“Ultimately you will no longer have the choice between a regular M model and a Competition,” we read on Car Throttle. He says he heard that from Frank van Meel, and as boss of BMW M, the Dutchman has some authority in this area.
Apparently, BMW thinks there are now ‘too many layers’ when it comes to M models. Anyone who wants a milder version can already go for a ‘sub-M’ with names such as M440i, M240i, and X5 M60i for almost all models. Above the real M or M Competition, certain model series include CS or CSL models, which are more focused on track use and/or the truly enthusiastic driver. To also have the difference between a regular M and an M Competition is apparently too much of a good thing.
It is also somewhat remarkable that the decision was made to ‘normalize’ the Competition instead of simply dropping the name, but the marketing department undoubtedly had a hand in this. This makes the name somewhat meaningless, because without a ‘base’ a ‘plus’ doesn’t mean much. We already see the policy in effect with the new X5 M and X6 M, because these cars are only available as Competition. The difference between the two versions still exists with the M3 and the M4. These are available as a 480 hp ‘regular’ M, but also as a Competition with 510 hp. The difference is not only there, but also in different options that determine the character. For example, only the regular M is available with the less fast, but more charming option of a manual gearbox, while the Competition always shifts automatically at lightning speed and offers xDrive all-wheel drive as an option.
The M2 and the M8 are currently only available without the Competition addition. However, with the previous M2, the (later) arrival of the Competition also meant the end of the regular version, so don’t be surprised if that happens again.