Are you ready for this? The “Rumor Of The Year” comes from the usual suspect and BMW insider, Scott27. In his monthly report, he or she delivers an interesting update around BMW’s future plans for the X and XM family.
First and foremost, the long-time rumored BMW X3M. Despite our own sources denying the plans to build such a vehicle, the report from the BMW insider mentions a green light given to the X3M.
Second, BMW X1M. The car will build upon the unexpected success of the entry-level X1 Sports Activity Vehicle and is said to have a short production span.
BMW X4 Rendering
Third, BMW X2. BMW’s plans are to build a competitor to the Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Cajun Challenger. The source said the BMW X2 is basically a modernized version of the BMW Xcoupe Concept from 2001.
Fourth, another long-time rumored X-vehicle: BMW X4. The car was said to be greenlighted for production, then canceled or postponed, and now back in business but on a different platform.
Before we jump into the lengthy and speculative report, allow us to assess the probability of seeing these vehicles on the market.
BMW X3M – Likely and one that would make sense only because of the high-volume of X3s to be sold in this lifecycle.
BMW X1M – Unlikely. We do not see any reason for BMW M to offer a low-end, yet powerful SAV. While the new 1M spoke to the hardcore enthusiasts, the X1M will have a hard time finding a home or even a place in the heart of the passionate BMW owners.
BMW X2 – Unlikely. BMW is heading into a new direction with new niche models that would help them achieve lower CO2 levels and fuel consumption average across the fleet, and we believe an X2 will not only be a stranger of this strategy, but it will create even more confusion for buyers.
BMW X4 – Likely at the moment since the launch date will be scheduled for sometimes past 2015, but with four more years to go, BMW’s strategy can shift and shift and shift again, and the X4 could remain a design exercise.
“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 world 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…
Of course BMW are more than happy with the X5 M and X6 M because they have opened the door in new markets for BMW.
In BMW’s plans 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 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 wants M Division to be more of a sub-brand following BMW i in products, and in some cases in key markets, separate sales networks begins to support that idea.
Given that not everybody can afford the BMW X5M or 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 midsize and Premium Compact High Performance SAVs.
What would be the benefits of the X3M?
Weight for example… The difference between the X3 and X5M is 1,397 pounds. Now that BMW M are expanding with a theme of lightness not only what is above the body but below as well, 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 its 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 diferent from the M-Sport, but receives a more curved aeropacket similar to the BMW M5 where the central intake is very shallow and 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 SAV. Customers are still on waiting lists and US customers have to wait until 2012 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 units of X1 which goes to show the popularity of the new car.
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 as the M3 will be 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 an X1 prototype in 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. 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). 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 making it less viable , and interior space became compromised. What has happened now is that BMW has 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, be a competitor to the Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Cajun Challenger. It is basically a modernized version of the BMW Xcoupe Concept from 2001 with three doors, same as the Evoque and the Cajun will offer. The X2 takes place of the X4 for the time being, but it is more of a coupe in the vein of the original concept rather than a dynamic SUV, yet more attuned to the three door Coupe of the Cajun. Could be interesting…
Of course the debate continues but in order for BMW M to expand its 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 its 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 .
BMWBLOG slightly edited the text above to correct some grammatical errors.