In recent years, BMW has provided multiple variants of its high-performance M cars, including base, Competition, CS, and CSL grades. Going forward, however, the company has decided to discontinue the base grade, making the Competition grade the new entry-level option for the M series.
This significant change was announced by Frank van Meel, BMW M’s Chief Executive Officer, during the press unveiling of the 2024 i5 electric sedan, as reported by Car Throttle in September. Further confirmation came from a BMW USA spokesperson, who indicated that while future entry-level M cars will not bear the ‘Competition’ nameplate, they will be equipped with the same features as the existing Competition grade models.
The elimination of the current base grade is expected to increase the starting price of M cars. Nonetheless, Frank van Meel noted that a majority of customers have been choosing the Competition grade over the base variant. In some markets, the base grade is not even available for purchase.
Additionally, manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions will soon be phased out from the BMW M lineup. This development was shared by Dirk Hacker, Head of Development at BMW M, in an interview conducted in June. According to Hacker, the shift is partly due to the torque converter-based automatic transmission being better suited for electrified vehicles, and also because suppliers are beginning to discontinue alternative options. However, manual transmissions will continue to be available for specific models like the M2, M3, and M4, depending on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BMW M Series Changes
What is the significant change happening to BMW’s M series cars?
BMW is discontinuing the base grade in its M series lineup. The Competition grade will become the new entry-level standard for these high-performance vehicles.
Will the new entry-level M cars bear the ‘Competition’ name?
No, while the new entry-level M cars will feature the same equipment as the current Competition grades, they will not specifically carry the ‘Competition’ nameplate.
Is the starting price of BMW M cars expected to rise?
Yes, with the phasing out of the current base grade, the starting price for M series cars is expected to increase, as the new entry-level models will inherit the equipment features of the current Competition grade.
Are manual transmissions being phased out from the BMW M series?
Yes, according to Dirk Hacker, Head of Development at BMW M, manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions will be discontinued. The torque converter-based automatic will become the sole option.
What is the reason for phasing out manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions?
The main reasons are that torque converter-based automatics are better suited for electrified vehicles and suppliers are beginning to discontinue alternative transmission options.
Will manual transmissions still be available on any of the M series models?
Depending on the market, manual transmissions can still be ordered for specific models, including the M2, M3, and M4.
Who confirmed these changes and when were they announced?
These changes were confirmed by Frank van Meel, BMW M’s Chief Executive Officer, during a press launch for the 2024 i5 electric sedan. Additional confirmation was provided by a BMW USA spokesperson.
More about BMW M Series Changes
- BMW Official Announcement
- Car Throttle Report on BMW M Series Changes
- Interview with Dirk Hacker, Head of Development at BMW M
- BMW USA Spokesperson Confirmation
- Analysis of BMW Transmission Changes