We had the chance to speak to BMW NA M Brand Manager Matt Russell and BMW M Marketing Director Thomas Schemera at the 2012 NYIAS about many things M. We covered some hot topics/models, including the M5, M6, M3 (current and future generation) and M Performance Automobiles.
M5 / M6
Can you tell us about the changes to the 2013 M5 from the 2012 M5? Why the wait for the 2013 model year for the US market?
It's nothing major. It's small things; it's electronics underneath, little computer things. It's definitely not customer-facing changes and not a great deal of functionality change.
How does the manual transmission affect the M5's performance?
About 0.10 second 0-60mph difference (slower than DCT). We don't have official EPA MPG estimates yet, but it's not much. I [Russell] drove the 6 speed manual a very long distance and the onboard computer indicated a 77 MPH average speed with 24 MPG consumption.
What's the difference between M5 and M6 Coupe in terms of handling?
The M6 coupe
is a little more sporty in terms of handling by the design of the front and rear axle and the rigid connection to the car body. But you have to be a very very good driver to experience the difference. And the powertrain of the two cars are exactly the same. Other differences include a 4.5" shorter wheelbase on the M6, 100 pounds lighter for the M6 coupe (compared to M5), and the carbon fiber roof brings the center of gravity down on the M6 coupe.
How much weight does the CFRP roof on the M6 save?
About 10 pounds compared to a steel roof and way more than that versus a sunroof.
When will US ordering guides be made available for the M5 and M6? When can orders be submitted?
Ordering guides will be available in the next two weeks for the M5 and M6 coupe/convertible. F10 M5 order bank opens the week of April 23rd. M6 convertible orders will start before that and M6 coupe will be the same week or a week after (the M5).
[Note: US pricing for the 2013 M5
, 2013 M6 coupe, and 2012 M6 convertible
was just released yesterday, along with some preliminary M5 options/standard equipment info
M Performance Automobiles
Dr. Nitschke ruled out any M version of the X3 and Z4 for us at Geneva. Can you rule out or in the possibility of M Performance version of X1 coming? What's the first M Performance model NA can expect to see?
We would like to make our brand more accessible for younger customers and more affordable. M is not all the time very cheap. We have a couple of things in mind, but no final decision have been made yet. We would love to do it; it depends on business case and market demand. We can't say what the first M Performance Model the US will see, but it won't be a diesel.
E92/E93 M3 and F80/F82 M3-M4
Can you provide any more specific time frame for the end of production of E92/E93 M3?
The E92 M3 coupe will cease production in the middle of 2013 (as a 2013 model year) and the E93 M3 convertible will stop production a few months after the coupe's end of production. [To repeat what Matt Russell has said in an earlier interview
, there will be no successor M3/M4 until all E9x M3 models cease production, so expect the next M3/M4 to come as a 2014 model year].
Demand for the E92/E93 M3 is still very strong. In the States from a sales perspective, we have something on the order of four times the demand for the M3 over the supply. One in four dealers may have inventory currently. It is still an icon and the measuring stick [in its segment].
On the next generation F80 M3 (F82 M4?):
There will be a tremendous change in technology which comes from innovation. This has nothing to do with a change of BMW M's character or change of philosophy. We stick to our philosophy, to our DNA. We set our objectives then we think of the appropriate technology - how to put the objectives into practice. It will be for sure the best M3 ever - lighter (than previous M3), faster, better acceleration, and more efficient.
I [Schemera] already had the chance to drive the new M3, or however it's called, and it's really really great. I can tell you that this new M3 at this stage is better than the previous one.
[Follow our F80/F82 M3-M4 coverage @ http://www.bimmerpost.com/m3/f30m3/