of affordability and of course M2 will be the entry BMW M model but there will be opportunity to progress the car further.

In terms of design of the X1M only sketches are available but the X1's notably apparent side sculptureallows great inspiration for the design team. The wheelarches at the front bulge out in a similair fashion to how BMW achieved the front end look for the 1M. The back also follows the same idea it gives a more pumped up look and adds scope to the wheel arches.

The areodynamics packet takes it's ideas from the 1M especially at the front , although not entirely in-your-face aggressive but, recognisable as an M.

Originally planned to be based off the F25 , X4 ran into some problems regarding packaging that it became less viable , interior space became compromised. what has happened now is that BMW have a new modular platform that will underpin the next generation X5 and X6 and will also be used for the next generation X3. After the X5 and X6 are launched the platform will be the underpinnings for the BMW X4 - This will allow X4 to become an even more individual model from the X3 in overall appearance.

Whilst the X4 is compromised using the F20/F25/F30 modular architecture. This proposed model is not. BMW X2 will if given the go-ahead BMW's Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Cajun Challenger.
It is basically a modernised version of the BMW Xcoupe Concept from 2001. 3drs only as will the Evoque will offer and the Cajun. The X2 takes place of the X4 for the time being. But is more of a coupe in the vein of the original concept rather than a dynamic SUV. But more attuned to the 3dr Coupe of the Cajun. Could be interesting...

Of course the debate continues but in order for BMW M to expand it's direction as a sub-brand it needs models like the BMW X3M and BMW X1M to continue to provide the means to do so. The BMW X-M's have their supporters and their detractors. But you cannot deny that the High Performance SAV's have been good for the BMW M Division bottom line and it's integration into new markets.
With X3M and X1M it is about offering the best high performance mid-sized and compact SAV on the market. The potential is there for both the X1M and X3M .
The M850i is evidence that BMW have got their mojo back when it comes to dynamic sports cars...