I clicked on this AutoExpress article interviewing BMW M product boss Carsten Pries (there since 2005 per his LinkedIn) expecting that the guy would talk about M’s core vision and how a hatchback doesn’t line up with that or some other philosophical argument. Not so. What we got instead was a business case explanation:
Asked if BMW could push the M135i further up into the ranks of upcoming mega-hatches from other German brands, Pries said: If you put something like an ‘M1’ on top of it, working title of course, you would have to increase the price again because you put more substance into it. But whether this would then be a smart business proposition is not something I would answer with an immediate yes”.
AutoExpress went on to note that Pries talked up the regular lineup of sedans and SUVs that now define M as enough. No surprise that these are higher-profit-margin cars and better sellers in America and the similar Chinese auto market.
Would a M-grade hot hatchback with front-wheel drive be neat? I kind of hesitate to say yes. M isn’t exactly where I would turn to for something that’s outright lightweight or chuckable or fun. That’s what I want from a hot hatchback. I just don’t know if I trust M to make that kind of car.
Then again, it was the old BMW M car boss, Albert Biermann, who led the lovely Hyundai Veloster N and I did love that thing. Hm.